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Zoo News Digest Mar-Apr 2014
Zoo News Digest
March-April 2014

Captive lions risk brain damage from deformed skulls
Samson was two when he went under the knife. It took six hours to remove the lump of bone that had become embedded in his brain, causing him to lose balance and stagger about. Before the operation could begin, his thick mane had to be shaved off the back of his neck. Afterwards, the news of his recovery made headlines worldwide. It isn't every day that a lion gets a brain op.
Samson, a Barbary lion at the Hai-Kef zoo near Tel Aviv in Israel, was probably the first member of his species to be treated for a life-threatening skull malformation in 2005. But it now seems he is not alone in suffering from the condition, which disproportionately affects lions living in captivity.
Zoos report a high incidence of death in young captive-bred lions. Many of these deaths have been anecdotally linked to bone malformations, especially a thickening at the base of the skull. Abnormal bone growth around the foramen magnum – the hole that the brain stem passes through to connect the brain to the spinal cord – can squeeze parts of the brain that control things like balance and movement. This causes tremors, loss of balance and unusual head tilts – hence Samson's strange behaviour back in 2005.
Until now, it wasn't known whether these malformations were specific to zoo animals, or just as frequent in the wild. So Joseph Saragusty of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin, Germany, and colleagues compared 575 lion skulls – 512 from wild lions and 63 from lions that had been raised in captivity. They found evidence that the foramen magnum was significantly smaller in captive animals.
The skulls came fr

What the Heck is a Bilby?
Photos of Prince George enjoying a curious meeting with a bilby named after him while on a trip to Sydney’s Taronga Zoo on Sunday not only elicited a collective “aww” from the Internet, but also posed the (very serious) question: what on earth is a bilby?
Not quite a rat or possum, the short and plump little critter is a marsupial found in the Australian bush and outback that acquired its name from an Aboriginal word belonging to the Yuwaalaraay people of northern New South Wales, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The long nose and face closely resemble another native Australian animal, the bandicoot, which some people may recognize from the wide-eyed cartoon character of the video game “Crash Bandicoot.”
While both are ground-dwelling animals, bilbies have longer, more sensitive ears, a typically white-tipped tail and silkier fur. They are omnivorous (watch those fingers Prince George!) and feed mainly on insects like spiders, very small animals, seeds and fruit,

Pairi Daiza Zoo - Just What are they Playing At?
After the recent much publicised arrival of Giant Pandas at the Pairi Daiza Zoo in Belgium the collection seems to have lost the plot. Pandas are rare and under threat in the wild and are part of a managed breeding programme. The press made mention of this so many times that one could easily be brainwashed into thinking that conservation was really important to them.
But now?
Well now they have brought in a young pair of White Tigers which shows the exact opposite applies. White Tigers are not rare or endangered. They are not even a subspecies. They may be beautiful but they are deliberately inbred freaks of different really to a two headed turtle.
Maintaining and exhibitin

Why Palm Oil Isn’t the Enemy
If you watched last night’s premiere of “Years of Living Dangerously,” the new Showtime series about the impacts of climate change, you likely found yourself thinking palm oil’s pretty bad stuff

Night Safari founder Bernard Harrison suggests 'un-zoo' as unique attraction
The man who founded the Night Safari - a world-first when it opened in 1994 - has another radical idea.
Mr Bernard Harrison revealed yesterday that he has suggested to the Singapore Tourism Board the creation of an "un-zoo", in which visitors can enjoy "random" up-close encounters with trained animals like monkeys and otters.
Such encounters, orchestrated by guides, will be more exciting than seeing animals "behind glass", he said.
He was speaking to more than 100 civil servants

Zoo faces cruelty charges over cub deaths
It’s the latest twist in a story that has made the news worldwide, and that began earlier this month when a male brown bear, known as Misha, killed one of its two offspring – “baby bear 3” – after repeatedly tossing it into the air in full view of shocked zoo visitors.
Kurt Nünlist, a train driver from Solothurn, says the Dählhölzli wildlife park behaved recklessly in allowing the 360-kilogram male to share an enclosure with its mate and her two cubs. After the “predictable” killing of one cub by its father, the zoo authorities took the decision to euthanise the second baby, sparking a public outcry.
Nünlist says Dählhölzli must be held accountable for its actions, which would otherwise be “swept under the carpet”.
“I have laid charges of animal cruelty with the police and these have to be legally investigated,” Nünlist tells The Local. “Whether the zoo authorities acted out of naivety or stupidity, it was animal cruelty and they can’t get away with that.”
Approached by The Local, the zoo was unavailable to comment on the case.
Under Swiss law “pain, damage or suffering must not be unjustifiably inflicted on an animal, nor must any animal be subjected to severe anxiety. The neglect, overexertion or mishandling of animals is forbidden,” according to the Swiss Veterinary Office, FSVO.

How do zoos prepare for dangerous animal escapes?
As the Easter Bank Holiday gets under way, many people may be contemplating a trip to their local zoo. This is generally accepted as a safe, family-friendly activity but in fact, escapes by wild animals are not unheard of.
Imagine the scenario. Unpredictable carnivores break through the steel wire of a zoo enclosure and are on the loose. It is every zookeeper's nightmare.
Yet for keepers at Colchester Zoo six months ago, that fear became a reality when five wolves managed to escape.
Somehow they had broken through a special steel mesh fence - a fence the zoo says was checked on a daily basis. Three wolves were shot dead and two were tranquilised. To the zoo's relief, though, no members of the public were harmed.
Industry experts say the zoo's handling of the incident, from an operational perspective, was successful and the rarity of such escapes highlights the great lengths zoos g

Czech snow leopard sent to Calcutta — finally
The Jihlava zoo at last succeeded, on the fourth try, in delivering a rare snow leopard to a partner zoo in India today, after three unsuccessful attempts when the transfer was thwarted by unexpected obstacles, the zoo's spokeswoman Kateřina Kosová told ČTK.
Fici, the three-year-old leopard male, was raised in Jihlava and he was to leave for Calcutta on April 9 to reinforce the snow leopard population in India's Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park.
"Today we've been informed that the snow leopard has reached India at last," Kosová said.
On April 9, Fici's planned departure from Jihlava was cancelled in the last moment over the Indian partner's refusal to take the animal over in the evening hours.
Another date of departure was set for April 14, when a van with Fici set out from Jihlava for the Prague airport, some 120 km far westwards. However, the D1 motorway was jammed due to ongoing repairs, which delayed the van and Fici missed his flight.
"On the third try, the leopard arrived in Prague but the air carrier's staff returned him to us because they disliked his transport box," Kosová said.
She said Fici was traveling in a box which the zoo had used to transport animals many times before.
Similar problems are a rarity in the Jihlava zoo, Kosová

Let’s Keep Zoos
The year that we were married, my husband and I were given a truly wonderful gift: a honeymoon safari to southern Africa. It was an amazing experience. We now have all the magical memories that one would hope to bring home from a safari: the fresh lion kill, the mother elephant tenderly caressing her baby, the warthog crashing through the undergrowth with a leopard in hot pursuit. I could go on (and on and on), but nothing’s more pretentious than regaling people with tales of your honeymoon safari, so I’ll just reiterate once more: completely fabulous.
You meet a lot of rich people on safari. For a youth-hostel veteran such as myself, it felt odd to be wined and dined like some kind of colonial grandee, which is pretty much how it goes in these high-end safari lodges. Our fellow guests (not struggling academics like ourselves) were clearly more accustomed to this kind of service. We met wealthy bankers and businessmen

Revealed: UK aquarium cashes in on whale circus... despite 'leading global fight to free captive animals'
In front of a stadium of screaming crowds, three Beluga whales dance, wave and high-five.
It seems like innocent entertainment, attracting thousands to Changfeng Ocean World in Shanghai every day.
But today, the company that owns the park and dozens of others worldwide, including Alton Towers, has been accused of animal cruelty and ‘double standards’.
Merlin Entertainments, which owns 44 SeaLife aquaria across the globe, claims to be leading the fight to free Beluga whales and dolphins from captivity, and makes no mention of their performing trio – Junjun, Uka 1 and Uka 2 – on their British websites.
Its websites state: 'Sea Life believes it is wrong to keep whales and dolphins in captivity. No matter how spacious, no captive facility can ever provide such far-ranging, highly social and highly intelligent animals with the stimulation they need for a good quality of life.'

Orca Profiles in Captivity: The San Diego 10
Dame Jane Goodall (famed British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace) was asked a question. “Why did she do what she did for the chimps she has advocated for all her life?” She answered by sharing a true story.
A captive lab chimp had never lived outside a cage his entire life. Now freed by Jane and her team of researchers and scientists, the frightened primate sat and watched the other chimps in a large zoo compound—free of cages and offering grassy, rocky, chimp-appealing offerings, including the sight and sound of others like him. He was terrified by such a contrast—from darkness to light.
A growing crowd of onlookers watched silently as the terrified chimp was being acclimated to his new world and then in a united gasp of disbelief witnessed the chimp run and fall into the watery moat surrounding the enclosure. Not knowing what to do, never having experienced being in water before, he began to flail in terror and sink.
At that, a man in the crowd instantly jumped over the railing, dove into the water and pulled the huge ape up and out of the water to safer grounds. The man was even able to get there faster than the watching zookeeper who was as horrified as were all the on-lookers. The man made sure that the chimp was breathing alright.

Killer whales should not be held captive
Wonder why you see dozens of people protesting outside theme parks with animals as the star attraction? These activists will not back down until something is done about animals being held captive. The recent documentary “Blackfish” has raised awareness of the well-being of the orcas SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. uses in its shows, creating controversy. It is obvious that these orcas are massive animals that are confined in a small space. This movie is an eye-opener about the harsh realities of these enormous creatures and how SeaWorld should not be allowed to hold orcas in captivity. Working with a 5-ton sea mammal is a life-threatening job that can have bad consequences. Tilikum is the largest orca in captivity, weighing 12,000 pounds, and is being held at SeaWorld Orlando. His life consists of entertaining people for money, swimming in a confined space and then going back into his cell. Tilikum is linked to three deaths, two trainers and a drifter who happened to jump in the wrong pool. One of the reasons why this creature was driven to kill was all the stress that he endures w

SeaWorld rescues whales from predators
SeaWorld’s Shamu show provides such substantial benefits to killer whales in the wild and to the entire ocean that it would be tragic to shut it down.
Killer whales in the wild face habitat and prey depletion, and the International Institute for Conservation of Nature is unable to get specific data on the numbers in the wild.
The SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. facilities contain the majority of killer whales in captivity with SeaWorld investing $70 million in their facilities in the last three years according to SeaWorld’s website.
Killer whales’ behavior places them in a uniquely vulnerable situation. As apex predators they have no natural predators, and damage to a species on their food chain undercuts their food supply. Meaning damage to the ocean is likely to impact these whales.
They are frequently exposed to humans due to their hunting range being in close proximity to the shoreline. With humans come pollutants, and killer whales have been found with dangerous levels of human-made pollutants from salmon c

End public display of animals
This summer, Assiniboine Park Zoo is set to open a new $90-million polar bear exhibit, Journey Into Churchill, as part of a $200-million redevelopment. The zoo’s website says the new exhibit will "combine elements focused on research, conservation, education and public display to provide a venue that will bring the North to mainstream Canadians."
The work of Assiniboine Park Zoo in its efforts to aid both polar bears, as well as northern communities often affected by their unwelcome presence, is certainly commendable.
The problem I, along with many other Canadians, have is with the primary purpose of zoos, that "public display" of animals. At a time when much of the collective Canadian consciousness is moving away from industries and businesses that exploit or harm animals (the banning of gestation crates, boycotting of marine parks, closing of pet shops, etc.) more Canadians are seeing zoos as yet another institution that should be going the way of the dodo bird.
Like most zoos, Assiniboine Park Zoo has always operated with the apparent purpose of educating the public and conserving animal species. Times, however, have changed, and no longer can zoos hang on to the same rationales that once made them legitimate.

Chimps on the Loose: Why I Skip Zoos
You may have seen the video of seven chimpanzees that escaped the Kansas City Zoo the other day after the ringleader broke off a 6-foot-long tree branch that he then used to scale a wall.
The wily primate quickly motioned to his pals, who followed him up the makeshift ladder to freedom.
The chimps cavorted along the wall — apparently far enough away from zoo visitors to prevent a panic — for about 90 minutes before staff lured them back into their enclosure with malted milk balls.
I’m glad no humans or animals were injured, though I’m a little disappointed the chimps fell for such a simple trick. I can only imagine what was going through their heads at the time:
“Free! We’re free! Yippee! At last, we can go wherever we want, whenever we want ... ooooh, candy! Hey guys, check it out! Chocolate!...”
A zoo veterinarian I’ve met once remarked that of all the animals she deals with in captivity, including lions, tigers and cheetahs, the ones she fears most are chimpanzees because they’re not just powerful and nimble, but also maliciously clever.

Free Morgan: Sunday People and Born Free launch appeal to help scarred and wounded captive killer whale
The Sunday People reports animal rights groups, including the Free Morgan Foundation, are ­lobbying to liberate her from what they call her Spanish hellhole
As Morgan the orca leaps through the air under her trainer’s instructions, British tourists cheer the ­awesome spectacle.
None of the holiday families know that this captive creature – performing as loudspeakers pump out Gloria Gaynor’s hit song I Will Survive – was born free in the ocean.
The killer whale now performs what environmentalists describe as demeaning circus tricks in a “concrete coffin” up to three times a day.
And they fear Morgan’s two-and-a-half-year incarceration at Loro Parque Zoo on the Spanish holiday island Tenerife has taken a heartbreaking toll.
Campaigners say the anguished mammal is covered in scars and ­painful open cuts and bruises after repeatedly bashing her head and body on the side of her enclosure.
They describe it as a deliberate and horrifying display of frustration.

