Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Join Today
Zoo News Digest Jan-Feb 2013


Zoo News Digest
Jan-Feb 2013


Zoo saga takes new twist as 230 animals go missing
The case involving the deaths of a sun bear and a stallion at the Malacca Zoo and Night Safari took a new twist when it was alleged that some 230 zoo animals were "unaccounted” for.

The discovery was made on Jan 1 in a stock list when the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) handed over management of the menagerie to a private consortium, said a zoologist.

Dr Razeem Mazlan Abdullah, who is the animal welfare and ethics sub-committee chairman of the zoo operators, breeders, pet and wildlife traders association (P4PHM), said the list of missing animals included several mammals, reptiles and birds that vanished in just two weeks after the first listing was completed on Dec 20.

"A big question mark is what had happened to all of them and where have they been placed or transferred to,” he said yesterday.

The P4PHM has a membership base close to 4,000 individuals.

Dr Razeem, who has more than two decades of zoology experience, believed the animals were probably handed over to other zoos and individuals without abiding by the required procedures.

"To my knowledge, protected and endangered species should not be handed over to anyone by Govern-ment zoos without approval from the Natural Resources and Environment Minister,” he said, adding that the discrepancy appeared before the handing

New chimpanzee arrives at the Oregon Zoo, only to find an old friend
She's 35. 
He's 42. 
When she moves -- so far, anyhow -- he follows. 
The separations in between, though, must make the guy pine. The evidence: Last time they were split and he finally relocated to her town, the moving truck's doors opened, he saw her standing there and he burst into applause. 
This time, only last month, when he transferred from Oklahoma City to Portland and caught sight of her again, he erupted with excitement, vocalizing, gesturing and reaching out to groom her ... because that's the chimpanzee way. 
His name is Jackson. 
Her's is Jennifer Davis. Since December 2011, she's worked as the Oregon Zoo's curator of primates and Africa.

Last wartime letters of Peter Falwasser, Chester Zoo aquarist 1916 -1942
Arriving at the office in Oakfield House in Chester Zoo  70 years ago this week, the first week of February 1943, the wartime postman (or more likely postwoman) carried  some sad news.  One letter was  postmarked Manchester 31 Jan 1943 (about the time and date that I draft this blog 70 years on) and stamped with an attractive orange  2d and green 1/2d stamp bearing the portrait of the Queen’s father George VIth. Within was a short handwritten letter on one piece of paper:

Leopard, pair of zebras to join Mandalay’s zoo 
Two new zebras and a rare leopard will soon be added to the collection of animals in Mandalay’s Yadanabon Zoological Garden, a zoo administrator said.

The decision to add a leopard follows the death last Friday of a female leopard at the zoo.

"A female leopard died a natural death because of its age. We have cleaned and sterilised the cage.

An eight-month clouded leopard will arrive after it is checked by veterinarians,” a zoo keeper said. He said the zoo was also adding a pair of zebras, a species it does not have at present.

The cat was donated to the zoo by a monk last July. The clouded leopard, whose scientific name is Neofelis nebulosa, is an endangered species protected by law in Myanmar.  

Yadanabon zoo, established in 1989, is located

Zoo licence move 'killed animals'
RESCUE animals have died from stress according to owners who were forced to move them because they didn’t have the right paperwork.

Mistley Place Park is facing up to the sad conclusion of a mix up with their licence.

The animal sanctuary was told it needed a zoo licence to stay open after inspectors said wild animals were not allowed to be on public display.

Owners Maureen and Michael Taylor said the licence would cost them £10,000 and force them to shut the park, so instead set about rehoming the animals and moving

Almost a fifth of world's reptiles on brink of extinction
It has been estimated that 19% of the world’s reptiles are threatened with extinction.
The claim is made in a paper published last week by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) in conjunction with experts from the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC).
Printed in the journal Biological Conservation, more than 200 world renowned experts worked on the study, which assessed the extinction risk of 1,500 randomly selected reptiles from across the globe.
Out of the estimated 19% of reptiles threatened with extinction, 12% classified as critically endangered, 41% endangered and 47% were classed as vulnerable.
Three critically endangered species were also highlighted as possibly extinct. One of these, a jungle runner lizard Ameiva vittata, has only ever been recorded in one part of Bolivia. 
Levels of threat remain particularly high in tropical regions, mainly as a result of habitat conversion for agriculture and logging. With the lizard's habitat virtually destroyed, two recent searches for the species have been unsuccessful.
Dr Monika Böhm, lead author on the paper, said

Tigers’ inbreeding taking its toll
The chronic issue of inbreeding the Punjab Wildlife is confronted with for several years took the life of a four-and-a-half-month white tiger cub (Zona) on Sunday night at the Lahore zoo, officials told Dawn.

In the past too, the inbreeding resulted in the deaths of several tigers at the zoo and other wildlife parks.

Officials say the present zoo administration, however, has taken some practical steps to tackle the issue of inbreeding. It has also consulted national and international wildlife experts.

On the direction of the Punjab Wildlife Department director-general, a three-member committee has been constituted to probe into facts behind the death of Zona.

The committee is consisted of Wildlife director Abdul Qadeer Mahal, Biodiversity World Wide Fund for Nature director Uzma Khan and Zoo Management Committee member Dr Riffat Suleman Butt.

The committee will submit its report within three days while it will hold its meeting on Sept 29.

White tiger cub (Zona) was suffering from congenital deformities like brittle bones (suspected rickets). X-Rays show the fracturing of long bone of distal condyles.

Guangzhou Zoo to Hire Marxist Keepers
A zoo in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has specified a good grasp of Marxist theory as a requirement for its newly advertised keeper vacancies, sparking widespread satirical humor online.

Duties of a zookeeper include feeding the animals, inspecting their droppings, cleaning their cages, and giving out basic information about them, the advertisement recently posted on the zoo's website said.

"Applicants should possess relevant professional knowledge of zookeeping, including: an understanding of the principles of Marxist philosophy and of Mao Zedong Thought and socialism with Chinese characteristics," the ad said.

An employee who answered the phone at the zoo confirmed that these were among the criteria for selection.

"Our criteria are based on the public knowledge base, which isn't something decided by us," the employee said.

65-year-old businessman nabbed over poisoning at zoo
Police have detained a 65-year-old businessman from Kulai Besar, Johor, over the poisoning of a Malayan Sun Bear and an Arabian stallion at Malacca Zoo and Night Safari on Sunday.

Sources told The Star that investigating officers launched an operation codenamed "Vendetta 172” after CCTV footage showed the man in the zoo premises with food packages before feeding time.

He is said to have fed the animals with poison as revenge against the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) which had seized 60 animals from a zoo he owned two years ago.

A special investigation team headed by State Deputy CID chief Superintendent P.R. Gunarajan identified the man through a CCTV footage with the food packages before feeding time at 5.30pm on the day.

Police detained the man at his home yesterday at 1am.

State CID chief Assistant Commissioner Raja Sharom Raja Abdullah said police also confiscated a vehicle and several other items from the man.

"The suspect admitted to being involved in the case, but it is too early to reveal his motive,” he said.

ACP Raja Sharom said police were investigating the case under Section 429 which carries a jail term of five

Bristol Zoo's new wildlife park will open in July - despite lack of funding
BRISTOL Zoo plans to open a new wildlife park on the edge of the city this summer.

The zoo is pushing ahead with its ambitious plans despite failing to find the finance needed for the £70 million project.
Zebras and antelopes will be among the first occupants of the park, which the zoo hopes to open by July.

Planning permission to open an "eco-zoo" on part of a 136-acre site near Cribbs Causeway has been in place for three years and the Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society has owned the land for nearly 50. Plans for the country's first national wildlife conservation park at the Hollywood Tower Estate were first announced in 1999 and it was originally intended to open

Pat Derby dies at 70; rescuer of exotic and performing animals
Derby, a former Hollywood animal trainer turned activist, and her partner, Ed Stewart, operated a 2,300-acre sanctuary near Sacramento.
Pat Derby could coax Willie the bear with a handful of jelly beans, make Christopher the cougar twitch his tail on command, and even kissed Rijo the tiger.

