Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Join Today

Zoo News Digest September-October 2009


Big cats lose claws
Big cats featured on The Lion Man hit TV show are suffering after having their paws 'mutilated' so they could perform with their handlers, says the wildlife park troubleshooter now overseeing the animals' welfare. Some 29 of the 37 lions and tigers at Zion Wildlife Gardens have been declawed - a practice condemned as 'barbaric' by consultant Tim Husband, hired after the fatal mauling of Zion ranger Dalu Mncube in May."One only needs to watch these animals trying to eat to see how they struggle to grip their meat without having the use of claws to hold it. To my mind it's absolutely barbaric,'' Husband told Sunday News."There is only one reason a perfectly sound, healthy animal would have its paws mutilated in this way. And it is so they can 'perform' with their handlers.''Declawing wasn't like a human having their finger nails removed, he said. It was like the first joints of all your fingers being cut off."Often what happens is the bones grow differently, the animal goes lame, throws its hip out. Every one that has been declawed here will eventually down the track have problems with their hips and backs,'' Husband said.Sunday News has obtained the findings of a Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry investigation into declawing at Zion.

The 18 Miss Thailand 2009 finalists had a fun time from 19-21 October, engaging in a variety of good works and enjoyable activities in the Pattaya area, including releasing 30 sea turtles, and paying homage to the founder of the Royal Thai Navy. On Tuesday, October 20, Mr. Tanti Paripontpochanapisuit, Vice President of the Old Vajiravudh Students Association (under Royal Patronage) had the pleasure of escorting the 18 lady finalists to the ceremonious release of 30 sea turtles into the sea at the Sea Turtle Conservation Centre, Sattahip Royal Thai Naval Base. The purpose of this activity was to conserve the sea turtles that have almost become extinct, despite their lineage stretching back to prehistoric times. The release is also seen as a mutually beneficial, eco-friendly act, both

Circus Horror: Ice-Skating Bear Kills Worker
An ice-skating bear has turned on its trainers, killing one and wounding another.A Russian circus troupe were rehearsing for a performance in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, when the incident happened.Workers had to drag the bear away during the attack, according to the director of the arena, Kurmangazy Isanayev.The exits were closed off as staff waited for the emergency services.Police shot the bear dead at

Outside review of zoo wanted
City manager Norton Bonaparte on Thursday called for "an independent top-down review" of the Topeka Zoo after federal inspections in the past two months highlighted questionable care that led to numerous animal deaths in recent years.City spokesman David Bevens also said veterinarian Shirley Llizo is no longer employed at the zoo.The review would include federal regulators, zoo accreditors and university veterinarians, Bonaparte said."The zoo's primary goal is the well-being of the animals," he said. "There are obviously past situations at the zoo that are not acceptable, and we must do everything we can to ensure that such incidents don't happen again and

Reports: Zoo record-keeping, care lax
A damning federal inspection report obtained Wednesday faults the Topeka Zoo for lax veterinary care and inadequate recordkeeping related to the deaths of multiple animals in the past two years.Included are findings that two animals died after being infested by maggots.The U.S. Department of Agriculture report from late September is the latest in a series of problems at the zoo.The report comes on the heels of a separate review by Kansas State University veterinarians of previously disclosed animal deaths. The K-State report, also released Wednesday, confirmed 108-degree water in a hippopotamus pool in October 2006 was too hot and a "significant factor" in the animal's death.Zoo director Mike Coker said his facility has implemented new policies for checking the water temperature of the pool. Of the most recent inspection report, he said new animal care record-keeping policies should alleviate

Hippo that escaped last month killed in Mexico
A 2,200-pound hippopotamus that escaped from a private zoo has been shot to death after more than a month on the run in the countryside of southeastern Mexico.An official with Mexico's animal protection agency said Thursday the hippo was shot at least twice the previous day near a river outside the town of Alamo in Veracruz state. Witnesses told reporters that police fired the shots while trying to capture it.Enrique Lobato, the animal protection official, says

Complaint filed against handler of elephants now at San Diego Zoo
The U.S. Agriculture Department has filed a complaint against the Texas elephant handler who once owned Tina and Jewel, two Asian elephants now living at the San Diego Zoo. Wilbur Davenport of Livingston, Texas, is accused of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act by failing to provide adequate veterinary care, handling the elephants in a way that was unsafe to them and the public, providing substandard animal facilities and care and trying to block federal agents from accessing the elephants. According to a USDA complaint signed in September, Davenport didn't give the elephants adequate heat or enough nutritious food. In August, federal officials confiscated Tina and Jewel

`Jungle Jack' in Malaysia to film TV show
Renowned animal expert Jack Hanna, or more popularly known as "Jungle Jack", is in Malaysia for a television shoot.The 62-year-old American will film orang utans, sun bears, proboscis monkeys and pygmy elephants in the wilds of Borneo for his entertainment and educational television show Jack Hanna's Into

Polar bear unveiled at new home
The UK's only polar bear has been given a public unveiling at her new home in the Highlands.Mercedes was relocated from Edinburgh Zoo to the Highland Wildlife Park, near Kingussie, on Monday. Her new enclosure extends over four acres of land regarded as more typical of the natural habitat of polar bears. A public appeal helped to raise £75,000 needed to fund her transfer and the Army assisted in building the bear's home and a nearby visitors' car park. David Windmill, chief executive of the zoo and park's owner, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said watching Mercedes leave Edinburgh had been

When Conservation meets Innovation
In 2008, the San Diego Zoo & Wild Animal Park-one of the nation's leading zoos and a global leader in saving endangered species-came to a realization: despite more than 4.5 million annual visitors and $200 million in annual revenues, the organization itself was on an unsustainable path.Founded in 1916 with the three-part mission of recreation, education, and conservation, the zoo was still on target to show an operating profit of $13 million despite the market panic that pushed many companies and nonprofits into the red. But as Chief Financial Officer Paula Brock told the executive committee, the long-standing model of funding conservation research and educational initiatives from entertainment revenues (tickets, food, and merchandise) and donations couldn't be maintained¬-attendance simply wouldn't rise as fast as the costs of maintaining a 2,000-person enterprise.The zoo had to innovate. And it has, by identifying new ways to connect with visitors and finding lucrative revenue sources such as long-term business consulting

Primate fossil 'not an ancestor'
The exceptionally well-preserved fossil primate known as "Ida" is not a missing link as some have claimed, according to an analysis in the journal Nature.The research is the first independent assessment of the claims made in a scientific paper and a television documentary earlier this year. Dr Erik Seiffert says that Ida belonged to a group more closely linked to lemurs than to monkeys, apes or us. His team's conclusions come from an analysis of another fossil primate. The newly described animal - known as Afradapis longicristatus - lived some 37 million years ago in northern Egypt, during the Eocene epoch. And

Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation - Latest news - Good News

Director: Kyiv zoo to acquire new animals in 2010
Kyiv zoo in 2010 will widen its animal collection with animals given by German colleagues, the director general of Kyiv Zoo, Svitlana Berzina, told the press on Saturday before celebration of the 100th anniversary of the zoo.She said that she recently visited Germany."I visited Berlin and Munich zoos. We signed some agreements. Thus, Kyiv zoo would largely expand its collection next year, and will join to the international program on breeding of Przevalsky's horse," she said.She also said that Kyiv zoo has resumed the keeping of the international book for Himalayan black bears.Commenting the situation with the exclusion of Kyiv zoo from the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) in 2007, Berzina expressed hope that according

Lion Man seeks $230k in damages
Animal welfare, big cat handling, staff training, business deals and allegations of false and malicious claims to authorities pepper the documents.The depth of the breakdown in relations between Lionman Craig Busch and his mother Patricia over Whangarei's world-famous Zion Wildlife Gardens has been revealed in High Court action between the pair.Mr Busch, famous around the world as the Lionman, from the popular TV programme of the same name, has filed a civil statement of claim in the High Court at Whangarei.The statement of claim, given to the Northern Advocate, includes a series of allegations against Patricia Busch and the other defendants in the proceedings - Zion Wildlife Gardens Ltd; Country Developments Ltd; Wildlife Pictures Ltd; Primal Productions Ltd and Kaukapakapa business advisor and company director Michael Bailey.In their statement of defence the defendants have denied the serious allegations made in Mr Busch's statement of claim.Mr Busch is seeking damages and asking the court to:* Cancel 2006 and 2007 legal agreements* Cancel Mrs Busch's shareholding in Country Developments and Zion Wildlife Gardens* Restore Craig Busch as sole shareholder* Cancel Mrs Busch as his proxy and attorneyThe full extent of damages being sought will be filed six weeks before the matter goes to trial. A court date is yet to be set. Mr Busch seeks $200,000 in general damages and $30,000 in exemplary damages and costs.He claims that the third Lionman series was screened without his permission and wants profits from the shows to be used to pay Zion's debts and the rest given to him. The defendants deny the series was screened without his permission.Legal reasons prevent the Advocate from detailing many of the claims and counterclaims made. Animal welfare, big cat handling, staff training, business deals and allegations of false and malicious claims to authorities pepper the documents. Mr Busch also claims that he has difficulty understanding legal agreements due to a reading difficulty, and that he suffered from emotional, financial and physical stress.

Some animals are more equal than others, cat clubs claim
Is it easier to import a Bengal tiger cub than a harmless Persian kitten? This was the question raised by the Malta Cat Society and The Malta Cat Club, both of which have unsheathed their claws after the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) ruled that transactions related to the recent importation of a Bengal tiger to Malta were "all regular", and that the specimen "was accompanied

Reports find zoo chasing its tail
A damning federal inspection report obtained Wednesday faults the Topeka Zoo for lax veterinary care and inadequate record keeping related to the deaths of multiple animals in the past two years.Included are findings that two animals died after being infested by maggots.The U.S. Department of Agriculture report from late September is the latest in a series of problems at the zoo.The report comes on the heels of a separate review by Kansas State University veterinarians of previously disclosed animal deaths. The K-State report, also released Wednesday, confirmed 108-degree water in a hippopotamus pool in October 2006 was too hot and a "significant factor" in the animal's death.Zoo director Mike Coker said his facility has implemented new policies for checking the water temperature of the pool. Of the most recent inspection report, he said new animal care record-keeping policies should alleviate the confusion raised by the USDA's findings."It's important to have as complete a picture as possible," he said in an interview Wednesday. "We're just reminding our folks to be more detailed, document everything."In August, the USDA issued a report citing multiple noncompliance issues related to animal deaths. Among those findings were that a black leopard died after he was administered a medication later found to be fatal over long periods, and a hippo suffered a fatal seizure hours after she was discovered in 108-degree water.The additional issues raised in the September USDA report and the K-State review has City Councilman John Alcala questioning the zoo's competence."There are serious issues happening out there, and they need to be addressed," he said. "Th

Edmonton threatened with lawsuit over Lucy the elephant
Animal rights groups issued an ultimatum to the city Tuesday, threatening legal action if councillors don't address the plight of Lucy the elephant in 30 days.

Twycross Zoo keeper wins award
ZOO keeper Jason Mann scooped an award at Twycross Zoo last week for helping a visitor with learning difficulties.The zoo gives out a monthly CUTE award for the member of staff who "creates a unique Twycross experience" and he received the gong for bringing out each animal so a 14-year-old wheelchair user could get close enough to see them. Jason himself has learning difficulties and has worked at the zoo in Atherstone for two years after joining

Her job's a keeper
Bethany Wlaz has the best seat in the house for a gripping soap opera filled with lust, envy and intrigue.Every day, the Annapolis resident walks up a long tunnel to take in the action of "The Young and the Flightless."It's her nickname for the interesting goings-on among the 43 African penguins on Rock Island at The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, which according to officials is the largest colony of that type of penguin in North America."There's a lot of drama down here," quipped Wlaz, 26, clad in green T-shirt, gloves, khaki pants and big black rubber boots.The soap opera cast is made up of characters like Wheezy, Beaker, Honkers, Oreo, Pudge and Shorty - and the "performers" vie for attention among themselves and from Wlaz and the two other full-time keepers who care County resident works with zoo's penguins

Boost for black rhino population
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has given away 14 more black rhino as part of a bold project to expand the living space of the critically endangered species.The rhinos - worth roughly R500 000 each - were released into a new game reserve in the north of the province on permanent loan earlier this week.The exact location of the reserve has not been disclosed because of the recent spike in rhino

It's all going on in the Highlands!
Whereas Edinburgh Zoo has been rather quiet of late, the Highland Wildlife Park has seen a recent flurry of activity! He's what has been going on up here!As we mentioned just a few weeks back, the seasonal deer rut is now in full swing. The red deer at the Highland Wildlife Park have certainly been demonstrating some interesting behaviours as a result of this. `Snap', the 11 year old dominant male has been doing lots of roaring, as well as chasing away the younger males. However, 10 year old `Thor' who in the past has been a contender for `Snap', has not been putting up much of a fight this year. This is most probably a result of damaging the brow tines (the antler

Red Wolf Woods to inspire conservation in visitors
Exhibit will showcase restoration efforts of the nearly extinct animalIn spring 2010 six red wolves will call the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium (PDZA) home again. If it were 1970, that would be almost half of the nation's entire population of the animal. Back then, there were only 14 known red wolves in the country. Today, because of concerted conservation efforts amongst zoos and private partners, the number of red wolves has grown to nearly 300, with more than a quarter of those wolves in PDZA-operated facilities in Pierce County.In order to continue the conservation and restoration of the once near-extinct animal, the zoo is beefing up its breeding programs, as well as creating a new educational zoo exhibit showcasing the red wolves' brush with extinction and restoration to this point.On Oct. 12 PDZA broke



Lion Man: Zion is out of control - Video
For nearly a year the Lion Man has been without a lion park, and today Craig Busch had a final chance to argue to get his job back. His mother, Patricia Busch, has been running the park since he was fired last November. Now the Employment Relations case is coming to a close and a decision on his future could come shortly.Whatever happens there, Busch has another battle on his hands – to save his reputation. He hopes to do that with a tour of parks and zoos in the UK and Europe."Everyone wants to see me," he says. "They don't want to know about the discussions, things that are going on. So that's where we are heading – for a positive trip." At previous employment relations hearings, senior managers claimed Busch was fired from the park because he was not doing the jobs expected of him.But Busch says his mother has other reasons."I think it's called greed, jealousy – people that can't do what I do, and I don't advise them to because you've seen what happens," he says.Zion keeper Dalu Mncube was tragically mauled to death by a tiger in May.Busch says safety standards still are not up to scratch."I still see rope barriers there

Lion Man cops cat op criticism
Two experts are criticising Lion Man Craig Busch for declawing 29 big cats at Zion Wildlife Gardens.The declawing procedure - known as onychectomy - was carried out by veterinarians under Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry supervision. It took place before Mr Busch's mother, Zion director Patricia Busch, last year sacked her son, with whom she is now involved in a legal battle over the administration of the wildlife park. A Maf report says Mr Busch declawed the animals for the protection of themselves and humans interacting with them. But the park's current operator, Tim Husband, has described the cats' declawed front paws as "mutilations" carried out so the animals could "perform" with their handlers"."Cats which have suffered this procedure will in later years have problems with their hips and backs," he said. Zoologist Peter Dickinson, who produces the ZooNews Digest and is now working in Thailand, said declawing was "barbaric and inhumane"."Euthanasia would probably be a kinder and more considerate option than declawing. It permanently maims the animal, affecting the big cat's natural behaviour and instincts and its long-term mental and physical state," he said.The Animal Welfare Act 1999 defines the declawing of large felids as a restricted surgical procedure and the veterinarian doing it must satisfy himself or herself that the procedureis in the best interests of the animals. A Maf investigation earlier this year found Maf vets had been present when veterinarians in private practice had declawed Zion cats at Kerikeri in 2000 and later at Whangarei. A 12-page report on the Maf investigation concludes by saying the apparent overt or tacit acceptance of the declawing procedure by the Maf supervising vets made prosecution of the private vets "problematic". A notice was issued restricting future declawing of Zion cats. The report, produced in February, recommended the Veterinary Association include restrictions on large felid declawing on its website. The association's animal welfare co-ordinator, Virginia Williams, said on Friday that recommendation had not yet been carried out, but she expected it to happen soon. Mr Busch could not be contacted for comment yesterday. A public response via New Zealand Lionman in June this year stated that declawing of big cats was a contentious issue and Mr Busch had sought expert advice before declawing big cats in the presence of Maf vets. The cats had never shown any negative effects from

Success as three turtles hatch
ANIMAL Welfare staff at Moulton College have become the proud carers of three Asian Yellow Pond Turtle hatchlings.Several years ago, two male and two female adult turtles were lent to the college by Woburn Safari Park as part of their zoo transfer and captive breeding scheme. They settled in well and last year Moulton College became one of a highly select group of animal collections

Efforts on to identify site for Zoo
Coimbatore Corporation has joined hands with the Forest Department and the District Administration to identify land where the existing mini zoo of the civic body at VOC Park could be shifted.Talking to The Hindu, Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra said that it was earlier planned to shift the zoo to Kavundampalayam where there was a compost yard. Following which a land was identified at Ettimadai, near Madukkarai. The experts now have pointed out that the approach road to the zoo would be a problem since it had to cut across a railway line. The existing zoo is at present without adequate space for accommodating new animals and was being run with the mini zoo licence from the Zoological Authority of India.Mr. Anshul Mishra said that the civic body was looking for 20 to 30 acres either on Anaikatti Road or on the Siruvani road for shifting the zoo. Once, the zoo is shifted to a spacious premises, the authorities have planned to bring more animals especially

Irwins to build $40m zoo in Las Vegas
A plan to build a second Australia Zoo, this time near the famous Las Vegas strip, is back on the agenda almost five years after first being proposed.Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman said at the weekend the zoo project would include an enclosure which would include "crocodile wrestling."According to reports from the casino capital of the world, representatives of the Irwin family met with Mr Goodman last week about opening the new zoo, which would resemble the original at Beerwah.The new zoo would reportedly cost $40 million to build."It looks like a great project

Controversial Christian zoo skinned tiger Tira and stored her head in freezer
A Christian zoo decapitated a dead tiger and cut off its paws before it dumped the carcass on farmland and stored the head in a freezer, an investigation has revealed. The female Bengal tiger called Tira was skinned after she died of natural causes and then buried in a black bin bag at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm.Investigators also discovered she was on loan from the owner of the Great British Circus - one of the last big top shows in Britain to use live tigers in performances.Bosses at the zoo, in Wraxall near Bristol, admitted the skin, paws and head were removed to be hung on the wall as part of a display for 'secondary education'. After the revelations, staff at Noah's Ark - which promotes creationism and denies the theory of evolution - dug up the remains and incinerated them.The case emerged in an undercover investigation by campaign group the Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS), which planted an undercover worker at the zoo.The organisation also claims the zoo is raising young tigers as part of a breeding programme to hand back to the circus.Campaign Director Craig Redmond today called for the attraction to be closed down.He said: 'What we discovered was shocking but really only scratched at the surface of what goes on in zoos.'We initially planned just to confirm that the zoo was a breeding centre for the circus owner but the fate of the tiger Tira, her mutilated body dumped in a hole, shows how these animals are

Two employees of Kyiv Zoo say they were attacked
Serhiy Hryhoryev, the head of the education department of Kyiv Zoo and member of the Union of Ukrainian Journalists, and Ihor Mariychuk, the assistant manager of the zoo's ungulates department, have said that employees from the zoo's legal department attacked them during the celebration of the zoo's centenary on Saturday, October 17.They told this to Interfax-Ukraine on Sunday.Hryhoryev and Mariychuk said that they had been attacked by Serhiy Sofiyevsky and Vitaliy Tyschenko, the employees of the zoo's legal department, along with Dmytro Bohdan, the common law husband of the zoo's director, Svitlana Berzina, who works in the zoo as the director's adviser.They said that in the presence of many visitors to the winter pavilion for giraffes, Tyschenko, Sofiyevsky and Bohdan had tried to force them into their back room, knocking them down and hitting them in their heads and kidneys.Hryhoryev and Mariychuk managed to escape from the attackers, who,

Audubon zookeepers join Teamsters union
A small but important group of workers at the Audubon Zoo has voted to join the Teamsters union.Audubon's zookeepers voted 17-14 to join Teamsters Local 270. Despite the close vote, the zoo's management has decided not to challenge the election results, and the union will now be certified as the workers' official bargaining agent.Zookeepers work directly with the animals in exhibits such as the Asian domain and primate center, but their ranks do not include animal curators, who are considered part of man

Should employers hire the overqualified?
MOST SAY NO - A slight majority of local employers and staffing agencies polled said take a pass on the overqualified applicant, citing the likelihood they would quickly move on.Wanted: Special events coordinator for Virginia Zoo. A bachelor's degree in marketing or communications and two to three years' experience in special events preferred. Some evening and weekend work required.The zoo's job posting this year attracted 400 applicants, about 10 times more than the last time it sought to fill the position, said Annie Vogt, the zoo's director of development and communications.No less surprising were the credentials of the candidates. "I would say at least a quarter of those applicants were overqualified," Vogt said.In addition to recent college graduates, they included someone with 10 years in business management and another candidate who'd worked 20 years in public relations. Some used to earn

Chester Zoo host film premiere on overfishing
A HARD-HITTING film about the devastating effects overfishing has on the world's oceans will be premiered in the North West.Chester Zoo will play host to the first North West screening of investigative reporter and author Charles Clover's film The End of the Line.Filmed over two years, the film follows Charles as he tackles politicians and celebrity restaurateurs over the issue of overfishing.With scientists predicting that most seafood will be wiped out by 2048, the film and book of the same name aims to identify

Struggling zoo's troubles mount
A cash-strapped San Francisco Zoo kept its doors open when nearly 2½ inches of rain drenched The City last Tuesday, but not a single person walked through the entrance gates.With gusts of wind blowing up to 56 mph, zoo officials had to pay their staff until they made the executive decision to close for the day around 3:30 p.m. without having brought in any revenue.The zoo currently faces a deficit of some $3 million, on top of about $2 million in debt, and so on Thursday the Recreation and Park Commission, which oversees the zoo, decided it wants the facility itself to call the

Unrestricted poaching could see extinction of African elephant in 15 years
The mighty African elephant could face extinction within 15 years due to the illegal ivory trade.According to a Sunday Express report, poachers slaughter 104 elephants every day for their valuable tusks. As a result, conservationists are now demanding an international crackdown on the ivory industry.The worldwide illegal trade in wildlife is third only to drugs and arms, and is worth an estimated 12.5 billion pounds a year. The International Fund for Animal Welfare last night warned that unless immediate

Lowly owners exploit rare yaks
The next time you go for a yak ride or pose for a photo or two with the shaggy-looking animal at tourist-frequented Kufri, be mindful of the fact that the rare creature is being exploited for commercial purposes. Right outside a Kufri wildlife park, many yak owners cash in on district licensing authority's apparent apathy towards the long-haired bovine's sad plight. For Rs 20, you can get a picture clicked with a yak, also called camel of the snow. What the owner will not tell you is that these rare animals die within the same year they are brought to Kufri. This is because this tourist destination is at a much lower altitude than what is naturally suited for yaks, which is around 10,000 feet to 18,000 feet. Being one of the many offering yak rides, Madan Lal, acknowledges that his animals have died an abrupt death in the past. ``District administration gives me licence to claim money for a picture and video with the yak. At least 8-10 yaks have died within

Readers rescue the lions
WILDLIFE experts have begun the process of rescuing a pride of lions from a run-down Romanian zoo thanks to News of the World readers. Experts from Yorkshire Wildlife Park visited the country with a letter of intent after generous readers raised £120,000. The animals have been suffering in tiny cages at Oradea. We highlighted their plight in August. Park boss Cheryl Williams said: "The lions need a lot more space. We will let them roam freely." The appeal still needs

Zoo visitors get last chance to see polar bear
UK's only polar bear to move to new home in Highland Wildlife Park later this week.Visitors to Edinburgh Zoo are getting their last chance to see the UK's only polar bear in what has been her home for the last 25 years. Mercedes is to move from Edinburgh Zoo to the Highland Wildlife Park, near Kingussie, later this week. Final preparations are now being made for her departure and she will travel north by road in a transport crate sometime this week, on a day yet to be determined. She trained by keepers to walk into her transport crate. David Windmill, chief executive

Do We Still Need Zoos?
I paid a visit the other day to The Prospect Park Zoo, my local – spent the better part of a Sunday afternoon there with the wallabies, and the prairie dogs, and the meerkats. The very names of the animals just invoked underscore how much the place has changed from the zoo I knew as a kid growing up in Brooklyn. Gone are the lions and tigers and bears of yore, as well as the great apes, elephants, hippos and the rhinoceros with whom I had developed a particularly close bond.I remember calling the zoo's administrative offices years ago when I first learned that the place was closed for renovations into the more child-friendly, petting-zoo-type facility it has now become, a renovation that was, somewhat ironically, hastened by the awful misadventure of a couple of neighborhood kids one hot spring night back in the late 1980's. Looking for a break from the heat, two boys climbed over the zoo's outer perimeter fence and decided to take a swim in the polar bear's moat. Nearby residents heard awful screaming and called the police. By the time they arrived they found the bears pawing at the limp body of one of the boys. Thinking that he might be still alive and that the other boy

Dudley the rhinoceros dead at Little Rock Zoo after living 42 years
Little Rock Zoo officials say Dudley the rhinoceros has died at the age of 42.A news release from the zoo said Dudley was euthanized Friday after zookeepers found him lying down and struggling unsuccessfully to get to his feet. The zoo said Dudley had been in decline recently, losing weight and resting his head on the ground for long periods.The release said Dudley had lived there since 1995, when he was acquired,0,5275838.story

Zoo rhino bites hand of employee feeding it
A rhinoceros at the Pittsburgh Zoo smashed the tip of a keeper's thumb as she hand-fed it treats yesterday."Anybody that has a pet knows that any time you hand-feed an animal treats, occasionally you get little bites," said zoo CEO Dr. Barbara Baker. "It wasn't aggressive on the rhino's part."Dr. Baker said the zoo wasn't releasing the name of the bitten employee and refused to say which of the zoo's

Layoffs Announced At Louisville Zoo
The sluggish economy means a second round of job cuts at the Louisville Zoo.Twelve full-time employees will be laid off before the end of the year.Zoo officials told WLKY the layoffs are to help make up for a roughly $1.2 million revenue shortfall.Currently, the zoo is in the midst of its month-long Halloween celebration. Members can get in free this weekend, but will be charged the next two weekends in the hope the zoo will be able to raise some money.Aimee Baston, her husband, John, and their daughters, Rachel and Abby, made a roughly one-hour trip Friday from Versailles to come to the Louisville Zoo."We decided something outdoors would be fun," said Aimee. "The girls love the animals and so here we

One dozen endangered birds released into wild on Kauai
Twelve, small, dark endangered birds were released into the forest of Kaua'i on Tuesday, a milestone in the conservation of native Hawaiian birds. Through collaboration of private and government organizations, the puaiohi, or small Kaua'i thrush, has been captive-bred and released annually into the forests of Kaua'i for the last 10 years.

