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Zoo News Digest
November-December 2009


Turning reindeer dung into gems for necklaces and ornaments has raised a pile of money for the Miller Park Zoo.

The last two ornaments for the year were sold Sunday bringing the total raised for the zoo to $20,884. The fundraiser organized by the Miller Park Zoological Society brought in about $5,000 in 2008.

Chief "gemologist" Susie Ohley estimated about 300 necklaces and more than 2,000 ornaments were made this year, the second year of the project.

"For sure this has been great for the zoo," said Ohley, spokeswoman for the zoological society. "We are very appreciative of the support and attention this project has given us."

The "Magical Reindeer Gems" are dime-sized pieces of dung from the zoo's reindeer that have been dehydrated, sterilized and spray-painted

US expert: 'Too late' to save northern white rhino

A 38-year-old northern white rhino born in south Sudan ate African grasses for the first time in three decades Monday, the first full day on the continent for the world's last four northern white rhinos capable of breeding.

The rhinos' handlers and park officials hope the rhinos will bear young in their natural habitat and save their subspecies. But the four haven't reproduced in years, and a U.S. rhino expert said he believes the effort is futile _ suggesting that the northern white rhino is already effectively extinct.

The four rhinos landed in Kenya on Sunday after flying in from a zoo in the Czech Republic. They were transported in wooden crates that read "Last Chance to Survive." Only eight northern whites are believed to remain.

"It makes no sense to move them at this point in time. It's way too little, too late," said Randy Rieches, curator of mammals for the San Diego Wild Animal Park, which has two northern whites. "That's based on a lot of knowledge, a lot of husbandry and certainly a lot of reproductive background."

As plans were made to move the rhinos, Rieches said he shared his opinions with officials at the Dvur Kralove Zoo and Kenya's Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the game park where the four rhinos now reside.

The northern white rhino is the most highly endangered mega-vertebrate on earth. Risking the few that are left, even though they are not reproducing, while taking funding from other endangered rhinos was a bad idea, said Rieches, who sits on the board of the International Rhino Foundation.

Rhino handlers and park officials in Kenya dismissed Rieches' view, saying that even if chances of success are low, they have to try.

"I'd say of course there's a chance. What was the option? That they stay in the zoo and not breed?" said Berry White, a woman known as the "rhino whisperer" who helped prep the mammals for their move. "Yes, of course a lot of money was spent (moving the rhinos), but people wanted to spend money on this project."

White said female rhinos can breed until they are 30. The two females moved to Kenya are 9 and 20 years old. Animal experts say the northern whites haven't bred in zoos because they form sibling relationships with the opposite sex.

"The girls have a lot of years left in them. One has bred already. Yes, some people would say it's a longshot but not necessarily. ... Let's hope in the next five years there's one or two calves, some buildup," White said.

Rob Brett, the director of Fauna and Flora International, which helped arrange and finance the rhinos' move, said the money donated for the project _ from the vice chairman of Goldman Sachs in Australia _ was not transferable, though Brett said if it had been his money he would have spent it to protect black rhinos in Zimbabwe.

The donor, Alastair Lucas, said he became involved with the northern white rhino project earlier this year after visiting Uganda and being told parks there no longer have rhinos. He declined to say how much he donated or the cost of moving the animals.

"It just seemed to me extraordinary that no one was picking this up and doing something," Lucas told The Associated Press on Sunday as he watched the rhinos unloaded into large pens. "It seemed to me to be such an important project.

"From where I stand, in 20 years they die out. It seems to me better to give them one last chance," Lucas said.

Even if the two female northern whites do successfully breed, they may not produce a pure genetic offspring. Brett sai

On the horns of a dilemma: Last-ditch effort aims to save nearly extinct northern white rhino--But is it too late?

Four of the world's last eight surviving northern white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) are now living in Africa for the first time in decades as part of a last-ditch effort to save the subspecies from extinction.

Only eight northern white rhinos exist in the world, all in captivity until recently. Two live in the U.S. at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Six more resided at Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic; four of those animals were crated up on Sunday and flown to Kenya, where it is hoped that living in their natural environment will inspire them to breed.

Northern white rhinos are thought to be extinct in the wild, and have not been seen out of captivity since 2007, when only one sighting was reported. Like all rhino species, their populations were destroyed by rampant poaching for their horns, which are valued in traditional Asian medicine and as ornamental dagger sheaths in the Middle East. The northern white also lived in an area plagued by attacks by Sudan's Janjaweed militia, which

Meeting protests against Czech zoo rhinos' transfer to Africa

The organisers of the protest, Safari Archa 2007 group, says the transfer, scheduled for December 19, is meaningless and risky.

Experts from the zoo, seated in the nearby Dvur Kralove nad Labem, plan the transfer as an attempt to save the rhino subspecies. Their opponents from Safari Archa 2007 say assisted reproduction would be the right solution.

In addition, forecasters predict heavy frost on Saturday, which could endanger the rhinoceros' lives, Safari Archa 2007 head Roman Komeda told journalists.

"The swings of temperature between the Czech Republic and Kenya will be enormous. This puts the animal lives at stake. If only someone reasonable decided that the transport be postponed for next spring or summer, but

Malaysia's fight to save tigers (Video)

Wild Animals Need Preservation Now

"I want to share their stories with young people around the world," writes noted biologist Jane Goodall in her latest book: Hope For Animals and their World. "I want them to know that, even when our mindless activities have almost entirely destroyed some ecosystem or driven a species to the brink of extinction, we must not give up. Thanks to the resilience of nature and the indomitable human spirit, there is still hope." From a biologist's standpoint, the most important factor in the preservation of species is protecting these animals' habitat, whether it has been destroyed by farming

, urbanization, predators, poaching or global warming. Today, government action is the top benefactor of endangered species

, but the breeding of zoo animals in facilities across America has also saved several key species that were once on the brink of extinction.

The San Diego Zoo has one of the most active species-preservation programs in the nation. Their Center for Conservation and Research raises endangered

Zoo Zurich Newsletter

Vets Beyond Borders Quarterly Newsletter

Rare Animals - the Tibetan Wild Ass

How the British Army Brought Home the Himalayan Kiang

In 1903-4 the British under Colonel Francis Younghusband, sent an expeditionary force of 10,000 soldiers into Tibet. The aim was to prevent encroachment by the Russian Empire and ensure that Tibet remained as a secure buffer state for Britain's own Indian Empire. A short but confused war ensued and when the British left in 1904 each party declared itself cautiously satisfied although in fact little had been achieved. The treaty negotiated with Tibet was unenforceable, the Chinese still held sway in the area and the British Mountain Artillery Battery Gunners came back with an unexpected trophy.

Oldest captive gorilla turns 53 at Ohio zoo

At an Ohio zoo, a noteworthy senior citizen has turned another year older.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on Tuesday celebrated the 53rd birthday of Colo. The International Species Information System says she was the firstwestern lowland gorilla born in a zoo and is now the oldest gorilla in captivity.

Keepers had a birthday cake for her and treats for the zoo's gorilla family.

Colo has lived at the Columbus Zoo since her birth

Detroit Zoo welcomes rescued harp seal

A rescued harp seal has arrived at the Detroit Zoo.

Zoo officials said Monday that Pequot (PEE'-kwat) is named after an American Indian tribe and will live in the suburban Detroit facility's Arctic Ring of Life.

Officials say the 70-pound male is about 1-year-old and was found in August on a Massachusetts beach. A medical examine revealed that Pequot has,0,7488527.story

250 jobs on offer at safari park

A TOTAL of 250 seasonal jobs are up for grabs at West Midland Safari Park.

Representatives from Jobcentre Plus and the safari park will be making themselves available to recruit people for the new season, which starts on February 13, 2010.

The Jobcentre Plus jobsbus will be rolling into Kidderminster town centre on Saturday, January 9 between 10am and 1pm and Monday, January 11 between 10am and 1pm.

There are 250 vacancies on offer including commercial assistants, guest services assistants, catering assistants, cleaning staff, leisure assistants and games assistants.

Michelle Link, human resource officer for the safari park, said: "Following the success of last year's recruitment

Five-year first for king penguin chick at Edinburgh Zoo

A king penguin chick has become the first of its kind to be born at Edinburgh Zoo for five years.

It is too young to tell if the chick is a boy or girl so it has not been named.

The birds are difficult to breed with many eggs being stolen by other king penguins. The chick and its parents have been sectioned off from the group.

Recently, zoo staff have been letting the chick into the penguin enclosure for an hour each day to gradually introduce it to the rest of the group.

It will have fluffy brown feathers until it is 10 months old when it will develop a waterproof black and white coat.

Lynda Burrill, an Edinburgh Zoo penguin keeper, said: "This chick was a total surprise to us.

"King penguins normally lay eggs in June and July but this egg arrived in late August.

"In October the chick started to break out of the egg and a couple of days later the new arrival emerged.

"It's a feisty little character if one of the other adults gets too close it will stand up for itself and have a peck at them. It will hopefully be fully integrated into the group in the next week or so."

It is the same type of penguin that

Maoists attack Bengal zoo; kill scores of birds, 2 deer

Maoists launched a brutal assault on a zoo in Jhargram town on Saturday night, firing indiscriminately into deer and black buck enclosures, setting fire to animal cages, burning hundreds of birds and beating the beat officer and forest guards. The actual toll is still being assessed, but two black bucks are confirmed dead and hundreds of birds burnt to ashes.

Forest department officials are now scrambling to save an elephant herd that is headed in the direction. The attack on the zoo, just 2km from Jhargram, could be a strategic move because it connects the town with Jharkhand via Banstala and Manikpara. Once Maoists have access to it, they can easily reach Jharkhand. Jhargram is now surrounded by rebel strongholds. The attack, which took everyone by shock, is indicative of lawlessness in Maoist-hit Jangalmahal. It was followed by murder of two CPM leaders at Laudhiadham

Caged 15-Point Deer Shot At Fayette County Zoo

Police are investigating after someone shot a 15-point whitetail buck at the Woodlands Zoo in Farmington earlier this month.

Police said the shooting happened sometime between Dec. 11 and Dec. 14. at the zoo, which is located along National Pike.

The deer, police said, was secured behind a 15-foot fence.

Police are searching for a black Hummer that

Helping to save Aceh's terrapins

Malaysia is helping Indonesia to preserve a tiny population of painted terrapins in Aceh

About three painted terrapins were spotted along Sungai Kuruk Tiga, a man-made river in Aceh Tamiang, a few months ago.

Unfortunately, the site is a target for egg collectors and sellers, which spells bad news for the species whose population in Indonesia is depleting, according to Satu Cita Institute researcher Dony Hermansyah.

The institute sees to the conservation

Two men caught in cemetery with 130 pangolin for sale

Two men were caught red-handed by police while waiting at a Chinese cemetery to sell off 130 pangolins worth more than RM200,000.

The animals were found in gunny sacks in the boots of two cars. The police ambush took place at a cemetery located along the Kuantan-Segamat road near Gambang at 4pm on Friday followed a public tip-off.

Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, Indonesia (News)

Zoo staff defended in death of jaguar

The Brevard Zoo won't know more for weeks about why its 7-year-old male jaguar stopped breathing during a routine physical and eventually died, but its director of animal programs says the staff response to the crisis was "textbook."

Xinca was chemically immobilized Nov. 17 for a complete physical that included cleaning his teeth and taking a semen sample. He stopped breathing about 80 minutes into the procedure and was resuscitated by the staff, but he never regained full consciousness and died Nov. 21.

"We have a team of people that's been through jaguar immobilizations," said Michelle Smurl, animal-programs director. "Masaya (Xinca's mate) had been done about a year and a half, two years ago because she needed a root canal. So we're skilled here on jaguar immobilizations."

While anesthesia can always lead to complications, none were expected because Xinca seemed to be a healthy cat and had been chemically immobilized for previous exams. Still, the zoo's veterinarian, vet technicians

Macaque noted for age dies at zoo

The oldest known female Japanese macaque in North America died overnight Tuesday at Blank Park Zoo.

The 35-year-old monkey — named Baldy because of her plainly visible thinning, gray hair — broke the longevity record in June. The macaque's average life span is between 20 and 25 years.

Macaques, or snow monkeys, have a red face, brown-gray fur and a short tail. It is the only known animal, besides humans and raccoons, that washes its food. Baldy

Pembrokeshire Lottery's £20,000 loan to Anna Ryder Richardson's Manor House Wildlife Park

Pembrokeshire Lottery has given its support to Manor House Wildlife Park in St Florence, with a £20,000 interest-free loan.

The cash injection means that park owners Anna Ryder Richardson and her husband Colin MacDougall can start work on a night shelter for Wales' first white rhino bulls, due to arrive next season.

Pembrokeshire Lottery manager Abigail Owens, said: "Tourism is a major employer and contributor to our economy and we are delighted to be able to support Anna with the exciting development programme at Manor House, making it into one of our

Wolf Man: Shaun Ellis Tells of His Life in an Idaho Wolf Pack

A man joins a wolf pack in Idaho and lives to tell the tale.

Shaun Ellis's deliberate run-ins with wolves have scarred his body, strained many of his personal relationships, and pushed him to the limits of physical and mental exhaustion. That Ellis has survived to tell about the two years he ran with a wolf pack in Idaho's Nez Percé or about the ways he's risked his life to understand wild and captive wolves is remarkable in itself, and in The Man Who Lives with Wolves, Ellis shares the wisdom he's gained from these encounters.

Ellis, who writes with Penny Junor, is the star of the Animal Planet show Living with the Wolfman and founder of the Shaun Ellis Wolf Pack Foundation, a nonprofit organization based at Combe Martin Wildlife Park in North Devon, England dedicated to helping wolves worldwide. Ellis works with three captive


Little Rock Zoo trots out elephant manure recycler

Even though elephants are known for working for peanuts, the Little Rock Zoo demonstrated Thursday how it gets more from its investment.

The zoo won a $13,000 grant to buy a machine that processes compost made from dung from its two elephants so it can be used to help landscape the zoo.

Zoo horticulturist Tom Frothingham said it was difficult to find a machine that could handle the texture of elephant leavings. He located a Mennonite farmer in Canada who had built a similar machine, so the zoo paid him $12,000 to make another. The rest

Shanghai Expo to show baby pandas at city's zoos

Ten giant panda cubs will be on display at the Shanghai World Expo next year at the city's zoos, giving tens of millions of Chinese and foreign visitors a glimpse at the highly endangered species.

The six females and four males will arrive in Shanghai in January and spend six months at the Shanghai Zoo and six months at Wild Zoo of Shanghai, said Cai Youming, deputy director of the Shanghai Forestry Bureau.

All the pandas were born at the country's main panda research base in Sichuan province after the May 2008 earthquake that killed or left missing nearly 90,000 people, Cai said.

The Expo, due to begin May 1 and run for six months, is expected to draw 70 million visitors, most of them Chinese.

The Shanghai Zoo, which already has three older giant pandas, has refurbished its panda house to accommodate the new arrivals, part of a bumper crop of pandas born last year despite damage to the panda reserve

Lawsuit over L.A. Zoo's elephants moves closer to trial

Animal welfare advocates who have been battling the Los Angeles Zoo over its elephant-keeping practices got one step closer to their day in court today.

The California Supreme Court has denied a petition by the city of Los Angeles to review a Court of Appeal's decision in September allowing the animal welfare suit to go to trial.

Initially, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge threw the case out of court, saying the issues raised were political. That judge, however, was overruled by the Court of Appeal.

The suit was filed by actor Robert Culp and real estate agent Aaron Leider in 2007.

They allege that the Los Angeles Zoo, a city agency, had abused its elephants by keeping them in enclosures far too small to accommodate the world's largest land mammals. The zoo is building a new exhibit that has come under fire from animal welfare advocates.

"It's wrong for the city of Los Angeles to waste money on an inadequate elephant display," said Catherine Doyle of the group In Defense of Animals.

The zoo, which has only one elephant, has long maintained that it takes proper care of pachyderms and that the new exhibit will fulfill the animals' space

Gorilla Man Honoured for His Work With the Gentle Giants

NOTHING makes Benjamin Bayenda happier than conquering the hearts of mountain gorillas. Their acceptance of human presence in their homes delights Bayenda. This is what he has been doing for the last two decades.

Through his successive exploits in Bwindi Impenetrable national park, the largest homeland for gorillas globally, thousands of tourists have had the rare privilege of tracking the gentle giants.

Four decades ago, when Bayenda's career was starting, he did not imagine that he would be famous. In October, a club of professionals under Nateete-Kampala Rotarians decorated him with a vocational

Rhino arrives at Knoxville Zoo

A new female white rhino is expected at the Knoxville Zoo this week and the staff hopes she'll catch the eye of Mondo, the herd's resident male and potential new mate.

Maggie, a 14-year-old white rhino, is coming from The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio on a breeding recommendation from the Species Survival Plan. The SSP manages the placement of endangered white rhinos in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The determination was made that Maggie and Mondo

Kamloops named first official Bear Smart city

The number of bears killed in Kamloops has dropped from a peak of more than 100 a decade ago to just three in 2009.

The rapid decline -- credited to community programs and a change in strategy from the B.C. Conservation Officer service -- made Kamloops the province's first official Bear Smart community.

Environment Minister Barry Penner made the announcement Monday at B.C. Wildlife Park. It recognizes a partnership between the City of Kamloops, Thompson-Nicola Regional District, B.C. Conservation Foundation and the province.

Among the efforts to reduce bear-human conflicts are education programs targeted at residents to ensure they don't let fruit litter their

Reaseheath's Meerkats Make A Move

REASEHEATH College's meerkats are breeding so successfully that they are being supplied to zoos nationwide.

Two groups of 18 animals are so productive that the Nantwich college has been able to send stock to 15 UK zoos.

Most recently, young males have been sent to Chester Zoo, the Welsh Mountain Zoo and Yorkshire Wildlife Park, where they have introduced a new genetic mix as well as providing a popular attraction for visitors.

In return, the college has

Hangul conservation centre coming up at Sonamarg

In an effort to save Hangul, the Kashmir Stag, a Hangul Conservation Breeding Centre is coming up at picturesque Dard-e-Wuder in Sonamarg, 80 kilometres from here on Srinagar-Leh National highway, marking the start of the campaign to save the endangered species.

The population of Hangul (Kashmir Stag), numbered in thousands during 1940s has decreased alarmingly over the years with the latest reports putting their number at around 180.

Minister for Forests and Environment Mian Altaf

Ringling's Baby Elephants Tied Up and Electro-Shocked by Trainers

Never-before-seen photos reveal how Ringling Bros. circus trainers cruelly force baby elephants to learn tricks, and it's not through a reward system, as they claim. Explore the photos that will make parents think twice about taking their child to the circus.

You may have wondered how Ringling Bros. gets 8,000-pound elephants to perform tricks like sitting up and even standing on their heads, but now you know. Ringling breaks the spirit of elephants when they're vulnerable babies who should

Protecting biodiversity to be key '10 goal

The United Nations has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity to promote conservation and sustainable biodiversity. In October, Japan will host the 10th U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity, an event held every two years.

Biodiversity is defined as the "variability among living organisms from all sources, including diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems," according to the U.N. Convention, which was first signed in 1992.

Environmentalists say the loss of biodiversity is not just about losing the richness of the natural environment but will negatively effect the ecological processes the planet depends on.

The situation is serious. According

Zoo theft: Govt to seek CBI probe

The state government will seek a CBI inquiry into the theft of common marmosets from the Alipore zoo in August. Based on reports by the forest department and Kolkata Police, Writers' Buildings is convinced that only a central agency such as CBI can crack the case, which involves gangs operating across the country.

Eight marmosets were stolen from the zoo on the intervening night of August 8-9. Seven of these monkeys were later recovered from Chhattisgarh's Durg district and the alleged mastermind, Raj Saikia, was arrested. The eighth marmoset had died. The monkeys are used for research.

The high-profile robbery caused a furore with two zoo guards getting arrested the very next day and Kolkata Police's detective department taking over the probe from Watgunge police station. The forest department conducted its own inquiry. Last month, the two agencies

Rare white rhinoceros from Czech zoo heading for Kenyan reserve

Prague - Four northern white rhinoceros, a very rare subspecies on the brink of extinction, have left the Czech Republic aboard a plane specially arranged for this purpose and are being flown to Kenya to be released to the wild on Sunday.

Earlier today the rhinos were transported from their home zoo in Dvur Kralove nad Labem, east Bohemia, by lorries to the Prague airport, some 120km far away.

After the plane with them lands in Nairobi, they will be transported to the Ol Pejeta reserve, 150km from the Kenyan capital, on Sunday morning.

Texas Zoo hires new director

This week, Andrea Blomberg became The Texas Zoo's fifth director in four years.

Zoo board members say they hope Blomberg's business background will help to steer the nonprofit toward solid future financial footing.

"She has a go-and-get it attitude," said Doug Giles, zoo board president. "She hit the ground running. She

Zoo, parks face tough budget-cut decisions

Public Works could take a hit, too

The public is certain to feel the continued squeeze on the Park and Recreation Department, which has been a frequent target of past budget reductions, director Lucy Dolman said Friday.

"We always say it's bad, but this time it will be devastating," she said, adding that it could mean more than 15 layoffs and community center closures.

Public Works, the city's third largest general fund consumer behind police and fire, can cut vacant budgeted positions and not touch

Park's cheetah cubs flourish after early setback

Orana Wildlife Park's abandoned cheetah cubs are now bigger and bolder and about to mark their first Christmas together.

When Cango, Shomari, Kunjuka and Mazza were rejected by their mother shortly after their birth in April, park keepers had to work around the clock to ensure their survival.

Exotic mammals head keeper Graeme Petrie said the animals were thriving.

"They're putting on a lot of weight and conditioning. I'll come back after a weekend and you can just see the growth in them."

While the keepers initially had to feed, toilet and clean the cubs, he said, their work now consisted of ensuring they got enough exercise and had a proper diet.

