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Zoo News Digest
Nov-Dec 2012


Malabon zoo adds 50 snakes to collection
In anticipation of the Year of the Water Snake in 2013, Malabon Zoo has added 50 snakes to its collection.

Malabon Zoo head Manny Tangco said people can expect a good year as the Year of the Water Snake will bring food to their tables.

He also appealed to the public not to harm snakes as these reptiles help ensure balance in the ecosystem.

Snakes often feed on rats and mice which damage

Investigators fear Big Cats could be dying out in Scotland 
DESPITE 70 sightings of Big Cats being reported in Scotland, the total amount of incidents is down by almost half from 2011.
BIG cat investigators fear the elusive creatures could be dying out in Scotland after sightings plummeted to their lowest in 25 years.
Around 70 reports have been made to Big Cats in Britain’s Scots-based team this year – almost half the number in 2011.
One witness claimed to have seen a hissing, 4ft-long panther on his garden bench in Irvine, Ayrshire, last month.
And a stunned mum said she feared for her children’s safety after spotting another beast while jogging on an estate near Ellie, Fife, in January.
But despite the Fife and Moray areas being this year’s hot-spots, the total amount of reports are well down.
Mark Fraser, of Big Cats in Britain, said he was puzzled as to why the number of incidents – which are based on visual sightings, paw prints, sounds and evidence of devoured animal carcasses – had dropped.
But he said: “Unless they are breeding, they are going to die out. We do get evidence of cubs but there is

How Ringling Bros. Keeps Walking the Legal Tightrope on Elephant Abuse
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) settled a protracted case related to elephant abuse with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey today, agreeing to pay the circus' parent company $9.3 million. But even with this victory for Ringling Bros., evidence of three-ringed animal cruelty continues to mount. 

This case started way back in July of 2000, when the ASPCA and other animal rights advocates filed a complaint alleging that Ringling Bros. used hooks and chains on elephants in violation of the Endangered Species Act. Their case fell apart when lawyers discovered that a key witness—former Ringling Bros. elephant handler Tom Rider—had received over $190,000 by the ASPCA and other litigants. In 2009, the court decided in favor of Ringling Bros., and today the ASPCA settled with Ringling Bros. over charges of litigation abuse. The circus' owners, Feld Entertainment, are still going after a handful of other animal rights organizations. Feld's CEO Kenneth Feld

Farglory Ocean Park successfully hatches nautilus
The Farglory Ocean Park in Hualien has become the first in the country to hatch the ancient marine animal the nautilus, which is said to have an average survival rate of less than one in 1,000 after hatching.
The park said that because the incubation period of the nautilus is more than 365 days and there are still a number of unsolved mysteries about it, observers from the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, the National Dong Hwa University and Japan’s Toba Aquarium have been sent to the park to study the animal.
Farglory Ocean Park chief executive officer Wu Fang-rong (???) said the nautilus has long been a mystery and the first operational nuclear-powered submarine used by the US in the 1950s was also named the Nautilus.
The submarine mimicked the way the nautilus floats and sinks in the water, he said, adding that while most shellfish or snails have asymmetrical, spiral shells and no chambered sections, the nautilus’ spiral shell is symmetrical and there is a small tube connecting the chambered sections, but it is a mystery how the animal evolved to have such a bod

Wild Cats in Zoos
More than 70 animal advocates protested in front of the Beijing Zoo, demanding an investigation into the deaths of two stray cats living in the zoo, where volunteers are trying to establish a cat sanctuary. The protest is the latest in a cat-and-mouse game between cat lovers, who have been building shelters for the stray animals, and zoo officials, who have been knocking them down, blaming them for destroying the zoo's environment and claiming the cats could spread contagious diseases among the other animals. In October, the

More than 400 zoological institutions are working together to enhance wildlife conservation

Prominent zoos and aquariums worldwide now use the Internet to collect and 
share real-time information that could lead to the survival of vulnerable species

Eagan, Minnesota, USA (November 6, 2012) – Today, more than 400 zoos and aquariums across the globe are using an integrated, web-based application to assure the health and well-being of their animal collections. The ISIS Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) application allows members of the International Species Information System (ISIS) to contribute to – and learn from – the largest online global database of zoological information ever assembled. 

Built over the last 40 years, the vast ZIMS knowledgebase will be used by the zoological community, researchers and others to ensure the survival of numerous species that are threatened with extinction. Zoos and aquariums have already become leaders in the effort to breed endangered animals, and to educate an estimated 700 million visitors each year about the magnificent and fragile interrelationships between humans, wildlife and environments. 

Through zoos and aquariums the European bison (Bison bonasus), Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx) and Przewalski's wild horse (Equus przewalski) have been rescued from extinction, and there are programs in place to help many more vulnerable species. (See success stories at 

“ISIS represents an unprecedented effort to unite the global wildlife conservation community,” said David Field, Zoological Director of the Zoological Society of London and ISIS Board Chair. “Brought together by common goals and needs, many ISIS members are among the world’s leaders in protecting and nurturing animals in human care, and in our natural environment.”

ISIS is a technology-based, conservation-focused organization that leverages available technology to help zoological organizations achieve sustainability and preservation goals. Today, more than 800 institutions in 83 countries are a part of ISIS. And the network is constantly growing.

“ISIS is one of the few non-profits in the world that develops software. We have chosen to do it for one simple reason: it’s the best tool we could create to help our members preserve endangered and threatened animal species worldwide,” said Roger Stonecipher, ISIS CEO.  “For almost 40 years, ISIS systems have evolved through the direct input of our members.”

To view a complete list of ISIS members who use the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) application, see the ISIS website

Many zoological organizations join ISIS so that they can observe best practices and data standards for their animal information.  As part of a global consortium, ISIS members are forging a new path in collaborating and sharing information on more than 2.8 million animals – many endangered or threatened species. 

The ZIMS application is not the first software created for this purpose. Since 1974, ISIS has created various software packages. ISIS software has long been recognized as the world-standard best practice for zoological record-keeping by international regulatory bodies like CITES. The latest ZIMS application is an evolution of previous ISIS software; it is comprehensive, integrated, real-time and created specifically for our members’ uses.

About ISIS
ISIS provides the world-standard in zoological data collection and sharing software to more than 800 member zoos, aquariums and related conservation organization in more than 80 countries. The ISIS global database contains information on 2.8 million animals – 10,000 species – and is constantly growing. ISIS serves as a centre for cooperative development of zoological software for in-facility use.

Trained Bear Handler Mauled to Death
Investigators say 24-year-old Benjamin Cloutier, a trained bear handler, was an employee of "Animals of Montana," a wildlife park near Bozeman.
He reportedly was cleaning the pen of two captured brown bears before one of them attacked.

That bear had to be put down to recover the victim's body.
An "Animals of Montana" trainer says "Griz" the bear, believed to have mauled the 24-year-old, was one of his favorite animals.
The Gallatin county sheriff says, nothing was heard at the time of the accident, and the

£200,000 statue to honour Edinburgh Zoo bear that fought the Nazis 
SIX foot Private Wojtek was the pride of the Polish infantry before he retired to Edinburgh Zoo - now the city is preparing to mark the 50th anniversary of his death.
A BEAR that fought the Nazis before seeing out the rest of its days in Edinburgh Zoo is set to be immortalised by a statue in the city.
The 6ft Syrian bear was known as Private Wojtek and was the pride of the Polish infantry.
An orphan, Wojtek was reared by soldiers and he helped them in their struggle against the Nazis by carrying boxes of shells.
And like many of his human comrades, Wojtek was known to drink beer and smoke cigarettes.
Now, a huge bronze cast of the bear – expected to cost £200,000 – is set to be placed in Princes Street Gardens next year to mark the 50th anniversary of his death.
The sculpture, by Alan Heriot, will be the centrepiece of a campaign by the Wojtek Memorial Trust to highlight the story.
Aileen Orr, author of Wojtek The Bear: Polish War Hero, said: “This is one of the classic stories of World War II. You don’t have to embellish it because the story itself is incredibly exciting and sad.”
Wojtek – meaning “smiling warrior” – was

Chillingham cattle: rarer than the giant panda
From a safe distance, perhaps 200 yards, they resemble sheep. But focus your binoculars on those shaggy white coats and you’re swept back 800 years to a time when the distant ancestors of these animals grazed these same hills. As we approach, the more curious bulls – no sheep here – trot towards us, bumping up against each other, pawing the ground. They are breathtakingly beautiful, with mottled white, scraggy faces and red, fox-like ears. They are Chillingham cattle, the oldest-known breed of cattle in the world.

You’ll find the herd – 93 animals – in open parkland in north Northumberland, south-west of Berwick and above Chillingham village, with its 12th-century castle. “These are the last remnants of wild cattle; you can’t see this anywhere else in the world,” said Richard Marsh, the park warden from the charitable Chillingham Wild Cattle Association, which owns the herd. “This is a unique experience. They are rarer than the giant panda.”

The cattle graze in the thrilling shadow of the Cheviots, and beyond that the Firth of Forth. Amid the undulating hills, medieval alders dip their branches in streams while holly, crabapple and hawthorn punctuate the fields and valleys. Echoing across this landscape are the mournful grunts of the Chillinghams, a primordial, unnerving hooting that reverberates straight from the reign of Henry III.

Arabian Zoo and Aquarium Association formed following meeting of regional zoos and aquariums in Al Ain
Following the Arab region's first zoo and aquarium meeting, Al Ain Zoo today announced the unanimous agreement by delegates from the UAE, Qatar, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and Bahrain to establish the 'Arabian Zoo and Aquarium Association' (AZAA).
The agreement was made in the presence of Dr. Gerald Dick, Executive Director of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
AZAA will facilitate communication, collaboration and cooperation among members with regular engagement with national institutions.
Al Ain Zoo will continue to play a principal role, providing office space and allocating staff time to coordinate regional communication and to form a working group of members to proceed with the development of mandate, membership criteria and guidelines.

Q and A: Irus Braverman, author of Zooland: The Institution of Captivity
Irus Braverman didn’t grow up visiting zoos. Braverman’s first zoo experience wasn’t until adulthood, when her
daughter dragged her to the Buffalo Zoo. An associate professor of law at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Braverman found herself flooded with questions. But mainly, she wondered, how does this work?

In her new book, Zooland: The Institution of Captivity, Braverman explores the evolution of zoos, debates between pro- and anti-zoo advocates and the ‘performance’ of zoos. Below are excerpts from our recent interview.

How did you come to write a book about zoos?

It didn’t just come to me as an idea for a book. It was a lengthy process. I grew up in Jerusalem. Where I grew up, the zoo wasn’t as much of a strong institution as it is today in the United States. I don’t have any memories from my childhood of zoos. For me, when my older daughter was old enough to drag me to the Buffalo Zoo, it was my first encounter with a zoo. I came to it [with thoughts like], “What is this?” and “Why are so many people standing in line?” and “Why are we looking at the animals?” The emotions were pretty strong. It’s fascinating to see these animals, but there are feelings of “Why are we staring at them?” Everything

24 mammals added to threatened fauna
TWO dozen mammals have been added to the Philippines’ official list of threatened species, the environmental group Pilipinas Ecowarriors said on Saturday.

The group’s convenor, former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, identified the 24 species of threatened mammals as the Palawan flying fox, Isarog shrew mouse, binturong, Dinagat hairy-tailed rat, Dinagat hairy-tailed cloud rat, Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat, Ilin hairy-tailed cloud rat, bushy-tailed cloud rat, flying lemur, Philippine tube-nosed fruit bat, Southern Luzon giant cloud rat, Dinagat gymnure, wooly flying fox, grey flying fox, small flying fox, white-winged fruit bat, little golden-mantled flying fox, bearded pig, Visayan warty pig, Philippine warty pig, and the Calamian treeshrew.

Three other little-known mammals without common names – the Haplonycteris species A from Sibuyan Island, the Pteropus species A from Mindoro, and the Subspecies A from Sulu—were also added to the red list.

Trained sardines pack them in at Marine World
Trained dolphins, seals and killer whales are daily attractions at most sea parks and aquariums around the world. But trained sardines?
At Marine World Umino-Nakamichi, divers are entering the water each day to feed a school of about 10,000 tamed Japanese sardines, or maiwashi. Illuminated by the blue light of the aquarium, the sardines are shining swirls of silver as they dash about the upper levels of the tank with the diver.
In Japan, it is rare for divers to be able to do so, the aquarium said, adding that it took two months for the fish to be tamed. At first, the sardines were fleeing from divers when they entered the

‘Yak insurance’ plan saves Nepal’s snow leopard
The remorse felt by Himali Chungda Sherpa after he killed three snow leopard cubs in retaliation for his lost cattle inspired him to set up a scheme to prevent other herders from doing the same.
Sherpa lost his cattle near Ghunsa village at the base of Mount Kangchenjunga on the Nepal-India border, later finding their remains in a cave beside three sleeping snow leopard cubs. The Nepalese herder put the cubs in a sack and threw them into the river, finding their bodies the next day.
“From that night onwards the mother snow leopard started crying from the mountain for her cubs, and my cattle were crying for the loss of their calves.
“I realised how big a sin I had committed and promised myself that I would never do such a thing in the future.” Four years ago Sherpa, 48, founded with other locals an insurance plan for livestock that conservationists say is deterring herders from killing snow leopards that attack their animals.
In doing so the scheme has given hope for the endangered cat, whose numbers across the mountains of 12 countries in south and central Asia are thought to have declined by 20 per cent over the past 16 years.
Under the scheme, herders pay in 55 rupees ($1.50) a year for each of their hairy yaks, the vital pack animal that is also kept for milk and meat, and are paid 2,500 rupees

Tiger deaths reach all-time high of 88
India saw a sharp increase in tiger deaths, which reached an all-time high of 88 tigers dead in 2012, according to data released by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

This is the highest number of fatalities in one year, overtaking the 71 tiger deaths in 2011.
 Mortality rates have been unusually high in Corbett National Park and Tadoba Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra. Overall, a large number of tiger deaths have been reported from the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka and can be attributed to increased poaching. Both Maharashtra and Karnataka recorded 14 tiger deaths each while Uttarakhand reported 12 deaths followed by Madhya Pradesh with eight deaths while 28 tigers died due to natural causes.
 The last all-India tiger population estimation in 2010 had placed the number of tigers at 1,636. Wildlife conservationist Belinda Wright blames government apathy. “Wildlife crime has become a lucrative business which provides high motivation to poachers. Unfortunately, ground-level protection is not able to match the skills and ruthlessness of these tiger-poaching gangs.”
 Expressing concern, tiger biologist Ullas Karanth has called for the implementation of “a solid system of monitoring of tiger populations across our states”. “The NTCA has put a Phase 4 monitoring protocol in place. While some states are following it, others are laggards

Illegal Ivory Trade
Most of the illegal ivory seized in large-scale shipments in the past three years originated in Kenya and Tanzania. The shipments were primarily bound for markets in China.

Rare Turtles Hatched At Bronx Zoo 
There are some new and very rare additions to the Bronx Zoo.

Five Chinese yellow-headed box turtles — considered to be one of the 25 most endangered turtles in the world – were hatched at the zoo’s Reptile House.

There are fewer than 150 Chinese yellow-headed box turtles left in the wild, which is why the zoo’s work is so important.

“The success we are seeing in the early stages of this program is encouraging,” Bronx Zoo director Jim Breheny said in a statement. “Over time, we hope to expand our turtle propagation work to extend to many of the most endangered species of turtles

Chimps day out: Pair jumps out of enclosures in city zoo
Monday, Lucknow zoo's weekly off, proved fortunate as had visitors including children been around, tragedy would have struck. Chimpanzees came out of their enclosures and put zoo staff on their toes for more than an hour, before they could be pushed back into their cages after being tranquilised.

The chimpanzees, Jason and Nikita, are in cages located right at the centre of the zoo premises. On Monday, the two swung on the branch of a babool tree and came out of their cage.

While the female was lured back into the enclosure by the zoo staff, the male had to be tranquilised. Jason, the male, is slightly aggressive in nature and it took zoo officers and staff about half an hour before they could control the animal.

The zoo officers agreed the incident could have been dangerous

Over 300,000 visit Sharjah desert park
The Desert Park of the Environment and Natural Reserves in Sharjah had attracted around 300,000 visitors in 2012.
Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Chairman of the Environment and Natural Reserves in Sharjah, said the visitors included some 195,000 at the Arabian Peninsula Animals Centre, and about 73,000 at the Natural History and Botanical Museums and 96,000 visitors at the Children’s Farm.
Al Suwaidi attributed the big number of visitors to the diverse workshops and activities the Desert Park organises on a regular basis. “The easily accessible Desert Park, located 28km off Sharjah city on Al Dhaid Road (Interchange-9), comprises several eateries, cafes, apart from the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife.” 

The park covers an area of one square kilometre and offers three venues in one with the Sharjah Natural History Museum and Botanical Museum, Arabia’s Wildlife Centre and the Children’s Farm. The Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife is also located at the park and is an impressive research and breeding facility, but not open to the public.

“The park is definitely one of the most popular and highly recommended attractions in the UAE,” Al Suwaidi said, adding that school and group visits are welcome but advance booking is required.

Elaborating, Al Suwaidi said not only does the Wildlife Centre house the world’s largest collection of Arabian wildlife but it is also the only zoological park in the Middle East to be completely indoors, making it perfect for a day out, regardless of the weather.

Nainital Zoo authorities provide food supplements, medicine to keep animals warm
With temperatures plummeting, authorities at the Nainital Zoo are providing food supplements and medicines to the animals to keep them warm during the winter.
The diet of the animals includes honey, eggs and other food items, which would help to keep the animals warm.
Speaking to the reporters, the zoo's director, Parag Madhukar, said the all-possible steps are being taken to protect the animals from the harsh winter.
"We are providing them with food supplements by mixing them in the food items. Other medicines, which we are giving them comprise mainly of B Complex, which keep their body warm. So, by providing the animals with medicines and other food supplements, we are trying to ensure that they are able to beat the harsh winters as the temperatures falls below minus degrees. So, we are trying to create a conducive atmosphere for the animals," said Madhukar.
During the winter, authorities at the zoo normally provide heaters and blowers around the enclosures to keep the animals warm.
This time, they are resorting to a new method of feeding

Stiff Drink Saves a Pair of Freezing Elephants in Siberia
Using a similar philosophy as to what many have said might have helped save some Titanic survivors — liquor — two elephants were reportedly rescued with a similar means.

Emergency ministry spokesman Alexander Davydov said Friday, according to the Associated Press, that the elephants part of the Polish circus were in a trailer that caught fire Thursday outside the city of Novosibirsk, forcing trainers to take them out into the bitter cold before another truck arrived to deliver them to a warm gym at a local community college.

The two animals age 45 and 48 drank 2.6 gallons of vodka diluted in warm water. Later, a veterinarian said only the tips of their ears were frostbitten.

Although scientists say that

NY salamander restoration project marks milestone
Biologists report a milestone in the Department of Environmental Conservation's "Hellbender Headstart" program.
 The program aims to save a giant species of salamanders — called hellbenders — from extinction. Last month, a captive-raised hellbender named "Audrey" was one of the first to be recaptured in the wild.
 According to DEC, Audrey appeared to be doing well, weighing nearly 40 grams more than on her release in July.
 Beginning in 2009, just over 400 young hellbenders were raised at the Buffalo Zoo as part of DEC's effort to revitalize dwindling New York populations. To date, 146 juveniles have been released into the Allegany River watershed, with the rest to be released in 2013.
The aquatic creatures are

Animal exports slammed
The Zimbabwe government has come under renewed attack after it exported four elephants to China.
Environmentalists say the future of the young elephants is bleak because they had been separated from their family units.
“The elephants were transported by road, a trip that took 12 hours from Hwange to Harare Airport where they were loaded into an airplane and flown to Dubai,” the Zimbabwe Conservation Taskforce (ZCT) said. “This flight took 10 hours and from Dubai, they were allegedly flown to Beijing.” ZCT said the elephants weighed a combined 3.9 tons which implies that they were very young.
“The fact that these elephants are juveniles indicate that they are being taken away from their mothers and family units are therefore being destroyed,” the animal rights group said.
“It is further reported that another 14 elephants are being held in Hwange (National Park), also awaiting exportation in January 2013.
“It is said that the final destinations of the elephants are two zoos in China.
“We are very concerned because we believe this constitutes cruelty to animals.”
The Hwange game reserve, the largest in the country has more than 30 000 elephants.
ZCT said some elephants do not survive the long trips and that it feared those that survived will be subjected to a life of captivity in the Chinese zoo.
Gifts to the king
“It is a well known fact that Zimbabwe has a serious poaching problem and

Mugabe trades elephants in covert deal with China 
ZIMBABWE is sending baby elephants from its drought-ravaged Hwange region to two Chinese zoos under a covert deal struck by president Robert ­Mugabe, conservationists warn.

Four elephants left Harare late last month for Dubai en route to Beijing after a 12-hour journey by road from Hwange to Harare, said the head of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, Johnny Rodrigues.
Hunters claim at least “a couple [of] dozen” baby elephants have been captured in an operation overseen by rangers from the state-run Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority in Hwange, a vast dry park in the north-west. Up to 14 more elephants will leave in January, activists fear. 
The parks authority – once seen as a bulwark of conservation until some officials were accused of involvement in poaching – is understood to have been against the deal first mooted months ago. Government vets were sent to survey the Chinese zoos and found them lacking, sources say. But President ­Mugabe is believed to have ­personally intervened. Now the authority won’t comment. 
While Asian elephants may be common in Chinese animal parks, these are likely to be the first African elephants there – if they survive the trip. One of the zoos is understood to have a circus attached. “There’s a good reason why South Africa hasn’t sent elephants to China,” one animal welfare worker said. 
Another activist said: “It’s been a bit of a shocker. National Parks haven’t said anything to us yet. We’ve had confirmation that they’re in China already.” It’s not clear what China offered for the elephants. But the Asian giant’s eagerness to gift money and infrastructure to Zimbabwe in return for diamond mining concessions is no secret. Gearing for a bruising election fight next year, Mr Mugabe, 88, says China is

Shark tank terror! Giant aquarium explodes in China sending predators, fish and huge shards of glass into crowd
Fifteen people were hurt as the 10 inch-thick protective glass burst
Sharks, turtles and fish died at the shopping centre in Shaghai, China
Fifteen people were hurt by flying glass and fish when a giant shark-filled aquarium exploded at a shopping mall yesterday.

Shoppers were hit when the 10inch thick protective glass gave way without warning in Shaghai, China, while other terrified passers by fled in panic. 

The entrance to the Dongfang shopping mall was flooded and covered in glass when the 34-tonne casing suddenly

Importance of Perris company’s elephant breeding
If you’re wondering why the elephant breeding that Have Trunk Will Travel is involved with is important, here’s why
This Sumatran elephant was allegedly poisoned by poachers for its tusks in Indra Makmur, Aceh province, Indonesia, on Friday, Dec. 14. The male elephant, estimated to be 4-5 years old, was found dead with the tusks removed.

This is an Asian elephant, just like the ones Have Trunk Will Travel are breeding with the Oregon Zoo. I wrote an article about their deal earlier this week. You can read it here.

Have Trunk Will Travel is breeding elephants with the zoo up north and recently had a new baby, named

Does Wildlife Conservation Justify Wildlife Captivity?
The Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy, recently published an article addressing conservation efforts in relation to animal rights. This, (and an interesting discussion on Tumblr,) has inspired me to delve deeper into the issue of zoos, aquariums, and conservation.

In response to the question of whether or not zoos and aquariums are important, a post was made in a discussion on Tumblr by a captivity supporter citing The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) handbook entitled “Why Zoos and Aquariums Matter.”  The handbook focuses on education as contributing to wildlife conservation. Part 1 of the handbook, explains the results of a study which polled the general public, religious leaders, politicians, and conservation biologists. The poll found that the majority of the public, religious leaders, and politicians, support zoos and aquariums. However, “more than half,” of the conservation biologists polled had been anti-zoo and aquarium at one point, criticizing such facilities for their lack of education and conservation efforts. No more data regarding the opinions of conservationists on zoos and aquariums is provided in the handbook. This is unfortunate  because conservation biologists are the individuals who directly observe the affects

Thai deputy PM charged over export of 100 tigers to China
A Thai deputy prime minister was charged Wednesday in connection with the export to China of 100 tigers, an endangered species protected by international law, the attorney general's office told AFP.

Plodprasop Suraswadi approved the export of tigers from Sriracha Tiger Zoo -- a popular tourist attraction a few hours from Bangkok -- to a Chinese breeding firm in 2002. He was the head of the forestry department at the time.

He was charged under an article in Thai law which includes the "abuse of power, failing to carry out his duty and/or corruption," according to Teerayhut Mapame of the attorney general's office.

It was unclear why the charges were being brought a decade later.

