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Zoo News Digest Jul-Aug 2013

Zoo News Digest

Jul-Aug 2013


The Toronto Zoo Elephant Saga – The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth
Truth For Toronto Zoo Elephants – What you won’t read in mainstream media
The group Zoos Matter has fought tirelessly to stop the proposed transfer of the Toronto Zoo elephants to the PAWS sanctuary. If you do not know of the story please sit back and prepare yourself because the truth about the Toronto Zoo elephants is the most despicable act of animal exploitation at the expense of true animal welfare.
Upon arrival to his new job as CEO of the zoo John Tracogna’s first act was to phase out our African elephant exhibit. The issue cited was money, not enough to do the necessary upgrades.
Toronto had several elephant deaths prior to this decision and by May of 2011 and facilities upgrades were badly needed. Further the AZA had laid out new guidelines for its accredited facilities on the keeping of elephants. All of this meant more money. In 2009 it appeared as if the zoo board was prepared to make these changes but by 2010 and John Tracogna’s arrival this plan had changed. What remained of the zoo’s herd were three healthy and spectacular female African elephants, Iringa (44) and Toka (43) who have lived at our zoo since they were young calves and Thika (32) who was born

Student, 19, mauled by 400lb tiger in Thailand at popular tourist attraction
Enjoying the trip of a lifetime to Thailand, university student Isabelle Brennan strokes a young tiger at a popular tourist attraction – one of the few places in the world where you can pet the deadly animals while they sleep.
But just minutes after this photo was taken, another 400lb tiger leapt into the frame, knocking the 19-year-old to the ground with its paw and sinking its teeth into her thigh.
She was saved when keepers at the Tiger Temple sanctuary in West Thailand jumped between her and the animal, while her sister and travelling companion Georgie, 21, dragged her to safety.
Eight weeks on, Miss Brennan is recovering at home in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, but cannot walk unaided, while doctors said the four-inch wound will leave her scarred for life.
The University College London student wants to warn others of the dangers of approaching the orphaned tigers, which are hand-reared by Buddhist m

Op-Ed: Is SeaWorld running scared? You decide
SeaWorld executives rarely respond to criticism beyond a sentence or two. But today, the vice president of zoological operations for SeaWorld San Diego, Mike Scarpuzzi, published an entire editorial in the U-T San Diego.
SeaWorld's reticence is notoriously well known. Whenever the corporation has been criticized in the past, its response has never progressed beyond two sentences. Their rebuttals inevitably include two standard phrases, "SeaWorld educates" and, "SeaWorld cares for its animals."
So it was rather a shock when SeaWorld initially broke its silence over the documentary Blackfish, a film that is making as many waves as SeaWorld's own killer whales. Recently, a former SeaWorld pass holder was so disturbed by the film that he cut up his season pass and declared that he would never visit the park again.
In its initial rebuttal to the movie, the corporation refused to address the issue publicly. It chose to target around 50 film critics instead, with an e-mail that described the movie as, "egregious and untrue."
Now for the first time, the vice president of zoological operations for SeaWorld San Diego, Mike Scarpuzzi, has published an open editorial in the U-T San Diego. Yet again, it focused more on the educational value of the facility for the public, and less abo

Dhaka Zoo not in safe hands: Committee
Get those who know animals and their food habits to run the Dhaka Zoo is the advice given by the parliamentary committee of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.
Or else the Dhaka Zoo will suffer much, they said in a report.
At the moment, the zoo is being run by those who lack knowledge of food for animals, with the result that poor quality of food is being supplied to them, the committee observed
A sub-committee was formed on Feb 17 to probe the irregularities plaguing the zoo which submitted its report to the panel on Thursday.
The zoo authorities do not maintain a chart on food fed to animals and its quantity does not meet global standards, the report said. has a copy of the report.

A FOUR-year saga came to an end yesterday when the South Lakes Wild Animal Park was given the go ahead to expand.
The zoo is set to celebrate its 18th birthday in style after plans for the park to grow by almost three times were given the green light.
Fifteen new jobs are set to be created and park owner, David Gill, has pledged to use only local contractors to carry out the £4m development.
Speaking from his ranch in Wyoming, Mr Gill said the expansion would see some ‘major new arrivals’, with the zoo becoming a ‘flagship attraction’.
He said: "I’m very happy, it’s been a long time in the planning.
"I think the first plans were originally drawn up about four years ago.
"I have an enormous feeling of relief and am so glad that common sense has prevailed.
"There will be a minimum of £4m being spent, and this will go into the local economy.
"All of our contractors are local and they will then obviously spend that money locally.”

Denver Zoo visitor bitten by rhino during zoo's rhino encounter program
 A Denver Zoo visitor was bitten by a rhino during the feeding portion of the "rhino encounter" program on Wednesday, the Denver Zoo said.
The woman was bitten on the finger by Mshindi, a black rhinoceros, around 12:30 p.m. and was transported to the hospital by ambulance.
"This is a terrible accident. We feel horrible for the woman involved," said Denver Zoo Vice President for Animal Care Brian Aucone in a news release. "Mshindi is a gentle animal. We believe this was an accident and that he was not trying to hurt anyone."
Mshindi has been removed from his exhibit and the zoo's rhino encounter program has been suspended indefinitely pending full review of its procedures.
"Mshindi has been hand fed safely thousands of times at Denver Zoo. Mshindi's primary keeper with more than 20 years experience was supervising the program. We are reviewing all the protocols related to the program thoroughly to ensure this never happens again," Aucone said.
The zoo began offering rhino experiences for purchase earlier this year, a feature that has been safely conducted at other zoos for years. The rhino encounter is h

Zoos rethink role as matchmaker for endangered species
Like an online dating site for endangered species, many zoos use computerized matchmaking to mate animals in captivity in hopes of saving some of the world's most vulnerable creatures.
The tools of the trade range from frozen panda sperm, to genetic databases to ultrasounds for hefty rhinoceroses.
But like dating everywhere, it gets expensive, complicated and doesn't always work.
After more than three decades of efforts, some experts are taking a fresh look at modern-day breeding tactics. Zoos, they say, cannot keep pace with the high costs of shipping animals from one facility to another, as the loss of wild habitat pushes more and more creatures to the brink of extinction.
A movement to improve captive breeding began in the late 1970s when scientists realized that some zoo-held baby giraffes, gazelles and deer were more likely to die if inbred.
"That really caused a sea change in zoos because they realized they had to be better at managing captive populations," recalled David Wildt, head of the Center for Species Survival at the Smithsonian National Zoo.
Today, survival plans exist for more than 500 species, including cheetahs, Asian elephants and black-footed ferrets.

Belfast Zoo's oldest Asian elephant, Jenny, dies
Belfast Zoo's oldest Asian elephant, Jenny, has died aged 53.
Jenny joined Belfast Zoo's elephant sanctuary, for elderly non-breeding females, in April 2009.
The elephant which was born in 1960 once lived in an Italian circus before being re-homed at the zoo before passing away on Friday.
Belfast Zoo said they were deeply saddened by the death and had temporarily closed the elephant enclosure.
Belfast Zoo vet, Michael Griffith, spent a lot of time with Jenny during her time at the zoo.
"Jenny once lived in an Italian circus and during her time there she accidentally stood on a tent pole, causing damage to one of her feet," he said.
"Since her arrival at Belfast Zoo, we have bee

Japanese scientists create sperm bank of endangered animals ‘to colonise other planets’
A Japanese university and zoo are creating a sperm bank for endangered animals that could one day be used to bring extinct species back to life and even help to colonise other planets with Earth’s rarest creatures.
To date, scientists at Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Medicine and the city’s zoo have managed to freeze dry the sperm of chimpanzees and a Sunda slow loris, both of which are listed as primates at risk, as well as giraffes.
Takehito Kaneko, an associate professor at the university, spent a decade perfecting a method of incorporating a buffer solution in the freeze-drying process to preserve the sperm at the same time as protecting the genetic information within the sample.
The scientists were able to bring the sperm back to life by thawing it gently in water.
This method preserves the sperm samples very well and technically we believe it is possible to store them for decades or even longer into the future,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
"After they have been preserved, we want to continually examine the condition of the genetic infor

Is 'Blackfish' documentary hurting SeaWorld attendance?
Attendance at SeaWorld parks across the country has dropped 6% in the first half of the year, but is the decline due to bad publicity or bad weather?
SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. has endured some harsh publicity lately with the debut this summer of "Blackfish," a documentary about the treatment of orca whales in captivity.
In its latest financial report, SeaWorld Entertainment reported attendance of 10.1 million in its 11 parks in the first half of the year, down from 10.7 million in the same period in 2012.
Although overall revenues for the first six months of the year grew by 2%, the company reported a net loss of $56.2 million, or $0.66 per share.
Still, representatives for the Orlando-based company reject suggestions that the movie has played a role in reducing attendance. They also say they are not reducing admission prices in response to the drop in attendance.
For example, an offer to let children (ages 3 to 9) enter SeaWorld San Diego for free with a paying adult in October was part of a citywide promotion supported by about 100 other businesses, including the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld officials said.

Indonesian Investigators Probe Apparent Zoo Poisoning Deaths
Indonesian authorities are trying to figure out who apparently poisoned a Sumatran tiger and two African lions in a zoo in southern island of Sumatra – and why.
The three animals are believed to have died of strychnine poisoning on Aug. 17 at Taman Rimbo Zoo in Jambi. The zoo is a popular tourist site.
Authorities have been talking to meat suppliers, zookeepers, a watchman and a lab expert for help in figuring out what happened to the animals. A two-year old Sumatran tiger was also poisoned but may survive.
"We’re still trying to develop the case by strengthening the lab result [indicating]that they were poisoned by strychnine,”  said Nurazman, the head of Jambi Natural Resources Conservation Agency, who like many Indonesians goes by only one name.
The agency is being aided in the investigation by Jambi police and a local government investigator.
Strychnine is very tightly controlled in Indonesia. The government uses it to kill stray dogs to reduce the incidence of rabies. Strychnine is not available to the general public.
"We can’t imagine that someone wanted to kill th





Scientists breed endangered Panamanian golden frogs in captivity
Determined scientific efforts to preserve the tiny Panamanian golden frog from extinction due to the spread of a deadly fungus have begun to pay off with its successful reproduction in captivity.
The rescue project of the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center, or EVACC, with the participation of both Panamanian and foreign scientists, announced this month that it has managed to breed 42 healthy Panamanian golden frogs.
Project director Heidi Ross told Efe that this is the first time since 2006, when the project began, that the golden frog could be added to the list of other amphibian species bred in capti

Namibia to send 10 rhinoceros, five elephants to Cuba zoo
Namibia will airlift 10 rhinoceros and five elephants to Cuba in September, concluding a massive translocation project of 135 animals taken from its national parks, the environment ministry said Wednesday.
The 15 animals will be captured from the Etosha National Park in northern Namibia – one of the country's major tourist attractions – plus a nearby smaller game reserve, the Waterberg Plateau, environment and tourism deputy-minister Pohamba Shifeta told AFP.
The ambitious project, dubbed Noah's Ark II, has populated Cuba's 342-hectare National Zoo outside Havana.
A total of 120 animals of 23 species – including endangered black and white rhinos, cheetahs, leopards and lions – were already transported to the Caribbean island nation in November.
Animal rights groups have protested the capture of wild animals.
But Shifeta defended the translocation as Namibia's "token of appreciation" to Cuba for its support.
Cuba gave the southern African country political and military backing during its struggle for independence from South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s.
"Cuban people were not complaining when their government was supporting us," Shifeta told AFP.
The donation is also aimed at helping Cuba establish a "proper wildlife programme", he added.

China's People's Park claimed dogs, foxes and rats were more exotic species
A CHINESE zoo that used a large, hairy dog to impersonate a lion was rumbled when the 'big cat' started barking.
The People's Park in Luohe, Henan, also tried to pass off a fox as a leopard and used another dog to impersonate a wolf. The zoo's most creative feat was labelling a pair of rats as snakes.
The chief of the park's animal department told Chinese media its real lion had been sent to a breeding facility. Not wanting to disappoint the public, a Tibetan Mastiff belonging to a member of staff was used as a substitute.
One woman told the local newspaper Dahe Daily: "I had my young son with me so I tried to play along and told him it was a special kind of lion. But then the dog barked and he knew straight away what it was and that I'd lied to him."
A spokesperson for the zoo explained that it had put domestic animals in some of its cages because it

Saving species by translocation – new IUCN Guidelines
A new publication by IUCN has set a precedent for deliberately moving plants and animals for conservation purposes around the world. Based on 30 years of experience and pioneering reintroductions such as the Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx) in Oman, the Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia) in Brazil and the Red Wolf (Canis rufus) in the USA, and many other plants and animals subsequently, this publication is an essential guide to the contentious but increasingly necessary action of translocating species.
Published by the Reintroduction Specialist Group (RSG) and Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC); ‘Guidelines for Reintroductions and Other Conservation Translocations’ explores the biological, social, and political aspects of translocating species, and provides a starting point for risk assessment and feasibility studies. It is envisaged that by incorporating these guidelines into wider conservation strategies, conservationists will be ever-more prepared to intervene and save species, should extrinsic pressures require it.
 Guidelines can be downloaded here:
For more information contact:
Lynne Labanne, IUCN Global Species Programme ; t +41 229990153,
Jonathan Hulson, IUCN Global Species Programme; t +41 229990154,

Conservationists’ anger at list of animals "reliant for survival on zoos”
Conservationists who have dedicated their lives to ensure a safe future for endangered species of primates and their habitat have today hit out at a report published by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). The report entitled "Top Ten Mammal Species Reliant on Zoos” names ten animals which, BIAZA claims, "may be lost to extinction forever” if it were not for the work of their member zoos.

Inmates raising fish to feed Columbus Zoo’s penguins
A partnership between a state prison and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium that will teach inmates how to raise rainbow trout for penguin feedings started with a splash yesterday.
Inmates at the Southeastern Correctional Institution, about 35 miles southeast of Columbus, opened the prison’s new fish hatchery by tilting into the water a cascade of 5,000 fingerlings, or baby trout. This first batch will take 180 days to raise, and then the fish will be flash-frozen and delivered to the zoo.
Penguins love to eat trout. Otters and polar bears do, too, and may be added later to the zoo animals fed with prison-raised fish.
Warden Sheri Duffey came up with the idea earlier this year and contacted the zoo. Zookeepers had been buying all the penguins’ trout from an Idaho supplier and welcomed the chance to buy locally, less expensively and from a prison.

Forget doggy paddle – apes prefer breaststroke
Different strokes for different folks? Not when it comes to the aquatic ape: the first detailed observations of swimming chimpanzees and orang-utans suggest that they, like us, tend to swim using a form of breaststroke. The findings imply that we may owe our swimming style to our evolutionary past.
Apart from humans, great apes usually avoid deep water for fear of unseen predators that might be lurking there, but anecdotal evidence shows that they will go for a dip if they feel safe enough.
Cooper the chimpanzee and Suryia the orang-utan are extreme examples of this. These two captive apes, raised respectively in Missouri and South Carolina, have thrown off any instinctive fear and taught themselves to swim in a swimming pool.
Footage taken by Renato Bender at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, shows that both of the apes instinctively opted for a version of breaststroke to keep afloat – that is, they moved their limbs out sideways from their bodies, roughly parallel to the water's surface. Suryia's limbs moved mostly alternately (see video) but Cooper often kicked with both hind limbs simultaneously, mo

Child, 2, seriously injured in tapir mauling at Dublin Zoo
A two-year-old child is in a serious condition in hospital after a shock attack by a tapir at Dublin Zoo ripped mucles from its arm.
The incident, which occurred yesterday afternoon, is understood to have left the child unconscious, and with deep stomach and arm injuries caused by the animal’s powerful jaw.
The child’s mother was also wounded after attempting to bring a halt to the extremely rare attack from the usually docile creature, which occurred during a supervised "encounter” visit to the Brazilian tapir enclosure.
The child was last night continuing to receive treatment from surgeons at Temple Street Children’s Hospital, while the two-year-old’s mother was cared for at the Mater.
The Irish Examiner understands the incident took place after zoo keepers agreed to allow the family to view the tapirs from a closer site than most visitors — a step that is usually closely monitored by expert workers.
However, after entering the second site it is understood one of the zoo’s two adult tapirs — a female called Rio, whose weeks-old baby was also in the location — became agitated.

Foreign zoos present endemic turtles to Vietnam
VietNamNet Bridge – On August 16, the Cuc Phuong National Park will receive 71 Vietnamese pond turtles from the zoo of the Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands and the Munster Zoo in Germany, said Mr. Bui Dang Phong, director of the Cuc Phuong Turtle Conservation Center.
The Vietnamese pond turtle is an endemic freshwater turtle species in Vietnam, which is included in the list of critically endangered wildlife.
Endemic to a small area in central Vietnam, it was reportedly abundant in the 1930s, but all field surveys after 1941 had failed to locate any individuals in the wild. As it was occasionally seen traded as food, it was not yet extinct in the wild however. In 2006, a wild population of Vietnamese pond turtles was found in Quang Nam Province.
Currently, the number of Vietnamese pond turtles in the wild is rapidly declining due to poaching, illegal trade and habitat loss.
Cuc Phuong National Park is located in Ninh Binh Province. It is Vietnam's first national park and is the country's largest nature reserve. The park is one of the most important sites for biodiversity in Vietnam.
The turtle conservation center was established

CNN Anchor Says Zoos 'Feel Like a Stone Age Thing': They Had Zoos Then?
CNN anchor Erin Burnett ended her evening news show Upfront on Thursday night with a commentary suggesting America should close its zoos. "It feels absolutely wrong to cage" animals. "It feels like a Stone Age thing."
They had zoos in the Stone Age? Isn't it more likely they just killed and ate animals rather than put them on display? She began her commentary by relaying how a Sumatran tiger had cubs at the National Zoo in D.C., but then shifted to the zoo-cruelty line:
BURNETT: Costa Rica, known for its incredible biodiversity, is closing its zoos because cages are bad for animals.Costa Rica's minister of the environm

Court action being considered in elephant cruelty case
Police investigating allegations of cruelty to elephants at Twycross Zoo have handed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider court action.
Three workers at the Leicestershire zoo were sacked and arrested after allegedly causing unnecessary suffering to two animals in September last year.

The hit documentary Blackfish has a message as dubious as its methods
A current hit on the arthouse circuit, Blackfish is the type of documentary that covers over its flaws in argumentation with the sort of trickery you'd expect to see in negative political campaigning: decontextualized video footage presented in slow motion, with a voiceover offering the most damning possible explanation of its meaning, while the soundtrack strikes gut-churning minor chords. Through interviews with former whale trainers, an OSHA expert with an ax to grind against Sea World, and copious video footage, the film attempts to make several cases at once while dishonestly withholding its ultimate message.
First, by focusing on the tragic death of expert Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau while working with the 12,000-point bull orca Tilikum in 2010, director Gabriela Cowperthwaite and her witnesses argue that Tilikum was a violent whale, a ticking time bomb who had already racked up two prior kills. (The film practically uses obscene serial-killer psychology to discuss Tilikum, mostly for cheap dramatic effect.) Second, the film argues that whales are sufficiently intelligent that keeping them prisoner for human amusement is unethical and cruel. Third, whales are wild animals, uncontrollable and dangerous.

Zoo Photos Capture Caged Animals’ Melancholy
Photographer Gaston Lacombe doesn’t hate zoos. He just thinks some of them need improving.
For the past four years, he’s been trying to make that point with a series of photos called Captive. All of the photos are shot from regular, public viewing areas and are meant to highlight the poor or unnatural conditions some animals live in when they’re removed from their normal habitat.
"Even in the very best of zoos you still find animals placed in horrible cement enclosures or little glass boxes,” says Lacombe, who was born in Canada but now lives in Washington D.C.
Captive shows zoos from nine different countries on five different continents. Lacombe’s images have a melancholy feel to them — not overly dramatic, just real. They’re an anthropological study of humans encaging animals to be viewed safely and leisurely.
People love zoos. And the people running them say it’s unfair to judge them just by what’s visible. Steve Feldman, spokesperson for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, says he knows some of the enclosures at zoos might not look natural, but that there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes at AZA zoos to ensure that all animals’ physical, social and psychological needs are met and that AZA zoos and aquariums "don’t engage in practices that are bad for the animals.”
All 212 zoos accredited by the AZA in the U.S. encour

Sad Animals in Zoos
"Aw, that polar looks so sad. He doesn’t like this cage”. "Poor monkey, so bored with nothing to do”.
 Have you ever made a comment like this? Have you ever heard someone say this at a public zoo or petstore? The answer is likely to be yes. Despite unfamiliarity with the species in question, or even that animal as an individual, this is a common occurrence and a blatant example of the conflict with anthropomorphism.

DNA confirms elusive Night Parrot found
Work at the Western Australian Museum’s recently acquired DNA laboratory has proved conclusively the Night Parrot – often referred to as the Holy Grail of ornithology – is not extinct.
Queensland bird enthusiast John Young, who has been searching for the Night Parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis) for nearly 15 years, sent five feathers from a roost site he found within the Lake Eyre Basin to the Museum’s Molecular Systematics Unit for testing, convinced the birds he had been watching were indeed the elusive parrot.
The feathers were found to be 100 per cent identical to Pezoporus occidentalis, listed as extinct in New South Wales, regionally extinct in Victoria, critically endangered in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, and endangered in Queensland and South Australia.
WA Museum CEO Alec Coles said this was an incredibly significant discovery and one the Museum was very excited to be part of.
"The Night Parrot is a bird many people believed to be extinct up until 1990, and the WA Museum is very pleased to have been asked

Look into the eyes of a caged tiger and you will see the zombie victim of 'zoochosis':
A passionate plea by conservationist who breeds big cats to return them to wild It is more than 180 years since the first zoos opened in Britain. To put that in perspective, the electric telegraph hadn’t been invented, never mind the telephone, and passenger railways had only just come  into existence.
People rarely travelled far, hardly ever abroad, so imagine their delight when they visited menageries filled with chimpanzees, oryx and orangutans.
I can also understand why so many of you today want to take your children to see an elephant or giraffe or gorilla close up.
But I think the time has come to re-evaluate the role of zoos. I know it’s not practical to close all zoos today. Nor am I suggesting that all zoos can be closed tomorrow. But I am proposing that we phase them out over the next 20 to 30 years.
If you are going to the zoo today, I urge you to look closely. In the wild, these creatures roam hundreds of miles. They hunt their prey, raise their offspring and enjoy complex social relationships. So think how it must feel to be

After a Whale Trainer Is Injured, Man Who Videotaped It Stands by Marineland
A trainer at the park was injured during a whale show this week, prompting another backlash against the park from animal activists.
Last month, TakePart reported on a Tampa father, Carlo De Leonibus, who brought his family to SeaWorld Orlando, only to witness and videotape a juvenile pilot whale stuck in the concrete slide-out, struggling to free itself.
The video went global and overnight De Leonibus became and anti-captivity activist. His young daughter Cat no longer wants to be a dolphin trainer at SeaWorld—she now wants to be a marine biolgist.
And just yesterday, TakePart reported on another young father, this time from Ontario, Canada, named Tom Blake, who brought his own family, including two children ages two and five, to see the shows at Marineland, near Niagara Falls.
During a segment in which two trainers performed in the water with two belugas, the beguiling white whales known for their docility, the young female trainer was injured and hauled up on the slide-out area by her colleague, writhing in pain.
It would appear that the whale may have bitten down on her knee, though Marineland has not responded to requests f

Tapir attacks past, present, but hopefully not future
Last Thursday (August 8th, 2013) a Brazilian or Lowland tapir Tapirus terrestris at Dublin Zoo (Ireland) seriously attacked and injured a two-year-old girl that, believe it or don’t, was taken into the tapir’s enclosure. The child’s mother was injured as she tried to rescue (or, rescued) the little girl. The girl reportedly received "deep abdomen and arm injuries” that involved arterial damage and de-gloving of hand and arm skin (yes, this is exactly what it sounds like).
Reparative surgery has occurred in hospital. It may not surprise you to know that the tapir was a mother with a young calf (you may have seen this case being much discussed on facebook and twitter: I tweet @TetZoo). The story broke about two days ago and features worldwide in online and printed media to

Sabah in no rush to send rhinos overseas for breeding
Sabah is in no rush to send its rhinos to zoos abroad for breeding amid fears that the animal faces extinction in Borneo, said state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.
He said it would be the state’s last resort to send rhinos overseas for breeding.
"We are looking at all available options and the most important thing is to ensure that these animals will not become extinct,” he said.
"However, to send them overseas will be our last resort,” he said at the Sabah Muslim Cabinet ministers’ Hari Raya open house at Likas Sports Complex on Saturday.
Asked about the growing calls for the near extinct rhinos to be sent to a US zoo for breeding purposes, Masidi said that it was hard to get rhinos to mate due to geographical factors.
"Rhinos are loners. They don’t really move in packs. It makes it much ,more difficult fo

Saudi gift to city zoo accepted
The state government has approved the request of Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar Bin Saud Bin Mohammed Al Saud to gift cheetahs and African lions to the city’s Nehru Zoological Park.
"The state government has agreed to accept the gift and the wild animals will soon be brought to the city zoo,” said chief wildlife warden A.V. Joseph. "Apart from cheetahs and African lions, several other wild animals like squirrel monkeys, black swan etc., will also be brought in from Saudi Arabia”, he said.
Joseph said the new animals would join the city zoo as part of its soon-to-be-celebrated golden jubilee. Meanwhile, the footfalls in the Nehru Zoological Park have  increased in the weekends following Id-ul-Fitr.
On Saturday and Sunday over 52,000 people visited the zoo, for which the zoo officials had to set up additional ticket counters. The zoo has ac

Manila Elephant to Stay Put, Despite Push by Powerful Pals
 Mali, a 39-year-old elephant in a Manila zoo, has very powerful friends. Including the ex-Beatle Paul McCartney.
But a push by McCartney and many other animal lovers hasn’t succeeded in persuading the mayor of Manila to send Mali to a Thai sanctuary, which has already said she’s welcome and would have elephant friends. One animal rights group has even offered to spring for her plane ticket.
Instead, Mali will stay at the Manila Zoo, with the goal of bringing two elephant friends in, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has decided. Plus the zoo is going to be renovated so Mali – who will continue to be a star attraction – will have better digs.
Still, Mali – short for Vishwa Maali, which means "world” and "lady” in Thai — might get a vacation from the zoo she’s called home for 30 years. Manila’s zoo is getting ready to have a big renovation. That means Mali may get to go temporarily to the 50-hectare Zoobic Safari in Subic, about 100 kilometers northwest of Manila Bay.
Mali arrived in the Philippines at age three, as a gift from Sri Lanka to then-First Lady Imelda Marcos.
Since then, Mali has proven to be wildly popular. She is the only elephant at the zoo. She spends her days picking peanuts and bananas from visitor’s hands and being cooled off by water squirted by them at her.
But her living conditions aren’t like in the Sri Lanka jungle. Instead, she spends her days in a cramped enclosure at the Manila Zoo.