Sustainable Renovation of Zoo Showcases Conservation Efforts
A historic zoo in Vincennes, France, originally built in 1934 is looking to complete a major renovation, boosting itself to sustainable park status. Backed by the French government, the Prime Minister pledged to help engage a public/private partnership to complete the project. With a focus on conservation, education and awareness, the renovated zoo will feature six exciting "biozones" to replicate endangered areas of the world. Run partially on solar power, the zoo will showcase several green buildings and sustainable landscape

Zoo drops $60K in legal fees following split
The Toronto Zoo spent just over $60,000 in legal fees last year to wind up the Toronto Zoo Foundation, following an acrimonious split with the fundraising group.It spent a further $14,063 hiring a public relations consultant, according to a report to the government management committee. The breakup concluded in May, when the zoo foundation dissolved itself and transferred about $9 million still in its coffers to the Toronto Community Foundation.The report on consulting services shows that Carter Professional Corporation billed the zoo $60,282 last year for "legal and consultation services" related to the foundation's transfer of its assets.Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, who

Gujarat zoo refuses lion exchange - Asiatic Lion Re-introduction Project spurs numbers supremacy game
Tata Steel Zoological Society's bid to procure Asiatic lions has hit a hurdle, thanks to the proposed Lion Re-introduction Project in Madhya Pradesh.The Sakkarbaug Zoo in Junagadh (Gujarat) has turned down Tata Zoo's request for a pair of Asiatic lions on exchange basis. There are about 80 such lions in the Gujarat zoo, all rescued from Gir Wildlife Sanctuary.Sources said that the war of attrition between Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh governments prevented Sakkarbaug zoo authorities from giving away surplus Asiatic lions to their counterparts, including the one at Jamshedpur.The problem began with the Asiatic Lion Re-introduction

Study Planned For Javan Rhino Subspecies In Vietnam
WWF announced today that a comprehensive survey of Cat Tien's Javan rhino population will begin next month and continue until April 2010. The purpose of the study is to gather urgently needed genetic data in order to develop a local conservation management strategy for these critically endangered mammals.It is estimated that there no more than five individuals of this rare Javan rhino subspecies (Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus) still surviving in Vietnam's

Orissa zoo gets a baby chimpanzee
Bringing cheers to conservationists, a chimpanzee Wednesday gave birth to a female at Nandankanan zoo in Orissa."Nine-year-old chimpanzee Purnima gave birth to a female today (Wednesday). The zoo staff spotted her baby during the routine check," Nandankanan zoo Deputy Director S. Mohapatra told IANS."Both the baby and mother are in good health," he said.The zoo, located on the outskirts of Orissa capital Bhubaneswar, already houses two female chimps - 19-year-old Pampeta and nine-year-old Purnima - and one male 20-year-old Julu.Chimpanzees are advanced primates

Studying Panda's Chirps Reveals The Language Of Love
The giant pandas at Zoo Atlanta have given animal lovers great joy over the ten years they've been here. But they've given science even more. Now, when pandas talk, researchers are listening. The births of giant panda cubs Mei Lan and Xi Lan at Zoo Atlanta had as much to do with science as with nature. Male Yang Yang was -- and has always been -- more interested in bamboo than female Lun Lun, so the cubs came by way of artificial insemination. But what if you could entice by more dependable, natural means, these pandas to get together. That would help this depleted species. "These pandas," said Dr. Ben Charlton, "Are definitely a part of the research." Dr. Charlton has been studying panda communication, in the wild in China, and here at Zoo Atlanta. And what he learns from the noises they make could help panda numbers. He is the first researcher to record panda bleats and chirps and play them back to see how that affects and influences live panda behavior. "Pandas are highly vocal in breeding context," Charlton said. "When they come together to breed. So there's obviously a lot of important information being signaled then." Charlton believes that by identifying and recording a female panda making "come hither" sounds he might be able to make magic happen. "You could play back, say female chirps, they produce these chirps when they're

Zoo Negara aims for world class
INDEPENDENT consultants will be hired soon to suggest how the 48-year-old Zoo Negara can be transformed into a world-class institution.This was the decision of a new committee formed by the Natural Resource and Environment Ministry, after a meeting at Zoo Negara yesterday.Committee chairman Natural Resource and Environment Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas said discussions will also be held with the Economic Planning Unit and Finance Ministry in sourcing for these people — who need to be knowledgeable about zoo affairs."The independent consultants will present the recommendations to us, which we will take to the Cabinet. While that is being worked on, we still need to do some data collection and a study on some issues, before a conclusive decision is made on the zoo's future."In the interim, we are also waiting for the audit report from the Wildlife Department on the welfare of animals, facilities and its numbers. However, I don't intend to disclose this," Embas said yesterday.The consultants' recommendations should be out by the year's end, followed by its implementation soon after.Asked about the fears expressed by some quarters that his ministry might be misled by those currently managing the zoo, he said the committee had a wide representation.Some 15 parties, comprising among others the Finance

Fish fingers swimming around in London's Sea Life aquarium
Fish fingers swimming around with marine life have been confusing visitors to London's Sea Life aquarium. The models, complete with heads, fins and tails, have been causing a stir at the London-based attraction after they were added to the waters following a survey which found that one in 10 children think a fish finger is a real fish. The unusual fish have been bobbing around in the waters alongside other marine animals with some people actually believing

Safari park's new girls take a bow
Three rare white lion cubs are the latest additions to take their public bow at the West Midland Safari Park.The white lion Cubs, which weigh 14 kgs each, were born at the safari park in Bewdley in July but have only just been introduced their adoring fans.The cubs have been named Portia, Phoebe and Pandora by staff at the tourist attraction.And the 14-week-old snow-white cubs are thriving under the watchful eye of their mother Natasha.Natasha is already mother to daughters Zara and Tara who were born two years ago.Four other cubs were born to lioness Maryn in August 2007. They are among just 130 white lions left in the world today and are usually only to be found in a 200 square mile area called Timbavati, in the Lowveld of Northern Province, South Africa's bush country.West Midland Safari Park introduced the UK's first ever pride of four rare white lions in 2004.They were the biggest single animal investment that the park has ever made and costing in the region of £250,000. West Midland Safari Park boosts one of the largest prides of breeding white

The Scientists' Bark
During pursuit of a dastardly fiend, Sherlock Holmes remarks upon the "curious incident of the dog in the night-time." A baffled inspector asks exactly what it was that the dog did to provoke such fascination. Nothing, Holmes replies, it was the fact that the dog did nothing that was curious. The same might be said about scientific discourse. Just as he pondered why the dog did not bark when the crime was committed, Holmes might wonder why today's scientists are mute on the subject of ethics when discussing mental commonality between ourselves and other animals. Primatologist Frans de Waal insists, in a recent article in Nature, that theory and data overwhelmingly establish human-animal continuity of mind. Quintessentially human attributes such as "culture, imitation, planning and the ability to adopt another's point of view" are found across species, including even the taxonomically-made-low octopus. Diverse scientific discoveries -- from evolutionary theory and

Zoo celebrates after rhino is born
THE first white rhino to be successfully impregnated in the UK through artificial insemination has been born at Colchester Zoo, it was announced this morning.The male was born to Cynthia, one of the zoo's white rhinos in the early hours of Sunday October 3 after a 16 month pregnancy. Anthony Tropeano, Colchester Zoo's Zoological Director said, "We are obviously delighted by the safe arrival of baby Zamba, a first for Colchester Zoo."It is all the more special because it is the first

Tampa Bay Online Email State Decides Fate Of Safari Wild

iPhone tells me it's all happening at the zoo
I love zoos, but they can be confusing places. The great zoos are sprawling parks, with meandering trails that give you the feeling you're stumbling into a meadow or open veldt filled with fascinating wildlife.That's fun until you want to find a water fountain, a bathroom or a place to buy a cheeseburger and fries.The Houston Zoo, which certainly has its share of twists and turns, comes to the rescue with a new iPhone app that's both a guidebook and a smart marketing tool. It's one of two new iPhone zoo apps from an Austin-based company called AVAI Ventures - the other is for the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.The free Houston Zoo app is chock full of features, some of them rather hidden. When you first launch it, the app takes a couple of minutes to download the latest content. (A tip: If you

Aquarium worker bitten by shark
A man has been bitten by an angel shark at an aquarium in North Queensferry.The 23-year-old staff diver suffered between 15 and 20 lacerations, each roughly a centimetre long, in the attack at Deep Sea World. He was bitten on the hand by an angel shark, also known as a monkfish, which is usually about 5ft (1.5m) long. The man's wounds were dressed by paramedics and he was later released. Deep Sea World has begun an investigation into the incident. In a statement, Deep Sea World bosses said: "A member of staff had received an injury while diving in the aquarium's main ocean display. "Initial reports would indicate the male member of staff received cuts to his hand

DNA could offer captive-breeding alternative to snow leopard studbook
Captive breeding of endangered snow leopards (Panthera uncia) has relied since 1976 on an international studbook that matches animals at zoos around the world for purposes of keeping the big cats from becoming too inbred.Breeding via studbook, however, is a slow process that does not offer many benefits to an endangered species with small populations, such as the snow leopard. Now a team from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif., hopes


Frog theft suspect acquitted
The Nakhon Ratchasima provincial court has acquitted a National Science Museum researcher accused of stealing three rare frogs from Sakaerat Environmental Research Station.The court cited insufficient evidence in its ruling for acquitting researcher Thanya Jan-art, 51, of the charge.The theft complaint was filed against Mr Thanya by Thaksin Atchawakhom, the director of the research station in Nakhon Ratchasima's Wang Nam Khieo district.Mr Thanya was alleged to have stolen the frogs from the research station.Mr Thaksin claimed the frogs in question were three of four frogs belonging to a new species called the "Khorat big-mouthed frog" discovered in the jungles of Sakaerat national park on June 27, 2003. The frogs

Six kangaroos arrive in Jakarta from Australia
Six female grey kangaroos arrived in Jakarta on Saturday evening after a 18-hour flight from Perth, Australia.The Indonesian Safari Park (TSI) in Cisarua, Bogor, West Java province, received the animals from the Australian Zoo.The kangaroos were accompanied by three Australian Zoo`s staff members, namely Dr Tim Potas, Lauire Pond and Kelsey, and were greeted by Cisarua TSI Director Tony Sumampau upon their arrival in Jakarta.They would be placed in a quarantine area for a week for adaptation

Tiger's victims charged
Two men who broke into the Calgary Zoo and got on the wrong side of a tiger have been charged. Trever James Wearmouth and Thomas Anthony Bryce-Hart, both 27, will appear in court to face one count each of trespassing. Two intruders scaled a 2.5-metre fence topped with barbed wire north of the zoo's west gate about 1 a.m. last Monday and headed to the tiger exhibit. Investigators believe the men jumped over a fence and approached the tiger enclosure, potentially sticking their arms inside the holes in the wire toward Vitali, a 150-kg male Siberian tiger. Zoo staff say two-year-old Vitali's paws are too large to reach through the gaps in the fence, so at least one of the men likely reached inside the cage, where the tiger is presumed to have grabbed the suspect's arm, pulled

No criminal charges for after-hours zoo intruders
Two men accused of breaking into the Calgary Zoo after a night of drinking will not face criminal charges.Police said Friday the pair --identified as Trever James Wearmouth and Thomas Bryce-Hart, both 27 -- each face one count of trespassing, under provincial laws, related to the apparent prank that led to one of the men being mauled by a two-year-old Siberian tiger.A Criminal Code charge of trespassing only applies to homes, police said."We do know that the offenders had been drinking prior to this," said Staff Sgt. Rick Halford. "What's their state of mind before that and during that, we don't know."We know that they were intent on perhaps surprising somebody, but things got a little carried away."The injured man is the common-law husband of a zoo security guard whom they called immediately after

Metroparks Zoo: Leopard briefly escapes from exhibit
At approximately 3:30 p.m. Friday, a 4-year-old male clouded leopard briefly got out of its exhibit in The RainForest at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Officials say it appears that some harp wire in front of the clouded leopard exhibit broke and the animal was able to exit its exhibit.Once outside the exhibit, the clouded leopard worked at trying to get back into his exhibit but was unsuccessful. No one was injured or in danger during the incident, officials said.The exhibit is on the second floor of The RainForest.The Zoo's Animal Care and Veterinary Services staff immediately responded to secure the clouded leopard and tranquilize him so he could be moved to an off-exhibit holding area.Late Friday, the clouded leopard

Honoring the impulse to heal
Jane Goodall knows the planet is in trouble. She's seen the damage with her own eyes, traveling the world in the name of wildlife preservation. The Earth's animals and plants are imperiled by pollution, by the loss of habitat, by poachers and by profit motive, by water shortages, by global warming, by the human population explosion. Goodall acknowledges the sober news, delivered in October 2008 by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, that predicts at least one-quarter of mammal species "are headed toward extinction in the near future." She senses public despair. She senses public helplessness. And yet ... "There is still hope for animals and their world," writes Goodall, her tone upbeat, steadfast, almost cheerful. "Even when our mindless activities have almost entirely destroyed some ecosystem or driven a species to the brink of extinction, we must not give up. ... For the sake of our children we must not give up, we must continue to fight to save what is left and restore that which is despoiled." Goodall's latest book, "Hope for Animals and Their World," is at its core a testament of hope — an inspirational call to transcend our history of ignorance and neglect and to move in the direction of communal good will on behalf of nature. It illustrates through vivid, heroic examples how humankind's fundamental impulse to heal has already saved dozens of species

Rare baby panda and koala bears in new BBC series
The ground-breaking work of pioneering programmes to protect some of the world's most threatened animals, including rare baby pandas and koalas, are explored in a new BBC One documentary. Nature's Miracle Babies shows how more miracle babies are being born through artificial insemination. The BBC series will look at how the Chinese breeding programme of the notoriously fickle giant panda is making some progress with new techniques learned from human fertility

Big cat working like a dog to entertain visitors at the zoo
The end of the Golden Week holiday is good news for zoo animals, many of which were overfed and overworked performing for tourists during the past eight days.Ai Ai, a female tiger at the Wuhan Zoo, Hubei Province, suffered from fatigue after performing seven shows daily to entertain visitors. She had to jump through hoops 21 times a day."The overwhelming number of visitors was a burden for the animals," Zoo Manager He Zhihua told the Global Times yesterday."We are so glad that the longest holiday has finally ended. I believe the tiger would think the same way," he said.The circus-type show requires Ai Ai to jump three times though two rings, measuring two meters high and one meter apart. Her act is a "must-see" performance for tourists.Manager He said that among the zoo's 20 performing tigers, Ai Ai is the only one with the athletic ability to jump that high. So the big cat was exhausted performing for an average 20,000 visitors a day.To help the tiger relax, zookeepers massaged her aching muscles, fed her live chickens as a special treat, and gave her hot showers every evening after the show.The zoo manager expressed worry over the tiger's health after Ai Ai refused to eat and became easily irritated due to

Final episode of BBC One's Wild Welsh Zoo filmed at Manor House Wildlife Park
A gorgeous gibbon has failed to lure her reluctant mate to freedom in time for the final frames of a BBC series. The final episode of Wild Welsh Zoo was filmed at Manor House Wildlife Park yesterday (Wednesday). The park was bought by TV star Anna Ryder-Richardson just over a year ago. Since then she has been on a mission to improve the life of 12-year-old Steve, the park's resident Siamang gibbon. "He's one of my favourites," said Anna. "We hold hands, I feed him through the bars. I just want to pick him up and give him a big squeeze." Steve had lived his whole life in a concrete cage with just a

Monarto Zoo to offer safari tourism
Monarto Zoo, east of Adelaide, is seeking private investors to help fund a new eco-tourism resort.The zoo plans to offer visitors to the new facilities a wildlife experience similar to those provided by large African game parks."This presents a huge and exciting opportunity to do something totally new and authentic," said Zoos SA chief executive Chris West."It will combine eco-tourism and have a direct conservation benefit by featuring African animals in a natural setting and providing space and resources to help save native Australian species from extinction."The Monarto Zoo recently acquired another 500 hectares of land so it could offer four-wheel drive safari tours in what is now the largest reserve outside Africa.With the new development it will also offer overnight accommodation as well as a restaurant service.South Australian Tourism Minister Jane Lomax-Smith said there was a growing

Gaza zoo unveils a 'zebra' to dye for
You gotta give the folks at a Gaza zoo points for creativity.They didn't have the cash to bring a real zebra into the blockaded city through smuggling tunnels, so they did the next best thing. They took two white donkeys and gave them black stripes with hair dye, a paint brush and masking tape - and the kids who visited yesterday were none the wiser. "The first time we used paint but it didn't look good," said Nidal Barghouthi, whose father owns the Marah Land zoo. "The children don't know so they call them zebras and t

Zoo visitors cause stress for animals
The eight-day national holiday was relaxing and fun for many Chinese, but not for many of the animals in the Xiangjiang Zoo in Guangzhou.Some of the animals suffered stress due to the throngs that crowded the zoo nearly every day during the holiday, according to workers at the zoo.Visitors took thousands of photos, subjecting the animals to nearly constant flashbulbs. Many people tapped or banged on the cages, called at the animals and created noise from sunrise to sunset.Others fed the animals, in some cases food that the animals should not eat. Still others left behind trash that some animals tried to eat.Many animals were frightened and hid much of the day, refusing to come out, local newspaper New Express Daily reported.Koala bears from Australia covered themselves up in the grass. A panda crouched in a corner. A gibbon, irritated by a child's teasing, rushed to get out of the cage and nearly broke

Rare pigeon hatches at London zoo
Curator praises 'fantastic accomplishment' as bird team engineers breeding despite falling numbers worldwideIt may be declining rapidly in the wild, but a colourful species known as the Victoria crowned pigeon is proving a welcome addition to the bird collection at London Zoo.One of the rare breed, which sports cyan blue feathers, an auburn chest, tall plume and orange eyes, hatched last month and is the first of its kind to have been bred at the zoo.It left the nest for the first time this week and has been exploring the surroundings of the Blackburn Pavilion exhibit.The Victoria crowned pigeon, renowned for its dedicated parenting, mates for life with both parents continuing to care for chicks up to three months after they fly the nest. At present

Cat burglar steals birds
TWO endangered birds worth almost $5000 have been stolen from a Far Northern wildlife park in a bizarre bird heist.Birdworld at Kuranda lost their two prized black lories some time between Saturday and Tuesday.Birdworld had traded a scarlet macaw, valued at about $14,000, for the lories, which sell for about $4500 a pair, to an exotic Victorian bird breeder in August.The birds, which inhabit Western New Guinea and associated islands, were the only ones of their kind in Far North Queensland. Less than 25 are resident

Vulture plans hatched for quarry
A disused quarry in the Borders could become one of Europe's largest aviaries to help save endangered vultures.The Eagle Gardens project has received a £637,000 grant from the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP). It would see a bird of prey visitor and conservation centre built at Ancrum near Jedburgh. The proposals also include a "free-flight" aviary which could allow 50 vultures to nest in the rock walls of the near circular quarry. The scheme needs a total of £1.5m in order to proceed and fundraising is about to begin to secure the additional money required to top up the SRDP

At Phnom Tamao, a Zoo of Rescued Wild Things
Cambodia's Phnom Tamao zoo, with 1,200 animals and around 80 species, is a rare facility, populated mostly by animals indigenous to the country, many of them confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade.Nick Marx, an animal husbandry specialist for Wildlife Alliance in Phnom Penh, is director of the group's wildlife rescue program at the zoo. In a recent interview with VOA Khmer in Washington, where he visited in September, Marx discussed some of the zoo's characteristics. "There are a lot wild animals there, more than before," he said. "We are helping the forest conservative administration to make cages for the animals. Phnom Tamao is under the supervision of Cambodian forest conservative, and we help them there." In the US, Marx visited Washington, New York, Denver, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles."There are a lot of Cambodian wildlife [specimens] in Phnom Tamao, because the Cambodians confiscated those animals from being traded, then they freed them

CHEETAHS are well named
CHEETAHS are well named, it emerged this week. With their stunning black eye markings, these temptresses of the savannah cheat on their mates as readily as they chase gazelles. A ­London Zoo study in Tanzania found that female cheetahs range far and wide to mate with as many males as they can find.But there is method in their nymphomania. Male big cats have a distressing habit of –eating the cubs of rival males. By mating with any male with a pulse, the mother boosts the survival prospects of her young. Well, that's her story and she's sticking to it.This tale of lust on the Serengeti is revealed in a beautifully illustrated book on wildlife mysteries by former Daily Expressman Lewis Smith.He tells how the sloth, a global byword for laziness, has had a bad press. In the wild, sloths only sleep nine hours a day (I wish…), spending the