Tennis balls, sticks and frisbees kept

India's last dancing bear saved

The bear and its owner, an impoverished Kalandar nomad, were discovered in southern India, and persuaded to travel to a sanctuary where the bear will be treated for facial and dental injuries and the owner retrained as a wildlife park keeper.

His agreement to abandon bear dancing marked the end of a five year campaign in which more than 600 bears were rescued throughout India.

International Animal Rescue's British chief executive Alan Knight last night said he and his colleagues were overjoyed to have played a part in ending the "cruel practice".

He said it had been possible by the generous response of Daily Telegraph readers who had donated thousands of pounds to the project after reading about the project.

It told the story of a British dentist travelling to India to perform root canal treatment on rescued dancing bears whose teeth had been smashed with iron bars. The Indian


The Arba-minch Crocodile Breeding and Conservation Center announces plant to secure over 700,000 US dollars from the sale of crocodile skins in this Ethiopian fiscal year.

Center representative Tifases Beyene told ENA on Friday that the center has planned to export crocodile skins valued at 700,000 USD during the reported period.

She said one centimeter of crocodile skin is sold at seven dollar in the global market.

There are 2,715 crocodiles in the cent

2 rhinos killed in Kaziranga- Stray rhino returns to Orang National Park after 4 days

Two rhino carcasses were found at Kaziranga National Park — one inside the park this morning and the other on its outskirts yesterday.

One hornless rhino carcass was found near Dhuramari anti-poaching camp under Agoratoli range of Kaziranga this morning. Poachers are suspected to have killed the animal last night. The other carcass was found at Baghetapo on the outskirts of Kohora range yesterday.

Although the Kaziranga authorities denied that the rhino killed last night was a victim of poaching, sources said the carcass bore bullet injures.

"We heard gunshots in the area yesterday. There were clear marks of bullet injuries on the carcass and the horn had been chopped off. It is a case of poaching without any doubt," a forest guard said. The carcass was found on the grassland about 100 metres away from a bridge between

Zimbabwe faces expulsion from CITES

Zimbabwe risks being expelled from the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species,CITES, after losing about 26 percent of its rhino population in less than three years due to rampant poaching.

The country is believed to have lost about 160 rhinos since 2006 a figure which is considered too high by animal welfare organisations.

According to the organisations, among them the Species Survival Commission and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the loss represents about 26 percent of Zimbabwe's rhino population.

"The number of the rhino population is expected

Tigers, Polar Bears and Blue Fin Tuna Among the Most Threatened Species in 2010, Says World Wildlife Fund

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) today released its annual list of some of the most threatened species around the world, saying that the long-term survival of many animals is increasingly in doubt due to a host of threats, including climate change, and calling for a step up in efforts to save some of the world's most threatened animals.

WWF's list of "10 to Watch in 2010" includes such well-known and beloved species as tigers, polar bears, pandas, and rhinos, as well as lesser-known species such as bluefin tuna and mountain gorillas. WWF scientists say these, and many other species, are at greater risk than ever before because of habitat loss, poaching, and climate change-related threats. This year's watch list includes five species directly impacted by climate change, as well as the monarch butterfly, the species at the center of an endangered biological


New drug threat to Asian vultures
A veterinary pain drug can be lethal to vultures that eat the carcasses of treated livestock, say scientists.
Ketoprofen is an anti-inflammatory that is used in India to treat cattle.
It had been proposed as a replacement for diclofenac, which scientists say brought some species of Asian vulture to the brink of extinction.
A study published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters says it causes the birds to suffer acute kidney failure within days of exposure.
This is the same toxic effect caused when vultures feed on the carcasses of animals treated with diclofenac.
Researchers had thought that ketoprofen would be less harmful because it metabolised faster by cows, and converted within hours into a form that is not dangerous to vultures.
But an international team of scientists that carried out safety tests on the drug, found that doses administered to cattle in India were sufficient to kill the birds.
Richard Cuthbert from the

$500,000 fine possible for Dalu death
Zion Wildlife Gardens faces fines of up to $500,000 if it is found guilty of charges laid by the Department of Labour.
The department revealed charges had been laid under sections six and 16 of the health and Safety in Employment Act following the death of big-cat handler Dalu Mncube.
A 260kg rare white royal Bengal tiger called Abu attacked Mr Mncube as he cleaned its enclosure last May.
The Department had six months from the date the incident was reported to bring a prosecution.
But the Department was remaining tight-lipped about when those charged would appear in court or even which court they would appear in.
Mr Mncube died in May this year when he was mauled by a white tiger while cleaning out the cat's enclosure.
The two charges each carry a maximum fine of $250,000 each. There is a charge of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees while at work and a second charge of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that no hazard

Pandas go on show for zoo visitors
Adelaide Zoo's giant pandas are finally going on display to the public today but despite all the publicity, tickets for the early weeks have not sold out.
People wanting to see Wang Wang and Funi in their $8 million enclosure were warned of a need to book tickets in advance but there are still some available on the zoo's website.
The pandas were officially welcomed to Adelaide on Sunday and the Chinese Ambassador Zhang Junsai is optimistic they will mate.
"The name of Funi means lucky girl and Wang Wang means net net. Who

Calgary alderman attacks zoo criticism after animal deaths
The city needs to fight back against negative publicity directed at the Calgary Zoo, one alderman said.
"I've had it up to my teeth with these special-interest groups targeting and trashing the reputation of the Calgary Zoo," Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart said yesterday.
"We can't turn this into another tar sands issue where these people get way, way ahead of the communications plan and everyone remains silent and don't stand up for the zoo. We need to put a stop to it."
Zoocheck Canada has been critical of the facility in recent years following several animal deaths and other incidents.
In 2007, a hippo died after being improperly transported by truck from the U.S., then in May 2008, 41 cownose stingrays died due to a lack of oxygen in their tanks.
A baby elephant died of a viral infection in November 2008, and in June

Ministry permits rhinos' transport from Czech zoo to Africa
The Czech Environment Ministry has issued a CITES permit necessary for the controversial transport of four rare northern white rhinos from the zoo in Dvur Kralove to Africa, ministry spokeswoman Petra Roubickova said.
The rhinos will fly to Kenya on December 19. They should find a new home in the Kenyan Ol Pejeta Conservancy reserve.
The zoo representatives will take over the permit at the ministry this afternoon, Roubickova added.
Zoo director Dana Holeckova said the CITES permit was the last obstacle to the rhinos' transport. Not even the current severe frosts will prevent it as the body of the lorries for the animals' transport will be heated, she added.
The Safari Archa 2007 civic association stands up against the rhinos' transport calling it nonsensical. It plans to stage a protest meeting in Hradec Kralove, east Bohemia, on December 16.
The rhinos' transport has been planned for over one year as an attempt at salvation of this rare species.
Only a few last northern white rhinos

Connecticut scientist leads the way in freezing coral to give it life later
Corals have been around for hundreds of millions of years, but threats to their immediate future preoccupy marine biologist Mary Hagedorn, who spent her childhood summers exploring the Old Saybrook shoreline and is now pioneering the science of applying human fertility techniques to coral.
According to Hagedorn, corals could be gone from the world's oceans in 25 years if there is no intervention.
A senior scientist at the Smithsonian Institution, Hagedorn has spent years honing the cryopreserving process - freezing at very low temperatures - for coral sperm, eggs, embryos and now polyps - the tiny beginnings of reefs.
Coral reefs help protect coastlines from storms and erosion, provide food for millions

Sun lamps for zoo animals
Vienna zoo chiefs have managed to guarantee animals continue to delight the crowds as temperatures plunge to minus 15 degrees - by installing sun lamps.
Animals like these Banded Mongoose had refused to come out but after installing sunlamps to give the animals summer temperatures they have been seen delighting the crowds as they jostle for a place in the sun.
Until last week the zoo in the Austrian capital had continued to enjoy unusually warm temperatures

Hobbit the gorilla dies
A gorilla which lived at the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria for 21 years, died following diabetes-related complications, the zoo said on Sunday.
"The zoo is mourning the death of Hobbit, its beloved resident gorilla for 21 years," said managing director Clifford Nxomani in a statement.
The 30-year-old gorilla, diagnosed with type two diabetes, suffered complications including kidney and eyesight damage.
Hobbit had received daily insulin injections since 2007.
"Since his diagnosis he became subdued, and in recent months was mostly out of the public eye."
Hobbit's compromised kidneys resulted in

Six years after donation harpy eagles sanctuary still to be built
Six years after funds were provided by the Odense Municipality of Denmark to build a giant aviary for the harpy eagles at the Georgetown Zoo, Chairman of the National Parks Commission John Caesar says that an ambitious design and the global downturn were among the reasons the project has not gotten underway.
On April 11, 2003 Mayor of the city of Odense and Chairman of its zoo, Anker Boye, officially handed over US$30,000 towards the building of a giant cage at the back of the National Zoological Park near to where the old elephant cages were located.
The donation by the Odense Zoo was part of an ongoing sister-zoo relationship that it has with the Georgetown Zoo based on an agreement signed with the National Parks Commission in November 2001.
The design of the cage was expected to facilitate trees in the vicinity of the proposed construction area being incorporated into the architecture. This would have allowed for the aviary to carry

Conservation programme of CZA
The Central Zoo Authority's conservation programme is under implementation as per Government's laid down guidelines and is not lagging behind.70 species of endangered wild animals have been selected for conservation breeding in zoos of which following species have been covered so far:-

Koalas in Australia dying from AIDS, habitat loss
On the operating table lies a sick koala. He's just been brought in by a driver who found the animal sitting in the middle of a busy road. Veterinarian Claude Lacasse determines the koala has not been hit by a car but she immediately detects one serious problem facing many of the marsupials: Chlamydia, a disease which can lead to a very slow and painful death for koalas living in the wild.
Koalas generate almost US$1 billion for the Australian economy, thanks to tourists who come to see this national icon. But these cuddly creatures are under serious threat from infectious disease and habitat loss and some scientists believe they

NTCA asks MP to keep tiger in enclosure for acclimatisation
Fearing that the strong "homing instinct" of a male striped cat, which has strayed out of the Panna Tiger Reserve of Madhya Pradesh, will lead it to trouble, the Centre has asked the state to capture and keep it in an enclosure till it acclimatises to its new home.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in an advisory issued to the state government sought immediate tranquilising of the two-and-half-year-old tiger to be kept inside the enclosure till it is able to make its own kills before being released in forests of the reserve.
Worried about its fate, the NTCA officials have pointed out that the tiger, by straying as far as 150 km from his habitat to Damoh forest division is exhibiting strong homing instinct and could risk its life by walking into poachers or

Giant panda's genome code reveals its carnivorous side
The complete genetic sequence of the giant panda has revealed the iconic Chinese bear's carnivorous side, by finding that the animal has all the genes
required to digest meat, but not its staple food, bamboo.
According to a report in Nature News, an international team of scientists sequenced a three-year-old female panda called Jingjing, who was also a mascot of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and found that she lacks any recognizable genes for cellulases - enzymes that break down the plant material cellulose. "The panda's bamboo diet may be dictated by its gut bacteria rather than by its own genetic composition," said Wang Jun, deputy director of the Beijing Genomics
Institute in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, who led the sequencing project.
The researchers also discovered that the T1R1 gene, which encodes a key receptor for the savoury or 'umami' flavour of meat, has become an inactive 'pseudogene' due to two mutations.
"This may explain why the panda diet is primarily herbivorous even though it is classified as a carnivore," said Wang.
The research shows that pandas have about 21,000 genes packed into 21 pairs of chromosomes, including one pair of sex chromosomes.
Of all the mammals that have been sequenced, pandas are most similar to dogs - with 80 percent

Seahorses make new home at Bristol aquarium
A colony of the world's largest species of seahorse has a new home in Bristol.
The Australian pot-belly or big-belly seahorses can grow to more than 30cm in length and are the latest arrivals to the city's Blue Reef Aquarium.
Their new home is a giant 3,000-litre acrylic display, complete with sea grasses and an underwater viewing window at its centre.
Spokesman for the aquarium Dan de Castro said: "Seahorses are always among the most popular displays with visitors and the pot-bellies are certain to be a big attraction. As well as being one of the most impressive seahorse species, pot-bellies are also well known for the fact that they form

Wildlife activists against unique night safari plan
Protests against night safari at Bannerghatta to begin this week; activists say proposal will harm habitats
The much talked about night safari proposal at Bannerghatta, the first of its kind in India, has hit a roadblock in the shape of wildlife activists.
The activists have planned to protest against the project with an online signature campaign besides a series of demonstrations starting this week.
The Bannerghatta night safari, to be implemented on over 115 hectares at a cost of about Rs 178 crore, will affect the existing habitat of species rarely found in India, believe wildlife enthusiasts who are taking on the authorities.
"We don't want the night safari here in Bannerghatta," said Manjunath N, president, Nature and Wildlife Conservation Committee, Bannerghatta. "It will affect existing rare species here and also residents in the village around. Hence

Zoo industry needs reform: observers
Although a recession and several controversial animal deaths this year weren't enough to stop Canadians from visiting zoos in increasing numbers, some observers say the industry needs to learn how to stay relevant in a society growing more skeptical about keeping animals in captivity.
In the last 50 years, some zoos have attempted to shift away from menagerie-style venues where parents take their children to gawk at caged tigers and giraffes to almost museum-style exhibits that encourage animal lovers to learn and interact with different species.
Yet, some critics say the industry is not doing enough, is taking too long to implement change and putting animal welfare at risk.
Those concerns have been fuelled by a wave of incidents at zoos across Canada that have left animals dead or threatened. Most recently, the Calgary Zoo president announced an independent review of its animal operations following the suspension of an employee over the death of a female capybara, a species of giant rodent.
It was killed after getting caught in a hydraulic door.
Industry watchdog Zoocheck Canada said the attempts

Zoo's future an enigma
Amid controversy, what lies ahead is a major question
Even in the context of past troubles, the Topeka Zoo's current situation appears unique.
The embattled director has retired. The veterinarian is no longer employed. The zoo awaits the findings of a rare outside review. And over the facility hangs the prospect of more administrative changes.
A reputation in duress, a future in limbo.
What are the ramifications of the now widely known controversy? More scrutiny from zoo watchdog groups, for one. A possible reduction in donations, as well, though the zoo's private partnership group disputes this.
From the depths could rise a better zoo, others say, a zoo adaptive to any past ailments. Or, as city spokesman David Bevens said last month, "Our hope is that we'll have a much better zoo at the end of the review."
To get there, the zoo will have to get past a slew of recent missteps.
Inspection reports by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in August and September faulted the zoo for its care and record-keeping related to the deaths of 11 animals from 2006 to present. City manager Norton Bonaparte then called for an outside review by officials from the Association

Sharks at Madrid Zoo enjoy their own nativity scene
The belén created in the shark tank every year is a tradition which began in 1995
Staff at Madrid zoo took to the water this Saturday to continue a tradition which began in 1995 of creating an underwater nativity scene in one of the zoo's aquariums. The figures for the belén are placed in the tank which is home to the zoo's 12 sharks, and the task is seen as a rite of passage for the new divers who are taken on to the team.
It took the team of two some 40 minutes to place this year's nine figures and the stars which surround them, before

Calgary Zoo to bring in outside inspectors
The Calgary Zoo is calling in outside experts to examine operations at the troubled facility while insisting a series of embarrassing animal deaths are not a sign of systemic trouble.
Zoo president Clément Lanthier lashed out at critics as he announced two North American zoo accreditation bodies will name inspectors from a roster of former zookeepers, curators and veterinarians.
Dr. Lanthier insisted critics are "linking together a series of unrelated incidents in an effort to establish some kind of pattern" after a spate of sudden animal deaths and other bizarre incidents at the zoo.
"No matter how unsubstantiated or unfair, criticism can raise doubt in people's minds," Dr. Lanthier said.
However, Peter Karsten, a retired long-time head of the Calgary Zoo, says it is dealing with a hangover from a philosophical shift in the 2000s that emphasized entertainment and profitability.
Former CEO Alex Graham, a onetime head of the Alberta Wheat Pool, broke fundraising records and proposed an ambitious expansion, including a plan to install whales at the zoo, some 1,000 kilometres from the nearest ocean. He left in 2007 after eight years in charge. He was replaced by Dr. Lanthier, a veterinarian.
"Alex Graham had some grandiose ideas, ideas that create an enormously complex zoo world,

Irish wild boar makes a comeback
The Irish wild boar - which died out hundreds of years ago - is back on the rampage.
Conservation authority, Biodiversity Ireland, has reported a number of sightings of boar in their old stomping grounds over the past year.
One 396lb boar was shot near a school playground in Tipperary this year, according to a report in the Irish Times.
Some lovers of wildlife argue that

Monkeying Around at Jakarta's Schmutzer Primate Center
The zoo keepers who take care of the apes and monkeys at Ragunan Zoo have a problem: Their wives get jealous of the time they spend caring for their charges. "All I can say to her is that it's my responsibility to look after these animals," said Dwi Suprihadi, who has worked at the zoo since 1994, transferring to the Schmutzer Primate Center when it opened in 2002.
Dwi and 22 other zoo keepers are tasked with keeping the center's primates healthy and happy.
Zoo keeper Namin, who has worked at the zoo for seven years, said taking care of monkeys was like taking care of babies. "Primates are like humans and need love and care," he said.
Namin said that primates, especially the apes, also feel emotions like anger, sadness, even jealousy. Sometimes, he added, the older primates get angry or jealous if he gives food to the younger ones first. "For that reason, a zoo keeper has to remember each primate's character traits," he said.
The center is named after a Dutch woman, Pauline Schmutzer, a painter who lived in Wonorejo, East Java. Schmutzer proposed the idea of opening the first primate center in Indonesia. She also donated much of her wealth to make such an undertaking possible

Private zoo being investigated for animal abuse
For two decades, the Mountain View Conservation and Breeding Centre in B.C.'s Lower Mainland has safeguarded endangered species from around the globe, its 250 acres built as a refuge from a harsh nature that had pushed some animals to the brink of extinction.
But that refuge, founded in 1986 by Gordon Blankstein, is under investigation by the B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, with the private zoo facing a battery of allegations that it has mistreated and abused the rare species under its care – including assertions that zoo staff have killed ailing animals using box-cutters and hammers.
In an interview, Mr. Blankstein said all of the allegations are false, and that the accusations come from former, disgruntled employees, who have lodged other complaints with municipal, fire, environmental and workplace safety officials.
The investigation began two weeks ago, when the advocacy group Zoocheck sent the B.C. SPCA material it

Dochodo Zoo Island is an Eden at Sea
It sounds like the plot of the movie Jurassic Park (minus the dinosaurs), but JDS Architects' have created an incredible plan for a zoo located on the South Korean island of Dochodo. The island could, according to the architecture firm, be a "case study to define a tourist region based on sustainable development only, where natures and structures function in equilibrium, symbiotically feeding one another"
According to JDS, the zoo's landscape of natural peaks and valleys is ideal for zoo development. The flat valleys could host animals, while more mountainous areas could be protected and treated as nature reserves. All transportation, energy sources and

Charge dropped in late-night zoo visit
One of two men who had an after-hours encounter with a Siberian tiger at the Calgary Zoo this fall no longer faces a trespassing charge.
Trever Wearmouth, 27, had his charge under the Petty Trespass Act dropped when he made his first appearance Monday in provincial traffic court.
No reason for the decision was given.
Wearmouth's co-accused, Thomas Bryce-Hart, also 27, still faces the same charge of entering onto land without permission.
A warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to show up for his first appearance Monday.
According to the tickets, issued shortly after

TRAFFIC helps to board up major wildlife market
a large billboard strategically placed along a main thoroughfare at Bangkok's Chatuchak market is warning buyers not to buy illegal wildlife.
TRAFFIC, WWF and key partners in the region helped design the billboard which is on prominent display at one of Southeast Asia's largest and best known wildlife markets.
But with a wide variety of native and exotic plants and animals on offer, uninformed consumers often buy species that have been illegally taken from the wild.
"We hope that consumers will stop, take note, and think twice about purchasing illegal wildlife," said Chris Shepherd, TRAFFIC's Acting Regional Director for Southeast Asia.
"At the very least, consumers should be contacting the Wildlife Hotline if they are in doubt."
Some retailers have openly acknowledged to TRAFFIC staff that many of the species they sell have been illegally obtained and even offer advice on h

Upping the lions' share
Detroit Zoo aims to give cats more space by tearing out moat, erecting glass
With a 2-10 record, the Detroit Lions may be in dire need of an overhaul, but it's the lions at the Detroit Zoo who are expected to receive a makeover next year -- if officials raise $1 million for a new habitat.
As early as the spring, zoo officials are to start a fund-raising effort that would pay for replacing a 2,500-square-foot dry moat barrier with a glass wall. The change could nearly double the 3,500-square-foot habitat space where six lions sleep and roam and give zoo visitors a closer view.
"The dry moat keeps the lions at least 30 to 40 feet away from visitors, but the new barrier of glass would allow the lions, if they chose to, to be within inches of a guest," said Scott Carter, chief life sciences officer for the zoo in Royal Oak.
It also would give the lions more flat space to explore, lounge and wrestle one another, officials

Handicapped Sea Lion Thrives At Denver Zoo
Sea Lion Missing Rear Flippers
In many ways, Bismarck is like the other four sea lions at the Denver Zoo. He is playful and inquisitive, limber and acrobatic. But Bismarck is also a little bit different. He is missing his rear flippers.
Found orphaned by a pier at Newport Beach, Calif., Bismarck was brought to the Denver Zoo on a chartered plane on July 28. He was rescued in March by the Pacific Marine Mammal Center.
"Bismarck is a great example of overcoming a disability – something we're very happy to talk about

Sea Turtles were released into the ocean at Cape Panwa by Royal Thai Navy in tribute to HM the King.
583 sea turtles were released into the sea in front of the Third Naval Area Command headquarters at Cape Panwa in Phuket on December 5th as part of the activity in honor of HM the King in celebration of his 82nd birthday anniversary. The activity was held by the Third Naval Area Command, headed by its Commander Vice Admiral Chumnum Aadvongse. The sea turtles were from the Navy's Sea Turtle Conservation centre at the Phang-Nga naval base. After the mothers came up to lay eggs at Koh Hooyong near Similan Island, they nursed the babies for six months before releasing back to the sea. This way increases the survival rate of baby turtles.