Plodprasop, who became one of the nation's deputy prime ministers in November, admitted sending the endangered creatures to China but denied the charges against him.

"I'm not wrong as I have always performed my duty. Sending the tigers to China was not wrong," Plodprasop told reporters after being granted bail of $4,000.

"If anyone accuses me of wrongdoing, then

Sri Racha Tiger Zoo
This evil place continues to breed huge numbers of tigers as do many of the other slum zoos of Thailand. You do not have to think to hard to give a really good guess as to where they are all going.

Penguin eats young in China zoo - video
Surveillance footage shows a penguin eating its own newly-hatched chick at a zoo in northeast China's Heilongjiang province. The male penguin tried to feed the youngster, but when the chick didn't accept the food he started pecking at it, picked it up

Zoo data show low incidence of animal–human infection
Zoonotic transmission rates are low and the risk for animal-human infection is well managed, show zoo data spanning 19 years.
"Ongoing assessment of risk factors is needed as environmental, human and animal disease and management factors change," suggest Craig Pritchard (New Zealand Centre for Conservation, Auckland, New Zealand).
A total of 49, 42, and 46 zoo staff participated in the 1991, 2002, and 2010 surveys conducted by Pritchard et al, including questions on animal exposure and illness compatible with a range of zoonotic infections.
Participants also underwent serologic testing for infections including hepatitis A virus (HAV), Toxoplasma gondii, and Chlamydophila psittaci, as well as feces testing, skin sample examination, and Mantoux (in 2010, the QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-tube test) testing for tuberculosis.
The cohort comprised animal handlers, veterinary clinic staff, grounds, horticulture, and maintenance staff, and public education, office, and support staff, who, in the 2010 survey, had been employed at the zoo for a median of 5 years.
The majority of staff (80%) had domestic animals at home, including dogs, cats, birds, fish, turtles, and poultry.
In all, 16 staff from the 2010 survey reported 18 work-related conditions or exposures over the preceding 5 years including skin allergies from specific species and/or chemicals. One participant had a dermatophyte infection

Work on Indian gaur breeding centre begins
Work on India's first Indian gaur breeding and research centre at Koorgalli began on Wednesday.
 Zoo Authority of Karnataka chairperson M Nanjundaswamy laid the foundation stone for the fencing works. The centre at Koorgalli, 12km from the city, is being set up in association with Central Zoo authority (CZA). The forest department recently handed over 113.21 acres of land to Mysore zoo to set up the centre, a project

Toronto elephant move to PAWS targeted for spring
It remains a tough pill for some to swallow, but the Toronto Zoo is now working toward a spring target to get its three remaining elephants on a plane to PAWS.

Tension was apparent Tuesday morning at the meeting of the zoo’s board of management, its first since city council voted 32-8 last month to send the zoo’s aging female African elephants to the California sanctuary.

That vote reaffirmed a decision council made on the elephants last year. But by doing so, councillors once again rejected the advice of trained zoo staff. 
Prior to the latest vote, the zoo’s CEO and senior veterinarians had urged city councillors to cancel PAWS (the Performing Animal Welfare Society) as the pachyderms’ destination. The zoo wanted them sent to an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) facility in Florida, which isn’t built yet. 
Several zoo staff attended Tuesday’s board meeting, dejection etched on their faces. There were heated exchanges during the meeting. Councillor Glenn DeBaeremaeker, who voted in favour of the move to PAWS, harshly admonished one senior zoo employee for “heckling’’ during the meeting.

There were also tense exchanges between board members DeBaeremaeker and Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby, who voted against the move to PAWS.

Last month’s council resolution ordered that Toka, Thika and Iringa go to PAWS on or before Dec. 31, 2012 — or as soon as possible. Zoo CEO John Tracogna said that date wasn’t feasible.

“We’re looking at a spring date. That seems to be

My, how you've grown: Zoo keeper in tears as he and gorilla are reunited 20 years after he hand-reared him in his bedroom
When a mother gorilla failed to bond with her baby daughter, zoo-keeper Ron Smith and his wife Barbara were quick to volunteer as foster parents.

The couple, who had no children of their own, looked after Salome for the first year of her life, giving her a cot in their bedroom.

Thirteen years later, in 1990, Mr Smith bade an emotional farewell to the ape when he was made redundant at the age of 60. Two years later she was transferred

Twycross Zoo awards for welfare and education work
TWYCROSS Zoo has received two commendations for its welfare and educational work.

Staff were presented with the accolades for Significant Advances in Husbandry and Welfare and Best Education Project at a prestigious ceremony held at West Midland Safari Park.

The annual Zoo Awards, organised by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums, recognises and rewards the work and successes of its members.

Sharon Redrobe, the zoo’s zoological director, said: “I am delighted the zoo received two co

Former zoo owner charged with sexually abusing employee who was attacked by tiger
The teenager attacked by a tiger in Branson West four years ago is now the alleged victim in statutory sodomy case against the former owner of the zoo.
    Breck Fleming Wakefield, 46, of Branson West, faces two counts of first-degree statutory sodomy, eight counts of second-degree statutory sodomy and two counts of sexual misconduct involving a child under the age of 15. Another alleged victim is noted in the case.
    According to a probable cause statement, the alleged victim told Stone County deputies a sexual relationship started in 2005, when he was a 13-year-old intern at the zoo.
    “(The alleged victim) stated shortly after his employment started, he found himself alone with (Wakefield) in the aquarium building at the facility,” the statement reads. “(He) stated (Wakefield) made several sexual remarks his penis and asked him to do the same.”
    The alleged victim said the abuse started occurring weekly beginning in the fall of 2005, mostly occurring at Wakefield’s residence.
    “(The alleged victim) stated in the summer of 2006, he told (Wakefield) that he wanted the sexual abuse to stop,” the statement reads. “(He) stated Wakefield encouraged the relationship to continue by providing (him) with special treatment at the zoo and would pay him money for sex. (He) disclosed going on numerous trips, out of state, with (Wakefield) and being sexually abused.”
    The alleged victim was injured in the 2008 tiger attack at Predator World while inside the cage to take a photo for guests, according to Branson Tri-Lakes News archives.
    “(The alleged victim) said the attack left him confined to a wheelchair,” the statement reads. “(He) said the sexual abuse continued during this time. (He) said Wakefield rented a duplex in St. Louis

Oakland Zoo gets $1 million check from anonymous donor
The Oakland Zoo has received a $1 million check from an anonymous donor, the zoo announced Friday.
A letter from The San Francisco Foundation arrived Friday with the check -- $1 million from the Serendipity Fund. A message to zoo president and CEO Joel Parrott simply indicated that a donor had advised the grant was to be used for general purposes.
The zoo's director of development, Emma Lee Twitchell called the San Francisco Foundation, learning only that the donor wished to be anonymous and that no other information was available.
"Every now and then, something truly extraordinary occurs at the Oakland Zoo that causes me to just shake my head in disbelief, and be thankful," Parrott said. "We received an unsolicited anonymous unrestricted donation of $1 million for the zoo, distributed by the San Francisco Foundation. This has never occurred on this scale before. It is simply a gift. "
The funds might be especially welcome at the

Minnesota Zoo hopes to save native butterfly from extinction
The 20 larvae inside Minnesota Zoo conservation biologist Erik Runquist's office freezer would easily fit inside a thimble and could represent the last hope for a species of native butterfly that roamed Minnesota's prairies. 
The Poweshiek Skipperling floated above more than 2 million acres of Minnesota prairie in the days of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Now, less than 1 percent of that prairie remains and what Runquist and other experts call "the most Minnesotan of butterflies" hasn't been seen here since 2007. 
"They just fell off the map. It may already be extinct in the state," said Runquist, who is leading the zoo's growing efforts in butterfly conservation. 
The small tracts of remaining prairie in the state have left many native species that called it home on a precarious perch. Butterflies like

TSA Opens New Turtle and Tortoise Facilities in Myanmar 
It’s official!!   Myanmar’s first turtle and tortoise rescue facility was dedicated on December 6, at the Zeepin Forest Reserve, Ban Bwe Tree Nursery, about 17 miles east of May Myo, in Shan State. TSA President Rick Hudson handed over the keys to the new Turtle Rescue Center (TRC) to U Myint Sein of the Forestry Department saying “It is our sincere hope that this facility will offer new hope to thousands of turtles and tortoises confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade.” The TRC is located along the Lashio Road which leads to China, and is a major trade route for illegally harvested wildlife coming out of Mandalay heading for the border.  Lashio was originally selected as the site for the TRC but plans changed due to logistical concerns and moved to a forestry station outside of May Myo, locally known as Pwin Oo Lwin.  Aside from being more accessible

Lion's share of landscape praise for Linton Zoo 
LINTON Zoo, on the Uttlesford border, has been commended for its landscaping work.
Kim Simmons, zoo director, said: “We are thrilled to receive this top honour from BIAZA. This award particularly highlights our efforts in preserving and supporting native plants and wildlife, whilst providing the main residents an enriched three dimensional space in which to live.

“It also encourages natural behaviour while maintaining our high levels of animal welfare.”

The bushy vegetation in the “Lions’ Paradise” lion enclosure is typical of the work recognised at the awards ceremony at West Midland Safari Park.

The winning projects were selected against strict criteria by   assessors including external experts, as well as professionals from within the zoo community.

Linton was one of 23 to receive a commendation. Held annually for over a decade, the BIAZA awards recognise outstanding contributions and achievements in the fields of wildlife conservation, advances in animal welfare and husbandry, marketing, PR, education, research, and enclosure design.

Dr Miranda Stevenson, director of BIAZA said: “The BIAZA awards highlight the crucial work carried out in zoos and aquariums.

“All of this year’s award-winning projects show the exceptional contributions our members are making to wildlife conservation

The Danger of Captive Dolphin Encounters
Bottlenose dolphins certainly aren’t as innocent as they are often mistakenly believed. Unlike the majority of animals, they possess the self-awareness to actually understand the consequences of their behaviors, and do indeed commit violent acts against other cetaceans outside of their own family units. Yet, such misconceptions may have evolved due to how wonderfully the animals interact with humans. Humans are often enthralled with the playful and curious nature of bottle-nose dolphins and surprised by their intelligible persona. This leads people to seek out interacting with dolphins in the wild, and popularly, in captivity where ‘swimming with dolphin’ encounters are the star attractions. Such facilities are seemingly innocuous, but recently, some of the dangers of engaging in this activity are surfacing. In recent news, a little girl was filmed in graphic detail to have been attacked by a dolphin. The animal lunged out of the tank and grabbed her arm, leaving several bite marks. Her concerned parents are now 'raising awareness' by passing around

Mysore zoo adopts improvised methods to treat injured tigers
Sri Chamarajendra Zoological?Gardens, popularly known as Mysore Zoo, has adopted new techniques in providing treatment to injured tigers.
A four-year-old tigress was rescued on December 4, after it was trapped in a barbed wire fence at Kanuru village, in Virajpet taluk of Kodagu district. As the wild cat had sustained injuries on her left forelimb with mild lacerations and punctured wounds, it was sedated and brought to the Mysore zoo.
Keeping in mind the past experiences in treating injured tigers, the Zoo authorities 
are  treating the four-year-old by adopting improvised methods. The tigress has been kept in isolation at the zoo hospital. Only doctors and a keeper wearing “gown for camouflage effect to reduce human imprints” are allowed to treat and monitor her. Besides, the tigress is being monitored round the clock with the help of a CCTV?camera.
A press release from the executive director of the zoo stated that animal keeper Bhaskar has improvised on the medical advice “as approaching the tigress on crouching is preferable.’ The tigress is being treated by zoo doctors led by assistant director Dr Suresh and Dr Prashant. 
The animal keeper approaches the tigress, wearing gown, by crawling on the ground and with ease he sprays antiseptic

Family donates $500,000 to Memphis Zoo's new hippo camp 
The Memphis Zoo is half a million dollars closer to its $17 million goal for its Zambezi River Hippo Camp exhibit thanks to a Memphis family's gift.
Thomas Garrott said his family committed to giving $500,000 because the zoo is "inspirational."
"The bottom line is that the zoo is one of Memphis' greatest attractions," said Garrott, 75. "It's not only a great attraction for children in this city, but children in surrounding areas, too. That's why my family wanted to contribute."
Garrott, former president of National Bank of Commerce, said that before now he had limited his donations to education and the arts, but felt compelled to give to the zoo because of all it has done for Memphis.
"The zoo really benefits all of us living in this area," he said. "It's great for tourism and business development."
The new "Hippo Camp" will host the zoo's two resident hippos, Julie, 54, and her offspring Splish, 24, both descendants of Adonis

Big cat recorded on video
VIDEO footage of two separate sightings of a large feline at a property within 50km from Lismore will be sent to the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.

Experts at the division of Taronga Zoo should be able to determine the nature of the animals on the recordings.

Shaun Britz of Nimbin confirmed he received the video from a friend of his who preferred to remain anonymous.

The recordings were done at the same property by the landowner with a video recorder.

The recording showed two different sightings, the second one "recorded three months after the first one, at the same property," Mr Britz.

Both pieces of footage showed the animal moving around a property, at a distance of over 100m from the camera.

The videos were recorded months before Shaun Britz's sighting last week. 
He said he received the video last week after he saw a big feline while driving along Shipway Rd, near Nimbin Rocks.

Death of 2 cats sparks zoo protest
More than 70 cat lovers chanted "Sack the zookeeper!" in front of the Beijing Zoo on Sunday, demanding an investigation into the deaths of two stray cats living on the zoo grounds, where volunteers are trying to establish a cat sanctuary. 
The protest is the latest in a cat-and-mouse game between cat lovers, who have been building shelters for the stray animals, and zoo officials, who have been knocking them down, claiming the cats could spread contagious diseases among the other animals.
A woman surnamed Sang, who feed cats in the zoo and participated in the protest, said that a dog chewed a small cat to death several days before.
"I can tell it's a big dog because the shelter for the cat is totally damaged," said Sang, noting she saw dog footprints.
Sang says volunteers did not realize the seriousness of this issue until two days later, when more dog footprints were found, and another cat were

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo wins 'Images Most Admired Retailer of the Year - Leisure and Entertainment' award 
Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, Emaar Retail LLC said: "The Most Admired Retailer of the Year award underlines the premier position of Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, as a world class leisure and entertainment attraction. We focus on assuring our visitors the best experiences and regularly renew our themed campaigns to ensure that guests are not only entertained but also have a strong insight into sustainable development and environmental conservation."

Heat wave kills City Zoo polar bear 
Winner, the last polar bear living in the Buenos Aires City Zoo died early on Christmas morning "due to the unusually high temperatures, combined with Christmas eve fireworks and the bear’s nervious temperament,” a communiqué released today confirmed.

Winner was a 14 year old male polar bear who had arrived from Santiago, Chile, and was one of the zoo’s feature attractions.

“With deep sadness we announce that early yesterday

Cotswold Wildlife Park paying respects to founder
THE Cotswold Wildlife Park is closed to visitors today for a special service following the death of the park’s founder, John Heyworth, at the age of 87.

Mr Heyworth founded the park in 1970 at his family home, Bradwell Grove, near Burford, which is the Strawberry Hill Gothic manor house and 3,000-acre estate he had inherited from his grandfather in 1948.

Due to crippling death duties, he had leased out the house and grounds for 20 years to the local health board. By the time he got it back in 1969, the house had fallen

Teuk Chhou Wildlife Education Park
Cambodia’s ‘zoo of horrors’ is being transformed. Ellie Dyer heads to Teuk Chhou Wildlife Education Park in Kampot town to see what changes are being made.

Inside the gates of Kampot’s Teuk Chhou wildlife park, a dedicated team of animal lovers has united behind a common goal: to change a failing zoo whose skeletal animals made headlines 18 months ago into a state-of-the-art environmental education facility.

It’s an ambitious aim for a sprawling park that is home to 43 species, including tigers, lions and elephants. In March 2011, The Phnom Penh Post newspaper painted a deeply troubling picture of a facility that had fallen into disrepair under the headline ‘The Zoo of Horrors’.

Calling it “quite possibly one of the worst” zoos in the world, the story was accompanied by a photograph of an emaciated elephant, whose bones were clearly visible as it strained through the bars of its enclosure to eat blades of grass.

But along with exposing the poor conditions at Teuk Chhou, which the well-meaning owner put down to a lack of funds, the article had a longer lasting effect — it sparked

Breeding of endangered species is futile without habitat protection
While captive breeding of animals is to be lauded, it should not overshadow the task of protecting the ecosystems they live in
This past summer, a team of biologists scoured Siberian tundra in search of nests and eggs of one of the world's most threatened species, the spoon-billed sandpiper - a small shorebird known to Hong Kong birdwatchers as a scarce annual migrant at Mai Po Marshes.
The spoon-billed sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus) is the only shorebird with a flattened tip to its bill. In recent years, it has gained another reason for fame as its world population has plummeted from around 1,000 pairs in 2000 to probably fewer than 100 pairs today. As the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) notes, the sandpiper is "hurtling towards extinction".

The tundra-scouring biologists were working on a project to try to save the sandpiper, by raising young birds in captivity to hopefully breed young birds into the wild. They took 20 eggs to the WWT's headquarters in Slimbridge, UK. With 17 hatchlings from these eggs, plus 11 youngsters brought from Russia last year, there are now 28 spoon-billed sandpipers in captivity. Perhaps they will become the nucleus of a breeding group.

While the spoon-billed sandpiper project is ambitious - even desperate - captive breeding is not new. One of the first examples involved Père David's deer, which was native to China but became extinct there in 1900. Some had been illegally exported to Europe, and England's Duke of Bedford gathered the remaining animals to nurture a herd of deer. Their

Man strips naked for zoo tigers
Officials at a Russian zoo said a young man who forced his way into the facility after closing time took his clothes off and threw them to the tigers.

The zoo workers in Kaliningrad said the man told a ticket collector he had to get into the facility after closing time Wednesday because "he's expected" and forced his way onto the premises, RIA Novosti reported Thursday.

A zoo worker discovered the man naked by the tiger cage the following day, with his clothes inside the enclosure. The zoo called police and an ambulance, which took the man to a local hospital to be checked out.

The man was allowed to go home after he was found to be in sound mental health and not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

No explanation was given for the





Councillor Vows To Fight Transfer of Toronto Zoo's African Elephants
A Toronto city councillor is vowing to do everything she can to stop the transfer of three aging African elephants from the Toronto Zoo to a California sanctuary, fearing their safety could be jeopardized and the zoo could lose standing with a national organization.
“It’s never over till it’s over,” councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby told The Globe and Mail Wednesday. “My heart and soul is in this and I believe in doing the right thing for our animals.”
On Tuesday, council voted 32-8 to send the trio – Iringa, Toka and Thika – to the 80-acre sanctuary run by the Performing Animal Welfare Society.
The vote came after both the CEO of the Toronto Zoo, John Tracogna, and its top veterinarian presented evidence to council that sending the elephants to the sanctuary would put them at risk of being exposed to tuberculosis.
The motion says the transfer between the zoo and the PAWS sanctuary must happen by Dec. 31.
But Ms. Lindsay Luby said she’s looking at all provincial and federal legislation that could stop the elephants from being sent to the facility.
“It’s hard to say exactly what it is … it’s a work in progress,” she said. “ But you shouldn’t send them to a place where they can get a communicable disease.”
A September report by Mr. Tracogna to the zoo’s board of management raised some of the most serious concerns about the PAWS facility. The zoo’s senior veterinarian had visited the sanctuary and suspected tuberculosis was present. The report said zoo staff were only invited to see one Asian elephant and three African elephants. PAWS staff caring for barns were wearing face masks that “strongly suggested that quarantine was in operation as a result of either a confirmed or suspected case of tuberculosis.”

Why elephants need circuses and zoos
The Times' editorial Monday on the L.A. City Council's proposed ban on elephants performing in traveling shows such as circuses paints a romantic picture of elephants as gentle giants. The editorial board seems to buy into the animal extremists' idealistic scenario of happy, fat pachyderms lazily wandering the open plains of Africa or the jungles of Asia, free of disease and conflict with humans.
The reality is far grimmer. The "wild" left for these magnificent animals is rapidly disappearing. Instead, these endangered and threatened animals are often contained within park ranges by fences, or, when no fences exist, villages and fields block historic migration routes, often leading to human-elephant conflict. In Sri Lanka, an island country with the highest elephant-to-human ratio, elephants regularly raid farmers' fields, and human-elephant conflict sometimes leads to deaths -- of both elephants and humans.
In Africa, elephants may walk for miles during the drought months to find water and food -- a harsh reality that elephants in captivity don't have to endure. Captive elephants don't face the threat of being killed by humans from gunshot, electrocution or poisoning as they compete for resources or because their ivory is a valuable commodity. While park rangers do what they can to protect elephants from poachers, too many are being slaughtered. Calves are orphaned and often die without human intervention.,0,2105054.story

The Seattle Times Ignites Controversy over Captive Zoo Elephants
It seems as though investigative reporter for the Seattle times, Michael J. Berens, feels as though he’s latched onto another ‘story of the year’ in his recent written series that lampoons AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums)-accredited zoological facilities for their conflicts regarding the state of elephant captivity, their compromised efforts in maintaining a self-sustaining elephant population and successfully producing calves via techniques of artificial insemination. Lovingly entitled “Elephants are Dying out in America’s Zoos”, the report cherry-picks terms to maintain an overall disdainful interpretation of the methods zoos are using to increase their captive elephant populations. The article highlights that the infant-mortality rates in zoos are “almost triple the rate in the wild” at a “staggering 40 percent”.
The associated video report, called ‘Glamour Beasts: the Dark Side of Elephant Captivity’, implores the viewer that zoos fret over producing a viable captive elephant population simply because they are star attractions, with births of their young becoming an effective draw for crowds and in effect, increased donations.

I’m unaware if Berens is on the attack against zoos because of existing personal ideological sentiment, or if he’s been encouraged by the prospects of journalistic success

Elephant Care
Everyone likes elephants. They seem to touch a special spot in the soul of many. People care. People care about their plight in the wild and the threats they face from ivory hunters. It would be a sad and bleaker world without elephants. People care too about how they are kept in captivity, and rightly so.
Where the caring about captive elephant care goes wrong is when one reads or listens too only one side of the story. There are a lot of self styled elephant lovers and experts who condemn the keeping of elephants in zoos without having any real understanding of the issue. Most of these have never worked in zoos or with elephants. Theirs is book knowledge from the wrong books. Much of what they write or read about in newspaper articles or in Facebook groups betrays this lack of understanding and the same myths and lies are recounted.
Elephants are like people. Elephants have their own individual characters and temperaments. Within a captive situation this needs to be considered hand in trunk with its needs as a species.
There are, without a shadow of a doubt some captive elephants which are in urgent need of something different in their welfare. This does not mean that every elephant needs the

Zoo cat spat round 5
Beijing Zoo has agreed to put 45 shelters for stray cats back after negotiations with volunteers Wednesday, the Beijing News reported Thursday.
The negotiations between volunteers and Qian Jinchao, vice president of the zoo, came after Beijing Zoo removed all the cat shelters it built a month ago, leading to the deaths or disappearance of some cats. 
Qian agreed to put the shelters in the north part of the zoo and promised not to destroy them in future. All the shelters, provided by Capital Animal Welfare Association, were put

Far North Queensland zoo owner hopes for deal
THE future of Shambala Animal Kingdom at Koah remains unclear after it was passed in at $950,000 at auction on Saturday but owner Elaine Harrison is still hopeful of finding a buyer this week.

If not, the various animals will be sent to zoos in Australia and wildlife parks in Indonesia for breeding and conservation programs.
Ms Harrison said it was disappointing that the zoo, formerly called the Cairns Wildlife Safari Reserve, did not sell under the hammer.
People were always fearful or worried about buying a property at auction, she said, although the agents were hoping to be able to present some written offers this week.
The property, in two lots, was available as a fully functioning zoo or as a beautiful piece of land with a number of buildings along with an application for a 30-person luxury lodge and 18 cabins.
But if anyone wanted to keep Shambala Animal Kingdom running as a zoo, they would have to be quick as Ms Harrison said she was due to sign the contracts on sending the animals to other zoos soon.
"The animals are going to be going to where they are going but I still have a couple of days," Ms Harrison said.
She said potential buyers knew she was signing up with three Indonesian safari parks for some of the larger animals in the next few days.
If the property did not sell

Animal rights activists ‘poisoned dolphins with drugs’ claims zoo boss
A ZOO boss has accused animal rights activists of murdering two dolphins with a heroin substitute in a plot to get the park closed down. 
The male dolphins suffered slow, agonising deaths during a weekend rave festival hosted by the zoo last year. 
Officials believe that clubbers fed the marine mammals lethal doses of buprenorphine. 
The party drug — also used by doctors for pain relief and opiate addiction — suppressed the dolphins’ natural instinct to rise to the surface to breathe.