But when it came to Walt Disney, she had less patience. Derby, a Hollywood animal trainer turned animal rights activist, once walked out on him in the middle of filming for "Disney's Wonderful World of Color" after he subjected her bear cub to two hours of retakes under the hot studio lights.

She always got along better with animals than people, anyway, she often said. "I am not a natural at public relations," she once wrote.
Derby, who later devoted her life to protecting and rescuing exotic and performing animals, died Friday after a long battle with throat cancer, said her longtime partner, Ed Stewart. She was 70 and died at their home in San Andreas, southeast of Sacramento and the site of a sprawling, 2,300-acre animal sanctuary they established in 2000.

In the 1960s and '70s, Derby was known in Hollywood circles as a trainer of anteaters, tigers and grizzly bears. She worked on the TV shows "Flipper," "Lassie" and "Gunsmoke" but later quit to become one of the most vocal critics of the abuse of animals in show business.

Her 1976 book, "The Lady and Her Tiger," was a stinging expose of the industry's practices and angered much of the Hollywood elite. Her organization, the Performing Animals Welfare Society, or PAWS, became a leading voice calling attention to the plight of animals,0,1066989.story

At the National Zoo, work will go on
If deep federal budget cuts go into effect, curators will stay on the job and animals will be fed. But sequestration could mean fewer exhibits and less time for research
Rebecca Miller, an animal keeper on the National Zoo’s American Trail, feeds Calli, a sea lion. Miller works with four other keepers at the exhibit, which includes beavers, wolves, ravens and more. Officials are scrambling to make sure the care at the zoo keeps flowing, even as potential deep spending cuts known as sequestration threaten to put the squeeze on other functions, including education, research and administration.

Fellsmere's National Elephant Center ready to take animals | Photo gallery
The National Elephant Center, which was a dream for 20 years and a building plan for 10 months, is no longer just a dream or a plan.
"We are a facility capable now of taking elephants,” Executive Director John Lehnhardt said Wednesday, after celebrating the completion of the 30-acre first phase.
Some 50 Fellsmere city officials, Indian River County officials, local business and community leaders and board members of the center gathered to hail the project so far and look to future phases.
"I’m always asked when the elephants are coming,” new board Chairman Keith Winsten told the crowd. "And the answer is we can’t give you a real date.”
While the month of April has been discussed, Lehnhardt would only say "by late spring.” He said he has had numerous discussions with various zoo officials, but said he doesn’t have any agreements.
Now, however, he said, the discussions will become more serious and lead to agreements because he has a facility to offer.
The center occupies 225 acres on Fellsmere Grade, about 3 miles north of downtown Fellsmere. It’s a collaboration of 73 zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Dead Mice Are Going To Be Dropped On Guam From Helicopters (Really)
Here's the latest plan scientists have come up with to kill some of the estimated 2 million brown 
tree snakes that have wiped out many other animals on Guam:
In April or May they're going to lace dead mice with painkillers, attach them to little 
parachutes, drop them from helicopters and hope that they get snagged in the jungle foliage. 
Then, if all goes well, the snakes — which as their name implies hang out in trees — will eat the 
mice and die from ingesting the painkillers' active ingredients.
We aren't kidding. That's what The Associated Press is reporting from Guam's Andersen Air Force 
Base, near where this experimental airdrop will happen.
To work, the snakes are going to have to discover their snacks from the sky fairly quickly. 
According to the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service: 

Forest staff stir hits zoo services
Animal care services at Nandankanan Zoological Park here were partially affected on Friday following separate strikes by forest staff and temporary zoo workers.

Around 100 temporary zoo workers staged a dharna demanding wage hike and permanent jobs. The agitation coincided with the statewide indefinite strike by deputy rangers, foresters, forest guards in support of their demands beginning from Friday. Since Nandankan has around 30 such staff, around 130 abstained from work adversely affecting feeding and care of animals, zoo sources said.

Zoo authorities, however, asserted that the strike had minimal effect. "Around 40% staff were on strike and there was hardly any impact on the zoo's functioning," Nandankanan assistant director Kamal Purohit told TOI. After a poor turnout for two consecutive days due to the nationwide bandh observed by trade unions, the zoo received 20,000 visitors on Friday, he added.

The around 8,000 forest staff, under the banner of Ungazetted Bana Seva Sangha, are pressing for their three major demands. They have been demanding salary according to the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, regularisation of around 475 contractual foresters and forest guards and a promotion policy for them.

"Our intention is not to create inconvenience

Slam-dunking otter sparks questions about training zoo animals
A popular online video of a sea otter playing basketball has opened an ethical debate over how appropriate it is to train zoo animals to behave in certain ways.

While Eddie's antics seem like fun and games, officials at the Oregon Zoo have said the slam-dunking is actually helping the aging animal exercise its arthritic joints.

Tim Sinclair-Smith, director of zoological operations at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Zoo, spoke to CBC's Information Radio on Friday about the ethics of training wild animals being kept in captivity.

In the case of Eddie, Sinclair-Smith said the Oregon Zoo has found a unique way to help the sea otter deal with its medical issue.

But he said the Assiniboine Park Zoo would not do what an aquarium in Sebastopol, Ukraine, did recently, training a dolphin to come out of its pool and crawl on its belly across the deck as a trainer leads it along.

Sinclair-Smith said the Winnipeg zoo prefers to let animals behave naturally, or in ways that would benefit

Are giant pandas worth saving?
Who wouldn’t want to fly across the world and spend a week with giant pandas? They are undeniably cute. Everyone is obsessed with those black and white fuzzy faces. We celebrate when one is born at a zoo. We know their names. We’ll watch a YouTube video of them over and over again. This one, which shows a baby panda sneezing, has more than 150 million hits. I dare you not to click the link. 
For this story, we traveled to Chengdu, China, a city of 14 million people. It’s the capital of the Sichuan province in southwest China. Chengdu is known for spicy Sichuan chili dishes that make your tongue go numb, but also for being the hometown of the giant panda. Back in 1987, when it became apparent that pandas were seriously endangered in the wild, the Chinese created the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Starting with just six pandas from the wild, they’ve successfully bred more than 100 pandas.
Here, female pandas are monitored constantly to pinpoint the one day of the year – or the few hours -- when they’ll be able to conceive. They are typically artificially inseminated. Test tubes of panda sperm are kept in vats of liquid nitrogen. Mothers stay with their babies for a while but they’re eventually put back on the breeding program so the cycle can start again.
Sarah Bexell, an American who has worked at Chengdu for 13 years, says the lives of the staff revolve around the fertility cycle of the female pandas. "When our cubs are about to arrive, some of our staff live there 24-7,” she said.  She’s also a coauthor of a new book called, "Giant Pandas: Born Survivors.”
The cubs I saw on this visit were four months old and just learning to walk. Their fur was soft as silk.

How the Life of a Chipmunk in Michigan Came to Save Elephants and a Million Acres in Cambodia
Cambodia, the first Asian nation to join the IUCN in 1958 is also a significant signatory to the United Nations global Convention on Biological Diversity mandating that member nations draw up sustainable Biodiversity Action Plans. Cambodia’s recent 2010 plan, by any standards, represents a remarkable aspiration towards nation-wide ecological sustainability, indigenous human rights and biodiversity conservation.
Cambodia’s prospects for sustainable agriculture and for enlarging her protected area network, ensuring the sanctity of more and more precious 
habitat, encouraging eco-tourism and training the next generation of young ecologists are extremely promising. Currently, "Cambodia’s protected areas system includes 7 national parks (742,250 ha), 10 wildlife sanctuaries (2,030,000 ha), 3 protected landscapes (9,700 ha), 3 multiple use areas (403,950 ha), 6 protection forests (1,350,000 ha), and 8 fish sanctuaries (23,544 ha).”