Reptile zoo seeks law on exotic pets

The curator of Ireland's only reptile zoo has called for urgent legislation in relation to the keeping of potentially dangerous exotic pets.James Hennessy, who runs the Reptile Village Zoo in Co Kilkenny, said he had been inundated with calls in the last year asking to rehouse crocodiles, poisonous snakes and turtles because their owners cannot look after them."It has become pretty scary. We have to turn down animals because we are full up," he said."We're here for conservation and education, but our role has changed in that we continuously get calls to rehome animals because their owners did not know what they were getting into."Mr Hennessy is giving lectures on health and safety in relation to reptiles at the Pet Expo which started this evening and is running this weekend in the RDS Main Hall."I will be stressing that people must do their research before buying these kind of animals. They are not like budgies or cats. I will be warning people about what can go wrong," he explained.He blamed the internet for the easy access to animals such as spectacled caiman crocodiles which can grown to 10 feet, boa constrictors, cobras, which

Bulgaria's Environment Ministry orders Pazardjik zoo closed

The Pazardjik zoo has been ordered temporarily shut by the Bulgarian Environment Ministry, until it receives proper accreditation, Dnevnik daily reported on October 9 2009. The animals will be shipped to the zoo in Stara Zagora.The zoo is no longer allowed to admit visitors until its accreditation documents are approved by the ministry, contingent on the facility proving that it complies with the hygiene standards and that the animals are being offered proper veterinary treatment, which was not the case.The ministry has given the Pazardjik zoo six months to submit the appropriate application form in order to receive its license back, otherwise the facility is facing the grim prospect of having to close permanently.On September 4, another zoo in Bulgaria, in Haskovo, was in the spotlight for a similar reason, when the Haskovo regional veterinary inspectorate and the Chetiri Lapi (Four Paws) Foundation collaborated in the confiscation and relocation of a Bulgarian brown bear from the zoo. The animal was later shipped to the zoo in Pavlikeni.The drastic and unprecedented measure was deemed imperative after the bear's living conditions were branded "abysmal"."We've been monitoring the condition of the bear since the beginning of the year. He was in a terrible state, his health was very poor," said Dimitar Ivanov, director of the Dancing Bears Park in Belitsa.Haskovo zoo is notorious and made headlines in April 2009, when animal activists discovered the carcasses of more than 40 stray dogs in the zoo's waste containers. Eventually it transpired

Monterey Bay Aquarium attracts dollars, jobs

It wasn't expected, but Monterey Bay Aquarium is on pace to match last year's attendance. And considering what a big impact the aquarium makes on the local economy, that's good news for Monterey County as well. "It's flat out been a good year," said Ken Peterson, the aquarium's communications director. The aquarium had projected a drop of nearly 250,000 from last year's 1.9million attendance, Peterson said, based mainly on the weak economy. A key reason for the better-than-foreseen turnouts, Peterson said, has been the Secret Lives of Sea Horses exhibit. "It's been our most popular exhibition ever," he said, adding that it will stay on at the aquarium for several years. The recession may have helped attendance, Peterson said, because people may have made a trip to the aquarium rather than taking a vacation


Tiger victim linked to security guard at Calgary zoo
The man mauled by a tiger at the Calgary Zoo is the common-law husband of a security guard who was working the night he and a friend scaled a fence and snuck up to the cat's enclosure, according to a police source.Meanwhile, investigators said criminal charges will be laid soon, to the delight of many zoo visitors Tuesday who said the 27-year-old intruder deserves to be punished for the overnight escapade."He should be charged for breaking into the zoo and for jumping the fence and for bothering the tiger," said Lorita Sonnenberg."He was asking for trouble and he obviously got it, but no one can blame the tiger, because he was following his instincts."The man is recovering in hospital with serious claw and bite marks to both arms after being snared by a two-year-old Siberian tiger Monday shortly after 1 a.m. local time.The man's friend, also 27, was not seriously

Recent incidents involving tigers in captivity
A man who suffered "significant" arm injuries after allegedly sneaking into the tiger enclosure of the Calgary Zoo appears to be the latest case of misadventure involving a big cat at a metropolitan zoo. As Monday's incident is not the first time that a member of the public -- or a zookeeper -- has been seriously injured, or killed, after getting too close to a big cat being held in captivity. Last year, a Scottish teenager was bitten by a white lion at the Zion Wildlife Park in New Zealand after she put her hands through a hole in the fence. And in the first half of this year, two zookeepers were mauled -- one fatally -- in separate incidents by the same white tiger at the same zoo. Last summer, a Japanese zookeeper was mauled to death while cleaning out the cage of a 150-kilogram male tiger. Police believed the zookeeper had failed to lock the door to the cage, which allowed the tiger to get inside the enclosure at the same time. Nearly two years ago, a teenager died at the San Francisco Zoo after he and his friends allegedly began taunting a Siberian tiger, while standing on the railing of its enclosure on Christmas Day in 2007. The tiger escaped her enclosure and mauled the teen the death, and injured two other people. The tiger, named Tatiana, was shot to death by police. The zoo has since upgraded its enclosures, but it hasn't stopped members of the public from trying to gain access to its larger animals. Only last week, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a man sneaked into the grizzly bear exhibit, but escaped injuries after zookeepers quickly saw what was happening and quickly took him into custody. And in May 2007, a 32-year-old woman died after being clawed by a tiger at a private zoo in British Columbia. Three months before, in February 2007, a six-year-old girl died at a zoo in China's Yunnan province after being bitten to death by a tiger. She was standing behind the tiger, posing for a pictu

Walking with Lions: The Myth of Conservation
Barely a month goes by without news of someone getting into a tussle with a 'tame' big cat. A recent case in point showed a young lion in a South African resort roughing up a British journalist who thought it would make good copy to go into the animal's cage for a close encounter. It's easy to dismiss the stunt as journalistic nonsense (which it is) but dozens of operations across Africa sell similarly close encounters with lions to the average tourist. For a fee, just about anyone can play with cubs, take a stroll with young lions or pose for photos to show the folks back home.Inevitably, the marketing behind these outfits is heavy on the C-word -- 'conservation.' Visitors are told relentlessly that, by handing over their cash to cozy up to tame lions, they are helping to save the species in the wild. There's little doubt that lions are in dire need -- they have been eradicated from over 80% of their range in Africa alone -- but don't believe their advertising. Churning out cubs for photo opportunities is a great revenue earner but none of those cubs are set free. They are too tame. If they were ever to wander into a village or farm looking for a belly rub or a feed, the surprised locals would, not unreasonably, reach for their rifles or spears. Even assuming there is someplace sufficiently wild and people-free, captive-raised lions simply don't have the skills and experience to survive. Many of the tame lions released by Joy and George Adamson (of 'Born Free' and Christian the Lion fame) starved to death, were killed by people and wild lions or, in some cases, killed people themselves and were shot.The more sophisticated operations counter this by declaring that tame, tourist-friendly lions are not intended for release: rather, only later generations of captive-bred lions, not exposed to people, will be set free. Even setting aside the formidable obstacles in 'training' captive-bred lions to be wild, there simply isn't the need. In South Africa, there are now more than 500 reintroduced lions in 37 reserves -- the key difference being that all of them are wild born and bred. Starting back in 1992, South African biologists pioneered the process of translocating wild lions from marginal areas and reintroducing them into areas where people had wiped them out. It takes money and has risks, but considerably less of both than using captive lions. Wild lions captured in one place are already much better equipped to survive as wild lions in another place. But, of course, using wild lions to re-establish the species rules out charging gullible tourists for an up-close experience. Cue cub cuddling.
If all of this fails to convince you to think twice about paying for an 'encounter,' ask the handlers point blank how many of their lions have gone back to the wild? If they furnish you a figure, they are probably lying. As I write this, I do not know of one example. In fact, most of them never actually attempt releases. Which begs another question -- what really happens to their lions? When cubs grow up, they cost a lot to feed and maintain, and they need to pay their way somehow. No problem. There is a thriving market for lions, mainly in South Africa, among 'lion farmers.' They buy surplus cats, much as livestock producers buy new stock on auction, and they breed them. For hunting. As adults, the cubs that cavort with tourists often end up in the gun-sights of trophy hunters. It's quite legal provided you have the permits. If you don't believe me, have a look at this report from the excellent South African program Carte Blanche.The bottom line is, the 'lion encounter' industry is only that -- an industry. I'm the first to applaud businesses finding ways for wildlife to generate a profit when it actually helps protect that wildlife. The same tourists who spend $200 for an afternoon of walking with tame lions could instead visit nearby national parks and game reserves where the entry price and lodge fees truly do help to conserve wildlife. For my money, stick with the real thing: no matter what the glossy brochures and slick websites claim, it won't ever involve tame lions.

Raccoons maul Fla. woman, 74, who shooed them away
A 74-year-old who was "filleted" by raccoons when she tried to shoo them away from her central Florida home was hospitalized for more than two days, authorities said Monday.Gretchen Whitted, of Lakeland, was in stable condition Monday, two days after she saw a family of raccoons near her back patio. She told rescue personnel she tried to wave the animals away; a few minutes later, she spotted them at her front door and tried to run them off again. Then they attacked.Whitted fell, and the five animals bit and clawed at her, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said."They enveloped her," the sheriff said."We're not talking about a lot of little bites here," Judd added. "She was filleted."A neighbor called for help after hearing the woman's

Pet bear kills Pennsylvania woman
A 37-year-old Pennsylvania woman died Sunday after being mauled by her pet black bear, authorities said.Kelly Ann Walz was attacked when she entered the bear's cage to feed the 350-pound animal and clean its cage, according to Pennsylvania State Police. The bear lived in a 15-by-15-foot steel and concrete enclosure on Walz's property in Ross Township.The bear wasn't the only unusual animal living on the property, an official with the State Game Commission told CNN affiliate WFMZ-TV. The homeowner had a permit to keep a Bengal tiger and an African lion, and the property routinely passed inspection and had no

Escaped red panda fatally injured
A red panda which survived for 19 months in the wild after escaping from a wildlife park has died.Isla was found injured by the roadside a few miles from the park last week and died later of a severe head injury.She and her mother Pichu escaped

Zoos need to play vital role in wildlife conservation
We do not have any moral right to keep wild animals in captivity, believes every conservationist, unless it is for the welfare of the animal itself. But it's an unfortunate fact that we have, and need, zoos. Increase in human population has resulted in large-scale destruction of animal habitats, and in the changed scenario zoos have to change their roles and give something back to nature in the form of conservation efforts, say some experts, instead of simply taking animals away from their natural habitats and putting them on display. TOI spoke to a cross-section of people, including Central Zoo Authority (CZA) officials and conservationists, and discovered there are divergent views over the role of zoos in conservation. In view of the man-animal conflict in many regions, the CZA has a big role to play in rescue and rehabilitation of wild animals. However, except for a few successes, not much has been achieved since its inception in 1992 due to many factors. This has led to scepticism among conservationists that wildlife has no future in zoos, unless it is managed more scientifically. To prove their case, conservationists Prafulla Bhamburkar and Kundan Hate point to the three Junona tiger cubs that have landed in the city zoo. The cubs had a good chance of being trained and released in the wild. However, there is no hope now since the zoo lacks space and scientific research. The recent capture

Supervisors balk at pool closings, zoo privatization
Milwaukee County supervisors on Tuesday balked at County Executive Scott Walker's plans for pool closings and eventually privatizing operation of the Milwaukee County Zoo. Walker's 2010 budget plan seeks closure of indoor pools at Noyes and Pulaski parks and shutting down outdoor pools at Holler, Jackson, Kosciusko (Pelican Cove) and Washington parks. Those moves would save $650,000 next year and figure into Walker's

Amarillo accepts grants for zoo
The Amarillo zoo will become larger as the city has renewed its commitment to its expansion. Thirty percent of the zoo's customers come from I-40 traffic. Grants are available to improve the educational experience of a zoo. Today, more than $100,000 was given to the zoo by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to help pay for a new education center. Amarillo Mayor Debra McCartt says, "We made the decision a few years ago that the zoo is really important to the city of Amarillo and we decided to put some dollars into it, some funding into it."October 24th will be the first day a fee will be collected for admission into the zoo. Three dollars for adults, one dollar for kids. The new Herpetarium will also open that day. Larry Offerdahl, the Director of Parks and Recreations says, "Well, we want to double the size of the zoo over the next ten to fifteen years, but charging a very modest fee, to come out to the zoo and they know that 100 percent of that fee is going into the zoo improvement fund."An Education Center will soon be built that will provide programs for kids all over the Panhandle. It's the next step toward getting accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Ultimately the zoo will have a permanent

Zoo Conference Continues This Week
This week over 200 zoo leaders from around the world are in the city to talk about preventing species from becoming extinct and other animal-related topics during a conference.The zoo officials are taking part in the Worldwide Association of Zoos and Aquariums forum at the St. Louis Zoo and the theme this year is "Zoos and Aquariums: Global challenges, opportunities and strategies." Keeping species biodiversity around the world, especially in rain forests, has been a big topic at the conference.Officials say the event is a good way for the

Zoo-bred Asiatic lions for Madhya Pradesh jungles?
The king of the jungle may yet roam the forests of Madhya Pradesh, with the state now planning to borrow and breed zoo lions for the wild after Gujarat refused to part with its big cats of Gir.Madhya Pradesh wants to create a new population of Asiatic lions with the help of the Delhi and Hyderabad zoos, an Indian forest service official said. Efforts are on to get at least two pairs of Asiatic lions from zoos, use them for breeding and let loose their descendants in the Kuno-Palpur sanctuary in Sehore district. If the plan is successful, it will be India's first population of Asiatic lions outside the Gir forest of Gujarat. "Once their numbers grow in the coming

Dudley Zoo buildings 'need protection like Machu Picchu'
Animal enclosures at Dudley Zoo have been listed alongside world heritage sites such as Machu Picchu in Peru as in need of protection. The World Monuments Fund watch list for 2010 includes 93 sites considered to be at risk in 47 countries, ranging from the Merritt Parkway road in Conneticut to the ancient site of Machu Picchu. The watch list includes six sites from the British Isles, including the Sheerness Dockyard, in the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, and the Carlisle Memorial Methodist Church in Belfast. The 12 modernist Tecton buildings at Dudley Zoo, West Midlands, which include six animal enclosures, are also considered to be at risk, according to the latest biannual list. The Georgian dockyards in Kent, which include Grade I and II listed buildings and ancient scheduled monuments, are on the list because parts of the site are unused and

Lawsuit Filed Over Bronx Zoo Skyfari Breakdown
Two women are suing the Wildlife Conservation Society because they spent five hours stranded on the Bronx Zoo's Skyfari one evening in July 2008. After a strong gust of wind knocked a cable car's wheel off track, stopping all cable car movement, some 37 zoo visitors were left with nothing to do but sit 100 feet above the ground (and lions and gazelles) alone with their thoughts—or, worse, other people. Robin Dean, 26, and her 27-year-old friend, Migdalia Arinegas, both teachers, have filed a lawsuit in Bronx

Indian god statue at Calgary Zoo offends Christian group
A dancing elephant statue at the Calgary Zoo has kicked up controversy after a Christian group condemned the figure as an inappropriate religious icon.Zoo officials say they have no plans to replace the Ganesh statue — which has stood near the elephant enclosure for at least two years — despite calls for its removal from Concerned Christians Canada.The group sent a letter to the zoo earlier this week, calling the statue an image of a Hindu god that has no place in the publicly funded zoo."The zoo is not a place of religious expression," said Concerned Christians' chairman Jim Blake."Whether you're a believer of any faith or an atheist or agnostic, if you're a non-Hindu, it's a god that does not represent your views."The issue first arose after the Concerned Christian group was approached by some zoo visitors upset over the elephant statue.Grahame Newton, the zoo's director of corporate services, says the Ganesh statue isn't a religious icon, rather a cultural symbol that shows the tie between the elephants and Asian culture."It was actually chosen more (as) a symbol of how animals and cultures tie closely together," he said.An anonymous donor supplied funds for

Polar bear cub hitches a ride
Arctic waters are at best chilly and at worst close to freezing.Which may explain why a polar bear cub has recently been seen riding on the back of its mother as the bears swim across parts of the Arctic Ocean. The cub then briefly rode her back as she clambered out of the icy water, a unique event photographed by a tourist. Experts have rarely seen the behaviour, and they say the latest find suggests it may be a more common practice than previously thought. Dr Jon Aars from the Norwegian Polar Institute in Tromso describes what happened in the journal Polar Biology. On the 21 July 2006, Mrs Angela Plumb, a tourist from the UK, was aboard a ship in the mouth

Shark-attack survivor, animal advocates vie for zoo prize
The miracle survivor of one of the world's worst shark attacks, animal advocates and a celebrity known as the "public face" of conservation efforts in Rwanda are among 29 nominees for the Indianapolis Prize.The nominees, announced today, "dedicated their lives to saving the Earth's endangered species" and thus will compete for the $100,000 prize, according to a news release.The release says the nominees' work spans the globe, representing a range of species from insects to mammals, and includes amphibians, elephants, bats, wolves and sharks, among many others.A nominating committee will review the applications and select the six finalists next spring. A prize jury will then determine the winner, who will be announced in mid-2010 and honored at the next Indianapolis Prize Gala on Sept. 25, 2010, in Indianapolis.Most famous, perhaps, is

Keepers to Czech out foreign zoo
STAFF at Dudley Zoo are brushing up their language skills for a trip to the Czech Republic. Education presenter Caroline Parsons and primate keeper Kirsty Thornton have recently returned from the first visit to Zoo Dvur Kralove to recall tales before another four pairs get set to jet off. The Czech visits were organised as part of an ideas-swapping venture as the Castle Hill zoo looks for examples of good practice to bring back and try out over here. Funded by the European Leonardo da Vinci education exchange

Ohio zoo python may be largest in captivity
A python sold to an Ohio zoo in 2008 by an Oklahoma City man is being checked to determine if it's now the longest snake in captivity. Fluffy is a more than 24-foot long reticulated python that raised from a hatchling by snake breeder and herpetologist Bob Clark. He sold the python to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio in January 2008 after first loaning it to the zoo in January 2007. The record-holding longest snake

Love for Animals Makes Emirati Man Set Up Zoo
An Emirati man's passion for collecting exotic animals and birds has led him to opening the first private zoo in the UAE.Speaking to Khaleej Times, 35-year old Nasir Khalifa Al Shamsy who started his hobby six years ago, now has hundreds of rare animals, including crocodiles and baboons.The zoo he has opened is at a farm in the Bidaa Bint Saud area in Al Ain."I received some animals as gifts from my relatives as well as my friends, however, I have bought the majority of the farm animals, reptiles, and birds," he said. The private zoo contains 15 pelicans, 30 ostriches, 10 crocodiles, 10 deers, 20 kangaroos, 10 saluki dogs

Algae-dyed polar bears puzzle Japan zoo visitors
Green polar bears are drawing questions from puzzled visitors at a Japanese zoo. Three normally white polar bears at Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in central Japan changed their color in July after swimming in a pond with an overgrowth of algae. The sight of green polar bears has prompted many questions from visitors concerned about whether the animals are sick or carrying mold, zoo official Masami Kurobe said. "Visitors seem to be shocked by the color, and we are asked every day why they are so green," he said. High temperatures in July and August and less-frequent water changes because of the zoo's conservation efforts caused an algae growth in the bear pond and safety moat, Kurobe said. Algae that enters hollow spaces


Comparison insults zoo
I am tired of hearing that blight on Binghamton University, the men's basketball team, being referred to as a "zoo." The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park has just received re-accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the industry's governing authority. We achieved this status by being in the top 10 percent of all the zoos in the country.Our animal care, safety, employees and educational and service standards are set high and met accordingly. Not one of our tigers has been arrested with cocaine. No otter knocks over old ladies to shoplift condoms. Our bear doesn't have temper tantrums and storm off his exhibit. You won't find any of our lemurs busted for smoking pot. So, please, stop insulting zoos by comparing those criminals to

Phu khieo: saving a species
Land of the plateau - pristine forest and hog deer haven in the Northeast On Thai wildlife day, December 26, 1983, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit released four hog deer made up of two mature males and two females of breeding age at "Thung Kamang" grassland in Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary situated in the northeastern province of Chaiyaphum. This was the beginning of what is now a successful introduction programme to save the speciesHRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn in 1987 introduced another four hog deer, and reintroduced several male and female sambar (Thailand's largest deer) in the same area. In 1992, Her Majesty the Queen once again released more hog deer to boost the numbers of the herd. She also released three Eld's deer (one male and two females). Unfortunately, this species has been difficult to monitor because of their preference for deep forest, unlike the hog deer that

Birth of rare black rhino has Texas origins
Baton Rouge Zoo is pleased to announce the first rhino birth at the Zoo. In this photo, mom and baby are enjoying their off-exhibit area. At this time, the mother and baby rhino are not on exhibit and cannot be viewed by the public. Gemstone, a 21-year-old black rhino, gave birth to a calf late yesterday evening or early this morning. This important birth is the only black rhino born in North America and one of only 3 black rhino births in the past 12 months, worldwide.According to Sam Winslow, assistant director and general curator, mother and

Private funds to hire new zoo keepers
An influx of profits at the Henry Vilas zoo will be used to add needed staff, instead of asking Dane County government to fund the employment increase during tight economic times.Zoo officials said an increase from $237,000 to $350,000 will be used to support the hiring of three new zoo keepers. Officials said the money comes from zoo concessions and attractions. In addition, Zoological society officials said $558,000 will be committed to support zoo operating expenses in 2010.County executive Kathleen Falk said 2009 zoo attendance is on a record pace, nearing 700,000 visitors

CZA issues notices to zoos after they miss deadline to submit masterplans
The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has issued notices to four zoos in the state after they failed to submit their master plans explaining future development projects. Sources said all the zoos were asked to submit their plans till 2020, by March 31. But only two zoos — Indroda Park, Gandhinagar; and Kankaria Zoo, Ahmedabad — have submitted their plans. Sakkarbaug zoo in Junagadh; Sarthana Zoo in Surat; Sayajibaug Zoo in Vadodara; and Rajkot Zoo are yet to submit their plans. CZA Evaluation and Monitoring officer Brij Gupta said: "As most zoos in Gujarat have missed their deadlines, CZA has issued notices to them to submit their master plans as soon as possible. We have taken up this initiative to improve zoo

Fanged Frog, Other New Species Found in MekongA leopard-like gecko and a fanged frog are among 163 new species discovered last year in Southeast Asia's Greater Mekong region, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced Friday. But in its report, "Close Encounters," the environmental group also said that the species are at risk of extinction because of climate change. One of the new species, a tiger-striped pitviper (Cryptelytrops

Nearly 84 Percent Of Island Fauna Is In Danger Of Extinction, Say Scientists A team of about 50 international experts will meet next month in Region V's Viña del Mar to analyze the endangered flora and fauna of Juan Fernández archipelago, located about 670 kilometers from mainland Chile in the Pacific Ocean and administratively belonging to Region V. Chilean authorities and environmental NGOs are currently working on a conservation plan for the territory. These plans are to be presented at the Viña del Mar summit and be put into effect as soon as possible. "What we need is a long-term strategy," said Stephan Funk of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, which two years ago highly listed the archipelago amongst the planet's 100 ecosystems that must be conserved. More than 400 different species of plants and animals have been classified throughout the country since 2005. Of 115 more closely examined samples, the ones existing on the islands are the most vulnerable and fragile. "Almost 84 percent of Juan Fernández's

All Dalton zoo traffic cleared from road under new £3.6m plan
ALL zoo traffic will be removed from Dalton under ambitious plans to expand the South Lakes Wild Animal Park, it can be revealed.Around 3,500 cars pass along Tudor Square and Broughton Road every two hours during present peak periods.However, the planned new entrance and car park area would run from the old bypass road at Melton Brow and completely avoid the current `bottleneck' route.The question of access arose when Barrow Borough Council planning committee yesterday considered an outline sketch of the proposed new lay-out of the zoo which would treble in size.The £3.6 million scheme would see elephants introduced as well as more indoor and educational facilities and create more than 40 jobs.Councillor Eric Wood said people had talked about the expansion bringing more business to Dalton but it would mean less traffic going into the town.He said: "Don't get me wrong

