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Zoo News Digest
May-June 2012


Inokashira zoo hunts for 30 escaped squirrels, bags 38
Zookeepers who lost 30 squirrels after a typhoon damaged their enclosure said Thursday their recovery efforts had exceeded expectations — they now have 38 animals in captivity.
The bushy-tailed rodents made a break for freedom when a tree felled by a typhoon last week cut through netting at Tokyo's Inokashira Park Zoo.
But after days of trapping the sharp-toothed creatures, a spokeswoman for the zoo said the haul had been more successful than expected and 38 had been "recaptured."
"We still receive about four to five reports a day from witnesses," said Eri Tsushima. "We will continue setting traps as long as people keep reporting squirrel sightings to us."
Most of the animals were caught in the surrounding park area, and Tsushima said keepers would be checking that all of those taken into captivity had the microchips the zoo implanted into its own squirrels.
She acknowledged that the ranks of recaptured animals could have been swollen by the wild squirrels that live in the park.
"We simply don't know yet," she said.
The mass breakout came a month after the recapture of a Humbolt penguin that spent 82 days at large


Escaped-animal antics are good for ratings


One of the interesting factoids accompanying the escaped-penguin story that delighted the media for the last three months is that Japan has more penguins in captivity than any other country. Tokyo Sea Life Park, the facility from which the male Humboldt penguin in question made his break, has 135. The appeal is obvious: Penguins are cute and easy to handle. No one became upset when the bird managed to get out of his enclosure and into Tokyo Bay. In fact, a certain type of commentator dominated social media, cheering the errant penguin on and lamenting his eventual capture. A few of these boosters named him Steve, as in actor Steve McQueen, the star of "The Great Escape." He was a rebel.

The escape of another species of wild animal made the news on April 20, when two female employees of the Hachimantai Bear Farm in Akita Prefecture were killed by bears that had climbed over the wall of their enclosure by means of a pile of leftover snow. Six were shot and killed on the premises and it was eventually determined they were the only ones that escaped, but at the time, since the number wasn't immediately known, local authorities warned nearby residents to be on the lookout for, as the Mainichi Shimbun reported it, "bears on the run." They were criminals.

Thriller the Tiger’s Death Provides a Perfect Opportunity to Smear Michael Jackson

Tippi Hedren, former fashion model and most famous for her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, is the founder of the California-based Shambala Preserve (ROAR Foundation) that takes in ‘unwanted’ and ‘abused’ big cats in the same manner of Florida’s famed (and similarly insincere) Big Cat Rescue. Among the most famous of her re-homed felines are Thriller and Sabu, two Bengal tigers who originally belonged to pop icon Michael Jackson and lived at his notorious Neverland Ranch’s zoo before its closure in 2006. The rest of Jackon’s exotic animal menagerie were also placed with various sanctuaries, including giraffes, flamingos, many reptiles, and even orangutans and elephants. Recently, Thriller, Shambala’s most popular resident, has died of lung cancer

Taipei Zoo holds showcase for the ‘five poisons’

The Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, is traditionally seen as a time when evil spirits are awakened, but the Taipei City Zoo is using the opportunity to educate the public about these so-called “heinous” animals long misunderstood in traditional Chinese culture.

Snakes, scorpions, centipedes, toads and geckos — also known as the “five poisons” — were believed to be evil in ancient Chinese culture and thought to rule over unfortunate human beings during the festival.

However, the zoo hopes to debunk the myth by holding an exhibition featuring the not-so-adorable creatures, which runs through July 15 to raise awareness and to protect the animals.

Zoo spokesman Chao Ming-chieh (???) said that this myth stems from the fact that people back then were more prone to diseases and pestilence during the fifth lunar month, but not through any fault of the animals. Illnesses were more prevalent during this month because of the summer heat and humidity caused by the frequent rains at that time of the year.

The lack of refrigerators, advanced medical care and adequate sanitation facilities in those days also fueled the spread of diseases, for instance through unclean food and rotting garbage, he said.

“These creatures are often wrongly seen as a threat to human beings because of their appearances or habits, but the truth is we don’t have sufficient knowledge about them,” he said.

To familiarize people with the creatures, Chao said nearly 80 species that fit into the venemous category are on display at the zoo’s Amphibian and Reptile House.

Chao said the exhibition features animals such as the brown-spotted pit vipers, emperor scorpions, Asian common toads, Chinese red-headed centipedes and Mexican red-knee tarantulas.

However, when organizing the exhibit, the zoo staff encountered a challenge because — despite the myth — geckos are not venemous, Chao said.

“After some thought, we decided to use spiders as a substitute for the geckos,” he

Czech zoo keepers save rare bird's life with Coca Cola

The Decin zoo keepers have successfully applied Coca Cola to save the life of a young Laughing Kookaburra, a rare exotic bird that suffered from serious digestive troubles and faced imminent death, the zoo said in a press release Thursday.

The Laughing Kookaburra, a species originating in Australia and very difficult to breed, hatched recently and the keepers, rejoicing at the arrival, put it in an incubator.

It fared very well for the first days. Afterwards problems emerged, however, the zoo expert Roman Rehak said.

The young bird suffered from digestive problems and was unable to accept food properly. That is why the keepers started to administer Coca Cola to it.

"It is a well-proved method. It is also known by a number of mums who give this drink to their kids if their bellies hurt," said Rehak, adding

Only 200 Orang Utans Left At Rawa Tripa

It is predicted that there are now only 200 orang utan left at Rawa Tripa areas. In 1990, almost 2,000 orang utan were registered.

This was stated by Conservation Director of SOCP, Dr Ian Singleton, in his press release Monday, June 18, 2012. The Rawa Tripa areas in the Nagan Raya Regency and in West Aceh have a size of 61,03 hectares. According to Ian Singleton, the decreasing number of orang utan population in the said areas is caused by the ongoing forest conversion into palm oil plantations. "To think that Tripa used to be a territory with the highest numbers of orang utan population in the world," he said.

On June 16, Singleton's side saved a male orang utan baby from the people who tried to sell the baby to a member of the investigating team. "This rescue constitutes a great,20120619-411590,uk.html

Unusual Import: Six elephants from Laos to make Japan their new home

Technically they are not an import, but a loan from the generous Laotian government, who have agreed to send across six elephants to Japan. The animals will make the Tohoku Safari Park in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture; Iwate Safari Park in Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture; and World Monkey Park in Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture, their new homes. The loan is for a short span of three years and the animals are expected to arrive in July.

There has been an animal kingdom imbalance in the Tohoku region, ever since the Great East Japan Earthquake. To compensate the loss, officials from the company that operates the safari park decided to request the Laotian government to loan them some elephants. The population of wild and domestic elephants in Laos is somewhere between 800 and 1,300 and a number of them are used for moving large items.

The Japanese government have consented to the proposal and pushed it forward with the Laotian Prime

Panda Politics: Tokyo’s Outspoken Governor Puts His Paw in it Again

When a giant panda gets pregnant, it’s news. Especially in Japan, a country that has waited decades for a baby panda to be born. But the good news that Shin Shin, a giant panda at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo on loan from China, appears to be with child, has quickly been turned into bad news by Tokyo’s outspoken governor.

Gov. Shintaro Ishihara suggested Shin Shin’s potential newborn be named Sen Sen or Kaku Kaku, a word play on the disputed islands known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China. Mr. Ishihara, laughing, proposed the names at the end of a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday in response to a question asking his thoughts on Shin Shin’s possible pregnancy. “This will give China control [of the Senkakus] when the baby pandas return to China,” he said.

Beijing fired back on Friday.  ”Ishihara’s scheme to undermine China-Japan relations is a clumsy performance. It will only tarnish the image of Japan and Tokyo,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a

City subsidizes zoo by $12M a year, audit shows

The Toronto Zoo’s annual audited financial statement shows the city subsidizes the attraction by $12 million a year, further evidence as to why penny-pinching Mayor Rob Ford wants to unload it and have a private interest running things.

Following a consultant’s report suggesting various budget cuts last year, Toronto City Council voted to gauge interest from outside parties in buying, leasing, or operating the zoo — or some other type of arrangement.

A city official says paperwork to that effect will probably be issued within a few weeks.

However, a poll last year of 1,046 Torontonians conducted by Forum Research shows the general public isn’t champing at the bit for a sell-off. The poll found 73 per cent opposed to closing or selling the Toronto Zoo.

Joe Torzsok, chair of the zoo’s board of management, says the city’s subsidy is much lower than it used to be.

“The zoo is getting better over time.  In 1980, taxpayers were picking up 63 per cent of cost of the zoo.  Today the subsidy is only about 25 per cent,’’ he said Monday.

And with a 57 per cent increase in attendance in the first four months of this year compared with the same time last year, or 92,423 more visitors — a jump attributed in large part to the warm winter — there’ll be less reliance on the city’s

South Africa: 3 Dozen Rhinos Exported to China from North West Province Over 2 Years

Between 2008 and 2010, at least 38 rhinos were exported from North West Province in South Africa to China.

According to a document published by South Africa’s Parliamentary Monitoring Group, permit records obtained from O.R. Tambo International Airport revealed importer addresses.

26 of the rhinos were sent to “NQ1 Siulong Artery, Hangfu (or ‘Hanfu’) Road, Hangzhou, Zhejaing Province”; four to “No. 59, Hutouji Road, Fuzhou, Fujian Province”; two to “No Zero Xin Gongyuan Rd., Nanchang”; two to Luoyang Wangcheng Park, No. 312, Zhongzhou Middle Road Xigong District, Luioyang City Henan Province; and four to “Tianci Xu, Sanya Longhui Breeding Co, Ltd. Tailing Village Tianya, Sanya (City), Hainan Province”.

North West exporter names were not provided.

Rhinos exported from Gauteng and Limpopo Provinces

The same document stated that four rhinos were sent from Gauteng Province to Changsha Zoo in China by an exporter named as Jimmy Magill in 2010.

As we wrote earlier, at least 30 rhinos

63 elephants die in 2 years in Bengal

Altogether 63 elephants died in West Bengal either naturally or by accident in a span of two years, while 139 people were killed in elephant attacks during the same period, state forest minister Hiten Burman said here today.

Giving details on the elephant reserve in the state, Burman said that there was a stock of 652 elephants comprising 529 in North Bengal and the rest 123 in South Bengal.

Out of the 63 elephant deaths between January 2010-2012, 49 were in North Bengal and 14 in South Bengal.

Of the 49 elephant deaths in North Bengal, 27 were natural and the rest accidental, but in South Bengal of 14 deaths, seven were natural and as many accidental, he said.

Out of 139 villagers killed in elephant attacks, 88 were in North Bengal and the rest 51 in South Bengal, he said, adding that a total of 425 persons were injured in such cases.

Replying to a question, the minister earlier said in the state Assembly that the state government disbursed total compensation of about Rs 1.44 crore for the loss of human lives and injuries in elephant attacks.

While Rs one lakh was given in cases of death of a person, Rs 50,000 to each of those rendered immobile, he said.

Regarding damage by elephants, the minister

Zoos: Controversy or Conservation?

Zoos have played an interesting and sometimes controversial role in human history. At their best, zoos are a stronghold of conservation and preservation dedicated to biodiversity, education, and research. At their worst, zoos make a spectacle of wild animals by keeping them in unnatural, enclosed habitats with inadequate amounts of space and mistreating them.

The first record of zoos existing is from around 1250 B.C.E. in ancient Egypt. Birds, lions, and giraffes were captured and exhibited by the Egyptians for what is speculated to be entertainment purposes. But the modern zoo has come to represent an entirely new field of work: conservationism. Since 5,624 plus species of vertebrates are currently threatened with extinction, the zoo has come to play the role of protector. Zoos have taken on the task after growing speculation and skepticism about keeping wild animals in captivity. Presently the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) estimates there are about 10,000 zoos worldwide.

Zoos have become more than just spectacle and recreation. Zoos work for conservation and preservation on local, national, and international levels. Zoos have gone far beyond the simple goal of merely keeping animals in captivity alive. Now zoos are proactive in their efforts and attempt not only to conserve species and maintain biodiversity, but also reintroduce endangered species back into the wild and make efforts to restore their habitats.

Manicured turtles swim for science

Scientists tracking the dispersal of hatchling loggerhead turtles have resorted to the nail salon to help fit tiny tags to the endangered creatures.

The Florida team tried several ideas to attach the technology to the animals, which measure less than 20cm in length.

This included making little harnesses, and using tough epoxy adhesives.

But it was only when the turtle shells were prepared like a manicurist primes fingernails that the satellite tags would stay on for a useful period.

"My collaborator typically has very fancy toenails that are nicely manicured with painted waves and other designs on them," recalls Kate Mansfield, a US National Marine Fisheries Service scientist in Miami.

"We gave her manicurist a call and her manicurist recommended we use an acrylic base coat. We went out to our local pharmacy and picked some up and tried it on the turtles. We prepped the shell, sanded it down a little

Aquarium birds are lucky to live in penguin paradise

It's time for a trip to the beach. I can't stay away any longer. So I meet Tom Dyer at my favorite spot in the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas: the bench in front of the penguin exhibit.

"This is probably the most popular bench in the Aquarium," he says.

There's only one problem with it. People keep standing in front of us, laughing and holding up phones to take pictures and videos of the penguins.

There are 29 of them hanging out at the beach and swimming in the 4,000-gallon saltwater sea -- 26 black-footed African penguins and three Chilean rockhoppers. Both species are tropical and are happy to be living in hot, humid Louisiana. The Africans are native to the southernmost tip of Africa, where temperatures can climb to 100 degrees. Some of these birds are just visiting New Orleans, though.

"We're foster-parenting four young males that are going to Ripley's in Myrtle Beach (S.C.)," Dyer says.

We watch them, and I can't stop smiling.

I have loved these goofy little guys since I first visited them in 1991, a few months after the Aquarium opened. If they were in the circus, they'd be the clowns, tumbling one after the other out of a tiny car driven by Dyer. His title is "senior aviculturist," but he's really the ringleader of the penguins.

"Look at Dennis," he says. "I don't know how many times I've told him he can't fly."

Dennis is one of the rockhoppers that were added to the exhibit in 1996. They're easy to spot because of their reddish beaks and the spiky yellow feathers sticking out from their heads that make them look like pint-sized punk rockers.

Three-month-old chimpanzee Gracie snatched from arms of her mother and battered to death by aggressive male as zoo visitors watched

Stunned visitors to Los Angeles Zoo witnessed the brutal death of a three month-old infant chimpanzee at the hands of an adult male on Tuesday.

The male chimpanzee is said to have snatched the female infant out of the hands of its mother at around 3.30 p.m. and swung its body violently around until the chimp was fatally injured.

While zoo workers could not intervene during the attack out of concerns for their own safety, they did eventually take the dead infant to a separate area in the chimp enclosure with its mother Gracie and grandmother so that they could both see it had died.

'Gracie is being allowed to keep the infant overnight to allow her the opportunity to grieve,' said LA Zoo spokesman Jason Jacobs.

Chimpanzee Infanticide at the LA Zoo: Common Occurrence or Cause For Alarm?

Sometimes, zoo animals behave unnaturally. Most animals on display at zoos are not really designed for captive living. If you’ve been to a zoo, no doubt you’ve noticed evidence of this: a tiger who paces back and forth, or a monkey that does nothing but circle the enclosure. Life in captivity can even result in various forms of self-harm: a bird that plucks out its feathers, or a horse that bites at her own body, occasionally drawing blood.

Sometimes, zoo animals behave naturally. They mate. Or refuse to mate. They groom eachother. They get sick. They get better. They care for their young. They sleep – a lot.

They fight.

 It must have been extremely unsettling for a handful of zoogoers to watch a male chimpanzee kill a three month old infant female chimpanzee at the LA Zoo on Tuesday. She was the first chimpanzee to be born at the LA Zoo in thirteen years and was therefore, in a sense, symbolic. It’s a serious setback for conservation efforts, since there are fewer than 300,000 chimpanzees living in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The chimpanzee colony at the LA Zoo, now numbering fifteen members, is one of the largest in the country, and is considered a model for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan Program.

It is sad whenever an animal at a zoo dies, especially at so young an age. I am certain that members of the LA Zoo’s staff – especially those on the Great Ape Team who worked directly with the unnamed infant – will be grieving along with Gracie, the mother.

In a statement, the zoo expressed its surprise and regret:

Chimpanzee behavior can sometimes be aggressive and violent and the Zoo is sorry that visitors had to be exposed to this. Gracie is being allowed to keep the infant overnight to allow her the opportunity to grieve. This is a heartbreaking and tragic loss for the Zoo and especially for the Great Ape Team who have worked diligently to care for the infant and its

Family's pet piranha bites off toddler's fingertip

A US man cut open his family's pet piranha after it bit off his toddler's fingertip, according to reports.

The mother initially blamed the family's pit bull after finding the 18-month-old girl crying and bleeding on June 19, police said.

But the father suspected otherwise and turned his attention to the fish in the tank near where the child had been playing, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

After finding the fingertip he took it and the child to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.

A hospital spokeswoman

Men who would own tigers – why such a dangerous choice?

With 3-4 million domestic animals dying each year in shelters, what is it that lures someone to buy a tiger instead of a housecat? Is it the danger, is it the fame and ego gratification, is it the profit motive, or is it something we don't expect?

Looking at four tiger-owning men in the news, there seems to be a common thread.

Terry Thompson is the tiger owner everyone's heard of lately. Last year, he committed suicide by shooting himself, but not before setting loose over 50 of his caged exotic animals. Few will forget the carnage as authorities shot the tigers, lions, leopards, bears, and others frightfully fleeing through the fields on a rainy night in Zanesville, Ohio.

Thompson had long bragged that breeding tigers was his passion, that’s why he owned them. But he had other passions. Months before the massacre, he’d been released from a year-long stint in prison. The Vietnam vet's illegal arsenal of 133 firearms had been seized by federal agents – ranging from automatic weapons to sawed-off shotguns to a

sniper rifle. The IRS was after him for over $55,000 in taxes and penalties and court judgments for unpaid debts were mounting.