Freezing Highland weather gives Polar Bear the shivers
BRITAIN'S only Polar Bear has stunned her zookeepers by hiding from a fresh flurry of snow.
Edinburgh Zoo's former favourite attraction – Mercedes the polar bear – was shifted north to the Highland Wildlife Park to roam in a colder habitat to match her native Canada.
She was expected to lap up the white stuff like every other Polar Bear on earth.
Families were poised with cameras expecting Christmas card-style picture opportunities.
But when Scotland's first snow came to Kingussie, the freezing conditions proved too much for Mercedes, and she hid in

Eight more dolphins flown off to Malaysia
THE government yesterday chuckled as it mutely shied away with $2.2 million and watches nine harmless bottlenose dolphins left our shores for Malaysia.
The nine dolphins left at about 10am on a chattered flight which arrived on Wednesday afternoon.
Six of the nine dolphins were exported by the Solomon Islands Marine Export Limited while three from the Solomon Islands Marine Wildlife Park.
Director of the Solomon Islands Marine Export Limited Robert Satu confirmed he had exported six bottlenose dolphins in the shipment.
While Mr Satu refused to disclose the name of the company that bought the dolphins, airport officials revealed that the shipment was heading for Malaysia.
Mr Satu said the government earned $1.5 million through tax from the six dolphins and more than $700,000 from Wildlife Park's three dolphins.
"There is nothing to hide because this is a legal activity and the government earned that much money in just a day from the export," he said.
He said the 25 per cent tax was huge money that no company in the country would pay to the government at once like they did.
He said the Ministries of Fisheries and Environment received $10,000 and $50,000 respectively as well from the export.
The government has allowed an export of up to 100 dolphins a year – a move

Killer elephant hunted in Nepal
Wildlife guards in southern Nepal hunted Wednesday for a wild elephant that has killed 11 people over the past two weeks.
The elephant has killed people in three districts about 320 kilometres south of the capital, Kathmandu.
District Forest Officer Yadav Dhital said searchers have been unable to find any traces of the animal.
Dhital said local residents are scared of the animal, which keeps disappearing into the jungle. He said villagers have been using firecrackers, drums and smoke to scare the elephant away.
One person killed had tried to worship

Caged Bear Attacks Woman During Watering

No decision to free all captive elephants: Govt
The government has not taken any decision to free all captive elephants to wild, the Rajya Sabha was told on Monday.
However, a decision to rehabilitate captive elephants only from zoos to the wild has been taken, Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena, who is currently holding the charge of Environment Ministry, said in a written reply.
"The Central government has not decided to free all elephants to wild for their safety and free movement.
"The government has taken a decision to rehabilitate captive elephants only from zoos to elephant camps or rehabilitation centres

Edinburgh Zoo reindeer given pioneering surgery
A reindeer at Edinburgh Zoo has undergone pioneering keyhole surgery to remove one of his testicles.
Specialist instruments were used to extract the teste, which had been lodged in the abdomen of Eskimo the reindeer since his birth.
It is believed the abnormal testicle was affecting his testosterone flow and may have developed into a tumour.
Eskimo had been

National Zoo gets new director
Wayne Clough, secretary of the Smithsonian, announced that Dennis Kelly has been selected as the new director of the National Zoo. Kelly will take over February 15. John Berry, the last director, left the zoo to become the director of the Office of Personnel Management.
Kelly is unknown to me but he does come to town after a six-year stint as president and CEO of Zoo Atlanta. I am a big fan of Zoo Atlanta but much of that may have to do with space. Not something D.C. has any extra of.

Scientific centre marks launching of the Aquarium upgrade
Scientific centre has marked Monday launching of the upgrading project of the Aquarium Centre through adding new interactive monitors under the sponsorship of Aquarium's director Mujbal Al-Mutawah, it was announced by Al-Mutawah on Monday.
Al-Mutawah said in a press statement that launching this upgrade project aims at keeping up with modern developments, bringing state-of-the-art technology and providing scientific culture for both of children and youth.
He went on to say that it does Kuwait credit that its Aquarium in the first to use interactive screens in the world of such kind , pointing out that carrying out and operating the project will 9 consecutive months in cooperation with specialized team from the centre.
Meanwhile, director of the Centre's information


Oil Palm Based Biofuel More Harmful Than Fossil Fuels: Researcher
The programme to develop palm oil as a non-polluting biofuel is a "myth" to justify expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia, a researcher from Sriwijaya University Julian Junaidi said.
"The burning of palm oil-based biofuel might not generate enviromment-damaging gas, and the process of turning palm oil into biofuel was much more harmful than the use of fossil fuels," Indonesia's Antara news agency reported, citing Julian as saying. Speaking at a dissussion on biofuel organized by the Indonesian Forum for the Evironment (Walhi) here Monday, he said the burning of one tonne of premium gasoline would cause 3.1 tonnes of carbon dioxyde (C02) to escape into the atmosphere.
However, the process of turning one tonne of palm oil into biofuel would produce 33 tonnes of CO2. These facts showed that the use of palm-oil-based biofuel would contribute enormously to global warming, he said.
"Tragically, most of the activity to turn palm oil into biofuel is taking place in developing countries, where the oil palm plantations are located," Julian said. Apart from damaging the environment, he said, the program to develop biofuel from palm oil was also causing land disputes in the community. "The drive to expand oil palm plantations has already led to hundreds of land disputes because the expansion was done not on no- man's land but on people's farm land," he said. "Oil palm is not a renewable energy source. The price people have to pay for palm-oil-based biofuel is too high. Millions of hectares of forests are being cut down for a crop that eventually only contributes to

Baby hippo found dead at Night Safari park
Staff at the Chiang Mai Night Safari Zoo yesterday located the body of a one-month-old baby hippopotamus that went missing a week ago.
The baby hippo disappeared from a nursing pen on November 30, although news of its disappearance only emerged on the weekend.
Zoo officials with sniffer dogs finally found the female hippo in a ditch during a search of its vast compound.
Veterinarians will perform an autopsy on the animal to determine the exact cause of its death. Initial examination suggested it may have starved to death after getting stuck in the ditch.
"It might have got down there for some water but

Zoo to reopen in 2010 with safari-like theme
The Zoo Northwest Florida has been saved.
The 25-year-old preserve is now owned by the Virginia Safari Park in Natural Bridge, Va., said Terry Whitman, The Zoo's director of operations.
Whitman expects to be back open in early 2010.
Virginia Safari Park is a privately owned drive-through animal encounter park with more than 500 free-roaming animals. The park opened in 2000.
Virginia Safari Park owner Eric Mogensen

Woman arrested for keeping zoo in condo
Bears and leopard cats can be found in the wild or in zoos, but what about in a condominum in the city?
That is what enforcement officers from the Selangor Wildlife Department discovered when they raided a unit in Desa Pandan, Kuala Lumpur last Friday.
They arrested a 25-year-old woman who had been keeping a baby honey bear, a leopard cat and a slow loris in individual

Panda's trip to China leaves giant hole in US city
It was freezing and snowing hard Saturday afternoon, but 4-year-old giant panda Tai Shan didn't mind. He nimbly climbed onto a treetop and chewed his bamboo leaves.
Nearby, a dozen men and women, including an elderly woman in a wheelchair, held cameras and zoomed in on the animal. They were members of a fan club called Panda Unlimited, who come every weekend to snap shots and take videos of their icon. On Saturday, however, their collective mood was clearly somber.
The Smithsonian National Zoological Park had announced on Friday that Tai Shan would be sent to China early next year as stipulated in an agreement between the zoo and the Chinese

Team finishes inspection of Topeka Zoo
A three-member team from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums has finished its review of the Topeka Zoo.
The group examined numerous records and interviewed staff members at all levels before completing the 2-day inspection Friday.
City manager Norton Bonaparte had sought the review after federal inspections faulted the zoo for lax veterinary care and inadequate record keeping in the deaths of animals.
Now that the review is complete, city spo

Creation Kingdom Zoo boasts animals from six continents
The Snowflake community in Scott County, Va., may seem like an unconventional place to spot a white Bengal tiger cub. But that cub's there — along with a whole host of other animals representing six different continents.
Creation Kingdom Zoo officially opened its doors to the public in September and has already seen thousands of visitors.
"This venture just began with a real love for animals and a realization that many folks in the community don't have access to things such as this like you would see in larger areas," said Denise Meyers, public relations

MD Zoo Creates Cookbook For Man And Beast
It's no monkey business; a Maryland zoo has created a successful cookbook.
The book is called "Recipes from the Salisbury Zoo: Culinary Delights for Man and Beast." Zoo docent Chip Foster led its creation.
Recipes came from friends and supporters of the zoo and range from Hallelujah Halibut to Cranberry Scones. In addition to almost 200 recipes the book includes animal photos and animal diet and behavior facts. For example, at the zoo, sweet potatoes and apples go to the sloth; the spider monkeys

Short on funds, Zoo Atlanta pandas still likely to stay
About $240,000 short of the fund-raising goal in the panda-promoting Give So They Stay campaign, Zoo Atlanta president and CEO Dennis Kelly said it's unlikely that the zoo's famous pandas are going anywhere.
The Zoo is making one last push with a fund-raising membership offer of $99 for two adults and up to four children, who don't have to live in the same

Expedition to track down rhinos
A 50-member expedition will comb the Pulong Tau national park in northern Sarawak for the Sumatran rhinoceros, last seen over 50 years ago.
The team comprising personnel from the Sarawak Forest Department, WWF Malaysia and timber company Samling Sdn Bhd will begin the 10-day search on Monday.
"The last reported sightings of the animal were at Sungai Adang, Long Seridan and Batu Lawi in the Upper Limbang area in the 1950s," state Forest Deparment director Datuk Len Talif Salleh told reporters after the launch of the expedition at the Samajaya Forest Park yesterday.
"We are not sure whether there are any rhinos still roaming in Pulong Tau, though footprints were found near the foot of Gunong Batu Lawi in 1996," he said.
But since then, he said, no follow-up studies have been done.
A recent picture thought to be of a rhinoceros taken by a camera trap near Batu Lawi last year was too grainy because of the

How to Make a Croc Look Cuddly: Paint It Like a Panda
Bears From China Are a Hit in Thailand, Prompting Makeovers of Local Animals
For aquarium worker Kamla Maneegan, painting baby crocodiles to look like crowd-pleasing giant pandas is more than just a job -- it's a point of national pride.
Ever since a pair of pandas on loan from China gave birth to a cub in May, Thailand has gone ga-ga for the black-and-white bears.
One television network broadcasts 24-hour coverage of the cub, Lin Ping, on its "Panda Channel" as she chows down on bamboo shoots, plays with tires and nuzzles her mother. Street vendors and fashion designers have incorporated panda motifs into their work, and the country's top zoologist has taken to wearing a panda costume for TV interviews. Panda fever appeared to reach a fresh peak in October, when two armed men held up a gas station in Bangkok and made off with two stuffed pandas -- leaving the cash register untouched.
The pandas are part of China's efforts to step up trade and political ties in Southeast Asia. In 2003, it rented a pair of pandas to Thailand's Chiang Mai Zoo for $300,000 a year -- a sharp discount from the $1 million a year China typically charges zoos in the U.S.

Calgary Zoo a place of co-ordinated caring
I'd guess there must be a lot of people who dream of working at the Calgary Zoo. Imagine cuddling up to a koala bear, feeding the flamingos or even perhaps hosing down a hippo. But there's a lot more to it than looking after the front end of an animal.
Being a zookeeper is indeed a great career, but also hard work with a huge amount of responsibility, and the job can be quite physically demanding.
Michelle Poisson, senior manager human resources, says she currently does have an entry position posted that could mature into zookeeper status - but the starter job is a zoo labourer.
The applicant will probably have some experience working with animals in either a veterinary clinic, animal shelter or perhaps within our national parks and probably has some animal-related degree, but it could take a lot of on-the- job experience and training and waiting for a senior position to come open before a person is able to specialize in a particular area and be promoted to a keeper's role,
Zookeepers - like the zoo's groundskeepers - are City of Calgary staff, and tend to stay in their jobs for a long time. There are few other jobs in this city requiring their talents, and they love the job they do working for one of the top zoos in the country.
A good example is keeper Les Stegenga. He has been with the zoo for 21 years working with most animals except elephants, and has been enjoying looking after gorillas exclusively for the past seven.
But there are many other jobs at our zoo where

Tiger, lion and bear form unusual friendship
Baloo the bear, Leo the Lion and Shere Khan the tiger have the most unusual and unlikely friendship between them.
Rescued eight years ago during a police drugs raid in Atlanta, Georgia, the three friends were only cubs at the time and barely two months old.
They had been kept as status symbol pets by the drug barons.
Delivered to the Noah's Ark animal rescue centre in Locust Grove, Georgia, the decision was made to keep the youngsters together.
"We could have separated them, but since they came as a kind of family, the zoo decided to keep them together," said Diane Smith, assistant director of the Noah's Ark zoo.
"To our knowledge, this is the only place where you'll find this combination of animals together, they are our BLT, (bear, lion and tiger).
Living with the zoo's founders for the past eight years, Shere Khan, Baloo and Leo have now moved to a purpose

AIDS May Date Back to Ancient Tiger
Researchers find signs of feline DNA in virus
Early roots of the virus that causes AIDS might be found in a tiger that lived thousands or millions of years ago, new research suggests.
It appears the virus took on a bit of a tiger's genetic material, scientists say, and a remnant of that cat remains in the virus to this day. That tiger, in fact, may have bitten a monkey, setting off an evolution of the virus that ultimately led to its infection of humans.
The finding shouldn't lead to any immediate breakthroughs in AIDS treatment, experts say. But it does provide more insight into how the virus works.
"Unless you really understand how these viruses work, the exact step-by-step chemical process, then you can't really rationally design a new clever kind of therapy that may be effective against the virus," explained study co-author Robert Bambara, chairman of the University of Rochester's

Zoo upgrade ordered or sea lions will be left high and dry
THE future of one of Edinburgh Zoo's oldest attractions could be put at risk unless urgent repairs are carried out.
Bosses at the tourist attraction have been told that they have to either revamp the sea lion facilities or get rid of the animals altogether.
They have also been told to upgrade some facilities used by big cats when they are not on show to the public amid health and safety fears
The repairs are among a series of upgrades that the city council has ordered the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) to complete in order to get its licence renewed in 2012.
Inspectors indicated that a lot of repair work had been put on hold while the company tried to resolve financial issues, which included its plans to build housing on part of the site.
In relation to sea lions, inspectors said: "The accommodation and water management for the sea lions must be brought up to modern standards, so as to include facilities for separation, isolation and restraint of the animals, and a high standard of water

Campaign to bring Dalton Zoo boss' attacker back to Furness
ZOO boss David Gill has blasted a campaign to bring home the man jailed for attacking him.
Richard Creary broke into Mr Gill's home in Dalton in August 2007 and stabbed him in the neck with a Stanley knife, narrowly missing an artery.
Creary was jailed for five years in January 2008 after pleading guilty to aggravated burglary.
The court heard how the 40-year-old was consumed by jealousy after Mr Gill formed a relationship with his estranged wife Alison.
The former rugby player from Dalton is due out of jail early next year but could be banned from setting foot in his home town.
So far more than 600 people have joined the Facebook campaign, `Welcome Richard Creary Back to Dalton', including Mr Gill's sons Matty and Ben, daughter Amy and brother Colin.
Mr Gill, owner of South Lakes Wild Animal Park in Dalton, describes the Facebook group as "sickening".
But Creary's dad John says the internet group has been simply set up to show the strength of feeling in the community to get his son where he belongs and is not intended as a personal attack on Mr Gill.
The 70-year-old of Market Place, Dalton, said that on his release from Haverigg prison on February 16, his son is likely to have to live for the next two-and-

Elephants are grey areas in Toronto Zoo's future
Will officials make elephants a vanishing breed?
Pandas or pachyderms?
That should be the question for the Toronto Zoo Board, according to one of its outspoken members.
For animal rights activists, though, it should be neither.
Councillor Paul Ainslie says given the recent deaths of two elephants at the zoo in the last six months, attention to the herd -- and the more than 500 other species at the attraction -- should trump a costly plan to bring two pandas to the zoo.
While the zoo board is attempting to raise $250 million over the next decade to fund an ambitious renovation plan, a panda exhibit could ultimately cost an additional $19 million over the life of the decade-long lease of the animals from China.
Without raising additional funds for the pandas, zoo officials have already told the board they would have to sacrifice other exhibits, including potentially beavers, to fund it.
Meanwhile, the Toronto Zoo now has only three female African elephants -- the minimum number allowed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, of which the Toronto Zoo is an accredited member. Elephants are social creatures which need to be part of a herd.
Four elephants, ranging in ages from 38 to 41, have died at the Toronto Zoo in the past four years. Of the remaining elephants, Toka is 39, and Iringa is 40. They're nearing the end of the life expectancy for elephants in captivity, which is about 20 years shy of those in the wild.
"We're going to have to move money around to get another elephant or two to maintain that exhibit," Ainslie said. "I think our priority should be maintaining what we have .... There's no point in ignoring

Progress Killed Britain's Wolves, But It Could Save Our Tigers
It is said that Britain's last wolf was shot in the Heathrow Marshes, the site of Heathrow Airport, in 1746. Probably somewhere around the ruin of the Roman temple of Diana which now lies below Runway One. The shooting was called progress, as was the interment of the Roman ruins.
That early progress was followed by the Industrial Revolution and the building of an empire that all led to the creation of a great welfare state, one of many in the developed world. Welfare states, where poverty is virtually unknown, where the homeless can be accommodated in million-dollar mansions , the sick don't need to worry about hospital bills and education is free for all.
Modern equivalents of Britain's wolf are the Sumatran tiger, the orangutan, the babi rusa in Sulawesi and other critically endangered species all threatened by habitat loss as forests are destroyed. Unfortunately for them, they do not live in a developed welfare state.
What's the prognosis for the Sumatran tiger and the others in the wild? Grim, I guess, but let's have a look at why.
This week and next the world's attention will be focused on climate change summit in Copenhagen. One of the issues on the agenda will be the loss of tropical forests globally. This is seen as important in the climate change debate because not only does forest destruction feed massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but it also destroys the permanent carbon sink which

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright
Some fear the striped wonder may soon vanish from India, its last stronghold on the planet. But there is fresh hope that may not be the case
The Bandipur National Park is a long narrow tiger reserve. Twenty-five thousand families share its 180 km border with wild animals. One lakh twenty five thousand villagers depend on the forest for survival. Over 50,000 cattle use the jungle for fodder. Each family cut around 8 kilograms of fuel-wood from the forest each day. That's almost 2.5 tonnes of firewood per family per year. It was taking a huge toll on the park. But forest guards looked the other way. Most of them are locals and knew the villagers had no other option. As villagers cut into the forest, its rightful inhabitants came out. Elephants, wild pigs and deer raided fields to satiate hunger. And where its prey went, the tiger followed. "One village near the Bhadra National Park had 17 buffaloes killed by a tiger. The villagers killed it. You can't blame them for protecting their livestock," says M.D. Madhusudan, director, National Conservation Foundation (NCF).
Similar conflicts took place in Bandipur. In response, the forest department fenced off some farmers' lands and then dug huge trenches so that wild animals couldn't cross over into the fields. They installed a couple of bore wells too.
The villagers that populate the outskirts live on the margins of society with no resources to turn to. Their cattle are the main source of livelihood. The trenches that kept out wild animals also kept their cattle from the forest. So within a couple of weeks, all the trenches had been filled and the fencing was taken down for other uses. On their part, the forest department saw the villagers as ungrateful people who did not want to improve their livelihood. They threw up their hands in exasperation and the tiger population in the country dipped dramatically to 1,411 in 2006. All the good work done through the Seventies and Eighties to boost the tiger population to 4,200 had come to a naught.
Circa 2007
The NCF took up the gauntlet and approached the relatively better of farmers first. It offered to install electric fences for their farms. About 100 families agreed. So the NCF went ahead and spent Rs. 8 lakh to fence off eighty acres of land. In return for this, each of the families was asked to contribute Rs. 1,500 to build a corpus to be used in the future. They also have a pay for maintaining the fence and employ

Japanese zoo donates 6 giant salamanders to Smithsonian
Six rare and highly protected Japanese giant salamanders bred and raised at the Asa Zoological Park in Hiroshima City will be sent Monday to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, officials of the two zoos said Friday.
The huge amphibians—two 19-year-old females

Circus Trainer Mauled During Dinner Show
An animal trainer who had raised tigers by hand was attacked and seriously injured by his own big cats on Tuesday night. The man stumbled during a performance and lost control of the animals. The show director said the tigers just wanted to 'play.'
A circus show ended in a near tragedy on Tuesday after a group of tigers mauled their own trainer.
The animal tamer was attacked and seriously injured by his own tigers during a "dinner circus" show in Hamburg's Hagenbeck Zoo.
Around 150 guests had just started their four-course meal when the 28-year-old Christian W. stumbled and lost control of five Bengali tigers.
Three of the animals then jumped on their trainer. The big cats bit into his head and upper body, and he lost part of his left hand. Some of the circus team managed to push the animals into a corner using water jets and fire extinguishers, and then got them back in their cage within seconds.
Two doctors who happened to be in the audience treated the man and the hall was evacuated. Two of the guests were treated for shock at the scene.
Christian W. had raised two of the tigers by hand but it is not yet clear if they were among the three who attacked him.
The director of the show, Stefan Pagels, described the incident as a "tragic accident." In a written statement he said that it had not been a "malicious attack." "An accident is unfortunately always possible in cases of special performances, whether it be animals,1518,666054,00.html

Coker retires as zoo director
City to open intensified review of procedures following animal deaths
The retirement of embattled Topeka Zoo director Mike Coker on Tuesday followed the city's recent discovery of documents confirming problems with the hippo pool's boiler.
Coker, 54, has been enveloped in a controversy over inadequate veterinary care and insufficient record keeping related to the deaths of 11 animals between 2006 and 2009, including the fatal seizure of a hippo after she was found in 108-degree water.
The circumstances of, and the lack of transparency around, that hippo's death were fully uncovered by city administrators only days before Coker's retirement, said city spokesman David Bevens.
The zoo purchased a new thermostat and mixing valve for the boiler one day after a hippo was discovered in 108-degree water in October 2006, a work order obtained by The Topeka Capital-Journal shows.
Coker and zoo business manager Dennis Maxim signed off on the purchases.
The document contradicts numerous statements by Coker that the boiler system connected to the pool was working properly.
The Topeka Capital-Journal in May received numerous maintenance records for the hippo pool's boiler in response to a Kansas Open Records Act request, but the pertinent documents weren't released to the newspaper at that time.