Mississippi Police Taser, Handcuff Emu After Grueling Two-Day Battle Of Wits
Remember that legless wheelchair bound man from last week who got tasered by police twice, after which he politely and properly queried "how much resisting I'm going to do with no legs?"This is better. Apparently police in Forest, Mississippi needed a stun gun and handcuffs to subdue an emu after he outmaneuvered them for two days, leading them doggedly on a birdhunt across two freeways.Beyond the obvious "what the hell did they need handcuffs for," this story is curious in at least one other respect. Emus, in addition to being slow and flightless, are visibly, notoriously, excruciatingly stupid. Mississippi's

2 kangaroos from Belgrade zoo killed
Two of the Belgrade Zoo's kangaroos died Wednesday, one of them a baby that got loose in downtown Belgrade and was killed by an apparent hit-and-run driver, police said.Witnesses spotted the baby kangaroo and called authorities, but by the time officers arrived it was dead, senior officer Zeljko Perosevic said. The baby kangaroo had apparently escaped from the nearby zoo, he said."Unfortunately, there was nothing we could do," Perosevic said.Perosevic said that the zoo then called to say that another kangaroo had been found dead there. He said an investigation, including autopsies, is under way to determine what happened.The zoo said later that someone had jumped into a kangaroo cage, killed the mother and stole its baby."This is a classic example of vandalism," visibly shaken zoo director Vuk Bojovic said. He appealed to the police to find and punish the culprits.A year ago, a kangaroo at the Belgrade zoo dropped

Argentine zoo to release 3 endangered eagles
An Argentine zoo plans to release three endangered crowned eagles back into the wild after several months of rehabilitation during captivity.The birds are to be taken to Catamarca, San Juan and La Pampa provinces Thursday for reintroduction into nature. Biologists will monitor them through tracking devices placed on their backs.Trainer Andres Capdevielle says the raptors are the most threatened species of eagle in South America — fewer than 1,000 exist in the wild, according to a 2004 estimate.Capdevielle said Wednesday that while at the

Brookfield Zoo's Cookie the cockatoo has retired
Cookie, a cantankerous old showboating cockatoo that has delighted and sometimes tormented visitors to Brookfield Zoo since its opening 75 years ago, has retired from the stage, though he may still make an occasional bow to his adoring public.The 76-year-old Major Mitchell's cockatoo, a footlong, pink-feathered member of the parrot species noted for its ill humor, is the only animal left at the zoo that was there when it opened, coming there as a 1-year-old from his native Australia.From the start, he'd strut and whistle while bobbing his head, at times raising his dazzling crest of head feathers and spreading his wings. For those who called out his name, he'd squawk back "Cookie," "Cookie-coo" or a simple, shrill "Hi!""He gets fan mail all the time," said Tim Snyder, the zoo's bir,0,1772111.story

Orangutans Under Threat,32187,1926657,00.html

SF Zoo Workers To Be Honored Over Grizzly Incident
State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, was set to honor San Francisco Zoo staff Wednesday for their roles in preventing two grizzly bears from attacking a man who climbed into the bear enclosure last weekend. Kenneth Heron, 21, has been charged in San Francisco Superior Court with unlawfully disturbing a wild and dangerous animal and trespassing, both misdemeanors, for Saturday's incident. District attorney's office spokesman Brian Buckelew has said it is still unclear how Herron got inside the bear exhibit, which is protected by high walls and a moat. One of the two bears in the exhibit came up to Herron and sniffed his foot, but zoo

Tampa zoo uses vague ad to seek new CEO
Lowry Park Zoo has a $20 million annual budget, received national recognition for its quality experience and is held in high regard among community and business leaders.But when the chance came to fill the zoo's top job, the advertisement sought an executive director for a "West Central Florida non-profit committed to education and species conservation." It never mentions Lowry Park Zoo or even that the facility is a zoo.The ad, which ran in The Tampa Tribune and a national zoo association Web site, doesn't say anything about the zoo's reputation or offer any detail about the qualities sought in a new chief.Candidates are directed to send their application to

Circus Comes to Springfield; Zoo Employee Monitors
A traveling circus gets a little extra attention as it rolls into Springfield for shows Wednesday and Thursday. City leaders have sent an elephant handler to monitor how Carson and Barnes Circus" treats its pachyderms.PETA, the animal-welfare group, sent a letter to the city, urging council to ban the use of bullhooks and electric prods.In response, city manager Greg Burris decided to send an elephant handler

Investigation into state of Dehiwala Zoo
An investigation into the conditions that prevail in the Dehiwala National Zoo has been ordered by Sports and Public Recreation Minister Gamini Lokuge following the death of baby anacondas and the last tapir in the zoo last Monday."We have to find out where we have gone wrong and correct it. I heard that two other animals have fallen sick and we do not know whether the fault is with the doctors or with the zoo employees. Therefore the Ministry has decided to carry out an investigation to prevent such incidents in the future and protect the animals in the zoo," Minister Lokuge said.The Minister also said that the investigations are to be carried out by a civil official at the moment with the support of the veterinarian staff in the Livestock Development Department, Peradeniya, if necesssary.Last Monday afternoon the 15 year old male tapir died suddenly. He did not show any symptoms before and behaved normally even eating his breakfast, said the senior veterinary surgeon of the Dehiwala zoo, Dr. Ramani Jayalath. "The digestive tract of the animal had been blocked with polythene and

Roar and peace role for soldiers
Sappers are to help prepare the Highland Wildlife Park at Kingussie for the arrival of Edinburgh Zoo's polar bear.Mercedes, the only polar bear in a UK zoo, is to be relocated to a new enclosure at the park next month. The soldiers from 51 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers will build a road and car park for the bear site. They will also construct a viewing platform and bridge at the park's tiger enclosure. Dubbed Caledonian Thor, the exercise is to train the sappers in military aid and civil community tasks. Capt Dave Crosbie said: "The men have not done this type of engineering work for a while due to being on operations in Afghanistan, and are soon

Group may move some orangutans to Des Moines zoo
Officials at the Great Ape Trust are considering moving some of the group's orangutans and research work to Des Moines' Blank Park Zoo. Such a move could be part of the zoo's proposed $40 million expansion plan. Zoo CEO Mark Vukovich says it would cost about $6 million to pay for facilities to accommodate the orangutans and staff from the ape trust. Ape Trust spokeswoman Beth Dalbey says the group is considering the move, in part because flood-prone conditions at its southeast Des Moines location have made,0,3666701.story

'Kanpur zoo deer didn't die of poisoning'
It was not nitrate/nitrite content in the food that killed 14 animals at Kanpur zoo on September 12. With the interim report from Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) ruling out the possibility completely, it is now the ``sabotage'' angle to the tragedy that needs a thorough probe. The IVRI report which came this week has negated nitration and hydrocyanic content in the viscera samples of the dead herbivores. It was in the morning of September 12 that 13 `cheetals' and a swamp

Toronto Zoo board approves $28,000 panda mission to China
Potential mayoral contender Giorgio Mammoliti will lead a delegation to China in the coming months in a bid to secure two giant panda's for the Toronto Zoo –even though the Chinese consul has warned federal support is needed to seal the deal, Ottawa has been silent on any offer of help and Mayor David Miller, who visited Chongqing last year, has deemed the trip "excessive."The board of the Toronto Zoo approved the $28,000 trip for up to four representatives at its monthly meeting today,while acknowledging the hope of getting panda's will be "dead" if the federal government to get involved.That's revised down from $63,000 to send nine zoo officials to China plus another $20,000 to hire a consultant on winning federal backing.Mr. Mammoliti (York West) said the trip is necessary to reiterate a commitment made in 2003 to supply Toronto

Zoo releasing a "new species" back into western Canada
The Calgary Zoo is reintroducing a species to western Canada that went extinct in our country 75 years ago.The Black-Footed Ferret was believed to have been totally extinct from North America until a colony of them was found in Wyoming in the 1980's.It was at that point a international captive breeding effort was launched.The Ferrets will be released in Grasslands

Roar, Rumble and Snort: Growing Gorillas
Once upon a time, San Diego Zoo guests could watch baby gorillas grow up through the windows of the Children's Zoo nursery. People would return again and again to watch the babies being bottle-fed and mark off the milestones of their growth. Now, instead of seeing Frank, the zoo's 1-year-old western lowland gorilla, playing with zoo staff, guests watch him romping with his troop in a 6,000-square-foot gorilla exhibit.This is a story about how much things have improved in the 12 years since Frank's mother, Azizi, was hand-raised in the Children's Zoo.Azizi was taken to the nursery because her mother wasn't able to nurse her. She was 2 years old before she was introduced to her new troop in the gorilla exhibit. Because Azizi didn't know the body language or social structure of gorillas, they didn't accept her. Paul Donn, the silverback and troop leader, even bit her when she did not respond to him as a normal gorilla would."She couldn't speak gorilla," said Kim Livingstone, the zoo's lead keeper for primates.It was about a year before Azizi began to learn her place within the troop.The San Diego Zoo's primate keepers wanted to find a better way. Since then, they have taken several steps toward integrating bonobos, another

Orphan bats get flight training
Construction work is under way at a wildlife park in Kent to provide a rehabilitation centre for orphaned and injured bats.The Kent Bat Group has been given £5,000 from the Big Lottery Fund to build a flight cage in an area of woodland at Wildwood, near Canterbury. The aim is to help return the bats to the wild after they have learned to fly and catch

Rhino's death not knell for species
When a 21-year-old Sumatran rhinoceros named Emi died last month at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, the world lost its only such animal that has given birth successfully in captivity.But hope still remains for the survival of the species."It's not an ending point. She left us (three) great calves," says Terri Roth, the zoo's vice president of conservation and science and director of the Center for Conservation and Research

Anti-panda tirade of bat fan slammed
Experts against BBC host's statement of "let panda go"Who doesn't love pandas?Apparently, BBC wildlife expert and bat fanatic Chris Packham, that's who."I reckon we should pull the plug," Packham told Radio Times magazine in London on Monday."Here's a species that, of its own accord, has gone down an evolutionary cul-de-sac," he said."Unfortunately, it's big and cute and a symbol of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and we pour millions of pounds into panda conservation."Packham, who hosts Springwatch

Endangerment of elephants
With all the fuss about the giant pandas comes disgruntled voices from those committed to the welfare and conservation of our very own Thai elephants. News of troubled and injured elephants resurface alongside coverage of the developmental milestones of one baby panda. Mahouts are being targetted for bringing elephants into the city, but what alternatives do they have? 'Muse' asked you last week if the government should find ways to let the elephants and mahouts live with nature, and how? Here are your answers!"Only a small group of people are aware of the crisis concerning wildlife animals. Likewise, even fewer people know that Thai elephants are an endangered species. In the past, Thai elephants were taken from the jungle and trained to work in the forestry industry, but under a law to protect the forest. In effect, there is no more forestry work for elephants and their mahouts. Where should they go without a job? Luckily, with the booming tourism industry, elephants are employed once again; the ability of Thai elephants to use their charm and intelligence with some training can perform various tricks to entertain tourists. Still, many elephants work in the farming industry and carry loads of various heavy objects along the streets, even through a big city like Bangkok."So what should the government do to help Thai elephants have a better life? Firstly, all Thai elephants must be registered by the owners or organisations and also provide details of what elephant centre or group they belong to. This data will help the government to understand more so that they are able to make an informed decision on the issue correctly. Secondly, the government should...

Panda-monium over star's special access
Zoological Park Organisation chief Sophon Damnui has apologised to the public for taking actress Siriam Pakdidamrongrit and her daughter into a restricted area to see the panda cub Lhinping.A waiting crowd was reported to have been angered when Siriam and her daughter were given preferential treatment.Mr Sophon said he allowed the pair to accompany him into Lhinping's inner quarters out of pity for Siriam as she had little time to spare.The actress was scheduled to assist the chief of the Chiang Mai provincial organisation administration in a campaign to promote the province's annual tulip festival, he said."So she really had only that much time to see Lhinping," Mr Sophon said.The ZPO chief said Siriam had often helped the organisation by promoting zoo activities.It was also reported Siriam


Mellow yellow Tiger Temple
Thailand's Tiger Temple this year marked its 10th anniversary. The attraction, complete with live tigers that you can pat, may not be in the best possible taste, but that's set to change.
At the entrance, a guide resplendent in yellow nail varnish stuns onlookers with an announcement.
"I've been bitten — several times," she says, immediately raising the question of where her scars and gashes are.
After all, she is not talking about toy dogs or tabbies, but tigers.
Well, baby tigers, she explains. Still, we are rattled because the selling point of Tiger Temple in western Thailand's Kanchanaburi province is touchy-feely encounters with tigers, full-grown

Zoo death highlights lack of wildlife breeding regulations

"There are no regulations on the management of tiger breeding nor safety criteria for cages to ensure the safety of workers and visitors," said Tran Van Nguyen, deputy head of the provincial Forest Management Agency.


Do Quang Tung, head of Vietnam office of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), told Tuoi Tre newspaper that the central Forest Protection Department is preparing regulations on the breeding of dangerous wild animals.


However, it would take time and scientific research to issue safety regulations involving specific species, he said, adding that this was a new issue for other countries in the region as well.


Tung also said the Binh Duong Forest Management Agency had inspected three facilities that keep tigers in the province, including the Dai Nam Zoo where the accident happened.


Inspectors have ordered them to submit a tiger breeding plan within three months and strengthen the fences of tiger cages.


The accident


On September 10, an Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti) at Dai Nam Zoo leapt from its enclosure into an unoccupied den where three men were planting trees.


According to other employees of the zoo, the tiger jumped over the two-and-half-meter concrete wall surrounding its enclosure and attacked the men.


Nguyen Cong Danh, 47, was killed on the spot while Nguyen Thanh Giau, 21, was rushed to the hospital with severe injuries to the head and neck. The third man escaped by diving into a moat.


The tiger, weighing more than 150 kilograms, was then forced back into its den.


Huynh Uy Dung, chairman of Dai Nam Joint Stock Company that manages the zoo, said the accident was a "sorrowful" affair for them. He said zoo workers


Man sneaks into grizzly exhibit at S.F. Zoo

A man sneaked into the grizzly bear exhibit at the San Francisco Zoo on Saturday and was taken into custody almost immediately without suffering any major injuries, city officials said. The quickly resolved incident indicates that safety procedures instated after a fatal tiger attack in 2007 are working, said Nathan Ballard, a spokesman for Mayor Gavin Newsom. In that incident, the zoo made international headlines when a Siberian tiger escaped her enclosure and attacked three people, killing a 17-year-old boy. Saturday's incident occurred around 5 p.m. when a man "gained access to the grizzly bear exhibit," according to a written statement by zoo spokeswoman Gwendolyn Tornatore. The zoo's two grizzly bears were

Authorities names man, 21, who entered S.F. Zoo's bear enclosure
A 21-year-old transient has been arrested after climbing into the San Francisco Zoo's grizzly bear enclosure on Saturday. At a news conference Sunday morning at the zoo, authorities said that Kenneth Herron was the man who got into the one-acre Hearst Grizzly Gulch. He was not injured, despite coming within inches of one of the 500-pound bears, according to Bob Jenkins, vice president for the zoo's institutional advancement. Herron was spotted inside the enclosure by another zoo visitor about 5 p.m., and zoo staff immediately responded to the exhibit area, zoo spokeswoman Gwendolyn Tornatore said. Herron made his way into the enclosure that is surrounded by 15-foot walls on three sides, and a 13- to 14-foot moat with a 4-foot-high barrier on the fourth side, Jenkins said. Tornatore said the zoo could not yet confirm how Herron got into the enclosure, and that officials are investigating the incident along with the San Francisco Police Department.Jenkins said he doesn't know why Herron climbed into the bears' enclosure, but said it's no easy feat to get inside. "It would be pure speculation on my part as to why he

Stepping up for the zoo
The nonprofit friends group for the Henry Vilas Zoo is stepping up its funding to help preserve zoo operations as Dane County struggles with a recession-fueled budget crisis.The Henry Vilas Zoological Society is committed to more than doubling its usual contribution to the zoo in 2010 to more than $500,000, zoo and society officials say. The society will also make an additional gift of more than $100,000 to cover zoo operating costs this year.Details on the contributions will be announced at a news conference with County Executive Kathleen Falk and zoo director Jim Hubing at 2 p.m. Monday at the Visitors Center at the zoo, 702 S. Randall Ave.Dane County operates the zoo, which is seeking $2.25 million in funding for 2010 and splits the cost 80 percent-20 percent with the city of Madison. The Zoological Society raises money for capital projects like the Children's Zoo and new

Twin tigons born in S China wildlife park
Rare twin tigons, the offspring of a male tiger and a female lion, have survived their first 28 days since being born in a wildlife park in south China's Hainan Province, a park official announced Sunday. The cubs were born in the Hainan Tropical Wildlife Park and Botanical Garden on Sept. 1, after the 106-day pregnancy of an African lioness. The first tigons born in the island province, they are the offspring

Lifelion reaches £106,000
OUR mercy mission to save a pride of lions in a rundown Romanian zoo is roaring into action this week - thanks to the staggering total of £106,000 in donations raised by YOU. The sum was reached by News of the World readers in just four weeks. Experts from Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster are jetting out to Romania to fine tune the plan to bring back the 14 lions - nicknamed after England football players. We launched our appeal after reporting on the horrendous conditions at the ramshackle

Public should demand highest standards from zoos
In response to Doug Clark's column on elephants at the North Carolina Zoo ("Zoo could add to elephants' territory," Sept. 16), more room for the elephant habitat, on the surface, would seem to be a good idea.But this would have huge cost implications and also presupposes that more acreage necessarily provides the animals with more benefits. Our own field research in West Africa shows that elephants in the wild move in response to food and water availability. So in many situations where both are plentiful, they do not move long distances,as is often supposed. More important than linear measurement is the variety of different opportunities you can give an intelligent animal like an elephant to keep it well-occupied and healthy. The N.C. Zoo's new elephant exhibit is designed in such a way as to offer our animals a wide variety of options to interact with, both in the exhibits and in the barn and holding yards.It is vital to recognize that the most important function of any good zoo today is to present a sample of the huge diversity of the animal kingdom in ways that will engage and interest the observer.In doing so, there is a much better chance that humankind develops a level of empathy with the natural world, which in time will lead to its better protection. To achieve such engagement and empathy, zoo animals must be presented in ways that give the visitor confidence that they are well cared for and seen in a visual context that provides some sense of the surroundings in which a species might be viewed in the wild.Sadly, too many institutions around the world calling themselves "zoos" have neither the will, skill nor revenue to manage and present animals in this way. In the United States, only one out of 10 institutions calling themselves "zoos" and licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture meet the standards set by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Those standards in this day and time should be the minimum for such facilities. As a result, the public expectations of zoos is not as high as they should be and the work of those institutions who come up to such standards is devalued by the existence of so many "menageries" maintained at very poor standards. All animals in a zoo setting are in some sense ambassadors for their species and there is sometimes a trade-off between that ambassadorial status and the situations under which those animals are kept. In 40 years of observing visitor reactions and comments, both at the time of visiting a zoo and afterwards, there is no question about the degree of excitement and interest a good exhibit of living animals can generate, especially among young people. Films and books can complement that, but nothing replaces it. In a world where most animal habitats are currently under threat, expanding our interest and concern about the issue, by whatever means, is critical if we are going to achieve a balance between human needs and the rest of the living world.As for the elephants, a lot of assumptions are made about their needs, many of them based purely on anthropomorphic feelings. There is definitely a requirement for more objective research to be carried out on what constitutes good elephant welfare and that is in our plans (and those of other Association of Zoos & Aquariums institutions) in the near future. We are at a stage with elephant management where we were with, say, gorillas 30 years ago. When I joined the zoo world in the late 1960s, gorillas rarely lived a full life span and almost never reproduced. Today, following years of experience, cooperative management and research, the gorilla population in major U.S. and European zoos is thriving. My best guess would be that, given another 10 to 15 years, we will see elephant management in the same place.There are already signs of that happening. Our aim at the N.C. Zoo is to be one of the pioneers in elephant management with our colleagues in many other AZA institutions that exhibit elephants. The idea is to create a fully integrated, multigenerational family herd. But it will take a little time.To give our visitors the opportunity to experience these animals and be excited by them, they need to be able to see them up close, hear them, even smell them! Expanding the exhibit further would take the animals much farther away from the visitors a lot of the time.That would largely negate the value of their ambassadorial role and there is no guarantee the animals would be better off. David Jones is director of the North Carolina Zoo.

Keith O'Brien: The identity crisis of the modern zoo
In zoo parlance, they're known as charismatic megafauna. We're talking lions, tigers and other large creatures. They are the big-ticket beasts and the reason, historically anyway, that people have come to the zoo. Where there is megafauna, the thinking goes, there will be crowds. That's partly what made Ron Kagan's decision so shocking. The executive director of the Detroit Zoo announced in 2004 that he was voluntarily sending his zoo's two Asian elephants to a California sanctuary, where the land was plentiful and the elephants could roam. The reason, Kagan said, was simple. To paraphrase: The zoo, despite its best efforts, was essentially ruining the elephants' lives. "It wasn't like an elephant died or something like that," Kagan said recently. "There was just a progression, struggling for years, recognizing there was a problem, and that these were common problems for elephants. We just kept thinking, 'What can we do?' " Kagan's choice, still reverberating in the zoo industry five years later, marks the latest twist in a long, often clumsy, historical shift – from animals caged for our delight to a more enlightened conservation message, and finally to the notion that zoos can actually change human behavior by teaching us about the ways we're damaging the natural world. Now more than ever, zoos are bringing the message of wildlife conservation to the forefront, making it not only part of their marketing plans but their core missions. Indeed, some zoo directors now say conservation is the only pure reason for keeping animals at all. Yet within this noble notion there is a nagging problem: Zoos, despite their evolution, remain a form of entertainment, with the animals unwittingly playing the main roles. So if zoo directors are trying more than ever to do right by the beasts in their care, providing them with hyper-naturalistic, state-of-the-art exhibits and greater attention to what the animals might actually want, then it seems only a matter of time before they ask themselves some tough questions: Should they be keeping animals at all? If so, which ones, and why? Should elephants be in zoos? Should gorillas? "If you asked somebody in our profession 10 years ago, 'Is the gorilla happy?', they would get.........

Tigers Amaze Officials With Mystery Zoo Escape
An investigation is underway after two tigers escaped from a zoo and went on the leisurely — and dangerous — seven-hour prowl.Police and local hunters were brought in after the two big cats — named Dorinel and Siliva — fled their cage in the Romanian town of Hunedoara.The zoo was evacuated and officers sealed off the area.Emergency workers searched the entire park, but hours went by and the beasts still had not been tracked down.Officials were worried the animals may have jumped over the park fence and wandered into the town.But, as night fell, a hunter spotted a,2933,556020,00.html

Zoos stop sales to shooters
TARONGA and Western Plains zoos have banned the sale of excess animals after it was revealed breeding programs were being used to make money.The zoos have shut down their animal sales systems under a bill before the Legislative Council after The Sydney Morning Herald revealed Western Plains Zoo sold endangered animals to a Shooters' Party member advocating the right to hunt them.Following an internal review, ordered by then environment minister Carmel Tebbutt, the zoos have also modified the contract system for unpaid animal transfers.Private operators will not be allowed to profit from animals they display and will be prevented from hunting them or their offspring. The zoos will also have

Salisbury Zoo Bear Gets Dental Work After Six Years Of Being In Pain
Several years ago when my Wife worked at the Salisbury Zoo she was confronted with the new Spectacle Bear having a tooth issue. She consulted with Dr. Tragle about the problem and ultimately made contact with a Dentist in Ocean City who was willing to do the root canal at no cost to the City/Zoo.They started making final arrangements and then all hell broke loose at the Zoo and ultimately my Wife and Dr. Tragle left and the painful problem rested in the hands of former Zoo Director Jim Rapp.Now, several years later, the Zoo finally flew in some specialists to do exactly what my Wife had arranged to be done for FREE to the Taxpayers and paid a pretty penny to have this work done. The financial impact from Rapp continues to plague the City as Joel Hamelton, (new Zoo Director) tries to clean up the mess.One can only imagine just how much pain this Bear experienced for so many years. I'm sure Ron Alessi would scream, but we don't have the facility to do the work. Excuse me Ron but spending $3,000,000.00 on a..........