PETA demands Duluth zoo be prosecuted for animals' flood deaths
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals say that the Lake Superior Zoo was negligent in allowing 13 or 14 animals to die during the flood Wednesday, calling on Duluth City Attorney Gunnar Johnson to bring cruelty charges against the zoo.
However, Johnson said Thursday, his "very preliminary review" of the matter doesn't indicate that charges are warranted.
"Anytime someone makes allegations of cruelty to animals we take those allegations seriously," Johnson said. "We saw things in the infrastructure fail throughout the city. It's an act of God. A water structure (culvert) didn't work and it failed and that failure caused a series of events that led to the loss of these animals. That appears to be what happened."
PETA says the animals shouldn't

Why are the Elephants Still at the Toronto Zoo? (Part I)
The casino that may or may not be coming to Toronto is going to be the focus of much debate at City Hall over the next few months. As it should; it’s a big decision that will affect the city’s budget and landscape for years to come. 
The state of Toronto’s finances was a major concern for the better part of last year, and then suddenly, at the end of April, we found out we were going to have a budget surplus in the hundreds of millions. Surprise!
However, when Toronto City Council voted to send the Toronto Zoo’s three aging elephants to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in Galt, California, way back in October, it was still recovering from 24-hour budget negotiations to slash spending; absolutely everything was on the block. So, when Councillor Michelle Berardinetti (Ward 35, Scarborough Southwest) presented Council, in a suprise motion, the option of getting the elephants off the books as soon as possible, it was a shrewd move. The annual maintenance cost of the elephants is $618,533, and the sooner they go, the sooner the Toronto Zoo, and the city, stops paying for them. The motion passed easily (31-4). And, yet, it’s now June, some eight months after the motion passed, and the three elephants – Toka, Thika, and Iringa – still call Toronto home. This blog post attempts to answer my favourite questions of all time: Why?
Before we get there, though, there are some things you should know about elephants, so you can truly understand the conflict. (And I think it’s safe to say that what has happened at the zoo over the moving

Elephants as Political Football (Part II)
As we all know, winters in Toronto are nothing like they are in Africa (this past winter excluded), and while the outdoor space for Toronto’s three aging African elephants is adequate, the indoor space leaves much to be desired. After going through the infrastructure review, and examining the costs of updating the elephant exhibit, it was decided that the Toronto Zoo could no longer adequately house the elephants without sinking many millions of dollars into a new facility. Money the zoo just doesn’t have.
In May 2011, the zoo administration consulted Toronto’s Zoo Board of Management, and it was announced the exhibit would be closed as soon as a new and appropriate home for the elephants could be found.
Although the zoo has decommissioned exhibits before, it has never closed one this size. The next task was for the zoo administration to come up with a list of possible sites that would be appropriate for the three “ladies,” as they are oft referred, to be sent to. But they never got that far. On October 24, 2011, Toronto City Councillor Michelle Berardinetti put forward a surprise motion, seconded by Councillor Raymond Cho (Ward 42, Scarborough-Rouge River), proposing that city council vote that the elephants be sent to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), in Galt, California. And when council handily passed the motion, it did something it had never done before: It took a decision out of the hands of the trained professionals at the Toronto Zoo and the Toronto Zoo’s Board of Management, and made it a political one. And this is why the decommissioning of the elephant exhibit

Elephant Philosophy (Part III)
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums, or the AZA as it's otherwise known, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to "the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation." In order to become accredited with the AZA, a zoo or aquarium must go through a lengthy and vigorous screening process. Fewer than 10 per cent of the approximately 2,400 animal exhibitors licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture are AZA accredited. The AZA is aiming to be the gold standard by which one can judge a zoo. Two examples of AZA accredited exhibits include the San Diego Zoo, one of the most famous zoos in the world, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. However, the Toronto Zoo is not accredited by the AZA. That’s because it lost its accreditation earlier this year, over concerns about its governance. When Toronto City Council determined what should happen to the zoo’s elephants, instead of the professionals at the zoo who are hired for their expertise to make these decisions, the AZA lost confidence in the Toronto Zoo to run its affairs in keeping with the AZA’s best practices.
But it's not just a question of how the decision was made: AZA also sees animal welfare differently than the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), the California sanctuary where Toronto City Council has voted to send the elephants.
PAWS began advocating to move the Toronto Zoo elephants to its facility through Zoocheck Canada, an animal welfare advocacy group, back in 2009. Former American television show host Bob Barker, apparently a big supporter of PAWS, who also has a long history of advocating for the spaying and neutering of household pets, even offered to foot the bill for transporting the elephants to the sanctuary at considerable personal expense.

Elephants in Limbo (Part IV)
Under normal circumstances, board members of the Toronto Zoo, advised by the zoo’s management, and not Toronto City Council, would decide the fate of Toka, Thika, and Iringa.
So why did Councillor Michelle Berardinetti put forward a last-minute motion to send the elephants to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in California?
I spoke to Councillor Berardinetti at some length, and what I took from the conversation is that she felt that the staff at Toronto Zoo were dragging their feet in finding a place for the elephants to go. I also spoke to Councillor Raymond Cho, who sits on the zoo’s board, and who is a councillor in Scarborough, where the zoo is located, and he corroborated that story. The zoo was simply taking too long to come come up with a potential list of viable locations to transfer the elephants to, so council stepped in.
So, in some respects, this is an argument about due process, and what is and what isn’t a reasonable amount of time for a decision to be made. In May 2011, it was announced that the elephants needed a new home, and in October of the same year, Councillor Berardinetti felt that enough time had passed and it was her job to take action. Does five months to find an appropriate home for three, aging African elephants seem like an onerously long time to you?
And, here we are, it’s June 2012, and the elephants are still very much living at the Toronto Zoo. Why?
Because shipping three elephants thousands of miles away is not as easy as it sounds. The elephants need to be trained to stand in a crate, which takes time. The elephants also need to be healthy enough to make the long journey to California, and Iringa suffers from arthritis, so getting her to stand in a crate for hours at a time is already more challenging.
I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that having been cut out of the process of finding a new home for their beloved elephants, some of the staff at the Toronto Zoo were upset. Many people have accused the zoo keepers of dragging thier feet in having the elephants crate trained. I don't know if that's true or not, but I do know that the elephants, today, are indeed crate trained.

Britain's Got Talent, and Strange Bedfellows Too (More on PETA)
In recent decades the Circus community has been plagued by false accusations of animal abuse and mistreatment.  Animal Rights organisations such as PETA, CAPS and Born Free, as well as allegedly more moderate Animal Welfare organisations such as the RSPCA have ganged up to vilify a whole industry and community.  At the bottom of these brutal campaigns is the claim that “travelling circuses, by their very nature, cannot meet the welfare

Zoo’s elephants: Could another retirement option be Florida?
Officially the option is off the table, but proponents of the National Elephant Centre in Florida believe the Toronto Zoo’s trio of aging pachyderms would be better off going there than the California sanctuary they’re bound for.
The centre (called TNEC for short) is being built in an orange grove southeast of Orlando. Phase one of the estimated $12.5 million centre is slated to be completed at the end of this year, about 12 of the planned 91 hectares.
The centre hopes to accommodate 30 to 40 elephants once it’s built out in the coming years, though it will only house about seven or eight in its first year.
The non-profit won’t operate like a zoo, because it won’t always be open to the public, and when it is, customers will have to make reservations to get in.
Nor will it be a sanctuary like the PAWS facility, at more than 930 hectares, or one in Tennessee, because elephant breeding will take place.
TNEC is billing itself as a centre for “conservation and management.’’
The decision to send Toronto’s elephants to PAWS has resulted in a drawn-out dispute over whether that was the right choice. Things have become so heated that former game show host Bob Barker recently insisted on an “ironclad guarantee” that his promised gift of $880,000 would be used to pay for a flight for the elephants to California.
It’s not on the radar now, but some zoo staff at several levels, along with an active group of citizens, are holding on to the hope — albeit remote — that TNEC will be where Toronto’s elephants end up.
When Toronto City Council stepped in late last year and voted to transfer the zoo’s three remaining elephants to PAWS (when, after five months of searching, the zoo failed to secure a host after deciding to phase out the exhibit), senior zoo staff revealed they were in “preliminary discussions’’ with TNEC.
But TNEC hadn’t even put a shovel in the ground at that point, so it wasn’t considered a viable option for our beasts.

Climate change is simple: We do something or we’re screwed
Back in April, The Evergreen State College invited me to speak at a TEDx event called “Hello Climate Change: Rethinking the Unthinkable.” Videos from the event are now online.
My talk was called “Climate change is simple.” I’m proud to say that I used only 17 of my allotted 15 minutes.
I’ve put an annotated version of my slideshow beneath the video, linking to sources and adding thoughts. The only thing I’ll say about the video itself is that I’ve always thought these things would be better with a soundtrack. If anybody out there on the web wants to make a mashup with it, add some good beats, be my guest.

Dreamworld's Tiger Island loses original inhabitant with death of Mohan the white bengal tiger
ONE of Dreamworld's most famous stalwarts, Mohan the white bengal tiger, has passed away.
Mohan, 17, who came to the theme park's Tiger Island as young cub from the United States, passed away on Wednesday.
Known as the "King of Tiger Island", Mohan was one of the original tigers introduced to Dreamworld when Tiger Island opened in 1995.
As Mohan paced around his enclosure over the weekend, Tiger Island Manager Patrick Martin-Vegue - who raised him since he was young - said Mohan had been sick for some time.
Mr Martin-Vegue said Mohan had been off his food and had suspected renal failure.
Mohan, whose name meant "charming", was born on November 2, 1994.
When full-grown he weighed an average of 180kg and was white with light stripes.
Mohan was father to Rama, Sita, Sultan and Tai who were born at Tiger Island in 1998.
Thousands of visitors to Dreamworld viewed or met Mohan during his 17 years at the park.
A portion of proceeds from photos taken with Mohan, and other Tiger Island tigers, go towards Dreamworld's Wildlife Foundation's Tiger Island Conservation Fund, which directly supports tigers in the wild.
Dreamworld has donated $1.4 million to saving tigers in the wild since 2006, making the theme park the world's largest zoological contributor of funds to the 21st century tiger.
Funds raised help with anti-poaching measures, habitat restoration, education and monitoring in tiger populated countries.
Including Mohan, Dreamworld was home to 15

Elephant pregnancy mystery solved
The mystery of the elephant's long pregnancy has been unravelled by scientists.
A quirk of biology allows the unborn calf to develop in the womb for almost two years, giving it the brain power it needs to survive from birth.
The research, detailed in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, will help elephant breeding programmes in zoos.
It may also lead to the development of a contraceptive to control wild populations of elephants in Africa.
Dr Imke Lueders, of the Liebniz Institute of Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin, Germany, told BBC News: "It is very important to study the reproduction of elephants.
"The increased knowledge that we gained through this research can help in the future with elephant breeding management because we have an idea of how the pregnancy is maintained."
Marathon pregnancy
Elephants are highly sociable mammals with a high level of intelligence similar to that of great apes and dolphins.
They have the longest-known gestational period of any animal, lasting up to 680 days.
Elephants are born with an advanced level of brain development, which they use to recognise the complex social structure of the herd and to feed themselves with

Dead keeper's true identity a mystery
Thousands knew him as Dalu - the keeper killed by a tiger in Northland.
But he was also known by at least three other names.
Confusion around Dalu Mncube's identity has delayed an inquest into his May 2009 death, after police realised Dalu had used several names and came to New Zealand on a passport that was in his much-younger brother's name.
Dalu Mncube was also known as Clifford Mncube, Dalubuhle Ncube and Darlington Tembo a pre-inquest hearing into his identity was told yesterday.
Mr Mncube was mauled to death by a tiger while cleaning its cage in May 2009.
In her deposition to Whangarei coroner Brandt Shortland, police inquest officer Constable Andrea Magill said the true identity of Mr Mncube had not been confirmed and was unlikely to be.
Police inquiries after his death revealed he entered New Zealand on November 10, 2005, on a South African passport under the name of Clifford Mncube with a birth date

Toronto Zoo elephants’ move south delayed yet again
Another deadline for moving the Toronto Zoo’s three remaining elephants to a sanctuary in California will come and go, as the war of words continues amid growing concerns about tuberculosis at the U.S. facility.
Instead of the end of this month as originally hoped, a new date for the trio’s departure is now likely early August, according to the spokesperson for a Canadian animal rights group participating in the relocation process.
U.S. import permits have been obtained, says Julie Woodyer, a director with Zoocheck, the organization working on behalf of the PAWS sanctuary
But the zoo is not committing to that deadline, saying it’s still conducting a “due diligence’’ review of the PAWS sanctuary. City council has ordered that the animals be sent to the sanctuary.
Key stumbling blocks are reports that continue to filter out about tuberculosis at PAWS. The Star reported that a lab test last week showed an elephant at the U.S. facility tested positive for TB. That animal, Annie, has already been in quarantine for more than three years, PAWS co-owner Pat Derby said.
She forwarded the results to the zoo as soon as they came in.
But now the USDA is saying that two other elephants that died at PAWS in the last year and a half also tested “positive’’ for TB in necropsy

Tata Zoo only park in country to house African lion cubs
The Tata Zoological Park on Thursday became the only Indian zoo to house lions of pure African origin with the National Zoological Gardens (NSG) at Pretoria in South Africa sending it five one-year-old African cubs, two of whom are males and three females.
All the five lions arrived safely at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport Kolkata and were received by a four-member team of the zoological park. Later the cubs were taken to Jamshedpur in a truck.
The zoo authorities said the cubs would be kept in a special enclosure for 30 days after which they would be open to visitors.
The National Zoological Garden in Pretoria and the Zoological Society in Jamshedpur signed the pact for the cubs’ transfer as part of an exchange programme last year.”It is a long-term collaboration for exchanging surplus animals,”said Bipul Chakraborty, director, Tata Zoological Park.
He said this was a unique event as this was for the first time after India’s independence that pure African lions had arrived on Indian soil. None of the Indian zoos have pure African lions at present.
It may be mentioned that the Tata Zoo had approached the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa in 2010 for possible help in developing itself into an institution for conservation of endangered species, both of native as well as exotic varieties. The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa is one of the four top zoos in world and has achieved several milestones in conservation of wildlife in that country.
The proposal to provide five cubs was accepted by NZG after a team comprising Dr Abeeda Dawood, Conservation Manager and Mr Eugene Marais, General Curator of the Zoo, visited the Tata Zoological Park in October

Wildlife park funds vet mission
THE Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster has helped to fly two specialist vets to Zimbabwe to try to save one of Africa’s most endangered large carnivores from extinction.
The Branton attraction raised over £3,000 towards the cost of sending a veterinary task force to carry out vital work to save the endangered painted dog breed.
YWP, which has three of the rare dogs, joined forces with Wildlife Vets International and the Painted Dog Conservation to launch the appeal for the SOS Painted Dog Campaign last summer.
Visitors were asked to donate money while posters and collection boxes were put up in vets and businesses across Yorkshire.
Director Cheryl Williams said: “We were delighted that the task force has been able to fly out to Africa. We had a brilliant response to the SOS Painted Dog

Emperor Penguin May Disappear By 2100
The bare fact is: the Antarctic sea ice is retreating due to global warming. But we are just learning what the consequences of this will be. The Economist devotes this week’s front page and special report to the issue, and researchers keep providing us with alarming data; the latest news: that one of most iconic Antarctic figures, the Emperor penguin, which became famous thanks to the documentary ‘March of the Penguins’ and the animation film ‘Happy Feet’, may soon be extinct.
This is the conclusion of an international team of researchers who just published their study in Global Change Biology. They made a population projection for the emperor penguin in Adélie Land, Antarctica, based on data from different sources.
‘The median of these simulations predicts a decline of the Terre Adelie emperor penguin population of 81% by the year 2100,’ they write in their study. ‘We find a 43% chance of an even greater decline, of 90% or more.’
The main problem for the emperor penguin is that they breed their children on the ice, so the retreat of sea ice affects them more than other sea birds. Also, they eat animals that feed on microorganisms growing under the ice. If this disappears, so it does the penguin’s food source.
‘As it is, there’s a huge mortality rate just at the breeding stages, because only 50 percent of chicks survive to the end of the breeding season,’ says Stephanie Jenouvrier, of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and lead researcher

India seeks $30m World Bank loan for wildlife
The environment ministry’s bid to seek US $ 30 million from the World Bank to checking poaching in around 600 national parks and sanctuaries could mean making India’s wildlife laws compliant with the bank’s norms.
The Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) for the proposed project circulated by the ministry speaks about the need to review relevant environmental and land acquisition legislation comply with World Bank’s environmental and social safeguard policies.
“Adhering to the principles and procedures and using the checklist of potential environmental and social issues laid out in this ESMF will help the implementing agencies to ensure compliance with the World Bank’s environmental and social safeguard

Rhino horn gangs can ‘forfeit’ bail
Rhino poaching syndicates had so much money they could afford to forfeit any amount of bail set by courts when their members were arrested, a policeman told a court on Tuesday.
Warrant Officer Jean Pierre Roux also testified that a Zululand man was the link between rhino poachers in KwaZulu-Natal and Chinese buyers who allegedly export the horns to the Far East.
Roux opposed bail for Vusi Mashaba, 40, of Zululand, and four foreigners who were arrested recently for dealing in rhino horn.
Mashaba appeared in the Germiston Magistrate’s Court, along with three Chinese nationals – Ke Sum, 29, his wife, Xiaju Chen, also 29, and Liu Zihou, 34 – as well as Malawian Harrison Noah, 26.
The bail application was adjourned to next week for an interpreter.
In his affidavit, Roux said the accused were arrested in Bedfordview and were found in possession of two rhino horns, weighing 10kg, five large elephant tusks and two leopard skins – all from animals on South Africa’s list of threatened or protected species.
“The suspects had received the horns from Mashaba and were in the process of sawing the horns into smaller pieces when arrested,” he said in the affidavit. “Mashaba was involved with the transporting and delivering of the rhino horns to the three Chinese suspects. He was involved with various other transactions regarding rhino horn. He is the middleman between the rhino poachers in KwaZulu-Natal and the Chinese buyers who export the horns to the East.”
Roux said if released on bail, there was a likelihood the accused would commit the same offence again, would attempt to evade trial, intimidate witnesses or try to conceal or destroy evidence.
The accused were part of a group involved in the illegal dealing of protected and specially protected game, he said.