World’s oldest penguin reaches 36
MISSY the penguin has waddled forward to claim the crown as the oldest in the world after reaching 36 years old – a staggering 108 in human years.
King penguin Missy arrived at the Birdland wildlife park in Gloucestershire when she was at least five years old in 1982. And despite losing the vision in one eye she is still the leader of the colony today.
Despite her age her keepers had no idea that she was the world’s oldest until a zoo in Denmark claimed the title with a Gentoo penguin two years younger than Missy. Staff at the park in Bourton-on-the-Water are now planning to send her details to Guinness World Records to prove her claim to the title.
King penguins – Aptenodytes patagonicus in Latin – are only expected to live up to 26 years in captivity, much more than their 15-20 years life expectancy in the wild.

South Africa’s trophy hunt industry linked to rhino horn trafficking … AGAIN
The July 2013 seizure of 24 rhino horns and arrest of 16 suspects in the Czech Republic points yet again to South Africa’s failure to properly monitor its own trophy hunt industry.
The "hunters” were said to have been hired by an "international criminal gang” to legally kill rhinos in South Africa. This is in order to use the CITES permit loophole which allows for the import of "legally” sourced rhino horns into the Czech Republic. Customs officials at Prague’s Václav Havel International Airport became suspicious and contacted the police, according to Radio Prague. Although no names were released due to the ongoing investigation, among those arrested were Czech as well as foreign nationals. The operation was conducted in conjunction with

12 years until elephants are all wiped out as one dies every 15 minutes
12 years until elephants are all wiped out
Elephants could be extinct within 12 years because poachers are killing one every 15 minutes, a charity warns.
About 36,000 of them were slaughtered last year in Africa, the Kenya-based David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust claims in a report today.
‘A world without elephants is hard to comprehend but it is a real possibility,’ said Dame Daphne Sheldrick.
‘Elephants have walked the earth for 50million years but against a sub-machine gun or poacher armed with a spear, they stand little chance.’
The 4.5 tonnes of ivory seized in Hong Kong last month was a tiny fraction of the amount smuggled each year, says the trust which rescues and rears orphaned elephants.
Only about a tenth of the tusks transported are detected by customs officials, the charity estimates.
In Kenya so far this year, 162 elephants out of a population of about 35,000 have been killed, it adds in the report timed to coincide with World Elephant Day.

Judge rules SeaWorld made good faith effort to protect trainers
SeaWorld scores significant legal victory in ongoing battle with OSHA
An administrative law judge has ruled that SeaWorld has made a good faith effort to protect its trainers from the dangers posed by working with killer whales.
The judge also indicated that SeaWorld has more expertise than the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in determining how close trainers can safely work alongside killer whales.
However, OSHA investigators still have concerns the marine park is jeopardizing the safety of its employees.
Following the 2010 death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau, who was drowned by a killer whale named Tilikum, OSHA issued citations against SeaWorld and ordered the company to take steps to better protect its employees. Last summer, Judge Kenneth Welsch ordered the company to pay a $12,000 fine and abate the hazards. OSHA recommended that trainers be kept behind barriers or remain a safe distance away from killer whales during show

Close call for zoo worker bitten by Russell viper hatchling
In what could be considered exuberance or sheer carelessness, a 60 plus man working at the corporation zoo for nearly two decades came close to death after a Russell viper hatchling bit him on the base of his left hand index finger on Monday afternoon. A Russell viper snake at the Corporation Zoo here in the city had 22 hatchlings today and it was one of these hatchlings that decided to bite Singaraj's finger. The incident occurred when Singaraj was showcasing the batch of hatchlings, as per instructions of zoo director K Asokan, to be photographed and passed on to local media houses for publication.
"He is an experienced man and has been handling snakes for more than 20 years. I asked him if he wants any medication but he said he was fine. We have gloves and tongs to handle snakes but these workers do not use them," said K Asokan.
TOI tracked down Singaraj outside his residence in Nagarajapuram with his swollen left hand. Narrating the sequence of events, Singaraj told us that he was holding the hatchlings in his palm when one of them bit him close to the base of his index f

Kangaroo meat issue not about contamination or quality
THE kangaroo meat trade has suffered another blow, with Russian authorities questioning an export bungle that threatens the $180 million industry.
Australian exports of kangaroo meat to a region that includes Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan are a sensitive issue after the market was closed in 2009 following lobbying by Animal Liberation.
The Russian quarantine authority Rosselkhoznadzor partially lifted the ban in December, granting sole access to South Australian processor Macro Meats.
Yesterday, animal rights group Voiceless claimed Russia had reinstated the ban after the discovery of unauthorised shipments. It quoted news agency RIA Novosti as reporting Rosselkhoznadzor had acted after seizing an 18.6-tonne shipment.
"Rosselkhoznadzor notified Australia's veterinary service of the necessity to suspend certification of Macro Investments products for the market of the Customs union states," the authority reportedly said in a statement. But the Department of Agri

UAE conservation fund helps hundreds of endangered species
Almost 200 endangered species benefited from grants worth Dh5.5 million from the Mohammed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund in 2012.
The fund supported 250 projects in 75 countries during the year, contributing to the survival of 185 endangered species - 101 of which are critically endangered - and 27 other species.
Among the species the fund helped to preserve is Morocco's Bald Ibis, a bird classed as critically endangered.
According to the fund's annual report, six Arab countries received funding for conservation projects in 2012.
Almost half the fund's grants, 43 per cent, were allocated to projects in Asia, 27 per cent in Africa, 15 per cent in South America, 9 per cent in North America, 4 per cent in Europe and 2 per cent in Oceania.
In terms of species, 41 per cent of the funding went to mammals, 16 per cent to birds, 12 per cent to reptiles, 8 per cent to plants, 8 per cent each to fish and amphibians, 5 per cent to invertebrates and 2 per cent to fungi.
In addition to supporting endangered species, the fund, chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, also helps species that are as yet unclassified or insufficiently documented.
Since its est

Zoo animals recover after Ivory Coast civil war
During Ivory Coast's civil war in 2011, Abidjan's only zoo fell into disrepair and many animals died. Now, the facility is getting a makeover, and wants to become a center for conservation excellence in West Africa.
Ivory Coast's zoo - in the heart of the country's biggest city, Abidjan - almost ceased to exist during the country's 2011 civil war. During the conflict, which killed at least 3,000 people, more than a quarter of the animals at the zoo died of starvation.
Violence that erupted after the 2010 presidential elections turned parts of the city into no-go areas. Fearing for their lives, people stayed indoors, and food wasn't delivered to the zoo for months. Those animals who could survive on vegetation grew painfully thin. Others, including a pack of lions, starved to death.

Zoo acquires rare white lion from South Africa
The Hodonin zoo is the first in the Czech Republic to acquire a South African lion, a rare species widely dubbed "white lion" for its fur of a butter colour, the zoo spokeswoman Bohuna Mikulicova told CTK yesterday.
The zoo gained the seven-month-old male lion from the Lory Park, South Africa, in exchange for other animals.
Now it plans to acquire a female to form a couple.
"We want to secure a female either from Ukraine's Belogorsk zoo, which specialises in breeding South African lions, or from Yalta," Hodonin zoo director Martin Krug said.
Besides its light colour of fur, the South African lion

Chile investigates condor deaths
Health authorities are trying to find out what poisoned at least 20 condors in the Andes mountain range between Chile and Argentina.
The huge endangered birds, with a wingspan of up to 3m, were found near the town of Los Andes, about 80km east of the Chilean capital, Santiago.
The authorities say two birds died, but 18 are recovering at a clinic.
Mauricio Fabry, director of Metropolitan Zoo, told re

'Slow loris tickling' video points to online peril for endangered species
Study follows arc of public opinion as awareness grew of pygmy slow loris's endangered status and lethal properties
New research suggests that viral videos can have a devastating effect on the populations of endangered species and that a mechanism is urgently needed to report images of them online.
Picture the scene: people clustered around a computer screen, cooing over the latest cute baby-animal video. A grinning, umbrella-toting slow loris is entrancing them and the video views pile up.
But the work of Professor Anne Nekaris points to a darker side to this internet fame, as it has led to slow lorises, an endangered species, being targeted by vendors exploiting the public perception of the species as the ideal pets – despite their being potentially lethal to humans.
The primates are transported miles from their original homes in China, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, to be sold for as little as £10.

From bats to tigers, zoos lead the fight against extinction
ONE of the most powerful predators on Earth and a bat that loves figs are among the top 10 mammals beating extinction thanks to zoos around the British Isles, it was claimed yesterday.
The critically endangered Sumatran tiger – of which fewer than 400 remain in the wild – is being helped by an international breeding programme, said the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
The endangered Livingstone’s fruit bat, from the Comoros Islands, is being helped by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust on Jersey and by Bristol and Chester zoos.
Others include the scimitar-horned oryx, Peru’s San Martin titi monkey and Madagascar’s blue-eyed black lemur.
Western lowland gorillas are being helped by zoos including Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent which has released 21 into rainforest.

The Case for Closing Every American Zoo
In a surprising announcement last week, Costa Rica will be closing down two of its most popular zoos by next year, with hopes to bring the country to a new environmental standpoint: "No cages." The Simon Bolivar Zoo and the Santa Ana Conservation Center will become a botanical garden and a park, respectively, with the animals either released into the wild or sent to rescue facilities and wildlife reserves. The administration hopes to close all public zoos under this new guidance. The decision is already fraught with controversy in Costa Rica — legal, economic, environmental, and political issues are all playing parts.
The event brings a new question into the U.S. as well: Should America close its zoos? 





Why Freeing Willy Was the Wrong Thing To Do
Willy was never really free. The killer whale star of the Hollywood movie Free Willy had to be cared for by humans even after he was released and he never successfully integrated with his wild kin. Researchers now say attempts to return him to the wild were misguided.
"We believe the best option for [Willy] was the open pen he had in Norway, with care from his trainers," says Malene Simon of the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, who participated in efforts to reintegrate the cetacean in the wild and is lead author of the study. "He could swim as much as he wanted to, had plenty of frozen herring – which he was very fond of – and the people that he was attached to kept him active."
The killer whale, whose real name was Keiko, died in December 2003, at about 26 years old. Despite efforts to integrate him with wild killer whales in Iceland towards the end of his life, he proved unable to interact with them or find food.
"While we as humans might find it appealing to free a long-term captive animal," the researchers say in the paper, "the survival and well-being of the animal may be severely impacted in doing so." The only cetaceans that have successfully been returned to the wild have been young and only kept in captivity for short periods.

5 Reasons Being a Zookeeper Will Make Me a Better Parent
My partner and I don't have kids yet, but we're trying. As more of my friends squeeze out little bundles of joy, I'm struck by how similar zookeepers and parents really are. We're both obsessed with poop. Moreover, we take our jobs as caregivers very, very seriously. When you have another life depending on you, it's time to step up your game. Here are five ways that being a zookeeper will make me a better parent. 
Bring On The Bodily Functions 
Ever been peed on by a tiger? In sheer volume and stink quality, nothing is more gross. So I'm confident that, when my own tiny human chooses to shower me with urine, I probably won't bat a pee-soaked eyelash. Zookeepers deal with feces on a daily basis, and most have been spat on, puked on, even rubbed with scent glands. Sure, baby poop is stinky, and I'm sure there will be times when I'm nearly knocked unconscious by what I find in my child's diaper, but it's probably nothing worse than something I've smelled at work.

Darnell Dockett Nabbed a Pet Tiger, Looking to Add Monkey If You Know of Any
Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith reports on a veritable menagerie budding in Darnell Dockett's backyard. 
The star Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman has already procured a pet tiger and is browsing around for a monkey—at least that's what he offered in an interview with Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910 AM in Phoenix. 
Dockett is eager to share images of the tiger cub he is calling "Little Buddy." Here is the 
coolest pet in the NFL, via Dockett's Twitter feed. 

Flip-flop animal sculptures at The Virginia Zoo
Designers have brought out the animal in flip flops at the Virginia Zoo.
Animal sculptures made of flip flops are now available in the Zoo’s gift shop.
The sculptures are part of an effort to recycle thousands of flip flops in the Indian Ocean, where flip flops are one of the largest marine pollutants. The company Ocean Sole takes these flip flops and pays artists in that area to make sculptures out of the footwear.
The Virginia Zoo’s executive director partnered with Ocean Sole and the San Diego Zoo to bring this art to the U.S. The Virginia Zoo

Members Of Oregon Zoo Staff Test Positive For TB
A Multnomah County health official says members of the Oregon zoo staff, who have had contact 
with an elephant infected with tuberculosis, tested positive for the disease. 
Justin Denny is a doctor with the Multnomah County Health Department. He says "very, very few” staffers tested positive for TB. He says the staff members have a latent form of TB that’s highly treatable.
"So it’s curable. And so it’s good news that we have very very reassuring information. So two bits of good information, one is it’s treatable TB and the second thing is very very few people became positive as a result of the exposure,” Denny says.
Denny says zoo visitors are not at risk.  Only zoo staffers who had direct and prolonged contact with the elephant tested positive.
And while health officials ass

Mangalore: 36 King Cobras born at Pilikula Biological Park
Snake lovers, photographers and tourists will find an added attraction in Pilikula from now on. 
As many as 36 King Cobras were born in Dr Shivarama Karantha Biological Park, Pilikula recently.
With the assistance from snake lovers, 37 eggs of King Cobras were rescued from a farm belonging to an agriculturalist near Dharmasthala in Beltangady taluk. They were brought to Pilikula Biological Park sometime ago.
After these eggs were artificially hatched for nearly 80 days, 36 out of 37 king cobras were born in the biological park. These baby King Cobras are around one to one and half feet long and in good health, said H J Bhandary, director of the park.
By birth, these baby snakes are poisonous enough to kill a person with a bite. Usually, procreation of these breeds take place in the forest. How

A new look at preserving biodiversity
Conservationists are used to justifying their work. Since the movement first took shape in the 1800s, they’ve provided a litany of contemporary arguments for conserving the natural world, from economic (protecting forests for wood) to spiritual (preserving places that stir the soul) to scientific (safeguarding biological systems). But lately they’ve been wrestling internally with another fundamental question about their task: not why we should save nature, but what exactly we should save and how we should save it. Against a backdrop of growing global resource demand and climate change — as well as emerging technologies, such as synthetic biology — that are wreaking philosophical havoc, finding the answers is urgent.

Indonesia, India fingered as biggest shark catchers
Indonesia and India on Tuesday were named as the world's biggest catchers of sharks in an EU-backed probe into implementing a new pact to protect seven threatened species of sharks and rays.
Indonesia and India account for more than a fifth of global shark catches, according to the 
wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.
They head the list of 20 countries that together account for nearly 80 percent of total shark catch reported between 2002 and 2011.
The others, in descending order, are Spain, Taiwan, Argentina, Mexico, the United States, Malaysia, Pakistan, Brazil, Japan, France, New Zealand, Thailand, Portugal, Nigeria, Iran, Sri Lanka, South Korea and Yemen.

The shock following the city of Detroit's bankruptcy announcement has settled, and now many are wondering what's the next step for the troubled metropolis. According to the Detroit Free Press, the city is contemplating selling some of their assets, including a female giraffe named Chardo from the Detroit Zoo.

The 'I' of the Tiger
World Tiger Day proudly sits on Monday 29 July, a day to raise awareness of the plight of the tiger - in fact, 3,200 tigers, which is the grand total of those remaining in the wild. (An often stated fact is that there are more tigers in captivity in the USA than there are in the wild globally). But, what does World Tiger Day mean and how can it really help save the Tigers? And what is the 'I' of the Tiger?
Okay: which of these words should describe World Tiger Day: useful, pointless, or neutral? Who knows?
Certainly WTD can't hurt, but preaching to the converted is not the way. We need to reduce consumer demand for tiger 'parts', increase enforcement systems to protect them in the wild, manage habitats to avoid 'human-wildlife conflict', and just stop being so damn 'human' in our approach. Not everything has to have a price or has to come second to our needs. So, for World Tiger Day, let's quickly debunk some myths:
Fact: Drinking tiger wine does not make you more virulent. It makes you barbaric and senseless.
Fact: Having a tiger skin rug or trophy on your wall does not make you look or feel rich. It makes you look arrogant, ill-informed and uneducated.
Fact: Going to an attraction like Tiger Temple for a Facebook photo isn't a rite of passage, and any tiger that needs to be chained for ho

Dolphin leaps outside its enclosure at SeaWorld
Video has surfaced of a dolphin stranded on concrete after jumping from its enclosure at a SeaWorld in Texas.
The video, posted on YouTube by animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
(PETA), shows the bloodied animal floundering on the ground just outside its tank at the San Antonio SeaWorld.
PETA says overnight guests at the water park on a tour before the park opens were feeding the animals when the dolphin stranded itself.
Eyewitnesses told PETA two dolphins were performing tricks for the guests when they crashed into each other and one landed outside the enclosure.
Guests were ushered away f

SeaWorld fights OSHA citations
Company hires attorney son of Supreme Court Justice
Calling themselves "the world leader" in the care of marine mammals, SeaWorld attorneys have filed a brief with an appeals court, hoping to get their animal trainers back in the water with the park's famous killer whales.
To prepare for the challenging legal battle, the company recently hired Washington D.C. attorney Eugene Scalia, a former Department of Labor solicitor who happens to be the son of Surpreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
After trainer Dawn Brancheau was drowned by a killer whale in 2010, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration issued safety citations against SeaWorld.  Last year, an administrative law judge upheld OSHA's recommendation that trainers remain behind physical barriers or a safe distance away from the water when interacting with killer whales during

Subic park boss to Erap: We can take care of Mali
Looks like a third party wants a piece of Mali.
An operator of animal theme parks in Luzon has asked Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada to allow his company to take care of Mali, the lone elephant at Manila Zoo, saying it could provide a more suitable habitat for the aging animal.
The request came from the Zoomanity Group (ZG), a part of the Yupangco Group of Companies that operates the Zoocobia Fun Zoo at Clark Freeport, the Zoobic Safari in Subic, Zambales province, and the Paradizoo Theme Farm in Cavite province.
In his July 23 letter, ZG president Albert Yupangco asked Estrada to let his company transfer Mali to the 50-hectare animal theme park in the Subic Bay Freeport.
Yupangco cited the campaign of animal rights activists to have Mali transferred to a nature sanctuary in Thailand. "However, there are some misgivings whether Mali can withstand the strenuous travel to Thailand, in view of her physical condition and old age,” he said.

Mali going to Zoobic
Mali the elephant is finally leaving the Manila Zoo, but only temporarily, and not for a sanctuary in Thailand.
The elephant will stay in a park in Subic once the renovation of the Manila Zoo starts. Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada yesterday said he agreed to the request of Zoomanity Group (ZG) to allow the company to take care of Mali at least temporarily.
"It would be temporary because we will be constructing a world class Manila Zoo. While it’s being constructed we might give (Mali) to Subic... We will not let go of Mali,” he said.
ZG of the Yupangco Group of companies operates several farms and zoos including Zoocobia Fun Zoo at Clark Freeport, Zoobic Safari in Subic and the Paradizoo Theme Park in Cavite.
In a letter to Estrada, ZG said it could provide better care for t

2-headed turtle at Texas zoo gets Facebook page
The Facebook page on Sunday showed photos of the quirky reptile and imaginary conversations between the two heads
A two-headed turtle born last month at the San Antonio Zoo has become so popular that she has her own Facebook page.
Zoo officials say the Texas cooter, named Thelma and Louise for the female duo in the 1991 Oscar -winning movie, has been doing well.
Spokeswoman Debbie Rios-Vanskike (van SKYKE') says the turtle eats and swims, and added that the two heads — named Louise Left and Thelma Right — get along.
The Facebook page on Sunday showed photos of the quirky reptile and imaginary conversations between the two heads.
The turtle hatched June 18. The animal is o

UK-Born Javan Langur Struggling to Adjust
The only male among six Javan Langur monkeys born in captivity in British zoos and now being sheltered at a rehabilitation center in Batu, East Java, is facing difficulties adapting to its new surroundings, according to an official at the center.
Iwan Kurniawan, the project manager for the Javan Langur Center in Batu, said on Thursday that since the six langurs were moved from Patuha in West Java to Batu on July 11, all five females in the group had been able to adapt well.
The six langurs were born at the Port Lympne and Howletts zoos, both in southeast England, to parents that were part of an animal-exchange program with Jakarta’s Ragunan Zoo.
They were sent to Indonesia in February and had been placed in a primate rehabilitation center in Patuha to adjust to the tropical climate before later being sent to Batu to be prepared for subsequent release into the wild.
Iwan said the langurs would undergo a process of training before being released. They will be eased into their natural diet

Japan bucks trend: Captive dolphin biz big
Despite an international trend taking the opposite tack, the number of aquariums in Japan is growing and sales of dolphins continue to flourish, results of an independent study have revealed.
Animal welfare groups Elsa Nature Conservancy and Help Animals have collated data from official documents, marine facilities and other organizations showing Japan is the world’s leader in aquariums and the numbers of cetaceans kept in them.
"When it comes to aquariums, Japan is the globe’s superpower,” leads the report, "Dolphins Raised in Japanese Facilities,” released July 20. The majority of dolphins kept in captivity are taken from the wild and cetacean deaths within facilities "are not unusual,” it continues.

Wildlife conservation: Formation of National Zoo Association advocated
The establishment of a national zoo association is crucial in order to improve animal welfare, their gene pool and conservation, World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan Biodiversity Director Uzma Khan said on Tuesday.
She was speaking at a workshop to highlight the importance of an organisation to enhance partnership among the zoos in the country.
"This workshop is a critical step towards the formation of a national zoo association,” she said, "Our zoos could then be represented at the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).”
The workshop was attended by officials from the Lahore Zoo, Lahore Zoo Safari, Karachi Zoo and the Lamar Wildlife Park (in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa). Several climate change and WWF officials attended the workshop as well.
The participants agreed that the association could play a significant role towards improving coordination between zoos and provide them opportunities to share expertise and adopt best management practices. The association could also monitor the setting up of zoos, their administration and the quality of care and safety of captive wild animals in the country.

Why Should We Care? By Peter Riger, Vice-President of Conservation 
Vice President of Conservation, Peter Riger is visiting Borneo to find out how the Houston Zoo can be of further assistance in the race to save Asian wildlife.
Why should I care?  That is an odd question, but extremely relevant in today’s world. Some of the challenges we face are growing human population, water and food shortages, and competition for other natural resources between human-to-human and wildlife-to-human.
Why should we care about wildlife and wild places? There has to be some value in protecting not only species but complete ecosystems. Believe it or not, they really do sustain life and without animals – from insects to elephants – these systems will falter.
But if you live in a country that does not have a wild population of elephants, why should you care? They do not walk through your crops, threaten your livelihoods and other than viewing them at a zoo or on tv, they most likely are not something you think about.

