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Zoo News Digest May-Jun 2013


Zoo News Digest
May-June 2013



The zoo where 200 animals are kept caged and made to perform tricks for visitors... on top of a department store
Welcome to the controversial zoo where gorillas, tigers and penguins are held in cages and forced to perform tricks on top of a department store.
The animals occupy the upper two floors of the Pata store in the bustling Bang Phlat area of Bangkok, Thailand.
An estimated 200 animals are kept here, with regular shows taking place in which monkeys are trained to fire-juggle, perform in drag and take part in mock fights with keepers. But on the floors beneath, shoppers snap up cheap T-shirts

‘Mali’ in pink of health, says elephant expert from Thailand
"Mali” the elephant appears to be in the pink of health—if a bit on the stout side—but it’s too early to tell if the most famous resident of the Manila Zoo should stay or go, a visiting Thai elephant expert said on Friday.
Amid the clamor from animal rights activists to ship her to a sanctuary in Thailand, Mali actually looks well cared for in her enclosure at the zoo, said Dr. Nikorn Thongtip of Kasetsart University’s Department of Large Animal and Wildlife Clinical Sciences.
"She looked healthy in every system. The color of the mouth is pink. It’s a good color. It means an elephant is healthy. And her skin is healthy, no wound. Just a little bit around the bone here, and that is good,” Thongtip told a briefing at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City.
But Thongtip had a suggestion for the 38-year-old 7-ton giant: She needs to slim down.
"Just a little bit of obesity. [She’s] too fat,” he said. The scientist added that contrary to some reports, Mali’s nails "do not look bad, compared to elephants of the same age.”

Tiger shuns enclosure at zoo

The Nandankanan zoo officials are at a loss. The male wild tiger that had entered tiger safari after remaining elusive for three weeks, is showing no sign of entering its enclosure again. The tiger is apprehensive about its confinement in the enclosure, said zoo officials.

The zoo officials, expecting the tiger to enter its enclosure, have kept the passage connecting tiger safari with the enclosure open. "It has been over a week since the tiger returned and it is still roaming in the safari. We are keeping an eye on its moveme

Zoo CSI shows how panda may have escaped
Rusty the red panda caused a stir in Washington and on social media when he was reported missing from his enclosure at the National Zoo on Monday. His absence was noted just before 8 a.m., and he remained on the lam for hours until a Washingtonian tweeted a photo of him hiding out in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, nearly a mile from home.
Rusty was recovered by zoo officials about 2:30 p.m., no worse for the wear.
His intrepid escape initially baffled zoo officials, who said Rusty's enclosure previously had a strong track record. The exhibit has housed red pandas for several years without issue. And Rusty's companion, 5-year-old Shama, remained in the zoo habitat even as Rusty made his escape.
In the days since the escape, the zoo convened a "multidisciplinary team of zoo experts" to investigate the enclosure, recent photos and security footage in order to come to a tentative verdict:
According to zoo officials, "It is highly likely that Rusty left his enclosure ... through the tree canopy in his exhibit."
The canopy was made all the more accessible due to rain, the zoo officials conclude, lowering tree limbs to within reach of the edge of Rusty's enclosure. Additionally, perimeter bamboo may have sagged, creating a bridge. It appears that Rusty, who the zoo says possesses "climbing ability and agility," slipped out and didn't look back.
The zoo says no panda tracks were found, so his exact route will remain a mystery. But in the wake of Rusty's cell break, zoo officials say they plan to trim plants and create additional barriers to ensure another 30 inches of bamboo- and tree-free space.
As of Friday, Rusty, who is just shy of 1 year old, continues to do well. Zoo veterinarians have admin

Parent-Raised Rare Birds are First in this Century
Two `alala (also known as Hawaiian crows) at the San Diego Zoo Global's Keauhou Bird Conservation Center represent the first chicks of this critically endangered species to be successfully raised by a parent in more than 25 years.
Hatched on 30th April and 1st May 2013 on the Big Island of Hawai`i, the chicks have passed an important survival marker  - fledging.  Newly feathered and beginning to fly, the birds represent a species that is extinct in the wild and is being managed through a collaborative effort as the Hawai`i Endangered Bird Conservation Program (HEBCP).
For just over six weeks, the chicks were cared for by their mother, enabling them to rapidly develop from small, naked, blind nestlings into fully-feathered youngsters, almost the size of an adult. On 13th June 2013, both chicks took the bold step of jumping out of their nest.
"It has been nerve-racking watching these chicks on camera. We had no idea whether Po Mahina would be a good mother. Fortunately her maternal instincts kicked in straight away and we are absolutely delighted that the chicks have successfully fledged," said Rosanna Leighton, Research Coordinator at KBCC. "We also have another female raising a chick a few weeks younger, still in the nest."
The last `alala were recorded in their Hawaiian forest natural habitat in 2002 where they were threatened by habitat destruction, introduced predators and avian disease.  The HEBCP has been working with the spec

State orders Byculla zoo to demolish wall built in 2010
In a bizarre move, the Maharashtra Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) has asked the Byculla Zoo authorities to demolish recently constructed compound walls. The reason: The zoo, which is run by the BMC, constructed the wall without seeking a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the MHCC. 
Zoo authorities have said the MHCC notice is uncalled for as the wall was constructed as per Central Zoo Authority (CZA) norms. According to the norms, it is mandatory for every zoo to have a boundary wall for the safety of animals. This wall also prevents encroachment. 
The boundary wall, which is two metres high, was constructed in 2010 when the CZA demanded a wall. "We constructed the wall around the zoo to ensure no encroachment takes place and the animals are safe. According to the CZA, all zoos are supposed to have a boundary wall. If the MHCC had problems, they should have raised it when the construction was taking place. It is a waste of public money if the wall is demolished and then rebuilt. Also, the animals will be disturbed if the wall is demolished," said a zoo official. 
The official added there have been instances of animals escaping zoos due to the absence of a boundary wall. There is no way the wall can be destroyed. "The zoo authorities had kept in mind the heritage value of the zoo and had not built the wall near the entrance plaza or the water fountain area," he said. 
When contacted, BS Bonal, Member-Secretary of the CZA said that the wall was constructed as per CZA norms. MHCC Chairman V Ranganathan confirmed that such a

HISTORY: Roarin' good fun at the zoo
LAKE Macquarie's Carey Bay Zoo is long gone, but it has never been forgotten.
It only existed for 14 years, being expanded by two separate owners until it closed in July 1958.
Yet it is still fondly remembered for the sheer magic it brought into the lives of lake residents in the drab, post World War II years.
In 1954, it was even believed to be Australia's largest private zoo.
There was seating for 600 visitors under cover and crammed into less than two hectares were kangaroos, koalas, wombats and emus. Also housed there were exotic animals like lions, monkeys, a seal and more than 2000 rare birds.
Officially called the Toronto Zoo, it was best known as Carey Bay Zoo during its short span from 1944 to 1958. And it was kept open sometimes only by willing volunteers.
At the height of summer in the mid to late 1950s, up to 3000 visitors each Sunday flocked to the zoo, many by ferry from Belmont.

SA zoo’s Tweeting Honey Badger a world first
Looking for an ingenious way to build its digital presence the Johannesburg Zoo has handed over its social media account to ‘someone’ who knows the Zoo inside out. BG, a honey badger residing in the Zoo (and its mascot) has taken on the responsibility.
How is this possible?
Well, it’s largely due to his high-tech enclosure, cleverly devised by award-winning digital agency in the Draftfcb group, Hellocomputer, and constructed by tech wizard at BinarySpace, Tom van den Bon.
Selected because he is active during the day and at night, has a definite personality and loves being with people, BG began tweeting on June 14 this year thanks to a bespoke system devised by the agency. Hellocomputer creatives who worked on the communication elements of the project included Candice Hellens, Moira-Gene Seph

Entire school banned from Chester Zoo for two years after pupils moon the monkey enclosure
Chester Zoo is one of the most popular visitor attractions in the country, attracting 1.4million visitors every year. Top attractions include the elephant, lion and Realm of the Red Ape enclosures.
However, teenagers from Radclyffe School in Oldham were kicked out of  the zoo last week for giving visitors an eyeful - by mooning at the monkey enclosure. 
A total of 300 GCSE pupils from year 10 were on the trip, but as a result of the monkey business of just a handful they all had to get on the buses and go home.
The school is now banned from trips to Chester Zoo until September 2015.
The zoo explained that 29 pupils were involved, but headmaster Hardial Hayer denied this claim, saying that only 24 children took part.
It is alleged that there was also food thrown and damage to property.
A spokesman for Chester Zoo said: "We have spoken and written to the head teacher and, due to the severity of the disruptive behaviour, regrettably we have had to take the step of banning the school from visiting until September 2015."
He added: 'We welcome schools to the zoo on the understanding that the students behave in such a way that does not cause problems for their fellow pupils, other visitors, the animals or staff. Fortunatel

Bijli shows no improvement, experts suggest euthanasia
Even as scores of animal lovers from all over the country pray for the gentle giant Bijli—the recently rescued 58-yearold pachyderm—she is showing no signs of recovery. In fact, she has not responded to treatment in the last two days, and the veterinarians treating her are now of the opinion that euthanasia will be in her best interest. Meanwhile, her treatment is still on. 
Bijli, who was suffering from obesity, had collapsed on June 11 after her hind limbs could not bear her weight. For years, she had been fed everything, from ghee-laced paranthas to vada pav, by her owner. 
She has been kept at Car Kraft compound at Raja industrial estate in Mulund (W) and is being treated by veterinarians led by Dr Yaduraj from animal rescue and conservation organisation Wildlife SOS. Members of NGOs Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare (RAWW), Animals Matter To Me (AMTM) and Swabhimaan are also contributing towards her treatment. 
"It has been almost 18 days since her condition became critical and a crane was used to help her support her weight. Initially, she was responding well to the treatment. But she started stumbling and falling two days ago. She was simply unable to stand on Friday and kept lying throughout the day. We discussed the issue and suggested it to the locals and NGOs that

With shark fin ban, a slice of Asian culture ends in California
Chinese Americans are divided over the state's ban on sale or possession of the delicacy. The cruel practice of shark finning has decimated populations worldwide.
An ancient Asian dining tradition comes to an end in California on Monday, and grocer Emily Gian is none too happy.
Gian has slashed prices on shark fins, the astoundingly expensive ingredient of a coveted and ceremonial soup, in hopes she will sell out before a California ban on sale or possession of the delicacy takes effect Monday.
"The law is unfair," said Gian, whose store in Los Angeles' Chinatown sells shark fins for $599 a pound. "Why single out Chinese people in California when shark fins are legal in many other states?"
Across town, retired science teacher Judy Ki offers an answer.
Ki grew up in a wealthy Hong Kong family that served steaming bowls of shark fin soup to honor guests at birthdays, banquets and weddings. These days, she sees the delicacy in historical context.
Shark fin soup dates to the Ming Dynasty, when it was reserved for emperors as a symbol of status and power over the most dangerous predators. "Back when it was quite a physical feat for a fisherman to land a shark, it was the ultimate symbol of yang, or male energy," said Ki, a spokeswoman for the Asian Pacific American Ocean Harmony Alliance.
It certainly wasn't prized for its flavor, which is almost nonexistent. Its chief culinary merit is an ethereal, gelatinous texture, achieved through careful drying, precise trimming and a complex preparation me,0,7176667.story





Indiana couple hunting bobcats bags leopard in backyard
An Indiana couple defending their home from prowling bobcats got the surprise of a lifetime when the massive creature they shot and killed ended up not being a bobcat at all.
State wildlife officials believe it was a leopard.
The massive cat, photographed stretched out in a Charlestown backyard early Friday morning has been tentatively identified as one better known to Africa, Cen

A History Of Daring Red Panda Escapes
he red panda looks like a fluffy raccoon-cat, frolics in the snow like an arctic otter, and is known to interrupt lunchtime in impossibly adorable ways. These are well-known skills and traits. What's not so well-known is that red pandas are also master escape artists. So we shouldn't be surprised that Rusty the red panda made a break for it last night from the National Zoo.
Red pandas may look like terrestrial animals like raccoons, but they're arborial--they're awkward and clumsy on the ground, which is super cute, but misleading. They're designed for life in the trees, with super-sharp claws for climbing. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums notes that, to prevent depression, red pandas have to be given items to climb on. "Provide climbing apparatus for older animals," it reads, "but beware: red pand

10 weirdest zoo animal escapes
Rusty the red panda is the most recent zoo animal to prove it truly is a jungle out there. On Monday, the National Zoo in Washington announced that little Rusty had gone missing.
Thankfully, by the end of the day, he was back in his enclosure and no longer wandering around the big city unchaperoned. Rusty's adventurous day in D.C. is, obviously, not the first nor the strangest story of an escaped animal running amok.
Don't worry, though, all these have rel

Rifle-wielding zoo staff risked their lives stopping hippo from escaping into Bow River during flood
Staff risked their lives to stop a hippo from escaping and to usher ailing giraffes to dry ground during the recent flood, a Calgary Zoo spokesman said Tuesday.
"It was a cross between ’The Poseidon Adventure’ and ’Jurassic Park,”’ said Jake Veasey, the zoo’s director of animal care, conservation and research.
Veasey and other workers spent the weekend at the African Savannah exhibit juggling two challenges at once: moving shivering giraffes out of belly-deep water and securing an angry hippo that had escaped his holding area.
A glass window had to be broken for Veasey to get into a building to tend to the giraffes — skittish creatures that don’t cope well with cold and stress.
The building was so full of murky, brown water that he had to don a wet suit and swim to the back of the building to get to the giraffe enclosure.
At that point, the hippos were still where they were supposed to be, but, just in case, a shipping container was placed over a window that the hippos could have swam through.
Water levels eventually rose high enough for the dangerous herbivores to swim

$4.5m redevelopment for Wellington Zoo
Wellington Zoo is in for a multi-million dollar redevelopment that will put more of New Zealand's wildlife on show.
The $4.5 million project, which will take up around a quarter of the zoo's land, will begin later this year.
Wellington Zoo spokeswoman Amy Hughes said the 'Meet the Locals' project is a love story to New Zealand.
"Going from the sho

SA Zoo's newest addition: 2-headed turtle
Unique turtles born June 18
A new addition at the San Antonio Zoo will have visitors doing a double-take.
Tuesday, the zoo announced a two-headed turtle was born June 18, part of what it calls a "quartet" of Texas cooters.
The zoo sent out a picture of the two turtles under one shell, named Thelma and Louise, in a press release Tuesday.
They'll be on exhibit inside the zoo's Fr

Tracking China’s Rare Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey
The golden snub-nosed monkey is unique to China and is seldom seen, but was captured on film by National Geographic for its television series, "Wild China,” a three-part special that premieres on Sunday.
The monkeys are so elusive that a lot is not known about them. Even their population numbers aren’t fully known.
China is fiercely protective of the monkeys. No zoo outside of China has ever kept one permanently, although they have been on loan. "Nightline” was lucky enough to be allowed to track the golden snub-nosed monkey with a guide.
Their home in China’s mountains is largely wild, but still protected – just in time, some say. Massive deforestation in China forced golden snub-nosed mo

Keighley charity fights to save tigers
A Keighley-based charity is helping to fight a disease – originally spread by domestic dogs – that makes endangered tigers and other big cats lose their fear of humans.
Canine distemper virus (CDV) is a pathogen that threatens some of the rarest feline species across the world. And Wildlife Vets Inter-national, based in Parkwood Street, has joined efforts to stop it from decimating the tiger population.
Big cat specialist and co-founder of the charity, Dr John Lewis, will visit Sumatra in September to offer advice and help launch a programme to shed new light on the causes and impact of CDV and other diseases. Once up and running, it will be the world’s first comprehensive programme to monitor diseases in w

Fear of Komodo dragon bacteria wrapped in myth
A team led by a University of Queensland researcher has proven that the fearsome Komodo dragon is a victim of bad press. 
It has long been believed that Komodo dragon bites were fatal because of toxic bacteria in the reptiles' mouths. 
But ground-breaking research by The University of Queensland's Associate Professor Bryan Fry and colleagues in the United States has found that the mouths of Komodo dragons are surprisingly ordinary and the levels and types of bacteria do not differ from any other carnivore. 
This presents a powerful challenge to how most scientists and zookeepers have viewed the Komodo dragon. 
"Komodo dragons are actually very clean animals,” Associate Professor Fry said. 
"After they are done feeding, they will spend 10 to 15 minutes lip-licking and rubbing their head in the leaves to clean their mouth.

The 4 Most Endangered Seal Species
I have a summer tradition. Every year, as close to the first day of summer as possible, I hop onto one of the many whale-watching tours that depart from Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and spend an afternoon on the ocean. On a good day we can end up seeing a dozen or so whales. On a great day we can see hundreds of incredible harbor seals swimming through the clear water or sunning themselves on the dozens of tiny islands dotting the horizon.
Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) have another name: Common seals. As you might guess from that sobriquet, harbor seals are, indeed, quite common, with worldide populations somewhere in the five million to six million range. Unfortunately, not all seal species are as populous or as secure in their place

Promoting the use of scientific evidence for bird conservation

Investigation continues of 2012 wolf attack at Swedish wildlife park
It may take a long time to find out exactly how a pack of eight male wolfs could attack and kill a zoo keeper at Sweden’s Kolmården Wildlife Park last summer. A year after the tragic accident, the police investigation into the tragic incident is far from reaching any conclusions.
The attack happened just an hour after Kolmården, located in eastern Sweden, opened its gates for the 2012 summer holiday season.
The 30-year-old female zoo keeper was alone in the wolf pen when the animals attacked and killed her.
This week, the park welcomes visitors for the 2013 summer season, but prosecutor Jan Andersson tells Swedish Radio that the investigation is complicated and could go on for another year.
"This case is unique and we’re dealing with complex legislation,” says Jan Andersson.
He adds that a great deal of information must be collected and carefully examined – and that takes time.

'Love' draws tiger back to zoo
Female tigers at Nandankanan zoo have managed to do what the forest officials couldn't. They have drawn back the elusive big cat, who had been giving sleepless nights to forest officials for the last few weeks.
The wild male tiger, which scaled an 18-foot-high iron wire mesh to flee the confinement of Nandankanan zoo on the city outskirts on the night of May 31, returned to the zoo on Sunday night. Officials said after the rare escape, the 'lovelorn' tiger stuck

Five Shocking Zoo Attacks
Zoos: They're supposed to be places of fun and learning, where curious animal admirers can observe an array of fascinating creatures at a safe distance under controlled conditions.
But sometimes, even at zoos, when humans get too close, tragedy can strike. Click thr

Baby Chimp, Tiger Cubs And Wolf Puppy Are The Cutest BFFs Ever (VIDEO)
Unlikely friendships are the best kind of friendships.
This video from JoeExoticTV shows a baby chimpanzee, two tiger cubs, and wolf pup truly hitting it off. It makes for one of the cutest playdates of all time.
The babies are at the Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park in Wynnewood, Okla., according to Yahoo!
Joe Schreibvogel, the entertainment director

DHL delivers nine gorillas back to the wild
In a unique conservation initiative in partnership with The Aspinall Foundation, DHL (, the world’s leading logistics company, has delivered a family of nine silverback gorillas from Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent to the Batéké Plateau National Park, Gabon.  (Photo: Gorilla Djala on straw at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park)
The gorillas were transported 9,000 km, departing from the UK to Brussels, and flown in a specially equipped Boeing 767 to Lagos, Nigeria, and then onto Franceville, Gabon. For the final leg of the journey they were flown in a helicopter to the national park in collaboration with the Gabonese authorities.
In addition to the animals, which have a combined weight of 620kg, no less than 1,200 kg of food and vets’ equipment accompanied them on their journey home to the wild.
To accommodate the gorillas’ transport schedule, DHL took two different aircraft out of commission and temporarily reconfigured its global network to ensure they could be delivered in as tight a timeframe as possible.
Western lowland gorillas are classed as a critically endangered species, and this is the first attempt ever at returning an entire family to its natural habitat. The Aspinall Foundation’s "Back to the Wild” initiative is part of its ongoing commitment to restock the wild with endangered and critically enda

Report warns about increasing export of endangered fish
Bowing to demands from the booming aquarium industry, India is said to have exported more than 1.5 million threatened freshwater fishes in the last seven years affecting the future of the country's aquatic diversity, says a report.
"More than 1.5 million freshwater fish belonging to 30 threatened species were exported from India during the years 2005-2012," says the study prepared by a group of scientists led by Kochi -based ecologist, Rajeev Raghavan.
Published in the latest issue of international journal, Biological Conservation, the report says the trade in threatened species comprise 30 per cent of the total exports of at least five million aquarium fishes.
Of the 1.5 million threatened fishes, the major share was contributed by three species - Botia striata (Endangered), Carinotetraodon travancoricus (Vulnerable) and the Red Lined Torpedo Barbs (Endangered).
Most wild-caught aquarium fish originating from India come from two global biodiversity hotspots of Eastern Himalaya and Western Ghats, known for their remarkable freshwater biodiversity, says Raghavan.
With the reported aquarium fish trade exports from India were worth in excess of 1.6 million USD for the seven-year period, the scientists warn that the collection of fish for aquarium pet trade in such large numbers is a major threat to its wild population.