North Carolina Zoo gets environmental distinction
The North Carolina Zoo, in Asheboro, NC, got a big honor for its environmental efforts.
This week the zoo was recognized as an Environmental Steward by an advisory board appointed by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  The honor is for organizations that demonstrate superior performance beyond what is required.
“Attaining Steward status is a culmination of the tireless efforts of the entire zoo staff towards operating in a more environmental sustainable manner and being an

Zoo now on a white lion trail
After clearing the hurdles to bring in white tiger and anaconda, the capital zoo is gearing up to possess a white lion. Regarded as a rarest and an endangered species with its white fur and pale blue-green eyes, white lion will be flown from Dubai along with cheetah and jaguar soon.
The zoo officials here have received an offer of sponsorship from a Dubai-based agency to transport white lion to the zoo. In 2010, Al Ain zoo, UAE had received two 18-month-old white lions from Sanbona wildlife reserve in South Africa.
"We are arranging the transfer either from the zoo or from sheikhs who rear exotic species as pets. Initial agreement regarding sponsorship has already been finalized and hopefully we could soon bring a white lion, cheetah and jaguar from Dubai," museum and zoo director B Joseph said.
White lions were first spotted in 1970s in Timbavati wildlife reserve, South Africa. White lions acquire their unique colour from a recessive white gene through a phenomenon known as Leucism, a rare form of colour mutation. They are born to normal parents. In 1975 lion-researcher and conservationist Chris McBride had first encountered a lioness with three cubs: one a tawny male, and the others snow-white, which were later tran

Honest answers to aquarium ethics questions aren’t simple
The debate over whether whales and dolphins ought to be kept in captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium is about as perennial as the cherry blossoms in this city, and like the blossoms it is often intense and fleeting.
As for what sparked it this time around, I think you can split the credit equally between COPE – the Vancouver civic party which is calling for a referendum on the upcoming civic ballot – and Netflix, which has recently offered up the documentary Blackfish, a film that makes a strong case against keeping captive cetaceans.

Copenhagen Zoo's giraffe killing was wrong and disturbing
When the 2-year-old giraffe, Marius, was euthanized by gunshot, dismembered by staff and fed to a group of lions at the Copenhagen Zoo in full view of the public, it was a shot heard around the world. The inexplicable decision to kill this charismatic animal and the circumstances surrounding its death are deeply disturbing even to us battle-tested zoologists.
Giraffes are among the most popular of all animals and can live to 25 years or longer in a zoo. The sacrifice of Marius was defended by rational professionals in Europe, but the appropriateness of the decision can and should be debated.
Compounding the error, soon after Marius died, the same zoo euthanized four resident lions to make room for another unrelated male. Denmark operates highly innovative, professional zoological parks, but their practice of discarding healthy animals by euthanasia is discomforting. A zoo animal can be humanely euthanized when it is suffering from a chronic, painful or irreversible medical condition. Management euthanasia - which is dictated by lack of space or resources, physical or behavioral anomalies, or a low breeding priority - is counterintuitive to the mission of the zoo community globally.
At modern zoos and aquariums, select species are thoroughly reviewed by zoo committees organized to advocate for the benefit of the captive population. Because the genetic contribution of each animal is monitored to prevent inbreeding and optimize genetic diversity, many animals do not qualify for breeding. However,

Zoo’s licence to thrill
Animal attraction sanctioned on condition it runs education initiatives
Malta’s Wildlife Park in Mtaħleb has just been given a zoo licence on the remit that it operates an educational and research programme.
Chris Borg, who runs the park, said the licence was only issued after the veterinary and agriculture departments ensured the animals’ pens adhered to international zoo standards.
Mr Borg applied for the licence after the planning authority finally regularised his position in February and sanctioned his set-up in the limits of Rabat.
It has been his dream to formally open up the park to the public and this has finally been realised after he had first homed the 380-kilogram Bengal tiger, Lentilka, at the top of a Mosta warehouse in 2009.
Four years on, the park has some 100 animals, from big cats, to lemurs, several primates and birds, as well

Buenos Aires Zoo puts white Bengal tiger triplets on display
The Buenos Aires Zoo has put its white Bengal tiger triplets, who were born three months ago, on display, officials at the Argentine wildlife park said.
"The cubs, two females and a male, weighed around one kilo (2.2 pounds) at birth after being born nor

Bristol zoo appoints new head of conservation
A WORLD-leading primatologist has been appointed as the new director of conservation at Bristol Zoo Gardens.
Dr Christoph Schwitzer has joined the senior management team at Bristol Zoological Society, which operates Bristol Zoo Gardens and the new Wild Place Project at Cribbs Causeway.
He now has responsibility for a broad range of the society's activities, including projects to protect endangered wildlife, the animal collection, the on-site veterinary team and the zoo's learning and research departments.
Competition for the position was tough, with applicants from all over the world. Dr Schwitzer, who was previously head of research at the Zoo for seven years, starts the new role on May 1.
He said: "I feel honoured to have been offered this position, and it is a fantastic privilege.
"Bristol Zoological Soci

Jobs saved as Blackbrook Zoo sale agreed
STAFF at a zoo forced to call in administrators after a severe drop in visitor numbers can look forward to a secure future after a buyer was found.
Blackbrook Zoological Park, in Winkhill near Leek, had been in the hands of Newcastle-based adminstrators Barringtons Corporate Recovery since March 4, before a bid was accepted on Monday.
Now the jobs of the seven members of cafe, shop and gamekeeping staff will be safe when the deal for the park, which opened in 1991, is finalised.
Shop manager Mark Gains, of Uttoxeter, said staff had been working for free during the last five to seven months to keep the zoo open.
Now he felt relieved that there was 'light at the end of the tunnel'.
"It certainly has been a bit of a struggle," the 43-year-old said. "The fact the staff haven't been paid demonstrates how professional they have been through all this and how determined they were to keep the park open.
"We are all pleased and relieved a buyer has been found, but obviously until they cross the 't's and dot the 'i's, we are cautiously optimistic.
"We hope to meet the

Suffering is the core issue with whale and dolphin captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium
Do whales and dolphins suffer in captivity?
That is the core question. All of the rationalizations for captivity (needed profit, educational value, scientific research value) are dependent on the answer to that question.
And the scientific answer to that question is an unequivocal yes. Captive whales and dolphins do suffer greatly from the very condition of their confinement. Suffering is imbedded in captivity.
And they suffer whether or not they were captured from the wild or bred for a lifetime of captivity. It is a self-serving misconception, propagated by institutions like SeaWorld and the Vancouver Aquarium, that whales and dolphins born into captivity do not suffer because they have never experienced their natural habitat. They don’t know any better. As if millions of years of evolution and genetic programming can be drastically altered in one generation. Do humans born into slavery not suffer from being denied the qualities of life that freedom bestows?
When Vancouver city councillors were discussing enacting a bylaw to ban all wild animals in circuses in 1992, one of the key questions councillors asked was if wildlife born in captivity was still wildlife. The Vancouver Humane Society at the time provided enough scientific evidence that convinced councillors that even after many generations of being born in captivity, wild animals’ instincts remained wild.

Chinese bear bile farm to become a sanctuary
Historic agreement sees Animals Asia working with farm to rescue 130 bears
Animal welfare organisation Animals Asia will convert a bear bile farm in Nanning, China, into a sanctuary following an unprecedented request by the farm to rescue and care for its 130 bears.
 From May 5, Animals Asia will take 28 of the sickest bears, 1,200km in a multi-vehicle convoy back to our existing sanctuary in Chengdu for urgent veterinary attention. Then Animals Asia will also take over the care of the bears on the Nanning bear farm and start the two-year process of turning it into a sanctuary.
The move was instigated by Mr Yan Shaohong, General Manager of Flower World, which runs the bear farm as part of a wider state-invested horticultural business.
The move has been hailed as historic by Animals Asia CEO and founder Jill Robinson MBE, who sees it as a significant step in our ongoing campaign to end bear bile farming. She said:
“China has long been outraged by this cruel practice and our statistics show 87% of Chinese are against bear bile farming. This negotiation is a result of years of growing awareness and increased opposition, with the bear farmer showing the moral integrity to do the right thing. We believe it can be the start of a wider conversation, with all parties represented, with the aim o

Griffith Park Mountain Lion Suffering From Rat Poison, Scientists Say
A much-celebrated Los Angeles puma whose image graced the pages of a national magazine last year is suffering serious health effects from exposure to rat poison, according to biologists working with the National Park Service.
P-22, the Griffith Park puma who gained worldwide fame last year when his photo with the Hollywood Sign appeared in National Geographic, is suffering a bad case of mange, likely as a result of eating prey that contained commonly available rat poisons.
Though National Park Service biologists treated P-22 for his mange, his prognosis is uncertain. In 12 years of study, only two other pumas in the Santa Monica Mountains have developed mange. Both of those cats ultimately died of rodenticid

The trade in rhino horn: asset stripping on an apocalyptic scale
The South African government’s plan to legalise rhino horn sales will simply make life easier for the organised crime cartels that are exterminating the species
I am sitting in a large meeting room at Pretoria University in South Africa at a conference to discuss the trade in rhino horn. Expecting a fierce debate pitting conservationists against hunters and traders, instead I find myself confronting my own impotence against the most horrific poaching of rhinos. What is happening in South Africa is truly in a league of its own.
I already knew that over 1000 rhino are being poached each year in South Africa. But these were just statistics. The fact that it was happening in a far away country made me feel that this was not my problem. Besides, those are white rhinos, the South African species that is still relatively numerous. In Kenya we are mostly concerned about our own species, the critically endangered black rhino.
In short I had many reasons and excuses to not engage with this ‘South African’ problem. Now I am seeing the photos of heartbreaking suffering that poachers are inflicting on rhinos. Faces hacked open, blood saturated soil.
Then, just when I think I am getting used to the images, the videos start flowing.
In one, an animal, barely recognisable as a rhino because its head is just a bloody pulp, moves and tries to get up. I cover my face, then turn to watch, tears streaming down my face. The pain I feel in every cell of my body can not be a fraction of what this once beautiful animal was experiencing.

G.W. Interactive Zoological Park cited by OSHA for multiple violations
The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park in Wynnewood has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for multiple violations.
OSHA confirmed Tuesday that the park now owes thousands of dollars in penalties for 5 citations issued March 31st, after an investigation spanning close to four months.
OSHA cited the zoo for failing to "properly protect employees from wild animals", as well as, from potentially harmful chemicals.
Entertainment director and animal caretaker for the park, Joe Schreibvogel, says they have been following USDA regulations for the past 15 years.
Schreibvogel said, "And they're the ones who tell us how to build these cages and protect the public and protect the a

Inside Tiger Farming: A Long Chain of Profiteers
During a recent documentary film shoot with a team from Spiegel TV in Germany we investigated aspects of tiger farming in Thailand and Laos before I traveled on to China and Myanmar. There I looked into not only aspects of tiger bone consumption and the trade in tiger derivatives but also the commerce involving live animals. I presented some of the findings to members of the diplomatic community in Vientiane, Laos PDR who had expressed interest in our inquiries, especially in the context of the U.S. State Department announcement of a reward concerning Vixay Keosavang and his continued involvement in the wildlife and lion/tiger bone trade which we documented during an earlier visit.

WATCH: Seals released in Penrhyn Bay by Colwyn Bay zoo keepers
Four grey seal pups that were rescued and then cared for by zoo keepers have been released back into the sea.
The mammals, named Rooster, Billy, Wyatt Erp and Seal with No Name! were today set free at Penrhyn Bay near Llandudno.
The rescued seals spent over three months rehabilitation in two specially designed pools at Colwyn Bay's Welsh Mountain Zoo.
Experts said they have been carefully monitored and have made great progress.
Now weighing 40 kilos each, keepers at the

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm fire: Elephant evacuated
A fire broke out at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm yesterday evening, and Buta the elephant had to be evacuated from her home.
The fire took hold in an adjacent shed containing two propane gas cylinders.
Firefighters put out the blaze and cooled the cylinders before allowing the animal to return.
An Avon Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said: “At 17.06pm fire engines from Nailsea and Avonmouth were called to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm in Wraxall to reports o

Animal escapes rarely happen, but they can give zoos some wild rides
In custody again but chattering only among themselves, the seven chimpanzees that briefly escaped Thursday from their habitat at the Kansas City Zoo are offering no clues as to exactly when they hatched their plan to go over the wall.
Maybe it was spontaneous.
Or it could have been plotted long ago.
When animal escapes happen — and they do — zookeepers know the reasons, which can be human error or the more naturalistic designs of modern zoos.
In the chimp case, Kansas City Zoo director Randy Wisthoff and other experts on Friday acknowledged that the peripatetic primates certainly had the tools they needed:
• Big brains.
• A scalable tree branch.
“My assumption is that the chimps were planning this for a long time,” said Matt Schindler, president of Wichita-based WDM Architects, which in part specializes in zoo exhibit design. “Sometimes when they have nothing but time on their hands, they can do a lot of thinking and figure out ways to get out of things.”
Oh yeah, speaking of those hands, don’t forget:
“They have thumbs,” Wisthoff said. “They have the ability to use — whether you want to give this credit or not — to use and make tools. Because of that, it becomes a constant vigil on our part to prevent that process from taking place.”