Now Roby Gasser, director of the Connyland park in Lipperswil, Switzerland, has accused two unnamed former keepers of deliberately poisoning the dolphins to stop the zoo’s captive breeding programme. 
He claims the keepers — now animal rights activists — deliberately sacrificed the dolphins to get the marine park shut down. 
Mr Gasser said: “The Swiss law for the protection of animals

Extinction need not be forever
Biotechnology can help to save endangered species and revive vanished ones. Conservationists should not hesitate to use it, says Subrat Kumar
Charismatic mammals such as cheetahs and tigers are important for wildlife tourism. Yet in India, these and other species are in trouble — or worse. Cheetahs are already extinct here and the country's tiger population was put at just 1,706 in a census last year, down from an estimated 40,000 at the start of the twentieth century. The plight of the tiger is so dire that in July, India took the serious step of banning tourism in core areas of tiger reserves. The ban, which affected 41 tiger parks across the country and drew protests from tour operators and conservationists alike, was not lifted until October, when the government announced tighter regulations for visitors.
Pressures such as habitat loss have led to progressive decline in tiger numbers. Poachers are a bigger threat, and India lacks the funds, manpower and infrastructure necessary to curb the killing of these magnificent mammals. Efforts to protect surviving populations need to be stepped up. But it is high time that we, as a modern society, took on the problem of conservation with greater use of the advanced tools given to us by the tremendous scientific

Primatologist warns of possible great ape extinction 
Chance could be lost to learn more about human biology
Great apes, humans' closest relatives, are nearing extinction and people should fear losing the biological knowledge that would die along with them, a primatologist says.
Craig Stanford, co-director of the Jane Goodall Research Center at the University of Southern California, says that four types of great apes — chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans — may become extinct within the next century.

In his new book, Planet Without Apes, Stanford writes that this is a result of habitat loss, poaching, a bush meat black market, disease and political instability.

In an interview that airs Saturday on CBC's Quirks & Quarks, he says humans share the majority of their DNA sequence with great apes, specifically chimpanzees and bonobos, with only a handful of differences in their genetic makeup.

"We're obviously made of the same fabric," he said. "We're made of the same cloth, and when we look at them, we are seeing ourselves."

Losing the great apes would also mean losing

Exclusive: SeaWorld close to filing for an IPO - sources
SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, controlled by Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) and best known perhaps for its performing killer whale Shamu, is close to filing for an initial public offering, according to three sources familiar with the situation. 
Orlando, Florida-based SeaWorld may try to raise $500 million to $600 million in the IPO, the sources said on Friday.

SeaWorld has selected Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) to lead the offering, which could come in early 2013, the sources said.

Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Blackstone and JPMorgan declined to comment.

Blackstone acquired SeaWorld

Morgan Is Not The Only One Having Problems Hearing! 
Thursday 13 November saw the yet another judgement from the Dutch courts on the fate of the young, female killer whale “Morgan” who stranded on the Dutch coast in June 2010 and was rehabilitated by the group SOS Delfijn and employees from Dolfinarium Harderwijk.  The animal was deemed unsuitable for release and was moved to live with a group of other killer whales at Loro Park Tenerife, Spain in November 2011. 
The recent hearing stated that the permit to move “Morgan” should only be issued if the goal was research or teaching. The judgment conclude that the park on Tenerife conducts research and performs an educational function and therefore the whales move was legal. 
The court further saw no reason to believe that the welfare of Morgan danger in Tenerife. If The Orca Coalition disagree they are open to take legal action in a Spanish court.
 Details of the background of this case can be found HERE
This current judgement is the latest litigation brought by The Orca Coalition  a group of animal-rights activists including the Free Morgan Foundation who -along with their supporter Dr. Ingrid  Visser - wish to obtain this animal for a reintroduction experiment in Norway. 
Dr Visser has been for sometime an active critic of the care of cetaceans in zoos and aquaria particularly killer whales.

Edinburgh Zoo's elephant sex-education video makes kids sick 
A BOY almost fainted after watching the graphic video which showed an elephant giving birth.
A ZOO’S sex education programme for primary pupils left kids feeling sick.
One young boy almost fainted when his class, from a primary school in an exclusive district of Edinburgh, were shown a graphic video of an elephant giving birth.
And the Edinburgh Zoo video left several other youngsters feeling queasy, a mum claimed yesterday.
The pupils, aged 10 and 11, from Sciennes Primary were also asked to shout out the names of sex organs on a visit to the monkey enclosure.
Anja Shiefler, whose 10-year-old daughter Ivy was on the trip, said: “The film about the elephant was quite full-on and there was one little boy who felt quite sick and was about to faint.
“Quite a few of the pupils

Arctic wolves rescued from German zoo given new home in Lincolnshire
Four white Arctic wolves rescued from a zoo in Germany have been given a new home in Lincolnshire.
The seven-month-old Hudson Bay Wolves are now settling in at Woodside Wildlife and Falconry Park, in Newball, near L

Simon Cowell wants a pet penguin
Media mogul Simon Cowell wants a pet penguin after falling in love with the flightless birds from watching Jim Carrey children's film 'Mr Popper's Penguins'.

Cowell, 52, has decided that he wants one of the birds for his own after becoming a fan of them in the film, which sees Carrey's character's home get invaded by Gentoo penguins, reported Showbiz spy.

"Watching 'Mr Poppers Penguins' again. I love this film. I really do want a pet penguin (sic)," he tweeted.

Eating Horseshoe Crab

The Dirty War Against Africa’s Remaining Rhinos
The killing of rhinoceroses has escalated dramatically, especially in South Africa, which is home to 75 percent of the world’s rhino population. The slaughter is being orchestrated by brazen, highly organized gangs that smuggle the rhinos' horns to black markets in China and Southeast Asia.

West Midland Safari Park lions in Japanese circus
THE director of West Midland Safari Park says he would never have supplied four white lion cubs if he had known they would have ended up performing in a Japanese circus.

Bob Lawrence said he was shocked at claims by animal rights group the Captive Animals Protection Society that the lions were now performing in the travelling Kinoshita Circus.

Eight cubs were born at the safari park, near Bewdley, and four were sent to entertainment firm Amazing Animals in Chipping Norton in 2010, which passed them on

Happy feet make for a happy penguin
ALISON Edmunds isn't your average masseuse. Instead of applying her fingers to tense human necks, her massage therapy is geared to penguins.

''When I tell people that I massage penguins, the response is shock,'' she says.

But, according to Ms Edmunds, the positive effect that massage can have on an animal, just like on a person, is often immediate.
''They may not be able to say 'Ahh that feels better!' and go back to their office job, but they'll walk off and join the flock, and have a swim, and do their normal thing.''

Massaging penguins is a virtually unheard-of practice, but Ms Edmunds - an animal husbandrist at Melbourne Aquarium and qualified remedial masseuse - says physical therapy takes a ''holistic approach'' to healing and is a genuine treatment option.

''These days, we often pop a pill, and we've put that

Kiev Zoo: animals die of… corruption 
A scandal has rocked a zoo in Ukraine’s capital of Kiev. Its owners bought 12 rare Chilean flamingos but what they got was 9 pink flamingos common in Central Asia and North Africa.

The 25,000 dollar deal with a private businessman was signed by the Zoo director who was later sacked for money laundering. Experts claim it’s not the first case and recently the Zoo has been actively involved in local political games.
The Zoo will hardly get its money back while the birds have been allegedly smuggled to Ukraine as neither of them is ringed which is a common practice for official breeders.
This is not the first animal smuggling case at the Kiev Zoo, says the head of SOS Animal Rescue, Tamara Tarnavskaya.
"This is 100% about money-making. The same happened last year when the Zoo bought a very pricey smuggled monkey who died pretty soon but even after its death, the Zoo asked for funds on food and medicines for the animal. The birds are now on quarantine waiting for a court decision."
The scandal arose in the run-up to the forthcoming elections of Kiev’s Mayor which are due in spring 2013. The Zoo has become the favorite weapon in the information war led by local campaigners, says Ukrainian analyst Yuri Ruban.
"The Zoo case is not only about the birds’ color it’s about creating a negative or positive image of the Kiev government. Currently, we have no Mayor but a bunch of politicians who would like to take the chair and are using the Zoo in their battles."
Political battles are leading to animal deaths. In 2006, the Kiev Zoo was excluded from the European Association

Former SeaWorld trainer reaches out to girl bitten by dolphin 
Jillian Thomas was feeding a dolphin at SeaWorld Orlando when it partially launched out of the water and grabbed the girl's hand. Now a former SeaWorld trainer is reaching out to the 8-year-old.

Last month Thomas was feeding the dolphins at Dolphin Cove when a marine mammal lunged toward her during the feeding and grabbed her hand. The dolphin was attempting to get the paper tray of fish that Jillian was holding at the time. 
The attack left four puncture wounds on the young girl's arm and was captured on video by the girl's parents who wanted to warn other parents of the dangers of feeding wild animals. The video soon went viral and Jillian's story was picked up by mainstream media. 
Many reports applauded Jillian for being concerned about the dolphin and for expressing a desire to become a SeaWorld trainer one day. But a former SeaWorld trainer reached out to the young girl in the hope that she would reconsider her decision.

Samantha Berg worked as an Animal Trainer for SeaWorld of Florida for 3-1/2 years from February of 1990 until August of 1993. Berg worked alongside SeaWorld’s beluga whales as well as the killer whales of Shamu Stadium. 


Berg now works as a licensed Acupuncturist and is a member of Voice of the Orcas, a group of former SeaWorld trainers who have banded together to reveal the truth behind one of the most popular marine mammal entertainment parks in the world.


Some of Berg's letter appears below:

Dear Jillian,
My name is Samantha Berg, and I used to be a SeaWorld animal trainer. (That's me in the photo,) In fact, just like you, it was my dream when I was your age.
I saw the video of what happened to you at SeaWorld when you were bitten by one of the “petting pool” dolphins. That’s a very scary experience, and I’m glad you are OK.
I also saw that you still want to be a dolphin trainer. I’m impressed that your injury hasn’t frightened you away from your dream. But

Shedd's 'Penguin Hops' beer on tap at Revolution Brewery
Revolution Brewery is using hops from Shedd Aquarium's gardens to brew a new beer -- Penguin Hops. 

"In our gardens we have lots of native plants. We have lots of vegetables to show people what that looks like and we have hops," Christine Nye, horticulture manager at Shedd Aquarium, said. "The stuff that beer is made of." 
The aquarium planted the hops there several years ago, but this year suddenly there was a bumper crop. 
"They went crazy," Nye said. 
But what good are hops without a brewery? That's like a penguin without water. So Revolution Brewery on Chicago's Northwest Side came into the picture. That's where the magic brews the hops - and water, malt and yeast - into beer. They're calling it Penguin Hops. 
"That's the name the Shedd Aquarium came up with," Wil Turner, head brewer, said. "We were contacted by them and they said they were growing their own hops outside. And they asked if we would be

Three of our rhino horns are missing! Items worth tens of thousands stolen from Leicester museum
Three rhinoceros horns worth tens of thousands of pounds have been stolen from a museum’s secure storage area.
The items, which have been in New Walk Museum’s collection for 50 years, may have been stolen for sale on the black market

South Africa: Nambiti Private Game Reserve's Rhinos Dehorned
Criminal acts call for tough measures and that's the reason Nambiti Private Game Reserve's rhino population has been dehorned; the process having been completed on 22 November 2012.

"The whole exercise went off very well and I am extremely happy with the teamwork and professionalism we witnessed," said Clarke Smith, chairman of the KwaZulu-Natal game reserve. "It's distressing to have to tranquilise such magnificent creatures, but it is necessary and for their own good. I feel a lot more comfortable now that the entire rhino population had been dehorned."

This option, to beat the abhorrent and criminal act of poaching, was the result of much thought and debate. "We see dehorning as one of the strategies to address poaching and applaud any efforts to retain population integrity," said Francois du Toit, CEO of African Conservation Trust.

Pressure from external communities

"Our core focus is on addressing issues of pressure, particularly from external communities surrounding the reserves. To that end we hope to be able to work with Nambiti to develop community conservation agriculture as a means of building a natural resource-based economy, which will reduce pressure on pure tourism as a means of income for these communities."

According to veterinary surgeon Dr. Silke Pfitzer, dehorning a rhino does not hurt the animal provided the procedure is done correctly. Rhino horn, she said, was similar to finger

U.S. Government Lends $105M to Brazil—to Build Aquarium
The U.S. Export-Import Bank, an agency of the federal government, is lending $105 million to the Brazilian state of Ceara to help build an aquarium in its capital city of Fortaleza.

“An anticipated tourist attraction, the aquarium will boast four floors housing 25 large tanks containing approximately 15 million liters of water and showcasing 500 marine species and 35,000 individual specimens,” the Export-Import Bank said in a press release.

“The aquarium will also feature interactive exhibits, two 4D cinemas, one 3D cinema, and an educational platform dedicated to the research and preservation of aquatic life along the Brazilian coastal regions,” said the U.S.-government-controlled bank. “When completed, Acquario will rank as the largest aquarium in the Southern Hemisphere

The Life Sentence 
India’s zoos are in a shambles, conservation needs new ideas 
Behind Bars
 •In ’06, India had 159 recognised zoological parks, but adding illegal ones, it could number 350-500
•Zoo conditions deplorable, tragedy like at Nandankanan in 2000 when 11 tigers died, always a risk
•Captive breeding not working out, why not spend the money on habitat management in wild?
•Illegal wildlife trade booming in India, evidence to show that zoos are part of the supply chain
Kiara is irresistibly adorable, but as pictures of the tiny Liliger cub went viral, conservationists across the globe started questioning her very existence. Bred in captivity, Kiara is the offspring of a Liger (itself born of a lion-tigress mating) crossed with a lion. In short she is a mutant, a genetic mish-mash of felines bred in captivity that would never exist in the wild. The Novosibirsk zoo in Russia can expect a roar from the public when little Kiara is put on display but, really, the cub is little more than an extravagant experiment with zero conservation values. Closer  home, a more gruesome zoo-related incident

Sea World Indoctrinating Kids With Darwinism, Says Apologist
A young earth creationist is accusing Sea World of "evolutionary indoctrination." Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis, says the new dinosaur exhibit at the marine mammal park in Australia pushes Darwinism on children.
Ham's family visited Dinosaur Island, the new attraction at Sea World on the Gold Coast, Australia, which opened in June and will remain open until next summer. After the trip, his son-in-law concluded, "As we saw at Sea World, most parents had no idea what they were doing to their children by taking them to this new 'temple' of evolutionary secular humanism and letting them be indoctrinated in this anti-God religion."
Ham made additional observations on his blog Tuesday, saying that the exhibit has one purpose: "to convince children and mums and dads that Darwinian evolution is fact and that birds are actually dinosaurs (because dinosaurs supposedly grew feathers and became birds)."
For years, Ham, whose apologetics ministry is behind the Creation Museum, has warned that the teaching of evolution to children contributes to the undermining of the authority of God's Word. On top of that, many churches are also rejecting the inerrancy of Scripture and compromising the account of creation in Genesis, he has argued.
"When you believe in millions of years of evolution and add it to the Bible, you actually have to change what the Bible clearly says," he told The Christian Post in an earlier interview. "You have to reinterpret it. That unlocks the door to say that you don't take this as written. You reinterpret it from outside influences, which means that you tell the next generation that you can't take the Bible as written. So you just undermine biblical authority."
Much like the Creation Museum, Dinosaur Island at Sea World features animatronic dinosaurs. Children also have the chance to dig for fossils and play educational games

Indian zoos to draw on German expertise 
In an attempt to bring Indian zoos at par with their international counterparts, the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) will be signing an MoU with Germany’s Leipzig Zoo on Saturday. Under the agreement, apart from exchange of animals, Indian zoos will also get an opportunity to utilise the expertise of its European counterparts for training of its manpower and also understanding their management practice.
 The tie-ups with zoos of other countries have so far been restricted to exchange of animals. However this time the CZA has initiated the process learning the working style of the world class zoos.

The 130-year-old Leipzig Zoo is one of the oldest and the most modern zoos of the world. The zoo has over 850 species of animals and offers an experience of various continents.

The zoo has themes created on continents including Asia, Africa and South America. It offers a rich experience of the rain forest in Gondwanaland, to apes in Pongoland and the historical founder garden.

The member-secretary of the Central Zoo Authority, BS Bonal and the director of the Leipzig Zoo, Jorg Junhold, will be signing the MoU

Future of Underwater World Singapore remains uncertain 
SENTOSA’S Underwater World Singapore is keeping mum about future plans even after the opening of Resorts World Sentosa’s Marine Life Park, with its only response being slashing of ticket prices.
Between December 1 and 31, all visitors to the attraction,  which is operated by the Haw Par Group, will pay a flat price of S$15 (US$12.30) per person ­– a rate last seen in the 1990s. Currently, an adult pays S$25.90, while a senior citizen pays S$20.80 and a child pays S$17.60. As part of the promotion, every paying adult can bring a senior citizen or a child in free of charge.
When questioned by TTG Asia e-Daily about the attraction’s long-term strategy, a spokesperson reiterated in an e-mail: “Our primary objective is to offer value to our customers and we have been, and we are likely to continue rolling out promotions that will allow both tourists and locals to experience Underwater World as part of their holistic island journey. Visitors can also look forward to attractive price promotions during special periods.”
Hong Thai Travel Services’ assistant general manager for inbound tours, Tony Aw, revealed that he had asked the attraction as early as 2010 about its future plans, but was not given a satisfactory reply.
He said: “I am afraid Underwater World is going to lose out substantially, as visitors will undoubtedly flock to the Marine Life Park despite the higher admission prices because of its novelty and its sheer size.”
Helen Goh, director of marketing (inbound), Vacation DMC remarked that Underwater World had been overshadowed by the Marine Life Park, which

What is the future of Lincoln Park Zoo's rabies program in Africa?
As the fight against rabies expands to new fronts globally, Lincoln Park Zoo plots its future in Tanzania, where a vaccination program for domestic dogs has been woven into the fabric of daily life
Tucked in a quiet corner of the bustling area occupied by this town's bus station and central market, the setup doesn't look like much: a few of the country's ubiquitous four-wheel-drive vehicles, some men in dress shirts, and a red bucket and a couple of picnic coolers that are at least as beat-up as the trucks. 
Atop the bucket, though, is a gleaming array of hypodermic needles, starkly clinical amid the dust and scattered garbage of the market. On the far side of the vehicles is an even more extraordinary sight in Tanzania: dogs on leashes.
Some of the makeshift tethers are rope and some are chain, sudden restraints on a free-range life. As the dogs stand with their mostly boy handlers in an irregular line, they bark and whimper periodically. One dog occasionally challenges another, and the men keep a wary eye on the few animals that seem especially

Court rules orca Morgan's removal to Spain was not unlawful
The removal of the orca Morgan to an amusement park on Tenerife was not unlawful, judges in Amsterdam said on Thursday.

An organisation of marine wildlife experts known as the orca coalition had gone to court in an effort to have the decision reversed. They argue Morgan, who was found in the Wadden Sea in a severely weakened state in 2010, should have been released into the wild instead. 

The export licence for Morgan was granted on the grounds the orca would be used for educational purposes. The judge in Amsterdam said this was the case, news agencyNovum reported. Nor is there any reason to think Morgan's health is in danger in the amusement part, the judge said.

Morgan's supporters argue she is constantly

Zoo Miami’s New Cheetah Ambassadors Arrive From S. Africa
Zoo Miami’s newest new four legged ambassadors have arrived in South Florida.

They are two male cheetahs which were born in captivity on March 6th of this year at the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre just outside of Pretoria South Africa.  The facility is world renowned for its work with cheetahs and it is also the birthplace of Zoo Miami’s first cheetahs, Savannah and King George, well over

Get elephant Mali out of Manila Zoo now - solons 
Lawmakers pushed for the immediate transfer of Mali, a female Asian elephant, detained at the Manila Zoo for over 30 years to Thailand where the animal can live in a sanctuary.

Cagayan de Oro City 2nd district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez asked the local government, the Bureau of Animal Industry and the Protected Area and Wildlife Bureau to conduct the immediate transfer through House Resolution 2885.

Mali, who has been suffering from poor conditions, had recently been making headlines as different groups including the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals appealed to lawmakers and Manila Zoo administrators for the animal's relief.

Rodriguez, supported by Abante Mindanao party

Dubai Zoo new facility to be bigger and better
The Dubai Zoo is a subject that has seen many residents asking what has taken it so long to find the animals a new home.

And though there may be some skepticism surrounding the new Dubai Safari facility planned, as announced in May this year, Essa Al Maidour, Deputy General Manager of the Dubai Municipality’s Engineering and Planning Department, says the project is important for the emirate and that they are committed to ensuring it is the best it can be.

He said: “Zoos are an essential component in a city, both recreationally and educationally speaking. When you educate children you educate them by playing, similarly when they see the animals, touch them and feed them, we will be teaching them how to take care of them.”

To ensure that they get everything right with the new zoo, the municipality has involved international experts who are specialised in zoo and safari construction in the project. They have teams dealing with engineering work and infrastructure as well as teams dealing with biology and following the animals’ requirements and necessary specifications.

Their main aim with the new zoo is to provide a living space for the animals, not keep them penned in.

Al Maidour said: “It’s a safari for the person visiting and for the

41st Annual EAAM Symposium - European Association of Aquatic Mammals 
15th to the 18th of March 2013

Marine Animal Welfare 
A View To A Kill 
A recent survey reported in the UK’s The Guardian newspaper makes very interesting reading on a number of levels.  It was reporting on a survey carried out by the animal-rights lobby group The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in regards to the Japanese’s attitude to whaling and the consumption of whale products.  The poll was commissioned and undertaken by the Nippon Research Centre - a total of 1,200 people were surveyed aged 15 to 79 across all geographical areas in the country.