Reykjavik Zoo: Staff Eats Zoo Animals
Staff in the Reykjavik Zoo eats the animals that are slaughtered in the fall. Zoo directors host a big garden party and BBQ feast in the fall, where everyone eats the animals they took care of in the summer. On top of that, Zoo staff can buy the rest of the meat very cheap. "The staff has been offered to buy the meat at cost price. We are obviously not allowed to sell the meat to the public and by doing this, we utilize the meat." said Sigrún Thorlacius, assistant director of the Reykjavik Zoo & Family Park.
The staff prefers to eat zoo animals When asked if the staff knows they are eatin

Dubai Crocodile Park comes to amuse tourists and students
Dubai Municipality on Thursday has signed a Dhs10m agreement with White Oryx Investment LLC to set up the first crocodile park in the Middle East and one of the best crocodile preservation park in the world. The BOT project is expected to complete in 24 months.
This was announced by Eng. Hussain Nassir Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, during a special press conference after the agreement signing attended by Assistant Director Generals, other top officials of the civic body and representatives of the contracting company. 
Lootah said: "This ambitious project would be a turning point in the history of Dubai tourism and research projects as the proposed crocodile park would encompass different crocodile species in future stages of the park development enabling the tourists and research students to learn a-z about the crocodile, a gigantic animal existing for last 220 million years."

Nile crocodile from Madagascar coming to Dubai
In two years from now Dubai will have its own crocodile habitat

Black bear breaks into zoo
A neighbor called the Knoxville Zoo late Monday night and alerted a ranger, saying there was a bear in a nearby park, according to Tina Rolen, assistant director of marketing at the zoo.
A short while later, the ranger saw what he presumed to be the same bear climbing over a fence and into the zoo. But it was unclear where, exactly, the ursine interloper wound up. 
The ranger had to wake up the zoo’s four resident bears on Monday to conduct a "nose count."
"They weren’t too happy with us,” said Rolen. After multiple sweeps the next morning, zoo employees once again counted only the four bears that are supposed

Visitors feel pity for Ragunan Zoo occupants
A group of mothers left an enclosure of sun bears after losing interest in watching a child feed 
the animals with peanuts. 
"Why are the bears so skinny and where is the guide? There’s supposed to be a guide here, isn’t there?” said one of the mothers, while passing through an enclosure in Ragunan Zoo in South Jakarta one afternoon. 
Meanwhile, another visitor, Harpendi, complained not about the animals but the enclosures. "Some of the enclosures are not clean. I feel pity for the animals,” said the 26-year-old visitor from Bekasi, West Java, after seeing the monkey section. 
Harpendi, who has been visiting the zoo since childhood, said that the condition of the zoo was better than the last time he visited but he hoped for more improvements.
Harpendi, who came with his girlfriend, compared the zoo with Taman Safari Indonesia zoo in Bogor, saying it was more enjoyable watching the animals in the wild-like habitat than in cages. 
"It was more expensive than the price here but it was worth it,” he said.

Ragunan Zoo to Compete With Singapore Zoo: Basuki
The Jakarta government has installed Hashim Djojohadikusuma to manage an overhaul of Ragunan Zoo (TMR) following allegations of poor conditions and dubious animal health at the South Jakarta enclosure.
"We want TMR to be like Singapore Zoo,” Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama said on Thursday. 
"They have 20 hectares of land and entertainment for visitors, including night safaris. In the future, we want Ragunan to be as good as that.”
The appointment of Hashim, brother of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto and an animal-loving tycoon with interests spanning paper and palms, is being seen as a boon at City Hall, which hopes to tap into Hashim’s international network to achieve something close to parity with the Lion City.
Basuki said that, although he had not visited the zoo in person, information he had received indicated conditions at the zoo — from soil quality to animal health — were unacceptable.
"We chose Hashim because he is not corrupt and because handling animals is already his favorite pastime,” the deputy governor said. "Furthermore, he has a wide network in other countries. We hope that he can collaborate and cooperate with zoos abroad.”
In addition to potentially fostering cooperation with regional zoos, Hashim will be asked to audit the zoo’s budget and its 2,000 animals.

Iconic Singapore Zoo celebrates its 40th birthday
Despite hard lessons along the way, zoo is now one of the world's best THE thought of a panther or bears escaping from the Singapore Zoo - regarded as one of the top zoos in the world today - and its staff keeping quiet about it may be hard to fathom now.
Yet that was exactly what happened 40 years ago, when its staff were still inexperienced, said one of the zoo's pioneer zookeepers, Mr Alagappasamy Chellaiyah.
But the iconic zoo, which celebrates its 40th birthday today, has come a long way, he added.
The 62-year-old, who joined the zoo in 1971 and is now the assistant director of zoology, recalled when two su

Saiga Success: Critically Endangered Antelope Population Doubles in 5 Years
Well it’s about time I had some success to report about the saiga (Saiga tatarica), the critically endangered antelope species native to Kazakhstan and nearby countries in central Asia. 
Just a few decades ago saiga populations numbered in the millions. The fall of the Soviet Union brought uncontrolled poaching across the saiga’s range, and 95 percent of the animals were slaughtered for their meat and horns, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine. By 2010, 
the first year I wrote about the saiga, the total population had fallen to an estimated 81,000 animals in five isolated populations.
But 2010 was the first of three disastrous years for the saiga. That year, 12,000 saiga died in Kazakhstan from pasteurellosis, an infection that afflicts the lungs. Another mass die-off occurred exactly one year later, this time claiming 450 animals. One year later it happened again. That time nearly 1,000 saiga were found dead from pasteurellosis—although some people actually blamed a Soyuz capsule returning a crew from the International Space Station that had recently landed nearby.

Want to Understand Mortality? Look to the Chimps
Pansy was probably in her 50s when she died, which is pretty good for a chimpanzee. She passed in a way most of us would envy — peacefully, with her adult daughter, Rosie, and her best friend, Blossom, by her side. Thirty years earlier, Pansy and Blossom arrived together at the Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park near Stirling, Scotland. They raised their children together. 
Now, as Pansy struggled to breathe, Blossom held her hand and stroked it. When the scientists at the park realized Pansy’s death was imminent, they turned on video cameras, capturing intimate moments during her last hours as Blossom, Rosie and Blossom’s son, Chippy, groomed her and comforted her as she got weaker. After she passed, the chimps examined the body, inspecting Pansy’s mouth, pulling her arm and leaning their faces close to hers. 
Blossom sat by Pansy’s body through the night. And when she finally moved away to sleep in a different part of the enclosure, she did so fitfully, waking and repositioning herself dozens more times than was normal. For five days after Pansy’s death, none of the other chimps would sleep on the platform where she died.
This account was published in 2010 in the journal Current Biology, but it’s not the only time scientists have watched chimpanzees, bonobos and other primates deal with death in ways that look strikingly like our own informal rituals of mourning: watching over the dying, cleaning and protecting bodies and displaying outward signs of anxiety. Chimps have been seen to make loud distress calls when a comrade dies. They investigate bodies as if looking for signs of life.

Qantas puts total ban on all shark fin
Qantas yesterday announced a ban on carrying all shark fin, joining the growing number of airlines to impose a total ban on the controversial cargo following a campaign led by Hong Kong environmentalists.
The Australian carrier took the step a day after telling the South China Morning Post it would carry shark products only from sustainable sources on its flights in future.
Lisa Brock, executive manager for Qantas Freight Enterprises, said yesterday the airline had decided not to carry any shark fin from any source - including so-called sustainable sources - immediately.
"This restriction has been put in place to avoid participation in the supply chain of shark fin that has been sourced through the unacceptable process of finning," she said.
Air New Zealand, Korean Air and Seoul-based Asiana Airlines have announced blanket bans on the 
carriage of shark fin.
Cathay Pacific and Fiji Airways, formerly Air Pacific, say they will carry only sustainably sourced shark fin.
The bans follow a year-long campaign by some 60 environmental groups in Hong Kong to stop shark 
fin being flown into the city. More than 10,300 tonnes of shark fin were imported to the city last year.
Alex Hofford, executive director of MyO

Silves-born Iberian lynx released last week in Spain
Two Iberian lynx, that were born last year at the Silves reproduction centre as part of an Iberian species recovery plan, were released into the wild last Friday, 21 June, in the Guarrizas valley.
Of the Iberian Lynx released into the wild so far this year, 11 were born at the Algarve-based CNRLI reproduction centre, in Silves.
This latest release, according to a statement from the Institute for Nature and Forest Conservation (ICNF), involved the help of the public and the presence of Portuguese nature conservation authorities, along with their counterparts from the Spanish regions of Extremadura and Andalucía.
It was a moment, the ICNF said, that "symbolised the programme’s contribution to preserving the species” as well as a nod to international and inter-institutional cooperation. In total 11 of 19 cubs that have been reintroduced to their natural environment (six females and five males) under the reproduction programme were born in Silves, where they were also taught to hunt and survive in the wild.
Cubs Jazz and Joaninha were released into the wild last Friday, culminating a programme that began in March 2013 with the release of four other cubs born in Silves; two in Guarrizas and two in Guadalmellato. A further two Algarvian cubs were released in Guadalmellato in early June, followed by a fifth pair that were released on 18 June, also in Guarrizas. Their first few days of freedom are monitored by radio and satellite.

Sea TurTle CSI
It's All in the Genes
By now, we’ve all seen a television show or movie featuring clever police detectives using high-tech laboratory analyses of microscopic tissue samples to catch criminals. But in a new twist of that familiar story, today scientists are using similar forensic approaches to solve long-standing mysteries about sea turtles—and male sea turtles, in particular.
Unlike female sea turtles, which are evolutionarily obliged to haul themselves onto sandy beaches to lay eggs, male sea turtles get to spend their entire post-hatchling lives in the comfy confines of the ocean. Because female turtles—and their hatchlings—are so readily available to humans for study, they have been the focus of monitoring and conservation projects worldwide for decades. But with virtually no information about males (see "Unsolved Mysteries” in SWOT Report, Vol. II), our understanding of how sea turtle populations really work is severely limited. Here’s where the sea turtle detectives come in.
Hidden in a hatchling’s DNA is its entire family history, including who its mother is, who its father is, and to what nesting population it belongs. By applying DNA fingerprinti

Aquarium in China is hiring MERMAIDS to entertain visitors
LOOKING for a new career? Love the water? This could be the job mer-MADE for you.
An aquarium in China is hiring mermaids to entertain visitors by swimming around all day in a giant tank.
Rather than trying to track down the mythical sea creatures, bosses at the Donghu Ocean Aquarium in Wuhan are inviting applications from mere humans.
A current employee - in full costume - has been visiting job fairs in the city to drum up interest.
But applicants must meet a strict list of requirements: female, strong swimmers, at least 5ft 4in tall - and willing to spend all day in a lycra swimming costume with a fin on the end.
Those lucky enough to land the job will pick up a salary of 72,000RMB a year (about £7,680) - twice the average wage in

Lemur Stumpy celebrates 27th birthday at zoo
BIRTHDAY boy Stumpy shows it’s grape to live to a ripe old age.
The ring-tailed lemur celebrated his 27th year with a fruity feast at Five Sisters Zoo in West Calder, West Lothian.
Lemurs usually only live to their early 20s — and experts reckon Stumpy’s the oldest of his kind in captivity anywhere.
The dad-of-five later played in trees and nibb

Scandal at the Zoo Craiova: lion four months, kept hidden and discovered by authorities
Authorities have discovered another Craiova Zoo lion cub, aged four months, which was hidden by the head zoo, after a week ago, a lioness gave birth to four cubs, which, however, did not survive and representatives zoo hid situation.
Mayor of Craiova, Olgu?a Lia Vasilescu, announced in a press conference that the zoo was discovered a lion aged four months, which authorities had not been announced. 
"I was surprised to hear about this young lion.'s Female and was separated from the lioness and lion.'s A healthy baby," said Lia Vasilescu Olgu?a.
Cub was kept in a cage, hidden by management, and was discovered after handover process ended after the dismissal Zoo manager, Ion Cojocaru.

Two-headed turtle and 7 animals to make you see double

Blue Planet Aquarium Reopens to Become Northern Europe's Largest
The Blue Planet Aquarium has reopened with much fanfare and an imaginative new facility. A bird's-eye view of the reinvented Blue Planet reveals a spiraled structure that is full of motion and synergy. The unique design of the building is meant to resemble the natural, circular motion of wind and water. The aquarium now holds a grand total of over 1.8 million gallons of water, 53 different aquarium displays, and some 20,000 ocean animals.
To create the largest aquarium exhibit, known as The Ocean, custom R-Cast acrylic was needed to hold the 1.05 million gallons of water - that is 4,373 tons of liquid. The viewing window itself is 18 inches thick, 52 feet long, and 26 feet tall, which allows for spectacular views of a variety of sea life including rays, sea turtles, and barracudas. This exhibit also holds the aquarium's largest animal, the hammerhead shark, with specimens up to 23 feet in length.
R-Cast acrylic was also used in the construction of a transparent sea tunnel that takes visitors through the depths of The Ocean exhibit. The tunnel is seven feet high and 10 feet wide, giving visitors an intimate viewing experience while being surrounded by the array of exotic sea life. 
The clarity of R-Cast gives the illusion the acrylic is perhaps ghostly-thin, while in reality it is an ample five inches in thickness.

10 exotic animals that have escaped their cages in Utah

Tragedy as extremely rare bird spotted in England, then killed by wind turbine
Wind turbines can be a great source for renewable energy, but it's hard to ignore the threat they pose to birds. The white-throated needletail is the fastest flying bird in the world. It's also one of the rarest. Until this week, it hadn't been seen in Britain since 1991. When one turned up on the Isle of Harris, people from all over the country came to see it. Some were able to get a glimpse of the beautiful bird

Police Find 16 Tiger Traps in Sumatra Believed to Be Supplied by Outsiders
Police from the Sumatra Tiger Patrol in the Kerinci Seblat National Park have found 16 tiger traps spread by hunters across the national park area so far this month, the biggest hauls since the launch of the patrol program.
"The initial phase of field patrol includes a special trap-elimination program which is done annually. This June, it has found and disabled at least 16 tiger traps,” Risdianto, field manager of the field patrol team, known as PHS TNKS, said in Jambi on Monday, as quoted by
Sumatra’s forests are home to at least 600 tigers, according a study by conservation groups published in 2012.
Risdianto said the 16 tiger traps were found in two separate areas by two different units. Thirteen traps were found in the Kerinci territory, while another three were found by the patrol unit in Bengkulu.
"In the Kerinci area, the officers found traps spread in 13 different points within the TNKS [Kerinci Seblat National Park], around the Muara Imat Village in the Batang Merangin subdistrict,” he said.
Nine of the 13 traps were found within the premises of the national park, while four were located within farming areas that belonged to local farmers.





SeaWorld San Diego Unveils Penguin Breeding Program Success
SeaWorld San Diego has announced it has successfully produced the first penguins in the world conceived through artificial insemination.
"It's just amazing. It's an incredible feeling not only to work with these amazing animals but to know we're doing a lot of things that can help their species," said Lauren DuBois, Assistant Curator of Birds. 
On Thursday, DuBois unveiled one of four Magellanic penguins believed to be the first successful result of artificial insemination for any type of penguin.
There has been some work with artificial insemination with King penguins but that effort was unsuccessful.
"Timing is everyth

Is it too little, too late to save the Leadbeater's possum?
There are big problems to be solved to save Leadbeater's possum, Victoria's endangered faunal emblem. And it is good a new group formed by the Napthine Government has been charged with considering some of them.
But it is hard not to conclude that to date the state government has been dragging its feet.
The Leadbeater's possum is an elusive species. First discovered in 1867, it later disappeared only to be found again in 1961 after a long search.
Its future is also proving elusive, but any disappearance this time could be permanent.
The 2009 Black Saturday bushfires wiped out 42 per cent of its habitat, and conservationists and scientists say continued logging in the Mountain Ash forests to Melb

Restoring Trees to Save South Africa's Rarest Parrot
The Cape parrot needs more yellowwood trees to survive.
The green and gold Cape parrot (Poicephalus robustus) is one of the most endangered parrots in the world.
The only parrot endemic to South Africa, fewer than a thousand individuals survive in the last patches of its dwindling habitat of yellowwood forest.
As the Cape parrot's yellowwood fruit resource disappears, the bird has changed its diet—for example, turning to pecan trees—but it's not always able to find sufficiently wholesome food. Malnutrition makes it more susceptible to a deadly virus that in some years has infected as much as 100 percent of the birds. (Related post: "Africa's Most Endangered Parrot Revealed Like Never Before.")
National Geographic Emerging Explorer Steve Boyes is trying to pull the Cape parrot back from the brink of oblivion.