Salzburg cheetahs great escape
For the third time in two years a cheetah has broken out from Salzburg Zoo this week.
"Ginger" the female cheetah left two cubs behind as she scaled a 2-and-a-half metre wall at 11.00 on Wednesday morning, only to return after ten minutes back to the enclosure.
But that was not before she was spotted having a curious wander around by visitors enjoying a day at the zoo, who quickly raised the alarm.
"We are please she returned - we were at our wits end," said Managing Director Sabine Grebner. The cheetahs were secured into the inner section of their enclosure immediately after the breakout and have been kept there since while the zoo look at how to make the enclosure safer.
After earlier outbreaks in June and July 2012, the cheetah enclosure was rebuilt - at the cost of 220,000 EUR and was described as "state of the art" and "absolutely safe" by the zoo.
But it was not too tricky for Ginger who, going by the mud on her belly when she was spotted after her escape, had managed to pass through the pond in the enclos

China pledges to send pandas to Malaysia 'at appropriate time' after delay over MH370 search
China said the two pandas promised to Malaysia to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties will arrive at an "appropriate time".
The announcement was made after Malaysia announced their scheduled trip next week would be delayed, at the request of the Chinese government.
Giant pandas Feng Yi and Fu Wa were supposed to leave the Sichuan conservation centre on April 15 and arrive early the next day, according to a spokesman for Malaysian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
This afternoon, the Chinese embassy in Kuala Lumpur issued a statement saying that negotiations were being carried out and that the pandas would arrive "at an appropriate time in the near future”.
“Bilateral relations will not be affected by any individual incident,” it said.
A Chinese embassy staff member told the South China Morning Post earlier today that the delay was a gesture of respect for the passengers, mostly Chinese, and the crew on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and their aggrieved families, as the chances of finding t

New app to build awareness and information on illegal wildlife trade in South-East Asia
From bear paw soup to pangolin scales, people can now report suspected illegal wildlife trade in South-East Asia using a smartphone app developed by the Taronga Conservation Society Australia in partnership with TRAFFIC.
The ‘Wildlife Witness’ app enables users to report suspected illegal wildlife in trade in the region easily and quickly by taking a photo, pinning the exact location of an incident and sending these important details to TRAFFIC.
Reports by app users will be analysed by a Wildlife Crime Data Analyst and over time, the information will help build data and enrich understanding of illegal wildlife trade across the region, help prioritise response action and highlight areas in need of increased enforcement resources.
Wildlife Witness will also feature information on species threatened by trade, how they are often traded, as well as tips for reporting wildlife crime safely.
Its current focus is the South-East Asian region which serves as source, consumer and transit hub in both the legal and illegal trade of wildlife.
It is hoped app users will include the growing number of tourists to South-East Asia as well as the region’s own smartphone users and over time will expand on what is known about illegal trade here.
“With just a few taps on their smartphones, users can do two important things—learn how their purchasing decisions influence the illegal trade that threatens wildlife and contribute reports that will help build a more informed picture of this threat,” said Chris R. Shepherd, TRAFFIC’s Regional Director-South-East Asia.

A visit to the zoo, Senegal style: Porter
No gift shop at Dakar zoo, Senegal, but you can buy lion's urine to ward off thieves and asthma
A visit to Dakar’s zoo is like a trip to the CNE — equal parts thrilling and horrifying.
We go there sometimes to feed the chimpanzees.
That’s right. Feed them.
The zoo officially prohibits this in the same way the government prohibits child labour, which is to say: Bananas and oranges are on sale outside the zoo’s mosaic front gates.
When the chimps see us coming, they jump up and down like excited toddlers, scurry up the bars of their miserable cage and stretch out their long, chapped fingers in expectation.
Edgar, the youngest female, will even shake your hand.
That wouldn’t happen at the Toronto zoo!
The zoo sits among the eucalyptus and pine trees of Dakar’s only real park. It was built in 1935, when Senegal was still a French colony, and has since remained frozen in sepia time.
An adult ticket cost 60 cents. The chipped cobblestone pathways are lined with box hedges and faded hand-painted signs. And, most of the animals are housed in tiny, barren prison cells with green metal bars and Spanish-kitchen tile floors.

Cruel Slaughter of Hunting Dogs in New Zealand Zoo
The title caught your attention did it? Of course it did. But actually it was nothing of the sort. Wellington Zoo has kindly euthanased a couple of their aged African Wild Dogs. The story has not caught the attention of the worlds press and I very much doubt that it will. There have been no more than a dozen articles and all were precise and to the point. There were regrets, sadness but a sensible recognition that quality of life was and is important.
I used the words 'Cruel' and 'Slaughter' because these are just two of the words used when Copenhagen zoo euthanased their surplus Giraffe and when L

SeaWorld Trainers Barred From Killer Whale Pools and Rides (2)
eaWorld Entertainment Inc. (SEAS:US) lost its bid to overturn U.S. limits on trainers’ contact with killer whales imposed after one of the animals drowned an amusement park employee during a 2010 show.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s requirement that trainers not be in direct contact with the whales during shows without protective barriers or keeping a distance was justified, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled today. OSHA acted under the “general duty” clause of a workplace safety law, which obligates employers to maintain safe working conditions.
Existing safety measures “were inadequate to eliminate or materially reduce the hazard to SeaWorld’s trainer employees performing with” the animals, U.S. Circuit Judge Judith Rogers wrote for the majority of the

Fifty shades of fur? Exposing the dark side of a sea otter’s sex life (with video)
Whiskers wasn’t your average sea otter.
Rather than hang out with his own kind off Nootka Island on the west coast of Vancouver Island, he would often come ashore to socialize with humans.
He’d crawl onto the lap or around the neck of the assistant lightkeeper’s 14-year-old son, Gabe, and would even go after balls tossed into the ocean.
Sure, he was adorable. But Whiskers’s behaviour also troubled Ed and Pat Kidder, who served 44 years on “the lights” before retiring in 2003.
“He was a real cute little guy,” Pat recalls from their current home near Qualicum Beach. “But he’s a wild critter and you don’t know what he’s likely to do. Those teeth can crack an oyster shell.”
Whiskers also used to tease the dogs from the neighbouring First Nations reserve at Friendly Cove, where British explorer Captain James Cook made first contact in 1778 and the commercial slaughter of sea otters ensued shortly thereafter.
Whiskers would whistle from the water in the mornings so that the dogs would run to the shoreline and bark at him. The Kidders described them as “northern dogs” with Husky blood: Nipper, Killer and Tuk, the biggest and oldest of the three at an estimated 10 years of age.

Belgium’s elephant ivory crush will create ripples throughout Europe
Worldwide momentum is building, with the Belgian government the latest to heed our call to destroy stockpiles of confiscated illegal ivory. Our collective resonating gestures will make the world understand that the very survival of elephants depends on ending the ivory trade.
Belgium joins the ranks of key nations whose stockpile crushes have helped to strategically position the ivory trade as a major international security issue. Last fall, I stood up to speak on behalf of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) at the US Fish and Wildlife’s historic demolition of its entire cache of ivory in Denver, Colorado. Months later, IFAW representatives were present as the Chinese government destroyed a six ton stockpile of ivory.

Al Oeming: Nature lover and wrestler was larger than life
For Al Oeming, a zoologist who had live-trapped grizzlies before the advent of bear tranquilizer, bottle-feeding a grizzly on his Alberta Game Farm was business as usual, until it wasn’t.
One day in the mid-1970s, as Big Dan – four years old and 272 kilograms – guzzled his breakfast of milk, nutrients and maple syrup from an oversized baby bottle in Mr. Oeming’s hands, an elk broke out of its pen and leaped into the grizzly compound. Panicking, Big Dan knocked Mr. Oeming over and then sank his canines into his handler’s back near two lower lumbar vertebrae and lifted him off the ground. If it hadn’t been for Mr. Oeming’s muscular physique, which he had maintained since leaving professional wrestling, the damage probably would have been much worse. “He was incapacitated for weeks,” remembers Jim Poole, a keeper on the game farm. “Then he was right back at it. He was one of the toughest guys I’d ever met.”
Injuries were rare on the farm, located 35 kilometres east of Edmonton, and never deterred Mr. Oeming from his mission to educate and inspire future conservationists. His work often took him on the road, travelling across Canada with pet cheetah Tawana to speak at schools and amphitheatres. He also became a TV personality and documentary filmmaker. At its peak, his game farm housed more than 3,000 animals and 166 species.
“Every time you turned around, it was a new adventure,” recalls his eldest son, Todd. “If you weren’t catching big-horn sheep to trim their feet, you were tranquilizing a Siberian tiger to clean out the pus in its mouth.”
The adventures ended in the late 1990s as the public’s attitudes toward animal captivity soured. Mr. Oeming sold all but a few horses and chickens to zoos, but he never left. On March 17, he died from surgical complications, just weeks before his 89th birthday.

Last evidence of Glasgow Zoo erased
While it’s not a particularly recent event, this is the first time I’ve been able to visit the former entrance to Glasgow Zoo and grab a pic to show that it has now gone completely, together with any remains of the zoo which had survived on the ground behind. This was the last piece of zoo grounds which the developer consumed to build houses on. Although I’ve been past a few time since the turn of the year, it should come as no surprise to learn that the weather was usually

Zoos & Aquariums and Their Visitors Can Be Critical Advocates for Conservation Action
If you have visited a zoo or aquarium in recent years, there's a good chance that you've noticed something new. In addition to providing up-close encounters with some of the planet's most magnificent species, today's zoological parks are placing a growing emphasis on conservation awareness and action.
Indeed, if you were to ask the staff of almost any zoo or aquarium what is their main mission, they would underscore the education of guests regarding the conservation status of the animals they are observing and the threats those species face in the wild.
Zoos and aquariums are living museums where children and adults alike are witness to the wonders of the natural world. Encounters with species both exotic and familiar fill guests with awe and excite them to learn more about park animals' wild habitats, many of which are in serious decline. That process helps instill a conservation ethic within the general public that can pay dividends w

Heated Debate: Should SeaWorld Ban Killer Whale Shows?
A California bill that sought to ban killer whale shows at SeaWorld has failed to pass the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.
Instead, the committee will revisit the issue after it conducts a study over the next year.
Sean Hannity discussed the issue tonight with former SeaWorld killer whale trainer Bridgette Pirtle Davis and Lisa Lange, PETA senior vice president of communications.
Pirtle Davis said that the animals at SeaWorld are not mistreated and she did not feel in jeopardy there. She said her decision to leave was for her family, who feared for her safety after the tragic death of whale
‘Dead’ meat being supplied to zoo
Animals in the Bahawalpur Zoo are being supplied with dead meat due to which a lioness has eaten its two cubs and killed two others.  On March 16, the lioness gave birth to four cubs but due to alleged starvation, it ate its two cubs. The zoo awarded a contract of supplying meat to the zoo animals and the contractor is bound to supply 40 kg of meat including 5kg bones daily at a rate of Rs38 per kg surprisingly.
Last year, a contract had been awarded to supply the meat at Rs187 per kg. After that, another contract was awarded for provision of the food at Rs82 per kg. However, the DG Livestock cancelled the contract declaring the meat substandard. But as soon as the DG Livestock was transferred, the zoo administration signed another contract for getting meat at Rs38 per kg. Sources said that the new contractor had been supplying dead meat to the animals thereby affecting their health.
When contacted, Bahawalpur Zoo’s C

Lion dies in Hungary zoo from anthrax-infected meat
A lion in a Hungarian zoo died after it ate beef infected with the deadly anthrax disease identified in a nearby farm in the eastern region of the country, national news agency MTI reported on Thursday.
Citing the local veterinary authority, MTI said the infected meat came from the village of Esztar. It went to the zoo in the city of Debrecen.
Two lions, two leopards and a tiger ate from the infected meat, Istvan Tischler, director of the local veterinary authority told MTI. One of the lions died, while the rest of the animals are being monitored after receiving preventive medicine.
He said the farm, where the infected cow had been identified, had been placed under quarantine and the pigs and dogs got preve

Zoo now on a white lion trail
 After clearing the hurdles to bring in white tiger and anaconda, the capital zoo is gearing up to possess a white lion. Regarded as a rarest and an endangered species with its white fur and pale blue-green eyes, white lion will be flown from Dubai along with cheetah and jaguar soon.
The zoo officials here have received an offer of sponsorship from a Dubai-based agency to transport white lion to the zoo. In 2010, Al Ain zoo, UAE had received two 18-month-old white lions from Sanbona wildlife reserve in South Africa.
"We are arranging the transfer either from the zoo or from sheikhs who rear exotic species as pets. Initial agreement regarding sponsorship has already been finalized and hopefully we could soon bring a white lion, cheetah and jaguar from Dubai," museum and zoo director B Joseph said.
White lions were first spotted in 1970s in Timbavati wildlife reserve, South Africa. White lions acquire their unique colour from a recessive white gene through a phenomenon known as Leucism, a rare form of colour mutation. They are born to normal parents. In 1975 lion-researcher and conservationist Chris McBride had first encountered a lioness with three cubs: one a tawny male, and the others snow-white, which were later transported to Pretoria zoo for breeding purpose.
According to estimate, there are only less than 300 white lions and those in the wild are practically extinct. At present the white lions are born in captivity in various zoos across the globe.
The capital zoo officials are also gearing up for a trip to Nagaland. Two Himalayan bears will be brought from Rangapahar Wildlife Sanctuary and Zoologic