Cairo Protest Sends Zoo Animals Into Panic – Report
A weeks-long protest in support of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo is sending animals at a nearby zoo into panic, the widely circulated Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram (The Pyramids) reported Sunday.
Fearing attacks by police after the country’s Interior Ministry vowed to disband the rally, demonstrators have installed powerful spotlights around the gathering in Cairo’s Al-Nahda Square to ward off possible armed encounters at night, the newspaper said.
However, the bright lights are shining into the nearby zoo and stirring up a frenzy among the sleep-deprived animals, who are not used to unnatural light, the report said, citing a zoo management representative.
"The park has a lot of tigers, lions and zebras who until recently had only seen the sun rise and set, and used that for orientation. We don’t have any artificial lighting; everything here is as close as possible to the natural environment. But now these protestors are lighting up the park at night wi

More Room To Roam
A few of the biggest local celebrities are getting a new home as the Oregon Zoo elephant enclosure is set for expansion.
The zoo is in the midst of its most significant construction project since it opened at its current location in 1959. Projects scheduled over the coming years aim to upgrade outdated facilities and improve the zoo experience for visitors.
One project at the heart of the construction effort is the 6.25-acre Elephant Lands. Construction on the $53 million project started in early June and is scheduled to be completed by 2015.
"It was state of the art at the time, but we’ve learned so much since then,” said Hova Najarian, media and public relations officer.
While the Elephant Lands project is one of the largest changes in store, a series of additional improvements, using sustainable practices, are scheduled in the coming years. The projects are paid for by a $125 million bond measure passed by Portland Metro-area voters in 2008.
With an area more than four times the size of the current facility, Elephant Lands is expected to provide the

Mammoth mission to secure friends for lonely elephant
A mission to provide friends for a lonely elephant at Auckland Zoo has struck a hitch because of strict quarantine rules.
The zoo wants to import a pair of orphaned pachyderms as company for Burma, who has been on her own since the death of long-term partner Kashin four years ago.
"We are really keen for her to have a family at Auckland Zoo, this is her home, this is where she is most comfortable," said Kevin Buley, from Auckland Zoo.

How Old Is That Lion? A Guide to Aging Animals
Animals may not have birth certificates, but they do display telltale signs of aging.
It seems like every year, the world discovers a newest oldest animal.
Almost a decade ago, it was Ming, the 405-year-old clam. Then there was Jonathan, a giant tortoise who was touted as the world's oldest living creature—until questions later emerged about his identity. There are accounts of 150-year-old whales and 115-year-old reptiles. They make Lonesome George—the famous Galápagos tortoise who died last year at 100—seem relatively young in comparison.
Determining the ages of these particular animals was not overly difficult. Like all clams, Ming grew tree-like rings for every year it was alive. Jonathan and George—the tortoises—were well documented, having appeared in diaries and photographs over the years. The bowhead whale—called the longest-living mammal on Earth—was found with a century-old harpoon pin lodged inside of it.

New rules for zoo animals
The Environmental Protection Authority has set new rules for keeping animals in zoos.
The change will mean a standard set of rules will apply to all animals approved for containment in zoos, where in the past there were different rules for different species and different situations.
The new rules are outcome based, which means the focus is on making sure zoos contain their animals properly, rather than providing prescriptive rules about how they contain them. They include requirements for facilities to have written documentation to show they are complying.
They will have to prove their management practices and finances are robust enough to care for their animals in the long term.
Every facility will have to document staff training, and ensure they have the right level containment for their animals.
The new controls have been set by the EPA's Hazardous Substances and New Organisms committee, following an application from the Zoo a

Govt planning transfer of Chiang Mai Zoo operations
The government plans to transfer the operations of Chiang Mai Zoo over to the Office of the Prime Minister's Pinkanakorn Development Agency, said the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry's permanent secretary Chote Trachu yesterday.
Chote said the ministry had received an official letter from the Office of the Prime Minister about the transfer of the zoo's operations. In the letter, it was explained that the transfer was aimed at promoting the development of tourist destinations like Chiang Mai Zoo, which is a home of hundreds of wild animals, including several pandas from China. The zoo generates more than Bt100 million a year. 
The official letter was signed by Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi and was sent on August 4 requesting that Natural Resources and Environment Minister Wichet Kasemthongsri transfer administration of the zoo to the Pinkanakorn Development Agency.
According to the official letter, Plodprasop has also instructed the Zoological Park Organisation to organise a meeting to resolve the issue. 

Research at zoo to protect pangolins
Nandankanan Zoological Park has undertaken reserch to protect and conserve pangolins, as the toothless mammals face threat of extinction.
Set up in 2008, the Pangolin Conservation Breeding Centre (PCBC) has been studying the mammal's behaviour, reproduction, physiology, nutrition and the diseases they suffer from.
"Though many have an idea that pangolins are dangerous animals because of their scaly look, in reality they are completely harmless. But their scales are sharp and can cause cuts, if one is not careful while touching them. They are captured in large numbers for their scales and meat, which are used to make medicine," said Rajesh Kumar Mohapatra, a research fellow studying on pangolin at Nandankanan zoo.
Nandankanan zoo has been taking care of the pangolins for the last 50 years and so far 20 captive births have taken place at the zoo, of which three births occurred in the PCBC. Presently, the zoo has eight pangolins, including four females.
"It's very difficult to study the behaviour of these animals because they hardly come out during the day. These animals are very agile and tend to roll up into a scaly, armoured ball as self-defence mechanism. That's why they are easily caught by hunters," Mohapatra added.
The number of pangolins has fallen sharply because they are hunted and used in preparing medicines. However, very little is known about the status, ec

Two young elephants die within weeks at Chester Zoo
A second young elephant has died this month at Chester Zoo.
Three-year-old-male Nayan Hi Way died a few weeks after two-year-old female elephant Jamilah, the zoo said.
A post-mortem examination showed Jamilah died of an illness that affects both wild and captive elephants aged between one and four years of age.
Staff said it was too early to determine what had caused the second death, but the rest of the elephan

Zoo tigers 'won't save species from extinction'
On International Tiger Day zoo breeding programs for tigers are in the spotlight again. One conservation charity argues they’re doomed to fail and that saving the animals’ natural habitat is the only way forward.
Last month the birth of two Sumatran tiger cubs made headlines as the rare event was captured on camera at Chester Zoo in the north-west of England. Only 300 to 400 Sumatran tigers are thought to be left in the wild, and the species is considered to be critically endangered.
The Chester Zoo tigers are part of an international captive breeding program aimed at saving Sumatran tigers from extinction.
"The international breeding program is vital in terms of creating a viable back-up population to the wild," said a zoo spokesperson. "That's why these new arrivals are so important."

Zoo trainer beat sea lion for photos, report says
A trainer at Zhengzhou Zoo who beat a sea lion with a stick on Sunday upset some visiting children, according to the Dahe Daily.
The trainer and photographer were busy arranging children to have their photographs individually taken, for a charge of 20 yuan ($3.3), with a sea lion on Sunday, at the zoo, in Henan province.
The sea lion seemed impatient as it had to pose for the camera repeatedly. To everyone's surprise, the keeper started to hit it with a white plastic stick. The kids became upset and left with their parents.
The photographer told the newspaper the 4-year-old sea lion had been in the zoo for three years.
According to the newspaper, the sea lion had to pose with about 100 tourists in the morning for photos. If it misbehaved, the photographer is ou

Group lauds Al Ain centre’s conservation model for Arabian tahr
Management of Nature Conservation’s model can be used worldwide, group says
The conservation model used for the endangered Arabian tahr by a centre in Al Ain has been recommended to be used globally by an international group.
Al Ain’s Management of Nature Conservation (MNC), operating under the Department of the President’s Affairs, was recently awarded a Certificate of Excellence by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Germany in recognition of its dedicated contribution towards saving the Arabian tahr from extinction.
Abdul Jaleel Abdul Rahman Al Blouki, MNC director-general, received the recognition on behalf of 
Eng Mubarak Sa’ad Al Ahbabi, Chairman of the Department of the President’s Affairs. The award was given after a two-day independent audit of the centre’s system and processes conducted earlier this month.
The Arabian tahr (Arabitragus jayakari) is endemic to northern Oman and the UAE. It is listed as endangered due to a small population size fewer than 2,500 mature individuals, and is considered as possibly extinct in the UAE.
MNC started the cause of protecting the Arabian tahr in 2002 and started its breeding programme the same year. The centre achieved great strides in 2006 when 334 young Arabian tahr were born.

Sea lions' eyes hurt by Whipsnade Zoo water
Sea lions at a zoo in Bedfordshire suffered eye problems after a new water filtration system was installed.
Whipsnade Zoo's five Californian sea lions had been temporarily housed at London Zoo while their pool was refurbished.
But when they returned the increased chlorine levels hurt their eyes, an inspection report from March 2012 has revealed.
Whipsnade Zoo said the problem was "quickly rectified".
A report on the zoo, obtained by a Freedom of Information request by the Independent on Sunday, said a sea lion called Salt had shown an "adverse reaction" due to the increased chlorine levels.

'Zoo-cum-safari imperils wildlife in Bellary'
Former minister Gali Janardhana Reddy might be languishing in jail but his brainchild — the Atal Behari Vajpayee Zoo-cum-Safari — has raised hackles among environmental activists. 
Proposed to be spread across 350 acres of scrub forest land within the buffer zone (200 metre) of the Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary in Bellary district, the project has come as a "rude shock” for ecologists.
Officials in the know told Deccan Herald that the government had already floated the tenders for the project and preliminary work, including digging of borewell, has commenced. 
They, however, rue that not all the required approvals have been obtained. "As the area is a reserved forest and numerous trees will be lost, approvals are necessary from the National Wildlife Board and the Ministry of Environment and Forests,” Santosh Martin, Honorary Wildlife Warden of Bellary district, said. 





Intriguing Habitats, and Careful Discussions of Climate Change
Sitting on an artificial mangrove island in the middle of the ray and shark "touch tank,” Lindsay Jordan, a staff member at the New England Aquarium, explained the rays’ eating habits as children and their parents trailed fingers through the water. "Does anyone know how we touch these animals when we are not at the aquarium?” she asked.
The children’s faces turned up expectantly.
"The ocean absorbs one-third of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions,” Ms. Jordan said, explaining that it upsets the food chain. "When you turn on your car, it affects them.”
Downstairs, next to the jellyfish tanks, a rhyming video told how the jellyfish population was exploding in the wild because they thrive in warmer waters. In the main room, a staff member pointed to a rare blue lobster, saying that some lobsters have been scuttling out of Massachusetts and settling in cooler climes to the north.
With many zoos and aquariums now working with conservation organizations and financed by individuals who feel strongly about threatened habitats and species, managers have been wrestling with how aggressive to be in educating visitors on the perils of climate change.
Surveys show that American zoos and aquariums enjoy a high level of public trust and are ideally positioned to teach.

Baby rhino born in Alabama zoo makes history
Alabama's Montgomery Zoo recently welcomed the first rhinoceros produced through artificial insemination to be born and thrive in a U.S. zoo. Arriving on June 5, the Indian rhino calf weighed in at 90 pounds. He has already gained more than 12 pounds.
According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Dr. Monica Stoops, a reproductive physiologist from the Cincinnati Zoo's Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife, started the insemination process in February 2012. She's been working on artificial insemination in rhinos since 2004, and her previous two attempts failed. This time, she had success with a 12-year-old rhino named Jeta.
The father is a Montgomery Zoo rhino named Himal, whose sperm was collected in 2004 and stored at the Cincinnati Zoo's CryoBioBank. Even though both were living at the Montgomery Zoo, they were deemed too aggressive to mate naturally -- a common issue among rhinos.
The baby rhino is named "Ethan" in honor of Ethan Gilman, the Alabama kindergartner who was kidnapped from his school bus and held hostage for nearly a week in January.
Montgomery Zoo experts estimate that there are 60 Indian rhinos in captivity in North America and about 2,500 left in

Bristol Wild Place Project aims to boosts conservation
A wildlife park with animals from Madagascar, east Africa and the Congo has opened on the outskirts of Bristol.
The Wild Place Project is the first stage in the creation of a much bigger wildlife conservation park.
It is part of the Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society, which also includes the city's zoo.
Visitors will see much larger animals than those which can be housed at the small city zoo.When the park is finished it will also be home to S

Mali to stay in Manila Zoo, says vet
Mali is not going anywhere. She is here to stay.
As Manila Zoo marked its 54th anniversary Thursday, Mayor Joseph Estrada reiterated his earlier pronouncements that he would not allow its most popular resident to be transferred to an elephant sanctuary, a move that, according to a veterinarian, made the "old lady” happy.
The sentiment was reflected in the streamers, placards and letters that were displayed around the zoo as well of expressions of gratitude to Estrada for his decision to keep Mali and plans to upgrade the zoo’s facilities.
"I want to boost tourism in our city so I will not let Mali leave the place she grew up in,” 
Estrada said in a speech read by Vice Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno” Domagoso.
"Nothing can match the smiles and joy brought to us by animals like a lion, tiger, giraffe, deer and Mali, the famous elephant,” he said.

Sumatran Rhino Returns
"Harapan,” a six-year-old male Sumatran rhino born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2007 and later moved to the White Oak Conservation Center in Florida and then on to the Los Angeles Zoo, returned home in July in an effort to help save his rapidly disappearing species from extinction.   With no more than 100 Sumatran rhinos left on the planet and only two on this continent (Harapan and his sister, nine-year-old "Suci”), this move demonstrates just how desperate the effort to save this species has become.
Harapan is one of three Sumatran rhinos successfully born at the Cincinnati Zoo since 2001.  Scientists at the Zoo’s Lindner Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) are hoping they can work their magic once again with Harapan and Suci. Although the tenet at CREW is to maximize genetic diversity and avoid inbreeding, in this case scientists are forced to make an exception or watch the species disappear altogether.
       "No one wants to breed siblings, it is something we strive to avoid, but when a species drops below 100 individuals, producing more offspring as quickly as possible trumps concerns about genetic diversity.” said Dr. Terri Roth, Vice President of Conservation and Science and Director of CREW at the Cincinnati Zoo. "We are down to the last male and female Sumatran rhino on the continent, and I am not willing to sit idle and watch the last of a species go extinct.”
In April 2013, a Sumatran Rhino Crisis Summit was held in Singapore with over 100 participants from across the globe.  At that conference, the most recent extremely low population estimate for this species was revealed and the news that there are approximately 100 individual animals remaining in the world was a devastating blow to an audience that has spent much of their professional career working to save the charismatic species.  The wild Sumatran rhino population has decreased by >50% in the past decade and participants realized there were now more summit participants than there are Sumatran rhinos. 
"What does it say about humanity and what will we save if we cannot find a way to share the earth with such an ancient, peaceful, non-threatening species like the Sumatran rhino," said Roth. "The Sumatran rhino is a forest dwelling species and therefore also plays an integral role in maintaining the forest ecosystem.  As a browser, it eats small saplings and brush allowing other young trees more room to grow and maintain the forest canopy.  It acts as a seed disperser that stimulates new growth in cleared areas and helps maintain the diversity of indigenous species throughout the forest.  Together, these activities all help in maintaining a healthy forest which we know plays a significant role in absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere and reducing the impact of climate change.  So, if for no other reason, this is why the Midwestern American farmer who is tired of droughts and tornadoes and who is worried about how next year's crops will do and how the bills will get paid, should care about saving the Sumatran rhino.”In addition to their direct effort to produce more Sumatran rhino calves in captivity, the Cincinnati and Los Angeles Zoos are partnering with many international conservation organizations including the International Rhino Foundation, the Indonesian Rhino Foundation, SOS Rhino and World Wildlife Fund to help protect remaining wild populations.  The Sumatran rhino is recognized as one of, if not the most endangered large mammal on the planet, and due to the recent surge in illegal poaching, encroachment which is causing population fragmentation, roads being built through habitats, and deforestation due to the palm oil industry, humans are decimating them (and many other species, including tigers and orangutans) faster than scientists and conservationists can make incremental progress towards saving them. 
Currently, there is resistance at the government level in Indonesia to both capturing additional rhinos that are so desperately needed to enhance the gene pool and exchanging rhinos for breeding so that inbreeding can be avoided.  Furthermore, the permit process put in place to protect endangered species can be slow and cumbersome, often stalling out efforts among global partners to exchange gametes for assisted reproduction attempts.  Finally, even though most conservationists now agree that captive breeding must be a part of the Sumatran rhino recovery effort, financial support for the program is exceedingly difficult to obtain.  Most US federal dollars for conservation are restricted and will not even be considered for captive breeding efforts.  That being said, the cost of maintaining Sumatran rhinos is significant because their diet is complex, much like that of the giant panda’s, but donors flock to the popular giant panda and remain relatively unaware of this unique rhino’s critical situation.
  "The captive breeding program in the US has been the most significant contributor to the survival of the Sumatran rhino in recent years and in particular the progress that the Cincinnati Zoo has made in determining the reproductive strategy of this species,” says Jeff Holland, Mammal Curator, at the Los Angeles Zoo.   "Without the work of the Cincinnati Zoo we would not have had the success that we have seen. This is one reason why it is vitally important to maintain a captive population of Sumatran rhinos in the US and secondly to avoid having all the rhinos in one place where they are at risk of disease, poaching and/or natural disaster that could potentially wipe out the entire captive population in a single stroke. The idea of two captive populations lessens the risk of something like this happening.”
Recently, the NGO SOS Rhino reached out to U.S. politicians in Washington D.C. In response, Senator Sherrod Brown, Senator Rob Portman and Congressman Steve Chabot contacted key officials in Indonesia and the United States, including the Indonesian Ambassador to the United States and Secretary of State John Kerry.  Congressman Chabot, as Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, also sent a letter to the Indonesian President that was signed by most of the other Subcommittee members.  All of the global partners are now requesting that national government officials step up. 
"There needs to be serious and immediate action that addresses excessive deforestation and poaching that is wiping out so many species in Southeast Asia, especially rhinos and tigers,” said Dr. Roth.  "First and foremost, we have to secure the few surviving wild populations.  
However, the captive breeding program could also benefit if governments acknowledge the crisis and act accordingly.”
After years of research, CREW scientists at the Cincinnati Zoo unraveled the mysteries of Sumatran rhino reproduction and produced the first captive bred calf in 112 years on September 13, 2001.  After that historic birth of the male calf "Andalas”, CREW scientists quickly repeated their success twice more, producing the female calf "Suci” and the male calf "Harapan” before the breeding pair passed away.  For 11 years, the Cincinnati Zoo held the distinction as the only place successfully breeding this endangered species until the summer of 2012 when the Cincinnati and Los Angeles Zoo’s Indonesian partner, the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park, Indonesia, produced its first calf.  The calf was sired by Andalas, who had been sent by the Los Angeles Zoo and International Rhino Foundation (IRF) to Sumatra in 2007. Cincinnati Zoo staff members have been working with the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary staff for over a decade exchanging information and transferring the technology developed at the zoo that proved key to the successful breeding effort.    The birth of Andalas’ first calf was a monumental global achievement resulting from collaboration among the Cincinnati Zoo, Los Angeles Zoo, IRF and the Indonesian Rhino Foundation, wherein all parties acted in the best interest of the species. 
"There is no way the Cincinnati and Los Angeles Zoos can save this species alone, but we can (and already have) contribute significantly and tangibly to the global effort,” says Dr. Roth.  "It is critical that in-country programs succeed, which is why we support them financially, donate our services and send them rhinos produced at our zoos when it is essential to their success. But in return, the U.S. captive breeding program needs new genetic diversity to ensure it continues to flourish, before it’s too late.”

Did a killer whale doc just kill an industry?
Seaworld might be about to take a giant hit.
Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s documentary Blackfish is a clear successor to 2009’s The Cove: a documentary that, through condemnation of Japanese dolphin hunting, lodged within the public consciousness a deep unease at the relationship between people and cetaceans.
The film, which premiered at the Sundance festival in April and is on general UK release from 25th July, tells the story of 12,000lb bull orca Tilikum, who has lived in captivity for 30 years.  In this time he has been linked with the murky deaths of 3 people, most recently SeaWorld Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010.
The film’s clear message is that a lifetime of boredom, claustrophobia and bullying from other whales conspired to build an abyssal psychosis in this highly emotional – and frighteningly alien – creature.

Wolf howl identification technology excites experts
Earlier this year debating experts showed enthusiasm for the idea of re-introducing bears in Scotland at an event in Lochinver in Sutherland. Wolves, bears and lynx once roamed the UK as top predators, and the concept of "rewilding" the countryside with these carnivores has been much-discussed in recent years.
In May, the Telegraph reported a group of experts wanted to apply for a licence to reintroduce lynx into an area of forest in west Scotland.
Sea eagles and beavers have already been reintroduced in the UK but such programmes are complex and met with controversy.
For some people bringing back large predators should be the obvious next step, but others argue we no longer have suitable habitat for these large carnivores and that wolves and bears would kill precious livestock.
BBC Nature asked a panel of specialists: "Would you have

Zoo to breed wild dogs in captivity
The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP), or Vizag Zoo will soon have the country’s exclusive wild dog breeding centre. It will help conserve a special breed of the fast dwindling population of wild dogs known as Dholes besides propagating them for various international animal exchange programmes, according to officials.
In fact, Vizag Zoo or IGZP is India’s only zoo that’s been successful in breeding of wild dogs for the fourth time. It had been selected by the Central Zoo Authority for conservation of endangered wild dogs.
While the IGZP will have a breeding centre for wild dogs the CZA has chosen Vandalur Zoological Park in Chennai, Tamil Nadu as the associate zoo.
According to IGZP curator G Ramalingam, wild dog population has witnessed massive increase within the protected area from just two to 19. Out of these, seven are female wild dogs, five adult males, four male and three female puppies.

Marghazar Zoo: ‘Shut it down if you can’t fix it’
When entering the capital city, huge billboards stating "Islamabad the Beautiful” are justified by clean roads and trimmed grass on the green belts. But even things of beauty have some imperfections, and for Islamabad, the glaring imperfection is Marghazar Zoo.
When compared to the rest of the large parks in the capital, the zoo seems to be the shabbiest. 
As one enters the quiet zoo, most animals seem to be hiding in shaded corners and are irresponsive to visitors. Despite the presence of garbage cans placed at regular intervals across the zoo; most of the enclosures are surrounded with filth and wrappers.
Zoo Director Irfan Niazi told The Express Tribune that there are currently 30 gardeners, 17 attendants and 12 sweepers employed. However, there has never been a budget specially allocated for the maintenance of the zoo. It is covered in the pay and allowance for these employees.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, CDA Environment Member Ahsan Ali Mangi said maintaining a zoo is a very expensive enterprise and governments all over the world find different means to generate money to ru

The US should learn from India and stop using dolphins as entertainment
In March 1998, four dolphins made their way from a park in Bulgaria to Dolphin City, an amusement park on ECR Road, 45 km off Chennai. By September the same year, all four of them were dead.
Losing no hope, in mid-2000, the Rs 13 crore dolphinarium petitioned the Ministry of Environment and Forests seeking permission to import dolphins again as a source of entertainment, reasoning that it had improved veterinary conditions at the park. But sustained protests by animals rights groups ensured that the government said no.
In recent years, the MoEF has received proposals from government organisations as well as businesses to set up dolphin parks in cities such as Mumbai, Cochin and

Cincinnati zoo seek to mate rare Sumatran rhino with her brother
Scientists say inbreeding carries risks but is necessary in effort to save species down to 100 in the wild
With the survival of a species on the line, scientists at Cincinnati zoo are hoping to mate their lone female Sumatran rhino with her little brother.
The desperate effort follows a meeting in Singapore among conservationists that concluded there might be as few as 100 of the two-horned, hairy rhinos remaining in their native south-east Asia.
Species numbers have dropped sharply as development takes away habitat and poachers hunt them for their prized horns.
The Cincinnati zoo has been a pioneer in captive breeding of the rhino species. It recently brought the male back to his birthplace from the Los Angeles zoo and soon will try to have him mate with its lone female.
Scientist Terri Roth said inbreeding carried ris

Horrifying moment small boy on trip to Indian zoo is attacked and seriously hurt by furious monkey
The boy was assaulted by a macaque at a zoo in Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh
His father and a zookeeper fought to tear monkey off the child's back
An irate monkey attacked a small boy during a trip to a zoo while the child's father and a 
zookeeper fought to prise them apart.
The boy - named locally as Raghav - was seriously hurt at an animal centre in Ratlam, Madhya 
Pradesh, India.
Pictures taken by a bystander show the child pinned to the floor by the primat

Massasauga rattlesnake bites Toronto Zoo worker
An employee at the Toronto Zoo was taken to hospital after she was bitten by a massasauga rattlesnake on Sunday morning.
The 45-year-old woman was in serious, but stable condition when she was transported, a Toronto EMS spokesperson told CBC News.
Amanda Chambers, a zoo spokesperson, sent an email to CBC News saying that the employee was expected to make a full recovery.
Chambers said the zoo’s confidentiality policies prevent it from releasing the name of the employee who was bitten.
The zoo's website says that

Edinburgh Zoo celebrates 100th anniversary
ONE of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions, Edinburgh Zoo, marks its 100th anniversary today with a series of celebration events – and a call from the chief executive for children to be given the chance to reconnect to the natural world.
First opened on 22 July 1913, the zoo has grown to become one of the most successful conservation centres in the world and the arrival of giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang has seen visitor numbers rocket.
Chief executive Chris West said the zoo’s founder, Thomas Gillespie, would have been proud of the recent changes and success.
"Gillespie’s original vision was to foster and develop an interest in and knowledge of animal life, which is not far off from our current aims today,” he said.
"In a world that is increasingly overpopulated with decreasing biodiversity and viable habitats, Edinburgh Zoo’s future is to play a crucial role in raising awareness amongst its visitors about the importance of securing a future for all species, including our own.