The survey found that 26.8% of people agreed with Japan's hunting of about 900 whales each year whilst 18.5% opposed the hunts - the rest were undecided.  Of those polled 88.8% had not bought whale meat in the past 12 months.  The IFAW tried hard to make a positive spin on this last statistic by declaring in a press briefing: "The people of Japan are taking whale meat off the menu”.  But as always this issue is far more complex and the poll seems actually to suggest a total failure on the part of the animal-rights and environmental lobby to persuade the Japanese to stop hunting whales – which also should include the

Cleveland zoo to airlift tadpoles to Puerto Rico
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will airlift nearly 5,000 crested-toad tadpoles to Puerto Rico for release into the wild.
The venture begins Monday in an effort to bolster an endangered species in Puerto Rico.
Hatched last week, the tadpoles are narrower than a pencil eraser.
Within two to three weeks their tails will drop away and they will morph into the familiar frog-toad conformation.
The tadpoles are small enough to fit on a dime.
Zoo conservation and science curator Kristen

A gift for Mother Nature

In the big business of elephants, breeding is a key issue, Oregon Zoo finds
Tusko was a catch. 
Born in the wild around 1971, with genes that weren't over-represented in the captive population, he was considered one of the most valuable Asian elephants in North America. 
Oregon Zoo administrators, strategizing to reignite a breeding program that had once defined the institution and brought it international acclaim, but which had been dormant more than a decade, set their sights on the 13,300-pound bull living at a California elephant ranch. 
Way back in 2005

Canadian zoo association gives Marineland passing grade
A national agency that oversees the care of animals in captivity says Marineland's lone killer whale is in good health.
The Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) conducted an unannounced inspection at the Niagara Falls theme park Nov. 27 to assess several areas, including the health of Kiska.
The female killer whale has been alone in a tank since November 2011 after Marineland was forced to return its male orca, Ikaika, to SeaWorld San Diego.
Former Marineland trainer Christine Santos told Toronto media in October that Kiska was bleeding sporadically from her tail.
In a CAZA accreditation report completed Nov. 29 and obtained by QMI Agency, the agency's business manager Greg Tarry said he reviewed copies of Kiska's medical records for November and was also given copies of the daily observation sheets completed by staff.
"This animal appears to be in good health and is eating a full ration," Tarry wrote, adding there were no signs of bleeding or injury. "It is my opinion that there is no cause for concern on the part of the (CAZA) commission regarding the health of the animal at this time."
According to the report, Marineland staff and management were "open and candid in their comments and provided any and all information and assistance requested" during the inspection.
"There were no concerns identified during the inspection that the commission need react to at this time," Tarry wrote.
The inspection also included a water

Feces study gets the poop on gorillas’ diet 
Chemical traces in animals’ droppings reflect recent shifts in food consumption
Chemical signatures in a gorilla’s feces reveal a lot about short-term changes in its diet, a new study finds.
What an animal eats tells scientists how it survives in its habitat and adapts to environmental changes. But observing animals dining in the wild isn’t always practical. Now, researchers have tracked monthly shifts in the diets of wild mountain gorillas by measuring different forms of carbon in the animals’ feces. 
Researchers monitored eastern gorillas (Gorilla beringei) in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwestern Uganda over a 10-month period from 2002 to 2003, collecting the apes’ scat and samples of the animals’ favorite foods — leaves, fruit, fruit peels and wood. 
Back in the lab, the scientists subjected the dung and plant foods to a rigorous chemical analysis. Specifically, they measured isotopes, different forms of a particular element, such as carbon. Such isotopes are present in distinct amounts in various foods. By measuring the ratio of two carbon isotopes in the gorilla droppings, researchers reconstructed what foods the apes had been feasting on at different times of year, noting a peak in fruit consumption from February to March and from June to July. The study appears online December 10 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Stable isotope analysis has been used (before), but not to study endangered African apes,” says anthropologist

Sumatran tiger sperm bank
In a crouching posture and with a sharp stare for any approaching figure, a tiger gave a loud roar audible some 10 meters away. It was Ara, a once deadly 17-year-old female Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) now kept at Taman Safari Indonesia (TSI) conservation park in Cisarua, Bogor.
“Its right front leg was cut off after getting entangled in a trap set up by oil palm growers in Riau in 1997,” Irawan, head of the park’s education division, told The Jakarta Post at the TSI’s Sumatran Tiger Captive Breeding Center (PPHS) recently.
Ara is one of the nine rare Sumatran tigers now being bred in captivity at PPHS. Discovered at the age of two, it is among those originally caught by local people in the forests of Sumatra. Some of them are old while others are physically impaired. These tigers are considered unfit for release into the wild.
The breeding ground covers 1 hectare of the TSI’s total area of 186 hectares on the slopes of Mount Pangrango. Closed to the general public, PPHS is the world’s only Sumatran tiger captive breeding center. 
This center is tasked with rescuing the last of the three tiger sub-species once belonging to Indonesia, after Balinese tigers (Panthera tigris balica) and Javanese tigers (Panthera tigris sundaica) were declared extinct by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 1940 and around 1980.
Interestingly, the rescue is not only conducted through the natural process of reproduction, but also by building a Sumatran tiger sperm bank, so as to better guarantee the conservation of the last tiger sub-species in the country. 
In 2007, at a workshop on the prevention of Sumatran tiger hunting and trading organized in Medan, North Sumatra, wildlife watchdog group Traffic Southeast Asia’s regional program officer Chris Shepherd said Sumatran tigers might go extinct by 2015. 
Hunting, habitat fragmentation and forest burning have threatened the existence of Sumatran tigers, now listed as critically endangered animals, the highest category of threat. According to Shepherd, no less than 50 Sumatran tigers were traded in 2006, in whole form as well as in body parts.
Forum HarimauKita, a tiger rescue forum, referred to hunting and conflict with men as major threats to Sumatran tigers. Between

Why White Tigers Should Go Extinct
Everything you’ve been told about this exotic, royal, endangered species is wrong.
A white tiger is a striking creature. Tigers are always impressive animals, but when you take away the orange, the result is a big cat that looks like a phantom out of a dream. They seem almost magical, and yet I firmly believe that the world would be a better place if there was not a single white tiger in it.

There are only about 4,000 tigers, at most, remaining in the wild. Yet there are probably tens of thousands of captive tigers around the world (there is no official census). This would appear to make a compelling case for the existence of zoos and private collections. If tigers can survive and breed well in captivity, then perhaps more can be introduced to the wild when safe habitat becomes available. Yet that system isn’t working the way we think it does. A huge number of the captive tigers are hybrids of various subspecies and are so inbred that they will never be suitable for reintroduction to the wild. No tigers are more emblematic of this problem than white tigers.

I recently asked friends on Facebook to write down their thoughts about white tigers without searching for any new information. Some very intelligent people were under the impression that white tigers are a variety of Siberian tiger, camouflaged for a snowy climate. Others applauded zoos with white tigers for supporting conservation of white tigers while lamenting a lag in reintroduction efforts. Only one out of 27 respondents knew that white tigers are not a subspecies at all but rather the result of a mutant gene that has been artificially selected through massive inbreeding to produce oddball animals for human entertainment.

These Are 12 Of The World's Weirdest Zoos

Pygmy Elephants Get Protection Boost from Genetics
To help protect a diminutive elephant researchers are taking an innovative look at the pachyderm's genome.
The goal is to understand the genetic diversity of pygmy elephants on the island of Borneo. Numbering about 2,000, these babyish-looking elephants are the most endangered subspecies of Asian elephant. They live primarily in the Malaysian state of Sabah on Borneo, where they are threatened by the loss and fragmentation of their forest, often by development associated with palm oil, widely used, edible plant oil.
"We are interested in looking at the diversity of elephants around the whole distribution range in Sabah," said study researcher Reeta Sharma, a postdoctoral fellow at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC) in Portugal.
Sharma and colleagues want to see how genetic diversity is distributed within the Borneo elephant population and how the fragmentation — or breaking up — of their forest habitat is affecting it by, for example, isolating groups of elephants. Increased isolation can be problematic because it means inbreeding, which can lead to more sickly and vulnerable animals. Their results

Saving Rhinos: crowdfunding campaign on to fund ethical alternative to rhino horn launched by Rhinoceros Horn LLC
Rhinoceros Horn has launched a campaign on crowdfunding site,, to raise funds for an ethical alternative to rhino horn. The company hopes to raise $300,000 USD in order to manufacture and ship its product--a keratin protein powder that its co-founders are teaming up with Keraplast Technologies to produce. The campaign indicates that the product is biologically identical to crushed rhino horn powder and will be used to curb demand for rhino horn in Southeast Asia, and so reducing incentives for poachers to kill endangered rhinos in India and South Africa.

News of this campaign comes just as the number of rhinos killed reached an all-time high of 618, surpassing last year's record of 448. In the last five years, the number of rhinos poached has increased by 4,650 percent from 13 in 2007. Rhino conservation experts recently warned that rhinos will be extinct within ten years if these trends were not reversed. Despite international law protecting rhinos as endangered species, rhino poaching is rampant as poachers kill rhinos for their horn. The illegal contraband is then smuggled into Southeast Asia where it is used for traditional medicine and as a recreational drug.

"This is a serious problem and there is no easy answer," said company CEO, Huyen Hoang. "But any long-term solution must curb demand for rhino horn in Southeast

Questions about Oregon Zoo elephant calf's future put captive breeding in the spotlight
Consider Tuesday's flap over the Oregon Zoo's newborn elephant a peek behind the legal, biological, logistical and philosophical curtain of captive breeding. 
Those who follow zoo news, whether they're fans or foes, expressed worry and outrage after the Seattle Times reported Monday night that the 300-pound female calf born Friday in Portland might "be fated to a life with a controversial traveling elephant show." 
Anyone minding Oregon's websites and social media could nearly hear a collective: What? How could it be? 
Oregon Zoo officials raced to set the record straight. Kim Smith, director, stood at a bank of microphones shortly after 8:30 a.m. and said: "That calf has always been intended to stay here. ... Her family is here. ... It was never a question for us." 
Have Trunk Will Travel, the private California elephant ranch that will own the calf once she’s 30 days old, never questioned, either, that the calf would stay at the zoo.
"Have Trunk Will Travel has no intention and has never had any intention of coming to take Rose-Tu’s calf,” Kari Johnson, co-founder, said in an email. "Have Trunk Will Travel supports Oregon Zoo’s vision for elephants and has great appreciation for the way they care for elephants. We are very proud of the significant contribution we have made together for Asian elephants. We could not be more excited about the birth of this new calf.” 
A female calf is particularly valuable to the zoo as it works toward a long-stated vision of a large, matriarchal herd. Zoo officials say that scenario is

PERRIS: Elephant trainers angry over article
A recent article in the Oregonian ruffled the feathers of animal lovers in our northern neighbor-state
Great fanfare welcomed a baby elephant born in the Oregon Zoo on Nov. 30, but the article revealed the calf didn’t belong to the zoo. It belonged to Have Trunk Will Travel, a private organization in Perris.

While the article was factually accurate, the way it was phrased made it sound as though the Perris breeder was going to take the baby away from its mommy in about a month, said Keri Johnson, co-owner of Have Trunk Will Travel.

So she and her husband, Gary, fired back at the Oregonian with the letter below.





More money for more conversations about conservation.
 by Karl Ammann.
 Having recently been sent some press statements concerning the out of control trade in great apes , I decide to look up the link below on how the issue was raised at last week’s GRASP council meeting at UNESCO in Paris.
 Scanning over the images and names in the various picture galleries I concluded that I am familiar with most of these players. Many have been in the great ape business for decades. My guess is that cumulatively they have spent tens of millions of dollars attending such venues and held thousands of such conversations about conservation. 
Some of the relevant summary statements at the opening of this get together make it clear that they accept that things today are worse for the apes than they have been at any time in the recent past. However the players attending this GRASP meeting and generally flying from meeting to meeting are also the ones who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on conservation projects supposedly doing something about the plight of the apes. 
Now they are telling us we are worse off than before. 
The sanctuaries are full (some of those attending still advocating euthanasia for the orphans supposedly because they are lost to the wild genetic pool, not accepting the fact that each new orphan is a failure of their conservation efforts).

Is the world’s largest tiger reserve a front for Burma’s cronies?
In the Hukawng Valley in northern Burma, locals say they haven’t seen any tigers for years. It’s an odd revelation, for the area is home to the world’s largest tiger reserve whose establishment in 2001 was championed by the Burmese government and a legion of international conservationists as a sign of unprecedented environmental progress.

But all appears not what it seems. The area is bereft of tigers, according to activist Bauk Ja who spoke with the Irrawaddy last week. “The hunters have told me there are no more tigers left,” she says.

“In mid-2010, less than a year before fighting erupted throughout Kachin State, Bawk Jar conducted an extensive field trip to remote parts of the valley where tigers were known to live,” writes the Irrawaddy, in a thorough piece



Pygmy slow loris twins born at Bristol Zoo


Bristol Zoo Gardens is now home to twin baby pygmy slow lorises. These are the 11thand 12th successful births at the zoo, following the arrival of four lorises from Poznan zoo in 1999.


The little newcomers are just two weeks old and are currently about 6cms tall with birth weights of around just 20-25 grams. We are yet to find out the gender of the twins, but once we do names will be decided upon for our two new additions.


For the first few days, the young loris clings to the belly of its mother but once their young are big enough, the female loris ‘parks’ her babies, rather than carrying them around everywhere. Our female, Lorraine, is doing just that but will regularly go back to them for feeding and moving them as she sees fit. The family is on-show in Twilight World.


Lynsey Bugg, Assistant Curator of Mammals said, “The twins are Lorraine’s first babies and she is proving to be a real natural. They are doing really well with their mother, with all of them displaying normal loris behaviours.”


Lorraine and her twins are part of the European Endangered Species (EEP) breeding programme, managed by Poznan Zoo. The natural environment of slow lorises has suffered from extensive destruction due to war, agricultural and development purposes.


The EEP is an intensive type of population management, which involves a species coordinator monitoring status and producing a plan for the future management of their designated species, which includes cultivating breeding opportunities.


Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work in the zoo, but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents

My dream zoo has become my worst nightmare: TV presenter Anna Ryder Richardson heartbroken after £100,000 court fine for accident at her animal park
This morning, like any other, I’ll walk around the grounds of my zoo, stopping to greet each  of the animals, from the gibbons to the zebras, meerkats, lemurs and our pride  and joy, two young rhinos named Zamba and Jambo. 
Over the past five years since  fulfilling a lifelong dream by buying Manor House Wildlife Park in  Pembrokeshire, Wales, I’ve had a privileged existence. I spend my days tramping about in my wellies among these incredible creatures, covered in mud and looking as though I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards, and I love it.

But this weekend, not even the animals can lift my spirits. After a court ruling last week, I have no idea whether my dream can

Film to show behind-the-scenes work of keepers at the Memphis Zoo
Filmmakers Joann Self Selvidge and Sara Kaye Larson wanted to make a documentary about the Memphis Zoo, but were a little stumped.
After all, you could find dozens of ideas for a film at the zoo ... but what to focus on?
Then a realization dawned: Why not focus the documentary on the folks who know everything about a zoo, the keepers? Why not tell the stories of those who spend much of their lives making sure the animals are cared for?
"You have keepers who know more than anybody else about what it's like to care for animals in captivity," Selvidge said. "They have the most amazing stories about the animals, about the zoo, about their profession. So many of the keepers we've met are really fascinating, above and beyond the fact that they have this really cool job."
In September, the pair began filming keepers at the zoo, and plan to continue shooting through the next few months.
They hope to finish shooting, editing and production by the summer in time to get "The Keepers" showing at various film festivals.
So far, they've raised about $10,000 toward their goal of $30,000 to finance the film. More details, as well as preliminary footage, can be found online at
Still, it wasn't easy to convince the zoo to allow them the kind of access they needed, Selvidge said. Fortunately, they had an ally in

FOX Files: Zoo Poison Results
Lab tests appear to contradict statements by the St. Louis Zoo about a cup of coffee reportedly `poisoned.`  The Zoo has since fired the supervisor who gagged on his coffee and a spokesman disputes anything was poisoned.  So Fox Files investigator Chris Hayes asked chemists to analyze the lab results.  The result even surprised former employees who allege `cover up.`

This involves the 2nd reported poisoning of a zoo employee.  Both incidents happened in a common area where employees took their eyes off their drinks, then later gagged on something they said was not supposed to be there.

Regina Haywood said her soda can tasted like industrial soap.  She claimed the Zoo didn`t take it seriously, waited a week to test the can, then told her it tested negative.  She`s positive someone put something in her drink and she believes it`s because she complained about harassment.  Her boss at the time, John Huffstutler, accepted the complaint but said his supervisors told him, “Regina needs, if she`s going to be in charge, she needs to be prepared for people to call her a bitch.

New owner promises facelift for Portaferry aquarium
Portaferry's Exploris Aquarium is set for a facelift following news that it is to be managed by private sector company Livingstone Leisure Ltd.

The successful bid by the company marks the latest step in the transfer of management from Ards Borough Council into the private sector and work now starts on finalising the 25-year lease of the aquarium and surrounding parkland.

Livingstone Leisure Ltd, which specialises in operating visitor attractions, is now planning to enhance the experience at Exploris and boost visitor numbers.

The investment will secure the long-term future of the aquarium, according to councillor Robert Gibson

Raise a glass to support Rhino Conservation 

Cape Town, South Africa, 13 November 2012—Rhino Wine South Africa today launched a new range of wines, which aim to support conservation efforts to protect South Africa’s rhinos. 

Rhino poaching is currently at an all-time high, with South Africa, home to the world’s largest rhino populations particularly affected. 

For every bottle of wine purchased, R2.00 will be donated to TRAFFIC, the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network, to support conservation work in southern Africa. 

“The philosophy behind the Rhino Wine SA brand is for consumers to gain awareness of the crisis facing rhinos, raise funds for TRAFFIC’s conservation efforts, while at the same time enjoying a glass of Vino with a CAUSE (responsibly, of course!),” said Charise Matthews for Rhino Wine SA.

The new wine range, exclusively bottled by a top wine estate in the Western Cape, includes a Sauvignon Blanc and a blend of Shiraz/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Zoo boss hits out at council ‘delays’
A ZOO owner has hit out at council officials, saying they are delaying a £5m expansion that would bring much needed jobs to the area.
South Lakes Wild Animal Park’s owner, David Gill, has launched a Facebook appeal asking people to question why Barrow Borough Council is taking so long to give the green light to work at the park.
 Mr Gill said he received a letter from the local authority on Friday saying it was waiting for Cumbria County Council to give the all-clear to plans for a minor entrance to a car park, which is part of the expansion.
 He said the expansion would “give people and animals more space” as well as introducing new animals to the zoo, such as wolves, rhinos and zebras.
The zoo founder said he has been “jumping through hoops” since he put in the planning application in 2009.
In July last year, the plans were initially rejected by Barrow Borough Council’s planning committee – Mr Gill appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, which ruled in his favour in February.
 In May he gave the council a report on how he would fulfil conditions it had put on granting the application. 
Mr Gill, who founded the animal park 18 years ago, said: “Barrow Borough Council make it very, very hard for us.”
Since the plans are taking so long to be approved the contractors for the building

Exposed: UK zoo is source of inbred lions used in Japanese circus
Investigators from UK charities, Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) and Lion Aid, have today released evidence to suggest that white lions bred at West Midland Safari Park have been shipped, via a UK animal trainer, to a travelling circus in Japan. The news has been branded “a shocking betrayal of both the animals and the public” by the two investigating organisations.

In 2010, CAPS obtained footage of white lions being trained for a circus-style performance at Oxfordshire-based animal training business, Amazing Animals (which also goes by the name Heythrop Zoological Gardens). A few months later, information was received that the same big cats had been supplied to Amazing Animals by West Midland Safari Park and were due to be shipped to Japan to join the Kinoshita Circus later in that year. Further research carried out more recently by Lion Aid has shown import and export records match with the information provided, and monitoring of captive lion populations appears to confirm that West Midland is the only UK zoo with sufficient white lions to be the source. The link between the zoo and Amazing Animals was confirmed beyond any doubt when a 2007 episode of the zoo’s own television show, Safari Park, was unearthed by investigators. The episode shows

Fury as safari park lions end up in Japanese circus
A SAFARI park has been slammed for selling four rare white lion cubs — that are now forced to perform in a Japanese CIRCUS.

They were among eight cubs born at West Midlands Safari Park in Bewdley, Worcs, in 2010 and sent to entertainment firm Amazing Animals of Chipping Norton, Oxon, aged six months.

Undercover footage appears to show Amazing Animals owner Jim Clubb training the lions — now in Japan’s Circus Kinoshita. The circus website says its lions were born in a UK

White Tiger Escapes From Enclosure in Czech Zoo
A rare white tiger attacked three employees in a Czech zoo Thursday after escaping from its enclosure, officials said.

Lenka Markovicova, spokeswoman for the rescuers in the northern city of Liberec, says one man has been hospitalized with head injuries. She says he is not in life-threatening condition. Two women suffered minor injuries and were also taken to the local hospital for treatment.

Zoo spokesman Ivan Langr said the tiger named Paris has been tranquilized and poses no further danger. He said the zoo's employees were shocked and that it was not

Zoo Monkey Death Update: Man killed zoo monkey during theft try, prosecutors say
A 22-year-old man clubbed a monkey to death with a tree branch, after he was bitten by the animal while trying to steal it from a Boise zoo, prosecutors allege.

Michael J. Watkins entered Zoo Boise on Saturday morning, manipulated a lock to get into the primate enclosure and removed the patas monkey by wrapping it in his jacket, Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Fafa Alidjani told reporters after Watkins was arraigned in Boise's 4th District Court.

"He told police he was going to throw the monkey outside the fence," Alidjani said Wednesday. When he failed, the monkey bit him, prompting Watkins to use a tree branch to bash the monkey in the head and neck, she said.

A security guard spotted the intruder, who ran, and the animal died a short time after it was found by zoo officials.

Watkins isn't scheduled to enter a plea on his felony burglary and grand theft charges until a preliminary hearing Dec. 5.

If he's convicted, Watkins faces up to 10 years in prison for

California sanctuary ‘not suitable’ for Toronto’s elephants, zoo’s CEO says
The California sanctuary slated as the next home for the Toronto Zoo’s three remaining elephants “isn’t suitable” because it has a problem with tuberculosis, says the zoo’s CEO in a report set to go before city council next week.

The report from John Tracogna says that a due diligence review of PAWS by the zoo resulted in the sanctuary not providing all the medical records the zoo has asked for. The zoo also has concerns about steps PAWS has taken to contain tuberculosis there.

The zoo also claims PAWS has “no workable transportation plan” in place to safely move the elephants.

Tracogna says the National Elephant Center in Florida, a sanctuary-like facility set to be completed next spring, has offered to take Toronto’s elephants, and zoo staff will undertake a full review of the facility.

Last year, city council voted to send the animals to PAWS. However, a contract between PAWS and the zoo has a clause that says the zoo’s CEO can kill the contract at no cost to either side if he is not satisfied after a due diligence review of the sanctuary.

Tracogna wants the elephant transfer issue to go back to the Toronto Zoo’s board of management.

PAWS has acknowledged that there are cases of TB “exposure” among its Asian elephants. However, it says they are kept separate

Education for Nature - Vietnam (ENV) ID Online
Các loài ??ng v?t hoang dã th??ng b? buôn bán
Education for Nature - Vietnam (ENV) has launched a new version of an online species identification resource with a friendlier interface and additional species. The improvements are designed to encourage greater public participation in protecting Vietnam’s wildlife. 
The web-based species identification resource allows members of the public to identify wildlife species that are commonly observed in trade using key characteristics that distinguish the animal from other similar species. The resource also includes references to the current legal status of each species, and links to ENV’s online wildlife crime reporting system. This enables users to easily report crimes that they have observed, either directly via the webpage or through ENV’s national toll-free Wildlife Crime Hotline.

Anna Ryder Richardson's wildlife park and her husband are fined £70,000; Pictures
A wildlife park run by TV star Anna Ryder Richardson and her husband has been fined £70,000 for health and safety breaches.

Colin MacDougall, the celebrity interior designer’s husband, received a further fine of £4,000 after he admitted to two identical

Toutoune the elephant dies at Granby Zoo
Animal rights activists are raising questions about the health of elephants kept in Canadian zoos following the death of Toutoune, a resident of the Granby Zoo.

Toutoune, a 35-year-old elephant, died of complications related to pneumonia on Sunday in the zoo located about 90 kilometres east of Montreal.

"The pneumonia had been there for one or two weeks" said veterinarian Marie-Josée Limoges. "We know that she had been in less good shape for a few months prior to that and that probably led her to being in a state where she was more fragile."

Zoocheck Canada, an animal protection charity group, said elephants are not meant to live in Canada.

The group has been trying to remove the large animals from the Toronto Zoo.

"Climate is a concern and it forces… many elephants to be kept indoors for long periods of time. That can lead to not only psychological problems, but foot problems, obesity and

Edinburgh Zoo Announces Design of Penguin Enclosure

Edinburgh Zoo today announced detailed design plans for Penguins Rock, the 21st century colony currently being developed for the Zoo’s iconic penguins.

The Zoo is also delighted to announce that over £130,000 has been raised via their Penguins Rock Appeal which launched in July – the most successful fundraising appeal ever by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and testament to how well-loved the celebrated penguins are.

Due for completion early next year, the centenary year of Edinburgh Zoo, the Zoo’s king, gentoo and rockhopper penguins – including the honoury Sir Nils Olav - will return in time to settle into their revamped pad before the spring breeding season commences.

Excitingly, a number of new female king penguins are also expected to make Edinburgh their home. With very few in breeding programmes, the females would return with the Zoo’s all male colony and hopefully the waddle of king penguin chicks will be seen in the not too distant future. 

Anne the elephant circus abuse: Bobby Roberts guilty
A circus owner has been found guilty of three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a performing elephant.
Bobby Roberts, 69, was found guilty of mistreating 58-year-old elephant Anne and was given a three-year conditional discharge.
Roberts was also convicted of failing to prevent an employee from repeatedly beating the animal.
His wife Moira, 75, was found not guilty of the same charges at Northampton Crown Court.
The court had been shown secretly-filmed footage of the animal being struck with a pitchfork by a groom.
The video was recorded by welfare group Animal Defenders International (ADI) between 21 January and 15 February 2011.
It showed the Asian elephant being kicked and struck with a pitchfork several times by the groom, Nicolai Nitu, at the Bobby Roberts' Super Circus' winter quarters

Trial by Media.. and what the papers didn't tell you 
As news stations and newspapers fall over themselves to report on the verdict of the Bobby Roberts case, the judge presiding over the case expressed a different type of excitement. Animal Defenders International (ADI) will, no doubt, mark this case down as a victory and the result would seem to indicate that they are justified. Jan Creamer, President and founder of Animal Defenders International, will decry the sentence given by the judge, as she did with the Mary Chipperfield case. Bobby Roberts received no fine, no costs and the judge dismissed any suggestion of Bobby Roberts not being able to keep animals, in the future. 

ADI will undoubtedly use this as yet another example of how the law is unfair on animals and how organisations such as theirs need to be 'out there', continuing to fight the cause. "Please send your money to..." and you know all the rest. However, what Creamer and ADI won't be publicising is the way the judge viewed them.
For example, what hasn't made the news is the revelation of the sort of people ADI pay to carry out their operations. Robert Cogswell was the man ADI admitted to employing to plant the camera that recorded the condemning evidence of Anne the elephant. Cogswell, who was giving evidence for the prosecution, revealed under cross-examination that he had connections to major extremist animal rights groups. He is an ex-PETA member and has been heavily connected to the Animal Liberation Front, a terrorist organization claiming responsibility for a huge number of crimes. Cogswell has publicly defended ALF on several occasions. He also has a previous conviction for possession of a firearm with intent to kill or cause serious harm.