Work on Gorakhpur zoo likely to begin from next year
Things have started moving on the first zoo of eastern UP. The budget for Gorakhpur zoo is expected to be sanctioned within a week or so and the work on it likely to begin by next year.
The budget proposal, demanding between Rs 10-15 crore for the current financial year, has been sent to the state government. "It is a big project of the forest department and will take some time to complete", said Vikas Verma, chief conservator, Gorakhpur.
After Central Zoo Authority's (CZA) nod in January, the Gorakhpur zoo was up for another test -- clearance from the Supreme Court. The apex court wanted to review the plan for the Gorakhpur zoo out of a wish that it should be perfect in all respects of basic infrastructure, budget, designing and other needed paraphernalia. The apex court's nod came in October last.
The USP of Gorakhpur zoo will be its size and the modern design. It will come up on an area of 212 acres outsizing the two existing zoos of the state, in Lucknow and Kanpur. Kanpur zoo has an area of about

Organisations Unite in Parliament on Primate Welfare
On the 10th of December 2009, a petition with over 30,000 signatures against the keeping of primates as pets in the UK will be formally presented at 10 Downing Street; coinciding with a special event at the Houses of Parliament on the same day which will highlight the issues facing primates kept in captivity. Primate welfare specialists from the UK charity, Wild Futures, have been working in conjunction with the RSPCA and other high-profile animal welfare and conservation organisations to ensure that the Primate Code is passed by Parliament prior to its dissolution. The code aims to restrict the private ownership of primates to "specialist keepers" and Wild Futures and the RSPCA hope that it is a step towards ending the primate pet trade.
Despite the private keeping of primates being illegal in the majority of the animal's native countries, it is still legal in the UK and is largely unregulated, despite overwhelming evidence showing that primates suffer immensely if kept in domestic situations. The public consultation period for the Primate Code, which will act as stringent guidelines for those responsible for the enforcement of appropriate standards, as well as in legal proceedings, ended on the 30th of November and those involved in its creation hope to see it incorporated by April next year.
Says Rachel Hevesi, Primate Consultant from Wild Futures:
"The passing of the Primate Code is just the first step in ensuring that the cruel practice of keeping monkeys as pets is made illegal in the UK. 30,000 people, including 300 experts in the field of primate welfare and conservation have offered their support to our petition and we hope that this, coupled with concrete evidence available on the negative effects of keeping primates in captivity, will make our MPs sit up and listen ."
The event on the 10th of December will be attended by 10 animal welfare and conservation NGOs, amongst others, and will be a forum for interested parties to highlight

Zoo invites public to watch operations
Wellington Zoo opened its new multi-million dollar animal hospital and invited the public into a theatre at the facility where they can watch the operations.
The hi-tech facility, dubbed The Nest, means animals needing a patch-up will not have to make the often dangerous journey out of town for treatment.
The first patient to be operated upon on Wednesday was Tahi the kiwi.
It was a simple micro-chipping for the native bird but the $6 million facility is capable of much more.
Veterinary Science Manager Dr Francois Lampen says it is the state of the art surgery on par with human surgery and sterility standards. Insects are quickly blown out of the theatre

Zoo must fix big cats risk
ZOO bosses have been ordered to make urgent repairs - over fears staff could be attacked by JAGUARS.
Council inspectors warned Edinburgh Zoo that its enclosures need vital work to ensure employee safety.
If the upgrades are not completed the attraction risks losing its licence in 2012.
The enclosures for both the jaguars and sealions were said to be inadequate by officials. Their report said jaguar pens needed work "to ensure staff safety, hygiene and animal welfare are not compromised".
Sealions could be moved to another facility if improvements are not made.
Inspectors said: "Accommodation and water management must be brought up to standard." Royal Zoological Society of Scotland chief David Windmill said: "This has been resolved."
A council spokesman added: "The zoo indicated the conditions can

Rescued animals crowd Dubai Zoo
Breeding programmes affected as 90% of animals at facility were confiscated
Dubai: Up to 90 per cent of the species at Dubai Zoo have been rescued from illegal animal trade after being confiscated at entry points to the UAE from smugglers or ignorant travellers, Gulf News has learnt.
The overcrowding inside the zoo due to the large number of animals collected from traffickers in endangered species, has resulted in a near-total halt in breeding certain animals such as wolves and crocodiles.
Dr Reza Khan, a wildlife specialist at Dubai Zoo said he would like to be able to refuse animals from being placed in the zoo, but doing so could result in the release of wild and potentially dangerous creatures in neighbourhood parks once they are unwanted by their owners.
"This year we received 13 baboons. They are all juveniles in the same age group but only one was donated to the zoo, all the others were confiscated," said Dr Khan. "Except for the giraffes and some smaller animals, 90 per cent of the animals you see in Dubai zoo are confiscated by law enforcement authorities," he added. Space is limited inside the zoo with pens taking up three acres.

Dubai Aquarium offers new `cage experience'
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo at The Dubai Mall has unveiled a fresh new experience that offers visitors the opportunity to have close encounters with the 33,000 aquatic animals.
Described as the `Cage Experience,' the new initiative complements the Shark Dives and Glass Bottom Boat Rides that are hugely popular among visitors.
Essentially, visitors can now jump straight into the 10 million litre tank without the hassle of diving equipment or air tanks. This will particularly appeal to those who do not want to undertake full-fledged diving but can feel the same thrills in a safe cage setting.
The Cage Experience users only have to put on snorkelling gear, dive into the secure cage in the aquarium, and watch over 70 different marine species including some 400 sharks and rays

Clicker training aquarium fish
Clicker training isn't just for dogs and horses - it works for all species - even aquarium fish!
In her book, "Reaching the Animal Mind" Karen Pryor describes teaching a fish to swim through a hoop using clicker training principles of positive reinforcement and operant conditioning.
The fish she trained was a cichlid, commonly called an oscar. She purchased the oscar at a local aquarium store. She picked this particular species for her subject because they are fearless, they have a good appetite, and they grow quickly. This species of fish does not mind living alone as opposed to the type of social fish that lives in schools. For these reasons she felt the oscar was a good candidate for clicker training.
It is fascinating to read Karen's account. She never glosses over mistakes but instead uses them as teaching tools. For instance, since the oscar could not hear


Mane attraction
Lions rescued from shocking conditions as private pets in Romania have become the mane attraction at an African wildlife park.
One 18-month-old male called Paco was being kept in a fifth floor Bucharest flat by a gypsy family who had bought him from zoo keepers as a cub.
Another aged just 10 months was being kept in a tiny cage in a restaurant in Urzicen where customers were invited to feed him scraps.
Now - along with two other lions rescued from appalling

4th-generation southern white rhino born in Ohio
Officials at a southeast Ohio conservation center say a southern white rhinoceros could be the first fourth-generation member of the threatened species born in any other North American managed herd.
Officials at the Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio, say the calf was born Oct. 31.
The southern white, or African rhino, was almost extinct at the turn of the century. Some were exported to North American and Europe in the 1950s. Estimated populations grew to more than 11,000 in the wild and 740 in captivity by 2005.
The white rhinos can weigh 6,000 pounds and live

Time running out for many amphibians
It's too soon to know whether conservationists from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo who ventured into the rainforests of Panama to save frogs arrived too late, or in the nick of time.
Chytrid had already attacked, they revealed Friday.
The local zoo is part of the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project, with partners in Washington, D.C., Texas, Massachusetts, Mexico and Panama.
The goal of the project is to save amphibians from the chytrid fungus (or Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), which can lay waste to half the amphibian species in its path. Scientists say we are watching

Cincinnati zoo says liver failure resulting from disease caused death of endangered rhino
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden said Thursday that the ailment (hemochromatosis) left 21-year-old Emi with an excess of iron in her system. Zoo officials say they're not aware of another documented case of a Sumatran rhino dying from the disease, which has been found in other captive wild animals and occurs in humans and domestic animals.
Emi had lived at the zoo for 14 years and was key to,0,285431.story

Zoo to return circus link tigers
A North Somerset zoo is to return its three tigers following criticism of its relationship with a circus.
Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, in Wraxall, was expelled from an industry body over its links with the Great British Circus.
The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) said it had hidden its dealings with the circus.
The Great British Circus is the only one in the UK which uses tigers in its shows. Zoo owner Anthony Bush said: "We have decided to give the tigers back."
'Film work'
One of the Noah's Ark tigers is used on a Great British Circus promotional DVD and is seen performing tricks during a training session in the circus ring.
Mr Bush issued a statement which read: "The tigers we were donated never performed in a circus. One

How to Woo a Panda
There's one sound certain to make a male panda swoon: the high-pitched chirp of a female panda. Although the noise may not be appealing to us, researchers have determined that it's music to the ears of male pandas, as females make it only once a year when they are ready to mate. The discovery is the first instance of a nonhuman mammal changing its voice to advertise her peak of fertility, and it may help with panda conservation efforts.
Although giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) are relatively solitary, males and females keep track of each other via smells and sounds. Pandas have a rich repertoire of vocalizations, from growls and moans to bleats and chirps, the latter made primarily by females. "It's been known for some time that around estrous, females begin to chirp," says Benjamin Charlton, an ethologist at Zoo Atlanta in Georgia and the lead author of the study. Scientists have recently shown that women's voices become more high-pitched during their most fertile periods

Big Funding for Polar Bear Exhibit, Rescue Shelter
A big funding announcement was made Thursday for major upgrades to the Assiniboine Park Zoo's polar bear exhibit.
A $31-million investment will help create the world headquarters of Polar Bears International and a state-of-the-art rescue shelter right here in Winnipeg.
The International Polar Bear Conservation Centre will conduct and co-ordinate polar bear rescue research, conservation and public-education initiatives, Premier Greg Selinger and Hartley Richardson, board chair of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, said in a statement.
A new arctic exhibit will feature a polar bear enclosure with underwater and above-ground viewing opportunities to enable visitors to come

Zion wildlife park to face charges
Whangarei's Zion Wildlife Gardens will face charges over the death of animal handler Dalu Mncube, the Department of Labour says.
Mncube, 26, died in May after being attacked by a 260kg tiger as he cleaned its enclosure at the gardens.
Charges have been laid under the Health and Safety Act for "failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees while at work" and "failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that no hazard that is, or

Zoo elephant deaths spark call for shutdown
After the fourth elephant death at the Toronto Zoo in four years, a California-based animal rights group is calling for the "cramped" and "unnatural" exhibit to be shut down and the three remaining animals sent to a sanctuary.
"The Toronto Zoo lacks the space and natural conditions necessary to the health and well-being of African elephants," said Catherine Doyle of In Defense of Animals.
On Monday, Tara, a seemingly healthy 41-year-old elephant who was matriarch of the four-member herd, fell over and died despite attempts to right her. Elephants are in danger when lying down due to the weight on their organs.
Another elephant, Tessa, 40, was killed five months ago after being knocked over by an elephant rushing to feed. The zoo says an

Popular veterinarian quits Micke Grove Zoo
Wild animals at Micke Grove Zoo lost their long-time veterinarian, Jackie Gai, who left her job at the south Lodi zoo for another position.
Zoo director Ken Nieland said that San Joaquin County, which owns and operates the zoo between Armstrong and Eight Mile roads, will provide an interim service until a new veterinarian is hired.
Nieland said that a vacated position like Gai's will give county officials a chance to reassess the county's need for animal medical care

Rare fishing cat found in An Giang
Several residents in Ba Hoa islet, Binh Thanh commune, Chau Thanh district, the Mekong delta province of An Giang , have caught a number of fishing cats, a rare species listed in the national Red Book of precious fauna and flora.
Banh Thanh Hung, Head of the Forest and Nature Reserve Guard Office of the An Giang Forest Ranger Department, on Nov. 8 informed that the office has released a fishing cat to the Tra Su cajeput forest in Tinh Bien district.
Earlier in mid October, the office

Smugglers stopped: two tonnes of live rare snakes and turtles seized
Cambodian authorities have seized nearly two tonnes of live rare snakes and turtles being smuggled in a boat to Vietnam and arrested two men, police said on Thursday
Authorities stopped the boat early on Wednesday and found 1655 kilos of snakes, mostly pythons, and 263 turtles weighing a total of 317kg, said deputy provincial police chief Chan Savouen.
Police arrested two men, aged 17 and 20, who were caught transporting the creatures along the Bassac River in southeastern Kandal province to neighbouring Vietnam, he said.
Police said some of the reptiles had been illegally hunted in Cambodia and others were thought to have been trafficked from neighbouring Thailand.
The snakes and turtles were


State deals Safari Wild project major blow
TAMPA Neighbors don't want Safari Wild, a wild animal park, next door in rural Polk County, and now it appears the state doesn't either.
The Department of Community Affairs has appealed Polk's development order allowing Safari Wild to be built in the Green Swamp, an environmentally sensitive area that supplies drinking water to much of Central Florida.
It is asking for an administrative hearing on the issue to be scheduled.
Polk issued its development order in October.
After a 45-day review, the state determined the project, co-owned by former Lowry Park Zoo CEO Lex Salisbury, is a commercial development located in an area where such development is prohibited.
Salisbury has told county and state officials Safari Wild is a working game farm/ranch. He says it's an agri-tourist enterprise and should be allowed in the Green Swamp, where there are many other working farms.
Plans for Safari Wild originally included a welcome center, hotel cottages and a restaurant. The venture, which is under construction, is to eventually house 1,000 wild animals on 250 acres. Small groups of pre-booked guests will

Madagascar's lemurs in danger from political turmoil and 'timber mafia'
The lemur, a furry primate that symbolises Madagascar's unique biodiversity, is under renewed threat from a "timber mafia" pillaging the island's forests for profit.
Environmentalists warn that a political crisis in the impoverished country is reversing conservation gains of recent years and putting "hundreds if not thousands" of species, many not yet identified, at risk of extinction.
Madagascar, which has been isolated from landmasses for more than 160m years, is the world's fourth largest island and a "conservation hotspot" with thousands of exotic species found only here. These include nearly 100 species of lemur, six of which are deemed critically endangered.
Decades of logging, mining and slash-and-burn farming have destroyed 90% of Madagascar's forests, though the rate has slowed in the past two decades.
The former president, Marc Ravalomanana, was praised for putting 6m hectares under protection and backing eco

Zoo Workers Claim Grizzly Nearly Broke Free
Some workers at the Toronto Zoo claim a male Grizzly named Samson nearly broke out of his overnight pen this week.
Samson, who weighs about 1,000lbs., ripped down some of the wooden logs in his overnight area and then started working on chain-link barrier Tuesday morning. Some zoo employees claim that if they hadn't recognized the problem when they did, the massive animal may have worked its way out of the pen to freedom within an hour.
Zoo officials described the accusation that Samson nearly escaped as alarmist and silly, and insist the pen used to contain the bear is safe. The bears roam around in a large enclosure during the day.
The zoo's chief operating officer said Samson wasn't trying to escape, but get closer to his female companion, Shintay.
Some workers say otherwise. They claim the pen, which is more than 30-years

Flying foxes get sanctuary in Jharkhand
Every evening, as dusk gathers on the smoking chimneys of this iron and steel township, an army of giant vampires creeps out of lairs on a small island in the middle of a lake.
Welcome to the little known Jubilee Lake Mega (giant) Bat sanctuary - the state's lone urban bat reserve - on a 0.69 hectare island inside the Tata Steel Zoological Park in the heart of this industrial town in eastern India. The bat population here has logged a sharp rise from 500 in 2008 to 700 in 2009, according to a census carried out by zoo authorities and local researchers this week.
The sanctuary boasts of two of the largest bats in the world -- the herbivorous flying fox (Pteropus giganteus) and the sphinx (Cynopterus sphinx) -- natives of the tropics and the sub-tropics.
"In 2006-07, K.K. Sharma, who heads the department of zoology of the Jamshedpur Cooperative College, carried out a survey with a group of students and

China's pandas worth more than Tiger Woods: Australian zoo
Two giant pandas due to begin a 10-year stay at an Australian zoo could give the local economy a bigger boost than recent visits by Tiger Woods or Lance Armstrong, officials said Wednesday.
Wang Wang, four, and three-year-old Funi are due to arrive at Adelaide Zoo Saturday for a long-term loan from the Panda Protection and Research Centre at Ya'an in China's Sichuan Province.
Zoos South Australia chief Chris West said the stay would be a "financial bonanza" for the state's economy, reaping an estimated 600-million dollar benefit over the 10 years.
"The pandas can be expected to generate 632 million dollars (584 million US) for the state economy over 10 years," West said.
"Each year (the pandas) could generate significantly more economic benefits than the much-vaunted appearances by golfer Tiger Woods

Franklin Park Zoo: Learning from zebras
Franklin Park Zoo shares a dilemma with its most famous animals of the moment, a zebra named Evita and the baby she delivered last week. Both mother and foal are Grevy's zebras, native to the savannas of Kenya and Ethiopia, where their ranks have dwindled to fewer than 2,500.
Like the zebra species, Franklin Park Zoo is endangered, facing a budget crisis and having recently promised the state it will become more self-sufficient. Zoo New England, the nonprofit group that runs both Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo in Stoneham, is struggling to keep both state-subsidized zoos afloat..
One reason the Grevy's zebra is almost extinct - in addition to hunting and habitat loss - is that it competes with livestock and humans

Reindeer-Dung Jewelry Flying Off Gift Shop's Shelves
People went crazy last Christmas for necklaces on sale at the Miller Park Zoo. The Illinois zoo is excited to offer the same necklaces this holiday season. The necklaces are covered with glitter. And they may also give the wearers some clue to the real-life chores of Santa Claus. The $15 necklaces are made with some beads, glitter and

Police Taser runaway deer
Lost deer four-steps past pursuing police during bizarre big city adventure
Bambi's trip downtown abruptly ended when she was drugged, Tasered and then thrown into the back of a police truck.
Oh dear, where to begin?
The intrepid deer's tour of the city core – including a jaunt by Union Station and some Bay St. financial towers – finished on a small grass patch on Edward St. on Tuesday morning, where she

Gov't Silence Dooms Whales to Slaughter
Latin American governments are considering a bloc response to the Japanese whaling fleet's departure for Antarctica, in a new season of what it claims is "hunting for scientific purposes" and which threatens to kill 1,000 whales in the protected Southern Ocean sanctuary.
But the diplomatic action being considered by the countries of the region belonging to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) will apparently be too late to prevent another slaughter of these mammals taking place, just as it has in previous years, conservation organisations complain.
Last week Japan authorised the departure of the whaling fleet, in spite of ongoing negotiations at the IWC about whether or not whaling for scientific purposes should continue to be permitted. Conservationists want to eliminate the "scientific" loophole that Japan uses to supply its home market with whale meat.
On the other hand, countries in favour of whale hunting want to lift the moratorium on commercial whaling, in force since 1986. The Commission is so polarised on the issues that neither side can reach the two-thirds majority of votes required to change the rules.
However, Latin America is working hard. All the countries in this region are in favour of whale conservation, and as a group they are at the forefront of actions to end whaling. Their prominence is reflected in the appointment of the current IWC Chair, Cristián Maquieira of Chile.
At the prompting of the region, a Small Working Group on the

Chester Zoo lands top conservation award from BIAZA
Staff at Chester Zoo are celebrating a prestigous award gained for their work in helping save a rare bird from extinction.
The "fody" - a colourful bird found only on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius - is among the most endangered species in the world, with only a few hundred left in the wild.
Chester Zoo, together with the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, are winners of the Field Conservation Award from the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) for their work in preserving the fody.
Knowsley Hall at Prescot, Merseyside - in the centre of the famous Knowsley Safari Park - was selected as a fitting venue for the 2009 BIAZA Awards ceremony.
The awards recognise excellence in contributions to wildlife conservation, animal welfare, zoo veterinary medicine, animal husbandry, and landscaping and gardening skills along with increasing public understanding, awareness and engagement with zoos.
The BIAZA judges praised Chester and Durrell for

Malaysia implants Borneo orangutans with transmitters
Veterinarians have been tracking three orangutans they implanted with tiny transmitters as part of efforts to protect the endangered primates once they reintroduce them to the wild, a Malaysian official said Monday.
French and Austrian veterinarians worked with the Wildlife Department in eastern Sabah state on Borneo island to implant specially designed coin-sized transmitters in the necks of the orangutans for the first time ever in September, said Senthilvel Nathan, the department's chief field veterinarian.
The orangutans' jungle habitat in Sabah has shrunk over the decades and their numbers have plummeted as loggers cut down the forests and plantation farming encroached.
Fewer than 11,000 orangutans remain in Sabah. Up to

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm tourism award
Noah's Ark Zoo Farm has been presented with a top green tourism award.
The centre has been presented with a silver award by the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GBTS) for its eco-friendly practices.
Officials from the organisation, which assesses the green credentials of businesses across the UK, visited the farm last month to look at its operation.
They judged the zoo farm on a number of criteria including sustainability, waste minimisation, recycling and

