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Zoo News Digest
Sept-Oct 2010


No chicken for Mysore zoo inmates
Weeks after the autopsy reports confirmed that infected chicken killed tigers at Bannerghatta National Park, the Mysore Zoo authorities have sprung into action. So, no chicken for the zoo inmates.
Though the animals are given live chicken, that too in small quantity, the authorities are not taking any chances. There are eight tigers — four male and four female — at the zoo. "The authorities get the chicken after a thorough testing. It is cleaned with hot water and potassium permanganate," said Chamarajendra Zoological Garden executive director K B Markandaiah. "As we get live chicken, the chances of infection are minimal. But we are not taking any risks," he said.
The tiger deaths at Bannerghatta have put all forests, zoos and sanctuaries on high alert. At the Mysore zoo, the food undergoes a five-tier scanning. First, assistant director Suresh Kumar approves it and sends it to veterinarians, who send it to the truckers and animal keepers and finally to the caretaker. If the quality is found to be poor at any level, the food will be sent back.
Every day, the zoo authorities disinfect cages and use hi

Fight to survive as tough times strike at zoo
IT'S all happening, as Simon and Garfunkel once sang, at the zoo.
And while there may no longer be any orang-utans on Corstorphine Hill to be sceptical of the changes in their and other cages, there are many members and visitors who are growing extremely concerned about just what is happening there.
Successfully bred animals are being culled, popular enclosures shut, 25 per cent of staff look likely to be sacked and parking charges are to be levied on members who already fork out for the privilege of carrying a card boasting they are a small part of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.
The long-serving chief executive, David Windmill, is to leave early next year and it is understood that the once-thriving marketing and public relations department has been slashed to the bare minimum, leaving the attraction's future promotion at major risk.
And all this at a time when Edinburgh Zoo is trying to bring giant pandas from China and achieve a land swap deal with the city council so it can expand its site, an idea which has garnered much local opposition.
Without a doubt there's a lot happening - but not in terms of visitor numbers, which have apparently


Disfigured but alive: Zimbabwe cuts horns to save rhinos
The roaring chainsaw sends fingernail-like shards flying into the baking Zimbabwean bush as it slices through the slumped black rhino's foot-long horn.
The critically endangered female loses her spikes in just seconds, after being darted from a helicopter.
A few minutes later, she leaps up and escapes -- disfigured but alive -- in a dramatic attempt to deter the poachers who have unleashed a bloodbath on southern Africa's rhinos.
"De-horning reduces the reward for the poacher," said Raoul du Toit of the Lowveld Rhino Trust which operates in Zimbabwe's arid southeast.
"Poaching is a balance between reward and risk. It may tip the ec

Work for tigers wins cash for conservation
An animal park has won a prestigious new national grant for its dedicated support of endangered tigers in Indonesia.
Shepreth Wildlife Park was awarded £1,000 after animal manager Rebecca Willers wowed the judges at the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) conference.
She gave a talk on the work done by the poverty stricken Tiger Protection Conservation Unit (TPCU) in the forests of Sumatra.
Ms Willers, who volunteered with the organisation last year, saw first-hand how the workers in the Kerinci Seblat National Park strive to save the diminishing species from hunters who poach them for their valuable bones and hides.
Her 30-minute speech took

The leading tiger expert featured in the BBC's hit documentary The Lost Land of the Tiger, Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, commented today on an announcement featured in Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper, that the World Bank plans to invest $500,000 in programs designed to save the nearly extinct wild cats in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. Rabinowitz was part of the BBC expedition that recently caught on camera the first footage of signs that tigers are breeding in the highest altitudes of the Himalayas.
Dr. Rabinowitz, President and CEO of the premier global wild cat conservation organization Panthera, said, "We were thrilled when we discovered wild tigers possibly breeding at such high elevations in an important part of the tiger corridor, and that because of BBC, so many people were able to learn about tigers and Bhutan. Bhutan is an incredible country with a tremendous conservation ethic that should be acknowledged and applauded. They are the only country in Asia that has more than 70% of its natural forest cover, as well as a government backed 'trust fund' to support conservation of their wildlife and natural resources. With fewer than 3,500 of these

Clone zone: Bringing extinct animals back from the dead
From animal to ark: How to take DNA from one of the world's most dangerous bears
It is like a military operation.
There are team briefings, kit is checked and then checked again.
But dealing with South East Asia's sun bear is not straightforward. It is the world's smallest bear - but also one of the most dangerous.
Today, two are being moved between zoos in the UK - from the Rare Species Conservation Centre in Kent to Colchester Zoo in Essex.
But while the bears are anaesthetised and given an essential check-up before their journey, it also gives Dr Masters access to a precious resource: their DNA.
Dr Masters explains: "We are losing species too quickly, therefore we ought to preserve at least the genetic material that has taken millions and millions of years to evolve."
The sun bear samples are heading to the Frozen Ark, which has its headquarters at the University of Nottingham.
Here they are frozen and then stored with samples that have been collected, by a network of vets and scientists, from endangered species all around the world.
The team behind the Frozen Ark says that it could provide the ultimate back-up plan

Big Cats, Tapirs and a Mysterious Bat
Life is tough for tropical mammalogists. They work on a group with a limited number of species, maybe 150 at places like the ones we are in, and most of those species are bats and rats. Other than monkeys, most of the large mammals in the Amazon are rare. To detect them, mammalogists look for signs — scat, tracks, scratch marks, anything to let them know that a species is here. Worse, they have yahoo ornithologists reporting weird bats, and clueless botanists seeing rare deer. But they have to follow up on these reports. They also have to work night and day. Some mammals (monkeys, for example) are out in daylight hours, but for most, nighttime is when they are active.
We have two mammalogists in our team. Luis Moya is from Iquitos, where he works for PEDICP, a regional integrated development organization for the Putumayo basin (which we are in). Olga Montenegro, a Colombian professor at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogota, has been with us before. She was on the Rapid Inventory at Ampiyacu, immediately west of here, in 2003. Unfortunately she got malaria on that trip, an occupational hazard. Most of us here have had at least one of the big three insect-vectored diseases in the Amazon: malaria

Two more elephants on the way to the LA Zoo
Neighbors are on the way for the lone elephant at the Los Angeles Zoo. The San Diego Zoo announced Friday that it’ll send up two companions for 25-year-old Billy.
It’s been a solitary stretch for the Asian elephant in the L.A. Zoo. Two previous pals in the elephant enclosure, Gita and Tara, died in the last six years.
While Billy’s lived alone, humans in the courts of law and public opinion have debated the ethics of keeping elephants in zoos. Amid legal challenges the L.A. Zoo has proceeded with plans to open its $42 million elephant habitat with the

Should L.A. Zoo take in two new elephants?
The decision by the L.A. Zoo to accept two elephants from the San Diego Zoo is sparking controversy.
As The Times' Carla Hall and Tony Perry reported, "Tina and Jewel are female Asian elephants of un certain age who between them have endured foot problems and dental surgery. They will be on indefinite loan from the San Diego Zoo, both zoos announced Friday."
Zoos across the country have come under fire for their treatment of the giant mammals -- and activists have focused particular attention on the L.A. Zoo
Catherine Doyle, elephant campaign director for the advocacy group In Defense of Animals, said she feels the elephants deserve better. "Actually it feels like a betrayal for the elephants," Doyle said. "The San Diego Zoo shouldn't have taken th

New York Aquarium Takes Care Of Orphaned Baby Sea Otter (VIDEO)
The New York Aquarium is now home to a cute, cuddly orphan sea otter.
Five-month-old Tazo is under the careful supervision of animal keeper Nicole Pisciotta, who has served as the pup's surrogate mom since shortly after he was rescued from the Alaskan wild in June.
Tazo was taken from the Alaskan SeaLife Center to the New York Aquarium two months ago. He is now 27 pounds and should be on public view by the end of the year.
WATCH Tazo's trip to New York

Yo-yo at the zoo to help save endangered species
Facility hoping to set world record
On Nov. 6, the Toronto Zoo will attempt to set a Guinness World Record for largest simultaneous yo-yoing.
Billed as Yo-Yo for the Dodo, participants are urged to register online at and raise pledges to support one of four endangered species at the zoo. The polar bears, hornbills, Komodo dragons and Ngege fish will benefit from funds raised.
The zoo needs at least 663 people to yo-yo at the same time in order to beat the previous record set in Birmingham, UK, in 2009.
Registered participants will receive a free Yomega

Zoo probes bear's death; age and illness likely factors
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo was forced to euthanize its oldest bear -- a 35-year-old grizzly named Lester. He was found unconscious in his enclosure Friday morning.
Lester came here from the Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens in 1975.
Geoffrey S.E. Hall, the zoo's general curator, said that like most zoo animals, especially mammals, Lester was born in captivity.
But Alan Sironen, the zoo's curator of carnivores and large mammals, said Friday that to replace Lester, the zoo "most likely will wait until orphaned grizzlies become available

PETA opposes sending elephants to Turkmenistan
Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Thursday asked Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh to reconsider his ministry's decision to send two elephants from the country's zoos to a zoo in Turkmenistan.
The decision, part of an animal exchange programme, is a blatant violation of the Central Zoo Authority's (CZA) directive requiring that all elephants presently confined in zoos be shifted to camps, tiger reserves or national parks, PETA said.
'It's shocking that the government would allow and even support actions that would be illegal in India to occur elsewhere,' says PETA India's Poorva Joshipura.
'This abhorrent breach of both the spirit and the letter of the CZA directive will sentence these two elephants - who have already suffered in zoos for years - to a continued life of loneliness and misery,' she said
In arriving at the ban, the CZA cited major concerns about the living conditions of elephants who are kept in zoos, including the lack of adequate space and the stress caused to the animals

Glare on snare process after trapped tiger loses tail
An injury in the tail of a tiger, trapped by the forest department and subsequent amputation of a portion of it has thrown up a question whether the way the animals are trapped now is flawless.
Forest officials said that this was for the first time in the past two and half decades that a Royal Bengal tiger’s tail had to be amputated in Bengal. “This episode has thrown up a question about the way tigers are trapped inside iron cages which is the practice,” said a forest official.
Forest officials said that the full-grown male tiger was trapped inside an iron cage on October 23 after villagers complained that the animal was straying into Sajnekhali in Canning area of South 24-Parganas.
“After the tiger was trapped inside the cage, doctors noticed that there was a deep cut in its tail. We believe that the iron door had come crashing down on its tail when the tiger had gone into the cage. So, it was evident that those

Elephant ecological engineering 'benefits amphibians'
Areas heavily damaged by elephants are home to more species of amphibians and reptiles than areas where the beasts are excluded, a study has suggested.
US scientists recorded 18 species in high damage areas but just eight species in unaffected habitats.
Elephants are described as "ecological engineers" because they create and maintain ecosystems by physically changing habitats.
"Elephants, along with a number of other species, are considered to be ecological engineers because their activities modify the habitat in a way that affects many other species," explained Bruce Schulte, now based at Western Kentucky

Manhattan's Only Cow Calls Central Park Zoo Its Home
The city has come a long way from the time when cows roamed the city's underground tunnels looking for an angry fix. Now, the only cow left in Manhattan is named Othello, and lives on a diet of hay and pellets at the Central Park Zoo. The 14-year-old Dexter cow is also probably the luckiest cow in the country, and not just because he's living on some prime real estate. “Pretty much

Zoo offers $1 recycling discount
Visitors who turn in a cell phone to recycle during the month of November at the Topeka Zoo will receive $1 off their admission price.
The discount is targeted at helping prevent pollution and save endangered animal species, according to a news release from the Friends of the Topeka Zoo.
The release said a collection box had been set up at the zoo's Leopard Spot Gift Shop, where guests can drop off their old cell phones for recycling. Funds raised will go toward the zoo's conservation efforts.
FOTZ said the discount stems from the zoo's partnership with Eco-Cell, a cell phone recycling company. The effort is targeted at helping raise awareness of the importance of recycling electronics.
The FOTZ news release said an ore called Coltan — which is a source of the element "tantalum," an essential coating for components of cell phones — is often found in the Congo amid endangered gorilla and elephant habitats.
"Rebel bands mining this ore are killing these animals for food and sport," the release said. "The United Nations has reported that in the past five years, the eastern lowland gorilla population in the Congo has declined 90 percent. Reducing the demand for Coltan will help save these

Russian bears treat graveyards as 'giant refrigerators'
A shortage of bears' traditional food near the Arctic Circle has forced the animals to eat human corpses, say locals
From a distance it resembled a rather large man in a fur coat, leaning tenderly over the grave of a loved one. But when the two women in the Russian village of Vezhnya Tchova came closer they realised there was a bear in the cemetery eating a body.
Russian bears have grown so desperate after a scorching summer they have started digging up and eating corpses in municipal cemetries, alarmed officials said today. Bears' traditional food – mushrooms, berries and the odd frog – has disappeared, they added.
The Vezhnya Tchova incident took place on Saturday in the northern republic of Komi, near the Arctic Circle. The shocked women cried in panic, frightening the bear back into the woods, before they discovered a ghoulish scene with the clothes of the bear's already-dead victim chucked over adjacent tombstones, the Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomelets reported.
Local people said that bears had resorted to scavenging in towns and villages -rummaging through bins, stealing garden carrots and raiding tips. A young man had been mauled in the centre of Syktyvkar, Komi's capital. "They are really hungry this year. It's a big problem. Many of them are not going to survive,"




New RM26,000 home for Zoo Taiping’s crocodiles
VISITORS to Zoo Taiping and Night Safari can now have a better view of the crocodiles in a more natural setting.
The nine crocodiles in the zoo have been moved to a new 36m by 18m habitat with ponds and a flowing stream to allow the reptiles to swim freely to maintain their physical fitness.
Zoo Taiping & Night Safari director Dr Kevin Lazarus said the new site also had a sand bank and islets for the crocodiles to rest and to nest.
He said zoo workers and participants of the Malaysian Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria who were attending a course on reptile restraint assisted in capturing the crocodiles and transferring them to their new RM26,000 habitat.
“The crocodiles are between the ages of 10 and 20, of which the largest is about five metres long,” he told a press conference yesterday.
An interesting time to visit the crocodile habitat is during the feeding session when visitors will be able

Follow that microlight: Birds learn to migrate (Includes video)
Sky high: The BBC joins Dr Johannes Fritz and his flock on a leg of their odd migration
"Yes, people think we're crazy," says Johannes Fritz, with a wry smile.
And surveying the scene, it is easy to see why.
We are in a playing field, in a small village in Austria, close to the Slovenian border.
In it stands a makeshift camp, with all the usual outdoors paraphernalia.
But it is the large aviary, containing 14 northern bald ibis and two human "foster parents" who are gently tending to their avian flock that really draws your attention.
That, and the microlights parked nearby.
For the past couple of days, this unassuming spot has been home to the Waldrapp team, "Waldrapp" being another name for the northern bald ibis.
But the group will not be staying here for long

Lion cubs go for their first swim at National Zoo
At the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., four lion cubs born in late August had their first swimming lesson Tuesday. Why would lion cubs need a swimming lesson, you ask? Good question. When the cubs move with their mother, Shera, to an outdoor enclosure (likely to happen in late December), they'll find themselves surrounded by a water-filled moat. Keepers wanted to ensure their safety by making sure they'd be able to swim should they accidentally fall in.
According to the zoo, the swimming test was a success, with all four cubs -- three females and one male, if you're wondering -- managing to perform a passable dog paddle. (Is there a different name for a dog paddle if it's performed by a cat? "Lion paddle," perhaps?)
The cubs swam under the supervision of the zoo's great cats curator, Craig Saffoe, and two keepers, Rebecca Stites and Kristen Clark. The litter is the first for 4-year-old Shera, who has shown herself to be an excellent mother, according to the zoo. The cubs are expected to stay at the National Zoo until they're about 2 years old, zoo staff explained in an online chat held last month; when they reach sexual maturity, they'll move to other zoos to participate

Zoo has something to roar about
The Assiniboine Park Zoo has something to roar about after its new lions’ enclosure was named best new Canadian animal exhibit.
The zoo’s new $1.3-million Pavilion of the Lions’ exhibit won the top national honour, the Baines Award, from the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums at a ceremony in Montreal.
The exhibit was described as combining the best in animal care with a design that maximizes the visitor experience.
The indoor/outdoor exhibit features glass walls so visitors

The sneezing monkeys of Myanmar
A new species of snub-nosed monkey has been discovered living in the forests of northern Burma.
Scientists working for Cambridge-based Fauna and Flora International made the discovery as part of the Myanmar Primate Conservation Program.
The monkeys' characteristics differ from other known snub-nosed species.
They have black fur, prominent lips and wide upturned nostrils which fill with water when it rains, causing the monkeys to sneeze.
Fauna and Flora International estimates that there are fewer than 300 of these monkeys

Ploughshare tortoises find their way home
The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is celebrating the news that three of four ploughshare tortoises, stolen from its base in Madagascar, have been returned to the Trust.
The four tortoises were stolen in May last year, as they were about to be released into their native habitat in the north-west of Madagascar. Each animal was at least 15 years old and part of Durrell's long term captive breeding programme for the species.
One of the animals was retreived in a shipment of smuggled tortoises about to leave Anatnanarivo airport, and another was retreived after it appeared on a Malaysian website, on sale for $15,000.
The third and most recent one was recovered following the seizure of an illegal shipment of animals by the Malaysian authorities in Kuala Lumpur this summer.
In July, two women were caught travelling with suitcases containing 400 radiated tortoises, 11 spider tortoises and four ploughshare tortoises.
The three tortoises will now all rejoin Durrell's captive breeding programme, which has been placed under strict police protection.
Richard Lewis, Director of Durrell’s Madagascar Programme said: “This is a really important event. Not only have we been able to recover this animal, it is a powerful signal from the Malaysian Government that they will not stand for

Terry Marotta: Zoo animals in our care
If you want to really scare yourself for Halloween, consider spending time around creatures who get blood popsicles for treats.
I speak of the big cats at the New England Stone Zoo whose care I learned something about during a special “backstage” tour I was lucky enough to go along on.
Our guide: the amiable assistant curator, Pete Costello, who for 23 years has worked at this small jewel of a zoo, sister to the venerable Franklin Park Zoo some 10 miles to the south.
“Keep in mind now,” he warned us as we ducked inside to watch a bit of the jaguars’ training, “these animals are not your friends” - a point reiterated by animal trainer Dayle Sullivan-Taylor.
“Don’t stand anywhere near the bars,” she told us firmly. “We train these animals so they can bear to be touched in case we have to examine them for medical issues, but make no mistake - they are dangerous.”
The young jaguar called Chessie has been training with Dayle since she was 8 weeks old and follows commands beautifully.
“Open,” Dayle says and she opens her mouth. “Paw” and she extends her paw. “Over right” and she lies on her right side. Each time she obeys in this fashion, Dayle

More species slide to extinction
One fifth of animal and plant species are under the threat of extinction, a global conservation study has warned.
Scientists who compiled the Red List of Threatened Species say the proportion of species facing wipeout is rising.
But they say intensive conservation work has already pulled some species back from the brink of oblivion.
The report is being launched at the UN Biodiversity Summit in Japan, where governments are discussing how to better protect the natural world.
Launched at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting, the report says that amphibians remain the most threatened category of animals, with 41% of species at risk, while only 13% of birds qualify for Red-Listing.
The highest losses were seen in Southeast Asia, where loss of habitat as forests are cleared for agriculture, including biofuel crops, is fastest.
"The 'backbone' of biodiversity is being eroded," said the eminent ecologist, Professor Edward O Wilson of Harvard University.
"One small step up the Red List is one giant leap forward towards extinction. This is just a small window on

One-fifth of world's back-boned animals face extinction, study warns
One species of vertebrate is added to the endangered list each week, IUCN report warns at biodiversity summit
One species is added to the endangered list every week as the risk of extinction spreads to almost one-fifth of the world's vertebrates, according to a landmark study released today.
The Evolution Lost report, published in the journal Science by more than 100 of the world's leading zoologists and botanists, found that populations of mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and fish species had declined by an average of 30% in the past 40 years.
Multiple factors have contributed to the demise, including logging, agricultural land conversion, over-exploitation, population growth, pollution and the impact of invasive alien species.
The worst die-off has occurred in south-east Asia, where hunting, dam building and the conversion of forest to palm oil plantations and paddy fields has been most dramatic. But Australia and the Andes have also suffered significant losses.
Land mammal populations are estimated to have declined by one-quarter, marine fish by one-fifth and freshwater fish by almost two-thirds, noted the study, which analyses the

Man killed by aggressive mountain goat in Washington park was an experienced hiker
A 63-year-old man described by authorities as an experienced hiker died from injuries he sustained during an encounter with an aggressive mountain goat Saturday in Washington's Olympic National Park.
According to the Peninsula Daily News, Bob Boardman, of Port Angeles, Wash., was on a day hike with his wife, Susan Chadd, and their friend Pat Willits and had stopped for lunch at an overlook when a mountain goat appeared and moved toward them.
When the goat began behaving aggressively, Boardman urged Chadd and Willits to leave the scene.
Bill and Jessica Baccus, also out for a day hike with their children, saw Willits, a longtime friend of Jessica's, coming up the trail.
"Nobody saw what actually happened," Jessica was quoted as saying in the Peninsula Daily News. "They heard Bob yell."
When the group returned to the scene, they saw the goat standing over Boardman, who lay on the ground bleeding.
Bill, an off-duty park ranger, was able to get the goat to move away by waving a blanket at it and pelting it with rocks, although the animal

A War Against Extinction
The Number of Species Keeps Falling, but Conservation Racks Up a Few Successes.
Conservation efforts have helped a few species avoid extinction, but the impact hasn't been broad enough to stem the long-term decline in biodiversity, new research finds.
The assessment, in two papers published Tuesday in the journal Science, concludes that the survival of one-fifth of the world's vertebrates is threatened. However, the losses for three specific groups—mammals, birds and amphibians—would have been 20% greater without such conservation efforts as the creation of animal sanctuaries, habitat protection, captive-breeding programs and crackdowns on poachers.
For example, the number of white rhinos in South Africa has risen from 50 animals to 17,000 in the past century, as their habitat has been turned into a protected area.
But in a study of 25,000 vertebrates, 41% of amphibians are threatened, 25% of mammals, 22% of reptiles, 13% of birds, 33% of cartilaginous fish such as sharks, and 15% of bony fish such as southern bluefin tuna.
Many species have been "on a downward spiral for the last 20 to 30 years," said Michael Hoffmann, senior scientific officer at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, and co-author of one Science paper. "We wanted to assess whether our conservation efforts contributed anything, and the answer is, yes, they have."
Based on fossil records, many scientific studies have concluded Earth has seen five major extinction events in the four billion years since life began, and that the planet is in the midst of a sixth one. They believe the current extinction wave is largely linked to human impact—from the increase in agriculture and logging to habitat destruction and hunting. It's feared that because species are intricately linked to each other that extinctions will set in motion a domino effect of further species losses and changes in the environment.
The IUCN, an international organization of government and nongovernmental groups, maintains the widely followed Red List of Threatened Species that many scientists around the world consider the standard for determining the risk level faced by various species.
According to the group's website, its core funders include European and other governments, private foundations and a handful of corporations, including

WWF: Saving tigers should be the concern of all .
Animal trafficking is not an area best left to the experts but should be the concern of every member of the public, said Traffic Southeast Asia and Worldwide Fund (WWF) Malaysia in a joint statement.
Commending a public tip-off that resulted in the rescue of a tiger cub in Pahang recently, Traffic Southeast Asia and WWF encouraged the public to report any suspicious incidents involving the country's wildlife.
“All too often, trafficked tigers are seized only after they have been killed and butchered,” they said in their statement.
“Timely information from the public makes a world of difference and help enforcement agencies ensure these endangered animals stay alive.
"Without public information, who knows what might have become of this cub that was rescued two weeks ago.”
According to a Bernama report, officers from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) Pahang, acting on a tip, raided a shop in Pekan on Oct 15 and rescued

Importance of conservation revealed
A report by the Zoological Society of London has revealed that a fifth of the world's vertebrates are in danger of extinction. It also reveals that mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and fish species have declined on average by 30% over the past 40 years.
The report outlines how some 50 species become more endangered every year as a result of human activites, like farming, impacting on their habitats.
It also, however, notes that biodiversity would have declined by an additional 20% had it not been for the importance of conservation programmes run by governments and charities around the world.
The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust has been working for more than 50 years to save species from extinction. Through its work the Trust

Brazilian judge to rule on whether chimpanzee should be freed from zoo
A Brazilian judge is to rule whether a chimpanzee, known as the Cezanne of simians because of his love of painting, should be freed from a zoo.
Jimmy, aged 26, has spent at least nine years on his own in a 61 square metre cage at Niteroi Zoo, near Rio de Janeiro.
According to his trainer, Roched Seba, he does not like to play with toys as other chimpanzees do and instead spends at least 30 minutes a day painting.
A group of lawyers and animal rights groups are seeking to secure Jimmy's release using the principle of Habeas corpus and a court date has been set for November 15 in Rio.
Pedro Ynterian, international president of the Great Ape Project (GAP), said: "A chimpanzee has 99.4 per cent of our DNA. It relates to people, loves some and hates others.
"It is torture to put it

Sonograms giving keepers insight into cheetah's development
Handraised mother the first in over 20 years to willingly submit to imaging procedure
San Diego Safari Park keepers are using treats to entice a pregnant, handraised cheetah into submitting to sonograms for an in-womb glimpse at how her offspring are doing.
The 5-year-old cat, named Makena, has been cooperating with the imaging procedures several times a week since late September.
On Tuesday, Makena remained calm enough for the latest sonogram ---- a training session for veterinary technician Rachel Peters ---- without being restrained or sedated, for nearly 30 minutes.
As the cheetah purred loudly and licked a frozen beef "bloodsicle" from a metal bowl in senior keeper Kelly Casavant's hands, Peters applied gel to a sonogram wand before moving it slowly around on the animal's abdomen.
Several times, the cool gel

Rhino calf dies in zoo hours after birth
A male Indian rhino calf, conceived by artificial insemination from frozen-thawed sperm, died 13 hours after its birth at the Cincinnati Zoo, officials said.
The 117-pound calf, born Tuesday, died about 7:15 p.m., The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
The 18-year-old mother, Nikki, had been pregnant once before after the same assisted-reproduction techniques were used but delivered a stillborn female calf, zoo officials said.
But subsequent births are often successful, and Nikki's pregnancy had progressed normally with no signs of complications, said Monica Stoops, reproductive physiologist at the zoo's Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife.
When it was born the calf had a heartbeat but was not moving or breathing

Longest snake living in captivity dies in Ohio zoo
An Ohio zoo said the longest snake living in captivity has died. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium said workers found the 24-foot python Wednesday morning dead from an apparent tumor. The snake, named Fluffy, held the Guinness World Record as the longest snake living in captivity. It was about as long as a moving van and as thick as a telephone pole. It weighed 300 pounds.
The 18-year-old reticulated python had drawn large crowds since the zoo got it in 2007.
Reticulated pythons

Baby elephant killed with spears on camera (Perhaps you prefer not to watch)
day after the elephant was officially declared a Heritage Animal, entitling it to the same sort of protection as the tiger, a video has captured villagers in Assam beating a baby elephant to death.

Call to stop abuse in Chinese zoos
China is warning its zoos to stop abusing their animals or face being shut down.
The move comes after animal welfare groups documented widespread abuse in zoos and wildlife parks, including animal neglect, beatings, and the illegal sale of wine or soup made from the bones of endangered tigers.
Officials said zoos must stop serving wild animal products and holding wildlife performances.
Inspections will be carried out to see if zoos are complying, said the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
The Hong Kong-based animal welfare group Animals Asia Foundation released a report in August that said bears in Chinese zoos were regularly whipped and beaten with sticks, while elephants were prodded with metal hooks, and tigers and lions were defanged and declawed, causing them chronic pain.
Earlier this year, 11 rare Siberian tigers died at a wildlife park in China's frozen north-east and zoo keepers there said they didn't have enough funding to feed or take care of them properly.
Rights groups said the zoo might have been selling the tiger skins and bones on the black market.
Sales of tiger bone, penis, pelts and other parts are illegal in China but persist because some consumers believe the products boost virility or can cure ailments from convulsions to skin disease.
The housing ministry said zoos should provide adequate food and shelter for their animals, halt all sales of wildlife products in

Zoos to Ban Animal Performances
Zoos and parks across China will be banned from putting up shows of animal performances for extra profits, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said in a notice Tuesday.
The notice explains while China's zoo industry has experienced rapid development, a few profit-driven zoos were found improperly caring for the animals or even involved in gross neglect in some cases.
It stipulates that a disciplining of the industry will be carried out and a variety of animal performances must be stopped in three months. Restaurants in zoos and parks are also prohibited from offering food cooked with wild animal meat. The illegal selling of wild animal products is strictly prohibited, said the notice.
Meanwhile, the notice prohibits the commercial use of land in zoos so that more green spaces can be restored to the public.

China Zoo Cruelty, Abuse Crackdown: Facilities Face Closure For Animal Performances, Wildlife Product Sales And Inadequate Food and Shelter
China has urged zoos to stop serving wild animal products and holding wildlife performances in an attempt to improve the treatment of tigers, bears and other animals amid concerns over widespread abuse in zoos and wildlife parks.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development posted the suggestions on its website Tuesday and said inspections would be carried out to see if zoos were complying.
Animal welfare groups have documented widespread abuse in Chinese zoos and wildlife parks, including animal neglect, beatings, and the illegal sale of wine or soup made from the bones of endangered tigers.
The Hong Kong-based animal welfare group Animals Asia Foundation released a report in August that said bears in Chinese zoos were regularly whipped and beaten with sticks, while elephants were prodded with metal hooks, and tigers and lions were defanged and declawed, causing them chronic pain.
Earlier this year, 11 rare Siberian tigers died at a wildlife park in China's frigid northeast and zookeepers there said they didn't have enough funding to feed or take care of them properly. Rights groups said the zoo might

Elephant goes from washing cars to making wine
With the help of a local winery, the Wildlife Safari in Winston, Ore. made a little history this weekend.
One of the elephants made famous for its Elephant Car Wash traded in bucket and sponge for a glass of Pinot. George the elephant from Wildlife Safari stomped grapes for wine this past weekend in Winston, Ore. – marking the first time in North America where an elephant has been used to stomp grapes for wine.
The tents were set up at the elephant barn, because not even the rain could stop this party. Beneath the "big top" were gourmet foods, local wines and of course the main attractions: two African Elephants.
While Alice entertained the guests, George was behind the barn warming up for his big moment. People crowded the gate and looked on with amazement as George used all 13,000 pounds to get every drop of juice.
Trainers say the interaction and stimulation

First Gorilla Born At London Zoo In 20 Years
A baby gorilla has been born at London Zoo - the first at the attraction in 20 years.
The new male western lowland primate at the Regent Park-based attraction is now bonding with first-time mother, Mjukuu.
Zookeepers said the labour had been closely monitored by expert vets, but had taken place without a hitch.
Zoological director David Field said: "Mother and baby are both doing brilliantly, although it's still early days.
"The baby's aunties, Zaire and Effie, were at the birth and have remained with Mjukuu throughout."
He added that staff were now beginning the sensitive process of introducing the newborn - which has not yet been named - to his stepfather, Kesho.
He said: "Introducing the baby to Kesho is not without its risks.
"Staff are making every effort to assist a smooth introduction and hopefully ensure the gorillas form a cohesive family

Bigger and Better Chester Zoo
Cheshire West and Chester Council have approved plans to extend and comprehensively remodel Chester Zoo, the largest zoo in the UK.
The Natural Vision application, originally submitted last December, includes plans for the Heart of Africa Biodome, a tropical ecosystem. It will be an African rainforest-themed sanctuary for a band of gorillas, a large troop of chimpanzees, okapi and other rare and threatened species.
The project also includes




Lioness sneaks out of zoo, tranquilized
The big cats have made it a habit to sneak out of their enclosures in the Guwahati zoo. A man-eater tigress and her cub had escaped from their cages in the Assam State Zoo on January 30. On Saturday, it was the turn of a sub-adult lioness. But unlike the last time – the tigresses had a day out amid 3,000 visitors – the lioness barged out of the enclosure after the zoo had shut down for the day at 4:15 pm. The enclosure has seven lions and lionesses.
"This happened around 4:45 pm when attendants were placing meat for the animals’ dinner. Something might have frightened the lioness and she forced her way out through a section of the cage affected by wear and tear,” said zoo DFO Utpal Bora.
He added that a probe would be initiated and responsibilities fixed. “This is a harsh lesson we have learnt.”
More dramatic than the lioness’ escape was its tranquilization. The zoo authorities employed three tame elephants – they are used for safaris and odd

Escape triggers suspension
The state zoo authorities today suspended an animal keeper on charges of negligence of duty, which had resulted in a lioness escaping from the enclosure yesterday afternoon.
The zookeeper, Abed Ali, who was working as a casual worker for several years at the zoo now, was made permanent only a few months back.
“It was total negligence on part of Ali which resulted in yesterday’s incident. He left a door open after serving food to the lioness,” in-charge of the state zoo, Utpal Bora, told The Telegraph.
The five-year-old lioness was tranquillised about 50metres from the enclosure atop a hill after an hour of its escape. The lioness regained consciousness about an hour after it was brought back to the cage and looked normal today.
Yesterday’s incident comes barely nine months after two Royal Bengal tigers had slunk out of their cages in the zoo.
A visitor was also mauled by a tiger a few years back.
Stung by these incidents, the zoo authorities today decided to bring a change in the existing process of serving food to the animals, and also to carry out a major overhaul in the enclosures to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future. “From now on, a forest guard will keep watch while carnivores are served food. He will have to ensure that doors are locked properly and will have to sign

Turkey’s second giant aquarium opens in Ankara
Turkey’s second giant aquarium, “Deniz Dünyas?” (Sea World), with a display of around 150 different types of fish, will open Sunday in Ankara.
The aquarium, Turkey’s second largest after ?stanbul’s TurkuaZoo at Forum ?stanbul shopping mall, features more than 5,000 fish from the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Caspian Sea and various rivers and lakes around Turkey. Visitors to the aquarium will also have the chance to touch and hand feed some of the fish.
The facility, covering an area of 5,500-square meters of land, nearly half of which is undercover, in addition to the aquarium, also has a seminar hall, a shopping area, cafeteria and a lighthouse. Managed by Keçiören municipality, it was constructed in three years with a TL 5.45 million tender price.
The opening ceremony will be attended by Environment and Forestry Minister Veysel Ero?lu.
More than one million liters of water is used at Deniz Dünyas?, which has 12 tunnel aquariums as well as seven

Imperilled: Shark populations in free fall throughout the world
Demand for sharkfin soup, lack of research and lack of international political will allow the slaughter to continue -- and Canada is complicit in the decline
Rob Williams and his colleagues weren't even looking for sharks.
The University of B.C. researcher was aboard a 20-metre research sailboat off the B.C. coast for three summers, surveying for marine mammals such as whales, dolphins and porpoises.
But it was the appearance of shark fins -- one, then another, and another -- slicing through the cold blue water that surprised the research team. Most were salmon sharks, but there were also some blue sharks ranging in length to almost four metres.
"This was not subtle," Williams said. "This didn't take a lot of sleuthing to discover."
The team had tripped upon a shark "hot spot" in Queen Charlotte Sound and southern Hecate Strait, one of the Pacific's most storm-tossed stretches.
Later, when researchers crunched the numbers and interpolated for areas they had not navigated, they estimated 10,000 ocean-going, or pelagic, sharks -- a veritable curtain of serrated teeth -- were drawn in summer to this area of the B.C. coast.
Who knew they were there?
Who can say what's attracting them? Although a good guess is salmon migrating south in summer.
And who knows whether the numbers are growing or represent only a fraction of what once existed?
"We are reminded of how many black boxes, how many unknowns are still out there," said Williams, whose

'All is not lost'
Dr Ullas Karanth is one of India’s most admired conservationists. A scientist who has won critical acclaim for his rigorous and cutting-edge field research, he has also, for many years now, taken on the additional roles of conservation activist, outspoken and candid analyst of conservation policies, and author. In 2007, he was awarded the J Paul Getty Award for Conservation Leadership, an award that has earlier been given to — among others — Salim Ali and Jane Goodall.
Karanth has two specialised books for release this year: Camera Traps in Animal Ecology, co-edited by him and published by Springer, and The Science of Saving Tigers, published by Universities Press.
The tiger was voted the most loved animal on the planet in a survey by a popular documentary channel a few years ago — just above the domestic dog and dolphin. Clearly the tiger is surging in popularity right now. Do you believe conservation can benefit from this momentum?
Obviously, if this public appeal is channelled into the right conservation actions on the ground, the tiger can benefit hugely. However, if all this leads only to talk shows on TV, huge commercial billboards and futile exchanges on the Internet, it will be a sad waste. There does not seem to be a sound mechanism to direct this popularity of the tiger into much-needed action.
However, I believe that the new film The Truth about Tigers with

U.S. urged to regulate 'backyard tigers'
Rising numbers of captive tigers in the United States are putting citizens at risk and could be fueling illegal trade in animal parts, which threatens their survival in the wild, conservationists have warned.
"Tigers Among US," published by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network estimates that there are more than 5,000 tigers in captivity in the U.S. compared with around 3,200 that remain wild across Asia.
While some tigers are housed in zoos, many more are privately owned, often free to roam backyards, urban apartments and are generally kept in "deplorable conditions," the report says.
Leigh Henry, WWF senior policy officer for Species Conservation told CNN: "We've seen photos and there's a video on our website showing tigers walking around muddy wet cages."
But its the size of the enclosures that is most distressing, Henry says, "when you know tigers are supposed to be ranging over hundreds and hundreds of acres."
Current U.S. regulation on tiger ownership is "a patchwork of federal laws" full of "exceptions, exemptions and loopholes," the report says.
A majority of U.S. states (28) don't allow

Tigers Among US

Captive tigers in the United States and their impact on tigers in the wild

Anthropology Professor Joan Miller dies at age 50
Joan Miller, a professor of anthropology at Mesa College, died in her sleep at her home on Sept. 27 from unknown causes. She was 50 years old.
Miller was taking several types of strong medications for pain associated with the nerves in her spine. A toxicology report is still pending for the cause of death.
Miller was born June 22, 1960 in Peoria, Ill. to Katherine Cullen and Victor Chowaniak. She lived there until she was 18, moving to Wisconsin for her freshman year of college at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire.
A year later she moved to Gainesville, Fla. where she attended Santa Fe Community College, studying anthropology.
In 1981, Miller moved to San Diego where she worked as a zookeeper at the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park for five years. Primates, chimpanzees, gorillas and ring-tailed lemurs were among her favorite animals at work.
She began taking classes at

Hands-on parrot enclosure costs too much for Edinburgh Zoo to run
ONE of the most popular interactive exhibits at Edinburgh Zoo has closed, leaving 60 parrots in need of a new home.
Rainbow Landings, a £350,000 enclosure which allowed visitors to hold and feed dozens of colourful Rainbow Lorikeets, shut its doors earlier this month because it proved too expensive to run.
Staff have revealed their fears that it could be one of

Tiger bites volunteer at refuge
A Baraboo man was flown to University of Wisconsin Hospital on Friday - but is reported to be recovering - after having his arm grabbed by a tiger at a big cat refuge.
Shortly after 12:30 p.m. Sauk County 911 dispatch received a call from Jeff Kozlowski at the Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue and Education reporting an injury to a volunteer, according a statement by Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Sheriff Richard "Chip" Meister.
The North Freedom First Responders were called to assist John M. Meeker, 38, who was injured by a 7-year-old Siberian tiger named Kahn, Meister reported. Meeker had been watering the cat through his enclosure of chain link fencing. Kahn grabbed the man's arm and pulled it into the enclosure. Other people at the refuge were able to get Meeker away from the cat and administer first aid.
A short time after the incident, North Freedom firefighters could be heard over the police scanner setting up a landing zone on a field near the refuge. Meeker was taken to University Hospital in Madison by the Med Flight helicopter ambulance, Meister stated.
Kozlowski said Meeker was watering Kahn from outside his cage by pouring through the 4-inch-square chain link mesh of the cat's enclosure. In an act Kozlowski said was playful, not aggressive, Kahn grabbed a loose sleeve of Meeker's sweatshirt and pulled his hand into the cage.
Meeker reflexively tried to pull his arm back. The tiger then clamped his mouth down harder, resulting in a number of punctures to Meeker's skin, he said.
"There's some puncture wounds and tearing," Kozlowski

Wild tigers could face extinction in just 12 years
The world's tiger population could soon be extinct because of poaching, shrinking habitats and the use of tiger parts in Eastern medicine, environmental experts warned Friday.
World Wildlife spokeswoman Marie von Zeipel said the world's biggest wild cat is one of the most threatened species and could face extinction within 12 years. The organization estimates there are only 3,200 tigers in the wild — with von Zeipel noting that the wild tiger population has shrunk 97 percent in 100 years.
"If nothing drastic happens, the (population) curve is heading straight for disaster," she said.
Her comments came after the wildlife organization hosted a seminar in Stockholm about the plight of wild tigers.
WWF is currently running a campaign to double the wild tiger population by 2022. It is urging nations to help protect tigers' habitats and to prevent poaching of tigers and their prey.
Russia, which has its own Amur tiger population, is holding