World's oldest manatee swimming strong
The world's oldest known manatee is gearing up for a big celebration.
Snooty has been the star attraction at the South Florida Museum since the 1940s, and in a few weeks he'll be turning 65-years-old.
But before the party can begin, Snooty needed a visit from a doctor.
Once snooty was led into a small, enclosed pool, he knew what was coming.
The large mammal started pacing back and forth and swimming in circles just as Dr. Dave Murphy, Snooty's veterinarian, arrived.
Murphy said, "He's comin' up 65, so we thought we ought to take another look at him."
On July 21st, Snooty will turn 65-years-old. He's spent his whole life in captivity - born at a Miami aquarium

International recognition for Calgary Zoo
The Calgary Zoo’s outstanding conservation and research efforts are being praised in the latest issue of Nature magazine.
The zoological society is currently attempting to assist the population numbers of several species, including penguins, snow leopards and hippos, in the wild.
The head of animal care at the Calgary Zoo, Jake Veasey, says the organization’s conservation efforts factored in his decision to work at the world class facility.
"It's the Calgary Zoo's vision to be the leader in wildlife conservation,” says Veasey.  "Obviously we can't achieve that by solely focusing on the animals and species we have here so it's absolutely fundamental to the reason that we exist as a zoo.”
The Nature publication’s artic

Gloucestershire man sentenced for zoo owl thefts
The former owner of a bird-of-prey centre has been given a suspended prison sentence for stealing rare owls.
Keith Beaven, 68, of Staunton near Gloucester, was convicted last month of stealing six owls and also illegally selling three protected black kites.
He tricked zoos into thinking he ran the National Birds of Prey Centre near Newent despite having sold it in 2008.
Beaven was given a 40-week sentence, suspended for 18 months, at Gloucester Crown Court.
He was also ordered to pay over £16,000 in costs.
The trial previously heard that Bea

Steve Leonard on Britain’s 5 best zoos
Celebrity vet Steve Leonard guides us around the UK’s farms and zoos, introducing us to cute, exotic baby creatures on his new ITV show
Tune in tonight to see tiny monkeys, baby rhinos and miniature hippos on ITV’s Nature’s Newborns (7:30pm, 18 June). We catch up with presenter Steve Leonard (Vets in the Wild) to learn more about the show – and his top five zoos in the UK to see these cute critters up close...
Across the UK animals are being born every day. That includes animals out in the wild, domestic species in our homes from our pets, and that also includes animals in zoos and collections. There are quite a lot of exotic babies as well. This show is really just a way of celebrating that, and seeing some of the people who look after these animals and what they go through waiting for the delivery of some amazing little ones. In some ways animals adapt and end up putting their youngsters in a situation where we need to intervene.
What’s been your best moment filming the series?
For me it was at my local zoo [Chester Zoo] looking at the baby black rhino. Rhino have taken a real hammering in Africa. We’re losing so many of them to the horn game. The captive population are now again proving to be a very vital part of the population where they’re kept nice and secure. Every time you get the rhino baby it’s just one more individual to help keep that population going. Th

213 Smuggled Bear Paws Intercepted At Chinese Border (VIDEO)
Chinese border officials were in for quite the surprise when they discovered some unusual cargo on transport from Russia: 213 smuggled bear paws.
Hidden inside the tires of a truck that was attempting to cross the border from Russia into Inner Mongolia, the load is reportedly the highest number of bear paws that has ever attempted to be smuggled into China.
Customs officials reported that local police arrested two Russian men in connection with the transport of the cargo estimated to be worth 2.8 million yuan (nearly $457,000), Reuters reports.
According to The Global Times, Chinese authorities discovered the large haul in late May. The truck's driver appeared to act suspiciously so Manzhouli officials scanned the vehicle, revealing the concealed goods.
In video footage of the recovery (seen above), Chinese officers remove the bear paws, which range in size from adult to cub, from the vehicle's five tires, including the spare. The animal paws likely belong to br

Time for Morro Bay Aquarium to close, say conservation groups
It's been called the 'worst aquarium in the nation ... Seal Guantanamo,' and the 'saddest aquarium on earth.' Under fire since the 90s, conservation groups are stepping up their efforts to have Morro Bay Aquarium closed down.
The aquarium, home to three sea lions, a harbor seal and other aquatic animals, first opened its doors in 1960, and pro-animal groups say that little has been done to upgrade the facility since then.
Naomi Rose, the senior scientist for Humane Society International (HSI), even told the New Times, that the small aquarium in Morro Bay, California, "receives more public complaints than any other similar facility in the country."
Owned by Dean and Bertha Tyler, the aquarium is virtually unchanged in 53 years of operation. It is an issue that is creating waves across the animal protection community and garnering heat from the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), who is suggesting that the Tylers are currently operating the facility under false advertising.
Signs posted at Morro Bay Aquarium claim that all of its seals are rescued and rehabilitated, "yet it lost its license to rehabilitate animals in the 90s," said Paige Nelson from the conservation group, Fins and Fluke. "One sign reads Marine Rehabilitation Center," she explained, "then other signs state: These animals were born at Marine World, Orlando, Florida and Feed the performing seals," Nelso

New way to keep track of orangutan
Primates in Tabin forest site embedded with special devices to help in conservation work
LAHAD DATU: A NEW tracking device that can be embedded into the orangutan is revolutionising the way the animals are tracked and will soon help researchers understand how to help the primates survive in the jungles of Sabah.
The Tabin Orangutan Project (TOP), which is co-managed by Orangutan Appeal UK, a United Kingdom-based non-governmental organisation, and the Sabah Wildlife Department, is the first in the world to use the embedded-type tracking device on the orangutan.
Previous attempts to track orangutan with collars and other tracking devices were not successful because the animals were adept at removing them.
Each device cost E350 (RM1,454) and has enough power in its battery to last a few years. Data had been collected using the devices since 2010, said primatologist James Robins, who heads TOP. Robins is currently tracking eight orangutan and half of them are females.
"One of our orangutan just gave birth a few weeks ago and we are now tracking both mother and child. Both are doing well."

Ecology: Conservation in captivity
Barbara Durrant heard about San Diego Zoo's reproductive-research department while she was pursuing her doctorate in reproductive physiology in the late 1970s. "I wrote to the founder and got a wonderful letter back saying, 'Yes, we're starting this new research effort here. When you finish your PhD, get back in touch with me,'” recalls Durrant. In 1979, she began a two-year postdoc at the zoo in California.
Looking for a second project towards the end of her stint, Durrant began collecting viable eggs, sperm and embryos from animals that had died, and storing them in the facility's Frozen Zoo, one of the world's first major collections of cryopreserved cells from zoo animals. In 1980, she initiated the Germplasm Repository — a collection of frozen reproductive cells from endangered species that capture genetic diversity, allowing it to be reintroduced into gene pools. In so doing, she helped to launch the field of gamete research. After her postdoc ended later that year, the zoo offered Durrant a permanent research position. Now director of reproductive physiology at San Diego Zoo Global, the conservation organization that runs the zoo, Durrant heads a team that designs reproductive-research programmes for rare and endangered species including giant pandas, rhinoceroses and Przewalski's horses. "The greater scientific community is coming to understand the importance of genetic diversity,” says Durrant. "And zoos harbour the greatest genetic diversity anywhere outside of t

Zoo’s plan to relocate elephants will stress animals, ex-veterinarian says
More than 30 years ago in a Sri Lankan jungle, then-Calgary Zoo veterinarian Darrel Florence fashioned a homemade device from a 7Up container and a garden hose, then used it to feed formula milk to three 200-pound infants.
Florence travelled to the island country in 1976 to visit an elephant orphanage and select three rescued calves — Kamela, Swarna and Bandara — to bring to their new home at the Calgary Zoo.
The 90-centimetre-tall, year-old pachyderms were crate-trained for two weeks to ready them for their journey across the ocean in a trip that required three flights, plus a truck ride from Edmonton to Calgary. All along the way, Florence bottle-fed the young animals.
"It worked very well,” he said.
Today, the Calgary Zoo’s four Asian elephants — including Kamela and Swarna from Florence’s Sri Lankan trip — are poised for another long journey as part of the facility’s relocation plan for the animals.
According to Florence, this trip is one the elephants shouldn’t have to make.
Florence, a zoo vet from 1975-1980, says to relocate the aged animals now to a new place is too stres


Russian zoo shows off unique ‘liliger’ cubs
The zoo in Novosibirsk, Russia’s third-largest city, is home to a unique animal — the liliger. That’s a big cat breed where the father is a lion and the mother is a lion-tiger hybrid, called a liger. The first liliger was born in the zoo last year and now there’s a second litter of three, all of them females.

White tigress dies after delivering stillborn cubs in Delhi Zoo
he Delhi Zoo lost yet another striped cat last week when a white tigress died of septicaemia contracted after delivering four cubs.
The eight-year-old tigress, Khushi, died last Thursday. 
"She (tigress) managed to deliver one live cub last Monday while two were stillborn. Another one was stuck inside her womb, which caused the infection," Curator of Delhi Zoo, R A Khan said. 
The cub, which was delivered alive, died after a few hours, he said. 
"We tried our best to save Khushi, putting her on medication all throughout the delivery process. She was under stress while trying to deliver the last cub, nor was she allowing us to remove the other cubs," Khan said. 
The tigress' condition deteriorated soon after the last cub was taken out dead. 
"It is a sad incident for us given that we los

Loan of white elephant refused
Myanmar on Wednesday turned down a request from Thailand for a loan of one of its auspicious white elephants to mark the countries' 65 years of diplomatic ties next year.
Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul earlier this month asked his counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin for the elephant, which he proposed to house at Chiang Mai Zoo.
"The Myanmar foreign minister told Surapong that it would be difficult to transport the white elephant to Chiang Mai," said a statement posted on the Myanmar president's official website on Wednesday.
It added that the government was ready to arrange special flights for people in Chiang Mai to come and see white elephants in Myanmar.
Myanmar has eight white elephants in capti

Dolphins are not healers
Imagine this. Jay, an eight-year-old autistic boy, whose behaviour has always been agitated and uncooperative, is smiling and splashing in the pool. A pair of bottlenose dolphins float next to him, supporting him in the water. Jay’s parents stand poolside as a staff member in the water engages him in visual games with colourful shapes. She asks him some questions, and Jay, captivated by his surroundings, begins to respond. He names the shapes, correctly, speaking his first words in months. With all this attention Jay is in high spirits; he appears more aware and alert than ever before. A quick, non-invasive EEG scan of his brain activity shows that it is indeed different from before the session.
Jay's parents, who had given up hope, are elated to have finally found a treatment that works for their son. They sign up for more sessions and cannot wait to get home and tell their friends about the experience. They are not surprised to find that dolphins have succeeded where mainstream physicians have not. Everyone believes that dolphins are special — altruistic, extra gentle with children, good-natured. And any concerns the parents might have had about the welfare of the dolphins have been allayed by assurances from the trainers that they are happy and accustomed to the role they are playing. After all, as the parents can see for themselves, the dolphins are smiling.

The great zoo swap: gaurs out, rhinos in
Visitors to Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur, may get to see a pair of greater one-horned rhinoceroses within the next couple of months.
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday requested her counterpart in Assam to send the one-horned rhinos in exchange for a pair of Indian gaurs.
In a letter to Tarun Gogoi, the chief minister of Assam, she said: "We have a sufficient number of Indian gaurs, which we can give in exchange to the government of Assam. The Indian gaur is one of our flagship species.”
Ms. Jayalalithaa, who is also the chairperson of the Zoo Authority of Tamil Nadu, said the zoo at Vandalur was the largest in the country, and one of the largest in South-east Asia.
Annually, two million people flocked to the facility, which had been categorised as a ‘Large Zoo’ based on species diversity, number of endangered species and area. The zoo was known for following modern captive animal management principles in its day-to-day administration, she said.

When it comes to trophy hunting, rural African communities don’t get the gold
As few as 32,000 African lions are believed to remain in the wild today.
Over the last 30 years, African countries with the highest hunting intensity have seen the steepest declines in lion populations.
Despite these facts, advocates for the trophy hunting industry regularly claim that hunting supports conservation as it provides huge benefits to economies in rural African communities.
The truth is it doesn’t.
A new report released by Economists at Large—commissioned by the International Fund for Animal Welfare and our colleagues at Born Free and Humane Society International—analyzes the available literature on the economics of trophy hunting and reveals that these rural communities actually derive very little benefit from hunting revenue. 
Nature tourism is a significant part of the economy of some African lion range countries, but revenues from trophy hunting tourism in Africa account for just 1.8 % of overall tourism. In fact, a recent Synovate poll finds th

International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos is marked on June 20
June 20 marks the International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos (IDAEZ), a global event aimed at bringing mammoth attention to the plight of elephants in zoos, and ending their suffering.
Elephants are highly intelligent, complex and self-aware individuals who have evolved for long distance living. In the wild they range tens of miles a day, live in large, tight-knit family groups, and communicate with one another at great distances. Yet zoos keep elephants in tiny exhibits of a few acres or less, where lack of movement and standing on hard surfaces cause painful foot infections and arthritis, the leading causes of euthanasia in captive-held elephants. The stress and boredom typical of intensive confinement results in abnormal behaviors such as repetitive swaying and head bobbing.
In addition, many zoos still use a cruel, circus-style

Outlook Is Grim for Mammals and Birds as Human Population Grows
The ongoing global growth in the human population will inevitably crowd out mammals and birds and has the potential to threaten hundreds of species with extinction within 40 years, new research shows.
Scientists at The Ohio State University have determined that the average growing nation should expect at least 3.3 percent more threatened species in the next decade and an increase of 10.8 percent species threatened with extinction by 2050.
The United States ranks sixth in the world in the number of new species expected to be threatened by 2050, the research showed.
Though previous research has suggested a strong relationship between human population density and the number of threatened mammal and bird species at a given point in time, this study is the first to link an expanding human population to fresh threats of extinction for these other species.

Philippines To Destroy Five Tons Of Illegal Ivory, Symbolic Victory For Elephant Conservation
The Philippines has announced it will destroy five tons of seized ivory, a major symbolic step for a nation known for playing a major role in the illegal ivory trade.
"The destruction of the items would hopefully bring the Philippines’ message across the globe that the country is serious and will not tolerate illegal wildlife trade, and denounces the continuous killing of elephants for illicit ivory trade,” Mundita Lim, director of the?country’s Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau?(PAWB), told National Geographic.

IBM analytics help small zoo, museum engage visitors
Summary: Data from admissions, exhibits, merchandise sales and membership is being used to get a better handle on popularity and preferences.
A small zoo in Washington state and history center in Colorado are using IBM Big Data analytics solutions to analyze detailed information about ticket sales, exhibit preferences and merchandise sales. Their goal: to get a better handle on patterns that might help improve marketing and resource management.
In both cases, the technology was integrated and deployed by IBM business partner BrightStar Partners (which is part of distributor Avnet's services division). 
(Disclosure: I've been involved with the IBM enterprise customer analytics team on several educational seminars over the past four months. The case studies I'm writing about today have nothing to do with my work for that team, which involves moderating a Web seminar series.)

ane Goodall Institute and Disney Conservation sends once again mentor Hilda Tresz, International Behavior Specialist to Egypt Central Zoos - Giza Zoo - to follow up progress of Chimps and Elephants. The General Organization of Veterinary Services of Egypt headed by Military General and Doctor Osama Selim, once again welcomes cooperation with the Jane Goodall Institute, through mentor Hilda Tresz (Phoenix Zoo) International Behavior Specialist. Hilda Tresz, mentor of Jane Goodall Institute received in the airp

Slow demise
DEMAND for wildlife parts is pushing many species to the brink of extinction. In China, where a rising middle class flaunts wealth by displaying ivory at home, traders call elephant tusks "white gold". But elephants, tigers, rhinos and other "charismatic megafauna" are not the only animals in trouble.

On March 15th, days after conservationists discussed clamping down on wildlife smuggling at a recent CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) conference in Thailand, Thai authorities seized over 300 live tortoises at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport. They arrested a Thai man and Malagasy woman who attempted to claim a suitcase from Madagascar. In it, authorities discovered 54 ploughshare and 21 radiated tortoises (both species are "critically endangered" under CITES). The same day, CITES authorities found another batch of tortoises in an unclaimed suitcase at the airport’s carousel.
In discovering 54 ploughshares, authorities made the largest recorded seizure of a rapidly declining species. Experts estimate that as few as 400 individuals remain in the wild. Eric Goode, who heads the Turtle Conservancy, says the turtles do not appear to have been bred in captivity. This means that the smugglers removed 14% of the wild population from Madagascar. According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, in the first three months of 2013 authorities in Madagascar and Thailand confisca

Ragunan Zoo Denies Spate of Animal Deaths
Officials at Ragunan Zoo in South Jakarta have confirmed that two animals died at the facility recently, but denied reports of a spate of mysterious deaths.
Bambang Triyono, the head of administrative affairs at the zoo, said on Thursday that the zoo’s only giraffe had died in late May, while a hippo had died this month.
"The giraffe died of old age,” he said as quoted by
"In the wild, it could probably live up to 20 years at most, but in captivity it can live up to 30. So it’s testament to the quality of our care that it managed to live until 27.”
Bambang added that the hippo had died of digestive tract and kidney complications and that it was 18 years old.
"It could have lived to 20 or 25 years, but it died because of illness, and this has been confirmed by a necropsy by experts from IPB [Bogor Institute of Agriculture].”
Bambang stressed that widely circulated rumors that a host of other animals had died recently, including an orangutan, a leopard and a rare pigeon from Papua, were not true.
"Any talk of the Victoria crowned pigeon or other animals dying is false. Only two animals died recently. So there was no mass die-off,” he said.
He was responding to reports in the local media, quoting an unnamed source from the zoo who claimed that dozens of animals had died since late May under mysterious circumstances and were buried in secret on the zoo grounds.

Zoos urged to halt imports of African elephants
Wildlife experts have called for Chinese zoos to stop importing elephants from Africa, saying they cannot meet the animals' physical or psychological needs.
In January, four young elephants were imported from Zimbabwe, two for Xinjiang Safari Park in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and two for Taiyuan Zoo in Shanxi province. However, one at Taiyuan Zoo died soon afterwards.
Joyce Poole, an elephant behavior study expert with Elephant Voice, an NGO in the United States, said confining wild elephants to cages should be stopped.
Elephants are complex animals who like to live with their family and in herds, she said. They have the habit of walking long distances each day to hunt for food, meet spouses and to conduct other social activities.
"Foraging is an intellectual challenge," Poole said, pointing out that elephants learn many skills while on the move.
Liu Xiaoyu, a volunteer with the China Animal Observer Group, a Beijing-based NGO, said she has seen several elephants at zoos nationwide hurting themselves, which she says is a sign of depression.
"Once elephant (at Taiyuan Zoo) kept rubbing itself against the walls. It definitely felt uncomfortable," she said.

Prairie animals raised by zoo, released into wild
What do the ornate box turtle, the meadow jumping mouse and smooth green snake have in common?
They're all prairie-dwelling animals whose numbers have declined in Illinois because of habitat loss, pesticides and the exotic pet trade.
They're also being bred and raised at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo as part of a collaboration with wildlife agencies to conserve species and restore balance to Illinois' grassland and sand prairies.
Lincoln Park Zoo released 18 ornate box turtles this week in the Upper Mississippi River National Wild

Breeding white tigers pointless
The Vandalur zoo now has more than a dozen white tigers which is an all-time high in capitive breeding of the animal. Of the tigers  surviving, the zoo 
authorities are thrilled over the successful breeding of the white tigers in the past four years, as they attract crowds. However, the conservationists are annoyed.
Wildlife lovers fear a genetic disaster waiting to happen as most of these  white tigers suffer from   deformities and congenital disorders. "Wait and watch, cubs with cleft palates, cross eyes and irregular heartbeats with mortality rate will be born at the zoo,” warn highly placed sources.
"White tigers are not a separate species or subspecies that must be conserved, but merely a colour anomaly due to certain genes. Preserving white tigers by breeding them in captivity serves no conservation purpose, and is not only a complete waste of tax payers money, but also an unnecessary distraction from the actual task of tiger conservation” opined conservationist, Shekar Dattatri. Biologist, A. Kumaraguru, who has worked on DNA modules of tigers in Western Ghats said, 
"Apart from looking at captive breeding, a promising tool in conservation of endangered species, it has the following risks which makes it against nature.

Wellington Zoo wins big at Gold Awards
Last night Wellington Zoo won the prestigious Vibrant Gold Award at the 2013 Wellington Gold Awards – its second Gold Award in the last four years, after taking out the Green Gold award in 2010.
The Wellington Gold Awards celebrate the best business performers operating in the Wellington region since 1999. An audience of around 800 people were in attendance at this year’s glamorous event, which took place at the TSB Bank Arena on Wellington’s waterfront. The event itself was not without drama – with wild weather causing a power outage that briefly interrupted proceedings.
Wellington Zoo was up against a strong field in the Vibrant Gold Award category – including Beervana, Rydges Hotel, The New Zealand Art Show and The Hobbit Premiere.
"We are extremely proud to be Gold Award winners again” said Wellington Zoo Chief Executive, Karen Fifield.
"This award caps off another fantastic year of achievement for Wellington Zoo. Last week we celebrated 10 years as a Charitable Trust, and an

New law could leave Sumatran elephants homeless
Demand for palm oil - a substance found in many everyday products - is threatening some of the world's most endangered species.
The rapid expansion of palm oil plantations in Indonesia has already led to the clearance of large tracts of rainforest, driving out animals like tigers, orangutans and Sumatran elephants.
Campaigners fear a new law may soon be passed which would open u





Answer Man: MGM lions roar on
I just watched an MGM movie and it suddenly made me wonder: Has MGM used the same roaring lion from the beginning or have there been others? What's his/their name(s)? Why did they choose a lion? How did they teach the cat to speak those lines so well? -- D.L., of Belleville
For nearly a century now, MGM has been roaring about it movies and its beloved feline mascot.
Five beastly kings have shared the opening cinematic spotlight to help produce arguably one of the two most recognizable sound logos in the entertainment industry: the NBC chimes and that MGM roar.
It's a fascinating history that Ed Vigdor recently compiled for the studio (and I ain't lyin'), so let me try to cram in as much as I can:
School spirit: The lion was the brainstorm of Howard Dietz, a publicity executive for what was then Goldwyn Pictures Corp. A proud graduate of Columbia University, Dietz may have still been humming his old school's fight song, "Roar, Lion, Roar," when he decided to honor his alma mater by using Panthera leo as part of his company's new logo. And, to go along with the lion, Dietz is also credited with developing MGM's well-known motto, Ars Gratia Artis -- Latin for "Arts for Art's Sake."