5 rhino horns seized in The Netherlands
 Remarkable seizure in The Netherlands illustrates extent of illegal rhino horn trade
On 21 February 2013 a remarkable seizure took place in The Netherlands, showing that the illegal rhino horn trade is stretching far beyond the African countries where rhinos are killed for their horns and those countries where they are consumed, particularly Vietnam and China. 
Inspectors of the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority seized 5 rhino horns in an industrial building in Diemen, near Amsterdam. The horns belonged to a man and woman from Almere who had offered the horns for sale. The couple has been taken into custody for questioning. The criminal investigation is being conducted by the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority and the police, and led by the Dutch public prosecutors office.

No information is yet available on the origins of the horns. They could be smuggled from Africa or have been acquired (bought or stolen) in the EU, either from a private collection or a museum or auction house. 
Thefts of rhino horns have been rampant across the EU over the last few years. Given the fact that rhino horn is currently worth more than its

Research Aimed at Big Cat Comfort
Thermal imaging could help zoos design better enclosures
The temperature is five degrees below zero. Animal science PhD student Judy Stryker says she’s freezing, but the Siberian tiger she’s observing in a zoo is panting. For him the weather is almost too warm, and he’s panting just a little because that’s the way tigers stay comfortable.

The lions in another enclosure – Stryker says they’re brothers – sit together on a heated pad set in the ground. Unlike their tiger cousins, they find this weather a little cool and enjoy relaxing in the heated area.

Stryker says zoo designers are giving more thought to the comfort and well-being of the animals living there than in past years, when their goal was to make the animal habitats interesting for the people who come to visit. Her research encourages that shift by giving zoos one more factor to consider: thermo-regulation, or how the animals maintain a comfortable body temperature.

"I’m looking at the big cats and trying to compare the different species,” she explains. She studies jaguars, lions, pumas, snow leopards and Siberian tigers and uses a thermal camera to produce images that translate temperature into colour. The results are what Stryker calls "some pretty neat technicolour pictures of animals.”

Her research has a number of goals. One is to develop an understanding of how these animals behave throughout the day in a zoo environment. Her results so far will seem familiar to owners of domestic cats: they sleep a lot. Stryker also says the big cats may be crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk and less active during the day and night, although more work is needed to confirm this.





World's second-biggest crocodile Holey euthanased at Gold Coast's Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary 
QUEENSLAND has lost a second animal icon in a week, with the death of the world's second-biggest crocodile in captivity. 
Holey, a 5.1m, 42-year-old saltwater crocodile, was euthanased at the Gold Coast's Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on Friday after vets discovered an aggressive 
cancer had spread through its body.
Its death followed that of Australia's oldest elephant, 58-year-old Siam, at Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast on Tuesday.
Holey was believed to be the world's second largest saltwater crocodile in captivity after 5.48m croc Cassius on Green Island.  A 6.17m crocodile, Lolong, 
was previously the biggest in captivity but died in the Philippines earlier this week.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary senior vet Dr Michael Pyne said losing Holey, who had been at the park for 10 years, was like losing a family member.
"It was a very heartbreaking decision to euthanize such a majestic animal however it was a unanimous decision by a panel of resident and independent 
consultant vets based

Town's tears for enormous 20ft crocodile called Lolong who died 
A TOWN in the southern Philippines plans to hold funeral rites for the world's largest saltwater crocodile which has died after becoming ill in an eco-tourism park.
THE mayor of Bunawan town in Agusan del Sur province said the remains of the one-tonne reptile, named Lolong, will be preserved in a museum to keep tourists coming and prevent their community from slipping back into obscurity.

The creature, which measured 20.24ft (6.17 metres), was declared dead on Sunday a few hours after flipping over with a bloated stomach in a pond the park in Bunawan town.

Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde said the town had started to draw in revenue and new developments thanks to the crocodile.

Senate OKs Bill To Let Public Handle Bear Cubs
The Michigan Senate has approved a bill that would let the public touch and get photos with bear cubs in the state.

In December, Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed similar legislation because it also would have allowed more facilities to acquire and keep large carnivores. But he said 
he supported a provision pertaining to bear cubs.

An Upper Peninsula bear ranch had to stop letting visitors pose for photos while feeding black bear cubs last year after being told it was illegal.

The bill would let the public handle bear cubs at 36 weeks old and weighing under 90 pounds.

"These are wild animals; they’re not domestic animals; they are not meant to be domestic animals,” said Tara Harrison, a veterinarian at Potter Park Zoo in 
Lansing, who opposes the legislation. ”It takes thousands and thousands of years to domesticate animals. So even though they may tames these bears down, they 
still are a risk to people.

Giant underwater isopod on 4-year hunger strike, frustrating Japanese aquarium
Takaya Moritaki is tasked with feeding the giant isopods at the Toba Aquarium in Mie Prefecture. He prepares bowls of mackerel for the crustaceans and, for 
one of them, it was the fourth year anniversary of its refusal to eat anything at all.
If you haven’t seen a giant isopod before – or maybe have seen a picture and disregarded it as a hoax – it looks like a really big version of a pill-bug, or 
a potato-bug, or a woodlouse. The resemblance is very keen because they’re closely related aside from the lifestyle and obvious size differences. The giant 
isopod lives 100 meters under the sea. They are shrewd scavengers who have adapted to going for long periods of time without food. However, when food is 
present, they can have ravenous appetites, sometimes even biting and cutting through underwater cables.

For Mr. Moritaki’s isopods though, this has not been the case. The Toba Aquarium has two giant isopods, one of them affectionately named "No.1”, which has 
been on a hunger strike since 2 January, 2009. Mr. Moritaki has tempted No.1 with whole mackerel in front of the media, placing the dead fish in front of the 
isopod’s face. At first, No.1 b

Reptiles and religion: Ky. pastor wants seized snakes returned, says he needs them for worship
A Kentucky pastor is fighting to get his snakes back after police in Tennessee confiscated them, CBS affiliate WKYT reports.
Pastor Jamie Coots says without the five snakes he's not obeying the word of God - plus, he says, his religious rights were violated when authorities seized 
the reptiles during a traffic stop.
It started on Jan. 31 on Interstate 40 in Knoxville, Tenn, where it's illegal to have any type of poisonous snake. Pastor Coots, of the Full Gospel 
Tabernacle in Jesus Name, in Middlesboro, Ky., was stopped by police for dark tinted windows, and they saw the snakes - three rattlesnakes and two 

Shedd Aquarium set to become first smart-powered aquarium in U.S.
Shedd Aquarium, Chicago’s most popular cultural attraction, has rolled out a plan that will launch it as the first clean energy-powered facility of its kind 
in the country.
"It’s a brand new initiative,” said Elise Waugh, a communications and public relations coordinator at Shedd. "It’s going to be something that other 
institutions can look to as a model for their own.”
A Master Energy Roadmap aims to cut energy consumption of the 83-year-old indoor public aquarium in half by 2020. Robert Wengel, the aquarium’s vice 
president of facilities, said about 10 million kilowatt-hours, enough to power 750 houses, are expected to be saved annually.
"It’s a comprehensive strategy,” Wengel said. "We’re going to go from an energy saver, which is what we are now, to an energy leader and to an energy 
Shedd has begun the journey toward energy efficiency by changing the exhibits’ lighting systems

It’s time to look beyond the tiger
Fighting wildlife crime, other issues related to preserving India’s biodiversity don’t really get much of a mention 
When it comes to the budget for conservation in India, the tiger gets the lion’s share, followed by the elephant trundling along in second place. Fighting 
wildlife crime and other critical issues related to preserving India’s biodiversity don’t really get much of a mention.

As finance ministry mandarins get down to the business of drawing up the budget for the next financial year, they might do worse than ease up a little on 
what seems to be an obsession with the tiger to the exclusion of all other species, although this is the 40th anniversary of Project Tiger, India’s flagship 
conservation programme for the national animal.

The national budget for 2012-13, which was announced in March last year, allocated Rs.2,430 crore to the ministry of environment and forests, with Rs.340.06 
crore of this going to wildlife preservation.