Escaped chimpanzees at Kansas City Zoo back in captivity
The chimpanzees escaped from their enclosure earlier on Thursday afternoon.  One of the chimps was seen scaling and walking on a wall.
Zoo Director Randy Wistoff said that a tree fell in an enclosure in the zoo's Africa exhibit. Seven of them climbed the tree and got onto a perimeter wall and two or three of them wound up on the other side of the wall.
"Our problem becomes chimps are so much stronger than humans that they can go up in a tree and pull on something long enough and pull a piece of log off. That's apparently what happened," Wistoff said. "We had one ring leader, not sure who that was, but he got that log, put it on the wall got up on top, somehow then he beckoned other chimps to come over and join him and lured about six of the

Panda Sutra – the Ups and Downs of Getting Grumpy Bears to Have Sex
There is nothing intrinsic to pandas that makes them bad at breeding. It is true that they only have one menstrual cycle each year, but this is true of many creatures. Animals that have multiple cycles per year, such as humans, cows, dogs and sheep, are the unusual ones.
Pandas are no different in their menstrual cycles from deer, stoats and badgers. The reason why pandas are going extinct is nothing to do with these cycles. It is because so much of their natur

Why some animals eat their young
Stacey Tabellario and Mindy Babitz are like many new mothers. They are with the baby every second she’s awake. They watch her on a monitor while she sleeps. They prepare bottles, talk to her and carry her and get little sleep themselves.
But the baby is a sloth bear (think Baloo from “The Jungle Book”), the only one of its kind born in captivity in the United States this year. And she is in Tabellario and Babitz’s care for a reason that’s simple and hard to

Endangered Wild Cats Harmfully Bred In Zoos For Profit, Not Protection
Although the wild cats on display in zoos seem to be the kings and queens of their exhibits, the reality of their lives in captivity is far from royal.
Illegal poaching, trophy hunting, retaliative persecution and habitat loss subjects wildlife species to extinction or captivity, and has brought populations of wild cats in the world to staggering lows.
Many zoos have made efforts to save wild cats and stimulate procreation, but the threat is the largest for the white tiger and the white lion species. Despite the educational goals and hopeful life-saving conditions of zoos, containment of these white cats has become inhumane and harmful due to selective inbreeding for the sake of profit, not protection.
In over a century, 97 percent of all tigers have been lost, leaving as few as 3,200 in the wild today, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) states. Resources to safeguard and protect the habitats of tigers are limited, and poaching remains pervasive even within countries that have protection laws, such Cambodia, China, Laos and Vietnam. In Central and West Africa, lions are now classified as an endangered species and are extinct in 26 countries, according to wild cat conservation group Panthera.
Exhibitors and breeders favor white tigers and lions because they are so rare. A subspecies of the orange Bengal tiger, the white tiger’s fur coat is the result of a recessive gene that must be carried by both parents. The Global White Lion Protection Trust states the fur of white lions is due to a genetic marker that has not even been identified yet.

Rescuing Lebanon's big cats
“It’s a very complicated process to send animals. There are about 20 people involved,” Maggie Shaawari, vice president of Animals Lebanon, says as she drives up a steep dirt road in northern Lebanon and juggles Facebook updates, taking photos of the lion and tigers in crates ahead of her and calling on her iPhone to the animal welfare organization’s office, people at the airport, press contacts and other staff members.

Ukraine crisis leaves animals in Kharkiv zoo fighting for life
Ukrainian zoo that survived both World Wars struggling for funds amid political crisis leaving its six thousand animals "on the verge of starvation".
Campaigners and Ukrainian citizens are facing a daily struggle to keep animals in a Kharkiv zoo alive while the political crisis in the country continues.
The government began in January to divert funds away from the Nikolaev zoo, which houses nearly six thousand animals, including big cats, bears, monkeys, crocodiles, boa constrictors and elephants.
The dire situation at the 114-year-old facility, which has survived two World Wars, was highlighted in March by a letter sent by zoo director Alexey Grigoriev to Ukraine's prime minister that said: "The Kharkiv animals on the verge of starv

A big victory for SeaWorld
In a victory for SeaWorld, lawmakers on Tuesday shelved legislation that would have closed the San Diego park’s main attraction by outlawing the use of trained captive orcas in shows at world-famous Shamu stadium.
However, the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee included a measure of consolation to supporters of the bill by suggesting they come back next year with a new version based on more detailed studies of the potential repercussions on research, the well-being of the 10 whales at SeaWorld and the economy of the San Diego region.
“This is a positive step forward. The issue remains alive here in Sacramento. This gives us an opportunity to discuss the great variety of issues regarding orcas,” said Assemblyman Richard Bloom, a Santa Monica Democrat who introduced the bill. “Good things take time.”
SeaWorld President John Reilly was clearly relieved over the reprieve. He does not see much room for negotiation next year given SeaWorld’s firm belief that its prized orcas are we

With new look, 80-year-old Paris zoo to re-open
Its gray, man-made mountain that might lure King Kong still protrudes over treetops, but nearly everything else has changed as Paris’ zoo prepares to re-open after a multi-year, multimillion-euro (dollar) makeover.
A lone lion was lounging, the baboons burrowing, and lemurs leaping from branch to branch as the Zoological Park of Paris opened for a herd of journalists on Wednesday before a grand re-opening this weekend.

Chimp rescued from zoo after eight-year struggle
An animal rights group confiscated Lebanon’s last imprisoned chimpanzee from a zoo over the weekend, nine years after it was smuggled into the country.
Accompanied by seven police officers and a court clerk, Animals Lebanon entered a zoo along the Nahr al-Kalb river Saturday and took Charlie the chimp into their care in a court-approved operation supported by the Agriculture Ministry that took around 30 minutes.
“Charlie, a 9-year-old chimpanzee, was smuggled to Lebanon in 2005 and sold from a pet shop before ending up in Animal City zoo,” said a press release from Animals Lebanon. “The Ministry of Agriculture declared in 2006 that Charlie was smuggled into Lebanon and that no permits have been issued for his importation. An attempted confiscation in early 2006 failed after the zoo removed Charlie the day before the confiscation was to take place.”
Animals Lebanon Executive Director Jason Mier expressed relief at securing safekeeping of Charlie.
“My first reason for coming to Lebanon eight and a half years ago was this chimpanzee,” he told The Daily Star Monday. Mier said the failed visit to the zoo in February 2006 s

Debunking Captivity: 3 Reasons Not to Keep Dolphins in a Tank
I have spent much time in the company of wild dolphins over the last twenty-something years. I’ve built a career following their everyday movements and observing their behavior both from shore and from research boats. When I began my studies, I knew these creatures primarily as the objects of my research but, as the years passed, I came to recognize them as single individuals, not solely for their unique dorsal fin notches, but also for their cognitive abilities, personalities, and emotions.
Spending thousands of hours at sea, I began to know some of them by sight and, like my human friends, they became an integral part of my life. I learned of their needs, not only for space but also for companionship, and I witnessed their fluid, complex societies, which in many ways are quite similar to our own.
I have also witnessed first-hand the very different lives of these animals in aquaria and marine parks and I cannot help wondering about the reasons for keeping such magnificent creatures captive. In my line of work, I’ve heard all kinds of justifications for keeping dolphins confined, the most frequent being education, conservation, and research. (See: “First Person: How Far Will the Blackfish Effect Go?“)
Let’s consider whether any of these reasons are valid. And let’s do this keeping in mind that we are an allegedly intelligent and caring species with the ability to reflect and analyze what we currently know about dolphins and make sensible decisions based on these evaluations.
Keeping cetaceans (and personally I would stretch this to include other animals as well), in a restricted environment may have been more ac

Bern zoo faces flak over second bear cub death
The two cubs were born in mid-January to Misha and Masha, brown bears donated to the Dählhölzli zoo in 2009 by then Russian president Dmitry Medvedev and his wife as a gift to the Swiss capital.
Last week, critics slammed the zoo for not separating the bears after Misha, a 360-kilogram adult, killed one of the two cubs, known as “Baby Bear 3”.
The zoo maintained it wanted to give the animals the most natural environment possible and it feared that separating the adults would be disastrous, leading to “massive behavioural disorders”.
But it said on Monday it was forced to subject “Baby Bear 4” to euthanasia to prevent “further distress and pain” to the cub, which was being batted around by the father bear.
Animal rights groups said the zoo took the wrong approach and the deaths of the two cubs could have been avoided.
“We strongly condemn the incidents that have led to the unnecessary and painful death to bred bear cubs,” the Swiss Animal Protection group said in a statement.
Last week, the zoo’s management said it was not planning to separate the parent bears to protect the re

G.W. Zoo releases music video attacking animal ownership laws
USDA looking into video as part of investigation
The G.W. Zoological Park in Wynnewood is under federal investigation after a tiger attacked an employee last year -- but that didn’t stop the zoo from featuring the big cats interacting with people in their new video.
The owner of the G.W. Zoo, Joe “Exotic” Schriebvogel, sent KOCO a link to his video but he wasn’t at the park Monday to talk about it.
No one else on staff at the zoo would comment.
According to the facility’s website, the zoo is planning on taking in 30 more exotic animals that were taken away from their previous owners. They hope the new video will help raise the funds to pay for the project.
Schriebvogel, a self-proclaimed country music artist and owner of the zoo, is featured in the video asking for donations for the United States Z

BLACKFISH ANALYSIS: Misleading and/or Inaccurate Content
The Opening Sequence is false and misleading. It consists of separate pieces of
innocuous training and show footage taken by SeaWorld’s underwater cameras cobbled
together (under actual 911 calls regarding Dawn Brancheau) to mislead the audience
into believing it is viewing footage of the fatal incident between Ms. Brancheau and
Tilikum on February 24, 2010. However, the Opening Sequence does not contain
footage of an attack, and neither Ms. Brancheau nor Tilikum are depicted in the
Opening Sequence.
In addition, the Opening Sequence casts SeaWorld in a false light, misleading the
audience into believing that SeaWorld trainers, including Ms. Brancheau, swam with
Tilikum, which never occurred. From the date that Tilikum arrived at SeaWorld in
1993, SeaWorld had special s

Fish House Confessional: The Water Cooler of Marine Mammal Trainers
We've all heard the phrase "water cooler gossip".  We've seen the TV shows or movies where office workers gather around the water cooler and exchange clandestine information. 
Oh, the glorious Fish House.  The Fish House has all of the glorious benefits of a fort with some major added bonuses.  Remember the forts you envisioned as a kid?  In my experience, the fort I had imagined and designed with painstaking details (such as bay windows, plush couches, a donut nook, and air-lock doors that went whoosh) never really turned out the way I wanted.  The last fort I remember well involved some big sticks, black garbage bags taped together, and a pot I stole from my house to make the fort seem more livable.  My sister and I built the Garbage Bag Fort in our backyard when the snow was melting, so the

Tenn. agency rules with iron fist to end wildlife adoptions, some say (with video)
Dudley loved his pacifier. His sister Opossum loved vanilla ice cream.
And every day the 2-year-olds sat on the couch with stuffed animals and watched "How The Grinch Stole Christmas."
At night, when they couldn't sleep, they'd crawl up into Tisha Morgan's bed and nuzzle into her face. She would lull them back to sleep with a bottle of warm infant formula.
"That's just how much babies they were," said Morgan, who was given the two raccoons in the spring of 2012.
But those tender moments are gone now.
Last October, while Morgan was out of town, seven state wildlife officers and a Polk County officer entered her opulent, 11,000-square-foot home in Delano, Tenn., and took the animals. A woman who rents a room from the Morgans and was h

China’s tiger parks under fire from conservationists, animal cruelty experts
The tourists piled into the bus, which took them through a series of gates into an enclosed, snow-covered field. Within minutes, the bus _ modified so that a steel cage covered the windows _ was surrounded by more than 20 Siberian tigers.
A Toyota Land Cruiser pulled into the enclosure and someone inside tossed out two live chickens that landed near the left side of the bus. Cameras clicked and blood splattered. Within seconds, the tigers had ripped the birds apart.
As inhumane as this scene from February might appear, it is just a small part of what happens each day at China’s “tiger farms.” Sanctioned by the government but accused of routinely violating Chinese laws and international agreements, these farms exist mainly to breed and kill tigers for the marketing of pelts and tiger bone wine.
A visit by a McClatchy reporter to China’s two largest tiger farms, in the northern city of Harbin and in the southern city of Guilin, found animals in deplorable conditions. In both cities, merchants openly sold bone wine, despite a 1993 ban by China on bone products sourced from both domesticated and wild tigers.
China’s treatment of tigers was further thrust into the spotlight last week, when 15

Nightingale Feces Facial
The use of Nightingale Feces as a facial treatment originated in old Japan. Here the preparation is known as 'Uguisu-no-Fun' and is today in popular use among Geisha and Kabuki and has been in common usage for at least five hundred years. The 'Nightingale' which produces the raw product is the Japanese Bush Warbler Cettia diphone and 'Uguisu' is the name given to this bird in Japanese. One does not have to be very clever to work out what 'no-Fun' means.
Today the product is gaining in popularity as the list of famous clients increases. Needless to s