Veterinary Confirms Female Reindeer Died Of Rare Disease at Stone Zoo
A young deer at the Stone zoo in Stoneham has died of a rare disease passed by ticks, state officials said as they confirmed with a veterinary.
Noelle, died at nearly 2 years of age was from a Minnesota farm and was transferred with her male companion Comelius. They were the first reindeer in the zoo in 12 years.
John Linehan, Zoo New England president said over the phone that she was well natured and could interact with the public safely. He said her death was sudden and a loss, to the zoo. She was calm and gentle around most people, something uncommon with most reindeer.
Noelle shed her first set of antlers last winter. They were 14-inches long and her second set, nearly 3 feet long, had already grown during the time of her death.
The zoo’s veterinary staff believes she had a blood parasite rare to the area known as Babesia odocoilei. The disease could remain dormant animals and undetectable in blood tests.
The disease would progress

411 Critically Endangered Tortoises Saved from Illegal Wildlife Trade
After several months of waiting, 411 critically endangered tortoises will return to their home country of Madagascar. The radiated (Astrochelys radiata), spider (Pyxis arachnoides) and angulated (Astrochelys yniphora) tortoises were illegally removed from their natural habitat and were en route for sale in public markets in China when they were intercepted by customs officials at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia in July. These rare tortoises sell for thousands of dollars each as exotic pets.
The tortoises will be transported to the Madagascan capital of Antananarivo by Air Mauritius in cases built by the Malaysian National Parks, where they will be welcomed by local authorities including the Minister of the Environment, Water, Forests and Tourism, Mr. Harrison Randriarimanana. They will then be returned to the Ifaty Turtle Village where they receive complete health checks before being placed in quarantine with close monitoring for 12 months. The goal is to release them into a National Park with other tortoises within the next few years.
SOPTOM, which manages the Ifaty Turtle Village in Southern Madagascar, worked with the Madagascan and Malay authorities to repatriate the tortoises. "Madagascar's natural resources are being plundered a little more each day in order to supply large-scale trafficking. It is therefore crucial to encourage the repatriation of endemic species, such as these tortoises. Madagascan fauna must remain in its natural environment and must not be traded in any way," said Bernard Devaux, Secretary General of SOPTOM.
"The cooperation between the Malaysian and Madagascan authorities in favor of this repatriation has been exemplary. However, it must not stop here. Only closer cooperation and better coordination

ZSL London Zoo
Our article, 'Warring tigers,escaping birds, marauding snakes: it's chaos at London Zoo' (16 October 2010) referred to a report following an informal zoo inspection which took place in July 2009 . The title suggested that the matters were current not historical, and so was misleading as many of the issues highlighted in the report had already been resolved by the zoo, some before the 2009 inspection. Some details were also inaccurately reported. London Zoo, as the article

Efforts to stop the Kyoto aquarium
As a founding member of the Committee to Protect Kyoto (, I feel that I must correct J.J. O'Donoghue's errors in his Oct. 17 letter, "Kyoto petition looks like a nonstarter."
First, our petition, which O'Donoghue characterizes as online "click-it-ism," is only part of our efforts to stop the construction of the Kyoto aquarium. If O'Donoghue had contacted us directly, he would have found that we are working closely with like-minded Japanese groups to support a lawsuit against the city to stop construction. Furthermore, as late as (Oct. 15), we held a lively protest at Kiyomizu Temple, where the Kyoto mayor hosted delegates to the World League of Historical Cities.
Second, O'Donoghue claims that construction was stopped at the site after artifacts were discovered. As our

Zoo to shift tiger sans permission
Is the century-old Maharajbagh Zoo heading towards a closure? The Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV), which runs the zoo and has come in for flak recently, is sending animals to other cities and indications are that it may not be interested any longer in running the city zoo.
In May this year, it gave away a pair of bear to Bannerghatta zoo near Bangalore. Now it is giving away one tiger to the MC Zoological Park, Chhatbir, in Mohali district, Punjab. Sources said that one the three female tiger cubs — 'Lee', 'Jaan' or 'Cherry'— may be sent out of the city. 'Jai', being

Malacca Zoo now has over 530 wildlife species
In a bid to inculcate the love for wildlife among the people, the Malacca Zoo now has over 530 species of wildlife for the public to view.
Its director, Ahmad Azhar Mohammed, said the species included 1,340 animals.
“Of the species, about 10% are endangered,” he told Bernama at the closing of 2010 Wildife Week at the zoo in Ayer Keroh yesterday.
Among the endangered species are the red panda, tapir, banteng (a species of cow), tree tiger and black panther.
Ahmad Azhar said the zoo also conducted animal breeding programmes, especially for endangered animals.
The Malacca Zoo started operations as a transit centre for wildlife in 1963, before it was launched by former

Leopard, lion die in Bangalore zoo
A leopard and an aged lion died within 12 hours of each other between late Saturday and early Sunday after prolonged illness in the Bannerghatta Biological Park on the city outskirts, an official said.
'The 14-year-old leopard Ganesha had been on a liquid diet over the last 45 days as he was suffering from neurological disorder. With its paws and limbs paralysed, the ailing feline died late Saturday,' zoo conservator Milo Tago told IANS.
Similarly, lion Raja, 26, the oldest among the 12 big cats in the zoo, died in the wee hours after its vital organs were infected

SC blames Chinese demand for poaching of tigers in India
The Supreme Court on Wednesday blamed the huge demand for tiger parts in China as the major reason for the thriving poaching syndicates run by "very wealthy and influential people" in India leading to near extinction of the big cat.
While upholding the conviction of notorious poacher Sansar Chand for two leopard skins seized from one of his accomplices, a Bench comprising Justices Markandey Katju and T S Thakur expressed concern over the largely free run that poachers have had in India and requested the Centre and state governments to tighten their belts.
Asking them to take stringent action against poachers and the illegal trade in wildlife items if they wanted to save the small number of tigers and other big cats in the country, the Bench went on to cite the "food chain" illustration given in school textbooks to drive home the importance of big cats to maintain balance in the ecology.
Justice Katju, writing the judgment for the Bench, noted that areas which decades back were teeming with wildlife had become devoid of it. He said many sanctuaries and national parks were almost empty and Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan and Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh had no tigers.
"Poaching of tigers for traditional Chinese medicine industry has been going on in India for several decades... This illegal trade is organised and widespread and is in the hands of ruthless and sophisticated operators, some of whom have top level patronage," the Bench said.
Condemning Sansar Chand and his family for indulging in mindless killing of wild animals, including tigers, for profit and having a trail of cases under the Wildlife Protection Act, the Bench said Chand and his gang had set up a complex, interlinking

Zoos arguing for conservation and education
Zoos and aquariums should do more to educate visitors about ways to slow extinctions and build on successes in breeding rare species from monkeys to toads, the head of the world's zookeepers said last week.
"We have a huge opportunity for education, to explain the gravity of the situation," Mark Penning, president of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, told Reuters. "We get 700 million visitors a year."
Penning said a WAZA annual meeting in Germany last week was reviewing how members could help conservation, coinciding with Oct. 18-29 UN talks in Japan, where governments are due to set global goals for protecting animals and plants.
He said the outlook for biodiversity was not irreversibly grim, even though UN studies say human threats such as expanding cities and pollution are causing the worst extinction crisis since the dinosaurs vanished 65 million years ago.
"Unless we sell a message of hope, that there is something to be done, we will have even worse problems lying ahead," he said. He said there was often too much doom and gloom about the outlook that could bring a sense of despair.
Zoos and aquariums can show individuals that they can make a difference -- for instance, by guiding them to buy fish or meat from plentiful species. "It makes each individual realize 'it is up to me, not everybody else,' " said Penning, a South African.
A WAZA review showed that zoos were having success in conserving biodiversity and in breeding threatened creatures such as Przewalski's horse, which has been reintroduced to Mongolia. It had been last sighted in the wild in 1969.
"Other prominent ones are the Californian condor or the golden lion tamarin (monkey) in Brazil -- these are flagships where we have successes in breeding," said WAZA executive director Gerald Dick.
Sixty-six species are listed as "extinct in the wild," surviving only in captivity, he told Reuters.
Breeding programs were widening to new species. "Zoos have focused on the big, hairy, charismatic species, the ones the public like to see. Now we have a major global campaign for amphibians," Penning said. Among the examples was the Kihansi spray toad in Tanzania, reared in zoos in recent years after a hydroelectric dam was built in the gorge where they have been found.
The UN says the world has failed to meet a goal, set in 2002, of a "significant reduction" in the rate of extinctions of animals and plants. The UN conference in Japan is

Couple caught trying to sell tiger cub
A couple in Pekan were arrested recently for trying to sell a tiger cub for RM30,000 (S$12,561).
Pahang Wildlife and National Parks Department officers raided their premises in Simpang Chini-Tun Razak Highway on Oct 15 following a tip-off.
They found a 3-month-old male tiger cub in the couple's possession. The couple own a restaurant.
Tigers -- along with elephants, rhinoceros, orang utans and sun bears -- are protected species in Malaysia.
It is illegal to trade, breed, kill or keep these animals or any of their parts. Only those holding a special permit issued by the department under strict conditions can keep these animals.
The department released the couple on the same day they were arrested on a RM5,000 police bail. The authorities may charge

(Google Translate)
Valencia Exchange between aquariums and attractions diversify Daejeon
Visitors to the aquarium in Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela, and Aquaworld Daejeon, Republic of Korea, can enjoy a diversity of marine species following the signing of an agreement between both institutions to exchange for five years, two freshwater dolphins, known as dolphins, a mandarin fish and other species from China.
The exchange of cooperation was signed recently between the municipalities of Valencia and Daejeon, under the approval of People's Power Ministry for the Environment (Minamb), the governing body for aquariums and zoos in the country.
The director of Minamb-Carabobo, Cesar Ivan Alvarado, noted that that agreement is part of the linkages of national and international aquarium to exchange experiences and support to diversify its attractions.
The official pointed out that such exchanges occur under purely for recreational, educational and informative, so that species in temporary swap will be displayed in tanks involved in such specific terms.
He explained that besides the exchange of dolphins Zeus and Artemis by the Asian species, the agreement establishes a major South Korean investment to run in the Aquarium in Valencia, to modernize under the international standards, which provide added value Carabobo this park.
During the signing of the agreement, the mayor of Valencia, Edgar Parra, said the estimated investment in this exchange of diversity and technology is in the order of $ 500,000 for infrastructure improvements Toninario, which currently has the capacity to 350, and future plans for the construction



Dolphins from Taiji sold to Egypt, Saudi Arabia
57 believed shipped live worldwide this year; one load faces ban
The town of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, exported four bottlenose dolphins each to Saudi Arabia and Egypt in August, a Taiji official said Friday.
"Dolphins in Taiji are popular around the world because they are smart and I personally think they have cute faces," Hiromitsu Nambu, who arranges exports of live dolphins from Taiji, told The Japan Times.
Dolphins are also caught alive in the Black Sea and near Indonesia and the Solomon Islands, but "probably none of those places secure as stable a supply of live dolphins as Taiji," Nambu said.
Activists criticize capturing dolphins, saying the mammals undergo enormous stress. The Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove," in addition to showing the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, has footage of dolphins reputedly being fed medicine for stomach ulcers.
Taiji also sells dolphins to China and other countries, Nambu said. According to export statistics compiled by the Customs Bureau, 57 live animals under the category of whales, dolphins, dugongs and manatees were exported from January to August this year, of which 22 went to China, 16 to Ukraine and 11 to Thailand.
The total monetary value of

Russian tiger summit offers 'last chance' to save species in the wild
Last 13 countries with wild tigers to meet in St Petersburg, as deforestation and poaching push animal to extinction
Leaders of the few remaining countries where tigers are still found in the wild are preparing for a make-or-break summit in Russia, which they believe offers the last chance to save the critically endangered animal.
The Global Tiger Summit in St Petersburg next month will bring together the 13 countries that still have wild tigers, along with conservation organisations, in an attempt to thrash out a global recovery plan. Britain and the US are also being urged to attend.
The WWF (formerly the World Wide Fund for Nature) says it is optimistic about the summit's chances of success, but warns that failure will lead to the extinction of the tiger across much of Asia. The draft communique for the summit, seen by the Observer, notes that in the past decade tiger numbers worldwide have fallen by 40% and warns that "Asia's most iconic animal faces imminent extinction in the wild".
It concludes: "By the adoption of this, the St Petersburg Declaration, the tiger range countries of the world call upon the international community to join us in turning the tide and

Tiger Cubs Cause Festival Controversy
Festival Co-Chairwoman Says Cubs Shouldn't Be Exhibited
Thousands of people are expected to flock to Bethlehem this weekend for the annual Autumn on the River festival.
This year, a new exhibit is raising some eyebrows days before the event even starts.
A pair of 10 pound, 10-week-old tiger cubs are at the center of this discussion.
The debate is whether the cubs should be allowed at the festival.
Event committee members say absolutely, while one woman emphatically says no.
Trish Roehm is a longtime resident of Bethlehem. She runs an animal rescue organization out of her home.
For years, she has helped organize the Autumn on the River event, but this year, she's sitting out.
"I don't think it's a safe environment for children and, as

Gnawing problem for golf course: A very eager beaver leaves a trail of destruction after escaping from wildlife park
A beaver which escaped from a zoo has exasperated greenkeepers at a top golf club after wreaking havoc on the fairway.
The rogue rodent - called Mrs B - has gnawed through a centrepiece tree at the exclusive Hertfordshire Golf and Country Club in Broxbourne.
The huge birch has been left significantly damaged after the sustained attack, but will not need to be felled.
Unfortunately for the golf club, Mrs B couldn't have picked a more prominent tree - the birch is in the middle of a small island on a pond on the fairway.
'They set a few traps on the ponds,' said a worker at the golf club shop. 'It's been having a lot of fun down there by the looks of it.'
Mrs B escaped from Paradise Wildlife Park, which is adjacent to the 70 par course, by digging her way to freedom under the fence of her enclosure.
Following a few days on the lam, she was caught by zookeepers who camouflaged a crate filled with

Snake conservation farm on the verge of closure
A promising snake conservation and research centre Bangladesh is facing closure threats, thanks to the gratuitous intervention of some forest department officials.
Located in Rajshahi district, the snake conservation centre is the first of its kind in Bangladesh.
Crawling with hundreds of the reptiles, the centre draws big crowds everyday, including university and college teachers, students and researchers.
Rumon, the caretaker who is also a management student, claims he has made a breakthrough in captive breeding of cobras, which is a first ever successful experiment in Bangladesh. He is trying to breed other species of snakes as well.
“My aim is to establish a full-fledged snake rescue, rehabilitation, conservation and research centre there so that our generation can learn about snakes, their importance, significance and place in nature.”
Initially, Rumon started the centre as a hobby with 50 reptilian members and named it ‘Cobra Friends Club’. The centre gradually grew and he turned it into a non-profit
He says he had no idea about the necessity of government permission for running a snake farm especially to save the reptiles from human cruelty. And he wants the government to take over the farm and develop it further.
The forest officials, who had no idea about the farm until they read about its popularity in a local newspaper, went over and seized 85 venomous snakes and slapped a case on Rumon under the wildlife preservation act
Rabiul Islam, range officer in the department of forestry in Rajshahi, who filed a case said: “The wildlife preservation act prohibits catching and molesting of any wild animals and by constructing a snake farm, Rumon has violated the Act.”
The seized snakes included 77 cobras, seven rat-snakes and one flying snake.
The officials also suspected cross-border trafficking in snakes since the area has no use for such a snake farm.
But an undeterred Rumon says his ultimate aim is to build a snake park as well as a research centre there because no other safari parks would want to rear snakes. And he would even give away his farm to the government if it is turned

Fans want Busch back after tiger death
Controversy-plagued big cat park Zion Wildlife Gardens is in the news once again after a tiger mauled another to death.
The death has prompted a ferocious response by fans of the Whangarei wildlife park's founder, Craig Busch, who want him reinstated.
The female Bengal tiger, Sita, was killed by a male tiger she had been placed with to mate.
The park has never been far from the headlines since Busch's mother Patricia took over after bailing him out financially. Busch's battle to regain control is headed for the High Court.
Last year, keeper Dalu Mncube was fatally mauled by a tiger, and charges have been laid over the death. After the latest incident the park said all protocols had been followed and the attack was "uncharacteristic".
Busch has attracted more than 56,000 fans to his Facebook page, with many calling for him to be put back in charge. But, even under Busch's care, the park made the news with many cats

California condor population hits 100
The number of wild, free-flying condors in California has reached 100, the most in half a century.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced the landmark Wednesday, crediting a captive breeding program started in Southern California in 1982, when there were only 22 wild condors in the state.
Young condors born in captivity are released into the wild every fall at Pinnacles National Monument in Central California and Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge on the southwest side of the San Joaquin Valley. The flock will get another bump over the next few months with the release of 11 juveniles.
The big birds are also reproducing on their own in the wild, adding 16 young

Chimp attends Gaza university lecture
Ape flees local zoo, enters lecture hall at Strip's Al-Quds University through window before being captured by security officers
From zoo to academia: Students at Al-Quds University in the Gaza Strip were surprised to see an unusual guest at their lecture room on Saturday – a chimpanzee who had escaped from a nearby zoo, Palestinian news agency Maan reported.
University sources said the chimp entered the lecture hall through a window left open and even listened to the lecture.
One of the university workers told the French news agency, "We were very surprised to see the chimpanzee who escaped from the zoo right next to us. It entered the university lecture hall and jumped into the meeting room. It caused,7340,L-3970222,00.html

Bloodbath at London Zoo as urban foxes slaughter 11 penguins and one flamingo
A trail of destruction was left at London Zoo after urban foxes crept in and killed almost a dozen penguins.
Keepers at the north west London site discovered the bloodbath when they arrived to open up for the day.
During the killing spree the foxes targeted South African and rockhopper penguins.
Council officials carried out an inspection of the site last year and faulty fencing was blamed for the break in.
The report which was obtained by The Independent under the Freedom Of Information act also revealed fox traps had been removed from the site.
The incident took place on March, 18 last year.
A spokesman for

PG Tips chimp dies at Twycross Zoo
A MIDLAND zoo is mourning the death of one of the country’s most famous chimpanzees – who starred in the famous PG Tips adverts.
Jilloch was born at Twycross Zoo, near Tamworth, and died there of heart failure, aged 34.
She had taken part in the chimp’s tea parties and was part of the family group of chimps that were on television screens from the late 1950s until 2002.
Sharon Redrobe, the zoo’s director of life sciences said: “We are all are saddened by the loss of one of our favourite chimps.
“The animal and vet team worked tirelessly to keep her as comfortable as possible.”
The ads starring the chimps captivated TV viewers and helped sell tea by the ton. They portrayed everything from removal men and Tour de France cyclists to a bride and

Okla City Zoo elephants back from breeding program
Two Asian elephants sent to Tulsa as part of a breeding effort have returned to the Oklahoma City Zoo — one is pregnant and the other might be.
Sisters Asha and Chandra returned Monday and are in a new habitat that was built after they left for Tulsa in June 2008 as part of a national breeding plan.
Asha is pregnant and due to give birth in May after breeding with the male elephant Sneezy. The Oklahoman reported that zookeepers

Escaped ape attacks Kansas City police car
A 300-pound chimpanzee that broke free from its chains has been captured after briefly wandering around a Kansas City neighborhood and smashing out the window of a police car.
Police Capt. Rich Lockhart tells The Kansas City Star the department got a call about noon Tuesday that a primate was on the loose a few miles from the Kansas City Zoo.
Lockhart says the ape was actually a pet that escaped from its chains. Lockhart says efforts to shoot the animal, named Sueko, with a tranquilizer dart failed.
The chimp climbed on a patrol car and struck the passenger-side window with its fist before running off.
Its owner was eventually able to coax it into a cage. Lockhart

Pet chimpanzee that escaped will be sent to KC Zoo, officials say
Sueko, the chimpanzee that escaped from its owner Tuesday afternoon in a Kansas City neighborhood, is going to be sent to the Kansas City Zoo, city officials said today.
The ape, whose weight was estimated by police at 300 pounds, could be transferred to the zoo Thursday. Zoo Director Randy Wisthoff said he believed the chimp probably weighs closer to 170 pounds
City officials said the decision was “in the best interest of the community

Donation makes Durrell Wildlife Park revamp possible
Abbey International has provided Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust with funding, together with a day’s volunteer work by staff whose efforts have contributed greatly towards bringing about a major remodelling of the famous wildlife park. The work just completed is part of a plan to pave the way for a new “glamorous camping” area to be opened in 2011 and will also help achieve significant operational efficiencies in the running of the park itself.
Staff from Abbey International literally rolled up their sleeves last Friday to carry out major preparatory works including moving the organic farm, prior to the construction of a new access road, the cost of which Abbey International has also agreed to part fund. The new road will serve both the proposed camping area and the farm itself. Other work completed included general site clearing, following which specialist rodent control ditches were built and new willow hedges will be planted. With the initial works now finished, construction on the roadway can commence, with all work expected to be finished by next Easter when the new camping area will be open to the public.
The changes to the wildlife park are expected to bring significant financial, practical and operational benefits. The new glamour camping concept will become a significant fundraiser in its own right, contributing funds to Durrell, whilst the freeing up of additional land will allow for an expansion of its organic cultivation, leading to the possibility of surplus organic crops being sold to the public via the on-site store. Durrell already grows around 80% of the food required for the animals at the wildlife park, so this expansion of the farming will add to that and also reduce the cost of buying in feed in the longer term. Farm sales will additionally generate much needed funds to help care for the animals.
Commenting on the contribution from Abbey International, Ivo Le Maistre Smith, Head of Income Development at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust said, “This was a fantastic initiative by Abbey International, it is true to say that without them this new project simply could not go ahead on the basis of the plans we have already made. We particularly

China Unveils Ambitious Plan to Protect Wildlife at UN Talks
China’s biodiversity action plan designates 52 priority conservation areas, covering 23% of the country; it promises state funds for protection; and sets a target of controlling biodiversity loss by 2020.
Sichuan, has been the first province to put the plan into action. It has set aside about 930m yuan (£87m) and identified five ecological protection areas: one links to existing giant panda reserves, another restores an area damaged by industry, two conserve semi-tropical flora and fauna, and another offsets the impact

Vietnam police seize 10 smuggled wild cats: activist
Authorities in Vietnam have seized the corpses of 10 wild cats smuggled from Laos in a sign of growing cross-border animal traffic, a conservationist said Tuesday.
The seizure included eight golden cats, two clouded leopards, a cobra and horns, said Sarah Morgan, Vietnam spokeswoman for Traffic, the British-based wildlife trade monitoring network.
Local media reports, citing police, said the seizure was the country's biggest-ever of frozen wild cats, but Morgan could not confirm that.
"We're told by authorities that the animals are supposed to have come from the Lao-Myanmar border," she said.
"We've had increasing reports of things being trafficked from Laos, especially."
Police discovered the animals in a truck travelling between the north-central provinces of Thanh Hoa and Nghe An, said the Cong An Nhan Dan (People's Police) newspaper.
It quoted the animals' owner as saying she collected them in Nghe An to sell to a man specialising in processing the bones into traditional medicine.
The report did not say if any arrests were made. Police declined to comment to AFP by telephone.
Morgan said leopards and certain wild cats are protected species, meaning their national or international commercial trade is prohibited.
Traffickers could be increasingly looking abroad as the species decline in Vietnam, she said, adding: "I think we can see growing evidence of the

Study reveals why the leopard got its spots
Rudyard Kipling was right - leopards and other big cats have had to change their spots in order to survive.
A study published today by William Allen and colleagues from the University of Bristol in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B shows that cat coat pattern is strongly related to the type of environment they live in.
The researchers first collected images from the internet of the coat patterns of 35 species of cats - including jaguars, cheetahs, tigers and leopards, as well as lesser known species such as the fishing cat and the serval.
Instead of having simple categories such as spots or stripes, the researchers refined the coat patterns further, using a technique called reaction diffusion.
This technique, first proposed by British mathematician Alan Turing in the 1950s converts a pattern from nature into a computer generated one, which then has its own unique identification number.
Five people were shown a selection

Lions on the move
Wellington Zoo staff have spent the morning on high alert, carefully transporting their three female lions across the zoo back to their home.
The three lionesses, each weighing more than 120kg, have been in a temporary enclosure for the last eight months while their home was being redeveloped.
The zoo's male lion, who is on holiday at Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch while the work is

Knut the polar bear bullied by mean girl zoo mates?
Poor Knut. As a young cub at a Berlin zoo, he became a media darling, appearing on the cover of Vanity Fair and boosting his zoo’s revenues by an estimate €5-million. But then, like so many child stars, he battled with his weight and crazed fans (one man jumped into Knut’s enclosure). He’s also had a series of widely-reported struggles with the opposite sex, and is now apparently being tormented by a trio of ursine mean girls.
Reports AFP:
“Knut, the public’s favourite, has become a heap of misery,” said Germany’s mass-selling daily Bild. “Instead of enjoying himself with the three ladies, he cowers fearfully in a corner,” added the more staid Sueddeutsche Zeitung. For several weeks, the three-year-old bear has shared his zoo enclosure with his mother, Tosca, and two other females, Nancy and Katjuscha. But hopes that Knut might form a romantic attachment with one of the females appear to have been dashed as stories emerged of violent maulings. One video posted online showed Katjuscha hurling herself at Knut’s throat, in an apparent attempt to bite him, before tipping him into the water.
But maybe Knut just needs to learn to assert himself? Knut’s minder, Heiner Kloes, told AFP: “For the time being, Knut is not yet an adult male and doesn’t yet know how to get respect like his father did. But day by day, he

Silence of the hams: Zoo culls two endangered piglets because of European breeding quotas
Cuddling up to their mother, these African piglets were more than an endearing attraction for zoo visitors.
They were also the successful product of a breeding programme aimed at keeping alive endangered species.
Zoo managers had hoped that many more of these rare Red River Hogs would be born in future. But yesterday it emerged the piglets had been killed by one of the zoo’s own vets.
The pair, named Sammi and Becca, were destroyed at Edinburgh Zoo to comply with the controversial requirements of a European breeding project – after being deemed ‘surplus to requirements’.
It is feared that three other piglets currently at the zoo could also be culled. The move has outraged staff and horrified animal welfare campaigners. One staff member said: ‘We didn’t have any say. I found it pretty disgusting and was

Animal activists outraged at zoo’s culling of piglets
The culling of two piglets by Edinburgh Zoo, because they were surplus to an international breeding programme, has sparked outrage and prompted a campaign to help save the lives of others potentially under threat.
Red river hogs Sammi and Becca were put down at the age of five months on the recommendation of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP).
The zoo said it was advised by the programme to cull the piglets rather than rehome them. It said there were no plans to put down the remaining three red river hog piglets born at the zoo last month.
Animal activists criticised the move and said alternative homes should have been found for the hogs.
Sammi and Becca were born on August 14 last year, the first to be born since the African mammals arrived at Edinburgh Zoo in 2004.
At the time Kathleen Graham, head keeper of hoofstock at the zoo, said: “We are thrilled that the red river hogs have bred this year. We hope that this is the first of many contributions our red river hogs make to the breeding programme.”
Animal protection charity OneKind – formerly Advocates for Animals – criticised the decision to put the two piglets to sleep and has set up a campaign on the issue

Bear attacks on the rise in Japan
Bear attacks in Japan, and sightings of the animals, have increased this year as climate change drives them from their habitats seeking food, researchers say.
At least four people were killed and 80 wounded in bear attacks between April and September, already topping last year's total of 64 attacks, Japanese broadcaster NHK said.
On Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido, authorized hunters

Rhinos Return to the Houston Zoo
Three White Rhinos Arrive Via Cargo Flight from South Africa
Rhinos a Feature of The African Forest Opening December 10, 2010
After a 54 hour trip from Johannesburg, South Africa aboard a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines cargo flight, three white rhinos arrived at the Houston Zoo on Thursday and are settling into their new home in The African Forest, a 6.5 acre addition to the Zoo which will open to the public on December 10. The Zoo’s new male rhino, whose name is Sibindi (suh-BIN-dee) and one female, named Annie-Kamariah, are four years old. The other female, named Lynne, is five years old.
“The rhinos went First Class all the way,” said Houston Zoo Director Rick Barongi. “They were accompanied on the flight by a team of veterinarians and animal care specialists from Kruger National Park and the Houston Zoo who had direct access to them at all times to care for them during the trip,” added Barongi.
The rhinos made the flight from Johannesburg to Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport in new specially designed 2,000 pound steel reinforced crates that allowed them to stand or lie down comfortably during their journey. After arrival at Bush Intercontinental Airport and

Ethical debate: Can an endangered species be a business partner?
Two of the strongest environmental laws in the world are the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Among many other statutes, these laws make it a Federal crime for anyone to harass endangered marine mammal species such as the West Indian manatee. By the accepted definitions of the word “harass”, this means that people cannot swim with and certainly cannot touch a manatee. However, at Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge in Florida, visitors can do both of these things- and it’s totally legal!
A select few dive operators have special permission and training from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. This allows them to take visitors into Crystal River NWR to swim with (and in some circumstances even touch) manatees.
This policy is controversial. Though divemasters are trained to pull tourists out of the water if the manatee appears bothered, the ESA and the MMPA made swimming with and touching these animals illegal for a reason. It may result in altered behavior, perhaps teaching them to associate engine noise with a boatload of backscratchers instead of a mortal threat. It may stress the animals, making them more vulnerable to other threats. It may encourage tourists to engage in similar behavior without a trained guide.
On the other hand, supporters claim that allowing a community to benefit economically from a local endangered species may encourage local conservation efforts. Lots of tourists come to Crystal River

S. Africans in Vietnam to counter rhino horn trade
South African officials were in Vietnam Wednesday to discuss ways of curbing the illegal trade in rhinoceros horns used in traditional Asian medicine, a conservation group said.
The South Africans are involved in enforcement against the rhino trade and were to meet their Vietnamese counterparts, said Traffic, the British-based global wildlife trade monitoring network, which organised the trip.
The two nations aim to increase collaborative law enforcement, it said.
"Vietnam has been increasingly implicated as a main driver of the illegal rhino horn trade in Asia, and a major trade route has emerged connecting illegally killed rhinos in South Africa with consumers in Vietnam," Traffic said in a press release.
While Asian rhinos have likely been eliminated in Vietnam, partly because of poaching for their horns, there are still important wild rhino populations in Africa, especially South Africa, Traffic said.
"It's vitally important to scale up Africa's law enforcement efforts and link with Asia in the fight to save the world's rhinos", Tom Milliken, regional director for Traffic in East and Southern Africa, said in the statement.
"We'll only win this war if both sides align against the criminal syndicates behind this trade."
Vietnamese media reported earlier this year that police

Conservation Scientists Release Global Strategy to Halt Extinctions as Nations Meet to Decide Future of Biodiversity
Alliance for Zero Extinction Partners Identify 587 Sites
Worldwide that are Home to 920 Species on the Brink
Sixty-eight biodiversity conservation institutions from twenty countries aligned in the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) today released new data that pinpoint 587 single sites where 920 of the world’s most endangered wildlife species are restricted—places that if properly protected could help to avert an imminent global extinction crisis.
The AZE data are accompanied by a map that graphically illustrates the location of each of the sites around the world. The new data result from the efforts of a network of hundreds of scientists and conservationists around the world.
“AZE enables us to instantly pinpoint the locations of the world’s key wildlife extinction epicenters. It allows us to see at a glance where we need to focus efforts to prevent imminent extinctions and preserve Earth’s precious biodiversity,” said American Bird Conservancy Vice President and AZE Chair Mike Parr.
At the present time, only half of the sites identified enjoy any formal protection, and of those, half are only partially protected. “Protecting the remaining unprotected AZE sites, through locally appropriate

Wood in flap over bird-brained plan
POLITICAL kingpin Gerry Wood is investigating why the Government won't take $1000 of his own money for a blind, neurologically damaged sea eagle.
Mr Wood is questioning how blind the bird really is.
The Member for Nelson's query temporarily stalled feisty brawls during Parliamentary question time over child protection and boat registration.
Mr Wood explained he had gone on the hunt to find a white-bellied sea eagle after discovering the Territory Wildlife Park's birds of prey display was missing one.
"I was informed the park no longer had one ... and didn't have enough money for this acquisition," he said.
He searched about, found a "suitable" specimen in Sydney's Taronga Zoo - and offered to

Zoo reveals 'mammoth' shopping list
More than 1,700 pints of milk, 47 tonnes of hay and 33 tonnes of Canadian clover are just the start of London Zoo's enormous annual shopping list, it has been revealed.
With more than 16,000 animals of 600 different species ranging from giraffes to bearded pigs, "feeding all of our animals is a mammoth task", according to Nicky Jago, one of the zoo's keepers.
The food on the list includes tonnes of carrots and oranges, 1,716 pints of milk and some unusual foods such as honey and 78kg of popping

Interactive aquarium called Sea Life to open in Grapevine in June 2011
Hey North Texas, slip on your goggles and flippers and get ready to dive in! Sea Life Aquarium, an interactive, entertainment center, opens in Grapevine June 2011.
After years of discussions of an aquarium in Grapevine, “the talk stops today and reality comes to life," said Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate as he addressed those in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony for the city’s newest family and tourist attraction on Wednesday.
The Grapevine location will be the 34th Sea Life to open worldwide and only the third one nationally. The first U.S. Sea Life opened early 2010 in Phoenix, but as Janine DiGioachinno, Merlin Entertainment’s divisional director for the U.S., puts it, “everything is bigger and better in Texas." Promising to be both entertaining and inspiring, Sea Life Grapevine will take visitors on a

Rats killing off Pitcairn's rare Henderson petrel
One of the world's rarest birds could face extinction, unless conservationists succeed in their mission to eradicate rats from Henderson Island in the Pitcairn UK Overseas Territory.
The Henderson petrel is found nowhere else on the planet, but it's under threat from rats that are eating 25,000 seabird chicks alive every year.
The British-based Royal Society for the Protection

Elephant dung causes a bit of a stink for water co
Elephants' jumbo-sized poos have meant Howletts zoo has had to call in the plumbers to deal with a mounting problem.
The wild animal park in Bekesbourne houses 14 elephants, which each create their large piles of droppings every two hours.
Although the elephant enclosure is connected up to the mains water supply, it was not connected to the sewers so keepers had to shovel all waste away by hand.
Most of the dung is used as fertiliser by farmers, but after the majority is removed the enclosure is washed down and the resultant mess has to be taken away by expensive tankers for treatment.
But the park and Southern



Weighty issues cause divides
The "jumbo" problems affecting elephants need urgent help from the public and groups working to protect this living national symbol.
Stories about elephants maimed or killed by landmines along the Thai-Burmese border, hit by cars, falling into pits, or hunted for their tusks are common. Those familiar with the issue insist the problems affecting elephants are not being tackled at their root.
Organisations and foundations, some privately run, are the main driving forces protecting elephants.
They include the National Elephant Institute (NEI) under the Forest Industry Organisation (FIO) and the Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) foundation.
They seldom work together to solve elephant problems.
Sometimes, they are locked in dispute over the way elephant issues are handled.
The FAE has accused the FIO of lacking a practical plan to improve living conditions of the animals. The FIO, in turn, accuses the FAE of exploiting the animals through its appeals for donations and assistance.
Observers say the organisations should overcome their differences to work for the betterment of the animals.
Veterinarian Preecha Puangkham, director of FAE's Elephant Hospital

Jumbos find a retreat
Elephant camp based at a Chiang Rai resort pays mahouts to keep their animals off the streets
Six years ago he joined an elephant camp run by the Golden Triangle Elephant Foundation in Chiang Rai, where he now lives and works.
Previously, he took his elephant to roam the streets of Bangkok begging for food and money. However, he gave that up when the elephant camp asked him to stop, and had his elephant work for tourists instead.
The foundation, in the compound of Anantara Resort Golden Triangle in Chiang Saen district of Chiang Rai, pays him 15,000 baht a month to "rent" his elephant.
He takes his six-year-old elephant "Pluem" to welcome guests at the resort.
Mr Lod said he makes much less than he did when he roamed the streets.
"But making a living that way is risky. It is now difficult to make money walking elephants in the city. People are unwilling to help and we are at risk of being arrested," he said.
City Hall has banned elephants from Bangkok's streets and says it will impose fines and jail terms on mahouts found with elephants begging for food.
Mr Lod now works for the foundation. He persuades mahouts roaming city streets with their elephants to join the foundation's elephant camp project.
The foundation provides them with shelter, food and pay.
At present, 20 elephants aged between two and 12 years are under the care of the foundation and 20 mahouts and their families, mostly from Ban Ta Klang in Surin's Tha Tum district, stay there.
The elephant camp is in a resort rich in wild plants and natural water sources, which makes it an ideal habitat for elephants.
The elephants are domesticated and

2 tigers escape Indiana wildlife preserve (Video)
It's unclear where they were trying to go but two tigers managed to get lose from a wildlife preserve in Northwest Indiana.,0,6534199.story

New mammal found in Madagascar 
British wildlife conservationists say they've identified a new carnivorous mammal species in Madagascar in the wetlands of the country's largest lake.
A team from the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust has named the mongoose-like creature Durrel's vonstira after Gerald Durrell, the trust's founder, the BBC reported.
With its marshy home under threat from invasive species and pollution, team members say the animal may be one of the world's most threatened mammals.
After a first sighting in 2004, one of the creatures was captured in 2005 for detailed measurements and blood and tissue samples, which were sent to the Natural History Museum in London along with one dead specimen.
Museum zoologists compared it to its closest relative, the forest-dwelling brown-tailed vontsira, and confirmed it was a new, separate species.
"It was indeed a distinct new species and the specimen we have in the museum is now recognized as the holotype (the specimen from which,f5627b/srt,0/?v=161&i=6681&SW=&PSW=&POS=0&CID=3

"Scruffy" New Carnivorous Mammal Found
Revealed Monday, the first new species of meat-eating mammal to be discovered in 24 years bears its teeth for the cameras in a recent picture.
First spotted swimming in Madagascar's Lac Alaotra in 2004, the cat-size creature resembles a "scruffy ferret" or mongoose, said John Fa, a director of conservation science at the U.K.'s Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, who was part of the discovery team.
"We biologists are a bit like children," Fa said. "We like new things. So a new species is something that really excites us."
Dubbed Durrell's vontsira in honor of the late conservationist Gerald Durrell, the new carnivore is an especially

Jairam Ramesh cancels Central Zoo Authority meeting in city
Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has cancelled his visit to Pune to chair the meeting of Central Zoo Authority (CZA) at Rajiv Gandhi zoological park and research centre citing “shortage of time” for his failure to come here.
The CZA meeting was planned to discuss upgradation plans for different zoos of the country and the bottlenecks in the way of exchange of animals. The CZA meeting will be held in New Delhi for which date will be decided soon. The meeting was also to discuss recognition to zoo based on the stock of their animals and management practices.
Director of Rajiv Gandhi zoological park and research centre, Raj Kumar Jadhav, confirmed that the meeting of the CZA which

Rhinos caught in fire horror
Horrified tourists have accused Kruger National Park authorities of setting off a raging firestorm that burnt several rhino badly – and killed at least one.
The fires were so intense that Nasa’s observatory flagged it as their image of the day on September 25.
SANParks described the inferno as a controlled weather-related experiment in Afsaal, in the south of the park, to test the effectiveness of very fast and intense fire in controlling brush.
It said it had expected the animals to run away from the blaze.
But one tourist, who did not want to be named, told Independent Newspapers “fireballs were literally being fired from helicopters” on September 15, which resulted in at least three rhino being burnt.
“We came across a rhino that had severe burns, especially on its back legs and stomach, between Renosterpan. We were totally horrified by the sight of particularly the burnt rhino as it had no skin left on its tummy, the flesh literally falling off its leg, a burnt

Pachyderm pair headed to PAWS
The Performing Animal Welfare Society and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus have announced that the circus has given two Asian bull elephants to PAWS.
The gift followed a request by PAWS to Ringling Bros. that Kenneth Feld, CEO and producer of Ringling Bros., described as “unprecedented,” according to a PAWS release.
“As such,” Feld said, “we wanted to ensure that by granting PAWS’ request, the structures and environment to house and manage these magnificent bull elephants were in place.”
One of the bulls, Sabu, arrived at the ARK 2000 sanctuary in San Andreas late last month. Ringling Bros. officials visited the Gold Country to review the facilities and meet with PAWS staff to ensure the safety and well-being of the elephants.
Following that visit in September, elephant management staff and a veterinarian from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation escorted Sabu from Florida to San Andreas.
“He’s responding

Call to rethink 'zoo' decision for tortoise sanctuary
An MP has called for a rethink after a tortoise sanctuary was reclassified as a zoo, leading to its closure.
The Tortoise Garden at Sticker, near St Austell, closed to the public when Cornwall Council said tortoises were "wild" animals, not domestic pets.
Owner Joy Bloor said she could not afford the cost of the licence and to pay for official vet inspections.
St Austell MP Stephen Gilbert has written to the council asking it to reverse the decision.
He said he had received a letter from Lord Henley, at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which "categorically" stated the council had the power to leave the sanctuary open.
Mrs Bloor set up the sanctuary about 11 years ago and most of the 400 animals were unwanted, abandoned, injured or illegally imported and brought to her by