S.Africa opposes total ban on rhino horn exports
South Africa announced its opposition to a total ban on rhino trophy exports, saying it has beefed up hunt rules amid a poaching crisis that has killed 96 
animals this year.
The government backed a recommendation by the UN wildlife trade regulator CITES secretariat that a proposal halting trade in rhino trophies and products be 
rejected at an upcoming meeting.
"We also welcome CITES’ acknowledgement of the recent significant steps taken to improve the management of rhino hunting," said environment minister Edna 
Molewa in a statement.
Kenya has proposed that a zero export quota be put in place in Swaziland and South Africa, which has the world's biggest white rhino population and allows 
legal hunts.
It is one of dozens of proposals on the global wildlife trade that will be voted on at next month's meeting of the 176-member country body in Bangkok.
The CITES secretariat said that South Africa had taken "significant steps to improve its management of rhino hunting".

J/Brice to design outlets at $40m Jeddah aquarium
US-based hotel and resort design firm J/Brice Design International has been appointed to design three restaurants at the upcoming Sea Wonders Aquarium in 

The restaurants include an American-themed family restaurant called Ocean Drive after the art-deco revival in Miami’s resort area; a chic Japanese sushi 
restaurant, and a shisha bar, located on the Red Sea shoreline The Promenade.

"Our participation in this remarkable center is a logical addition to our immersion in the Saudi marketplace, serving as a springboard for future cultural, 
educational, and entertainment themed projects as the nation strives to meet demand for notonly hotel properties, but for entertainment, conferences, 
academic facilities and other associated consumer outlets during this period of major expansion,” J/Brice Design CEO and founder Jeffrey Ornsteins said in a 
press statement.

The US $40 million Sea Wonders Aquarium, developed by The Fakieh Group, will comprise 7000 marine animals of more than 200 species, including sharks, 
dolphins and sea lions.

The aquarium, which includes conference facilities, can accommodate 14,000 visitors a day

Today at Big Cat Rescue Feb 9 2013 Big Cat Rescue Wins
Legal victory against tiger cub exploiter!
Many of you have followed our two year long legal battle against Joe Schreibvogel and GW Exotic Memorial Animal Park. Schreibvogel constantly breeds tiger 
cubs to use to make money by charging people to pet or take photos with them, both at his park and on a "road show” that exhibits at malls and fairs. As part 
of our increasing focus on advocacy work, we have contacted these venues to educate them about why we believe this was mistreatment of the animals and why it 
was also bad business because it offended the many people who love animals and oppose this exploitation.
Among his many other unprofessional responses and attacks on Big Cat Rescue and Carole personally, in 2010 Schreibvogel decided to use the name Big Cat 
Rescue Entertainment for his traveling exhibit. He created a logo where the words Big Cat Rescue looked very much like our logo, and even starting using a 
phone number with our area code, to create confusion and damage

Gentoo penguin dies at Calgary Zoo after swallowing wooden stick
A Gentoo penguin has died at the Calgary Zoo after swallowing a wooden stick it found inside it’s enclosure.

The news was revealed to the Calgary Sun this week, more than two months after the incident.

The penguin died as a result of complications from surgery, autopsy results found an abscess in her esophagus.

It’s the second confirmed death of a bird at the zoo, after a Great Grey Owl became trapped in a connecting gate and died while it was being transferred.

There’s no word yet as to how the penguin found the stick and how it wound up in its environment.

Dr. Steven Emslie with the University of North Carolina chalks it all up to an unfortunate accident.

The marine biologist, whose made a career out of working with Gentoos, tells 660News the birds are naturally curious and playful.

Foreign Funding Saves Sun Bears in Balikpapan
A plan to relocate rescued sun bears from a sanctuary in Balikpapan has been scrapped after the Vietnamese and Dutch governments stepped in with an offer to 
fund the care of the animals. 
Andi Burhanuddin Solong, the speaker of the Balikpapan City Council, said on Tuesday that the offer of aid was made two weeks earlier, adding he was 
surprised that the plight of the bears had drawn international attention. 
"The representatives from the Vietnamese and Dutch governments asked that we not move the sun bears away from that location,” he said. 
"They have expressed their readiness to provide operational aid for the care of the six sun bears in the sanctuary, and I agree that they should stay.” 
The plan to move the bears and turn the 9.5-hectare site into a commercial campsite was initially proposed by the City Council and the municipal 
Last month, Andi said it was no longer feasible to maintain the sanctuary as a conservation

Sultan Thaha Airport to become "zoo airport”
Jambi Governor Hasan Basri Agus said on Wednesday that the Sultan Thaha Airport in the province would become a "zoo airport” as it would be integrated with 
the Taman Rimba Zoo in Jambi.
"Integrated with the zoo, the Sultan Thaha Airport will become a zoo airport and this is the one and the only zoo airport in the world,” he said. The airport 
would also be integrated with an MTQ compound which was home to several buildings which replicated Jambi traditional houses from each regency and 
municipality in the province. It was also possible to have a hotel in the area, he said.
Hasan said flight passengers could first visit the zoo before they proceeded to the airport’s departure terminal. With the zoo airport, passengers could also 
have a great place to spend time if t

Unearthed elephant ring from Cleethorpes' Marineland Zoo will be preserved under barn at new Pleasure Island farm attraction
WORKMEN have unearthed historical artefacts dating back to when enormous creatures roamed Cleethorpes – but we're not talking dinosaurs.

The old elephant ring from Cleethorpes Marineland Zoo has been discovered deep underground during work on the new Furry Friends Farm attraction at Pleasure Island.
The ring has remained in perfect condition since the zoo closed in 1974 – but its discovery will unearth fond memories for many.

Pleasure Island owner Melanie Wood – whose father, Robert Gibb, coincidentally worked for the zoo – is thrilled

Thriving Afghan zoo’s plans to expand worry its champions
In 2001, as the Taliban government collapsed, the Kabul Zoo had been almost destroyed by years of war and neglect. Exhibits were bombed out, and many of the animals had been maimed, been eaten by hungry Afghans or died of hunger.
That’s when the North Carolina Zoo stepped in with more than $400,000 it had collected in donations. Other foreign groups pitched in, and the donations eventually reached nearly $2 million.
The result: Despite being no larger than a suburban U.S. high school campus, the zoo has become one of the most popular leisure attractions in Afghanistan – so popular, in fact, that ticket sales generate more money than it costs to operate the attraction. 
Now Kabul’s mayor wants to make the zoo more than five times larger – with more animals, more space and more crowd-pleasing species from places such as Africa.
Those who helped revive the zoo say that might be a big mistake.
"Getting them to understand what they can do that will be sustainable, given their resources and the climate there, is difficult," said David Jones, the director of the state-owned North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, which covers 150 times more land than its counterpart in Kabul.
Jones, who’s long been involved in helping zoos in the developing world, said the idea of a sprawling zoo with more species from more places raised a host of issues, including simply the cost of heating and cooling animals’ housing in Afghanistan’s climate, which is known for its big swings in daily and seasonal temperatures.

Chimps at Chester Zoo use grooming as a currency
Chimps at Chester Zoo use grooming as a currency, according to new research from an LJMU scientist.