Topeka Zoo's patriarch giraffe receiving end-of-life care
At 23 years old, Jesse is one of oldest giraffes in captivity
Jesse, a 23-year-old giraffe at the Topeka Zoo, is experiencing health issues suggesting his long life may be coming to an end, Topeka city officials said Wednesday.
Jesse, who is one of the oldest male giraffes currently living among zoo populations, is experiencing front hoof problems, as well as some muscle atrophy in his neck and arthritis in his rear legs that makes it hard for him to lie down and get back up.
Topeka Zoo officials said in a news release that they have been monitoring problems associated with Jesse’s advancing age and have discussed with USDA regulators what indicators the zoo will use to determine when the animal’s health is no longer manageable.
Jesse was born at the Topeka Zoo on April 15, 1990, and has sired six offspring, making him the patriarch of the zoo’s giraffe herd.
The zoo’s animal care experts have consulted with a large-animal radiologist and a farrier — a specialist in equine hoof care — about a condition known as laminitis, a disease that affects the feet of hooved animals. After being treated

Do You Want To Buy a Zoo?
Franklin Zoo For Sale
Part of the beautiful Franklin countryside, minutes from the southern motorway and a very easy commute from Auckland and the international Airport, this is a rare opportunity to develop a successful animal facility. The location allows access to passing tourists and visitors from all over New Zealand.
In the past the Zoo has been home to many species of animals: elephant, zebra, emu, deer, llama, primates, birds, lions, bobcats, serval cat, reptiles, native birds, wallaby, deer who have been cared for by qualified staff, vets and many volunteers. The sanctuary has been vital for animals that required special housing and/or needs when there was nowhere else for them to go.
This facility was open 7 days a week and was well used by visitors, schools and community groups, providing park like surroundings with many picnic and play areas for families. It has also been used as a venue for weddings, engagements, tourists, Christmas and company parties.
Plans are available for the proposed food preparation and cafe areas which would have allowed the zoo to offer exceptional facilities for day visitors and to further expand the c

Moscow zoo condemns more killings of animals at Copenhagen zoo
The Moscow Zoo does not approve of yet more killings of animals at the Copenhagen Zoo, where, after Marius the giraffe was killed, four African lions - two old ones and their two ten-month-old cubs - were put down because of the arrival of a new male.
"While The Moscow Zoo understands the whole situation, we cannot approve of such a decision because we believe that in the absence of conditions for keeping all the animals, new ones should not be acquired, even for the purpose of improving genetic diversity," Moscow Zoo said on its website.
An animal should not be killed just because it is old, it said.
"We often receive complaints about 'old animals' in our enclosures, but that is our principled decision. Whenever there is a choice, we try to keep the animal alive no matter what, even if it does not look the way one would want it to," Moscow Zoo said.
It emerged earlier that a pair of old African lions and their two ten-month-old cubs were put down at Copenhagen Zoo.
The Danish zoo explained this decision by receiving a young African male lion from another zoo on March 24.
Very soon the lion will be mated with two lionesses born two years ago at the zoo to make up a new pride of lions in Copenhagen. Regrettably, the zoo does not have room for accommodating all its predators, and an unpopular decision was made about the euthanasia of two old lions and two lion cubs.
In nature, in the event of changes in the pride (

Opinion Piece: Copenhagen Zoo Could Put Zoos Out of Business
he Copenhagen Zoo may not know it yet, but like all other conservation-minded, live collection, natural history institutions (e.g. zoos, aquariums, marine parks, etc.), the zoo’s ultimate goal is to put themselves and other zoos out of business.
Zoos often claim, and rightfully so, that they hope to one day restore a great majority of imperiled species to the wild and render the need for zoo-administered conservation breeding programs obsolete.
Unfortunately, one Danish zoo may do this all by itself and quite prematurely, before the mission of accredited global zoo communities is accomplished. Knowingly or unknowingly, it is selfish of them.
In essence, the accredited communities of zoos endeavor to eventually eliminate the need to breed or display captive wildlife through honorable intentions of creating conservation success stories for wildlife on the brink of extinction. The Copenhagen Zoo, on the other hand, seems unmoved by the notion that it may become solely responsible for precipitating the “dishonorable” disappearance of zoos.

Tough decisions in nature conservation
It is easy to criticize zoos and aquariums when healthy animals are culled, particularly when they are from endangered species. It's not always easy to understand the logic behind such a decision, but to get a picture of why good zoos take particular actions, one has to understand the context and the alternatives.
Wild populations of animals are collapsing at an alarming rate. Since 1997, for example, the population of giraffes in Africa has plummeted by more than 50%, with two subspecies becoming extinct in the wild, and leaving only 240 members of another subspecies in a single population center. This pattern is replicated all over the world; it is driven by our increasing need for natural resources such as palm oil, agricultural land, or living space.
Animal reserves in the most vulnerable areas are struggling to protect their animals from the scourge of poachers, while other habitats are destroyed by the effects of deforestation and increasingly climate change, a problem that all of the world's governments acting in concert have been unable to check even slightly.
Indeed, governments have been unable even to uphold their obligations under the Aichi Targets to assist in the protection of endangered species and to teach their populations about the value of biological diversity, obligations that have been almost entirely outsourced to zoos and museums.

Paddy Power opens bets on which animal is likely to be killed next at Copenhagen Zoo
Paddy Power has opened up betting on which animal is likely to be killed next at Copenhagen Zoo, after four healthy lions were put down this week.
The bookmaker, which was recently ordered to withdraw an advert that offered a “money back if he walks” guarantee for betting on the Oscar Pistorius murder trial, singled out a zebra at the zoo as a 5/1 favourite of being killed next, followed by a polar bear at 8/1.
Odds on an antelope have been put at 6/1 and 14/1 on a tiger, while a hippopotamus is the "current outsider" at 40/1.
Paddy Power said they had tried to negotiate buying any remaining lions, but their offer has been refused by Ulrich Lindegaard Christensen, the zoo’s sales manager, who told them “he could not take their offer seriously”.
Copenhagen Zoo faced international outcry after it euthanised a healthy giraffe because of its breeding procedures, before then putting down a pair of adult lions and two cubs.
After shooting Marius the giraffe in the head, zoo

Opinion: Killing Healthy Zoo Animals Is Wrong—And the Public Agrees
Scientist calls lion, giraffe deaths "zoothanasia"—or heartless elimination.
The four lions killed by the Copenhagen Zoo this week, as well as  the healthy young giraffe named Marius put to death in February, didn't have to die.
A global uproar has followed the deaths of two African lions and their two ten-month-old cubs. Their lives ended because the zoo wants to introduce a new male to the remaining females to bear more lions.
The same outcry was heard when a healthy young giraffe named Marius, who had the wrong genes for the facility's breeding program, was killed with a bolt to his head—so as not to contaminate his body with poisons. The giraffe was publicly dissected and then fed to the zoo's carnivores, including lions.
None of the deaths were euthanasia, which is a mercy killing when an animal is suffering or lingering near death and must be "put down," as zoos always refer to such situations.
Rather, it was "zoothanasia," or killing done by zoo workers because an animal is no longer needed for one reason or another and is deemed to be a disposable object rather than a sentient being. (Related: "Opinion: Killing of Marius the Giraffe Exposes Myths About Zoos.")

At the Copenhagen Zoo, Humans Can Be Animals
You’d think killing a giraffe would be enough.  Never mind that the giraffe was perfectly healthy, or that its killers worked at the Copenhagen Zoo—which, as a rule, much prefers its giraffes alive than dead—or that they killed it in front of a group of children, or that the children watched the giraffe be dismembered and fed to the zoo’s lions (teachable moment?)—or that when word got out, the zoo received the condemnation of animal lovers everywhere.
You’d think the zookeepers would learn their lesson.  You wouldn’t think that, a month later, they’d kill four healthy lions.
Were they the same lions to whom they had fed the giraffe?  I don’t know.  I stopped reading.  But I bet even Dr. Moreau is on his island somewhere thinking, those Danes are nuts.
Their excuse for the killing the giraffe was that they were worried about inbreeding.  OK, maybe, I guess.  Still seems exces

Danish Zoo Killings Denounced by Rabbi as Hypocritical Amid Slaughter Ban
A Danish zoo’s slaying of healthy animals proves that animal welfare concerns are a false justification for Denmark’s recent ban on ritual slaughter, a prominent European rabbi charged.
Citing the need to make room for new animals and prevent inbreeding, the Copenhagen Zoo killed four healthy lions earlier this week and a healthy giraffe last month.
The killings, which prompted an international outcry, make it “more apparent that this [shechitah ban] is less about animal welfare, and much more about the politics of immigration and integration,” Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, said in a statement on Thursday.
Denmark’s agriculture minister, Dan Jorgensen, issued a new regulation last month making it illegal to slaughter animals without stunning, posing a problem for Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter. He said the ban owed to animal welfare considerations.
Goldschmidt suggested that’s false.
“Since there is little or no religious slaughter in Denmar

City zoo a signature away from being recognised internationally
Induction of a rhinoceros, a giraffe and a hippopotamus in the cages of Karachi Zoo can help win recognition by Karachi Zoo on the world association of the zoo.
It is a pre-qualification for any of the zoo in the world to have five bigger animals to get world-class recognition.
In this regard a summary by the administration of Karachi Zoo is sent to Sindh Chief Minister Secretariat about two weeks back for the purpose of approval.
The application is a follow up of Qaim Ali Shah Chief Minister Sindh’s visit to Karachi Zoo where he was informed by the zoo administration about the lacking of these animals.
Karachi Zoo has lions and tigers but does not have rhino, giraffe and hippopotamus, said director Zoo Fahim Khan talking to Daily Times.

How Two Women Brought a Sea Change to Conservation (Op-Ed)
When renowned Bronx Zoo naturalist William Beebe added Gloria Hollister and Jocelyn Crane to his research staff nearly a century ago, his decision to employ two female scientists was considered novel enough that it required some justification. The zoo's founding ornithology curator went out of his way to acknowledge that he didn't care whether they were men or women. What mattered most in a researcher, said Beebe, is "what is above the ears."
Hollister arrived in 1928 with a master's in zoology and three years' experience in cancer research at Rockefeller University. Crane, who joined in 1930 after earning her bachelor's in zoology, had already published in the prestigious Journal of Mammalogy. Yet despite their qualifications — which paralleled those of their male colleagues — some media focused more on the women's sex than their scie

Are zoos and aquariums improving public understanding of biodiversity?
In response to the UN Strategic Plan for Biodiversity – created by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) – World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) (a partner of CBD) launched a campaign (in 2005) to assess current public understanding of biodiversity and to ensure that this understanding improved as a result of refined science communication within zoos and aquariums.
WAZA have been undertaking an assessment of the success to which zoos and aquariums around the world effectively educate the public about biodiversity and this month the results were released.
By conducting a survey of visitor knowledge before and after their exposure to biodiversity information, WAZA were able to gauge the success of education facilities and interest levels of the public. Additionally, the backgrounds of visitors were established which is important to ensure information is communicated at the correct pitch and style.

Ex-city zoo curator Ingrid Schmidt-Buchanan dies
Ingrid Schmidt-Buchanan was known as the Madam of the Cat House – that’s “cat,” as in lions, tigers, leopards and cheetahs, said her son, Sean Schmidt.
During her long career working at zoos in Germany, Omaha and Albuquerque, Schmidt-Buchanan helped to raise as many as 50 newborn big cats who were ill, injured or rejected by their mothers.
She was also a pioneer, becoming one of the first women to work in zoo administration as a supervisor and collection curator at a time when zoos were operated almost exclusively by men, and she was among the early zoo officials to push for keeping animals in larger spaces that more resembled their natural habitats.
Schmidt-Buchanan helped start the Cheetah Species Survival Plan at the Rio Grande Zoo to breed cheetahs in captivity, thereby decreasing the need to remove them from the wild and in many cases introduce zoo-born animals to the wild. The program later served as a model for animal breeding programs at other zoos throughout the country.

Extinction v. Captive Conservation: The Fate of the Three Amigos
Recently, in a legal ploy designed to undermine the “Three Amigos” provision of the Appropriations Act of 2014, the Friends of Animals (FoA) filed a federal lawsuit to try and stop the conservation of three endangered antelope species.
In a legal and legislative skirmish beginning in 2005, conservationists and animal rights activists have battled over the fate of three endangered antelope. It began when US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) added the scimitar-horned oryx, dama gazelle and addax (a|k|a the Three Amigos) to the Endangered Species list– but allowed an exemption for legal trade and hunting of captive bred specimens here in the United States. FoA and other animal rights activists filed a federal lawsuit hoping to overturn the exemption and block these captive conservation efforts. Subsequently, in 2009 they got their wish, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia struck down the FWS exemption, putting the Three Amigos in jeopardy of extinction once again. Then, in January of this year, the Appropriations Act of 2014 was passed and signed into law by President Obama with a “Three Amigos” exemption that once again cleared the way to conserve the endangered antelope throug

Tigers slaughtered in show of social stature for Guangdong businessmen
Police seize body of freshly killed tiger and discover video evidence of electrocution and torture after raid in Zhanjiang
More than 10 tigers have been killed as "visual feasts" in China to entertain officials and rich business people, state media reported.
Police in the port city of Zhanjiang, in the southern province of Guangdong, seized a freshly slaughtered tiger and multiple tiger products in a raid this month, said the Nanfang Daily, the mouthpiece of the provincial Communist Party.
Local officials and prominent businesspeople gathered to watch the tigers being killed as "eye-openers" to show off their social stature, it said. Video footage of a killing two years ago showed the tiger, kept in an iron cage, having an electrified iron mass prodded into its mouth with a wooden stick and passing out after being electrocuted for more than 10 seconds, the paper said.