City zoo plans big for the birds
The oldest zoo in India is planning to set up one of the largest aviaries in the country.
On Thursday, the Alipore zoo top brass wrote to the Central Zoo Authority seeking financial grant of Rs 3-4 crore to set up the aviary and refurbish the building that houses reptiles.
"In the first phase of the project, we would like to do away with the small aviaries in the zoo and come up with a bigger and better one. Some of our best assets would be showcased there," Raju Das, the director of the zoo, told Metro.
"Tigers need not be the only attractions in the zoo. Even birds can draw crowds if displayed nicely," he added.
According to the proposal, the new oval-shaped aviary would be spread over 10,000sq ft and would tower to a height of 40ft. There would be an artificial water body inside.
The birds would be segregated into enclosures through which a walkway has been planned. The stress would be on providing good nesting places, ample vegetation and quality food. Agriculturists and biologists would he

Foolish zoo visitor
A Swiss man was mauled by a bear after climbing into the animal's cage.
The man broke into the enclosure of four-year-old Finn - a European brown bear - at Bern Park zoo in Switzerland in an attempt to get close to the large, dangerous creature.
Once the bear noticed there was an intruder in his cage he grabbed the 25-year-old man by the neck and dragged him across.
Police officers were forced to shoot the animal to make him let go of the man.
The foolish visitor sustained severe head injuries and leg wounds in the attack but is expected to make a full recovery.
Finn has not been so lucky.
He was shot with a fragmentation bullet - which splinters as it hits its target, to cause less injury.
However, Finn is not expected to survive as veterinarians are unable to operate because the bullet split into too

Orangutans in danger of being wiped out by palm oil industry - Video Orangutans are human beings' closest relatives. They have a DNA structure that is 97 percent the same as ours and are the world's most intelligent animal with more advanced learning and problem-solving ability than any other animal

ICCAT leaves albatross conservation dead in the water
After a 3-year seabird risk assessment that found tuna and swordfish longline fishing has significant impacts on Atlantic seabird populations, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) failed to act at a recent meeting in Recife, Brazil.
"Albatrosses and petrel populations in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea are undergoing some of the most severe decreases anywhere in the world", said Dr Cleo Small - Senior Policy Officer for the BirdLife Global Seabird Programme, based at the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK).
More than 40 fishing nations are members of ICCAT, and they gathered recently in Recife, Brazil for the annual meeting of the commission. Collectively they control longline fishing

Siberian tigers almost extinct: Report
Siberian tigers are almost on the verge of extinction, thanks to poaching and habitat loss, says a report.
The area monitored for the study, 23,555 square km, represents 15 to 18 percent of the existing tiger habitat in Russia.
Only 56 tigers were counted at these monitoring sites. The total number of such Siberian tigers was estimated to be 500 in 2005, having recovered from less than 30 animals in the late 1940s.
Deep snow last winter may have forced tigers to reduce the amount they travelled, making them less detectable, but the report notes a four-year trend of decreasing

Scientists spot rare wild cat in Fujairah wadi - report
A never-before-seen wild cat has been spotted in the protected zone of Wadi Wurayah on the East Coast, according to a report.
Camera traps set up by the ecologists working in the mountainous area of Fujairah have captured an image of a rare breed of wild cat (Felis silvestris lybica) whose presence was, until now, just assumed thanks to some elusive tracks, newswire WAM quoted a Gulf News daily report as saying.
Wadi Wurayah is a 129-kilometre-square area that was officially declared the UAE's first protected mountain area by Sheikh Hamad Bin Mohammad Al Sharqi,


Zoo horror in bear pit
A man lies injured after being attacked by a bear at a zoo yesterday.
The 25-year-old suffered head and leg injuries after climbing on to a wall and falling 13ft into the animal's enclosure.
The intruder was saved after police shot the bear at the Bear Park in Bern, Switzerland. Both man

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Elephant dies at Vandalur zoo
A four-year-old sub adult cow elephant died at Vandalur zoo, on Friday due to a suspected attack of herpes virus.
The zoo authorities said the elephant, Chellamma, was rescued from the Andhiyur forests in Erode district and brought to the zoo in 2005. Since Friday morning, the animal refused food. Its head started swelling and administration of prophylactic medicines also
A four-year-old sub adult cow elephant died at Vandalur zoo, on Friday due to a suspected attack of herpes virus.

Sri Lanka National zoo at Dehiwala does not have enough space to accommodate new animals, therefore the zoo authorities are planning to refurbish the zoo premises according to a master plan on completion of the new zoo in Pinnawala and the Safari park in Ridiyagama Hambantota , Director of the national zoo Duminda Jayaratne said.
Addressing a press conference yesterday he further said that they received Rs 120 million for the Pinnawala zoo construction and Rs.50 million for Ridiyagama safari park construction this year.
"We are planning to open a Sri Lankan section at the Pinnawala zoo and a Lion enclosure at the safari park next year. Normally we introduce a pair of animal to the zoo instead

900 pound neighbor gets new home
Walter is his name: a 48-year old alligator adopted by a local family when it was just two years old. The gator has been living in a back yard in Marshall for 46 years. Friday, the dear old friend moved to a new home - all 900 pounds of him. Click on the video in the upper right-hand corner of this page to watch KLTV photojournalist Lynn Mitchell's story. The gator is safe and making new friends. He is now living in a 22-foot pond at the East Texas Gators and Wildlife Park in Canton. He is

Bacolod kids treated to zoo tour at Conservation Center
More than 150 kids and parents took part in the storytelling and zoo tour at the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation, Inc. (NFEFI), Biodiversity Conservation Center (BCC) open house in observance of the Negros Occ. Wildlife Month.
According to NFEFI Curator -Veterinarian Joanne Mae Justo, the open house and story telling day is meant to educate the children on the richness of Negros Occ. biodiversity.
She said the youngsters were given the opportunity to appreciate and see various endemic and rare species kept in the center after a story telling session.
Teaching kids to value the wildlife develops a positive character within them and in the process, they influence their parents on their views regarding the environment and the wildlife, she said.
Environmentalists lament the fact that Filipino kids know more about lions, giraffes and tigers when these animals are not found in the country rather than local fauna like maral (wildcats), Philippine spotted dear and the bleeding heart pigeons which are

Catalina will give contraceptives to female bison
In 1924, a film crew moved 14 bison onto Catalina Island for a movie appearance that never came to be.
Not only were the animals cut out of the silent film, they were left behind on the island's interior, presumably because of cost overruns. The move would leave Catalina with a sizeable herd decades later.
To trim the population that at one point numbered 600, the conservancy that oversees most of the island has sold bison to an auction house and shipped the animals off to South Dakota Indian reservations.
But now, management of the herd will come from a shot of a contraceptive dart. The Catalina Island Conservancy Friday will announce the start of a birth control program among female bison that utilizes a vaccine derived from pig eggs - a management strategy that's said to be cheaper and less stressful for the animals than having them shipped away.
The goal is to reduce the annual growth of the herd from nearly 10 percent to 4 percent

Alexandria Zoo plans $3.5 million in improvements; Lee Ann Whitt named director
The Alexandria Zoo will undergo a $3.5 million renovation and expansion, and it will do so under the leadership of Lee Ann Whitt, who was named today as the zoo's director.
Whitt had been serving as acting director for more than a year following the death of her husband, Les Whitt, who ran the Alexandria Zoo for 34 years.
The $3.5 million project and the naming of Lee Ann Whitt as zoo director were announced today in a press conference

Charles Darwin's Findings Hold Key To Saving Rare Bird
Two birds collected by Charles Darwin back in 1835 could help bring back a rare mockingbird to the Galapagos Islands.
The DNA was taken from the specimens by a team of geneticists and then compared to DNA from living sub-populations on two other islands. The researchers discovered genetic hints on the best way to conserve the birds.
The study, appearing in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, was let by biologist Paquita Hoeck of the University of Zurich in Switzerland.
Darwin and Robert Fitzroy, the captain of HMS Beagle, collected samples from Floreana Island during their trip to the Galapagos more than 170 years ago.
Shortly after his famed expedition, human impact on its delicate habitat led to the extinction of the Floreana mockingbird (Mimus trifasciatus) on that particular island.
There are now only two small sub-populations surviving on two tiny satellite

It's no party for the animals in Kuwait Zoo
As Eid Al-Adha approaches and the temperature continues to fall, Kuwait Zoo in Omariya has been getting ready for a surge of visitors - an alternative option for families willing to spend a day outdoors. However, the growing expectation of more visitors has also spread the fear that the lack of zoo manners amongst them might cause further suffering to the animals. "Many visitors don't care about the cleanliness of the zoo, and they throw different objects everywhere and in the animal cages," explains Farid a Mulla Ahmad, the zoo's director.
Speaking with the Kuwait Times, Ahmad explained that throwing food and objects as varied as socks, bottle caps and keys are common pastimes for the more offensive zoo visitors. "It is quite dangerous for the animals and disturbs their digestion," she explained. "On one occasion, we found socks in an ostrich's stomach after it had died.
In a bid to tackle the problem of illegal feeding of the animals, the zoo's administration has installed signs all over the cages warning people against feeding them, but "People do not respect the signs," said the director.

Rhinos de-horned to stop poaching
Three black rhinos at Imire Safari Park have been dehorned in order to prevent them from being killed by poachers. Imire has four black and two white rhino, and all but one baby have now been dehorned. An estimated 200 rhino have been killed by poachers in the last three years. (Pictured: Dehorning one of the Imire rhino)
MARONDERA – In August 2007: Imire lost three of their rhinos. Even though they had been dehorned, they were brutally killed by poachers. It has been speculated that the poachers were not aware that the rhinos had been dehorned. However, they managed to cut off the male rhino's stub of horn, so some believe that the massacre of these dehorned rhinos was a politically motivated act, and that the poachers were fully aware that these rhino did not have horns but went out and killed them anyway.
Another theory is that poachers have now resorted to killing off rhinos for the sake of being able to cover more ground when it comes to poaching. That way they can keep track of the rhinos that are still alive in certain areas and can then condense the margin they have to cover when poaching. Zimbabwe has become a hot spot for rhino poaching, and with the
demand for rhino horns ever increasing from the Asian market, the question remains; how can these relentless poachers be stopped? Dehorning is one solution, as it stops giving poachers a reason to kill these animals. The Rhino are sedated, a qualified vet is brought in, and the horn is literally sawn off. They suffer no pain, and are back on their feet in a matter of minutes.
However the act of dehorning has been quite a controversial topic, with the main argument being that rhinos use their horns for grazing, and for protection in the wild. If the animals are dehorned it may affect their entire social behavior. Reily Travis, who has lived on Imire his entire life, and runs the volunteer programme on the farm, thinks that there is another way
that Zimbabwe can save the rhinos and their horns

Tourists sue Sanbona safari park after too-close encounter with lions Eight British tourists are suing a South African safari park after they became trapped by a pride of wild lions when their tour vehicle overturned.
The group are claiming hundreds of thousands of pounds for injuries and post-traumatic stress allegedly suffered when they were exposed to the "threatening conduct of the lions" at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve northeast of Cape Town.
One of the animals also stole a boot from the tourists, they say.
Papers lodged at Cape Town High Court claim that the injuries were due to the irresponsible actions of Natasha Van der Merwe, a park

Baghdad's once ravaged zoo comes back to life
More than six years after the U.S. invasion left Iraq's main zoo a wasteland of starving animals and deserted cages, the park in central Baghdad is enjoying a vigorous revival and needs to grow.
Few Iraqis ventured into Baghdad Zoo during the violence that surged after the 2003 invasion. But as the bombings and shootings receded, families started to return in droves -- so many, in fact, that officials are now desperate to expand the park which is home for the zoo to make space for them all.
The zoo has replaced the hundreds of animals that escaped, were stolen, died of thirst

Toronto Zoo's baby gorilla named Nassir
A contest to name the new baby gorilla at the Toronto Zoo was capped off in an usual way on Wednesday when the baby's father made the final choice.
Charles is a western lowland gorilla at the Toronto Zoo and on Wednesday morning he chose his son's new name by picking a plate filled with his favourite treats.
The zoo decided to have a naming contest for the baby gorilla and solicited names from the public.
They were inundated with thousands of name suggestions, then whittled that pile down to five: Nassir, Neo,

Anderson blames NT govt for hippo death
The Northern Territory government is to blame for the death of a pygmy hippopotamus in the outback, the former owner of Tipperary Wildlife Sanctuary says.
The hippopotamus was shot on Saturday night during a pig hunting expedition in the Douglas Daly region, about 200km south of Darwin.
It is believed the African rainforest animal had escaped from Tipperary Station, near the Daly River, which was once an exotic wildlife sanctuary.
Warren Anderson, a millionaire property developer who established the sanctuary, tried to sell the animals after being wrongly accused by the territory

NT's Tipperary Zoo animals sold for hunting, hippo shot
IT'S a curious tale of a hippo, a pig hunter, a millionaire property developer, a red-faced government and now a game safari. Warning: graphic image.
The accidental shooting of a rare African species of pygmy hippo in the Northern Territory outback sparked peoples' imagination and raised the question: Whatever happened to the exotic animals of Tipperary Wildlife Sanctuary?
Despite urban legends, the fantasy of a mini African menagerie wandering freely in the Top End could not be further from the truth.
About 300 of the animals, including herds of critically endangered African scimitar horned oryx and addax, were sold to a hunting safari in the Northern Territory.
A small number of the more crowd-attracting animals were transferred to a zoo in far north Queensland.
Sadly, it is believed the remainder of Tipperary's 2000 animals suffered the same fate as the pygmy hippo following two separate and yet equally intriguing legal battles.
The mystery hippo
Nico Courtney said he would not have shot the pygmy hippo had he known what it,21598,26384260-5017965,00.html

Flamingo Land zoo's new addition is six-foot tall and a big baby - WATCH THE VIDEO
A six-foot baby giraffe is finding its feet at Flamingo Land Zoo and Theme Park near Malton.
The giraffe was born on November 3 and staff are not sure whether it is a boy or a girl.
Zoo manager Ross Snipp said: "We're really pleased – it's very exciting.
"We've had three giraffes born in the last three to four years and this one is doing the best of all of them. It's healthy

Experts convene to save freshwater fish
A plan to save Australia's freshwater fish from becoming extinct is being worked out at a meeting of experts from around the world at the Adelaide Zoo which begins today.
The 25 delegates will discuss a series of freshwater fish management strategies to tackle the issue.
The head of Zoos SA, Chris West, says the drought, over-extraction and the drainage of wetlands have all led to diminished native fish numbers in Australia.
"In Australia, about 95 per cent of our wetlands have either been destroyed or very severely compromised by urban and

First Aquarium in US to Breed Dwarf Cuttlefish
Anchored to an algae-covered rock in a 120-gallon tank at the California Academy of Sciences' Steinhart Aquarium, a cluster of inky-colored cuttlefish eggs is beginning to swell -- evidence of success for the Academy's new captive breeding program for dwarf cuttlefish, Sepia bandensis. The program, pioneered by Academy biologist Richard Ross, is the first of its kind in a U.S. aquarium, and offers the Academy and other institutions the opportunity

Really Rare Rhinos Found by Dung-Sniffing Dogs
We all know dogs like to smell just about everything, including other animals' poo. Now scientists have figured out how to put the canines' odd pastimes to work to help sniff out the dung of endangered rhinos in Vietnam.
The collected dung will help scientists to figure out how many Javan rhinos, also called Rhinoceros sondaicus, remain in the wild. The rhinos were considered extinct on mainland Southeast Asia until hunters in Vietnam killed one in 1988. Now two remaining populations exist, with

Bears get satellite collars in Indian Kashmir: officials
Wildlife experts in Indian-controlled Kashmir have fitted black bears with satellite-tracking collars to study their behaviour and help conserve the endangered animals, officials said Wednesday.
"This is the first time in India that Himalayan black bears have been fitted with a GPS collar," wildlife warden Rashid Naqash told AFP, adding that there just 300 of the animals in the region.
These collars will help in studying the behaviour and habitat of the Himalayan black bear, he said, adding the "step will go a long way in conserving the endangered species."
A team of wildlife experts have put collars on three black bears -- a male, a female and a cub -- in the Dachigam national...........Wild bears have killed more than two dozen people in the past four

Jaguars take jungle walkies
MOST humans wouldn't get this close to a killer big cat, let alone put it on a lead and take it for a walk.
But these are the passionate volunteers at a unique animal rescue centre where they are trying to reintroduce jaguars back into the wild.
These majestic creatures have been saved from Bolivian black markets or abusive situations.
The volunteers at the Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY) are gradually trying to get the cats used to their natural environment, but most of them have never set so much as a paw in the wild.
So each day the dedicated live-in helpers walk the predatory felines, some weighing as much as 260 pounds, on a lead through the CIWY's 1,991-acre Bolivian jungle compound.
Karen Peter, a 45-year-old volunteer who has been stationed at the centre for two years, said: "They are walked around outside their cage by a minimum of two volunteers at one time and a maximum of three.
"Each jaguar spends up to seven or eight hours outside the cage a day to readjust them to a semi-wild existence.
"It must be remembered that some of the animals have never spent any time in the wild and are totally dependent on humans for their lead and food."
CIWY, which is located in the central-Bolivian region of Santa Cruz and also rescues monkeys, birds and pumas, has become recognised as one of the world's leading animal rescue centres.
Karen added: "We get the animals from all across Bolivia and the border with Peru.
"The illegal trade and purchasing of exotic cats such as

Enforcement officers put in the picture
One of the hardest daily challenges facing wildlife law enforcement officers is to recognize which species are being traded in order to determine if the trade is legal.
To assist them, the ASEAN-Wildlife Enforcement Network (WEN) Support Programme has today launched a set of simple identification sheets to provide frontline enforcement officers with a user-friendly tool designed to help them decide whether a species is being traded legally or not.
The ASEAN region is a major hub of trade in wildlife, functioning both as supplier and consumer of plants, animals and their derivatives. Nearly all the major groups of plants and animals found within this biodiverse area are traded.
Unscrupulous traders often label shipments of rare and threatened animals as common species that can be legally traded, in the hope that officers inspecting the shipment can't tell the difference.
"It's obviously impossible for officers to be experts in the identification of every wildlife product they come across, which is why ASEAN-WEN has produced these simple guides" commented Dr Chumphon Sukkaseam, Senior Officer of the ASEAN-WEN Programme


The jumbo brigade packs its trunk
It happened almost as soon as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) first launched in India in 2000. We turned our attention to the four elephants in the Mumbai zoo and then to those in other zoos and circuses.
Everywhere we went, we found that these gentle giants-who in the wild live in herds, who care for their babies till they are almost nine years old and who mourn for their lost babies for almost 19 years-were in horrifying condition.
They were in captivity, kept constantly chained, never exercised, made to stand in their own excreta, fed substandard food, beaten regularly and not given adequate food or water. The Ahmedabad zoo elephants were shackled with chains which had spikes on the inside, so that even the slightest movement resulted in their skin being pierced.
The circuses were as bad, if not worse. Elephants, who for years have been revered, had been turned into a parody of their magnificent cousins in the wild by insensitive circus owners who made them play cricket, stand on one leg whilst balancing on a stool, balance humans on their trunk and other asinine tricks. Their handlers thought nothing of poking them with an ankus to force them to obey. And when they were not entertaining circus goers, these poor animals were kept fettered by chains on three legs (on occasion even four) outside the circus tents, with inadequate food, no constant source of water, no mud to have mud baths, and being gawked at by all and sundry.

Elephants don't belong in zoos: Central Zoo Authority
As per an order from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) of India, "elephants have been banned from zoo collection throughout the country with immediate effect". The order stipulates that all elephants kept at zoos should be immediately relocated to elephant camps and rehabilitation centres of the Forest Department or inside forest areas.
The order has been sent to all in charges of the zoos in the country and the Chief Wildlife Warden of the States. K.P. Ouseph, Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife and Chief Wildlife Warden) of Kerala confirmed receiving the order from Rajesh Gopal, Member Secretary of CZA on Tuesday.
The order states that upkeep of large animals like elephants are not only costly but create problems at zoos. When elephants come into musth the problems get aggravated. Moreover the zoo environment confines the animal to a very small area. The order directs the zoo authorities to carry out the same in consultation with the respective Chief Wildlife Wardens.
Relocating the elephants from the Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur zoos will take time, it has been reliably understood. This because the controlling authority of these two zoos is the Department of Culture, but in all other States the zoos are under the control of the respective Forest Department.
So the Forest Department will have to first obtain the green signal from the Department of Culture for relocating the elephants. According to sources, the elephants at the Thiruvananthapuram Zoo will be relocated to the Kappukad Elephant Rehabilitation Centre at Neyyar and the elephants are Thrissur to Kodanad.
As per CZA estimates, there are about 140 elephants kept at zoos in various parts of the country. All of them will have to be relocated. Sources said that the order comes in the wake of complaints from animal rights activists about the plight of captive elephants both zoos and under private ownership.
The order however does not talk about captive elephants owned by private individuals. However, the move has been welcomed by animal rights activists.

Zoo body gets Peta prize for elephant move
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has announced that it will give the 2009 Proggy Award for International Leadership in the Field of Animal Rights to India's Central Zoo Authority (CZA) in recognition of the government organisation's decision to ban the use of elephants in zoos and circuses. "Proggy'' is short for "progressive''.
India, which is home to an estimated 23,900 to 32,900 wild elephants, will no longer permit its most prominent national symbol-the elephant-to be imprisoned in zoos and circuses. The move comes after years of campaigning by PETA India to liberate or at the very least, vastly improve the conditions of captive elephants. PETA India has repeatedly complained to the CZA about the hardships of elephants, which are forced to stand for long periods on hard concrete

Forest officials unhappy with elephant order
The recent directive from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) to shift all the elephants from zoos and circus to national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and Project Tiger, has sparked a heated debate among forest department officials across the state. "All the elephants in zoos and circus have to be sent to elephant camps of forest department," said BK Gupta, CZA.
However, the directive is likely to prove to be a huge problem for the forest department. "First of all we do not need any elephants. There is nothing that we can do with them. If sent to us, it would be a huge financial burden on the department," said a senior forest department official. At present, there are around 15 elephants in the service of state forest department at Alapalli, Sironcha in Gadchiroli district, Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR) in Amravati district and Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Chandrapur district.
"All these elephants, except for those in MTR and TATR, are used to move logs. Now, even the tree felling activities are reduced. The department is already facing financial problems and the elephants would only add to it," said the official.