Caring for threatened species is not as simple as it seems
Al Bustan Zoological Centre uses selective breeding process for wildlife conservation
An endangered Manchurian crane sits undisturbed on her eggs on a green patch of land with shrubs and water systems that hardly looks like a typical animal enclosure. Around her, Al Bustan Zoological Centre staff cautiously work together to make sure she gets the best chances of breeding successfully.
The care given to the red-crowned crane is also given to the 855 other animals currently housed at the Al Bustan Zoological Centre, a 17-hectare wildlife reserve located on the road to Kalba.
Al Bustan started off as a small family farm by an Emirati businessman with private collections of cheetahs and birds in the 1980s and was later incorporated as a zoological centre in 1998.
A non-commercial zoo that is not open to the public, Al Bustan is a safe haven and breeding centre for threatened species, mo

Zoos not the places for elephants
Zoos and aquariums are notorious for treating animals as if they're insensitive beings, moving them here and there for money, as if the animals don't care if they're taken from family and friends or where they live.
Zoo administrators usually claim that this game of "animal shuffle" is for conservation purposes, but we know, based on available data, that this is a rather misleading claim. There's ample evidence that zoos do not contribute much if anything to education or conservation.
Just last week, it was announced that "Denver zoo-goers will soon have another pachyderm heartthrob" named Billy. Billy is quite the traveler, having been born in Dublin and now residing and being trained at the Antwerp Zoo in Belgium.
Billy was moved because "he wore out his welcome with his family unit," according to a June 6 story in The Denver Post.
Billy is being brought to Denver to be a breeding machine, that is, to make more Asian elephants who will surely live out their lives in captivity. He will be housed in the $50 million Toyota Elephant Passage with other elephant sperm donors.
The passage is really just a big cage that can't possibly meet the social and physical needs of its occupants, and was built despite the fact tha

Bat Health Critical To Human Health
 projected image of baby bats swaddled in blankets earned a collective "awww" from the audience. It apparently came as a welcome reprieve from videos that featured bats being butchered for food and defecating into a popular drink, and stories of how bats may spread lethal disease.
"Bats get a bad rap," said Dr. Jon Epstein, a wildlife veterinarian at EcoHealth Alliance, during the organization's event Wednesday night in Manhattan.
Many of us don't think of bats as cute. The creatures' dark and jagged silhouettes against the night sky may rather trigger gasps and dashes indoors. But as Epstein and his colleagues highlighted, human misconceptions of bats and neglect for the animal's health and habitats may be resulting in serious consequences for our own well-being -- from increased use of toxic pesticides to greater floods to rising risks of pandemic disease.
With more than 1,200 different species, bats make up about a quarter of all the Earth's mammals. Their numbers, however, are declining due to threats that include deforestation, disease and hunting. Meanwhile, many people are actually seeing more bats as changes in land use, agriculture, food industry practices, climate change and human population growth actually bring the remaining animals -- and their viruses -- closer to us.
"They live everywhere we do," said Epstein. "So we en

Local investment mogul Ernest Rady is making a $10 million challenge gift to the San Diego Zoo to kick off a fundraising campaign to revamp its Africa exhibit.
The zoo, which just opened a new koala habitat, is embarking on its largest expansion project to date — an 8-acre, $50 million Africa exhibit in the heart of the zoo.
Rady’s pledge was revealed at an announcement ceremony Friday ?at the zoo.
He is donating $1 for every $2 raised for the project by the zoo. To receive his full $10 million pledge, the zoo must bring in $20 million in matching funds by June 30, 2015. Zoo CEO Doug Myers and Chief Development Officer Mark Stuart already have made symbolic $1,000 gifts to start the campaign.
"I feel like crying,” Rady told employees and board members who had gathered for the surprise announcement. "I’m not sure if it’s because of the emotion and pride I feel in what you folks are creating, or if it’s that I’m parting with all this money.” He added that he remembers the great times he and his wife, Evelyn, their children and grandchildren have had at the San Diego Zoo.
The zoo will celebrate its 100th bir

Seaside property for sale for £600,000 - warning: comes with tenants which bite
Property for sale: seaside bungalow with 12 acres in quiet picturesque Welsh village. Beware: tenants come with a bite.
That could be the advert for an unusual new investment opportunity – a zoo on coastal Ceredigion!
Because, for £600,000, home buyers searching for the good life could find themselves owning Borth Animalarium.
For more than a decade Jean Mumbray has run the small Zoo seven miles north of Aberystwyth with her husband Alan.
Now at the age of 74 she is looking to hand over the reigns.
"The time has come for me to retire,” Mrs Mumbray said.
The animalarium, which is mostly contained within two acres, surrounded with a 6ft security fence has a zoo licence and houses more than 150 species.
"Potential buyers don’t need any experience with animals, they don’t even have to be involved with the day-to-day running of the place,” Mrs Mumbray said.
"There is a highly trained and dedicated gr

The €16m Qawra aquarium has been featured on WebEcoist, a leading international website promoting environmental matters, green innovation and inspirational natural wonders, before work on the project has even been concluded.
Listed under WebEcoist’s ‘7 Wonders series’, Malta’s new attraction is listed among the world’s leading aquariums, such as the Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu, Hawaii – founded in 1904 – and the third oldest public aquarium in the United States, and Shanghai’s $55 million Ocean Aquarium which plays host to an enormous Oranda goldfish measuring over 17 inches from end to end.
WebEcoist is popular for the stunning nature photography it features along with in-depth articles covering many different topics: from art, design and technology to daily green living and environmental exploration. 
Work on the popular tourist area’s latest attraction, is due to be finished sometime next month, and the aquarium will soon be home to an

San Diego Zoo scientists have discovered that elephants talk to each other in a secret language. In soon-to-be-published findings, they learned that the giant mammals can communicate using a frequency too low to be heard by humans or their natural predators. So, maybe "Horton Hears a Who!” isn’t fiction, after all …
While trumpeting is a familiar sound, it has long been known that elephants communicate with low growling or "rumbling” noises. People can only hear the top third of the register; two-thirds occurs at too low a frequency for humans.
New research shows that elephants manipulate this rumbling to impart different messages, said Matt Anderson, associate director of behavioral biology at the zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research.
For instance, females broadcast to distant males that they are ready to mate. The low frequency sound, made possible because of the gigantic size of elephants’ lungs and vo

Ragunan Zoo Management is Incompetent, Basuki Says
The constant poor condition of Ragunan Zoo (TMR), South Jakarta, infuriates Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki T Purnama. The number two person in Jakarta Provincial Government called the management of Ragunan Zoo to be bad at their job.
It is reasonable if Basuki is angry, because Jakarta Provincial Government has funneled fund as much as Rp 40 billion for Ragunan Zoo. However, the zoo’s management is still bad.
"We think the Ragunan Zoo is being managed by an incompetent management. We subsidize them Rp 40 billion for nothing,” stated Basuki to the journalists at the City Hall, Thursday (6/13).
Therefore, this former parliament member is planning to work together with Ancol to turn Ragunan Zoo to be similar to Taman Safari. "We’re thinking to cooperate with Ancol for safari, or with Taman Safari,” he told.
In addition, Basuki will also do several things to fix t

Indonesia's Hybrid Theme Parks
Maintaining amusement, constructing dominant beliefs
The emergence of the growing Asian middle classes has seen an increase in theme parks. Indonesia is no exception. New lifestyles marked by patterns of consumption have made the proliferating amusement venues profitable and attractive as recreation goals with attendance hitting 108.7 million people in 2012. 
Indonesia's theme parks tend to be hybrids, combinations of themes and attractions. These can be bewildering mixtures of animal enclosures and educational exhibits with a sudden rollercoaster or water slides appearing. Some even have hotels attached like the big Western models.
These hybrid parks are common in Indonesia and across Southeast Asia. The Singapore Zoo for example, includes a Kidsworld amusement park within the zoo.
These impressive modern parks have endless variety; Park Jatim 1 in Batu East Java, is a museum/ zoo/ theme park/ amusement park. Park Jatim 2, also in Batu, is an educational museum/ waterpark/ theme park. Another Batu offering, the Eco Park, is a museum/ bird zoo/ amusement park. Even the famous Taman Safari near to Surabaya combines attractions as a zoo safari/ theme park/ amusement park.

Bob Barker’s Elephant Rescue on Hold Until Fall
For months now, activists have been working to relocate three elephants from the Toronto Zoo, and despite an apparent victory last December, things aren’t going smoothly for the pachyderms.
Last year, under pressure from PETA and Zoocheck Canada, the Toronto city council voted to relocate the elephants from the Toronto Zoo to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in California. Super activist Bob Barker even stepped in and offered to pay for the transportation.
According to Barker, PAWS is an ideal location for the animals. "They have a mud hole; elephants love to play in the mud. They have a pool; some of them stay underwater practically the whole summer. And there are elephants for them to socialize with. Elephants come in that have been mistreated and been lonely and depressed, and they just blossom. It’s wonderful to behold.”
However, the zoo protested the move, because PAWS isn’t accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and because the zoo questioned the way PAWS treated elephants afflicted with tuberculosis.
Nevertheless, the transport was suppose

"Test tube” sharks born in Lisbon
Sharks often have a fearsome reputation, thanks to highly publicised but rare attacks – and of course, Hollywood. But these creatures are an essential part of the ocean and their populations are declining every year.
As part of an image revamp for this beautiful predator, the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco is putting on a sensory exhibition.
Robert Calcagno is the CEO of the Oceanographic Institute Foundatiion and told euronews just how close up and personal the exhibition was: "In the exhibition you are going to be able to see sharks, you will be able in fact to touch sharks, to caress, to cuddle them.”
Brave souls can slip a hand into the water to stroke a pyjama shark, leopard shark or starry smooth hound. The compliance of the sharks surprises many and helps them to overcome their -often lifelong – prejudices. It’s an often overlooked fact that hundreds of millions of these creatures are killed by man each year.
Over at Portugal’s Lisbon Oceanarium, two sharks have recently been born "in vitro”. The oceanarium has two males and two females that have lived together for thirteen years, but never reproduced despite the sharks reaching sexual maturity. So scientists decided to collect the eggs, for "in vitro” fertilisation and then monitored the development of the embryos.
Ana Jarego is a biologist at the oceanarium and described the process: "The eggs have this screw-like shape. What happens in the wild is that females drop th

Captive chimps to get endangered status
The US Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday announced it is considering giving captive chimpanzees the same endangered status that currently protects chimps living in the wild.
"While wild chimpanzees have long been recognised as endangered, existing regulations deprive captive chimpanzees in the US of protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)" the USFWS said in a statement.
The US government agency said that it decided to consider the move after assessing a petition from The Humane Society, which has lobbied hard for the change.
"Our closest living relatives are declining in number and they are in trouble," Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society, said.
"It's critical that the US take forceful action to protect chimps in the wild and in captivity, in order to assure the survival of future generations of chimp

Researchers release endangered frogs back to the wild
For the first time, scientists have released about 100 captive-bred endangered mountain yellow-legged frogs into a stream in the San Jacinto Mountains where their ancestors once lived.
It is the latest attempt to reintroduce the amphibians to their historic range since native populations shrunk to fewer than 200 adults in 2003. Their numbers have been reduced by habitat loss, human activity, environmental factors and chiytrid fungus in the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains.
This week’s endeavor is a partnership among at least eight public agencies and zoological organizations.
The efforts in the San Jacinto Mountains date to 2006. Previous attempts to nurture egg masses or tadpoles in key San Jacinto Mountain streams have not produced frogs that scientists have found, said Frank Santana, a research coordinator for the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research, based in Escondido.
Santana, who developed a fascination for amphibians as a child that grew into graduate-level research on the yellow-legged frogs, had the honor on Wednesday, June 12, of releasing lab-raised juvenile froglet

Woman struck by lightning at Plumpton Park Zoo in Cecil County
wo staff members of a Cecil County, Md., zoo are being credited tonight with saving the life of an intern struck today by lightning.
In the region’s only injury reported in today’s storms, the 19-year-old – whose name and hometown have not been disclosed – reportedly remains hospitalized tonight, her condition not released.
The Plumpton Park Zoo, a small center in the 1400 block of Telegraph Road between Rising Sun and Calvert, issued a statement tonight, saying, "two staff members trained in CPR undertook life saving measures” after she was struck by lightning and lost consciousness shortly after 9 a.m. as the storm approached.
"An additional staff member stayed on the phone relaying her condition to emergency personnel as CPR was administered…,” the zoo owners said.
Paramedics arrived and trans

Fla. company selling illegally caught nurse sharks faces felony charges
The operators of a Pompano Beach aquarium supply company face federal felony charges for selling juvenile nurse sharks that had been illegally caught in the Florida Keys reported Sun Sentinnel on June 14.
Aquatic Trading Co., Inc. was fined $3,000 and required to surrender all its permits and licenses for selling nurse sharks and angelfish that had been illegally caught.
Walter Bloecker, director of Aquatic Trading Co. Inc., and his wife Lila, an employee of the company, conspired to sell 10 sharks to a buyer in Michigan for $2,500. The sharks had been caught by divers operating without a license in the Florida Keys, but Bloecker forged documents claiming the sharks had been legally imported from Nicaragua. He also did not have the required license to sell sharks.
Blocker and his wife had previously pleaded guilty and had bee

Cobra killed by lions in Jamshedpur zoo
A cobra was killed by lions, two of which also suffered snake bite, when the serpent entered their enclosure at the Tata Zoo in Jamshedpur. 
Observing the snake consuming a toad, lioness Salia pounced on it and caught its neck, while another lion Jumbo grabbed the snake's tail and the animals cut the snake into two pieces, a press release by the zoo authorities said. 
"Salia was bitten by

Scientists use drones to hunt for rabbit habitat in Idaho
Scientists in Idaho will be flying military-style drone aircraft over the sagebrush, not in a bid to find terrorists but to locate the best habitat for one of West's smallest mammals, the pygmy rabbit.
The flights, overseen by University of Idaho, Boise State University and University of Florida scientists, are meant to help determine whether aerial shots from small, unmanned planes can effectively locate the best areas to reintroduce captive-bred pygmy rabbits into the wild.
So far, a pygmy rabbit population in Washington state has been declared endangered under federal law, though groups have sought broader protections elsewhere through lawsuits.
With these flights, scientists from the universities will be taking high-resolution digital shots, in color and infrared, over Bureau of Land Management property in Idaho's Lemh

Aquarium Sued By Man Claiming He Was Bitten By River Otter
The Tennessee Aquarium is being sued by a man who claims a river otter jumped up and bit his finger.
Robert Rouse is asking for $9,500 in damages in the Circuit Court complaint.
He said the incident happened June 11, 2012, at the otter exhibit.
The suit, filed by attorney Marvin Berke, says the Aquarium "was guilty of negligence in that it failed to properly protect patrons from otters leaping and grabbing parts of their body, it failed to keep a protection barrier so that

Tigers Dying: CDV Expert Offers Help
Calling all animal lovers!! There is little time to waste. Tigers all over the world are getting sick and dying–I even got an email today that is it now happening in Texas. The tigers need our help…
How can we help the Tigers?  It is not as difficult as you’d imagine…
he protocols of genius vet Dr. Alson Sears, to kill canine distemper–both systemically and neurologically–are being used all over the world. He invented a treatment, using same-species serum, transferred from a "well” animal to a sick animal (after a minimally invasive treatment less than 12 hours prior), that kills the CDV virus in less than 24 hours.
Antibiotics, fluids and others medications may be needed to sustain the animal until it is well from the side-effects of having HAD the canine distemper virus or CDV–but the virus is dead and more than 90 percent of systemically affected dogs live.

Demand The Dismissal Of N.S.P.C.A Executive Director Marcella Meredith
The over looking of blatant animal abuse at East London SPCA. Which has now resulted in charges being laid of animal cruelty against "paid" SPCA officials.
The cruel and completely avoidable death of captive raised elephant Thandora by releasing her into the "wild" to fend for herself after 24 years of reliance on humans to provide for her.

Knowsley Safari Park baboon shot dead after escape
A baboon was shot dead after it escaped from its safari park enclosure.
The animal was killed after it managed to climb over the perimeter fence at Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside at 10:15 BST.
The adult male had been chased out of its enclosure two hours before by a group of 20 males as it tried to protect its mate.
The safari park said it resolved the situation "quickly, safely and humanely".
'Very sad'
In a statement, the park said: "The baboon tried to protect his only female from being abducted by antagonist males - a common occurrence in baboon society.
"Cornered, he saw the outside of the enclosure as his safe way out and decided to face the electric fence to protect himself.
"The emergency procedures were immediately instigated, aiming to retrieve the baboon to a safe area.
"The baboon was located just outside the perimeter fence of the park. Sadly, in this situation, the safety measurement requires the animal to be shot.
"It's very sad when something like this happens, but the police, game keeper and animal manage

Dubai Safari set to be launched in 2014
Dubai Municipality unveiled a map detailing how the park would evolve when it is completed
The Dubai Municipality today unveiled a detailed map of the sprawling 400-hectare Dubai Safari in Al Warqa through its Facebook page.
The Municipality also featured a futuristic image of how the project would appear when it is completed in the end of 2014.
The project, which is estimated to cost Dh150 million, will provide a new home for animals in the Dubai zoo.
"Dubai Safari project is under construction in Al Warqa 5, Aweer Road in an area of 396 hectares,” detailed the Dubai municipality on the social media.
"It will include: Arabian Village, Asian Village, African Village to accommodate animals from different continents, in addition to open safari, butterfly park, golf courses, entertainment and recreational areas,” read the Facebook status message.
Dubai Safari, which is estimated to cover 60 hectares, is "aimed at establishing the best center for wildlife in the world, providing a variety of environments appropriate to different animals”.
As soon as the news of the new home for the animals had hit the stands last year, twitter was abuzz with messages

SeaWorld Orca Dies in Spain
After demonstrating 'strange behaviors' in the days prior, a 10-month-old whale passes away.
An infant female orca by the name of Vicky has died at the Loro Parque amusement park in the Canary Islands, park officials announced today on their Facebook page.
Vicky, just 10 months old, had been rejected by her mother Kohana, a young orca who was ripped from her own mother’s side at just 19 months of age, and eventually shipped off to Tenerife.
"In contrast with joy with which Loro Parque announced the birth of the second baby orca in Spain, last August 3rd, today with enormous regret we inform you of the sad demise of Vicky, who with so much emotion and affection, the team of OrcaOcean cared for in her 10 months of life,” Loro Parque’s Facebook page says.
The death was sudden and the cause unknown, though Vicky had been showing unusual behaviors in recent days, according to the post. It was serious enough to fly in SeaWorld’s chief veterinarian

A modern zoo with aquarium will entertain guests in Plovdiv
The biggest aquarium in Bulgaria will be constructed in Plovdiv, together with the expansion and improvement of the local zoo. The facility will be built in two phases.
The first stage involves the expansion and improvement of the cells and the space of the existing facilities.
The second stage envisages the construction of a glass aquarium with sizes 22 to 10 meters. Preferences of the municipality are the aquarium, which is expected to be the largest in Bulgaria, will be inhabited by marine species, including sharks.
It is expected the new zoo, which price will be around 6

Tracking device on more elephants
Five Bornean elephants near Danau Girang Field Centre, in Lot 5 of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary (LKWS) have been fitted with satellite collars.
The exercise, carried out between June 4 and 6, aimed to help the authorities to collect additional movement data on the elephants’ movement.
The move, was part of a collaborative project between the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD), the NGO HUTAN and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC), a joint press release from Sabah Wildlife Department and Danau Girang Field Centre said.
The project was funded by the Asian Elephant Conservation Fund from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, Elephant Family, Houston Zoo and Columbus Zoo.
The collaring operations were led by two young women, Malaysian PhD student Nurzhafarina Othman, who is registered at Cardiff University and attached to DGFC, and Mexican wildlife veterinarian Dr Diana Ramirez who is attached to SWD’s Wildlife Rescue Unit and DGFC.
Dr Diana Ramirez said in just three days, their team managed to collar four females and one male.
"We re-collared a female that was previously tagged in October 2011 and n