Cash reward to save wildlife
The Wildlife and National Parks Department is offering between RM2,000 and RM4,000 to people who give information which can help curb the smuggling of protected wildlife. Its director-general, Datuk Abd Rashid Samsudin, said the department was offering between RM2,000 and RM4,000 for such information. "We need the support of the public as the smuggling of protected animals in the country has become rampant," he told reporters after closing a biodiversity conservation programme on saving displaced wildlife at the Chereh Dam, here today. He said the public should not be worried about their

Audubon wins conservation award for crane breeding
The Audubon Nature Institute announces a national award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for its program to breed endangered Mississippi sandhill cranes.The 2009 Edward H. Bean Award went to the institute's Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species and Audubon Species Survival Center on New Orleans' west bank.The breeding program has used artificial insemination to produce as many as 20 chicks a year since 1995. They are raised by people wearing loose gray robes and carrying crane-head puppets, so the chicks won't imprint on people. The program also has produced two chicks from frozen and thawed semen.Institute President and chief executive Ron Forman

Brown tiger dies in Lahore Zoo
One of the three newborn cubs of brown tigers, which were shifted to the Lahore Zoo from the Safari Park, has died while another is in critical condition, a private TV channel reported on Thursday.According to the channel, three newborn cubs of brown tigers were shifted to Lahore Zoo from Lahore Safari Park for medical treatment as the Safari Park lacks medical facilities. It quoted veterinary experts as saying the brown tigers were vulnerable

$1.8M gibbons apes exhibit opens at Essex County Turtle Back Zoo
The scaffolding reached skyward alongside ancient-looking columns with a crisscrossing network of vines, all made to look like an archaeological dig amid a "Lost City" in Thailand. Large crates sat below, seemingly ready to be carted off to civilization. Up in the heights, near the mesh covering, an agile and acrobatic "Mel," just 7 years old, put one lengthy arm after another and swung effortlessly from one end to another."He's just this strapping teenager coming into his own," Jeremy Goodman, the director of the Turtle Back Zoo, said of one of his

Birds unveil 'silver wings'
Some birds have silver wings, created by a previously unknown structure in their feathers, scientists have discovered.A delicate arrangement of barbules creates a silver sheen upon otherwise dark feathers. The effect is different to the usual iridescence that adds colour to the plumage of many birds. Pelicans, ducks, vultures and cranes all possess these silver wings, which might indicate a bird's fitness. Researchers have published details of this novel plumage in the Journal of Avian Biology.A group of scientists based in Spain and Canada led by Dr Ismael Galvan of the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid made the discovery when studying the plumage of the bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), also known as the Lammergeier. "We fell in love with the bearded vulture, a striking, rare bird of the Pyrenees. What struck us was how conspicuous the adult birds were, especially in the sun. The wing, back and tail feathers of these birds had a silvery sheen," says Dr Galvan. "Later, one of us was handling red-footed boobies and was immediately struck by how much their flight feathers on the wing resembled those of the bearded vulture." Intrigued, the researchers then searched museum collections of birds held in Madrid, and at the Donana Biological Station in Sevilla, Spain and University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. There, they found

Zoo visitors shocked as bear kills mate
A MALE brown bear killed a female bear in front of horrified onlookers at a German zoo on Saturday afternoon. Christoph Langner, the director of the zoo in the northern coastal city of Stralsund, said zoo officials are still

Wanted: volunteers to move 400 crocs
A Northern Territory wildlife park is seeking volunteers to relocate some of its dangerous inhabitants. Crocodylus Park, which operates as a zoo and commercial crocodile farm in Darwin, needs helpers to shift about 400 saltwater crocodiles into new ponds."It's a bit of an adventure," says the park's research director, Matt Brien, who has had about 15 people sign up for the chance to get up close and personal with the feared reptiles.But he still needs more."The more the merrier. The reason being we try to take as many precautions as possible," he said."Ideally we'd have two people handling every animal. It's a lot safer [than one person]."The mass relocation, which is taking place on Wednesday, is needed to ensure larger crocs at the park are not kept in the same pond as smaller ones."If there are big ones with little ones, problems occur," Mr Brien said. Before moving the creatures, which range in size between 1.2 metres and 2 metres, an electric shock is used to stun them, and then tape is wrapped around their mouths and eyes."Otherwise you can imagine how dangerous it would be trying to round up [the] crocs]."Mr Brien says the relocation, which usually takes place about once a year for animals of this size, is a great opportunity for people who want to see what it is like to work with crocs."Usually [we get] backpackers

Zoo defends elephant statue modelled after god
Officials at the Calgary Zoo say an elephant statue modelled after a Hindu god will stay right where it is. Concerned Christians Canada has sent a letter to zoo officials, asking that the sculpture be removed. The group says that such religious symbols are inappropriate. Graham Newton, a zoo official, says the statue is dedicated to honouring Asian culture because it's set up near the Asian elephant enclosure. Newton says the symbolic elephant statue has a connection with Asian culture, much like the bald

Hatching a marine breakthrough
First triggerfish raised in captivity could transform aquarium business
The tiny black and silver fish in a 50-gallon vat at Roger Williams University do not look like the aquaculture breakthrough they just may turn out to be.
But the 4-month-old tropical queen triggerfish, which can grow to a foot and a half long with iridescent yellows and blues, are the first triggerfish to be raised in captivity. And if researchers perfect their technique, other marine aquarium fish - including threatened ones like the queen trigger - could be raised in hatcheries instead of taken out of the wild."We grew them on the first real try,'' Andy Rhyne, assistant professor of biology at Roger Williams and a research scientist at New England Aquarium, said as he gazed at the three wriggling fish with a smile. "It's a springboard.''Roger Williams and aquarium researchers teamed up to overcome a decades-old obstacle to growing many kinds of marine fish: feeding them when they are young.Today, the vast majority of freshwater fish in home aquariums are produced by aquaculture. Freshwater fish tend to be relatively easy to grow because their larvae are large, some can be fed dry food, or scientists have been working on them so long that they know how best to make them grow.But most marine fish larvae are smaller and require a live meal. Researchers have met with limited success feeding larvae tiny aquatic animals called rotifers. Those organisms can grow fast and at great densities, but are often too big to be fed to marine fish or do not have the nutritional punch they need.As a result, only a tiny percentage of marine aquarium fish are grown by aquaculture. Most are caught in the wild. But there are problems: Some species are overfished, while others are caught in damaging and often deadly ways, such as by squirting cyanide into reefs to anesthetize the fish so collectors can gather them.In the ocean, marine fish larvae eat copepods - tiny crustaceans found virtually everywhere. But raising copepods in the lab is extraordinarily difficult. The tiny animals have complicated temperature, salinity, and food requirements."People have cultivated copepods over the years in moderate quantities, but no one has been able to do it in bulk,'' said Nancy Marcus, a copepod specialist and dean of the graduate school at Florida State

National Marine Aquarium charters Boeing 767 to import fish
The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth has chartered a Boeing 767 plane to bring back a 42-tonne cargo of Caribbean fish for its new exhibit. According to This is Plymouth, the chartered flight is costing the Aquarium £100,000 and will bring back 100 fish spanning 18 species. It says the import is believed to be the largest of its kind. The fish were purchased "for a nominal fee" from the Ocean World aquarium in Barbados and are being transported to the UK in 19 purpose-built tanks. Staff from the Aquarium flew to Barbados this weekend to oversee the shipment, which is due to include Nurse sharks, Spotted eagle rays, Southern rays, and Reef sharks. The fish will receive a police escort to the Aquarium upon arrival to the UK. Earlier this year sources reported that several jobs were under threat at the Aquarium and that the NMA was going to 'refocus its activities'. Redundancies are believed

Palau creates world's first shark sanctuary

The tiny Pacific nation of Palau is creating the world's first shark sanctuary, a biological hotspot to protect great hammerheads, leopard sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks and more than 130 other species fighting extinction in the Pacific Ocean.
But with only one boat to patrol 240,000 square miles (621,600 square kilometers) of Palau's newly protected waters — including its exclusive economic zone, or EEZ, that extends 200 miles (320 kilometers) from its coastline — enforcement of the new measure could be almost like swimming against the tide.
Palau's president, who is to announce the news to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, acknowledges the difficulty of patrolling ocean waters nearly the size of Texas or France with a single boat. But he hopes others will respect Palauan territorial waters — and that the shark haven inspires more such conservation efforts globally.
"Palau will declare its territorial waters and extended


The cheetah could walk again - in Madhya Pradesh
More than 60 years after the cheetah, the world's fastest land animal, was wiped out from India due to unbridled hunting, hectic efforts are on in Madhya Pradesh to ensure that the first translocated cheetah is introduced in its Palpur Kuno park in Sheopur district.The Palpur Kuno sanctuary was developed for the translocation of lions by the state's forest department. Wildlife officials say once it gets the cheetah too, the park will be the only one to have all the big cats - tiger, leopard, lion and cheetah. WildLife experts are meeting frequently to explore whether the world's fastest land animal can be re-introduced in the park. The last of the species

'Gay' Vultures at Jerusalem Zoo Split Up, Become Fathers Again
After a multiyear romance described as "fiery" and the birth of a baby, a pair of gay vultures at a Jerusalem zoo have reportedly gone back into the closet.Dashik and Yehuda, who built a love next and fathered a baby vulture a few years ago, called it quits for the feathery embrace of female vultures — and now they've simultaneously fathered new young ones, reports."This is an insane coincidence," said Michal Erez, head of the birds section at the Jerusalem zoo. "But the spouses of both Yehuda and Dashik laid an egg on the same day, the eggs hatched on the same April day, and the two chicks were exactly the same weight. Their weight can vary between 120 and 200 grams, and I've never seen,2933,552944,00.html

Lucy critics not well informed, zoo official says
Celebrities trying to force Edmonton's Valley Zoo into sending an Asian elephant named Lucy, who has been there for 32 years, to a California sanctuary are not properly informed, says a top Calgary Zoo official."Even though, their hearts are in the right place, they don't always have the same picture as those of us who work with animals all the time," said Cathy Gaviller, director of conservation, education and research for Calgary Zoo."They don't necessarily understand the complexity of what goes into it."Gaviller was responding to American TV personality

Flood Edmonton zoo with calls to move Lucy: Barker
Bob Barker called on people around the world to "inundate" the Valley Zoo with requests to move Lucy after failing Thursday to convince city officials to ship the ailing elephant to a California sanctuary.The former host of The Price is Right, along with members of several animal-rights groups, talked to community services general manager Linda Cochrane, zoo staff and city councillors for more than an hour before briefly visiting the elephant for which they've been lobbying.While Barker said he was delighted to meet Lucy, he said the talks to discuss her future went badly."The zoo is absolutely implacable. They won't consider even saying that when Lucy is feeling well, we can take her to the sanctuary," he told a crowd of journalists, adding the issue has become

Houston Zoo releases endangered toads
The Houston Zoo is breeding and releasing rare toads in an effort to save the endangered species. On Monday, zoo officials took more than 100 of the toads to Bastrop State Park and set them free. These are no ordinary toads, but rather, the elusive Houston Toads which are found nowhere else in the world. It's hoped that th

Jakarta (at the zoo)
International wildlife charity the Born Free Foundation has joined ProFauna Indonesia in calling for a full investigation into allegations of illegal trading of wildlife products by several prominent zoos in the country. The case of the confiscation operation on the protected animal parts in Jagakarsa, Jakarta (7 August 2009) has been developed by the authorities.The Forestry Department held the second case presentation on 10 September 2009. The government agency strongly alleged that the illegal wildlife crime involved three ex-situ conservation institutions. The documents seized from the suspect showed that the three institutions: Indonesia Safari Game Park (Taman Safari Indonesia/ TSI), Pematang Siantar Zoological Park (Taman Hewan Pematang Siantar), and Bandung Zoological Garden (Kebun Binatang Bandung/ KBB), were allegedly involved in the illegal trade of endangered animals. The documents recorded the transactions between the suspect and the institutions trading these following

Fight for zoo not over yet
Animals ship out, but help still sought for shuttered facilityAlthough the exodus of animals from the shuttered Zoo Northwest Florida has begun, diehard zoo fans hope to convince local leaders of the value the facility brings to the community.Animal Park Inc. partner Bob Switzer, a zoo owner, says he has requested bids from licensed zoos and collectors for all of the Gulf Breeze facility's animals. He hopes to recoup the partners' $4.5 million investment in the zoo by year's end or sooner.The 25-year-old, 50-acre zoo closed in August after local governments refused to give it a second year of funding. It had been in financial trouble since Hurricane Ivan left it with uninsured damages in 2004.While the zoo was run by the

'Lion Man' visits Zion Wildlife Park
'Lion Man' Craig Busch is vowing to regain control of his beloved Zion Wildlife Park after having a police escort back on to the property this afternoon.Mr Busch has been embroiled in a bitter employment dispute with his mother Patricia after she sacked him from the park, near Whangarei.The matter is due to go back before the courts next week, but this afternoon the one-time reality TV

Baby giraffe dies of neglect
THE first giraffe born in Bahrain at Al Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve, Sakhir has died due to neglect by its mother, officials said yesterday.Staff could not intervene as hand rearing would domesticate a wild animal, which was not recommended, they said.The carcass of the one-week-old giraffe was found by staff on Monday morning just hours after it had died due to dehydration, park veterinary sector head Dr Mohammed Ashour told the GDN."We are very sad about the giraffe

Quarantine delays arrival of Pandas to Australian zoo
The Adelaide Zoo in South Australia revealed on Wednesday that the arrival of two giant pandas on loan from China had been delayed by quarantine arrangements. The pandas called Wang Wang and Funi were due to begin their quarantine period in Adelaide on Oct. 17. However, a spokesperson for the Adelaide Zoo said the schedule had now changed with public holidays in China affecting quarantine timelines. The arrival of the pandas was now expected about two weeks later than the original schedule. The spokesperson said that international animal

Memorial for Oregon Zoo chimp
A memorial service for the Oregon Zoo's longtime chimp Charlie drew several hundred friends and fans and even featured a drum and dance group pounding out the rhythms of the African bush.Charlie, who had lived at the Portland zoo for 37 of his 39 years, collapsed and died last Thursday. He had been considered in good health; a necropsy was inconclusive.Zoo keepers say his demeanor could swing from goofy to cantankerous; he would invite staff members to play games of "chase' but was also known to toss feces and chunks of wood at visitors.Charlie clearly favored blonde women and was wary of guys in ties. While he could rattle off words in the American Sign Language he'd learned as a youngster, he was just as likely

State modifies second zoo plan
It might not be feasible to plan a second zoo on 500 acres in Bhagabanpur mouza of South 24-Parganas the way it was originally conceptualized. Realizing this, the state government on Tuesday worked out a truncated version of the original plan, identifying 170 acres of the original area. Also, as there have been concerns that any construction in the area will be in violation of wetland preservation

London Zoo celebrate fifth annual Gay Sunday with GT, Diva and
London Zoo celebrated their fifth annual Gay Sunday last weekend, with hundreds of patrons – gay, bi and straight – in attendance. Held in conjunction with GT, and DIVA magazine, the day featured a series of child-friendly events for hetero and single-sex families to ensure that - according to official literature -"everybody had a gay day."despite its impressive turn-out, the day was marred by controversy when officials removed a poster for DIVA on the grounds that it was

Newquay Zoo features rare black tree monitor lizards
NEWQUAY Zoo has become the only centre in the UK to house three rare black tree monitor lizards.The lizards, who are all brothers, are situated in an enclosure on the top floor of the Atmospheric Tropical House and are the latest in a range of new species to the exhibit.The zoo's animal collections manager, John Meek, said: ''Its great to have these three with us as we are the only UK zoo to have them, and visitors love the way they look so prehistoric."Like all lizards living in tropical forests, their habitat has come under threat, so it's fantastic to have some here at Newquay. The plan is to start a breeding

First zoo-born gorilla reaches half a century
The first gorilla to be born in a European zoo is celebrating her 50th birthday in Basel on Wednesday.Basel Zoo is throwing a party for Goma, offering her and the zoo's other gorillas special birthday snacks, and treating the public to a film about her life, as well as giving visitors a sneak preview of a new open air ape enclosure being constructed.The infant Goma was raised


Pupils 'traumatised' at school lamb slaughter
A school lamb that was hand-reared for meat by pupils in Kent has been slaughtered despite a campaign to save him. Marcus the sheep was sent to the abbatoir by Lydd Primary School as part of its lessons on farming life, despite pleas from animal lovers and even celebrities. Parent Tina Goodyer said it was wrong to send to slaughter

Supporters rally to reinstate Lion Man
Fans of Lion Man Craig Busch are staging fundraising walks around the world to help finance his bid to buy back the Zion Wildlife Gardens.Supporter Selena McMinn, a computer programmer from Beach Haven on Auckland's North Shore will lead a sponsored walk involving more than 20 people from Takapuna to Milford at midday on Saturday.Ms McMinn is a member of Mr Busch's Facebook fan club, and said fundraising drives, such as walks and car-boot sales, were being held internationally.She said the first walk held in Edinburgh

US Expert Bill Marler Urges UK Adoption of US Petting Zoo Guidelines to PreventE. coli Outbreaks
News that a large and growing outbreak of highly toxic E. coli O157:H7 linked to the Gladstone Farm and Playbarn in Surrey, England has led E. coli expert Bill Marler to urge animal exhibitors on both sides of the Atlantic to implement existing safety guidelines. The Gladstone outbreak has sickened at least 36 people and sent 12 children tohospital. Four of those children are seriously ill, most likely with HemolyticUremic Syndrome (HUS), a complication of E. coli infection that can cause renalfailure and other serious problems. Marler addressed the Royal Institute of Public Health in both 2008 and 2009 onE. coli outbreaks and dangers. "Unfortunately, we keep seeing outbreaks of E.coli O157:H7 at petting zoos and animal exhibits," he said from his office inSeattle. "In the U.S there have more than two dozen outbreaks of E. coli tracedto such events in the last 20 years. As with this outbreak, the victims areprimarily children." The ongoing problem led the US Centers

Researchers find molecular support for Darwin's theory
An international team of researchers has come by molecular evidence to support a key tenet of Darwin's theory of evolution.Trevor Lithgow, Monash University's professor, said the breakthrough provides a blueprint for a general understanding of the evolution of the "machinery" of our cells. The study has been funded by the Australian Research Council. "Our cells, and the cells of all organisms, are composed of molecular machines. These machines are built of component parts, each of which contributes a partial function or structural element to the machine." How such sophisticated, multi-component machines could evolve has been somewhat

Scale of gorilla poaching exposed
An undercover investigation has found that up to two gorillas are killed and sold as bushmeat each week in Kouilou, a region of the Republic of Congo.The apes' body parts are then taken downriver and passed on to traders who sell them in big-city markets. Conducted by the conservation group Endangered Species International, the investigation helps expose the extent of gorilla poaching in the country. It fears hundreds more gorillas may be taken each year outside the region. The group began its investigation by going undercover, talking to sellers and traders at food markets in Pointe Noire, the second largest city in the Republic of Congo. Over the course of a year, investigators visited the markets twice a month, recording the amount of bushmeat for sale. "Gorilla meat is sold pre-cut and smoked for about $6 per 'hand-sized' piece. Actual

Monkeys are Metallica fans. Dave Mustaine doesn't hate them anymore either
A new study published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters found a group of cottontop tamarins are soothed by the music of Metallica. They were not similarly affected by classical music, according to The Guardian.Researchers apparently composed "monkey melodies" to investigate whether non-human primates respond to music with the same emotions as human ones. The "monkey music" was inspired by the soothing calls of contented monkeys and the agitated calls of upset monkeys. Researchers found that they were indeed appropriately affected by the tunes. That is to say, relaxed by the contented monkey music and agitated by the upset monkey music.They also found that the monkeys were "left cold" by a human music. But not ALL human music. The animals were played Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings and a soft piano piece from The Fragile by rock band Nine Inch Nails, followed by Metallica's Of Wolf and Man (off the 1991 album Metallica) and an excerpt from The Grudge by rock band Tool. The

Zoos linked to protected animal sales
The government has been urged to audit and check the inventories of at least 10 zoo managements in Java and Sumatra, over fears they may have been involved in illegal trades of protected animals. The demand was expressed on Sunday in Malang, East Java, following the capture by Jakarta Police of a suspect named Wardi, a noted taxidermist who had reportedly worked in cooperation with almost all zoo managements in Indonesia. "We obtained copies of transfer documents for protected animal ownership, from the zoos to the suspect," ProFauna Indonesia chairman Rosek Nursahid said. According to police reports on the trade, animal conservation institutions including Indonesian Safari Park, Pematang Siantar Zoo and Bandung Zoo were involved, Rosek said. Surabaya Zoo, he said, was also included in the list, but his organization had yet to obtain a copy of the official documents regarding its alleged involvement. "The only evidence we have is a 2000 film showing an employee at Surabaya Zoo involved in the sale of stuffed skins of a Sumatran tiger *Panthera tigris sumatrae* and a leopard *Panthera pardus*," Rosek said. Among the traded protected animals were Sumatran tigers, orangutans, Malayan

Storm forces Al Ain zoo closure
Heavy storms toppled at least 150 trees and damaged facilities at Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort, forcing the closure of the popular tourist attraction for five days. The storm struck Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort on Friday, September 10, causing "significant" damage to its facilities, the authorities said. Several park benches and rubbish bins at the zoo were swept away. Some shade structures built over the park walk ways

Walruses congregate on Alaska shore as ice melts
Thousands of walruses are congregating on Alaska's northwest coast, a sign that their Arctic sea ice environment has been altered by climate change.Chad Jay, a U.S. Geological Survey walrus researcher, said Wednesday that about 3,500 walruses were near Icy Cape on the Chukchi Sea, some 140 miles southwest of Barrow.Animals the agency tagged with satellite transmitters also were detected on shore at Cape Lisburne about 150 miles farther down the coast.Walruses for years came ashore intermittently during their fall southward migration but not so early and not in such numbers."This is actually all new," Jay said. "They did this in 2007, and it's a result of the sea ice retreating off the continental shelf."Federal managers and researchers say walruses hauling out on shore could lead to deadly stampedes and too much pressure on prey within swimming range. Projections of continued sea ice loss means the phenomenon likely is not going away."It's more of the same," Jay said. "What we've been seeing over the past few years with reduced sea ice conditions, we might be seeing

Appeal for Vietnam's bears
Take action Strength in numbers We need your help to convince the Vietnam government to enforce the law and release these bears into our care. Join our campaign now and send us your letter for presentation to the government. You can use our sample letter below, and either:

PHOTOS: Giant Ocean-Trash Vortex Documented--A First
Tangled with plastic, rope, and various aquatic animals, a "ghost net" drifts in August 2009 in the Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch, a loose, free-floating "dump" twice the size of Texas. SEAPLEX (the Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastic Expedition) recently became the first dedicated research trip to study the science of the remote plastic vortex in the ocean between California and Hawaii. (See "Giant Ocean-Trash Vortex Attracts Explorers.") While large pieces are common, the garbage patch is not an island of plastic, the team found on their 19-day expedition

ASIA: One of World's Rarest Animals in Danger of Extinction
Conservationists are raising the alarm about the fate of an animal in South-east Asia's growing list of endangered wildlife, even though the animal in need of saving was only discovered in a remote mountainous corner of Laos in 1992.
The Saola, which has been named on an international list of `critically endangered' species, has long horns that slope backwards and belongs to the wild cattle family. This threat to "one of the world's most enigmatic mammals" stems from traps set by hunters and poachers in the Annamite Mountains, according to the Geneva-based International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world's oldest environmental organisation. "The Saola's increasing proximity to extinction is likely paralleled by only two or three other large mammal species in Southeast Asia, such as the Javan Rhinoceros," added IUCN, quoting conservationists who gathered at a recent meeting in Laos aimed at saving this quiet, gentle and rare animal from extinction. "The Saola has no value like the tiger or the elephant – high-value animals that are sought by hunters and poachers," says William Robichaud, coordinator of the Saola working group of the IUCN Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group. "But they (saolas) are sometimes killed by the snares set by poachers trying to kill the high-value animals." "The Saola population is very small," revealed Robichaud during a telephone interview from Laos, a landlocked country that is South-east Asia's poorest nation. "We don't