Fingerprints of zoo staff taken in theft case of red sand boas
The police are yet to solve the case of theft of four red sand boas from Chhatbir zoo. After the zoo officials found out the theft on July 18 midnight, a complaint was lodged the next morning.
The investigating officer, along with forensic experts, took fingerprints of all the zoo employees on Sunday morning, after the zoo officials said it appeared to be the handiwork of insiders.
The zoo had six such reptiles, four of which were stolen from a chamber of reptile house. The remaining two are sealed in the reptile house for security reasons.
These non-venomous snakes, often associated with a superstition of bringing luck, were kept in the custody of the zoo after they were seized from smugglers in Jalandhar.
The zoo director, Manish Kumar, said, "The snakes were court's property and were handed over to us by the district forest officers of Jalandhar and Patiala. The theft seems to be the work of a professional. The unbreakable glass in which these snakes were kept was lifted by a vacuum machine. At night, there were six security guards on duty. The locks of chamber were not broken, so the the

Iberian lynx will be extinct within 50 years, biologists warn
Within 50 years, climate change will probably wipe out the world’s most endangered feline, the Iberian lynx, even if the world meets its target for curbing carbon emissions, biologists said on Sunday.
The gloomy forecast, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, says that without a dramatic shift in conservative strategy, the charismatic little wildcat seems doomed.
The lynx — Latin name Lynx pardinus — grows to about a metre (3.25 feet) in length, weighs up to 15 kilos (33 pounds), and is characterised by its spotted beige fur, pale ye

Israel’s gift to Mysore zoo
Ramat Gan Safari Park at Tel Aviv in Israel will gift four zebras to the Mysore zoo.
The Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA), New Delhi, has given approval to procure the zebras from Israel, and the Mysore zoo is planning to seek the approval of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to complete the formalities.

Daroji bear sanctuary to make way for safari park
One more tract of forest land will be sacrificed to thoughtless planning. The decision to develop a zoo-cum-safari park within the buffer zone of the Daroji Bear Sanctuary in Bellary district has shocked naturalists. 
The project is the brainchild of the jailed former tourism minister Janardhan Reddy. The Atal Bihari Vajpayee Zoo-cum-Safari will come up on 350 acres of scrub forest rich in flora and fauna, bordering the Daroji Bear Sanctuary in Kamalapura in Bellary district. 
An impact assessment study by a team of city based ecologists revealed some shocking facts about the impact of the proposed safari park on the rich flora and fauna of the bear sanctuary. 
With over half-a-million tourists expected each year, heightened commercial activities, vehicle movement and increase in lights and sound etc will put a huge pressure on the already highly fragile ecosystem, the team said. The team comprised ecological experts Dr. M.B. Krishna, Mr K.S.Seshadri, Mr M. Sunil Kumar, Mr Seshadri Ramaswamy and Dr. Ganesh Babu.
"In addition, the presence of a zoo in such close proximity could possibly pass on diseases from the local and exotic animals to the wildlife in Daroji Sanctuary. At a conservative estimate, about 45,000 trees will have to be felled to accommodate this artificial zoo-cum-safari. Several species of fruit bearing Grewia trees, endemic to this area, are natural food of the sloth be

SeaWorld Is So Pissed Over the Blackfish Documentary
Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite recently told the New York Times that she approached her documentary Blackfish as a journalist with an open mind. The resulting film, which is about killer whales in captivity (specifically at SeaWorld and focusing on the 32-year-old orca Tilikum, who's killed three people), is nonetheless damning enough that it reads like animal liberation propaganda. We hear numerous testimonials from former SeaWorld trainers on the negative effects of keeping these giant, sensitive creatures penned. We see hidden-camera footage of SeaWorld guides feeding park guests incorrect information about orcas' lifespans and fins — the dorsal fins of captive killer routinely collapse, or flop to the side, which is rare in the wild.

Zoo joins coalition calling for end to poaching
The groups seek beefed-up campaigns to halt the illegal killing of wildlife.
Blank Park Zoo has joined 40 other zoos and wildlife programs in 36 countries to call for a more aggressive fight against poaching worldwide.
The joint statement, announced Friday, resulted from the international Zoos and Aquariums Committing to Conservation Conference at the south Des Moines facility earlier this month.
The U.S. government recently announced it would spend $10 million on efforts in Africa to protect elephants, rhinos and other wildlife.
The conference delegates "urged all governments and international groups to launch sustained campaigns to stop the illegal killing of wildlife, including increased law enforcement with prompt and serious punishments for wildlife crime, more cooperation between governments to combat cross-border activity, and campaigns to raise awareness among consumers about the illegal wildlife trade.”

I fell for an ape
Meeting Pepper showed me humans are apes too -- and we have to do better at protecting our own
A few years ago I had a lovely bedtime ritual of pouring a large whisky and watching BBC nature 
programs in bed. I was well into the messy part of middle age, somewhat surprised that middle age had struck so soon. I saw footage of a female chimpanzee carrying her child across some shallow water, and of orangutans washing socks in the water at Camp Leakey, and I began to wonder less about the animals on the screen and more about the one in bed.
As a novelist I concerned myself with psychology, culture, history; rarely did I look at the human body and what we are as a species.
The excellent work of Frans de Waal, Roger Fouts, and other primatologists opened my eyes to the nature of great apes, the category that includes chimpanzees and humans. I wanted to write a novel that looked squarely at chimpanzee behavior, how it resembles and differs from our own.
And then I met Pepper.

The Last Tiger in the Zoo
Will Cramp is likely to be the last man standing to have fed a Tasmanian Tiger.
From seven years of age he spent his Sundays at the Beaumaris Zoo on Hobart's domain, helping to feed the animals and muck out their cages.
He describes the tiger's

Handler in surgery after alligator bites his arm
A 22-year-old alligator handler is undergoing one of several surgeries on his arm after a 1,000-pound alligator bit him during a demonstration at a Hollywood zoo and wildlife sanctuary. 
Will Nace, a volunteer handler, was bitten by the alligator Lunge while performing during a private party at Native Village on Saturday, said park co-owner Ian Tyson. 
The alligator grabbed Nace's arm and dragged him into a pond where the two spun around. Another trainer jumped into the gated pit and manage to set Nace's arm free.
Surge Achille, a party-planner at the park, said the frightening incident took less than a fe,0,5714134.story

Of Mali, Erap, and Paul McCartney
Lately, there is something in the news that caught my attention and reminded me of what Albert Einstein once said:  there are two things that are infinite---the universe and human stupidity. 
It is something quite unsettling, if not, behaviorally demented.  It is about the response of the City of Manila regarding the move to transfer its lone and sickly elephant Mali to a sanctuary in Thailand.

Conservationists slam aquarium's manner of release of whale shark
The National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium was criticized yesterday by an animal protection organization for the manner of its release of a whale shark on July 10 that could have killed the shark.
The Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST) said that the staff of the aquarium chose a location that was too close to the shore to release the shark, so the shark was stranded twice before finally being able to go out to sea.
"The whale shark suffered from multiple injuries from the first two attempts of release,” EAST Chief Executive Officer Chu Tseng-hung said.

10 Reasons Why Dolphins Are A$$holes
Treehugger recently posted 10 Reasons Why Dolphins Are Undeniably Awesome.  This is all nice and 
well but this does overlook some key aspects of dolphins that should be recognized.  Good luck 
trying to sleep tonight when you start thinking about dolphins.

Pair of the world's largest flying birds make Farnham their home
There is a very special arrival at Birdworld in Farnham today.
A pair of Great Bustards are making the attraction their new home.
Curator Duncan Bolton tells Eagle: "The best description would be a large turkey, much more attractive than a turkey, but that sort of style.
"This is a bird which went extinct in the UK circa 1850's, through hunting and persecution."They're the world’s largest flying birds.”
Birdworld is working with the Great Bustard Project, to re-introduce them to the English countryside.
And Duncan says the plan is this pair will have lots of chicks:
"Hatching will be the exciting time, and the plan is when the birds hatch, we'll have them at Birdworld.
"But when they're young chicks we'll send them to Salisbury Plain to be reared at the site that they wi

Expert committee moots for added man power in capital zoo
The nine member expert committee constituted by the state government to look into the recurring deaths in capital zoo has called for immediate recruitement of manpower. In the meeting held on Monday, the committee opined that there should be at least two vet surgeons in the zoo. Besides a lab technician and surgical assistant have to be recruited. 
A cabinet note on this regard has already been directed to the concerned departments. The committee members also called for bio-security measures like foot-dip and tyre-dip to regulate the spread of pathogens in the zoo. Special training for zoo keepers, periodic cleaning of enclosures and control of horse flies were also put forward in the meeting. The committee has handed over a list of 27 measures which need to be implemented in the zoo

Oakland Zoo Volunteer Bit by Rabid Bat
Vector Control staff canvassed the Oakland Zoo and surrounding neighborhood Tuesday to distribute rabies information
Health officials are warning an Oakland neighborhood to be cautious of rabid animals in the area after a volunteer at the Oakland Zoo was bit by a bat that tested positive for rabies.
The incident occurred over the weekend, according to the Alameda County Vector Control.
A spokeswoman at the zoo said the victim was a teenage girl.
Authorities said a patron at the zoo noticed a bat on a ledge trying to crawl up the glass outside the otter exhibit and notified the volunteer. The animal bit her when she went to go pick it up.
This all happened Saturday, but because Vector Control is closed on the weekend, the test of the animal couldn't take place until Monday.
The test came back positive, and the volunteer is already getting

Devon and Cornwall Police in the UK are looking into an incident where up to 25 small vessels reportedly harassed a pod of bottlenose dolphins in Camel Estuary on Saturday, 20th July.
It is believed one of the dolphins may have been hit by a boat and killed as a result.
Harassing dolphins in this way may seem harmless but it can disrupt feeding and hunting patterns, the nursing of young, and can result in injury or death if they are struck by a vessel . Boats should approach any whale or dolphin with great care, keep their distance, and limit speed and time spent near these creatures.  Harassment is a criminal offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and anyone

President Obama and FBI: Arrest Ingrid Newkirk and have PETA shut down
For over 30 years People for the Ethnical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has labeled itself as an animal rights group, with their leader Ingrid Newkirk, which now has over 2 million members. 
However, unknowingly to the public is a few dirty little secrets, pit bull genocide, domestic terrorism, sexism, pet euthanasia, and hypocrisy.
What people really don't know about PETA is that if they got their way, not only would they ban meat, milk, eggs, honey, leather, or fur. There would also be no more silk, wool, down feathers, fishing, circuses that use any kind of animals even domesticated, horse back riding, live animal shows, aquariums, zoos *even if they're AZA approved*, hunting, service animals for disabled people, even pets. They are also against the use of experimenting on animals to help save human and other animal lives but their ex senior VP Mary Beth Sweetland uses insulin that was tested on animals to stay alive. Another side to PETA people don't know is that is that PETA is the US' most dangerous domestic terrorist organization. In 2001 they were given this label by the FBI and again in 2009 by the USDA. There's even data revealed that they endorse and hve ties to the ALF and the ELF, both groups are serious terrorist threats to the US.

Zoo's camel 'speared' to death
Abraham the Camel, one of Kimberely's most beloved animals, was speared to death on Tuesday morning by poachers who are believed to have wanted the meat.
According to the Diamond Fields Advertiser, workers at the 8Myl Animal Farm, a petting zoo that rehabilitates and cares for animals, were alerted to the attack by barking dogs early on Tuesday morning.
When they found Abraham, he already had numerous stab wounds and two of the spears used in the attack were still piercing his body. Although the workers chased the three suspects, the suspects managed to escape. The poachers left behind several plastic grain bags that are typically used by poachers to transport meat, the newspaper reported.
The police we

Rare tiger born in Al Zawra Zoo, Iraq
Baghdad Mayoralty announced on Sunday, July 21 that one of the world’s rarest tigers was born in Al Zawra zoo, stressing that the newborn tiger is healthy and is supervised by a team of medical specialists.
"Al Zawra Park and Zoo welcomed today a newborn Bengali white tiger considered to be one of 200 Bengali tigers living in reserves and zoos around the world”, said the Mayoralty in a press release issued on Sunday, July 21; of which Alsumaria got a copy. It revealed that "the baby tiger is one of the rarest tigers in the world”.
"The birth of the tiger was a result of genetic differences”, added the Mayoralty, stressing that "the baby tiger is healthy and is supervised by a team of medical specialists”.
"Visitors will soon be able to see the newborn tiger”, it clarified; pointing out that "It gives great importance to developing Al Zawra Zoo such as importing birds, allowing

Terrifying moment crocodile snaps its jaws shut with trainer's head inside at Thai tourist attraction
Scenes caught on camera at Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm in Bangkok
Screams of watching tourists audible as reptile clamps jaws around trainer
Man, 27, escaped with only head wounds, according to local reports

"Swamp Brothers" want to bring zoo to Clermont
Robbie Keszey, who along with his brother Stephen Keszey, stars in the reality show "Swamp Brothers,” has always had a passion for animals and for teaching others about them.
Their knowledge and interests cover the entire animal kingdom to the other, but in their hearts there is a special place for reptiles and amphibians.
As part owners of Glade Herp Farms in Bushnell, they bring in reptiles from around the world for sale and show. Now, they want to expand on that idea and build an interactive zoo in Clermont.
On Wednesday, they discussed the Animal Crossings Interactive Zoo with a room full of people who could help turn their dream into reality.
"Ever since I was a little kid, it’s always been a dream of mine to build a zoo. I have so many great ideas,” Robbie Keszey said in a video played for attendees at the meeting.
"I’m not about danger, danger danger. I’m about the learning aspect of every animal’s world and what they can teach us. It’s exciting for me to see it happening right in front of me and it’s something I want whole families to experience at my zoo.”
"Swamp Brothers,” which had a run on the Discovery Channel, has also brought the Keszeys into the living rooms of watchers from all the world. Just recently, the Keszeys hooked up with a brand new production company – Wild Gate Entertainment — and are negotiating with Animal Planet, The History Channel, A&E and the Discovery Cha

Europe’s Oldest Hippo Dies in Kaliningrad Zoo
A zoo in the western Russian city of Kaliningrad is mourning the death of Mary, Europe’s oldest hippopotamus, who has died at the age of 56, a zoo spokesman said Wednesday.
"Mary, the zoo’s oldest resident, has died of natural causes,” the spokesman said, adding that Mary was the mother of 25 calves.
Mary moved to the Kaliningrad zoo from Hamburg in June 1969 and was the zoo’s mascot for 44 years.
Hippopotamuses have been popular zoo animals si

Did teacher see a big cat just yards from playing children?
THE MYSTERY big cat said to be roaming the Tamworth area has been spotted again, this time by a teacher who says she saw it on the area known as ‘the Bumpy’ between Glascote and Stonydelph, just yards from where children played.
Jenna Brindley (28), an English teacher at Tamworth Enterprise College (formerly Belgrave School), was walking her dog on Wednesday July 17 between 6pm and 7pm when she spott

The Lion Man: One World African Safari
Brand new ‘The Lion Man: One World African Safari' features Kiwi farm boy Craig Busch, an experienced self-taught "wild cat trainer", helping to track down poachers and fight devastating bushfires. He also creates a haven for rare, endangered cats such as white Bengal Tigers, Barbary Lions and White Lions at a reserve near Johannesburg. Craig and a passionate band of animal-loving supporters search for missing cheetahs, heal desperately ill tigers, and track do

Rhino faces extinction, says zoo
RHINOS will face the same fate of dinosaurs if the current rate of poaching the species continues in the country.
This was according to Joburg Zoo spokesman Letta Madlala who told The Citizen that the extinction of the rhino species could be a possibility in the near future.
This after the department of environmental affairs confirmed yesterday that at least 515 rhinos had been killed in the country so far this year, compared to 668 rhinos killed by the end of last year.
"Rhinos take very long to breed, and they don't produce many offspring," said Madlala."Government intervention and more contribution by the community are required to prevent more rhinos from being poached."
She added that the zoo had no plans to house any rhinos for protection purposes.
"There's no space at the zoo and rhinos require a lot of space which is why many are kept at the Kruger National Park," said Madlala.
The department said that the Kruger National Park remained the hardest hit by poachers, with 321 rhinos having been killed since January. Additionally, 54 rhinos were killed for their horns in Limpopo, 53 in North West and 43 in KwaZulu-Natal; while a total of 143 alleged poachers had been arrested this year.
Kwazulu-Natal Wildlands Conservation Fund spokesman Kevin M





Poor Facilities at Indonesian Zoo Spark Rare Animal Seizure
After filing a recommendation more than a year ago, wildlife conservation authorities in Malang, East Java, are awaiting final approval for a rescue mission to relocate dozens of rare animals from a poorly maintained municipal zoo, an official said on Tuesday.
Dedi Sudiana, the head of the Malang Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), said his office had issued a recommendation to the Forestry Ministry to allow it to seize the animals from the Malang Recreation Park (Tareko), and was now just awaiting written confirmation before swooping in.
He said that among the animals to be confiscated were two rare primates — a critically endangered Sulawesi crested macaque and a siamang — and several exotic birds. These include a pair of cassowaries, a hornbill, a crested hawk-eagle and a Javan hawk-eagle — the national bird of Indonesia. Dozens of other animals, mostly birds of paradise, are also on the list for seizure by the BKSDA.
Dedi said the the seizure, which the BKSDA had recommended since June 2012, comes amid concerns about the animals’ welfare in the facility, which is part of the Malang City Hall complex in the middle of the city.
He also said the park did not have enough qualified staff to look after the animals properly."It takes a lot of money to look after the animals, but the park doesn’t charge an entry fee, so the animals’ welfare is being compromised,” he said.
"Hence this seizure is being carried out in the best

Scientists across the globe make case for shark conservation, says Birch Aquarium marine biologist in La Jolla
The phrase "marine conservation” evokes images of an energetic dolphin, a fluffy seal pup or a majestic whale. The phrase "shark conservation” is apt to evoke puzzlement. Why conserve something that most of us find downright frightening?
Unfortunately, it is fear based on misinformation, media overreaction and manipulative movie plots, according to Andrew P. Nosal, Ph.D., the Birch Aquarium’s DeLaCour Postdoctoral Fellow in Ecology and Conservation.
Nosal, whose research is focused on La Jolla’s near-shore population of docile leopard sharks, is concerned about the negative public perception of sharks in light of precipitous species declines, with some open-ocean populations down 90 percent. Nosal separated fact from fiction during a public lecture titled "Shark Conservation: 
Safeguarding the Future of Our Oceans,” held July 8 as part of the aquarium’s ongoing Perspectives of Ocean Science Lecture Series.
There are more than 400 shark species, displaying a wide assortment of form, feeding habits, range of movement and use of habitat.
"When you hear the word ‘shark,’ I want you to think first of their diversity,” Nosal told the audience.
Over-fishing, increased demand for shark products and poor fisheries management are pushing many 
species toward

Killer octopus not seen posing threat to swimmers
As the hot, humid days lure people to the beaches, some may worry about the deadly octopuses that have been spotted in the Kanto region. To the relief of many, experts say few of them are still alive and beach-goers don’t need to worry about the possibility of being bit by the venomous little critters.
Blue-ringed octopi, with a highly venomous bite, were first seen near the town of Yugawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, in May. They were then observed last month in a port area in Chigasaki, Kanagawa.
Each one carries the potentially fatal poison tetrodotoxin, the same toxin possessed by fugu, or puffer fish. A bite from the octopus can cause respiratory failure.
Although the pint-sized octopus has long inhabited the region, the rare sightings in May and June made headlines across the nation and raised public safety concerns.
But an expert at Enoshima Aquarium in Kanagawa Prefecture says their lifespan is just one year, and once they finish laying their eggs from April through June most will die off, meaning

A lost frog in the lost world?
Ecotourism and Conservation - Can it work? In the context of a study in the forests of Central Guyana, a team of scientists from the Senckenberg Research Institute in Dresden investigated this very question and by chance found a previously undiscovered species of frog that only exists in a very confined area of the so-called Iwokrama Forest. The related study was published in the scientific journal "Organisms, Diversity and Evolution".
The Lost World, a famous novel released by the renowned British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1912, is set in to what, even today, is still a virtually forgotten and neglected area of our planet, the Guiana Shield in the north of South America.
The region accounts for more than 25 percent of the world's tropical rain forests, and is one of the four remaining extensive pristine forested areas left in the world (Amazon, Congo, Papua New Guinea and Guiana Shield).
In a study sponsored by the Stiftung Artenschutz [Species Conservation Foundation] and the Verband Deutscher Zoodirektoren [Association of German Zoo Directors], the Dresden team, led by biologists Dr. Raffael Ernst and Monique Hölting investigated whether conservation of amphibians and ecotourism can be reconciled in the forests of Guyana. The investigations are being carried out in close co-operation with the international not-for-profit organization Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development. Their idea is to test the concept of a truly sustainable forest, where conservation, biodiversity safeguarding, environmental balance and economic use can be mutually reinforcing. Beside forms of sustainable forest management, ecotourism concepts are also being tested. This is also true

Do captive whales turn into killers?
On February 24 2010, news channels around the world reported that Dawn Brancheau, an experienced trainer of killer whales at SeaWorld Orlando, had been found dead in the pool. A huge male orca, Tilikum, had leapt out of the water as Brancheau had been talking about the creature to a group of visitors, grabbed her with its jaws and dragged her under the water, where she drowned. Initially, there were calls for the "rogue” whale to be put down. But as the facts began to emerge, the story grew darker and more complicated, as revealed by Gabriela -Cowperthwaite’s astonishing new documentary, Blackfish. "I first heard about the story on the news,” the director told me, on a visit to London. "I didn’t understand it. I had a lot of questions.” Those questions led Cowperthwaite to an extraordinary human drama, framed by the greater drama of our troubled relationship with animals that we claim to love, yet which we allow to be treated in appalling ways.

Death turns a regular visitor to city zoo
At first glance, things appear normal in the City Zoo, which draws lakhs of tourists every year. But a closer look reveals an alarming statistic. In the last ten days alone, as many as 11 of the inmates have died owing to various causes.
 The zoo authorities attribute this to inadequate infrastructure; lack of veterinary personnel and unscientific enclosures are among other factors. Moreover, monsoon is not a healthy phase for zoo animals. As many as 10-15 spotted deer were found to be suffering from foot-rot infection, which is also contagious in nature. Also, aged animals had a bout of pneumonia. The only vet in the zoo had to work round-the-clock to save the animals.
 The deaths recorded in the last ten days include those of four spotted deer, two Sambar, two pig-deer, one Malabar Giant Squirrel, one leopard cub and a 13-day-old baby hippo.

Will Byculla Zoo shift to suburbs?
If the tourism development plan prepared by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) comes into existence, then we might see the Byculla Zoo being shifted to Aarey Milk Colony in Goregaon or the Borivali National Park.
The plan has been prepared for the city by MTDC’s special committee, which had appointed a consultant M/s Fortress Infrastructure Advisory Services for assessment and preparation of a detailed report for the development of various tourism projects in Mumbai.

Zoos and Field Conservationists Call for Worldwide Action to Stop Illegal Killing of Wildlife
More than 200 conservationists representing over 40 zoos as well as wildlife programs in 36 countries have called on governments around the world to immediately increase the resources needed to combat the alarming rise in the illegal wildlife trade.  Meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, earlier this month, zoo officials, scientists, and wildlife experts with the 9th Zoos and Aquariums Committing to Conservation Conference (ZACC) agreed that urgent action is needed to combat the well-organized and heavily armed criminals who are draining the world’s ecosystems of wildlife and threatening human populations.  The Okapi Conservation Project was represented by John Lukas, who gave a keynote presentation at the conference about the challenges to wildlife conservation in the DR Congo.
On the heels of the U.S. government’s recent announcement of $10 million to assist African countries with anti-poaching efforts to protect elephants, rhinos and other wildlife, the ZACC delegates urged all governments and international groups to launch sustained campaigns to stop the illegal killing of wildlife, including increased law enforcement with prompt and serious punishments for wildlife crime, more cooperation between governments to combat cross-border activity, and campaigns to raise awareness among consumers about the illegal wildlife trade.

Apes Capable of 'Mental Time Travel'
A single cue—the taste of a madeleine, a small cake, dipped in lime tea—was all Marcel Proust needed to be transported down memory lane. He had what scientists term an autobiographical memory of the events, a type of memory that many researchers consider unique to humans. Now, a new study argues that at least two species of great apes, chimpanzees and orangutans, have a similar ability; in zoo experiments, the animals drew on 3-year-old memories to solve a problem. Their findings are the first report of such a long-lasting memory in nonhuman animals. The work supports the idea that autobiographical memory may have evolved as a problem-solving aid, but researchers caution that the type of memory system the apes used remains an open question.
Elephants can remember, they say, but many scientists think that animals have a very different kind of memory than our own. Many can recall details about their environment and routes they've traveled. But having explicit autobiographical memories of things "I" did, or remembering events that occurred in the past, or imagining those in the future—so-called mental time travel—are considered by many psychologists to be uniquely human skills.
Until recently, scientists argued that animals are stuck in time, meaning that they have no sense of the past or future and that they aren't able to recall specific events from their lives—that is, they don't have episodic memories, the what-where-when of an event that happened.