Dr Nicola Koyama from LJMU’s Research Centre in Evolutionary Anthropology and Palaeoecology, found evidence to support a mating market with the chimps at Chester Zoo, with sexually receptive females receiving and being able to demand more grooming from males.
 The research, which has been published in the journal ‘Animal Behaviour,’ showed that, over a three-year period, males gave more grooming to females when they had swelling on their bottoms (indicating the time of ovulation) and when there were fewer females with swelling they were able to demand more grooming from the males.
 The scientists also discovered that males who

Knut the polar bear becomes museum display
Adorable in life, still attracting admirers in death: Knut the polar bear's hide has been mounted on a polyurethane body and is going on display in a Berlin museum.
The Natural History Museum on Friday unveiled the statue prepared by taxidermists featuring the famous Berlin Zoo bear's fur and claws, with the synthetic body and glass eyes.
The display runs through March 15. Knut will then be added to the museum's scientific collections.
Knut was hand-raised after his mother rejected him. He rose to stardom in 2007 as a cuddly cub, appearing on magazine covers, in a film and on mountains of merchandise. He died in 2011 after suffering from encephalitis.
The museum dismissed

Rhino Mystery
TARONGA Western Plains Zoo has a long-term plan to solve the mystery deaths of four female white rhinos almost a year ago.
Senior keeper of white rhinos Pascale Benoit yesterday revealed the zoo had frozen and stored samples in the hope that future scientific advances could make them useful in determining why the animals died.
Ms Benoit, who still wipes away tears when she speaks of the dead rhinos, has previously stood at the open-range zoo's white rhino exhibit and counted 10 of the "magnificent" and endangered creatures.
There were five females and two males in residence when the killer illness reared its ugly head in early 2012.
The only female to survive was Mopani, that, like staff at the zoo, has struggled to comprehend the dramatic loss.
Yesterday Ms Benoit reported that she was seeing the "old Mopani come back" thanks to a 2.5 tonne beauty that may kick-start the white rhino breeding program.
Female white rhino Likewizi was born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo but has lived most of her life at Victoria's Werribee Zoo.

Revealed - secrets of the Torquay penguin keepers
On land they are funny little people, waddling like cartoon characters. In water they are torpedo-swift swimmers – they dart past the underwater windows with a sideways glance that seems to say "Fooled you!"
Living Coasts, Torquay's "coastal zoo", is home to two species, Africans – officially listed as endangered – and macaronis. It is one of the largest flocks of penguins in the UK. The main penguin keepers are Lois Rowell and Amy Fitzgerald.

Like all top zoos, Living Coasts has a mission to make a difference. It puts money into international research to help penguins in the wild and gives to SANCCOB, the South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds.
"Keeping penguins is not like keeping other birds," said Lois. "They can be difficult," admits Amy. "But penguin keeper is my dream job. I love how penguins interact with people, how they respond to and recognise their keepers. They have a fun, happy-go-lucky nature."

The moment a killer whale calf was born in SeaWorld San Diego
A killer whale at San Diego SeaWorld has given birth to a 300lb calf. 
Kasatka gave birth after an hour of labour, following a

Marineland lawsuit accuses former trainer of plotting to steal walrus
Marineland has sued whistleblower Phil Demers for trespassing on the park’s property, claiming he also schemed to steal Smooshi the walrus.
Marineland has sued former trainer Phil Demers for trespassing on the park’s property, claiming he also schemed to steal Smooshi the walrus.

The $1.5 million suit against Demers, who worked as a senior marine mammal trainer, says he unlawfully stormed the park during a live stadium show on closing day last Oct. 7. Demers was with other activists, says the suit.

Demers was one of eight initial whistleblowers who told the Star last August that sporadically poor water had caused blindness and other health problems among seals, sea lions and dolphins.

In an interview Thursday, Demers said he "never went in” and has proof from others who were involved that day in a protest outside the park.

"The notion that I’m ‘plotting’ to steal Smooshi is absurd,” he said. "I also doubt my second floor apartment would hold a walrus.

"My hands are full enough with my cats.”

The suit says: "Mr. Demers and others agreed on or about October 7, 2012 to unlawfully gain entry into Marineland at a time known only to them, utilizing Mr. Demers’ knowledge of Marineland security as a former




The Rhino Horn Crisis and the Darknet
Sometime last fall, I logged into an underground message board in the anonymized recesses of the Internet they call the darknet in search of rhinoceros horn.

Once thought to posess magical abilities, and now used primarily for supposed medicinal purposes across Asia, rhino horn is now an incredibly rare commodity that's worth more than cocaine, gold, or platinum. In Southeast Asia, a single horn--ripped from the head of a dead rhinoceros by a poacher working for a crime syndicate--can sell for half a million dollars or more.

After I posted my request, plenty of people wrote back, though it wasn't clear who was trying to sell and who was trying to scam. But one respondent sounded more serious. His email handle was "Keros," the Greek word for horn, and he dismissed my request as amateurish, explaining that the horn trade isn't something to take lightly. "Anyway," he wrote, "my material is black rhino horn pure keratin hunted in Namibia. I have three in the US right now."

As strange as it sounds, the international rhino horn trade has, like everything else, gone digital. Last year, a nationwide law enforcement sting called Operation Crash netted seven individuals, including a Texas rodeo star who'd been making horn deals via Facebook. That bust marked a rising trend for the sale of an item that can fetch $90,000 or more per kilogram. Enforcement has cracked down on overt sales in the U.S., but vendors have taken a cue from the drug trade and moved deeper into the Internet. Alongside heroin and MDMA, rhino horn is now being advertised through the impossible-to-trace connections of the darknet.

Such is Ignorance.....on the Care2 petition site
Protect White Tigers from Instinction
White tigers are wonderful creatures; people kill them because of that. They take their fur to make coats and attach their heads to the wall. But kill them to have their beauty with them is completely senseless. To find real beauty we need to search in nature where the white tigers can live in peace and harmony. To realize this ......

‘Who says Flipper is sad?’—Ocean Adventure CEO, in defense of aquariums, zoos
"The Sadness Behind the Smile” Campaign of Earth Island Institute (EII) touted by Ric O’Barry, Trixie Concepcion, and AG Sano provides a fascinating glimpse into the power of sophisticated media activists to use the public’s well-intended emotion to overcome simple common sense.

If you are to believe Ric O’Barry, Trixie, and friends, all dolphins by virtue of being held in a display facility are sad, depressed, unhealthy, and short lived. Amazingly, these dolphin gurus know this without ever having laid eyes on the animals in question.

Do animals have emotions? Of course they do. Anyone who has ever had a dog or cat for a pet has shared moments with their buddy where the animal’s contentment was obvious. Having worked with marine mammals as well as all manner of exotic species for almost 40 years, I can say that dealing with animal emotions is key to any animal handling program for research, animal welfare, or entertainment purposes.

No animal trainer can be successful with a marine mammal without a strong, positive, personal bond with that animal. What I can also tell you is that it takes a long time of watching the animal before you can make an educated guess about its emotional state.  And it never gets better than an educated guess even for the pros.

What is absolutely beyond doubt is that Ric O’Barry, Trixie Concepcion, AG Sano know nothing of the emotional state of our animals or of the 25 dolphins from Resorts World Sentosa

Who's going to find me some friends? Mali the world's loneliest elephant wants to pack her trunk and go to Thailand after 33 YEARS on her own
Campaigners are calling on the Filipino government to free the country’s only elephant and allow her to be sent to Thailand to spend her final years among her own kin after three decades of solitude.
Mali the elephant has spent 35 years in a barren concrete pen at the Manila Zoo without any inter-species contact and only a small pool to entertain her.
A celebrity backed PETA campaign is now demanding that the elderly elephant's years of loneliness come to an end and that she is reunited with other elephants at a sanctuary in Thailand.
Mali was torn from her mother in Sri Lanka at the age of three and sent to the Philippines as a gift to then-president Ferdinand Marcos in 1977.

She has since spent her days in loneliness and boredom in the small enclosure at the zoo in the capital and is reportedly suffering from a number of ailments as a result of her captivity and age. 

Nice and sneezy does it as Twycross Zoo tackles elephant illness
It might not be glamorous, but Twycross Zoo's analysis of Asian elephant mucus has put them at the very front of research into a disease which plagues the species.
Zoological director Sharon Redrobe is part of a team of experts who have taught four female elephants at the zoo to sneeze into bags in a bid to understand more about elephant herpes.
They have developed a pioneering a way of testing the mucus for the disease – known as EEHV – which currently has no cure and can kill.
As part of her research, she has spent a year regularly testing three adult elephants and a calf at Twycross who all have the disease.