In South Africa, Chinese tigers claw their way back to life
Thousands of kilometres from his birthplace, the remains of a Chinese tiger are preserved in a freezer on a South African wildlife reserve, silent testimony to the risks of a controversial attempt to rescue one of the world’s most endangered animals from the brink of extinction.
The tiger, known as 327, was killed by another male tiger in a sudden and unexpected eruption of violence. Placed in a pen next to a wilderness-raised tiger, the zoo-reared 327 made the mistake of pushing past the electric fence – and was slaughtered by

14 of the world’s most endangered animals thrive in UAE
The last of their kind in the world, these 14 endangered animals have made a home in the UAE’s Al Bustan Zoological Centre
There are 856 animals at the 17-hectare Al Bustan Zoological Centre. All of them are threatened in the wild as their habitat is being destroyed and they are hunted. Sixty staff members at the centre work tirelessly to ensure the animals enjoy the serenity of the wild in the hope that someday they will not be threatened

The Evolution of Zoos
How did we get to today’s modern zoo?  It all began thousands of years ago.  Ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt and China all obtained collections of wild animals.  Egypt’s first zoo was established in Thebes around 1490BC by Queen Hatshepsut.  Medieval Europe continued the tradition of maintaining collections of wild animals by some monarchs, monasteries and municipalities.  These were primarily private collections called menageries.  The evolution from menagerie to public institution marked the beginning of the current zoo concept.
The word zoology comes from the Greek words ‘zion’, meaning ‘animal’ and ‘logos’, meaning ‘knowledge’.  The abbreviation zoo didn’t appear until Britain used it in 1847 for the Clifton Zoo.  The term zoo didn’t come into use until the 19th century with the current zoo concept.  The oldest existing zoo is the Tiergarten Schönbrunn in Vienna, founded by the Habsburg monarchy in 1752.
Through the 1970’s a few zoos embarked on making conservation their chief role, with the discussion being led by Gerald Durrel of Jersey Zoo, George Rabb of Brookfield Zoo and William Conway of the Bronx Zoo.  Now zoological parks around the world are employed in captive breeding programs, conservation studies and

Scientists work to save regional salamander
This is a heck of a bad time for the hellbender.
Also known as the snot otter, devil dog and Allegheny alligator, the hellbender is a slimy, mud-colored, salami-sized salamander that inspires folklore and misplaced fear.
The largest salamander in the Western Hemisphere, the hellbender has prospered in clean, cold Appalachian streams, including some in what is now Southwest Virginia, for eons, changing little since the age of dinosaurs.
And now hellbenders are dying. In Virginia and other states, scientists say, the animals have disappeared entirely from some stream stretches.
That worries scientists because hellbenders, which breathe through their skin and are sensitive to pollution, are good indicators of water quality.
"Hellbenders tell us that our streams are healthy," said Kimberly Terrell, a wildlife biologist with the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington. "If the hellbenders start disappearing, there is probably something wrong with our stream

20 pairs of endangered dormice to be let loose
NATURE lovers are celebrating as a near-extinct creature is set to return to Notts.
The hazel dormouse is to be returned to the wild in the county as 40 of the endangered critters are let loose next week.

Rare baby turtle hatches at Chester Zoo
First of rare breed ever to be bred in the UK
A rare baby turtle has hatched at Chester Zoo. 
It is first spiny turtle to ever be bred in the UK. Spiny turtles, which are native to southeast Asia and Indonesia, are faced with extinction in the wild because of habitat loss, hunting and the international pet trade. 
But the new arrival in Chester has given conservationists fresh hope in the fight to haul the species back from the brink.Chester Zoo keeper Ruth Smith said: "There have only ever been a handful of successful breeding efforts documented, anywhere in the world, so we’re absolutely ecstatic with our new arrival - it’s breaking new ground for us." 
Spiny turtles, which are native to southeast Asia and Indonesia, are faced with extinction in the wild because of habitat loss, hunting and the international pet trade. 
But the new arrival in Chester has given conservationists fresh hope in the fight to haul the species back from the brink.
Ruth added: "Breeding these rare tur

Life remains a struggle for the Arabian oryx
Providing the Arabian oryx with a safe haven in the UAE isn't enough to ensure that the vulnerable species will thrive, according to a research project that assessed herds of the reintroduced species in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.
After being declared extinct in the wild, an Arabian oryx wandering free in the deserts of the UAE is a remarkable enough sight.
But a team of researchers who tracked down a quarter of the 400 oryx estimated to be in the Emirates were looking beyond the mere presence of the vulnerable species.
They found that reintroducing the oryx into the safe haven of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve has not been enough to ensure their revitalisation and most of the 98 animals they saw were suffering from malnutrition.
The females were in worse condition than the males, which augured poorly for the species' prospects and prompted the management at the reserve to increase its supplemental feeding programme.
The observations were made by a team of international volunteers enlisted by Biosphere Expeditions, a non-profit organisation that arranges for amateur naturalists to conduct scientific surveys around the world.
Biosphere Expeditions' executive director, Matthias Hammer, said the volunteers br

World first certification for Wellington Zoo great news
The announcement by Wellington Zoo that it is the first zoo in the world to achieve carboNZero certification is great news, Standards New Zealand Chief Executive Debbie Chin said today.
‘Achieving certification to an international standard is an achievement to be proud of and I would like to offer my congratulations to everyone at Wellington Zoo who has worked towards this worthwhile goal.
‘The Standard – ISO 14064-1:2006 – is one of the ISO 14000 Environmental Management series of Standards. This set of Standards will help any company or organisation that is looking to identify and control their environmental impact, and improve their environmental performance.
‘Another world first is a New Zealand business that we have talked to as part of a series of case studies to demonstrate the benefits of Standards to business. J. Friend and Co. NZ Artisan’s honey is the first honey in the world to achieve carboNZero certification.’
Debbie Chin said that environmental sustainability was becoming

Folly Farm Opens Its New £500,000 Penguin Enclosure
Wildlife fans from across Wales descended upon Folly Farm as the adventure park and zoo opened its £500,000 penguin enclosure.
The special area, entitled Penguin Coast, features 24 Peruvian Humboldt penguins and is the only natural saltwater enclosure of its kind in Wales. It was formally opened to the public by Edwina Hart, the Government Minister for Economy, Science and Transport alongside children from Ysgol y Frenni in Crymych as well as Tavern Spite Primary School.
Set over two acres, the attraction cost £500,000 to build over a course of six months and is able to home 40 penguins. It contains a nursery for the birds, a beach area, a 100m3 saltwater pool that replicates their natural surroundings and a play area with specialised plants and rocks.
With many penguin enclosures in Wales and across the UK still using freshwater pools with chlorine, there are still question marks on the long-term health effects of penguins living near the chemical and Folly Farm is the first of its kind in Wales that uses a more natural saltwater pool. What’s more, the zoo’s nesting site is also twice the recommended size for penguins – giving them more time and space to dry off after a dip in the water and minimising the risk of developing harmful fungi.
Tim Morphew, who is the Zoo Manager at Folly Farm, said: "It was fantastic opening to the public. The excitement has been building since we first announced that the penguins were coming six months ago. Since then, we’ve seen Penguin Coast develop from a desig




The EU Zoo Inquiry identifies that German zoos are failing to meet EU standards
Brussels 5th June 2013: A report launched today at the European Parliament (Brussels) by leading animal welfare NGOs (including Born Free), has confirmed that many zoos in Germany fail to meet European requirements in species conservation, public education and animal care. 
The comprehensive report reveals the inconsistent application and enforcement of the EC Zoos Directive, the national zoo law (BNatSchG) and the German Animal Protection law (TierSchG)  by Federal State Competent Authorities causing substandard conditions and unnecessary animal suffering. 
Torsten Schmidt, representing NGO, Bund gegen Missbrauch der Tiere e.V., explained "In Germany, zoos are regulated through the Federal Nature Conservation Act, which, together with the Animal Protection Law, has adopted the requirements of the EC Zoos Directive. The Federal State Competent Authorities are required to regulate the zoos through licensing and regular inspection. One of the EU Zoo Inquiry’s most worrying findings is that there are no centralised records identifying how many zoos there are in Germany, which raises the question as to whether or not all German  zoos are, in fact, licensed.”
The EC Zoos Directive (1999/22), enacted in 2002, requires all zoos to be licensed and undergo regular inspection by the designated Competent Authority to ensure the legal requirements are met. These requirements include: active measures to conserve biodiversity through species conservation programmes; the exchange of information and the delivery of public education about the species displayed and

Yemen zoo "death trap" a popular local attraction
For just 100 riyals ($0.46), visitors of the Sana’a Zoo in Yemen’s capital can peruse a bizarre collection of animals that showcases pigeons over monkeys and alligators – and that hosts Arabian Leopards sixteen times as rare as the Giant Panda.
The animals are unhealthy, the cages are small, and the care is rudimentary at best. But the zoo’s low but quirky standards are not enough to deter pleasure-seeking Yemenis from enjoying the wildlife.
As one of the few green spaces among the city’s urban sprawl, the zoo is a weekend and holiday destination for Yemenis looking for an afternoon of entertainment amid the grinding poverty and rising insecurity that have come to characterize the country in recent years. 
Some come for a picnic, a large number go to chew qat (a mildly narcotic plant popular in Yemen), and others have relented to endless demands from their children.
According to the recently appointed director, Azhar al-Nofali, the Sana’a Zoo sees hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. In part, he says, because "it is considered an outlet inside the capital.”
"I visit this zoo because my daughter and my son [like] to see the animals and the birds,” said Fawzi Sarhan, an engineer who comes periodically.
Families indeed dominate the landscape here. But groups of young Yemeni men are also a common sight. Yemen is a conservative society, so the zoo sometimes acts as a meeting place for members of the opposite sex. The combination of rich, poor, young, and old zoo patrons makes it among the more livel

White lion breeding at UK wildlife parks linked to 'canned hunting'
Two parks have been accused of unethical breeding practices, as white lions are inbred and suffer from severe health issues
They are a rare and beautiful variant of an ordinary lion, a big cat with a recessive gene that gives it striking white fur. But two British wildlife parks have been accused of unethical practices for breeding white lions taken from a farm linked to "canned hunting" in South Africa and allowing cubs to be petted for £250 a time.
Despite zoo associations in Europe and America ordering zoos not to breed white lions because they are already inbred and suffer severe health problems, Paradise wildlife park in Hertfordshire and its sister zoo, the Wildlife Heritage Foundation in Kent produced five white cubs in 2013. Paradise wildlife park initially charged £999 to cuddle its latest cub before amending its offer to £250.
"It is a scandal," said Pieter Kat, founder of LionAid. "It is an unethical process from so many different angles. They are bringing these animals from someone associated with canned lion hunting. They continue to inbreed them and they allow petting which is unethical." The European Association of Zoos & Aquariums is currently investigating the matter.

Escaped monkey causes Louisiana zoo shutdown
Monkey business shut down the Alexandria Zoological Park for a few hours Friday.
A 20-pound Colobus monkey escaped from its handler and caused an evacuation and temporary closure.
David Gill, Alexandria's director of public works, says zoo employees were moving three of six monkeys from their enclosure when one escaped.
Gill says one animal ran through a crack in the door of the enclosure before climbing a tree. The monkey never left the zoo property.
The monkey was tranquilized after zoo employees couldn't

Pedang gets the holistic approach - but would you give a Sumatran tiger acupuncture?
Pedang, a male Sumatran tiger, who is 14-years old and  suffering from chronic ear infections, was given acupuncture treatment at the Ramat Gan Safari, an open-air zoo near Tel Aviv.
An alternative medicine specialist, Mor Mosinzon, treated Pedang. Anaesthetised twice in the past to treat his ailment, the big cat underwent acupuncture for the first time in the hope of solving the problem, the zoo said in a statement. After Pedang was anaesthetised, the veterinarians cleaned his ears, took blood and skin samples, and g

Bites From Venomous Snakes Can Have Costly Consequences
The warn weather means sharing the great outdoors with assorted wildlife. That includes venomous snakes.
"Wear boots and not necessarily walking around in sandals or bear feet," said Benjamin Daum, Zookeeper Herpetology Department Cameron Park Zoo. "Especially through parks."
The main snake bites victims seen in the local emergency room are male, age 17 to 24, have been drinking and choose to antagonize the snake.
"Copperheads you will find everywhere, which is why they are the most prevalent ones around here in parks, trails, people's backyards," said Daum. "The rattlesnakes, not so much. You will find them more in the rural areas. Cotton mouths are found in slow moving streams, swampy kind of areas."
One of the biggest myths is sucking the venom out which is a bad thing to do," said Daum.
"Because if you have a sore in your mouth or something like that you are just going to get it into your body quicker. cutting open a wound is a bad thing to do, because that will give it another access point into your body."
The best thing to do is grab your keys and cell phone and get the patient to the hospital.
"Don't cause 12 wrecks trying to get here," said Dr. T.R. Jones, Emergency Physician McLane Children's Hospital.

Zoo workers threaten strike for better wages
For the last one week, the animal keepers and safari drivers have been tying a black ribbon on their uniforms to register their participation in the protest and animal keepers are planning a day-long strike demanding justice, starting next week. 
The animal keepers allege that they work with wild animals in captivity, but no insurance claims are provided by the Park. Many of the animal keepers have been working in BBP for the last two decades, but their jobs still have not been permanent.
"Our demand is that BBP should consider animal keepers permanent workers under the Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK). The government has successively considered us daily wage workers although our job is different from that of any other daily workers attached to government departments. We went on a strike two years ago, after which the government had promised to consider our demand, but they haven’t. That’s why we have decided to call for a strike in the coming week,” said an animal keeper at the BBP.
The animal keepers say that despite working in adverse conditions, such as working closely with carnivores like lions, tigers and leopards, there is no insurance cover for the zoo workers.
"If there is any kind of accident, Park officials pay us Rs 50,000 and allow the injured keeper to be admitted in one of the hospitals listed in the insurance claim. How can one look for the list of hospitals during an emergency?” questioned another animal keeper.
As if this wasn't enough, the animal keepers, who are planning to go on strike, have been summoned by the Park heads seeking an explanation. The Executive Director of the

Rajasthan's Rs 13-crore plan to save Great Indian Bustard
The Rajasthan Government has decided to spend `13 crore to save the habitat of the nearly-extinct Great Indian Bustards (GIBs).  Of the 200 such birds left in the country, 120 are in Rajasthan. It is also the state bird of Rajasthan.
Rajasthan Forest Minister Bina Kak announced recently that `4.45 crore would be provided this year for the project, which involved habitat conservation and creation of water resources and an anti-poaching force among others.
"We have been pushing for the project for long. We have campaigned in many states to create awareness and to get the governments to start the project.... It is hard to tell how many Rajasthanis have seen their state bird,” said an advocacy officer with the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).
The BNHS proposal to the state government to conserve the species has been approved.
"The Great Indian Bustard is a large handsome bird of the short grass plains of the Indian subcontinent. Formerly it was widely distributed from Punjab and West Bengal in the north to Tamil Nadu in the south and from Sindh (in Pakistan) in the west to Odisha in the east. It was always found in the grassy plains, sometimes in those overgrazed by livestock or wild herbivores. It strictly avoided hilly and forest regions,” Dr Asad Rahmani of the BNHS said in his report on Project GIB.
With rapid urbanisation and vanishing grasslands, they are largely limited to Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
In the larger bustard family

Brunei bans the shark fin trade and the harvesting of sharks
he government of Brunei, in Southeast Asia through the Department of Fisheries and Ministry of Indrustry and Primary Resources will enforce the ban on harvesting of all shark species in Brunei waters, reported the Borneo Post Online on June 9.
The government will also now officially enforce the ban on the importation and trade of shark products which has been in place since August 2012.
The Minister of Industry and Primary Resources made the announcement during the ‘Celebrate the Sea Festival’ in-conjunction with the Worlds Oceans Day 2013 yesterday.
"These measures are, probably, the world’s first commitment by any country,” said the minister. The rationale are "Firstly; our concern on food security and secondly the environmental consideration.”
The minister said sharks are targeted for their fins only, whereas the rest of the body are discarded back to the sea , barely breathing – to die.
Bruinei in Southeast Asia bans the harvesting of sharks and the shark fin trade.
He reminded the audience that sharks occupy an important hierarchy in the marine food web as "higher predators” in the marine environment. "Any alternation of the level will inevitably result in the disturbance of the existing balance of natur

Fourteen Rare Albino Lions Found In House Raid
Pet shop owner faces up to four years in jail after hundreds of animals were discovered at a home near Bangkok.
A pet shop owner has been arrested on suspicion of illegally possessing wildlife after the discovery of hundreds of protected species, including 14 rare albino lions.
A raid on Montri Boonprom-on's house near Bangkok found hundreds of birds, meerkats, tortoises, peafowls, monkeys and other species believed to be from overseas and Thailand.
Police and forestry officials also discovered a hornbill and a

OSHA fines SeaWorld $38,500 for safety violation
Fine comes 3 years after Dawn Brancheau killed by whale at Orlando park
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined SeaWorld Orlando $38,500 and labeled the park a repeat offender, saying the entertainment giant continues to operate a workplace that can "cause death or serious physical harm to employes."
The fine is the result of a follow-up inspection OSHA conducted at Shamu Stadium on December 11, 2012. 
In order to protect its employees, OSHA has recommended that SeaWorld take steps such as "prohibiting animal trainers from working with killer whales ... unless the trainers are protected through the use of physical barriers or the trainers are required to maintain a minimum safe distance.”
The fine, which was issued Friday, comes amid a three-year fight between OSHA and SeaWorld after trainer Dawn Brancheau was drowned in Orlando by a killer whale in 2010.
In April, attorneys representing OSHA said in court that SeaWorld's attempts to keep killer whale trainers safe is still not adequate.  SeaWorld insisted, however, that the company was in compliance with OSHA's mandate that trainers remain behind barriers or stay a safe distance away from killer whales during the park's famous Shamu show.
Last summer, an administrative law judge upheld a series of OSHA safety violations against SeaWorld and ordered the park to pay $12,000 in fines. In his order, the judge indicated that OSHA could require SeaWorld to "install physical barriers between its train

Hippos no longer hip and happening at zoos
Due to its huge size and shape with a diet to match, the hippo would burn a hole in every zoo.
What better way to explain the demand-supply theory than through the hippopotamus or the hippo, the large animal in shape, size and name. 
Gone are the days when the huge laid-back hip-hop hippo, lazing around with not a care in the world, used to be the hot favourite of every visitor to any and every zoo in the country. 
But, due to its reduction in numbers, the harmless animal gained in demand and popularity, which kept diminishing all these years. Blame the increase in the population of hippos or the high maintenance cost, today zoos are not too keen on housing hippos. 
"Not only has the demand come down. But many zoos keep the male hippo away from the female to keep a check on its population. However, this animal is not endangered,” said Dr RK Sahoo, superintendent of the Kankaria zoo.