Next zoo boss faces a jungle of debt
THE world search for a new Adelaide Zoo head is continuing after former chief executive Professor Chris West officially stepped down yesterday.
Prof West ended a six-year stint as head of Zoos South Australia, returning to the UK to take the reins of the Royal Zoological Society of  Scotland.
He welcomed Wang Wang and Funi to the panda enclosure at the Adelaide Zoo in November 2009, but also endured the recent low of unmanageable debt.
Prof West, above, was unavailable for comment yesterday, but a zoo spokeswoman said the person given the task of leading the zoo out of financial ruin had not been chosen.
"The recruitment isn't about filling a void, it's about finding the right person for the job which, as previously stated, could take anywhere between three to six

To save rare animals, let people profit off them
Dr. Grey Stafford, Director of Conservation at the World Wildlife Zoo in Phoenix, Arizona, e-mailed me that he is upset because “lawyers and extremists” use government to change the way he runs his zoo. He says that bad training and conservation methods are “imposed on us by some outside party whose agenda is not in the best interest of conservation, animals or zoos.”
I’m not surprised. Liberal activists always think central planners make life better. My reporting has taught me: No They Can’t!
While we’re talking conservation, consider the Scimitar Oryx. It used to roam most of Northern Africa. Today, the Oryx is extinct in the wild.
But not in Texas. In Texas, it thrives.
That’s because Texas allows people to keep endangered species as private property. Some Texas ranchers converted their cattle lands into exotic wildlife habitats. Individuals pay to see the animals, and some pay to hunt. It’s a billion dollar industry

Endangered Sumatran rhino gives birth in Indonesia
A critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros was born Saturday at an Indonesian sanctuary, only the fourth birth in captivity in more than a century, boosting survival hopes for the species, say conservationists.
"Ratu gave birth to a male baby at 00:45 (1745 GMT Friday) on Saturday. Both the mother and the baby are all very well," conservationist Widodo Ramono, who works at a sanctuary on the southern tip of Sumatra island, told AFP.
The last three in-captivity births for Sumatran rhinos took place in the United States at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio. The father of the new born, Andalas, was himself the first Sumatran rhino delivered in captivity in 112 years. He was born in September 2001, according to the zoo.
Andalas was brought to Indonesia to mate with Ratu, a female who grew up in the wild but wandered out of the forest and now lives at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park.
Sumatran rhinos have suffered a 50 percent drop in population numbers over the past 20 years, largely due to poaching and loss of tropical habitat.
There are now believed to be fewer than 200 alive. Most reside in isolated pockets in Southeast Asia.
"Thank God, we are very grateful that all the delivery process went smoothly and naturally. We actually made some emergency preparation in case that Ratu need(ed) a surgery in delivering the baby," Indonesia forestry ministry's spokesman Masyhud said.
"It's really a big present for the Sumatran




Honda Solar Panels Power Penguin Habitat - Web ExclusiveThe 11kW system will provide a reliable supply of clean energy that should reduce the Aquarium's reliance on conventional electricity
As a founding sponsor of the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA, American Honda has providing Honda solar cell technology in order to help power the Aquarium's new June Keyes Penguin Habitat.
The 11kW system will provide a reliable supply of clean energy that should reduce the Aquarium's reliance on conventional electricity by more than 14000kWhr each year, representing a substantial saving for the nonprofit organization.
The new June Keyes Penguin Habitat was opened to the public on May 17, 2012.
It’s a permanent exhibit that houses Magellanic penguins typically found near the southern tip of South America. Environmental issues are threatening their survival in the wild, so this habitat includes educational exhibit panels and interactive touchscreens where visitors can learn about penguins and why 75% of them are endangered or threatened.
"Some of our penguins were rescued, and by telling their story we hope people will help penguins in the wild by decreasing their carbon emissions, choosing sustainable seafood, reducing pollution, and protecting areas where these penguins breed and forage," said Dr Jerry R. Schubel, Aquarium of the Pacific president.
The exhibit is the first public demonstration of Honda solar panels in the US.
Honda has thin film solar panels installed in 22 of its facilities worldwide – including the company's motorsports engineering facility in Santa Clarita, CA, and a manufacturing

Rescued Namibian baby elephants move to Mexico

Nine baby elephants have arrived in a Mexican Safari park after their parents were killed by ivory hunters in Namibia.

Africam Safari in the Mexican state of Puebla, beat competition from other animal parks around the world to keep the mammals thanks to its prized conservation and education programmes.


But moving such "valuable cargo" from Africa

First Artificially Incubated Crested Ibis Born in Shanghai Zoo

A zoo in eastern Shanghai successfully hatched its first artificially incubated crested ibis on Friday.


At around 5am Friday morning, staff at Shanghai Wild Animal Park noticed pecking from inside one of their incubated eggs. A few hours later, a baby ibis poked a hole through the shell.


But there was a problem.


[Yu Jinhua, Head, Shanghai Wild Animal Park]: 


"The baby ibis's situation is similar to a human baby who is in an abnormal position in the womb. He is stuck because of his abnormal position."


Park breeders decided to intervene.


They used a regular cotton swab and their bear hands to help the ibis break through the shell.


Five hours later, the 37-gram newborn ibis was

Emperor Tamarin Monkeys Stolen From Opole Zoo In Poland

A zoo official in southwestern Poland says seven endangered monkeys have been stolen from their cage for possible sale on the black market.


The Emperor tamarin monkeys, a family of two adults and five of their offspring, were reported missing early Sunday from the Opole Zoo when employees found someone had broken into their enclosure.


The head of the breeding section at the zoo, Krzysztof Kazanowski, said Monday the monkeys ranged in age from under a year to 10 years old. Kazanowski said they were probably stolen for someone who wants to own rare and endangered

Illegal orang-utan trade in Thailand still goes unpunished

WWF Helps Industry More than Environment

The WWF is the most powerful environmental organization in the world and campaigns internationally on issues such as saving tigers and rain forests. But a closer look at its work leads to a sobering conclusion: Many of its activities benefit industry more than the environment or endangered species.


Want to protect the rainforest? All it takes is €5 ($6.30) to get started. Save the gorillas? Three euros and you're in. You can even do your part for nature with only 50 cents -- as long as you entrust it to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which is still known by its original name of the World Wildlife Fund in the United States and Canada.


Last year, the WWF, together with German retail group Rewe, sold almost 2 million collectors' albums. In only six weeks, the program raised €875,088 ($1.1 million), which Rewe turned over to the WWF.


The WWF has promised to do a lot of good things with the money, like spending it on forests, gorillas, water, the climate -- and, of course, the animal the environmental protection group uses as its emblem, the giant panda.

Delhi zoo uses alternative medicine to treat animals

It's not part of the regular treatment but in a pinch, alternative medicine in the form of homeopathy, ayurveda or herbal concoctions, does the trick. And the doctors responsible for animals at the National Zoological Park, Delhi, find, that they sometimes work when allopathy doesn't.


"We started using them seven-eight years ago," says Delhi zoo veterinary officer Paneer Selvam. "We get them wheneve necessity arises." The zoo's standard line of treatment is allopathy but whenever a particularly difficult case comes up, Selvam consults practitioners of alternative medicine. 'About two years ago, one of the Asiatic lions had hind-quarter paralysis. Another one developed the condition some time back.


In both cases we first tried with allopathic treatment but when that didn't work we used homeopathic treatment," says Selvam, "In my experience, we have got good results." A Himalayan black bear that was afflicted with the same condition a year ago and was cured by homeopathy. "Many of the zoo vets prefer to try alternative medicine now," says Selvam.


One of the first time he tried it was some years ago with an old white tiger with a stone in the urinary bladder. Surgery was too much of a risk for the aged tiger and homeopathy was used instead. But the black herbal concoction, a potent medicine for wounds, Selvam's been using for a decade. "It is a very good ointment for maggot wounds," he says.


The zoo doesn't stock homeopathy or ayurvedic medicines. The vet says that homeopathic courses typically last for about three

Dallas Zoo to open $1.4M animal nutrition center

More than 2,000 creatures small and large at the Dallas Zoo will soon have a new facility to help them stay healthy and eat right.


The Dallas Zoo on June 13 will open its $1.4 million William M. Beecherl Animal Nutrition Center. Zoo officials on Monday said a grant from the Eugene McDermott Foundation also contributed to the 7,900 square foot complex.


Authorities say the center is expected to help increase food production and save money through more efficient processes, such as

Girl, 8, has finger amputated after being bitten by tiger while visiting South African wildlife park

South African schoolgirl has had to have part of her little finger amputated after she was bitten by a tiger at an animal reserve.


Karla Malan was visiting Predator's Rock Bush Lodge in Rustenburg, to the north of the country, with her family when she lost part of her finger while stroking the big cat.


Her father said they had been assured that the tigers were tame and could be stroked through the fence. Indeed a tour guide proceeded to do that moments before the tiger turned on her and grabbed her


Keeping zoo animals healthy key to preventing outbreaks

If zoo animals stay free of disease outbreaks, other animals and people stay healthier as well.


That was an idea behind a daylong infectious disease outbreak response exercise Wednesday at the Illinois Farm Bureau headquarters.


Called Flu at the Zoo, the exercise was attended by 85 zoo superintendents, veterinarians and state and federal regulators from 10 states.


“A zoo is a unique place,” Yvette Johnson-Walker, clinical epidemiologist with the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, said during a break in the exercise.


Zoos bring together animals from throughout the world, native wildlife that pass through the zoos, and people who work and volunteer there as well as visitors, Johnson-Walker said.


That creates a concern about spreading disease among people and animals, including livestock and pets. Zoos are in position to detect disease quickly because animals in zoo collections are cared for carefully by veterinarians, observed Jay Tetzloff, superintendent

Beyond lions, tigers, bears

Pharmacy helps sick pets, exotic critters get better


What happens after a hippopotamus swallows an opened umbrella?


Michael Blaire, co-owner and pharmacist in charge at Diamondback Drugs in Scottsdale, knows.


The registered pharmacist specializes in veterinary medications. He received a call from a New Jersey aquarium after a hippo swallowed a visitor's umbrella that fell into the tank. The release button had been triggered, resulting in the parasol opening inside its host.

Goodbye my friend, the zoo is closing

Cape Town’s Tygerberg Zoo has just had one of its busiest weekends in months.


After news of its imminent closure broke in the press last week, visitors streamed through the gates.


Some came for a nostalgic last glimpse of Tigger the tiger, while others had simply never known that there was a zoo in Cape Town. But as suddenly as they appeared, the visitors abandoned the zoo again. By mid-week there was not a soul in sight.


On a visit to the zoo yesterday, the Cape Argus found owner Lorraine Spence driving her four-wheeler across a vacant lot between enclosures. “Do you see now why it has come to this?”


Spence is saddened, but not surprised, at the failure of the zoo.


She predicted this day more than 10 years ago. The decline in popularity is a trend that can be observed at virtually every zoo in SA, she said.


Today, the zoo’s income amounts to less than half of its basic running costs. The 25-hectare facility has now been sold for an undisclosed sum.


“It’s very sad. This zoo was John’s dream, it was his life’s work,” she says.


The late John Spence, Lorraine’s husband and the founder of the zoo, was four years old when he told his mother he would build a zoo. Spence recalls how her husband’s obsession eclipsed the newly-wed couple’s honeymoon. “In 18 days we saw 19 zoos in England, Wales and Scotland.”


But soon the zoo became the centre of her life as well. In the last three decades, Spence has personally “adopted” seven orphaned or otherwise neglected baby chimpanzees. They slept in her bed at night.


Today, 11-year-old Emma, one of Spence’s former chimp babies, sits next to the fence of her enclosure. Rubbing her hand and speaking to her softly through

World’s Rhino Conservationists Gather in China to Call for an End to Illegal Rhino Horn Trade

Wildlife experts and conservationists from China, South Africa, the United States and the United Kingdom, including representatives from Humane Society International/UK, gathered in Beijing today to call for urgent action from China to help save the world’s rhinos from poaching. Hundreds of rhinos are poached for their horns every year largely to supply the Asian traditional medicine market.


The Rhinos In Crisis conference, organized by Beijing’s Capital Animal Welfare Association with the support of Humane Society International, is one of the largest gatherings of international rhino conservationists ever held within China. Their message to China: Rhinos are being poached out of existence, and Chinese consumers’ demand for rhino horn must end.


“Rhino poaching has reached a crisis point with animals being brutally slaughtered in huge numbers to supply horn for the Asian medicine trade. It’s vital that China takes urgent action to eradicate consumer and business demand for horn which has no scientifically established medicinal benefit whatsoever,” said Mark Jones, executive director of HSI/UK. “China is a crucial partner in the global battle to save this endangered and iconic animal from extinction. If it doesn’t act now, this species is unlikely to survive the crisis. That would be tragedy for the whole world.”


Rhino poaching has skyrocketed in recent years. In 2007 there was a global average of 12 poaching incidents reported annually. By 2011 in South

Shelling out for a divorce

The world's oldest animal marriage looks set to have turtley ended after an incredible 115 years when the two Giant Turtles at an Austrian zoo refused to share their cage anymore.


Zoo management have called in animal experts to try and give the pair counselling - feeding them romantic good mood food and trying to get them to join in joint games - but so far without effect.


Zoo boss Helga Happ said: "We get the feeling they can't stand the sight of each other anymore."


Bibi and Poldi have been a pair since before anyone alive today can remember - they have been together at the Austrian zoo in Klagenfurt for 36 years and before that they lived at Basel zoo in Switzerland.


Happ added: "They are both 115 years old - they have been together since they were young and grew up together, eventually becoming a pair.


"But for no reason that anyone can discover they seem to have fallen out, they just can't stand each other."


Zoo staff realised the pair had fallen out after Bibi attacked her partner - biting off a chunk of his shell - and then carrying out several further attacks until he was moved to another enclosure.


Although they have no teeth Giant Turtles have a horn rimmed mouth and powerful jaws that are a potent weapon when they want to cause damage. Each of the 100 kilo animals has the ability

Cleaner in hospital after giant otter attack

A cleaner is in hospital after being attacked by a giant otter that escaped from its zoo enclosure in Hamburg. Two men who tried to pull the nearly-six-foot-long animal off her were also bitten.


The bloody ambush took place in Hamburg's Hagenbeck zoo early last Saturday morning. A cleaner was busy scrubbing benches when she heard a rustling in the bushes next to her, the regional paper Express reported. Unconcerned, she continued until the 1.80 metre-long otter poked its head out of the foliage.


On seeing the animal, the unnamed 56-year-old screamed and tried to run away but fell over - only to be pounced upon by the otter. It bit her arms and legs so severely that she has been hospitalised.


A nearby zoo keeper and an assistant heard her screams and came running, only to be leapt on by the otter as well. They wrestled it to the ground and bound it up, enduring several bites in the process. The zoo keeper is also in hospital with minor injuries.


One of the cleaning lady's arms is so badly injured that she may never regain full use of it, the paper said.


As well as being monitored for possible blood poisoning, she was put into an artificial coma several times

Polar bear breaks aquarium wall

Severed Seal Heads Nailed To Dingle Wildlife And Seal Sanctuary

A police investigation is underway after the severed heads of two seals were found nailed to the entrance signs of a wildlife sanctuary.


The gruesome discovery was made this morning at the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary in Co Kerry. The heads of a common seal and a grey seal had been mounted on plywood plaques, with R.I.P. CULL and R.I.P I AM HUNGRY painted in red.


Spokesman Ally McMillan said: “We are all very shocked and upset, as Dingle Wildlife & Seal Sanctuary is a public service for people who call in sick and orphaned wildlife, including mainly seal pups.


“Our volunteer run organization is dedicated to rehabilitating and releasing Ireland's wildlife to preserve the natural beauty of the

Czech zoo first in world to artificially raise protected eagle

The Liberec zoo is the first in the world to have artificially raised a lesser spotted eagle, a protected bird of prey, after in artificial fertilisation, the zoo spokesman Ivan Langr told CTK Thursday.


 The lesser spotted eagle is very difficult to breed in captivity. The only zoo to manage it was the Riga zoo 11 years ago. Nevertheless, Liberec is the first zoo to accomplish the task through artificial fertilisation.


The young eagle, that hatched in an incubator on June 2, will now be placed with "step-parents," Langr said.


The lesser spotted eagle, with the wingspan of up to 160 cm, inhabits mainly central and southeast Europe. In the Czech Republic it occurs mainly in the Sumava mountains along the southwestern border.


The Liberec zoo has made attempts at the bird's artificial fertilisation since 2007, as their natural breeding showed impossible.


"We have fertilised 40 eggs since. It was only the 40th from which we managed to breed [offspring]," zoo specialist Jan Hanel said.


The young will now be placed with two female lesser spotted eagles that share a nest and are experienced stepmothers of other bird-of-prey offspring.


Hanel said the most important and most demanding task was to take some sperm from the male. To achieve it, Hanel spent his every free minute

Who Has America's Best Aquarium? (Video)

In Monterey's world-famous aquarium, the star attractions are jellyfish. They float silently in tanks flooded in blue light, in varieties you never imagined existed. They're spectacular.


In Atlanta's aquarium, it's the Whale Sharks. You never expected to see these enormous creatures outside a TV documentary. Yet here they are, for real. And they're amazing.


The two aquariums -- the legendary Monterey Bay Aquarium and the newish Georgia Aquarium, which is said to be the largest in the U.S. -- are noteworthy destinations in their own right. You can't visit either city without at least considering a stop at their aquariums.


We were lucky to see both within a week of each other on a recent road trip across America. But what if we could have chosen just one aquarium to visit? Which one would we have picked?


When it comes to authenticity, neither facility offers an obvious edge; both are manufactured experiences one degree or another. Monterey's Cannery Row, the backdrop of two John Steinbeck novels, is as touristy as it gets in Northern California. There's a Bubba Gump and a Johnny Rocket's and chain hotel of every persuasion. The Atlanta aquarium is also a tourist trap in its own

Tiger's death accidental: temple vet

The veterinarian at the "Tiger Temple" - Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, in Kanchanaburi's Sai Yok district -said yesterday that the death of a tiger on May 26 resulted from a freak accident, but the temple treated its tigers well and cooperated with Thai authorities. The mysterious death of the tiger had led to fears animals at the temple were being mistreated.


Veterinarian Somchai Wisetmongkolchai said temple staff hung a tyre on a chain for tigers to play with, but next morning found the one-year-old female tiger dead with the chain around its neck. It had sustained serious neck wounds as it apparently tried to chew the chain off its neck.


Somchai checked and photographed the wounds, alerted the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department and submitted a report on the tiger's death to the Conservation Area 3 Office (Ban Pong). Authorities came to inspect the death as per normal procedure, he said.