Hike in Zoo's Water Rates Causing Friction in Brookfield
A dispute over water rates for the Brookfield Zoo is causing friction in the west suburban village.
The zoo's director says a proposed rate increase would cost the zoo an additional $700,000 a year. But village officials dispute that figure.
Dr. Stuart Strahl is director of the Brookfield Zoo.
STRAHL: It's not just the village saying we want you to pay the rates that everybody else does. It's the village ignoring the economic benefits and the services that we already provide them and the money that we already provide them. And that's just not fair and not right.
Brookfield Village Manager Riccardo Ginex says zoo officials are inflating the cost of the potential increase and exaggerating the zoo's economic impact.
Strahl says the zoo will try to work out a deal to buy water directly from the Brookfield-North Riverside Water

Former Elephant Sanctuary CEO Files Lawsuit
The former CEO and co-founder of the Elephant Sanctuary has filed a lawsuit seeking $500,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.
Carol Buckley, who was fired earlier this year, claims she was forced out and filed a lawsuit against the safe haven and two of its Nashville board members.
According to a local newspaper, she is suing for retaliatory termination, breach of contract and visitation rights for her elephant, among other things.
The sanctuary operates on 2,700 acres in Hohenwald, about 85 miles

Concern Over Africa's Dolphin Tourism
In Mozambique, an explosion of "dolphin tourism" is alarming conservationists who believe the mammals are being harassed.
Researchers in the country's south have said the resident bottlenose dolphins are becoming increasingly stressed by the constant human interaction.
"They are being chased, grabbed and harassed by the tourists," claimed Angie Gullan, the founder of Dolphin Care Africa.
Ms Gullan has been monitoring a local pod of 200 dolphins in the coastal waters of the Indian Ocean for the past 16 years.
She said the explosion of "dolphin tourism" in the area over the past five years means the mammals' rest and breeding patterns are being interrupted.
"The problem is that the tourists are not given a proper code of conduct before they enter the water," she said.
"So even if the dolphins do n

Colour My World: Red parrot feathers resist bacterial degradation
Why do parrots have such brightly colored feathers? There are lots of evolutionary reasons, but now you can add one more to the list: bright pigments resist bacterial degradation
Have you ever noticed how many white bird species, such as most gulls and geese, have black wing feathers? This is because black and brown colours are the result of melanins that are incorporated into the feather structure while it is growing. Melanins strengthen feathers and reduce wear, especially in birds that fly long distances or that live in marine environments filled with abrasive sand and salt.
But birds use their feathers for a variety of purposes. Probably the most familiar function is visual communication. The sex and age of an individual is often revealed by the intensity, quality, hue and pattern of its plumage colours.
The brightest plumage colours are provided by carotenoid-based pigments, which are red, orange and yellow. But birds do not synthesize their own carotenoids; instead, these pigments are co-opted from their diet and are placed into growing feathers. Thus, carotenoid-based feather colours can provide visual information about the state of a particular individual's health and the quality of its diet.
This is the reason that many captive flamingos are white while wild flamingos are a brilliant pink: they obtain carotenoid-based pigments from their diet of algae and invertebrates and place these pigments into their skin, feathers and even into the keratin

Sumatran Tiger Kills Farmer in Indonesia
A rare Sumatran tiger attacked and killed an Indonesian farmer in Aceh province at the northern tip of the island of Sumatra, an official said on Tuesday.
The big cat mauled the 25-year-old man in South Aceh district, local sub-district chief Erwiandi said.
“The victim, Martunis, was working at a chili plantation at Mount Serindit on Monday. He failed to return home that day,” Erwiandi said.
“The bones of his body and arms were found this morning along with tiger’s body hair. The remaining parts are only the head, legs and feet,” he said.
Human-animal conflicts are a growing problem in the Indonesian archipelago, as forests are destroyed for timber or to make way for crops, forcing animals such as tigers and elephants into closer contact with people.
Tigers were blamed for the deaths of a palm oil worker in September and a rubber plantation worker in August, both attacks occurred in Sumatra island.
There are fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, according to the environmental group WWF.
The attack came on the same day that new infra-red footage was released capturing a Sumatran tiger roaming in protected forests

Rare rhino born at the Great Plains Zoo
A rare Eastern Black Rhino calf was born at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls.
Eastern Black Rhinos are critically endangered animals, with fewer than 4-thousand of them remaining in the wild.
The Great Plains Zoo holds

Boy donates pet turtle to zoo, watches it be eaten alive by alligator - report
A FLORIDA boy remained distraught after watching an alligator feast on his pet turtle when he donated it to a local aquarium park, the Pensacola News Journal reported overnight.
Crunches from the turtle’s shell were heard by Brenda Guthrie and her eight-year-old son Colton as the alligator devoured the family’s pet last Thursday.
A distraught Colton begged the alligator to release the turtle, called Tomalina, with no success.
"He was shouting, ‘Oh no alligator, let it go,’” Ms Guthrie told the paper.
The family donated the pet to the Gulfarium in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, when the turtle grew too large for her home aquarium,

Philips in trouble for Singapore bear hoax
Dutch electronics giant Philips is under investigation in Singapore after a marketing campaign for a new shaver triggered a search for a wild bear.
Philips issued a public apology after a fuzzy video of a bear-like creature was sent to a social-media website by a marketing firm on Wednesday, triggering a search by zoo officials -- armed with a tranquiliser gun -- and animal-welfare activists.
The "bear" was actually just a mascot pretending to rummage through a rubbish bin in Ulu Pandan, a residential and school district with pockets of thick foliage.
"When we found out about this yesterday afternoon, we worked very hard over the next few hours to clarify with all concerned parties that this was part of a social media marketing campaign," said an internal Philips staff memo made available to AFP.
"We were very sorry to have caused concern and inconvenience to the public." A police spokesman confirmed that "we are inve

China zoo gardener mauled to death by tigers
A gardener at a zoo in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen was mauled to death by five tigers after falling into their pen, Chinese media reported Friday.
Zookeepers drove a vehicle into the tigers' enclosure in Shenzhen Safari Park after spotting the attack on Sheng Jinhua, 54, on Thursday afternoon but were too late to save him, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Sheng died of severe bite wounds.
Zoo officials said they believed Sheng, who started working at the zoo in July, violated safety rules and climbed over the fence, Xinhua said, adding that police were investigating.
Zheng Chaolun, a zoo administrator, told

Tiger killed at Whangarei zoo
Whangarei's Zion Wildlife Gardens is mourning the death of a female Bengal tiger after it was attacked by a male tiger.
Sita died after an "uncharacteristic altercation" with Jahdu, a royal white tiger, the wildlife centre said in a statement.
"The team at Zion know that this is the way of the wild

Rhino poaching: How bad is it?
Cape Town - Rhino poaching has been a hot topic of late. In September, 11 people, including two veterinarians, a pilot and a game farmer, all allegedly part of a rhino poaching syndicate, were appeared in court where they were granted bail.
Dr Jacques Flamand of the WWF Black Rhino Expansion Programme answers some questions about rhino poaching in South Africa.
News24: Just how bad is the poaching problem in SA?
Jacques Flamand: It is huge - the figures of the past few years for South Africa speak for themselves.
7 in 2000
6 in 2001
25 in 2002
22 in 2003
10 in 2004
13 in 2005
24 in 2006
13 in 2007
83 in 2008
122 in 2009
230 in 2010 to date.
News24: Besides rhino, what other animals are in danger of being poached?
Jacques Flamand: Other animals are not as threatened in numerical terms, but elephant for ivory and the illegal meat hunting

Zoo Negara Going Private - NRE
The Ministry Of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) would like to clarify few issues with regards to an article entitled ‘Zoo Negara Going Private,’ (The Malay Mail, 25 May 2010).
Firstly, The Malay Mail had misquoted YB Deputy Minister of NRE by saying that ‘An enactment regarding the privatization of Zoo Negara is currently being tabled in the Parliament’. The actual statement suppose to be ‘A Bill Regarding Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 is currently being tabled in the Parliament.
Secondly, Zoo Negara has been managed by the Malaysian Zoological Society (MZS), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) which is registered under the Registrar of Societies (ROS). In this case, the role of the Government is through the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) whereby the Department is responsible to regulate the existing Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
The Ministry has initiated a study with regards to the management

Perdue presents first installment of $300,000 zoo grant
Perdue Inc., through the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, has presented a $75,000 check as the first installment of its pledge to match up to $300,000 in donations from other contributors to the Salisbury Zoo’s new $3 million capital campaign.
“Renew the Zoo was launched in 2009 and will raise funds for both critical infrastructure and exciting new exhibits.
“By approving this grant to the Salisbury Zoo, the foundation’s Grants Committee members and its Board of Directors have acknowledged the zoo’s importance to this community,” Bill Hetherington, the foundation’s executive director, said in a news release. “We look forward to seeing the changes that will be

Witnesses turn hostile
Key witness Mustafa Thadvi and three others withdraw their statements under suspicious circumstances
After two days of intense drama over the Jalgaon tiger poaching case (Read: Did poachers get another tiger? Oct 13), its eyewitnesses have withdrawn their statements, nullifying the validity of the case.
However, sources allege that forest department officials silenced the witnesses to protect their own interests.
In his second statement to the Yawal forest department, chief witness Mustafa Thadvi, a local professor, denied any tiger poaching incident in the

Warring tigers, escaping birds, marauding snakes: it's chaos at London Zoo
Inspectors identify catalogue of problems as funding gap bites
Britain’s most famous zoo requires millions of pounds of investment to rebuild crumbling enclosures unfit for keeping animals, as well as better fencing to protect the public from the risk of dangerous escaping exhibits, according to a confidential inspection report.
Inspectors from the local authority that licenses the 182-year-old zoo, Westminster Council, found:

*Crumbling compounds requiring at least £5m investment;

*Enclosures inadequate for the long-term keeping of tigers;

*Low fencing that could allow animals to escape into Regent’s Park;

*Concerns about monkeys in a public walk-through display;

*Escape of birds from aviaries and snakes loose in public areas;

*Broken fences allowing wild foxes to creep in and slaughter exhibits, including one dawn attack that killed 11 penguins.

The report, carried out last year, has been obtained by The Independent under Freedom of Information legislation.
Although the inspectors praised the zoo, saying that it contributed to conservation and was operated “extremely well”, they expressed frustration that several issues identified in previous inspections had still not been addressed, particularly crumbling buildings which are no longer fit for keeping animals.
During the last inpsection three years ago, the council ordered that several enclosures be demolished and rebuilt. In the new report, the inspectors say that the tiger pound is still inadaquate because it lacks a “double paddock” necessary for separating feuding animals.
On their last visit, in November 2007, the vets noticed that a newly-introduced female tiger had wounds to her hind leg caused by the male, and made it a licence condition that within two years the zoo would lodge plans for the extra space. While the inspectors said the issue had disappeared because the tigress had been moved to another zoo, they added that the problem could occur again and the Zoological Society of London, which runs the zoo, should carry out a review of the requirement of a double paddock system.
Concern was expressed about the state of the North Bank Aviaries, where holes in the netting had allowed birds to escape, and about the dilapidated Parrot House, which no longer houses birds. A previous report insisted that the North Bank Aviaries be rebuilt or demolished within three years but the inspectors dropped the deadline, saying that the zoo would have difficulty finding funding to replace the building, which houses pheasants and other birds.

Leading article: Distress and suffering at the zoo
It is now almost two decades since a surge in public support and visitors saw London Zoo escape the threat of closure.
But as this newspaper's investigation today reveals, the zoo is still grappling with problems. An inspection report last year found animal enclosures to be inadequate and buildings to be dilapidated. This may well be putting the animals at risk, as an incident last year in which 11 penguins were slaughtered by a fox suggests.
Investment is clearly urgently needed. The London Zoological Society's plans to redevelop the big cats' enclosure and the parrot house must, for this reason, be welcomed. Yet this shocking report should also prompt a public debate on whether zoos themselves are, any longer, appropriate.
Our knowledge of animal welfare has grown enormously since the heyday of the great Victorian menageries, when the urban public would gather to see exotic creatures from the far ends of the earth. We now know how much distress is caused to wild animals when they are confined to small cages or paddocks. Even the most well-appointed zoos with the most attentive keepers end up causing distress to animals such as gorillas, tigers

Simples: my day as a zoo keeper
I WAS able to fulfil a lifelong ambition to work with animals of all types when I was invited to experience being a zoo keeper for the day at the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay.
My day started at 10am when I met Animal Collection Manager Peter Litherland as visitors and school children were excitedly filling the zoo car park.
Peter took me behind the scenes of the zoo to where he and the 13 other keepers, including three trainees, prepare the morning snacks for birds to tigers.
After my health and safety induction we began loading up buckets of fruit and veg as well as bagging live and frozen mealworms.
The zoo uses £3,000 to £4,000 worth of fruit and veg in a week feeding the animals and have a driver who collects donations from supermarkets getting rid of the goods that are past their sell by date.
“We still have to be quick to use it but we get it all for free,” said Peter who has been at the zoo for 11 years.
Our first task was to head to the African Aviary where there are eight species of birds totalling around 80 hungry feathered

Wallabies have run free on the Island for 50 years
Thousands of miles from their native Australia, Red-Necked Wallabies are roaming the Manx countryside in increasing numbers.
More than 100 are thought to be living in the north of the Island after escaping from the wildlife park half a century ago.
"A pair escaped the first year the park opened," said manager Nick Pinder.
Now, the wallabies are to feature in an episode of BBC Inside Out North West as presenter Jacey Normand goes in search of the Island's antipodean inhabitants.
Red necked wallabies are native to South East Australia and Tasmania in more remote, rugged areas but have adapted well to the Island's cooler climate.
Duncan Bridges, director of the Manx Wildlife Trust said: "They graze on our grasslands, forage willow and young shrubs and fill the niche that is filled in the UK by small deer."
"They seem to be becoming bolder and less afraid of humans. Just last year a group of wildlife

The most dominant male meerkat at Durrell has died
One of the most popular animals at Durrell has died at the age of 12.
Nelson was a slender-tailed meerkat at the wildlife park and was the dominant male in their discovery desert meerkat enclosure.
He was born on 8 November 1998 and first came to Durrell in 1999 with his parents, brothers and sisters.
He has been described by keepers as a real character and, with his partner Madison, fathered 48 offspring during his time at Durrell.
Nelson was always popular with visitors and supporters and was the most adopted animal at the wildlife park.
Keepers at Durrell were initially concerned at how the rest of the group would deal with the death of Nelson, the dominant male, but it appears they are

Doncaster lions due for a check-up
A London dentist with a list of high profile clients has been offered a change of scenery.
The lions from Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster are being treated by dentist Dr Peter Kertesz. Dr Kertesz spends most of his time treating patients in London but has previously worked with elephants.
The lions were rescued from a zoo in Romania last year and brought to the wildlife park. The pride, which includes Jonny Senior, Cesar and Frida, as well as ten other lions, is now undergoing dental treatment. Dr Kertesz has started with the three

Home Produced Honey Goes on Sale at Howletts!
Staff at Howletts Wild Animal Park, Kent, are celebrating the arrival of their first ever crop of honey, which has now gone on sale at the park. Howletts, more commonly known for its work with endangered species such as gorillas and black rhino, has been keeping bees since the end of last year. Recent years have seen honey crops crash in the UK as bees succumb to environmental pressures and disease, making bees just as worthy of protection as their larger more exotic looking neighbours at Howletts.
The three hives produced a yield of 150 jars, half of which have now gone on sale in the farm shop at Howletts.
Head Gardener David Sutton, who is in charge of the exciting bee project at the park, commented:
‘The honey is absolutely delicious and is selling very quickly. Perhaps being harvested from flowers that tigers, elephant and anteaters roam among has added a touch of wilderness to the mix! It’s a great tasty and sustainable souvenir from a day out at the park.

New Zoo tour gives insider's look
We know, we know . . . the Asia Trail at the National Zoo hasn't been the same since Tai Shan left. (It has been 252 days - not that we're counting.) But a new tour can give you an insider's look and help you get to know the trail's other lovable residents.
The tour begins in the Giant Panda House, where guide Christine Kohl shares details about Mei Xiang and Tian Tian's bamboo diet. Then, from her bag of goodies, Kohl pulls out an instant kid-pleaser - dried out fiber-rich panda poop. The next prop is an empty milk crate, the panda version of a chew toy.
"They have some really serious teeth," Kohl says as she touches the perforated milk crate. "You can see the tremendous force. . . . We respect them as the wild animals they are."
Tours are capped at 10 people and are kid-friendly. Michael Foultner, 10, of Stafford hopes to be like "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin when he grows up. He took advantage of the tour to pepper Kohl with questions.
"We've been here many times," said Keli Foultner, Michael's mom. "When he heard about this, he was all over it."
While the tour groups don't go anywhere that isn't open to the public, having a guide means you get to hear juicy gossip and details only insiders know. Like: Electra, the fishing cat, is getting a new boyfriend! Could fishing kittens be far off?
The goal of the tour, which began last month, is twofold: educate visitors about the Asia Trail animals and raise money for clouded leopard research. The number of the long-tailed cats

Have Breakfast with the Gibbons
Many Santa Clarita Valley residents have no idea that a sanctuary for endangered apes is right in their backyard.
The Gibbon Conservation Center maintains the largest group of gibbons (small apes) in the United States.
Its mission is conservation and propagation of these endangered primates, and is visited by scholars from around the world.
SCV residents will have the opportunity to enjoy Breakfast with the Gibbons 9 a.m. on Sunday.
“This is a great opportunity for people to see these remarkable animals,” said Alan R. Mootnick, director of the Gibbon Conservation Center.
Mootnick founded the center more than 30 years ago.
“We do a breakfast because gibbons are most active in the morning hours, when they display their amazing acrobatic and vocal abilities,” he said.
Guests will enjoy a light vegan breakfast, have free time to observe the gibbons, attend a tour with Mootnick and bid on silent-auction items.
All proceeds go to the care of the gibbons and the continuation of the center’s work.
The center houses more than 35 gibbons, which are native to Southeast Asia.
“Gibbons are endangered. Their native habitats are diminishing quickly, and they are poached for the pet trade — or worse,” said Mootnick, who is an internationally known expert on the care of gibbons. “We’ve had many births at GCC, and visitors to the breakfast will be able to see gibbons of all ages, including some of our newest infants.”
The gibbons at the center are fed small meals nine times each day. They become especially vocal before meals.
The gibbons’ food includes apples, bananas, romaine, kale, dandelion, beans, peas, nuts and seeds, red peppers steamed yams, long beans, celery, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, rice cakes, primate biscuits and vitamins.
Among the babies at the Center (2 years and younger) are: Violet, daughter of Tuk and Domino, pileated gibbons; Oula, daughter of Khusus and Shelby, javan gibbons; Zephyr, son of Chloe and Madena, javan gibbons; and Lucia, daughter of Sasha and Asteriks, northern white cheeked gibbons.
Zephyr, born on July 3 and Oula, born June 5, 2009, are particularly unique.
“Our Javan gibbon offspring represent the only breeding of this species in the United States,” said Mootnick. “Worldwide, there are five institutions that house breeding pairs.”
The center is expecting several more babies soon.
“We have several pregnant females, so we will be welcoming babies for the next several months,” said Chris Roderick, publicity coordinator for the center.
The Gibbon Conservation Center is a 501(c)(3) charity and exists only on donations, memberships, grants and retail sales of primate-related merchandise.
“Breakfast With the Gibbons is the only special event of the year where the public can visit the gibbons,” said Roderick. “Though groups and individuals can arrange educational tours at other times.”
Mootnick said fundraising is especially important this year, as the



San Diego Zoo Releases Endangered Stephen's Kangaroo Rats
Thursday night, the San Diego Zoo released the last of 150 endangered Stephen's kangaroo rats at the Southwestern Riverside Multispecies Reserve as part of a conservation program aimed at saving a species endemic to San Diego and Riverside counties.
Since 2008, Debra Shier, Ph.D., San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research scientist, has been donning night vision goggles, carrying radio antennas, catching and moving the 4-inch-long Stephen's kangaroo rat to the reserve allowing her to develop a new method of translocating the 62-gram rodent from areas where development or non-native predators can kill it.
This year is different. Shier now understands the movements and behavior of the species. In 2010 she refined the program with the species' needs in mind. The kangaroo rats were released into six areas in which habitat was restored using various methods, including mowing, burning and grazing.
"We are looking for conditions that will make the species thrive," said Shier. "What is most important is moving towards restoration of native grasslands, and do so efficiently from the animal's perspective."
This diminutive rodent has been found in Southern California for thousands of years. Unfortunately, the species has been drastically affected by human development and has lost much of its habitat in the past two decades. Fortunately, translocating the kangaroo rat out of harms' way has been successful in recent years, and after developing new methods and tools, the sixth generation of translocated kangaroo rats is alive and well. The kangaroo rat project also includes efforts to restore
Zoo bid is abandoned
THE owners of a petting farm have withdrawn their application for a zoo licence.
Tweddle Children's Animal Farm, in Blackhall Colliery, has removed its exotic animals such as a monkey and kangaroos after deciding against becoming an official zoo.
An investigation by an animal rights charity earlier in the year found
Wildlife seized from Wong’s private ‘zoo’
The National Parks and Wildlife Department (Perhilitan) has seized the two endangered Bengal tigers owned by convicted wildlife smuggler Anson Wong from a private fruit orchard in Teluk Bahang near here.
They also removed a 1.52m-long crocodile, four wildcats and six pythons from the 1.6ha orchard which is believed to be owned by Wong’s family.
Ten department officers and Malacca zoo officials were involved in the operation yesterday
Spotted tale: Royals bond with the beast
Thirteen years ago, the Wadiyar couple brought up two abandoned leopard cubs in Bandipur. But even after they were let out in the wild, the leopard that survived would regularly come visiting — once with its cubs
Auction provides £5k boost for leopard breeding project
THOUSANDS of pounds were raised at a fundraising event in Hertford to support a critically endangered big cat.
The Wildlife Heritage Foundation’s Amur Leopard Project, run by the directors of Broxbourne-based Paradise Wildlife Park, benefited from £5,000 raised at the charity dinner and dance at the Whistling Duck Restaurant, Lower Hatfield Road.
Paradise Park director Lynn Whitnall filled the role of auctioneer, with items up for grabs including a Chelsea Shirt and photos, all signed by the players.
The elusive Amur or Manchurian Leopard is native to the Koreas, China, and the Russian Far East.
The foundation has scored numerous achievements in their conservation work in recent
Getting a Tail Up on Conservation? New Method for Measuring Lizard Weight from Size
Lizards are an important indicator species for understanding the condition of specific ecosystems. Their body weight is a crucial index for evaluating species health, but lizards are seldom weighed, perhaps due in part to the recurring problem of spontaneous tail loss when lizards
Edinburgh Zoo may have to axe a quarter of staff
EDINBURGH Zoo, one of Scotland's leading tourist attracions, could be forced to axe a quarter of its staff because of a financial crisis caused by falling visitor numbers, it emerged last night.
Up to 50 of the 200 full-time staff are understood to be in line to lose their jobs because the economic downturn has raised fears about a £72 million expansion for the zoo.
A report by a think tank at Glasgow Caledonian University earlier this year said similar animal visitor attractions were expected to record a fall in paying customers this year.
The zoo attracted more than 630,000 visitors last year but officials say figures are expected tobe far
Campaign in Goa: Buy a cow, save the tiger
Grassroots wildlife activists who have been fighting for notification of Goa's rich, but mining-threatened, forests as a tiger reserve have found a unique way to compensate a 51-year-old widow whose cow was killed by a big cat in September.
The milk-yielding cow was a lifeline for Sai Pingle, 55, a dhangar tribal and a mother of two boys living in a thatched hut in the remote village of Ponsuli on the fringe of the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary.
'We decided to collect money and compensate her with another cow. The local population should not turn against the tiger. It is imperative that they realise how important the animal is for the sustenance of this forest in the long run,' renowned wildlife activist Rajendra Kerkar said.
His Vivekanand Environment Awareness Brigade (VEAB) has taken the lead for collecting donations for the
Zoo appoints cows and buffalo experts to oversee tiger-mating
While India is observing International Tiger Year keeping in view the falling number of tigers, the Ludhiana Zoo has not yet geared up for action. This point came to light at yesterday’s Wildlife Week concluding function at the Zoo where Dr Sandeep Jain, Member, Punjab State Board of Wildlife, said, “Experts in training cows and buffaloes have been appointed to look after the mating of tigers and in the past no record of breeding has been maintained in any of the zoos, ie with which family of tigers, mating is being done, when the partners were exchanged and so on which are very important points for the breeding.”
Jain added, “Experts in wildlife are needed because there is a lot of difference between cows and tigers. Gentists need to be appointed to maintain the genetic record of tigers, if we really want the numbers to grow in the state. Wildlife medicines also need to be provided for the wild animals.”
Jain made all these points to Gurbaaz Singh, chief wildlife warden who was the chief guest on the occasion. Punjab has 15 tigers and all of them are in captivity. Out of the 15, five are living in Ludhiana Zoo and the rest in Chatbir zoo.
In the recent past, a cub was born in chatbir but it died after a few days. Sources revealed that due to lack of experts, the Ludhiana Zoo staff does not take risk to allow mating of tigers. Ludhiana zoo has three tigresses and two tigers.
The last breeding in Ludhiana Zoo occured about four years ago and the cubs were shifted to Chatbir zoo. It was also stressed that zoos should be maintained on scientific lines so that the coming generations can learn about wildlife and their behaviour.
A congenial environment needs to be created for mating of tigers, rather than just leaving them in the open and only experts can handle such tasks, asserted Jain.
However, Divisional Forest Officer Daljit Singh Brar maintained that they
Rare monkeys stolen from zoo
Two endangered monkeys were stolen Saturday night from a zoo Brisbane, Australia, a zoo official said.
Someone cut their way into Alma Park Zoo and took the little cotton top tamarins -- an endangered monkey native to Central and South America.
Manager Gary Connell said the male and pregnant female were part of a wider international breeding program.
"They've got little needle sharp teeth but they're not wild in as far as if they were loose they wouldn't be a threat to the public," he said told the Australia Broadcasting Corp.
"They're only about 500 grams (1.1 pound) each so they're only tiny."
Connell told the ABC the monkeys require
Zoo suspects pregnant monkey still in local area
Managers of a zoo north of Brisbane say a rare and tiny primate that was targeted by thieves could still be in the zoo's vicinity.
It is believed thieves broke into the Alma Park Zoo overnight on Saturday and tried to steal a male and a female cotton-top tamarin.
The male animal's body was found nearby yesterday afternoon after it appears to have escaped capture.
Zoo manager Gary Connell says the female tamarin, Conchetta, who is heavily pregnant, could still be on the loose nearby.
"What we expect with the cold, wet weather, if they are in suburbia, they will go to somewhere fairly high and dry and try to find a secluded area," he said.
"They're only a little animal, much the size of a big rodent, and they will
Down to their last five rhinos
MIDLANDS BLACK Rhino Conservancy, in Zimbabwe, is a wildlife reserve under siege by poachers. Its most valuable resident, the black rhino, is on the verge of being wiped out by their illegal activity, with only five animals left from a stock of 34 that roamed the 660sq km area less than five years ago. From the wire snares set near watering holes to the scorched earth left by the bush fires started to cover their tracks, evidence of the poachers’ presence is everywhere, says conservator David Strydom, the man who has the task of protecting the conservancy’s wildlife.
“Times are hard in this country, so local people are willing to risk poaching even though they know my men” – he has nine rhino monitors – “are armed. In August we arrested 18 poachers and shut down a meat-selling ring in Kwekwe,” he says, referring to the nearest main town. “Throughout the conservancy in the same month we uplifted 536 snares, so there is still a lot of poaching going on of all the animals despite our efforts to protect them. Only recently two people came to our house to try and buy rhino horn,” Strydom says in exasperation.
Over the past few years poaching has increased rapidly here because of the political and economic crisis that has undermined law and order and left more than 80 per cent of the population unemployed and desperate.
To make matters worse, allegations that members of the security forces and senior political figures are behind some of the main poaching rings are increasingly being made by Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, an umbrella group for wildlife organisations.
The authorities are unwilling to put an exact figure on how many rhinos are left in Zimbabwe, in case the information aids the syndicates that sell the animals’ horns in southeast Asia for as much as €50,000 per kilo. All they are willing to say is that the number is well below 1,000 and that 20 years ago there were more than 3,000 rhino
Declawing Tigers And Lions
Kangaroo rats: barrier to development or species worth saving?
The Stephens' kangaroo rat, native to Riverside and San Diego counties, has been blamed for halting residential development and freeway construction and increasing the risk of fire because federal law makes it illegal to destroy its habitat.
The U.S. government considers kangaroo rats a protected species. And coyotes, as it happens, consider them delicious.
In rural Rivrside County last week, under a warm moon and a gentle wind, three dozen Stephens' kangaroo rats burrowed into new homes. There were no coyotes present--scared off perhaps by mountain lion urine that had been sprinkled around the Southwestern Riverside County Multi-Species Reserve, an expanse of shrubby hills between Diamond Valley Lake and Lake Skinner.
It doesn't do much good to relocate the tiny rodents with the twitchy noses to safer surroundings, only to see them gobbled up.
In 1995, the Riverside County Farm Bureau had challenged the idea that the rats merit such protection. In August, the U.S.
'Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives'
Journalist Thomas French asks the difficult question: Are zoos good for animals?
No doubt about it: Simon and Garfunkel got it exactly right when they sang "it's all happening at the zoo." As Thomas French shows in his new book "Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives," a lot more is happening than you might think — at least at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo.
This is a great story. It's got humor, drama, tragedy, page-turning suspense, and a compelling cast of appealing/appalling characters (both animal and human). I couldn't put it down (though I can’t help feeling sad that this book had to be written in the first place).
Here's the deal: Many species face extinction from habitat loss, poaching and other human-made problems. It’s a reality that can't be denied. One way to save them is by collecting them in zoos where they're presumably safe to live and breed — and perhaps inspire zoo visitors to save even more.
However, as French shows, it's not so cut-and-dried. Are wild animals really better off in zoo "sanctuaries"? Or should they remain free — even if their lives are cut short? Are zoos really just prisons, there for the amusement and entertainment of humans? Not happy questions. And ones that French, who maintains his newsman's objectivity, never really answers.
A former Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the St. Petersburg Times and now a journalism professor, French spent six years investigating the inner workings of Lowry Park. We begin with 11 wild elephants from an overcrowded African wildlife refuge, bound for U.S. zoos in a 747. Four are slated for Lowry Park. Lex Salisbury, the zoo’s big-dreaming CEO and resident alpha male (known to employees as "El Diablo Blanco"), hopes these pachyderms will propel Lowry Park into a top-tier attraction. Along the way, we meet various characters — zookeepers, animals and others — who endure the triumphs and calamities of Salisbury’s increasingly dubious crusade for greatness.
There’s Herman, an alpha chimp raised by humans



Maryland Zoo finds success in breeding endangered golden frogs
Working for a decade, almost entirely out of public view, staffers at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore have made the institution the nation's largest breeder and shipper of the endangered Panamanian golden frog.
On Tuesday, 25 of the tiny, yellow-and-black amphibians were packed with wet paper towels in 13 pint-sized deli cups. The cups were set into a comfy nest of crumpled newspapers inside a Styrofoam box labeled "Live Amphibians!" The frogs were then driven to BWI-Marshall Airport for a 10-hour trip to the Fort Worth Zoo, in two hops on Delta Airlines jets.
There's another shipment of 20 frogs flying out later this week to the Oakland Zoo in California. And 10,0,2765211.story

One thousand tortoises a week illegally gathered in south Madagascar
Ten *or* more zebu carts filled with around 100 terrestrial tortoises each are leaving the Mahafaly Plateau in south Madagascar every week, according to a survey conducted by WWF staff.
And while poaching of the endemic radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) and the spider tortoise (Pyxis arachnoids) for the bush meat and pet trade is long established, ongoing political instability has seen a large jump in illegal collection.
Poachers are also now much more likely to be armed and dangerous, with Toliara area gendarmes suspecting a well established network behind the poachers now lies behind the trade.
Radiated and spider tortoises are among only four terrestrial tortoise species found in Madagascar and their range is limited to the unique but also under pressure southern spiny forest.
Some 7,855 living tortoises and more than 4.8 tonnes of meat were seized between 2001 and 2010 – thought to represent around two per cent of an estimated 600,000 tortoises collected from the eco region during that period.
Highly sought after in exotic pet markets
“The population decline of these flagship species is alarming,” said Tiana Ramahaleo, WWF’s Conservation Planning and Species Programme Coordinator in Madagascar. “If we don’t manage to halt tortoise poaching and habitat destruction in the South, we might lose both tortoises in the wild in less than fifty years”
Radiated tortoise meat is a delicacy for the Vezo and Antanosy ethnic groups in the south and people from the High Plateau around Madagascar”s capital Antananarivo during special events such as Christmas, Easter and Independence Day – accounting for peaks in poaching for a few weeks before the festivals. To a lesser extent, radiated tortoises are

Humane society says it will look into fresh complaint about Edmonton elephant
The Edmonton Humane Society says it will investigate a complaint by animal welfare groups about the treatment of the lone elephant at the city's Valley Zoo.
The groups — Zoocheck, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Voice for Animals — made a formal report to the society Tuesday after losing a court bid earlier this year to have Lucy moved to a U.S. sanctuary.
It's the second time animal rights groups have made a complaint to the humane society about Lucy's health and the latest salvo in their long-running battle to have her moved out of the Edmonton zoo.
Humane society spokeswoman Shawna Randolph said a previous investigation in 2007 determined everything was OK.
The society also does yearly checks on the health of animals at the zoo, she said. Still, an investigator will be assigned to review the new complaint.
"Although this is a high-profile animal, we're not treating this any different than any other case," Randolph said.
"We take all of these requests to look into the welfare of animals very seriously and we're going to in this case."
Julie Woodyer with Zoocheck said the new complaint is much more detailed than the 2007 one. She said the groups have provided the humane society with a half-metre-high stack of expert reports and other documents to support their concerns.
"We're laying out in tremendous detail exactly why we believe Lucy is suffering."
Lucy is a 35-year-old Asian elephant and animals rights groups have long suggested she is lonely and ailing, especially during the harsh Edmonton winters. The

Russians sentenced for smuggling 100 tonnes of mammoth tusks
Two Russians have been sentenced for smuggling 100 tonnes of mammoth tusks dug up from the permafrost of northern Russia, security services in Saint Petersburg said Thursday.
Mikhail Gladyshev and Andrei Zvonkov received eight year suspended sentences at a court in the Leningrad region for smuggling "mammoth tusks and fragments of prehistoric animal skeletons," Russia's FSB security service said in a statement.
The men exported more than 100 tonnes of the prehistoric bones, with a market price of up to 1,000 dollars per kilogram, from the Sakha Republic in the far north of Russia, the FSB said.
They used fake export permits from the official agency in charge of the country's cultural heritage, it said.
Despite the huge volume of the smuggling operation, the men received a reduced sentence for cooperating with investigators.
Thousand-year-old Mammoth bones and tusks

Mammoth ivory trade raises fears for elephants
A burgeoning trade in ivory harvested from long-dead mammoths is raising concerns about the effect of the practice on endangered elephant populations.
The international trade in elephant ivory has been effectively banned since 1989, when the United Nations passed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES treaty.
Before that, African and Indian elephants were hunted to the brink of extinction by poachers eager to sell their valuable tusks to collectors.
The ban has helped elephant populations recover somewhat but has done little to reduce the demand for ivory. So a group of enterprising Russian businesses is reviving a centuries-old tradition of recovering the ivory tusks of extinct woolly mammoths when they are exposed from the permafrost in Siberia during the short Russian summer.
It can cost as much as 10 times the price of illegally acquired ivory but has the advantage of being legal, since it does not circumvent the worldwide ban on new ivory products.
The main buyer is China. A recent report in the journal Pachyderm estimates the country imports more than 54 tonnes worth of Russian mammoth ivory a year, and there’s believed to be more than 150 million undiscovered skeletons beneath Siberia. At current market prices of $350 US per kilogram, there’s clearly an untapped market.
“Every year, from mid-June, when the tundra melts, until mid-September, hundreds if not thousands of mostly local people scour the tundra in northern Siberia looking for mammoth tusks,” authors Edmond and Chryssee Martin said in their

Airport rhino horn smuggler jailed for 12 months
An antiques dealer who tried to smuggle rhino horns out of Manchester Airport has been jailed for 12 months.
Donald Allison, of Lancashire, hid the two horns in a sculpture as he tried to board a flight to China.
The horns, which could be worth up to £600,000, were from a rhino called Simba which died at Colchester Zoo.
They were destined for the lucrative Chinese medicine market to be sold in powder form. Allison, 62, was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court.
Airport-based UK Border Agency (UKBA) officers foiled the plan on 30 June 2009 after intelligence reports suggested a plot to smuggle white rhino horns on to a flight from Manchester Airport to China via Amsterdam.
The two horns were discovered concealed in Allison's luggage within a specially constructed false

The White Rhino Smuggler Jailed for a Year
Many others like Zoo Director Anthony Tropeano are deeply disgusted due to the horrendous crime committed by Donald Allison as he had tried to smuggle £540,000 of rhino horn out of the UK.
However he has now been jailed for almost a year after he was caught flying to China carrying the parts of the animal in the zoo. This animal was said to be dying due to natural causes.
The 62 year old was reportedly held at Manchester Airport in June 2009. He was said to be carrying horns in a hollow statue.
The zoo animal is believed to be a rhino, Simba, who had spent as many as 30 years as a star attraction in Colchester, Essex. This white rhino is believed to be a cure of cancer and is also a sex drug. It is said to fetch as much as £60,000 a kilo, which is much more than

Zanu-PF poaching links exposed
Dawie Groenewald, the alleged rhino-poaching kingpin, has been linked to powerful Zanu-PF members in Zimbabwe, including Kembo Mohadi, the joint home affairs minister, and Jocelyn Chiwenga, the wife of army chief Constantine Chiwenga.
Groenewald, of Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris, was arrested with his wife, Sariette Groenewald, and a contracted hunter, Tielman Erasmus, in Limpopo last month in connection with poaching. Groenewald was released on R1-million bail and his wife on bail of R100 000.
Also among those held in police raids were two vets from the Modimolle area, Karel Toet and Manie du Plessis, and Toet's wife, Mariza.
Groenewald, a former police officer, is well known among Zimbabwe's ranchers. According to Johnny Rodrigues, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF), Groenewald's association with Zanu-PF's top brass in running illegal hunting activities in Zimbabwe could open a can of worms.
"Groenewald's arrest is likely to expose a lot of high-powered people in Zanu-PF who are involved in poaching activities. The case is a time bomb waiting to explode," he said.
"These Zimbabweans are exporting resources for huge profits when they haven't put a cent into the safari business. It shows the dearth of law and order in the country."
In 2003 Groenewald operated Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris in Zimbabwe before it was banned in September 2005 by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.
Safari industry watchdogs raised concerns that Out of Africa was involved in poaching and hunted on the farms of evicted white farmers

Injured rhino to heal at zoo
THE Johannesburg Zoo is making hasty preparations for the imminent arrival of a rhino that was badly injured in several attacks by poachers.
Phila, a five-year-old black rhino cow from Modimolle in Limpopo Province, was shot nine times on different occasions for the small stub of a horn that was left after it was dehorned in an attempt to save it from becoming a target for poachers.
Joburg Zoo’s brand and communications manager, Letta Madlala, said the rhino would recuperate at the zoo before being returned to its original herd.
“We are delighted to be providing assistance in taking care of Phila,” said Madlala. “We will make sure that she will receive the best care at the zoo and be kept under tight security.”
After the first attempt on its life, Phila was taken to a safe location, but this did not deter poachers from attempting a second attack. After the second attack, the rhino was moved once more to another place, but helicopters were

Animal Management At The National Zoo (Video)
Smithsonian and National Zoo officials spoke to a committee formed to investigate animal management practices at the zoo following the death of several animals housed at the zoo. They talked about their expectations for the study and answered questions from members of the committee.