Video: Behind the Scenes at Marineland
Former trainer Phil Demers describes conditions at Marineland, citing the effects of sporadic water problems on the health of seals, sea lions, walruses and dolphins. He says there aren't enough trainers to ensure the well-being of the sea creatures

Zoo to run out of food in 48 hours threatening animals with starvation as Italy's financial crisis hits 
Hundreds of exotic animals at Naples zoo are facing starvation, as keepers declare a state of emergency with food supplies set to run out in 48 hours. 

Zoo keepers at the compound in the southern Italian city, said within two days hay, fruit and all other food will be finished, leaving the 300 tigers, giraffes, elephants and other animals, high and dry.

Italy's dwindling economy has hit the once-famous zoo hard, leading its managers to declare bankruptcy in 2011. 

Zoo-Bound Elephant Calves Back in Zimbabwe's Wild
An animal welfare group says five baby elephants held in captivity in western Zimbabwe for shipment to zoos in China have been returned to the wild.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Monday the calves were taken to a state-run national park over the weekend where they will undergo "rehabilitation and integration" with existing elephant herds. The babies' real mothers could not be traced.

State parks and wildlife officials agreed on their release, the group said, and "the capture of wild animals for zoos or similar habitats, irrespective of location" is expected to be stopped.

Four baby elephants were flown to China

Zoo boss faces sexism storm
THE head of one of the most famous zoos in the world is fighting to keep his job after referring to female employees in an internal memo as "0,1” – the zoo’s code for breeding mares.

Bernhard Blaskewitz, 58, head of Berlin Zoo, which enjoyed global celebrity through the stardom of polar bear Knut, said he was merely "being polite”. But critics say he did not use the internal shorthand "1,0” used to denote male species at the zoo.
Reports said the "0,1” prefix was put

Zoo chief sorry for female animal sign
The Berlin Zoo director apologized to his staff Tuesday for using a zoo sign for female animals to refer to women colleagues in an internal memo. 
The sexism allegations stem from Bernhard Blaszkiewitz writing "0,1” next to the names of female staff members in a memo. In zoo shorthand, "0,1” denotes female animals and breeding mares. 
He did not refer to male staff members with the "1,0” prefix, which denotes male animals. 
Blaszkiewitz told staff his action had led to "misunderstandings and also misinterpretations” at the zoo, which six years ago gained international reknown as home to the polar bear cub Knut. 
The zoo's supervisory board agreed to retain Blaszkiewitz during an emergency meeting on Monday. 
Blaszkiewitz was also under fire for saying that staff members at the zoo had collected Christmas bonuses even if they

Dogs kill 31 blackbuck in zoo, director suspended
As many as 31 endangered blackbuck were found killed by stray dogs inside the Kanpur zoo on Sunday morning. The dogs attacked the blackbuck on Saturday night after entering the zoo from where the boundary is broken.

Two dogs were found eating the carcasses inside the zoo on Sunday morning by the forest guards during the routine morning inspection. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Rupak De said the guards killed both the dogs immediately. Another dog that was found roaming inside the zoo area was also killed, he said.

De said the dogs seemed to have entered the zoo from the area where the boundary wall was damaged. He said the wall was being repaired and the guards used to tie wires across the open area after the construction work got over in the evening to stop anyone from entering. However, they did not tie the fence wires last evening, he said.

Following the incident, De conducted an inquiry and submitted the report to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who is also the Minister for Forests. Yadav suspended director of the Kanpur zoo K Praveen Rao, forester J P Awashthi, forest guards

Officials bury dead animals without informing authorities: new zoo director
Even before 31 blackbuck were killed by canines inside Kanpur zoo on Saturday night, stray dogs are believed to have entered the zoo several times before and killed some animals which were buried by the zoo officials without informing the higher authorities.

On Tuesday, forest officials exhumed the carcass of a chital from within the zoo. The newly appointed zoo director K Thomas said the carcass appeared to have been buried about ten days back. It will now be sent for autopsy.

Thomas said the whole area where killed animals are alleged to have been buried without any autopsy by the zoo officials was being scanned to search for any other buried carcasses. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Rupak De said he was waiting for the post mortem report of the exhumed chital to find out how the animal died, adding that the malafide of the zoo officials could not be ruled out.

Thomas said the second autopsy of 31 blackbuck killed by the stray dogs on Saturday night had been completed and the report sent to the Forest Department. The government had ordered the second autopsy after the first post mortem report revealed that 18 out of 31 endangered animals had died of shock. The stray dogs had entered the zoo from the area where boundary wall of the zoo is broken for more than six months.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who is also Minister for Forests, had suspended the six officials, including then zoo director K Praveen Rao on Sunday for dereliction of duty. An

Two baby elephants born at Chester Zoo
Two Asian elephants have been born within a few months of one another at Chester Zoo.
The youngest calf arrived on Monday to parents Sithami and Nayan after a 22-month gestation, and was on its feet within three minutes of being born.
Another female, Sundara, born in 2004 had a calf at the end of November, the zoo said.
Curator of mammals Tim Rowlands,said it was "wonderful" to watch them bond with the herd of eight

Villagers slaughter 700 dolphins in retaliation 
VILLAGERS of Fanalei in South Malaita have caught and slaughtered about 700 dolphins yesterday amidst condemnation by dolphin activists and Earth Island Institute (EII).

The mass capture and slaughter was made after villagers refused to renew the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) sealed with EII.
 The two-year MOU expired in April last year.

Chairman of Fanalei Honiara based association Atkin Fakaia said his people resorted to their normal way of hunting dolphins after EII failed to honour the agreement.

"In the MOU, EII promised to give us $2.4 million, but they only gave us $700, 000,” Mr Fakaia said.

He said people cannot wait because they need money to survive in the local economy.

"They go back to hunting dolphin in order to sell the dolphin teeth and meat to earn money,” he said.

EII director Lawrence Makili blamed the Fanelei-Honiara based association for allegedly misusing the more than $400,000 he gave towards the end of 2011

Activists against inclusion of penguins, zebra in Mumbai zoo
An animal rights group Tuesday objected to the inclusion of exotic animals in a Mumbai zoo, citing its bad conditions.
In a letter to the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) said that exhibiting exotic animals at the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan Zoo in Byculla in Mumbai is not a good move since the zoo is infamous for its apathy towards the animals.
Earlier this month, Mumbai's civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had announced its plans to revamp the zoo after it received a nod from the CZA.
After the revamp, the zoo is planning to exhibit 18 Indian animals like hyenas, jackals, wolves, sloth bears, wild dogs, porcupines, mouse deer, sambars, common otters, Asiatic lions, Bengal tigers, leopards, jungle cats, and five exotic species like emu, hippopotamus, jaguar, zebra and Humboldt

WATCH: Three-Year-Old Plays with Alligators at Australian Wildlife Park
Charlie Parker is being billed as Australia’s youngest wildlife ranger.
The 3-year-old boy is fearless, and he loves reptiles.  His best friend is Pablo, a boa constrictor that measures 8 feet in length.
Photos of Parker playing in the water with an alligator named Gump have people buzzing about the boy.  But wildlife is the family business, and Parker’s father, who runs Ballarat Wildlife Park in Victoria, Australia, says his son’s love of animals must be genetic.
But is Parker too young for this kind of contact with dangerous animals?
Animal expert Jack Hanna told ABC's Good Morning America that proper supervision of wild animals is critical.  Without that, people are placed in

Russian zoo star Adam the ostrich dies after being found with his feet frozen to cage floor during power cut
A well-loved Russian ostrich has died from hypothermia after his feet froze to the floor of a cage during a power cut on a cold night.

Adam the ostrich, the star of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Zoo and its unofficial mascot, frantically tried to free himself after becoming stuck to the concrete floor, leaving feathers covering the cage. 

He was found dead by zoo keepers early on Monday morning

Burlco Zoo Warned Against Selling Off Animals 
A Burlington County zoo under federal investigation is being warned against selling or donating exotic animals to people without keeping records or checking to see if there are valid licenses to possess them.     