Tigers in Cancun Abandoned by Mexican Officials
-- If cats have nine lives, then eight Tigers in Cancun are at the end of theirs! The Tigers' story began dismally and has gotten worse since Hurricane Wilma raced across the Yucatan four summers ago. Pepe's Restaurant in Cancun featured exotic animals like Tigers and Jaguars displayed in concrete and steel cages where diners could view them. Then Hurricane Wilma hit and Cancun - and Pepe's restaurant was decimated. Some of the animals perished, some escaped, and some were found just barely alive in rickety jail-like cells. After the storm, Pepe returned, but had no money to rebuild, nor care for the animals. He allowed them to sit in their decaying environment. Since 2005, the Tigers have barely survived, drinking stagnant water and eating the meager amount of food Pepe provides.Medical care? There is none! The declining health of the animals is compounded by obvious neglect. One Tiger moves by dragging her rear legs behind her, often sitting in her own feces and urine.For a year, The Wild Animal Sanctuary (a 30-year old nonprofit refuge for captive exotic large carnivores) northeast of Denver, CO, has worked with Last Chance for Animals (CA) and Gente Por La Defensa Animal (Mexico), to secure the Tigers' release.TWAS and its animal welfare partners worked with the Mexican government to rescue and relocate the Tigers to their 320-acre facility in Colorado, where they'll receive exceptional diets, loving rehabilitation, spacious living habitats, and the urgent medical care they need. Mexican officials recently revoked Pepe's permits and scheduled the rescue date in early September. TWAS and its partners put the logistics in motion

Hatching The Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas

Are Tigers `Brainier' Than Lions?
A wide-ranging study of big cat skulls, led by Oxford University scientists, has shown that tigers have bigger brains, relative to their body size, than lions, leopards or jaguars.The team investigated the relationship between the skull size – the longest length between the front and back parts of the skull – of a large sample of tigers, lions, leopards and jaguars and the volume inside the cats' respective craniums. The researchers report their findings in this month's Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.'What we had not expected is that the tiger has clearly much bigger relative brain size than do the other three species, which all have similar relative brain sizes,' said

S Korean police to investigate zoo assault
South Korean police, in one of their more heavyweight cases, are investigating whether a zoo elephant threw a stone at a woman visitor.The woman surnamed Kim told police she was visiting the zoo at the Children?s Grand Park in southeast Seoul on Monday when she noticed an elephant picking up a stone with its trunk.After she turned away from 35-year-old Taesani, she was hit on the back of her head by a large stone, several newspapers reported.She reported the incident to police in Gwangjin district who began an investigation. They found that the scene of the alleged assault was out of range of security cameras."Though Ms Kim believes the elephant threw a

What is zoo afraid of?
"Veterinarian urges elephant be moved out of city zoo; Animal activist says Lucy has health problems," The Journal, July 18.Every time someone new has voiced their concerns about Lucy's situation at the Valley Zoo, there is always an objection: animal welfare advocates are too emotional, they believe animals can feel love, or pain; celebrity Bob Barker is American and should focus on problems in his own country; renowned Canadian authors such as Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje are apparently unfamiliar with independent research and are too lacking in imagination to form their own opinions.Now, local vet Dr. Debi Zimmerman has entered the fray with a 65-page report examining Lucy's health and the zoo's reasons for not moving her to a sanctuary. Zimmerman is not on the zoo's payroll and based her analysis of Lucy's health on a 200-page

Vet advises against moving Lucy from Edmonton zoo
Moving Lucy the elephant from the Edmonton Valley Zoo could kill her, an American veterinarian told officials after he examined her last week.Dr. James Oosterhuis, a lead researcher with the Colyer Institute in San Diego, examined Lucy on Thursday along with zoo veterinarian Milton Ness."Her [Lucy's] current respiratory problems preclude any thought of moving her, and, in fact, it would [be] life threatening for her to be placed under that kind of stress," Oosterhuis said in a letter to the zoo."It is my opinion that it would

Eagle Heights owner ready to act against thieves
A WILDLIFE park owner says he is ready to take the law into his own hands if thieves continue to target his property. Eagle Heights director Alan Ames claims intruders and attempted thefts are a weekly occurence at the park in Lullingstone Lane, Eynsford, which is one of the UK's largest bird of prey centres. According to the former soldier, recent incidents include his 23-year-old son being attacked with a baseball bat, putting him in hospital with a severely

Researchers in Fiji capture images of rare sea bird
A group of researchers in Fiji has captured images of an endangered and elusive sea bird, the first confirmed sighting of the chocolate-colored creature at sea. Scientists photographed the Fiji Petrel soaring above the ocean about 40 kilometres south of Fiji's remote island of Gau in May, according to the U.K.-based conservation group BirdLife International, which helped fund the expedition. The researchers' findings were described in a paper published in this week's Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club. "Finding this bird and capturing such images was a fantastic and exhilarating experience," the paper's lead author, Hadoram Shirihai, said in a statement. The bird is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the producer of the

Dead lion raises heat on scandal-hit Bangladesh zoo
The death of a lion has brought to 20 the number of animals to have died in a Bangladesh zoo since the start of the year, leading to condemnation from wildlife experts on Friday.Bibekananda Chowdhury, acting chief zookeeper at Dhaka Zoo, confirmed to AFP that a lion had died Thursday after haemorrhaging, while a Bengal tiger was in a critical condition due to "old age".A giraffe died on Monday following the demise of a tiger, a zebra and a tapir earlier in the year, with the total death toll now at 20, said a government official, who did not want to be named.The giraffe death prompted government officials to suspend the zoo's chief and his deputy and to launch an enquiry, but wildlife experts said more action was needed.Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh chief Professor Anwarul


Zoo stages adoption event, seeks frog `mayor'
If you prefer salamanders and frogs to dogs and cats — and you're age 6-12 — you may have what it takes to become the Detroit Zoo's next "Mayor of Amphibiville."The zoo hopes to fill a two-year term at its two-acre wetland, "Amphibiville," the home of the National Amphibian Conservation Center.Interested candidates must write an essay of 100 words or less on why they should be the Mayor of Amphibiville.The winner will be sworn in and receive a plaque inscribed with his or her name displayed in the National Amphibian Conservation Center, a certificate, a plush frog, recognition on the

13 cheetals, 1 swamp deer found dead in Kanpur zoo
Thirteen cheetal and a swamp deer were found dead in mysterious circumstances on Saturday morning. All of them were fed the fodder on Friday evening and deaths reportedly took place on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday. The month of September it seems goes down hard on the deer population of Kanpur zoo. Last year, the zoo had lost five of its black bucks in the first week of the month. After the deaths were reported on Saturday, chief wildlife warden BK Patnaik along with the veterinary expert of Lucknow zoo visited the Kanpur Zoo. The sources said that the dead animals were all in healthy condition

Three orphaned Sitka cubs may end up at zoo
The three orphan bear cubs at the Fortress of the Bear may eventually wind up at a zoo in another state.They will spend the rest of their lives in captivity and under observation, but the state Department of Fish and Game believes that their lives up to the time they were taken into custody is worth knowing about, too.To that end, Fish and Game wildlife biologist Phil Mooney is asking residents to help document the cubs' activities from the time they, their mother and a sibling first turned up in town early this summer until their capture on Aug. 16."We have all these pictures that

OUR England heroes are the MANE men. So we've nicknamed the 14 lions we're trying to save from death in a Romanian hell-hole after the football stars who wear three lions on their shirt with pride!

White tiger cub dies at Indore zoo
One of the three white tiger cubs In Indore zoo which fell ill when authorities allegedly released it prematurely for viewing in a bid to attract more tourists, died Thursday.Three white tiger cubs had fallen ill at the zoo during the last week of August allegedly due to the authorities' decision to prematurely release them into an enclosure, wildlife experts said. "All the three cubs, born at the zoo in March, were suffering from diarrhoea and dehydration for the past few days. The problem has been caused due to the premature release of the cubs in the enclosure for the tourists," a zoo employee told IANS on the condition of anonymity. However, zoo superintendent

Zoo Atlanta continues panda fundraising
Facing a December deadline to raise 500 thousand dollars to preserve its panda program, Zoo Atlanta continues its fundraising push this weekend.The tourist attraction holds its "pandemonium" event. Everything thing from activities for children to refreshments and music is designed to bring in families and Zoo Supporters.Zoo Atlanta marketing executive Marcus Margerum says the event is one of many ways to bring in much needed dollars. MARGERUM: "So, it's really a combination of a variety of programs

Bob Barker declares war on Edmonton Zoo over an elephant
Legendary American game show host Bob Barker has declared war on zoo in Edmonton, Canada after officials refused to agree to move its resident elephant. Barker, who these days is an animal rights activist, is trying to relocate Lucy the elephant to an animal sanctuary in California run by the Performing Animals Welfare Society or PAWS. Zoo officials though claim that she is not well enough to make the trip.Despite Veterinarian James Oosterhuis telling officials that a move would kill Lucy "after discovering her nose and trunk were so swollen it was forcing her

Zoo hails successful breeding of red river piglets
Rare baby hogs Sammi and Becca take their first steps in front of the public
KEEPERS at Edinburgh Zoo have welcomed the addition of two new animals with the birth of a pair of piglets.The young red river hogs, a boy named Sammi and a girl named Becca, are the result of the first time the zoo's existing hogs have bred successfully.The hogs, which were born last month, currently have yellow and brown stripy coats, but will look very different when they mature.Their parents, Belle and Hamish, have shaggy red coats, with a tufted white stripe running the length of their backs.Red river hogs, which

EGYPT PICTURES: Ancient Animal Graves From Private Zoo?
At the edge of a cemetery in Hierakonpolis, Egypt's first city, lies a baboon, buried 3,500 years ago in a tomb near others containing nine dogs and six cats. It was these animals' job to protect the elite necropolis. Hierakonpolis, south of Cairo, has more animal burials than any early Nile Valley urban center. But their purpose has long puzzled archaeologists. This summer, site director Renee Friedman found evidence the animals belonged

India to ask neighbours to help in tiger conservation
After China's lukewarm response to the issue of tiger poaching, India is pinning hopes on other neighbouring countries having population of the big cats to curb trade in parts and skins of the animal."We will take up tiger crime and poaching issue on a bilateral level with neighbouring nations particularly those touching the tiger reserves on the border areas of UP and West Bengal where a few tigers are left in the wild," National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) member secretary Rajesh Gopal said."Unless there is a collective action to

Gorilla King Titus Buried in Special Ceremony
Karisoke staff and researchers brought the body of silverback Titus down from the mountain on Sept. 16, many weeping at the loss of their old friend. Titus, who has been followed by Karisoke staff since his birth in 1974, died on Monday, Sept. 14.

Monkey pushes woman who wouldn't share off cliff
A MONKEY has pushed a woman off a cliff. The woman, 60-year-old Zhou Juchang, made the claim after winding up at the bottom of a seven-metre rockface, fracturing her hip and breaking three ribs.Now she's suing her travel agent, who organised her trip into China's Chengdu Wildlife Park.The monkey allegedly flew into a rage,27574,26091133-23109,00.html

Taipei Zoo and U.S. center to conserve endangered tortoise
The Taipei Zoo signed a cooperation agreement Wednesday with the New York-based Behler Chelonian Center (BCC) to help conserve endangered turtles and tortoises. Under the accord, the two sides will first work together to reintroduce the critically endangered Burmese star tortoise to its natural habitat — mountain forests in southwest Myanmar, formerly called Burma — Taipei Zoo Director Jason Yeh said at the signing ceremony. Yeh added that they will also launch exchanges of chelonian species and breeding techniques

Shedd Aquarium's cell-phone connection
For those who believe that someday the whole world will run through their cell phones, the Shedd Aquarium is supplying a new piece of evidence.In a TV ad campaign aired this summer on the four major broadcast networks, one of Chicago's leading tourist attractions tried an unusual experiment. The commercials, which offered free tickets to the premiere of a new aquatic show, were identical in all but one respect.Some asked viewers to enter the contest by clicking on a Web site, while others asked them to text. The so-called "SMS" plea worked better, resulting


Zoo tiger kills one in Vietnam: official 
A tiger leaped out of its enclosure in Vietnam and killed a zoo worker, the park's manager said Friday.Another worker was injured in Thursday's attack when the cat jumped over a 2.5-metre (8.3 feet) electric fence to attack the men while they planted trees, said Duong Thanh Phi, manager of the private Dai Nam zoo in southern Binh Duong province.Phi said the animal apparently became disturbed by noise from a crane the workers were using.They sought safety in a water-filled tunnel but for some reason one of them crawled out of it onto the soil and was killed, he said, adding the victim was 47 years old.Other staff captured the male tiger and caged it while the injured employee was taken to hospital where he was in a stable condition, Phi said.It is the first incident of its kind at the Dai Nam zoo, which keeps nine adult and seven infant tigers, the manager said.Environmental groups have said habitat destruction, hunting and the illegal wildlife trade have pushed tigers close to extinction 

Conservation's Unsung Heroes: The Best Story's Never Told 
Wildlife TV shows have launched an ever-growing list of 'wildlife heroes' who shock and awe viewers running from charging lions, or holding up salmon heads among hungry grizzlies. While these network darlings garner serious attention from their fans they rarely do much for conservation, no matter what they tell the viewer (see last week's blog for a good example). Nor are they interested in sharing their spotlight with the real heroes who risk everything -- even their lives -- to really save wildlife. Take Mr. Dong. He's a Chinese national living in one of the world's remotest corners, the North East Chinese province of Heilongjiang bordering the Russian Far East. This is supposed to be Siberian tiger country but tigers are losing the battle here 

Doubts over Cairo's historic zoo 
Cairo's Giza Zoo, once one of the world's foremost zoological gardens, has long since fallen into disrepair. It remains popular with Egyptian families, but the BBC's Yolande Knell reports on challenges to its survival - from property developers, mismanagement and animal welfare advocates.In the lion house at Giza Zoo, a crowd of children shriek excitedly as the big cats snarl behind iron bars and dig their teeth into slabs of raw meat. "I like all the animals but the lions are best," giggles four-year-old Zeinab Abdul Hamid. "We bring our little kids here to show them all the different creatures," says her father, Ashraf. "Usually we come at least twice a year during the holidays. I used to come when I was a 

Dalton zoo expansion plans put to council 
The proposed £3.6m expansion of South Lakes Wild Animal Park in Dalton would see elephants introduced as well as more indoor and educational facilities.It would also create more than 40 jobs.Mr Gill – who has threatened to pull out of Dalton in the past – is now seeking a "screening opinion" from Barrow Borough Council officials to see what issues he will need to address in any subsequent planning application for the expansion.Mr Gill says feedback from the officials will help him decide whether to go ahead with submitting a full planning application to the council and buying up neighbouring agricultural land.Mr Gill says it is now a planning minefield – with "green" and traffic issues –compared to when he first opened the wildlife park 15 years ago.He told the Evening Mail: "We would be using wind and ground energy and need to find out as many details as possible before investing such a large sum of money."Bringing in elephants would be down to doing business with landowners, there is nothing concrete at this stage."I want to know everything that is needed from a planning perspective first but the expansion plan is certainly a warm subject."Mr Gill says the zoo is well on course to topping 

Is the elephant irrelevant in the zoo of the future? 
The elephant in the room was actually an elephant.Becca Hanson, a Seattle-based design consultant, was in Edmonton earlier this week to talk about the upcoming polar exhibit at the Valley Zoo. She was energetic and very well-spoken, and even though she has either studied or worked with many of the top zoos on this continent, Hanson sees a brilliant future on the banks of the North Saskatchewan."With this land and these people, you can have the best community zoo in North America," she said, "if not the world."Hanson helped Valley Zoo administrators with the master plan, approved by city council in 2005 and only now moving out of conceptual phases and into reality. Much of the plan is in line with what the most forward-thinking zoos in the world are doing. It's focused on native landscapes and animals, educational experiences, rescue and conservation. The plan joins the zoo with the river valley, finally, and makes use of a breathtaking landscape. The theme of the north--northern animals and northern landscapes--is central.Yet the plan also reaches into the irresponsible past -- calling for tropical animals to make up approximately 25 per cent of the zoo's collection. It calls for four elephants, for example, to be part of the Valley Zoo's "wow factor." When I used the word "elephant," the zoo's otherwise genial top administrators, director Denise Prefontaine and operations manager Dean Treichel, visibly stiffened.The point of this meeting, clearly, was to steer attention away from Lucy the elephant and toward other concerns--a different future.It has been a difficult year for Prefontaine and Treichel. A long list of Canada's most acclaimed authors, including Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje, local veterinarians, newspaper columnists and animal-rights activists have called for a panel of arm's-length elephant veterinarians to examine Lucy and determine whether she can be moved from the Valley Zoo to one of two elephant sanctuaries in Tennessee and California.Bob Barker, former host of The Price is Right, has made national headlines for criticizing the city's treatment of Lucy; he is coming to Edmonton in September to address city council or, if that request is not granted, to meet with supporters.On Wednesday, Zoocheck Canada held a rally in front of City Hall, challenging council to hold a public hearing.Losing Lucy, the zoo's star attraction, to a sanctuary would be a devastating blow to realizing the tropical portion of the master plan. Yet it would also free the zoo to grow and transform sustainably, which seems to be everyone's goal.Hanson sat in the Valley Zoo boardroom with Prefontaine, Treichel and two members of City of Edmonton's communications team."Listen, if Lucy stays here, and lives that long, and there are other elephants, they must have a good place to live," said Hanson."It's hugely complex," said Prefontaine. "But it's not a discussion I'm comfortable having without the right expertise in the room.""Zoos have tended to hide," said Hanson. "They have to be more transparent. They have to have that conversation. But you do wind up feeling very vulnerable. It takes a while, and it's painful to have these conversations, but you have to go for it. And eventually you find everyone, everyone is on the same side of the table.""We're more than happy to have that conversation," said Prefontaine. "But it's not appropriate right now.""I'm nothing but optimistic," said Hanson. "That so many people are engaged and are talking: it's hugely positive."City council has not become involved in the debate, but they can't ignore it much longer. The conversation is already happening and the zoo's current strategy--to dismiss critics as a bunch of kooks--stopped working some time ago.There was a clear separation in the room, between enthusiasm for an institution that would be something more profound, more humane, more local and more beautiful than a traditional 

Bear meets girl: Berlin zoo gets female polar bear 
Berlin's favorite polar bear Knut has a new companion: Giovanna, a female polar bear from Munich.Fans hoping for a romantic relationship will be disappointed — Giovanna was not brought to Berlin to mate with Knut. The Munich zoo is renovating its bear enclosure and the young Giovanna needed a temporary home.Berlin zoo director Bernhard Blaszkiewitz said he hoped that "Knut will like his friend and that Giovanna will also be interested in Knut."In a statement Tuesday he noted the two- 

Terrapins up for adoption 
The Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) is offering three-year-old terrapins raised in captivity for adoption as part of its inaugural "Terrapin Independence Day" celebration on Nov 9. TCC hopes to raise funds for the RM2.5 million (S$1,022,000) complex in Setiu.The objective of the 3.2ha complex is the conservation of the species as well as providing a site for research and outreach programmes.TCC also aims to restore the depleted wild population of fresh water, terrestrial and marine turtles in the country, especially in northern Terengganu.The complex will have an open-air hatchery, ponds and tanks for freshwater turtles, breeding ponds and outdoor exhibits.Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin 

Turtle thought to be extinct spotted in Burma 
The rare Arakan forest turtle, once though to be extinct, has been rediscovered in a remote forest in Burma, boosting chances of saving the reptile after hunting almost destroyed its population, researchers said Monday. Texas researcher Steven Platt and staff from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society discovered five of the brown-and-tan-spotted turtles in May during a survey of wildlife in the Rakhine Yoma Elephant Sanctuary. The sanctuary contains thick stands of impenetrable bamboo forests, with the only trails made by the park's elephants 

Littlest patients find distraction, comfort in live feeds from zoos 
A smile flashes across Raymond Clark's face as the 8-year-old watches ZooTV, a welcome distraction from needle pokes and other tests during his treatment for a heart defect here at Sanford Children's Hospital.The Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls launched ZooTV in March, using 14 weather-proof cameras to shoot live video in several exhibits. The idea behind the project is to comfort sick children, provide some normalcy for them and take their minds off medical procedures, says Carrie Kindopp, child life manager 

William Shatner wants Edmonton zoo to retire aging elephant 
Canadian actor William Shatner wants Edmonton's Valley Zoo's elephant Lucy to retire to a sanctuary.In a short letter to Mayor Stephen Mandel dated Aug. 31, Shatner — famous for his role as Captain James T. Kirk on Star Trek — says the 33-year-old elephant is old, feeble and deserves to live in "better circumstances" than the zoo."Let me add my voice to the crescendo of voices asking for some relief in the fate of your beloved elephant, Lucy," Shatner wrote."In a way, it's none of our business — Edmonton can capably take care of its own. Yet, in a larger sense, these extraordinary animals are everybody's responsibility."So I humbly ask you to allow Lucy to retire to better circumstances than at the Edmonton Zoo … she's old, feeble, and many of us know how that feels. I hope you don't mind my intruding but the 

Veterinarian urges elephant be moved out of city zoo 
Edmonton veterinarian Debi Zimmermann says she never gave much thought to the debate over the Valley Zoo's elephant until television show host and animal rights activist Bob Barker threw his support behind a group that wants see to Lucy moved to a sanctuary.After listening to Barker's arguments about why Lucy should be moved, Zimmermann decided to research the elephant's living conditions and health problems.She joined the debate this week with her own 65-page report, which she hopes will clarify the issues surrounding Lucy's health, and the calls to move to her a warmer climate with other elephants.Her report examines Valley Zoo's reasons for not moving Lucy and provides her analysis of the elephant's health problems, based on a 200-page medical file obtained by Zoocheck Canada under Freedom of Information legislation, a comprehensive review of elephant science, discussions with various experts and a review of Alberta's standards for zoos.The report can be found on Zoocheck Animal activist says Lucy has health problems 

Cincinnati Zoo's Cheetah Breaks Land Speed Record Twice 
A cheetah from the Cincinnati Zoo became the world's fastest land mammal Wednesday, not once, but twice.Sarah, the 8-year-old female cheetah, ran the 100-meter dash in 6.16 seconds on her first attempt and then 6.13 seconds on her second attempt."This is the all-time great day in cheetah racing. She set the world record and broke it again," said Thane Maynard, executive 

Zoo Director Meets With USDA Officials 
Topeka Zoo director Mike Coker Met with USDA officials Wednesday morning, hoping to get their perspective on the 9 citations. Those 9 non-compliance items were listed in an August 12 report, most troubling USDA officials said, were 4 animal deaths in the past 3 years. Coker and city officials met with two officials from the United States Department of Agriculture to discuss improving the zoo's caretaking. The USDA and a Kansas State University Veterinarian are leading an investigation into the case. Coker said they are reviewing existing policies and procedures and will work at better communicating with the USDA."I will be sending them everything we do, also we will be 

Giant rats, tiny parrots found in 'lost world' 
An expedition to what's being called a lost world inside an extinct volcano in Papua New Guinea has discovered more than 40 new species, including giant rats, frogs with fangs and a new species of bat.Mount Bosavi in the rainforest of Papua New Guinea is an extinct volcano 2.7 kilometres high, with a crater one kilometre deep and four kilometres wide. Life inside has evolved isolated from the outside world for 200,000 years, the last time the volcano erupted.The silvery-grey Bosavi wooly rat, one of the biggest rats in the world, weighs 1.5 kilograms and is 82 centimetres long from its nose to its tail, as big as a house cat.Wildlife camera operator Gordon Buchanan said the rat had no fear of humans at all."It just sat next to me nibbling on a piece of leaf. It won't have seen a human being before," Buchanan said.More than 57 species of rats and mice can be found in Papua New Guinea. The volcano's crater lacks big cats or monkeys as predators, which 