Insisting the tigers were well taken care of and that each tiger had a microchip implanted and registered with the department, he said a Mahidol University (Sai Yok) vet checked on the tigers on a regular basis. He had suggested the department stuff the tiger carcass for educational purposes, rather than burn it, he said.


Conservation Area 3 Office (Ban Pong) director

So you want to come to Thailand and see tigers?

You could of course visit one of the many tiger zoos, or the tiger temple in Kanchanaburi, where monks have trained the animals to lay still while tourists pose for photos with them.


The problem is that there are multiple reports of alleged animal mistreatment and trafficking connected to some of these places.


If the idea of docile caged tigers forced to pose for photos all day doesn't bother you, perhaps that many zoos are suspected of selling tiger meat out the back door to be butchered for the exotic wildlife trade will.


Spending your money at one of these places will only perpetuate these problems.


So what about seeing them in their natural habitat?


In 2010, Thailand came up with a plan to promote tiger eco-tourism. Natural Resources and Environment minister at that time, Suwit Khunkitti, estimated there were only 200-250 of the big cats left in Thailand.


But despite the government's 2010 initiative, there aren't any tiger tourism programs like those in India. Even worse, it would seem the government has taken two steps back.


Proposed dam to wipe out tiger habitat


In addition to long-standing problems like poaching and deforestation, another threat has emerged for these majestic beasts. The Thai government recently approved construction of a massive dam within Mae Wong National Park in western Thailand, an important tiger habitat.


The dam will flood 18 square kilometers of the park -- protected since 1961 under the National Park Act -- wiping out prime areas where tigers have made fragile gains, while allowing poachers easier access by boat.


It will also endanger the Huay Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary to the south, “internationally recognized as one of the very few places on Earth that can protect functioning populations of wild tigers,” said Anak Pattanavibool, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society Thailand Program, in an op-ed in the Bangkok Post.


Meanwhile, there were reports last year of a surprising resurgence of tigers in Thailand's Eastern Forest Complex near the border with Cambodia.

Efforts to Save Endangered Hawaiian Birds

One of the great pleasures of learning bird songs comes in the drowsy predawn twilight. Through the window comes the voice of the first bold male offering up his species’ diagnostic song. From my bed in a friend’s cabin 30 miles north of Hilo this morning, the first sound to break the silence is the emphatic, repeated “whit-cheer!” of the northern cardinal, a bird I grew up hearing in southern Michigan. Next comes the soft cooing of Asian spotted and zebra doves, followed by the occasional harsh notes of the common myna, an import from India. Finally, I hear the slurred warbles of the Japanese white-eye. Later, with a cup of coffee, looking out over the pasture and woodlots spreading down to the sea, I hear and see a rich and complex ecosystem, almost none of which belongs here.


It is quite conceivable that a casual visitor to Hawaii could spend a pleasant holiday of a week or two and not see a single native Hawaiian species. Nearly all native lowland ecosystems in Hawaii have been replaced by nonnative species, including nearly all plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects. Human residents and tourists concentrate themselves in these areas near the ocean, so it is even possible to grow up in many parts of Hawaii thinking that mynas, doves, papaya, eucalyptus, geckos and even mosquitoes have always been here.


To see, hear and smell native Hawaiian forests, you need to get away from the beaches and go up in elevation where most of the exotic birds disappear. Our research in these kipuka forests is aimed at understanding how kipuka size and introduced rats influence kipuka food webs and the native birds. But if the birds in these kipuka are imperiled, some listed and others being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act, Hawaii is also home to a few bird species even

Alsager zoologist Richard Champion helps to protect endangered animals in Africa

JET-SETTING Alsager zoologist Richard Champion is helping to protect a variety of endangered species in Africa.


Richard is currently in the Ivory Coast working with critically endangered slender snout crocodiles as well as birds and monkeys.


He is working with ‘The Association du Calao ASBL’ to set up a captive breeding programme, at Abidjan Zoo, which has the largest captive population of these rare crocodiles in the world.


The team is also looking to reintroduce some of the existing animals at the zoo back into

Now THIS is a Penguin Pool

Javanese tiger believed still in existence

The Javanese tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica) may have been declared to extinct by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 1994, but recently clues discovered by a researcher are believed to be evidence of the tiger’s existence, especially in the forests of Central Java’s Muria mountain range.


Covering an area of nearly 70,000 hectares, the mountain range encompasses the three neighboring regencies of Jepara, Kudus and Pati.


“I believe the animals are still alive in the mountain range,” Javanese tiger researcher Didik Raharyono, 42, told The Jakarta Post, recently.


A biologist at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Didik said that his belief was based on his 14 years of research and efforts to look for evidence of the Javanese tiger in the area.


The latest evidence, he said, was a 5x6 centimeter piece of skin he believed to have come from a Javanese tiger.


He said he had obtained the piece from Muali, a staffer at the Pati Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA).


Muali, who is also the head of the Clereng Natural Preserve Resort, said he got the skin from a trader of antique goods at a traditional market in Kudus. The trader bought the skin from a hunter who was said to have killed the animal in the Muria mountain range’s Rahtawu subdistrict in 2008.


Yet, he said, further examination was needed to make sure the skin was really that of a Javanese tiger and not of a Sumatran tiger, which had had similar stripes.


“That is why I handed over the skin to

Lincolnshire parrot zoo opens new visitor centre as part of £500k project

GRANT funding has enabled an east coast tourist attraction to invest in a £500,000 new development.


The Parrot Zoo at Friskney has now opened its new Visitor Management Centre under phase one of the project which includes a new education centre, cafe and shop and undercover seating area.


The sanctuary, the largest of its kind in the world, was founded in 1994 and opened to the general public in 2003. It now houses just under 2,000 parrots as well as a growing array of other exotic animals such as lemurs, meerkats, coatimundis, giant tortoises and many more.


Owner Steve Nichols said the work would take the zoo into the next league of visitor destinations helping to make the centre a premium attraction.


Mr Nichols said: "We've been a victim of our own success. People seem to love what we're doing so we're expanding to accommodate them.


"This is phase one of four for 2012/13, all of which are intended to offer both visitors and the resident animals an excellent experience and include an animal study centre working with the University of Lincoln."


It is hoped a planned study of parrot behaviour with animal experts from the university will help the sanctuary, a registered charity, establish itself as an international research centre in the future.


The next phases of the development include a large walk through enclosures so visitors can get closer to some of the more placid animals.


Mr Nicholls added: "It's a massive expense and a huge investment but it will all be worth it in the end, we have many supporters from around the country who all visit us on a regular basis. They deserve nothing

Denver Zoo's human-animal bond is key to success

Denver Zoo curator Dale Leeds is not allowed to have a favorite animal species. But it's elephants.


Leeds, charged with populating the zoo's new $50 million Asian exhibit, Toyota Elephant Passage, can't help himself.


"I feel honored to be in their presence," he said. "I could sit like a guest on a bench for hours watching them."


And with the recent opening of the 10-acre exhibit -- a decade in the making and described as "a whole other continent" -- the world's animal caretakers will be focused on Denver.


Kids will be checking out the animals. Other zoos will be tracking innovations, in animal care and on-site energy generation.


"Everybody is looking at us," said vice president of animal collections

Wildlife expert explains efforts to save the Amur leopards

Two Amur leopards, among the most endangered animals in the world, were born at the Minnesota Zoo on Tuesday. Zoo officials said the breeding efforts are a key part of the growing effort to save the Amur leopard from extinction.


The cats once roamed across northeastern China and the Korean Peninsula, but logging, forest fires, and farming destroyed 80 percent of its habitat in the 1970s and early 1980s. There are now fewer than 40 Amur leopards living in the wild. About 300 Amur leopards live in zoos around the world, including 90 leopards in U.S. zoos.


Despite the bleak numbers, conservationists are hoping to save the species from extinction.


Sybille Klenzendorf, managing director of the World Wildlife Fund's Species Conservation Program, said the Russian government's decision to create a national park devoted to the rare species is a promising first step.


Conservationists also hope to release captive-born Amur leopards into their natural habitat along the Russia-China border within the next several years.


Klenzendorf spoke with MPR News reporter Madeleine Baran about the effort to save the rare cat from extinction. An edited transcript of that conversation is below.


Madeleine Baran: How endangered is this leopard? What I've read is that less than 40 are believed to exist in the wild at this point.


Sybille Klenzendorf: That's correct. The Amur leopard is the rarest large cat in the world. There's only about 25 to 40 left in the wild. Those cats are in what we call the Russian Far East. It's in the furthest part of Russia that you can go, next to Korea and China. And the reason why it's so rare is it has experienced some enormous hunting pressure for its fur and has declined rapidly.


And also, what they eat, deer and wild pig, have been heavily hunted in that region, too. And the lower (the population) got, the more vulnerable it is now to forest fires that are set every year for clearing for agriculture, and that spills over into their forests. So it's at a stage where there are few individuals left, and the pressures around them are enormous.

Ocean Park Take Eco-Approach to Polar Adventure



Hong Kong’s Ocean Park has used the latest innovations in sustainable building processes, in order to minimise the carbon footprint of its new, soon-to-open, Polar Adventure themed attraction. The company worked with local architectural firm Leigh and Orange, which has an international reputation, as well as award-winning green project credentials.


Polar Adventure has been designed to ensure that the eco-friendly installation is also optimised for the well-being of its polar animal ambassadors. Every aspect of the attraction’s design has been conceived with an eco-friendly approach in mind and this includes the world’s first ventilation system that “recycles residual cool air to cool down the Life Support System (LSS) and plant room area before being discharged.”


Polar Adventure is the final phase of Ocean Park’s HK$5.5 billion investment in the company’s Master Redevelopment Plan (MRP); attractions include a conservation and education platform which features a variety of animals such as penguins, walruses




Japan's escaped penguin recaptured after 82 days on the run
Penguin 337 returns to Tokyo Sea Life Park after zookeepers were told it was on a river bank in the city
First, there was a daring breakout up a sheer rock wall and through a barbed wire fence. Then there were weeks on the run, in which the fugitive eluded capture and at times appeared to taunt his pursuers with carefree frolics in the sea. But now, Japan's most-wanted escapee is back behind bars.
More than two months after it slipped out of an aquarium in Tokyo, Japan's fugitive penguin is back in captivity following its capture in the capital on Thursday night.
Two keepers picked up the Humboldt penguin after receiving reports that it had been seen swimming in a river earlier the same day day. The capture ended 82 days of freedom, during which it briefly achieved celebrity status around the world.
The keepers, who seized the penguin after it ventured on to the riverbank, said the animal did not appear to have been harmed and had been eating enough to keep its weight stable.
Officials at the sea park had feared that the animal – known simply as Penguin 337 – would struggle to survive outside the aquarium's confines. But their fears proved unfounded after it was filmed swimming in Tokyo Bay, apparently content in its unfamiliar

Madrid Zoo’s ‘Gay’ Penguins Given Egg of Their OwnA “gay” penguin couple in a Madrid zoo has been given an egg of their own to care for after six springs of building nests together and being disappointed their nests were empty.
Inca and Rayas, the Gentoo penguins at Madrid’s Faunia Park have been inseparable for six years, according to the U.K.’s Telegraph. This year, the zoo gave them an egg to take care of.
“We wanted them to have something to stay together for — so we got an egg,” zookeeper Yolanda Martin told the Telegraph.  “Otherwise

Denver Zoo employee bitten by rabid batA wild bat that bit a Denver Zoo employee Sunday has tested positive for rabies, and the state health department wants patrons to come forward if they had any contact with a bat while visiting the zoo.
Parents who took their children to the zoo Sunday also should ask whether their child had contact with a bat.
Anyone who touched a bat should contact their local health department or call the state health department at 303-692-2700.
"People can be exposed to rabies when they assist, feed or handle wild animals," said state veterinarian Elisabeth Lawaczeck. "While some people visiting the zoo were in the vicinity of the bat, it is not known whether anyone other than the zoo employee had contact with the bat."
The Denver Zoo said it vaccinates its animals for rabies, and officials do not have any concern that animals have been infected. The bat was not part of a zoo exhibit.
"We will maintain our diligence but want to ensure our community protects themselves and their pets," wrote Tiffany Barnhart, spokeswoman

'Zooisiana' provides Monroe's zoo statewide exposure
What started as a meager collection of local wildlife at Forsythe Park eventually became a collection of lions, a tiger, a hippo, giraffes, ostriches and baboons at Monroe’s Bernstein Park.
Monroe’s Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo will be one of four zoos featured on “Zooisiana,” a Louisiana Public Broadcasting program that will air at
7 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on June 6 and again at 5:30 p.m. June 10. The program is produced by Donna LaFleur and filmed by Rex Q. Fortenberry.
LaFleur said the program’s intent is to introduce different concepts of modern zoo-keeping, that is, the purpose that zoos serve aside from education and entertainment

Zoo faces another legal woe USDA files complaint, seeks to revoke license
Legal troubles for the owners of the Collins Zoo aren't over yet.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has filed a complaint before the secretary of agriculture, seeking numerous fines and the revocation of the zoo's USDA exhibitor license.
But, after battling government agencies for nearly 25 years over animal confiscations, hundreds of alleged violations and a civil lawsuit, zoo owners Gus and Betty White aren't ready to give up yet.
"That's what's wrong with America now," Betty White said. "People don't stand up for what they

Mamata sets up state zoo authority
The Mamata Banerjee government has decided to refurbish all zoos in the state and bring them under one umbrella - the state zoo authority. Chief secretary Samar Ghosh is the chairman - he has asked all zoos to submit masterplans so that renovation can be started soon. Under the apex body, uniform rules and guidelines have been formulated for all state zoos.
Forest secretary Subesh Das told TOI, "By bringing the zoo under the state zoo authority, there will be smooth functioning in the zoological gardens." The government has also set up a technical committee under the authority. The committee, headed by the principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) has been empowered to decide on the medical treatment requirement of the zoo inmates, their diet and if and

Tourism Malaysia promotes country using Frankfurt zoo
As a rare gesture, Tourism Malaysia's Frankfurt office has been allowed to profile Malaysia's wildlife and nature at the reputed Frankfurt International Zoo which has a combined population of 18 orang utans.
The strategy of arousing public interest in Malaysia's wildlife, using the zoo as a vehicle for promotion of tourism, has been lauded by tourism promotion experts here. 
Indeed, there is tremendous public interest in the orang utan, which cand help further enhance the level of interest and, thus, also boost tourism traffic to Malaysia.      The pitch will be made to children who, accompanied by their parents, are a common sight at the zoo, particularly on weekends.
Tourism Malaysia will make a presentation today, enticing children, helped by their parents, to participate in a quiz game called "Discover Malaysia and its Fascinating Nature," said Syed Yahya Syed Othman, the director of the Frankfurt office of Tourism Malaysia in an interview with Bernama.
The quiz will include questions about Malaysia's wildlife and its natural environment; the questions will be posed to

White tiger cubs get all touchy-feely at zooWHAT are white, have stripes and blue eyes? The two white Bengal tiger cubs born recently at a private zoo north of the city.
The two male cubs, Spirit and Zeus, and their orange-coloured Bengal brother, Apollo, were born almost two weeks ago and are the newest attraction at the Mystic Monkeys and Feathers Wildlife Park outside Pretoria.
“People love to interact with them (the cubs) and the cubs like the touch,” said the park’s marketer, Ilse van Aardt. The cubs made their first public appearance on Friday when visitors could play with them and take photographs.
The cubs are the second set of white tigers born in the park. These tiger cubs are not albinos, as true albino tigers do not have stripes. Two orange tigers carrying the recessive mutant gene for white colouration can produce white offspring.
Their mother, Tiffany, and father, Alex, are both orange-coloured Bengal tigers.
The cubs were taken from their parents because their mother does not have enough milk to feed all three brothers and the father is a threat to the cubs’ safety.
“He (will) eat them,” said Maria Manganye, the primary caregiver and “new mother” of the cubs.
Manganye, who has been working at the park for 17 years, takes care of the cubs and feeds them each a bottle of milk every three hours.
“They irritate (you sometimes),” she said amid loud wails from the cubs.
The cubs drink a special milk for cats, but in three months their diet will change to meat, preferably chicken.
A new goal for the park is to start a breeding programme with the white Bengals.
“Bengals are almost extinct and they breed easier in captivity,” said van Aardt.
She said the cubs were perfectly healthy.
But with so many males around, they first have to find a new bloodline and a few female tigers before they can start breeding.
Apart from the white tigers, the park also has white lions, cheetahs and ocelots.

Oryx 'must be saved by setting up wildlife reserve'
A vast international wildlife reserve must be set up in the Rub' Al Khali desert to secure the future of the Arabian oryx, says one wildlife expert.
The oryx is a type of antelope that once roamed across the Arabian Peninsula but became extinct in the wild in 1972, largely due to over-hunting. The animal's distinctive white coat stands out in the desert, and this made it easy prey for hunters following the introduction of 4x4s and automatic weapons. The species was saved by captive breeding programmes in the UAE and elsewhere.
The idea put forward by Dr Reza Khan, Dubai Municipality's wildlife and zoo specialist, is for a sanctuary that would stretch across the Empty Quarter to include UAE, Saudi and Omani territory, allowing

Animals left for dead in Indonesian zoos Neglected, cramped, and now fatally ill-kept – the animals in these zoos are dying. Where are they? Indonesia, a nation famous for its wildlife and wilderness. Kathy Marks reports from Jakarta
In a remote corner of Jakarta's Ragunan Zoo, a Malayan sun bear is pacing back and forth, shaking its head in an agitated manner. There is no shade or shelter in the tiny, dilapidated enclosure – just a stagnant pond full of rubbish. The bear, which is riddled with mange, rears up against a concrete wall and howls.
It's a scene that is not uncommon in Indonesia, where zoos have come under scrutiny following the death of a giraffe in Surabaya, East Java – later found to have a 40-pound wad of plastic in its stomach. In a country known for its rich biodiversity, many rare and threatened native creatures – such as the honey-eating sun bear – are kept in squalid and cramped conditions that appal animal welfare experts.
Conservationists, who have been lobbying for standards to be raised, were horrified by a recent announcement that Indonesia and China plan to exchange emblematic animals as a mark of friendship. The former will receive some endangered pandas, the latter some rare Komodo dragons.
At Surabaya, dubbed the "zoo of death" by The Jakarta Post newspaper, more than 700 animals died prematurely – mainly from disease and malnutrition – between 2008 and mid-2010. While the mortality rate has decreased since Tony Sumampouw, secretary of the Indonesian Zoo and Aquarium Association, was drafted in, Surabaya – where the giraffe swallowed plastic packaging thrown into its enclosure –remains chronically overcrowded.
According to Mr Sumampouw, enclosures have not been updated for 50 years. "We have 167 pelicans in a 40-metre by 20-metre cage, so they can't even open their wings," he says. "We have more than 20 lions and tigers, and most of them never see the sunlight, they never enjoy the fresh air, they never exercise." One rare white tiger, a gift from the Indian government, has been outside so rarely that, as a result of back problems, it can barely stand up.
Across the country – particularly in zoos owned and run by municipal governments – listless and unhealthy animals are kept in ageing pens,

QuestionnaireHow and when can alternative livelihood projects be most effective in improving the sustainability of bushmeat hunting in Africa?