Recent animal welfare inspection reports have cited the zoo in Springfield Township for a slew of animal neglect and facility maintenance issues.  The reports also fault Animal Kingdom for donating four wolves to an unidentified woman in October without recording the transaction.  By December, when inspectors returned, the

Topeka will pay $45,000 penalty for zoo complaint
The city of Topeka will pay a $45,000 penalty to settle a federal complaint over rules violations at the city's zoo
The city of Topeka will pay a $45,000 penalty to settle a federal complaint over rules violations at the city's zoo.
The city council voted Tuesday to settle the complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in December 2011. The USDA alleged 51 rules violations at the zoo dating from 2006.
Shelly Starr, of the city attorney's office, said the civil penalties were based on violations resulting in nine animal deaths.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports zoo director Brendan Wiley says he's happy the matter is resolved so the zoo can move into a new era.
Wiley became director after the USDA criticized

China's Zoos Subject To Renewed Scrutiny After String Of Animal Abuse Cases
What on Earth is going on in China's zoos?
Despite promises in 2010 by officials to crack down on the widespread abuse of animals in Chinese zoos, horrific stories of abuses inflicted by zoo visitors continue to emerge.
A Jan. 19 report from a zoo in Shaoguan City alleges that a 27-year-old man climbed into an ostrich enclosure, then proceeded to bite the bird to death in front of onlookers. The man was later arrested and taken to the hospital, according to The Nanfang.
Other disturbing incidents have also been reported recently. 
In early January, visitors to Hangzhou Zoo were caught on camera apparently pelting lions with snowballs.
Days later, zoo workers at the Rural Grand View Garden, located in Shenzen, discovered their crocodile pit had been filled with rocks and trash by visitors attempting to force the hibernating creatures

Critically Endangered Parakeet Population Grows on Predator-Free Island Reserve
Few people have ever seen a critically endangered Malherbe’s parakeet (Cyanoramphus malherbi) in the wild. Luis Ortiz-Catedral has not only seen more of the 
birds than just about anyone else, one of them has landed on his head.

He has also witnessed something that almost no one else has ever seen among this species: mating. Ortiz-Catedral—now head of the ecological restoration group 
at the Charles Darwin Foundation and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust—was on New Zealand’s remote Maud Island in 2009, where he was studying the rare 
birds. "I was observing a nest with a friend,” he recalls. "We were interested in estimating how long the incubation stints of females lasted. We were very 
still and attentive. Then a male came and landed on the nest entrance and called. The female came

Poachers kill four rhinos in Zimbabwe
Poachers killed four white rhinos in a raid on a privately-run game reserve in northeastern Zimbabwe on New Year's day, the parks department said Friday.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokeswoman Caroline Washaya-Moyo said the animals' horns had been sawed off the carcasses, but were yet to 
be moved when rangers discovered the killings at the Thetford Estate in the farming town of Mazowe.
The raid raises fears that a rhino poaching epidemic in South Africa may be spreading to neighbouring countries.
"The animals comprised two adult males, one adult female and one sub-adult male and are valued at $480,000," Washaya-Moyo said in a statement.
"A total of eight rhino horns were recovered... as well as 18 spent cartridges fired from a suspected 308 hunting rifle or an FN automatic rifle."
She said Zimbabwe, with an estimated population of around 700 rhinos, lost 19 to poachers last year, a slight drop from 23 the previous year.
Poaching is rife in Zimbabwe's game reserves, fuelled by cross-border syndicates from Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa.
Perpetrators are armed with advanced technology and aircraft, often outstripping wardens' resources.
The rhino is targeted for its horn which is believed to be

Virginia zoo director going to jail in connection with drowning of wounded wallaby 
Meghan Mogensen, 27, who worked at the Reston Zoo, will serve a month behind bars and will be restricted from making any future decision about the care of 
zoo animals.
A Virginia zoo director has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty, months after she allegedly drowned a wounded wallaby in a bucket of water.
Meghan Mogensen, 27, will serve a month-long stint in jail for the charge and will be banned from making any future decisions about the care of animals if 
she continues to work at a zoo or sanctuary, the Washington Post reported. 
The Silver Spring, Md. resident’s guilty plea marks the end of a long, tragic ordeal that began at Reston Zoo in Reston, Va. in January 2012. 
The animal at the center of the trial, a wallaby named Parmesan, reportedly suffered an eye injury while jumping around his pen at the zoo that month. 
Zookeepers initially put a bandage

Two giraffes killed in fire
Wildlife park building destroyed
Two giraffes died in a fire at a wildlife park in Wisconsin Dells Sunday, according to Wisconsin Dells police.
A caller reported a burning building at the Timbavati Wildlife Park at 2220 Wisconsin Dells Parkway at 5:57 p.m.
Kilbourn firefighters arrived to find the giraffe enclosure building fully engulfed.
Two four-year-old giraffes died in the fire and the building was destroyed, according to police.
Police said they have no reason to

The oldest swinger in town: Colo, the first gorilla born in a zoo, marks her 56th birthday at her Ohio home with a tomato feast - her favorite food 
She is one wise primate.
Colo the first gorilla born in a zoo, is turning 56 and celebrating her birthday with some special treats at her central Ohio home.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums says Colo, a female western lowland gorilla, is the oldest gorilla in any zoo

Canterbury farmer saves rare penguin population
A rare penguin population - which was headed for extinction - appears to have been saved thanks to the efforts of one determined farmer.

The White-flippered penguin is one of the smallest and most endangered penguins in the world. It is endemic to Canterbury, breeding only on Banks Peninsula 
and Motunau Island.

A recent Department of Conservation survey of the bird's population at the Banks Peninsula colony found that in the past four years, the White-flippered 

First contact with huge Antarctica emperor penguin colony – in pictures
A previously unknown colony of around 9,000 emperor penguins has received its first human visitors. Scientists from the Belgian Princess Elisabeth Antarctic 
polar research base visited the colony on Princess Ragnhild coast after its location was revealed in a study of satellite images by scientists from the 
British Antarctic Survey

Wolves escape from Haliburton reserve after vandals cut fence
The clock is ticking for three wolves who escaped from the Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve on New Year’s Eve after vandals cut holes in both the inner 
and outer fences containing them.
Haida, the 7-year-old alpha male of the pack, was shot and killed by an unknown person on Jan. 1, according to officials from the reserve. He was among those 
who escaped.
The remaining three — an adult female named Granite, and youngsters Logan and Lonestar — present no great danger to public safety, but because they are 
accustomed to life in captivity will struggle to survive as winter wears on. 
Peter Schleifenbaum, owner and manager of the reserve, estimates that life for the three wolves will become more difficult in three weeks, as their fat 
stores run down and they have to hunt for food — something the captive wolves are not used to doing.
"They’re in good shape and wolves can sustain these temperatures for a long time, but after three or four weeks things are going

West African lion virtually extinct: Population numbers are dangerously low with just 34 left in Nigeria
The west African lion is on the verge of extinction, according to experts after a marked decline in recent years.

It is estimated there are just 645 genetically distinct wild lions left in western and central Africa, with as few as 34 remaining in the whole of Nigeria. 
Now experts from conservation group LionAid say they are ‘in real danger of extinction’. 
According to the group, there are no lions left in 25 African countries and populations are barely surviving in ten.

Clusters of lions remain in Burkina Faso, Niger, the Central African Republic, Cameroon and Chad but are already extinct in countries such as Ghana, The 
Ivory Coast and Togo.  
Thirty years ago there were 200,000 lions roaming wild across the continent – but now there are only between 15,000 and 32,000 left. 
West African lions have been largely forgotten due to political apathy to conservation.

Dr Pieter Kat, trustee of LionAid, told The Guardian: ‘There has been a catastrophic decline in the populations of lions in Africa, and particularly west 
‘These lions have been neglected for a very long time and do not have adequate protection programs.’

He said the west

Jeff Stier: Circus prevails in elephantine struggle
How's this for a "man bites dog" story? A major nonprofit activist group is paying a corporation to settle litigation. Usually it's the other way around.

Over a decade ago, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals joined forces with other animal-rights groups to sue Ringling Bros. as part 
of a campaign to keep animals out of zoos and circuses. The lawsuit alleged that the circus was abusing elephants.