Chimp nurtures little Puma Orphan
Holding a bottle to a puma cub's mouth, Anjana the chimp displays all the behaviours of a caring mother nourishing her vulnerable offspring.The odd pairing is nothing unusual to staff at Anjana's zoo in South Carolina, where the five-year-old ape is renowned for her affinity with little big cats.Zookeepers say Anjana and her latest charge, a nine-week-old orphan named

Fota ostriches put down over TB
An ostrich flock at Fota Wildlife Park in Cork has had to be put down after a bird died from suspected avian tuberculosis (TB).Director of Fota Dr David Gibson said the park had bought the four ostriches from a private collection in Ireland."One bird died in unusual circumstances. The circumstances were so unusual a post mortem was carried out which showed lesions in the bird's liver which is an indication of avian TB," he said.Avian TB is one of the most common diseases affecting wild birds and is so common, it is not a notifiable disease."However, as a precautionary measure in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture a decision was made to put down the remainder of

Park continue dolphin hunt
SOLOMON Islands Marine Wildlife Park yesterday caught about nine dolphins at the Marine school seashore in Honiara. This came days after dolphin advocacy organisation like Earth Island Institute attacked the Government's policy to export live dolphins overseas.It was a rare moment yesterday as hundreds of people turned up to watch the Park's fishermen trapping the live dolphins with their nets.The show has turned into an excitement towards the end as the fishermen struggled with the mammals and lifted them onto their boats.Inside the boat, the fishermen laid new mattresses bought from a shop as bed for the dolphins to rest on.One of the workers, Erick Chow said the dolphins were taken to their Park's pen.The Park's pen is located behind the Prime Minister's office.Mr Chow said as part of their catch, there were 10 dolphins kept in their pen.He said they were still to verify the number of

Three-month-old Bengal tiger cub found in Mosta warehouse
A Bengal tiger, one of the world's endangered species, was yesterday discovered cavorting in an air-conditioned room on the roof of a warehouse in Mosta, sources said.The three-month-old cub, a golden tabby, which is said to have cost its owner some €23,000, was being well cared for, fed chickens so it gets its daily requirement of lean protein and had a sizeable pen to roam in.The discovery was made after a raid by members of the Animal Welfare Department, the police's Administrative Law Enforcement and the Malta Environment and Planning Authority's Environment Protection Department.When contacted, Animal Welfare director Mario Spiteri confirmed the cub was found and that the raid had been carried out after receiving several anonymous phone calls reporting the sighting of a tiger.The authorities decided the cub should remain with the owner until investigations established how it was brought in and whether the owner had the necessary paperwork to import it.The population of Bengal tigers in the Indian subcontinent is estimated to be between 1,300 and 1,500 and the species is in danger of extinction due to over-hunting by poachers and illicit trade. Habitat loss is another threat.The tigers are poached for their coats and used for components to make various traditional medicines. Many Asian cultures have an ingrained belief the tiger is a potent source of healing power. Tiger bone and other parts of the animal

1st Cloned 'Wolf' Found Dead at Zoo
The world's first cloned wolf, "Snuwolf," was found dead last Saturday at Seoul Grand Park, a Seoul National University (SNU) veterinary team said Tuesday. According to zoo staff, which had taken care of Snuwolf since 2007, it was found in its cage with its mouth covered with blood. An initial necropsy showed no sign of foul play. An in-depth examination was conducted with the results expected in a month. SNU Prof. Lee Byeong-chun, who cloned the animal back in 2005 from a cell of an adult female wolf, said it seems to be a natural death. "His organs were found to have been damaged, possibly due to the hot weather."However, there is some question whether cloned animals may suffer inexplicably from diseases or disorders that ordinary animals recover from. Dolly, the first-ever cloned sheep in 1996, survived

Wildlife Waystation works to evacuate exotic animals from Little Tujunga Canyon
Yesterday we learned about the farm animals who were shuttled away to safety because of the Station fire, but what of the exotic creatures at the Wildlife Waystation in Little Tujunga Canyon? The 160-acre facility is home to more than 400 animals, including tigers, lions, bears and chimpanzees.Our colleague Robert Lopez from the L.A. Now blog wrote yesterday that volunteers arrived with pickup trucks to help evacuate the animals. Waystation spokesman Jerry Brown said that an 18-wheel Budweiser truck even came to the rescue. Moving the hundreds of animals that call the Waystation home is no simple task, as anyone who's ever had to load even one nervous animal into a car or livestock trailer will understand. The process continues today, with trucks leaving the sanctuary on a regular basis. At present, Brown says, "this is still very, very much an evacuation," although the sanctuary has received an enormous amount of assistance from others in the animal-rescue community. Today, Times photographer Al Seib took the photo above of chimpanzees as they were loaded into cages to make their way to the L.A. Zoo; Brown said today that the zoo has provided safe harbor for nearly 50 chimps, as well as other animals like exotic reptiles. (Well, mostly safe; two female chimps escaped while being unloaded at the zoo, necessitating a different kind of evacuation -- that of zoo visitors. One chimp wandered to another exhibit at the zoo and was

Brookfield Zoo dolphins FedEx'd to Minnesota
Brookfield Zoo's three bottlenose dolphins were boxed up and FedEx'd to a Minnesota zoo Monday.Tapeko, Noelani and Allison traveled in a custom-made, metal-framed box aboard a FedEx jet to the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, a Minneapolis suburb, where they'll stay temporarily while their home here gets a total makeover. The Brookfield Zoo's dolphin exhibit is expected to reopen next summer."They were actually very comfortable and relaxed," Rita Stacey, Brookfield's curator of marine mammals, said of the dolphins, which were suspended in special slings inside the open-topped box, which was partially filled with water.It was the first flight for Noelani, 5, and Allison, 3. Tapeko, 27, had,CST-NWS-dolphin01.article

Albatrosses set breeding record
A small group of light-mantled sooty albatrosses has set a new breeding record.The birds have created a colony on King George Island, one of the South Shetland Islands located in Antarctica. This new breeding colony is the southernmost breeding location of any albatross species ever recorded. Researchers spotted two confirmed nests on the island, one containing eggs and the other nestlings, and three more possible nests. The light-mantled sooty albatross (Phoebetria palpebrata) is a medium-sized albatross that has a circumpolar distribution around the Southern Ocean. It is the most abundant albatross in Antarctic waters and is known to range further south than other albatross species, often flying as far south as the border of the Antarctic pack ice during long-distance foraging

Gorilla sexual intrigue could explain human monogamy
Female gorillas use sex as a tactic to thwart their rivals, new research suggests. Pregnant apes court their silverback male to stop other females conceiving."It seems to us that mating is another tactic that females use to compete with each other – in this case to gain favour with another male," says Diane Doran-Sheehy, a primatologist at Stony Brook University in New York.Her team chronicled the sex lives of five female western lowland gorillas and one silverback almost every day for more than three years. "We wondered if, basically, [pregnant] females can mimic [ovulating] females and dupe the male into mating with them and distract him from what those other girls are doing," Doran-Sheehy says.This kind of competitive behaviour may even help explain how humans evolved into a mostly monogamous

How the dolphins being massacred to satisfy a food fetish are poisoning the Japanese who eat them
At the heart of a Japanese nature reserve, a horror story is unfolding.
Over the coming months, thousands of dolphins - some only a few days old - will be hacked to death. Hundreds more will be sold into captivity, where they will die lingering deaths from stress and disease. The dolphins are captured and slaughtered just off the southern Japanese fishing village of Taiji. Every autumn, tens of thousands of the creatures gather there to feast on the abundant fish. And once they have eaten their fill, one of the world's greatest wildlife spectacles unfolds as the dolphins socialise and play.Thousands of the creatures can be seen leaping through the air playing the dolphin equivalent of tag. As far as the eye can see, dolphins race this way and that, blowing huge plumes of seawater into the air - just for the fun of it. If you are lucky enough to be on a boat, the creatures will ride your bow wave or even leap straight over the top of you. But Japanese fishermen see this event rather differently. For them, the dolphins are a source of cheap meat - and pests to be exterminated. And they kill them with a ferocity seen nowhere else on earth. As soon as the fishermen see a pod of dolphins, they launch an armada of small boats to capture the creatures. The fishermen first confuse and terrify the animals by banging steel pipes suspended in the

Australian zoo helping Philippine crocodile population
Conservation experts say dozens of recently-released, critically endangered Philippine crocodiles are doing well in their new habitat. Zoos Victoria in Australia and the Mabuyaya Foundation in the Philippines have been breeding the animals in captivity for more than a decade.Fifty crocodiles have now been released into in a lake in Isabela Province in the northern Philippines.Zoos Victoria conservation partnerships coordinator Chris Banks says it's a protected area and a local team will monitor the animals movements and growth. "There are other creek systems close by, so it is likely that as these crocodiles become more accustomed to the area and they grow, they will move out into a larger area - which is part of the plan," he said. "All of that is supported heavily by the local government and

Al Ain zoo to remain open from 9pm-2am
It may be after hours for many people but the animals that live in the biggest zoo in the Middle East are enjoying the cooler temperatures. Throughout Ramadan, Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort is opening from 9pm to 2am to help the animals cope with the intense midday heat. A spokesman for the zoo, said: "The animals prefer it in the evenings as do the visitors because it's just too hot during the day and especially during Ramadan so it's difficult for people to visi

Zoo saga ends on a low note
It seemed preordained that the Lex Salisbury drama would end on a low note. The former chief executive officer of Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo caught (another) huge break last week. Yet, he could not refrain from pointing fingers in a written statement released by his attorney. It was a tacky parting shot from someone who enjoyed a sweet ride for a long time. And it was a teachable moment for the zoo board. Salisbury quit in December after a blistering city audit found he had mingled zoo and personal business. Auditors said Salisbury took animals and materials that belonged to the zoo to his private ranch and a private safari-style theme park he was building in Polk County. Anyone could see the conflicts between Salisbury's $339,000 job as head of the city's zoo and his role in developing a for-profit attraction on the side. Auditors found more than 200 instances in which zoo animals were donated, loaned or traded

Animals No Safer Inside Kenya's Parks Than Outside?
Wildebeests, antelope, and other iconic African animals are declining just as quickly in Kenya's parks and reserves as in the country's unprotected lands. That's the finding of a recent study that questions a central tenet of Kenya's wildlife conservation strategy. Based on existing data, the team estimates that key animal populations have fallen by 40 percent over the past 30 years both inside and outside parkland. The work seems to confirm what Kenyan environmentalists have suspected for years: Aside from a few success stories, such as elephant and zebra conservation programs, efforts to sustain wildlife numbers in Kenya seem to be failing due to poor monitoring and enforcement. The paper adds to growing evidence that many of Africa's protected parks are seeing wildlife declines as a result

Illegal trade in Sumatran tigers, body parts remains widespread
The illegal trade in Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatraensis) and their body parts in Jambi province has gone on unabated and has caused the tiger population to dwindle year by year. "If this is tolerated, tigers will be extinct in Jambi within the next few years," Jambi province Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA) head Didy Wurjanto said. Didy said the number of tigers in the province stood at around 50 a few years ago and they lived in four national parks and production forests in the province. "The number has dropped to only 20 this year," he said. He said his office had processed 10 cases of illegal trading in Sumatran tigers this year that led to the prosecution of poachers and traders dealing in tiger parts. Four tiger pelt traders were caught red-handed conducting transactions

Sea Life Centre's sharks produce a record 100 eggs
MATING sharks at Birmingham's Sea Life centre produced a record number of eggs over the bank holiday weekend – and there is no sign of them slowing down.And visitors to the city centre venue have been able to see the unusual spectacle of parent sharks mating.Curator Graham Burrows described the production of more than 100 eggs as "incredible"."I've never seen such an explosion of eggs before in my time as a marine curator."With 20 baby sharks also having just

Horse Trainer Teaches Zoo Keepers Elephant Training Techniques
Despite their immense stature, elephants are delicate creatures. Their soulful eyes, expressive trunks and colossal bodies excite and inspire millions of people who visit them each year in zoos and nature preserves around the world. They're a self-aware species capable of humanlike emotions: They grieve for their dead, hold grudges, and form close relationships with herd members and humans. But for years, it's been their contact with people that has caused elephants the most agony. Elephants have suffered unspeakable atrocities under the "old-school" attitude of elephant training, which relied on tactics

Chester Zoo - Top Marks For Educational Signage
More signage news from around the UK from Hants and Dorset signs as Chester Zoo's education signage and facilities have been given full marks. The zoo education division has picked up the prestigious Sandford Award from the Heritage Education Trust and the Learning Outside the Classroom quality badge from the Council for Outdoor Learning.The Learning Outside the Classroom badge is given to organisations that provide an excellent and safe learning experience. The zoo first received the Sandford Award in 2004, becoming the first zoo in the UK to do so. This time around, the Sandford judges described the zoo as an `excellent resource' adding that `nothing could compare to seeing

You've den us pride!
NEWS of the World readers are off to a roaring start with cash donations to save 14 sick lions trapped in a decaying zoo. Thousands of you dug deep to raise £45,000 after reading our heart-rending report of a pride of lions who will die if they aren't rescued from the Romanian zoo. But £105,000 more is needed to bring the beasts from Ozadea Zoo to safety at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Park director

Unhealthy Rhino at the Dai Nam Safari Park
This is just one of those things where you just have to be there. In the wild, this rhino should be charging me. Here, it seems to want my help though most likely, it wanted some food. The other rhino would not let it eat.This rhino had a huge cut near it's right eye with flies flying around it. I wish there was a way to rescue or protect these animals at the Dai Nam Safari Park.

Zoo volunteers help explain mysteries of the genome
Chimps trained to enable keepers to take DNA samples with cheek swabsAs the University of Leicester approaches the 25th anniversary of the discovery of DNA fingerprinting (September 10), Leicester geneticists interested in a particular type of DNA are receiving some help from an unusual band of assistants.Chimpanzees at Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire have been trained to enable keepers to take DNA samples with special cheek swabs.Dr Richard Badge, of the University's world renowned Department of Genetics, is studying 'mobile DNA' in the genomes of humans and other primates.Most genes are always found in the same place in the genome. For example, the human DMD gene, changes in which can cause muscular dystrophy, is always found on the X chromosome. However the 'genes' that Dr Badge and his colleagues study have been moving around the genome throughout mammalian and primate evolution, and are still doing it today. Dr Badge explained: "This makes every human (and every chimpanzee for that matter!) a little bit different at the DNA level, a little like a DNA fingerprint."The reason we are interested in chimpanzees is that the main type of mobile DNA in their genome apparently moves much more frequently than ours, despite the fact that these mobile DNAs are very, very similar. "The chimpanzees at Twycross are very valuable because not only do they include unrelated chimpanzees they also have small family groups where the relationships between the individuals is known. This enables us to observe the difference between individuals in terms of their mobile DNA and say something about the process of movement, which is not really understood in detail."So far we have samples from fourteen Chimpanzees. We have full pedigrees for

Endangered Sumatran Rhino Dies At Cincinnati Zoo
An endangered Sumatran rhino has died at the Cincinnati Zoo, a blow to a program that successfully produced the first calves born in captivity in decades. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden says Emi, a 21-year-old Sumatran rhino that had been at the zoo for 14 years, died Saturday after appearing less energetic for several weeks.Emi produced three calves at the zoo, including Andalas, born in 2001, the first Sumatran rhino successfully born in captivity since the 19th century. Zoo Director Thane Maynard says Emi led the way in the effort to establish a successful captive breeding program for this critically endangered animal. The zoo

Brookfield Zoo helps restore addax antelope herds
Weak and near death when he was born at Brookfield Zoo, a baby antelope named Chad now carries big hopes on his little shoulders that he will grow up to help save his species by siring lots of calves."He had a rough start when he was born," Joan Daniels, the zoo's associate mammal curator, said as she watched the now-robust 10-week-old bound across his grassy enclosure to a keeper holding out special formula in nippled bottles. Daniels said keepers decided to take Chad from his mother soon after birth so they could hand-rear him."I am quite sure he would have died because normally they stand up within the first hour," she said. "That was the only reason we intervened."Chad is an addax, an endangered type of antelope from the Sahara Desert, which is so dry that the species has learned to go years without drinking water, living off moisture in plants.And they face extinction not,0,3319486.story

Surprise guest arrives at Banham Zoo
She abseiled in the face of killer bees, swam with sharks and filmed a menagerie of creatures, but for Anna Forrester, arriving back at her former workplace was an added highlight to the last few months. Miss Forrester, who had previously worked as an animal trainer at Banham Zoo, was revealed as the winner of BBC2's Wildest Dreams series after a two-month intensive crash course in wildlife filming. But Miss Forrester arrived back in Norfolk over the weekend in a bid to highlight the plight of a lesser known creature in aid of International Vulture Awareness Day. Over the past two years, the Friends of Banham Zoo has raised more than £4,000 for the Gyps Vulture Restoration Project in Pakistan, and has cared for many of

Mercedes the polar bear is subject of a heated debate
With her head on her paws, Mercedes, the only polar bear in British captivity, slept yesterday, oblivious to a heated debate about her living conditions and the future of her species. For the past 21 years, shes has been a main attraction at Edinburgh Zoo but, while children run freely from one enclosure to another, she paces up and down or swims around in circles.To animal welfare charities the behaviour of the great "sea bear" is a clear indication that years of confinement in an enclosure less than one millionth of the size of the area she would roam in the wild have taken a toll on her sanity.There are estimated to be between 22,000 to 27,000 polar bears living in 20 populations across eight Arctic countries but, although the WWF claims the wild population is stable, there are fears that numbers could fall becauseof hunting and global warming.Although Edinburgh Zoo agreed in 1993 not to replace Mercedes when she dies, officials have said that if the species numbers continue to decrease they will build an improved enclosure to support a captive breeding programmeYesterday afternoon, Edinburgh Zoo's Committee on Animal Welfare and Ethics met to discuss the future of polar bears at the zoo amid protests against any change to current policy.One group pointed out it was particularly unfair to keep the great beasts, which can grow up to 10ft tall, in captivity. "Polar bears are about the most unsuitable animals to be kept in zoos," said Ross Minett, director of the Edinburgh-based Advocates for Animals.As natural hunters, polar bears, which can weigh up to 1,700lb, usually survive on a diet of seals but will also eat walrus, beluga whales, reindeer and birds.Mercedes, who was captured in Canada

Chimps recaptured after LA escape
Two chimpanzees who were evacuated from an animal sanctuary threatened by wildfire have been recaptured after they escaped from their crates while being unloaded at the Los Angeles Zoo.Zoo spokesman Jason Jacobs says the female chimps fled Tuesday afternoon, prompting zoo visitors to evacuate. One chimp made her way to the small primates and bird exhibit before being tranquilized about 20 minutes later.The other climbed over the fence and into Griffith Park. She was spotted about

Monterey Bay Aquarium: Seahorse or SeaWHORES?
Ads touting a new seahorse exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium started cropping up some time ago (the exhibit opened on April 6 and will run until 2012.) But it wasn't until a friend who was traveling on BART spotted one of the ads that I realized how bizarre they are. "Have you seen these?" She asked. "They're creepy. They made personal ads for the seahorses." A visit to the aquarium's Web site confirms this observation. Different species of the animals have been granted human names and drafted appeals for mates. Ken Kuda, is "eternally single" and "looking for love." Eartha Excises thinks that "Men should

Zambian poachers shoot rare white rhino
Poachers have shot the last two white rhinos in Zambia, killing one and wounding the other, in a night operation at the Mosi-Oa-Tunya national park in Livingstone, an official said on Tuesday. The shooting of the two endangered animals in a heavily-guarded zoological park near Victoria Falls in Zambia's tourist resort town of Livingstone took place last week."I can confirm that one of the white rhinos was shot dead by suspected poachers. The other one

Babar on Ice: A New Way to Save Endangered Elephants?
German scientists devise an innovative method for freezing elephant spermIn what could be an important step toward stabilizing the world's population of endangered Asian elephants, German researchers say they've hit on a way to freeze elephant sperm without destroying its viability.Elephants are notoriously tricky to breed in zoos, with high rates of miscarriages and infant mortality. Artificial insemination (AI) is possible, but fresh sperm is delicate and can be damaged in transport. And in addition to being costly and logistically tricky, bringing elephants from other zoos to do the job can be socially


Desperate Situation in Madagascar

Zoo docents fading from landscape
Jack Gelfond laid a hand across the two little metal elephants on the pocket of his safari shirt."It hurts me," he said. We were standing outside the Lincoln Park Zoo. He looked like he might cry. "This really hurts me."Almost every Tuesday for 14 years, since he retired as a nationally celebrated salesman, Gelfond, a robust 78, has put on his safari shirt and headed to his docent's job.Tuesday after Tuesday, with a vaudevillian verve, he has told visitors the length of a giraffe's tongue (18 inches) and the size of a polar bear's baby (the palm of his hand). Nothing makes him happier than persuading a scared kid to pet a snake.Then one August day, he and the 200 or so other docents learned news that felt to many like a shot in the heart: The 38-year-old docent program would vanish on Oct. 31. After a winter hiatus, the zoo would return with a volunteer program. But the new jobs would be narrower, more boring and less free-spirited (Gelfond's view) or (in the zoo's view) more specialized, professionalized and helpful to visitors.The new volunteers, for example, won't get to roam around during their free hour chatting with zoo guests. Fewer will get to handle animals. More will stand at information carts.They won't even be called docents. They'll be -- Gelfond shuddered -- "ambassadors." And they'll have to apply for the new jobs."I have to be re-interviewed," he said. "After 14 years. Fill out a form. Like a new employee."The Lincoln Park Zoo is one of only three free major zoos in the country. It sits in the heart of Chicago's wealthiest neighborhood yet throbs with people from every cranny of the city. The docents in their safari shirts, many of them elderly, are as much a part of the landscape as the zebras. Gelfond is far from the only one who is stunned and distressed."We understand that institutions have to change, make calculated upgrades," said Kathy Jordan, 68, who on Friday was drafting a letter to management on behalf of a couple dozen docents. "But we don't think the senior staff is understanding the emotional effect of this on us."For 13 years, through the deaths of her parents, through her cancer and her husband's illness, one thing has been a constant comfort: her Tuesdays as a docent."The docent corps has been like family," she said.The zoo is trying to keep up with the times. As one zoo document puts it, "the antiquated volunteer utilization model ... does not enhance the zoo's strategic initiatives and often,0,4390070.column