Taronga Zoo sustainability accolade roars for SITA
Resource and waste management company SITA has collected a key environmental sustainability award for tailoring a waste management program for Sydney’s Taronga Zoo to boost its recycling output to divert rubbish away from landfill.
The company has been recognised at the 2013 Australian Business Awards where the company took out the Environmental Sustainability category for its initiative with Sydney’s iconic tourist landmark to help Taronga create its own plan to optimise its waste management and recycling .
The Australian Business Awards is a national awards program that primarily recognises organisations on the basis of their "business excellence, product excellence, sustainability and responsibility”.
The issue of waste management and recycling is particularly important for prominent attractions like Taronga because visitors there are highly aware of the environmental consequences of poor waste manag

Paul McCartney writes to PNoy: Free Mali now
Music icon Paul McCartney of the legendary band The Beatles has joined the call to free Mali the elephant from the Manila Zoo, after writing a supposed letter to President Benigno Aquino III to voice out his cause.
In his supposed letter to Aquino circulated by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), McCartney urged the President to transfer Mali from the Manila Zoo to an elephant sanctuary in Thailand.
"I am writing to add my voice to the many others who are supporting the transfer of Mali, the lonely elephant currently being held at the Manila Zoo, to a sanctuary in Thailand as soon as possible. I respectfully urge you to use your good offices to expedite the transfer as, with every single day that she remains in the zoo, Mali suffers," the music icon said.
McCartney lamented the reports that Mali's health is deteriorating in the Manila Zoo.He described a video footage of Mali as "heartbreaking" while pointing out the elephant's "debilitating foot problems and the unimaginable loneliness of a herd animal kept alone.""Action must be taken for this ailing elephant, and you hold the key," McCartney told Aquino in the letter. "With the stroke of a pen, you can bring an end to her suffering, and

ReThink Review: Blackfish -- The Dark, Wild Side of Free Willy
I'm a lifelong animal lover, but I don't like going to zoos. They feel like animal jails to me, and even if the animals were rescued from circuses or the black market, I feel sad seeing them confined to a small area away from the freedom of their natural habitat. However, their saving grace is that zoos are a great way for kids to learn about animals and the environment, hopefully sparking an interest in and affection for the natural world that could last a lifetime. Hopefully this will help a child understand why animals and their homes should be protected. For this reason, I can understand why zoos exist and can imagine taking my nephew there, despite my reservations.
The same can arguably be said of sea parks like SeaWorld, which families flock to so they can see seals, dolphins, and the main attraction, killer whales (orcas) like Shamu. But there's a big difference -- cetaceans like dolphins and orcas are used to having the entire open ocean to range. And unlike their zoo counterparts, many sea park animals are made to perform for audiences, doing tricks (known as "behaviors") that they would never do in the wild, decreasing the educational value for kids who may see these animals as friendly, trainable pets, not wild animals.
Gabriela Cowperthwaite's riveting documentary Blackfish is about orcas in captivity at sea parks and, in particular, an orca named Tilikum who has killed three people but has continued to perform and sire dozens of offspring thr

Wellington Zoo chosen as ‘world’s best and most fascinating’
Wellington Zoo is has gone up in the world – to the top. No longer only ‘the best little zoo in the world’, New Zealand’s first zoo has recently ranked number one in a online guide showcasing the top ten ‘Best and Most Fascinating Zoos in the World’, collated by popular destination website 
Wellington Zoo came out on top, defeating Australia Zoo (#3), Bronx Zoo (#8) and San Diego Zoo (#9) for the winning title.
Author Anna Fleet praised Wellington Zoo as a rare champion of animal conservation, wildlife protection, breeding of endangered species, and general community education and awareness around the importance of animal preservation.
The article also recognised Wellington Zoo’s involvement with the Free the Bears Fund, and dedication to "quality, sustainable enclosures for its population, which include solar heating and power, and intimate one-on-one encounters with the animals to educate on the importance of natural preservation.”
"I’m absolutely thrilled that Wellington Zoo has been recognised and ranked number one in the world,” said Chief Executive, Karen Fifield.
"It’s wonderful to see the Zoo so hig

USDA: Monroe zoo must make changes
Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo must make several improves following a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection earlier this month.
The News-Star reports ( a recent inspection found Monroe's zoo needs to construct eight new primate holding pens and remodel the kitchen used for preparing food for the animals.
Zoo director Joe Clawson said officials are getting cost estimates for replacing the primate holding pens. He said that project can be accomplished in-house by using some of the zoo's maintenance budget. There's approximately $80,000 budgeted for maintenance this year.
"I think we can do the projects for the primate holding pens in-house and within our budget," Clawson said.
The kitchen remodeling project will have to go before the City Council in order for bids to be accepted and a contractor selected. A cost estimate is not known at this time, but USDA inspectors said the kitchen needed stainless steel counters and cabinets.
"Those are not cheap," Clawson said. "It could be $40,000, but I don't k

World experts: all pangolin species at risk from illegal trade
A recent gathering of global pangolin experts has concluded the scaly mammals are more threatened now than ever, with all eight species threatened by illegal trade for their meat and medicinal use of their scales. 
Currently international trade in the four species of Asian pangolin is not permitted under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), while international trade in the four African species is only allowed provided the correct CITES permits accompany shipments—however, this is rarely the case. 
The landmark meeting on the conservation of pangolins was organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature—Species Survival Commission (IUCN-SSC) Pangolin Specialist Group and Wildlife Reserves Singapore. 
The conference noted that at least 218,100 pangolins had been seized between 2000 and 2012—a figure likely to represent only a fraction of those being illegally traded. Ninety per cent of these were seized from mainland China, Hong Kong, and four South-East Asian nations—Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam and Thailand. Live animals and meat represented some 60% of all pangolins seizures, while the rest included scales and whole carcasses.
It saw the gathering of Asian and African pangolin experts, who kick-started the process of re-assessing the status of the world’s eight pangolins species for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Red List is recognized as


Can we afford to experiment with rhinos?
The recent announcement by the South African Minster of Environment, expressing the South African Government’s endorsement of a proposal to sell rhino horn, is disconcerting, albeit not 
surprising.  The government’s international lobby started at the 16th meeting of the Conference 
of the Parties (CoP16) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
where there was a directed lobby to try and sensitise other governments around their intent to 
request a rhino horn stockpile sale and subsequent regulated trade at the next CITES CoP(17), 
which South Africa will be hosting in 2016. In a nutshell, the South African government argues 
legalising trade will allow markets to be flooded with horn and will stem the tide of poaching.
A fallacious argument and a very dangerous experiment indeed!

Fourth big cat dies of distemper at Wylie sanctuary
A fourth big cat at In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center in Wylie — a white tiger named Harley — died Wednesday of distemper. The sanctuary's Facebook page reported the tiger had been sick for weeks, and they had decided to put him down.
About 45 minutes before a vet was scheduled to arrive, Harley died peacefully. The North Texas animal sanctuary has reported an outbreak of canine distemper that previously took the lives of three big cats.
Also dead are Abrams and Apollo, two 12-year-old Bengal tigers; and an African lioness called Layla who would have been 18 years old on Wednesday.
Officials with In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center in Wylie say about 20 other big cats have shown symptoms, but the exact number suffering from distemper is not known because all of the blood test results have not come back.
Details on the group's website indicate

It is with deep regret that we announce the cancellation by Frankfurt Zoo to move two black rhinos (Kalusho and Tsororo) to the Mkhaya  Game Reserve in the Kingdom of Swaziland.
These precious animals are sub species Diceros bicornis minor that originate from the Zambezi valley in Zimbabwe. There is no breeding program for these animals in Europe so they will spend the rest of their lives in captivity with no opportunity to play a positive conservation role for the species. Their Zambezi genes are critical in the Swaziland black rhino conservation effort.
The negotiations were fraught with indecision by the zoo from the start. Frankfurt cancelled the project on many occasions. An official statement was issued by the zoo director Prof Manfred Niekisch in November 2012 which stated, "there is no change whatsoever with regard to our continuing commitment to this project and the specifications as laid down in the MOU signed by Mick Reilly (Big Game Parks Swaziland), Hamish Currie (Back to Africa), James Marshal (sponsor) and myself in 2012”.

David Attenborough Says Humans Are A 'Plague On Earth' Who Need To Stop Breeding
David Attenborough has described humans as a "plague on Earth" that need to slow down breeding to stop the world's population being reduced by more brutal means.
Speaking to the Radio Times, the beloved naturalist said the impact of the rapidly increasing population "will come home to roost over the next 50 years or so."
Finding food for the human 'hordes' is as just big a threat to survival as global warming, he said.
"It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde," he told the magazine.
"Either we limit our populatio

Florida's Most Famous Manatee Celebrates 65th Birthday
The oldest manatee ever to be held in captivity is celebrating its 65th birthday this Sunday.
In what was one of the first recorded births in captivity, Snooty was born at the Miami Aquarium and Tackle Company on July 21, 1948. In 1949, he was transferred to the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, where he has been living comfortably ever since.
To celebrate the occasion, the museum will be holding a free birthday party.
Over the years, Snooty has proven to be invaluable in teaching scientists about conservation and education of the state's marine life.
And as the AP reports, he has not been slowing down his

"Blackfish” director: "Using animals for entertainment is the bottom of the ethical totem pole”
Even before "Blackfish” came out, it had already become a lightning rod.
The new documentary calls out SeaWorld for keeping killer whales penned up and forcing them to perform for our entertainment; it hinges, as does director Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s curiosity about the subject, upon killer whale Tilikum’s lethal attack on one of his trainers in 2010, one that followed previous attacks by that same orca.
SeaWorld has contested the allegations made in "Blackfish” about how unsuited killer whales, by their nature loving and compassionate to one another, are to living in the pens. The theme park’s statement read in part: "To promote its bias that killer whales should not be maintained in a zoological setting, the film paints a distorted picture that withholds from viewers key facts about SeaWorld – among them, that SeaWorld is one of the world’s most respected zoological institutions.”




 What is a species?

In recent years there has been a spate of news stories announcing new species discoveries from all corners of the Earth. But what exactly do we mean by ‘new species’? And how can scientists be sure this is indeed a new discovery? Guest blogger Sandhya Sekar from the University of Lincoln explains…
From the time we started living in groups, hunting and gathering food from the forests around us, it helped to name everything. Names made communication 
easier, clearer. Today, we talk about conservation measures for different endangered species; about scientists discovering new species. Definitive phrases 
like "scientists discover a new species of cave fish” – gives the word "species” an aura of certainty.
A recent count by science philosopher John Wilkins showed as many as 26 definitions of what makes a species. The purpose of this blog is not to elaborate the 
26 types – Wilkins has done a great job. It is simply to examine t

Manila to improve zoo, acquire two more elephants
Coming soon: A bigger, better and modern Manila Zoo and possibly two more elephants to keep Mali, its most popular resident, company.
This was confirmed by Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada who told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, on Tuesday, that talks were ongoing for a public-private partnership program with investors from Singapore who would spend P2 billion for the project.
"We will modernize the Manila Zoo,” Estrada said as he also announced that the city government had asked the Sri Lankan government for two more elephants.
Estrada said the city government had requested two more elephants from Sri Lanka to serve as Mali’s companions.
"She’s very smart and playful,” said volunteer caretaker John Chua, a veteran photographer who had taken care of the elephant for 12 years now.
Mali was seen filling up her trunk as she was being sprayed with water by a caretaker. Then the 38-year-old elephant would drink the water or squirt it to her body, much to the delight of the visitors of Manila Zoo.
If the water was trained to one of her feet, Mali would lift that foot and let you wash the underside.

Tuberculosis Risks in the African Elephant Herd at PAWS 'Sanctuary'

In Death Polar Bear 'Knut' Helps Science
Following the death of the polar bear Knut at Berlin Zoo, examinations carried out at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin showed that Knut was suffering from virus-induced encephalitis (acute inflammation of the brain). Researchers at Saarland University and IZW have now analysed his genetic material and discovered and characterised new sequences of endogenous retroviruses. The retroviruses were also found in another former resident of Berlin Zoo: the giant panda Bao Bao. The work of the research team indicates that these viruses were inserted into the genome of an ancestor of both bear species some 45 million years ago. These newly discovered viruses are very similar to those found in the genetic material of bats, cattle and even humans. 
Some of these viruses are suspected of being involved in triggering some diseases in humans. The study has now been published in a recent edition of the journal Virology.

SeaWorld Unleashes 8 Assertions About 'Blackfish' and Filmmakers Respond
It's rare that corporations targeted in documentaries hire a film publicist to make sure that critics and journalists are informed of the company's response to a film.  McDonald's didn't work to do damage control with film writers when "Super Size Me" opened, though there were rumors it would.  It's common for industries and corporations to erect damage control mechanisms for the public.  In the famous case chronicled in the New Yorker, David Koch seems to have pulled his support of WNYC because they aired Alex Gibney's "Park Avenue."  "Gasland" director Josh Fox's follow-up to his fracking exposé makes clear the natural gas industry's attack on his film.
This weekend, indie film publicists had competing clients, when SeaWorld lashed out at Gabriela Cowperthwaite's film "Blackfish," the Sundance documentary that was picked up by Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films.  Starting with the death of orca trainer Dawn Brancheau, "Blackfish" tells the history of SeaWorld and other like theme parks and notes the ways in which the conditions at these parks are harming the whales that are kept in them and are putting humans in danger.

Man jumps fence, runs through San Francisco Zoo African exhibit
A man jumped a security fence and ran through the African Savannah exhibit at the San Francisco Zoo on Sunday, then bolted from zoo staff and nearly into a monkey enclosure before police took him into custody.
According to a statement from the San Francisco Zoo, the intruder was seen climbing the fence at about 11:15 a.m. Sunday, July 14. He ran through the exhibit and then climbed out of it, back into the public viewing area.
The man was spotted again near "Greenie’s Conservation Corner,” a garden area near the primate exhibits and the outdoor penguin pool. Zoo personnel confronted him there, but the man took off running.
He ran to the upper level of the Primate Discovery Center and then down one of the center’s stairways. When zoo staff approached him there he jumped into a planted area near an exhibit housing mandrills, an African monkey that can weigh up to about 80 pounds.
Zoo personnel locked the mandrills in their indoor space and called San Francisco police. Officers arrived and took the man into custody at about 11:42 a.m., the zoo stated.
Sgt. Dennis Toomer of the Police Department confirmed Monday that police responded to the incident and cited a white male for trespassing. Toomer stated

Yet Another Tiger Attack
On the 7th July a visitor to the Wat Or Noi Temple in Nakorn Pathom, Thailand was attacked and severely injured on the arm and hand.
The temple currently has five tigers and has been keeping these since 2003. The Abbot claims that the animals were legally acquired and are registered with the Wildlife authorities. It is likely that the tigers were acquired from either the 'other' Tiger Temple or the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo which over breeds their inbred Tiger hybrids to a degree of extreme concern.
There are a number of Temples in Thailand which seek to imitate the unglorious success of the main Tiger Temple. Claiming to offer sanctuary these operations actually have no place in Buddhism and are merely fronts to rake in money and offer cheap (and sometimes not so cheap) thrills to gullible tourists.
The Abbot of the temple, Luang Pu Dharma Issara, has stated that the Temple will foot the bill for any medical treatment required.
Zoos in Thailand breed Tigers in large numbers and there is a huge question mark as to where the animals disappear to.

Design of Dudley Bug centre is monstrous, claim campaigners
Campaigners desperate to save Dudley Hippodrome today branded its replacement as ‘monstrous’ and they have vowed to fight a scheme for a Dudley Bug-shaped £3 million centre on the site.
Dudley Zoo has unveiled designs for a new education and conference centre aiming to pay homage to the town’s prehistoric past.
It has been designed to recreate the famous Dudley Bug fossil shape. But campaigners have hit out at the plans, saying the futuristic Trilobite Building would look out of place shadowed by the 11th century Dudley Castle.
They threw back claims from officials that the Hippodrome was an ‘eyesore’ and a ‘blight’ on Castle Hill by rounding on the architecture of the planned multi-million pound centre.
Campaign chairman Geoff Fitzpatrick today said he feared the building would become a ‘white elephant’ for the town. "I think it looks monstrous and I can’t quite believe they think this would be in keeping with the medieval castle,” he said.
"The Hippodrome is a great example of an art deco styled building that fits in place with the buildings like the Station Hotel nearby.
"We knew these ideas would be coming. We always thought they’d want to knock the Hippodrome down so that they could expand the zoo. It won’t stop us. If anything, we want to show that we won’t go away and that we will keep fighting.
"They’ve not given permission to dem

Kohl’s announces $1.5 million donation to Zoological Society
Kohl’s Department Stores, based in Milwaukee, is supporting the continuation and expansion of Kohl’s Wild Theater programming at the Milwaukee County Zoo with a $1.5 million donation to be rolled out over three years.
Kohl’s Wild Theater was launched in 2010 with a $1 million donation from Kohl’s philanthropic arm known as Kohl’s Cares and operates through a partnership among Kohl’s Cares, the Milwaukee County Zoo and the Zoological Society of Milwaukee.
The family-friendly theater programming features live, interactive performances on zoo grounds. 
Performances convey conservation messages through drama, puppetry and songs.
Kohl’s recently announced donation, to be given to the Zoological Society, will provide the resources to add to the program’s collection of theater shows with 15 total, bring in new puppets, and enhance the zoo’s stage and theater venue with a raised stage floor and a shaded stage area among other amenities."Kohl’s Wild Theater has become one of the best zoo theater programs in the country thanks to Kohl’s tremendous support,” said Dr. Bert Davis, president and chief executive officer of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee County. "We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Kohl’s and provide quality programming designed to inspire children to car

White Lion Cubs: See The 7 Adorable Baby Lions Born At Himeji Central Park In Japan [PHOTOS]
Seven white lion cubs have been born to a zoo in Japan during the last month. Three different lions at the Himeji Central Park Zoo have given birth to white lion cubs. The latest litter of white lion cubs are just about nine-days old and will go on public display later next week, the Daily Mail reports.
The three sets of white lion cubs were born to three female South African lions on June, 6, 26 and 30. The cubs were shown to the press on Tuesday in all their adorable glory. According to the Mail there are only 300 white lions around the world. A white lion cub can only be born through inbreeding.
The Mail also reports that the white lion cubs are the first of their kind to be born in Western Japan. The white coat trait is a result of a recessive gene shared by both the cub's parents.Wild white lions are native to the Greater Timbavati region of South Africa. Although the scientific community considers the wild white lion extinct due to the hunting of males for sport and th

Should chimpanzees have legal rights?
The ‘animal personhood’ movement believes dolphins, great apes, and elephants deserve to be able to sue — and now it has a plaintiff.
SOMEWHERE IN AMERICA—its lawyers won’t say where—a chimpanzee is about to have its day in court.
In the next few months, an animal advocacy group called the Nonhuman Rights Project plans to file a case on behalf of its first animal client. It has already chosen the plaintiff, a captive chimp, on whose behalf it plans to file a writ of habeas corpus and ask a state court judge to grant the chimp’s liberty.Their goal is to win animals a toehold in the world of legal rights—a strategy that is the culmination of more than two decades of writing and legal work by lawyer Steven Wise and an allied group of attorneys, scientists, and animal activists. They hope to have an animal declared a "person” in a court of law, breaking down a legal barrier between humans and other species that has stood for millennia.
Over the last century, animals have enjoyed a steady march in legal protections. Once treated no differently than inanimate objects, today they can’t be abandoned, beaten, or deprived of food, shelter, or veterinary care. Despite these protections, however, animals are still legally considered property. And for Wise and others, given what we now know about the biology and inner lives of animals, this is no longer a tenable distinction. It is time, they argue, to grant at least some species fundamental rights

Wildlife group seeks new protections for disappearing Tennessee salamander
Lurking in waterways with its long, slimy body and beady eyes, the hellbender is Tennessee's largest salamander, not to mention a survivor of ancient times.
For at least the last two decades, though, as water quality in many parts of the country has declined, the hellbender's population has dwindled, threatening its very existence, wildlife advocates say.
Recently, the Tucson, Ariz.-based Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washingtonagainst the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to protect hellbenders unde

Brush-tailed wallaby breeding program outfoxed
A 15-year project to return the cute and small brush-tailed wallaby to western Victoria has been put on hold because foxes keep eating them.
In November last year, 17 captive-bred wallabies from Adelaide Zoo were released into the Grampians, where they had been extinct since the 1990s. By April, according to an internal Department of Environment and Primary Industries report, only five were still alive.
Only one death was a confirmed killing by fox, but four other bodies were recovered with signs of being chewed. Three collars and radio tracking devices were also recovered (but no bodies), and another collar was found buried and attached to a head. Another two wallabies were found dead from head trauma.
According to the report, at a meeting at Melbourne Zoo on March 8 - which was attended by staff from DEPI, Parks Victoria, the Adelaide Zoo, University of Melbourne researchers, and ACT Parks - it was decided to suspend further releases, pending

Bid to save spotted deer in Negros bears fruit
The Biodiversity Conservation Center of Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation now has 14 Visayan spotted deer (Cervus alfredi) after another fawn was born in June.Dr. Joanne Justo, the center’s curator, said on Thursday that the newborn fawn was born on June 24, but its gender had yet to be determined. It is the fourth offspring from breeding pair Girom and Sandy.
"The Visayan spotted deer is the largest endemic species of the Western Visayas faunal region,” Justo said.
She added that the species has been classified as critically endangered and is found only on Negros and Panay islands.
Justo cited deforestation, hunting and pet trade as factors in the decline in the number of the spotted deer.
The center was established in 1996 to serve as a breeding and rescue station for endangered and endemic animals found on Negros Island and other parts of the country.

Zoo's water use much higher than SeaWorld
SeaWorld has tanks big enough for an orca to do aerial flips, separate pools for seals, belugas and dolphins, a water theme park and a manmade lake that three ski boats can race around.
Yet last year, it used less than a third of the water the San Antonio Zoo did.
The zoo's is 99 years old and its water policy and infrastructure are showing their age. The zoo started when there was no limit on the amount of water that could be pumped from the Edwards Aquifer. Now a three-year

Theodore Reed, leader in the modernization of zoos, dies at 90
Former keeper of the National Zoo, Theodore Reed was at the forefront of a movement that transformed zoos from barred enclosures into verdant, open showcases and research centers.
Upon joining the staff of the National Zoo in 1955, veterinarian Theodore Reed was greeted by antiquated animal dwellings — some dating to the 1890s — and a budget so spare he bought medicine for his new charges at a local drugstore and wheedled reimbursement later.
Within a year he was running the Washington, D.C., zoo, which struggled along until a horrific event galvanized its keepers: A toddler was pulled into a cage by a lion and mauled to death in 1958.
The tragedy led Congress to appropriate funds that allowed Reed to vastly modernize the wildlife park. Over the next quarter-century, he was at the forefront of the transformation of zoos from barred enclosures into verdant, open showcases. He also pushed for them to serve as scientific research facilities, a now commonplace occurrence.
Colleagues regard Reed as a giant in the field but to the public he remains best known as the zookeeper who accompanied two panda cubs from China in 1972 as they flew to their new home, which is officially known as the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. Record crowds soon lined up to see Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing, whose mating and pregnancy travails turned into a national obsession.
Reed, 90, died July 2 at a nursing facility in Milford, Del., from complications of Alzheimer's disease, said his son, Mark Reed, executive director of the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kan.
"If you wanted to see what was next fo,0,4048399.story

Damian Aspinall vows to keep Howletts and Port Lympne open... despite fact zoos 'aren't viable'
Zoo owner Damian Aspinall says he has no intention of closing Howletts or Port Lympne - despite publicly declaring animals should not be kept as prisoners.
The 53-year-old had sparked fears he may shut the parks in Canterbury and Hythe after saying zoos should be phased out in 20 years.
But on Twitter this week he said the parks will remain open while there is a "need for real conservation”.
The father-of-three took over the animal parks from his late father John, who died in 2000, and continues the conservation work he started through The Aspinall Foundation.
Speaking on BBC 5 Live recently, Mr Aspinall spoke of the foundation’s recent project to send gorillas from his parks out to start new lives on a reserve in the Gabon in Afr

Mumbai's beloved elephants will stay put
Two of the city’s largest residents can trumpet in glory about being able to live on as Mumbaikars. Four years after it directed all zoos move their elephants to natural habitats, the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has now permitted the Byculla zoo authorities to retain its pachyderms Lakshmi, 55, and Anarkali, 48.
In November 2009, the CZA had ordered all zoos in the country to shift elephants to national parks, tiger reserves or sanctuaries due to concerns over trauma due to lack of space for free movement.
According to civic officials a two-member expert committee had visited the zoo following the CZA’s directions. "Subsequently, a sub-committee formed to take the call on the shifting of the elephants has decided that we can retain the elephants,” a joyous senior civic official told dna. Zoo director Anil Anjankar, too, confirmed the development. "This is the first communication since the CZA’s 2009 order,” he said.
Forest officials from various states had visited the zoo to check the elephants but did not get back. "Due to their advanced age, the forest officials felt they were unsuitable for work like patrolling or pulling logs. Once they realised this they were not interested in the elephants,” added the official. "There were concerns about their inability to adjust to new surroundings after relocation too.”
According to him, "The duo has lived together for many years and can’t be separated. Whoever wanted them would have to take both of them.” This was one of the reasons cited by zoo authorities while writing to CZA several times asking for an exemption to the relocation.
While rules stipulate that elephants should be retired after 65 years, both Lakshmi and Anarkali 
have been captive in the zoo for more