Charlie the Smoking Chimp Dies: What Killed Him?
Charlie the smoking chimp has taken his last puff.
The cigarette-loving simian, who gained worldwide fame years ago after videos of him puffing away were widely circulated, has died at the relatively advanced age of 52 at a South African zoo.
Only about seven percent of captive chimps make it past age 40, according to a 2007 Harvard study cited by the New York Daily News.
Smoking certainly takes a heavy toll on humans, causing an estimated halfa-million deaths each year in the U.S. alone. But it doesn't seem to have caused Charlie's demise.
"He appears to have died of old age," a zoo spokesman said, according to the newspaper.
Maybe that's because he was only an occasional smoker.
One zoo worker told the Daily Mail that in the 15 years he has worked

Tiger cub born to 'infertile' mother in German zoo
A Sumatran tiger thought to be infertile has given birth in Frankfurt Zoo, although only one of her two cubs survived, the zoo said on Wednesday.
"It looks like the last (fertility) treatment was a success," said Manfred Niekisch, director of the zoo in western Germany. "It is not that unusual that a pregnancy goes undetected in a big cat."
Mother Malea, nine years old, however rejected the cub, a female called Daseep.
The newborn was nonetheless doing well under human care, almost quadrupling in weight to four kilos (nine pounds), opening her eyes and becoming very playful, the zoo said.
Later this month Daseep will join Tschuna, a Siberian tiger cub born two and a half weeks earlier at another German zoo, in Wuppertal, who was also spurned by her mother. This would help both cubs to

Key interventions debated at Rhino Summit
Delegates at the Rhino Summit in Pretoria have been debating various interventions aimed at stopping poaching.
The two-day event began on Tuesday and is a response to a sharp rise in the number of rhinos killed across South Africa.
Around 230 animals have been killed this year, their horns hacked off and sold on the black market.
On Tuesday, delegates listened to presentations by politicians, the police and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
Wednesday’s discussions will focus on the economic effects

White tigress to mate with brown tiger in Vandalur zoo
Encouraged by the success of their white tiger breeding programme, the wildlife authorities at Arignar Anna Zoological Park (AAZP), Vandalur, are planning to cross breed white and brown tigers as part of their conservation efforts.
The zoo authorities are planning to shift seven-year-old Anu, a white tigress, to the enclosure of Vijay, a seven-year-old male brown tiger brought in from the Vizag zoo. Anu has so far produced five white tiger cubs with her partner Bheeshmar, an eight-year-old male white tiger.
"We are thinking of mating Anu with Vijay, hoping to get brown cubs. The two brown tigers we currently have at the zoo are too old to reproduce," R Sundararaju, chief wildlife warden, told The Times Of India. "We also want to prevent inbreeding among the white tigers as the risk of genetic deformities in such cases are high. A genetic mutation has already

Animals seized from Wong go to Malacca Zoo
Animals seized from convicted wildlife smuggler Anson Wong will be placed in the Malacca Zoo.
State Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia Department (Perhilitan) director Jamalun Nasir Ibrahim said the animals, including two Bengal tigers and a crocodile, will be transferred to the zoo, which is under the purview of the department.
"The animals will be either kept there or released into the wild," he said.
Jamalun said wild and endangered animals, such as the tiger and crocodile, will be kept as part of the zoo’s collection, while the rest will be set free.
"But before letting the animals go, we have to train them to adapt to the surroundings as they had been kept in captivity for a while," he told theSun today.
Jamalun said the department will seize the animals this week, as it is awaiting instructions from the Kuala Lumpur headquarters, which is handling the case.
The animals kept by Wong and his wife are being seized as the permits and business licences issued to keep these animals were revoked recently, according to the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.
On Aug 28, Wong, also known as the Lizard King, was arrested

Zoo joins schools to design a garden
A NEW competition will encourage children to design a sustainable garden which incorporates elements of recycling, edible food and wildlife habitats.
Youngsters will see the project through from the seed of an idea to the fruits of their labours, after Paignton Zoo teamed up with NPS, which looks after land at Devon's schools.
The Grow Up! competition, launched at the Devon County Show yesterday, is supported by the Western Morning News and will prompt pupils to think about biodiversity.
The winners will see their design created

6 elephants test carpet durability
Elephants and a rhino at the Dallas Zoo are getting to tromp over samples of Mohawk Flooring carpeting to see how the product stands up, the company said in a news release.
Last year the company submitted carpeting for stress tests under a single Rhino.
“The Zoo’s six elephants are going to march 45,000 pounds across our SmartStrand carpet, said David Duncan, Mohawk’s vice president of marketing. “Twice a day every day for two weeks.”
“If SmartStrand can stand up to this wildlife, it can

Lion attacks tamer at circus, sent to zoo
The lion performance, one of the most spectacular at the circus in the Ukrainian city of Lvov, recently nearly ended in tragedy.
The incident occurred on Saturday when Perseus, the star lion of the troupe – called Persik for short – refused to obey its tamer. First, the animal refused to perform a trick and then attacked the man.
Perseus, followed by another lion, attacked tamer Aleksey Pinko twice. To help the poor man out, assistants rushed on stage and tried to stop the animals with sticks and cold water.
”We were trying to calm them with a high-pressure hose, using sticks and maces that trainers have, and tridents which are used in such emergency situations,” a circus worker told Russia 24 TV channel.
Although management of the circus claimed there was no panic among spectators, video footage shows quite the opposite. People were screaming, emptying their seats and clamoring for the exits.
The aggressive lion seriously injured Pinko’s leg and arm and also scratched his stomach. Now the trainer, who has had to undergo surgery, is receiving hospital treatment with his condition listed as “moderate severity.”
”Doctors observe positive response to the treatment,” Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper quoted a hospital doctor as saying. “No inflammatory or abscess process is present.”
According to information

Zoo hosts animal training workshop

A MEERKAT at the Singapore Zoo on Wednesday checked out a coconut filled with crickets and worms. It had to use its ingenuity to get at the treats.


The coconut was left in its enclosure by participants of the first South-east Asian Animal Enrichment and Training Workshop.


Some 40 people from organisations in Singapore and the region, including zoos, rescue centres and wildlife parks, are taking part in the four-day workshop at the zoo, which ends on Thursday.


On Wednesday, they started by preparing the tools and items for the enrichment exercises - which included changing the presentation of the animals'

Baby Sloth Born at Rosamond Gifford Zoo

The birth of a baby two-toed sloth at the Rosamund Gifford Zoo ends a 16-year hiatus in the zoo's sloth breeding program.


Six-week-old Baby Ruth is the offspring of mother Bad Eye and father Beauregard.


Sloths are nocturnal and spend most of their time sleeping. Even when they are awake, they are the world's slowest moving mammal.


They are not on the endangered species list but because their habitat is disappearing, zoos around the world have been working to ensure their survival.


Prior to the 16-year gap, the Syracuse breeding

Human remains found in Polish zoo

A large number of human bones have been found in a zoo in P?ock, a city in central Poland. No one yet knows how many.


It is suspected, though not confirmed, that the human remains date back from World War II. Miros?aw Milewski, the president of P?ock, told PAP that the bones, which include a skull with what appears to be a bullet hole, were dug up by Polish workers while they were laying pipes.


P?ock prosecutor's office has taken charge of the

Cobra egg plan leads to bedlam

Cai Yong thought it would be a good idea to buy 3000 cobra eggs and then hatch the snakes at an abandoned school building in homemade cages of plywood, brick and netting.


The local businessman's plan to make money by selling cobra venom for traditional medicine fell apart when more than 160 of the serpents slithered through a hole in the wall and created bedlam in remote Xianling.


Starting at the beginning of this month, cobras were spotted in outhouse toilets, kitchens, front yards and the mah-jong parlour in the tiny farming village in Qijiang county in Chongqing municipality, south-western China.


Advertisement: Story continues below ''I saw one in the bathroom,'' said Zhang Suli, 47, the wife of a corn and rice farmer. ''I was scared, and I started screaming.''


The Mid-Autumn Festival holiday

Taronga Zoo returns pelicans to sea

Just weeks ago, six pelicans were rushed to Taronga Zoo after being caught in an oil spill.


On Friday, the now recuperated birds were well enough to be freed at a Sydney beach, and they headed off to find food.


The pelicans were part of a batch rescued by the National Parks and Wildlife Service following an oil spill at Kooragang Coal Terminal at Newcastle in August.


Advertisement: Story continues below Heavily oiled and sick, they were taken to Taronga's veterinary hospital for treatment.


Taronga staff proudly released the birds at Chinaman's Beach in Mosman, on Sydney's

Zoo roars into the new century

The Calgary Zoo is a much different place than it was 50 years ago, when CTV launched.


In the 1960s, the Calgary Zoo was popular with people of all ages.


Animals of all kinds filled St. George's Island from the Americas. Asia, Africa and Australia...


The zoo was strongly marketed to children. A dinosaur exhibit was very popular with kids and there was even an amusement park called "Kiddieland."


"The Calgary Zoo started like a menagerie. There was a row of large cats, a section with only primates in cages. And from there, we have evolved into a zoological park," remarks Calgary

Nuneaton Zoo (Slide Show)

Nuneaton Zoological Gardens was run on a three-and-a-half acre site in Plough Hill Road, Chapel End.



Elephant breeding topic of conference held at zoo
A playful squabble between 2-year-olds rolling in the dirt turns rough, so mom steps in because one is sitting on the other's head.
Such antics are a normal occurrence in the elephant yard at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, but this time they were in the international spotlight as the zoo hosts the 31st annual Elephant Managers Association conference this weekend.
The EMA is a group of elephant professionals, veterinarians, researchers and enthusiasts, said EMA president Andrew Smith, who works at the Memphis Zoo.
"We consider ourselves the experts in the elephant industry, and the membership has a phenomenal background in elephant management and research," he said.
They hold the conference each year to bounce ideas off one another and listen to presentations on all different aspects of animal care. Members are able to learn, ask questions, network and essentially grow as an industry

Conservationists call for the head of Da Lat zoo owner
International and local experts continue to call for thorough investigation and strict prosecution of the people involved in the running of a wildlife restaurant that authorities busted last month in the Central Highlands.
“The detection of these offences is an excellent example of law enforcement action in Vietnam,” David Higgins, manager of International Criminal Police Organization’s (Interpol) Environmental Crime Program was quoted as saying in a press release issued on September 27.
“This initial seizure by the Forest Protection Department should now be supported by effective prosecution and appropriate punishment upon conviction, to serve as a deterrent to other wildlife criminals in Vietnam and across the region.”
The international police organization has been joined by a number of global conservationists who have expressed a hope that the bust will result in heavy convictions – jail time, asset seizures and further investigations.
Some have called this raid the biggest hit, to date, on Vietnam’s infamous wildlife consumption

China experts say panda suffocated to death in Japan: report
Chinese experts sent to Japan to investigate the death of a giant panda on loan to a zoo have determined that the animal died of asphyxiation, state media reported Saturday.
Kou Kou died last month at the Oji zoo in the western port city of Kobe after it had received an anaesthetic so that veterinarians could extract semen from the 14-year-old male panda to impregnate his partner, Tan Tan.
Experts found that Kou Kou had suffocated when "objects in its stomach went into its lungs, leading to asphyxiation," the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Earlier, reports suggested the experts believed that the death could have been caused by an overdose of sedatives and were questioning why Japanese veterinarians were extracting semen outside the animal's mating period.
A breeding agreement between Beijing and Tokyo includes the stipulation that Japan pay 500,000 dollars in compensation if a panda dies due to human error, state media reported previously.
Xinhua said Saturday that China and Japan would settle the matter in accordance with their cooperation agreement on panda research, without providing further details.
The panda's death came amid the worst crisis in relations between the two countries in years, stemming from the collision of a Chinese fishing trawler and two Japanese coastguard vessels near disputed islets in the East China Sea.
It also comes after Tokyo's Ueno Zoo reached an agreement in July to receive a pair of pandas from China in a deal that will cost nearly one million dollars a year for the next decade.
The money is to be spent on protecting wild animals in China.
Giant pandas, a highly endangered species native to parts of China, are notoriously slow at reproducing in captivity.
There are just 1,600 pandas left in the wild. Nearly

Panda Dies at Japanese Zoo: $500,000 Compensation for China
An investigation into the cause of a Giant Panda’s death at Kobe’s Oji Zoo has determined that the animal died an unnatural death. It now seems likely that the zoo will have to pay $500,000 in compensation to the Chinese government:
Experts found that Kou Kou had suffocated when “objects in its stomach went into its lungs, leading to asphyxiation,” the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Earlier, reports suggested the experts believed that the death could have been caused by an overdose of sedatives and were questioning why Japanese veterinarians were extracting semen outside the animal’s mating period.
A breeding agreement between Beijing and Tokyo includes the stipulation that Japan pay 500,000 dollars in compensation if a panda dies due to human error, state media reported previously.
Xinhua said Saturday that China and Japan would

Brookfield Zoo Appears On IDA's List of The Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants
In Defense of Animals (IDA) is citing the recent transfer of the African elephant Joyce from the Brookfield Zoo near Chicago to a Six Flags theme park in New Jersey as just one more example of how zoos are failing elephants and causing them great suffering. Joyce was the zoo's only elephant.
Female elephants naturally live in large, stable family groups and remain with their mothers for life. Joyce, now 27, was abducted from her family in Zimbabwe as an infant and has been moved at least six times to different facilities, including two circuses. At one point, she reportedly was shipped thousands of miles across the country and then back again for an unsuccessful breeding attempt.
"While In Defense of Animals commends the Brookfield Zoo for recognizing that elephants should not be kept alone, Joyce's transfer illustrates the failure of zoos to meet elephants' needs," said IDA Elephant Campaign Director Catherine Doyle. "Elephants in captivity need a stable social network and permanent home. It is extremely detrimental to Joyce's health and welfare to transfer her to yet another zoo where there is no guarantee that she will not be moved again. A natural-habitat sanctuary would have been the most humane option for her."
Mounting scientific evidence shows that elephants are not thriving in zoos - to the contrary, they are suffering and dying prematurely. A study published in the prestigious journal Science (2008) found that interzoo transfers are associated with elephants' premature deaths in captivity. Elephants are often moved between zoos, separating bonded females and even mothers and offspring in the process.
The Brookfield Zoo appeared on IDA's list of the Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants this year for treating elephants as nothing more than replaceable objects. The zoo acquired Joyce in August 2009 after the death of one of its two elephants. After the second elephant died

Should elephants be kept in zoos?
A new study has said that elephants in zoos and circuses are treated badly. Because of this, they have much shorter lives than in the wild.
Do you think zoos are bad for elephants?
Or do you think that they are a safe place, where they don't have to worry about poachers?
Whatever you think, email us to let us know!

Cowboys and elephants Learning the centuries-old traditions of Thailand’s Mahouts
There was something strangely reassuring sitting bareback high above a four-ton Asian elephant in the northern reaches of Thailand. With my legs tucked snugly behind her ears, being on top seemed more comforting than possibly being underneath. Holding on to an elephant’s bristly forehead as she bathed in a slow-moving river was pleasantly contemplative. That my elephant named Ewong was semi-retired and not quite as agile as the rest was just fine with me. It was something of a counter-thought to my fears of having to swim away from a frolicking mass of grey pleats as it wasn’t uncommon for the more juvenile animals to simply lay down and play in the waters as they washed away the last evening’s dust.
Riding a docile 48-year-old former logging elephant at the Anantara Resort Golden Triangle felt more like taking part in something ancient than simply an adventurous stop on the tourist trail; as if that wouldn’t have been enough anyways.
The mahouts are the elephant’s most trusted human companions and their traditions; disciplined lives and linguistic affinities go back centuries.
“Mahouts as a culture are probably what brought me here in the first place,” says Devon-born John Roberts, Director of Elephants at the resort, “The lifestyle around them was really what attracted me as much as the elephants themselves.”
Roberts talks with the professorial air of an anthropologist but the passion of an activist. “The mahouts are really the cowboys

Gabi the Jerusalem elephant to set sail for his new home in Turkey
Gabi, the product of artificial insemination, came to fame after images of his ultrasound were published for the public. Admirers from around the world followed a live internet broadcast of his birth, and he has since turned into one of the zoo's main attractions.
The Jerusalem Bible Zoo is sending abroad one of its most famous inhabitants: Gabi the elephant will board a special ark on Monday morning to Turkey.
Gabi, the product of artificial insemination, came to fame after images of his ultrasound were published for the public. Admirers from around the world followed a live internet broadcast of his birth, and he has since turned into one of the zoo's

Tigers of Bangladesh smallest in the world: study
A new study, funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service Tiger and Rhino Fund, has suggested that the Sundarbans tigers in Bangladesh may be the smallest tigers in the world.
The study was carried out by the Sundarbans Tiger Project, a joint initiative between the Bangladesh Forest Department, Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh, Zoological Society of London and the University of Minnesota.
An official announcement of the Wild Life Trust of Bangladesh (WTB) yesterday said there is only one species of tiger, but scientists have split this into nine subspecies based on differences in their physical appearance and genetics.
Tigers from the mangrove forest of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh and India are currently classified under the Bengal tiger sub species (Panthera tigris tigris) along with tigers across India, Nepal, and Bhutan.
However, the tigers in the Sundarbans weigh just 76.7kg, nearly half the weight of other wild Bengal tigers (the largest subspecies) which average at 138.2kg. This is also less than the average weight of tigers from any of the other eight

1st regional NTCA office gets nod
The Centre on Tuesday finally cleared the setting up of India's first regional office of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in Nagpur.
The proposal was cleared on Tuesday, and an official communication issued by Rajesh Gopal, NTCA member-secretary, to this effect was received by PCCF (wildlife) on Wednesday. NTCA is the statutory body under the ministry of environment & forests (MoEF) monitoring all tiger reserves in India.
The NTCA has stated that the office at Nagpur will closely monitor all tiger reserves in Central India. There are 12 tigers reserves in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and C

Does Cutting Nets Free Captive Dolphins?
On Sept. 27 a European group calling themselves The Black Fish announced they had cut the nets of sea pens holding captive dolphins at Taiji, Japan. There is no indication that any of the divers who cut the nets have been apprehended by the police. Nor were any dolphins actually freed by this bold act.
Captain Paul Watson, head of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, reported to me that he has two people on the ground in Taiji, and they report that none of the dolphins left the sea pens because the cuts were too small and too high. (NB: Sea Shepherd had nothing to do with the net cuttings.)
The overriding problem with cutting nets is that dolphins do not readily leave confinement. They are not accustomed to barriers. They do not jump over nets --something

Nepal's year of the leopard
The spread of midhill forests is bringing the spotted cat in increasing conflict with humans
The leopard mother and cub had wandered into the garden of a house in Dhapasi one morning last year. Locals raised the alarm, and the cornered mother was shot dead when it tried to break out. The cub was finally darted and caught, later set free in Shivapuri National Park.
Man-leopard encounters have become increasingly common in Kathmandu and across Nepal as the success of community forests has led to a revival of wild animals, which enter inhabited areas in search of easy livestock prey.
But most encounters result in tragedy, either for the farmers
who lose goats or chicken, or for the leopard.
In Kathmandu, the Central Zoo has a darting team, but they usually arrive at the scene too late

Mystery illness kills Dubbo elephant
Australia's oldest African elephant has died after a mystery illness at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo, in regional New South Wales.
The zoo says Yum Yum had been suffering from a severe digestive problem this week and the decision was made to euthanise her yesterday.
Tests will now be carried out to determine what made her sick.
Yum Yum was estimated to be around 41 years old, and had lived at the

Legalized Trade in Rhino Horn: Good Business or Grave Danger?
As the world finally begins to focus attention on the scourge of rhino killings that is sweeping South Africa, the issue of legalized trade in rhino horn has resurfaced again.
Proponents of legalized trade in rhino horn, such as Wildlife Ranching South Africa (WRSA) argue that trade would created revenue for wildlife conservation and that it would eliminate the risk of rhinos being killed for their horns by outside syndicates.
Supporters also point out that rhino horn is a renewable resource that is in demand. They say that by keeping the trade illegal, South African game

'Sundarbans tigers may be the smallest'
The Sundarbans tigers may be the smallest in the world, due mainly to the small size of deer and other prey available, a new study says.
Wild Life Trust of Bangladesh (WTB) in a press release on Saturday said the Royal Bengal Tigers of the mangrove forest Sundarbans, one of the nine sub-species of the world's tigers, weigh an average of 76.7 kg, nearly half the weight of other wild Bengal tigers which average at 138.2 kg.
This is also less than the average weight of tigers from any of the other eight sub-species, making the Sundarbans tiger probably the smallest in the world.
"The reasons for small size of Sundarbans tigers are not known, but the authors of the study suggest this could be related to the small size of deer available to tigers in the Sundarbans, compared to the larger deer and other prey available to tigers in other parts of the world." WTB says.
Previously it was believed that the Sumatran tiger was the smallest, with an average weight of

NGO counters Assam claim of rise in tiger numbers
Assam forest department's claim of increasing tiger population was not only false but has been made with the aim of getting money from various funding agencies, a prominent conservationist organisation claimed today.
"Forest officials have claimed that the tiger population in Assam has increased but the fact is that it is decreasing alarmingly and a group of people are grabbing money from various agencies by making such claims," Nature Beckons' Director Soumyadeep Dutta told reporters in Guwahati.
If Kaziranga National Park harbours 32 tigers per 100 sq km as claimed, then tiger sightings would be very common and the total number of the animals in the Park should be 160. Reports available through RTI have also proved the rapid disappearance of tiger species from the forests of Assam, he said.
The Forest Department on Sept. 15 provided the tiger census report of 1993 and 2000 according to which there were 430 tigers in 1993 but went down to 346 in 2000.
"During the seven years period (1993-2000) alone we have lost 84 tigers and the Forest Department did not take any effective measures to counter this situation. Instead it began manipulating

Where Have All the Turtles Gone?
Sea turtles, some of the most majestic, gentle creatures in the oceans, are having a rough time of it. Though not typically targeted by fishermen, the animals often become entangled in nets or hooked on long lines, and end up as bycatch that is either eaten or tossed like trash back into the sea.
Measuring how many turtles die this way every year is a crucial task; in some places turtle populations are being devastated by the effects of bycatch. It isn't easy; fishing practices around the world are chronically under-reported. But in an attempt to shine light on the situation, researchers, led by Bryan Wallace of Conservation International, have compiled the first global map of sea turtle bycatch.
Published in a recent issue of the journal Conservation Letters, the map breaks down incidents of turtle bycatch by the type of fishing gear used:

Elephant welfare is priority at the Toledo Zoo
At the Toledo Zoo, the well-being of our animals is our top priority. Providing first-rate animal care is a vital part of our goal of giving guests an experience that is educational, engaging, accessible, and safe. That is why visiting the zoo has been a cherished tradition in Toledo for generations.
In recent months, critics have assailed our elephant program for its use of “free contact” as a management style, which they claim is abusive. Although we use “protected contact” with our elephants Louie and Twiggy, it is misleading to categorize that process as universally preferable.
Like all other animal programs at the zoo, our elephant training is based on positive reinforcement. Animals are rewarded — usually with food — for behavior we want to see more of, which we name.
The animal comes to associate the name and the reward with a specific behavior, much as your dog does when you train her to sit or come. If an animal does not complete a behavior when we ask for it, we may give him or her a time-out or ask for another behavior before we return to the one we first sought. If the animal still chooses

New Commission: London Zoo
A brand new ITV1 documentary series takes television cameras into all areas of the world's oldest zoo to bring viewers a special and rare insight into the rich variety of daily life for its staff and vast array of animals.
3x60 series London Zoo [WT], production company Wild Pictures has access to the Zoological Society of London at its two sites, Regents Park in London and (its country home) Whipsnade 30 miles north.
The ZSL, which invented the word "Zoo", has a collection of more than 20,000 animals at the two zoos and the series captures the broad scope of the work carried out by its 800-strong staff, including some of the world's best vets.
The emotional intensity of their work is brought home to viewers in moments such as monitoring the brutal mating of a pair of Komodo dragons, carrying out a remarkable ultra-sound on a pregnant Indian elephant, and caring for a desperately ill gorilla.
The series shows the incredible range of the ZSL's reach, which goes way beyond keeping animals in captivity - including its work supporting animal conservation centres in 80 different

Twycross Zoo wins prestigious funding to help save the world's most endangered apes
A British zoo has beaten off competition from across Europe to lead the fight to save the world's most endangered species of apes from extinction.
Twycross Zoo has secured funding from the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) for two projects to help the bonobo chimpanzee and cao vit gibbon, two of the most endangered species of ape, survive in their natural habitats.
EAZA is running a 12-month ape campaign, bringing the world’s leading zoos together to formulate action plans to assist the continued survival of critically threatened breeds of ape, which are under threat from hunting, deforestation and disease. It also aims to raise one million Euros to safeguard the future of ape

Zurich Zoo rain forest produces exclusive chocolate
Visitors wandering along the unfenced paths crisscrossing the Zurich Zoo’s lush Masoala Rain Forest will have missed the subtle growth of cocoa beans, flourishing in the tall vegetation and 80 percent humidity.
Now, six years after planting, the cocoa is bearing fruit, and for a good cause.
On October 2-3, the Zurich Zoo launchs its annual "Madagascar Days" campaign aimed at raising awareness about the tropical island’s biodiversity and the need to preserve endangered species.
As part of the campaign, "Masoala Selection" Cabosse chocolate – a world’s premiere according to the zoo – will be offered to the public as the first ever 100 percent Swiss chocolate made with cocoa grown in the 11,000-square-meter tropical plantation.
The forest, home to 17,000 plants and 45 species of vertebrates, including lemurs and giant tortoises, is a replica of Madagascar’s Masoala National Park, the island’s largest.
The enclosure was built to offer visitors the chance experience a real jungle and learn about the perils rain forests are facing worldwide.
The cocoa initiative goes one step further

Zoo Plants Bamboo For Panda Arrival

No funeral for San Diego Zoo's lifelong resident Alvila
Alvila was quite the lady. She was, in her own way, famous. She was the first gorilla born at the San Diego Zoo. She had given birth to four off-spring over the years, At the time of her death, she was 45 and had been seen by millions of zoo guests.
But she didn't exactly get a royal send-off. There was no memorial service or funeral.
Alvila was cremated. That's the case with all the animals that die at the zoo.
"We have a chemical incinerator which uses an enzymatic process to reduce all biological materials to dust, said Christina Simmons, a zoo spokesperson.
But there's no resting place, not even for the cremated remains. It doesn't matter how popular the animal had been at the zoo.
Alvila had been put to sleep at the zoo last week because

Creature comforts
By 2015, the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort will be 20 times larger than its original size. What does it take to operate such a beast of a project, and how will the 4000 animals waiting to be exhibited to the public adapt to their new Arabian environment?
The management and maintenance team of a residential building don't, generally, have to worry about occupiers running wild in the corridors, or eating people as they exit their homes. They will also be safe in the knowledge that the population of that building will be controlled by its inhabitants and that those inhabitants will, in all likelihood, clean up after themselves.
Managing a facility full of animals, however, is rather different, as FM experts at the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR) have come to learn since the facility first opened its doors in 1968.
Established by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, AWPR ran under the Abu Dhabi Municipality until 2005, when it was decided that the emirate's executive council would take control over operations. It was at that time that plans to turn the park into a sustainable leisure and learning destination began to take shape.
The wildlife centre currently exhibits between 600 and 800 animals but, in three years time, the 40,000m² site will be expanded to 20 times its original size, with over 4000 animals on display.
The current site will become off-limits to the public, and contain facilities management

Osama retiring at Surabaya Zoo
Osama, a 17-year-old male African lion and one of six lions at the Surabaya Zoological Garden, East Java, is the living proof that men are more cruel than beasts.
The lion has been lying, paralysed, in a three-by-four-metre cage for three years now.
Before being caged at the Surabaya zoo, Osama used to live in a villa owned by Gunawan Santoso - who was sentenced to death for murdering the president director of PT Asaba, Budiarto Angsono - along with dozens of other wild animals like Sumatran tigers and crocodiles, in Sukabumi, West Java.
In 2003, the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) seized Osama as well as the other protected animals belonging to Gunawan and left them at the Wildlife Rescue Center (PPS) of Cikananga, Cisitu village, Nyalindung district, Sukabumi, for one year.
Budiharto, spokesman for PPS-Cikananga, said Osama was in very poor health upon arriving at the rescue centre.
Its fangs had already been removed and the beast bore bruises caused by sharp objects on several parts of its body. Osama had also lost

Zookeeper urges people to enjoy nature’s beauty, conserve
Jack Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell, Ohio, performed "Into the Wild Live" to a sold-out theater Friday night.The show was a part of the 2010-11 McCain Performance Series.
Hanna hosts "Into the Wild," a children's show, which he won an Emmy for in 2008. Hanna performs theater speeches as an attempt to educate and build relationships between the public and the natural world.
"I like it because I get to see people," Hanna said. "I don't see 17 cameras on the eight national shows I do. I get to talk to people. I get to see what they're feeling about animals and conservation."
The show started with a short video of animals from Hanna's television programs. Hanna then shared a bit about his home in Tennessee and how he got his position at the Columbus Zoo. His video included a clip of time spent with his family in Rwanda visiting mountain gorillas and one with facts on black bears in Montana.
Nina Chilen, freshman in business administration, said the video of a couple in Montana who opened a ranch for disabled animals was particularly impressive.
However, the main event of the

Tallinn Zoo Exhibits Rare Cardboar
Tallinn zoo now has its very own wild cardboar (Cardboardius cardbordium), according to a press release.
Traditionally one of the world’s most reliable transport animals, the cardboar is irreplaceable even in the toughest terrain, where camels are of no use. According toTallinn Zoo, cardboars are also one of man’s best friends.
The new animal lives in a cage between the lions and monkeys. An omnivore, the full-grown male cardboar can stretch up to 12 meters long and almost four meters tall, weighing more than 10 tons. The animal was donated to the zoo by the Pakendikeskus, a company specializing in wholesale of packages.
The company's press representative, Lauri Maaring, was happy to donate the lonely cardboar so that it could have company with other animals

'Frustrated' Wilds director steps aside
Columbus Zoo to assume oversight of animal preserve
The Wilds is going through another metamorphosis.
Its longtime executive director, Dr. Evan Blumer, is moving on to what he calls "more adventures" while the animal preserve concentrates on saving itself, not just endangered species.
Blumer, 51, stepped down from his day-to-day duties Friday, replaced by Wilds officials and Columbus Zoo and Aquarium director Dale Schmidt and his staff.
"The driver becomes the zoo," said Dr. Nick Baird, president of the Wilds board. No search will be made for a new director at this time, he said.
Although the 9,000-acre facility in Muskingum County has never been flush with money, it had managed to operate in the black with funding from the state, private donations, partnerships with universities



Month-old liger riddled with genetic defects
A one-month-old liger -- a hybrid of a tiger and lion -- being cared for at a protected wildlife shelter in the southern Taiwan county of Pingtung has genetic defects that jeopardize its survival, the shelter's manager said Tuesday.
The cub, the only survivor of three that were born Aug. 15 to a tigress that was illegally mated with a lion at a privately run leisure farm in Tainan County, is currently in stable condition but has suffered from a variety of symptoms, including fever and breathing difficulties, over the course of its short life, according to Pei Jai-chyi.
The animal, a male, was ill when it was taken to the shelter run by National Pingtung University of Science and Technology one day after its birth, but later began to grow well, thanks to round-the-clock care by veterinarians at the shelter, Pei noted.
However, the cub, which now weighs 3 kg, displays obvious physical

Report: 32 blackbuck antelope die in Indian zoo, 2 rhinos critical after drinking sewage water
Thirty-two blackbuck antelopes have died and two rhinos are in critical condition after drinking sewage water that flowed into their enclosures at New Delhi's main zoo, a news report said Thursday.
The antelopes died over the past week after a sewage pipe became blocked following heavy monsoon rains and dirty water overflowed into their enclosure, Press Trust of India news agency reported. Officials at New Delhi's National Zoological Park said autopsies revealed intestinal infections, which had been caused by drinking contaminated water.
Sewage water also entered the moat surrounding the rhino pen and two rhinos drank sewage-tainted water and fell critically ill, the news report said.
Efforts were ongoing to check the pipes and ensure sewage water does not flow back into the zoo, Jairam Ramesh, federal environment minister, said Wednesday.
Kartick Satyanarayan, a wildlife expert, said another wallowing pool was created for the rhinos so they did not have to drink water

10 blackbucks die at zoo after drinking contaminated water
Ten blackbucks, also known as Krishna Mrigam, died at the Delhi Zoo over this weekend after drinking contaminated water as a result of the backflow from the flooded Yamuna into a zoo drain near the enclosure of the protected species.
According to zoo director A K Agnihotri, the deaths were caused by the combined result of a blocked drain and Yamuna water that flowed into the zoo, bringing back the sewerage that was supposed to flow into the river. “Four blackbucks died on Saturday, while six more died on Sunday. The postmortem report put the cause of death to an infection in the intestines,” he said.
Agnihotri added that steps have been taken to prevent other animals from falling sick. “Lime has been mixed in the water inside the zoo and sick animals are being given

Ramesh blames DJB, NDMC for blackbuck deaths
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday said “failure” on the part of the Delhi Jal Board and the NDMC to repair the sewer line and ensure supply of clean water to the Delhi Zoo led to the death of the 10 blackbucks. “I had visited the zoo two weeks back and inspected the sewage system, which was in a bad shape. “Despite my instructions to NDMC and DJB officials to repair the sewer line that was pumping sewage water in some of the enclosures, nothing was done in this direction. The death of animals is very unfortunate,” Ramesh said. The blackbucks died after drinking contaminated water

San Diego Zoo Bids Farwell to Two Giant Panda Sisters
The San Diego Zoo said goodbye to two giant pandas this weekend, but not before collecting valuable scientific data about the panda's ability to hear.
Early Saturday morning, 5-year-old Su Lin and her 3-year-old sister, Zhen Zhen, were accompanied by San Diego Zoo animal care and veterinary staff members on a plane trip to their new home at the Wolong Nature Reserve Giant Panda Bi Feng Xia Base in the People's Republic of China. The pandas will join an important conservation program where they will contribute to the preservation of this endangered species.
Since the birth of these two pandas at the San Diego Zoo, scientists have been gathering facts about panda biology. As Su Lin and Zhen Zhen got older they became the backbone of cutting-edge research that is giving scientists insight into what a panda can hear and how man-made noises can affect the species' ability to communicate and reproduce.
"Having Su Lin and Zhen Zhen at the San Diego Zoo was a great learning experience for us," said Megan Owen, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research conservation program specialist. "Su Lin was the first giant panda we were able to collect comprehensive hearing data on. We also learned a lot from Zhen Zhen on what a young bear can hear."
Asking a giant panda to notify its zookeeper when it hears a tone isn't as simple as raising a finger at the doctor's office. Zookeepers go through several steps to train the bears to first be comfortable in a sound-dampened enclosure, sit still to listen for the sound and then touch a target with its nose when the bear hears the tone played.
This study will continue once Su Lin and Zhen Zhen's parents, Bai Yun and Gao Gao are trained to follow the same procedures. Gathering additional information from the two adult bears may help determine if a younger bear's hearing is different from older bears. Incorporating the male Gao Gao will also provide insight into possible differences between panda males and females.
Giant pandas are on loan to the San Diego Zoo from the

'Pambassadors' get into caring for pandas
Twelve panda lovers from around the world are getting into their new jobs learning how to look after pandas at a world famous conservation centre in China's Sichuan province, before six will finally be chosen to become official 'Panda Ambassadors' - or 'Pambassadors'.
The twelve hopefuls got their hands dirty for the first time learning how to make nutritious cakes for the national treasures at the Chengdu Panda Research Centre where they are based, state-run China Central Television (CCTV) reported.
Perhaps not what they all had in mind when they came to learn about panda preservation, but Canadian candidate Annie-Danielle Grenier was already feeling at home.
"I love to cook for my family and friends, and it's not much different cooking for pandas. The ingredients are different but it's exactly the same, and I cook with love when I cook for my family and it's the same for the pandas," she told CCTV.
The twelve, who hail from countries including Japan, the United States, France and Sweden, were chosen from over 61,600 applicants from over

Abandoned cubs go to nursery

SHANGHAI Zoo has opened a "nursery" and "kindergarten" for eight South China tiger cubs and a jaguar cub, officials said yesterday.


The four cubs in the nursery - three tigers and a jaguar born this year - had been abandoned by their mothers, the zoo said.


Qing Qing, the tigers' mother, had four cubs on April 14, but refused to feed them. She had abandoned cubs twice before, so the zoo was fully prepared. Carers put the cubs into feeding boxes and fed them with milk. The weakest, however, died three days later.


The jaguar is about a month younger than the tigers and they bully him. "They could play together but could never eat together," said Liu Qunxiu, a carer with the zoo. "The baby tigers would rob the jaguar for his food, and the jaguar was not able to beat them.


"They can stay together for at most another one to two months," he added, "or they'll fight every day."


Carers said that in the nursery, the cubs will be expected to learn to eat by themselves. When they

Essex zoo bears saved from 'certain death' in Cambodia

A pair of sun bears rescued in Cambodia and brought to Essex have become the only animals of their kind at a zoo in England.


Colchester Zoo said the animals were saved from "certain death" in Cambodia and brought to the UK by the Rare Species Conservation Centre (RSCC).


Srey-Ya was found as a motherless cub suffering from pneumonia and Jo-Jo was being kept to amuse bar customers.


Both had earlier been confiscated from poachers, the zoo said.


Srey-Ya, which means girl, weighed just 10oz (300g) when she was discovered in the village of Ya Dow in central Cambodia.


She was so young she was still not fully covered in fur and had not yet opened her eyes, the zoo said.


World's smallest bear


Jo-Jo had been confiscated as a six-month-old by government anti-poaching patrols in Ratanakiri

Captive Animal Enrichment

Animal enrichment is a term frequently used at zoos, aquariums and wildlife facilities. But what exactly does it mean? Heidi Hellmuth, Curator of Enrichment and Training at the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park, explains it to Nat Geo Inside WILD.


Animal enrichment strategies encourage mental and physical stimulation and exercise, and methods can vary significantly, depending on the individual creature or specific species.


"Enrichment includes much more than just objects, or 'toys'," explains Heidi. "Here at the Smithonsian's National Zoo, we describe enrichment by using six different categories: objects, dietary, sensory, exhibit design and furnishings, social and cognitive. Some enrichment strategies combine several categories, for example we might put a piece of shrimp inside of a plastic, twist-top jar for our octopus. This combines an object, dietary enrichment and a cognitive challenge for the octopus to get the food item out of the jar."


Each enrichment tool goes through an approval process before its introduction to the captive animal. Heidi shares that at the National Zoo "animal keepers fill out information on what animal or species the enrichment item is for, what the item is, what the goal of it is, where to get it, how much it costs, if it takes time or assistance from other departments to construct it, etc. There is also a safety section with a checklist of potential safety risks to consider, and a section to note any restrictions on use, such as allowed only when supervised, or only with adult animals, etc. Once the keeper completes the form, it is also reviewed by the enrichment/training curator, area curator, and when appropriate by animal health and/or nutrition. This way we have multiple people looking at the proposed enrichment item to make sure it is appropriate and considered as safe as possible for the animal involved."


Goal-based strategy is an important element of captive animal enrichment. Animal keepers and curators often evaluate and determine what behaviors they want to encourage from the animal, or what the enrichment might facilitate. Heidi says that "this all starts with studying the natural history and behavior of the species, since the main goal of a good enrichment program is to offer the animals in ou

Residents face B10,000 fine for feeding elephants

People who feed roaming elephants on Bangkok streets now face a 10,000 baht fine.


City Hall has started a new drive to rid the city's streets of elephants begging for food.


Called the Chang Yim (Smiling Elephants) project, it was inspired by a poem written by school students about the suffering of elephants forced to roam the streets.


The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has issued an ordinance banning elephants from the city. Mahouts found with their elephants, begging for food in the city, can be jailed for six months and/or fined up to 10,000 baht.


Land owners who provide shelter to roaming elephants, and people who buy fruit from mahouts to feed the animals will also face a fine of up to 10,000 baht.


Officials who catch roaming elephants will receive a reward of 2,000 baht an elephant.


The ordinance to control elephants, approved by the City Council, went into effect on June 22.


But Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra delayed enforcing it until July 1 to make sure people are aware of it.


Inspired by a poem on the plight of elephants roaming the city's streets written by pupils from Concordian International School, MR Sukhumbhand launched the Chang Yim project to return the elephants to their home provinces.


Manit Techa-apichoke, director of the City Law

Bangkok's 'smiling elephant' law

Travellers in Thailand are being warned against feeding elephants in the capital city, Bangkok


A new law, known as the ‘Chang Yim’ or ‘Smiling elephant’ law has been passed to encourage the animals and their mahouts, to leave the city for good.


People caught feeding the animals may be fined up to 10,000 Baht (£207) and the mahouts could face a prison sentence of up to six months, if caught in the city.


Bangkok City Hall enforced the law as part of a new campaign to move the elephants to a safer, more natural environment. Animals that are seized or captured will be moved to provincial elephant conservation centres.


Tourists staying in the city should be careful not in interact with the elephants. If they want to do so, they should visit an official conservation park, in the elephant’s natural habitat; such

Shamana laps up the attention

LIONS and tigers and bears, oh my!


Darling Downs Zoo is now just shy of boasting a trio of ferociously famous animals after the arrival of Shamana the tiger this week.


Shamana, who travelled to the Downs from another zoo in Tasmania, has been cutting a spectacular figure as hundreds of school children pour through the gates at Pilton this week.


Zoo owner Stephanie Robinson swapped Shamana for a pair of rare Macaw birds after the nine-year-old tiger refused to get along with her half-sister or an arranged mate in Tasmania.


The last tiger to take up residence at Darling Downs Zoo was a 24-year-old male who died of old age about two years ago.


It was obvious Mrs Robinson was happy to have a replacement as she played with Shamana yesterday.


“She's just beautiful,” Mrs Robinson smiled.


The zoo also has four new Blackbuck, an Indian antelope species, which includes a baby that is currently being hand-r

Wild breeding for red panda

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park has decided to conduct the breeding of red pandas in the natural habitats to make the endangered species more adaptable in the wild before their release in forest.


A.K. Jha, director of the zoo, said: “We have already made a proposal to start breeding programmes at Tiger Hill in Darjeeling, Dow Hill in Kurseong and in the forest of Lava in Kalimpong. We will ensure minimum human interference for the animal’s breeding in natural surroundings.”


The move is aimed at honing the animal’s natural skills, which could be restricted when bred in closed enclosure as is being done currently at the Darjeeling zoo. Experts believe the new initiative will facilitate the release of the animal in the wild.