Scientists work to repopulate Colombia's skies with condors
Andean condors were once hunted to near extinction. Now teams feed and track the giant carrion-eaters, brought from U.S. zoos, and have increased their numbers tenfold. Tourism also benefits.Reporting from Sogamoso, Colombia - In ancient times, they were revered as messengers of the gods. Later, they proudly soared on the Colombian coat of arms. But at this moment, two young condors just wanted their dinner.And so it was that peasant "condor keepers" this month placed a cow fetus on a desolate rain-swept cliff here in the Colombian Andes, the weekly ration for Iraka and Ogonta, two females released this year in a repopulation program sponsored by the San Diego Zoo.Donated by a local slaughterhouse, the carcasses are the ideal diet for the monumental birds -- "good-quality rotting food," as the zoo's Alan Lieberman described it.The Andean condors are the latest of 70 birds released in Colombia since 1989 after being hatched and raised in 20 U.S. zoos, most often at the San Diego Zoo. The reintroduction program has helped push Colombia's condor population to about 150 birds, said Orlando Feliciano, a Bogota-based veterinarian who has worked with the San Diego Zoo on the project since its inception. In the mid-1980s, condors in Colombia numbered no more than 15, he said.For centuries condors were killed by people who either thought, mistakenly, that the carrion birds attacked their livestock or that their feathers or bones had magical or medicinal power."They were virtually extinct, as they are today in Venezuela," Feliciano said.The condors have an impressive survival rate here: About 70% are thought to live through the yearlong reintroduction into the wild before being forced to "make a living on their own," Lieberman said. That success reflects in part the environmental consciousness of towns such as this one, not to mention the residents' realization that the birds can be a tourist boon. Located about 110 miles northeast of Bogota, the capital, Sogamoso is on the edge of the 100,000-acre Siscunsi Regional Nature Park that the state of Boyaca established expressly for the condors.When Iraka wandered to a town 30 miles from here this month and perched, disoriented, looking for food, locals knew to call authorities here to capture the bird and take it back to the Siscunsi park.Eleven local farmers, including Victor Rios, have been named "condor keepers." Outfitted with uniforms, binoculars and hand-held antennas that detect signals emitted from radio transmitters attached to the condors' wings, he monitors the birds' movements as best he can. "They are such majestic animals you can't help but be fascinated," said Rios, who also is paid a small monthly stipend. The condors imported to Colombia were all hatched by pairs of Andean condors in zoos in San Diego, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Denver and elsewhere.Once the birds are 3 to 4 years old, they are turned over to the San Diego Zoo, which outfits them with radio transmitters to track them and then ships them to Colombia, where biologists in five Andean regions called "repopulation nuclei" take over. The apparent success of the costly program, which parallels a program for the California condor, bespeaks the financial and personnel commitment of the U.S. zoos, particularly San Diego's, that underwrite most of the costs.The raising, transportation and outfitting of each condor with an implanted radio costs "thousands of dollars" per bird, said Michael Mace, San Diego Zoo's curator of birds."We do it because we can, as stewards of the planet, and mindful of our responsibility to take care of the ecosystem and the wildlife within it," said Lieberman, who directs the San Diego Zoo's field programs and who has long conducted field research in Colombia.The two condors released in February brought to 11 the total set free in Boyaca state since 2004. (Two have died, one killed by a hunter, another electrocuted on a high-voltage power line.) The state environment office, Corpoboyaca, and a local nongovernmental organization known as Fundetropico educate local schoolchildren and peasants that, contrary to common belief, condors do not kill livestock or pose a threat to humans, but eat only carrion.Over the centuries, such misconceptions caused a relentless hunting down of the animals that once ranged across South America. The education programs tout the condors' role in cleaning up the environment and their cultural significance. "Condors are the emblem of Colombia, a symbol for all South America," Feliciano said."We teach the mythic value of the condor, how pre-Columbians saw them as a medium of the gods," said Olga Lucia Nunez, a biologist with Fundetropico here, adding that the birds that silently glide for hours with 10-foot wingspans inspire awe. "Condors stand for peace and respect. They are messengers from the sun."Locals who just a few years ago had never seen a condor now relish their sightings and say the establishment of the park has been a boon to the economy. This isolated part of Colombia now sees up to 200 condor-seeking tourists a month.Standing up for condors can pay dividends, said local store,0,2229454.story

Humanists accuse West Country zoo of pushing creationist agenda
Noah's Ark farm denies allegations, saying it promotes debate between science and religion over evolutionA secular group was today demanding that tourism groups stop promoting what it calls a "creationist" zoo, that questions the traditional view of evolution.The Noah's Ark zoo farm, in Wraxall, near Bristol, was accused by the British Humanist Association (BHA) of misleading tens of thousands of annual visitors and "threatening public understanding".The zoo, however, rejected the BHA's claims that it is not open about its interest in creationism, the belief that all life was created by God, and said that it wanted to promote a debate about Darwinism and 6000 BC creationism (also known as young Earth creationism), both of which it said on its website were "flawed" and "extreme in their own rights".The BHA has written to the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums , North Somerset council, Visit Britain and the tourism group South West England, asking them to remove Noah's Ark from their material.The BHA said the zoo farm, run by husband and wife Anthony and Christina Bush, seeks to discredit scientific facts such as radio carbon dating, the fossil record and the speed

Product Description
Three astounding women scientists have in recent years penetrated the jungles of Africa and Borneo to observe, nurture, and defend humanity's closest cousins. Jane Goodall has worked with the chimpanzees of Gombe for nearly 50 years; Diane Fossey died in 1985 defending the mountain gorillas of Rwanda; and Biruté Galdikas lives in intimate proximity to the orangutans of Borneo. All three began their work as protégées of the great Anglo-African archeologist Louis Leakey, and each spent years in the field, allowing the apes to become their familiars—and ultimately waging battles to save them from extinction in the wild.

Their combined accomplishments have been mind-blowing, as Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas forever changed how we think of our closest evolutionary relatives, of ourselves, and of how to conduct good science. From the personal to the primate, Sy Montgomery explores the science, wisdom, and living experience of three of the greatest scientists of the twentieth century.

Glacier National Park grizzly deaths
Two grizzlies at Montana's Glacier National Park were killed by park officials last week — one, unfortunately, unintentionally.Glacier National Park issued a press release today clarifying that the death of a male grizzly bear cub on Aug. 17 was attributed to a tranquilizer dart injection it received at the time its 17-year-old mother was being "humanely dispatched" (National Park-speak for "killed") for becoming too habituated to humans. A second cub, a female, was captured and will be transferred to the Bronx Zoo. Shown below is park officials transferring the cub to a larger trap.

Avian malaria takes toll on zoo penguins
A penguin problem as popped up at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo. Two of them have died over the past few weeks while several others are sick, and it appears a type of malaria is to blame.Ever since the new exhibit at the zoo opened in May with 20 Humboldt penguins, it's been a hit. The little animals that stand about a foot and a half tall love to entertain, and families who pass by can't get enough."They just move a lot, so they have a lot of action," said Courtney Shamek of Bonney Lake. "A lot of the other exhibits, the animals are kinda stationary. Here, they like to move. It's more exciting."But two penguins have died this month -- the latest death just a few days ago by a suspected case of avian malaria, which might have also contributed to the first penguin's death."We're all pretty emotionally drained, including our vet staff and our penguin keepers in particular," said animal curator Mark Myers. "(It's) an amazing amount of time to monitor each bird in the colony."Zoo officials say the penguins are very susceptible to diseases or viruses that are spread by mosquitoes, such as avian

Girl gorillas go ape for French pinup hunk
You don't want to monkey around on a blind date, especially if your friends are also taking an interest in the same dark, handsome stranger.So when three female gorillas at London Zoo heard that they would soon be visited by a brooding French hunk -- well, they went a bit bananas.The latest development in Anglo-French relations sees Yeboah, a 20-stone 12-year-old, leave his current home at La Boissiere Du Dore Zoo, Pays de la Loire, northwest France and head for the British capital by the end of the year.There he will be greeted by gorilla trio Zaire, Effie and Mjukuu, who were given posters of their prospective boyfriend for the first time Thursday.One female gorilla shrieked in delight, while another wedged the poster

Zoo's Huge Loss
Mourners will be able to farewell Auckland Zoo's elephant Kashin when she is laid to rest in the grounds. New Zealand Centre for Conservation manager Craig Pritchard confirmed yesterday that Kashin, who died on Monday evening, would be buried at the zoo, her home of 36 years.The zoo was closed yesterday as a mark of respect for Kashin and to give staff a chance to mourn."Obviously she's captured the hearts of all the staff as well as all of Auckland and all New Zealanders," says Mr Pritchard.The decision to euthanase 40-year-old Kashin was made on Monday after her health deteriorated badly over the weekend.Kashin had suffered from chronic arthritis and foot abscesses for years and had recently developed skin infections over her body that were not healing.Mr Pritchard says while staff were grieving, they had also been prepared for the inevitable after

Product Description
A comprehensive book intended for anyone maintaining bats in captivity. It comprises 44 papers by 22 contributing authors. Bats in Captivity is the only book of its kind, detailing the care of captive bats worldwide. This volume, Biological and Medical Aspects, includes a drug formulary, information on public health, anatomy and physiology, controlling reproduction, parasitology, and veterinary medicine and surgery, plus many other related subjects.

Red tape means new elephant years away
Any replacement for Auckland Zoo favourite Kashin will come from established Asian elephant breeding programmes under way in Europe.But a new addition to the zoo's elephant colony - which since Kashin's death on Monday stands at one - is likely to be at least two years away.Zoo director Jonathan Wilcken yesterday said regulations did not allow for the importing of new elephants, and the zoo would have to wait for Biosecurity New Zealand to approve new quarantine standards.He said a female would be the ideal partner for Burma in the

Activists oppose Auckland zoo's elephant plan
Animals rights activists are opposing plans to increase elephant numbers at the Auckland Zoo following Kashin's death. The 40-year-old Asian elephant was put down last Monday because of her deteriorating health. She was suffering from arthritis, foot abscesses and skin infections.Auckland Zoo director Jonathan Wilcken said the zoo hoped to replace Kashin in the next six to 12 months and had long-term plans to extend the elephant area."We want to establish a much larger breeding herd of elephants that replicates a natural social structure for elephants," he said.The zoo would work with the European Elephant Breeding Programme to secure suitable breeding elephants.However, Saving Animals From Exploitation (SAFE) campaign director Hans Kriek strongly opposed the plan.He quoted recent research which showed most elephants died considerably earlier in zoos than they would in the wild."Kashin is a perfect example. Her problems – arthritis and feet problems – are very common in captive elephants," he said."That's one of the main reasons they have to be euthanased – they just don't cope."If the zoo was acting in remaining elephant Burma's best interests, they would relocate her to an open range zoo where she could have the company of her own kind.The zoo could the use the space opened up by the

Experts Form Global Alliance for Amphibian Survival
A new coalition of organizations, the Amphibian Survival Alliance, is being established in an attempt to conserve the world's vanishing frogs, toads and salamanders. Threats to these species are numerous - a deadly fungus, habitat loss, pollution, pesticides and climate change. The alliance came together at the first Amphibian Mini Summit at the Zoological Society of London last week. The group includes amphibian specialists working in the wild as well as those in zoos, aquariums and botanical gardens."If we want to stop the amphibian extinction crisis, we have to protect the areas where amphibians are threatened by habitat destruction," says Claude Gascon, co-chair of the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group. "One of the reasons amphibians are in such dire straits is because many species are only found in single sites and are therefore much more susceptible to habitat loss."Blue poison dart frog found in southern Suri

Brazilian zoo investigated over dying animals
Sixty-three animals, including a lion, two giraffes and two hippos, have mysteriously died at zoo in Goiania in last year aloneBrazilian authorities are investigating a series of mysterious deaths at a zoo in the city of Goiania after 63 animals died this year alone.The latest casualty was Kim, a former circus giraffe, whose limp corpse was winched from its enclosure on Tuesday. The cause of death is unknown.Another giraffe, 17-year-old Tico, died in June. Both animals were seized from a circus troupe last year after allegations of mistreatment.Goiania's zoo, which houses about 600 animals, closed its gates on 21 July after the deaths of 47 animals, including a lion, a jaguar, two hippos, an ant-eater and a caiman.But the death toll has continued to rise and reports in the Brazilian media now suggest environmental police are examining the possibility of poisoning. Following Kim's death, the local public prosecutor called for a full investigation

Mammal database identifies species destined for trouble
What would happen to polar bears if people built towns in the deep Arctic? Or to tiger populations, if India's grasslands turned to desert?A new database that allows users to explore the factors that predispose different mammalian species to extinction – from human encroachment to slow reproductive rate – could be useful in planning conservation schemes, its developers say. Anyone can access the online system, YouTHERIA, which allows users to manipulate parameters including habitat ecology, litter size and diet, and test their own hypotheses.It relies on a vast database of all known and recently extinct mammals, called PanTHERIA, which lists details of the species' ecology, behaviour, diet, geographical range and habitat, based on more than two decades of published research. The database also records the extent to which each of the 5000-odd species

Rare monkeys stolen from Kolkata Zoo rescued
Seven of the eight rare monkeys stolen from Kolkata Zoo three weeks ago have been tracked down by the Chhattisgarh police in Durg and are being brought back to the city over the weekend. One of the eight has died.Raju Das, who is holding additional charge of Kolkata Zoological Gardens, told The Hindu on Saturday that a team of officials from the zoo accompanied by police officers has left for Durg and would bring back the animals by Monday after examining them. "We will quarantine the animals for some time after which they will be back on display," he said.Kolkata Zoo was the only zoological garden in the country, other than Mysore Zoo, to have this exotic species of monkeys who are just about the size of a big country rat. The sensational theft had stirred up a storm which caught in its gust the then Director of the zoo, Subir Chowdhury, who was suspended within 24 hours of the incident even as investigations were launched to probe any administrative lapses.The Police Superintendent of Durg, Deepanshu

'Cyber-traffic' endangering primates in Cameroon
Advertisements on the Internet to woo buyers into taking "playful primates" from Cameroon into their homes have become one of the primary means of further threatening already endangered species.Such sales would be illegal, since dealing in primates is forbidden in the central African country. In the past three years, however, the Internet has led to a flourishing trade in endangered species, according to an environmental activist in the front line.Ofir Drori directs a small non-governmental organisation, the Last Great Ape Organization (Laga-Cameroon), which works in conjunction with the Cameroonian ministry of forestry and wildlife to try to stem the lucrative trade in beasts both dead and alive."Kiki is ready for a new family. He has gentle and charming manners. Kiki is handsome and playful," reads an advertisement on the Internet to sell a chimpanzee from Cameroon.The ad says that the chimpanzee comes with "veterinary health documents, a "permit" from CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of

Editorial Reviews
Product Description
Simian Virology is the first text to comprehensively cover all currently known simian viruses. Chapters provide an overview of nonhuman primate models of medically important viral diseases as well as natural infections of nonhuman primates with human and animal viruses. The text covers a variety of topics including primate models of medically important viral diseases such as AIDS, hypotheses on the origins of epidemic forms of HIV, and viral diseases caused by non-simian viruses in both wild and captive primates.

From the Back Cover
Simian Virology is the first text to comprehensively cover all currently known simian viruses. Chapters also provide an overview of nonhuman primate models of medically important viral diseases as well as natural infections of nonhuman primates with human and animal viruses. Beginning with introductory chapters on primate taxonomy, virology basics, and general properties of retroviruses and herpes viruses, Simian Virology proceeds to discuss all known simian viruses, from history and classification, to treatment and prevention. The text also covers a variety of topics including primate models of medically important viral diseases such as AIDS, hypotheses on the origins of epidemic forms of HIV, and viral diseases caused by non-simian viruses in both wild and captive primates.
Simian Virology is a thoroughly researched text written by two of the leading experts in this field. This book will be a valuable reference tool for research virologists, conservationists, primate and zoo veterinarians, and can also be used as an information source for undergraduate and graduate students interested in nonhuman primates.

Key Features:

First text to comprehensively cover all currently known simian viruses
Provides an overview of nonhuman primate models of medically important viral diseases as well as natural infections of nonhuman primates with human and animal viruses
Introductory chapters cover primate taxonomy, virology basics, and general properties of retroviruses and herpesviruses
Details the history, classification and structure, pathogenesis and infection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of simian viruses
Valuable tool for research virologists, conservationists, primate and zoo veterinarians, and students

Topeka Zoo makes changes after USDA inspection
The Topeka Zoo is feeling a hard hit after a report was released from the USDA. The report raised concerns about four animals dying at the zoo in the past three years. Mike Coker, the zoo director, said the zoo is taking the inspection seriously."We're concerned we take it very seriously. We're going to be working with USDA. We are setting up a meeting to sit down with them and look through this," he said.The USDA says a black leopard was given medication for hip dysplasia and died in 2006. The medication was proven detrimental over a long period of time but the information about the meds came out in 2008.The report says a hippo died in October 2006 and it implied the water the hippos were in was too warm.It also stated a 17 day old lion cub died after a fall in June of 2007. Coker told us about the incident."That's when Mom put it up on the shelf in the nursery and Mom was taking care of everything and it was observed kind of tumbling
Centre helps traumatised big cats
The past still haunts two tigers at Abu Dhabi Wildlife Centre (ADWC). They are afraid of entering their small feeding area in the corner of their spacious enclosure. "It seems they fear being caught in a cramped cage again, from where they were rescued. So & they go without food for two or three days, being reluctant to enter the feeding area," Rone'l Barcellos, the manager of the centre told Gulf News. The centre is located near Al Watbha, on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi city. Barcellos is struggling to encourage the tigers to get rid of their "phobia". The centre is planning to increase the space at the tigers' present enclosure. About 75 per cent of the animals at the centre were rescued from illegal captivity, but the comfort of air conditioned rooms and timely food may not be enough for them. Sometimes the centre has to struggle to help the animals get rid of their "shocking experiences in the past" as in the case of the two tigers. Zulu, a six-year-old African lion reached the centre when he was a five-month-old cub. Along with Bolt, a five-month-old cheetah, and other creatures, Zulu belongs to a list of animals rescued from captivity.Despite the efforts of the centre to educate the public about keeping wild animals as pets, the practice continues. Some people think that they can keep these animals as pets but later they realise how difficult it is, Barcellos said. "It is also dangerous," she said. After a while either

Save the lions
Caged in a cramped and rusty Romanian hell-hole these starving big cats face death...unless we help LEANING her emaciated body against the small rusty cage, starving lioness Anetta paws at the bars forlornly as the days count down to her pride's execution. For Anetta and 13 other kings and queens of the jungle - some too weak to stand or even roar - are to be SHOT unless something is done to save them. The squalid, ramshackle Romanian zoo that has been their home all their lives has been condemned as unfit for animals by the European Union. And its director has no money to build proper enclosures to

The Creationist zoo: how humanists are turning into thought police
The British Humanist Association has asked the tourist board to stop promoting the Noah's Ark Zoo Farm in Somerset because the zoo "misleads the public by not being open about its Creationist agenda in its promotional activities and by advancing misunderstandings of the natural world". The secular Stasi, in other words, is at it again.Look: I'm not a creationist. And, as I've argued elsewhere, I certainly don't think creationism should be taught in schools (though I don't think mentioning it should be considered a criminal offence). But shouldn't these atheists learn to chill out a bit? The clue is in the name - it's the "Noah's Ark Zoo Farm", not a Richard Dawkins centre of excellence. It doesn't even promote creationism per se. The Telegraph reports the zoo's owners, Anthony and Christina Bush, saying:"We are slightly different from popular Creationism and hold a view that the natural world around us is the product of both God and evolution."Although technically Creationists

Product Description
Chimpanzee Behavior encapsulates the fascinating behaviour of wild chimps and discusses the differences observed in different populations across the species, and across the many levels of their social behaviour. It tells the story of why sex competition in a forest chimpanzee population made the females of the group highly social and gave the males a high level of within-group solidarity, making them very xenophobic towards outsiders. Christophe Boesch brings back to the table the debate over ecological pressures and social organization, and the influence they have over issues such as the evolution of warfare, co-operation, altruism and the position of females. Writing for undergraduate and graduate students, he presents insightful views to give readers the background information to understand the struggle for survival of our closest living relative, the chimpanzee, and through this find some keys to the ever-so-intriguing question of what makes us human.

The blackbuck stops here: zoo caught misleading public
TARONGA Western Plains Zoo has been suspended from selling animals after it misled the public about the sale of endangered antelope to a member of the Shooters' Party lobbying for the right to hunt them.Documents obtained under Freedom of Information show the zoo made none of the contractual safeguards it claimed to have implemented to protect the 16 blackbuck antelope from being hunted on Bob McComb's proposed game reserve. Instead, the sale contract stipulated the zoo accepted no responsibility for the animals after they left Dubbo.Internal correspondence shows the animals were sold to Mr McComb for less than half their value and had been bred for the sale after the zoo's population dropped to a historic low. While the zoo maintains that a senior veterinarian inspected Mr McComb's property before the sale, there is no mention of the assessment in the zoo's correspondence and no record of a report being prepared.The minister responsible for the zoo, Carmel Tebbutt, has demanded a report into the zoo's trade of animals after the Herald revealed the antelope sale to Mr McComb. She said it would include ''what further animal welfare protections should be put in place … In the meantime, the zoo has suspended such transactions with private operators."A zoo spokeswoman said: ''The zoo is at its heart dedicated to animal welfare. There is no history of mistreatment of animals that have been transferred from its care … [but] it was incorrectly stated that transaction records included a reference indicating the animals were to be used for breeding purposes only.''The documents also show that Tony English, who was called on to resign from the zoo's ethics committee after the Herald reported the sale

Call for temporary ban on zoo animal sales

A TEMPORARY ban on Taronga Western Plains Zoo selling animals should be made permanent, the NSW opposition says, amid concerns animals are being sold for the wrong reasons.State Environment Minister Carmel Tebbutt has demanded a report into the Dubbo zoo's trade of animals after claims it misled the public about the sale of endangered antelope. The antelope were sold to a member of The Shooters' Party lobbying for the right to hunt them. Documents obtained by the NSW Greens under Freedom of Information (FOI) show the zoo made none of the contractual safeguards it claimed to have implemented to protect the 16 blackbuck antelope from being hunted on Bob McComb's proposed game reserve. Instead, the sale contract stipulated the zoo accepted no responsibility for the animals after they left Dubbo. Opposition environment spokeswoman Catherine Cusack said Ms Tebbutt's temporary ban on the sale of animals should be permanent, saying she could not see an instance where the resale of zoo animals could be justified. "I can't think of any good reason for a zoo to be selling animals," she said. "I can think of many, many good reasons why they,25197,26006401-12377,00.html

Endangered crocodiles get a lake to call their own

Local residents had to be persuaded not to hunt and kill the reintroduced reptilesMembers of the world's most threatened crocodile species have been re-introduced into the wild in a scheme that many supporters had feared "could never be done".Fewer than 100 fully grown Philippine crocodiles survive in the wild and the species, Crocodylus mindorensis, is on the brink of extinction. But now conservationists have released 50 juvenile Philippine crocodiles which were raised in captivity into a lake on Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines.Crocodiles have been bred in captivity by the Philippines government since 1987 but no one had dared release any of the creatures until now. Many conservationists said the project would not work because so many of the locals feared and hated the animals that any released crocodiles would be hunted down and slaughtered. It finally went ahead after researchers spent a decade working with local people to convince them to allow the crocodiles to live in peace.The larger and more deadly saltwater crocodile is also found in the Philippines and its presence has contributed to many people's hatred of the reptiles and their eagerness to kill them. Calling someone a crocodile in the local language is regarded as a gross insult.Jan van der Ploeg, of Leiden University in the Netherlands, who helped lead the programme, said: "We had to make sure the threats to the species were addressed and that local people were supportive. People still killed them out of fear, for food or for fun. They would kill them to make sure they wouldn't eat livestock or children."That we were able to bring these animals out of the farm into the wild for the first time is a great step. For a long time it was thought you couldn't reintroduce them because of the rural population of people. Now we have done it."Merlijn van Weerd of the Mabuwaya Foundation, who led the project, said: "Many conservationists had already given it up. So apart from establishing a viable wild population of Philippine crocodiles the reintroduction also shows there is hope for Philippine biodiversity at large."The crocodile, which is only found in the Philippines, is much rarer than the giant panda, the orang-utan or the black rhino, he said. The species used to be common throughout the archipelago but is now restricted to a handful of small islands.Demand for crocodile-skin handbags and shoes during the 1960s and 1970s was a prime factor in the species being driven almost to extinction. Other threats include the use of dynamite by fishermen to kill or stun fish, which often simultaneously kills or maims the crocodiles. But loss of habitat is the single biggest threat, driven by destruction of the rainforests to make way for rice paddies.The young crocodiles that were released into the wild at Lake Dicatian were about 4ft (1.2m) long and when fully grown should reach 10ft. Despite their fearsome armoury of flesh-tearing teeth, the animals only attack people when provoked. Fish, shrimps, snails, rats, and snakes are their main prey but adults will take chickens and dogs if given the opportunity.Lake Dicatian is part of the Northern Sierra Madre National Park which is the crocodile's most important sanctuary. It was chosen for the release in part because no humans live immediately beside it. However, a campsite and observation tower have been built close to the lake in the hope of attracting eco-tourists to the area.Ten of the released crocodiles were fitted


581705 White Oak Road
Yulee, FL 32097 USA

Contact Us

Local: (904) 225-3275
Fax: (904) 225-3289

Connect With Us