Zoo bosses accused of barbecuing their own animals for a staff party
Bosses at a Swedish zoo have been accused of barbecuing their own animals for a staff party.

The Parken Zoo in Eskiltuna, west of Stockholm, put two of their own wildebeest on the menu for the event, it is claimed.

Financial constraints were said to be behind the decision to cook the animals.

Taste of freedom beckons Flipper 
The firm that runs Alton Towers plans to create the first sea sanctuary for captive dolphins
A BRITISH company is to found the world’s first permanent dolphin sanctuary aimed at rehousing the captive animals that once entertained crowds in marine 
amusement parks and aquariums.

Merlin Entertainments, which operates Alton Towers and the London Eye, wants to create the sanctuary in a Mediterranean bay, using a network of underwater 
fences and nets. The sea bed would be equipped with 3D cameras so visitors on shore could see what the dolphins were doing without interfering with them.

The firm, which also runs 40 Sea Life centres and other aquarium-based attractions around the world, has been criticised for keeping dolphins, seven of which 
are split between two sites in

Kessingland/ Banham: Africa Alive and Banham Zoo to transfer to charitable trust by February
THE owner of two East Anglian zoos is hoping to complete their transfer into the hands of a charitable trust by February 1, providing bank clearance can be 
Martin Goymour had hoped to confirm the establishment of the Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA), comprising Banham Zoo, near Diss, and Africa Alive, at 
Kessingland, near Lowestoft on New Year’s Day.
However, the announcement has been delayed by the need to secure bank approval for the transfer with the new charity effectively being a new company.
Mr Goymour said that, due to the economic downturn, the bank was being "particularly fastidious” in carrying out checks before agreeing to the transfer.
However, he added there was a positive to come from the delay which was that the company had more time to plan for

Zoo director defends treatment of elephants
Emily, an Asian elephant, came to the Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford in the 1960s, a different time before more focus was put on the welfare of animals.

Ruth, another Asian elephant, was rescued from an abusive private owner by court order in the 1980s, and became a companion.

The two have lived at the zoo ever since.

"They are both very human imprinted, and truthfully, these two elephants thrive on human attention much more than on elephant attention. They look forward to 
seeing their keepers and friends every morning and it is very heartwarming, not only from the keepers to the elephants, but from the elephants to the 
keepers," said Keith Lovett, director of Buttonwood Park Zoo.

However, for the third time in nine years, the zoo has come under fire by a national animal rights group called In Defense of Animals that says the colder 
winter climate and lack of space are making life miserable for zoo's only

Zoo volunteer keeps cleaning up behind animals at age 92
Longtime volunteer, 92, still brings humor by the bucket to his ‘job’
A grandfatherly man wearing a baseball cap and glasses shuffles into the kangaroo exhibit at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, slowed only slightly by aching, 92-
year-old knees.
He plops down what looks like a long-handled dust pan and uses a small rake to push a pile of marsupial poop into it. Then he moves on to the next pile and 
does the same thing.
Jack Bonturi has been volunteering to do what appears to be thankless labor for 30 years. To him, it’s not drudgery. He makes

Oregon Zoo researcher works to unravel the mystery of the Superfrog
From the sad story of a Northwest native amphibian species in steep decline leaps ... Superfrog!
 An Oregon Zoo research associate has discovered that Oregon spotted frogs living at a marshy lake in Mt. Adams' shadow grow bigger and move faster than 
those anywhere else in the Northwest, enabling them to escape the jaws of their chief predator, non-native bullfrogs. 
The discovery may give scientists and wildlife managers new tools in the effort to save Oregon spotted frogs, federal Endangered Species List candidates that 
have disappeared from 95 percent of their former British Columbia-to-California range. 
Kyle Tidwell, a behavioral ecologist working toward his doctorate at Portland State University, began studying Oregon spotted frogs in 2010, while

China zoo crocodiles in Shenzen pelted to death with trash and rocks 
Scores of crocodiles perished in a Shenzen, China zoo recently, after suffering a barrage of trash and projectiles from callous visitors.

The crocodiles, which were hibernating during the winter months and as a result did not move often, appear to have been pelted with random objects because 
visitors wondered if they were "alive" or not, wrote, which translated portions of a Shenzen Evening News story.
Zookeepers eventually came to clean out the trash that had built up in the pool, and then discovered that only two of the 11 crocodiles that were resident in 
the exhibit were still alive.

The Shenzen Evening News reported the reptiles resided at the Rural Grand View Garden, located in the Guangming New Zone of Shenzen.

Staff claimed that they, for inexplicable reasons, found it difficult to stop the tourists from pelting the animals with garbage

Detroit Zoo takes in lion from royal family of Qatar
Simba, a four-year-old male lion once owned by the royal family of Qatar, has found a new palace at the Detroit Zoo. The king of the jungle arrived in the 
United States from Saudi Arabia in October. 
The family received Simba as a gift, but after a few years felt he would be better off in a more appropriate environment, said Robert Lessnau, curator of 
mammals for the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS). 
"The owners recognized that they didn’t have the expertise to properly care for lions and made the sensible decision to find Simba a good home,” he said. 
"We’re happy to provide sanctuary for Simba at the Detroit Zoo.” 
Now part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Program (SSP) for lions, Simba will eventually contribute to this important 
cooperative management plan to ensure genetically healthy, diverse and self-sustaining populations of threatened and endangered species in AZA-accredited 
Simba joins the Detroit Zoo’s two female lions. Bikira, 20, was born at an Arizona zoo and came to Detroit when she was 9 months old. Erin, estimated to be 
11 years old, was rescued from a junkyard in Kansas in 2009. In the future, the AZA’s lion SSP will identify

Dolphins slaughtered 
A TOTAL of 134 dolphins were reportedly hunted and slaughtered on Ata’a in the North East region of Malaita province last week.
 Reports received from sources within the region confirmed this to the Solomon Star.

Various sources who wished to remain anonymous revealed to this paper that, the dolphins were brought in shore using traditional Malaitan hunting methods, by 
dolphin hunters and fishermen from the village.

"More than a hundred dolphins were brought in by the fishermen from Ata’a.

"All have been slaughtered for their teeth which is very valuable to us Malaitans, and its meat which feeds many people during special occasions,” the source 

Regional Director of Earth Island Institute (EII), Lawrence Makili, when queried on the matter confirmed that he had received confirmed reports that 134 
bottle nose dolphins were last week hunted and slaughtered by the people of Ata’a in North East Malaita.

Mr Makili said that EII condemn the actions of the people in hunting and slaughtering the dolphins, especially as it is still against the Fisheries and 
Marine laws and regulations of the country.

Wildlife park calls for help with food
Wildlife park workers are urging people to donate unwanted food to their animals instead of throwing it away.

The call comes after new research which has shown that up to half of the world’s food is wasted.

The study by The Institution of Mechanical Engineers said that between 30 per cent and 50 per cent of the four billion tonnes of food produced around the 
world each year goes to waste.

A high proportion of this is then sent to landfill.

Now staff at Shepreth Wildlife Park want people to do their bit for the environment by donating waste fruit and vegetables to the park to help feed the 

The park needs up to 20kg of fruit and vegetables to feed animals such as llamas, fruit bats and wallabies every day and currently spends up to £100 a week 
on groceries from

Chester Zoo Takes on Westminster
Chester Zoo joined other British and Irish zoos to set up camp in the Palace of Westminster last week for the first ever zoos and aquariums exhibition.

The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) launched the exhibition to raise awareness of the value and importance of good, high quality 

The exhibition, entitled ‘Zoos and Aquariums in Conservation and Education’ highlighted some of the conservation and education work carried out by BIAZA’s 
members both in the UK and abroad.

As part of the exhibition there was a display highlighting the work that Chester Zoo does through the Assam Haathi Project in India which helps to mitigate 
human-elephant conflict


581705 White Oak Road
Yulee, FL 32097 USA

Contact Us

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

Connect With Us