Sanctuary or Scamtuary?You have probably received fundraising appeals from animal “sanctuaries” claiming that they have just rescued a starving tiger living in deplorable conditions in the basement of someone’s home. The appeal urges you to pledge money to help pay for the rehabilitation of this desperate tiger. By your simply contributing $25 or more, the sanctuary says it can provide the tiger with the proper care and treatment necessary to live out her life in comfort, and be able to rescue more animals in the future.
Your heart goes out to this poor tiger and your hand reaches for your checkbook. But wait…before you send your hard-earned money to save this animal you must ask whether you are contributing to a sanctuary that is actually helping to reduce the wild and exotic animal trade by rescuing animals and providing a true haven, or to a “sanctuary” that in fact facilitates the trade by breeding more animals and displaying rescued animals for profit.
There are “sanctuaries” out there that claim to help rescued animals. However, many also breed the animals or support breeding programs, exhibit the rescued animals for entertainment purposes, and/or support the keeping of exotic animals as “pets.” These facilities—also known as “scamtuaries” or pseudo-sanctuaries—play on people’s desire to help abused, abandoned, or neglected animals.
A True Sanctuary
A sanctuary is a nonprofit organization described in Section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) of the Internal Revenue Code 1986, and its subsequent amendments, that operates a place of refuge where abused, neglected, unwanted, impounded, abandoned, orphaned, or displaced exotic animals are provided care for their lifetime or released back to their natural habitat. Before donating money, it is important to do a little investigating into the organization, keeping in mind the qualities of a true sanctuary:
• No commercial activity involving animals occurs (including, but not limited to, sale of animals, animal parts, by-products, offspring, or photographic opportunities; no public events for financial gain and/or profit);
• No propagation or breeding of animals occurs in the facility for financial purposes;
• No unescorted public visitation is allowed; no direct contact between the public and wild and exotic animals is allowed; animals are not to be taken from their enclosures or off sanctuary grounds for exhibition or education; and
• No activities are conducted that are in conflict with the animals’ inherent nature.

Kenya: A Contrarian ViewAfrica's wildlife is being loved to death. Kenya's much-praised ban on hunting, in fact, has had an impact opposite to its intent: wild animals are disappearing at an accelerating rate. "Charismatic megafauna" -- elephants, lions, rhinos, the larger antelopes -- are in a true death spiral.
 When Kenya's hunting ban was passed in 1977 in response to the "Ivory Wars" that were ravaging the nation's elephants, it was hailed as a new and progressive paradigm for wildlife management. With the hunting pressure off, animal lovers opined, the game would bounce back. And it's true that elephants did recover modestly over the ensuring two decades.
 But now the slaughter has begun anew, driven by an unrelenting demand from a prosperous Asia for ivory objets d'art. Meanwhile, everything else is going down the tubes, including carnivores and antelopes. By best estimates, Kenya's wildlife has declined by more than 70 percent over the past 20 years.
 What happened? While the ban played well in the developed world, it was catastrophic for the people who lived in the rural hinterlands of Kenya -- the places where wildlife actually exists. Basically, folks out in the bush had the responsibility for maintaining wildlife on their lands, but they were deprived of any benefit from the animals. Such a situation is intolerable for subsistence pastoralists and farmers.
 Subsequent to the ban, they could not respond -- legally -- when an elephant raided their maize and stomped their goats, or when a lion killed a cow. But laws made in Nairobi are seldom if ever applied with rigor in the Kenyan bush. Even as animal rights groups lionized Kenya's no-kill policy and urged its adoption across Africa, the killing has continued unabated. Carnivores are poisoned, antelope snared, elephants speared and shot: Crops can thus be raised and the livestock grazed in peace.
 Michael Norton-Griffiths, who has served as the senior ecologist for Tanzania's Serengeti National Park and the manager of the Eastern Sahel Program for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, likened the situation to owning a goat.
 Assume, says Norton-Griffiths, that you're a poor pastoralist in

Problems for the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard
A small, sandy-colored lizard you've probably never seen before could cost the schoolchildren of Texas hundreds of millions of dollars if the Federal government pushes forward with its plan to list it as endangered.
In December, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the sand dune lizard as an endangered species. No mention is made in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife proposal on the potential impact to Texas school children if the sand dune lizard is listed as endangered.
The proposed listing was prompted after environmental groups - such as New Mexico-based WildEarth Guardians - filed lawsuits against the federal government.
The sand dune lizard is about as big as your hand, with bright yellow eyes, a blunt-nose and a rounded head. Beneath its wide mouth, it has a faint yellow under-lip.
Formally known as the dunes sagebrush lizard, the sand dune lizard is a habitat specialist who can only live under the shade of the shrub-like shinnery oak that grow in isolated areas of southeast New Mexico and West Texas. A particularly picky lizard, it can only nest in dunes with medium-sized grains of sand.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the sand dune lizard separated from its cousin, the sagebrush lizard, about 15,000 years ago. The split occurred during the Pleistocene era when the area became warmer and dryer, creating the shinnery oak sand dune habitat the lizard depends on to survive.
This same habitat is also home to the hottest oil patch in Texas, the state that produces the most domestic oil and gas in the nation. Roads and oil well pads cut through the shinnery oak dune habitat, according to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The booming growth of oil and gas production in the sand dune lizard's limited habitat earns hundreds of millions of dollars for public education in Texas. Both the Permanent School Fund, which helps pay for the state's share of public education, a

Researchers film rare striped rabbit in Sumatra (w/ Video)With cameras set up in Sumatra looking for medium- and small-sized wild cats, such as leopards, a research group involving the University of Delaware's Kyle McCarthy, found images of something else entirely -- a rabbit. Not just any ordinary rabbit, but a Sumatran striped rabbit, one of the world's rarest species and one that had been captured on film only three times before.

'Khus' mats being placed in cages to make zoo inmates coolWith mercury crossing the 43 degrees mark, the Kanpur zoo authorities have made arrangements to keep inmates cool. The zoo has over 1,100 animals.
The zoo officials have taken steps like changing the water in the enclosure of hippopotamus, placing of green nets that reduce the sunrays that fall inside the enclosures and putting 'khus' mats to save the inmates.
Green nets have been placed in the enclosure of monkeys and sarus birds. Exhaust fans have been placed in the enclosure of tigers. The zoo authorities are in the process of placing the nets in the enclosure of leopards. They are in the process of changing the damaged water pipelines. The supply of water to the enclosures would also become better. The inmates are being given cucumber to keep them cool.
"The green nets would be placed over the cages of lion and tiger to ward o

A virtual Al Ain Zoo Twitter tour through the eyes of vet MajidIn an hour round of tweets a key vet of Al Ain Zoo took the hot seat to answer all kinds of questions from twitter users yesterday in what was called the first tweet up of this zoo.
Between 6 to 7 pm, the Emirati Majid Al Qassimi dedicated his social media attention to answer questions about the newborn baby Rhino, the summer heat and about keeping exotic animals as a pet.
Tweeters were updated on the latest animal news, such as the addition of two new Kori Bustards, which he told is the heaviest bird capable of flying, and the development of the baby rhino, which is now getting used to living in a group.
A tweeter under the name @Skaikha IM asked: "Why don't u have an elephant at the zoo?" to which he answered: "Since our last elephant passed away, we are waiting for the new development to finish before looking into this."
The summer heat was a topic of concern for some tweeters. One tweeter under the name @Lailaabuladeeb asked how Al Ain Zoo was planning to attract the public in summer, to which Majid explained that the zoo would only be opened from 4 to 10 pm.
He further explained that all animals have air-conditioned cages, however some animals are more adapt of the heat than others. This is one of the reasons that there




Japan's fugitive penguin 'living quite happily' in Tokyo Bay
One-year-old Humboldt penguin scaled 13-foot fence to escape Tokyo aquarium in March
After Penguin Number 337 made a daring bid for freedom from a Tokyo aquarium and vanished into the waters of Tokyo Bay two months ago, many feared the worst for the adventurous feathered fugitive.

Operators of dolphin show seek new probe of cruelty raps
The operators of a dolphin show are asking a Quezon City court to order a new investigation of charges they were cruel to animals, saying they had obtained the necessary government permits for a series of shows they mounted during the Christmas season of 2010.
Operators of the Angels of the Sea Dolphin and Sea Lion Show said they were not afforded a chance to answer the charges before being indicted and asked the court to quash the warrants it had issued for their arrest and to suspend all court proceedings in the case.
This was after the summons from the Quezon City prosecutors’ office was purportedly served at the wrong address.
Jose Avelino and Ma. Carla Mamburam, key officials of Indophil Sea Wonders Co. Ltd., operator of the marine mammal show, said they were unable to respond to the initial complaint against them or attend the preliminary investigation because the Quezon City Prosecutor’s office had sent the summonses to the wrong address.
“Contrary to private complainants’ accusations, the accused did not commit cruelty to animals,” they said in their pleading, which was filed lawyers Shirley Alinea and Michael Thor Singson at the sala of Judge Caridad Walse-Lutero of the Metropolitan Trial Court’s  Branch 34.
Avelino and Mamburam were charged with violating Republic Act 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act on the strength of a complaint filed against them by the Philippine Animal Welfare Society and Earth Island Institute.
The complaints alleged that the animals were subjected


Goa Zoo to have aviaries for wetland, terrestrial birds

Goa's lone zoo tucked in Bondla wildlife sanctuary will soon have birds on display in two aviaries, designed for wetland and terrestrial birds.


Deputy Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) D N F Carvalho said the aviaries are planned as a part of the zoo's infrastructure upgradation, which is prominently funded by Union government's Central Zoo Authority (CZA).


This would be for the first time that this facility would be displaying birds, since its inception in 1969.


Bondla Zoo, situated 60 kms away from Panaji, has been housing only wild animals and reptiles, with no separate enclosure for birds, except Peacock.


The zoo is tucked inside Bondla wildlife sanctuary, one of the smallest sanctuaries in the state.


Carvalho said the wetland and terrestrial birds would be kept in two separate sophisticated aviaries in the zoo, creating a near natural living condition for them.


The state forest department will be studying a model of aviaries from other zoos in the country, which could be emulated here.


The exhibits here would be of the same climatic condition, he said, adding that the migratory birds would not be displayed in the aviary.


The wetland bird will have aviary with the water body inside while terrestrial bird will be in the aviary replicating

Sumatran orang-utans delay puberty to build up strength

ANY teenage boy will confirm that older boys make it impossible to get the girls. Young male orang-utans with the same problem have a unique and unexpected solution: they don't grow up until they are strong enough to challenge the dominant males.
Male orang-utans can reproduce from around age 15, but in order to attract a mate they also have to develop secondary sexual characteristics - the equivalent of men growing chest hair. These include conspicuous cheek flanges. Yet Sumatran orang-utans often delay acquiring flanges, sometimes for over 10 years. No other primates do this, not even Bornean orang-utans.
Gauri Pradhan of the University of South Florida in Tampa and colleagues noted another difference between the species: unlike Bornean males, Sumatran males can monopolise females for weeks at a time. Pradhan built mathematical models of orang-utan populations from decades of field data, and varied the extent to which males could monopolise females. She found that males that could delay maturation did better when

Student: Zoos Not Protecting the Animals

Zoos. The places where you can see wild animals. The kind of place you might enjoy, but do you know what’s happening behind the bars or fences? There is a whole life of cruelty hidden with little space, no care and “money—makers.”


Yes, it’s true—zoos don’t provide animals with enough place to live. The animals will get zoochosis as a result. Zoochosis is a term which is used to refer to a range of psychological problems associated with animals kept in captivity. Also, after conducting a study, the Born Free Foundation found that animals spend most of their time showing symptoms of stress as a result of captivity. Plus, in Milwakee County Zoo, elephants are kept in pairs or even isolated. Believe it or not, the enclosures are incredibly small.


It's not a lie that animals are not cared about in most zoos. In fact, a former director of the Atlanta Zoo said he was too removed from the animals and they were the last thing he cared about. Did you know that in most zoos, only 1/15 of the money

G.W. Exotic Animal Park Lets Kids Play With Tigers, Humane Society Accuses

The Humane Society of the United States is accusing an Oklahoma exotic animal park of allowing children to handle and pose for photographs with juvenile tigers in what they called "a petting zoo for carnivores."


Joe Schreibvogel, owner of the G.W. Exotic Animal Park, 65 miles (100 km) south of Oklahoma City, denies the allegations, and he said on Thursday that the humane society simply wants to bankrupt him.


Wayne Pacelle, head of the animal rights organization, contends that allowing visitors to handle the unpredictable felines placed the visitors at risk.


The Humane Society sent an undercover operative to work at the park last year to videotape what he saw, including children mingling with exotic cats that are too old to be safe playmates. The investigator witnessed or heard about six incidents in which tiger cubs bit or scratched park visitors, Pacelle

Carol McCasland: Accredited zoos save the lives of animals

Seldom do I agree with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The letter in last Friday's Daily Camera (May 11) from PETA Representative Jennifer O'Connor was correct on two points: 1) people should not taunt animals in captivity. The video of the lioness trying to get at a baby on the other side of the glass was disgusting. 2) Children's playgrounds and other attractions do not belong in zoos.


However, as a volunteer docent at Denver Zoo, the other points the PETA rep made were totally inaccurate and very out-dated. Accredited zoos today have done much to build exhibits that provide enrichment and a positive experience for the animals they house.


Yes, there are some older exhibits that could use some updating. In time and with more money, that will happen. But never doubt that the mission of zoos today is to educate people about the animals in their care, to provide excellent physical and mental care, to research how to take care of animals left in the wild, to increase the chance the animals will have enough habitat left to live in their natural home, to work with humans in the areas where

Minnesota Zoo dolphins exhibit will end

The Minnesota Zoo's popular dolphin program will end this fall.


The facility's two remaining dolphins will not return after repairs are made to their pool, officials said.


Dolphins, which have been exhibited at the zoo since it opened in 1978, are difficult to acquire, and the zoo would need at least one more animal to ensure proper socialization for the marine mammals, Director Lee Ehmke said Monday, May 14.


"It's a difficult decision, but it doesn't seem to be possible to create the kind of social situation we would need to have," Ehmke said.


The Minnesota Zoo recently received $4 million in the state Legislature's bonding bill to repair the aging tank.


Allie and Semo will be sent to other accredited facilities sometime this fall, and repairs to the tank will take place after

Indonesia Denies NGO Allegations Of Dolphin, Whale Hunting

Environment officials came out on Wednesday to deny accusations that whales and dolphins were being actively killed and hunted down in Indonesian waters, despite laws prohibiting the activity.


The statement was made in response to a video and photos posted online by US-based nongovernmental organization Earth Island Institute alleging they were evidence of the killing of whales and dolphins in Indonesia.


“It is not true. How could that be? I have never heard of dolphins being hunted before,” Agus Apun Budhiman, director of fish resources at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said at a press conference on Wednesday.


“Local people consider them [dolphins] as man’s best friends, so they would not go after them, let alone eat or use their meat as bait,” he added.


If ever there were any whales or dolphins captured, Agus said, it would have been accidental, not deliberate.


The video posted on the NGO’s Web site showed an interview with a local fisherman in Flores describing how dolphins are captured using home-made bombs. He said the captured

Giraffes die from stress as vandals terrorise Polish zoo

Two giraffes at a zoo in central Poland's Lodz died of stress after unidentified vandals went on a night-time rampage, the zoo's management said Monday.


The vandals broke in overnight Saturday to Sunday, destroying benches, signs and sculptures and hurling pieces of the debris at the animals.


One of the giraffes died within hours of the incident and the second was found dead Monday morning.


"The autopsy of the first giraffe, three-year-old female, found a ruptured heart valve and bruising, a sign of a severe stress reaction," the zoo's deputy director Wlodzimierz Stanislawski told AFP.


"The second, a six-year-old female, was slightly ill before the incident. The stress likely aggravated the illness and finished her off.


"Giraffes are extremely timid. Stress causes a flight response in them. They react the same way to every unusual noise," said

Pumas may be on the loose in Scotland as cat corpse is discovered

A DOG walker has stumbled upon the corpse of an animal experts believe may have been a puma near a Scottish beauty spot.


John Robertson, 50, was walking his two dogs along a rural path in Cullen, Moray, with his wife Pauline, on Monday when he found the remains of what appeared to be a cat the size of a large dog.


Just metres from the rotting corpse were the remains of what may have been its last meal – half a dozen mauled seagulls.


Mr Robertson, from Drybridge, Moray, said yesterday: “I was walking my two dogs on Monday morning when we came across all these dead birds scattered about everywhere.


“I couldn’t believe my eyes. I have never seen so many dead birds in one area. They were completely mauled, they had their guts totally ripped out of them lying on the ground.


“Then a little further on we came across a horrible rotting smell which was this big cat.


“It looks like it has feasted on the seagulls and maybe it has fallen down the cliff nearby, injured itself and just lay there till it died.”


But despite its 18-inch-long tail and its sharp teeth, Mr Robertson claimed the animal was

Guzoo wolves allegedly poisoned at private Alberta zoo

The owners of Guzoo are waiting for a necropsy to find out how two wolves died but suspect they were poisoned.


Seven wolf pups are now being bottle fed since their parents were found dead in their pens on Tuesday morning.


The private zoo near Three Hills, Alta., has been a battleground between the Gustafson family and animal rights activists for years.

Interview with Greenpeace Head Kumi Naidoo 'We Are Losing the Planet'

The environmental movement is losing momentum and governments around the world are ignoring their responsibility for slowing climate change. Greenpeace head Kumi Naidoo, however, remains optimistic. In an interview, he explains his new vision for a sustainable world -- and how the pope can help.