While the Western Zoos Dither, India Condemns Captivity in Zoos as Causing Unacceptable `Trauma'.
The Born Free Foundation joins the global animal welfare and conservation community in welcoming plans by the Government of India to end the keeping of elephants in zoos and circuses
The following statement has been endorsed by groups as diverse as the Born Free Foundation (UK), PETA (USA) and the RSPCA (UK), united in their concern for elephants in captivity and their praise for the Indian Government:
It has been confirmed that the Central Zoo Authority, the Government agency responsible for India's zoos, has recognised that zoos cannot provide a suitable environment for elephants and has taken the momentous step to order, through a CZA Directive, the relocation of all elephants in zoos and circuses in India to sanctuaries, national parks and reserves. The decision of the CZA reflects the growing concern expressed by many citizens, animal welfare groups and elephant experts* about the inadequacy of the zoo and circus environment for elephants.
The Directive will have a significant and potentially positive impact on up to 150 elephants currently in Indian zoos and circuses.
Provided that certain safeguards and animal welfare measures can be guaranteed, we* welcome the decision of the CZA and call upon governments in other countries to follow India's example and

Zoo Elephants Will Be Free, But Will They Adjust?
The Central Zoo Authority may have decided to relocate elephants in all zoos across the country to give them more space in the wilderness. But forest officials have an interesting problem on hand -- how will these animals adjust to the new lifestyle in the wild? "There are close to 20 elephants in two zoos -- Mysore zoo and Bannerghatta. We will shift them as soon as we get orders from Delhi. The animals are used to a certain lifestyle in the zoos. I am not sure how quickly they will adapt to their new life in the open. They have to be fed regularly because they are used to eating at regular hours in the zoo," said additional principal chief conservator of forests B K Singh. The Central Zoo Authority has directed that they be shifted to forest department camps.
Local authorities will start preparing to relocate the elephants currently in Mysore zoo and Bannerghatta Biological Park.
Last week, the Authority decided to shift all jumbos in the zoo to the wild, and banned the use of elephants in circuses, following a public outcry over the way the animals were treated. The elephants were bearing huge loads, made to stand all day, are chained in temples and given very little space.
The picture in Bannerghatta Biological Park is a little better, though. "Most of the time, our nine elephants are left open in 500 hectares of land that we have. In the morning, they come around 10 am and stay in the enclosure in the zoo till 3 pm or 4 pm. We give them a bath and food during that time," said director of Bannerghatta Biological Park, Milo Tago.
There are 160 elephants in captivity in Karnataka, one of the leading states in elephant population. "We released a study on captive elephants here, and the kind of problems they suffer. In fact, there was a comparison of captive elephants with wild elephants, which showed their suffering. However

Zoo reaches funding accord with state
The Patrick administration, teaming with a task force of zoo officials and supporters, unveiled a plan yesterday aimed at keeping open Greater Boston's two financially troubled zoos. Under the plan, Zoo New England, which runs the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, has agreed to $5 million in state funding. It will also reorganize its board and develop a road map by Jan. 15 for long-term self-sufficiency. State funding will allow the zoos to remain open while changes are implemented, but funding is contingent on Zoo New England delivering on its plan, state officials said. "I'm hoping it's the beginning of a new day,'' zoo chief John Linehan said in a phone interview last night. "Certainly in many ways it's long

Des Moines Botanical Center, zoo may be sold or leased
Local leaders will look to sell or lease city-owned properties such as the Des Moines Botanical Center and the Blank Park Zoo in response to continuing budget struggles.
Such action should be pursued whenever possible to help ease taxpayer burdens in a time of historic budget problems, City Manager Rick Clark said Monday.
"We simply can't afford all of these, and if we can figure out some way to sell them or get them in the hands of, in a lot of these cases, nonprofit entities that can operate them for the public good, that's a very good thing and to our taxpayers' advantage," Clark

Indian deer fights off tigers and crocodiles in 24 hour battle
Tourists to an Indian wildlife park witnessed two tigers eventually bring down the deer, known as a sambar, but not before it had managed to escape from their clutches at least three times.
The stunning natural drama has been compared to the "Battle at Kruger" in Johannesburg in between a herd of Cape Buffalo, a small pride of lions, and two crocodiles.
Tourists at the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Maharashtra saw the battle unfold on Friday morning when they stopped at a lake at 6.45am.
A tigress was hiding in tall grass waiting for the adult male sambar to come close.
Sensing trouble, the sambar turned around as the tigress crept up and darted away in the nick of time, with the tigress giving chase. With no other option, the sambar chose to enter the lake's shallow waters.
Having managed to outwit the tigress, there was now the problem of two crocodiles stalking the unfortunate sambar.
The beast ran around for over half an hour in the shallow waters as it tried to dodge the crocodiles.
Unfortunately for the deer, a second tigress had heard the sambar's distress calls and came rushing to the

Summit strives to save oryx
A rescue plan to save a rare breed of oryx from extinction is being forged by international experts at a conservation summit in Al Ain.
Ecologists and experts in wildlife from 15 of the world's leading conservation organisations are gathering at Al Ain Wildlife Park and Reserve (AWPR) to devise a long-term strategy to prevent the Scimitar-horned oryx from being wiped off the face of the earth.
Once common in the grasslands of North

Plans for wildlife park in Almondsbury are backed by conservation groups
PLANS for the country's first National Wildlife Conservation Park, to be built in Almondsbury, have been backed by two top conservation groups.
The £70 million park, which would be created in the Hollywood Tower Estate off Blackhorse Hill by Bristol Zoo, has now gained the support of Natural England and Avon Wildife Trust.
The two groups initially objected to the proposals for a 55-acre nature park, which would see bears, giraffes and zebras roaming the Almondsbury estate.
There were concerns about damage to ancient woodland and existing wildlife such as bats, badgers, water voles, great crested newts and

Hogle Zoo to open new animal care center
Utah's Hogle Zoo is opening a new, multimillion dollar health center to treat its animals.
Construction began last year on the animal health center, a high-tech facility intended to provide care for the nearly 900 animals at the zoo.
A dedication ceremony for the facility was planned for Tuesday.
The center was funded in part

Big Changes Ahead For Lake Superior Zoo?
For the last twenty years the Lake Superior Zoo has operated under a master plan that with every passing year continued to grow out of date.
While Zoo officials aren't discarding the plan in its entirety they are looking at new options.
Lake Superior Zoological Society C.E.O Sam Maida says you have to find a balance.
"you can dream all you want, you can build all you want, it's not like it's build it and they'll come you better build it so they WILL come, but then you have to find a way so it makes sense both from an expensive side and a revenue side."
On Monday Architects and Zoo officials met to

Lion opens family's car door with his teeth
In the comfort and security of their car, a family thought there was nothing to worry about as they drove through a South African safari park - until a lion calmly opened their back door with his teeth.
The lion may have appeared wild, but it had clearly learnt one or two things about cars after years of watching curious visitors drive past.
As the white Toyota came to a halt in the Lion Safari Park in Johannesburg, it slowly padded over while the family inside watched in excitement, unaware of what was about to

Rhinoceros Fights Cancer at LA Zoo
The Los Angeles Zoo, which normally fills our site with zoo babies and their cuteness, is changing it up and bringing us a story a little more on the serious side.
Randa, a 40-year-old Indian rhinoceros, was recently diagnosed with recurrent squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer, under her horn.
She is now recovering after undergoing Electronic Brachytherapy, a cancer treatment designed to deliver x-ray-based therapy directly to cancer sites with minimal radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.
Her handlers say the procedure was

Potawatomi Zoo receives accreditation honor
The Potawatomi Zoo continues to show that it's a great place for families. The zoo was accredited once again by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
It's basically a big badge of honor, and means that the zoo is held to the highest standards.
It provides excellent quality care for animals, an amazing level of education for visitors, and takes part in top-notch conservation programs.
Now that the zoo has been accredited, it increases its eligibility for grants.
"We're looking at the possibility of some new exhibits, creating a 5 to 10 year master plan and, like Mayor Luecke spoke of, the Society is now at the helm of looking at how we can regionalize what is already a regional community asset. How can we broaden our base of support so that all of the burden

Lion eats girl's palm at Chhattisgarh zoo
A lion attacked a little girl, detached her right palm in the presence of dozens of visitors and ate it Sunday evening at the government-run Nandan Van zoo on the outskirts of state capital Raipur.
"Four-and-half-year-old Sapna Malik had visited the zoo with her uncle Asim Malik and was holding the enclosure wire fence in which a lion was kept. The lion attacked the girl in a flash and removed her right palm and ate it while the family cried for help," zoo in-charge R.S. Mishra said.
The girl cried for about 30 minutes

Tigers killed after mauling Chinese zookeeper: report
Police in northeast China shot dead two starving Siberian tigers after the animals severely mauled a zoo worker, state media said Monday.
The incident occurred on Friday at a wildlife park in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province, the Global Times reported.
The two tigers attacked 51-year-old park worker Yang Jingwei as he was cleaning snow from a path in a staff-only area, the paper said.
"The attack is attributed to the tigers being starved," the paper said, citing financial difficulties at the zoo.
Zoo workers separated the tigers from Yang 15 minutes

Joint forces to prevent extinction of smallest rhino in the world
International scientists and zoo experts started together with Malaysian governmental and conservation organisations an extensive programme to protect the Sabah rhino.
A unique species is on the brink of extinction: the Sabah rhino population (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis harrisoni), a subspecies of the Sumatran rhino, is now represented by less than 50 individuals. In an attempt to save the species, scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin, Germany, in collaboration with Zoo Leipzig from Leipzig, Germany and Malaysian governmental and conservation organisations, represented by the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA) have started an extensive conservation programme to protect and breed these impressive mammals. The species is in need of urgent protection. 'The Sabah rhino is our local heritage, we need all the expertise we can get to safeguard the Sabah rhinos from extinction' said Datuk Masidi Manjun, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment from Sabah who met the German scientists from the IZW and Zoo Leipzig last week. The rhino is an indicator-species for an intact ecosystem - the 'lowland rain forest.' If this 'umbrella species' goes extinct, scores of other species living under the 'ecological protection' of the Sabah rhino will disappear as well.
'The IZW scientists will help us with their knowledge of the reproductive biology of rhinos to assess the health and fertility of captive animals' said Dr Laurentius Ambu, director of the Sabah Wildlife

Endangered frogs head back to native habitat at Fort Lewis
To help restore Washington state's populations of endangered Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa), approximately 80 frogs - weighing up to two ounces - will be released back to nature on the Fort Lewis Military Reservation in Pierce County.
The nine-month-old, Washington state-endangered frogs were collected from the wild in March as fertilized eggs and head-started at Oregon Zoo and Cedar Creek Corrections Center to improve their chances of survival once they are released. They will join 424 frogs released at the site earlier this fall, which were head-started at Woodland

Endangered sea turtles released
The three Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List as critically endangered, were released at sea off the coast of the south-central province of Ninh Thuan at 3p.m. Wednesday, said Wildlife at Risk, also known as WAR.
One of the turtles weighed 20 kilograms, one 14 kilos and the other 9 kg. They were found in the possession of Ho Chi Minh City traders by a WAR mobile unit and were then cared for by WAR during a quarantine period at the Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station.
The three turtles have been electronically

Lucy the elephant must lose 1,000 pounds, Edmonton zoo says
Lucy the elephant has too much junk in her trunk.
The Edmonton elephant whose health woes have drawn concern from such celebrities as Bob Barker and William Shatner is being put on a new diet and exercise regime in a bid to get her to shed 1,000 pounds, or 453 kilograms, over the next year.
Edmonton's Valley Zoo announced the new treatment plan Friday.
The goal of the healthier lifestyle is to improve the elephant's breathing problems and help control her arthritis, said veterinarian Dr. Milton Ness.
If I could join the Biggest Loser I would have her on my team," Ness said, laughing. "In real terms, we're going to have to cut back on the carbohydrates . . ." — such as fruit. "We've had

Japanese Government Funding Cuts Could End 'Research' Whaling
A review of Japanese government spending now underway could put an end to Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, according to Greenpeace, an environmental group that has campaigned against Japanese whaling for years.
The spending review committee established by Japan's new Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, has recommended that funding for the Overseas Fishery Cooperation Foundation be cancelled after 2010.
The OFCF is the largest financer of the Tokyo-based Institute of Cetacean Research, which runs the Japanese whaling program. The whaling fleet

Vienna zoo's panda Fu Long heads for China
Fu Long the panda, Europe's first to be conceived naturally while in captivity, is to leave his home town of Vienna for China next week, the Schoenbrunn Zoo in the Austrian capital said Thursday.
The giant panda, whose name means "Happy Dragon" in Mandarin, is to be transferred to a conservation and research centre called Bifengxia Base in the Sichuan province, which is home to 60 other pandas and where it is hoped he will breed.
Fu Long is now just over two and his birth in August 2007 was a sensation because he was the first panda in Europe to be conceived naturally in captivity rather than by artificial insemination.
"We're sad that our little one is leaving us. But we're proud that we're returning a strong, healthy panda to China," said the zoo's

Aquatic Habitat Exhibit Opens at Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
A new $1.5 million exhibit called "Wet Side Story" opened at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo during the first week of November. The exhibit is the only one in Israeli zoos representing aquatic habitats in Israel and around the world.
The new complex of aquaria will deal with today's pressing issues of aquatic habitats, explaining the importance of preservation of water sources and their proper use, as well as the actions of wildlife conservation in these habitats

Toronto Zoo gorilla will choose his baby's name
For the past two months, the newest addition to the Toronto Zoo's gorilla family has been nameless, simply referred to by curious observers and visitors to the African pavilion as "the baby." But on Wednesday, Ngozi and Charles's offspring will finally have a name – and it will be one chosen by the proud daddy.
The shortlist, all starting with "N" to honour its mother, includes Nassir, Neo, Niko, Nigel and Nsambu.
The names were selected from an initial list of 5,000 submitted by visitors to the zoo in September. A panel of animal care staff narrowed the list down to 10. Over the past two weeks, 11,000 votes have been cast

Keeper at helm of zoo's revitalization
When Darde Long started working as a keeper at the Chattanooga Zoo in 1985, it was a far cry from the accredited institution she now oversees as executive director.
The 1.5-acre grounds were dotted with animals housed in wire-and-concrete cages so behind the times the Atlanta Journal Constitution referred to the facility as "Chattanooga's Animal Ghetto," Ms. Long said.
Now the zoo is eight times larger; the cages, with one exception, are new, and the facility is celebrating its 10th year of accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Q: How do you respond to people crediting you with the zoo's revitalization?
A: To be honest, I was really lucky because Friends of the Zoo formed simultaneously when I was hired. Back then, they provided volunteers who were critical. Suddenly, there were animals that were getting better care and having a little bit of extra time spent with

Tiger, tiger, small and white
John Varty, filmmaker, conservationist and co-owner of Londolozi Private Game Reserve, has a new white tiger in his family.
Varty, a maverick naturalist who set up his South African tiger conservation project amid much controversy more than 10 years ago, says he despaired after visiting India and China and seeing how little was being done to save the iconic big cats.
The latest additions to his big-cat family were born to Julie, an 11-year-old Bengal tigress at his Tiger Canyons conservation project in the heart of the Karoo. The litter saw his tiger population grow from 12 to 17 overnight. Among the new arrivals was one tiny white cub - the first white tiger born in the wild since 1951. The births have made Tiger Canyons possibly the only place in the world where wild tigers are increasing in number.
Its current population of 17 is also probably more than the number remaining in the flagship Indian tiger reserve of Ranthambhore, where attrition due to habitat loss, poaching and the

Driver admits to 5 wildlife offences
A lorry driver was charged in the magistrate's court yesterday with possessing clouded monitor lizards, which are a protected species, and body parts of wild owls and the sun bear.
M. Ravindran, 31, from Indera Mahkota, near here, was read five charges under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 for possessing:
- 2,330 live clouded monitor lizards;
- 47 limbs of sun bears (Helarctos malayanus);
- 246 carcasses of skinned Barn Owls (Tyto alba);
- 72 carcasses of Barred eagle owls (Bubo sumatranus); and
- a skinned Brown Wood Owl (Strix leplogranunica).
The father of three was also charged with endangering the clouded monitor lizards by confining them in cages.
He pleaded guilty to committing the offences


Elephants to be banished from all zoos

Delhi Zoo will soon be bidding farewell to its three elephants. In fact, elephants will no longer be seen in any zoo or circus in the country after the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) issued a notice on Monday to the effect that all of these animals in zoos, numbering about 140, should be sent to national parks, sanctuaries and tiger reserves as soon as possible. According to sources, the circular states that a zoo environment is not the best place for the large animals and they should be shifted to national parks with immediate effect. "CZA's order is binding on all zoos. Elephants are large animals and require a large area to move about freely. The environment of a zoo can be very restrictive. The animals have great use for departmental work, eco-tourism, patrolling etc and a decision has been taken to send them to national parks and tiger reserves where they can be under the supervision of mahauts," said A N Prasad, director, Project Elephant. According to Dr B K Gupta, evaluation and monitoring officer of CZA, India had 140 elephants in 26 zoos and 16 circuses as on March 31 2009. "Of these, Mysore and Trivandrum have the largest number at 9 and 8 respectively. Delhi and Mysore are the only two zoos that have African elephants. The decision was taken after evaluating conditions of elephants at various zoos and circuses. We found that circuses specially were not following standards set under the Recognition of Zoo Rules, 1992," he said. Delhi Zoo director D N Singh confirmed that they had received the order though he restrained from elaborating on it. Sources said that Delhi Zoo's resident Asiatic pachyderms, Rajlakshmi and Hira, and its sole African member Shankar would be moved to Jim Corbett National Park sometime soon. Shankar had been gifted to former president Shankar Dayal Sharma by the Zimbabwian government. Sources explained that the various zoos would carry out this order in consultation with the chief wildlife wardens of their specific states and the CZA. Environmentalists saw this as a positive move though some had reservations on the shifting of all elephants as that would be contrary to the principal of ex-situ conservation."There is merit in this decision. It is best for them to be as close to their natural habitat as possible. Elephants needs a lot of space to exercise and move about in and they are being deprived that space in zoos and circuses," said Samir Sinha, head of traffic, WWF India.

Park in polar bear breeding plan

More polar bears are to be introduced to the Highland Wildlife Park, when the UK's only polar bear dies. Mercedes, thought to be 27-years-old, was relocated from Edinburgh Zoo to the park near Kingussie last month. Polar bears can live into their early 30s. The park's owners said two would be taken from other zoos when Mercedes dies in the hope they will reproduce. But an animal welfare group denied the park's claim that bringing in more bears would contribute to conservation. Mercedes was rescued from her native Canada and brought to Scotland in 1984, after she was scheduled to be shot because she was roaming into a nearby town in search of food. She was kept in Edinburgh Zoo - which, along with the wildlife park is owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), but this was criticised because

China's Hu arrives in Singapore with panda offer

China will give Singapore two giant pandas to mark 20 years of friendly ties between the two countries, Chinese President Hu Jintao said on Wednesday. Hu arrived in Singapore on Wednesday for an annual summit of Asia-Pacific leaders, after visiting Malaysia where he made the first official visit of a Chinese leader in 15 years and signed several agreements on trade and investment. After reviewing an honour guard upon arrival, Hu met Singapore President S.R. Nathan and the city-state's founding father, Minister Mentor Lee Kwan Yew. Lee recently caused a ruffle among Chinese netizens when he called for the United States to remain engaged in Asia as a balance

Pandas separated to encourage procreation

Chinese panda experts charged with encouraging a pair of Taiwanese pandas to procreate are hoping that the adage that absence makes the heart grow fonder will ring as true for bears as it does for humans. The two pandas, 'Tuan Tuan' and 'Yuan Yuan', were given to Taiwan late last year as a sign of warming ties between the Chinese mainland and Taipei. Somewhat embarrassingly, however, the two bears do not appear to have warmed to each other. In an attempt to thaw relations, Taipei called in Zhang Hemin, the head of the Wolong Giant Panda Protection Research Centre in southwest China from where the bears originated, to provide expert advice. His prescription was to lock the two bears in separate cages for several months to see if enforced abstinence could trigger the instinct to procreate, according to an official with the zoo. "Separation is likely to make Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan more sexually attracted to each other," said the official. The two bears are under mounting pressure

Topeka Zoo Gorilla Dead

The Topeka Zoo is responding to the recent death of a gorilla. This follows months of controversy after a report questioned the zoo's care-taking abilities. The gorilla, M' bili, was 17-years-old when he died this

Letter: Zoo deserves support

The Topeka Capital-Journal's Sept. 2 story about animal deaths at the Topeka Zoo presents a misleading picture of the zoo and its director, Mike Coker. All living things die. Not you, not me and not the animals at the zoo are immune to the natural circle of life. For the article to portray this most natural of occurrences as unusual does a disservice to readers. The Topeka Zoo meets the stringent requirements for independent accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and maintains its federal USDA license in good standing. The Topeka Zoo has provided the USDA more information on animal deaths than is required by law, regulation or policy. They have been candid with the USDA and the AZA on these issues. All this means that the animals at the zoo receive great care f

Column: Recent letter spurs questions about zoo probe

City officials are confident they'll get an objective, independent and thorough report from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums when the AZA comes to town to conduct a review of the Topeka Zoo. I wish I felt the same way. But based on a recent letter to the editor in The Capital-Journal from the AZA, I can't shake this sense that the review could go something like this: Lead inspector -- "Well, I think we've seen all we need to see. Terrific operation you've got here, folks. Top-notch!" Zoo administrator -- "Wait, aren't you guys even going to get out of the car? At least come in and have a doughnut." OK, that's obviously not the way things will happen, but the letter did strike me as a strong endorsement of the zoo's operations and staff. In light of the recent announcement that the AZA had agreed to review the zoo for the city, it made me wonder about the organization's objectivity. Kristin L. Vehrs, the AZA's executive director, submitted the letter ( in response to a Sept. 2 story raising questions about the quality of care in connection with the deaths of four animals at the zoo. Vehrs wrote that "the animals at the zoo receive great care from