The hill zoo was the first in the country to release captive animals in the wild successfully. So far, the zoo has sent four red pandas to Singalila National Park.


Jha said 74 red pandas had been spotted in the Singalila forest. “But the number is in decline across the world. We have been told that the Centre will take up the issue of red panda conservation with authorities in Nepal and Bhutan,” said Jha.


The Indian government believes that it is necessary to take up the issue of conserving the red panda habitat in Nepal and Bhutan as human interference in its corridor is resulting in the animal’s inbreeding.


“The red panda area in India is contiguous with Nepal and Bhutan. The animals will not mingle if there is human interference in its corridor, leading to poor genetic strain of the species,” said Jha on the sidelines of a workshop on the red panda in Darjeeling last week.


The Darjeeling zoo is currently classified as a co-ordinating zoo for the breeding of red pandas and other animals like Tibetan wolf, Satyr Tragopan, grey peacock pheasant, snow

Auckland Zoo in panda swap with India

Auckland Zoo is sending one of its female red pandas, Khosuva, to India in exchange for a male red panda at Darjeeling Zoo in India.


Ten-year-old Sagar is expected to arrive in Auckland early next month and spend a month in quarantine before the public gets to see him.


Khosuva flies out tomorrow, leaving behind her mother Maya and sister Amber. She will be used in a re-designed captive breeding programme at the Darjeeling zoo. She has not yet been mated.


"Given successful breeding, Khosuva's offspring will be released into the wild - which will be an historic first for Auckland

New digs for zoo veterinarian

From puny frogs the weight of a nickel to a 4,000-kilogram elephant, city zoo staff can treat patients of all sizes with their new hospital.


The $1-million building will help staff provide medical and dental care right at the Edmonton Valley Zoo — even equipment to polish the sharp fangs of wolves.


“Tuna toothpaste, there’s nothing like it,” said Dr. Milton Ness, the zoo’s veterinarian.


A long list of patients — including wolves, squirrel monkeys and lemurs — will soon be in the dental chair for cleanings and root canals.


Gucci the skunk was one of the first patients treated at the new medical centre. The docile critter, who visits kids at schools, had a tooth pulled.


But not all patients, like Lucy the elephant, can fit in the hospital. So, mobile equipment — such as a portable X-ray machine — is wheeled into her enclosure.


The clinic is loaded with a state-of-the-art medical lab, operating room and exam area just for the critters.


The lab can provide test results quickly on-site, while before samples were sent away and could take months to receive analysis.


Sterile surgery, such as abdominal operations, can also be done right in the operating room at the zoo. The sterile area is outfitted with a heated table, IV machine, heart monitor, anesthesia equipment and overhead lights.


“This place is set up like an O.R. for a human being,” said

Tropical Zoo wins year's eviction reprieve

THE Duke of Northumberland has allowed to let the much-loved Tropical Zoo stay for another year as they continue to raise money for their relocation.


Syon Estate this week announced that an agreement has been reached with Waldorf Astoria Hotels whereby the the zoo will be able to remain at Syon Park for a further 12 months after their lease expired on Thursday.


After having nearly eight years notice to leave Syon Park by this September, The Tropical Zoo has found it very difficult to find a suitable alternative site. However owner Tony Purdy has now been offered a council-owned site adjacent to the Hounslow Urban Farm.


A formal planning application is due to be submitted this month and assuming that they are given consent, they will be able to complete its move in the next 12 months.


Tony said: "This extra year allows us to build our new visitor centre, which will provide better homes for our rescued animals. It also allows us to continue our important education and conservation work with local schools and families, who we would like to thanks for their continued support over the last 20 years.


"We understand there can be no extension beyond September 2011 and there is a great deal of work to be done to ensure a successful move before that date."


It is hoped that planning permission for the new premises will be granted well before Christmas so that work can start on the site before the new year.


The zoo is due to leave Syon Park as part of the hotel development and restoration of the Grade I listed parkland for which planning consent was granted in March 2004. Once the Tropical Zoo has vacated, the building it occupies will be demolished and the area restored back to parkland.


The Duke of Northumberland, whose family have owned Syon Park for over 400 years said: "I am very pleased to have been able to work with developers, The

Zoo gets trunk of petitions

PETA pushes for relocation of pachyderms


There will be three elephants in the room when the Toronto Zoo board meets this week.


The future of Toka, Iringa, and Thika, the zoo’s three surviving elephants, could be up for debate on Thursday when members of the zoo board receive a petition demanding the elephants be sent to an animal sanctuary.


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ youth branch started the petition online and had boasted about sending thousands of signatures to Mayor David Miller. The zoo board will receive submissions from around 1,518 people, referred to them after Councillor Shelley Carroll presented the petitions to Toronto city council.


Toronto Zoo board member Giorgio Mammoliti said PETA is using the elephants to attack zoos.


“I really believe that’s the case, we’ve got a movement of people who have smelled blood, so to speak, and are moving in to see if they can shut down zoos completely,” he said. “We obviously

3 appear on rhino charges

Three men accused of poaching rhinos in the Kruger Park appeared in the White River Magistrate's Court yesterday on charges of poaching, trespassing and illegal possession of firearms.


However, their case was postponed until tomorrow and will be moved to the Skukuza Magistrate's Court.


Leonard Mashego, Sifiso Sithole and Michael Sithole were arrested by rangers on patrol early on Sunday morning after a shoot-out in which Mashego was shot in an arm.


He was taken to hospital and is still there under police guard.


Warrant Officer Oubaas Coetzer said: "They were found in possession of illegal firearms, which were taken in for forensic tests.


"The tests will determine whethe

It's official

Chimpanzee groom Yangyang, left, holding hand with his bride Wanxing walks on a red carpet while attending their symbolic wedding at Hefei Wildlife Park in Hefei in central China's Anhui province, on Tuesday. Four-year-old Yangyang from Guinea was brought in last year to mate with six-year-old Wanxing by the park, according to a local news

Zoo must await trial before getting elephants

Opponents of the elephant exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo celebrated a minor victory Wednesday as a judge issued a temporary hold on acquiring any additional elephants until a civil trial on the matter is completed.


A 2007 lawsuit alleged that the zoo inadequately cared for elephants and that their enclosure was too small. It also claimed a new exhibit

Waikiki Aquarium reports $1,500 theft of moi

Someone stole 15 of the 21 adult moi from an outdoor display tank at the Waikiki Aquarium this past weekend, the aquarium reported today. The fish were valued at an estimated $1,500.


It appears the theft happened after hours on Friday, the aquarium said. Someone cut the netting that covered the top of the tank.


Moi, also known as Pacific

Plight of the pangolin

IN the ordinary pictorial dictionary of what constitutes an endangered species, the tiger, that beautiful and fierce creature which adorns our national coat of arms, and the orang utan, the familiar face of the rainforest, make popular posters for wildlife conservation. Pangolins, unfortunately, not only do not rise to such lofty status but also do not come to mind for immediate concern. After all, what is the pangolin known for? It is shy, scaly and sometimes smelly, and has a long tongue with which to lick up ants, curling into a ball if threatened. It may not be the most endearing of totally protected species.


But for all that, pangolins are hunted and traded by the tonne. From 2000 to 2007, Malaysia made at least 34 pangolin seizures, totalling 6,000 specimens. On June 5, Chinese Customs authorities seized 7.8 tonnes of frozen pangolin parts and 1,800kg of pangolin scales from a fishing vessel. Although found in tropical Asia and Africa, the pangolin is specially Malaysian, its name derived from the Malay guling or to roll over. An adult pangolin weighs 5 to 8kg and is slow and easy to catch.


The scales of a pangolin are valuable for use in traditional Chinese medicine and its meat is said to cure asthma -- though there is no scientific proof of this. In the wild, pangolins perform a great pest-control service: a 3kg pangolin can eat up to 300 to 400g of termites per feeding. No one knows what the pangolin population is like, but anecdotal evidence suggests it is declining. They are slow to reproduce and hard to keep or breed in captivity. Deputy regional director for Traffic Southeast Asia Chris Shepherd has said that illegal trade was pushing unique species like the pangolin "close to the abyss of extinction. At current rates of harvest and trade, it is only a matter of time before pangolins pass a point of no return".


Malaysia has all the laws in place to protect pangolins. The new Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 increased the penalty for possession of more than 20 pangolins to a 10-fold minimum fine with the option of jail or both. Regionwide, there is a complete ban on the trade of pangolins. But these laws must be rigorously enforced to have any impact on the fate of the pangolin, and a bigger

Taiwan creates breeding fluorescent fish

The most recently created fluorescent fish are angelfish - the biggest and brightest transgenic glowing fish in the world so far.


Taiwan's largest exporter of ornamental fish, the Jy Lin Company, says it has successfully inserted a fluorescent protein gene into the reproductive organs of the fish. It allows them to produce glowing offspring.


The company says its new breed of fish took more than three years and approximately 10 million Taiwan dollars to develop because the reproductive cycles of medium-sized fish are harder to control than their small-sized counterparts.


The angelfish are members of the biological family Cichlidae.


Cichlids make up the majority of fish seen in most aquariums.


"With the medium-sized cichlid fish, its biological cycle cannot be controlled by artificial lightings. Plus the low number of fertilized eggs makes the collection of fertilised eggs a challenge - it will take a very long time with the micro-injection method,” said Lin Yu-ho, the developer.


“For species like these, we deployed the method of reproductive organ electroporation. We inject fluorescent genes into the reproductive organs and leave the male and female fish to reproduce on their own, and then they could give birth to fluorescent babies."


Electroporation is a process whereby an electrical pulse is used to create passages through cell walls for the transplantation of foreign molecules - in this case the fluorescent protein gene.


Lin said he chose angelfish because

National Aquarium mourns death of 31-year-old dolphin

Shiloh made history as mother to first calf born at Baltimore attraction


The gentle bottlenose dolphin that was the mother of the first dolphin calf to be born at the National Aquarium in Baltimore in 1992 died over the weekend after doctors and technicians worked for about a year to nurse her through an array of illnesses. Aquarium officials estimated that the dolphin, named Shiloh, was 31 years old.


"It's an incredibly difficult time" for members of the aquarium staff who care for the dolphins, said Brent Whitaker, deputy director of biological programs at the aquarium. "These animals become their families. … Anybody who has an animal or a pet knows what we're talking about."


He said Shiloh, who measured 9 feet long and about 400 pounds, was not responding to treatments and had stopped eating before doctors made the decision to have her euthanized. She died in the medical pool late Sunday,0,458725.story

Centre says no to night safari in Bangalore biological park

The proposed night safari in Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) which has sowed seeds of discord in the BS Yeddyurappa ministry, has raised the hackles of the Centre as well.


A day after tourism minister G Janardhana Reddy went public with his opposition to forest minister CH Vijayashankar’s decision to spike the night safari proposal, Union minister of state for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday categorically said that the Centre was also against such an idea.


Stating that he was against any safari in forest areas after 7 pm, Ramesh said on the sidelines of a lecture that several states had been trying in vain to get the central clearance for night safari. The states’ explanation that most professionals did not get time to visit safari during day time had failed to make the Centre change its stand, he added.


Ramesh said he would take up the issue with the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) officials. He doubted whether the Karnataka government had obtained the clearance from either the CZA or the Centre for the night safari.


The Karnataka high court is hearing a petition against the Bannerghatta night safari. However, Janardhana

Animal park officials unveil new logo for renamed attraction

Safari Park visitors won't see its new name on-site until next year


Officials at the former San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park have unveiled a bright-orange logo with a pawprint as part of a plan to acclimate the public to the attraction's new name ---- San Diego Zoo Safari Park.


Spread over 1,800 acres just east of Escondido, the 38-year-old park is operated by the Zoological Society of San Diego, which also runs the San Diego Zoo.


Zoological Society directors voted in June to change the park's name, saying the new moniker makes it clearer to visitors that the park offers a different experience from the zoo. Directors said they're hoping the new name will result in increased park attendance, which has leveled off at about 1.5 million annual visitors over the last few years.


The new logo ---- on the park's website and in this month's edition of the Zoological Society's monthly Zoonooz magazine ---- is the first tangible evidence of the new name.


Similar to a new, green logo for the San Diego Zoo, the logo features the zoo's name in small print above the words "Safari Park" spelled out in larger, rounded lettering.


Ted Moulter, marketing director for the zoo and the park, said Friday that Safari Park visitors can expect to see the new name showing up inside the park and on park vehicles and merchandise by the end of next May.


Those changes will coincide with the installation of new directional

Former whale trainers criticize SeaWorld safety proposal

A group of former SeaWorld killer-whale trainers is urging federal regulators to oppose a new safety feature that SeaWorld is developing in hopes of clearing the way for its trainers to re-enter the water during orca performances.


The concept calls for small oxygen supplies — often dubbed "spare air" — that could be embedded in SeaWorld trainers' wetsuits and serve as an emergency source of air if a trainer is pulled underwater by a killer whale.


SeaWorld is researching spare-air systems as part of an exhaustive trainer-safety review the company launched after the Feb. 24 death of SeaWorld Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau, killed by a 6-ton orca named Tilikum. The company has said it will not reinstitute "water work" between its trainers and killer whales until it finalizes its review and makes procedural and equipment changes, though it remains uncertain when that will happen.


In addition, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which investigated the death and last month fined SeaWorld $75,000, mentioned oxygen-supply systems as a mechanism SeaWorld could use to reduce the risks involved in swimming with killer whales.


But four former SeaWorld trainers — who worked for the company in the late 1980s and early 1990s — have recently reached out to OSHA criticizing the effectiveness of spare air, according to written statements obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.


In the statements, and in subsequent interviews with the newspaper, the trainers said an oxygen-supply system would present new hazards for trainers. More importantly, they

Pollution takes toll on zoo, rhinos too at risk

With two more blackbucks dying on Wednesday and the lives of several other inmates at continued risk, the pitiable sanitation condition in and around the National Zoological Park here has come into sharp focus. The zoo’s proximity to railway tracks, sewage drains and main arterial roads is endangering the lives of animals in this decades-old habitat.


The latest in the series of animals affected by the accumulated sewage water, which has already claimed the lives of 12 blackbucks in the past week, are two rhinos. Though dirty and polluted water has entered their moat, the zoo authorities claimed that the rhinos were not in danger. “Since they already live in water, there is not much threat to their lives,” Delhi zoo officials said.


Fearing risk to the lives of the zoo inmates, Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has asked wildlife expert Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of NGO Wildlife SOS, to work out a plan for ensuring that the rhinos did not get too close to the moats and consume the sewage water. “It is a must that they (the rhinos) are kept away from the dirty water. Meanwhile, I have also asked the zoo authorities to prepare a revised plan for repairing the sewer drain to ensure that the dirty water does not flow back into the premises,” Ramesh said after a visit to the zoo on Wednesday. He had gone

Lemur from East Sussex zoo escape is recaptured

A red-bellied lemur that escaped from an East Sussex zoo has been recaptured.


The lemur - called Kirioka - leapt over an electric fence in its walk-through enclosure at Drusillas Park in Alfriston on 22 September.


Firefighters joined police officers and zoo staff in the search for the animal in nearby woodland.


But Mark Kenward, the head zoo keeper, said the animal was lured into a box filled with food at 1830 BST on Tuesday.


He said: "He is safe and well and back with all his friends.


"If an animal does escape, and I must emphasise it does not happen very often, we do

Where Have All the Turtles Gone?

Sea turtles, some of the most majestic, gentle creatures in the oceans, are having a rough time of it. Though not typically targeted by fishermen, the animals often become entangled in nets or hooked on long lines, and end up as bycatch that is either eaten or tossed like trash back into the sea.


Measuring how many turtles die this way every year is a crucial task; in some places turtle populations are being devastated by the effects of bycatch. It isn't easy; fishing practices around the world are chronically under-reported. But in an attempt to shine light on the situation, researchers, led by Bryan Wallace of Conservation International, have compiled the first global map of sea turtle bycatch.


Published in a recent issue of the journal Conservation Letters, the map breaks down incidents of turtle bycatch by the type of fishing gear used:


In all, the records indicate about 85,000 turtles per year were accidentally caught worldwide between 1990 and 2008 (each dot represents a study with data on bycatch rates). That may not sound like much, but the team estimates that only about one percent of all fishing activity is reported, meaning a more likely estimate for the number of turtles that die annually is at least 100 times that figure, or around 8.5 million turtles.


"Bycatch is the most serious and acute threat to sea turtles globally," Wallace told Discovery News. "It's an extremely pervasive pressure on sea turtle populations. In some cases it is a main driver for significant population declines and even



Asia’s giant softshell turtles teeter on the brink extinction
At the moment, only four members of the Giant Softshell turtle (Rafetus Swinhoei) species exist in the world.
The most well-known is an exalted geriatric specimen of indeterminate sex. It lives a complex existence in the center of Hanoi - addled by fishhooks and confined to Hanoi’s polluted Hoan Kiem Lake. It is believed, by some, to be the manifestation of an ancient deity.
Others in the Vietnamese scientific community have argued that it belongs to its own separate sub-species and shouldn’t be considered in conservation efforts.
Due to his advanced age and great cultural importance, however, most do not consider him a candidate for breeding.
For a long time, it seemed as though the species would be revived in China, where a male and female pair have been mating in a complex zoo enclosure.
Three consecutive years of breeding efforts have turned up no fertile eggs. Some fear that the world’s only remaining female was ruined by the calcium-poor diet she was fed during her 80-year career as a traveling circus and zoo attraction.
But she has been eating well for some

6 dolphins arrive in China by air from Japan
Six dolphins have arrived in Beijing by air from Japan, Chinese state-run television reported Sunday. CCTV said the dolphins—two Pacific White-sided Dolphins and four Bottlenose Dolphins—have passed quarantine examination and been moved to the city’s ocean park to begin a 30-day period of isolation and inspection.
It said each dolphin arrived in a special water tank 3 meters long and 1 meter wide.
Japanese in some remote coastal fishing communities kill or capture hundreds and even thousands of dolphins from September until April each year. Most dolphins are killed for their meat, but much higher prices can be fetched by the selling of live dolphins to aquariums around the world for use

15 missing baby crocodiles found dead at Chhatbir zoo
Fifteen baby crocodiles that had gone missing a couple of weeks ago from the Chhatbir Zoological Park were found dead on Monday. The crocodiles were born in the zoo on June 7. Officials said the babies went missing one after the other within a couple of days. The zoo authorities constituted a team of three officials to look into the matter. Initially it was suspected that the lone male crocodile in the zoo could have eaten the babies, but after noticing that one of the missing crocodiles was back inside the fence, officials suspected the crocodiles might have hibernated in the sand. Arrangements were made to screen the sand heaps with a hope to trace the crocodiles.
On September 16, the pond was emptied, but the babies could not be found. Subsequently, a team, comprising the deputy

Bangalore biological park packs tigers in like sardines
Besides contaminated and low quality food, the wild cats at Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) face another risk related to their enclosure. Experts say it is not according to the prescribed norms of the Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA).
The size of the enclosures should be 12x12 feet or 12x15 feet. But in BBP, it is only 12x9 feet. Also, the animals need sufficient walking and crawling space and a water body. But in BBP, there is no water body for them to relax in, say experts.
In some enclosures, two tigers are housed while the rule says one tiger per enclosure. This proximity of animals will lead to fights and even death as in the case of Medha (18) who was killed by her 10-year-old son Brandis, a Royal Bengal tiger, in October last year. The two were living together in a single enclosure for nearly a decade.
There are 40 enclosures in the safari area and they house 47 tigers and nine lions with cubs. Thus there is a need for more enclosures.
A senior forest department official said such anomalies were happening in BBP because expert opinion was not sought in tiger management. Tigers will have a healthy and peaceful life if each is kept in a single enclosure. For instance, during feeding, two tigers kept in a single enclosure often shy away from each other while eating. They skip the meal. Or else, they fight over the food leading to injuries and even death.
BBP’s executive director Millo Tago, howeve

Infection kills five tigers in Bangalore
Five tigers have died and eight more have taken ill in the last 10 days in the city's Bannerghatta Biological Park. Forest officials are battling a severe bacterial infection and are now on an emergency damage control mission.
Eight tigers, including a white tiger, at the park are on antibiotics for the last couple of days after five big cats died at the park last week. Post-mortem analysis points to bacterial infection that all animals are suffering from.
M N Jayakumar, additional chief conservator of forests, said: “For about 11-12 days some animals are having diarrhea and vomiting. Seven to eight animals have been having

Gibbons of southeast Asia are the 'forgotten' apes
Gibbons have become the "forgotten apes" and many species will soon go extinct unless urgent action is taken.
So say primate experts who have made a call to action to save the crested gibbons of southeast Asia, which are the most vulnerable group of all apes.
For example, just 20 Hainan gibbons survive on one island in China, making it the world's rarest ape species.
Experts highlighted the status of the apes at the XXII Congress of the International Primatological Society.
"The crested gibbons are the most threatened group of primates and all species require urgent attention to save them from extinction", says Dr Thomas Geissmann, a world-renowned gibbon expert based at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, and advisor on the apes to conservation organisation Fauna and Flora International

Appeal coming over Edmonton zoo's pachyderm
A legal fight over the future of the Edmonton zoo's only elephant isn't over yet.
Last month, a judge dismissed arguments from two animal rights groups that say Lucy is suffering at the zoo and should be moved to an elephant sanctuary in the United States.
But Zoocheck and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have announced they will appeal the ruling.
Their fight to move Lucy is backed by celebrities such as Bob Barker, former host of the game show "The Price is Right," and actor William Shatner.
Julie Woodyer with Zoocheck says Lucy's loneliness and health issues can't be ignored.
The city says the 34-year-old elephant is comfortable in her familiar surroundings and moving her at her age could

My thoughts on the above issue are in my article Elephant Care. Here I side with the zoo. They KNOW the animal and so they KNOW best. Elephants are individuals and what may suit one will not necessarily suit another.

Cayman Islands special event: saving the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana
Scientist Fred Burton MBE will be giving Telegraph readers an exclusive talk on the history behind the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana and his desperate fight for their survival
British scientist Fred Burton was awarded an MBE for preventing the first major extinction of the 21st Century.
He brought the rarest iguana in the world, the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana, back from functional extinction.
Described by BBC Wildlife magazine as “one of the most remarkable conservations stories you will ever hear”, the story starts in 1979 when the young British scientist Fred Burton arrives on Grand Cayman and becomes intrigued in the Blue Iguana.
When, many years later, as Environmental Programmes director for the Cayman Islands National Trust, he discovers that less than 15 are likely to be alive in the wild – too few to breed, therefore making the Blue Iguana functionally extinct – and so the

Air Charter Service has a whale of a time
Earlier this month Air Charter Service (ACS) Hong Kong flew eight Beluga whales from Vladivostok, Russia into Guangzhou, China.
The large marine mammals – native to Arctic regions only – were being flown to China for the opening of a new zoo due in Zhuhai in early 2011.
A large cargo aircraft - an IL-76 – was required as the whales – which can each grow up to five metres long - and their tanks weighed a total of 32 tonnes. Because it had a non-pressurised cabin, the aircraft had to fly at a low altitude and be temperature regulated.
The shipment included five female and three male Beluga whales, eleven cargo attendants, a head veterinarian, a zoo representative and an ACS representative.
The flight took months to organise as specialist tanks had to be built. The project required extensive planning and correspondence between the zoo, the airline and ACS.
Gavin Copus, ACS Asia Pacific CEO, said: “This was an impeccably planned operation and the flight went extremely smoothly. The whales

Lampang’s Elephant Art Center Where Elephants Learn to Paint
Lampang is situated in the valley of the Wang River, east of Chiang Mai in the heart of Northern Thailand bordered by Khuntan Range on the west and the Pi Pan Num range on the east and the river which is a major tributary of the Chao Phraya, flows directly through the city.
Although the city was originally developed on the north side of the river, it now focuses on the south side of the Wang River. Today, the downtown of Lampang has grown on the south east of the river along the main roads of the city which is surrounded by dense commercial and residential buildings.
Lampang is primarily known as Muang Roth Ma, (Horse Carriage City) as horse and carriages portray the people’s way of life

Camera spots 'new species' of elephant shrew
A mystery animal with a long snout has been spotted in Africa, which scientists say could be a completely new species of giant elephant shrew.
Camera traps set up along the coast of north-eastern Kenya captured pictures of the elusive mammal.
Scientists say the find underlines the conservation significance of isolated African forests, threatened by rapid coastal development.
The animal was first seen by a fellow of the Zoological Society of London.
She was unable to identify the creature, which prompted the ZSL and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to set

Dolphin therapy for autistic children
More than 40 years of working with marine mammals may have perfected a human-animal teamwork to perform excellently for families and children searching for a natural experience.
Yet, to the 59-year-old Russian, Alexander Zanin, the man behind the great performance of dolphins at the Dubai Dolphinarium in Creek Park, it is not enough.
He and his training team are putting together a pipeline for Dubai Dolphinarium for assisting autistic children in UAE through a dolphin-assisted therapy. It takes time though because Dubai Dolphinarium has to set up a separate pool for the autistic kids.
Zanin, the head of the six-man team training and teaching five dolphins and four seals to perform before excited crowds of children and their families four times a day, told Khaleej Times that he had experienced dolphin-assisted therapy working greatly for autistic children while working in Turkey before.
He said that a German family is visiting Dubai Dolphinarium on a quarterly basis for three years now just to expose their autistic child to a dolphin-assisted therapy. “Many special needs kids all over the world have gone for therapy by the sea. Others improve from zoo psychological therapy. We will have a dolphin-assisted therapy as a Dubai Dolphinarium programme in the days to come.”
“There have been authentic reports of autistic children, who have experienced up to 65 per cent remission after undergoing a series of dolphin-assisted therapy. I know this will work in the emirate. Dubai Dolphinarium will by then not be just an entertainment place but a therapy centre for dolphin-assisted therapy for autism,” he said.
Zanin has worked with Dubai Dolphinarium since its preparation stage in 2007 to develop the dolphin and seal show programme, training the seals and the dolphins§ion=theuae

ITV News left red-faced over dead 'polar bear' story
ITV's West Country breakfast bulletin made a bit of a blunder recently when it mistakenly reported a washed up dead cow on a Cornish beach as a dead polar bear.
The bulletin even showed video footage of the carcass as astonished presenter Miss Naomi Lloyd gasped: "A walker in Cornwall has caught an extraordinary sight on camera. A polar bear has washed up on a beach near Bude." Miss Lloyd went on to add: "The bear comes from the Arctic Circle and an investigation is under way as to how it could have ended up there."
However closer inspection revealed that it was in fact a cow, not a polar bear, leaving ITV News noticeably red-faced over the incident.
The cow had a white appearance because of being in sea water for a prolonged period of time.
This is not the first time that something unusual has washed

Jerusalem Zoo Erects Barrier To Protect Visitors From Stone-Throwing Chimps
A barrier is being built at a Jerusalem zoo to prevent stone-throwing chimps from hitting visitors, officials said.
The new reinforced glass barrier will surround the chimpanzee exhibit at Jerusalem`s Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, zoo director Shai Doron told reporters.

Last roar of the tiger: Just 3,500 tigers survive in the wild and we've got only 20 years to save them
Tigers, among the most beautiful of all earthly creatures, are on the way out. According to the latest reports, just 3,500 are left in the wild - with only 1,000 females of breeding age.
Even if the world was friendly towards them, which it isn’t, this could be too few to survive for much longer than a couple of decades. Only a huge, concerted effort can save them.
Even 100 years ago, tigers were spread through all of Asia. There was always only one species - the biggest cat in the world, Panthera tigris - but it was subdivided into nine subspecies, each adapted to its

'Lost' frogs found after decades
A mission aimed at rediscovering amphibian species thought to be extinct has yielded its first results.
Conservationists have turned up live specimens of two West African frogs and a cave-dwelling salamander from Mexico.
The salamander was last seen in 1941, and was rediscovered by abseiling into caves deep in the forest.
The expeditions are partially designed to bring attention to the plight of amphibians around the world, with a third of species at risk of extinction.
"It's pretty extraordinary to think about just how long it has been since these animals were last seen," observed project co-ordinator Robin Moore of Conservation International (CI).
"The last time that the Mexican salamander was seen, Glenn Miller was one of the world's biggest stars.
"The Omaniundu reed frog disappeared the year that Sony sold its first ever Walkman."
The expeditions, formally

Kohl's donates $1M to Milwaukee Zoo
Menomonee Falls-based Kohl’s Corp. is donating $1 million to the Zoological Society of Milwaukee County to create a new interactive family theater at the Milwaukee County Zoo, Kohl’s said Tuesday.
Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) will donate the money over three years to create Kohl’s Wild Theater, a participatory theater that uses drama, puppetry, games and songs to bring conservation messages to children and families, a press release said. The donation comes from the Kohl’s Cares merchandise program, which sells special merchandise and donates 100 percent of the net profit to children’s health and education

Local Company Makes Big Donation to Zoo
Going green took on a whole new meaning this morning as Pacific Steel & Recycling made a major contribution to the Pocatello Zoological Society to help alleviate the financial burden for their current undertaking of the Grizzly Bear Exhibit Project.
Zoo director Scott Ransom said, "every zoo needs a destination exhibit. Whether it's elephants, lions or in our case grizzlies."
With today's $20,000 donation from Pacific Steel and Recycling, Pocatello Zoo is just $80,000 short of finishing an attraction Zoo director Ransom says will double the zoo's attendance. "People will now use this as an excuse to drive from many miles around to see this world class grizzly exhibit."
A half acre exhibit is being built to mimmick what a grizzly would encounter in a natural setting.
The acre is filled with boulders, trees, a recycled stream and a stocked pond named after Pacific Steel and Recycling.
"The one thing that struck me the most is a quote from Scott Ransom, 'we would like to get a grizzly bears off of the concrete and on to grass," said Pocatello

Life is lonely for these zoo animals
Stringent rules laid down by the government and the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) regarding procurement of animals on an exchange basis have meant that many species in Mysore’s century-old zoo lead a life of solitary confinement, writes Shyam Sundar Vattam
The century-old-Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, Mysore, houses many species living a life of solitary confinement. They have ended up as mere showpieces placed inside enclosures for the sole purpose of entertaining thousands of tourists who flock the zoo daily.
Stringent rules laid down by the Government of India and the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) regarding procurement of animals on an exchange basis, have made the animals’ lives miserable.
The zoo authorities seem helpless about the issue too, because the permission of the central government and the CZA is a must to bring any species from international zoos to Indian zoos.
Such a situation did not prevail even two to three decades ago when zoos across the world freely exchanged animals and birds without any problems. But the rules were made more stringent following complaints of misuse by some zoo authorities.
But, this has affected genuine zoos such as the Mysore zoo that enjoys a very good reputation at the international level. In the current situation, it will take not less than two to three years to get any exotic animal from an international zoo, thanks to elaborate procedures. In the Mysore zoo too, there are some species

Mauritius worried by proliferation of gecko of Madagascar
The director of the Reptile Conservation of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF), Nik Cole, Monday warned Mauritians who breed pets such as the gecko of Madagascar (Phelsuma Madagaskarika) and other reptiles, against the danger those pets represent for the local biodiversity and for human health.
According to scientific specialists, the gecko of Madagascar arrived in Mauritius in the 90s, through the trade of domestic animals and has been sold to private individuals to be bred as pets.
'Besides, they are still sold. When they can no longer take care of them, some people release them into the nature; others escaped from their cages. The result is that today, there are many geckos of Madagascar across the island,' said Cole.
This animal population has really exploded in Mauritius and has become, according to him, 'a serious problem'.
Cole explained that some Mauritians introduced them into their gardens and their yards, thinking they would attack the other lizards which are a nuisance, particularly those which get out at night and make much noise.
'Unfortunately, this Malagasy gecko only operates during the day and local lizards only

Blue Planet Aquarium provides home for unusual toad and blind fish
A BIZARRE toad and a shoal of blind cave fish are being given a new home at the Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire Oaks.
The creatures are from an animal attraction in Cheshire which has closed down.
The aquarium is also re-homing a collection of brightly coloured Malawi cichlids from the Palms Tropical Oasis.
Native to South America, Surinam toads are most well-known for their remarkable reproductive habits.
The females carry up to 10 eggs in special pores on their backs

Oakland Zoo wins Employer of the Year Award
The Oakland Zoo has been selected for a 2010 Employer of the Year Award by the nonprofit Marriott Foundation.
This award is given annually for exemplary participation in a program called "Bridges ... from school to work," and for "providing exceptional employment opportunities for young people with disabilities," zoo officials said. This is the second year the zoo has participated in the program, but the first time it has won the award.
Each year, the zoo hires between six and 12 young people from the program to work at the zoo during the summer and the holiday Zoo Lights program, said spokeswoman Nicky Mora.
Oakland Zoo officials accepted the award Tuesday evening ¿at the San Francisco Marriott Union Square Hotel. "We are honored to receive this award and strongly support the work of the Bridges program," said zoo Executive Director Joel Parrott.
Parrott commended staff members, Tim Love,

Saint Louis Zoo President Jeffrey Bonner named chairman of the board for AZA
The President and CEO of the Saint Louis Zoo has been appointed to head the board of directors for a global wildlife conservation group.
The non-profit Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) elected Dr. Jeffrey Bonner to the position of Chair of the Board of Directors. Bonner will be one of four officers on the board. As chair, Jeffrey Bonner will be involved in every aspect of national organization.
Bonner was appointed President and CEO of the Saint Louis Zoo in 2002. Prior to that position, Jeffrey Bonner carried the same titles for the Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens from 1993 to 2002.
Bonner received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1982 and is a recipient of the National Research Service Award. He is a Fulbright Scholar, Burgess Fellow, Traveling

Fowl language?
Bobby's a good bird, his keeper says, but some Clay Center Zoo visitors have gotten a different impression.
The zoo's big boss, Clay Center Public Utilities Commission Director Bill Callaway, is among those claiming to have heard Bobby say "(expletive) you" to people walking by his cage.
"I've got a couple of irate citizens who swear he does (swear)," Callaway said. "It's hard to determine because he's not real plain, but yeah, I can say I've heard him say something like that."
The raven is among some 30 animals on exhibit at the zoo at the north end of Utility Park, at Fourth and Pomeroy streets in Clay Center.
Debbie Snyder, who heads the three-person zoo staff, has come to the bird's defense.
"I'll swear on a stack of Bibles. That bird has never cussed," she said. "All he ever says is 'Hello Bobby.' "
That more acceptable phrase was caught on tape this past Thursday when an online episode of "Yesternews" was taped at

The bear whisperer
Most people would run the other way at their first encounter with a bear. Richard Goguen did just the opposite.
He is known as the bear whisperer, and for a good reason. Not only can he talk to wild animals, he has close bear buddies.
“I think the first day I ever whispered to a bear was my teddy bear.”
But after befriending one lonely cub 10 years ago, he is now a known face amongst bears in his area.
“Really they introduced me into

Zoo defends anti-palm oil posters
Adelaide Zoo says it does not think it should have to remove anti-palm oil posters plastered on its orangutan enclosure.
The posters by international activists, the Palm Oil Action Group, suggest the palm oil industry in Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea causes the mass deaths of orangutans through loss of habitat.
Malaysia's tourism minister saw the posters during a zoo visit last month.
Adelaide Zoo chief executive Chris West says the posters help consumers make informed decisions about buying palm oil products.
"The facts are that if you continue to cut down rain forests in habitat areas of orangutans to convert it to palm oil plantations then orangutans will disappear," he said.
"We don't think that the Australian public want orangutans to disappear

She Ain't Heavy, She's My Dolphin
A four-week-old baby dolphin gets its first official weigh-in at Dolphin Quest Hawaii, cradled in the arms of three dolphin trainers as they all step up on a scale on the beach. After subtracting the combined weight of the trainers, Dolphin Quest veterinarians determined the baby dolphin weighs 43 pounds, a healthy weight for her age. The baby, an as-yet-unnamed female, was reunited with her dolphin mom, Pele, and resumed nursing immediately after the weighing. Baby was born at the marine park located at the Hilton Waikoloa Village resort on Hawaii’s Big Island.
Close monitoring of the baby’s weight and growth rate, along with its nursing frequency, respiration, behavior and other health parameters, is part of “Project Newborn”, a dolphin

Five elephants killed as train hits them
At least five elephants were killed and three others were injured on Wednesday when a speeding goods train hit the animals when they were crossing railway tracks near Binnaguri in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal.
"Five elephants were run over and killed on the spot. Three others were injured as the train hit the group of animals at about 11.15 pm," Subhas Chandra Ghosh, ranger of Binnaguri Wildlife range, told PTI.
The elephants were going from Maraghat range forest to Diana forest, he said.
The train movement was stopped for nearly an

Giraffe Diets - Twycross Zoo

An exclusive animal police force?
Rob Laidlaw is an acclaimed animal activist and founder of Zoocheck, one of Canada's leading animal rights organisations. He began his animal protection work in 1979, investigating slaughter houses and farming practices in Ontario. Since1984, he has been involved in wildlife issues, with an emphasis on the welfare of wildlife in captivity. His work has included successful campaigns to change wildlife protection policies and laws in many jurisdictions, as well as the closure of a number of substandard zoos. For the past 10 years, he has also been involved in numerous international initiatives, with a particular emphasis on wildlife in captivity issues in Asia.
Laidlaw has authored several children's books on animal issues, such as On Parade, The Hidden World of Animals in Entertainment and Wild Animals in Captivity is a Chartered Biologist, and a former Humane Society Inspector, past member of the board of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and past Project Manager/Technical Advisor for the World Society for the Protection of Animals operating in 91 countries around the world. He currently serves as Director of Zoocheck Canada.
I met Laidlaw when he was in India collecting information and photos for two children's books: one about dog issues and the other about rescue centres and sanctuaries. Here, Laidlaw talks about the

'Callous' rhino poaching - 11 get bail
Eleven people, including two veterinarians, a pilot and a game farmer, all allegedly part of a "callous" rhino poaching syndicate, were granted bail in the Musina Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
"The accused are alleged to be part of a syndicate which operates around Polokwane, Modimolle and Musina, and have been involved in rhino poaching, killing, selling of the horns, as well as disposing of the carcasses of the rhinos," NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said.
Looking tense, the accused were crammed into the dock while photographers - some of whom had earlier been detained by police for taking their photographs -snapped their pictures.
Most of the men were wearing khaki shirts and denims.
Sariette Groenewald, wearing a striped dress, stood next to her game farmer husband, Dawie Groenewald, while Mariza Toet, a petite blonde dressed in a polka dot top, was wedged between her veterinarian husband Karel Toet, and his colleague, Manie du Plessis, the two alleged masterminds.
R1m bail
Groenewald was set the highest bail amount - R1m - his wife was released on R100 000, Toet on R50 000, and his wife on R20 000 bail.
Du Plessis, professional hunter Tielman Roos Erasmus, Dewald Gouws, Nardus Rossouw, Leon van der Merwe, and Jacobus

Lucky break in rhino poaching case
On a farm close to Musina, forensic investigators are examining and looking for the carcasses of white rhinos.
Authorities are trying to find how many dead white rhinos are on the 4 000-hectare farm named Pragtig, owned by Dawie Groenewald.
They say each carcass is important in strengthening the case against the 11 accused who appeared in court yes-terday.
The rhinos were apparently bought and taken to the farm.
The case is the culmination of many hours of hard work.
It follows forensic investigators’ lucky break

Private sector zoo contract request raises concerns of privatization
Controversy has erupted recently around the Cairo Zoo in Giza as the private sector has inundated the ministry of agriculture with requests to lease the land. The issue becomes more important as the number of surrounding development plans--government, private foreign firm, or animal rights group sponsored--increase. One plan aims to raise the zoo capacity in order to attract more visitors.
The zoo is awaiting direct intervention from President Hosni Mubarak to finalize plans for its development. Review is set for completion by the cabinet as well as the National Democratic Party (NDP) Policy Secretariat next month, pending approval from the president. If approved, the zoo would be leased to the private sector on a 25-year contract, which would allow the company

Elephant mankillers

Panthera Launches New Website

Early reproduction retains fertility in cheetah females
Reproduction in free-ranging female cheetah in Namibia is far better than expected. Their reproductive organs are healthy and approximately 80 percent of their young reach adulthood. With these findings, scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin have overturned the established dogma that cheetahs generally reproduce badly due to their low genetic diversity. The scientists demonstrated that female fertility critically depended on the age at which they conceived their first litter.
The world's largest population of cheetahs inhabits Namibian farmland. Although some farmers persecute and eliminate cheetahs, the cheetahs' main predators, lions and hyenas, are absent. 'In contrast to the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania where almost 80 percent of cheetah cubs are killed by lions and hyenas, the majority of young cheetahs in Namibia reach adulthood' explains Dr Bettina Wachter from the IZW. The IZW scientists studied whether the reproductive problems that were thought to hamper cheetahs affected the Namibian population of this species. To achieve this, they investigated whether cheetah females had normal reproductive cycles and examined the condition of their

Tom Siebel On Being Gored By An Elephant
A year ago . . . I was on safari in Tanzania with my wife and two daughters, and we had spent three days touring the Serengeti in the back of a Land Rover . . . seeing lots of animals, wildebeests, lions, zebra. . . . [My family was] quite jet-lagged and decided to take a day off. So I asked the guide if we could take a walking safari. . . . I showed up at 6:30 in the morning with my Nikon camera . . . and he [had] a double-barreled .470-caliber rifle and [said,] "I don't anticipate we'll have any problems, but if we get charged by an animal, it's very important that we stand our ground because if you turn and run we're going to get hurt because they chase things that run. . . ."
So, we . . . go out for a walk and in front of the lodge is a watering hole. . . . In the Serengeti [they] are pretty few and far between so they're pretty attractive features for migrating animals . . . and we came upon a herd of water buffalo . . . big and mean and kind of superbad looking, so we tiptoed around that . . . and about [15] minutes later, we came across a herd of elephants . . . about