Politicians and business leaders are fond of talking about the new era of the green economy. But in reality, the exploitation of nature is on the rise. The Brazilian parliament is seeking to weaken laws protecting the rain forest. At the climate conference in Durban, South Africa, no agreement could be reached on limiting CO2 emissions. And in developing economies such as China and India, dozens of new coal-fired power plants are in the works.


One government after another is ducking its responsibility when it comes to the fight against climate change. Meanwhile, environmental activists around the globe have proven unable to reverse, or even slow, the trend. Indeed, the green movement seems to have lost momentum. Now, the head of Greenpeace has begun pursuing a new strategy. Kumi Naidoo is shifting his organization's focus to the developing world. He is linking the fight against global warming with the fight against poverty and is increasing Greenpeace's cooperation with large companies.


Critics have accused Naidoo of weakening the Greenpeace brand name. SPIEGEL ONLINE caught up with Naidoo at the

Safari Park to get $9 million gift for new tiger exhibit

An entirely new home for San Diego Zoo Safari Park's Sumatran tigers could open by 2014, thanks to the park's largest pledge ever of $9 million.


Park officials announced Friday that the planned $19.5 million Tiger Trail attraction is assured of the donation as long as an additional $2 million is raised by the end of the year.


A couple who has chosen to remain anonymous pledged to contribute $9 for every $2 in donations to finance the new attraction, designed in part to draw attention to the dwindling Sumatran tiger population. The gift, at most, would be $9 million if the park succeeds in attracting $2 million in donations.


The anonymous donors do not live in the county but for the last six years have supported projects at the zoo, Safari Park and the

'It was only a matter of time' - killer elephant's former owner

Mila the elephant most likely intended to kill her keeper at Franklin Zoo, says her former owner.


Robin Ratcliffe, brother of Mila's former handler Tony Ratcliffe, said they warned officials that someone would get hurt if her transition to the zoo was not handled correctly.


"This tragedy was in the making," he said. "We didn't have any doubt. It was only a matter of time."


That time came on the afternoon of April 25, when keeper Helen Schofield, a vet who lived on site at Franklin Zoo and Wildlife Sanctuary, was crushed to death by the elephant.


It is understood Schofield, 42, was killed when Mila picked her up with her trunk before bringing her down, crushing her.


Robin Ratcliffe, founder of Hamilton engineering firm Modern Transport Engineers, said it was likely Mila knew what she was doing.


"Mila possibly had a motive to kill her," he said.


"We won't conclusively be able to say that until we actually see evidence of how it happened, but we've got a strong belief that the elephant more or less set her up.


He said the killing would have been linked to prolonged separation from her former handler, Tony Ratcliffe.


Her transition to Franklin Zoo should have taken at least two years with Tony Ratcliffe's assistance, but instead, she




New wildlife park to replace Dubai Zoo
A new wildlife park is to be constructed on a 160-hectare piece of land in the middle of the desert in Al Warqa, Dubai.
Animals such as elephants, lions, tigers, monkeys, cheetahs and guerillas - sourced from different parts of the world - will be part of the experience at the park, which will be known as Dubai Safari.
Animals from the current Dubai Zoo in Jumeirah will be relocated to the Dubai Safari park and the current zoo will be closed
India's Supreme Court Halts Plans to Import African Cheetahs
India’s Supreme Court has suspended an ambitious project to import cheetahs from Africa to an Indian wildlife sanctuary and revive a species which became extinct in the South Asian country nearly a quarter of a century ago.
A popular target with hunters, the Asiatic cheetah disappeared from the forests of India in the 1950s.The last of the three cheetahs in the country are said to have been hunted down by a former king in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
The government drew up a plan to revive the species by shipping African cheetahs from Namibia and introducing them to a wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. Fifteen cheetahs were to be brought in during the first phase of the project.
But the Supreme Court this week put the $56 million plan on hold, after wildlife experts called it “totally misconceived.”
Court-appointed adviser P.S. Narasimha said the African cheetah is not native to India and completely different from its Asian counterpart. He said  introducing the African cheetah here goes against guidelines set by the International Union
Cheetahs which mauled British woman in South Africa had attacked another tourist A pair of supposedly tame cheetahs which mauled a British woman on her holiday in South Africa had previously attacked another tourist, it has been claimed.
Housewife Violet D'Mello, 60, from Aberdeen, was rushed to hospital last month after the two big cats leaped on her in a petting enclosure at a private game park.
Owners of the Kragga Kamma wildlife reserve claimed the male cheetahs Mark and Monty were tame and had never attacked humans before.
However an American tourist has since told a South African newspaper she was also injured when the pair lunged at her during a holiday three years ago.
Michelle Bodenheimer, from Portland, Oregon, told the Times people should not be allowed in the enclosure with the cheetahs.
She said: "I am heartbroken to see that Kragga Kamma did not learn from my unfortunate
Divorce Anyone? Woman Gets Mauled By Cheetahs While Husband Takes Pictures
Supposedly enjoying “a trip of a lifetime,” Violet D’Mello traveled with her husband, Archie (both pictured at bottom), to a South African wildlife park. Unfortunately for Violet, the excursion would turn nearly fatal while she was petting “tame animals,” according to RadarOnline
Crested ibis parents aced hunting tests
A pair of crested ibises that successfully hatched three eggs in April proved adept in a hunting and food-gathering test before their release into the wild, it has been learned.
To feed their chicks, the first born in 36 years under natural conditions, the pair need to catch 300 loaches a day. After seeing their outstanding test results in November 2010, the Sado Japanese Crested Ibis Conservation Center had no worries about their ability to feed newborns.
The center usually carries out such tests a few months prior to about 10 ibises being released into the wild. The birds are put in a cage together and must prove their abilities to gather food and adjust to a group-oriented environment.
According to the center, the ibis parents, a 3-year-old male and a 2-year-old female, were the first
Zoo closes after endangered dogs crawl under fence
The Pittsburgh Zoo closed briefly Saturday morning when nine African painted dogs crawled under a fence, said zoo Director Barbara Baker.
The dogs got into a "backup yard" not visible to the public, but were never out of their exhibit. As soon as a keeper realized that the dogs were in another section of their yard, he alerted zoo staff. Zoo officials closed the zoo at about 9:20 a.m. to get the animals back into their regular yard. It re-opened at 10:30 a.m.
Dr. Baker said the zoo went on a "full code red" as a precaution. "What that means is we bring the public into buildings so there is no danger to public."
There were about 200 people on the grounds. "We just walked them into buildings and put the dogs back in main yard."
There are 11 dogs in the exhibit. Nine broke out, crawling through a hole in the fence that separates the 11/2-acre public area from a backup yard that is also about 11/2 acres, Dr. Baker said.
Dr. Baker, a veterinarian, keepers and curators went to the exhibit to move the dogs back. They made the hole in the fence larger, "then we
No, A Jaguar Did Not Escape From Elmwood Park Zoo
get a lot of questions from readers via Facebook and Twitter about the goings on in and around Norristown, but the question I got today from one reader was about the strangest I've ever seen. The reader asked, "Can you say if Elmwood Zoo jaguar got out yesterday?"
Apparently the internet was abuzz yesterday and still into this morning about reports of Elmwood Park Zoo's jaguar making a break for it and prowling the streets of Norristown.
"It's not true," said zoo employee John Brown. He's not sure how the rumor got started, but Brown confirmed that the jaguar is safe in his cage and hasn't taken any field trips. Brown also confrimed that they've been slammed with calls from the public asking about it.
The Norristown Police Department
TWO dolphins who suffered 'drawn out and painful' deaths at a zoo after it hosted a weekend rave were probably killed by a heroin substitute, a leaked toxicology report has claimed.
The animals died within five days of each other in November of last year after bosses had rented land near their training pool to organisers of a weekend rave party for thousands of clubbers.
Prosecutors said at the time that they believed that antibiotics given by zoo vets were to blame for the deaths of the two dolphins at the 'Connyland' zoo in Lipperswil, Switzerland, and they were considering negligence charges.
But now another toxicology report has been leaked to Swiss media that was carried out at the time by the forensics institute in St Gallen - which found the heroin substitute Buprenorphin was present in the animals urine.
Leading marine biologist and dolphin expert Cornelis van Elk said: "Opiates are extremely dangerous for underwater mammals and would never be used in any legitimate treatment.
"The reason is that dolphins are conscious breathers which means they actively decide when to come to the surface to breathe, for which they need to be awake.
"Even when sleeping – there is part of the brain that automatically
The dolphins that overdosed on heroin... at a rave
Drugged-out revellers. A party on the grounds of a Swiss zoo. Result: The death of two dolphins named Shadow and Chelmers. Here's the unsettling story
Last November, two dolphins at a Swiss zoo endured slow, painful deaths after the facility hosted a weekend rave. Initially, puzzled officials blamed the animals' fates on everything from blaring music to vet negligence. But new toxicology reports reveal that the mammals died of a drug overdose. Here, a brief guide to this tragic story:
What happened to the dolphins?
Shadow and Chelmers of the Connyland Marine Park in Switzerland died mysteriously, and within five days of each other, following a weekend-long rave. "Animal-rights activists originally blamed
AMMPA Standardized Information:
Bottlenose Dolphin
Longevity and Mortality
Current scientific data show that the average lifespan of bottlenose dolphins in Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums member facilities is longer than their counterparts in the wild. Calves born in AMMPA member zoological parks and aquariums have higher rates of survivability than those born in the wild. (See references below.)
Average Life Span in AMMPA Facilities
On average, a one-year old bottlenose dolphin in Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums member facilities is expected to live for more than 25 years (Willis 2007, unpublished data).
Average Life Span in the Wild
Research based on tooth extraction from 290 stranded dolphins, in cooperation with the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, produced data that show the average life expectancy from birth of animals off the coast of Texas is 11.73 years, and the average life expectancy from one year of age is 12.72. These numbers are also consistent with the results of other tooth-aging studies of stranded animals (Neuenhoff, 2009; Mattson et al., 2006; Stolen and Barlow, 2003; Hohn, 1980).
Singapore's Andover to build over 7 aquariums in India in 5 years
Singapore-based private equity firm Andover is planning to construct over seven large-sized public aquariums across India in association with Bhasin Group over the next five years.
Both companies have formed an equal joint venture and are gearing up to open one such aquarium by the end of this year in Greater Noida.
Bhasin Group Managing Director S S Bhasin said it will start exploring new cities for building aquariums once the first project is thrown open to public.
"We are investing $9 million with our partner in this aquarium in Greater Noida. This will be ready for public by the end of this year," he added.
"In a big country like India, strangely, there is not a single aquarium. We are planning to open such important tourist destination here. We could open two-three aquarium in every 18 months for the next five years," Andover Group President Sindu Zhang Huihan told reporters.
Andover, which has interests in real estate, manufacturing sector and leisure industry, will develop all these aquariums in association with its partner Bhasin Group.
Huihan, however, declined to share any investment amount that is likely to
Atlantis defends whale shark action
A top marine expert at Dubai’s Atlantis hotel has spoken openly about the fate of the rare whale shark that was kept at its aquarium and caused an international wave of protest from campaigners.
Speaking during a weekend of activities geared to educate the public about conservation of sharks, marine sciences vice president Steve Kaiser told 7DAYS: “I genuinely believe she did really, really, well.”
The 4m-long female shark was on view to visitors at the aquarium from August 2008 until March 2010. The Atlantis team was accused of “detaining” it by animal rights groups, including People for the Ethical Treatment
Kelly: For Med Center, ape not just any patient
Just outside the Nebraska Medical Center on Saturday, six people using a sturdy net lifted a 432-pound patient onto a gurney — a gorilla.
Motuba, a 28-year-old silverback known as “Tubby,” had suffered a fractured upper jaw Thursday evening at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. He apparently was pushed down by a 14-year-old, 460-pound gorilla named Tattoo, though no one saw it happen.
“Tubby used to be in charge,” said Dr. Julie Napier, the zoo's senior veterinarian. Tattoo, she said, is “a youngster feeling his oats.”
It's very unusual for a zoo animal to be transported to a regular hospital, she said, adding that it has happened only three times in Omaha in the past six years.
The gurney carrying the sedated Tubby was rolled inside, where the six handlers — on a count of “1, 2, 3” — shifted him onto a flat surface and slid him into place for a CT scan of his head.
Dr. William Lydiatt, a head and neck surgeon who volunteers with the zoo, left his son's track meet and arrived to help zoo vets assess the situation. Kneeling next to the gorilla, he used a flashlight to inspect the damage. With his fingers, he could feel bone fragments.
Lydiatt specializes in such things as head and neck cancers, salivary diseases and thyroid tumors. He has checked gorillas' thyroids before and operated on two monkeys, but this would be his first surgery on a gorilla.
The fracture on the upper right of the mouth was obvious, but the CT scan would determine if there was further damage to the sinus or eye orbit.
If this were a human, Lydiatt said, the jaw would be wired after surgery. A problem with the extremely powerful jaw muscles of a gorilla, he said, is that even with much thicker baling wire, the animal would tear it apart.
On a computer screen, the doc studied the scan with Dr. Anne Hubbard, a radiologist whose late parents' donations led to the naming of the zoo's Hubbard Gorilla Valley.
“It's a bit of an unusual break,” Lydiatt said. The fracture was upward, as if the gorilla was pushed from behind and fell forward, hitting the tip of his large canine tooth on a hard surface.
Said Napier: “I think he hit the concrete
Big Cat Attacks
Makes for an interesting read
Beauty trumps beast in conservation efforts
Human concepts of beauty are shaping conservation efforts, protecting good-looking plants and animals over ugly ones, a study suggests.
The report, "The new Noah's Ark: beautiful and useful species only,"has been published in the 2012 edition of the scientific journal, Biodiversity.
It describes how vulnerable species that overtly display characteristics human beings respect or find desirable -- such as beauty, strength, power or cuddliness -- are more likely to be the focus of concerted conservation programs than animals or plants that are less appealing to the eye.
"People have biases towards species that are glamorous," said Dr. Ernie Small, author of the study and taxonomist for Agriculture Canada.
"Animals that are beautiful, entertaining or that command respect due to their size or power are almost always given greater
Swedish teenage girl hurt in freak wolf attack
A fifteen–year-old girl who was visiting Sweden’s Kolmården Safari park a few weeks ago had to be rushed to hospital after one of the wolves suddenly attacked her and bit into her thigh.
“She panicked and it showed, and then one of the wolves bit her,” said Mats Höggren, zoological head of the park to local paper Norrköpings tidningar (NT).
When the attack occurred, the girl was visiting the park out of opening hours with some family members, accompanied by an employee at the park who is a friend of the family.
According to Höggren, the girl’s panicked reaction to seeing the animals was unanticipated as none of the others had realized she was actually scared of the wolves.
“Somehow they weren’t aware of the girl’s fears,” said Höggren to NT.
When she acted frightened, the animal’s natural reaction was to pounce, explained Höggren.
According to daily Aftonbladet, this is not the first time that visitors to Kolmården have been injured when entering the wolf compound.
In 2010, a 21-year-old woman sustained a bite in the arm after entering the wolf area of the park and in 2007, Swedish TV-profile Arne Weise was knocked over by
Zoo Chimp Makes Elaborate Plots to Attack Humans
"Santino," a male chimpanzee at a Swedish zoo, appears to enjoy his surprise attacks on humans.
"Santino," a male chimpanzee at Furuvik Zoo in Sweden, is devising increasingly complex attacks against zoo visitors.
At first Santino was famous for throwing rocks and other projectiles at visitors who annoyed him. Now he has improved his technique, which requires spontaneous innovation for future deception. Researcher Mathias Osvath, lead author of a paper about Santino in PLoS ONE, explained
Claws out at zoo
Union says moving jobs bites into city employees’ rights
Don Monroe, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 37, said complaints have been filed to the Alberta Labour Relations Board after learning existing positions at the city attraction are being moved from city jurisdiction to the Calgary Zoological Society, meaning unionized positions are set to be lost forever.
The society manages the zoo and hires its own employees, but a number of city employees augment the staff.
Monroe said the employees of the society are non-union and they earn lower wages than their members.
Sixteen on-call city employees were told recently their positions would no longer be available at the zoo, but the society is offering them permanent part-time positions at 25 hours a week, said the union boss.
“But even if they are successful applicants, they lose wages, seniority and pension benefits,” he said.
“The zoo society has decided that they’re going to get rid of the union there, basically.”
Laurie Skene, Calgary Zoo spokeswoman, said it’s not accurate to say that unions are being driven out, since the society recently signed an agreement with city plumbers and pipefitters.
But she said management has decided to fill up future vacancies from unionized city workers who retire or resign with employees of the society.
The union said 71 city employees currently work for the zoo, while the zoo claims that number is actually 50.
Skene said under the lease and




Japanese dolphin hunt town Taiji considers marine safari park
The park would invite visitors to swim and kayak with whales and dolphins in the same bay where 'The Cove' documentary exposed a brutal annual slaughter. The Japanese town of Taiji, notorious for its annual dolphin hunt, is considering turning the local Moriura Bay into a marine park for tourists. According to a report in the local Jiji Press, the idea for the so-called "marine safari park" has been put forward by residents of the western Wakayama prefecture town and would allow visitors to swim with whales and dolphins. Taiji came to international attention after it was featured in the Academy Award-winning documentary 'The Co


Map from Ceta Base -!/cetabase

If you have seen 'The Cove' but not seen the following two videos you need to watch them.