Necropsy Shows Topeka Zoo Gorilla Died Of Aneurysm

The Topeka Zoo says tests show a lowland gorilla died over the weekend of a ruptured aortic aneurysm. Zoo director Mike Coker says zoo staff found M'Bili, a male Lowland gorilla, dead around 7:30 am Saturday in his night quarters. He was 17 years, 8 months old. Coker says M'Bili had not been exhibiting any outward signs of illness or distress. Kansas State University School of Veterinary Medicine conducted the necropsy. Coker says histopathology results are pending and will be provided when available with in the next few weeks. M'Bili was born at the San Diego Wild Animal

Deer fatally injured after jumping into lion's den

A deer was fatally injured Sunday after jumping into a lion enclosure at the National Zoo, as visitors looked on. The incident, which a zoo spokeswoman described as highly unusual, occurred about 2:50 p.m. as spectators lined a retaining wall of an enclosure that contained two female lions. Spectators watched as the deer eluded the much larger lions, before it reached temporary safety in a moat at the edge of the outdoor enclosure. The incident was captured on video and posted to YouTube. However, after the animal was rescued

Black-faced spoonbills arrive in record numbers

The endangered black-faced spoonbills have migrated in record numbers to southern Taiwan to spend the winter this year. Tainan's west coast has recorded 1,219 black-faced spoonbills this year, the largest population in four years, according to a joint survey conducted by Tainan conservation groups. The conservation groups in Tainan City and Tainan County work together to track the population of these migratory birds in local areas every year from October to April. With sightings of 1,075 in Cigu Township and 144 in Sihcao Township, 68 more of these endangered birds have flown to Tainan this year than last year, according

China sends panda expert to Taiwan to aid breeding

Nothing like a little time apart to rekindle the affections that could lead to a baby panda. So says a panda expert sent by China to Taiwan to advise on how to encourage mating by the pair given by Beijing last December to mark the two sides' growing friendship. After inspecting the pandas at the Taipei Zoo on Sunday, Chinese panda expert Zhang Hemin suggested a separation of a month or two might boost the feeling of attraction needed to reproduce. "They may have more interest toward each other after a brief separation," said Zhang, a researcher at the Wolong Natural Reserve in western Sichuan province where the pandas are from. China presented Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, which together

Twitter and Penguins: How the San Francisco Zoo Uses Twitter [VIDEO]

We know there are a lot of interesting and unique uses for Twitter. We've seen Twitter used for customer service, tweets to monitor power usage, and even 140 character marriage proposals, but we never thought about it being used to quickly respond to incidents such as a kid being bit by an otter. Earlier today, a group of Twitter() enthusiasts (including me) gathered at the San Francisco Zoo for a zoo tweetup. While in most respect it was your standard gathering of Twitter nerds with phones tweeting and Twitpics flying, the tweetup was unique because of the involvement of the zoo via Twitter. After seeing initial tweets about the upcoming event, the zoo provided anybody who came to the tweetup with a discount, a penguin encounter (videos below), and even access to the normally off-limits Avian Conservation Center. While this is a great example of using Twitter to reach out to and please customers, it isn't the only way that the San Francisco Zoo (@SFZoo) utilizes Twitter. In the 3 minute clip embedded below, animal keeper Anthony Brown discusses some of the unique stories of how Twitter has helped improve the zoo, including how it has helped find lost

National Zoo Launches Series of Conservation Stamps

The National Zoo has launched a series of conservation postal stamps. The stamps feature seven animals: the giant panda, clouded leopard Asian elephant, Panamanian golden frog, Kirtland's warbler, Scimitar-horned oryx and western lowland

Boy's daycare center left him behind at the zoo

A day care center left a little boy behind after a trip to the zoo. Police said little Gotti Pierre went with this classmates from My First Steps on Westgate Avenue to Dreher Park at around 2 p.m. Thursday. The class left the park two hours later and returned to the day care center -- without Pierre. Police said whoever was in charge of the class miscounted the students, and left the little boy behind. He was discovered missing when his mother came to the daycare center

Viewers protest on Facebook as broadcaster announces it is to drop wildlife show Monkey Life after three series

Channel Five's decision to axe Monkey Life, which follows the antics of more than 240 monkeys and apes at the Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre in Dorset, has prompted a campaign to save the show. The show has run for three series since 2007 and is now broadcast at 7.30pm on Tuesdays. A Facebook group calling on Five to reconsider its cancellation was set up after the news emerged in the Monkey World supporters' magazine, the Ape Rescue Chronicle. A fourth series of Monkey Life has already been filmed by producers Primate Planet Productions, which has staff based at the Monkey World centre all year round. The Primate Planet managing director, Louise McCance-Price, said the show was an educational force that had led to owners of primate pets re-homing their pets with Monkey World and viewers adopting monkeys at the park. "This is not just a TV series to us and to

Animals `at risk' from fireworks

ZOO owner David Gill claims unofficial firework displays have endangered his animals and staff. A macaw and stork have already had to be put down at the South Lakes Wildlife Park in Dalton, while a giraffe panicked out of control. Mr Gill told the Evening Mail he was not against organised displays on Bonfire Night – but wants tighter controls during the days around November 5. He said: "It now seems with fireworks that the bigger the bang, the bigger the thrill. "Other places in the world have more regulations, we have to change our laws, it is a complete nightmare. There were some large fireworks going off near our boundary at 1.15am on Halloween. "This went on for around 15 minutes and I rang the police on 999. The birds were going berserk

Zoo's twin snow leopard cubs die

Brother and sister snow leopard cubs have died after becoming ill with feline cowpox, at their home in the Welsh Mountain Zoo. The zoo said post-mortem checks point to pneumonia and a secondary infection. The cubs arrived in May, and their mother Otilia, and mate Szechuan, are at the Colwyn Bay zoo as part of a European breeding programme. It is estimated that there are as few

Zoo sells drawings by chimpanzees

The Liberec Zoological Garden will on December 1 sell the drawings by its chimpanzees to the persons who will offer the highest sums and the proceeds will go in support of the apes' further breeding, zoo director David Nejedlo told CTK yesterday. The zoo now breeds eight chimpanzees, but only five of them draw and the apes' sense of arts is subsiding, Nejedlo said. Liberec chimpanzees' drawings have already been displayed both at home and abroad. Nejedlo said the apes bred by people are more talented. One female chimpanzee draws with both the left and right hands, sometimes with both of them at a time. She also uses a dish sponge or her tongue in drawing. A male chimpanzee even spreads colours on paper

Power failure hits Adelaide Zoo

A POWER failure has closed the Adelaide Zoo, causing problems for some animals and staff as the city swelters through a heatwave. Zoo chief executive Chris West said a power cable was accidentally cut by earthmoving equipment this morning. He said maintenance crews were working on the problem and hoped to have power restored within a few hours. Dr West said staff were working hard to

Roanoke zoo seeks new director

Mill Mountain Zoo announced Tuesday that Dave Orndorff -- who for two years has pulled double duty as general curator and executive director -- will step down as the facility's director once a replacement is hired. He will continue to serve as curator. "At first it wasn't that hard, but the zoo became better known and the collection became more diverse," he said of his dual positions. "I didn't feel I could devote 100 percent of my time to both [positions] and give both the justice they deserved." "This is something he's been talking about," zoo spokeswoman Lisa Uhl said. "In the past six months, working with the board and the community ... it's more than evident the curatorial position is going to demand more of his attention." Orndorff, 53, managed the bird collection at the San Diego Zoo for 11 years before he was hired as Mill Mountain Zoo's curator in July 2007. He began the job during a tumultuous period for Mill Mountain, when Sean Greene, then-executive director, was trying to reverse the zoo's sinking finances

NFEFI spearheads Wildlife Month in Negros Occ

Seventeen years ago, Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation Inc. (NFEFI) rescued an injured three year- old male Visayan spotted deer limping and severely wounded due to snare traps. As a biodiversity and conservation center, NFEFI took care of the deer and provided it a safe haven along with other Negros Occ. threatened species. Today, Luis, as they named him, enjoys "the good life" in captivity under the care of experts. He is now 20 years old. NFEFI has no actual figures on the number of endangered animal species falling in the hands of hunters and poachers although they are sure that if it is not stopped soon, the province' wildlife will face oblivion. The tribe of Luis and the host of other Negros Occ. rich bio-diversity get the spot light this month as the

Koala numbers in free fall

KOALAS are rapidly vanishing from the Australian bush,and there may be as few as 43,000 left on the mainland, according to the biggest national survey of their populations attempted. The Australian Koala Foundation said its research showed the furry icons were suffering from urban development and climate change, and that the Federal Government should list the species as vulnerable. The group, which used data from more than 1000 forest surveys, said the mainland population had fallen to

National Zoo Creates Frozen Coral Repository

Scientists at the National Zoo have created of the world's first coral genome repository to help prevent endangered coral species from going extinct. Zoo officials said Tuesday that research scientist Mary Hagedorn is pioneering the freezing and storing of coral sperm and eggs. In collaboration the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology and SECORE project, scientists have frozen the sperm

Ten years ensuring their safety & their freedom

Lone Droscher-Nielsen is back in Europe and very much looking forward to meeting those of you who are coming to join us at the Royal Geographical Society next Thursday evening on 19th November. Those of you who have reserved a place will receive an official confirmation from us this week. Another amazing woman, the legend that is Jane Goodall, who has done so much for Chimpanzees, also has a soft spot in her

Butterfly species may be splitting into two

Researchers have found a population of tropical butterflies in Ecuador that might be on its way to splitting into two different species. Marcus Kronforst of Harvard University and his colleagues found that variations in wing colour within a species of Heliconius butterfly in Ecuador is also tied to mate preference and could lead to a split in the species. The butterfly Heliconius cydno comes in two wing-colour varieties — yellow or white — but the two varieties coexist and mate with each other. The pattern of yellow or white markings on the wings is controlled by a single gene. However, when the researchers studied the butterflies in captivity, they found that they didn't mate randomly. Yellow male butterflies showed

Editorial: Examining PETA's objections to sponge-wielding pachyderms

We admit to having mixed feelings about People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals reading the riot act to Wildlife Safari for the park's elephant car wash. On Oct. 22, PETA sent a letter to Dan Van Slyke, park executive director, urging him to immediately stop using elephants to "wash" visitors' cars at the Winston wild animal park. PETA's Lisa Wathne referred to Wildlife Safari's attraction as "a cheap thrill" for visitors, and a gimmick that does nothing to foster respect for an endangered species. Also worrisome to PETA were the devices held by trainers supervising the elephants. PETA calls the spiked rods "bullhooks" and describes them as circus-style coercion. Wildlife Safari calls them "guides" and says they are not used in an abusive way. PETA's letter cited concerns not only for the elephants faced with bullhooks, but also the humans within stomping range who could be harmed if the pachyderms were goaded into rebellion. The Winston park, Wathne wrote, should switch over to a so-called protected

Zoo group heading out to save frogs, save the world

A group from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo leaves for the jungles of Panama on Friday, seeking to rescue tiny frogs from a giant threat. The deadly chytrid fungus has decimated amphibian populations around the globe. The group of five will travel to a small section of Panamanian rainforest untouched by the fungus — though, like a well-coordinated military attack, the fungus is approaching the area from north and south. Bob Chastain, zoo president and CEO, will lead the group on the weeklong expedition, which will also include representatives from other organizations in the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a founding member of the project, formed in spring and made

Zoo staff rocked by baby cheetah's death

STAFF at Colchester Zoo have been left devastated by the sudden death of a hand reared cheetah cub. One-year-old Katavi was taken ill on Friday, October 30 after struggling to get up. The sudden onset of her illness led vets to suspect a trauma to the spine or her hind legs had taken place. Despite treating her with painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, X-rays revealed no fractures and so an MRI scan was arranged. The scan revealed an area of infection in the tissues surrounding the vertebrae in her neck. Katavi was given round the clock care

Zoo leading battle to save one of world's largest birds

A SOUTH Devon bird expert is leading part of an international project to help save the world's third largest bird. Paignton Zoo curator of birds Jo Gregson (pictured) is coordinating a DNA study to investigate the mysteries of the cassowary: a shy, tall, powerful, flightless forest bird of northern Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. It is believed only around 1,500 survive in the wild in Australia. The zoo has been keeping cassowaries for more than 30 years and has bred 17. Currently there are five birds in the collection, one of the largest groups in Europe. The zoo plays an important role in the conservation of the species and Jo Gregson is a founder member of the International Cassowary Recovery Team, which has been set up to coordinate conservation effort. She said: "No one has done much work on cassowaries since Sir Walter Rothschild in the 1890s. Back

Homecoming at Hamilton Zoo for tuatara

It has been a homecoming of sorts for four juvenile Stanley Island tuatara who arrived back at Hamilton Zoo last week after leaving the facility nine months ago as eggs. The eggs were laid in January by one of Hamilton Zoo's mature female tuatara, and were the first to be laid at the facility since 2001. Hamilton Zoo director Stephen Standley said the arrival of the eggs earlier this year was exciting for staff who had just about given up hope of seeing any more tuatara

Gnawing problem for golf course: A very eager beaver leaves a trail of destruction after escaping from wildlife park

A beaver which escaped from a zoo has exasperated greenkeepers at a top golf club after wreaking havoc on the fairway. The rogue rodent - called Mrs B - has gnawed through a centrepiece tree at the exclusive Hertfordshire Golf and Country Club in Broxbourne. The huge birch has been left significantly damaged after the sustained attack, but will not need to be felled


UCSC: Scientists propose 'genome zoo' of 10,000 vertebrate species
The University of California-Santa Cruz could someday house the world's largest zoo — holding not live animals, but the genetic codes of 10,000 different creatures, many of them exotic or extinct.
This ambitious quest, led by some of the nation's top geneticists and unveiled Wednesday morning, would cost $50 million and take a lifetime to achieve.
But the computer-based conservatory — called the Genome 10K Project — would transform biology, building a digital record of molecular triumphs and stumbles across 500 million years of evolutionary history.
Although currently just an unfunded proposal, the global database could eventually help humans by unraveling biological mysteries, such as why we live only eight decades while other creatures, such

Sloth bear dies after surgery
Male is third National Zoo animal to die in a month
The National Zoo's oldest male sloth bear, Merlin, died Wednesday after surgery to repair a partially twisted spleen. It was the zoo's third animal death in a month.
Zoo officials said Merlin had a history of gastric volvulus, or a twisted stomach. He had surgery after a routine physical Monday and initially seemed fine, officials said. But he had difficulty recovering from the anesthesia and began vomiting

Pittsburgh mutt nursing wild dogs at city zoo
A mutt from a city animal shelter is acting as a surrogate mother for nine African painted dogs born at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.
Dr. Stephanie James, the zoo's director of veterinary service, says the only other litter of wild dogs to be hand-raised in captivity was in the United Kingdom. The Pittsburgh zoo staff had to intervene in raising its pups because their mother died of a ruptured uterus shortly after delivering the litter last month.
Zoo officials found a mixed-breed mutt who recently

Bonaparte Says Topeka Zoo Review Will Start Soon
Topeka City Manager Norton Bonaparte says the American Zoo and Aquarium Association agreed to his request do an independent review of the Topeka Zoo.
It comes after recent inspections cited questionable care in several animal deaths.
At a news conference Wednesday, Bonaparte says it will be underway quickly. He says AZA representatives are expected in Topeka in a couple weeks.
Performance Management Coordinator Dennis Taylor is heading

507-Pound Man Dies After Refusing to Go to Zoo for X-Ray
A German man, who weighed 507 pounds and was too heavy to receive an X-ray at a clinic, has died of unknown causes, Agence France-Presse reported.
Thomas Lessman was told to go to the zoo for an X-ray because he was too heavy for machines designed for humans.
Complaining he was feeling ill and frequently losing consciousness, Lessmann, 51, went to a clinic in Eppendorf, near Hamburg, Germany He was referred to the nearby Hagenbeck Zoo for an X-ray, but refused to get one there.
"It sounded like they were trying to wind,2933,571571,00.html

Exclusive: £1m treasure hunter is safari park keeper
SAFARI park keeper David Booth was yesterday revealed as the man who found a £1million golden treasure trove.
Amateur treasure hunter David now stands to make a fortune from his discovery of four stunning 2000-year-old gold neckbands.
The trove, exclusively revealed in the Record yesterday, is thought to be Scotland's most valuable treasure ever.
David, 35, the assistant manager at Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling, is legally required to hand over his amazing metal-detector find to the authorities.
But it has become custom in Scotland for finders to receive a "reward" equal to the value

Hormone that affects finger length key to social behavior
The hormones, called androgens, are important in the development of masculine characteristics such as aggression and strength. It is also thought that prenatal androgens affect finger length during development in the womb. High levels of androgens, such as testosterone, increase the length of the fourth finger in comparison to the second finger. Scientists used finger ratios as an indicator of the levels of exposure to the hormone and compared this data with social behaviour in primate groups.
The team found that Old World monkeys, such as baboons and rhesus macaques, have a longer fourth finger in comparison to the second finger, which suggests that they have been exposed to high levels of prenatal androgens. These species tend to be highly competitive and promiscuous, which suggests that exposure to a lot of androgens before birth could be linked to the expression of this behaviour.
Other species, such as gibbons and many New World species, have digit ratios that suggest low levels of prenatal androgen exposure. These species were monogamous and less competitive than Old World monkeys.
The results show that Great Apes, such as orang-utans and chimpanzees, expressed a different finger ratio. The analysis suggests that early androgen exposure is lower in this groups compared to Old World monkeys. Lower androgen levels could help explain why Great Apes show high levels of male cooperation and tolerance.
Emma Nelson, from the University of Liverpool's School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, explains: "It is thought that prenatal androgens affect the genes responsible for the development of fingers, toes and the reproductive system. High

Man acquitted in zoo grizzly-grotto incident
A jury acquitted a mentally troubled man Tuesday of charges that he unlawfully disturbed two bears when he went into the San Francisco Zoo's grizzly grotto.
Kenneth Herron, 21, had been accused of trespassing and disturbing dangerous animals in the Sept. 26 incident, in which he sneaked into the home of two 6-year-old, 500-pound female grizzlies at closing time. One bear sniffed his shoe but fled after zoo officials fired a warning shot.
The acquittal came a day after Superior Court Judge Wallace Douglass tossed out the misdemeanor trespassing charge, ruling that Herron's brief stay in the

Bizarre baldness strikes female spectacled bears in Leipzig zoo
It's a tough time to be a spectacled bear at the zoo in Leipzig, Germany -- at least, it's a tough time to be a female spectacled bear. Veterinarians are struggling to determine why the zoo's female spectacled bears have suddenly lost nearly all their fur, which is typically shaggy for both females and males of their species. There has been speculation that a genetic defect could be responsible, but beyond the obvious hair loss and its accompanying itchiness, no other symptoms have been noted in the affected bears.
The U.K.'s Daily Mail reports that zoogoers have turned out in droves to see the bizarre, as-yet-unexplained sight of the balding bears. Dolores, above, and Lolita, another female, have retained tufts of fur around their faces and chests. Meanwhile, according to the Sun, keepers have contacted a number of other zoos worldwide to ask for advice on the bizarre malady.
Spectacled bears are native to South America and are sometimes

Baby echidnas make first appearance at Perth Zoo
TWO baby echidnas born at Perth Zoo have today made their first public appearance.
Echidnas are notoriously difficult to breed and only 13 have been born in captivity in Australia.
The newest additions, which were inspected and weighed by keepers this morning, have been named Moa and,21598,26304409-2761,00.html

Sir Bani Yas Island welcomes over 25,000 guests in its first year of operations
...The 41-square-kilometre park reflects a continuous wildlife rehabilitation and conservation initiative, providing an authentic environment for wild animals to roam freely and enjoy their natural habitat. As the largest breeding project in Arabia, the park is home to over 5,000 animals belonging to 23 species of animals of which some are indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula. These include the Arabian Oryx, Sand Gazelle and Mountain Gazelle, as well as other free-roaming predators and scavengers such as the cheetah and hyena which visitors might spot on game drives....