In spite of his verdict, District Judge David Chinery, who presided over the case, said he was not convinced by Jan Creamer's testimony; the only part in which he believed was her denial that the Romanian groom who carried out the beatings and disappeared before the videos were made public, Nicolae Nitu, was planted by ADI. Rouster doesn't believe this either. However, we think it is highly plausible that Nitu was paid to hit Anne the elephant. Around 60% of the beatings administered by the groom were committed within the last three days of filming. 

Throughout the trial the question was asked "Why was the elephant beaten?" It is a question Rouster has asked since the news first broke. There is no visible or explainable reason why the groom hit the elephant. The animal was not being moved over, not being made to perform and the groom was not showing signs of losing his temper. No one could come up with a plausible answer.
Another serious question was raised


Hoofstock Nutrition Training Seminar

European Union seeks to stop shark finning with 'milestone' vote
The European Union on Thursday sought to block fishermen from slashing off shark fins and dumping the fish back into the water, closing a loophole in its existing rules.
Environmentalists warn shark populations are in jeopardy as ships scoop them up solely for their fins, prized in Asia for the expensive delicacy of shark fin soup. Some fishermen hack off the fins because the shark body is much less valued, a practice shunned by conservation groups as wasteful and inhumane.
The European bloc has banned shark finning for nearly a decade but had allowed some vessels to remove fins at sea if they showed they could use all parts of the shark. Spain and Portugal used the loophole most often, according to the EU. Activists complained that because ships could take carcasses and fins to different ports, it was difficult to detect if they were dumping the bodies.
Now sharks must land at ports with their fins still attached, the European Parliament decided Thursday. Lawmakers overwhelmingly backed the resolution, with 566 out of 629 voting in favor.
The decision marks “a major milestone in ending the wasteful practice of shark finning,” said Uta Bellion of the nonprofit Pew Environment Group, praising the EU for joining Central America, the United States and Taiwan in adopting a “fins-attached” policy.
The rule must now be endorsed by EU fisheries,0,237835.story

Addressing zoo animal welfare concerns in M'sia
The new Wildlife Conservation (Operation of Zoo) Regulations 2012 is a big step in the right direction, providing hope for hundreds of animals in Malaysia's zoos and placing Malaysia at the forefront of tackling zoo animal welfare concerns.
Representatives from Malaysian and International organisations, Perlihitan and university lecturers met yesterday for a roundtable discussion on addressing Zoo Animal Welfare in Malaysia, hosted by myZOO.
While the new regulations are widely acknowledged to be the best in Southeast Asia in terms of ensuring high welfare standards, participants of the roundtable discussions called for more effective enforcement of the regulations.
The task ahead is challenging. With over 30 zoos in Peninsular Malaysia, many of which still fail to meet the new regulations, it will take concerted effort and co-operation between the zoos, zoo associations, NGOs, local universities and the government to improve the welfare of zoo animals.
"We are urging the state and/or federal governments to provide assistance to help committed zoos improve the welfare of animals in their care. We also hope that corporations will sponsor or donate generously towards zoo animal welfare programmes.
"MyZOO will be establishing partnerships with local zoos to improve animal welfare, and for greater transparency we will take up the offer from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to be part of the zoo audit team which will include members from myZOO and the Malaysian Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria (MAZPA)" said Dr Sharmini Paramasivam, myZOO spokesperson.
To empower members of the public, myZOO will be establishing a new Facebook page to provide advice about zoo animal welfare issues and act as a channel for complaints on these issues.
MyZOO is also calling for the implementation of continuous education programmes for animal caregivers in zoos, to improve expertise in animal husbandry and enrichment and encourage the sharing of research findings on zoo animal welfare.
We believe it will take a while to get there, but with the new regulations in place and with zoos, NGOs and government agencies working together to ensure Malaysia's zoos meet them, Malaysia could soon be leading the way in zoo animal welfare standards in the region and beyond.
The roundtable discussion was attended by representatives from Malaysian organisations: APE Malaysia, Malaysian Nature Society, Noah's Ark Ipoh, Sahabat Alam Malaysia, SPCA Penang, SPCA Selangor; PERHILITAN; Dr Reuben Sharma and Dr Sumita Sugnaseelan from Universiti Putra Malaysia together with International organisatio

Zoo's £30m Islands project roars ahead
Chester Zoo will begin work in 2013 on its tropical islands recreation and the UK's biggest indoor attraction - an Indonesian jungle house - after winning consent from Cheshire West & Chester Council.

The Islands project will occupy a previously unused 500,000 sq ft area of the zoo's estate.

The new attraction will feature a boat tour of habitats designed to imitate the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Bali, Sumatra, Sumba and Sulawesi. There will be educational exhibits, play areas, restaurants and village-style food stands.

The zoo will use Islands to show off its conservation activities as visitors navigate their way through mangroves, swamps, bamboo and tropical forests. Islands will include an Indonesian jungle house, which will be the largest indoor zoo exhibit in the UK and home to the orangutans, and retail and catering outlets.

The development will be home to animals and plants from south east Asian islands including banteng cattle and the Sunda-Gavial crocodile. Other animal species will include Sumatran tigers, orangutans, Indonesian rhinoceros hornbills, Sulawesi macaques and exotic birds such as the lorikeet.

It is expected that it will take visitors 90 minutes to make their journey.

Dr Mark Pilgrim, director general of Chester Zoo, said: "Islands will see the dawning of a new age for zoos and it will be an unparalleled experience. We will be transporting our visitors thousands of miles away to experience the splendour of the animals, plants and cultural aspects of far-flung places. It will be the first time a UK zoo has attempted anything on this scale and will confirm Chester Zoo's position as a world leader."

Planning consultancy Barton Willmore advises the zoo. Dan Mitchell, partner in Barton Willmore's Manchester office, said: "The Cheshire business community and local authorities support this scheme because they recognise its great significance and the boost it could give the local economy.

"It is fundamental to the region's tourism strategy and will attract millions of extra visitors to the region for years to come."

The project was designed by

Crushed Taronga Zoo elephant keeper Lucy Melo reveals her ordeal
THE pressure of being crushed against a bollard by a 1000kg Asian elephant drained Taronga Zoo keeper Lucy Melo's lungs of air so she couldn't order the animal away. 
Ms Melo has spoken for the first time about the moment she was almost killed by Pathi Harn on October 19.

In a vivid account of the incident, the 40-year-old revealed the 2 1/2-year-old male's behaviour changed just a few days before she was crushed in the zoo's elephant enclosure.

Amazingly, despite her heart stopping for five minutes, she has apparently suffered no serious lasting injuries and only has to "wait for some fractured ribs to heal".

Ms Melo wrote in a blog posted on the zoo's website yesterday that Pathi Harn had been timid since his "miracle" birth - he was born two days after being pronounced dead in Porntip's womb and nicknamed Mr Shuffles for the way he walked - and was at the bottom of the herd hierarchy.

"He was much more cautious than our other calves and required a lot of reassurance and encouragement. He would even become anxious if a new toy was introduced to him," she wrote.

World's most expensive coffee tainted by 'horrific' civet abuse
Asian palm civets are force-fed a debilitating diet of coffee berries to create Kopi Luwak, say animal welfare groups
It's the world's most expensive coffee and is made from faeces, but connoisseur drinkers should feel most squeamish about the "horrific" abuse that mars its production process, animal welfare groups have claimed.
Kopi Luwak, or civet coffee, is created mainly in Indonesia from beans of coffee berries that are fed to Asian palm civets – small, cat-like creatures found in south-east Asia.
The brand has experienced a recent surge in popularity, fuelled in part by a memorable appearance in the 2007 film The Bucket List, pushing its export price up to $230 (£145) a pound.
Kopi Luwak has spread from Indonesia to the US and Europe, with a London outlet last year announcing that it will charge patrons £70 for a cup.
But its high-end pricing and idiosyncratic origin mask the grim reality of the coffee's production, which has morphed from a casual cottage industry for rural Indonesians to intensive farming.

Training is key for wild animals, just like the family dog
Boo’s world turned upside down when Athena moved in last spring to share the large barn owl enclosure at the Akron Zoo. After getting a new roommate, the raptor, who had seemed happy splitting her digs with the male owl that died of old age, inexplicably became aggressive when zoo staff entered her habitat, said owl trainer Shannon Benedict of Stow.
“Whenever anyone goes in the cage, she starts shrieking and screaming so loudly you can hear her all over the zoo,” she explained. She asked nationally recognized animal behaviorist Dr. Grey Stafford for help to curb the owl’s obvious stress.
Stafford, author of the book Zoomility: Keeper Tales of Training with Positive Reinforcement, visited the zoo recently to conduct a behavior training seminar for the public and help staff members find solutions for stubborn behavior issues, said mammal curator Eric Albers of Twinsburg. 
“It’s an opportunity for our staff members to talk to someone who’s been at it for 22 years,” Albers said.
When the group arrived at the barn owl habitat, they saw Boo quietly resting in a nest box while her nemesis, Athena, had claimed Boo’s favorite perch. Benedict acknowledged she hit a roadblock while trying to help the bird learn to cope with the newcomer.
“Are there any fights between the two?” Stafford asked.
Boo never confronts Athena, “just me,” Benedict said.
“Well, she’s taking it out on you,” Stafford told her.
Stafford suggested Benedict try feeding the bird frequently during the day so she would associate the food Benedict was giving her with positive feelings.
Eventually, the nocturnal hunter’s daytime world would begin to revolve around seeing Benedict, who represents food, and she would obsess less about her perceived territorial rights being violated, he said.
“When you leave, they should know the food leaves, too,” he said.
Stafford, who grew up in Cleveland, began his zoological career as a trainer at Sea World in Aurora. He said his methods work with all animals, including domestic cats.
“They are just like the big cats here — the lions and jaguars — when it comes to training.” 
They are still felines, Albers reminded a visitor. “These guys

Laguna Phuket hails elephant probe result
Laguna Phuket this morning issued a statement welcoming the final resolution of the legality of the baby elephant Joey after a nine-month wait for DNA test results.
Ziya Birkan, Deputy Managing Director and Laguna Resorts & Hotels, said in the statement, “We’re very pleased the authorities have resolved the question of Joey’s parentage through DNA testing.

“Obviously [we are] disappointed he won’t be able to return here to his former role as a popular and much-loved member of our Laguna Phuket family.

“Joey was acquired by us in good faith after we carried out exhaustive due diligence, receiving written confirmations [that] he was legally registered and obtained through necessary regulations.

“Now that has been proven not to be the case, we hope the authorities will continue to use DNA testing to thoroughly investigate the legality of elephants.

“The wellbeing and welfare of our elephants at Laguna Phuket’s Elephant Camp is paramount to us. The Camp has been inspected

Bornean Elephant: Genomics Helps With Conservation
Studying the genetic variability of endangered species is becoming increasingly necessary for species conservation and monitoring. But, endangered species are difficult to observe and sample, and typically harbour very limited genetic diversity. Until now, the process of finding genetic markers was time consuming and quite expensive. These obstacles make the collection of genetic data from endangered animals a difficult task to fulfill. A research team led by Lounès Chikhi, group leader at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC) and CNRS researcher (in Toulouse, France), has now contributed to change the

Pressure mounts on Manila Zoo to relieve ailing elephant’s suffering 
More than 40 animal protection organizations from around the globe have added their names to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia’s call to transfer Mali — a 35-year-old solitary elephant suffering at the Manila Zoo — to a spacious sanctuary where she can enjoy the company of other elephants. The list includes such iconic names as the Earth Island Institute, Animals Asia, the Humane Society International, World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), the International Veterinary Society, and the European Elephant Group. 

 The following comments to various government officials come from just three of the 40-plus organizations:

•“Elephants are social animals, and female elephants stay in their herds for their entire lives. … The suffering that Mali endures on a daily basis is incomprehensible,” writes the Asia for Animals Coalition on behalf of 10 different organizations.

•Keeping a single female elephant in limited space in inadequate captive conditions is also severely damaging to the animal’s mental health,” the’s-suffering

Orangutan populations affected by demographic events – study
Bornean orangutans experienced a major demographic decline and local extirpation during the Pleistocene (2,558,000 to 12,000 years ago) and Holocene (from 12,000 years to the present) due to climate change, the arrival of modern humans, of farmers and recent commercially-driven habitat loss and fragmentation.

This is the main conclusion of a recent paper published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE by a team of scientists from the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC, Portugal), the Anthropological Institute and Museum of the University of Zürich (Switzerland), the CNRS (France), Cardiff University (UK) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC, Sabah).

“The recent loss of habitat and its dramatic fragmentation has affected the patterns of genetic variability and differentiation among the remaining population of orangutans and increased the extinction risk of the most isolated ones,” said Dr Reeta Sharma from IGC, the lead author of the paper.

“We used orangutan samples collected in six different study sites in Sabah (Kinabatangan and Danum Valley) and Kalimantan and genetic markers to identify signals of population decline,” added Sharma.

Dr Benoit Goossens, director of DGFC and a co-author on the paper, said that the dating of the population decline varied across sites but was always within the 200-2,000 years period.

Twin threats to orang utan
A RECENT scientific study has suggested that the dwindling numbers of orang utan in Borneo and the way the animal behaves have been affected by deforestation activities as well as pre-historic events like climate change.

In learning from the past, it highlighted the need to expand conservation measures to ensure no further drop in population.

The study was done by a team of scientists from various institutes in Portugal, Switzerland, France, Britain and Sabah's Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) between the years 2000 and 2012.

The paper, which used samples collected in six different study sites in Sabah and Kalimantan, was published in the journal PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science) last week.

The study found the Bornean orang utan experienced major changes and faced extinction since 2.5 million years ago due to climate change as well as the arrival of farmers. The recent threat comes from commercially-driven habitat loss and fragmentation.

DGFC director Dr Benoit Goossens, co-author of the paper, said these results did not mean that recent fores

Aquarium’s beluga hunt
In seven short years, Georgia Aquarium has become a global advocate for animals, and Atlantans are justifiably proud. A key aspect of Georgia Aquarium’s mission is to welcome the public to learn about animals they would never otherwise see, like beluga whales. An independent 2011 Harris interactive poll revealed that more than 90 percent of Americans support the work done by zoos and aquariums, particularly with regard to education and learning. Our commitment goes further: To ensure a future for belugas through conservation and research.

Beluga whales face climate change and other potentially devastating environmental issues. At Georgia Aquarium, we know it is vitally important that we act now on their behalf. To counteract these forces, our scientific knowledge of them must increase. Much of the research we need to do cannot be conducted in the wild.

We’re working to ensure a sustainable population of belugas in accredited North American facilities. Our success is measurable; of the current population, more than half were born in our care. However, our community now lacks the genetic diversity and age and sex distribution needed to sustain this population. If it is extinguished, we lose all opportunity to continue to care and learn about these incredible, graceful animals.

To overcome this dire situation, as part of the federal process mandated by Congress under the

Sea ice found critical for emperor penguins' foraging 
Scientists worry about effects of climate change because birds travel a long ways 
Motion detectors mounted on emperor penguins have revealed that sea ice plays a critical role in the birds' long food odyssey. 
Emperor penguins rely on sea ice for breeding and feeding. Shifting patterns of sea ice due to changing climate in the Antarctic could alter the penguin's behavior and ecology, said study author Shinichi Watanabe, an animal ecologist and professor at Fukuyama University in Hiroshima, Japan. 
The Antarctic sea ice hit a record maximum this year, but the sea ice distribution around the continent is changing, while the penguins nest in the same place every year.
"If penguins don't stay on the ice during foraging trips, they may not be able to sustain such long trips," Watanabe told OurAmazingPlanet. 
March to the sea 
The image of thousands of penguins shuffling across the frigid Antarctic ice was immortalized in the film "March of the Penguins." Female emperor penguins trek 30 to 75 miles (50 to 120 kilometers) each way during chick-rearing season to bring back food for their young. 
Emperor penguins spend more time foraging than any other penguin species, Watanabe said. "Emperor penguins are a unique ecology, because they are the largest species of penguins and they have the biggest and largest chicks, so they have to bring (a lot of) food," he said. "Also, the distance between the breeding colony and the foraging site is very long, so they need more food." 
The ice helps the penguins gorge on food by providing short, safe rest breaks between long dives, Watanabe and his colleagues found. The results, based on 10 penguins from a colony at Cape Washington in the Ross Sea, were published online Wednesday in the journal PLoS Biology. 
The relationship between sea ice conditions and emperor penguins' foraging has been





Unhappy feet: Bungling shopping centre attacked by animal rights group for putting live South American penguins in an ice rink
 •Humboldt penguins live on rocky islands on the warm Pacific waters of Peru and Chile - not in the Antarctic
•PETA slammed the event as 'tragic' 
Looking bewildered, five penguins scuttle unsteadily across an ice rink in front of more than 150 screaming children.
The five were released to perform for the crowds as part of the launch of a pre-Christmas 'Ice Festival' at a shopping centre.
But last night the event's organisers were condemned after it emerged they are actually Humboldt penguins –  tropical birds which will never have seen ice before.
Onlookers said the birds, which usually nest on the warm Pacific coasts of Peru and Chile, spent much of the ten-minute show falling over.

Professor Rory Wilson, of Swansea University, who has studied penguins for 32 years, said:  'Humboldts are a tropical penguin used to a very warm climate in Chile and they will never, ever come across ice in their natural environment. If they looked cold then they probably were.' 
A spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said of the event at Liverpool's ONE shopping complex three weeks ago: 'This can only have left them petrified and disoriented.'

TV cameras rolled as a keeper tried to coax the birds with fish as they walked around the arena.

PETA, which has celebrity supporters including Mickey Rourke, Jessica Jane Clement and Pamela Anderson, slammed the

The penguins that have stayed faithful for 16 years
A pair of Magellanic penguins have remained faithful to each other for 16 years, according to researchers who have been monitoring the birds and have shown they can travel up to 10,000 miles a year in their search for food and love. 
It is a story of epic journeys and enduring love. 
A pair of Magellanic penguins has been revealed as among the most faithful of couples in the animal kingdom. 
Their relationship has spanned 16 years - almost their entire breeding life - despite spending long periods apart and each of them taking solo trips totalling 200,000 miles. 
Yet each year they have returned to the same nest, and each other, to produce a new brood of chicks. 
Now they have grown old together - the penguin’s natural lifespan means they normally die around 20 years after they start breeding. 
Biologists have expressed surprise at the endurance of the couple’s relationship as most pairings are cut short by either the death of one of the penguins during their long sea journeys or a failure to successfully produce chicks, which are often killed by predators or hunger. 
Research has revealed a tragic twist to Magellanic penguin relationships - if a couple ever fails to successfully hatch their chicks then they will “divorce”, leaving each other to find new partners. 
The longest relationships between penguins previously seen by researchers have been between five and ten years before tragedy strikes and they fail to breed successfully. 
The tale, which would rival any romantic novel, has emerged as part of a 30-year study of Magellanic

Monkey dies from blow to head after zoo break-in
A break-in at Zoo Boise early Saturday left a Patas monkey dead from blunt force trauma to the head and neck and police were analyzing blood found at the scene to determine if it came from the monkey or one of two human intruders.

Two males wearing dark clothing were spotted by a security guard at 4:30 a.m. outside the fence near the primate exhibit, police said. Both fled, one of them heading into the interior of the zoo. Boise police used a thermal imager in searching the 11-acre zoo grounds but didn't find the person.

"I've been here for 15 years and we haven't had anything like this happen," Zoo Boise Director Steve Burns said. "It's unfortunate that we have to let kids know that something like this happens. Monkeys are always among the most favorite animals

Zoos review enclosures after death of Pa. toddler
Visitors at the Los Angeles Zoo can't encounter an African painted dog without a serious climb.
A moat and at least two rings of fences separate the public there from the endangered carnivores, the same species that killed a Whitehall toddler on Nov. 4 at Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.
At the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, two of three viewing areas for painted dogs keep visitors behind glass. The third — an open overlook area — features an outer wall, a roughly 3-foot gap and an inner cantilevered wall to secure the wildlife.
"They can be aggressive just like lions, tigers and bears can be," said Rick Dietz, vice president and general curator at the Audubon Zoo. "They do have a tendency to have a pack mentality when they're together" and feeding.
Zookeepers who oversee some of the 63 painted dogs at 37 zoos nationwide would not criticize the Pittsburgh Zoo's exhibit, where Maddox Derkosh, 2, tumbled from the railing of an observation deck and into the enclosure. Experts said the zoo, accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, looked generally well designed and prepared.
Yet, zoo management experts say, Maddox's death might bring changes at zoos, which have moved to shed traditional cages and adopt more-natural, open-space designs, some of which bring visitors face-to-face with wild animals.
"It will — it does — affect every single zoo. ... It puts everybody on the alert," said Richard J. Snider, a zoology professor at Michigan State University. "I'm sure there are already sketches being made here and there to prevent this."
At least one person who witnessed the death says the zoo should have made the exhibit safer. District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said his investigation will include a review of safety

Celebrating Plants and the Planet:
Climate change. Climate change. Climate change. Before the oceans rise up against us and the storms blow us away, wildlife and plant life will be affected. November’s links (NEWS/Botanical News) reveal some sad changes to our world:
·       Giant Pandas have been hard pressed by their dependence on bamboo for a very long time: human encroachment on habitat, earthquakes, over-harvesting. Now add global warming. Specialization comes at a cost. No bamboo=no pandas.
·       Climate change is redesigning trees, well, at least those that can adapt fast enough. Technically speaking, some mesophytes are becoming xerophytes. What does that mean? Google it or check out the link!
·       As climate change pushes animals into regions where they formerly did not visit or tarry, the landscape is being changed. Animals are forced to destroy their resources as we destroy ours. What a legacy.
·       Trees that depend on wind for seed dispersal will lose out due to climate change. Wind velocities will diminish so the trees will not out-fly the changes to their ecosystem.
·       OK, we need a break, here’s one: Play this Plant Survival Game to see whether you can succeed at what the simplest bean does every day (disclosure: I died young).

Please share these stories with associates, staff, docents and – most importantly – visitors! Follow on Twitter:  – a new story every day as well as hundreds of stories from the past few years.


A ZOO has shelved a £1,000-an-hour “panda keeper” experience after damning criticisms from animal rights activists. Edinburgh Zoo launched the venture in a blaze of publicity this year, offering groups of four people the chance to spend 60 minutes “behind the scenes” with the endangered animals.

Campaigners called it a money-spinning enterprise disguised as a conservation project.
The zoo, which says only “one or two ­people” bought the experience since its August launch, has suspended it, to the relief of animal charity OneKind, which questioned how the zoo would protect Tian Tian and Yang Guang from physical and psychological pressure.
Its policy director Libby Anderson said yesterday: “If people are concerned with conservation, ­perhaps they should donate money to charity and not play zookeeper for the day, use the zoo for their corporate events or hold their weddings there.
“The zoo let it be known that it was going to be very expensive to keep the pandas and they have had to earn their keep… but the pandas shouldn’t be used as diplomatic gifts, commercial money or for entertainment.”
Tian Tian and Yang Guang, or Sweetie and Sunshine, sleep for 14 hours a day but that has not deterred more than 500,000 visitors. It is hoped the pair wil

DNA tests show Lonesome George may not have been last of his species
When the giant tortoise Lonesome George died this summer, conservationists from around the world mourned the extinction his species. However, a genetic analysis by Yale University researchers of tortoises living in a remote area of a Galapagos Island suggests individuals of the same tortoise species may still be alive—perhaps ancestors of tortoises thrown overboard by 19th century sailors.
The study was published in the journal Biological Conservation. On the remote northern tip of Isabella Island, the Yale team collected DNA from more than 1,600 giant tortoises and discovered that 17 were ancestors of the species Chelonoidis abingdoni, native to Pinta Island of which Lonesome George was the last known survivor. The 17 tortoises are hybrids, but evidence suggested a few might be the offspring of a purebred C. abingdoni parent. Five of these tortoises are juveniles, which suggested to researchers that purebred individuals of the species may still live on the rocky cliffs of Isabella in an area called Volcano Wolf. "Our goal is to go back this spring to look for surviving individuals of this species and to collect hybrids," said Adalgisa "Gisella" Caccone, senior research scientist in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and senior author on the study. "We hope that with a selective breeding program, we can reintroduce this tortoise species to its native home." Volcano Wolf where DNA samples were collected is 37 miles away from Pinta Island. Scientists do not believe ocean currents could have carried giant tortoises to Isabella Island. They note that Volcano Wolf is next to Banks Bay, where in the 19th century sailors of naval and whaling vessels

Marineland owner John Holer trying to acquire another killer whale
Marineland owner John Holer is trying to acquire another killer whale for his tourist park, according to the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Association director Bill Peters told the Star he believes Marineland had a another killer whale lined up to join lone Kiska, but it fell through.