Cetacean advocates look to make Europe a dolphinarium-free zone
On June 28, in the European Union's de facto capital, cetacean advocates are planning a demonstration to request the complete ban of all dolphin shows in the EU. In attendance will be former dolphin trainer -- turned activist, Ric O'Barry.
The event in Brussels, which will be co-hosted by Belgian natives Yvon Godefroid and Annelies Mullens, will urge the EU to apply the law as stated in the Council Directive and through its national law, for the betterment of cetaceans.
According to Directive 1999/22/EC of the Council of Europe, the keeping of wild animals in zoos requires that animals must be kept in conditions that meet their biological and conservation requirements. It is a requisite not possible for captive cetaceans the duo says.
So Godefroid, a seasoned dolphin activist, has teamed up with newcomer Mullens to sanction European Authorities to enforce their own law and ban any breeding program or importation of cetaceans into the EU.
Godefroid, who lives in Brussels, explained that his love for non-humans was evident at an early age. At 16 years old, he read Robert Merle's, Un animal doué de raison (1967) -- published in the US as The Day of the Dolphin (1967). It set the youth soundly on the path of activism. A subsequent interaction with two dolphins at An

Save the white lion: Author on a quest to re-wild rare kitties
WE DO NOT EAT THE KITTIES. I mean, some people do/would be excited to do so, given the meat-lust stirred up by the recent appearance of lion meat skewers on the menu at a Burlingame restaurant. But not us, not meow, not ever. 
Let's instead focus on the arrival in the Bay Area of a woman famed for her work rescuing the technically-extinct white lion. Linda Tucker, take the bad taste out of our bewhiskered mouths, will you?
Tucker's in town to read to us from her new journal Saving the White Lions: One Woman’s Battle for Africa’s Most Sacred Animal, which is a rundown of her efforts to preseve the white cats for future generations. The quest led her to start the Global White Lion Protection Trust, and she'll be appearing today Mon/10 at Modern Times Bookstore Collective, and on Wed/12 at Book Passage in the Ferry Building to talk about her organization's crusade.
The white lion is a relatively recent discovery in the Western world -- Europeans didn't first spot them until the early 1940s in the Greater Timbavati and southern Kruger Park region of South Africa. The white people promptly started hunting the white kitties, breeding babies for eventual slaughter as trophies, and installing them in zoos far afield from the Savannahs where they like to stay. The last white lion in the wild was seen in 1994.

Talking To Dolphins: Could Humans Ever Communicate With Marine Mammals?
If humans ever hope to talk to animals, dolphins might represent our best bet. They're highly intelligent, and they have a sophisticated form of communication amongst themselves. But despite decades of research, scientists have not been able to find a cetacean Rosetta Stone.
Neuroscientist John Lilly conducted some dubious experiments in the 1960s to crack the code of dolphin speak at the Communication Research Institute on St. Thomas. In some cases, he gave the animals LSD, and in an especially notorious experiment, his assistant Margaret Howe moved in with a randy dolphin named Peter in a specially constructed flooded house for two and half months, trying to teach it spoken English. Attracting more attention than their findings were Howe's notes about Peter's alleged, disruptive erections and apparent sexual dissatisfaction with her — she apparently would massage the dolphin until he reached orgasm.
For the past 28 years, researcher Denise Herzing of Florida Atlantic University has lived alongside dolphins in their natural habitat in a less intimate way. Herzing and her team, as part of their Wild Dolphin Project, spend five months each summer studying a pod of Atlantic spotted dolphins in the Bahamas — recording their "signature whistles" used to address eac

San Antonio Zoo defends euthanizing 23 federally protected baby egrets
San Antonio Zoo officials said they had no other choice but to euthanize close to two-dozen cattle egret chicks after a tree limb crushed part of their habitat Sunday.
The species is protected by both the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code.
Dr. Rob Coke said he and his staff euthanized 23 egret chicks after moving them to the zoo's health center and examining them for injuries.
Coke confirmed the zoo did not reach out to Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, which has a field office just a few miles from the zoo.
Coke added the group was unable to help when the zoo attempted to turn over egret chicks rescued a few months ago.
"They expressed some concern; they wouldn't be able to take very many birds because they were already pretty full," Dr. Coke said.
When reached for comment on Monday afternoon, an official with Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation called the zoo's decision to euthanize the chicks "deeply troubling," She explained that her group would never deny a request to take in a native bird.

Asiatic lionness stuck in transit to Moscow Zoo
An Asiatic lionness to be paired with her mate in the Moscow Zoo has landed in "lion limbo" in Switzerland due to local transportation laws, Moscow Zoo president Vladimir Spitsin said on Tuesday.
It was earlier reported that the lionness would arrive to the Moscow Zoo from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in order to create a pair with an Asiatic lion that arrived at the end of March from Zurich.
"[The law in Switzerland] doesn't allow us to pay directly for transportation," Spitsin said, adding: "We have to call for a tender or find a sponsor w

Australia's largest female tiger arrives at Dreamworld
Dreamworld is excited to announce a new member to the Tiger Island family with the arrival of a 200kg female Tiger, who will go on record as Australia’s largest female tiger as part of an international breeding initiative.
The tiger, who is yet to be named, has travelled all the way from Poland’s Krakow Zoo to her new home at Tiger Island with the hope that she will meet a handsome ‘Aussie’ big cat with whom to breed. She weighs just 10 kilograms less than Australia’s largest male tiger, Sultan, who also lives at Tiger Island.
The same breeding initiative recently saw one of Dreamworld’s resident tigers, Sali transferred to Hamilton Zoo in New Zealand in August last year.
Dreamworld’s new tiger is completely unrelated to all other tigers in Australia and hence is an important addition to the Tiger Island group of big cats which is having a significant impact on the conservation of tigers and their habitats all around the world through the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation.
Sarah Christie, international tiger conservation expert at the Zoological Society of London offered her support of the move saying; "The Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation is a very significant contributor to tiger conservation."

SC Aquarium now uses laser therapy for sea turtles
The high-tech therapies at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston now include a new laser to treat injured sea turtles and other creatures.
The new laser is being used for the first time at the aquarium on Tuesday on an injured sea turtle.
The laser helps animals recover more quickly from trauma.
Aquarium veterinarian Dr. Shane Boylan says laser therapy stimulates production of a chemical called ATP in wildlife. That's the chemical that help their bodies repair injuries and ease the pain from such injuries.
The new $24,000 laser is a gift to the aqu

Lions rescued from Romanian zoo released into South African sanctuary - video
Patrick Barkham witnesses a family of lions that was rescued from a Romanian zoo being released into Lions Rock, an animal sanctuary in South Africa's eastern province of Free State. The charity Four Paws rescued the lions from Onesti zoo, where they suffered malnutrition and were forced to share a small cage, with no grass and lit

Smithsonian Conservatory Rescuing Exotic Animals From Extinction
When you see African cheetahs, Chinese red pandas, Micronesian kingfishers and hooded cranes, you might think you’re in the wilds of Africa or Asia.
But in rural northern Virginia, little more than an hour from Washington, D.C., you can find all of those animals at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
It is home to some of the most endangered animals in the world, including clouded leopards, originally from Indonesia.
The institute currently has two clouded leopard cubs, a male and a female, that are a little more than 100 days old.
The population of clouded leopards has been decimated by hunters and poachers who sell their furs. The Smithsonian has bred 80 of the magnificent cats.
"When it comes to all these animals, the one common denominator is loss of habitat,” said Paul Marinari, the biology institute’s senior curator.
Many of the animals at the institute enjoy a level of freedom that is rare in captivity. They are kept in large, open spaces spilling over 3,000 acres. It is a refuge in rural Virginia where some of the world’s most endangered animals are being brought back from the brink of extinction.

Zoo to use 20-year-old sperm
A Canterbury zoo is planning to use sperm that has been stored for 20 years in an attempt to continue the preservation of a highly endangered species of antelope.
Orana Wildlife Park will today use sperm that has been held in Canadian cold storage for decades to artificially inseminate Bon, a female scimitar-horned oryx.
Rob Hall, the park's zoological manager, says the species are extinct in the wild.
"At 16 years of age Bon is too old to be transferred to Australia to be paired with another male, hence the reason we are bringing the s

Ecology: Conservation in captivity
Barbara Durrant heard about San Diego Zoo's reproductive-research department while she was pursuing her doctorate in reproductive physiology in the late 1970s. "I wrote to the founder and got a wonderful letter back saying, 'Yes, we're starting this new research effort here. When you finish your PhD, get back in touch with me,'” recalls Durrant. In 1979, she began a two-year postdoc at the zoo in California.
Looking for a second project towards the end of her stint, Durrant began collecting viable eggs, sperm and embryos from animals that had died, and storing them in the facility's Frozen Zoo, one of the world's first major collections of cryopreserved cells from zoo animals. In 1980, she initiated the Germplasm Repository — a collection of frozen reproductive cells from endangered species that capture genetic diversity, allowing it to be reintroduced into gene pools. In so doing, she helped to launch the field of gamete research. After her postdoc ended later that year, the zoo offered Durrant a permanent research position. Now director of reproductive physiology at San Diego Zoo Global, the conservation organization that runs the zoo, Durrant heads a team that designs reproductive-research programmes for rare and endangered species including giant pandas, rhinoceroses and Przewalski's horses. "The greater scientific community is coming to understand the importance of genetic diversity,” says Durrant. "And zoos harbour

Delhi: After deaths, zoo for cross-bred tigers
After the death of eight tigers in six months, the Delhi zoo plans to cross-breed white tigers with Royal Bengal Tigers. The deaths included the zoo’s last Royal Bengal Tiger. 
Of the eight deaths, three were still-born cubs over the past two days - two on Monday and one on Tuesday - causing septicemia threat to their mother, a white tigress.
Explaining the painful episode of losing three cubs, zoo curator (education) Riaz Khan said: "After the two cubs were born dead, the tigress showed signs of distress. She turned non-cooperative and finally after hours of struggle, the third cub, which had died inside her womb, was taken out.”
The zoo lost a Royal Bengal tigress on June 5 (21 years), a Royal Bengal tiger on May 27 (20 years), two infant white tiger cubs in February and a Royal Bengal tiger in December 2012 (20 years).
Now, just three female Royal Bengal tigresses along with two male and five female white tigers remain. Incidentally, the Delhi zoo is one of the tiger conservation centres of the Central Zoo Authority.
The adult tigers that died during these months were all mature cats. The general life span of tigers is between 18 and 20 years.
"With no male Royal Bengal tiger left, we now plan to cross-breed the female of this species with white tigers. We have already started preparing new enclosur


Zoo Hosts Hellbender Symposium
The Chattanooga Zoo will partner with Lee University and the Nashville Zoo to host the 6th Biennial Hellbender Symposium.  The four-day conference will take place from June 24 – June 27th at the Chattanooga Zoo.  
Over 85 researchers, zoologists, scientists, biologists and conservationists worldwide will gather together to share data, network and collaborate in hopes of preventing the extinction of the Hellbender Salamander.    
For two days conference attendees will attend brea

Punjab’s financial crisis puts zoo animals on starvation diet
A financial crisis in Punjab government has begun to affect the wildlife population in the state’s zoological parks where it has become exceedingly difficult to provide adequate food diet to the inmates. 
The state forest and wildlife department has failed to get even a single penny from the government for the last two-and-a-half months. This, in turn, has forced the staff to put the animals on starvation diet. The whole situation has been brought to the notice of minister for forests and wildlife Surjeet Kumar Jiyani, who has so far failed to secure any funds from the finance department. 
The worst affected is Punjab’s biggest zoo at Chhatbir, which has more than 1000 wild animals and birds, where the staff has been pleading and cajoling the meat contractors to somehow maintain the supply line on the promise of payments in the near future. Somewhat similar situation prevails at Bathinda zoo which has a population of 400 animals, Neelon (Ludhiana) with 150 inhabitants, Patiala with 400 inmates and Tiger Safari at Ludhiana with 150 wild beasts and birds. At present, the situation is so dire that local NGOs are being roped in to try and stop the animals from perishing due to starvation. 
Emplopees of the department have also not received their salaries for the past two months. There has also been a decline in staff strength by around 35 per cent. It may be mentioned here that the annual budget for the department for 2012-13 was about Rs

Denmark to produce a Tasmanian devils first
TWO Tasmanian devils which joined Princess Mary in Denmark have become the first to breed successfully in the northern hemisphere.
The Copenhagen Zoo says that at least five joeys are being carried in the pouches of their two females.
The young devils, about the size of a walnut, were found when the females were pouch-checked by zoo staff last week.
Curator Flemming Nielsen said three were spotted in one female and another two in the other.
"This is the first ever full recorded breeding of Tasmanian devils in the northern hemisphere," Mr Nielsen said.
"Some will say that there has been breeding in other places in Europe or North America during time, but all have been associated with female devils being imported with tiny pouch young.
"And the breeding has never been

BI wants to deport 12 Chinese poachers
The Philippine government plans to let 12 suspected Chinese poachers arrested at Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in April with a cargo of endangered pangolins leave the country despite facing criminal charges.
The Inquirer has learned that the Bureau of Immigration (BI), in a memorandum to the Provincial Prosecution Office of Palawan, asked that the suspected poachers detained in the provincial jail here be turned over to the agency to face deportation proceedings.
The Chinese are expected to be allowed to post bail following their arraignment on charges of poaching, illegal possession of endangered wildlife and attempted bribery.
Provincial Prosecutor Allen Ross Rodriguez confirmed the Inquirer’s inform

Viennas Schönbrunn zoo is the best in Europe
Vienna’s Schönbrunn zoo has been declared best zoo in Europe by the British zoology-expert Anthony Sheridan.
The zoo expert Anthony Sheridan investigated 93 scientifically-lead zoos in 23 European zoos with questionnaires, business reports, interviews with the zoo directors and comprehensive zoo visits.
The quality of the zoos is marked following 97 criteria ranging from the keeping of animals to the protection of species and marketing.
Sheridan said: "The Schönbrunn zoo is the only one to achieve high marks in all categories. Moreover, it has a special feel to it which is appreciated by millions of visitors each year and noticed internationally."
The zoos in Leipzig (Germany) and Zurich (Switzerland) are just below Schönbrunn on the ranking list. The zoo expert said: "Good zoos are important to society because they allow people to see the variety of animals; they communicate the importance of the protection of endangered species and moreover represent an exciting leisure activity."





Unnatural selection: The plight of animals in private zoos 
Attractions that use exotic beasts to draw in the tourists are springing up across the country, amidst allegations of substandard conditions and illegal trafficking 
From the caged ape on the roof of Bangkok's Pata shopping mall to the kickboxing chimpanzees at Safari World in Chiang Mai, animal advocates have long been appalled by what takes place at Thailand's private zoos. 
These complaints have been amplified in recent years as wildlife-themed attractions filled with exotic beasts to draw in the tourists have multiplied across the country. Responsible authorities usually...