Subic records first live birth of captive dolphin in the country
Ocean Adventure Subic announced Sunday that one of its bottlenose dolphin gave birth last week  (July 7) to a healthy calf making it the first live birth of a captive dolphin in the country.
In a statement, Ocean Adventure said Vi, an 11-year-old bottlenose dolphin gave birth to a healthy 1-meter long calf which weighs approximately 12 kilos.
Vi’s regular ultra sound in February revealed that she was pregnant.
Vi trained with a special dolphin "puppet” to encourage nursing behavior throughout her 12-month pregnancy.
Ocean Adventure said that at present, the mother and calf are doing fine but added that the next 30 days will be critical for the baby dolphin.
Experts were brought in by Ocean Adventure to sup 

'Lovelorn' leopard escapes cage, recaptured within hours
A female leopard kept captive at a forest nursery in Moharli breached the bars of its enclosure and escaped into the wild on Sunday morning. Her freedom came after over four and a half years of captivity. It lasted barely six hours.
Forest officials surmise that the leopard had escaped in search of a mate. "A male leopard had been visiting the forest nursery for months. The female had become aggressive lately," said ACF Arun Tikhe.
Rescue workers tracked the leopardess on the game trail along the border of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. It was tranquillized and recaptured in a daredevil operation by afternoon and brought back to forest nursery.
The forest nursery at Moharli houses four leopards. Three are these are the ones captured during combing operations in the wake of a series of attacks by leopards on villagers in the buffer zone of TATR. The fourth leopardess is the one captured in Mul range, when man-animal conflict was at its height there in January 2009. She was kept at Somnath camp run by Maharogi Seva Samiti in Mul for over three years and was shifted to a specially built large cage at forest nursery in Moharli in October 2012.
Escape of the leopardess came to notice at around 7am, when a sanitary worker went to the cage for routine cleaning. "The cleaner saw the door of the cage aja

Jurong Bird Park releases more hornbills on Pulau Ubin
Three more captive-bred Oriental Pied Hornbills were released into the wild on Wednesday, in a bid by the Jurong Bird Park to diversify the giant bird's genetic pool. "Increasing (the genetic pool) important to the conservation of the species because it allows for a healthier population of these birds. With more genetic diversity, the species is less susceptible to diseases," said Dr Minerva Bongco-Nuqui, avian curator at the Bird Park.
The birds had been fed whole fruit weeks prior to their release onto Pulau Ubin, to acclimatise them. They were then given a thorough health check on Monday, and measured for research purposes.
Since 2009, the Bird Park has released nine birds from its collection onto Pulau Ubin and the mainland. There ar

NH author’s ‘Tapir Scientist’ a kid-friendly read
"The Tapir Scientist: Saving South America’s Largest Mammal” by Sy Montgomery; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 80 pages; hardcover; $18.99.
In New Hampshire author Sy Montgomery’s new jungle journal, she’s on the trail of a lowland tapir in Brazil’s vast Pantanal ("the Everglades on steroids,” she writes).
Part of the "Scientists in the Field” series, "The Tapir Scientist: Saving South America’s Largest Mammal” features Montgomery’s every detail alongside Nic Bishop’s lush photography of the elusive, snorkel-snouted mammal. The author says the tapir "looks like a cross between a hippo, an elephant and something prehistoric.”
The expanse of grasslands and subtropical forests is captured, largely fortified by Bishop’s powerful imagery. Armchair scientists will enjoy the gadgets – from microchips to remote camera traps – and her lovely verse, which helped Montgomery earn the moniker "part Indiana Jones, part Emily Dickinson,” by The Boston Globe.
"I think the ‘Indiana Jones’ part came from the time I worked in a pit with 18,000 snakes,”
Montgomery said. "But unlike the movie character, I was not surrounded by poisonous snakes, but ha

Thieves steal exotic reptiles from Australian zoo
hieves stole a horde of exotic reptiles from an Australian zoo, including a baby alligator, leaving their keepers fearing they could be destined for the black market.
Twenty-three creatures, mostly snakes, lizards and geckos, were taken from their enclosures at 
the Australian Reptile Park north of Sydney during a night-time raid on Sunday, senior curator 
Liz Vella said.
"They had smashed through the enclosures and broken doors," she told AFP, in a robbery which lasted about seven minutes.
"These guys obviously came in with the purpose of taking the animals. They definitely knew what they wanted."
Vella said officials were still speculating on the motive behind the robbery, but usually such thefts were by young people who "wanted a bunch of reptiles for their home and to show off to their friends".
"(But) it's definitely a concern that they will try to sell them on the black market," she said.
She said the black market value of the animals sold together was only about Aus$10,000 (US$9,000)

Australian animal thefts: a worthless emu and a koala who fought back
From snakes and penguins to alligators and monkeys, thieves have stolen a variety of animals from 
Australian zoos and parks
While jewellery and cash seem more obvious hauls for thieves, animals have been the target of several robberies in Australia. Known motivations for nabbing an animal run from drunken pranks gone wrong to presents for girlfriends, and animals reportedly used to pay for drugs.
Koala too scary, so thieves took crocodile
Thieves attempted to steal a koala to exchange for drugs in 2006 but when it put up too much of a fight they took a crocodile instead. The 1.2-metre freshwater crocodile weighed 40kg and was dragged over a 2.4-metre fence at Rockhampton Zoo in Queensland. Zoo keeper Wil Kemp told reporters how the koala had managed to fight the thieves off. "Apparently [the koala] scratched the shit out of them,” he said.
Stolen monkey 'mistaken for possum'
In 2010 a marmoset monkey named Cheeky was taken from Nowra Wildlife Animal Park and found two 
days later in the bedroom of a 20-year-old woman after police received an anonymous tip-off. The woman told police she was minding the monkey for a friend and though it was a possum. "It was very stupid of me," she told a court, and sh

Elephant sanctuary to open soon
THE first phase of the elephant sanctuary in Kinabatangan here will be opened in September, lifting hopes for the survival of the species in Sabah.
The opening phase of the Borneo Elephant Sanctuary was recently completed with a handling paddock, staff quarters and a store built at a cost of RM1.8 million.
Initiated by the Sabah Wildlife Department and non-governmental organisation Borneo Conservation Trust (BCT), the centre will serve as a rescue and treatment centre for injured or displaced elephants, as well as for conducting awareness programmes and activities.
This will be followed by the second phase, which will cost RM5.2 million, to develop a 25ha plot in the sanctuary. A forested area has also been identified for rehabilitated elephants to be released into.
Both were part of the Elephant Conservation Action Plan that will see a bigger area turned into a full-fledged sanctuary measuring more than 1,200ha, which will cost up to RM30 million to establish.
Sabah Wildlife Department director Datuk Dr Laurentius Ambu said the first two phases of the programme could cater to between 12 and 16 elephants.
"Injured elephants will be treated at this centre before being released into forests and wildlife reserves.

9 Young Giraffes Find New Home in Qingdao
Young giraffes are seen at their pen at the Qingdao Forest Wildlife World in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, July 14, 2013. Nine young giraffes settled in the zoo Sunday after their long journey from South Africa. These new tall r

Alagba: Incredible story of Ogbomoso’s mystical tortoise
Ogbomoso is a sprawling town strategically located along Ibadan-Oyo-Ilorin road. The major highway that links the southern part of the country with the north through South-west axis runs through Ogbomoso.
This historic city, which is one of the places that have been a source of attraction to visitors and tourists, is the palace of the town’s traditional ruler, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi, Ajagungbade III.
For those visiting the place, what appears to be the magnet drawing them there is a 324-year-old 
tortoise popularly called Alagba by residents.
According to those living in the palace, the tortoise has lived in the palace for over 300 years. 
This is not the only spectacle about Alagba. Since its arrival in the palace, the tortoise, which is said to have mystical powers plays host to different calibres of people including royal fathers, tourists from foreign countries, ailing individuals seeking divine healing and people seeking longevity.
In an encounter with the tortoise’s caretaker during a trip to Ogbomoso recently, it was gathered that the tortoise receives up to 150 visitors daily.

When killer whales attack
Theme parks would have us believe they’ve been tamed. But a new film, 'Blackfish', says killer whales are being driven mad in captivity – with deadly consequences.
On February 24 2010, news channels across the world reported that Dawn Brancheau, an experienced trainer of killer whales at SeaWorld Orlando, had been found dead in the pool. A huge male orca, 
Tilikum, had leapt out of the water as Brancheau had been talking about the creature to a group of visitors, grabbed her with its jaws and dragged her under the water, where she drowned.




 Central Zoo deprived of lion for failing to meet international standards

The Central Zoo in Jawalakhel, Kathmandu has not had a lion since the past 15 years. "We have had three lions in the zoo in the past. They lived their full life and died because of natural causes. I still remember how we gave the last of the lions a respectful burial, performing all the rituals,” said Radhakrishna Gharti, a zoo staff for the last 25 years. 
"That was a male lion. It had grown so old and fragile in the last days that we had to shift it to an isolated place to keep it away from the visitors as it disliked noise and disturbance.”
According to Juddha Bahadur Gurung, who recently signed an MoU with the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) of India in capacity of the member secretary of National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), the body that oversees the zoo, "a zoo without lion is simply incomplete." 
Gurung informed that India is ready to gift the creature to Nepal if we can meet the criteria for the zoo. 
"However, the fact is we do not meet the international standard for keeping a lion. International law specifies the quality of cage and the requirements related to space and human resource,” said Gurung.

Whipsnade Zoo chimpanzees fitted with heart monitors
A pair of chimpanzees have been fitted with under-the-skin heart monitors at their Bedfordshire zoo.
Vets at Whipsnade are carrying out research into heart defects in apes.
Two males called Phil and Nikki were chosen because they are closely related to two other males diagnosed with cardiovascular abnormalities.
Data will be collected from the monitors, which have been implanted on the backs of the pair by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) team.
They will allow researchers to monitor heart rates while the animals are awake, whereas before they have only been able to monitor them when they have been sedated.
The team said it would be able to train Phil and Nikki to present their backs to them so that data ca

Why the aquarium trade is the real dolphin killer behind 'The Cove'
On Tuesday the International Court of Justice will hear arguments on 'scientific whaling' and the dispute between Australia and Japan. But what about that other killing scandal—the dolphin fishing in Taiji made notorious in the film The Cove? Goldman Sachs banker Alastair Lucas has travelled to Japan to break down the economics of dolphin hunting, and campaign against the practice.
I had a vague knowledge of [dolphin fishing] through The Cove, a wonderful film I recommend to 
everyone—it won an Academy Award.
I hadn't seen the film in full and my daughter brought it to my attention, and that led to her deciding to go to Taiji to see these killings. I decided to go with her.
I spent, I have to say, the worst week of my life in the most horrible place in the world—this little town on the east coast of Japan. And we witnessed for a week these appalling atrocities.

Gorillas on theme at Sea World
GOLD Coast theme park Sea World is branching from marine to extreme with a new multimillion-dollar jungle-themed attraction featuring Queensland's first gorillas.
The exhibit, to open in 2015, will include gorillas, hippos, crocodiles and other animals as part of an African encounter attraction.
The gorillas would be sourced from an international breeding program designed to shore up populations of the primate.
Sea World officials were yesterday tightlipped about the project, which is the park's latest foray away from traditional marine-themed attractions.
An interactive dinosaur attraction was added this year.
A Sea World spokesman said the African safari-style attraction would be an exciting addition to the theme park, which forged its name on dolphin shows and aquarium exhibits."We are all excited about a wonderful new attraction which will

Editorial: It’s all happening at the zoo
To say that the Guzoo animal farm near Three Hills has been a lightning rod for complaints over the years is like pointing out that it’s been a bit damp of late in Calgary and Toronto.
One of Canada’s largest private zoos is once again in the news, this time over a video posted on YouTube that appears to depict negligent conditions at the family-owned facility. A self-described whistleblower claims to have secretly shot the video over the Canada Day weekend.
Guzoo owner Lynn Gustafson has shrugged off this latest animal-abuse allegation as the work of "domestic terrorists” but he appears to be reaching something of a breaking point. A zookeeper who has faced his own share of regulatory ultimatums has responded with one of his own: the Redford government has six months to get animal welfare critics off his back or he will close the operation to the public and maintain Guzoo strictly for family and friends.
No matter whose side you take in this relentless dispute, at this point that just might be the best possible outcome.
It’s certainly far preferable to the action Gustafson threatened two years ago when the provincial government began taking steps to shut him down. Back then, before authorities backed off plans to decommission Guzoo, Gustafson mused darkly about euthanizing his menagerie, or having them stuffed.

Zoo Visitors Watch Mating Rituals Of Ice Cream Shop Staff - Spoof!
Describing the behavior as bizarre yet captivating, dozens of visitors to the Saint Louis Zoo reportedly looked on in fascination Saturday as the ice cream shop’s staff engaged in their unique mating rituals.
According to eyewitnesses, the four males housed in the park’s Polar Bear Cafe enclosure performed an elaborate routine of posturing and vocalizations, at points engaging in combative clashes with one another in an effort to win procreative rights over their two young and fertile female counterparts.
"There was a real big one by the front glass who was definitely the alpha male, and you could see he was trying to assert his dominance in front of the females,” said onlooker Audrey Trumbull, describing a hulking 250-pound specimen known to zoo personnel as "Derek,” who is reportedly identifiable by his broad forelimbs and distinctive black wraparound Oakley sunglasses. "I think he was trying to show that he would be a healthy mate, because he kept puffing out his chest and making these loud, frequent roars about his workout routine while he scooped out ice cream.”
"And it looked like the little yellow-haired one was really receptive, because she responded with these instinctive, chirping giggles every time he called out to her,” Trumbull added. "It definitely seemed like they were going to pair off and mate, probably when their shift ended at five.”
Visitors stated that a second male with a thick,33058/

Auckland zoo says Sri Lankan elephants could be quarantined on Niue
Auckland Zoo, which wants to bring in elephants from Sri Lanka, says they could be quarantined on Niue.
The head of marketing for the zoo, Ben Hutton, says nothing has been finalised, both in terms of securing the elephants or just where they might be quarantined.
But he says a requirement of the importation of Asian elephants is that they spend 3 months in quarantine in a third country and Niue is one of the places being considered.
Niue has successfully serv

Imaging techniques can improve management and husbandry of rhinoceroses
High-resolution computed tomography and digital radiography in captive rhinos reveal that bone pathologies in the feet of these pachyderms are highly prevalent and diverse.
Chronic foot disease is a common and severe orthopeadic disorder in captive Indian rhinoceros. It is a clinical challenge, poses a threat to the general health of the animal, affects its breeding ability and sometimes has fatal consequences. "It was surprising to find such a wide spectrum of bone pathology in terms of types and severity, affecting almost 30 % of bones at 95 sites," says Gabriela Galateanu of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) who led this scientific study, just published online in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.
To shed light on chronic foot diseases and find underlying causes in rhinoceroses, an international team of scientists from Germany and three zoos from France launched a high-resolution computed tomographic study.
Zoological institutions are making a considerable effort to resolve chronic foot diseases in large mammals by continuously improving management and husbandry conditions as well as treatment procedures. In this field, hoof disorders are assumed to being confined to soft tissues only, bone pathology often being overlooked, and therefore radiographic diagnoses are rarely performed. 
Over the past 40 years, scientists reported only two kinds of bone pathology in three rhinoceroses (two black and one Indian rhinoceros). Foot pathology in soft tissues is widely reported in captive Indian rhinoceroses, affecting practically all breeding males from European collections. Intriguingly enough, captive elephants, who also suffer from chronic foot disease, display a wide variety of both soft tissue and bone pathologies, with over 20 osteopathologies reported to date. It has been unclear h

Animal keepers challenge draft rules
An association which represents the interests of animal keepers including zoos, bird and other animal parks has expressed frustration at proposed permit conditions for keeping wild animals captive, vowing legal action if it found irregularities.
Professor Jeremy Ridl, attorney for the Animal Interest Alliance, has questioned the legality of the conditions proposed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife for the permits, which were put out for public comment on Monday.
Ridl said permits and licences for keeping wild animals may be issued only under the Natal Nature Conservation Ordinance 15 of 1974 and the Threatened or Protected Species Regulations to the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act of 2004.
"Not only is Ezemvelo empowered by this legislation, its powers are limited by its terms. On the face of it, the proposed standard terms and conditions include provisions that exceed the powers conferred upon Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife by the ordinance. These powers will be considered carefully and if Ezemvelo is acting outside of its statutory mandate, its actions will be challenged in court,” he said.

Will rhino horn auction work?
Both analysts and the public divided over government’s announcement that it is planning to auction off massive stockpiles of rhino horn.
Government on Wednesday said it was considering a once-off sale of over 16,000 kilograms (kg) of rhino horn it had in stockpiles.
More than 2,000kg is in private hands.The move is aimed at reducing the incentive behind rhino poaching, which has become a major concern for the country.
Rhino populations in South Africa dwindled to around 20,000.
In a poll conducted on Eyewitness News Online, readers were asked if the country should auction off rhino horns.Results at 7pm showed 52 percent of people were in favour, while 48 percent were opposed to the idea.
Independent economic consultant Keith Lockwood outlined the theory behind the plan. But he was unable to say whether he fully agreed with it.
Essentially, the theory is if the market for rhino horn is flooded by auctioning off the country’s stockpiles, the price will drop and the incentive to poach will decrease.
Lockwood’s first concern was that the condition of the stockpiles was unknown, meaning the actual 
amount that might be available for sale could be a lot less than hoped. "Rhino horn deteriorates over time and can be infested with bugs, which might make some of it unsalable.”
He also noted that there are no legal provisions for trade in rhino horn, referencing the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).
However, South Africa will host the next Cites conference in 2016 where the idea will be presented to all members.
This could lead to the development of such provisions.

Sumatran orangutans: Meeting the refugees of the lost rainforest
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust was set up by Gerald Durrell with the aim of saving species worldwide. Harriet Bradshaw has been looking at the work they are doing with one particular species - the Sumatran Orangutan.
In the early hours of a morning in June my phone rings. The high pitch shrill wakes me up. I have been waiting for this call. The crackly voice on the speaker sounds strained.
"Harriet? It's Rick. I've got news about Dana…"
I'm only six months older than Dana. When I look into her eyes she stares back with intelligence.
We are alike. We share 97% the same DNA and we are both female.
Neil MacLachlan, a consultant from Jersey's General Hospital, tells me her anatomy is so similar
to mine it is relatively straight forward for surgeons such as him to operate on her.
But, for all the similarities, Dana and I are very different. From the small things like her two missing fingers that were bitten off in a fight, to the dramatic tragedy she faced four years ago when she was bleeding to death after giving bi

Free the tigers – put them in a zoo
According to one school of thought, a tiger in a zoo is free and a tiger in the wilds of a jungle is actually captive.
The reasoning is that a tiger in a zoo has freedom from fear. The zoo provides food, water, shelter, an outdoor area, medical care and security. There is seldom anything that could be considered real danger.
The zoo tiger is given exactly the kind and amount of food needed for a sound diet. The water it
is given is clean. The inside shelter which is provided has what is needed for private time and sleeping, if the tiger doesn't mind the usual cameras for the keepers and those viewers on the internet to watch. The outdoor area given to the tiger is usually equipped with toys or other items for exercise, play and resting, again with cameras. Sometimes the outdoor area mimics a natural habitat.
The health of the tiger is watched over with frequent checkups, medical treatment including surgery or medication and whatever vaccinations the governing body of the zoo believes is necessary.
Most important of all, there is complete security. Often the tiger lives not alone but in a "gated community” with bars to keep out unwanted intruders. And there are often security cameras everywhere.
The proof of the superiority of zoo life is that a zoo tiger can live up to 26 years. A tiger in the wild lives a maximum of about 15 years.
So, as far as "quantity of life” is concerned, the zoo tiger has it all. But what about the "quality of life” in the zoo?
Does the tiger who lives in the comfort of a totally secure place where everything needed is provided have a life which is interesting, stimulating and fulfilling? Take the food, for instance.
According to an internet source, the zoo tige

Mammals can 'choose' sex of offspring, Stanford-led study finds
A new study led by a researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine shows that mammalian species can "choose" the sex of their offspring in order to beat the odds and produce extra grandchildren.
In analyzing 90 years of breeding records from the San Diego Zoo, the researchers were able to prove for the first time what has been a fundamental theory of evolutionary biology: that mammals rely on some unknown physiologic mechanism to manipulate the sex ratios of their offspring as part of a highly adaptive evolutionary strategy.
"This is one of the holy grails of modern evolutionary biology — finding the data which definitively show that when females choose the sex of their offspring, they are doing so strategically to produce more grandchildren," said Joseph Garner, PhD, associate professor of comparative medicine and senior author of the study, to be published July 10 in PLOS ONE. The results applied across 198 different species.
The scientists assembled three-generation pedigrees of more than 2,300 animals and found that grandmothers and grandfathers were able to strategically choose to give birth to sons, if those sons would be high-quality and in turn reward them with more grandchildren. The process is believed to be largely controlled by the females, Garner said.
"You can think of this as being girl power at work in the animal kingdom," he said. "We like to think of reproduction as being all about the males competing for females, with females dutifully picking the winner. But in reality females have much more invested than males, and they are making highly strategic decisions about their reproduction based on the environment, their condition and the quality of their mate. Amazingly, the female is somehow picking the sperm that will produce the sex that will serve her interests the most: The sperm are really just pawns in a game that plays out over generations."

Pangolin Release attempt no. 2
In preparation for the next two pangolin releases veterinary staff from Animals Asia Foundation came down to the CPCP centre at Cuc Phuong National Park to attach the transmitter to the next female pangolin (P34) to be released.
As well as attaching the transmitter the pangolin had a final health check. This was a very basic check of general condition as a more comprehensive health check had previously been done last year. In these health checks all pangolins had blood and faecal samples taken to check for parasites. This was not only for the health of the released individuals but to ensure that their release would not have a negative impact on a

Rare Primate Species Needs Habitat Help to Survive
The population of the critically endangered large primate known as the drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus) has been largely reduced to a few critical habitat areas in Cameroon, according to a recently published study by researchers with the San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research. The study highlights the challenges faced by this species as its living area becomes ever more fragmented by human disturbance. In addition, the report directs conservation efforts towards key areas where the populations continue to s

Passenger pigeons may come back from the dead
It is often said that the passenger pigeon, once among the most abundant birds in North America, traveled in flocks so enormous that they darkened the skies for hours as they passed. The idea that the bird, which numbered in the billions, might disappear seemed as absurd as losing the cockroach. And yet hunting and habitat destruction pushed the animal to extinction. Martha, the last known passenger pigeon, died in 1914 at the Cincinnati Zoo.
Plans are afoot to bring back the bird by using a weird-science process called de-extinction. The work is being spearheaded by Ben Novak, a young biologist who is backed by some big names, including Harvard geneticist George Church. The idea was recently promoted at a TEDx meeting in Washington, D.C., and is being funded by Revive and Restore, a group dedicated to the de-extinction of recently lost species. (Other candidates include the woolly mammoth and the dodo.)
Novak’s idea takes a page from Jurassic Park, in which dinosaur DNA was filled in with corresponding fragments from living amphibians, birds and reptiles. Working with Church’s lab and Beth Shapiro, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Novak plans to use passenger pigeon DNA taken from museum specimens and fill in the blanks with fragments from the band-tailed pigeon. This reconstituted genome would be inserted into a band-tailed pigeon stem cell, which would transform into a germ cell, the precursor of egg and sperm.
The scientists would inject these germ cells into developing band-tailed pigeons. As those birds mate, their eventual offspring would express the passenger pigeon genes, coming as close to being passenger pigeons as the available genetic material allows.
The process is not the same as cloning. Novak’s approach would use a mishmash of genes recovered from different passenger pigeons, resulting in birds as unique as any from the original flocks. Most pigeons mature and reproduce quickly enough that the de-extinction process could be completed in less than a year. Producing a flock large enough to release into the wild would take at least another

Panel set up to conserve the endangered bustard
The Nashik forest department range has set up a Bustard Conservation Committee and has forwarded a proposal of the plan to the state government, based on the Centre's guidelines for preparation of a state action plan for the Great Indian Bustards' (GIB) recovery programme.
The Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) is a large bird that was once abundant on dry plains, over large expanses of grassland and scrub. Weighing upto 15kg, the Bustard is among the heaviest of the flying birds in India. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recognised the bird as being critically endangered, with a 2011 estimate putting the total number of mature individuals at 250.
As per the Centre's directions, each forest range in the states where the bustard is spotted will have a committee chaired by the chief conservator of forests (CCF). The committee is to comprise of representatives of a scientific institution working on bustard ecology and conservation or in a related field/an ecologist or conservation biologist in the vicinity of the project area, a representative from a local NGO well-versed with the socio-ecological issues in the vicinity of the project, representative(s) from the local Panchayat(s), member, officer in-charge of the project and member secretary. The chairman can also add additional members.
The Nashik range committee has members from the Bombay Natural History Society (BHNS), veterinarian and wildlife experts, members of the NGO Nature Conservation Society of Nashik (NCSN), a retired range forest officer, a bir

Mysterious new virus found in sick dolphin
In October 2010, the body of a young short-beaked common dolphin was found stranded on a beach in San Diego, Calif. The sickly female had lesions in its airway, and a necropsy showed that it died of so-called tracheal bronchitis, likely due to an infection.
Now, further investigation has revealed the dolphin's malaise was caused by a virus that scientists had never seen before, according to a new study. The pathogen, which researchers propose should be named Dolphin polyomavirus 1, or DPyV-1, is still quite mysterious. Scientists say they don't know where it came from, how common it might be, or what threat it poses to