Now “they are following leads and looking for opportunities,” said Peters.

Killer whales shouldn’t be kept alone, according to both CAZA and Ontario rules, and Peters said the issue was discussed during an Oct. 26 inspection of Marineland by the industry association.

CAZA announced in early October it would be conducting “unannounced inspections on a four- to six-week schedule.” This was the first.

The association began its investigation of Marineland, along with the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, after a Star series, in which 15 former trainers blamed sporadically poor water quality and short staffing for ill health and death among its animals.

According to CAZA business manager Greg Tarry, who signed off on the Oct. 26 tour, “there were no concerns identified,” other than the lack of an updated water management protocol.

In a first report Oct. 3, CAZA identified water quality issues in three pools, saying it had “an impact on the well-being of the animals in the pools in question.”


Askham Bryan College in York plans new wildlife centre
LEMURS, tapirs and the world’s largest rodent could be coming to York as plans take shape for a new wildlife and conservation centre.

The venture is part of a £6 million investment at Askham Bryan College in York and also includes a children’s farm and a new canine centre with a veterinary nursing suite, hydrotherapy, dog grooming and kennels along with a cattery.

The college which has two sites, one in York, the other at Newton Rigg near Penrith, will see £9m invested into new projects with the bulk being spent at the York campus, creating about 45 new jobs for York, both full


Polar bear Sheba dies, age 35, at the Singapore Zoo
Polar bear Sheba died at the Singapore Zoo on Thursday.

A statement from Wildlife Reserves Singapore late Thursday night said the 35-year-old bear had been "under treatment since September for loss of strength in her hind limbs, but her condition deteriorated in past week".

"A close evaluation revealed her prognosis was poor, and the polar bear had to be euthanised on humanitarian grounds," it said, adding that it was extremely saddened by the passing.

Sheba arrived at the Singapore Zoo on April 14, 1978, from Cologne Zoo, Germany, when she was 14 months old. She was the

Zoo visitors react to news of polar bear’s death
Animal lovers and zoo visitors are saddened by the news that Sheba the polar bear at the Singapore Zoo has died, with a handful asking if there would be a statue or a “burial site” at the zoo in remembrance of the bear.

Sheba was 35 and had a 21-year-old son, Inuka.

The Wildlife Reserves Singapore, which oversees the zoo, issued a statement late last night that Sheba’s health took a dive in September after it lost strength in its hind legs. Although it was being treated, its condition worsened last week and a decision was made that it be "euthanised on humanitarian grounds".

“Serene Tham” wrote on the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Facebook page: “So sad. The last time I saw Sheba was some time ago and for the past year, they have been kept away from visitors... Hope Inuka will cope well.”

“Rathika Madavadas” also said she had been “looking forward to seeing Sheba and Inuka in their new River Safari enclosure”.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore has set aside a new 1,400 sqm habitat in the upcoming River Safari for the polar bears, which will be three-and-a-half times the size of its previous one. The river-themed park is to open early next year.

Zoos and Euthanasia
The Good Zoo and Euthanasia


Global exposure for Darjeeling zoo officials
The Centre seems to have woken up to the problems plaguing the various zoos across the country. The government of India has invited officials of Durrell Wildlife Park (DWP) in Jersey Island to India to interact with zoo directors and educate them on conservation and breeding of endangered animals in captivity.

This will be the first time that DWP will conduct the 'Durrell wildlife conservation trust endangered species recovery course' outside its premises. The five-day programme starting November 17 will be held at the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (PNHZP) in Darjeeling.

This will be followed by a zoo directors' meet that will be attended by additional chief secretary of forest Kumar Das and member secretary of CZA B S Bonal.

Talking about the programme, A K Jha, the Darjeeling zoo director, said, "DWP is known for its animal conservation and breeding program and imparting education to zoo professionals. They have never ventured outside. We will be highly benefited by interacting with officials of the renowned park."

The zoo in Jersey has always concentrated on rare and endangered species and houses over 13

"Can You See The Connection?" (The Fruit Bat Song) by Lucas Miller the "singing zoologist" 

Zoo animals too face stress
The recent festival season may have been fun and relaxing for visitors to the zoos in the country, but not for many of the animals. If you thought only humans are stressed out, read this. According to animal experts, the constant stream of visitors, loud noise, rousing odours, flash bulbs, some people feeding the wrong food can stress out animals. Karnataka is no exception.

Zoo animals living in limited space are confronted by environmental challenges. What they need is some freedom, said experts.

"In India, we can bring in a lot of professionalism in the working of the zoos, given that a lot of data and technology is available. The will to implement it can cut down on the animals' stress," said Ch Kishan, general manager, People for Animals, Bangalore.

"Kinder and competent handling of animals is called for. It can happen when we have the right people at the right places, and not get in officials on deputation from a different department," said city-based ornithologist MB Krishna.

Experts said that a separate cadre needed to be created to fill in the zoo vacancies. "They must come from a wildlife background," said Suparna Bakshi Ganguly, president and co-founder trusteee

ABWAK are pleased to announce their next workshop

**Aardvark Husbandry and Biology Workshop**

Saturday 12th January

Hosted by Colchester Zoo

Members: £20
Non members: £30

Booking form will be available at shortly

Please email  for further enquiries


10.00-10.30 am - Welcome address, housekeeping and

10.30-11.15 Nutrition – Allula and Michelle
(Mazuri and Colchester Zoo)
§  Introduction to Termant
§  The process of introducing a new diet
§  Comparison analyses of diets
§  Costings
§  Weight differences of youngsters

11.15-11.45 Reproduction – Jen and Jo (Colchester
§  Timeline of events
§  Methodology
§  The design of the birthing burrow
§  Lessons we’ve learned

11.45- 12.15 Sexing – London zoo
§  Problems with DNA sexing
§  Use of hormone analysis
§  Practical session on manual sexing

12.15 -1.00 Enclosure tour – Colchester Zoo staff
§  Details
§  Improvements made
§  Need for a second burrow
§  Discussion on pros and cons of any

1.00-2.00 Lunch

2.00-2.20Mixed Exhibits – Chester Zoo
§  Pros 
§  Cons
§  Possible species

2.20-2.40Visitor Experiences – Africa Alive! 
§  Methodology
§  Pros
§  Cons

2.40-3.10 Enrichment and Training – London &
Colchester Zoo
§  Feed talks
§  Training methods
§  Enrichment devices used

3.10-4.00Ideas swap and general discussion
& tea/coffee

Embracing the Cheetah, Embracing the World
Twice a year, I leave Cheetah Conservation Fund operations in Namibia and do a lecture and fundraising tour, usually visiting several cities in North America, and stopping in Europe on my way home. These tours are energizing for me, because I have the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, all of whom love the cheetah and are committed to helping CCF save it from extinction. All of these "cheetah friends," old and new, have embraced our mission, and I am grateful to have their support.
Appreciation of the cheetah seems to be a universal impulse. People of every nation I have ever visited are fascinated with the cheetah. The cheetah's speed, grace, and the look of fierce nobility in its seemingly endless amber eyes, have captivated humans for thousands of years. Unfortunately, it is because of humans that wild cheetah population has been decimated by 90 percent over the past century. Human-wildlife conflict, habitat destruction, illegal wildlife trafficking and the pet trade have put the cheetah's very survival as a species in jeopardy. 
I was heartened, however, by my visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg from October 24 to October 26, because it renewed my faith that the world is indeed motivated to save the cheetah. Members of the European Parliament's Intergroup for Animal Welfare and Conservation (IAWC) -- Catherine Bearder and Andrea Zanoni -- joined us for a dinner among CCF supporters. The following day I delivered a presentation to the members of the IAWC at the European Parliament, discussing many of our efforts to combat human-wildlife conflict issues, including our Livestock

Baboon Adopts a Stray Kitten at Israeli Zoo 

Hainan Tropical Wildlife Park to be built into a national 5A scenic spot
The Hainan Tropical Wildlife Park and Botanical Garden will be relocated to the “South Li Mountain Area” at Xinpo Town in Haikou. It will be built into an international 5A scenic spot with the theme of “Kingdom of Plants and Animals”. The relocation project will have a total investment of no less than RMB3 billion.

The original Hainan Tropical Wildlife Park and Botanical Garden is the third wildlife park and botanical garden to be built in China following parks in Shenzhen and Shanghai. It has been awarded the titles of “National 4A Tourist Attraction”, “National Popular Science Education Base”, and “National Wildlife Care Center”. 

In late July this year, the overall plan for the new Hainan Tropical Wildlife Park and Botanical Garden was approved by experts. The project covers an area of 5.3 million square meters, with 3.69-million-square-meters of theme park and a 1.61-million-square-meter volcanic spring health resort.  

The new tropical wildlife park and botanical garden will be built into a complex tourist project composed of sightseeing, leisure, experience, scientific research, education and exhibitions. After its construction, tourists will be able to enjoy the “forest bathing trips” with lions

Video - Albino Pinniped

Dining With Leopards 
By Tara Pirie

SeaWorld’s Sister Company Fights Whale and Dolphin Captivity 
SEA LIFE adamantly opposes the keeping of cetaceans in tanks.
Corporations sometimes make for strange bedfellows. Consider the rich and powerful Blackstone Group, one of the world’s leading private equity firms. In an odd twist of venture-capital fate, New York-based Blackstone now finds itself a global house divided; the parent of two vast entertainment companies scornful of each other’s fundamental business models
One recent Blackstone acquisition, SeaWorld, celebrates, promotes, perpetuates and profits from the confinement and display of dolphins and whales (cetaceans) for public amusement. SeaWorld officials decry and denigrate anyone who criticizes the practice or calls for the early retirement of performing cetaceans to coastal marine sanctuaries.

In direct contrast, another Blackstone holding, Merlin Entertainments Group and its aquarium division, SEA LIFE, is just as adamantly opposed to keeping cetaceans in tanks, aggressively supports the development of retirement sanctuaries for performing animals, and is publicly resisting efforts by SeaWorld and other U.S. venues to import and display 18 wild

Tigress jumps 10-ft zoo wall, injures 3
A tigress escaped from her enclosure by jumping over a ten-ft wall at Itanagar Zoo and injured three persons. However, zoo authorities captured the animal from a nearby jungle later with assistance from police.
 Nang, the tigress, escaped on Wednesday just after getting removed from her night shelter, zoo sources said on Thursday. Immediately, the zoo staff swung into action and started following her. The team, led by range forest officer (RFO) R Flago and a veterinary officer, managed to locate the animal near Bhuka Nullah, where she was hiding inside

Tashkent zoo worker accused of embezzlement
An investigation has been launched against Tashkent Zoo’s 16 employees, including its director, on suspicion of embezzlement of funds allocated for keeping animals. learnt from reliable sources that the investigation in Tashkent’s zoo was opened half a year ago. Since then, zoo director Olim Rasulev has been under arrest.
All people involved in the case are accused of embezzling about 1.5 billion sums (over $555,000 at the black market rate) of state funds.
As a result, the staff members are cast down and the quality of keeping animals has deteriorated while the zoo is not yet ready for the winter.
“The trial will be held soon and no-one knows what will happen to our mangers,” a member of the Tashkent zoo staff who asked to be named Erkin said.
He said the 16 employees were accused of stealing fodder of animals and avoiding taxes on profits gained from illegal photographing with small animals.
At the same time, it is not as simple as that. In Erkin’s opinion, many

Did the world's sexiest zoo get too sexy?
Newsweek magazine once called it "the world's sexiest zoo."

So it might come as a surprise that the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden takes contraception as seriously as it does breeding, as do other U.S. zoos. Animal births may make headlines, but behind the scenes, great effort goes into preventing unwanted pregnancies. The zoo earned that nickname because of its phenomenal success with its breeding program. And it burnished that reputation last month with the much ballyhooed birth of a female giraffe.

"It is a very important part of what we do. It's being responsible," says Terri Roth, the zoo's vice president of conservation and science.

Contraception is one piece of the giant jigsaw puzzle of managing captive animals. Before animals breed, zoos must consider factors such as space constraints -- both now and in the future -- social groupings and the need to sustain healthy, genetically diverse populations.

An hour and a half before the first visitors enter the zoo, Ron Evans is well into his morning routine inside Gorilla World. The zoo's primate team leader sets out small cups, each marked with a gorilla's name. Some gorillas will get fiber; some take Vitamin E because of dry skin.

All six females will get a birth control pill, the same as a human would take. 
Evans crushes each pill between two spoons, then sprinkles the powder over yogurt, a treat the gorillas love. He dares not give them uncrushed pills.

"These guys are so smart," he says. "You think they've swallowed it, and they tuck it under their tongue and spit it out when you're not looking."

Evans then visits Samantha, a mother of six, and spoon-feeds her the yogurt. "Good girl," he says.

He works his way down the line of stalls: M'linzi and Chewie, then Anju, Asha and Mara.

Forty-eight gorillas have been born here, but none since 2006. "We're a little bit of a victim of our own success," Evans says.
Cooperation key

Breeding has been on hold to guard against the bloodlines of Cincinnati's gorillas being overrepresented in the North American population. Studies have shown that highly inbred animals are more susceptible to disease, have higher rates of infant mortality and are more likely to have developmental abnormalities.

Years ago, when zoo populations were unmanaged, a flurry of births might be followed by long periods of breeding inactivity. Populations aged and eventually crashed. Then zoos captured more animals from the wild.

But by the 1970s, with the list of endangered species growing rapidly, it became ethically and sometimes legally impossible for zoos to replenish animals that way.

So in 1981, the Species Survival Plan (SSP) was established to manage the breeding of certain species. It is administered by the Silver Spring, Md.-based Association of Zoos and Aquariums, whose membership of 223 accredited institutions includes the Cincinnati Zoo.

Today, "No zoo is an island," says Evans, who sits on the Gorilla SSP management committee. "We all have to cooperate to properly manage species."

That sometimes means moving animals from zoo to zoo to diversify the gene pool. Officials consult a "studbook" -- a breakdown of a population's vital records, including lineage -- before deciding which animals to breed and where.

Often, though, because of genetic considerations or limited space for animals, the recommendation is to not breed.
Many variables come into play

It's possible to simply separate males and females. But zoos are reluctant to split up compatible pairs because for many species, including gorillas, "it's better for the animals to be in a social group," Roth says. "And that's better for (zoos), because we don't have to have separate enclosures" that take up valuable space.

Spaying and castrating have long been used to keep zoo animals from reproducing. But because those methods are permanent, today they're generally not used for endangered species.

That's where contraception comes in. 
"It's a challenge," Roth says, "because it's almost always experimental." 
The job of assessing the effectiveness of contraceptives falls to the AZA Wildlife Contraception Center at the St. Louis Zoo. "Every time we're treating a new species, we are trying to figure out what's the right dose, how long it is going to be effective and what the reversal rate will be," says Cheryl Asa, the center's director.

The center recommends appropriate contraceptives to zoos. A vaccine, for instance, might be effective among hoofed animals. In Cincinnati, a langur, lar gibbon and siamang (all of which are primates) have received hormonal

Animal rights group puts bounty on elephant killers
Animal rights group PETA offered a $1,000 reward Tuesday for information on the killing of three critically-endangered Sumatran elephants near palm oil plantations in Indonesia.
The carcasses of three female elephants, including a year-old calf, were found rotting at the weekend in the jungle on Sumatra island outside the Tesso Nilo National Park, which is surrounded by palm oil plantations.

Park chief Kupin Simbolon said Monday the elephants had likely been poisoned in revenge after plantation workers’ huts were destroyed in a recent stampede.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals offered the reward for information ‘leading to the arrest and conviction’ of the killers.

‘These cowardly killers need to be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,’ PETA Asia vice president Jason Baker said in a statement.

‘If poisoned, these elephants endured a slow and agonising death.’

At least 17 elephants have died this year at the park and surrounding districts, mostly from suspected poisoning, Simbolon said, adding that his team was working with police to hunt down the perpetrators in the latest case.

Fewer than 3,000 Sumatran elephants remain in the wild, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, a 50 percent drop in numbers since 1985.

There has been a spate of elephant and orangutan killings this year around forests converted to palm oil plantations in Indonesia, the world’s§ion=international&col=

Nghe An: Tigers raised as pigs
Until we witnessed four adult tigers being raised in a 15sq.m room of a household in Do Thanh Commune, Yen Thanh District, Nghe An province, we believed that the information we had been provided by sources wasn’t true. 
The tiger breeder, who is over 30 years old, innocently told us that his family and others in the commune breed tigers as an “economic model”, like raising pigs. And this "economic model" has brought about hundreds of millions dong (tens of thousands of USD) per year for his family.
 At first, there was only one household raising tigers. Then seeing the huge profits from this “economic model,” many families have also bought tigers to raise as domestic animals. 
A series of reports by VietNamNet reporters will expose how these

Anna Ryder Richardson’s husband admits safety breaches at couple’s wildlife park 
TV STAR Anna Ryder Richardson sobbed into her husband’s chest today after he admitted serious health and safety breaches which put a mother and her young child in hospital.

The celebrity interior designer wept uncontrollably and refused to leave his side after identical charges against her were withdrawn.
Ryder Richardson, 48, was due to stand trial this morning at Swansea Crown Court with husband Colin MacDougall, 46.
Both had previously denied the charges against them and were ready to refute the accusations over the trial’s scheduled three weeks.
The couple jointly run the Manor House Wildlife Park in St Florence, near Tenby, West Wales.
Gruff Davies-Hughes suffered serious head injuries at the attraction when a heavy branch fell on him during strong winds in August 2010.
The three-year-old spent three days fighting for his life in intensive care after being airlifted to hospital.
His mother suffered head injuries

The Sticky Tongue Project!/pages/The-Sticky-Tongue-Project/106558222770506

Mind the gap … in our knowledge: addressing information bias in conservation science,627,EV.html?Pobject=com.othermedia.zsl.model.EventHandle-L-627&action=com.othermedia.webkit.hibernate.versioned.VersionedFormActions.doPublish&actionToken=aesdBLaxk4sc37&dm_i=9GD,11R2D,110QE2,37X7X,1

Zoo Keeper Fired After FOX 2 Report
A St. Louis Zoo supervisor, who told FOX 2 he was poisoned, was fired by the zoo after our report last week.

Former grounds manager, John Huffstutler confirmed he was one of three employees who believed someone poisoned their drinks.  The zoo said tests on his coffee cup showed ‘a minute amount of motor oil.’  Huffstutler said his bosses didn’t like seeing him on the news and fired him because of it.  But he’s not mad at Fox 2 because he said he told the truth. 

Now he’s given investigator Chris Hayes audio recordings of what he says are zoo supervisors pushing a cover up.  Meanwhile Huffstutler adds that current zoo employees have approached him saying they didn’t know about reported poisonings until our news report.  Huffstutler said those employees told him they may have information… “that concerns the soda can tampering.  That they said they would have released at the time had they known it even happened.  I feel what they`ve told me is very important information but they absolutely refuse to discuss it with HR because

Executive Committee votes to let zoo staff decide where elephants should go
The Executive Committee has voted to have Toronto Zoo staff decide where their three remaining elephants should be relocated.

They said that elephants should be moved as soon as possible.

The meeting was held late Monday evening after the committee spent most of the day hearing from the public on the possibility of bringing a casino to Toronto.  
The committee also requested that the CEO of the Zoo report directly to Council setting out the results of the due diligence review conducted by the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) facility.

They also asked the CEO attend City Council meetings to answer questions on that review.

City council voted last fall to send the remaining elephants, Iringa, Toka and Thika, to California's PAWS sanctuary after animal rights groups raised concerns about their welfare.

Four elephants died at Toronto Zoo between 2006 and 2009, according to former 'Price Is Right' host and animal activist Bob Barker, who has offered to pick up the hefty $880,000 price tag to fly the remaining ones to the United States.

In late September, Toronto Zoo CEO John Tracogna told The Canadian Press that the delays were attributed to problems with permits, flight arrangements,

Toronto ground zero for battle over future of elephants in zoos
For the past year and a half, a fierce battle has raged over whether three African elephants should stay in their decades-old home at the Toronto Zoo.

But it's a battle that some experts say is now at the centre of a larger North American debate about the future of elephants in zoos.
Since the facility opened in 1974, the Toronto Zoo has always had elephants.

Deciding to stop housing the showstopping animals that bring so many visitors through its front gates is no easy decision —and one that's put it at the centre of a larger North American debate about the future of elephants in zoos.

In an interview with CBC's the fifth estate, internationally renowned zoo director and architect David Hancocks thinks that zoos are "on the cusp of a major paradigm shift."

While people have wondered for years whether a zoo can exist without the presence of an elephant, Hancocks suggests a different future. "I suspect as soon as 10 years time we'll probably hear people say, 'How can you call yourself a zoo

Record sentence for Thai rhino horn trafficker
South African authorities announced a record 40-year sentence for a Thai national accused of masterminding the slaughter of rhinos for their horns to smuggle to Asia for the black market trade
Chumlong Lemthongthai pleaded guilty to 59 offences against the South African Customs and Excise Act and environmental legislation in relation to the killing of around 26 rhinos in bogus trophy hunts.

Five other co accused were released - the charges against them dropped after Chumlong claimed that he alone knew the rhino horns were being exported for profit.

Chumlong paid Thai commercial sex workers to pose as hunters and obtain export certificates for horns, which were in fact taken from rhinos killed by professional hunters. 

The prosecution was brought by the South African Revenue Service and South African Police Service, and has been supported by a parallel enquiry by Thai authorities. 
FREELAND (an international organisation dedicated to tackling wildlife trafficking and human slavery) investigators have been 

Your letters: Nik-Nik, as old as Jakarta zoo
Nik-Nik is the name of the little cute brown bear cub that arrived at the Cikini Zoo, Jakarta, in 1963. Along with Panjang the crocodile and Miss Ulla von Mengden, they seem to be the only living remnants of the old Jakarta Zoo, before its relocation in 1964 to its present location in Ragunan, South Jakarta.
Conny a 63-year-old chimpanzee, which also came from Cikini, died at the Schmutzer Primate Center in 2008 as the world’s oldest chimpanzee. Nik-Nik has just reached the ripe old age of almost 50 years, making her the oldest living bear in known history.
How the tropics, especially the polluted city of Jakarta, could become the place to reach this spectacular age for a European Brown Bear is a mystery! Bears can live longer in captivity than in the wild but 50 years is by far the oldest known instance for any kind of bear. The oldest Grizzly bear was 32 years old and there was a polar bear that reached 42 and one brown bear that reached the ripe old age of 47 — all in captivity. But Nik-Nik has outlived them all!

'Zoo will survive cash crisis'
A POPULAR visitor attraction has reassured its supporters that the future of the site is not in jeopardy.
Blackbrook Zoological Park admitted some of its staff who should have been paid on September 30 were still waiting for their money.
But zoo general manager Debbie Hughes blamed the delay on a hold-up with Gift Aid cash the charity is due to receive 'imminently'.
And she added that a move to winter opening hours for the first time in the zoo's history was a 'business decision' designed to save money.
She said: "It is true some staff have not been paid since September 30.
"We are waiting for a Gift Aid claim to come through. That claim is substantial and is what we rely on to see us through the winter.
"We are also waiting for some

How mirrors are helping Cromer zoo flamingos to breed
The gates have closed to the public at Cromer zoo, but a winter season of hard work lies ahead as the attraction weather-proofs its exotic stars, and helps them to breed - with some of it literally done by mirrors.
Its flamingos are happier and more likely to produce eggs if they are in larger groups - so staff have added mirrors to the pen to fool them into thinking the flock is bigger than it actually is.
On site manager Imogen Burgoyne said the birds were building nests for the first time since the introduction of large mirrors in to their pen.
Three eggs have been laid so far, which failed to hatch, but Miss Burgoyne said she was hopeful there would be chicks in the warmer months because the adults were pairing up and displaying courtship behaviour.
During the depths of winter

Gaza finally captures "Rock" the fugitive croc
A crocodile on the run from a Gaza zoo for the past 18 months has finally been captured, police said on Tuesday.
The 1.8 meter (6 foot)-long reptile was spotted several weeks ago in sewage pools in the northern Gaza Strip, and villagers complained he had been eating their livestock. Police called in fishermen, who netted the crocodile on Monday.
"He's a beautiful troublemaker," police spokesman Ayman al-Batniji said. "We really sweated to take him alive."
The fugitive was returned to the zoo and reunited with four other crocodiles. Owners of the

Zoos and wildlife parks are no way to treat an animal
 The idea that a zoo is the sole or even best repository for learning is risible 
Over the past century, thousands of species have disappeared from our planet, and many more are on the critically endangered list. Yet even as we wantonly destroy nature’s great habitats, and hunt species to extinction, we console ourselves with the thought that we are preserving many species in zoos and wildlife parks.