Lincoln Park Zoo scientist helps trace origin of Malaria
A team of researchers including a Lincoln Park Zoo scientist has discovered the origin of the deadliest form of malaria, a disease that kills nearly one million people worldwide each year.
The group’s findings, published in the Thursday’s issue of the journal “Nature,” focused on Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest strain of malaria.
They found it while studying apes, gorillas and bonobos in Africa. P. Falciparum previously was thought to have originated in chimpanzees. But the new research concluded that the strain is of gorilla origin.
“The value of this specific research is that we now have a better understanding of the ecology of Plasmodium and its long relation to humans and one of our closest-living relations, gorillas,” Dave Morgan, a fellow at the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes at the Lincoln Park Zoo, said by email from the Congo. “This research also highlights the importance of ape populations residing in Central Africa and their link to human health issues.”
For the past decade, Morgan and other scientists working on the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project, based in the Congo, tracked apes and gorillas through the forest, collecting feces and analyzing the samples in a lab.
“One of the main goals of the Goualougo,nature-malaria-study-092310.article

German scientists discover rare ape species in Asia
German scientists said on Tuesday they had discovered a new rare and endangered ape species in the tropical rainforests between Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia by its distinctive song.
The new type of crested gibbon, one of the most endangered primate species in the world, is called the northern buffed-cheeked gibbon or Nomascus annamensis, a statement from the German Primate Centre (DPZ) said.
"The discovery of a new species of ape is a minor sensation," said Christian Roos from the DPZ.
"An analysis of the frequency and tempo of their calls, along with genetic research, show that this is, in fact, a new species."
The distinctive song "serves to defend territory or might even be a precursor of the music humans make," the statement added.
The male of the new species is covered

Zoo visitors becoming an endangered species
The number of visitors to the cash-strapped San Francisco Zoo dropped again this year, continuing a decline seen since a 2007 peak.
Zoo officials reported a 10 percent admission decrease this summer compared to the prior year, with 18,000 fewer visitors in July alone. Possible causes include the abnormally cold and wet summer weather and the slow economy, zoo spokeswoman Lora LaMarca said.
“As you know, this has been a pretty bad weather year,” LaMarca said. “We hope that the new norm is that flat is growth.”
Attendance has been declining, however, since 2007, which saw record-breaking crowds of 1.1 million drawn to the opening of the Grizzly Gulch exhibit. That year ended with a fatal Christmas Day incident in which an escaped tiger killed one patron and mauled two others.
Attendance fell to 965,296 in 2008

Zoo Atlanta Saves Rare Tortoise and Gets a Surprise
here is nothing particularly impressive about the "impressed" tortoise from Southeast Asia -- other than it would have tasted good to the Chinese palate.
It is literally being eaten out of existence.
It is one of the rarest, most endangered animals in the world.
There might be 2,000 left in the wild.
Zoo Atlanta intervened on behalf of one "impressed" tortoise and helped it beat nearly impossible odds. It was confiscated by Chinese authorities and brought to Zoo Atlanta, under the care of curator of herpetology, Dr. Joe Mendelson.
"Everything indicated that this turtle would have been boiled in a pot of soup many, many years agio," said Zoo Atlanta's curator of herpetology Dr. Joe Mendelson.
"We were doing these x-rays to look for any evidence of internal abnormalities and lo and behold," said Zoo Atlanta veterinarian Dr. Sam Rivera.
Lo and behold, inside the so-called "impressed" tortoise Dr. Rivera found... rocks.
"You can almost see the individual rocks and grit within the stomach and also in parts of the intestine," he said, holding an x-ray up.
"It was scheduled to be sold...per pound...on the food market, which is why it was full of rocks," Dr. Mendelson

ANIMAL campaigners were last night trying to rescue four dolphins being kept in a filthy swimming pool just 30ft square by 13ft deep.
The bottlenoses, two male and two female, were found by a Brit working in Egypt who was alerted by their distinctive

With its polar bear swimming in circles, KC Zoo tries to enliven life in captivity
Look, kids, here comes the polar bear!
Here he comes around again!
And again …
Nikita the polar bear spends much of his days just swimming in circles in his new $11 million home at the Kansas City Zoo. He’s beautiful to behold underwater through the huge glass windows. But visitors are beginning to wonder about his repetitive behavior.
“It saddens me to watch that bear doing laps,” said Kyle Bradley of Raytown, a zoo supporter. “I stopped counting them

Bronze statue of famous gorilla up for sale
A life-size bronze cast of a famous gorilla is expected to sell for thousands of pounds when it goes under the hammer in Gloucestershire, auctioneers said.
Jambo hit the headlines for guarding a five-year-old boy who fell into his enclosure at Jersey Zoo on July 31 1986.
The gorilla was credited with changing public perception of silverbacks from dangerous King Kong beasts

Gazans Desert Their Donkey-Zebra
"We haven't had a single visit yet through Ramadan, what kind of zoo doesn't get visitors during holidays?" asks Mahmoud Barghoud, 22, co-creator of the Marha zoo.
The Marha Land zoo and children's park lies halfway between Gaza and Deir al-Balah on the main north-south highway running Gaza's length, waiting for customers to visit. In the peak of summer, the park gets a handful of visitors on a good day. During the month of Ramadan and since, there have been none.
Of Gaza's roughly ten scattered zoos and animal parks, the Marha zoo has gained the most fame for its creativity: in 2009, using women's hair dye and a donkey, they created Gaza's first 'zebra'.
But in the face of its ingenuity, the zoo has suffered financial and physical losses.
"When we returned to the zoo after the Israeli war on Gaza stopped, the first thing we saw were the dead monkeys. We'd had six of different types and they were all sprawled out dead," says Barghoud.
"The lioness was dead. The two camels were dead. The two hyenas were dead. Our gazelles, the foxes, the wolves, the caribou, the deer, the ostriches

N.C. Zoo Named One of Best in World by National Organization
A national organization has named North Carolina Zoo one of the best in the world, according to a release from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
"The North Carolina Zoo is one of the best in the world because it has met the highest standards in the world," said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. "It takes hard work and dedication to meet AZA Accreditation Standards." The N.C. Zoo was also granted accreditation by AZA, which was originally granted to the zoo in 1984.
To be accredited, the N.C. Zoo underwent a thorough investigation of standards, which,0,2459120.story

Why lions roar and wildcats miaow
The low roar of a lion, or the miaow of a wildcat, has more to do with where a cat lives than its size.
Scientists analysed the calls of 27 cat species, investigating how they vary in habitats from open sandy deserts to thickly planted jungles.
Cats living in open areas have deeper calls than those in dense habitats, the researchers found.
Previous research suggested a cat's size determined the pitch of its calls, made to find mates or

Cruel and unusual
As people across the country make plans to travel and enjoy the National Day Golden Week that begins October 1, most bears, monkeys and tigers that live in cages at zoos should expect less free time to lounge around.
Zoos are expecting big crowds during the holiday and they are planning to add extra animal shows to entertain visitors and that could be a nightmare for the animals that will be required to ride bicycles, walk on ropes and do a bunch of other tricks.
"During the national holidays, our animal shows will be increased from three to four times a day to seven to eight times a day," He Zhihua, head of Wuhan Zoo in Hubei Province, told the Global Times yesterday.
"Considering the animal welfare, performing animals will take turns to work and will be given more food in return," He said.
There are about 30 wildlife zoos in the country, and the most popular shows feature bears, monkeys, tigers, elephants and lions, followed by sea lions, dolphins and birds.
According to a report by Animals Asia Foundation, a charity that wants to stop cruel treatment of animals in Asia, many zoo workers mistreat animals by whipping and striking them.
The foundation reviewed animal shows at 13 zoos and safari parks from September 2009 to August, and found that many animals were forced to perform through fear, intimidation and physical violence.
Beaten into compliance
The report say trainers often beat animals into compliance. At five parks, workers removed teeth from tigers and lions to make them defenseless when the performers placed their heads inside the animals.
The practice of removing teeth from animals produces severe and chronic pain and leads to infections including gum disease.
In one park, a bear was forced to "wrestle" with a performer and a horse was forced to carry a tiger on its back in another park.
Three parks forced bears to ride a

Animals taken from Borth Animalarium and owners fined
Nine endangered animals are to be confiscated from a Ceredigion zoo after its owners admitted displaying animals without the proper paperwork.
The animals, which include a leopard, two lynx and two ring-tailed lemurs, were found at Borth Animalarium, near Aberystwyth.
Owners Alan and Jean Mumbray admitted not having the correct paperwork for a commercial premises in court on Monday.
They were both fined and told the animals would be found new homes.
A leopard
Two lynx
Two ring-tailed lemurs
Two black and white ruffed lemurs
Two spur-thighed tortoises
Jean Mumbray was fined £937.50 and ordered to pay costs of £250, and Alan Mumbray was fined £300 and £100 costs at Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court, said Dyfed-Powys Police.
Sgt Ian Guildford, a

Dalton zoo's academic plan
PLANS for a new educational centre at a zoo are set to be given the green light.
The proposal for the 300 square foot extension at South Lakes Wild Animal Park, Dalton, has been granted conditional planning permission by Barrow Borough Council planning officials.
But the educational centre needs to get the backing of the borough council’s planning committee before work on the scheme can begin.
The extension will be fitted to the building where the shop is situated.
Zoo boss David Gill says the new facility will benefit visitors and staff.
Mr Gill said: “The Education Centre/Events Centre is to give us more floor space for events, without taking up more land use.
“It is taking the roof off the

Seaworld welcomes new dolphin calf
A THREE-WEEK-OLD dolphin born at Seaworld will brighten people's lives when she grows up and she doesn't even know it yet.
The unnamed calf, born on September 2, is the third dolphin arrival at the theme park this year and once old enough, will be part of Seaworld's interactive dolphin team.
She will play with special needs

Zoo’s vow to raise £10,000 for tigers
THE Isle of Wight Zoo has pledged to raise £10,000 over the next year to support an expanding tiger project in India.
Islanders have been warned to expect the unexpected as the zoo plans a series of strange and bizarre events throughout the year, all in aid of its flagship species.
This week the zoo welcomed renowned wildlife artist Joanna May, as she prepares for the launch of her tiger exhibition.
Joanna, who sells her work though Christie’s auctions, spent two days at the zoo to learn about tigers and sketch individuals to base her paintings on.
She will donate a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of her tiger paintings and prints to the zoo and WWF.
Earlier this year, the zoo received the news its current project, supporting a tiger conservation project in Karnataka, would be expanding. The area is populated by wild tigers in the Kudremukh National Park and Bhadra Reserve, and the project

World's oldest black rhinos at Hiroshima zoo
A couple of black rhinoceros at the Hiroshima City Asa Zoological Park are the two oldest such rhinos in the world among the species kept at zoos, officials at the zoo said. The female, Hana, is an estimated 44 years old and the male, Kuro, is an estimated 43 years old—the two oldest according to a database of the Swiss-based World Association of Zoos and Aquariums listing 487 black rhinos at 69 zoos in the world, the officials said.
The two rhinos were both caught in wild in Kenya before they

Rare animal on the run from Sussex zoo
A rare lemur is on the run from a Sussex zoo.
One-year-old Kirioka, a rare red-bellied Madagascan Lemur scaled a fence at Drusillas Park in Alfriston and disappeared.
The runaway primate vanished on Wednesday night and, despite numerous attempts to recapture it, is still running wild.
A motorist spotted the little lemur by the roadside near the zoo's entrance at 5.30am this morning.
A police patrol combed the area but were called off their search after an hour.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said the creature, which is about the size of a large domestic cat, was

Cologne Zoo on High Alert after Fox Attack
Keepers at Cologne zoo are mourning the loss of five penguins torn to pieces by predatory foxes. The zoo's management is deploying new security measures to protect the remaining avian livestock.
The fox has been the traditional enemy of farmers in Europe for centuries. Now, though, it looks like zoo keepers would be well advised to keep the cunning canines on their radar.
Staff at Cologne's zoo are in a state of shock after a brutal attack on the facility's penguin colony. Foxes tore five penguins to pieces, according to the German tabloid Express.
A nuisance skulk of foxes also recently attacked the zoo's flamingos and ducks. All three enclosures are now surrounded by a low-current electric fence to protect the feathered residents.
Zoo executive director Christopher Landsberg told the newspaper that the fences are only a provisional measure. "We're working on a way to secure the periphery of the zoo to prevent,1518,719360,00.html

AZA Grants Accreditation to Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced that the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.
Silver Spring, Maryland (Vocus) September 23, 2010 -- The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced that the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.
“The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is one of the best in the world because it has met the highest standards in the world,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “It takes hard work and dedication to meet Association of Zoos and Aquariums Accreditation Standards.”
To be accredited, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium underwent a thorough investigation to ensure it has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards, which include animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process

Couple sues Sea World, saying boy traumatized by killing
A New Hampshire family who witnessed a whale kill a trainer at SeaWorld is suing the Orlando theme park.
Suzanne and Todd Connell filed the lawsuit Tuesday. It claims their 10-year-old son suffered emotional distress from witnessing Dawn Brancheau's death and seeks an unspecified amount of damages.

Fix it!: Aging, deteriorating fence worries officials at Springfield zoo
It’s a good thing the horse and two donkeys at the Henson Robinson Zoo seem content to hang around their barn.
If they wanted to make a run for it, the aging fence might not hold them.
“The fence that wraps all the way around the barn is in a pretty deteriorated condition,” said Larry Estep, a volunteer at the zoo. “… The wood is starting to rot to the point where boards are falling down. There are some wobbly areas. It’s not going to take a lot for it to fall over.”
Dwindling resources
Estep recently contacted Mike Stratton, executive director of the Springfield Park District, about some maintenance problems at the zoo.
“We have split-rail fences that go down the walkways to keep people out of areas they aren’t suppose to be in. A lot of the split rails have fallen down. … The landscaping has a lot of issues. There’s a lot of mud in various

Near-threatened species undergo sterilisation at Katraj zoo
The Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park and Research Centre, Katraj, has been carrying out sterilisation of wildlife species like blackbuck and nilgai for nearly one-and-a-half years after its request to other zoo authorities to take surplus stock of these animals did not get any response.
Now, they are also planning vasectomy on Sambar, a vulnerable deer species as per the standards of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an international organisation dedicated to conservation of nature. Blackbuck is an internationally recognised near-threatened species.
The zoological park has sterilised 20 blackbucks and three nilgais to restrict their numbers as the gestation period of these animals is 7-8 months. Admitting that there has been no response from other zoos for its request

No end to Macau’s tourism growth
......we will continue our promotion overseas to balance our source markets,” explained Joao Manuel Costa Antunes, director of the Macau government tourist office. “The arrival of new players in the gaming and gambl[ing] industry raised the interest of Chinese travelers to visit Macau. But as we offer an increasingly diversified product, such as spectacular shows, premium shopping, and new attractions, such as a panda conservation park, we also see strong increases from overseas markets - especially the



Vergel Zoo facing closure crisis
The crisis leaves some 460 homeless animals Vergel Safari Park where they lived and, in most cases were born there. The zoo of this region is closed due to lack of funds. Rehoming is the main consideration. Uno, a very docile and affectionate 1500 kilos female rhinoceros will be greatly missed by staff. None of the animals will go to a circus it has been stated.

Thieves steal funds raised in Britain for Lion Man
Lion Man Craig Busch will not let scammers put him off trying to regain Whangarei's Zion Wildlife Gardens or open another big-cat park.
It has been revealed that thieves have siphoned off money in a British bank account set up to raise funds for him.
Mr Busch lost Zion Wildlife Gardens - the big-cat park he started which featured in the Lion Man TV series he starred in - to his mother, Patricia Busch, after she bailed him out financially.
His mother sacked him in November 2008. But the Lion Man has been trying to raise funds to buy

Read More: Craig Busch Hack Attack

Seized Reptiles Were "On Loan" from Zoos
Discovered by police investigating an assault case, scores of allegedly neglected reptiles – many reportedly ill or with injuries, some already dead – were rescued from Terry Cullen’s residence in May 2010. In yet another example of the link between animal abuse and violence against humans, Cullen is facing charges related to alleged animal abuse, sexual assault and false imprisonment.
Cullen had presented himself as a reptile collector for years, and many of the animals in his possession, including endangered species, were reportedly loaned to him by zoos. That only a handful of these zoos are reported to have come forward to take responsibility for the animals they had given to Cullen “on loan” is no surprise to seasoned wildlife rescuers. Quoted in the Journal-Sentinal is the Colorado Reptile Humane Society’s director Ann-Elizabeth Nash:
"Decades-long transfers of the animals don't make any sense. There is either an institutional commitment to the animal or there isn't," she said. "This is a Pandora's box. Not many people know about this, but numbers-wise this kind of thing is going to make puppy mill seizures a joke. There is this behind-the-scenes interaction between AZA institutions and institutions not AZA. What is the level of self-policing the AZA does? What are the vetting protocols to loan to non-AZA? There is a feeling that if the animal doesn't have fur, it's not something we need to worry about."
Take Action!
Locals are encouraged to support the prosecution by attending court proceedings. A hearing date in the criminal case against Terry Cullen is currently scheduled for December 13, 2010. (Always contact the Court to confirm court dates and locations as they are subject to change.)
Circuit Court of Milwaukee County
Safety Building
821 West State Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233
Case #2010CF002659
Contact the zoos in your state and ask them to document their policies on “animal loans” for you. Many zoos benefit from taxpayer dollars, and the public should expect there to be a goal of l

Dolphin innovators hunt fish by collecting conch shells
Dolphins living in Shark Bay, Australia have developed a rare, and extraordinary new behaviour.
he dolphins have become shell-collectors, using their snouts to pick up and transport large conchs.
The dolphins seek out the shells to hunt fish that are sheltering within.
It is likely that the dolphins originally chased the fish into the conchs, and have now learnt to bring the shells to the surface, where they can flush out and eat their

Rare antelope-like mammal caught in Asia
An extremely rare animal known as the "Asian unicorn" - in spite of having two horns - has been caught by villagers in Laos.
No biologist has ever reported seeing the rare Saola in the wild and there are none of them in captivity.
The animal was discovered in the forests of South-East Asia as recently as 1992.
There have only been a few photos of the Saola taken so far, by villagers and automatic camera traps.

Breeder killed by elephant in NE China
An elephant is believed to have trampled its breeder last week, killing the 46-year-old man who had been feeding and training the animal for over 20 years in a park in Northeast China's Jilin province, park officials said Monday.
Angya, a 27-year-old female elephant weighing three tons, and its breeder Zhao Jidong, were returning on a truck to Changchun Wildlife Park following a performance last Friday when the incident occurred, Mu Dejun, head of the park said.
Zhao was found dead in a cage, where he normally stayed with the elephant while traveling in the truck. "The body was covered with grass and the elephant was caressing it with its trunk," the driver, who declined to give his name, said.
The fatal blow appeared to be on Zhao's chest, he added.
The police are investigating and the result of an autopsy was yet to be released, Mu said.
Angya was gentle and had never caused trouble before, according to officials. Also, the

Cat-fight over Bengal tiger
Rivals prepared to go to court
A bitter custody battle is raging over a 150kg Bengal tiger in the southern Cape.
Two-year-old Angelo, a white tiger with a degenerative eye condition, is "on loan" to a Mossel Bay wildlife park owner who has vowed to keep him.
But the original owner wants him back and says he is driving down to the coast pick up the tiger next week "no matter what".
The two men have vowed to take the matter to court rather than relinquish custody.
Angelo is one of four tigers imported from Canada in 2008 as part of an animal-exchange agreement between a Canadian zoo and Free

Bristol students to investigate Zoo's history
The history of Bristol Zoo, which celebrates its 175th anniversary next year, is the subject of two Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded research projects by PhD students at the University of Bristol.
Working in partnership with the Zoo, the two students will provide material and insights to enrich visitors’ experience and deepen understanding of the Zoo's history for both the local community and those working in the fields of social and environmental history.
PhD student Sarah-Joy Maddeaux will look at the social history of the Zoo by researching those who founded, ran, and visited the Zoo in its 175-year history to gain an understanding of people's attitudes

New Directors for Zoo
CHESTER Zoo has announced the appointment of its new Director General and Managing Director.
Dr Mark Pilgrim, currently the zoo’s Director of Conservation and Education, will take up the role of Director General on the 1st October. He takes over from Prof Gordon McGregor Reid, who is stepping down after 18 years in the zoo and 15 years at the helm.
Mark will be joined by Barbara Smith who will take on the newly-created position of Managing Director. Barbara is Executive Manager at Edinburgh Castle and will start at the zoo on October 25.
Prof Peter Wheeler, chairman of the Trustees of NEZS, the charitable body that runs Chester Zoo, said: “We are extremely pleased to have appointed a team with the expertise and experience to continue the development of the zoo as a world-class visitor attraction and increase the impact of our internationally important conservation work. We wish Mark

Chester Zoo Biodome Project is given go-ahead
APPROVAL for a £225m biodome project that will transform Chester Zoo into an international attraction has been granted.
The momentous decision by the council’s strategic planning committee on Friday put the zoo one step away from realising an ambitious vision 15 years in the planning.
Approval was granted by Cheshire West and Chester's strategic planning committee by 9-2.
Because the work involves extensive building on Green Belt land, it has now been referred to the Secretary of State. He may call it in for a public enquiry or refer it back to the council.
After the meeting, Prof Gordon McGregor Reid, Chester Zoo's director general, said: “Today's result is the culmination of years of planning, preparation and

Experts visit Byculla Zoo to take stock of makeover plan
Nine months after the Central Zoo Authority gave its final approval to the Rs 433-crore Byculla zoo makeover, two CZA experts visited the zoo last week to take stock of the redevelopment plan, zoo officials said on Thursday. The project, which was passed by the CZA in November 2009, has been held up for a final approval from the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee. The MHCC has called for minor changes in the plan in order to preserve the tree cover and the floral biodiversity of the premises.
The experts — Dr Erach Barucha, CZA scientist, and V B Sawarkar, the former director of the Wildlife Institute of India — visited the zoo to appraise the current status of the premises as well as consider the reason for the delay in implementation of the plan. Barucha said, “The civic body is working on an extensive bio-diversity mapping of the zoo along with expert botanists from

Feds fund rare frogs
A few hundred rare frogs living in the local area received a federal government funding boost on Friday.
Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP Chuck Strahl was at the Coast Hotel to announce $420,154 in funding for eight conservation projects aimed at species at risk in British Columbia.
The British Columbia Conservation Foundation (BCCF) received $80,000 for habitat stewardship, restoration and expansion as well as monitoring for the Oregon spotted frog, among others.
Biologists estimate there are only about 300 Oregon spotted frogs left in the province at three locations, all in the Agassiz area--Mountain Slough, Marias Slough and Morris Valley.
The problem for the frog is that its preferred environment is precisely what farmers want to eliminate, namely warm, sunny, shallow water.
Monica Pearson is a habitat biologist who works with the BCCF on Oregon spotted frog habitat to create "frog

Fish: the forgotten victims on our plate
There is no humane slaughter requirement for the staggering number of wild fish caught and killed at sea
When I was a child, my father used to take me for walks, often along a river or by the sea. We would pass people fishing, perhaps reeling in their lines with struggling fish hooked at the end of them. Once I saw a man take a small fish out of a bucket and impale it, still wriggling, on an empty hook to use as bait.
Another time, when our path took us by a tranquil stream, I saw a man sitting and watching his line, seemingly at peace with the world, while next to him, fish he had already caught were flapping helplessly and gasping in the air. My father told me that he could not understand how anyone could enjoy an afternoon spent taking fish out of the water and letting them die slowly.
These childhood memories flooded back when I read Worse Things Happen at Sea: the Welfare of Wild-caught Fish, a breakthrough report released last month on In most of the world, it is accepted that if animals are to be killed for food, they should be killed without suffering. Regulations for slaughter generally require that animals be rendered instantly unconscious before they are killed, or death should be brought about instantaneously

Food for animals served in zoo cafe
Food donated to a zoo to feed the animals was cooked and served in the cafe.
Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire received a batch of fresh vegetables after an accidental double delivery at a nearby supermarket.
Those that were not suitable for the animals - a quantity of potatoes and onions - were used in the kitchen, it was revealed.
The incident in September 2009 came to light after a complaint was made to the local council.
Council officers investigated and discussed with the operators measures to tighten up their procedures, with the zoo being banned from using donated food in this way in future.
But the park said the produce was always meant for human consumption and was served in the cafe so it would not have to be thrown away.
A spokesman said: "In September 2009, Woburn Safari Park received a one-off delivery of surplus fresh vegetables from a company due to a stock overbooking.
"The produce, always intended for human consumption, was within its sell-by dates so common sense was applied, allowing the kitchen

Galapagos tortoises get new $1-million digs at San Diego Zoo
Something is new on Reptile Mesa at the San Diego Zoo: a $1-million upgrade to the enclosure for the zoo's 17 Galapagos tortoises.
The Galapagos tortoises, an endangered species, exist in only two locations: The famous islands off Ecuador, and in zoos.
Many of the 17 have been at the San Diego Zoo since the 1930s; several are thought to be more than 100 years old. One of the zoo's longtime patrons thought the big reptiles deserved better digs.
And so after some fundraising, the Fetter Family

Fish and microchips to track shoal movement
It gives a whole new meaning to fish and chips. British scientists are to insert microchips with movement sensors normally found in video games into wild fish to monitor how they roam about the oceans.
Sensitive "three-axis" motion indicators used in handsets to show how people move about for consoles such as Nintendo's Wii will be implanted into Atlantic cod and salmon in an attempt to halt their long-term decline.
A team of 17 at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) in Lowestoft, Suffolk, has spent six years developing the technology at a cost of £559,000.
During the first five years of their six-year research project, they developed basic microchips with magnets that can be stitched into the fish's bodies to record when they open their mouths and whether they are breathing, yawning, coughing, or – of most interest – feeding.
Engineers then hit on the idea of adding "three-axis accelerometers" in video-game technology to electronic tags to enable analysis of the movement of fish in three planes.
This will reveal how much energy they are expending, which can be used to piece together the feeding and movement of large predatory fish. Marine scientists say that the ensuing information about how

Ikh Nart Nature Reserve

"Jungle" Jack Hanna on Toledo Zoo elephant incident
He's a well-known animal guy seen on 13abc on Sunday mornings at 5:30. "Jungle" Jack Hanna was in town Thursday night to promote his new book, "My Wild Life."
He also gave 13abc his take on the incident at the Toledo Zoo involving Louie the elephant. That incident July 1 sent an elephant trainer to the hospital and raised questions about animals and safety measures at the zoo.
Jack Hannah is familiar with the story of Louie the elephant. And in his line of work, Hannah says accidents can happen. "People do make mistakes." Jack Hannah is one of the best known animal experts in the world. And in his line of work, Hannah says mistakes can be painful, even deadly.
"People ask me all the time if I've ever been injured or hurt. Obviously, I have. You know, 40 years of doing this. But when you work with animals with respect, which the Toledo Zoo does, and most accredited zoos do, things are going to happen," says Hanna.
On July 1, something did happen. Elephant trainer, Don Redfox, was inside the Toledo Zoo enclosure with Louie, the zoo's 7-year-old African elephant. A review of video shows Redfox and Louie startled one another. The encounter turned physical and sent Redfox to the hospital.
"I tell our board of trustees in Columbus, don't ever think

Last strongholds for tigers identified in new study
A new peer-reviewed paper by the Wildlife Conservation Society and other groups reveals an ominous finding: most of the world’s last remaining tigers — long decimated by overhunting, logging, and wildlife trade — are now clustered in just six percent of their available habitat. The paper identifies 42 ‘source sites’ scattered across Asia that are now the last hope and greatest priority for the conservation and recovery of the world’s largest cat.
The securing of the tiger’s remaining source sites is the most effective and efficient way of not only preventing extinction but seeding a recovery of the wild tiger, the study’s authors say. The researchers also assert that effective conservation efforts focused on these sites are both possible and economically feasible, requiring an additional $35 million a year for increased monitoring and enforcement to enable tiger numbers to double in these last strongholds.
The study — published online by PLoS Biology — is authored by: Wildlife Conservation Society researchers Joe Walston, John Robinson, Elizabeth Bennett, John Goodrich, Melvin Gumal, Arlyne Johnson, Ullas Karanth, Dale Miquelle, Anak

Houston Zoo leading fight against elephant herpes
A new weapon in the fight to prevent a deadly disease in elephants is being developed right here in Houston.
For the past year, the Houston Zoo has been working with researchers at Baylor College of Medicine to study the elephant herpes virus. Now researchers have come up with a test that's drawing interest from zoos around the world.
This test is really a breakthrough. In the last several years, six baby elephants born at the Houston Zoo have died from the herpes virus. Now researchers think they've found a better test.
At just four months old, little Baylor the elephant is already helping combat a deadly disease. Part of one of the most screened herds of elephants in North America, the clues he sheds about elephant herpes could save countless others.
"By the time they get sick, it's too late," said Dr. Lauren Howard, Houston Zoo Associate Veterinarian. "So that's why with our testing with Baylor, we're able to diagnose the problem before it's even clinically apparent."
It was following the death of another baby elephant named

New zoo habitat coming for polar bears
Fresh off the opening of Delta Sonic Heritage Farm, the Buffalo Zoo is looking ahead to its next capital project.
And its two polar bears couldn’t be happier.
President Donna Fernandes confirmed the zoo will kick off an $18 million capital campaign next month to raise money for two projects: a new entrance off the main parking lot; and development of the Arctic Edge Habitat.
The latter will be the new home of polar bears and will include more exhibition space for birds and mammals that typically live in arctic zones.
The zoo is under a mandate from the American Zoo and Aquarium Association to build a more modern home for the bears or risk losing them to another facility. The polar bears are among the most popular animals at the zoo. They are housed in an exhibit that was constructed during the late 1930s as a Works Project Administration effort.
Fernandes said design work is in the early stage, adding, “All I’ve got are just a couple of color sketches.”
The Arctic Edge Habitat is the latest in a series of new exhibits Fernandes helped bring to the zoo in the past decade, boosting annual attendance.
“Everything is totally dependent on us getting the

Red squirrel breeding program proposed
For some of the most endangered animals in the world, the only place they can be found is in zoos. For others, their habitats are so small that they necessitate inclusive rules for those who want to visit the area.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service does not want that to be the case with the endangered Mount Graham red squirrel, but the organization is hedging its bets and has proposed a pilot-managed breeding program at the Phoenix Zoo's Conservation Center. The project is a recommendation by the multiagency Mount Graham Red Squirrel Recovery Team, which includes the Coronado National Forest Safford Ranger District, Arizona Game and Fish Department, the University of Arizona, the San Carlos Apache Tribe and others.
According to a press release, the 10-year pilot project would develop husbandry, rearing and breeding methods for the squirrel, as well as techniques for releasing them into the wild and establishing an assurance population of squirrels outside of Mount Graham that could serve as a buffer in case a wildfire or other traumatic event causes

Hybrids May Thrive Where Parents Fear to Tread
On May 15, 1985, trainers at Hawaii Sea Life Park were stunned when a 400- pound gray female bottlenose dolphin named Punahele gave birth to a dark-skinned calf that partly resembled the 2,000-pound male false killer whale with whom she shared a pool. The calf was a wholphin, a hybrid that was intermediate to its parents in some characteristics, like having 66 teeth compared with the bottlenose’s 88 and the 44 of the false killer whale, a much larger

MoEF wants explanation on tigers’ death
The Ministry of Environment and Forest has asked the state forest department to file a report explaining the circumstances in which wild animals, including three tigers, died earlier this week at the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP).
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) B K Singh, who inspected the animals on Thursday, said four tigers had diarrhoea and they had been put on drips. He said they were looking for a stronger antibiotic for the animals.
Assistant Director of BBP Veterinary services, Dr B C Chittiappa, said the situation was under control and park authorities were conducting tests

Penguin exhibit wins big award for Woodland Park Zoo
The penguin exhibit at Woodland Park Zoo has won one of the most prestigious awards in the zoo and aquarium industry.
The Association of Zoos & Aquariums honored the zoo with the Exhibit Achievement Award, according to a news release from the zoo.
"We are honored that our peers at AZA have recognized our goal of encouraging our zoo guests to explore and discover more about the Humboldt penguins' natural history and their plight in the wild, the birds' connection to people and the collaborative work underway to help this endangered species," Woodland Park Zoo President and CEO Dr. Deborah Jensen said in the release.
The Humboldt penguin exhibit features dramatic vantage points, shoreline cliffs, a tide pool, waves and a beach.
The exhibit was made possible by public and private support from more than 550 donors, including the King County Parks Levy, community fundraising campaigns, The Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation, Bill & Melinda

Balamuthia mandrillaris ameba infection
Balamuthia mandrillaris is a free-living ameba (a single-celled organism) found in soil and dust. Exposure to Balamuthia is likely to be common because of how widespread it is in the environment. However, very few cases of disease in humans have been found worldwide since Balamuthia was discovered.
What is Balamuthia mandrillaris?
Balamuthia is a free-living ameba found in the environment. It was first identified in 1986 in a specimen from the brain of a baboon that died in the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Since then, approximately 200 cases of Balamuthia disease have been reported worldwide; approximately 70 of those cases have been reported in the United States. Little is known at this time about

Human Error Blamed for Snake's Escape from Zoo
A final report from the state Department of Natural Resources confirms human error was to blame for a snake's escape from Zoo Atlanta last month.
The two-foot long tiger rattlesnake slipped out of quarantine on Aug. 27.
"A cage door was left unsecured," Dr. Dwight Lawson, Ph.D, Deputy Director of Zoo Atlanta said last month. "The snake was able to get out of that."
It was found dead Aug. 30 at an unoccupied Grant Park house. The property owner called the zoo after learning about the missing snake.
"Her husband, who apparently was working on renovating a house, had said that he had killed a snake on the property presumably the day before," Lawson said.
The zoo issued a public apology and disciplined the employee responsible for the snake's escape.
"The caretaker is an experienced professional," Zoo Atlanta spokeswoman Keisha Hines said
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Born Wild is a story of passion, adventure and skulduggery on the frontline of African conservation. Following Tony Fitzjohn's journey from London bad boy to African wildlife warrior, the heart of the story is a series of love affairs with the world’s most beautiful and endangered creatures – affairs that so often end in pain, for to succeed in re-introducing a lion or leopard to the wild is to be deprived of their companionship. Tony tells of his twenty years in Kenya with George Adamson of Born Free fame - a time of discovery, isolation and frequent danger living far from civilisation. And when he was prevented from re-introducing any more animals into the wild and made unwelcome in the country he loved, Tony had to start anew in Tanzania.

TRAFFIC releases new report on sustainable wild plant harvest  

Tide turns for Turkish dolphins
DOWNHAM campaigner Joanne Cowell reports two bottle-nosed dolphins, whose plight made international news, have been rescued form a filthy prison-like pool in the Turkish mountain resort of Hisaronu.
Joanne’s efforts have made a huge contribution to the campaign with more than 21,000 people visiting her Facebook page – far more than the two or three hundred she thought she might get.
“Tom and Misha’s plight was something that touched the hearts of thousands of people on Facebook and I sat at the computer for three days updating the progress of the dolphins who’ve now been moved to a secret location on the Turkish coast,” said Joanne.
“The operation was organised in 48 hours by the wildlife charity, Born Free, The Dolphin Angels, Divers Marine Line Rescue, a senior vet consultant, John Knight, and many, many others, too numerous to mention.
“On the day they were moved, I was so nervous that something was going to go wrong. The dolphins are not in good health so the move was potentially very dangerous for the pair of them, but they arrived at their sea-pen safely and have done surprisingly well since then,” said Joanne, whose family have been holidaying in the area for several years.
There are plans to make the ‘saving’ of Tom and Misha into a documentary, by Donal McIntyre for

Wildlife crooks deserve no mercy
We have to get tough with wildlife smugglers as the world is watching how serious we are about tackling the scourge.
FOR years, fingers have been pointed at Malaysia for being a wildlife smuggling centre. There have been allegations of corruption and collusion between rich rogues in the business and officials of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) and Customs.
Finally, a man who has almost single-handedly tainted the country as a global hub for the illegal wildlife trade has been caught red-handed.
A bag containing 95 boa constrictors, two rhinoceros vipers and a matamata turtle burst on the conveyor belt at KLIA where Wong Keng Liang, 52, better known as Anson Wong, was on transit to Jakarta from Penang.
The mind boggles at the blatant bid to commit the dastardly crime. Is it that easy to board a flight at Penang airport with a bag full of boas wrapped in sarongs?
Now, the six months’ jail sentence for the world’s most wanted smuggler of endangered species smacks more

Zoo's new zip line lets visitors get bird's eye view
The Louisville Zoo has opened a confidence course-style zip line harness ride on which riders can “fly” over the zoo landscape at speeds up to 60 mph.
It is open to the public Thursdays through Sundays in September and weekends only in October, from 10 a.m. to 30 minutes before the zoo closes.
Rides on the zip line are $12 per person, in addition to regular zoo admission, with a 10 percent discount for zoo members and for groups of 10 or more.
On the ride, people are secured in a harness that is tethered to an overhead cable. Using a twin safety pulley system, riders leave a 50-foot-high launch point and zip over the zoo’s lake to another tower 350 feet away and then zip back again.
The zip line has the capacity to do up to 60 rides per hour. The speed of the ride is determined by the rider’s weight and wind resistance.
John Walczak, zoo director, said, “Zipping through the treetops is no longer just for the birds. The zoo is all about family fun, and we think having the opportunity to fly through the air on the zip line will be an amazing experience. Plus the views of the zoo are spectacular all along the way.”
The zoo’s zip line was built by Ropes Course Inc., which has been constructing and

Dolphinarium to open in Baku
A dolphinarium will open in Baku in September 2010.
The new cultural and recreation project-the Baku dolphinarium Nemo will be presented to the residents of the Azerbaijani capital city in September 2010.
An exiting show with participation of representatives of sea fauna- dolphins, sea lions and sea bears will be presented to the attention of the Baku residents.
Also there is a plan to hold dolphine-therapy which is a unique method in treatment of different psychological diseases

Smithsonian Helps Revive Animal Species
Facility In Blue Ridge Mountains Off-Limits To Public
Rare breeds of wild horses, African antelope and leopards are some of the animals that roam the Smithsonian Institution's Conservation Biology Institute. Scientists at this special zoo are working to bring endangered species from around the world back from the brink of extinction.
The institute is part of the Smithsonian's National Zoo. The Zoo in Washington, D.C., is one of the city's most popular tourist destinations. But the facility, located in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is off-limits to the public.
"We're kind of almost a last hope in some ways for some of these very rare individuals," said Steve Monfort, the institute's

Saving Wild Tigers Cheaply, With Apple’s Help?
A study just published in the journal PLos Biology, “Bringing the Tiger Back from the Brink — The Six Percent Solution,” lays out a smart strategy for stanching the decline of tigers in the wild driven by relentless poaching for skins and the Asian trade in extracts and body parts.
The take-home point is the cost. If even Bjorn Lomborg sees the merits of the world spending $100 billion a year to address global warming, is there anyone who can find a downside to raising a grand total of $35 million a year (beyond money already committed by national governments) to protect 42 “source sites” — areas of tiger territory with populations that are sufficiently healthy to repopulate neighboring regions with suitable, but tiger-less, habitat? (I propose one corporate money source below.)
There’s more background, including comments

Tiger "clusters" seen as last hope for species: study
Asia's tiger population could be close to extinction with fewer than 3,500 tigers remaining in the wild and most clustered in fragmented areas making up less than 7 percent of their former range in Asia, a study says.
The study in the latest issue of the online journal PLoS Biology says saving tigers living in 42 sites across Asia from poachers, illegal loggers and the wildlife trade is crucial to prevent the species becoming extinct in the wild.
The cost of achieving this would be an additional $35 million a year in funding for law enforcement and monitoring, the report's lead authors from the U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation Society say.
The World Bank, global conservation organization IUCN and Panthera, a big cat environmental group, also contributed to the study.
"The tiger is facing its last stand as a species," John Robinson, executive vice president of conservation and science for the Wildlife Conservation

Whale of a find for building crew at San Diego zoo
It's a whale of a find at the San Diego Zoo.
In a statement, the zoo said that a construction crew using an excavator hit a hard spot while digging for a storm water tank. It turned out to be a well-preserved 3-million-year-old whale fossil.
A paleontologist from the San Diego Natural History Museum was assigned to the project as a precaution and verified the find.
The baleen whale is 24-

Yoga bear strikes a pose at Finnish zooTourist captures Santra's stretching routine on camera, and expert says it may be a bear necessity to stay sane
Not all members of the ursine community waste their time persecuting park rangers, corrupting their diminutive sidekicks and gorging themselves on stolen picnic baskets. As these remarkable pictures demonstrate, Santra is altogether more spiritual – and lithe – than the average bear.
The photographs of the female brown bear performing a 15-minute stretching routine were shot by a Slovenian tourist on a visit to the Ahtari zoo in Finland.
"She held her legs with her hands for a minute or two in a V position and then put them down and relaxed," said Meta Penca, a 29-year-old web programmer.
"Then she put up her left leg and put it straight with her hands and held it with her left hand for a bit. Then she lifted the other leg, straightened it and held it with her right hand for around two minutes and then had a little rest and then all over again.
"It was exactly the same as when you see people do yoga; easy, slow, focused and calm. She looked pretty into