PG Tips chimp Louie dies aged 37 at Twycross Zoo
Louis the chimpanzee, who starred as 007 in one of the most famous TV ads, passed away aged 37
One of the original PG Tips advert chimps has died, his keepers revealed today.
Louis the chimpanzee, who starred as 007 in one of the most famous TV ads, passed away on Monday aged 37.
The animal introduced himself to millions of television viewers with the immortal line: "The name’s Bond, Brooke Bond”.
Louis - part of the so-called Tipps Family of chimps - spent his entire life at Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire.
In a statement, the zoo said: "His loss will be felt among keepers and staff, both past and present.
"Although gone, Louis will never be forgotten. He will always be a member of our Twycross Zoo family.”
The chimps first appeared on screen in 1956, using the voices of stars including Peter Sellers and Bob Monkhouse.
They also parodied Tour de France cyclists, removal

Turtle Back Zoo Sets the Record Straight on PETA Allegations
Brint Spencer, Acting Director of Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, wants to set the record straight.  Turtle Back Zoo has been part of the American Zoo Association since 2006, and is not a ‘roadside zoo’ as characterized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
PETA implicated Turtle Back Zoo in a lawsuit they filed against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and in a press release dated June 27, 2013, stated that "birds at Turtle Back Zoo covered by the Animal Welfare Act since 2002 have been neglected and found suffering from injuries and illness, filthy enclosures, and contaminated water, among other violations. In the case of the Turtle Back Zoo.  PETA investigated and, on July 1, 2010, wrote to the USDA regarding the more than 500 budgerigars (parakeets) who had died in the span of approximately two years from starvation or parasites and a penguin who died after being featherless for two years, among other incidents."
The USDA's July 20 and 21, 2010, responses to each bird-related allegation mentioned in PETA's complaint stated, "Not under our jurisdiction. (Non Regulated Species)."
The charges reflect an ongoing battle between the USDA and PETA, who have been demanding that the
USDA inspect bird/poultry facilities on a yearly basis as they do with mammals. Turtle Back Zoo receives a surprise inspection each year from the USDA for its mammals, but not its birds.
However, Spencer noted that Turtle Back Zoo has the coveted Association of Zoos accreditation, and that "we adhere to the same standards as the San Diego Zoo."
Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo was irate in his response to the implications, stating "While we respect PETA’s mission to protect animals, we are outraged that they would characterize Turtle Back Z

Antarctic krill face unhappy Hollywood ending if fossil fuel emissions keep rising
Australian study finds keystone Antarctic krill species struggle to hatch in more acidic oceans
I've no idea if anyone has ever done a study to find out if people care more about a particular creature once it's featured in one of those Hollywood computer animated movies.
But let's presume that people do and that the fan base for penguins (Happy Feet), clownfish (Finding Nemo) and ants (Ants) is now considerably larger than it once was.
This would mean that we're all bothered about that cutest of all the cuddly crustaceans, the krill, since actors Matt Damon and Brad Pitt loaned their voices to two of them for the film Happy Feet Two a couple of years ago, So with sarcasm switch turned on, we are all now obviously right across new research, just published in the journal Nature Climate Change called Risk maps for Antarctic krill under projected Southern Ocean acidification, warning that as oceans become more acidic due to the burning of fossil fuels, krill numbe

Wolf Bit Off Nine-Year-Old Boy’s Finger In The Belgrade ZOO
A nine-year-old boy was injured today in the Belgrade ZOO when a wolf bit off his finger. The accident happened in the afternoon, and the boy was transported to the hospital where doctors are trying to repair the injury, reported Serbian daily Kurir.
As Kurir learned, the boy came to the ZOO with his parents. At one moment he was left alone and then he pushed his hand through t

French elephants spared death head to new royal home
Two elephants saved from euthanasia after an outcry in France left a zoo in Lyon on Thursday for their new home at a ranch belonging to Monaco's royal family.
Princess Stephanie of Monaco looked on as Baby and Nepal, who had been ordered killed over suspected tuberculosis, were loaded into containers and lifted onto a truck for the eight-hour journey to the principality.
The princess has agreed to host the two elephants, aged 42 and 43, at the royal family's Roc Agel ranch in the Alpes-Maritimes region in the southeastern corner of France.
"Everything went really well," zoo director Xavier Vaillant told AFP after the elephants' departure.
"They will live in a place where there will be no risk to the public," he said, adding that the animals will soon be retested. The elephants were to be put down in December, when municipal officials in Lyon decided they had almost certainly been infected with TB and warned they could be a threat to the health of other animals and visitors to the Tete d'Or zoo in the city. Authorities later lifted the threat of execution after an outcry that saw film-star-turned-animal-rights campaigner Brigitte Bardot threaten to

Dolphin Makes Early Break for Freedom From Korean Rehab Facility
After four years behind bars, Sampal escaped her sea pen in Korea and found her family in the open ocean.
This is the story of a dolphin named Sampal.
Sampal is a creature that spent the first decade of her life in the waters around Jeju Island, off the coast of South Korea. Sadly, abuse and exploitation have featured heavily in her life.
But her story also has a happy development, one that should give us pause when considering how we treat these beings of the sea.
When Sampal was about ten years old, she was accidentally captured in one of the numerous fishing nets in the waters around the island. Rather than being released, she was illegally sold to the Pacific Land Aquarium, where she spent roughly three years confined to a tiny subterranean pool.
Kept hungry, she was forced to perform daily by doing tricks that would be rewarded with food, as is routine

Six UK-Born Javan Langurs Moved to Batu
Six Javan Langurs monkeys born in captivity in British zoos have been moved to a rehabilitation center in Batu, East Java, to prepare them for their release into the wild, an official at the center said on Thursday. "In February, these Langurs were sent from England to Patuha for quarantine,” said Iwan Kurniawan, the project manager for the Javan Langur Center. "After they adapted to the Indonesian climate in Bandung, they were sent by train to Batu on Wednesday.”
The monkeys, from the Trachypithecus auratus species, were born at the Port Lympne Zoo and Howletts Zoo, both in southeast England, to parents that were part of an animal-exchange program with Jakarta’s Ragunan Zoo.
Patuha, in West Java, is home to the Java Primate Rehabilitation Center, while the Java Langur Center is in Batu.
Tango, Diamond, Tequila, Dwel, Linseed and Adzuki, all around five years old, were put in three of the four large cages at the center, mixed with other Javan Langurs.
Iwan said that the newcomers were able to quickly blend with the six other monkeys at the center. He said that to adjust to the langur community str

Thai expert’s findings on Mali ‘inaccurate’
A veterinarian for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) has disputed the findings of an elephant expert from Thailand who said that Mali, the 38-year-old elephant in Manila Zoo, looked healthy and well-cared for.
"Properly cared for elephants of the same age as Mali do not have cracked foot pads and nails or overgrown cuticles,” Peta Asia’s veterinary affairs consultant Dr. Manilal Valliyate said in his July 5 letter addressed to the director of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB). Valliyate noted that Mali’s "favoring” behavior—repeatedly shifting her weight from one leg to the other and leaning on the walls of her enclosure—indicated a problem and constant pain in the limbs and joints.
The animal rights group has been calling for Mali’s transfer to an elephant sanctuary in Thailand.
Valliyate claimed that Peta had received calls from veterinarians worldwide who were outraged by the "inaccurate, ambiguous and superficial statements that Dr. Nikorn Thongtip made to the media.”
"Dr. Thongtip confuses Mali’s mental suffering—stemming from her loneliness and boredom—with stress. To suggest performing a hormone or hydrocortisone test shows a lack of understanding regarding what the problem is,” Valliyate said.
"Numerous scientific studies have r

Welcome to the pleasure dome: China opens the world's largest building
WHEN does a building become a town? As the world’s biggest freestanding edifice opens to the public in China this has become a serious question.
The New Century Global Centre in Chengdu in Sichuan Province is a building in the sense that it is a space enclosed within four walls and a roof. But inside that space are other ­full-size structures including a replica Medi­terranean village and a holiday resort complete with beach and pirate ships.
We know about Chinese .......The many visitors will be watching the shows and shopping in the 400,000sqm of high-end boutiques and dining on "the rarest oceanic fish species” in the restaurants.......inspired by "sailing seagulls and undulating waves”. In the lobby artificial sea breezes waft through the 18-storey atrium and an entire wall is taken up with an aquarium which houses ocean fish and coral reefs.

'It was a miracle that I survived':
Canadian teen suffers 'huge rips' in her body after trying to KISS a lion
Lauren Fagen was volunteering at the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in South Africa
A Canadian teen got a little too close for comfort to a lion she was helping care for in a South African rehabilitation facility when the beast tried to drag her into its cage by the legs.
Lauren Fagen, 18, was volunteering at the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre when she leaned in to kiss the beast's fur.
The Montreal girl was then pulled into the animal's cage, her legs gnawed and gashed by the lionand its mate, before she was finally dragged away by a lifesaving fellow




Teen Mauled While Trying To Kiss Captive Lion
A volunteer worker at a wildlife park calls her survival a "miracle" after suffering severe flesh wounds during a lion attack.
A teenager has been mauled by a captive lion after she tried to kiss the animal through the bars at a South African wildlife park.
Lauren Fagen, of Montreal, suffered severe flesh wounds when the male lion dragged her feet and legs into the enclosure at Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
The 18-year-old volunteer worker is recovering in hospital and says she is lucky to be alive. "I didn't realise he could stick his paws through. I should have died or lost a leg," Ms Fagen told The Globe and Mail newspaper.
"It was a miracle that I survived. He

Pittsburgh Zoo responds to lawsuit over Pa. boy's death
A zoo in western Pennsylvania is seeking dismissal of portions of a lawsuit filed by the family of a 2-year-old boy who was mauled to death after falling into an exhibit of wild African dogs last fall.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of Jason and Elizabeth Derkosh against the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium seeks unspecified damages in the Nov. 4 death of their son, Maddox. The boy fell from a wooden railing after his mother lifted him up to get a better look at the painted dogs.
Defense attorneys maintain that the zoo shouldn't be held negligent or liable and ask the judge to dismiss the family's claim for punitive damages, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. Attorneys said zoos provide "great community value" and that there is generally little danger in viewing animals.
"Exhibiting wild animals at a public, nationally accredited, and federally licensed zoo — like the Pittsburgh Zoo — does not create an abnormal or unusual risk," they said.
The boy, who wore glasses, became the only visitor in the zoo's 116-year history to die when he unexpectedly lunged out of his mother's grasp atop the wooden railing and into a net meant to catch falling debris and

Damian Aspinall: 'I'm happiest with the animals'
The millionaire casino-owning environmentalist Damian Aspinall grew up surrounded by his father's 
exotic pets and almost all his friends were animals. Indeed, he still treats them as if they were extended family
As a boy, his best friends were bears and wolves, and later on his own children shared their nursery with a baby gorilla, who they treated as a big brother. Damian Aspinall, son of the legendary gambler and maverick zoo keeper, John Aspinall, grew up surrounded by his father's exotic pets and has passed on his all-consuming passion for wildlife to his children.
Amid sculptures of pouncing lions and leopards at home in Knightsbridge, he says: "It's magic crossing the species boundaries, and the greatest thing about being alive. You can't explain to people who don't have it."
The Aspinalls are well known for their special relationships with animals, adopting wild orphans and raising them alongside their children. "Some animal people have a deep-rooted connection, and it comes from very deep in here," he says, pounding on his heart.
"When you look at your cats or dogs and they look into your eyes, there's an understanding and a level of love like they're your children. You see their pain, you see their love and you instinctively understand their wants and needs. Imagine having that with primates and lions!"

Oldest captive seal is dad again at 36
One of the oldest captive seals in Britain has become a father again at the age of 36.
Common seal Babyface - whose age is equivalent to 80 human years - fathered a pup with nine-year-old pool-mate Sija.
Staff at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary were surprised by the birth, having discovered Sija was pregnant only a few weeks ago.
Animal care team leader Tamara Cooper said: "I was shocked but delighted when I made my early morning rounds and found a beautiful newborn pup swimming around happily with h

Dolphin Therapy Summed Up in Two Words: Big Scam
Dolphin-assisted therapy is not a valid treatment for any disorder, including autism.
Do dolphins have special, mystical powers than can heal the sick and reduce the symptoms of autism and other developmental disorders? An entire industry has sprung up around this utterly unproven belief, taking advantage of the deep bonds that humans yearn to experience with these animals, the most intelligent creatures of the sea.
Dolphin Assisted Therapy (DAT), where patients enter the water with captive dolphins at "swim with" facilities, is expensive. And according to scientists who have investigated the practice, there is no hard evidence to prove it is effective, or even safe.
TakePart has reported on swim-with-dolphin programs, even a couple seeking "dolphin-assisted birth." 
Dr. Lori Marino, a leading neuroscientist and dolphin expert at Emory University and The Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy, is an unrelenting opponent of DAT, swim-with programs, and indeed any form of captivity for marine mammals.

Humane society to monitor animal distress from protesters at Bowmanville Zoo
Clarington decides against megaphone ban, calls for staff, humane society, police to ensure Bowmanville Zoo protests don't distress animals.
In an odd twist in the standoff between zoos and animal rights activists, Clarington’s municipal council will ask the humane society and police to ensure protesters at the Bowmanville Zoo don’t end up distressing animals.
Tuesday night’s council resolution came in response to a request from zoo owner Michael Hackenberger for the municipality to ban megaphones and other voice amplifiers within 50 metres of the zoo entrance.
It directs staff to work with the Durham Region Humane Society, police and the zoo to "help regulate any activity that may cause giraffes or other animals to be in distress.”
Protesters have held two recent rallies in front of the facility about 50 kilometres east of Toronto, calling for the retirement of Limba, a 50-year-old elephant.
Hackenberger said the racket, particularly megaphones, can distress animals. He’s particularly worried about a pair of giraffe youngsters who arrived several weeks ago and live at the front of the complex.
The young ungulates are a "consummate prey species” and naturally skittish, he said. A megaphone 
blaring the apparent e

Ex-finance director defrauded Parc Safari of almost $1 million
After a million-dollar fleecing by a former employee, Parc Safari in Hemmingford has obtained a Superior Court judgment ordering repayment, although it’s not clear it will ever recoup the money.
At the heart of the case was Ruth Eugène, who used to work for Parc Safari as director of finance 
and accounting.
Her duties included investing funds for the company in short-term instruments to tide it through the off-season.
Starting in 2006, Parc Safari’s banking institution began getting requests from her for transfers to various accounts.
The transfers totalled $978,569 and consisted of $743,734 to Actions Béthel du Canada Inc., a non-profit community organization that operated the evangelical church Eugène belonged to, $6,064 to herself, $13,509 to her spouse Jasmin St. Louis, $69,598 to her brother Yonel and $145,661 to his wife, Mari

Toronto zoo board debates mode of transport for moving elephants to sanctuary
Toronto’s zoo board met Thursday at city hall and discussed a plan to transport three elephants to a California sanctuary by ground.
The zoo and the Performing Animals Welfare Society sanctuary have been in talks with the Department of National Defence about transporting the elephants by military plane. The operation would be financed by former game-show host Bob Barker. But the department said in late May that it could not move the animals until at least the fall and stressed no decision had been made.
John Tracogna, the zoo’s chief executive officer, told the board he has received a plan that could 
see the elephants moved in trucks by mid-October.
Mr. Tracogna stressed that the plan, prepared by Active Environments, an animal management and 
animal training specialty company, was preliminary and must be studied.
He said that if the elephants are moved by ground they could be on the trucks for at least three to five days.
"We’ve got to go through the various aspects to see if it’s acceptable or if there’s any issues with it. It’s sort of a two-way dialogue,” he told reporters after the meeting.
Mr. Tracogna said there would be risks associated with moving the animals by ground, just as there would

Planes are out — now it’s trucks for Toronto elephant move
Unwilling to wait on a National Defence transport plane, Zoocheck and PAWS plan to move Toronto Zoo’s elephants on the ground in October.
Plans are now on the table to move the Toronto Zoo’s elephants to California by truck, and if everything falls into place the pachyderm trio will be leaving here in a few months’ time — around Oct. 11.
The PAWS sanctuary in California, and its representative here, Zoocheck Canada, are responsible for moving the elephants, and Julie Woodyer of Zoocheck says they’ve decided they’re unwilling to wait until the fall for National Defence’s decision on providing a transport plane to fly Toka, Thika and Iringa to PAWS.
PAWS and Zoocheck’s trucking plan for the zoo’s three remaining elephants was presented during a zoo board meeting at city hall Thursday.
oo CEO John Tracogna said in an interview that he is reviewing the "preliminary plans” and though moving the animals is PAWS’ responsibility, according to an agreement he must review, provide input, and ultimately sign off on the transportation plan.
He said that ideally the elephants will be moved before the end of the year, but he wouldn’t commit to a timeline for when he’d give approval to the moving plan.
"There’s still a bit of communicating between the parties involved to get to a plan that goes from preliminary to final,” Tracogna said.
But Woodyer says the PAWS/Zoocheck plan is preliminary in word only."The bottom line is that’s the transportatio

AMONG THE ANIMALS | WPZ Elephant Task Force considers sanctuaries
Many Seattleites may remember the two-part feature article last December by Seattle Times reporter Michael Berens in which he investigated a failed breeding program and intolerable conditions for elephants (Watoto, Bamboo and Chai) at the Woodland Park Zoo (WPZ) and other zoos. 
In subsequent coverage, The Seattle Times editorial board wrote, "Chai was subsequently the victim — not too strong a word — of 112 attempts to artificially inseminate her” and "Woodland Park Zoo should get out of the elephant-display business. Send Watoto, Bamboo and Chai to one of the handful of sanctuaries that exist. Let them live out their lives with room to move at will across truly open spaces.”
According to Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, this article prompted an enormous number of e-mails to her office from folks concerned about the elephants and calls to send them to a sanctuary. Since then, the Zoo board announced a task force to look at the issue. Its second meeting, held this May, covered the topic of sanctuaries, including issues of facility space and breeding policy. 
Elephant education

Solitary lemurs avoid danger with a little help from the neighbours
An endangered species of Madagascan lemur uses the alarm calls of birds and other lemurs to warn it of the presence of predators, a new study by researchers from the University of Bristol and Bristol Zoo with the University of Torino has found. This is the first time this phenomenon has been observed in a solitary and nocturnal lemur species.
Very little is known about the Sahamalaza sportive lemur (Lepilemur sahamalazensis), other than the fact it roosts during the day in rather open situations, such as tree holes, and therefore risks falling victim to predators from both the air and the ground.
Sportive lemurs are not kept in any zoo.  Prior to this research virtually nothing was known about this particular species despite the fact that it has been classified as Critically Endangered, the top threat category of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, at a red-listing workshop in Madagascar in July 2012.
Dr Melanie Seiler, a researcher at Bristol Zoo and the University of Bristol, and lead author of the study, said: "We were seeking any information we could gather that could help us understand this species better, with the objective of improving targeted conservation efforts.
"One of the problems of small nocturnal species is that they don’t get a great deal of scientific or conservation attention.  The Sahamalaza sportive lemur doesn’t have striking blue eyes like blue-eyed black lemurs or any other unusual features.  That means that no-one had really looked into what these animals need to survive."
Dr Marc Holderied of the University of Bristol said: "Until our study, a solitary and nocturnal lemur species had never been tested to see if it could understand other species' alarm calls and differentiate between them.  We were also the first to test any species of lemur to see if it could recognise the alarm calls of a non-primate species."
The researchers found that the vigilanc

French police on the lookout for black panthers
Police in southeastern France said they were on the lookout for black panthers following recent sightings and an analysis of tracks by an expert.
Investigators in the Toulon area said there have been several sightings in recent days of a black panther or possibly two black panthers in the region and helicopters are being kept at the ready, The reported Friday.
"The police are conducting patrols in the area and are waiting for the next sighting to trigger a helicopter search of the area," the police chief in the town of Var said.
Police said efforts were focused on the area between Toulon and the village of Revest-les-Eaux.
Jean-Pierre Georges, manager of the nearby Mont Faron Zoo, told the Var Matin newspaper he has 
analyzed tracks in the area and believes them to be big cats.
"There is no doubt it is a cat, probably a black panther. This is because there are some easily 
identifiable tracks. Cats have retractable claws

Theme Park History: A short history of SeaWorld San Diego
Disneyland opened in 1955, but it wasn't Southern California's first theme park. Knott's Berry Farm had slowly been growing over the past 20 years from a sit-down chicken dinner restaurant to a Ghost Town-themed park with a variety of attractions. And in 1954, Marineland of the Pacific opened in Palos Verde — the world's largest "oceanarium" park.
The initial success of Marineland provided a model for four UCLA graduates — George Millay, Milton Shedd, Dave Demotte and Ken Norris — to open another oceanarium down the coast in San Diego, after they decided their initial plan for an underwater restaurant with a marine show wasn't feasible. SeaWorld San Diego opened March 21, 1964. Located on the shore of San Diego's Mission Bay, reclaimed from a tidal marsh, the park is subject to substantial development restrictions from both the city and the California Coastal Commission, which limits how SeaWorld can develop the park to this day. For example, SeaWorld San Diego's version of the Manta roller coaster tops out at 30 feet, due to Coastal Commission restrictions.
Originally a 21-acre park, SeaWorld opened with sea lion and dolphin exhibits, but none of what would become its icon, killer whales. Fortunately, 1964 was a great year to open a theme park with dolphins, as the television show Flipper debuted that fall, making the species of marine mammal a national sensation. Unline rival Marineland's owners, SeaWorld's four owners aggressively reinvested their earnings back into the park, allowin

Perth bear-keeper Matt Hunt nominated for Pride of Australia Medal
A VOLUNTEERING holiday in Cambodia has turned into a 13-year labour of love for a Perth Zoo bear
-keeper fighting to save the world's smallest and rarest bear from extinction. 
Now, Matt Hunt's efforts have been acknowledged after he was nominated for a Pride of Australia Medal.
Mr Hunt manages a sanctuary run by Free The Bears Fund which houses 126 sun bears - mischievous animals  known as "honey bears" because they love nothing more than climbing trees to raid bee hives for sweet treats.
Named after a sunburst of white fur on their chests, the bears were once common in lowland forests of South-East Asia but are now threatened.
Habitat clearing has decimated their numbers, while poaching supplies a trade in body parts for traditional medicine. Cubs are also captured and sold as pets.
The jungles of Cambodia are a far cry from the United Kingdom where Mr Hunt studied animal husbandry before working as a bear-keeper at Perth Zoo.
But a visit to the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre, 40km from the Cambodian capital, during a working holiday was an experience that changed his life.
"I stopped off to volunteer for a few months that was 13 years ago and I'm still here," he said. "What keeps me here is not only the very real need for the work we're doing, but also how much can be achieved and what an impact you can have."
The 37-year-old oversees 25 staff as chief executive of Free the Bears Fund, a charity founded by Perth conservationist Mary Hutton that has worked with Cambodian authorities to house rescued bears since 1997.
"They spend all day digging for termites, ripping apart termite nests, climbing trees and breaking into bee hives," Mr

To Breed, to Dehorn or to Poison?
The debate on how best to conserve Africa’s dwindling rhino population rages on. Is flooding the market with legally harvested rhino horn an option or is injecting poison into the horns of wild rhino a better option? Asks Des Langkilde.
1,657 Rhinos have been killed for their horns in South Africa alone since 2010 and despite the arrest of 717 poachers over the same period (refer table below), the illegal trade seems to have no end in sight. Rhino horn is prized for its use as an aphrodisiac and hangover remedy among elitist Asian society – fetching up to US$55,000 per kilogramme in Asia — a price that can exceed the U.S. street value of cocaine, making the hoof-like substance literally as valuable as gold, but as useful a health remedy as the hair on your head.
Despite rhino horn’s proven uselessness as a medicinal aid, the demand is so great that thieves are stealing rhino horns from European museums and taxidermy shops, sometimes smashing them off with sledgehammers before fleeing. According to Europol, the European law enforcement agency, 72 rhino horns were stolen from 15 European countries in 2011, the first year such data was recorded.

Greed beats logic: why a legal rhino horn trade won’t work
It’s nearly three full years until the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) takes place in South Africa.
Yet a propaganda battle – or charm offensive, if you’re feeling expansive – is already under way in a bid to win over hearts and wallets if not minds to secure international approval for a legal trade in rhino horn, overturning a ban which has been in place for more than 30 years.Edna Molewa, South Africa’s Water and Environmental Affairs Minister, and her delegation were doing the groundwork for a horn trading mechanism at CITES CoP16 in Bangkok this March.
She was quoted in the press as stating: "We believe it is the right direction as one of the measures [to curb rhino poaching]. The model that we have is based on pure law of supply and demand. Economics 101. Our rhinos are killed every day and the numbers are going up. The reality is that we have done all in our power and doing the same thing every day isn’t working.