As the owner and operator of two such parks – Howletts and Port Lympne in Kent – you would expect the Aspinall Foundation, founded by my late father John, to argue that it is sometimes right to keep animals in captivity. Although we do agree that there are times when the interests of the species can be best served by animals being kept in captivity, we believe that it is scandalous that so many zoos around the world remain packed with often miserable animals, kept in unnatural conditions where they remain incapable of breeding, despite frequently being paired biblically, two by two.

In these zoos, lions, tigers, elephants, rhinos and other wonderful creatures exist in these conditions largely, if not solely, for humans to gawp at, on the pretext that they and their children are being educated about the wonders of the natural world. This view may have been partially justified up to the advent of the digital age, and the spread of information via television. Today, the idea that zoos provide the sole – or even the best – repository of learning is risible.

Cairns zoo owner has plan for animals 
ALL of the exotic animals, including a pride of 24 lions, at a private zoo in Cairns up for auction will be given new homes. 
The owner of the Shambala Animal Kingdom says if a new owner wishes to maintain the site as a zoo provisions will be made for some animals to be kept.
But Elaine Harrison says she expects all the animals will be sent to new homes, most likely an international conservation and breeding program, and the business will be sold as a vacant lot at the December 15 auction.
Ms Harrison bought the business, formerly the Cairns Wildlife Safari Reserve, earlier this year but cites family and health reasons behind her decision to sell.
She said it was unlikely the site, which has struggled to remain viable since opening as the Mareeba Wild Animal Park in 2004, would continue to operate

Central Zoo Authority issues ultimatum to Maharajbagh Zoo
The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) that monitors the functioning of zoos in the country, on Tuesday, has issued an ultimate to Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth, which manages Maharajbagh Zoo, asking it to improve the condition of the zoo failing which its recognition will be suspended midway.
 Last year, CZA had extended the recognition of the zoo till March 2014 after PDKV promised to improve its condition. The warning was issued by the member-secretary of CZA, BS Bonal, who made a surprise visit to the zoo on Tuesday afternoon. He also visited Gorewada.
He also cautioned the authorities not to acquire anymore animals as the zoo doesn't have the required infrastructure. The chief wildlife warden has been planning to shift Palasgaon tiger kept at Seminary Hills to the zoo. On the contrary, Bonal wants to shift one of the three tigresses to Chhatbir zoo in Punjab from Maharajbagh. "Don't repeat the past mistake of challenging the move," said Bonal.
 "I'm not at all happy. There is not even 1% improvement in the condition of the cages and also the landscape. All the enclosures are dilapidated and needs to be replaced. The zoo should be run like a zoo and if PDKV is not doing it appropriately even after being an agriculture university, it should give up," Bonal's message was loud and clear while talking to TOI.
 Bonal was annoyed with the zoo controller PG Ingole and officer in charge Dr SS Bawaskar. He even refused to have a cup of teathat was offered by the duo. Ingole arrived after the inspection was over.
 Bonal was in the city to attend a workshop on wild buffalo organized by the forest department. Bonal's maiden inspection went on for one hour from 3pm to 4pm. He expressed his deep displeasure over the condition of the cages and the way animals were being fed, specially the herbivores.
 "Herbivores' fodder is being placed on the very ground where they defecate and urinate. It is an open invitation to diseases," Bonal told Dr Bawaskar. He also asked the officials to replace the enclosure for jackals.
 Staff without uniforms and five enclosures without signages irked Boanl further. He found the water pot filthy with remains of food. The water

Latest news from Noah's Ark zoo farm near Clevedon
Building began on a 20 acre elephant habitat at Noah's Ark zoo farm near Clevedon this autumn.
The focus is on long term environmental sustainability in line with the zoo farm's award-winning green credentials.
The North Somerset zoo was recognised with the national silver award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme in 2011 and has designed Elephant Eden to rely almost completely on renewable energy to supply its requirements.
The 80,000 m² complex for Asian elephants is being built as an extension to the zoo farm with permission within its Green Belt site and will be finished to appear visually unobtrusive, while being secure enough to deal with a growing herd of elephants.
Construction work began early in September this year and is expected to finish next spring, before officially opening later in the year.
A new purpose-built 1100 m² elephant house will be green-clad and dug half-way into the ground to be in keeping with the sustainable vision for the new habitat and includes solar roof panels to provide renewable electricity for the complex. 
Solar energy will be used to power automated feeding hoists for the elephants, giving them enriched food day and night encouraging natural feeding behaviours. 
An integrated CCTV system and electric gates within the building will also link to the solar system.
To keep the elephants warm in their new home, biomass heaters will burn and recycle waste chippings to supply heat for a radiator system within the indoor pens and sand yards.

Rhino butchers caught on film at North West game farm
A disturbing bloody video has called into question the decision to drop charges against an alleged rhino poaching syndicate.
Disturbing video footage of a bloody rhino hunt on a North West game farm raises questions about the National Prosecuting Authority's controversial decision this week to withdraw criminal charges against game farmer Marnus Steyl and a Thai national, Punpitak Chunchom.
Filmed in January last year, the footage – a copy of which has been obtained by the Mail & Guardian – forms part of a devastating digital trail of evidence that leads from South Africa to Southeast Asia. It shows Steyl, accompanied by a professional hunter, Harry Claassens, repeatedly shooting a rhino in what appears to have been an illegal "pseudo hunt", carried out at the behest of an international wildlife-trafficking syndicate.

This week, a key "lieutenant" in the so-called Xaysavang syndicate, Chumlong Lemtongthai, pleaded guilty in the Kempton Park Regional Court to 52 of the 79 charges he was facing, including numerous counts of fraud, customs and excise violations, and transgressions of environmental and organised crime legislation. He was expected to be sentenced on Friday. Lemtongthai is the most senior figure in a rhino horn-smuggling ring ever convicted in South Africa.

Charges against Steyl, Chunchom, alleged syndicate middleman Tool Sriton and two of Steyl's farm labourers, Patruis Matthuys and Obene Kobea, were abruptly withdrawn by prosecutor Allen Simpson on Monday. No explanation for the decision

Gorilla Polo recovers from gastritis
The Mysore Zoo's efforts in maintaining the health of the nation's only gorilla in captivity have paid off as Polo, who had severe gastritis, has recovered now.
 The 39-year-old Polo was diagnosed with the stomach disorder some three weeks back. The zoo authorities were anxious about his health. He has now fully recovered, Zoo executive director BP Ravi

A smelly date with penguins but she's in her element
While most Singaporeans get to watch penguins only in animal shows on TV and in movies like March Of The Penguins, field assistant Michelle Goh has the chance to do far more - she will be "settling in" among the birds for four months.

The 26-year-old, who left Singapore last Monday, will be based on Livingston Island, off the Antarctic Peninsula, as she collects data on native gentoo and chinstrap penguins.

She has been hired by an American scientist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the US, who is conducting Antarctic marine research for conservation purposes.

For four months, Ms Goh will work with six American scientists and field assistants to keep tabs on penguins that have been tagged with a global positioning system (GPS) tracking device. The researchers will compile a variety of information about the birds, such as how much they weigh and when they lay their eggs.

This will be the first time that Ms Goh, who has a master's in animal conservation from Imperial College in London, will be working with penguins.

Though they look lovable on screen, she knows conducting research on them is another matter.

"Penguins are not easy to handle. They

Purr...fect breeding grounds
THE Al Areen Wildlife Park received two Asian cheetahs from the National Wildlife Research Centre in Taif, Saudi Arabia, in September, as well as a three-year-old female Malayan Sun bear, named Honey, who can be found playfully breaking everything in sight.

The veterinarians at the wildlife reserve in Sakhir, which covers a total area of 8sq km, are hoping that the unnamed cheetahs, one female and one male, both over one-year-old, will be able to assist the endangered species through its breeding programme.

Both the cheetahs and the bear are settling into the Wild Animals Complex in the park, where visitors can view the animals through glass enclosures.

Egyptian veterinarian Dr Mohammed Ali Abdul Rahim Saad, 28, said: “Here at Al Areen Wildlife Park we are delighted to be involved in the global efforts to help endangered species.

“This is also a great opportunity for people to see new animals, especially ones that aren’t typically found in Bahrain. They read about them and watch them on TV and now they have the opportunity to see them in real life. It is all very fascinating.

“The Asian cheetahs are facing extinction in the wild because of the development of their natural habitat. We have a male and a female at the moment and we hope to breed them, but they have only been with us since the end of Ramadan so it’s still early days. They are friendly

Zoos review enclosures after death of Pa. toddler
Officials aim to blend animal welfare, safety and up-close experiences for visitors.
Visitors at the Los Angeles Zoo can't encounter an African painted dog without a serious climb.
A moat and at least two rings of fences separate the public there from the endangered carnivores, the same species that killed a Whitehall, Allegheny County, toddler Nov. 4 at Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.
At the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, two of three viewing areas for painted dogs keep visitors behind glass. The third — an open overlook area — features an outer wall, a roughly 3-foot gap and an inner cantilevered wall to secure the wildlife.
"They can be aggressive just like lions, tigers and bears can be," said Rick Dietz, vice president and general curator at the Audubon Zoo. "They do have a tendency to have a pack mentality when they're together" and feeding.
Zookeepers who oversee some of the 63 painted dogs at 37 zoos nationwide would not criticize the Pittsburgh Zoo's exhibit, where Maddox Derkosh, 2, tumbled from the railing of an observation deck and into the enclosure. Experts said the zoo, accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, looks generally well designed and prepared.

Vietnam may evict bears from 'protected' park land
Bears, some of them blinded or maimed, play behind tall green fences like children at school recess. Rescued from Asia's bear bile trade, they were brought to live in this lush national park, but now they may need saving once more.
The future of the bears' sanctuary has been in doubt since July, when a vice defense minister ordered the nonprofit group operating the $2 million center not to expand further and to find another location. U.S. politicians and officials in other countries are among those urging the military to back off.
The defense official wrote, without elaborating, that the Chat Dau Valley is of strategic military interest, but environmentalists allege that vested interests have urged an eviction. They point to documents showing that the daughter of the park's director is involved in a proposed ecotourism venture that wants to lease park land.
Conservation groups say the dispute in Tam Dao National Park is emblematic of conflicts brewing across Vietnam's protected areas. When developers want the land, they say, environmental safeguards disappear.
Vietnamese laws adhere to international environmental standards, but in practice are "minor considerations" in land-use and infrastructure-planning decisions, the World Bank said in a report last year.
Vietnam is among the most biologically diverse countries on earth, comprising less than 1 percent of the world's land but about 10 percent of its species. But the report noted that its protected areas are suffering from deforestation and habitat loss.





Injured elephant keeper released from hospital
A woman who was crushed by an elephant while working at Sydney's Taronga Zoo has been released from hospital.
Lucy Melo, 40, was critically injured by a calf during a training session almost two weeks ago.
Taronga Zoo says the animal keeper has made excellent progress in her recovery and is in good spirits and is starting rehabilitation.
"Taronga Zoo staff and managers would have supported Lucy and the elephant through this time and were very grateful for the ongoing expressions of support from the public," a statement said.
The Zoo says an internal investigation to understand better how the accident happened is underway but will not be complete for some weeks.
Ms Melo's parter Gary Miller has expressed his gratitude of support.
 "I would like to thank everybody for their messages of love and their prayers, which have absolutely contributed


Durrell Conservation Academy

The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust’s international training centre has now been renamed the Durrell Conservation Academy.  The name change represents the culmination of a year-long process to determine how best to represent the training that we provide to conservationists worldwide.  Since we first opened our doors in 1984 we have trained more than 3300 conservationists from 135 countries in the principles and practice of endangered species recovery.
The Durrell Conservation Academy now runs a wide suite of courses, from practical training in invasive species management and GIS through to conservation leadership and project management.  We run courses in-country as well as at our headquarters in Jersey, ranging in length from 3 days to a one year Master’s course.  In 2013 we will be launching our five month Post-Graduate Diploma in Endangered Species Recovery which will be run in Mauritius, providing participants first-hand experience of working in field teams to recover some of the most threatened species in the world.  To find out more please visit our website at  

Toronto Zoo legal threat over elephants 
An animal sanctuary in the US is threatening to sue the Toronto Zoo over delays in the transfer of three of the zoo’s aging elephants.
The Toronto Zoo has received a letter from lawyers representing the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), threatening legal action following an elephant-transfer report issued by senior zoo staff in late September detailing what they see as outstanding concerns with sending the elephants, Toka, Thika and Iringa, to the PAWS facility in northern California.
The letter is the latest development in what has turned out to be a year-long drama over the fate of the three elephants.
City council’s original decision last October to send them to PAWS proved to be controversial one, with some zoo staff voicing concerns over health conditions at the sanctuary. Zoo staff have reportedly voted to send the transfer report to Rob Ford’s executive committee for review, which could mean the animals enduring another winter in Canada.
In late September, Toronto Zoo senior veterinarian Graham Crawshaw told the media he continues to be concerned about cases of tuberculosis at PAWS, and that the zoo would continue its duty to inspect the sanctuary. Officials with Zoocheck Canada, an animal rights group working with PAWS, countered by claiming that staff at the zoo have a bias toward PAWS.
It is believed that zoo staff would rather send the animals to an Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited site.

Stop delaying and move the elephants 
It’s mystifying why there’s a delay in sending Toronto Zoo’s three elephants to a refuge in California, when there will be no costs – thanks to games show host Bob Barker who’s offered to pick up the tab of close to $1 million.
City council has approved the move, but the zoo people have balked.
They pretend it’s concern for the elephants — Iringa, Toka and Thika — possibly contracting tuberculosis at the California PAWS sanctuary.
One suspects the real reason is the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) doesn’t approve of PAWS — and stripped the Toronto zoo of its AZA accreditation. Big deal.
Now all we need is for one of Toronto’s aging elephants to die over winter, as seven have died since 1984, including four since 2006. If that happens, all hell will break loose in criticism for the zoo people who are defying city council’s vote.
From all accounts, the California PAWS sanctuary is heavenly compared to the winter concrete confinement of the Toronto elephants, and their puny space in summer which must bore the bejeezus out of them.
The PAWS sanctuary has something like 30 hectares of warm, free land, compared to Toronto zoo’s half hectare of land for elephants, and being confined all winter. Apparently council intends to have another vote on moving the elephants to a more suitable environment. Delay, delay, delay.
All this concern for the elephants has a phony ring. The zoo people would love it if Barker reneged on his offer and told Toronto to stuff it. Barker’s tempted to do exactly this, but he’s made of sterner stuff and realizes that this is exactly what these petty bureaucrats want.
Barker’s got a thing about elephants



Animal rights and wrongs
Three ladies entering their golden years in a compound in Toronto’s northeastern suburbs have become the focus of a sometimes-vicious tug-of-war that has lasted more than a year. Iringa and Toka are both 42 years old. Thika is 31. All three are African elephants, the last of 10 pachyderms that have been kept at the Toronto Zoo since 1983. They suffer from infections and digestive ailments commonly found in aging, captive elephants. 
The zoo’s board of management concluded some time ago that it could no longer afford the $618,500-a-year cost of keeping the trio in Toronto. So in a move that mirrored decisions taken by a growing number of zoos elsewhere, it voted to get out of the elephant business for the time being and relocate the trio to an accredited zoo in a warmer location in the United States, where there is a better chance their health will improve.
That’s when the tussle began. Animal welfare advocates, citing the deaths of four other elephants at the Toronto Zoo in the past four years, balked at the plan and began a campaign to send the trio to a sanctuary for rescued animals in California where there is lots of room to roam. They gained an ally in a city councillor who garnered enough support to win a council vote that overturned the zoo’s decision. 
The zoo struck back, questioning the sanctuary’s credentials and later raising concerns about infectious diseases reported in some of the elephants currently living there.

Romania rescues two brown bears from decrepit zoo
Two brown bears in Romania have been rescued from a zoo where conditions did not meet European Union animal safety standards and have been transferred to a sanctuary where they were released on Saturday, wildlife experts said.
The two male bears were removed from the decrepit Onesti zoo in eastern Romania and driven to Zarnesti, 150 kilometres (93 miles) away, which houses the country's first bear sanctuary in a forest.
"These bears used to live in small concrete enclosures ... They will be released soon in this beautiful forest area (after quarantine). That's a huge difference," said Victor Watkins, a wildlife advisor at the World Society for the Protection of Animals.
Sixty seven bears are now housed in the sanctuary. Many of them were rescued from ramshackle zoos or from cages at roadside inns and restaurants where they were used to entertain guests.
Up to 7,000 bears live in Romania's largely unspoilt mountains. Several people, including foreign tourists, have

New dolphin capture angers Makili 
SEVEN bottle nose dolphins were last week captured outside the Lunga river mouth by fishermen and then reportedly sold to a local businessman in Honiara.

The latest capture has infuriated dolphin safe campaigner Lawrence Makili, who has just returned from a mission to free dolphins captured by villagers in the Western Province.
 An official from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources said the dolphins were caught in the fishermen’s net outside the Lunga River mouth.

He said two eventually died while the other five were bought by local business man and Kokonut Cafe owner Francis Chow.

The officer who wanted to remain anonymous said since the ban on dolphin capture and export was imposed this year, no licences were issued to any local and foreign buyers and or exporters.

 “According to our licensing division, no permits or license have been issued out to any local or foreign dolphin dealer in the country this year,” he said.

The source however said that any investigations into the matter would have to wait until the Director of Fisheries, the Permanent Secretary and the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources return from overseas.

Save Australia’s ‘Frozen Zoo’
You may have heard of Australia’s “Frozen Zoo” – the only facility of its kind on the continent – and that it’s facing funding difficulties. Why should you care about this? Let me explain.

An increasing number of Australian native species are on the brink of extinction, and the Frozen Zoo has a part to play in preventing this.

When it was established in 1995, the zoo – or Animal Gene Storage and Resource Center of Australia (AGSRCA) to give it its full name – was the world’s first national wildlife gene bank.

And yes, I have a vested interest. I instigated its foundation, along with Professor Alan Trounson and Dr. John Kelly.

Since the AGSRCA began, similar new gene banks have been established across the globe – such as The Frozen Ark, which commenced in the UK in 2004, and now leads a global consortium of such biobanks.

Such facilities offer the development of unique technical services to assist in the preservation of endangered and threatened wildlife s

Indian state loses nearly 300 elephants
India's Odisha state lost at least 296 elephants in the past five years, several victims of electrocution, officials said.

State authorities and wildlife activists said the elephants died after coming in contact with hanging, live electricity wires, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

Wildlife activist Biswajit Mohanty said the casualty rate has been about 10 per year.

Hindus consider elephants sacred and worship them during religious festivals. However, increasingly the majestic animals are losing their habitats with rising human population and encroachment.

India currently has about 26,000 elephants in the wild, the BBC reported.

The PTI report said other causes of elephant deaths in Odisha in the past five years have included poaching, accidents such as the animals being hit by speeding trains and diseases.

To prevent electrocution of elephants, a joint committee of experts from forest, environment and energy departments has been set up, Odisha's environment

New York Aquarium Was Totally Underwater, Baby Walrus Mitik Continues To Be Monitored
Yesterday, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced that the New York Aquarium, which is in Coney Island, "experienced severe flooding from the storm surge associated with Hurricane Sandy. The entire 14-acre facility was under water. As the water recedes, we will need time to assess the full extent of the damage." Uh-oh—what does that mean for the various animals, like Mitik the baby walrus?
Jim Breheny, WCS Bronx Zoo Director and EVP of WCS Zoos and Aquarium, issued an updated statement, "As reported, the NY Aquarium experienced extensive flooding and we are still in the process of assessing damage as a result of this storm. We will provide further reports about the condition of the facility and the animals in the days to come. Many are asking about Mitik, the walrus calf who recently came to the aquarium. As an orphaned calf, he was experiencing some health issues

Animals in Islamabad zoo suffer due to neglect: Report
Tales of neglect continue to pour out of the Pakistani capital Islamabad’s only zoo.

The zoo first saw the death of a lion in 2008 and most recently of Saheli, a female elephant, which was one of the main attractions for visitors to the zoo.

The latest to die at Marghazar Zoo is a Neelgai. Besides, an Urial, a wild sheep with winding antlers, suffered injuries during the Eid holidays. There was also a disclosure from an inside source that the male elephant at the zoo might end up like Saheli.

The Urial was injured in the F-8 enclosure of the zoo, which is a residential area and is in full glare of the public. According to a police source posted in the area, there have been plenty of stories of theft and negligence emanating from the enclosure.

Sometimes animals die for no reason at all and there have been reports of theft as well, he said.

But so far no legal proceedings have been undertaken.

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) seems to be already towing the official line and has sent Neelgai’s body for postmortem to the National Veterinary Laboratory (NVL).

Rare tiger dies after Indonesia flight switch
A rare Sumatran tiger has died after his transferral to an Indonesia park was aborted and he was put on a second flight because passengers complained about the smell, an official said.
The eight-year-old big cat was being sent with other animals on a commercial flight Tuesday from Banda Aceh on the northern tip of Sumatra island to a conservation centre on Java island.
But during a scheduled stopover in Medan, Sumatra, the national carrier Garuda Indonesia decided to unload the animals and fly them back to Banda Aceh, citing passengers' complaints about unpleasant odors, said provincial conservation agency chief Afan Absory on Thursday.
"When the tiger arrived in Banda Aceh on the same day, we found out that it was already dead," he told AFP. The tiger was flying alongwith a gibbon and two bearcats, which have a distinctive smell.
"We are seeking clarification from the airline as they returned the tiger to Banda Aceh without informing our official who was flying with them," added Absory, who said he found blood coming out of the animal's nose.
The airline's spokesman Pudjobroto, who goes by one name, said Garuda was waiting for results of their investigation into the tiger's death.
Garuda had "implemented standard procedures" for transporting animals, he said in a text message.
The male tiger had been rescued in 2010 from a forest in Aceh province

Australia Zoo bound for Vegas
AUSTRALIA Zoo is forging ahead with plans to replicate the conservation park in the United States' glitzy gambling capital.

The $300 million project to build a version of the famed Beerwah zoo in Las Vegas has been in the making for almost a decade.

The late Steve Irwin first spruiked the idea in 2004. It will become part of his 10-year dream to bring conservation to the world stage.

While Australia Zoo staff remained tight-lipped this week about the progress of the project, a spokeswoman confirmed negotiations were continuing.

A Sunshine Coast Destination Limited spokeswoman said the prospect of an Australia Zoo in Vegas could strengthen our connection with the US.

"It will raise the profile of Queensland and the Sunshine Coast, not only for our unique wildlife, but will also highlight what we have here," she said.

Australia Zoo director Wes Mannion previously said the project would be of huge benefit to Australian tourism.

"It would be like establishing a window of opportunity for America to experience a taste of Australia with the hope of enticing them to visit our beautiful country," he said.

"This will enable Australia Zoo to educate millions of people on the importance of conservation and wildlife protection.

"The benefits from this project will go toward

Mysore Zoo on guard in the wake of bird flu
Chicken is off the menu at the Bannerghatta Biological Park near Bangalore following bird flu scare while the Mysore Zoo is vigilant but still is offering the raw chicken to its inmates.
 As the state government confirmed death of chicken and ducks at the Central Poultry Development Organization (CPDO) at Hesaraghatta, some 20 km from Bangalore on Monday, the Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) reviewed the food chart for the carnivorous housed at the Bangalore and Mysore facilities and stopped

Veasey: It’s best if the zoo’s elephant breeds again
Re: “Nature is the best birthing place for elephants,” Letter, Oct. 29, and “Stop breeding Rani,” Letter, Oct. 26.

As the Calgary Zoo’s director of animal care, an animal welfare scientist and a captive elephant specialist, I’d like to respond to Jennifer O’Connor’s letter by respectfully encouraging her to consider the evidence relating to the psychological and physical impacts of denying elephants the opportunity to reproduce, before claiming it is “indefensible” and “self-serving” to allow Rani to breed again.

The psychological importance for elephants of breeding and being part of a herd of related individuals cannot be overestimated. Because the matriarchal herd is essential to survival in the wild, it is deeply rooted in elephant psychology, and as such, it is crucial to their captive welfare. Because all elephants interact with or participate in the care of young relatives, all elephants benefit from new arrivals, satisfying powerful reproductive and nurturing drives and providing positive opportunities for interaction and learning; crucial to the development of well-rounded elephants.