Dolphin Show = Dolphin Kill? An Investigation of The Cove Part 1

Dolphin Show = Dolphin Kill? An Investigation of The Cove Part 2

Ministers warned Zion big cats could kill

Two Cabinet ministers have confirmed Lion Man Craig Busch warned them big cats at the Zion wildlife park could kill someone shortly before a tiger fatally mauled a keeper. Before 26-year-old keeper Dalu Mncube was killed three years ago, Mr Busch wrote to Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson, Primary Industries Minister David Carter and to both the Department of Labour and the former MAF about his concerns over safety procedures at the Whangarei park, now called Kingdom of Zion. Spokespeople for both ministers yesterday said Mr Busch's messages had been passed on to the Department of Labour when they were received. The ministers, government departments and Mr Busch all declined to comment on the warning messages because Mr Mncube's death was set down for the coroner's hearing next month. Northland Coroner Brandt Shortland will hold a three-day inquiry into Mr Mncube's death at Whangarei on June 12-14. Two months before the attack, Mr Busch expressed his concerns to the ministers over the training and skills of Zion

Bill 69, Elephant Protection Act, 2012

An Act to amend the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to protect elephants Note: This Act amends the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. For the legislative history of the Act, see the Table of Consolidated Public Statutes – Detailed Legislative History at Preamble When elephants are required to perform in animal shows and performances, including in circus shows, some elephant handlers still employ abusive and outdated disciplinary tools. These tools are designed to cause the animals pain and to invoke fear. The elephants may also be routinely restrained for substantial periods of time, often by chaining their legs. This restricts their ability to move to one or two steps. These kinds of elephant handling practices, and the devices employed, are based on a traditional system developed hundreds of years ago. At the time, it was common to dominate an elephant by breaking its spirit to make it more compliant and therefore easier to train for performance purposes, as well as for husbandry convenience. Modern, progressive zoos around the world have stopped using fear or dominance-based training of elephants in favour of safer, more humane systems, such as protected contact management systems. Such systems reward elephants for good behaviours, rather than disciplining them for unwanted behaviours. The elephants are not restrained for substantial periods of time and are only restrained using specially designed barriers. Proponents of fear or dominance-based elephant training claim that the devices they use, such as bullhooks, are only supposed to be used as guides and that they are necessary and not damaging to elephants. They also claim that restraints such as chains are acceptable and do not negatively impact an elephant’s health or welfare. Cruel and abusive elephant training methods often result in life-long injuries to the elephants and there is also a high risk to human handlers. There have been incidents in which

Aquarium's new penguin exhibit angers activists

Some new birds in town have animal activists hopping mad. The Vancouver Aquarium's African penguin exhibit opens on May 18, but animal-rights activist Annelise Sorg is deeply opposed. "Why are they bringing in African penguins?" asked Sorg of the group No Whales in Captivity. "They should be left in the wild and not put in captivity." Sorg called for a boycott of the aquarium. "This is not education and not conservation," she said. "They are keeping these animals to make money." But a notice on the Vancouver Aquarium website says the penguins were bred in captivity as a means of saving the species. "African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) are endangered. North American zoos and aquariums, i

Dubai’s underwater discus hotel lets you sleep in a high-tech aquarium

Sleep with the fishes, dine with the sharks. Now you can literally do both when the Underwater Hotel premiers in Dubai. Without a doubt, Dubai is one of the hottest exotic destinations with amazing skyscrapers and luxury amenities to rival even the most modern cities from the rest of the world. Now, a Polish architecture design firm has unveiled a new hotel concept that will make use of space below the ground, giving guests the ability to sleep underwater while enjoying the

Valley Zoo says Lucy stays, despite Calgary decision

Elephant deemed too sick to relocate Edmonton Valley Zoo director Denise Prefontaine says Lucy the elephant will stay where she is, despite a decision by Calgary Zoo to move its four Asian elephants elsewhere. On Thursday, the Calgary Zoo announced plans to relocate its endangered elephants to another accredited zoo within the next four to five years. The Calgary Zoo's president, Clément Lanthier, said that relocating the animals to "a larger social group" would be in their best interest. The Valley Zoo "supports the decision," Prefontaine said in a statement, noting that the Valley Zoo’s African elephant, Samantha, was relocated to a breeding herd at the North Carolina Zoo in 2007. Lucy, the remaining Asian elephant at the Valley Zoo, "has a respiratory condition which precludes any thought of placing her in a stressful situation, such as transporting her and/or placing her with unfamiliar caregivers or in an unfamiliar environment," the zoo said. "Moving Lucy would be life-threatening and this is a risk that we cannot and will not take." It’s anticipated the Calgary Zoo's lone bull, Spike, will be moved out first in co-operation with the Miami zoo — which still owns him —and after consultation with the Asian Elephant Species Survival Plan. The Calgary Zoo's three female elephants — Kamala, Swarna and Maharani (and her calf, due next February) — will be kept together as a family unit when they are moved, officials said. Toronto city council voted in October

Toronto Zoo loses accreditation over plan to ship elephants to sanctuary

The Toronto Zoo has lost its accreditation from an international zoo association over the city’s plans to send three elephants to a sanctuary in California. The American-based Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which accredits most major zoos in North America, sent a letter to the Toronto Zoo last week announcing the decision, effective immediately. The zoo, accredited by the AZA since 1977, won’t be able to re-apply for certification — considered the gold seal for top zoos — until March 2013. The move comes after city council voted last year, over the objections of their handlers, to send the zoo’s three aging elephants to a non-AZA-accredited sanctuary in California called PAWS. Before council’s decision, the zoo’s board of management had voted to have its zoo staff find a new home for the aging elephants by first searching for a suitable AZA-accredited zoo. But staff failed — at least in council’s opinion — to do so quickly enough. The AZA says the council vote contravened the association’s governance rules. The rules state, among other things, that “while the governing authority (city council) may have input, the decisions regarding the animal collection must be made by the professionals who are specifically trained to handle the institution’s animal collection.” In the end the zoo board voted to abide by city council’s will, and the three elephants are expected to be sent to the PAWS sanctuary within the next month or so. AZA-accredited zoos have breeding agreements and species survival plans that involve loaning animals between facilities for conservation reasons. But Toronto Zoo CEO John Tracogna said he expects the AZA’s decision to have a “minimal’’ impact on the zoo’s breeding programs, and he doesn’t expect other AZA zoos to break their loan agreements with Toronto over the issue. The decision won’t affect next year’s arrival of giant pandas from China, either, he said, because the AZA had no decision-making role in the visit. The accreditation decision shows what happens “when you do policy on the fly,’’ Mayor Rob Ford said Wednesday. “You should leave it in the staff’s hands. Hopefully it won’t hurt us,” he said, adding “council sometimes thinks they know better, and this is a perfect example of when they don’t know better.’’ Ford, who was “absent’’ during the council vote last year, said it’s too late to halt the relocation to PAWS. Councillor Michelle Berardinetti, who tabled the motion at council calling for the move to PAWS, said Wednesday: “The reality is what we’re seeing here is the bully (the AZA) that’s trying to tell us what to do, and tell the taxpayers and residents of Toronto what to do, with our elephants. “The other issue is why are they doing it right now? They just happen to be doing it when we’re getting ready to move the elephants,” she added. But Grant Ankenman, president of CUPE 1600, which represents the zoo’s animal keepers, said in a statement Thursday that “the loss of our AZA accreditation puts the Toronto Zoo in a very precarious position.” He later added: “Despite what the mayor and zoo administration

Council at fault for zoo's rejection, mayor says

Elephants don’t forget and neither does the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Toronto Zoo announced Wednesday that the AZA denied the attraction’s request to renew its accreditation citing city council’s decision to stomp over the zoo board and send three elephants to an animal sanctuary in California. Mayor Rob Ford blamed city council for the zoo being denied its AZA accreditation. “That’s what happens when you do policy on the fly,” Ford told reporters Wednesday. “You should leave it in the staff’s hands; hopefully it won’t hurt us.” Ford — who missed the vote on the elephants — said councillors shouldn’t have made that decision. “We should have left it in the staff’s hands, council sometimes thinks they know better and this is a perfect example of when they don’t know better,” he said. But the mayor said it was likely too late to reverse the elephant decision. The transfer of the pachyderms is still moving ahead. The zoo has had accreditation since 1977 and won’t be able to apply again until March 1, 2013. Zoo board chairman Joe Torzsok said if the the zoo does not get accredited next year, its ability to get animals on loan from other institutions could be impacted. “For 2012, this doesn’t have any significant impact on any of the great conservation, education and research work we are doing,” he said in an e-mail Wednesday. He stressed there is no financial impact on the zoo but it does highlight the need to deal with governance issues. “This provides another proof point that the zoo needs to leave the city’s nest,” Torzsok said. “Our governance model is outdated and we need to follow the path of other great zoos in North America.” Councillor Michelle Berardinetti — who led council in the elephant vote — blasted the AZA. “What we’re seeing here is the bully that is trying to tell us what to do and tell the taxpayers of Toronto and the residents of Toronto what to do with our elephants,” Berardinetti said. Zoo board member Councillor Gloria Lindsay

Zoo to say goodbye to Asian elephants

The Calgary Zoo has made the decision to move their group of Asian elephants within four to five years to a facility with more year round space. The move will include all three female elephants, Kamala, Swarna, Maharani and her expected calf, and bull elephant Spike. The females will be kept together with the calf because of the importance of the social structure with the elephant species.


There is no information on where they will be moved but the facility must provide for the following criteria:


•The facility must accept all three adult females and the calf as a family unit.


•It must participate in a breeding program that provides the elephants with the opportunity to participate in this fulfilling experience where possible and be part of a complex family group, and which supports the conservation of Asian elephants.


•It must provide large acreage that is useable year-round.


•It must be large enough to allow for an increased social group or herd size – minimum eight individuals.


The Calgary Zoo and the Miami Zoo, which still owns Spike, will be working together to find an appropriate facility for the elephant. It's likely he'll be moved before the females. "This decision is all about animal welfare," said Calgary Zoo President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Clément Lanthier in a release. "It was based on a growing acceptance and understanding of the importance of the social structure in elephant herds and the knowledge that their welfare is better served by being part of a large social group; something that can only be achieved at a facility with more year-round space than we can provide given the physical limitations of living on an island in a northern climate." Lanthier says that the zoo has a limited area for expansion and it will not be able to expand the year-round space for the elephants. Zoo officials say that they've chosen a lengthy time period to move the elephants because moving is a stressful experience for the animals. Special consideration has been made on accommodating for the new calf. "We know many people in Calgary will be as sad as we are regarding this decision, but we are confident that everyone wants only the best for the long-term welfare and care of these magnificent animals who have given us so much over the years," said Dr. Lanthier. "What we want people to understand is that the decision to move our elephants and

Calgary Zoo to close elephant exhibit

They’ll leave the biggest void, but there’s a good chance elephants won’t be the last to leave St. George’s Island under a major species shake-up taking place at the Calgary Zoo. For a guy used to wading through the largest manure piles possible, the zoo’s top animal director certainly gives a no-bull answer when it comes to the future of all creatures great and small in Calgary. Within minutes of breaking the heavy news — Calgary is abandoning elephants and shipping its four pachyderms to another zoo — Dr. Jake Veasey admits there are more animals endangered as local exhibits. “No firm decision have been taken on any of the big animals at the Calgary Zoo at the moment, but certainly we want to ensure we can provide year-round care,” said Veasey. “We have to face the reality that the Calgary Zoo is the region that it’s in, and everything is pointing to us having to look for animals more suited to this climate.” First to go, following a 40-year stint in Calgary, will be the elephants, because Calgary is too cold and the exhibit too small for a full-sized herd. The Zoo made the official announcement about the elephants Monday, though the rumour has been swirling for months. Veasey admits it’s a big loss for the city. “I would describe this as sad news, but not bad news,” said Veasey, director of care and conservation. “What we enjoy is not necessarily appropriate for the animals, and it’s going to be a sad day for Calgary and for our keepers, and a slightly sad day for myself, who’s worked with elephants for many years. “But ultimately, this is good news for our elephants, and that’s what we have to remember.” There’s still plenty of time to say goodbye to the bull and three females, given a recently-announced pregnancy, with a calf due in Feb. 2013. But the four- to five-year wait hinges heavily on that baby: if it fails to live — as has happened with other calves — the elephants may be leaving Calgary much sooner. “If we tragically lose that calf, we absolutely have to reassess that time frame,” said Veasey. “I would anticipate that time frame being brought forward.”

Calgary Zoo makes one elephant of a mistake

Sorry, Calgarians, but the zoo has traded our Asian elephants for a bunch of penguins. They haven’t put it like that, of course, but after opening the penguin display earlier this year, there’s news that our four cherished pachyderms — one of them a distinguished painter — will be moving in the next four to five years. “The decision is all about animal welfare,” said zoo president Clement Lanthier in a news release. “It was based on a growing acceptance and understanding of the importance of the social structure in elephant herds and the knowledge that their welfare is better served by being part of a large social group.” Bull crap! The zoo had nursed plans to bring polar bears and all sorts of other species to the zoo as part of its ambitious Arctic Shores exhibit until money ran short, but suddenly there’s no room for elephants, which have been part of the Calgary Zoo experience for more than four decades. The animals have literally been voted off the island. The decision shows a lack of imagination and compassion on the part of the zoo. It has recently added parking for 500 cars — outside the main compound, granted — but it can’t continue to provide a loving home for Kamala, Swarna and Maharani (along with Maharani’s calf due to be born in February 2013) and Spike, the distinguished gent with the silver tusk? It might be acceptable to announce that this is it, there will be no more additions to the exhibit, but to send the elephants asunder is a mistake. Where are our friends going to go where they’ll be better treated and loved than they are in Calgary? The zoo’s decision is a breach of trust to Calgarians. A quick reversal is in order and plans should be made to keep the elephants in Calgary. In the meantime, just try to imagine tusks on those interchangeable penguins and get ready to welcome the short-lived arrival of the pandas in the former elephant enclosure in a few years. Let’s start a stampede to see this

New Edinburgh Zoo chief Professor Chris West announced

A new chief executive has been announced for Edinburgh Zoo. Professor Chris West, currently chief executive of the Royal Zoological Society of South Australia, is to take up the post later this year. He will replace Hugh Roberts, who was appointed interim chief executive in April 2011 and is now retiring. It followed the departure of Donald Emslie, who resigned when a vote of no confidence in him was passed at an extraordinary general meeting. Professor West, originally from the UK, has been in his post in Australia since 2006. In 2009 he led the RZSSA team in introducing a pair of giant pandas to Adelaide Zoo. He said: "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be at the helm of an organisation that is one of the leading lights in worldwide animal conservation. "Edinburgh Zoo in particular has a global profile, supported by a robust long-term business plan which is set to build on the good work already undertaken. "There are many parallels linking my work in Adelaide to Edinburgh. I am tremendously excited by what the future brings and look forward to returning to the UK later on this year, following what has been a fantastic six years in Australia." International profile Professor West trained as a vet and has worked in senior roles for both Chester Zoo and the Zoological Society of London. Manus Fullerton, chairman of The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's board of directors, said: "I am thrilled to welcome Chris back to the UK and particularly to Scotland. "This is an excellent appointment for the RZSS and one which promises to build on the significant international profile enjoyed by the society and Edinburgh Zoo in particular. "Chris brings with him an unmatched track record in the development and stewardship of zoos of international

Zoo director quits his job after latest boss named

FORMER Edinburgh Zoo boss Gary Wilson has resigned from his position less than a week after the new chief executive was unveiled. Mr Wilson decided to leave his role as director of business operations with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) earlier this week, but the RZSS would not comment on the reasons for his exit. It followed the news that Professor Chris West will be the next chief executive of the RZSS, having quit the same post in Adelaide, Australia, after six years at the helm. Prof West, a former London Zoo director, will replace interim chief executive Hugh Roberts, who filled a leadership void last May amid a crisis that saw a director sacked and two suspended, including Mr Wilson, amid investigations into anonymous allegations. The same month, Donald Emslie resigned as chairman. Mr Wilson, who was chief operating officer at the time, was suspended last March while inquiries were carried out by the board. He was subsequently cleared of all allegations. Iain Valentine, the director

Surabaya Zoo workers protest unilateral firing

Media Summary 30 employees of Surabaya Zoo who were fired unilaterally by the Zoo's temporary management set up a protest tent and demonstration in front of the Surabaya Zoo gate. 30 employees of Surabaya Zoo who were fired unilaterally by Zoo Temporary Management set up a suffering protest tent in front of the Surabaya Zoo gate. They are demanding a salary during the 19 months that have not been paid by the management. In addition they also perform theatrical acts by eating a stone and grass, holding a charity box for non-active employees, and action poster. Sigit Handoko, Head of Unit Leaders Varia Sekar Surabaya Zoo, coordinator of the protest explain that, "We fired for no apparent reason. We stopped working since August 10, 2012. From that moment we become unemployed, but we've got a wife and children at home should eat and schooling. We are victims of Zoo internal conflict, which until now has not been resolved. " The demands requested by the protesters is the right of return to work and be rewarded and justice, strict punishment to the management, and investigations by the police against Zoo Management. Since disagreement between the new and old management happened, the victims not only animals, but also the employees who are innocent must be fired unilaterally because they are disagree with the new management. Theatrical action by eating stone and grass with an empty plate symbolizes the economic conditions of families of non-active employees who actually are in very poor condition. They are no

Feline Conservation Federation Accredits Two Feline Facilities

FCF accreditation is a detailed review and inspection process covering all aspects of a feline facility’s operation, including diet, veterinary care, physical design, construction and maintenance, public and employee safety, and licensing record. Hawk Creek Wildlife Center, Inc. and G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park are two of the latest feline facilities to earn accreditation from the Feline Conservation Federation(FCF). FCF accreditation is an assurance that the facility is providing excellent care for felines. FCF exhibitors provide great experiences for the public and help shape a better future for felines living in nature. FCF accredited facilities represent a diverse collection of the finest FCF members, including licensed breeding centers, zoos, educators and sanctuaries. FCF accreditation is a detailed review and inspection process covering all aspects of a feline facility’s operation, including diet, veterinary care, physical design, construction and maintenance, public and employee safety, and licensing record. Accreditation takes place every two years, ensuring that facilities are maintained at standards that meet FCF accreditation policy. With just over a dozen accredited feline facilities, FCF can attest that facility accreditation is truly limited to centers that meet high standards. FCF accredited refuges and educators like Hawk Creek Wildlife Center and G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park help preserve threatened and endangered felines through their rescue and public education programs. Hawk Creek Wildlife Center is an environmental center in East Aurora, New York, performing wildlife rehabilitation, outreach education and conservation. Over 500 native wildlife species are treated and released annually. The feline residents of Hawk Creek are a mixture of rehomed pets and felines that owners gave up, and a couple of specially acquired ambassador felines. The Hawk Creek Wildlife Center is open just seven days annually

Crocodile eradication programmes in the Nilwala River Matara are to be conducted without interruption

Minister S.M. Chandrasena says that crocodile eradication operations in the Nilwala river in Matara have not been terminated. The Minister told the national radio that the officials of the Department of Wild Life will be constantly deployed around the Nilwala river. The murderous crocodiles will be released safely to the crocodile conservation centre to be set up in Muthurajawela. The centre will be established before the end of the year. Minister Chandrasena added that elephant conservation centres will be set up in Maduruoya, Veheragala, Horowpathana and Galgamuwa