Is walking with lions good conservation? Probably not.
Close encounters with Africa’s megafauna is an irresistible magnet for many tourists in Africa, and for some the closer the encounter the greater the thrill.
So when a tourism operator offers the chance, for a fee, to ‘walk with lions’ it is no surprise that there is a steady flow of punters eager to do it. And when it is claimed that the money goes towards an elaborate project purporting to rewild lions, it seems, superficially at least, to be a Good Thing.
After all Africa’s wild lion population is in bad shape. A half -century ago some 100,000 lions ranged across Africa’s savannas, but lion habitat is only a quarter of what is was then and today lion numbers are fewer than 30,000. Forty per cent of these live in Tanzania and only nine countries can claim to have more than 1,000 wild living lions. To say that lions in the wild are on a one-way ticket to extinction is arguably no overstatement. So where could there be a problem with any attempt to reverse the trend?
Well, controversy and conservation are well acquainted and pretty well constant companions. And around the operations of Antelope Park in Gweru, Zimbabe and their sister operations called Lion Encounter at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia where ‘hands on’ interaction with these great felines is promoted, the controversy is well and truly raging.
Antelope Park, as stated on its website, is "home to the world-famous ALERT lion rehabilitation programme, as seen in the major UK TV documentary series Lion Country.” ALERT, it would seem, is the umbrella organisation in a network of subgroups: ALERT is a non-profit body but the subgroups are not.

Businessman sells remaining rhino
Fred Kinnear speaks out as he loses three more rhinos to poaching
A local businessman has had enough of rhino poaching and is selling the 11 rhino he has left after four more of the animals had been slaughtered on his game lodge.
In the meantime, government hopes to obtain international approval for a once-off sale of its 18 tons of rhino horn in an attempt to curb poaching.
However, the proposal will only be discussed in 2016 during the 17th Conference of Parties (Cop) to Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) which is scheduled to take 
place in South Africa.
Conservationists are divided about whether this trade should be legalised. Some believe it will decrease the price of rhino horn on the black market dramatically, making it less profitable for poachers to continue with the slaughter. Others warn that, although we have thousands of horns to push into the market, the demand is millions and legalising it will therefore only offer a temporary solution.

Adventurous couple Dana Jansen and Sam Mitchell buy Kangaroo Island zoo park
REAL-LIFE events have inspired adventurous couple Dana Jansen and Sam Mitchell to buy their own zoo.
But rather than the hit Matt Damon movie, We Bought a Zoo, it was the wildlife conservation work of Steve Irwin which led them to buy the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park.
Dana, 22, and Sam, 23, this week officially took over at the park, previously owned by Russell and Shirley Ross for 22 years.
Mr Mitchell said they would follow in the footsteps of childhood hero Steve Irwin and hoped they could emulate his success on a smaller scale.
"I followed Steve Irwin throughout my childhood and I've got all his books and films," he said. "We want to educate people about wildlife conservation and promote its importance for the next generation through hands-on experience."
Their new business, about 3km west of Parndana in the centre of the island, is in one of the world's great island eco-tourism destinations. The Rosses built up an enviable collection of Australian wildlife on 20ha of land. It includes more than 100 species and 1500 animals, mos

Review: At Lujan Zoo you can walk with the animals
An hour west of Buenos Aires in Argentina is a spot where tourists don't often visit. Lujan Zoo will give the visitor more memories than just Tango lessons.
When you go to Buenos Aires and get tired of the Tango, churros or empanadas, then catch the number 57 bus westward to Lujan.
Waiting for you are lions and tigers and bears. Lujan Zoo is one of only 30 zoos in the world where you can walk with the animals, inside the cages, and the only one in South America.
"My father has always loved animals," said Santiago Saimento, Zoo Administrator. "This is his dream and I'm happy I can experience a part of his dream each day."
Started in 1994 as a shelter for abandoned dogs, the zoo eventually became home to chimps who had gotten bigger and lost the "oh-isn’t-he-cute” that their owner thought when they bought the critter in the Brazilian rain fo





The Turtle That Never Was
A species of freshwater turtle deemed to be extinct may never have existed in the first place.
In the late 19th century, German zoologist August Brauer toured the mountains of Mahé island in the Seychelles archipelago off the east coast of Africa, collecting specimens as he went. In 1901, three of his finds—freshwater turtles that seemed to belong to a unique, endemic species—made their way to the Zoological Museum in Hamburg, Germany. There, Austrian herpetologist Friedrich Siebenrock inspected the specimens, placing them in a new taxon, Sternotherus nigricans seychellensis (later changed to Pelusios seychellensis). The species was never again observed, however, leading researchers to assume that it had gone extinct. But new molecular evidence suggests the species never existed in the first place.

Tiger panel's role sparks controversy
Triggering fresh controversy, wildlife activists have ridiculed the state government's dependence on National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to study whether Satkosia is a suitable habitat to shift the wild tiger that strayed into Nandankanan.
They questioned why the state government's forest department couldn't assess the feasibility of the habitat when it is receiving funds for tiger conservation from NTCA every year. Ever since the tiger strayed into the zoo for the first time, the debate over whether to house it in the zoo or release it to the wild has been raging. This forced the chief wildlife warden to write to NTCA, seeking its help. The NTCA technical team, comprising Ravikiran Govekar, Bilal Habib and Parag Nigam, has landed in Bhubaneswar and held discussions with Nandankanan authorities. They left for Satkosia on Tuesday.
Wildlife activists, however, felt the role of NTCA is limited as far as studying feasibility of Satkosia as a tiger habitat is concerned. "It is deplorable that state government till now is not aware whether Satkosia is a suitable tiger habitat despite spending huge funds for its management," said wildlife activist Biswajit Mohanty.
He further said in the last two years, the cameras installed inside the habitat hardly captured movement of tigers. As per 2010 census, the tiger population officially was 12.

Streak for Tigers - Thursday 15 August
Did you know that a group of tigers is called a Streak of Tigers?...
It's time to unleash your wild side and show us your stripes in support of the ZSL Sumatran Tiger campaign
ZSL London Zoo is hosting a very unique and daring event on the evening of Thursday 15 August. We are looking for 300 supporters to strip off and bare all for Tigers and streak around ZSL London Zoo!
With only 300 Sumatran Tigers left in the wild, we hope this event will not only raise much needed funds for ZSL but it will also highlight and raise the profile of the drastic work that needs,2096,AR.html

SA backs legal rhino horn trade
South Africa’s government is backing the legalisation of trade in rhino horns in an effort to stem poaching of the endangered animals.
"South Africa cannot continue to be held hostage by the syndicates slaughtering our rhinos,” Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa told reporters today in Pretoria, the capital.
"The establishment of a well-regulated international trade” could help curb rhino poaching, she said.
At least 446 rhinos have been killed illegally in South Africa this year, with 280 slaughtered in Kruger National Park, a conservation area the size of Israel that borders Mozambique and where the army has been deployed, the Department of Environmental Affairs said in a June 26 statement.
The rate of deaths this year is on course to exceed last year’s record.
South Africa’s government has about 16,437 kilograms (36,237 pounds) of stockpiled rhino horn, while 2,091 kilograms more is in private hands, Fundisile Mketeni, a deputy director-general in the department, told reporters.
The government favours a once-off sale of horn derived from rhino fatalities and doesn’t plan to dispose of horn from "illegal activities,” he said.

Don’t feed the animals (do feed the zoo)
WITH SUMMER underway, families are converging upon the panoply of great destinations in Greater Boston. But what should be a major attraction, the Franklin Park Zoo, has long been an underfunded, second-class amenity. Zoo New England, the organization that runs the zoo, does its best with a challenging location and limited resources. But the Franklin Park Zoo still ranks only 96th out of the 194 Boston attractions rated by TripAdvisor, and time and again Beacon Hill budgeters confront an uncomfortable question: How much taxpayer money should the state devote to an institution that is valuable but never quite manages to thrive financially?
The zoo began 101 years ago as a municipal project funded with private philanthropy. In 1908, George Parkman left more than $100 million (in current dollars) to the city for the maintenance of parks, and a chunk of that money went on the zoo. In August 1912, the Globe reported that six "vicious, untrained” bears arrived from Hamburg. The bear pit was one of the early zoo’s big attractions, despite the Globe’s 1913 reporting that "disgruntled” polar bears "persistently refuse the products of civilization.”
For the next two decades, the zoo was free — and a resounding success. On one day in 1923, 25,000 
turned out to see the baby elephant, Molly, consume vast quantities of dirt. In the era, writers earnestly suggested that Boston should have the world’s finest zoo.
That didn’t happen. The zoo’s finances faltered during the Great Depression, and the zoo sank into a long decline, which was not stemmed when control moved from the city to the state in 1958. 
Years later, when Governor Weld turned Franklin Park and the Stone Zoo over to Zoo New England — a private but state-supported entity — he essentially reversed the old model of public control and private fundin

Man Killed By Tigers in Turin Zoo
Yesterday a Zoo Keeper was killed by three tigers in the Turin Zoo. It would appear that once again that this was a case of keeper error. Failure to ensure that a door was securely closed before entering the enclosure for feeding.
The alarm was raised by the wife of the 72 year old man but it was too late to save him and he was confirmed dead at the scene.
The Turin Zoo was closed down five years ago but there were difficulties in relocating the animals. Nine Tigers and one Leopard were amon

Retired Italian zookeeper, 72, mauled to death by tigers he kept at closed-down zoo as he tried 
to feed them
An elderly zookeeper was ripped to pieces and eaten by his own tigers when he went to feed them. 
Mauro Lagiard, 72, was attacked from behind as he entered the enclosure at a closed-down zoo, near Turin, in northern Italy.
In a horrific scene he was dragged 100ft while his wife watched helplessly from outside the cage.
His dismembered body was later found by the tigers' water trough, police said.
Mr Lagiard and his wife had cared for the tigers since the small animal sanctuary was closed downin 2010 at the peak of the eco

Atlanta aquarium lets you swim with whale sharks
The shark is 15 metres long, weighs 12 tons and is swimming directly behind you.
Stay calm and try not to look or smell like phytoplankton.
These sharks don’t like meat – at least that’s what the guides told you after you paid $225 for 30 minutes of swimming with these giant whale sharks in the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta.
They are the largest fish in the sea, but they eat only krill, macro-algae, plankton and small squid or vertebrates that get sucked in to their huge mouths while they filter feed.
Their mouths – wide enough to swallow a Volkswagen - are lined with 350 teeth, but they’re for sifting rather than chomping. When the shark expels a mouthful of water through its gills, those teeth hold back all the tasty stuff to be swallowed.
You’ll learn all this during 90 minutes of preliminary instructions and education before plunging into the 10-m

IUCN: 1 in 3 species could face extinction
A CAPE Verde lizard, a fish from Arizona and a freshwater shrimp from Indonesia have been declared extinct and 21,000 species are in danger of dying out, according to a scientific ­survey.
The new Red List of Threatened Species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) prompted fresh calls to step up conservation efforts when it was published yesterday.
As well as the three species now extinct, the report reveals "worrying declines” in populations of a Chinese porpoise, tropical cone snails and conifers around the globe, with a total of 20,934 species now listed as threatened with extinction out of the 70,294 assessed – almost one in three.
Jane Smart, global director of the IUCN’s biodiversity conservation group, said: "We now have more information on the world’s biodiversity than ever before, but the overall picture is alarming. "We must use this knowledge to its fullest – making our conservation efforts well-targeted and efficient – if we are serious about stopping the extinction crisis that continues to threaten life on earth.”
The Santa Cruz pupfish, once found in the Santa Cruz river basin in Arizona, has been wiped outby wat

Wallabies escape fire at Dudley Zoo enclosure
A fire broke out in the wallaby house at Dudley Zoo this lunchtime - but all seven of the Parma wallabies escaped unhurt.
Two workers at the zoo used fire extinguishers when the animals' straw bedding caught fire from an electrical heater at 11.45am.
Two crews were called from Dudley fire station - but the fire was already out when they arrived just bef

Riga Zoo in financial trouble due to reduced subsidies
Due to reduced state subsidies and rising electricity and heating prices, the municipal Riga Zoo has gotten into financial trouble, LETA learned from the Riga City Council.
While the zoo could attract more visitors by new exhibitions and displays, organizing such exhibitions and displays is impossible currently due to limited funds, the Riga Zoo Director Rolands Greizins writes in a letter to Riga City Council's Housing and Environment Committee. 
Taking into consideration the zoo's limited abilities to increase incomes necessary to cover the zoo's regular spending, the zoo has turned to the Riga City Council, informing that the zoo requires an additional LVL 256,000, but the minimum amount necessary so the zoo could continue operations is at least LVL 38,000. Without this, the zoo will be unable to continue to function as per normal, notes Greizins, reminding in the letter about Riga's status of the European capital of culture next year.

In Moscow, built Europe's largest aquarium (Using Google Translate)
One of the future inhabitants of the "Sea House" - whale named Narnia - will soon be delivered to the capital
From next spring in the list of the capital's attractions will be a new unique object: VVC will open Europe's largest aquarium. Its year-round, visitors can observe the life of about 1000 individuals of marine animals (from tiny tropical fish to large whales, "killer whales"), feed the sharks and swim with the stingrays. What will surprise Muscovites' Underwater Zoo "figured correspondent" MK ".
he building of the aquarium will be the VVC Khovanskii near the entrance, on the former site of the pavilion 23 "Teplitsestroenie and vegetable growing." Object area is about 40 thousand square meters. m, and its construction will cost the developer $ 70 million, excluding the cost of the animals. The building, in addition to the aquarium, dolphinarium will house, theater pinnipeds, Center for the Study of marine animals and many other unique options.
- The Oceanarium is designed for year-round operation, - says Elena Slivina, a representative of the developer "Revival Exhibition Center" - a special water treatment system will create a marine animal habitat conditions similar to natural. Visitors will be able to one day travel around the world and discover the marine flora and fauna of Central Russia, Russian North, Far East, Japan, China, Southeast Asia, the Amazon, the Great Barrier Reef, in addition, a separate large aquarium will be highlighted for sharks and stingrays.

Zoo relooking collection of animals with eye on future
The Singapore Zoo celebrated its past achievements as it turned 40 on Thursday and it is already looking to the future.
It wants to do more focused research on endangered species and become "one of the best archives of data" on these animals, said Ms Claire Chiang, chairman of Wildlife Reserves Singapore which owns the zoo.
About a quarter of the over 300 species currently in the wildlife park are endangered.
The park is relooking its animal collection and has engaged experts to guide it on the types of animals to keep, breed, acquire and exchange, she said.
The zoo has also been the venue of several international conferences studying animals like terrapins and pangolins, she added.
"In the future, there is a possibility that a lot of species will be seen only in zoological institutions. It's a sad thing, but at least we have them," said Ms Chiang. "And I'd like Singapore Zoo to be that cutting edge laboratory as well as archive of data."
She also appealed to the younger generation to carve out careers in the zoo, adding that the 
issue of future leadership at the park is a "ch

Madagascar Giant Tortoises, Now Extinct, Could Be Replaced With New, Imported Species
Two millennia ago, millions of giant tortoises roamed Madagascar, an island nation off the southeastern coast of Africa that is rich in species found nowhere else on Earth. Those tortoises kept Madagascar's unique ecosystem in check by munching on low-lying foliage, trampling vegetation and dispersing large seeds from native trees like the baobab.
When humans began settling on the island about 2,300 years ago, Madagascar's large vertebrate populations were the first casualties. Dozens of species disappeared altogether, including 17 giant lemurs, three pygmy hippopotamuses, two aardvarklike mammals, a giant fossa (a catlike carnivore), eight elephant birds, a giant crocodile and two giant tortoises. With their demise, the composition of Madagascar's ecosystems changed, shrubs and vegetation clogged the forest floor and wildfires became more frequent and intense.
Now, researchers think they've found a way to replace Madagascar's lost giant tortoise species: Bring in some relatives, says Miguel Pedrono, a Madagascar-based conservation biologist with the French agricultural research center CIRAD.
Pedrono's team has identified a very close relative of the extinct giant tortoises, and they plan to transplant a few hundred of them to Madagascar to help fill the ecological gaps left by their extinct kin.
"This project is not an ecological substitution with an analogous species, like what's been done 
on other Indian Ocean islands; inst

The 'gorilla whisperer' and her flight from rebel forces
With less than an hour’s notice, Angelique Todd was forced to leave the gorillas she’d befriended and the Africa she loved. We tell her amazing story On March 24, a few hours before rebel troops finally seized Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, Angelique Todd, 44, took her daughter swimming. It was Sunday, Todd’s day off, and she had promised Poppy, who is three, a trip to the river.
Todd first heard rumours of a coup in January, when rebel groups had been spotted advancing through the country in what appeared to be an attempt to overthrow President François Bozizé. But Todd was 300 miles from the capital in the remote village of Bayanga. "The rebels were so far away we didn’t think it would touch us,” she recalls. "I thought Poppy would be disappointed if we didn’t go.”
Todd is used to danger, but from animals, not humans. As head of the World Wide Fund for Nature’s primate habituation programme at the World Heritage Site of the Dzanga-Sangha forest reserve, Todd had done something remarkable and befriended a family of wild gorillas.

Penguins support gorillas as biscuit makers respond to palm oil threat
Many of the biggest biscuit manufacturers have pledged to reduce the amount of palm oil in their products
Penguins are coming to the aid of gorillas, according to a survey which reveals that the UK's leading biscuit manufacturers are responding to the environmental threats of palm oil production.
Many of the biggest names in biscuits including Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's and United Biscuits – which makes some of the UK's most popular biscuits including McVitie's Digestive and Penguin – have pledged to reduce the amount of palm oil in their products.
The Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) and Ethical Consumer magazine together surveyed over 50 of the UK's biggest biscuit manufacturers about their use of palm oil or its derivatives.
The top scoring companies were the Co-op, M&S, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and United Biscuits. Those 
at the bottom of the ranking were mostly American-based companies including Asda/Walmart, PepsiCo 
and Kraft, makers of Ritz and Oreo biscuits.
The project was carried out in response to the increasing threat that palm oil production is posing to the world's rainforest and to the people that rely on these forests for their livelihoods. Palm oil is a core ingredient in many food products but companies are not required by EU law to label products containing it until December 2014.
Having destroyed vast areas of forest in countries including Indonesia, which is home to orangutans, the RFUK says palm oil companies are now planning to expand into the rainforest

The lynx affection
Chimp and big cat bromance at American wildlife park
A BABY chimp and lynx cub have become unlikely buddies at a wildlife park.
Varli, 20 months, loves apeing around with his nine-week-old wildcat pal Sutra. They chase each other, cuddle up and even sleep together.

KMC allows risky giant turtle child ride in Safari
The ignorant parents had allowed their children to ride a giant tortoise while other had surrounded the riders, the infants and children of lower agar. No safety rules were applied to prevent any untoward situation.
According to details, a private animal contractor had arranged a pet show in association with the 
administration of the Karachi Safari Park under the aegis of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation.
The pet show had attracted a lot of visitors especially the infants and children up to the age of 7 years had enjoyed the pet show. However, the KMC and the organizers of the pet show did not apply the required preventive measures and

The terrifying tale of disappearing jumbos
Three elephants were reported dead after a speeding train hit them in West Bengal later in May. An adult elephant was found dead in Nagarahole national park early last month and its tusk has gone missing exposing the lack of patrolling in the tiger reserve. Animal lovers have blasted using the endangered elephants in jumbo demolition squads in north-east India as cruelty. PETA India, CEO, Poorva Joshipura said: "Forcing these animals to ram into concrete and iron is a violation of Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and shows a total disregard for the welfare of our nation's heritage animal." India is home to around 25,000 elephants. Their numbers are constantly dwindling due to poaching and the destruction of their habitats by humans. 
In the most recent case, it was Bijlee, an elephant working for it's master on Mumbai streets. The ailing 58-year-old female elephant died early on Sunday. TOI reported that Bijlee's owners forced her to work for almost 50 years by begging on the streets of Mumbai and Thane and standing at weddings, paying little atte

Why Burma believes in white elephants (the real ones)
To the faithful, the existence of so many white elephants is a positive sign from above; others speculate it is a the product of rampant deforestation.
Uppatasanti Pagoda towers above the sprawling buildings, construction sites and empty boulevards of Naypyidaw, "the Abode of Kings,” the military-built city that replaced Rangoon as Burma’s capital in 2005.
Construction of the pagoda was overseen by the country’s last dictator, Gen. Than Shwe. The brutal leader, whose actions often hinted at monarchical aspirations, also built twin pavilions at the foot of the gilded pagoda to shade his living adjuncts of royalty.
"The country has improved and become more peaceful from having the white elephants,” a 57-year-old pilgrim says. "I’m very glad to see them.”
Guarded by a high steel fence and an assault rifle-wielding police officer, four perfectly pink adult pachyderms munch on sugar cane and bamboo, pacing as far as the chains tethered to their right forelegs allow them, while a fifth, still a calf, frolics in a pen under its chained mother’s gaze.

Carelessness at Islamabad zoo: Last two months saw a rise in number of animal deaths
Islamabad Zoo is developing a terrible reputation for animal care due to neglect and carelessness, and more animals have died in the past two months than in the entire year due to various reasons.
The most recent victim was a fragile Uryal fawn, which died on Sunday morning (June 30).
The handlers were trying to catch the fawn two days before its death in order to shift it to another cage.
However, during the attempt, the handlers broke its leg and the fawn fell ill. It could not recover from the illness and died as a result.
According to zoo officials, one of the worst incident of animal deaths occurred less than two months ago when jackals or foxes somehow managed to enter the enclosure of exotic ducks. They killed more than 60 birds and injured nearly a dozen more.
"It was a massacre. The teals and mallards (exotic migratory ducks) were all killed in a single night,” said one caretaker at the zoo, who was unable to explain how the wild foxes or jackals entered the zoo premises and get inside the enclosure.The night watchman was suspended for dereliction of duty.
Besides losing a fox and a jackal due to weakness and neglect less than two weeks ago, the Islamabad Zoo also lost a Nilgai."The Nilgai died purely because of human error. It was being shifted to an empty animal enclosure but the handlers did not ensure the safety of the animal. Consequently, it slipped into a pond inside its new home, which was supposed to be empty. Before vets could figure out whether or not 
the Nilgai had hurt its neck or back, the animal died two days later,” said a

Bringing Up Birdie
Aviculturists at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park in Devon are learning how to care for some difficult chicks. They are developing a new protocol for hand rearing Darwin's rhea. Darwin's rhea (Rhea pennata), also called the lesser rhea, is a large flightless bird from South America. 
An adult bird can stand up to 100 centimetres (39 inches) in height and can weigh as much as 28 kilos (63 pounds). It can reach speeds of up to 60 kilometres an hour (37mph). While the bird breeds occasionally in zoos, chicks can be difficult to hand rear. Curator of Birds Jo Gregson explained: "We are trying to develop a protocol for hand rearing. Paignton Zoo has a good record with ratites – cassowaries, emus, ostriches – which is why we took on the job. We also hold the studbook for these birds now. It’s important to learn all we can about how to care for them.” 
Keepers took eggs that were scattered around the enclosure and were not going to be cared for by the adult birds. Of these, 3 have hatched so far - one on 8th June and the other two on 9th - with more eggs in the incubator. Everything from the temperature and humidity in the incubator to how often the eggs are turned is recorded. Once the eggs hatch, aviculturalists make a note of every last detail of rearing – what, when and how often the chicks eat, how much exercise they get, and so on. Failure can tell staff as much as success. Information is compiled and shared with other collections. And what is the secret? Jo: "It’s all about the poop! Constipation can be a problem for chicks and it can kill. Exercise helps

THE investigation into the death of a member of staff who was mauled by a tiger at South Lakes Wild Animal Park is ongoing. Police said the investigation, being carried out on behalf of the coroner, continues more than a month after the death of zookeeper Sarah McClay.
Miss McClay, from Barrow, was dragged more than 100 yards by Padang, a Sumatran tiger, as she worked at the Dalton zoo on May 24. She later died in hospital.
Detective Chief Inspector Bob Qazi, who is leading the investigation, said it is ongoing and its findings will be

Grrreat! Israeli innovation heals Sumatran tiger
Experimental foam called FoamOtic was developed in Rehovot for humans and animals and expands evenly, covering the whole ear canal. Pedang, a 14-year-old rare, male Sumatran tiger at Ramat Gan’s Safari Park, has stopped scratching his ear for the first time in years, thanks to the insertion on Thursday of a special experimental foam to treat his chronic condition.
FoamOtic, a new formulation and drug-delivery platform for a combination of known active ingredients, was developed by Otic Pharma in Rehovot for human patients, as well as for dogs and cats that tend to have such infections in their ears.
Pedang underwent acupuncture therapy and steroid treatment at the park a few weeks ago, but it didn’t help him.
Otic Pharma’s vice president for research and development, Dr. Rodrigo Yelin, heard about the tiger’s predicament and offered the experimental treatment to the Safari’s chief veterinarian, Dr. Igal Horowitz, who welcomed the chance to use it on Pedang.
On Thursday he was put under general anesthesia, while Safari staff – under the guidance of 
Horowitz and Dr. Gila Zur of Hebrew University’s Koret

Rhino horns worth 10 million baht seized at Suvarnabhumi
The Customs Department has confiscated 8 rhino horns, worth up to 10 million baht, that were being smuggled through Suvarnabhumi Airport. 
A 31-year-old Guinean man was arrested after Suvarnabhumi officials had found 8 rhino horns weighing 10 kilograms in his suitcase. The horns, according to the officials, could be worth up to 10 million baht in the black market. However, the smuggler said the suitcase belonged to a friend who had left the suitcase with him. The 31-year-old was coming from Uganda. The officials said the horns were detected by an x ray machine. Thailand, earlier this year, hosted CITES conference where rhinos were agreed to be listed as protected animals. 
In related news, Thailand's Customs Department contacted officials in Cambodia two days ago 
asking them to search a passenger suspected of sm


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