South Korean zoo elephant can mimic human speech, has a 5-word vocabulary that convinces humans listeners 
Koshik the elephant, who lives in South Korea’s Everland Zoo, is able to ‘speak’ five words understandable to fellow Koreans: hello, sit, no, lie down and good.
Meet Koshik, the elephant who can “speak.”
Researchers say they have found a talking pachyderm at the Everland Zoo in South Korea, according to a study published in the scientific journal, Current Biology.
Koshik can speak five different words in Korean: “annyong” (“hello”), “anja” (“sit down”), “aniya” ("no"), "nuo" ("lie down"), and "choah

Three zoo keepers held for beating elephant
THREE zoo keepers were sacked and then arrested by cops after a female elephant was allegedly beaten. 
The men are said to have been caught on CCTV whipping kiddies’ favourite Tonzi, 28, with bamboo canes in her pen. 
World-famous Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire confirmed the keepers were sacked for “a gross breach of the zoo’s policies” after an investigation. 
A source at the zoo said last night: “Bosses became concerned after spooling through security cameras. It appeared Tonzi was beaten by the keepers.

“Apparently the keepers were taking it in turns to hit her with bamboo canes. 
“There were no marks left on the animal so it wasn’t

London Zoo should close because it is 'sign of our failure as a species', says campaigner
London Zoo should be shut down because it is not looking after animals properly or releasing enough back into the wild, campaigner Damian Aspinall has claimed.

In an interview with the Evening Standard, Mr Aspinall launched an outspoken attack on city centre zoos, saying they are “outdated 18th century concepts” that have no place in the modern world.
Mr Aspinall runs the Port Lympne Wildlife Park in Kent, set up by his father John, and heads the Aspinall Foundation, a conservation charity dedicated to breeding endangered species in captivity and releasing them back into the wild.
He yesterday announced plans to transport an entire family of 11 western lowland gorillas from the 600-acre Port Lympne park to the Foundation’s Back To The Wild projects in Congo and Gabon.
The release, planned for early next year, is the first time a whole family of animals has been released into the wild together, 
Mr Aspinall said: “The

Central African PM stopped at Paris airport carrying bush meat 
French customs officials fined former Central African prime minister Martin Ziguele after he was found carrying 11.8 kilograms (26 pounds) of bushmeat, mainly monkey, on his arrival at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport.
Investigators said the meat "mainly of a protected species", was in his luggage when he arrived on an Air France flight from Bangui.
Customs inspectors found a total 600 kilograms of meat in passengers' luggage on the Bangui flight, judicial officials said.
Ziguele, who was prime minister between 2001 and 2003 and who was defeated by Francois Bozize in presidential elections in 2005 and 2011, said the meat was


The Deep, in Hull is the first aquarium in the UK to be invited to join the prestigious World Association for Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). 
Now in its 77 
th year, WAZA is the unifying organisation for the world zoo and aquarium community. There are over 300 members across the world from leading zoos, aquariums, associations and corporate partners. 

Katy Duke, Curator at The Deep said: "WAZA are committed to the highest standards of animal welfare and husbandry and we are delighted to be the first aquarium in the UK to work with them. 

"WAZA operates on a global level, allowing us to share knowledge and information and have greater impact in our contributions to conservation alongside other like-minded organisations. It is fantastic to be part of so many zoos and aquariums who are working together to ensure the best possible animal welfare but actively participate in projects to help conserve animals and their habitats. 

"Aquariums and Zoos are so much more than fun and educational days out. By supporting organisations such as ourselves you help to support the additional work going on behind the scenes and in the field. 

Gerald Dick, WAZA Executive Director said: "WAZA is proud to welcome The Deep as a new member. Now part of the only professionally recognised global zoo and aquarium organisation in the world, The Deep will benefit from the WAZA network by sharing information and best practices, getting inspiration and learning from international peers, as well as benefiting from existing or prospective international partnerships. To sum up; being part of a global community. 

"We are very happy that The Deep is now part of our family and wish all the best to the World’s only submarium." 

It is estimated that over 700 million visitors, visit zoos and aquariums in the WAZA network every year, making them one of the biggest leisure activities for families. 

The Deep operates as an environmental and conservation charity and is involved in numerous projects around the globe. These include a five year research programme alongside the world renowned Equipe Cousteau, to study the manta ray population off the coast of Sudan, coral reproduction fieldwork in Puerto Rico, native species studies with the Zoological Society of London and Natural England, fen raft spider rearing for reintroduction and facilitating the marine protected area project for the North East of England for Net Gain. 

Thai man nabbed with 16 tiger cubs in truck
A Thai man has been arrested with 16 tiger cubs in his pick-up truck while driving near the kingdom's border with Laos, police said Saturday.
The 52-year-old was arrested Friday afternoon in Khon Kaen province in northeastern Thailand during a routine check by authorities, who found the cats, aged between six weeks and two months, in cages in the back of the vehicle.
Police said the man was paid 15,000 baht (500 dollars) to transport the tigers from Bangkok, but he denied knowing the identity of the animals' owners.
"He said he only talked to them on the telephone not in person," Lieutenant Colonel Kusol Pongbunchan, chief investigator of the local district police told AFP.
He said the driver faced charges of illegal possession and trafficking of endangered species.
The tigers, which are not thought to have been taken from the wild, were entrusted to officials of the National Park, Wildlife

Cats new suspect in dolphin deaths
A new suspect has emerged in the decline of the critically endangered Maui's dolphin - cats.
 A parasite traced to cats has been identified as the primary cause of death in seven of 28 Hector's-type dolphins analysed by Massey University scientist Dr Wendi Roe.
 Two of three Maui's, autopsied after they washed up dead on beaches, were found to have died primarily from toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by the toxoplasma parasite.
 The Maui's are a sub-species of Hector's dolphins and their adult population was this year estimated at 55. The world's smallest dolphins, they are found only in New Zealand, and are thought to be confined to the west coast of Auckland and Waikato.
 Dr Roe, a marine mammal pathologist, says the parasite multiplies in cats and ocysts (eggs) are excreted in the animals' faeces.
 The risk of toxoplasmosis is the reason pregnant women are told to avoid cats but the parasite rarely causes serious infection.
It was likely to be getting into waterways

Jambi zoo to welcome new lions
Taman Rimbo zoo in Jambi will welcome new family members this Christmas: a pair of lions.
Taman Rimbo zoo head Adrianis said that the lions, which are coming from Taman Safari zoo in Bogor, West Java, would be exchanged for Taman Rimbo’s Sumatran tigers.
“The lions will be exchanged with Siemat, a tiger that was recently saved froma trap, and Lala, a Sumatran tiger cub which was found by local residents in Muaro Jambi regency,” he said, adding that the zoo already had eight tigers.
An unused orangutan enclosure in the zoo will be the new home for the lions, he added.
“The enclosure has never been used since it was completed because we have not yet brought in orangutans.

Can A Gorgeous Reptile Pavilion Save This New Zealand Zoo?
Rammed earth and industrial materials make for an elegant adaptive reuse project at Wellington Zoo.
Between a long, slow decline in ticket sales and increasing public outrage over animal cruelty, many zoos are in a tough spot these days. Plenty of once-popular zoos have shut down, and those that remain are scrambling to improve cage conditions and find new ways to attract visitors. Typically, that means giving visitors “an experience” of wildlife, in lieu of the up-close encounters that smaller closures used to ensure.
So the only people more in a bind than zoo directors are the architects they hire, who are tasked with conveying the excitement of the animal kingdom without, well, animals. Architects have responded to the challenge with varying degrees of success and middling failure. We’d put the Kamala Pavilion, a new reptile house and event space at the Wellington Zoo, in the former category.
The commission grew directly out of the conundrum facing modern zoos. Kamala, the zoo’s last elephant, died in 1983, leaving the Elephant House in disuse for the past two decades. Hoping to turn the area into a hub for visitors, the zoo’s director hired Designed by Justin and Louise Wright (who go by Assembly Architects Limited) to renovate the old elephant enclosure and add new spaces for reptile exhibits.
The resulting pavilion reconciles several discrete programmatic elements, like a reptile habitat called the Scaly Nursery, the existing elephant house, and a dining room for events and picnics. It’s understated and elegant, balancing

A Peek Inside The Sad And Artificial World Of Zoo Habitats
Daniel Kukla’s Captive Landscapes captures animal enclosures in a dozen cities worldwide.
Zoos are inherently bizarre. The sheer thrill of seeing strange and exotic beasts is often tempered by the reality of the strange and artificial environments they’re kept in, raising the question: Can they really be happy hanging out in those habitats? Photographer Daniel Kukla makes a point of visiting zoos as often as possible on his travels, documenting his findings in Captive Landscapes.
“I believe that zoos have the ability to function as incredible research and educational institutions, but more often than not, the animals are put on as a spectacle and the educational aspect seems to be lacking. I always leave feeling a mix of awe and depression from these places,” he tells Co.Design. His series spans these “theatrical environments” in 12 locales across America and Europe, most of which he shot through a window or door from the same vantage point viewers would get when they visit.
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the images are the floor-to-ceiling scenic murals that adorn the walls, depicting everything from rocky coasts to lush tropics in an unexpectedly consistent style. And there’s one thing that’s conspicuously, surprisingly absent from the majority of these pictures: life. “Sometimes I planned my visit when the animals would be out of the enclosure, or as a new exhibit was being installed,” he says. “Generally

Aquarium should set sights on captive whales, not wild
In the United States, aquariums and marine theme parks have responded to changing public sentiment about keeping marine mammals in captivity by emphasizing that they have not captured whales and dolphins from the wild in a long time. Indeed, it has been 20 years since a U.S. facility captured wild whales or dolphins for display. Now, the Georgia Aquarium and five partners are about to undo all of that.
Public opinion is turning against keeping whales and dolphins in captivity in the wake of exposés like the Academy Award-winning documentary "The Cove" and David Kirby's book "Death at Sea World: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity," as well as the work of animal-protection organizations.
Consequently, the request by the aquarium and its partners for a federal permit to import 18 beluga whales taken from Russia's Sea of Okhotsk seems out of step with evolving values on the appropriate treatment of these animals.
Why put healthy wild whales through the trauma of thousands of miles of transport for display in a small tank so unlike their natural habitat? Belugas do not breed well in captivity; the captive population has been in decline for 15 years. Rather than admit that belugas have adapted poorly to confinement and should no longer be displayed, as The Humane Society of the United States and many other groups believe, the Georgia Aquarium; the three SeaWorld parks in Florida, Texas and California; the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago; and the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut are doubling down on a bad investment.
The federal agency responsible for marine-mammal permits held a public hearing on Oct. 12. It was clear this import-permit application has generated widespread interest, as members of the public filled the meeting room and spoke for or against the proposal. The proponents focused mostly on ideology, claiming those who opposed the permit simply wanted all whales to swim free, without regard for their value as ambassadors for their species.,0,4420629.story

Knut the polar bear gets Berlin Zoo memorial
Berlin Zoo on Wednesday unveiled a bronze memorial to Knut, an uber-cute cuddly polar bear that captured hearts worldwide and devastated fans when he died from a suspected brain seizure last year.
The small sculpture, entitled "Knut The Dreamer", shows the snowy-white bear reclining lazily on rocks in his pen at the zoo.
"Knut will stay in the hearts of many visitors, therefore this memorial will create something for future generations so that the unique nature of this animal celebrity will live on," said the Friends of the Capital Zoos association.
Knut, who died suddenly aged four, shot to fame after being abandoned by his mother and reared by hand by a zookeeper.
When he eventually passed away, fans left flower bouquets, written tributes and photos of Knut at his former den at the zoo, while an online condolence book drew thousands of messages.
The first public appearance of "Cute Knut" attracted 100 camera crews from around the world and the cub generated millions of euros (dollars) for Berlin Zoo in lucrative merchandising and extra entrance fees.
At the height of his fame, he even appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine and on German postage stamps.
But once Knut grew into a strapping adolescent and then

Panda parade: conservation centre celebrates births 
Conservationists are celebrating the birth of seven panda cubs within three months at a Chinese research centre.

Chengdu Panda Base has released its first photographs of all seven cubs together. They range in age from Oreo, born on July 28, to Cheng Shuang and Cheng Dui, both born on September 12.

Oreo weighed a mere 162 grams (6oz) at birth but is already tipping the scales at 6 kilos (

Conservation group honours province for polar bear protection
Premier Greg Selinger received an award from an international polar bear conservation group today for the province’s efforts to protect the threatened animal.
Polar Bears International presented its Champion of Polar Bears award to the premier and Manitoba Conservation at a ceremony this morning in Selinger’s office.
"Several of your programs have been so successful that the world now looks to you to provide the vision on the best way to care for North America’s most iconic species," said Bob Williams, a Canadian representative for the international group.
Manitoba was recognized for its polar bear alert program, which protects bears while ensuring the safety of residents in Churchill, the development of the Polar Bear Protection Act and other efforts.
The province is the primary funder of the Journey to Churchill exhibit under construction at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. The exhibit includes a nearly $6-million International Polar Bear Conservation Centre for academic research programs, and a polar bear rescue

Panthers escape pen with help of superstorm Sandy 
Conservation officers in Florida are searching for two panthers freed after a tree knocked over by superstorm Sandy broke their pen.
First Coast News reported fish and wildlife officers are tracking the two-year-old male and female panthers with the help of their radio collars.
Spokeswoman Karen Parker told the news station the animals haven't travelled far from their pen at White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee.
The panthers had been housed at the centre since they were five months old after their mother died, and

Zoo operators fail to understand animal welfare
After reading the response by P4PHM in ‘Give reasonable time frame’ (The Star, Sept 29) and ‘Zoo popular tourist attraction’ (The Star, Oct 16), my belief on how zoos value the precious lives of animals have been confirmed.

P4PHM claims none of the 45 zoos nationwide broke any animal welfare regulations under the previous Wildlife Act. Forget the law for a moment, most zoos don’t even understand the meaning of compassion towards animals, they are ‘guilty’ in humane terms, lacking ethics and morals in the way they use and abuse animals to make money.

P4PHM’s statement seem to defend horrific and disgusting zoos like the KL Tower Mini Zoo, Cave Villa Batu Caves, Perlis Snake & Reptile Farm, Penang Bird Park, among others. So, does Perhilitan really want to have dialogues with P4PHM, a group which clearly does not know the meaning of love for animals?

Bowing to the demands of this group, I’m afraid, will only make animals suffer more and nothing will change for the animals. It will also bring unwanted negative perception of Perhilitan for willing to work with the wrong groups.

It is a shame that the law has to force zoos to buck up, this clearly shows zoos do not care for their animals but only see them as a source for profit. Personally, I believe It is not the lack of resources which is a problem, it’s apathy towards animals.

Penguins 'invade' Cape Town's Boulder's beach 
Residents surrounding an African penguin viewing spot in South Africa complain of a specie "invasion" and destruction. 
People leaving in Cape Town's Boulder's beach and surrounding areas are up in arms, after thousands of penguins "invaded" residential areas and are causing destruction.

The area is famous for being one of the best places to spot the African Penguin and a nature reserve in the area provides a safe haven for the endangered species, protecting the birds from the effects of human settlement, commercial activities and pollution.

Residents, however, are now blaming an increased invasion of penguins on poor infrastructure. A fence built to restrain the birds from wandering inland has not been maintained for many years and is not large enough to contain them.

They say the fence is also full of holes.

In Betty's Bay, 100km from Cape Town, 70-year-old Barbara Wallers pointing to her garden said, "Look what they have done to the bushes here; they have killed all the garden."

Wallers, who has lived in Betty Bay since 1947 said she was used to seeing the occasional penguin in her garden, but they have increased in the last two years, leaving droppings and making a lot of noise.

"The stench, which stinks like hell, which is a health hazard, I get terrible hay fever, sore eyes, ecetera,ecetera. Then we have got all the guano and the feathers and when the wind blows we get all this bloody black rubbish in our house, and the noise at night is unreal...they bellow and bellow

SPCA slams 'unhygienic' zoo
An elephant needs a new home because of unhygienic living standards in the Bloemfontein zoo, the National SPCA said on Wednesday.
"The lack of cleaning staff led to compromising of the hygiene standards and the living conditions of the animals," the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) said in a statement.
These staff shortages included animal keepers, which affected the animals' care and welfare.
Zoo manager Darryl Barnes said they had been struggling to find staff the past few years, but the situation had worsened in recent months.
"The last couple of years, the staff situation has... [become] worse and worse," Barnes said.
The NSPCA said the Mangaung municipal council, which owns and operates the zoo, had agreed to help by hiring casual

Eight Dead in Attack on Virunga National Park Rangers
Mai Mai rebels attacked a ranger patrol early this morning in Virunga National Park, killing two park rangers and one government soldier who was assisting the rangers. Three other government soldiers were seriously wounded – one critically.  

The battle ended with five Mai Mai PARECO rebels dead. Two others were wounded and captured. The wounded rebels are in custody at the hospital in Vitshumbi. 
The rangers are on duty to protect 200 Endangered mountain gorillas as well as a small population of Critically Endangered Grauer’s eastern lowland gorillas that inhabit the park along with chimpanzees, okapi, forest elephants and buffalo.
Attacks such as these have been on the rise since the most recent eruption of conflict in May, but none have been so deadly, says Virunga National Park Chief Warden Emmanuel de Merode.

“The civil war has brought an influx of militias into the park, intent on poaching and attacking the local population. This is bringing overwhelming pressures on our small team of rangers whose duty it is to protect the wildlife and the people living in and around the park,” said de Merode. “Once again, we are deeply shocked and saddened by the deaths of our colleagues.”

The attack took place at Mwiga Bay, an area just west of the fishing settlement of Vitshumbi on Lake Edward in the park’s central sector, where a recent increase in the presence of armed militias has resulted in a growing number of attacks on park staff.

The outbreak of civil war in May

Cairo - Egypt - Giza Zoo - The second Orangutan "Titi" was transferred to the new orangutans enclosure today, half an hour ago, - 9:00am , 24 October 2012.  background: ‎20 October 2012 - at last the giza zoo management is in process of moving the remaining 2 Orangutans to the new enclosure. This process is taking place now, 8:00 am. 3 Orangutans have been given as present to Giza Zoo 19 May 2010, all were placed in the chimps enclosure as there was no space for the Orangutans. One of the 3 died March 2011, remained 2. After campaigning, the chairperson of GOVS agreed that it was necessary to build and enclosure to the Orangutans.

From Dina Zulfikar
Cairo – Egypt - October 26, 2012

A meeting has been set today with Undersecretary of States – Central Zoos Director Dr. Fatma Tamam and Dr. Fadia Abbas, Deputy of Central Zoos Director, and Dr. Maha Saber; Senior Vet with Hatem Moushir and Dina Zulfikar; representing a sector of Animal Protection Advocates concerned.

Many issues were discussed, and it was agreed that more regular steady meetings should take place regularly to achieve as much as possible accepted standards in terms of zoos and also welfare of animals. 

This is considered a good step in towards achieving the best which can be done, accepted by zoo management and animal welfare people concerned.

We appreciate much the understanding of Central Zoos Director of the animal welfare point of view, and we would sure appreciate efforts done by Central Zoos Director, management and staff to enhance conditions of captive animals in Central Zoos.

We got to understand that efforts are already being done, and this needs to be announced, and we also got to understand that there are obstacles in other points, of which some are not in the hands of Central Zoos, either due to master budget plan by Ministry of Finance or current unrest in the country. 
We would continue meetings on regular basis to achieve best possible results under the guidance ,supervision, and support of Undersecretary of States, Central Zoos Director Dr. Fatma Tamam who does want all the Central Zoos to be complying to the best possible standards of conservation and rescue center. The meetings would be about Giza Zoo and all governmental zoos 


Elephants staying at Topeka Zoo
Relief tonight from Topeka Zoo director Brendan Wiley after the city council gives its unanimous support for the park's elephant program.  
A world-renowned elephant expert gave Topeka's elephant program a stellar review last week, stating the two animals are in excellent health as they approach the end of their life expectancies.  The elephants have been together in Topeka for 36 years.
The controversy began at the start of 2012 when animal-rights groups began lobbying city leaders to move Tembo and Sunda to an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee which, they claimed, could better care for the elephants. 
Zoo director Brendan Wiley says the harsh criticism has been good for the park.  “Has it been a little stressful, has it been a little tiring? Yes,” Wiley said.  “Blessing in disguise? Oh, a blessing that is huge.”
The park now has plans to improve its elephant enclosure to create a healthier place for Tembo and Sunda.  Wiley says the work can be done at no additional cost to the

USDA Surprises Zoo With Another Elephant Inspection
A complaint from an animal advocacy group triggered a surprise inspection Thursday at the Topeka Zoo.
Zoo director Brendan Wiley said Friday that inspectors from the USDA met with zoo officials and staff, focusing on the elephant exhibit. He says the California-based group In Defense of Animals filed a complaint with the USDA Sept. 21, saying the zoo's two elephants, Tembo and Sunda, are not compatible and should not be housed together.
In Defense of Animals led recent efforts to have the elephants taken out of the zoo and moved to a sanctuary. The debate culminated in a vote from the Topeka City Council this week to support the decision of zoo officials, which is to keep the elephants and make improvements to the exhibit.
Wiley says the USDA issued no report at the end of the visit and did not indicate when they might make a response. He says about half of Thursday's inspection focused on the planned improvements for the zoo’s elephant program.
Wiley points out the USDA is obligated to follow up on every complaint it receives. 
The city is currently appealing a citation stemming from a late-August inspection that the zoo

Rhino killed for illegal horn trade
A record number of African rhinos have been killed in South Africa this year, according to a recently published CNN report.

In 2012, it is estimated that 455 rhinos have been slaughtered in South Africa. A London based conservation group called Save the Rhino said 448 rhinos were killed during 2011.

A growing, unsubstantiated belief that their horns can cure cancer has resulted in a high demand for the horn in Southeast Asia.

“It is critical for the South African government to engage with consumer countries and to fight against international syndicates involved in illegal rhino horn trade,” World Wildlife Fund rhino coordinator Jo Shaw, Ph.D., told CNN.

Vietnam is one country which has been complacent in action against

Asiatic Cheetahs on Nat Geo Magazine
National Geographic magazine published extraordinary new images of wild Asiatic cheetahs in Iran in November 2012. Unlike to African cheetahs, Iranian cats are virtually invisible. Intensely shy, scattered like grains of sand over Iran’s vast central plateau, and hovering on the edge of extinction, they are essentially impossible to see. However, SLR camera traps deployed by Nat Geo photographer Frans Lanting in places where are monitored by Iranian biologists have resulted in high quality images of the species from remote and arid environments in the Iranian deserts. It was a partnership between Nat Geo, Iran DoE’ CACP, PWF and Panthera.

Nat Geo article is an important event to raise awareness about the cheetahs in Iran as well as abroad. Formerly, the animals were not enough known among local people, so they were regularly killed because of unawareness and fear among people who supposed the animal as an enemy to themselves and/or their ownership. Presently, word of the cheetah has been spread among people in majority of the country, resulting less human-caused mortality due to above-mentioned reason. However, the cheetahs roam across large

Rarest dog: Ethiopian wolves are genetically vulnerable
Fewer than 500 of Africa's only wolf species are thought to survive.
Now a 12-year study of Ethiopian wolves living in the Ethiopian highlands has found there is little gene flow between the small remaining populations.
That places the wolves at greater risk of extinction from disease, or habitat degradation.
In a study published in the journal Animal Conservation, Dada Gottelli of the Zoological Society of London and colleagues in Oxford, UK and Berlin, Germany, quantified the genetic diversity, population structure and patterns of gene flow among 72 wild-living Ethiopian wolves.
The team sampled wolves living within six of the remaining seven remnant populations, as well as from one population at Mount Choke, that has since become extinct.
They found that genetic diversity was relatively high for a species that has declined to fewer than 500 individuals.
That may be because discrete populations of wolves survived in Africa after the last glaciation period, which ended 18,000 years ago, and a number of rare gene types became fixed and maintained in these separate groups.
However, this isolation is now working against the wolves.
Researchers studied gene types at 14 separate locations on the wolf genome. They found that there is now weak gene flow between the Ethiopian wolf groups.
That could be because, like

Ebola virus found in Kalimantan’s orangutan
Researchers from Airlangga University’s Avian Influenza-zoonosis Research Center in Surabaya, East Java, report that they have detected evidence of Ebola virus in several orangutans in Kalimantan.
Researcher Chairil Anwar Nidom told The Jakarta Post on Friday that 65 serum samples collected from 353 healthy orangutans between December 2005 and December 2006 tested positive for Ebola virus.
“The result should be an early warning for us,” he said.
“In 2006, we collected the samples and froze them because we didn’t have an appropriate laboratory to examine them. We examined them last year,” he added.
Chairil also said that six of 353 samples tested positive for Marburg virus, the similar virus to Ebola that causes Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever.
Further examination, Chairil said, showed that 60 of 65 Ebola-tested samples were similar to the virus found in Africa. “There were only five samples that had the similarity with Ebola virus found in Asia. The other 60 were similar to the Ebola virus found in Zaire, Sudan, Ivory Coast, and Bundibugyo district in Uganda,” he said.
According to Chairil, Ebola virus might still live in some of orangutans’ bodies.