"Show to kill the tiger", China local paper in HNWIs (Translated from Japanese)
Canton (Guangdong) ShoJinKo of AFP = [current events] China Southern (Zhanjiang) city, was to target the wealthy and local officials as "entertainment pleasure to the eye", tiger of 10 or more animals are in front of the audience in that it has been killed, state media reported. China or corpse smuggling purpose Siberian tiger from car From what local agencies paper of the Chinese Communist Party, Southern Daily (Nanfang Daily) was communicated to the 26th, in the raid that local police have made ​​this month, tiger one animal that was just killed tiger multiple products that were seized with.  The newspaper, reported that a wealthy businessman from officials and local, and had gathered to watch the event in order to show off the social prestige of their own. The video was taken two years ago, how pushed the mass of iron in the mouth with a stick of wood, tiger put in the cage made ​​of iron, faint to shed electricity for more than 10 seconds there is captured that was.

Steve Irwin had one of the weirdest deaths imaginable: stung multiple times in the heart by a stingray which had probably mistaken him for a tiger shark. His final words, we now know from his cameraman, Justin Lyons, were: "I'm dying."
But according to that same cameraman, it would be wrong, quite wrong for that dramatic last footage and those now famous last words ever to be shown to the public. Well, I'm sorry, but I couldn't disagree more strongly. It's what Steve would have wanted, and it's what his public deserves.
I loved watching Crocodile Hunter, so did my kids, so did an estimated 500 million viewers around the world. Irwin was huge. And the reason he was huge--besides his manic energy, infectious enthusiasm, and those ridiculous khaki shorts worn on every conceivable occasion--was that in almost every episode he diced more closely with death than any TV wildlife presenter before or since.

The Truth about the Blackfish “Documentary” by Ken May
First of all, what gives me the right to weigh in on the Sea World vs. Blackfish debate? Unlike many of the self proclaimed “experts” who are animal rights activists masquerading as scientists or former Sea World employees who have never gotten close to a killer whale, I am a former marine mammal trainer who worked with Killer Whales as well as many other marine mammals for many years. I worked at Sea World San Diego from August, 1974 through June, 1982. I feel that I have as much of a right if not more so than most of these people spewing misleading footage to CNN.
I was surprised and I am ashamed of CNN for labeling this propaganda a documentary. And that’s what it is everybody, pure propaganda. And because a Sea World trainer died in Orlando, Florida and CNN played this pack of dribble over and over on what I used to consider a professional network, the animal rights activists’ movement is finally gaining undeserved momentum after so many years of trying.

An independent blog encompassing the best new ideas & topics in the zoo world, striving for a progressive and integrated approach to both in-situ and ex-situ wild animal conservation.

Smuggler caught with 22 bears running free in his car tried to convince customs officials they were dogs
A Chinese smuggler was caught red-handed with 22 baby bears running free in his car - but when questioned by police, the man claimed that he thought the animals were dogs.
Wu Meng, 28, told border patrol guards in south-west China that he was going to sue them when they took away what he described as rare pedigree Akita puppies.
When a vet confirmed that all 22 of the furry animals were not dogs and were in fact bears, Meng

Dolphins illegally in the EU? Dolphinarium owners refusing DNA analyses
 The animal protection organization ProWal and the Whale-and Dolphinprotection-Forum (WDSF) are looking for evidence in the dolphinarium in Constanta, town in the EU country Rumania, of their illegal import of dolphins from Taiji/Japan. None of the 30 dolphinariums in the EU answered when asked about the DNA analysis of the dolphins held in captivity in zoos and pleasure parks, which would have no doubt given insight into the origin of the dolphins. The Washington Species Protection Act (CITES) forbids the import of dolphins for commercial use. Last September ProWal inspected the dolphinarium in Constanta, Rumania, after the organization was told that dolphins were held there, which came from the brutal drive-hunts in Taiji. ProWal found only two of the original three dolphins, which were bought for Euros 500.000 from a zoo in Peking under the pretense that these were captivity-bred dolphins. He was told that one dolphin had died. The Rumanian dolphinarium owner, furthermore, maintained that these dolphins were second generation. This, however, could time wise not be possible, the dolphin-protection organization replied, since the only successful breeding of a dolphin happened as proven in 2003 and this dolphin calf did not survive.

Life with Elephants                                                 
It’s easy to recognize Thainess by elephant images marked on an item. Thai people and Thai (Asian) elephants are most of the time coming as families.
Thai elephants have been a long time characterized in Thai culture through tales of Thai history and Buddhism, since the strong bond between elephants and Thai people that it is found in Thai proverbs, songs and so on, which amazed many Thais who just came to realize that. Some of minority groups in Thailand also have elephants in their home as family members, especially mahouts.
A mahout is known as an elephant caretaker. For most of Thai people, they seem to be only a worker feeding elephants and cleaning whe

Are Wildlife Sanctuaries Good for Animals?
Noelle, a three-and-a-half-month-old tiger cub with saucer-size paws, strains at her pink-and-purple leash. She seems to know what's coming as animal trainer Kelsey Johnson pulls out a warmed bottle of specially made formula. The cub suckles it greedily, and three visitors to Dade City's Wild Things, a Florida sanctuary and zoo, are called up one by one to get their pictures taken as they stroke the thick fur on her back, their faces alight with amazement.
For the next 15 minutes, the visitors get to interact with the rambunctious cub while Johnson attempts to corral it. A blur of orange-and-black motion, Noelle pounces on a squeaky toy and plays tug-of-war with a stuffed toy pig. When she leaps onto Johnson's shoulder with her teeth bared, the trainer flips the tiger over and roars in her face to chastise her. "It reminded me she was a wild animal," says Briana Greene afterward, awed by her encounter with the young predator.

Banham Zoo trainer scoops international award in Texas
A trainer at Banham Zoo has winged his way to an international award following an annual conference across the pond in Dallas, Texas.
Andy Hallsworth, head animal trainer at Banham Zoo, and his team entered some of the zoo’s quaker parakeets into the Best Interpretive Behaviour of the Year category at the annual International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators (IAATE) conference in February.
Despite being up against stiff competition, Mr Hallsworth and his team beat eight other entries to scoop the award.
‘When it was played during the awards ceremony, I was pleased to see that it got a great reception,” he said.
“However, there were eight other submissions in the Interpretive Behaviour category, including San Diego Zoo, California, all of which were showing equally impressive behaviours in their displays.
“I honestly didn’t think that we had much of a chance of winning so I was astounded and delighted to hear my name announced.
“I was so proud to rec

Update: Roadside Zoo Operator Posts Photos of Dead Birds, Raises More Questions
The death toll at The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park (“G.W. Zoo”) seems to be growing: Earlier this month, the G.W. Zoo posted disturbing photos on its Facebook page of two blue-and-yellow macaws and a Goffin’s cockatoo lying dead at the bottom of filthy cages. The photos show the birds surrounded by disintegrating newspapers and excrement, with no trace of food or water visible. The cockatoo had apparently plucked the feathers from his chest—something that birds do when sick or distressed. Based on the photos, it’s likely that the birds suffered fr

G.W. Zoo owner responds to PETA after a chimpanzee dies
The G.W. Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood is once again under fire from PETA after what they are calling a mysterious death of one of the zoo's animals.
"You know, it was hard to deal with. Losing a family member and trying CPR and not being successful and it bothers you," said the owner of the GW Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Joe Schriebvogel. He says the recent death of Bongo, one of his female chimpanzees, has been a tough loss and one he didn't see coming.
Schriebvogel says, "During lunch time I came out to work with them and shift them to clean their cage and she stood up and came walking to me and just completely fell over. Just like you would with a heart attack or something else."
Schriebvogel, who is also country music artist "Joe Exotic", posted this video online he says to show how much he cared for Bongo.

Zoo unveils initiative to save sparrows
The Nehru Zoological Park on Thursday launched a ‘Networking of Sparrow Conservation Teams’ (NEST) that will work on conserving sparrow habitats and their nesting sites in and around the city.
As part of World Sparrow Day celebrations, Director of Zoological Parks in the State, P. Mallikarjuna Rao said the initiative would bring together NGOs, interested citizens and bird lovers in identifying nesting sites and conserving them.
“The zoo will act as a facilitator and the NEST will also strive at awareness building on the importance of sparrow conservation and also the role played by them as an indicator of healthy environment,” he said.
In and around the city, nearly 90 localities were identified as having a sparrow presence. Teams would visit these colonies and guide residents on the initiative.
Meanwhile, more than 100 fruit-bear

Limits on Ivory Sales, Meant to Protect Elephants, Set Off Wide Concerns
New federal rules aimed at blocking the sale of ivory to protect endangered elephants are causing an uproar among musicians, antiques dealers, gun collectors and thousands of others whose ability to sell, repair or travel with legally acquired ivory objects will soon be prohibited. Vince Gill, the guitarist and Grammy Award winner, who owns some 40 classic Martin guitars featuring ivory pegs and bridges, said he is worried now about taking his instruments overseas. Floyd Sarisohn, a lawyer from Commack, N.Y., said he will be blocked from auctioning any of the hundreds of chess sets with antique ivory pieces he has spent decades collecting. Mike Clark, owner of Collectors Firearms in Houston, said he fears he might have to “gouge the ivory inlay” from scores of commemorative handguns and rifles that long predate the ban, if he wants to sell them.

Thanks for the Controversy: What Anti-Zoo People Have Taught Me
All that follows are my personal opinions.
I am a zookeeper and have been for 7 years.
I have worked at 4 different places (3 zoos and 1 wildlife park)
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology (emphasis in field biology/ecology) and a minor in Psychology.
The following are 10 broad generalizations of anti-zoo people logic that I've seen repeated over and over on various blogs, Facebook pages, etc. across the internet.
I realize that not all anti-zoo people will fit all of the categories and that all anti-zoo people aren't that extreme and maybe now people will be able to see how unfair it is when they lump all zoos into the inhumane category.
1. All zoos are created equal. To the anti-zoo individual this means that all zoos are the same. Whether they are big or small. Whether they are we

Is CITES Turning a Blind Eye to China’s Illicit Wildlife Imports?
China’s illegal imports of some 150 chimpanzees from West Africa have become a major animal welfare and conservation concern since it first became public some 3 years ago. This trade was still ongoing in 2013.
In addition, trade data reported under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) for 2010 showed that China had also declared the import of 10 gorillas. As with the chimpanzees, they were supposedly all captive-bred in Guinea-Conakry, which is not a range country for gorillas.
Of course, none of these great apes were captive-bred and the chances are very high that they were all Eastern lowland gorillas from the Democratic Republic of Congo. It would appear that CITES import permits were issued by China (the trade statistics from China are based on these permits) — but Guinea did not report the expor

Is It Wrong For Zoo Restaurants To Serve Meat?
Is it weird to eat a hamburger at the same zoo where you just pet a cow, or cooed over a panda?
It's natural to wonder about zoos and ethics after last month, when a Danish zoo killed one of its giraffes, with a bolt gun to the head, in front of some kids, then fed the carcass to lions in the name of animal welfare.
That zoo restaurants serve meat brings another set of questions, as reputable zoos don't just put cute animals on display. They also provide for and educate visitors about animal welfare. A paper in the latest issue of the Journal for Critical Animal Studies -- a peer-reviewed publication devoted to "animal liberation," an animal rights movement that takes more and less radical forms -- argues that these missions are at odds with the foods that most zoos serve to visit

How Elephant Armies Built the Ancient World
Without elephants, the ancient Library of Alexandria might not have existed. Every war has, as a byproduct, cultural and technological innovation: in our world, the US Civil War led to medical advancements and the Cold War put us in space. In the classical era, it was the race to build elephant armies that changed the world.
By 275 BCE, Alexandria was the largest, most beautiful city in the world. Its buildings were made of limestone and marble, imported from places worlds away. Its relatively temperate climate meant that flowers were almost always in bloom, impressing foreigners both from warmer and cooler climes. Scholars from around the world came to study and work at the Museum and Library. Life in the city was good.
But it wasn't always that way.
Just seven years earlier, when Ptolemy Philadelphos (second of the rulers of the Ptolemaic dynasty) took the throne, Alexandria was but another city on the Mediterranean. In less than one hundred years, it went from a small seaside town founded by Alexander the Great to the city you learned about in your high school

Environment Ministry loses court battle to close Costa Rica's zoos
Public zoos will remain open in Costa Rica for at least 10 more years following a court ruling last Friday. An administrative court ruled in favor of nonprofit group FUNDAZOO, which administers San José’s Simón Bolívar Zoo and the Santa Ana Conservation Center, citing a contractual technicality that will allow the group to continue operating the zoos until 2024. The Environment Ministry, or MINAE, had said it would close both zoos in May.
Following years of complaints about the two public zoos’ conditions, MINAE announced last July that it planned to convert them into cageless bio-parks, and either release or place in rescue centers some 400 animals.
Following that announcement last year, FUNDAZOO filed a lawsuit citing a clause that would automatically renew its contract to operate the zoos every 10 years. In order to halt the contract’s renewal, MINAE would have to notify FUNDAZOO more than a year before the contract ended.
According to the suit, MINAE was obligated to notify FUNDAZOO that it would not renew its contract before March 7, 2013.  While MINAE filed the resolution on March 6, FUNDAZOO was notified, via email, the following day. The court ruled that this late notification constituted a breach of cont

The Brutes In The Dehiwala Zoo
What goes on at the National Zoological Gardens at Dehiwala is anybody’s guess. So, no one seems to be interested in animal welfare in the Zoo although it has come to the surface that its inmates are suffering and starving to their furthest extreme.
It is alleged that the animals are not fed properly although the income of the Zoological Garden goes on swelling daily.
“This has to be investigated to find out whether it is the fault of the management or the zoo keepers. What we understood is the zoo keepers are the culprits, still the management cannot pass the blame on to them. It is the management’s responsibility to see whether the food stocks released from the stores are given to the inmates or robbed,” said an environmentalist.
Meanwhile, The Sunday Leader visited the Dehiwala Zoo last Tuesday to find out how its inmates are fed and whether they are properly looked after. After giving a small ‘tip’ to a zoo keeper, this reporter was able to find out how the food released to the inmates was stolen.