Cincinnati Zoo's restaurant greenest in United States
The Green Restaurant Association gave the zoo's Base Camp Cafe its highest ranking.
The Cincinnati Zoo, which calls itself the Greenest Zoo in America, now also has the greenest restaurant in the country.
The zoo's Base Camp Cafe has just been certified by the Green Restaurant Association with four stars, its highest rating. Only 15 restaurants in the nation have achieved that distinction, and none with as many points as Base Camp received.
"It demonstrates that the world's not going to be saved by some magic wand waved by a large organization; it will be saved by hundreds of million better decisions made every day," zoo Director Thane Maynard said Thursday.
Michael Oshman, CEO and founder of the Green Restaurant Association, called the distinction a "phenomenal" achievement. "They have set a new benchmark that will serve as a model and create a nice incentive for other restaurants to hit."
Base Camp opened for the 2013 season after a remodel and retrofit. Like the rest of the zoo, it gets a quarter of its power from the zoo's solar electricity array. Kitchen equipment includes a variable-power ventilating hood that's 60 percent more efficient than most.
Monkeys Bite London Zoo Visitors 'At Least Once A Month' (PICTURES)
Monkeys at London zoo attack at least one visitor a month, it has been revealed.
Yellow and black squirrel monkeys bit 15 people over the last year, according to figures obtained by the Camden New Journal.
Although none of the bites, which happened in the 'walk in enclosure’, were serious, their nasty nibbling has led to a ban on pushchairs in the enclosure.
The safety report said: "The squirrel monkeys in the walk-through enclosure are still undergoing additional negative enforcement due to some behavioural issues. These involve mainly grabbing of food from members of the public. There have been 15 bites over the past year, no
Zoo inspectors look into a gorilla’s sex life, how to catch a tiger and finger bites from cheeky squirrel monkeys 
WITH their cherubic little faces the acrobatic yellow and black squirrel monkeys jumping through the creepers at London Zoo look like they wouldn’t hurt a fly.
But a health and safety inspection has revealed those angelic looks may be a little deceiving with a file note reporting how visitors to the zoo in Regent’s Park have sustained monkey bites while watching them search for food.
Fifteen people were bitten by the squirrel monkeys over a 12-month period to November last year, more than one bite a month, according to the report released by Westminster Council to the West End Extra following a Freedom of Information request.
The monkeys "behavioural” problems led to a ban on pushchairs at their enclosure, it adds.
Inspectors from the council, which dispenses the zoo’s licence, made their last visit to the zoo late last year.
Zoos continue to breed genetically flawed white tigers
 In the name of keeping visitors enthralled, zoos in India continue to breed the white tiger despite the wildlife community's strong warning that these animals have a genetic flaw and are prone to dying young.
Wildlife conservationists are unanimous in saying that the present crop of white tigers should not be allowed to proliferate, as it has increased susceptibility to illness and death, compared to normal yellow tigers.
"Inbred cubs help spread the recessive gene. White tiger breeding continues with vigour as zoos seek to cater to curiosity when they should also help cultivate empathy for animals among people," Dr MK Ranjit Singh, chairman of the Wildlife trust of India, told TOI.
Experts said that white tigers have higher mortality rates compared to normal tigers, develop crooked tails, weak limbs and spine.
Researchers explain that white tigers are the same specie as the normal yellow tiger (Panthera tigris tigris). They live for 16-18 years on average, but have a genetic mutation (a recessive gene) that causes skin pigmentation differences and albinism. The recession is very rare in nature and the small genetic diversity of the existing white tiger population has made them a highly vulnerable group, they say.
In the last one year, nine white tigers died. Unexplained deaths but attributable to the animals' genetic susceptibility were reported from Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh. A senior Andhra Pradesh forest official admitted that it was popular demand that was driving zoo
Four tiger cubs born, 1 hoped to be white
The Mysore Zoo's experiment to create a new gene pool among tigers has yielded positive result with the birth of four tiger cubs. There could be a white cub among the four newborns.
While earlier when Brahma, who was shifted to the conservation centre after he was captured in Kodagu four years back, was paired with eight-year-old Manya, she gave birth to two cubs, leading to the creation of a new gene pool. But both didn't carry their mother's white genes. Now, of the four cubs one is believed to be a white tiger.
The $20,000 pet lion that lives on a Kabul rooftop
For Kabul’s wealthy elite some things are de rigueur: armed guards, a marble-clad mansion, a blacked-out SUV. But one man has taken the flamboyant lifestyle a step further and bought a lion.
Mohammad Shafiq, a 42-year-old businessman, is very proud of his growling pet, which spends its days prowling a roof terrace at his sprawling home in a posh residential area of central Kabul.
"A friend said he had a lion in Kandahar and wanted to sell it to me,” Shafiq, who runs a construction company, told AFP. "He knew I loved dogs and birds, but this was more than what I was expecting.
"I had seen lions on television and in the zoo, but never this close. So without any hesitation, I said I will buy it. To me, lions are brave and I
Mara the elephant slowly gets back on her feet
Treatment for Mara, a baby female elephant with fractures in both of her front legs, continues at the Toyohashi Zoo and Botanical Park in Aichi Prefecture.
Japan doesn’t have prior experience dealing with bone fractures afflicting an Asian elephant. More than four months have passed since Mara was diagnosed, and under 24/7 supervision by her keepers she has finally recovered enough for her leg braces to be removed.
Residents of Toyohashi have shown great support for the baby elephant.
The next phase in Mara’s rehabilitation will involve getting her into a pool so she can practice walking with the aid of her natural buoyancy.
"How are you feeling today, Mara?” her caretakers greet her as they enter her cage at11 a.m. every day and continue the rehabilitation process.
Mara weighs 500 kg and it takes 10 people to raise her to a standing position. They wrap a sling aroun
Hero mouse wins freedom after attacking snake that killed his friend
A mouse at Hangzhou Zoo in China has been give its freedom after zookeepers witnessed it attack a venomous snake to save its friend. "We always give the snakes live food, and we put the two mice into the snake enclosure. But instead of trying to hide like they usually do, one of the mice attacked the snake when it saw it trying to eat the other mouse. I have never seen anything like that before," keeper Wen Shao said. Sadly, the mouse's buddy died, but our hero can r
De-extinction critics at Scientific American have missed the point
Resurrection biology could bring back extinct birds and even mammoths. Naysayers say it would take cash away from conserving existing species, but don't backup their claim
The woolly mammoth has been having a terrible time of it. Not only did this fantastically furry beast go extinct some 4,000 years ago, but now increasing numbers of influential people are saying that we should not try to bring it – and other extinct species – back to life, as scientists and an assortment of tech-savvy dreamers have recently proposed to do.
I'm talking about resurrection biology, aka de-extinction, the idea that scientists could use new genetic technologies like cloning to resurrect extinct animals using DNA extracted from museum specimens, frozen tissue samples or even (in the case of the mammoth) from carcasses preserved under the Arctic tundra.
The latest censure of resurrection biology comes from the usually sober Scientific American. Last week's editorial argues that "with limited intellectual bandwidth and financial resources to go around, de-extinction threatens to divert attention from the modern biodiversity crisis." The IUCN Red List categorises more than 20,000 species as threatened with extinction, Sci Am reminds us, and with a looming mass extinction of this size, "conservationists face difficult choices about which species and ecosystems to try to save, since they cannot hope to rescue them all."
"Against this backdrop, a costly and flamboyant project to resuscitate extinct flora and fauna in the name of conservation looks irresponsible: Should we resurrect the mammoth only to let elephants go under? Of course not."
Shedd Aquarium's positive reinforcement training can work on your pets
Dolphins, birds and beluga whales perform gravity-defying tricks before awe-struck crowds at Shedd Aquarium’s daily aquatic shows. But the same techniques trainers use to encourage the animals to wow crowds are good for a lot more than just showmanship.
The technique is called positive reinforcement training, and it can be used to encourage animals big or small to cooperate with vets, to ease off aggressive behavior or even to participate in scientific research – all while having fun. Playfulness, affection and treats of food are the two two most obvious reinforcement tools.
"When we go to the dentist it might be a big scary thing but, for them, it’s just another game they play,” said Maris Muzzy, trainer at Shedd Aquarium.
Positive reinforcement training is centered on encouraging positive behaviors instead of punishing negative behaviors, relied on in some training techniques. Much of the early research that trumpeted positive reinforcement training took place on smaller mammals, such as dogs, but early sea mammal trainers saw its benefits right away, accordi
Son seeks greater share of zoo bequest
The Adelaide Zoo has found itself in the middle of a legal dispute over a bequest of more than $600,000.
Michael Thomas Bade, 59, has launched Supreme Court action seeking a better share of his adoptive father's estate.
He and his wife were left a total of $14,000 in the will of Maurice John Bade after his death in November 2011.
Court documents reveal the remainder of the $650,000 estate was donated to the Royal Zoological Society which runs the Adelaide and Monarto Zoos.
In his claim, Michael Bade says he was a dutiful and loving son and has been left without adequate provision for his future.
In its defence, the Society says it is a worthy beneficiary, with bequests used to help save its 1800 animals and 300 species from extinction.
It says in 2010 and 2011 it was facing financial challenges and a debt of more than $20 million.
"At that time there was widespread negative publicity about the zoo's financial position. Visitations to the Zoo also dropped which in turn further
detrimentally affected the Zoo's financial situation," the Society said.
"State Government funding account for approxim
Denver Zoo sets travel plans for new bull elephant coming from Belgium
Denver zoo-goers will soon have another pachyderm heartthrob.
The new kid on the block, 5-year-old Billy, hails from DublinIreland, but is currently training in Belgium. He'll arrive at the Denver Zoo within the next
several weeks — the first Asian elephant imported to the U.S. in more than 30 years.
"We've heard he's a very charismatic boy. Our guests will love him," the zoo's vice president for animal care Brian Aucone said.
And Billy, without any U.S. relations, will bring new blood and genes to the zoo as it continues its quest to become a leading house of bulls and key player
globally in Asian elephant breeding and conservation.
"It's been a long time in the making. He's brand-new genetic material, " said assistant curator Becca McCloskey. "Only a handful of U.S. zoos have the
capacity to house (several bull elephants)."
He'll have a transition period in Denver, and it likely will be late summer or early fall when Billy gets to meet his new public
Zoo looks for dogs to feed 5 lion cubs
Mother of rare cubs isn't producing enough milk
A nest of quintuplet lion cubs in Ya'an of Southwest China's Sichuan Province in urgent need of dog nannies due to their mother's insufficient supply of milk now has a mother substitute.
The mother lion delivered on Friday the rare handful of cubs, a batch that usually maxes out at just a trio.
The mother lion was actually found to be pregnant when a 7-magnitude earthquake hit Ya’an City in April.
The lioness had been trapped for 29 days before being finally saved and transferred to Bifengxia Zoo.
According to the breeder, the zoo was previously feeding the cubs with cow's milk -- which can cause harm to the cubs in the long-term and even cause them to lose all their fur.
"Then, their survival rates drop dramatically, for the ingredients of cow's milk differ greatly from those of a lioness' milk. So we need the assistance of a dog and her milk, for a dog's milk is almost the same as a lioness,’” said Liu Jialiang, Bixiafeng Zoo’s deputy director of technology. "And based on the successful cases in zoos throughout the nation, cubs may have a high likelihood to survive when
Denmark zoo puts down baby chimp
Denmark zoo said it put down a 2-month-old chimpanzee after two other male chimps in the group treated the animal violently.
"In the last few days we saw that the baby chimp had been treated very roughly by two of the younger males in the group, without the mother stepping in,"
Aalborg Zoo said. "Last night we sedated the baby and established that it was so weakened and injured that it would not survive."
The zoo told The Copenhagen Post that the baby's mother, Laura, had not displayed interest in defending her offspring.
Zoo representatives said the only other option was to remove the baby from the group and bottle feed it.
"If we'd done that we'd have wound up with a chimp that was influenced by humans and that could never be reintroduced to the group again,
Como Zoo opens $11 million home for 7 gorillas
The Como Park Zoo on Thursday opened a spacious new $11 million home for seven gorillas, including six that are new to Minnesota.
The new outdoor yard, which is covered by a giant mesh tent, is almost three times the size of the St. Paul zoo's old enclosure, which was home to just two gorillas.
Zoo officials hope it's an ideal place to raise a gorilla family, Minnesota Public Radio reported (
"Schroeder, one of our resident males, is now living with a group of three females," zookeeper Adam Nigon said. "So I'm assuming that is a good change for him. Hopefully, in a couple of years, we'll have little ones running around."
The new exhibit is more secure than the previous open-topped design. One gorilla, Casey, made a celebrated escape from the old exhibit in 1994.
The Gorilla Forest is the newest of a series of high-profile expansions for a zoo that started as a fenced pasture with three deer in 1897. Since 2006, Como Zoo has added a Tropical Encounters exhibit and a $5 million Polar Bear Odyssey.
Zoo Director Michele Furrer said people are
Rare Twice-Hatched Macaroni Penguin Meets Its Parents
The Detroit Zoo celebrated the birth of a macaroni penguin chick on May 25 – and celebrated its rebirth the next day. Using a rare and little-known technique
previously employed with success on other bird species at the Detroit Zoo, animal care staff placed the incubator-hatched penguin chick back in its egg to be "hatched” again by a set of foster parents.
Typically, penguin eggs are incubated and hatched and the chicks hand-reared by animal care staff off-exhibit at the Detroit Zoo’s Penguinarium to better ensure their survival. The youngsters join the mature penguin colon
Bermuda Skinks heading for a UK ‘lifeboat’
The fight to protect the critically endangered Bermuda Skink has found a new ally — theUK’s Chester Zoo.
A total of 12 skinks will soon be taken to the zoo in an effort to develop a captive breeding programme for the critically endangered species.
Mark Outerbridge, Wildlife Ecologist with the Department of Conservation Services, said it is estimated that around 2,500 skinks live on Bermuda and the smaller islands, but because the fragmentation of the population, a single storm or fire could devastate their numbers.
"This is a species that has been documented as declining. It’s a critically endangered species. It’s listed as level one on the endangered species act and we would like to try everything we can to ensure that it doesn’t go extinct,” he said.
"Chester Zoo, and Gerado Garcia in particular, have a huge amount of experience working with other reptiles and some high profile species internationally, and they are very kindly volunteering their organisation and their expertise to find out what we need to do to save this species.
Mysore zoo turns away rescued crocodile hatchling
Mysore Zoo, an animal conservation centre, on Friday allegedly refused to accept a crocodile hatchling rescued by a group of youths from stray dogs at Balamuri water falls near Mysore. However, zoo officials have denied the charge.
The crocodile hatchling was later released in Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary. The hatchling was noticed by young professional Sunil Kumar S and his friends at the water falls around 10am. The group had gone to the falls for swimming. They found two young crocodiles being attacked by dogs. They drove the dogs away, but managed to rescue only one and while another was taken away by a dog.
The group brought the rescued hatchling in a bucket and called Mysore Zoo officials to take it. However, zoo officials allegedly refused to accept it, Sunil said. "They said we cannot accept and our veterinarian is not in station. They asked us to take it to somewhere else," he told TOI.
Later, the group with the help of a local journalist took the hatc

Topeka Zoo Says Elephant Updates Progressing
Topeka Zoo officials say they are making progress in upgrading their elephant program.
The elephants have been a point of controversy for several years, with animal advocacy groups claiming the zoo isn't providing a proper environment or proper care. They lobbied for the city to move the two animals to a sanctuary. The City Council ultimately voted in October 2012 to support the zoo staff's decisions in keeping the elephants.
Zoo officials developed a list of strategies for improving the program, including installing surveillance cameras to better monitor the animals' patterns and
interactions and adding various enrichment options for the animals.
Friday, as part of the City Manager's weekly report, the city released an updated on the process of implementing those strategies. It follows in its entirety.
City of Topeka Update on the Topeka Zoo's Elephant Program
New Program Strategies
When A Wolf Dies
Do individual animals matter?
After four decades on the federal endangered species list, the gray wolves’ population has officially recovered, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. This month, the agency proposed turning over management of the wolves to the states’ wildlife departments—even those states where the canids have yet to show up. The decision is based solely on numbers, and so it misses what is increasingly evident to wildlife biologists and conservationists: the importance of individual animals.
 I learned this firsthand during a visit to Yellowstone National Park last winter, where wolf-watchers pointed out to me through their spotting scopes the forlorn figure of a male wolf known to park biologists as755M. He was curled up tightly on a snowy hillside, and lay so still he looked more like a stone or downed log. Most unlike a wolf, he
Almost 400 rhino poached this year, 257 in Kruger
The number of rhino poached since the beginning of the year has risen to 394, environmental affairs said on Friday.
The total poached up to the end of last month was 367.
Spokesman Albi Modise said the Kruger National Park (KNP) remained the hardest hit, with 257 rhino killed in the park since January 1 this year.
"In North West, 46 rhino have been poached, while 35 have been killed in KwaZulu-Natal, 28 in Limpopo, 25 in Mpumalanga, two in the Eastern Cape, and one in Gauteng."
Modise said three suspected rhino poachers were arrested on Thursday, bringing the number of rhino poaching-related arrests this year to 117.
The three were arrested in the Tshokwane region of the KNP in possession of firearms and axes.
Of the 117 arrested, Modise said 53 were suspected poachers arrested in the park, and five were alleged couriers.
He said Letaba section ranger Andre

Animal rights: No water for animals at Bahawalpur Zoo
The canal water supply for animals at the Bahawalpur Zoo has been stopped for almost two months now, a Zoo official seeking anonymity told The Express Tribune.
There is a severe shortage of water for animals at the zoo, he said. Ponds built for birds and animals, to keep cool in the scorching summer heat, are mostly dry.
There is load shedding for up to 18 hours a day and the zoo gets canal water for only 72 hours per week, said the official. Many birds and animals have gotten ill and could die.
The canal water reaches the zoo through Dring Stadium, he said. However, the stadium’s administration has been directing the water, meant for the zoo, to the stadium grounds, he alleged.
Divisional Sports Officer Muhammad Maqsood said that the canal water supply had been disrupted due to the construction of houses near the canal.
Nadeem Qureshi, appointed curator on May 28, said the canal lining had been damaged due to some construction projects near it.
He said the lining was being repaired and f

Back From The Brink Of Extinction, This Little Warrior Is the Size of Your Thumb
Researchers at the San Diego Zoo may have just successfully bred the dimunitive 'pocket mouse.'
The first critically endangered pocket mouse bred in captivity should be giving birth within the next week at the San Diego Zoo’s Pocket Mouse Breeding Facility.

In an in-field interview this morning, pocket mouse researcher Debra Shier, Ph.D. told TakePart that the mouse, named Female #13, mated with another captured pocket mouse, Male #25, back on May 29. On her blog from that day, Shier wrote:

"I was crossing my fingers anticipating the first interaction. Female #13 came out of her tube first and started sand bathing. Male #25 emerged about a minute later. They approached each other a couple of times and then immediately began following

Aquarium Sculptors Create Coral For Conservation Awareness
Most aquarium visitors are there to see sharks, sea turtles, fish and other marine life. But at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, there's another star attraction: Coral.
The Aquarium's Blacktip Reef exhibit will open later this summer, and give visitors a look at an Indo-Pacific coral reef. But curators can't just carve a chunk out of a wild reef to put in the vast tank, that would destroy the very ecosystem for which they hope to raise conservation awareness. And corals take hundreds of years to develop into a reef, so the aquarium can't grow its own in-house.

Which leaves only one option: Somebody has to make a fake reef, one that is realistic enough to convince visitors and marine life. At the National Aquarium, that task falls to Paul Valiquette, director of Fabrication in the Exhibits and Design Department, and his team of sculptors and scientists working out of a

A Jaws-dropping experience: We take the plunge at the new Sea Life aquarium

Reporter Charlotte Cox goes swimming with sharks (and giant sea turtles, sting rays and tropical fish) at the new Sea Life aquarium at the Trafford Centre
Du-duh. Du-duh. Duduhdududuhduh ...
Stepping into a giant fish tank which is home to black tip and reef sharks, the Jaws theme is bound toloom into your head.
This is SeaTrek, part of the new Sea Life aquarium, based at the Trafford Centre’s Barton Square and the first of its kind in Europe. Filled with 480,000 litres of water and home to 1,092 creatures, John Williams’ signature soundtrack for the Spielberg classic seems fitting – even if you are at a shopping centre.
The experience is unique because you don’t need to know how to dive or travel very far to get to the artificial seabed.






Victoria Zoo uses $1 million bequest to help save Tasmanian devil
Zoos Victoria says it will invest a $1 million donation toward saving the threatened Tasmanian devil.
Melbourne couple Barbara and Peter Shearer bequeathed $1 million to the zoo in one of the largest one-off payments ever donated.
Rachel Lowry, director of wildlife, conservation and science with Zoos Victoria, says the money will help fund the Tasmanian devil breeding program at
"Certainly not every day or every year that we receive a million-dollar bequest, so it's something we're incredibly grateful for and really excited," she
"It means we can do some great conservation work."
There are 90 devils at the sanctuary that act as an insurance population
Black Jaguar Tears Keeper to Pieces at Russian Zoo
A zoo-keeper died after she was mauled by a female jaguar at a zoo in Novosibirsk, west Siberia on Tuesday, the zoo’s director has said.
The accident at the zoo, one of the largest in Russia, occurred when the woman entered the big cats’ cage to clean it. However, "a partition separating the
animals indoor pen from their open-air enclosure was unlocked," and "the predators attacked the female worker," police said earlier on Tuesday.
"A five-year-old black jaguar and her seven-month-old baby were inside the cage that the woman was cleaning,” zoo director Rostislav Shilo told reporters.
The local police had previously said the cats involved were tigers.
The animal broke the woman’s back instantly in the attack. The woman, 48, who died at the scene from her injuries, had worked at the zoo for two years.
The Tropic World pavilion, where the accident occurred, has been closed.
The zoo is a popular tourist a
Prague Zoo suffers flood damage in the millions
une, 2013: the lower part of the zoo is again under water. This time staff members are able to begin evacuations well in advance, seeing the relocation, for
example, of the zoo’s big cats. On Monday, as Prague awaited worsening conditions, still more specimens housed at lower levels were moved beyond danger,
namely the facility’s sea lions and penguins. Damage to the zoo itself, its head Miroslav Bobek said Monday has already being estimated at 160 million
crowns. He told Czech Radio this:
"The situation is very similar to 11 years ago. While the water has not risen quite as high, we are very concerned that the damage to buildin
Zoo showcasing 'five evil animals' ahead of Dragon Boat Festival
An exhibition featuring animals traditionally mislabeled as sinister symbols is currently on display at Taipei Zoo to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival,
seen as a time when evil spirits are awakened, zoo officials said Tuesday.
Snakes, scorpions, centipedes, toads and geckos -- also known as the "five poisons" -- were believed in ancient Chinese culture to be evil and their spirits
were thought to "possess" unfortunate human beings during the festival.
But zoo official Lin Hui-chen said the zoo hopes its exhibition, which runs until June 30, can help break the myth and raise awareness of animal protection.
Building on the momentum of the "Year of the Snake," Lin said, some of the creatures most feared by human beings will have a chance to show their true
"We put the exhibition in the Amphibian and Reptile House because presumably people entering that building have some interest in those creatures," she said.
The exhibition will feature six species: brown spotted pit vipers, emperor scorpions, Chinese red-headed centipedes, Asian common toads, Tokay geckos and
Mexican red knee tarantulas
Taipei Zoo criticized for nocturnal animals’ deaths
Taipei Zoo has become a deathtrap for nocturnal animals after more than a score died after a renovation project forced their relocation, a Taipei City
councilor said on Tuesday.
Zoo statistics show that 12 nocturnal animals have died since the Nocturnal Animals exhibition area was closed in September last year so the site could be
converted into an indoor tropical rainforest display. About 70 percent of them were rare or endangered species, such as Malayan porcupines, pygmy slow
lorises, Siberian weasels and jungle cats, the statistics show.
According to the zoo’s Web site, the 118 inhabitants of the Nocturnal Animals exhibit were gradually moved to other exhibition halls in October, even though
the NT$380 million (US$12.7 million) rainforest project is still in the bidding process. Cons
The animal park where zoo worker Sarah McClay was killed by a tiger will close on Friday to allow staff to attend her funeral.
arah McClay, 24, died on May 24 after being attacked by a Sumatran tiger as she worked in the enclosure at the South Lakes Animal Park at Dalton.
The attraction will close on Friday and reopen at 10am on Saturday. An inquest was opened into the death yesterday. Sarah’s partner and her mum Fiona McClay
attended the ten-minute hearing at Barrow Town Hall.
Engineer David Ross, 24, confirmed to coroner Ian Smith that he ha
China threatens to take back Schönbrunn pandas
The Chinese government has threatened to take Schönbrunn’s panda’s away if the Austrian government meets the Dalai Lama again.
The foreign minister and deputy president Michael Spindelegger (ÖVP) was presented with a scarf by the Dalai Lama in Vienna’s Stadthalle last year and the
chancellor Werner Faymann met the spiritual leader of Tibet for dinner in Do & CO.
But according to reports in the Austrian paper "Die Presse", 12 months on and the anger of China's communist party has not died down, with the Chinese
ambassador to Vienna still putting pressure on officials to break relations.
In official terms, the relationship between Austria and China is praised but between the lines, it is understood that a visit by the Dalai Lama would be a
strain on the bilateral relationship. The latest report now suggests that Beijing has made this clear by threatening to take away all pandas at the
Schönbrunn Zoo.
The 10-year hire agreement for the panda-couple officially came to an end in March this year but zoo officials announced even before Christmas that Yang Yang
and Long Hui would be allowed to stay another 10 years in the Viennese zoo, as the managers had come to an agreement with the "China Wildlife Conservation
Pittsburgh zoo mauling suit hinges on liability
The Whitehall woman suing the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium over the mauling death of her only child could be named a defendant and face stern scrutiny in
court if zoo leaders try to limit their liability, legal analysts warn.
Yet, they say odds are slim that the wrongful death complaint filed on behalf of Elizabeth Derkosh, 34, and her husband, Jason, 37, will reach a jury. Both
sides should have plenty of reasons to negotiate in private and keep the rare case away from a public trial, the analysts say.
"I can only imagine what this poor mother has gone through in dealing with this. Having to relive it over and over again on the stand and in deposition would
be horrible,” said Christopher Robinette, an associate professor with Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg. "Of course, from the zoo's perspective,
it's very bad publicity. You can get hit with an enormous (judgment) from a sympathetic jury.”
Neither zoo officials nor Derkosh family representatives answered questions on Monday from the Tribune-Review.
Koala extinctions already a reality
Koalas are already considered extinct in Avalon, north of Sydney, and are in danger of disappearing from many other parts of Australia. The iconic animal
that tourists queue up to cuddle is suffering the ravages of disease and sustaining horrific injuries on logging plantations.
As koala habitat continues to be destroyed for urban and industrial development, thousands of the animals are dying as a result of car hits and dog attacks.
Bushfires continue to kill thousands more.
At Australia’s recent national koala conference – "Their Future is in our Hands” – speakers called for immediate and collaborative action to save the animal.
"My heart breaks every time I hear of the death of a koala,” said Meghan Halverson, president of the Queensland Koala Crusaders. "We need to be a united
voice for the koala. If we don’t band together, we are going to end up with an emptyAustralia.”
Newts dying in Iran! Brooklyn Zoo saves them
he Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn is now home to five members of a critically endangered species.
They’re called Kaiser’s spotted newts.
The Wildlife Conservation Society says the colorful amphibian has been found only in a 5-square-mile region in Iran.
Albino gorilla snowflake the product of in-breeding
He was the world’s only known albino gorilla and for decades drew crowds to his enclosure at Barcelona Zoo. Now, 10 years after he died of skin cancer scientists have solved the mystery of his rare pigmentation.
Researchers have discovered that Snowflake was a product of incest and that his mother was mostly likely a niece who mated with her uncle.
Using genetic sequencing on blood samples taken from the silverback a Spanish research team were able to establish inbreeding as the cause for his rare albinism.
They found that 12.5 per cent of Snowflake’s genetic make-up was identical making it increasingly likely that the albino gene, called SLC45A2, was passed on.
The findings could help the study of the albino condition in humans.
”We discovered that in-breeding greatly increases the chances of albinism,” said Dr Tomas Marquez Bonet from Barcelona’s Institute of Evolutionary Biology, who led the study. "This
Manchester Sea Life Centre first place in Europe to offer underwater walk
Manchester Sea Life Centre is the first place in Europe that offers guests the chance to walk in the Sea Trek experience.
The new aquarium, opening 6 June at Manchester's Trafford Centre, allows visitors the opportunity to get up-close to the fish in the 11.4ft tall tank.
There are 35 species in the tank, totalling 1,092 specimens.
As well as fish, a giant green turtle is on display in Sea Trek. Ernie, the turtle's given name, was rescued from the Cayman Islands two months ago.
Curators explain he would have been made into turtle soup, but Ernie was rescued along with around 15 other turtles.
The tank contains species of sharks, t






Tiger Kingdom Tourist Attraction Set to Roar on Phuket

A branch of the popular  Tiger   Kingdom  tourist attraction is preparing to open on Phuket, possibly as soon asJune 19, Phuketwan has learned.