Legal intrigue over dolphin death
The corporate raiders who took over Moscow’s dolphinarium last year may have been chased from that pool – but a legal row still swirls around the fate of one of the centre’s dolphins.
Patra, a pregnant female, has been missing since the raiders arrived and the trail now points to Sochi where incompetent officials failed to check on the welfare of animals at another sea-life centre.
Officially Patra was transferred from Moscow to Sochi where she was set to enjoy life in a deeper pool.
But after some dolphinarium employees reported seeing the creature’s corpse being disposed off late one night Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets launched its own investigation.
Illegal transfer
A new dolphin did arrive in Sochi, but this “Patra” was neither female nor pregnant.
Moreover, the Sochi dolphin arrived with visible signs of a fishnet on his back, suggesting he had been recently caught rather than moved from another aquarium.
“He hasn’t shown any signs of any training so we are led to conclude he was fished out recently, and clearly it was done illegally,” Lev Mukhametov, the director of the Moscow department of the dolphinarium, told MK. “The raiders passed him off to the prosecutors from Adler instead of Patra,” he added.
No checks
Usually the local veterinary service would be notified of the arrival of a new dolphin, but in this case it didn’t happen.
Later the local prosecutors were shown a dolphin introduced to them as Patra, the newspaper reported. Neither vets nor animal trainers were present at the identification, and the appropriate federal service did not interfere.
Despite the evidence, however, it seems that

Huge wildlife bone trade network uncovered
On September 15, Hanoi Environmental Police (EP) in conjunction with relevant authorities uncovered a wildlife bone trade network operated by a couple at their home in Hoang district, and confiscated evidence of up to nearly 900kg of animal bone from four different locations. The haul included over 100kg of bone from IB species in which exploitation for trade is strictly prohibited, such as tigers, leopards, stuffed bear head and elephant tusks, and nearly 800kg from other wildlife such as serows, deer and turtles. Authorities also found many wildlife products such as glue, dried bile and dried porcupine stomach.
Earlier on the same day, authorities raided three other locations in Me Linh district, Cau Giay district and Hai Ba Trung district also believed to be part of the network, where around one hundred of the wildlife bones and products were seized. ENV staff were at the Hanoi EP office

Lately, Florida has been in the news as a hotbed for religious controversy. Now, Pastor Troy Gramling at Flamingo Road Church in Cooper City, Florida may be adding to it. Last week, he rolled out his series of Sunday sermons called "Wild."
His sermon featured a chained, adult male, 500 pound lion on the pulpit in a small transport cage. For the length of the sermon, the lion paced, moving and rocking the cage back and forth, as the pastor quoted scripture and referred to the lion as a symbol for the devil himself. Next week’s sermon promises to feature pythons representing original sin.
There were no barricades between the transport cage and the congregation. There was only a man sitting next to the cage, a man with some interesting views about wildlife. Jeremy Possman, of Predators Unlimited, supplied this lion for the “show.” He is an alligator wrestler who admits that business has pretty much dried up in that area. So, he has turned to photo ops and traveling exhibits with wild animals.
He was quoted in an AP story saying, "If you do get bit, a lot of times that just means more business, because they're going to come back to see if it's going to happen again." Obviously, NOT a person most people would choose to be responsible

A horny story
Leave the rhinos alone. Their horns don’t have medicinal properties, and ingesting rhino horn is the same as chewing your own fingernails.
I KEPT a rhinoceros beetle as a pet before I ever encountered a real rhinoceros. It must have belonged to the species Oryctes rhinoceros as our house bordered oil palms. I never thought of these exquisite playthings as a pest even though (I now know) they can defoliate and sometimes kill coconut and oil palms.
I never thought of the horns (borne by the males) as weapons in mating battles against other males. To me, my little ebony black rhino was a thing of beauty. It moved majestically and its horn was grand and glorious. He was my gladiator. My rhino won many a battle against other males and did me proud, although I never got to see his harem and progeny.
When I saw my first real rhinoceros in the zoo, my fascination with horns grew exponentially. Neo-Fruedians, I am sure, will have a field day with this.
There are five extant species of rhinoceros. The white, the black, the Indian, the Javan and the Sumatran (the one found in our country, also known as Badak Api). I love them all although my favourite is the black rhino, Diceros bicornis (“two horns”). It was a natural extension of my love for my childhood pet. Black evokes power, elegance and mystery. Black rhinos roam the savanna of sub-Saharan Africa. Sadly they have been in the news because of the upsurge in poaching.
Rhinos are affectionate and intelligent animals. They have inhabited the Earth for 60 million years. Homo sapiens (the self-proclaimed sapient or wise man) are a Johnny-come-lately by comparison. We have been around for only 190,000 years or so. Unlike some species of rhino beetles, rhinos never got in the way of man. Yet we hunt and kill rhinos relentlessly for all sorts of misguided reasons.
Today, all five species of rhinos are perilously close to extinction. The Javan and Sumatran rhinos are near extinct. Indian rhinos may be coming back from the brink and that’s welcome news, although more has to be done.
Of the two African species, the white rhino has bounded from near extinction. The black rhino has not fared so well. As recently as 1970, there were an estimated 65,000 black rhinos. Today, there are fewer then 2,500 left.
Unlike most large mammals, habitat loss has not been a significant factor in the decline of rhinos. Rather it is poaching that has decimated the population. The rhino lives in a well-defined

Rhinoceros cage doubles as drug plantation at Austrian zoo
A rhinoceros enclosure at Hellbrunn zoo in western Austria turns out to have served a more lucrative purpose: as a cannabis plantation, the zoo revealed on Saturday.
A caretaker at the zoo was able to grow over 30 marijuana plants in the enclosure, unbeknownst to anyone else, the zoo's director told the Austria Press Agency.
The small plantation was in an area of the rhinoceros's cage that was closed to the public and to which the caretaker had exclusive access.
The zoo found out about its employee's side business when narcotics officers turned up in early September, after having been tipped

Houston Zoo Enrichment and Training

Orang aussiedog swinging poles melb zoo

Fresno zoo animals play role in own health care

Zookeepers use rewards to entice animals in ultrasounds.


Getting an orangutan to agree to an ultrasound is as hard as it sounds, but Fresno Chaffee Zoo keepers found the solution -- guacamole paste instead of ultrasound gel.


In Atlanta, zookeepers armed with fruit snacks have trained gorillas to place their arms into blood pressure cuffs.


Zookeepers are relying increasingly on behavioral management to provide better health care for animals in captivity.


Advancements in training have allowed animals to help themselves, said Grey Stafford, director of conservation at Wildlife World in Phoenix and an animal trainer for 20 years.


"The growth in behavioral management at zoos and aquariums in the past decade has been amazing," said Stafford, author of "Zoomility," a book about animal training with positive reinforcement. "Every time we can teach animals, especially endangered species, to voluntarily participate in their own care, husbandry and even medical treatment without restraint ... we lower the risks."


Using anesthesia for checkups is a thing of the past, said Steve Feldman, spokesman for the Maryland-based Association of Zoos and Aquariums.


Experts say training animals with rewards is better than knocking them out with drugs.


"If we don't have to anesthetize and can accomplish the same thing through training, it provides better outcomes," Feldman said.


Anesthesia can cause health problems -- or even kill animals. And, it's not considered practical, because animals won't cooperate if they believe they will be harmed by the anesthesia injection, said Lyn Myers, an assistant curator at Fresno Chaffee Zoo.


In recent months, Fresno trainers trained two pregnant orangutans to undergo ultrasound. The older of the two, Sara, had no problems with ultrasound gel being rubbed on her belly to see her unborn baby.


Her younger pal, Siabu, was not as easy to train, said Myers.


Trainer Michelle Bandy feeds the orangutans fruit, juice, gelatin or crushed monkey chow laced with apple sauce while they are encouraged to press their bellies to their enclosure on a "tummy" command and keep their arms over their heads.


It's an intense hour of work as keepers repeat commands, guide a gooey ultrasound probe to the right spot and eye the computer for usable pictures. And there is little room for error: the $6,000 probe can easily be crushed by an orangutan.


At first, Siabu didn't like her belly getting wet, Myers said, and re

Floods ravage the Kund Bear Sanctuary

The recent floods, while on one hand have destroyed and devastated a major portion of Pakistan’s communication infrastructure and villages, displacing over 20 million people, had also ravaged a noble cause at the Kund Park Bear sanctuary and has some bad news for the animal lovers.


The Kund Park spread over 176 acres lies in between the River Indus and River Kabul (on the north bank of river Kabul), between the cities of Nowshehra and Attock (on the border of the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhua and Punjab). The park is home to various species of animals including the common leopard, spotted deer, hog deer, black buck, golden pheasant, silver pheasant, ring-necked pheasant, kalij pheasant, cheer pheasant, blue peacock, white peacock, cranes, partridges.


Here at the Kund Park, the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has established a bear sanctuary for the protection of bears in Pakistan. The Society over the years has made relentless efforts to save bears from killing and using these as part of the awesome bear-dog fight game. Due to the efforts of the Society, this deadly game of bear baiting has been harnessed to a considerable extent. At the Park, a large wooded enclosure is separately reserved for the bears that are recovered from the clutches of the bear baiters. Till the floods hit Pakistan in July this year, the sanctuary had a population of 23 bears.


The recent floods hit this area badly and unfortunately the bear sanctuary as well. Although the staff received the flood warning, but the flash flood water rose 60 feet above river level swiftly, allowing no time for the staff to remove the bears to safety. Although

Doctors to Dolphin's Rescue (Video)

Surgery is performed

Lack of veterinarians is the bane of Bannerghatta Biological Park

As the crisis in the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) went from bad to worse, the authorities rushed expert veterinarians from Mysore to attend to the ill tigers, whose numbers continued to increase.


An emergency was declared in the park on Sunday as the number of critically ill tigers rose to 10. The lack of well-trained veterinarians in the


Besides getting the services of additional veterinarians, the park said it was considering expert training for its personnel. The Mysore team included Dr Prayag, veterinarian from the Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, and four veterinary post-graduate students who have volunteered for the task.


Besides this five-member Mysore team, there were two veterinarians from the wildlife SOS centre (sloth bear rescue centre), a BBP veterinarian and a consulting veterinarian stationed in the park on Sunday morning.


However, experts said the number of veterinarians in the park was not enough given the gravity of the situation and more trained professionals were needed. They felt that the situation would not have aggravated if there had been enough trained professionals in the park.


According to Dr Thopsie Gopal, advisor for animal emerging infectious diseases in the Asian Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF), the doctors present in the park might be unable to handle the situation and more trained personnel were needed to handle such a crisis.


A team of six veterinarians from the Institute of Animal

Officers in cahoots with illegal traders to be weeded out

The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) will undergo a shake-up to weed out officers who are in cahoots with illegal wildlife traders.


The department has been dogged with allegations of corruption among its enforcement officers following the arrest of infamous wildlife trader Anson Wong recently.


Natural Resources and Environ­ment Minister Datuk Douglas Ug­­gah Embas said this was among the measures being taken to plug loopholes and enhance enforcement in the department, which had come under fire from conservationists.


“We have set up an internal au­­dit. We are reviewing the standard operating procedures, legislation and departmental structure,” he said.


Asked if Perhilitan officers had been helping illegal wildlife traders, Uggah said: “Those are some of the issues we are looking at.


“We do not condone anyone who breaks or fails to enforce the law. We will take stern action.”


Uggah, who acknowledged that illegal wildlife trade

ACRES helping errant zoos do better

Singapore animal welfare group is seeking to improve standard of care and treatment in region


ORANG utans smoking cigarettes, bears riding bicycles and elephants in chains -these are how some animals live in South-east Asia's zoos.


At a zoo in Malaysia, a bear had its feet tied to bicycle pedals to train it to perform in a circus show.


At another Malaysian zoo, a wounded female macaque was kept isolated in a cage barely big enough for it to move. It also had no water or shelter.


Such conditions cause animals to inflict self- harm, such as pulling out their fur and exhibiting unnatural behaviour like repeated swaying or pacing.


Currently, there are no universal guidelines on animal care and cage sizes. It is up to each zoo and country to ensure good standards of care.


One zoo often cited by animal activists for the substandard living conditions of its animals is the state zoo of Surabaya, Indonesia.


According to Mr Budi Mulyanto, a manager at the zoo, just 2 per cent of the 20 billion rupiah (S$3 million) zoo revenue from gate receipts is spent annually on nutrition supplements and food for the animals.


In Cambodia, the government raided Angkor Zoo in 2007 and shut it down because of poor conditions. All the animals were relocated to a rescue centre.

Dolphins imprissoned in Hurghada

Few days ago HEPCA received several reports from members of the local caring community, denouncing the discovery of dolphins kept in appalling conditions in a private villa pool in Hurghada.


Relevant local authorities were immediately contacted to request clarification and additional information. The HEPCA team, including dolphin specialists, was authorised on the 15th of September 2010 to visit the villa, where it found four common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), two males and two females, all measuring between 2 and 3 meters, kept in a small swimming pool.


Aside from the fact that ANY pool is neither long, nor wide nor deep enough, national regulations exist in various countries, specifying acceptable dimensions of the main enclosures for common bottlenose dolphins: according to the “Brazilian Institute for the Environmental and Natural Renewable Resources”, a minimum of 14 meters horizontal distance, a minimum depth of 6 meters and a minimum volume of 1600 m³ is specifies for two animals. The volume for four animals should be at least 2400m³. The HEPCA team found the four dolphins in a pool measuring 9mx9m and 4m deep, adding up to a volume of 324m³, only slightly above one tenth of the minimum required size. Other than the pool’s tiny size, the water conditions were appalling, with a visibility of approximately 20 cm, probably due to a filtration system unable to cope with the large amount of excreta naturally produced by the animals.



A new zoo for Bellary
In order to give impetus to the tourism sector in the district, a zoo will be built at the cost of Rs65 crore in the sprawling 100 hectares at Bellikalu reserve forest near Hampi.
Speaking to The Times Of India, deputy conservator of forest Srinivasan said, "Since there is no room for the extension of the existing zoo near Radio Park in the heart of Bellary city and the building is also in a dilapidated state, the process has began to set up a new zoo. Initially we are appointing 200 separate officers to look after its construction."
"Since Hampi is also near Bellikalu forests, it attracts tourists in large numbers which may help in generating revenue too. The animals which are in the old zoo will also be shifted to the new one," he added.
Tourism and district minister G Janardhana Reddy said, "The zoo will be built on the lines of the ones in Mysore and Bangalore. Some of the officers have already visited the zoos in Hyderabad and Mysore to see the methods which are being adopted there." He has hinted at the possibility of a night safari.
At present there are 197 animals, 177 birds and 1 tiger in the zoo. Most of the animals belongs to the deer category. There is also a railway track which runs near the exi

Billy no-mates returns home
A HOMESICK penguin has returned to Dudley Zoo after failing to find a friend at Exmoor Wildlife Park.
Keepers are hoping the Humboldt penguin, called Billy, will no longer be 'Billy no-mates' after moving back to Dudley after a year long move to the Devon park, as part of a European breeding programme.
Billy struggled to settle in his new home, so Wildlife Park bosses took pity on him and returned him back to his hometown, in the hope he would integrate with the rest of the colony.
However keepers at the Castle Hill site are worried as he still seems to lack confidence.
Keeper Sophie Dugmore, said: "Unfortunately, he still hasn't

Blackpool Zoo enjoying best ever year
MORE THAN 4000 visitors flocked through the gates on the last Bank Holiday Monday of 2010, smashing forecasts for August despite 42 per cent above average rainfall for the month. Jude Rothwell, Marketing and PR Coordinator at Blackpool Zoo, said: “We were over the moon when it was confirmed that Monday was our busiest day ever and staff worked very hard to make sure everyone got a parking space and had

Elephants on the edge: The use and abuse of individual and societies

MGM lion attack in Las Vegas

Gazelles on endangered list threatened by Turkish factory

An endangered gazelle population in a small southern Turkish village is facing an uncertain future due to the planned opening of a cement factory in the Hatay district.


Abdullah Öðünç, head of the Provincial Department of the Turkish Association for the Conservation of Nature, or TTKD, said they would not allow the project to be constructed as long as it posed a threat to the local Hatay mountain gazelle, or Gazella Gazella, population.


“A local mining company is planning to construct a factory which would include clinker production and a grinding and integrating facility,” said Öðünç in a statement.


There are also agricultural and livestock activities in the region that might be adversely affected by the construction, he said.


“Provincial Department of Environment and Forestry officials declared a cement factory would be constructed in the area even though agriculture and livestock are the economic mainstays of the locals. However

Hercules leads pack of big cats at Carver's King Richard's Faire

Leave your car and your 21st century attitude in the parking lot at King Richard’s Faire, which opens this weekend in Carver for it’s 29th season. Once you step through the gates, you’re surrounded by knights and wenches, by people jousting on horseback and engaging in axe throwing contests, by hand-cranked mechanical rides and huge, delicious roasted turkey legs (and the obligatory bloomin’ onions).


And there are the big cats. Really big cats.


In his wildly popular stage show “The Tale of the Tiger,” Dr. Bhagavan Antle, who’s celebrating his 27th season with the Faire, features 10 of the magnificent animals, representing four distinct color categories: the Southeast Asian, or Bengal tiger; the royal white tiger, the snow tiger, and the golden tabby tiger.


And then there’s Hercules the liger.


“He’s the world’s biggest cat,” says Antle, 50, sounding like a proud father as Hercules nuzzles his neck. “He’s 900 pounds and 12 feet tall, and he’s in the ‘Guinness Book of World Records.’ He’s a phenomenal big guy.” Hercules is the offspring of a male lion and a female tiger, and is the result of a phenomenon known as hybrid vigor.


“When you’re blending two species, you can line the genetics up just right and you gain all of the best qualities of both parents, and often get enormous size,” explains Antle, who really likes to explain things.


"Tigons are the opposite,” he continues. “A male tiger with a female lion produces a tigon. They’re healthy, beautiful, good animals, but they they don’t become as large as ligers, they generally stay about the size of or a little bigger than their parents.”


Asked how Hercules’ mom and dad

Orphaned chimpanzees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

An 18-month study of remote human settlements deep in the Congolese jungle warns that chimpanzees are are being subjected to a 'wave of killing' by hunters pursuing them for bushmeat.


One consequence is the continual growth in the number of 'bushmeat orphans' - those infants who are too small to be killed for meat, and are often put on the black market for sale as pets.


These pictures tell the story of just a few orphaned Eastern chimpanzees that researchers

India faces worst tiger crises

It is not a hidden fact that millions of dollars are being poured into the conservation of the striped wonders of India but the situation remains precarious.


With fewer than 1400 left in the wild, India is going through its worst tiger crises.


Human greed and selfishness has been one of the many cause of the plight of tigers in India and the irony is that as per recent trends, the present crisis has opened up a new dimension to the greed with corporates using the cause as a PR and branding tool hiding behind the garb of conservation.


If human greed and selfishness is one of the prime reasons for the condition of tigers in India today and if greed and selfishness is a character trait that humans understand, it would be worthwhile to save the tiger for our own selfish interest. The role of the tiger in the ecosystem is indeed quite interesting and it goes without saying that the tiger is the perfect indicator of the health of a forest. The tiger protects the forests of our country by maintaining an equilibrium that is important for the survival of its prey (deer, monkeys, boars etc.) and the vegetation.


And since the survival of the forests are crucial for the thousands of rivers, a life source for millions of people in India, that originate and flow through them, it makes the saving of tigers all the more important.


However, the economics of tiger conservation is quite interesting. Let’s consider Corbett as an example. With over 70 private properties in and around the Corbett Tiger Reserve in Uttrakhand, wildlife tourism has become an ever-flourishing business model generating revenues for property owners, travel agents and some great employment opportunities for locals. The local youth now look up to careers like naturalists, guide cum drivers of safari vehicles as a lot of private resorts are in need of such people.


According to the Tiger Task Force data released in 2005/06, a total of 1.29 million people visited tiger reserves in 2004/05 which approximates to 58456tourist per tiger reserve every year and the number is continuously growing year on year. The nominal gate charges of Rs 25-50 gives revenue in crores to most of the popular national parks.


Corbett alone experienced a tourist inflow of over two lakhs in the last season. With a total ceiling of 600 visitors per day, Corbett can officially have 1.6 lakh tourists during the eight-month season. The numbers invariably overshoot this limit. Tourism is rampant in other popular national parks like Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Ranthambore etc. and the tiger, without doubt, is a magnet that pulls the majority of the lot.


Be it an ordinary weekend walk-in tourist, or a season wildlife researcher or photographer, the tiger is the binding force that draws visitors from across the globe.


As per Aditya Singh, wildlife conservationist and tiger expert fr

Lifelong love for jaguars allows a young boy to overcome stutter and be a voice for animals

Around the corner from the New York Public Library's famous stone lions is the headquarters of a renowned naturalist who made a childhood pledge to an aging jaguar at the Bronx Zoo to become a voice for all the world's big cats.


This vow from a Queens youngster five decades ago was all the more remarkable because at the time Alan Rabinowitz was a severe stutterer who could not even be a voice for himself.


"Not the normal repetitious b-b-b kind of stutter," Rabinowitz, now 56, recalled. "But the complete blockage of air flow where if I tried to push words out my head

20 years left: mammals plunge into extinction

AT DUSK, the dry savannah of the Kimberley was once alive with the scuttling and foraging of the burrowing bettong, a marsupial whose ''countless numbers'' were marvelled at by early surveyors.


Along with many species of quolls, bandicoots, possums and marsupial rats, the bettongs had thrived for millions of years in northern Australia, surviving ice ages, surging sea levels and human hunters.


But many of these natives are unlikely to survive another decade or two, according to a new report which reveals an abrupt, stunning plunge towards mass extinction in the past few years.


At the 136 sites across northern Australia that have been repeatedly surveyed since 2001, the mammal populations have dropped by an average of 75 per cent. The number of sites classified as ''empty'' of mammal activity rose from 13 per cent in 1996 to 55 per cent in 2009.


''Twenty years ago we would go out and it would be a bonanza of native animals,'' a Charles

Sun bear cub born in Indonesia

A five-year-old sun bear, Ayu, has given birth at Kandih Park in West Sumatra. The cub is the first sun bear born in captivity in the park.


The cub's father is a three-and-a-half year-old sun bear named Alex.


"We have not given the baby a name, as the sex still unknown. Ayu is very protective," said keeper Syefri Zaldi.


The new addition brings the total sun bear population at the park to four. Zaldi told Reuters that not many sun bears breed in captivity.


Conservationists say the sun bear, or Helarctos malayanus, the smallest of the bear family, may become extinct much sooner than they fear.


Also known as the honey bear for its reputed love of sweet food, the sun bear is the least known

Zoo Animals In China To Get A Larger Home

The scheduled move of animals from the 54-year-old Changsha Zoo to a new and more spacious home on Monday afternoon was postponed because animals were not cooperative, zoo officials said.


As of Monday afternoon, the animals were still at their old homes. Transportations are scheduled for Wednesday, according to zoo staffers.


Local media Sanxiang City Express reported that the zoo conducted a day-long drill on Sunday but found many animals, especially the beasts, were not cooperative.


"Before the actual move takes place, it was necessary to conduct a rehearsal on getting the animals into cages and sheds," said Ma Zaiyu, director and senior engineer of the zoo's veterinary hospital.


Ma said large beasts, such as the tigers, are often reluctant to leave their long-time habitats. Placing the cages in their habitat area in advance and luring the beasts in with food will be the most efficient method, Ma said.


However, during Sunday's rehearsal, a 6-year-old Siberian tiger showed no interest in more than 10 pieces of fresh meat in the cage, so the attempt to lure the tiger into the cage did not work.


Ma also said special extendable cages had been designed to move the giraffes, in which the caged animals would have to lower their heads. This will allow the giraffes, between 6 and 7 meters tall, to pass through the 4.2-meter high gate of the old zoo.


The giraffes have to take the longest route

$700,000 cash splash for Seal Bay upgrade

The State Government has pledged a multi-million five-year upgrade of Seal Bay, starting with $700,000 this financial year.


Minister for Environment and Conservation Paul Caica was on Kanagroo Island this week and announced major upgrade works will start at Seal Bay Conservation Park to improve the tourist experience and offer better protection for the environment and threatened species such as the Australian Sea Lion.


Mr Caica said the Seal Bay Visitor Centre would be redeveloped and existing boardwalks and access ways would be upgraded during the five-year project to transform the existing site into a world-class tourist attraction.


Specialised group tours would also be offered, as well as self-guided

'Breakthrough' in bid to save freshwater pearl mussels

A project to save a threatened population of freshwater pearl mussels in the river Dee has seen a major breakthrough.


Pearl mussels up to 80 years old collected from the river have finally bred at Environment Agency Wales' (EAW) fish hatcheries in Dolgellau, Gwynedd.


It is hoped mussels will be returned to the river some time in the future.


There were once hundreds of thousands in the Dee but they have been in decline as water quality deteriorated.


In a bid to save the mussels, around 60 were collected from the river more than five years ago by a team from EAW, Chester Zoo, Denbighshire council, the Countryside Council for Wales and North East Wales

Firefighters use oxygen masks used to revive giant tortoises rescued from burning zoo enclosure

Their typically slow progress put them in danger when their enclosure became filled with smoke.


So to bring them back from the brink of death, these massive African spurred tortoises were given oxygen treatment usually reserved for humans.


Firefighters initially administered the life-saving gas through masks at Postlingberg Zoo in Linz, Austria, before keepers continued caring for the giant


After Karimganj and Dhubri, Tripura has emerged a safe corridor for infiltration and subversive activities. Taking advantage of the soft approach of the Left Government and long stretches of porous border, infiltration from Bangladeshis as well as jihadi elements has been going on. The incidents in the last few months indicate the disturbing trend.


Intelligence agencies monitoring the development have alerted the Union Home Ministry about increasing activities of ISI operatives in the State. The capital Agartala itself has become a rendezvous for them.


The latest to fall in security net on September 3 was the agent of the infamous Pak intelligence services identified as Nayeem Ahmed Mamoon from Lankamara border, close to Agartala. According to his confession, he entered from Bangladesh and visited Northeastern states as well.


BSF recovered from his possession incriminating documents and it came out that he is a resident of Gopalganj near Dhaka. Quite disturbing was his revelation that he did stay at Anantanag in Kashmir for some time for liaison with band outfits. Another ISI spy Manir Khan and his six Indian associates, it is to be recalled, were arrested on July 3 in the


capital of Tripura.


It was not long ago that PULF commander-in-chief Abdul Rahman and six other militants were arrested from Nagerjala bus stand in the heart of the city by a mobile task force. During grilling, Rahman said that an ISI officer Md. Jaffar had held series of meetings with PULF activists in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh and carry out blasts in the Northeast. They were to fly to Karachi for training, but their arrest stood in the way.


Besides, the border of the State has been used for smuggling. Various incidents of truckloads of phendysil bottles worth lakhs of rupees pushed through Kailashahar in south Tripura have come to light. These cough syrups, popular in Bangladesh and used as intoxicants, is transported all the way from Siliguri and beyond. The drivers and their assistants who have landed in security net hav

Houston Zoo gets an international closeup as the zoological world hits town

First the World Cup campaign, then the Final Four build up, and now . . . THE ZOO!


The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) will hold its 86th annual conference here in Houston Saturday through Sept. 16 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. More than 2,000 zoo and aquarium professionals from around the world will gather in the Bayou City to discuss the roles of zoos and aquariums in wildlife conservation, putting the Houston Zoo on center stage in the international zoological community.


Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and How the Mighty Fall, is scheduled as the keynote speaker. No word yet on whether Aquarium owner Tilman Fertitta will be in attendance.


Houston is becoming something of the go-to-spot for big cultural conferences. The American Association of Museums is holding its annual conference in town in May of 2011. Between 5,000 and 6,000 museum officials from around the world

The great whale-in-jail debate

A captive baby beluga’s death in Vancouver sparked soul-searching about the ethics of aquariums


When Qila the 2,000-lb. beluga whale twirls, alone in the water, waving her pearly white flippers for the crowd at the Vancouver Aquarium, no one is left uncharmed. The powerful predator has a gentle smile and a knack, it seems, for tricks. She’s magnetic: belugas are plastered on Vancouver buses, in newspaper ads, in magazines. Just getting past the aquarium’s front door can take well over a half-hour. Inside, Qila and her three beluga mates have a little under two million litres in which to roam. After an $8-million upgrade scheduled for completion in 2013, their pool will double in size.


That upgrade is coming with the help of $25 million in funding, announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell a few weeks ago in front of the blue-green tank. Ottawa’s $15-million share comes from its controversial stimulus spending fund. But there’s heat, and it’s not the Economic Action Plan that’s generating it. Weeks ahead of the announcement, Nala, the aquarium’s youngest beluga, died suddenly. A penny and some rocks were found lodged in her blowhole, igniting a local debate: should the aquarium keep beluga whales at all? Aquarium staff, many of whom rushed to be by Nala’s side the night she died, said the penny may have been tossed in by a visitor—proof, said Lifeforce founder Peter Hamilton, of the flaws inherent in “aquarium prisons.”


Vancouver Aquarium president John Nightingale blames an “active few—five or 10” for the kerfuffle over its cetaceans. But even the Vancouver Province, the city’s conservative tabloid—hardly the beating heart of environmental debate—editorialized that Nala’s death, “the latest

Seal pups have GPS angels

One of two three-and-half-month old female harbor seals released into the water near the seal rocks by Fishers Island on Tuesday, swims away from the boat with a satellite tag attached to her back. The two seals were released by Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration staff members with the assistance of Coastal Environmental Sciences. The seals arrived at the Mystic Aquarium from Maine on May 28 in weak condition and weighing only 15 lbs each at an estimated age of 5-8 days. The rehabilitated seals were

Chhatbir loses African jaguar

A seven-year-old female African jaguar, Sheenu, housed at Chhatbir Zoo died on Wednesday morning. With this death, only one male member of the family is left. The zoo has lost 17 animals and birds in the past four months.


Sheenu was brought here from Delhi in 2007. One of the main attractions at the zoo, the visitors never missed an opportunity to click a photograph with her and partner Isu. Sources in the zoo said veterinians were attending to Sheenu, who was not keeping well from the past few days. She died due to respiratory failure.


"It is very sad to lose a rare species. We tried our best to cure Sheenu but failed. She was cremated on the premises," said Charchil Kumar, Zoo field director.


Veterinarians are sent on training at regular intervals to different zoos across the country based on the guidelines of Central Zoo Authority. It is not an easy job to maintain an animal belonging to the cat family. Sometimes, the animals might even attack caretakers if forced to

Zoo licence bid for bison, elk and wildcats 'unlikely'

A group representing the interests of walkers and climbers said it was unlikely to protest against an estate's plans to introduce wild animals.


Alladale Estate in Sutherland is applying for a zoo licence for Scottish wildcat, elk and European bison.


The Mountaineering Council of Scotland had concerns the animals' enclosures would affect access to estate land.


However, after looking at the licence application it said this was not expected to be an issue.


The licence is connected to a planning application for the

Leonard the goldfish gets into the Seattle Aquarium

Leonard G. Fish is in.


Thousands of votes cast online mean there will be a goldfish exhibit in the Seattle Aquarium's entrance hall.


That goldfish is named Leonard, and he's the star of an online marketing campaign coordinated by the aquarium. The story goes something like this, as summarized by the announcement from the aquarium:


"For the past three years Leonard the Goldfish has been begging to be let in to the Aquarium. Aquarium staff just didn't believe that a goldfish was cool enough to warrant a place in the Aquarium. However, the Aquarium Marketing....

Most penguin populations continue to decline, biologists warn

More than 180 penguin biologists, government officials, conservation advocates, and zoo and aquarium professionals from 22 nations have convened in Boston for the five day International Penguin Conference, which is being hosted this year by the New England Aquarium. The conference is held every three to four years, and this is the first time that it has been held in the Northern Hemisphere.


Penguins are found exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere with a single species on the Galapagos Islands at the Equator to four Antarctic penguin species that are most well known to the public, yet 13 other species also live in South America, southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and on the many sub-Antarctic islands. Throughout their ranges, nearly all of penguin species are in significant decline or under duress due to a host of common factors.


Climate Change Concerns


The effects of climate change on different penguin species has been the topic of many of the scientists's papers and presentations. Many penguin species are highly dependent on small schooling fish for food. These masses of anchovies, sardines and other small finfish are seasonally brought to many penguin habitats by cold water currents. In years with El Nino events in the Pacific, there has been a dramatic warming of sea surface temperatures which effectively blocked cold water currents coming up the western coast of South America. Consequently, Galapagos penguins and Humboldt penguins, which are found on the coasts of Peru and Chile, have suffered due to reduced food availability, which principally affects the survival of the young. Galapagos penguins stand a 30% probability of becoming extinct in this century and Humboldt penguins have been classified by the Peruvian government as endangered.


Earlier this year, African penguins, found in Namibia and South Africa, were reclassified internationally as endangered as many breeding colonies in the western part of their range have disappeared. Important food bearing cold water currents have shifted and are now routinely found much further offshore. The increased roundtrip commuting distance for African penguins to obtain food has been devastating to their population.


Scientists are closely watching the potential effects on several Antarctic penguin species that are highly dependent on the presence of sea ice for breeding, foraging and molting. Emperor penguins, which were the subject of "March of the Penguins," could see major population declines by 2100, if they do not adapt, migrate and change the timing of their growth stages.


Adelie penguin colonies in the Antarctic's Ross Sea have coped for several years with two super-sized icebergs that have grounded there and created an enormous physical barrier. It has resulted in lower breeding rates and the migration of many animals

New polar-bear mural unveiled today

A new public mural inspired by the Assiniboine Park Zoo and its future polar bear exhibit will be unveiled at 10 a.m. today.


The mural, painted by artist Sarah Collard, will brighten up Wellington Crescent under the Kenaston Bridge.


It will be unveiled by Take Pride Winnipeg, the Richardson

Rescue center steps in to slim down obese orangutan

A South African has become so fat on her diet of marshmallows that she's been taken to England to lose weight.


She's "quite a character," her new caretakers say, but settling her into her new home has proven tricky -- she's an orangutan who has never seen another of her species before.


Oshine, the animal, arrived at the Monkey World Ape Rescue Center in southern England last week, the center announced on Twitter.


"We have a new arrival, very large & orange!" the center said September 1 -- but kept details close to its chest.


A day later, it said she was settling in well.


"Our new orange lady has spent the day in the nursery playroom today, she's doing really well but we have a long way to go, she is obese!


That's what a diet of marshmallows does, the center tweeted.


Weighing in at 100 kilograms (220 pounds), Oshine is "the largest orangutan in Britain today," the center said. She weighs about twice as much as she should, it added.


She'd been kept as a pet in South Africa for 13 years, the center explained. Her owner first contacted Monkey World for help in 2008.


The center has been working to bring Oshine

Second generation of endangered sea turtles born on artificial beach in world first

An aquarium here has succeeded in breeding endangered turtles on an artificial beach from parents also born in captivity -- an apparent world first.


The first ever clutch of loggerhead sea turtles to be born in captivity on an artificial beach hatched at Kushimoto Marine Park in 1995. A pair of these turtles recently laid eggs at the artificial beach, and the eggs hatched on the night of Sept. 4.


This is the first time in the world that loggerhead turtles born in captivity have given bir

Strike at Ushaka aquarium

USHAKA Marine World will be fully operational during a planned strike by its workers, the theme park's chief operating officer said yesterday.


"We have a contingency plan in place. We ask the people who are taking part in the strike to respect the park during the time of the strike," Shawn Thompson said.


He said uShaka had received notification of today's industrial action and was doing everything it could to avoid it.


"We are doing everything in our power to avoid the strike. The company's budget cannot afford what the unions are demanding."


He said the unions wanted an 8,5 percent increase. Management was offering 7,5 percent.


Thompson said the park's "Wet and Wild" section would be closed for routine maintenance, which had nothing to do with the strike.


Trade union Uasa, which says it is the majority union at uShaka, earlier

Killer news

Scientists suggest several new species of orcas, including in the Antarctic


New technology in gene sequencing confirmed what scientists have long suspected about Orcinus orca: The large marine mammal commonly referred to as a killer whale actually represents several genetically distinct species, including at least two new ones that swim in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica.


Scientists analyzed tissue samples from more than 100 killer whales from the North Pacific, the North Atlantic and the Southern Ocean. As a result of the study, published last month in the journal Genome Research, the scientists suggest there are two types of killer whales in the Antarctic and a mammal-eating “transient” killer whale in the North Pacific, in addition to the “standard” black-and-white orca of SeaWorld fame.


Part of the study is based on Antarctic fieldwork conducted by Robert Pitman, with NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, Calif., over the last decade.


Pitman said he was aware of previous scientific literature by Soviet-era scientists in 1979 and 1980 that there were killer whales in the Antarctic that appeared dissimilar enough to be different species. He first traveled down to McMurdo Station with help from the National Science Foundation in 2001-02.


During the trip, he spotted three distinct types of killer whales, and collected tissue samples from all three. Pitman made two subsequent trips to McMurdo and several expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula for additional observations and sampling.


“After we published papers about our observations, and I collected a series of tissue samples, I was able to interest a number of my co-authors [on the Genome Research paper] into looking into species-level differences

2 panda cubs born in Spanish zoo

Two newborn pandas are the latest additions to the Madrid Zoo.


The hairless, pink twins were born to a giant panda Tuesday after being conceived through artificial insemination, and each weigh 150 grams (5 ounces), the zoo said.


It will be a few days before veterinarians can determine their gender.


They are the first pandas born in the Madrid Zoo since it unveiled one named Chu-Lin in 1982 — the first panda born in captivity in Europe. That one became wildly popular and a symbol of the Spanish capital.


Spain's National Research Council, which took part in the recent insemination along with scientists from China, said pandas have been born in Europe four times — twice in Madrid and two other times in the Vienna zoo.


The council said there are only an estimated 1,600 pandas left living in the wild in China, their numbers depleted by destruction of their habitat.


The Madrid Zoo has four of the endangered animals: the newborns and their parents, mother Hua Zui Ba and father Bing Xing.


That couple was a goodwill gift from the

The Elephant Sanctuary in TN getting new CEO

Robert Atkinson, Head of Wildlife for the United Kingdom's Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, was has been named CEO of The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald.


It’s the nation’s largest natural habitat refuge developed specifically for endangered Asian and African elephants, the group says.


Atkinson, who has spent more than 11 years with the royal society, will take over the new duties in November.


In his previous position, he managed development of ethical policies affecting wild and captive animals.


His work has involved developing strategy for four wildlife centers and leading efforts to raise awareness about the impact of captivity on elephant welfare.


He previously worked at Woburn Safari Park and carried out university-based research in the United Kingdom and Africa completing his Ph.D. in zoology at Oxford University.


“We’re extremely excited and honored to have a person of Rob’s distinction and expertise joining us in the Sanctuary’s mission to aid these magnificent creatures and bring awareness to the crisis facing captive elephants around the world,” Janice Zeitlin, The Elephant Sanctuary board chairman, said in the announcement.


“Under Rob’s leader

Expectant elephant at Melbourne Zoo

Saigon The Elephant (an interesting discussion)

Tiger expert defends zoo

Retract the claws, withdraw the fangs.


As much as critics might savour a new reason to shred the Calgary Zoo, the blame for dead tiger cubs and undetected pregnancies does not lie with keepers on St. George’s Island.


This time, the culprit is nature.


Ron Tilson should know: Some 250 tigers are alive today because of Tilson, and when it comes to the world’s largest cat, the Minnesota Zoo’s director of conservation is ranked among the top scientists on earth.


Tilson studies tigers, writes about tigers, and leads the Tiger Species Survival Plan, which involves the breeding of captive cats in North America to ensure the gene pool is protected.


When Tilson says the Calgary Zoo can’t be blamed for not realizing a female tiger was pregnant, you tend to believe him.


“What they say is very feasible,” said Tilson.