US kiwi expert awarded NZ's highest accolade
US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Marie Damour congratulates Smithsonian National Zoo senior bird keeper Kathleen Brader for today becoming an Honorary Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Ms Brader received the honour for her kiwi-conservation efforts at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington DC. During her 25 years at the zoo she has successfully hatched and raised six kiwi, created a kiwi education campaign, chaired the Species Survival Program and written numerous publications on protecting the endangered bird.
Ms Damour said Brader’s award placed her among a rare group of non-New Zealanders distinguished by the honour.
"Her devotion and commitment exemplify the partnership between the United States and New Zealand on conservation and cultural recovery," she said.

Panda Power

The Grisly Bear Burlesque: Must We Treat Animals Like Circus Acts?
The moral underpinnings of a zoo in the modern world are tenuous. When we got our first zoos in the collectors’ society of the 19th century, they were used to bring exotic things to us. Occasionally, they even contained humans with varying levels melatonin in their skin; there was little difference between a zoo and a circus.
But we have different notions of animals in this part of the world now, and of our relationship to them. Thanks to Cirque de Soleil, many circuses have left performing animals behind. Our modern zoos, meanwhile, are meant to be institutions of education and preservation—it’s why we often support them with our municipal taxes, why we pay to take our kids there, and why they occupy the generally respectable place in society that they do.
Which is why the recent naming of a new polar bear cub at the Toronto Zoo has been so galling.
First, zoo staff compiled a list of potential names for the little guy people could vote on, one of which turned out to be a nonsense word they first claimed was Inuktitut for “beauty.” Once some Inuit pointed out the word didn’t actually mean anything, they apologized and removed the definition. Not the name itself, though—they kept that. After all, it still sounded eskimoey, and polar bears are eskimoey, so, great, right? Besides, a lot of people had already voted for it. (The fact they did so w

Warren Buffett’s son to spend $23.7 million in effort to save South African rhinos
American philanthropist Howard G. Buffett, the elder son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, arrived Thursday on a mission to preserve South Africa’s rhinos and protect them from poaching.
Mr. Buffett is scheduled to meet Friday with government officials and conservationists to discuss the slaughter of rhinos, whose horns are prized in Asian nations for their spurious medicinal properties. He will deliver a $23.7 million check to aid the conservation effort.
In an interview with The Washington Times, Mr. Buffet said that, although he is motivated by the need to protect wildlife, a major concern is that profits from poaching are helping fund rebel wars across Africa and terrorist groups around the globe.
“This is a criminal network that reaches around the world,” said Mr. Buffett. “Proceeds from ivory, rhino horn and other goods are funding conflicts in Africa and radical groups elsewhere.
“The best way to stop this is to cut off the money to those organizations, and that’s a part of what we’re doing while also saving the rhino,” he said. “In many ways, this is an experiment in peace, and hopefully we can replicate it in other parts of the world.”

The Horror Of Canned Lion Hunting -- And What You Can Do To Stop It
I’m not much of an activist. I’ve never been one to leave a warm house for a cold street, holding signs or marching, but on Saturday, March 15, I’ll be doing just that.
I am taking part in the Global March For Lions to stop canned hunting in South Africa. People in 55 cities around the world will march in hopes of raising awareness and educating people on ways they can help stop this barbaric act. (See below for ways you can help.)
The event in New York City begins at 11am in Washington Square Park.
If you follow this blog or have enjoyed my pictures over the last couple of years, you know that I have a deep love for Africa and its magnificent wildlife. So when I hear about practices like canned lion hunting, my rage is so intense it’s hard for me to think clearly.
I’m not suggesting that this is the only danger threatening the survival of lions, or other species for that matter, in fact there are so many things it’s a bit overwhelming, but I find the fact that canned hunting is a legal practice partic

Croatia's second city to close 'worst zoo in the world' after reports of 'nightmare' conditions and 'depressed' animals
A zoo described by tourists as 'the worst in the world' will close its doors.
Animals from the zoo in Croatia's second city, Split, will now be relocated to various other zoos, Mayor Goran Kovacevic told the national news agency Hina.
Monkeys will be sent to Germany while a solution for a 14-year old tiger is still being considered, he said.
The wide-selling Jutarnji List published a story earlier this week detailing the conditions animals were living in, such as small, dirty cages and poor conditions in the zoo, which have seen visitors posting disconcerting reviews on the
One reviewer said: “This is a terrible place for animals that live i

Zookeepers find it hard to say goodbye to beloved elephants
Jenn Godwin remembers the first time she came face-to-face with elephants. “I got to feed them and touch their trunks,” she says of that first encounter in 1989, when as a three-year-old she participated in a Calgary Zoo preschool program. “I fell instantly in love.”
Like thousands of other children, it was a love that followed Godwin throughout her childhood.
For her, though, it was more than a passing fancy. Godwin’s heart was set on a career with zoo animals. She went to the University of Saskatchewan to study biology while volunteering in her off time at animal refuges in Africa and Latin America. Three years ago, the now 28-year-old fulfilled her long-held dream to come back to the Calgary Zoo and is now one of five keepers at Elephant Crossing.
“They choose you,” she says of the inimitable relationship forged between humans and elephants. “I never thought I could be so in awe of an animal — they are the most intelligent, complex around.”

Chicago's animal matchmakers play cupid for America's zoos
When breeding exotic zoo animals, things can get pretty hairy.
Just ask the staff of the Population Management Center at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Apparently, family and population planning isn’t just a problem in the human world.
“The animals do most of the work – but we do a lot of the work behind the scenes,” said Sarah Long, center director.
A lot of work indeed. The logistics of moving a large, adult male elephant across the country to breed can be quite complicated – and dangerous. Even more complicated is figuring out which animal to mate with which, and then getting that certain male elephant to mate with a certain female – whether artificially or naturally.
“Even with elephants, natural breeding is really what’s successful,” said Long.
The Population Management Center, in partnership with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, is the central management facility for preparing breeding and transfers, and demographic and genetic analyses for all association-accredited zoos in the U.S. Essentially, the staff based at Lincoln Park is America’s zoo animal matchmakers.

Metal twisted by zoo grizzlies a heavy addition to exhibit
One of the sculptures in a newly opened art exhibit might well be titled: Bears versus Bars.
The “Zoo Views: Arts & Artifacts” exhibit opened this week at the Arts Castle in Delaware. It features art from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, including metal bars that were once inside the grizzly-bear enclosure.
The resident bears, Brutus and Buckeye, managed to pry the bars loose — some from a grate over a drain, and others from between windowpanes.
The bruins then twisted the bars, apparently just for fun.
Zoo officials decided to solder some of the bars together. They had previously been on display at the zoo.
“I can personally say (the bars) ... are very heavy,” said Karen McCullough, co-director of programming at the Arts Castle. “That would not be an easy thing for a person to do."
The exhibit consists of about 60 items, covering a wide range of genres. It opened on Tuesday and continues through April 19.

A Global Evaluation of Biodiversity Literacy in Zoo and Aquarium Visitors

North Korea’s New Beautification Project: Pyongyang Zoo
Under Kim Jong Un, North Korea has gone on a building and beautification drive in and around its Potemkin capital of Pyongyang.
The fruits of that push to make the elite feel content include waterparks, a dolphinarium, a riding stable, and further afield, a ski resort in the southeast of the country.
The latest target for development appears to be the Pyongyang Zoo, which has featured frequently in state media reports in recent weeks. A bulletin published on Wednesday says Mr. Kim visited the zoo himself recently, where “projects are under w

Rhino captured in Danum
A female Sumatran rhino was captured deep inside Danum Valley, Monday, raising a desperate last hope that experts may be able to use it to get some baby rhinos sired in captive breeding to avert a local extinction of the species in Sabah.
That is provided the new "girl" turns out to be cyst-free and reproductively healthy and fertile.
"The rhino fell into a pit trap dug at a site on a known rhino trail deep inside the Danum Valley Conservation Area about six hours' walk from Yayasan Sabah's Borneo Rainforest Lodge," Dr Sen Nathan, Asst Director-cum-Chief Veterinarian of Sabah Wildlife Department told Daily Express.
"It turned out to be quite an agg ressive female and no report of injury on the animal had been received from the field so far," Dr Sen noted.
The Bornean Rhino Alliance (BORA) and Sabah Wildlife Department set up the trap, after camera traps identified the presence of the rhino in the area and intensified this joint effort when the State Cabinet approved the capture of remnants of rhinos in Sabah's forests last year.

Saving a crushed egg with tape and glue: Why you should care about the kakapo
Conservationists in New Zealand are celebrating after an extremely rare kakapo chick hatched from a cracked egg held together by nothing more than tape and glue. The bird joins a global kakapo population of just 125 birds – but what makes these animals so unique and why are they worth saving?

Edinburgh Zoo pandas prepared for next mating bid
Zoo bosses have started work to prepare their giant pandas for breeding in the hope of welcoming a cub to the attraction.
Tian Tian and Yang Guang have been taken off show while experts take a semen sample from Yang Guang, which may be used for artificial insemination. Meanwhile, an internal examination will be performed on Tian Tian to ensure she is in the best of health.
The popular panda cam will also be unavailable for a few days due to pre-breeding preparations.
The would-be parents have failed to reproduce since their arrival at Edinburgh Zoo two years ago. But with another breeding season getting under way, it is hoped it will be a case of third time lucky for the attraction
There was heartache last year as, after months of waiting, the zoo confirmed that Tian Tian was no longer going to have a cub.

Zoo forced to put down 28 animals in three years
AN endangered chimpanzee, a snow leopard, two Chilean flamingos and two Labrador dogs are among 28 animals Dublin Zoo has been forced to euthanise in the last three years.
Figures released for the first time by the zoo reveal an average of almost 10 animals are put to sleep each year.
Confirmation of the figures comes in the wake of international outrage over the decision by Copenhagen Zoo to euthanise a healthy 18-month-old giraffe called Marius because his genetic make-up ruled him out as a potential breeder.
The animal was dissected in front of a watching crowd before his remains were fed to the zoo's lions, tigers and leopards.
Dublin Zoo director Leo Oosterweghel condemned the the event, calling it "cold, calculated, cynical and callous". Mr Oosterweghel said there were viable alternatives because zoos in the UK, Europe and the Middle East offered to house the giraffe.
Dublin Zoo has insisted all of the animals that have been euthanised at the zoo were put to sleep because they w

Of inbreeding and surplus captive wildlife
The tragic death of Marius, the giraffe, at Copenhagen Zoo has again brought to mind the question of inbreeding and surplus animals in zoos all over the world.
Zoos always seem to think they have an important role to play in educating the public, but to have Marius dissected publicly as a kind of lesson in humane slaughter has nothing to do with education or dietary habits of wildlife, but everything to do with getting rid of an animal that happened to be no longer useful to the industry.
Even as Marius grabbed the headlines news emerged of yet another five lions at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire, UK which were put down because of genetic problems caused by inbreeding.
Both these zoos argued that they had no choice as these animals were ‘surplus’ to requirements. Marius a victim of giraffe breeding success by European zoos, but the zoo has no space to house this victim. As for the family of lions, they were becoming too aggressive in their cramped home. A question which begs to be answered is why were these animals bred at all?

Scientists study whether orangutan Mahal's death points to greater threat
Cutting-edge genetic diagnostics may help the Milwaukee County Zoo determine whether a new threat to its primates is lurking on zoo grounds or the shocking death a year ago of the popular young orangutan named Mahal was a fluke.
Mahal's rapid and severe disease progression raises concerns about the health of captive apes in similar settings, a team of researchers led by Tony Goldberg of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Veterinary Medicine concluded in a paper published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The 5-year-old orangutan's rapid decline could indicate an underlying condition, such as an immune deficiency, that was unique to Mahal. Or, a previously unrecognized species of tapeworm that infected practically every organ in Mahal's body may be inherently virulent and pose a threat to others.
"Moreover, the close evolutionary relationship between orangutans and humans raises concerns about the parasite's zoonotic potential," the team reported.
In other words, could the previously unknown species of tapeworm adapt to human hosts and cause a potentially deadly infectious disease in people?

Japan takes baby steps toward a proper debate about animal rights
On Jan. 10, convenience store chain Family Mart started selling a new bentō (boxed lunch) with a heavy-duty name to complement its hefty ¥600 price: Famima Premium Koroge Wagyu-iri Hamburger Bento, which “contains” high-quality Japanese ground beef. For an added touch of extravagance, it also came with a side of foie gras.
A month later, the company withdrew the product after receiving complaints about the foie gras, which is made from the fatty livers of geese. Animal welfare groups claim the manufacture of foie gras amounts to animal cruelty since the birds are force-fed. A Family Mart PR person told Tokyo Shimbun that the company only received 22 complaints, but that it was enough to persuade it to pull the item. The reporter hinted that the company may have actually withdrawn it due to bad sales, but in any case, it’s significant that complaints related to animal rights would be taken seriously by a Japanese business and picked up by the media. It’s not a topic that’s usually covered unless non-Japanese are involved.