Thompson's death questioned by animal organization president; sheriff calls claim unfounded

If you ask Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz, the case is closed -- Terry Thompson cut the cages, freed his animals and then shot himself. The U.S. Zoological Association president doesn't think so. Joe Schreibvogel thinks Thompson was murdered. During a news conference posted Tuesday morning on YouTube, Schreibvogel told reporters he thinks Thompson was killed to push along legislation banning private exotic animal ownership in Ohio. He said there is no way Thompson would have had time to free all the animals and then shoot himself -- one of the cats would have gotten to him first. The comments refer to the Oct. 18, 2011, incident, during which officials have said Thompson set free 56 exotic animals from his Kopchak Road farm before

Ohio: Surviving Exotic Animals to Be Returned to Owner’s Widow

A zoo says it will transfer five exotic animals on Friday to the widow of the animals’ owner. The owner, Terry Thompson, released dozens of wild creatures, including black bears, mountain lions and Bengal tigers, last fall before killing himself. Two leopards, two primates and a bear have been held at the Columbus Zoo since October under a state-issued quarantine order, which was lifted Monday. A friend of the widow, Marian Thompson, said she planned to take the animals back to her farm in Zanesville, in eastern Ohio. Mr. Thompson released 56 animals before killing himself. Fearing for the public’s safety, the authorities killed a majority of the animals. The five animals that were quarantined are the survivors. The

Meet one of the oldest chimpanzees in captivity

Senior citizens are common in Florida but one 74-year-old is in a class of her own: "Little Mama" is believed to be the oldest chimpanzee in captivity. Born in Africa, she was one of the first residents at Lion Country Safari theme park in Loxahatchee, Florida, about 20 miles west of West Palm Beach. "She came here when the park opened in 1967," said Lion Country Safari Wildlife Director Terry Wolf, who has been with the park just as long. Wolf said the park's owners bought her from a pet dealer. "It was a whole different world then," explained Wolf. "Chimps in pet shops that were babies at that time could go for 10 grand." Wolf doesn't know how much the park's owners paid for Little Mama, who was certainly no baby when she came to Lion Country Safari 45 years ago. The owners said that Little Mama was part of the Ice Capades, a traveling variety show that performed

Apps for Apes

Survival doubtful for local elephants

VietNamNet Bridge – Wild elephants could disappear from Viet Nam's Central Highlands permanently as deforestation has destroyed their habitat and source of food needed for survival. Their survival in the country remains doubtful as plans for a preservation project remain only on paper and forests continue to be cut down for rubber, coffee and cassava plantations. In 2006, the Prime Minister approved an action plan for elephant conservation in the three provinces of Nghe An, Dong Nai and Dak Lak. In the Central Highland province of Dak Lak alone, around 100 wild elephants live in districts of Buon Don and Ea Sup. The province's People's Committee signed a project in 2010 to preserve elephants in the province through 2015, with the total budget of VND61 billion (US$2.9 million). Nevertheless, between March 26 and 31, police and forest-protection forces from the province's Ea Sup District found three dead elephants. A 150-kg elephant was found in Cu M'Lan commune, and six days later, the bodies of two other elephants, one weighing 400-500 kg and the other two tonnes, were found in the same commune. Vice director of the province's Agriculture and Rural Development and head of Forest Protection Division, Y Rit Buon Ya, said that several elephants in the area had been hunted as food, and others had died of accidents or eaten inappropriate food. The illegal killing of wild elephants for their tusks and tails is common in some provinces. Y Rit said that last year, the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Centre

New regulation seeks to improve zoo conditions

A new regulation spells hope for the betterment of animals kept in zoos. IF animals could laugh and sing in happiness, there would be some trumpeting of joy emerging from zoos and wildlife parks in Peninsular Malaysia for on Feb 1, the Wildlife Conservation (Operation of Zoo) Regulations 2012 was gazetted. The new regulation gives voice to the need to regulate zoos systematically and to higher standards. Animal lovers and conservationists have long highlighted the terrible conditions under which wildlife is held in captivity in such establishments. The problem was also widely highlighted in the media last year. The new regulation is made possible with the enforcement of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 in December 2010. It replaces the Protection of Wildlife Act 1972 which had been criticised as lacking bite and failing to address many concerns. One of the failures was the lack of power for the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) to act against errant zoos and wildlife parks. Also, the old legislation has no provisions addressing wildlife welfare and cruelty to captive animals. The new regulation resolves these loophole as it provides for some areas where Perhilitan could take action against errant zoos. Zoo operators have a six-month grace period to comply with the new requirements of the regulation. Those which do will be issued an annual permit. Any person operating a zoo without a permit is liable to a fine not exceeding RM70,000 or/and a prison term not exceeding three years. The new regulation requires zoos and animal parks to: > Adhere to minimum cage sizes, which are specified according to various animal groups. > Have a quarantine area and

Rescuers hunting for elusive 'Igor the beaver' instead find evidence that animals are breeding in the wild for first time in 400 years

They were hunted to extinction in Britain more than 400 years ago, but the beaver is believed to be back and breeding on our shores. Experts believe the dam-building, tree-gnawing creatures are breeding in the wild after unexpectedly finding a wild one in a slurry pit in Cornwall. A wildlife team had been hunting for an escaped beaver called Igor who, as we reported earlier this week, escaped from his owner three years ago and has been on the run ever since. The team thought they had found the dishevelled fugitive in a slurry pit in Gunnislake, South East Cornwall - but were mystified to discover their captive was nor Igor, but a wild beaver instead. And his appearance could mean more beavers

'Panic-attack' elephant crushes zoo owner to death in trunk

A zoo owner was crushed to death in an elephant’s trunk after the animal she had spent two years nursing back to health picked her up and lifted her into the air, New Zealand animal welfare authorities say. Helen Schofield, the owner and director of Franklin Zoo, 56 kilometres south of Auckland, was caring for 3.1-tonne Mila, formerly a circus elephant known as Jumbo, when tragedy struck. Emergency services were called to the zoo about 4.30pm yesterday after receiving reports that Ms Schofield had been killed when Mila picked her up and crushed her. Auckland SPCA executive director Bob Kerridge said he did not believe Mila had attacked Ms Schofield, who was also a vet. "It would appear to be a tragic accident," he said. Just two-and-a-half hours before her death, Ms Schofield revealed details of the elephant's troubled emotional state during a talk to a group of 50 zoo visitors - including a Fairfax reporter - while standing in front of Mila's enclosure. The elephant was known to suffer frequent panic attacks at night and Ms Schofield, who lived on site, would comfort the animal by speaking with it through a safety wall. The SPCA had expressed concerns about the elephant's physical and mental wellbeing before Mila went into the zoo's care. Emotional scenes unfolded outside the zoo last night as Mila's former handler Tony Ratcliffe demanded

Zoo's elephant move 'futile:'

Lindsay Luby Zoo board member Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby is stomping all over the impending move of the Toronto Zoo’s three elephants. “This whole exercise we are going through has cost us time and money, staff time, the board’s time,” Lindsay Luby said Wednesday. “We’re not saving any money by sending them, I think that has been pretty clear so what are we getting out of it? Nothing, we’re losing three elephants.” Lindsay Luby said the actual cost of providing food and lodging for the elephants at the Toronto Zoo is quite small and there will be no saving in staff costs once the elephants are gone because those that care for the pachyderms will be redeployed elsewhere in the zoo. Late Monday Toronto Zoo officials said they had reached an “impasse” with the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) animal sanctuary, claiming the group had not yet sent them needed medical records of elephants already being kept at the northern California sanctuary. Zoo officials are due to meet Thursday with Councillor Michelle Berardinetti. The Scarborough councillor said she has the necessary documents ready for Zoo CEO John Tracogna’s review. Berardinetti led council last year in overruling

Could the Toronto Zoo lose its Canadian accreditation next?

About a week ago, the Toronto Zoo lost its golden seal from the American-based Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Now, the president of the union representing the zoo’s animal keepers is concerned the Canadian accreditation may follow. “That is a very strong possibility,” said Grant Ankenman. “At the present time our membership with CAZA (the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums) is under review and there is a very strong chance that we will have that revoked as well.” The two organizations are very similar in principle. The Toronto Zoo lost its AZA accreditation over governance issues. In its unanimous vote, the AZA board of directors found the zoo did not have control over its animals. This became obvious when city council was able to decide to move the zoo’s aging elephants to a non-AZA-accredited sanctuary in California despite the zoo’s protest. This was the first loss of its accreditation in the zoo’s history. CEO John Tracogna regretted the decision to suspend his zoo. “Clearly, we are disappointed with the decision made by the AZA,” Tracogna said. “There was never any question of the Toronto Zoo’s animal care. Governance was the key issue.” The zoo will not be able to re-apply for accreditation before Mar. 1, 2013. Ankenman is worried about the consequences of this. “In the short term it may not affect us too much. It mostly hurts our reputation,” Ankenman said. “I think the real test will be a year

Saving the elusive pygmy hog

As grasslands shrink, the world’s smallest and rarest wild pig is among the most threatened of species endemic to the habitat Success in conservation is usually measured by the effectiveness of steps to boost the numbers of big, charismatic species. In India, the stars are the Bengal tiger, followed by the Asiatic lion, the leopard, the elephant and the rhinoceros. Conservation in India, generally, begins and ends with the tiger, considered a flagship species at the top of the food chain. If the tiger is okay, then everything else is fine—so goes the theory. But that may be missing the woods for the trees. Assam, for instance, is celebrating an increase in the population of the endangered, greater one-horned rhinoceros by 250. Earlier this month, a once-in-three-year census put the rhino population at 2,505, just 495 short of the 3,000 target of the Indian Rhino Vision (IRV) 2020. IRV is a joint programme of the Assam forest department, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) in seven protected areas in Assam. The rhino, which has hogged the conservation limelight in Assam over the past century, is an animal of the grasslands, more specifically the tall wet grassland

Rhino Wars

NO MATTER HOW GREAT a tracker Deon van Deventer may be, he could never find a wild rhino in Vietnam. Javan rhinos once proliferated in the Vietnamese forests and floodplains, but in 2010 poachers killed the nation's last wild rhino. Yet Vietnam has no shortage of rhino horn. The illegal horn trade once revolved around markets in China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and Yemen, but now it centers on Vietnam, with more than a ton of horn likely to have entered the country last year alone. In South Africa several Vietnamese nationals, including diplomats, have been implicated in plots to smuggle horns out of the country. Not all rhino horns enter Vietnam illegally. South African law, which complies with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), allows a rhino's horns to be exported as trophies. In 2003 a Vietnamese hunter flew to South Africa and killed a rhino on a legal safari. Soon after, dozens of Asian hunters arrived, each paying $50,000 or more for a hunt through a certified safari outfit. Many of these hunters are believed to work for syndicates. Back in Vietnam, an average pair of horns, weighing 13 pounds, could be cut into pieces and sold on the black market, yielding a profit that could easily top $200,000 after costs. The triggers for this gold rush are difficult to pinpoint. Rumors about famous users, rising black market prices, and dwindling numbers of Asian rhinos are all feeding the mania. But behind the hype is a renewed interest in the horn's alleged healing power. For at least 2,000 years, Asian medicine has prescribed rhino horn—ground into powder—to reduce fever and treat a range of maladies. The handful of studies conducted over the past 30 years on its fever reducing properties have proven inconclusive, yet the 2006 edition of a Vietnamese traditional pharmacopoeia devotes two pages to rhino horn. The newest and most sensational claim is that it cures cancer. Oncologists say that no research has been published on the horn's efficacy as a cancer treatment. But even if rhino horn possesses dubious medicinal properties, that doesn't mean it has no effect on people who take it, says Mary Hardy, medical director of Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology and a traditional medicine expert. "Belief in a treatment, especially one that is wildly expensive and hard to get, can have a powerful effect on how a patient feels," she says. To gain insights into the popularity of rhino horn in Vietnam, I traveled the country with a woman I will call Ms. Thien. A mammogram had revealed a spot on her right breast; a sonogram showed a worrisome shadow on an ovary. The attractive and irrepressible 52-year-old planned to seek modern treatment but also wanted to consult traditional doctors. I asked her if she believed rhino horn might help cure he

Zoo Keeper Helps Constipated Monkey Pass Peanut By Licking Its Butt For An Hour

As stories about a Chinese zoo keeper licking a monkey's butt in order to save its life gp, this one from chinaSMACK is by far the most endearing. After a young Francois' leaf monkey in his care consumed a peanut that had been tossed into its enclosure, Wuhan Zoo employee Zhang Bangsheng noticed that the animal had become dangerously constipated. Being too big to pass through the monkey's system naturally, the peanut had to be extracted manually. Apparently, that meant licking it out. Zhang told local reporters the three-month-old lutung was too small for laxatives, so he had no choice but to extract the wayward legume with his lingua. After washing the its bottom with warm water (because not doing so would be disgusting), Zhang spent an hour polishing the monkey's pooper before the peanut finally

Endangered frogs go home to Montserrat

A critically endangered frog species reintroduced to the Caribbean island of Montserrat is surviving in its new home, British conservationists say. The "mountain chicken" frogs had declined by as much as 80 percent in the wild, struck by a fatal fungal disease affecting amphibians globally. Captive-bred frogs are doing well three months after their release, Britain's Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust reported. Leptodactylus fallax are one of the world's largest frog species, with females weighing almost two pounds. "Due to their size they have very large meaty thighs which they use to leap long distances," Sarah-Louise Smith, project coordinator for the Mountain Chicken Recovery Program, told the BBC. It was those meaty thighs that gave them their curious name, she said. "Locally their meat is a delicacy, apparently they taste like chicken," Smith said. "In the past [it] was served in many restaurants and hotels to locals

Korea’s largest aquarium opens at Yeosu Expo site

South Korea’s largest aquarium opened at the 2012 Yeosu Expo site on Friday, about a week ahead of the official kickoff of the three-month-long international fair. Hanwha Engineering & Construction Corp., which built the aquarium, said the Aqua Planet is a four-story building covering 16,400 square meters and equipped with a 6,000 ton main tank. The overall size of the aquarium is two to three times larger than existing facilities in Seoul and Busan and will remain on the

4th International Congress on Zookeeping Registration for the 4th International Congress on Zoo Keeping in Singapore this September is now open

Fur, Feathers, Ivory and Bone: The U.S. Military and Endangered Species Souvenirs

The links between conflict and contraband are as old as war, and have been the subject of extensive research. The reasons are easy to grasp, if sometimes hard to trace. Wars disrupt economies and can create acute shortages, often while encouraging lawlessness and the breakdown of borders and institutions. In these circumstances, smugglers are both in demand and can thrive. Much of the public conversation about contraband and conflict centers on either products of high value – Iraqi and Chechen oil, West Africa’s so-called blood diamonds, the heroin trade extending from Afghanistan’s poppy fields – or on goods essential to organized violence, including weapons, ammunition and food. Now a recent study examines war and contraband from an atypical perspective: the illicit trade in wildlife products as souvenirs for Western soldiers. The study, published this year in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation, sketches market forces that are at once highly visible and mostly unexplored. The summary of those market forces is that Western soldiers on deployments have both relatively high salaries and access to bazaars, and they’ve helped create a niche industry on overseas bases and outposts for goods made from imperiled species. This

24 threatened lizard species discovered

New species are all skinks on the Caribbean islands U.S. researchers have identified two dozen new species of lizards on the Caribbean islands, and about half of them may be extinct or close to extinction. Blair Hedges, a professor of biology at Penn State University, led the study in the New Zealand journal Zootaxa that was published Monday and co-authored by Caitlin Conn, a researcher at the University of Georgia. Skinks typically have small smooth round scales, thick bodies, strong necks and short legs or snake-like bodies. The team identified 39 types of skink — six of which were already recognized and nine named long ago but considered invalid until now – by examining museum specimens, DNA sequences and the animals them

Police uncover 700 illegal wildlife trade cases

Police uncovered more than 700 cases of illegal wildlife trade during a recent crackdown on websites and antique markets that openly traded in animal products from endangered species, the State Forestry Administration said Saturday. Around 100,000 police officers were sent to inspect 5,962 markets during the crackdown, the dates of which have not been revealed by authorities. They busted 13 gangs, punished 1,031 illegal traders, seized over 130,000 wild animals and 2,000 animal products worth nearly seven million yuan ($1.11 million), according to a statement posted on the administration's website. Police officers also shut down 7,155 high-street shops and 628 websites selling banned animals and removed 1,607 related online messages, it added. Illegal wildlife trade has been rampant in some parts of the country in recent years, triggering complaints from domestic and foreign wildlife advocacy

Edited by Dr Kees Rookmaaker

He really IS a sitting duck: Chinese zoo throws live bird into tiger enclosure 'to improve animals' hunting instincts' (and pull in the crowds)

They're predatory killers in the wild, but zoo visitors rarely see the same side of tigers when they are locked in an enclosure. When Wenling Zoo in eastern China threw a live rabbit and duck into their tiger enclosure, however, visitors got a direct view of the majestic animals' hunting instincts. The zoo in Zhejiang province, China, claimed 'wild' training program was part of a practice to help its tigers awaken their wild hunting instincts.

Pictured: The moment British woman was mauled by 'tame' cheetahs at holiday safari park and had to play dead to survive

Forced to the ground and with blood pouring from her head, this British holidaymaker had a miraculous escape after being attacked by supposedly tame cheetahs. Violet D’Mello was visiting a wildlife park with her husband Archie during a trip to South Africa for her 60th birthday. But their day out went horrifically wrong when two cheetahs turned on her, knocking her to the ground and biting her legs and head in a horrifying attack. Other tourists tried to scare the beasts off as park attendants desperately fought to get them away from the injured woman. And her husband? He carried on taking photographs, saying he did not quite realise what was happening. The attack took place at a wildlife park where tourists can pay £4.50 to pet cheetah brothers Mark and Monty, both hand-reared and said to be tame. Inside the private Kragga Kamma game reserve near Port Elizabeth, Mrs D’Mello posed for a picture with a cheetah, stroking its head and describing it as ‘a beautiful animal that felt so soft’. However, things changed quickly when one of the beasts grabbed eight-year-old Camryn Malan, who was among other tourists in the enclosure, and


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