Such a weighty verdict must come as a relief for a zoo that’s fighting to improve its public image and repair



Group wants to end setting dogs on chained bears
A declawed, defanged bear is chained to a stake as hunting dogs bark and snap, trying to force the bear to stand on its hind legs. The training exercise called bear baying is intended to make the bears easier to shoot in the wild and it's only allowed in South Carolina.
Armed with new undercover video of four such events, the Humane Society of the United States is pressuring state officials to explicitly outlaw the practice, which the organization says is effectively banned in every other state. Animal rights advocates say it's cruel to the nearly defenseless bears and harms them psychologically.
Hunters say the exercise popular in the state's hilly northwestern corner helps them train their dogs on what to do when they come across a bear

Atlanta zoo to be inspected after snake escape
Georgia wildlife officials will inspect an Atlanta zoo after a venomous rattlesnake was able to escape and slither around a city neighborhood.
Zoo staff noticed the female tiger rattlesnake was missing during a routine check late Friday. The snake was found dead Monday after a nearby property owner killed it.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Lauren Curry said Tuesday that an inspection team will be sent to Zoo Atlanta to investigate. Zoo officials have said a staff member did not properly

Australian boy mauled by sea lion at zoo
An 11-year-old Australian boy was recovering in hospital Saturday after reportedly being left with a "dirty great hole in his belly" after being mauled by a sea lion during a show at a Sydney zoo.
Jack Lister may have scared the flippered animal when he moved behind it after being chosen from the audience to get up close to the creatures in the performance in front of hundreds of people, a spokesman for Taronga zoo said.
"Jack had stood back to walk away and the (sea lion) just turned around then lunged at him," stepmother Dalitta Wright told Sydney's Daily Telegraph.
"Jack pulled himself away and it then lunged for his back.
"It all happened so quickly... I heard the scream come from him... and started running towards him. It was quite traumatic."
Witnesses told the paper that the sea lion bit the boy, who then fell on the animal, prompting it to bite him again.
"He screamed out several times, as you would," witness

Also : Boy Bitten By Sea Lion During Zoo Show

Anson Wong pleads guilty to exporting snakes without permit
A businessman pleaded guilty at the Sessions Court here Wednesday to exporting 95 snakes without permit last week.
He posted bail on Thursday.
Wong Keng Liang, better known as Anson Wong, 52, believed to be an international wildlife trader, admitted to exporting 95 Boa Constrictor - which is endangered species - without permit at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 8.50pm on Aug 26.
The Boa constrictor is a large, heavy-bodied species of snake and variable in drawing and color. They are very adaptable and live in a number of habitats in different climates.
It is a member of the Boidae family found in Central America, South America and some islands in the Caribbean.
The snakes were found in a luggage bag while Wong was in transit from Penang to Jakarta.
Wong could be fined a maximum of RM100,000 or jailed up to seven years or both under Section 10(a) of the International Trade of Endangered Species Act 2008.
Prosecuting officer Faridz Gohim Abdullah, from Perhilitan (Wildlife and National Parks Department), applied to the court to set his bail at RM50,000 in one surety.
Sessions Court judge Zulhelmy Hasan set his bail at RM50,000 in one surety. Zulhelmy also ordered Wong

Grey seal pup exploratory laparoscopy.mp4

Wild chimps outwit human hunters
Across Africa, people often lay snare traps to catch bushmeat, killing or injuring chimps and other wildlife.
But a few chimps living in the rainforests of Guinea have learnt to recognise these snare traps laid by human hunters, researchers have found.
More astonishing, the chimps actively seek out and intentionally deactivate the traps, setting

Aquarium unveils new Conservation Center
Expanding conservation, research role
The National Aquarium is set Thursday to unveil its new Conservation Center, established to focus the institution's work in marine conservation and research, and to expand its scope to a national and global stage.
In cooperation with scientists at aquariums and universities here and across the country, the center's researchers are already at work tracking contaminants from the BP oil well blowout, and studying threatened eagle rays.
"With what's happening to the environment today, with the pressure of human activity, [the board felt] a need to do something more significant, more meaningful in terms of protecting the environment," said Erik Rifkin, a marine zoologist, aquarium board member and interim director of the new,0,2476753.story

Pregnant Rhino Urine Collection-Cincinnati Zoo

Bridge made of recycled fire hoses from Japan helps endangered orangutans in Borneo
A bridge made of recycled fire hoses in Borneo links endangered orangutans' habitats, which have been destroyed and fragmented due to deforestation.
The Borneo Conservation Trust Japan (BCTJ) has released a photograph of a young orangutan crossing a "suspension bridge" made of recycled fire hoses from Japan.
The bridge was jointly constructed by the organization and the government of the Malaysian state of Sabah about two years ago in an attempt to allow wild orangutans living in the jungles of Borneo to freely move between their habitats, which have been isolated from each other due to the development of oil palm plantations in the area.
Orangutans spend most of their time atop trees, swinging through branches to cross rivers and move around forests. However, the jungles in the downstream area of the Kinabatangan River have been divided as a result of deforestation, making it difficult for the animal to cross the river using tree branches to visit other areas on the island.
A survey conducted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) in 2004 estimated there were about 56,000 orangutans left in Borneo; however, researchers from British Cardiff University pointed out that there is little chance for new-born orangutans to survive for the next 50 years due to inbreeding caused by the fragmentation of their habitats.
To avoid the critical situation, Dr. Isabelle Lackman-Ancrenaz, a French researcher based on the island, attempted

Bengal tiger Escapes Miami Zoo (Taiwanese Animation)

2 Year Old Girl Faces Off a 500 pound Bengal Tiger at Florida Zoo

Burger King dumps Indonesian palm oil company
US fast food giant Burger King said it would no longer buy palm oil from Sinar Mas or its subsidiaries after Greenpeace campaigned against the Indonesian group's land-clearing practices.
Burger King joins the likes of Unilever, Nestle and Kraft in shunning Sinar Mas in a move that will increase pressure on other corporate buyers of its palm oil products, such as Pizza Hut, KFC, and Dunkin' Donuts.
Indonesia is the biggest producer of palm oil which is used in everything from biscuits to cosmetics, but environmentalists say plantations are driving deforestation blamed for habitat loss and greenhouse gases.
Burger King said a recent independent audit of Sinar Mas palm oil unit SMART's land-clearing practices - commissioned by Sinar Mas in response to the Greenpeace

Charles Darwin's ecological experiment on Ascension isle
A lonely island in the middle of the South Atlantic conceals Charles Darwin's best-kept secret.
Two hundred years ago, Ascension Island was a barren volcanic edifice.
Today, its peaks are covered by lush tropical "cloud forest".
What happened in the interim is the amazing story of how the architect of evolution, Kew Gardens and the Royal Navy conspired to build a fully functioning, but totally artificial ecosystem.
By a bizarre twist, this great imperial experiment may hold the key to the future colonisation of Mars.
The tiny tropical island of Ascension is not easy to find. It is incredibly remote, located 1,600km (1,000 miles) from the coast of Africa and 2,250km (1,400 miles) from South America.
Its existence depends entirely on what geologists call the mid-Atlantic ridge. This is a chain of underwater

THIS is the video that proves a fully grown black panther is on the loose in northern Europe.
The big cat reportedly escaped from a French zoo last year - and this footage was shot close to the Belgian towns of Spa and Theux in the Ardennes.
A policewoman claimed to have seen the panther on August 1, and another eye witness claimed to have spotted it 14 days later in the same area.
The Belgian national park authorities

Also here: Escaped Black Leopard Caught On Camera

He may be king of the swingers among the gang at the zoo but Hanama the orangutan is suddenly finding there’s more to life than just aping around.
He has discovered the joys of family living by taking over as stand-in father for a pair of newly born baby lions.
And the three-year-old giant ape is enjoying his new role so much that he has taken to joining in the rough and tumble of games with the seven-week-old male cubs Skukuza a

Is anyone really taken in by this rubbish? ORANG-UTAN STAND IN FATHER FOR LION CUBS

Father of the pride: How a British backpacker became the saviour of Africa's big cats
The funny thing about being mauled by a lion is that they don't bite chunks out of you - they suffocate you.
All that firepower - and they use a pillow. I'd been knocked to the ground by a fully-grown lion, who then proceeded to put my head in his mouth and squeeze so hard that I started to lose consciousness.
Desperately, I tried to fight back, but I wasn't strong enough. As I faded away, I can remember wondering whether it was one of our lions or a wild one that had attacked me
It was one of ours - Shyman. And it was Freddie, the youngster I'd lovingly raised from a cub, who bravely rescued me. Time and again, Freddie valiantly went for the lion twice his size, as Shyman attacked, grabbing me by the neck and trying to drag me off.
But hard behind Freddie came the Old Man - George Adamson, the Kenyan game warden who reintroduced lions to the wild and was immortalised in the book and film Born Free - waving his stick and shouting at the top of his lungs.
Incredibly, it worked, and George was able to drag me away - though he told me afterwards he thought I would die from my wounds. I had holes in my throat big enough to put my fist into, and my attacker's teeth had come within millimetres of my carotid artery and jugular vein. I had my ear ripped off, and Shyman had also taken a chunk


Forget Mice, Elephants Really Hate Ants

A nose full of biting ants can really spoil your appetite. Especially if your nose is 3 meters long. African bush elephants (Loxodonta africana) avoid this discomfort by refusing to munch on acacia trees that house swarming ant colonies. Their aversion, a new study suggests, helps maintain the savanna's delicate balance between forest and prairie.


Trees and grasses constantly vie for control of the savanna, but wildfires, drought, variable soil chemistry, and giant herbivores prevent either plant from taking over. Not enough fire to keep the trees in check, and the canopy will close in; too many elephants eating the trees, and the savanna would become grassland. Or so scientists thought. They seem to have underestimated the acacia's ability to defend itself.


Unlike many acacia trees that are stripped bare by elephants, whistling thorn trees (Acacia drepanolobium) seemed immune. The trees bristle with the 5-centimeter-long thorns typical of many acacias, but some of the spikes also swell into hollow bulbs the size of ping pong balls.

Ghost Hunters go hunting at 'America's First Zoo'

In case you weren’t aware this is the first time that the Ghost Hunters have ever investigated at a zoo. We know this because we are told no less than 4 times that, indeed, this is the first time that the Ghost Hunters have ever investigated a zoo.


The zoo in question is the Philadelphia Zoo, in, you guessed it, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We are told by Kris Williams as the team heads to the zoo in the giant Ghost Hunters Monster Trucks that the zoo is believed to be built on an ancient native American burial ground and has reports of lights going on and off, doors opening and closing, footsteps, cold chills, disembodied voices and apparitions.


Beginning the tour of the zoo we are treated to several shots of the actual zoo animals; some rhinos, a couple of lions and a wandering peacock. As Jason, Grant and Britt (who is still standing in for Steve) are taken on a tour of the zoo it soon becomes apparent that the TAPS team will not be interacting with any of the animals at the zoo, but instead will be investigating the administration buildings on the zoo property making this less about ‘investigating a zoo’ and more about ‘investigating someone’s office space.’ So, no worries, no animals were harmed or even touched during the filming of this episode of the Ghost Hunters.


Beginning the investigation, Jason and Grant head to the Shelly Administration

Wildlife park’s conservation efforts pay off

Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation (AWWP) has announced three recent developments, marking the success of the park’s conservation efforts in breeding various endangered species.


A spokesperson for the park owned by Sheikh Saoud bin Mohammed bin Ali al-Thani, explained that after an eight-year preparation period, four female Erlanger’s gazelles arrived in Qatar earlier this year as part of efforts to contribute towards the survival of the species.


The programme is a result of a collaboration between the King Khalid Wildlife Research Center (KKWRC) in Thumamah, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and AWWP.


“The Erlanger’s or Neumann’s gazelle is considered one of the most threatened ungulate species worldwide,” explained the spokesperson, adding this rather small and dark gazelle with a stout body and short legs is described from the West of the Arabian Peninsula.


There are currently only two known facilities keeping Elanger’s gazelles – KKWRC which has 40 specimens, and AWWP.


Following DNA analysis to ensure the same species was being represented, the four females arrived

Lucrative ‘Monkey Meat’ Operation Revealed in Drug Raid

A standard narcotics investigation in the central Thai province of Ratchaburi Wednesday has uncovered an endangered and protected species smuggling operation between Laos and Thailand. The drug using offenders had contained numerous crab-eating macaques, which had been cruelly beaten and restrained live in plastic bags


Ratchaburi, the 1st of September 2010: Initially investigating a drug using gang of teenagers, officers from the Baan Pong Police Station and Narcotics Control Board, raided a premises in the area, arresting multiple youths on numerous drug usage and possession charges.


However, during police investigations, officers noticed a strange collection of ‘moving’ plastic bags contained inside a large cage at the rear of the premises. Having detained the offenders, police discovered that the plastic bags contained live crab-eating macaques that had been cruelly beaten, restrained and showed signs

Iguana experts to find best strategy

AN EXPERT team is expected to report back this week on what strategy would best eradicate the green iguana from two northern islands.


The experts - two herpetologists - are on Taveuni scoping out habitats and habits of the green iguana.


The herpetologists Dr Peter Harlow of Taronga Zoo in Australia and Nunia Thomas of NatureFiji-MareqetiViti, will be assisted by Dr Robert Johnson, a reptile veterinarian also of the Taronga Zoo.


"Based on their findings we will be able to map out strategies, how much it's going to cost and the equipment and materials needed for the exercise," Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Colonel Mason

Mall menagerie exposes life in Thailand's hellish zoos

There is a gorilla on the seventh floor of a department store in Bangkok.


''King Kong'' spends his days alone. There are no trees in his 15-by-10-metre concrete enclosure, just a tyre and a few ropes hanging from the low ceiling


Ten metres away, a penguin is alone in an air-conditioned pen, standing on tiles next to a pool of water smaller than a bath and nowhere near deep enough for him to swim. Just a few years ago, there were a dozen penguins. Only this one survives.


Bangkok's Pata Zoo sits atop a department store on a busy road in the northern suburbs of Bangkok. Crammed into cages and pens across the sixth and seventh floors of the ageing building are more than 200 species - a menagerie of orang-utans, pythons, turtles, flamingos, monkeys, leopards, tigers, bears and even a Shetland pony.


The director of the Wildlife Friends

Learn more:

Pata Zoo in Bangkok Thailand

National Aquarium Unveils Future with Launch of the National Aquarium Conservation Center

The National Aquarium was joined today by honored guests, esteemed partners, elected officials and supporters from the community to officially unveil the National Aquarium Conservation Center and kick off its celebration of the Baltimore venue’s 30th anniversary year. The Conservation Center enables the National Aquarium to become a global leader in conservation, research and education, and to advocate for ocean health issu

National Zoo debuts new, larger home for elephants

Ambika was finishing up a hectic morning. There had been all the hubbub over the National Zoo's new elephant exhibit. VIPs everywhere. The media. It was more than a 62-year-old pachyderm could take. By 11 a.m. she was off by herself in one of the new stalls, with straw piled on her head, trying to r

Visitor boom sparks new call for expansion

A ZOO boss whose animal park broke all attendance records over the August bank holiday says it shows urgent need for town hall officials to hurry up and clear his expansion plans.


David Gill, who wants to treble the size of the South Lakes Wild Animal Park if he can get a new road entrance and a mega car park, threatened to sell up and leave the area earlier in the summer because of frustration over mounting delay and cost in gaining planning permission.


Mr Gill says he has not u--turned on earlier threats to close the zoo and quit the area, but said: “Obviously I have to think very much about loyalty to the staff and the animals.


“The problem I have got is with Barrow Borough Council. They have been staggeringly obstructve. If they are making it such hard work to run a business here, then life is too short. I can choose easier work and

Protest against palm oil smear campaign in Aussie zoos

The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) have submitted official protest to the Australian Government - to express its anger over the move by zoos in Australia to allow activists to blatantly smear Malaysia’s and Borneo’s image through anti-palm oil public posters.


MPOC Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Yusof Basiron told The Star Friday that his council had sent two memos to the Australian Government.


“We are countering the lies spread by these activists and making known our objections to the Australian authorities.


“The allegations against us are very serious and damaging to the image of not only our palm-oil industry, but also the reputation of peninsula Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah.


“The Aussie posters was also brought up to the attention of our Cabinet also. The posters used by these activists in Australia contained a lot of lies. We want the zoos to take down those posters,’’ he said in a telephone interview from his headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.


The Star recently highlighted the move by environmental activists who put up posters in the Adelaide Zoo criticising the oil-palm projects in peninsula Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra and Papua


Red wolves were nearly extinct

Red wolves remain one of the most critically endangered animals on the planet.


Before European settlers arrived in North America, red wolves roamed across one-third of the eastern United States. Aggressive predator control programs and habitat loss reduced the population to only 14 wolves in the 1970s.


At that point, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium stepped up to help and, along with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, started a red wolf breeding program. In 1987, the first red wolf was reintroduced into the wild at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in eastern North Carolina.


Thanks to the involved professionals and citizens, there are now approximately 100 to 120 red wolves in the wild and 180 in zoos around the country.


Red wolves have tall pointy ears, long legs and large feet. They typically weigh 45 to 80 pounds and are 4 to 51/2 feet long, resembling German shepherd dogs in size. Their color is mostly brown and tan with tinges of black and white. Their cinnamon-colored head and ears

Rotary Club first to be affiliated with zoo

It may be a zoo out there but members of one group like to meet right in the heart of it. The Rotary Club of Miami MetroZoo, chartered in October 2009, has one distinction over the nearly 34,000 Rotary Clubs around the world. It is the only one affiliated with a zoo and its members savor that difference.


Weekly meetings are held in a Zoological Society building on the newly named Zoo Miami grounds. William B. Tuttle, the zoo's exhibits and graphics coordinator and the club's first president, sees the Rotary's Zoo Miami location as being part of a bustling new business hub. Plans for the area include the Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation Department entertainment complex, water park and hotel near the zoo, he noted.


The club recently kicked off its membership drive with Ron Magill, Zoo Miami's communications

Tainted Dr Motghare to work as zoo vet now

The Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV) is refusing to learn from its mistakes of the past. On Wednesday, the agriculture varsity appointed Dr SS Bawaskar as full-time in charge of the zoo while naming controversial and inexperienced Dr AB Motghare as veterinary officer.


The orders were issued by associate dean of College of Agriculture Vandan Mohod saying that the decision has been taken as per CZA norms. However, the PDKV move is seen as a cosmetic change to streamline management, but it is still a far cry from the full-time director and full-time vet required for the zoo.


The orders state that Dr Bawaskar, who functioned as vet and officer-in charge, will now act as full-time administrator while another vet Dr Motghare will work in animal husbandry and dairy department of the college at Ramdaspeth, and also in the zoo. He will assist Dr Bawaskar.


People For Animals ( PFA) city chief Karishma Galani has expressed shock over Dr Motghare's new assignment. "How can a person like Dr Motghare, who lacks experience

The monkey and the kitten (Photos)

A wild-long tailed macaque monkey has adopted an abandoned kitten at Ubud's Monkey Forest in Bali

Throw book at wildlife trader: conservationists

Environmentalists have called on Da Lat authorities to make an example of Tu Loan, a prominent wildlife meat trader that was implicated in last week’s restaurant raids.


"We urge the Lam Dong courts, Procuracy [prosecutor’s office] and police to carry out detailed investigations, prosecute and punish Tu Loan and her associates to the full extent of the law,” said Dr. Scott Roberton, Wildlife Conservation Society’s Country Representative for Vietnam.


On August 26, seized hundreds of kilograms of wildlife meat during a raid on 12 restaurants in Da Lat. About two-thirds of the meat, weighing more than 200 kilograms, was found at the restaurant run by Tu Loan, who also owns the

Zoo nutritionist’s recipe for success

Nutritionist Andrea Fidgett describes herself as the ‘Jamie Oliver’ of Chester Zoo.


But whereas the TV chef is currently dedicating himself to improving the health of the nation through better diet, Andrea has the health and well-being of more than 450 species to consider.


Dr Fidgett, who originally, studied Zoology at Glasgow University, is the only zoo nutritionist in the UK. “I was always interested in working with wild animals – exotic rather than native wild animals,” she said.


After graduating she was employed as a research assistant at Gerald Durrell’s zoo in Jersey. Her interest in nutrition was sparked when she was asked to undertake

Behind the curtain

Zoos are better places for animals than they used to be. But more still needs to be done


ONCE, they were grim places of bars and concrete. But zoos today are, more often than not, places where endangered species are bred in verdant and naturalistic enclosures. At least, that is what the public sees. As night falls and the facilities need to be cleaned, the animals are commonly led into small concrete holding areas. For decades zoos around the world have used such areas without question and assumed that their effects on the animals’ behaviour were negligible so long as high-quality enclosures were available during the day. This notion may, however, be wrong, for a new study shows that, at least among the great apes, holding areas

Tiger cub makes public debut at Cairns zoo

A "miracle" tiger cub born at a far north Queensland zoo six weeks ago has made his public debut.


The male Sumatran tiger born at the Cairns Wildlife Safari Reserve is the second cub born at the zoo.


Another cub born at the zoo last year died of complications.


Zoo managing director Jenny Jattke says the cub's mother, Louise, was on birth control when she became pregnant.


"She is 14-years-old so that's equivalent to a 60-year-old female so that's quite incredible in itself to give birth to him," she said.


"She hasn't had cubs before so at 14 to be a mother, is pretty special."


Ms Jattke says the new cub, who is yet to be named

Donate blood, get zoo 2-for-1 passes

Blood donors can pick up a two-for-one admission pass to the Living Desert if they give blood Tuesday.


Community Blood Bank will give the admission deal to all donors during the 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. blood drive.


It will be held at Kmart

Turtle Back Zoo opens late after search for leopard in hiding

A leopard found hiding behind a retaining wall at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange forced a brief evacuation for the facility, according to a report on


Zoo officials, who delayed the opening of

Dr. Jeremy Goodman, Turtle Back Zoo, After Code Red on 9/5/2010


DNA profiling of Whale Sharks to begin soon in Gujarat
"The research study shall also cover analysis of water samples zoo plants (miniature plants) and other typical plant species found along the Gujarat coast," he said. The programme includes areas of research like satellite tagging, genetics, photo identification and eco tourism. The programme will be jointly run by WTI, Gujarat Forest and Environment Department, and CMFRI Veraval region Centre. For promotion of tourism, the state is planning to introduce an Australian concept here in which expert spotters and air planes will be used to locate whale sharks in the
Koala sanctuary expansion 'political game play'
A koala conservation group says the State Government's expansion of a south-east Queensland koala sanctuary is political game play.
The government has purchased a 127 hectare property to add to the Daisy Hill koala sanctuary.
Sustainability Minister Kate Jones says more than 20,000 trees will be planted and she hopes 30 more koalas will join the 50 already in the park.
"This land had been earmarked for development as it was zoned rural-residential," she said.
"But now it will be permanently protected as conservation park.
"This is the first purchase under the $43 million package to buy koala habitat in south-east Queensland and we will be seeing purchases like this happening in coming years."
But the Australian Koala Foundation's chief executive officer Deborah Tabart says it is a political move.
"For 20 odd years I've been listening to the Queensland
Lemur Quake Victim
A 10-year-old lemur was the only animal from Orana Wildlife Park to die in Saturday's earthquake.
Gidro, a black and white ruffed lemur, drowned as a result of the magnitude 7.1 earthquake which hit Christchurch at 4.36am.
He was a fantastic animal to work with and very nice-natured, animal collection manager Ian Adams said.
"Many visitors will have had the opportunity to meet him up close and others would have seen him interact with staff at the daily feed presentation," Mr Adams said.
Orana Park lost power for four hours and there are still concerns about a kiwi egg that is due to hatch soon.
The egg was rocked about in its incubator and head keeper of native fauna Tara Atkinson said
PCMC run Bahinabai Chaudhary zoo at Akurdi
The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) will transfer control of the Bahinabai Chaudhary zoo, located at Akurdi, from the garden department to the veterinary department to improve the zoo's administration and ensure better facilities to the animals.
Speaking to TOI, Ashish Sharma, municipal commissioner, said, "The letter in this regard is being prepared and I will sign the order in a couple of days."
Members of the standing committee expressed concern about the administration of the zoo at the weekly meeting held on Wednesday, while discussing the death of a female leopard at the zoo. They had complained that the animals were being given inferior quality fo
Polar Bears and zoo's green contradiction
I REFER to the article ('Helping errant zoos do better'; Aug 23), which stated that 'the zoo, though, stopped short of granting the non-governmental organisation's request for the polar exhibit to be phased out'.
Ms Fanny Lai, chief executive officer of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), explained that 'one reason we keep polar bears is as an insurance in case something happens in the wild. We can't foresee the future, but it doesn't look positive for polar bears'.
In 2007, Singapore Zoo confirmed in a number of media articles that it will not bring any more polar bears into the country. Is the zoo reversing its decision again?
Disappointingly, WRS had already
Rehabilitation center for rare species of predators to be build in Primorye, Russia
In the Far East of Russia, in the Primorsky Territory, ecologists are planning to open the country's first full-fledged rehabilitation center for wild animals. Its construction will begin in mid-November 2010. The purpose of this center is to return the beasts of prey to the wild.
"Every year, especially in winter, cubs tend to lose their mothers due to hunger, disease and poaching and become completely defenseless. These pups are doomed to perish in the harsh conditions of maritime taiga. It's good if they fall into the hands of specialists in time and receive the necessary care", stated the public environmental fund "Phoenix".
Unfortunately, later these cubs usually go to the zoo. Zoos are overcrowded with these
Guinea pig poop powers Peruvian villages
The residents of Pachacamac, a Peruvian village outside Lima, have almost one thousand fluffy, tailless guinea pigs in an enclosure. They’re not pets though: instead, the animals are a source of renewable energy that powers the entire town.
Green solutions like wind power, tidal turbines and solar panels aren’t always feasible for smaller, less developed countries. For more practical results, professors Carmen Felipe-Morales and Ulises Moreno invite scientists to their lab so studies in renewable energy and plant genetics can be used to make a fast, tangible difference to countries like Peru.
Alongside creating potatoes optimised for the village’s soil and climate, and developing several different types of organically produced fruits and cereals, the two scientists have an building, with low-roofs and several compartments, occupied by almost one thousand guinea pigs.
While the cute rodent is a popular domesticated pet in Europe and North America, it’s an even more popular menu option for residents of the Andes range in South America, where the guinea



Stately moment for elephants
Far from the circus arenas, the giant grey beasts have finally found their place in India’s wildlife heritage.
Mindful that elephants have symbolised India to worlds beyond its borders for centuries, though they have also been mercilessly poached for their priceless tusks, the Centre is all set to declare the pachyderm a “national heritage animal” hoping that the tag would help in conserving the animal in a big way.White tiger cub turns black in Chennai Zoo

Besides, the government will create a national elephant conservation authority, severely restrict developmental activities close to at least critical elephant corridors and may phase out captive elephants from temples in a graded manner.
“We will soon declare elephant as a national heritage animal as they have been part of our heritage since ages. We need to give the same degree of importance to elephant as is given to tiger to protect the big animal,” Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said after receiving the report of an experts panel on elephant conservation.
According to the report, there are about 25,000 elephants in the country, including 3,500 in captivity in zoos and temples, particularly in southern and north-eastern states. Wild elephants are seen in 88 corridors.
Dealing with temple elephants, the government found, that
  One of the three 'white' tigers born in Vandalur zoo in June seems to have changed its colours — most of its body and legs are now black.
The black cub, along with its completely white siblings, was on display for the public to see for the first time at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur on Sunday, and drew hordes of excited visitors.
A black tiger is something of a rarity and zoo officials are quite excited by the development. "The colouring might be due to genetic reasons. A black cub is exactly the same as a regular tiger in all aspects, except for its skin colour," said zoo director KSSVP Reddy, who is also chief conservator of forests.
Reddy ruled out the possibility of inbreeding as the reason for the unusual colouring. "Inbreeding occurs only over generations. The mother, white tigress Anu, has only given birth twice," he said.
Zoo biologists said the large presence of the pigment melanin in the cub was probably the reason for 80% of its skin being black. The skin colour of tigers is determined by the presence of black and yellow pigments. In most tigers, the colour yellow dominates over black to give them their characteristic colouring.
"In this cub, the reverse has happened — black is the dominant colour," said senior zoo biologist Dr Manimozhi. "We are monitoring the cub. The skin colour that he grows into when he reaches adulthood will be the permanent one," he said. It is the dominance of yellow pigment that enables tigers to survive in the wild for long, he added. "In fact, this is the reason why most white tigers are found only in zoos and not in the wild," Manimozhi said.
The birth of the three cubs on June 6 has taken the tiger population in th

Elephants Never Forget

Szeged Zoo opens display of Carpathian Basin fauna
The Szeged Zoo in southern Hungary opened on Saturday a new section to present the fauna of the Carpathian Basin, the zoo's director said.
The special displays for gray wolves, golden jackals and otters have been built using European Union funding received in a joint bid with the zoo of Romania's Timisoara, said Robert Veprik. The new section in the Szeged zoo has been built at a total cost of 27 million forints (95,000 euros), he added.
Szeged Mayor Laszlo Botka said that developments of nearly one billion forints have been carried out in the local zoo over the past few years, as a result of which

Zoos crucial to animal welfare
It's a shame to see that the main point of the critically acclaimed film 'The Cove' was missed by the person who wrote 'I will never visit a zoo again' (Letters, August 28).
This film is exceptional, but it is mostly about the trapping and slaughter of dolphins by the Japanese.
For many years, the Japanese government has been at loggerheads with other states over the rape and pillage of the sea.
The Japanese consider it their right to hunt some of the most vulnerable creatures of the deep, and argue that it is part of their "culture".
Many zoos around the world have provided breeding programmes for endangered animals whose entire populations, because of human brutality and our thirst to destroy natural habitats, have almost been wiped out.
Most zoos have done all they can to recreate the natural habitat of the animals they have.
The health of animals, both physical and mental, is of paramount importance.
There are also zoos and animal sanctuaries around the world that save many animals from inhumane owners.
Some of the chimpanzees at the Auckland Zoo in New Zealand are retired circus chimps that have become so domesticated that they

MSU vets set out to help save hellbenders
Focus is on right plan for successful preservation of salamanders' sperm
Dalen Agnew's job wasn't freezing the salamander sperm.
It was evaluating the sperm after it had been thawed, making sure the heads are still attached to the tails, that the tails haven't coiled or kinked, that the DNA is still intact.
Agnew, a reproductive pathologist at Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, is part of a team of scientists working to save the hellbender salamander, perhaps the largest amphibian in North America.
For reasons that aren't entirely clear, hellbenders have stopped breeding in many of their traditional watersheds. The scientists now believe sperm cryopreservation could be the creatures' last, best shot at survival.
"This whole family of salamanders only contains three species," said Dale McGinnity, curator of ectotherms at the Nashville Zoo and one of the project's leaders. "If you lose one of them, you're losing a lot of evolutionary

Zoo in financial trouble
Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown is asking for an emergency funding to fill a $200,000 budget shortfall or the zoo would be forced to close by the end of the year.
Montgomery County officials received a letter from the zoo’s Executive Director Bill Konstant Friday requesting an "emergency grant." He attributed the zoo’s "acute financial situation" to cutbacks in state funding, private cont

Van vihar authorised to breed endangered Bengal tigers
Van Vihar National Park will now breed the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger following Central Zoo Authority's (CZA) nod to it, a top official said. "Our zoo has been authorised for conservation breeding of Royal Bengal Tigers in the country," Van Vihar Director J S Chauhan told PTI today. "We have kick started the process of Royal Bengal Tiger Breeding in the zoo," Van Vihar Assistant Director A K Khare said. A feline had been moved next to the enclosure of a tiger a couple of days back, he said adding that they were having three big cats of fertility age. He said two tigers - one from Kanha and another Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve had been brought to the zoo, adding that one feline that was rescued from the wild of Raisen some years ago was also brought here. Khare said all the three big cats, including one feline, were between the age group five to seven

Surabaya Zoo Receives Financial Aid
The Surabaya city government will provide financial aid to the Surabaya Zoo, which had lately been neglected due to a management conflict. “We want to save the animals,” said Surabaya Mayor, Bambang Dwi Hartono, yesterday.
According to Bambang, the death of at least six animals was not caused by a disease. These animals died because their cages were dirty and had been neglected for many years. “The financial aid is a short-term effort. What,20100831-275288,uk.html

Tbilisi Zoo hopes for rare white lions’ posterity
The white rare lioness Kleopatra by name, which is in Tbilisi zoo, will soon have pair.
The lion included in the Red Book will be called Anthony. At present the lion's transportation from South Africa is being solved, the Zoo

The cat's whiskers: Wild about white lions and charmed by cheeky cheetahs at South Africa's feline-friendly conservation reserve
Mother Nature has made some gorgeous animals, hasn't she? Massive elephants and titchy shrews, fragile butterflies and big black-and-white whales, cute red pandas and awesome eagles.
But surely the most beautiful creatures on Earth were crashed out a few hundred feet from our safari vehicle, with not a care in the world and wondering what all the fuss was about. Panthera leo, the African lion, is one spectacular animal anyway, but imagine him with white fur and pale blue-green eyes highlighted in black, as if someone had taken a giant eyeliner to them and to his nose and mouth, too
And we'd found two of them, both young males, handsome faces framed with great manes of white fluff, stretched out companionably under the sun.
These white lions live at Sanbona, three hours' drive from Cape Town. The privately owned, 130,000-acre wildlife reserve, one of South Africa's largest, is at the centre of an extraordinary conservation project which, for once, shows a positive outcome to mankind's interference with the natural world, and not just for these lions.
...........Then, in 1975, the tale of three new white lion cubs was told in Chris McBride's book. The white lions Of Timbavati, and the public were mesmerised. With the best intentions, this time the cubs were removed from the wild to ensure their survival. Now their bloodline can be traced through zoos and wildlife parks all over the world.
Sadly, white lions also ended up in circuses and breeding farms, where animals are raised for 'canned hunting'. My heart sinks to hear that these establishments still exist.
There is a real possibility that no white lions will be born in Timbavati again. That's down to genetics. 'White lions are not a sub-species, nor are they albino,' explained Paul. 'They are normal lions - they're just white.'
They are not inferior to normal tawny lions, and, surprisingly, there's no evidence to suggest they are less effective hunters because of their more visible colour. The unusual colouring comes from a mutant colour-inhibitor gene, and to make a white cub, both mum and dad, white or tawny, must carry it in their DNA.
Two gene-carrying tawny lions could theoretically produce a white cub, but the chances are higher if both animals are white, hence many zoos' captive breeding programmes. At least these ensure white lions never die out.
But, due to extensive hunting in the past, the number of wild male lions carrying the gene has been at best drastically reduced, at worst wiped out altogether. Who knows if there's an evolutionary reason nature created a white lion, but for Sanbona, here was an opportunity to undo another ecologically bad thing man has done.
In 2003, two white lions, magnificent Jabulani, who had been hand-reared, probably to be shot by a trophy-hunter, and Queen, who had spent her life turning out litters of white cubs at a breeding farm, became the linchpins of Sanbona's White Lion Project.
Jabulani and Queen have produced eight offspring in three litters, all kept from human contact. Sadly, one cub died and a male who had picked............

Prague Zoo confirms position as leading breeder of Komodo dragons in captivity
In the wild there are reportedly only around 5,000 Komodo dragons left, found in eastern Indonesia. But Prague Zoo has enjoyed continued success in breeding the endangered lizard in captivity. Over the last few days, the zoo saw the successful hatching of 20 new specimens, the offspring of a female known as Aranka. What’s more, viewers were able to watch the entire hatching process online. Radio Prague’s Jan Velinger spoke to the zoo’s spokeswoman Jana Ptaèinská-Jirátová, who told me more about the successful

Last chance to save the Northern White Rhino from Jiøí Bálek on Vimeo.

Baby rhino will be one for record book
The mother-to-be, who has gained 60 pounds since June, opens her massive mouth and begs for a snack
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden keepers oblige with apple-oat biscuits, and the 4,120-pound Indian rhinoceros named Nikki happily chomps away during her monthly ultrasound procedure.
"I can see the placenta," says zoo scientist Monica Stoops, holding a probe to the rhino's underbelly while watching grainy black-and-white images on a monitor. "And I see lots of dark fluid, which is what's surrounding the baby. And I see parts of the baby.
"Everything looks great."
Nikki, 432 days into a 480-day gestation, is poised to make history in October by giving birth to the world's first Indian rhino calf conceived by artificial insemination; it will also be the first such rhino produced with frozen-thawed sperm.
For Stoops, 38, whose research made the pregnancy possible, the birth will be the culmination of eight years of work as reproductive physiologist at the zoo's Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife, or CREW.
She's confident that the disappointment she felt in January 2008 won't

Cairo zoo puts lions on human birth control pill (Video)
Vets at Cairo's Giza Zoo are experimenting with birth control on their rapidly expanding population of lions.
They are taking the unusual step of giving the big cats human birth control pills after a population explosion that means there are now 53 lions at the zoo.
It is a controversial move in a zoo which has already been criticised by animal rights activists.
Jon Leyne reports from Cairo.

Dartmoor zoo's battle for survival
It's four years since Benjamin Mee bought Dartmoor zoo. But while Hollywood is turning his story into a film, his little zoo is struggling against extinction – just like the endangered species he cares for
In 2006, while writing a book on humour in animals, I unexpectedly found myself becoming a zoo director. We were looking for a large house for my mother to live in with some of her children and grandchildren, and the details for Dartmoor zoo came up. We laughed, then we visited, and then realised that if we didn't buy it, most of its gorgeous animals would be destroyed. Six months later, I had a brand new line of excuses for submitting my copy late: "I'm afraid a wolf escaped and it took most of the day to get it back, and now I'm a bit tied up with the council . . ."
I figured running a zoo would be harder than I thought. And I was right. Big bills (not just the ones belonging to our two macaw parrots) are a fact of zoo life. When one of our visitors thought it a good idea to throw a lifebelt into the tiger moat, naturally the cats bit it, and one broke a tooth. The cost: £4,200 – that's two thirds of a month's mortgage payment, or three keepers' wages, slightly less than our monthly electricity bill, or slightly more than our insurance premium.
With all this money flowing out, I had to travel to France last week to sell the home in which my children grew up – complicated, inevitably, by some arcane French probate laws relating to the death of my wife Katherine in 2007. In two months' time I may

Elephant enthusiasts need to keep their feet on the ground
Do flying elephants seem far-fetched? Well, they have already taken wing, figuratively at least.
The Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort recently announced plans to import elephants as part of its exhibit. While the Al Ain animal park is widely recognised for the care and habitat of its creatures, Dubai Zoo has made the headlines because of animal right activists protesting against conditions there.
There is another concern for pachyderms, and that is how they get here. Wildlife experts have weighed in from far and wide on what is the most humane mode of travel.
@body arnhem:I have a slightly different view. The problem is in the preconceptions, I say. We think of elephants as wild beasts, when in fact they are undergoing an evolutionary transformation. It is an idea that my father taught me – and he should know.
He grew up in Kerala where elephants roamed the rubber plantations that his family owned. Each had a name, a personality and a particular job. Kallan, my father’s favourite, was a bull elephant of superhuman strength who rolled cut timber up steep hills. Kavi, his mate, was the gentle matriarch of the herd and played an important role in the local Hindu temple’s annual procession. She was used to children and crowds.
Their daughter, the high-strung Bindu, was energetic and great at ferrying workmen through the rubber plantations but she preferred to operate alone – no temple processions or gawking crowds for her.
My father loved them all. Humans and elephants, he says, have a primordial connection that goes back to prehistoric time. More importantly, this connection is on the cusp of changing dramatically.
“What we are seeing is a species becoming domesticated,” my father often says. “This is a historic moment in the evolution of a species. Elephants are at the point where Arabian horses were a few millennia ago – moving from the wild towards domesticity.”
I would have dismissed my father’s ideas as a flight of fantasy were it not for a recent book, The Zoo Story by Thomas French, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. French portrays elephants as intelligent, intuitive and cognisant of their environment. Most

Hong Kongers campaign against eating shark's fin
When Steven Leung and Sylvia Cheung celebrated their nuptials in this southern Chinese financial center recently, they lavished their guests with one sumptuous dish after another — bird nest soup, lobster, abalone.
One traditional dish, however, was missing from the 13-course Cantonese banquet. The newlyweds chose not to serve shark fin soup.
"I saw the cruelty in shark slaughtering in online videos. The way the fish is dumped back into the water — it is just inhumane," Leung said, referring to the practice of hacking off the fins of sharks, then setting them free.
The Hong Kong couple are part of a growing grass-roots movement in this global hub of shark fin consumption that aims to remove the staple of gourmet Chinese cuisine from restaurant menus.
"Shark fin is not a necessity at banquets, as long as guests are well-treated and there is good food," said Cheung. "We have great substitutes for the soup that are equally as prestigious and exquisite."
For centuries, shark fin, usually served as soup, has been a coveted delicacy in Chinese cooking, extolled for its supposed ability to boost sexual potency, enhance skin quality, increase one's energy (or "qi"), prevent heart diseases and lower cholesterol.
To prepare for soup, dried fin first is soaked in water overnight, then boiled for several hours to soften the cartilage and remove impurities. It then is cooked in a rich chicken broth with salted ham, mushrooms, dried scallops and abalone. Shark fin itself is tasteless, but has a slippery and glutinous texture.
It is an especially cherished menu item in wealthy Hong Kong, a pricey status symbol for its materialistic and status-conscious people. Depending on

How Peru's 'Andean rodeo' is helping save the vicuna
The Chaccu - dubbed the Andean rodeo - is a tradition from Peru's pre-Hispanic past that survives to this day.
But it is not just folkloric - the annual herding and shearing of vicunas plays a key role in helping to conserve Peru's most symbolic animal.
Just a few decades ago, the vicuna was hunted close to extinction on the high Andean plains where it roamed: for sport, for meat but mostly for its hide and its extremely soft and fine wool, said to be the best in the world.
In 1974 when it was put on the endangered species list the population was around 6,000; the latest estimate from 2008 put the population at close to 220,000.
A 1979 agreement between Peru, Argentina, Ecuador, Chile and Bolivia prohibited hunting and promoted the sustainable shearing of the animal's wool by communities in the high Andes.
The idea is that the communities protect the vicunas and, in return, benefit from shearing and selling their wool, which currently sells for around $300 per kg (a drop from


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