Famed Milwaukee County Zoo orangutan’s death caused by strange infection
Mahal, the young orangutan who became a star of the Milwaukee County Zoo and an emblem of survival for a dwindling species, led an extraordinary life.
It turns out, the young ape died an extraordinary death, too.
Rejected by his biological mother at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colo., and eventually flown to Milwaukee aboard a private jet to live with a surrogate mother, Mahal became one of the Milwaukee County Zoo’s star attractions. His unexpected death at age 5 in late December 2012 was a shock to the community that came to know him through a popular newspaper feature series in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and a book that recounted his diffic

North Korea Puts Yorkshire Terriers In Zoo
A zoo in North Korea has reportedly welcomed its newest animal attraction - a pack of Yorkshire Terriers.
The miniature dogs have been introduced to Central Zoo in the capital Pyongyang, according to state media.
Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) said the dogs are now learning "several feats", although it did not elaborate on the type of tricks they might perform.
North Koreans not familiar with 'Yorkies', which were bred in Yorkshire to catch rats and mice by scuttling around clothing mills, were given a helpful guide to the pint-sized pet.
"Each one has long hair - tan on its head and legs and blue grey on its body," KCNA reported.
"It is 22-24cm tall and weighs 2.5-3.5kg. It lives about 14 years on an average."
A picture released by KCNA appeared to show three Yorkshire Terriers in seemingly good condition.
However, Central Zoo was previously condemned by travel publication Lonely Planet, whose website claims most of the animals kept there "look pretty forlorn".
"Worst off are the big cats, nearly all gifts of long-dead communist big wigs around the world - the wonderful lions, tigers and leopards are kept in woefully inadequate compounds, and many have lost the plot as a result," it says.
"The zoo's two elephants an

Rewilding: Bring in the big beasts to fix ecosystems
Top animals shape ecosystems, so some conservationists want to unleash big beasts like elephants and lions to restore the countryside
THE sky is purple and the wind is fierce on top of the cliff. David Burney has to shout as he explains what we're looking at. Below us is the Makauwahi Cave, which contains the remains of plants and animals going back thousands of years. It is revealing what the Hawaiian island of Kauai was like before people arrived. Here you can find the bones of moa-nalo, the giant flightless ducks that once ruled Hawaii.
For millions of years, these plant-eating fowl roamed the islands, taking their pick of the lush vegetation. There were no large predators to threaten them. Then came the Polynesians. They probably started feasting on the plump, defenceless birds as soon as they had jumped out of their canoes. "It was an instant luau" – a feast – says Burney.

Say Hello to New Inmates
The city’s Nehru Zoological park will have a pair each of African lion and cheetah to attract public in the coming days.
The young Lions and Cheetahs were gifted to the zoo park by the Saudi Prince Bandar Bin Saud Bin Mohammad Al Saud last year.
The Prince, during his visit to the city for the Conference of Parties-11 in 2012, had promised to gift the animals.
According to zoo authorities, the lions and cheetahs have completed their quarantine period and are ready for display.
On a suitable date, they would be released for public view, officials informed. Three tiger cubs and two leopard cubs were placed on display in the last week.
In addition, zoo authorities will welcome a deadly King cobra and a male tiger from Pilikula zoo. The King cobra and tiger are expected to reach the zoo in another one week.
Considering the failure of zoo’s vulture breeding centre that is yet to breed a vulture, also due to the absence a healthy young vulture, the zoo authori

Two Animals Dead in a Day at Surabaya Zoo
Within the span of just 11 hours on Wednesday, Surabaya Zoo lost two more animals, bringing to 11 the number of animal deaths this year at the facility dubbed by the international media the “zoo of death.”
Agus Supangkat, a spokesman for the zoo, confirmed on Wednesday that a female anoa — basically a miniature water buffalo — and a male dromedary camel were the latest animals to have died there. He said there was nothing unusual in the deaths, citing old age in the case of the anoa and a skin disease in the case of the camel.
“There are no physical bruises on the anoa’s body,” Agus said.
“We tried our best to save its life, especially considering how the anoa has been under the medical team’s watch.”
He said the anoa, named Happy, was on a list of 84 animals categorized in January as being ill or disabled.
The camel, Estem, was also on the list. He had reportedly been diagnosed with a skin disease several months earlier and the condition was said to have worsened recently.
“The medical team was actually able to treat the disease, but it flared up again,” Agus said.

Hopes for White Tiger Cubs at Buenos Aires Zoo
Two female Bengal tigers arrived at Buenos Aires Zoo on Thursday, where zookeepers hope they will mate with the zoo's rare male white tiger and produce a litter that will include white tiger cubs.
The lucky bachelor, a white Bengal named Rhiano, was born here seven years ago and zookeepers believe he is ready to mate.
With the arrival of the two tigresses, Indra and Maya, the zoo hopes to produce more tigers with the exotic coloration.
Though Indra and Maya both have normal colouration, they have the recessive gene that can cause a genetic condition that strips their fur of the orange pigment, leaving the animal with snow white fur, black stripes and blue eyes.
"They've come to our zoo to mate with our male, Rhiano who is a male who was born at the Buenos Aires Zoo seven years ago. He is a white male. The females are orange, but they have white recessive traits in their genes so there is a high chance that there will be white tigers in the litter, or yellow tigers with the whit - See more at:

Conservation and science to lead zoo educational Islands project
AN inspiring educational project is to form part of the largest zoo development in the UK.
In just over 12 months’ time, Chester Zoo will unveil Islands, a £30m scheme which will transform the Cheshire attraction.
Linked by a series of bridges and including a journey on water, Islands will be home to animals and plants from the South East Asian islands of the Philippines and Indonesia, including Panay, Papua, Bali, Sumatra, Sumba and Sulawesi.
At the heart of Islands, on the recreated isle of Sumba, will be a new education building – called Sekolah – which has been modelled on traditional Indonesian architecture. Just as in the remote villages, Sekolah, meaning school, will be the social and cultural hub of Islands.
The zoo already works with schools and communities both in the UK and around the world through its many conservation programmes. Through Sekolah, visitors will be given an insight into the lives of others and discover more about conservation science.

Wildlife park featuring exotic animals of South America and Australia planning to open between St Neots and Cambridge near Caxton
A farmer will fulfil his life-long dream when he opens a South American wildlife park near Caxton.
Animal enthusiast George Topham plans to showcase his private collection of more than 70 exotic animals on a 15-acre site north of the A428.
Eltisley Wildlife Park, as it will be known, will “bring a taste of South America to the region” and promises to “offer a unique experience to the people of South Cambridgeshire.
Mr Topham said: “It just started with a few llamas as family pets but since then our numbers of animals have grown as we’ve become increasingly fascinated not only with the animals themselves but the places where they live.
“We keep alpaca, which we’ve started to show locally. It has been a real labour of love for the whole family and we are hoping to expand on our experience of these wonderful animals and share our knowledge with visitors.”
Mr Topham also hope the animals can be a way to get Cambridgeshire’s school children out of the classroom.
He added: “It’s also fulfilling a real need in local schools to take learning out of the classroom and broaden local children’s knowledge of the rest of the world through these fascinating creatures.”

Rhino trade conference will see sparks fly!
Are calls to legalise rhino horn trade intensifying the poaching crisis? In the face of a catastrophic 7 000% increase in rhino poaching since 2007, the South African government is preparing to ask the international community to approve the legalisation of rhino-horn trade.

Labrador Duck: Not extinct after all?
Dead duck? Or science amok?
Treated as a species and described from specimens last collected in the 1870s, the Labrador Duck (Camptorhynchus labradorius) is supposedly extinct. Thus waterfowl expert John C. Phillips (1922, vol. 1, p. 34) commented that, "During the ornithological history of this country only one species of North American duck has disappeared, namely, the Labrador Duck."
Labrador Duck is a synonym of Pied Duck, the vernacular name used by early writers such as John James Audubon, who in his famous Birds of America (1840-1844) listed it under the binomial Fuligula labradora.¹
But in fact, it seems that descriptions of this "species" were based on specimens of what were probably natural hybrids of Steller's Eider (Polysticta stelleri) and Common Eider (Somateria mollissima). Indeed, the obvious eiderlike character of these ducks is reflected in the French name for C. labradorius, "Eider du Labrador." Like eiders, they were sea ducks that fed on small shellfish, most commonly mussels, and thei

Nellie, the World's Oldest Dolphin in Human Care, Turning 61 Thursday
The world’s oldest dolphin in human care – a bottlenose who lives in Florida – turns 61 Thursday.
Nellie is a cherished resident of Marineland Dolphin Adventure south of St. Augustine. She was born in the park on Feb. 27, 1953 and went on to star in several television shows filmed at Marineland’s first dolphin stadium and become Jacksonville University’s mascot.
The bottlenose dolphin has far exceeded the average life span of dolphins in the wild and those in aquariums and zoos, Marineland Dolphin Adventure said in a news release.
“Nellie’s long life is a testament to the extraordinary level of care she has received since birth,” the park said.
Marineland Dolphin A

Axolotl found in Mexico City lake after scientists feared it only survived in captivity
A rare, salamander-like amphibian has been spotted in its only known natural habitat, after researchers feared the creature had disappeared from the wild.
Mexican biologists have seen, but not caught, two axolotls during a second attempt to find them in the Xochimilco network of lakes and canals of Mexico City.
The researchers took to the muddy waters of lake Xochimilco in small boats last year, and searched for weeks for the amphibian, but to no avail.
But biologist Armando Tovar Garza, of Mexico's National Autonomous University, said that members of the team carrying out the search had seen two axolotls during the first three weeks of a second survey expected to conclude in April.
“We weren't able to capture them...because the behaviour of the axolotl makes them very difficult to capture,” he said.
“But we have had two sightings. That's impor

Hungry for hoppers – the economic value of Thailand’s Wrinkle-lipped Bats
With an ever-increasing human population size in Asia, the need to identify sustainable practices to ensure food security is a priority. An article published by Wanger et. al. demonstrates that a single cave-roosting bat species, Chaerephon plicatus (the Wrinkled-Lipped Bat), substantially contributes to the suppression of a major rice pest in Thailand, the white-backed planthopper. Through complex extrapolations, the authors report that the population of eight million C. plicatus could prevent an annual loss of nearly 3,000 tons of rice in Thailand alone, with a monetary value of over $1.2 million USD. Through the prevention of crop loss by white-backed planthoppers, this single bat species likely protects food for 26,000 people ever year. Furthermore, the authors advocate for the protection of common yet functionally significant species, such as C. plicatus, rather than simply focusing cons

Alaska Zoo plans $8 million expansion of polar bear exhibit to triple current space
The Alaska Zoo plans to upgrade and expand its polar bear exhibit, with work scheduled to begin this summer on the $8 million project.
The expansion will triple the current space, KTUU ( reported.
The two-phase project includes plans for a transition center for orphaned or injured cubs, a maternity den and new public viewing area.
The first phase will include a cub transition center and the maternity den, according to zoo executive director Pat Lampi.
The second phase will double the zoo's capacity for adult bears, with a braided water stream and upgrades to the yard. Also included will be construction of a large, elevated walkway for visitors.
The expansion will allow the zoo to care for as many as six cubs.
The zoo has a five-year permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to respond to orphaned cubs. It's the only such permit issued in the nation.

Action leap for imperilled frogs
Thirty percent of frogs in South Africa could become extinct due to habitat destruction and pollution.
Leap Day for Frogs encourages the public to take a leap of action for endangered frogs.
There are 160 frog species in South Africa. The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) will have a National Awareness Day tomorrow.
Ordinary citizens can play a meaningful role in the protection and conservation of frogs, said Dr Jeanne Tarrant, manager of the EWT’s Threatened Amphibian Programme (EWT-TAP).
The campaign aims to put frogs on South Africa’s conservation map by providing information on what people, businesses and the government can do to reduce their negative impact on habitats and create environments conducive to frogs’ survival.
This will be the second annual awareness day for South African frogs.

Vultures to be bred at 8 more centres
The Centre is expanding its vulture conservation programme across eight centres to save the endangered species and arrest the steady decline of their population.
The move to emulate successful vulture breeding and rescue centre in Pinjore comes ahead of the ambitious plan to release these birds, bred in captivity, into the wild by 2016-17.
Six hundred pairs of each of the three critically endangered species — white backed, long billed and slender billed — will be released. For this purpose, 25 pairs of the three species will be needed to breed in each of the eight centres.
At a meeting last month, officials from Central Zoo Authority, zoo directors, chief wildlife wardens and forests officers involved in the Vulture Conservation Breeding Programme agreed to send captive-bred vultures to Rani in Assam; Rajabha

Endangered rhinos may be moved to Australia as ‘insurance’
Conservationists in talks with Taronga Zoo in effort to bring animals from South Africa, where poaching is rampant
Dozens of South African rhinos could be moved to Australia in a last-ditch bid to save them from rampant poaching and create an “insurance” population for the species.
Businessmen Ray Dearlove and Allan Davies, founders of the Australian Rhino Project, are in discussions with Taronga Zoo to support the increasingly desperate fight to save the species from extinction.
Last year, a record 1,004 rhinos were illegally killed in South Africa, up from 668 the year before. Most of this poaching takes place in the Kruger National Park, with rhino horn now worth about $20,000 a kilogram.
Rhino horn is highly prized in south-east Asia, where some people erroneously believe that it cures various ailments. The black rhinoceros is considered critically endangered, with one subspecies, the western black rhinoceros, confirmed as extinct last year.


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