Israel Operates on Wounded Jordanian Eagle
A Jordanian citizen who struck an eagle with his truck, brought the bird to the Israeli border last week because he thought that Israelis would know how to treat it. The bird was taken to bird-watching center in Eilat, from which it was transferred to the wild-animal hospital of the Safari Park in Ramat Gan and the National Parks and Nature Authority.
It was discovered that the bird had been shot at some point in its life in addition to the truck incident

Hippos crowd Israel zoo
Israel is dealing with a unique problem - what to do with a surplus of hippos.
Israel's zoo has had a baby boom in the hippo department.
A high birthrate has boosted the hippo population to 40 - far more than the average zoo could handle.
Zookeepers say they reached a point where they could find nothing to do with so many of them.
So in recent months, 14 hippos have been shipped by air or sea to zoos in Russia, Turkey, Vietnam, even Kazakhstan.
They say Israel is suddenly the world's top

Footpath could be moved to make way for wildlife park
DEVELOPERS behind plans for the country's first National Wildlife Conservation Park (NWCP) have applied for permission to move a public right of way.
Last year Bristol Zoo submitted a detail planning application for the NWCP, which is planned to be built at the Hollywood Tower Estate at Compton Greenfield, near Almondsbury.
The plans included a number of ecosystems including Congo and Sumatra rainforest, Georgia wetlands, Tanzania savannah, Nepal grasslands, China montane forest, Costa Rica

BBC man killed by elephant 'saved kids'
A British tour guide trampled to death by an elephant last week threw himself in front the charging animal to save the lives of three children, a report claims.
Former army officer Anton Turner was filming a documentary for the BBC when he was attacked by the elephant at Tanzania's largest safari park, the Selous Game Reserve, on Friday.
According to Mr Turner's business partner, the outdoor expert died when he spotted the animal running towards three children from Britain who were travelling with the television crew.
"Anton knew the ropes better than

India faces health threats as vultures vanish
In the Holy scriptures of the Hindus, Jatayu the vulture tried to rescue Lord Ram's wife, Sita from the evil clutches of the demon Ravan.
Unfortunately for the valiant vulture, Ravan sliced off its wings and the bird bled to death but not before he had told Ram where Sita was and the lord was able to rescue her, setting the stage for celebrating India's biggest festival, the burning of Ravan's effigy during the festival

New zoo policy needed
IT is high time the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry took a real hard look at the more than 30 animal establishments be they zoos, mini-zoos, aviaries, bird parks or crocodile farms existing in almost every state in Malaysia. The Housing and Local Government Ministry too should adopt a similar approach as some state zoos fall under its management.
Both these ministries need to see the real zoo situation for themselves instead of focusing on just one major problematic and mismanaged zoo. Before thinking of transforming the National Zoo into a "world-class zoo," priorities should be placed on the many such establishments where conditions are mediocre.
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) has received a number of complaints from visitors regarding the incarceration of wildlife in small cages, dirty exhibits, and bored, listless and lethargic animals.
Understandably many of our zoos are only for people, not the animals. Some zoos spend thousands of ringgit building unsuitable enclosures and acquire exotic animals which are expensive to maintain.
There is obviously a lack of expert planning and management of zoos and a total lack of understanding of the particular needs of the animals in a zoo. Animals often end in suffering and death. Keeping wildlife captive in zoos only fosters the emergence of abnormal behavioural patterns.
In zoos, animals become mere spectacles and commercial commodities. In the case of petting zoos, animals are kept in small corralled areas where curious children harass them.
There are many examples of situations where humans come into close "hands-on" contact with animals kept specifically for human-animal interactions. Handling and feeding of animals by visitors are seldom supervised or controlled. The animals are not chosen for their suitability for handling, and many are subjected to suffering, distress or excessive disturbance. This is sheer cruelty!
There is an occurring incident where a tiger is forced

Going, going, gone? Two Philippine lizards near extinction
They are choice food and rare pets in the Philippines, and could soon become dead reptiles crawling - the equivalents of Sean Penn in the 1995 film, "Dead Man Walking," waiting for the end, not by lethal injection, but through direct extinction.
The first "death row" candidate, the Panay monitor lizard (scientific name: Varanus mabitang) was recently added by the Switzerland-based International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on its list of threatened species.
These lizards, commonly called "mabitang" that are endemic to Panay Island, sleep in tropical lowland rainforest trees and consume lots

Aquarium Releases Fifth Tagged Great White Shark Back Into Ocean
Staff at the Monterey Bay Aquarium released a young great white shark back into the wild early Wednesday morning, sending her into the Pacific Ocean with two tracking tags to communicate her whereabouts and other data that will help biologists better manage this threatened species.
The female shark - the aquarium only names animals when necessary for training or feeding purposes - is the fifth great white to be temporarily exhibited at the institution.
She was released shortly after sunrise near the southern tip of Monterey Bay, according to spokesman Ken Peterson. To start this process, staff members waited at the surface of the aquarium's Outer Bay exhibit with a net he described as "an oversized version of what you use to catch butterflies."
After a few attempts, the 5-foot-5-inch long shark was secured in the net and quickly transferred to "what amounts to a gurney filled with oxygenated sea water," Peterson said. Following some measurements, her next



Lion Man takes a mauling in Britain
British zoos have been warned off hosting "Lion Man" Craig Busch during his trip to the UK – designed to thank fans and generate funds for his legal battles over ownership of Zion wildlife park.
Busch arrived in England early this week, hoping to entertain fans at a series of leading British zoos.
But those plans were scuttled after the intervention of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums – the governing body of zoos and animal parks in the UK.
Biaza director Miranda Stevenson said, while her organisation hadn't banned Busch, it had made it clear to members that the Kiwi's view of conservation differed from what it stood for.
"They (zoo management) changed their mind after they had investigated more deeply into the messages that he was putting out," Stevenson told Sunday News from London.
"The truth of the matter is that we have no say over who our members invite.
"But the one thing that we will point out to them is to check whether the people they are having are promoting the same values as those of the association [Biaza]. And that is the only advice

Irwin attitudes sway restaurant tastes
Australia Zoo is accused of pressuring Sunshine Coast restaurants into removing native animal meat from their menus.
In recent weeks Caloundra's Rydges Oasis resort removed kangaroo and crocodile meals from its menu after it was suggested that Australia Zoo management opposed the consumption of native animal meat.
General manager of the resort Jo Acott said the decision was made with the zoo's attitude in mind, but said other factors had come into play.
"The issue was brought to our attention, however, that the zoo does not condone restaurants serving up the meat of native animals," Ms Ascott said.
An Australia Zoo spokeswoman said zoo management and staff staunchly opposed wildlife consumption and trade and urged people to refuse

Noah's Ark suspended by zoo welfare group
A Wraxall zoo farm at the centre of allegations it is breeding tigers and camels to be used in circuses has been temporarily stripped of its membership of the country's leading zoo welfare association.
The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (Biaza) has temporarily suspended Noah's Ark's membership while an investigation into the claims is carried out.
Noah's Ark can stay open to the public because its licence is controlled by North Somerset County Council.
The decision follows an investigation by the Captive Animals Protection Society (Caps) at the farm.
An undercover female investigator, who secured work at the zoo farm as a volunteer for two months during the summer, worked alongside staff where she claimed to have discovered that the zoo was breeding animals to be used in the Great British Circus owned by Martin Lacey.
The investigator also claimed the zoo was in breach of animal disposal regulations following the death of female Bengal tiger Tira earlier this year.
Caps claims that Tira, who died 10 days after the birth of three cubs, had her head and paws cut off, her skin removed and her body buried in the zoo grounds.
Caps, a registered charity, has reported its findings to various authorities, including North Somerset Council, and called for Noah's Ark owners Christina and Anthony Bush to have their zoo licence revoked.
Biaza has strict guidelines for its members to adhere to and, if a breach is found, zoos can be stripped

Plan hatched to save world's rarest duck from extinction
NATURALISTS have been handed a second chance to save the world's rarest duck from extinction.
And they have called on the help of North East expert Owen Joiner who is preparing to jet out to Madagascar to help pull the birds back from the brink.
Owen, 33, is head birdkeeper at Washington Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and has been involved in running breeding programmes for endangered species at the site on the banks of the River Wear.
For the last 30 years, it was thought that the Madagascar Pochard duck was already extinct. But then biologists discovered around 20 of the birds on a small, remote lake.
The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Peregrine Fund and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

Zoo tries to get rhinos in the mood
Pittsburgh Zoo visitors could see some hot and very heavy action in the rhino yard in coming days as black rhinoceroses meet and mate for the first time.
The coupling, if it occurs, will involve Azzizi, a 10-year-old female born at the Cleveland Zoo, and 14-year-old Jomo, who was born at the San Diego Zoo and came to Pittsburgh when he was a year old.
Barbara Baker, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium president and chief operating officer, held a news conference outside the rhino yard today to alert zoo visitors that they could be witness to some rough but "entertaining" animal sex.
"When in the mood," Dr. Baker said, "rhinos are very aggressive toward one another. They will roar, chase

Polar bear plus grizzly equals?
Scientists can now answer the question, following the first study of a polar bear/grizzly bear hybrid.
Only one hybrid bear has ever been seen in the wild, so the study evaluated two hybrid bears kept in captivity, which are among 17 such bears known to exist.
While each hybrid has inherited characteristics from either parent, some traits, such as partially hollow hair, appear to be a blend of the two.
"Hybrids between polar and brown bears in the wild are very rare. Only one confirmed case is known," says Dr Ute Magiera, the conservation coordinator of Osnabruck Zoo in Germany.
That hybrid bear was shot in April 2006 by an American big game hunter on Banks Island, Northwest Territories, Canada.
However, a small number of hybrid bears do exist in zoos in the Czech Republic, Israel, Russia, Spain, Poland and Germany as a result of grizzly bears, a subspecies of brown bear, and polar bears being held in the same enclosures.
At Osnabruck Zoo, for example, both species were kept together since 1980, producing

Pass the bamboo: Cleveland Zoo puts 2 gorillas on biscuit-free diet with more greens
A new diet initiative in Ohio includes bamboo fronds and ficus branches.
It's a Cleveland Zoo effort to give two Western lowland gorillas a healthier menu free of processed biscuits.
The gorillas were diagnosed with heart disease, and the zoo says a diet favoring greenery provides more fiber and less sugar.
The diet includes dandelion greens, endive and romaine lettuce, the leaves and bark of ficus branches, and bamboo fronds.
The greens are scattered about the gorillas' enclosure, which,0,2948164.story

Rescued pangolins transferred to Cuc Phuong National Park Rescue Centre
On the 22nd of October two confiscated Sunda Pangolins (Manis javanica) were transferred to the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program (CPCP) of the Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre, Cuc Phuong National Park, Ninh Binh. These animals had been confiscated by the Forest Protection Department of Ha Nam from a bus on highway 1A at Thanh Liem district, Ha Nam Province.
"The pangolins are currently in the CPCP's quarantine area where they will be carefully monitored for the next 30 days before being moved to longer term enclosures. While one of the pangolins is

What is an animal worth?
Lord Bates to ask Her Majesty's Government whether the number of animals kept in a zoo or safari park is a material consideration by the Valuation Office Agency when rating a zoo hereditament for the 2010 business rates revaluation; whether the type of animals kept is a material consideration; and whether there is a tariff for different types of animal. HL6075

Toronto Zoo defies city directive to cut budget
After being instructed to chop their budget by 5 per cent by Toronto's city manager, directors of the Toronto Zoo dug in their heelsThursday and voted instead to increase it by 3.2 per cent.
Saying their job is to be advocates for the zoo, they openly defied the directive to all city agencies, issued only last week by city manager Joe Pennachetti, to slash their budgets by 5 per cent.
Councillor Paul Ainslie – a member of the city's budget committee – moved to hold the zoo budget at last year's level – meaning a city grant of $11,677,000.
Other directors took that a step further, voting to add $373,000.
"We have a moral obligation to those animals locked in their cages to give them the best care possible," said Councillor Glenn de Baeremaeker in supporting the plan.
Ainslie said that in past cost-cutting campaigns in the city, agencies that offered up spending cuts took a heavy hit while those who refused

AGO asked to accomplish Medan zoo
Medan regional representatives asked the Attorney General Office (Kejagung) to immediately clear Medan zoo issue which have been officially confiscated by Kejagung regarding the trade-off case that considered inflicting state financial loss of 36 billion rupiahs.
"We ask that the Attorney General's office to immediately resolve this problem correctly, transparent, fair and not be prolonged," said the deputy chairman of Medan House Speaker Ikrimah Hamidy to Waspada Online Thursday (Oct. 29). He said the problem was effecting Pemko Medan, although the KBM is no longer be the asset of Pemko Medan, but it could returned to them if the third party was found guilty by Kejagung.
According to Ikrimah this case has a great effect to the land, there

Why zoo keeper stalled
IN HIS seven years with a 'licence to kill', Singapore Zoo head keeper K. Selvan never had to shoot an animal.
The 49-year-old, who is among the 16 trained shooters at the zoo, thought he would have to, on Nov 13 last year, after being alerted to the incident at the white tiger enclosure. Mr Selvan went to the zoo's armoury to take out a double-barrel shotgun with 20 rounds. But he never had to use the weapon.
The zoo veteran of 22 years took the stand at the coroner's court to explain the role of the shooters at the inquiry into the fatal mauling of cleaner Nordin Montong, 32, that day.
Mr Selvan said the victim and three tigers were blocked from his view when he arrived at the scene.
Even if he could see the cats, he would not have been able to fire as there were keepers in the vicinity. 'The animals also cannot be too near the victim,' he said, because of the

Fighting among corals a concern for aquarium
Fighting among corals has been a concern for Napier's National Aquarium as it arranges a new exhibit.
"A coral can kill its neighbour by stinging it or preventing it from feeding," aquarium manager Rob Yarrall said yesterday.
"It's not a fight you'd sit and watch, but you can see them gently extending their stingers.
"Every time a coral puts its feelers out to filter the water for food, its neighbour could sting it. It retracts its feelers – but then it's not eating and it can starve to death."
Mr Yarrall is confident the aquarium has solved the problem in its new display, which opens next Wednesday, by separating the species that are likely to fight one another.
The collection, valued at $10,000, includes some rare species and was given to the aquarium by Invercargill collector Clif Carson.
The colourful corals – creams, yellows, blues and greens are among the hundred different pieces – are being arranged in a three-metre-long tank fitted with a mixture of real and artificial rocks to create a terraced reef.
Another problem in organising the display is that different

Las Vegas Zoo Getting Some Help
The Las Vegas Zoo is getting some much-needed financial help for a renovation. The San Diego Zoo has donated $15,000 to start the remodeling process for one animal habitat.
The money will either help the Barbary Ape or the Desert Tortoise.
Zoo officials say while the donation is a great start, it will cost nearly $50,000 to finish the project. The zoo says they will need private funds to finish the new habitat and keep the zoo alive.
"Space is limited here, but they kind of seem like

Details of zoo cleaner's death
MINUTES before cleaner Nordin Montong was mauled to death by two white tigers, he told colleagues at the zoo that they would not see him again.
Carrying a broom and a pail, the 32-year-old Malaysian then leapt into the tiger enclosure.
Details of his tragic death were revealed in the coroner's inquiry on Thursday.
Two videos filmed by zoo visitors were also shown.
State Coroner Victor Yeo had heard earlier from senior investigation officer of the police Yusry Muhamad

AA Gill shot baboon 'to see what it would be like to kill someone'
Animal welfare groups voiced outrage today after the restaurant critic AA Gill said he shot a baboon on safari "to get a sense of what it might be like to kill someone".
In a Sunday Times column, Gill recounted in detail how he shot the creature from 250 yards while hunting in "a truck full of guns and other blokes" in Tanzania. He said he felt the urge to be "a recreational primate killer" before shooting the animal through the lung.
"This is morally completely indefensible," said Steve Taylor, a spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports. "If he wants to know what it like to shoot a human, he should take aim at his own leg. When man interacts with animals he owes a duty of care. If you are killing to eat, that is a different matter. This is killing for fun".
Gill wrote: "I took him just below the armpit. He slumped and slid sideways. I'm told they can be tricky to shoot: they run up trees, hang on for grim life. They die hard, baboons. But not this one. A soft-nosed .357 blew his lungs out."
Claire Bass, wildlife manager at

I also shot a baboon. Different take though.

Collier agrees to renegotiate lease to reduce Naples Zoo's costs
In the name of fairness, Collier County commissioners have agreed to renegotiate a lease with the Naples Zoo.The commission voted 3-2 to reduce the rent because it's so expensive.Commissioners Frank Halas and Jim Coletta opposed the change, citing concerns about losing more money when county government already is facing a tight budget."I sure as heck don't want to keep shoveling money out the door," Halas said.The nonprofit zoo off Goodlette-Frank

NC Zoo To Kick-Off $2 Million Project Polar Bear Campaign
The NC Zoological Society will announce the kick-off of its $2 million "Project: Polar Bears" fund-raising campaign.The campaign is for private support of a $4.7 million expansion of the polar bear exhibit and holding facilities at the

Should we support anti-zoo campaign?
I AM at a crossroads between supporting and opposing Peta's anti-zoo campaign and more so of Malaysian celebrity Amber Chia's stamp of approval to do a charity bit for its promotional campaign: "Amber stripes down for Peta's anti-zoo campaign" (Sunday Star, Oct 25).We have heard of save-the-animal-skin campaign, anti-poachers campaign and all those rallies against cruelty to animal but an anti-zoo campaign? It seems to strike a different chord altogether.Zoo has been an integral part and an attraction of every city of the world. It is a quick form of knowing and learning the various types of animals and its species of a location. It has been a family getaway and a place that is the closest one can get to a forest, or the wilds, or even the ocean. It is nature's fauna in captivity, where we learn that the last letter of the alphabet "Z" is for Zoo, when we are toddlers.In some countries like Singapore where the forest is scarce, not to mention its small size, the zoo is big in size and the animals have bigger space and more freedom. As such, it is a runaway success as a tourist attraction.But in some and many other countries, zoos are small and, worse still, they look like animal prisons. All this is because they are lacking in funds and, because of its poor conditions, visitors are few.And now Peta, which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has launched a campaign urging

Topeka Zoo has been here before
The Topeka Zoo is in familiar territory.Regulatory problems, public outcry and a city-initiated review. That was the case in 2002. That was true in 2005. And that is happening now after city manager Norton Bonaparte on Thursday called for an independent look at the zoo.But what the two previous reviews mean for the zoo's current situation depends on who is asked. Some say the reviews had little effect on zoo operations and want further action similar to the departure Thursday of the zoo's veterinarian."A review panel is good, but we've been there before," said City Councilman John Alcala, who pushed for the 2005 process. "I think there needs to be a reorganization of personnel."Others say misdirected blame at zoo leadership is taking away from the real problem."I think they ought to look at funding instead of trying to get (zoo director) Mike Coker fired," said Frank Chaffin, a member of

Chahinkapa Zoo receives $1 million
Alfred "Bud" Boehning loved peacocks. One day, many years ago, as former Wahpeton Parks Superintendent Wendell Langendorfer drove past Boehing's farm by Geneseo, he stopped to behold a stunning sight — Boehning's roof was covered in peafowl."Wendell said the zoo needed some more peafowl so he pulled into Mr. Boehning's driveway and asked if he would sell some of them," said Kathy Diekman, Chahinkapa Zoo director.Boehing died in January 2008. As a bachelor he left part of his estate to a niece and great-niece, and some friends. The rest he bequeathed to Chahinkapa Zoo — all $1,094

Kanpur zoo to propose leopard rescue centre
With a view to rehabilitate the leopards who have been forced to leave their habitat due to the fast depleting forest cover in the state, the Kanpur zoo authorities will soon send a proposal to the Central Zoo Authority CZA) for establishing a rescue centre at Kanpur zoo, which will be one of its kind in the state. It is to be noted here that due to increased human interference, shortage of feed, climate change, delayed monsoons and lack of drinking water, the forests are no longer the comfortable and safer zones for the wild animals. As a result, leopards, tigers, hyena and other wild animals have left forests in the past and surveys say the trend is still continuing. Thus, there are many more

Tiger, leopard parts prices in China markets have doubled
A day after India and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding on environment and climate change, including management of forests, a new investigation has revealed that skins and other body parts of Indian wild tigers and leopards are being sold openly in China and at much higher prices than before. The investigation carried out by an international NGO, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), states that the prices of tiger and leopard parts in Chinese markets have doubled since 2005: tiger skins are selling for 11,660-21,860 dollars, leopard skins for 1,020-2,770 dollars. During the investigation,

Vietnamese urge Koreans not to travel for bear bile
Some Koreans have a seemingly endless appetite for products that promise to boost their health or sexual prowess, prompting them to eat food items that would seem unconventional by Western standards. One such product is bear bile, known in Asia for its medicinal properties. To get it, a significant number of Koreans are traveling to bear bile farms in Vietnam, where they can buy bile extracted from moon bears raised in cages. The problem is that many of these Korean travelers are unaware that such activities are illegal in Vietnam.These days, the sale and transport of bear bile has grown to such an extent that one Vietnamese lawmaker is currently taking

Rare puaiohi released into Alaka`i Swamp
Huge human steps are traveling a long distance to preserve from extinction a small, native Kaua`i bird.A dozen more captive-raised puaiohi (Myadestes palmeri), also known as the small Kaua`i thrush or Palmer's thrush, were released into the Alaka`i Wilderness Area last week. The endemic and endangered species is known to live only in the Alaka`i Swamp area of Kaua`i above elevations of 3,500 feet.Adult birds are seven inches in length, dark brown on top, gray on the bottom, with pinkish legs. They have short tails and slender and dark bills, feed on fruit and insects, and prefer the dense understory of gulches. Their sound is like water gurgling.Last week's release marked the 10th year of a multi-agency effort designed to reverse the trend

Fresno zoo leaps to rescue imperiled frog
After raging forest fires burned thousands of mountain acres this summer in Southern California, the search was on for tiny tadpole survivors.Because the population of mountain yellow-legged frogs already is depleted in California, scientists worried that their numbers would shrink even further when silt and mud flowed into lakes and streams in the Station Fire burn area of the San Gabriel Mountains east of Los Angeles.So 106 tadpoles were plucked out of a fire-ravaged stream and sent to their new temporary home: Fresno Chaffee Zoo. The

Las Vegas Zoo Getting Some Help
The Las Vegas Zoo is getting some much-needed financial help for a renovation. The San Diego Zoo has donated $15,000 to start the remodeling process for one animal habitat.
The money will either help the Barbary Ape or the Desert Tortoise.
Zoo officials say while the donation is a great start, it will cost nearly $50,000 to finish the project. The zoo says they will need private funds to finish the new habitat and keep the zoo alive.
"Space is limited here, but they kind of seem like

Badgers doing better than expected in Norfolk
The badger, the nocturnal, elusive, animal believed to number a mere 200 in Ontario, is thriving much better in Norfolk County than previously thought, a team of researchers from Trent University found this summer.
For four months, the burrows where the animals live were carefully watched by the team. Infrared night cameras were set up to record the badgers' comings and goings.
Hair samples were picked up and studied in a lab while a live badger, a mature female, was captured. A radio-tracking device was put in its abdomen and it was released and followed.
Norfolk County is believed to be the area where most of the province's remaining badgers live. The reason for this, the team now believes, has less to do with its sandy soil, which the animal can easily burrow into, and more to do with the area's farming landscape.
"Badgers and agriculture probably have a lot more in common than we realized," said Joshua Sayers, a biologist with the university who spent the summer


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