In Chiang Mai, tourists pet and pat tigers at the Tiger Kindom that opened 10 kilometres from the city in 2008.

On Phuket a large '' TIGER   KINGDOM '' sign is now visible from  Phrabaramee Road , in Kathu, behind the go kart track. There's a substantial building beneath it.

The opening of a  Tiger   Kingdom  branch on Phuket would provide Phuket with one more reason for tourists to come to Phuket and one less reason for them to travel to other parts of  Thailand .

It's believed the  Tiger   Kingdom  in Chiang Mai has been very successful. Patrons are offered the choice of admission to enclosures with newborn, small tigers, medium tigers and big cats. Prices are higher for the younger animals.

Although there are constant concerns from environmentalists about the welfare of tigers in captivity in  Thailand , the  Tiger   Kingdom  says none of their tigers are drugged or tranquilised, and that chains and restraints are not used.

It's believed the Trakarn Zoo in Ubon Ratchathani province has supplied the tigers for the Chiang Mai venture and the zoo currently holds about 70 tigers.

The Phuket branch - at a cost of about 100 million baht - would most likely open similar hours, from  9am  to  6pm , on the 10 rai site behind the go kart track.

Photos of tourists with tigers are popular and there's also a restaurant at the  Tiger   Kingdom  i


The relentless exploitation of Asian Giant Lizards

A new study reveals that the illegal harvesting and trading of Southeast Asian monitor lizards – valued for their skins and as pets – continues.

A team of German and Indonesian scientists recently published the first comprehensive study on the conservation and threatened status of all Southeast Asian species of monitor lizards. The authors conclude that several of these fascinating giant lizard species are obviously being exploited at unsustainable levels, even though national and international regulations and laws are in place. This critical study was published in the well-known online journal "Herpetological Conservation and Biology".

Southeast Asian Monitor Lizards: current harvest levels are underestimated

Besides the demand for the pet trade (where particular species are targeted), the commercial trade in skins must be understood as a major threat for some species and populations. Next to crocodilians and giant snakes, monitor lizards are the species group of lizards that are exploited most frequently within the skin trade. Annually, Indonesia documents the legal export of 450,000 skins of the water monitor lizard (Varanus salvator) for the manufacture of e.g. handbags and watch straps, the latter of these then being marketed in Germany as "lizard straps". Dr. Andre Koch of the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig in Bonn has strong reservations and states: "Especially, the poorly monitored trade in island species and populations must be feared detrimentally, if current trade levels continue; here over-exploitation and extinction are closely linked." Since many years, and alike his co-authors, Dr. Koch is engaged in research on the monitor lizards of Southeast Asia specifically regarding their underestima


The Economics Of The Illegal Wildlife Trade

The illegal trade of animals or animal parts has become one of the most lucrative black market activities in the world. Driven by the promise of high profit margins, poachers in  Africa  – namely militias, armed groups, and insurgent groups – have driven rhinos and elephants close to extinction, while murdering hundreds of park rangers in the process. NGOs and governments now face a race against time to reduce demand for wildlife trade, particularly in  Asia , as well as to equip those on the front-line to fight a well-armed enemy.

Even going by the lowest estimates, wildlife crime is currently the 5th largest illicit transnational activity in the world, after counterfeiting and the illegal trafficking of drugs, people, and oil. The illicit sale of animals or animal parts is such big business that it attracts large criminal syndicates, as well as militia armed to the teeth. Traffic, the wildlife trade monitoring network, estimates that illegal wildlife trade is worth US$8-10 billion per year, although a 2008 report for the US Congress says it could be closer to US$20 billion.

In  Africa , the situation is so dire that animals such as elephants and rhinos are being driven to the brink of extinction. Besides stealing the animals' horns and tusks, poachers have killed hundreds of rangers who tried to get in their way. A substantial portion of the illegal goods are then shipped to Asia, where demand is driven by the need for specific animal parts to practice traditional Asian medicine, for human consumption, and as symbols of wealth.

According to Dr Richard Thomas, the Global Communications Coordinator for Traffic, the demand for rhino horn, for instance, was mainly coming from  Vietnam .


Oregon  Zoo: Asian elephant has tuberculosis; staff says public not at risk

For the first time, an elephant at the Oregon Zoo has developed tuberculosis.

Rama, a 30-year-old Asian elephant who was born at the zoo, shows no symptoms but as soon as the test result came in Friday, staff put him in quarantine.

He's posed no threat to visitors, they said, but the zoo has suspended behind-the-scene tours of the elephant area.

Zoo staff expect the middle-age pachyderm to make a full recovery.

"We're confident Rama is going to be fine," said Kim Smith, zoo director. "It's a very treatable disease. We've caught it early with Rama. We feel very good about this."

But treatment with drugs is expensive, costing more than $50,000, and involves intensive monitoring. Some elephants that have not tolerated the regime have had to be euthanized.

Born in 1983 to Rosy and Packy, Rama is the smallest of the adult bull elephants at the zoo, weighing 9,000 pounds. He's curious and inquisitive and connects easily to people. Unlike Packy, who's sired seven calves, Rama has none. But he


'Canned hunting': the lions bred for slaughter

Canned hunting is a fast-growing business in  South Africa , where thousands of lions are being bred on farms to be shot by wealthy foreign trophy-hunters

They are adorably cute, with grubby brown fur so soft it seems to slip through my fingers like flour. It is only when one of the nine-week-old cubs playfully grabs my arm with its teeth and squeezes with an agonising grip that I remember – this is a lion, a wild animal. These four cubs are not wild, however. They are kept in a small pen behind the Lion's Den, a pub on a ranch in desolate countryside 75 miles south of  Johannesburg . Tourists stop to pet them but most visitors do not venture over the hill, where the ranch has pens holding nearly 50 juvenile and fully-grown lions, and two tigers.

Moreson ranch is one of more than 160 such farms legally breeding big cats in  South Africa . There are now more lions held in captivity (upwards of 5,000) in the country than live wild (about 2,000). While the owners of this ranch insist they do not hunt and kill their lions, animal welfare groups say most breeders sell their stock to be shot dead by wealthy trophy-hunters from  Europe  and  North America , or for traditional medicine in  Asia . The easy slaughter of animals in fenced areas is called "canned hunting", perhaps because it's rather like shooting fish in a barrel. A fully-grown, captive-bred lion is taken from its pen to an enclosed area where it wanders listlessly for some hours before being shot dead by a man with a shotgun, hand-gun or even a crossbow, standing safely on the back of a truck. forHe pays anything from £5,000 to £25,000, and it is all completely legal.


Private zoo houses world's threatened species

90% of the animals at the 17-hectare privately owned Al Bustan Zoological Centre are endangered

Imagine mingling with jaguars, extremely rare King cheetahs, bongos, and some of the world's endangered and critically endangered species right in your backyard.

You may think you're somewhere in  Africa , but this piece of paradise can be found right in Sharjah emirate.

Al Bustan Zoological Centre is a 17-hectare privately owned zoo located on the road to Kalba that houses 856 animals of 101 species from around the world. About 90 per cent of the animal collection is endangered or critically endangered.

A non-commercial zoo, Al B


Who you calling ugly? Zoos prefer cute animals to less attractive species, research shows

Zoos are no place for ugly ducklings. Big, intelligent, good-looking animals are more likely to be found in zoos, irrespective of conservation needs, according to new research. While the red panda, big cats, elephants and giraffes are found in most zoos, there's no place for the pika, the golden mole or the rat kangaroo.

Researchers warn that the focus on attractive species that appeal to paying visitors could have detrimental effects on conservation, with the mammal rated the least attractive, the endangered marsupial mole, not found in any zoo.

"Selection of species into world zoos is determined by decisions made by humans, and intelligent and beautiful animals seem to be favoured," the researchers say.

More than seven million animals are kept in 872 zoos and aquariums worldwide. Zoologists from  Prague 's  Charles   University  investigated the range of mammals kept and which were left out. Out of 5,334 mammalian species, only 1,048 of them, or 16 per cent, were found in the world zoo collection. The team used data on brain size and attractiveness to humans to see why some species were being left ou


Why the lynx effect would send  Scotland  wild

Rather than spending millions on pandas, we need to save the wild animals that are integral to the  Highlands ' character

As Edinburgh Zoo's panda freakshow continues to captivate the witless and the infantile, a real Scottish animal has been allowed to die. Under the noses of Scottish Natural Heritage, which likes to be known as the nation's leading conservation body, the Scottish wildcat has all but been extinguished from the  Highlands . The importance of this news may be deemed worthy of a mere footnote on the schedule of important issues with which  Scotland  is grappling but it ought to rank much higher. For the wildcat's demise seems to be part of the neutering and emasculating of our wildest places. That which was previously held to be a quintessential part of what  Scotland  was originally meant to look like and smell like and sound like is now, it seems, unimportant.

Thus we allow golden eagles and our other great predators routinely to be executed by gamekeepers and farmers all over the  Highlands . These wildlife crimes carry stiff penalties but no prosecutions are ever brought. After all, there are vast country estates to protect, mainly to ensure that  Scotland  remains the favourite country theme park of  Europe 's aristocracy. And a decade after their filthy feeding methods gave the country foot and mouth disease


Marine Land Witnessed the Death of Two beluga whale

The death of two young beluga whales was confirmed by the Marine Lands.

The spokesman of the park, John Beattie, said that the young animals died at some time in the aquarium and in wild which was a sad scenario. The spokesman e-mailed the respond to the deaths' queries by the Review.

The Review asked about the death dates of the whales to which the spokesman said that beluga  Charlotte  dies in year 2012, however, Luna died on some date in the present year. He didn't provide with any specific dates of death in his email responses.

The enquiry into the deaths of the whales was initiated by local animal activists and the aquatic inventory website Ceta-Base. com that keeps the records of currently existing beluga whales on the site at the  Marine Land .

One of the activists, Alex Louise Dorer from the group of  Occupy   Marine   Land  said that in-accordance to the available space,  Marine   Land  has too many belugas li


Qatar  efforts give hope to rare parrot species

Pioneering efforts by  Qatar 's Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation to conserve the extinct-in-the-wild Spix's macaw have achieved a key milestone with the world's first artificial insemination in the parrot species native to  Brazil , under a partnership with a German firm. 

Founded by Sheikh Saoud bin Mohamed bin Ali al-Thani, AWWP, which has been a champion in Spix's macaw conservation for over a decade, holds over 77% (64 out of 83) of the world population of the bird and is actively involved in grassroots conservation in its home country.

Given that a narrow genetic pool is one of the biggest problems for the worldwide breeding programme, as it causes suboptimal fertility in the population, researchers from AWWP together with Parrot Reproduction Consulting from  Germany  decided to help the species through artificial insemination.

As soon as a female laid her first egg, the team took sperm from a male and immediately deposited it by micro-capillary tube into the oviduct of the female Spix hoping to fertilise the next egg to be laid before the egg shell would be formed.

"This process was repeated after the second and third eggs were laid as Spix are known to often lay four eggs in a clutch," Dr Tim Bouts, director of AWWP told Gulf Times.

After seven days the eggs were candled to see if they were fertile. Two - out of the seven artificially inseminated - proved to be fertile and developed well in the incubator.

The eggs were checked daily for development and as the chicks were growing their heart rates monitored in the egg until they hatched after 26 days.


The Story Of Moby Doll

If you want to know how the whole raking-in-the-bucks-by-putting-killer-whales-on-public-display thing really got rolling, you need to know the sad and enraging story of Moby Doll.

Recently, there was a gathering to reflect on the (almost) 50-year anniversary of Moby Doll's capture, and all that followed:


Elephants' pudgy posteriors is focus of  Lincoln  zoo research

Kari Morfeld's desk is littered with hundreds of 8-by-10 glossy photographs — each a close-up of an elephant's derriere.

Her vast collection includes butts from  South Africa  and from the 290 elephants living in 74 zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Morfeld is a wildlife endocrinologist and head of the new  Wildlife   Conservation   Research   Center  at the Lincoln Children's Zoo — the world's first facility to focus on the metabolic health of zoo animals.

Her research on pachyderm posteriors — and blood — holds far-reaching implications for the future of elephants.

Perhaps all other animal species.

The work is a collaboration of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute,  Nebraska   Wesleyan University , the Lincoln Children's Zoo and her doctoral dissertation at  George   Mason   University .

In a nutshell, Morfeld's research finds that elephants in American zoos are facing the same health crisis as American Homo sapiens -- cardiac disease, arthritis and infertility -- all brought on by the


Killer tiger on the loose, prowling forest in  India  after zoo escape

Remember last year when a penguin somehow scaled a fence at a Japanese zoo and went missing? Well, the same thing is happening now at  India 's  Nadankanan   Zoological   Park , except that instead of a fugitive penguin, it's a fugitive tiger. The same tiger, curiously enough, had wandered into the zoo this spring, causing a debate over whether it should be returned to the wild or kept. The tiger stayed six weeks at Nadankanan, during which it "ate heartily," but then apparently lost interest in zoo life and scaled an 18-foot wall before fleeing to a nearby forest. Tragically, the tiger's stay came at a cost of human life; during the tiger's escape, it crossed paths with a


Woman to face judge in theft of $800k from Monterey Aquarium Institute

A federal grand jury in  San Jose  has indicted a former payroll employee of an aquatics research facility at Moss Landing,  Calif.  in the embezzlement of about $800,000 from 2005 to 2012, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Lisa McMahon, of  Mountain View , is set to appear in federal court in  San Jose  on Thursday to face charges of wire fraud and theft from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute following her indictment Wednesday, the office reported.

U.S. Judge Paul S. Grewal will preside at the 10:30 a.m. hearing, at the United States District Court, Northern District of California,  280 S.  First St.  in  San Jose .

The indictment alleged that McMahon defrauded the institute of the $800,000 over seven years by altering payroll and 401(k) investment records to conceal the transfer of funds to her personal accounts, federal officials said.

McMahon had been working for the institute as a payroll specialist re


Sirens of the Aquarium

Donghu Sea World in  Wuhan , the capital of  Hubei   Province , sees a group of young girls act as "mermaids," presenting fancy shows for the delight of the audience.

The mermaid show is the most popular of the various offerings Donghu puts on, and attracts lots of tourists, especially during weekends and holidays. As the rainbow-clad mermaids perform acrobatics, children gather at the glass to get closer as they scream with delight.

Taping the show is a must for many tourists, and a wall of screens capturing the event can be seen in the stands.

Li Qingqing, 19, is one of the mermaids. Originally working as a tour guide, she became fascinated and signed up last March.

This proved a daunting effort for Li as she couldn't even swim in the beginning. She had to learn various strokes, dives and acrobatics while meters under the surface, as well as how to deal with marine animals.

"The naughtiest creatures are the turtles. They love us, and they try to hug us as they are performing. They're not very gentle and our bodies get covered in bruises from their affections," said Li, pointing to several on her body.

The situation is the same for other mermaids. Li's colleague, 30-year-old Wang Liqin, has many scars on he


Tigers moved from  Prague  zoo in flood alert

Four people have died and at least eight are missing as torrential rains in central  Europe  caused landslides and took rivers to dangerously high levels.

Emergency operations are under way in  Austria ,  Germany  and the  Czech   Republic  to deal with record levels of flooding in some places

The Czech capital,  Prague , is on high alert amid fears that floodwater could swamp its historic centre.

Animals housed in the lower part of  Prague  zoo have


Wild tiger puts forest department in a fix

The  State   Forest  and Environment department is in a fix like never before. It has no clue as per what to do with the wild tiger that just slipped out of  Nandankanan   Zoological   Park .

Should it try and capture it and release back into the wild? Or should it just sit tight and do nothing? For the tiger is in the forest area of Nandankanan which is a notified sanctuary in itself.

A day after the five-year-old Royal Bengal Tiger scaled the 18 feet wall of an enclosure to seek freedom, the Wildlife Wing was wondering its next course of action.  Forest  and Environment Minister Bijoyshree Routray visited the zoo in the morning and inspected the enclosure in question. He could only marvel at the tiger's climbing ability which zoo officials said was one-of-its kind incident in the history of Indian zoos, at least.

For the department, the problem was much more complicated. While Chief Wildlife Warden J D Sharma sat over the matter by seeking feedbacks from National Tiger Conservation Authority, the tiger escape has posed a queer problem. Now that the large cat is out of the zoo premises, the the tiger is neither under its jurisdiction nor its responsibility anymore.

"Since it is in the forests of the sanctuary, the Wildlife Wing has to take call on whether to leave it there assuming that the feline will find its way or to capture it and make a fres


Council called for review of tiger enclosure seven years ago

THE owner of a wildlife park where a Scots zookeeper was killed by a tiger had amassed fines totalling almost £20,000 following a series of issues relating to escaping animals.

A council licensing committee had ordered a review of the design of the tiger enclosure seven years ago due to concerns animals could escape at  South   Lakes   Wild   Animal   Park , in  Dalton-in-Furness  in  Cumbria .

Enclosure issues are currently being investigated after the death of Sarah McClay, 24, who was originally from  Glasgow , after she was mauled by a tiger.

It has now emerged the park's owner, David Gill, was fined by authorities over escaped animals at his  Mareeba   Wild   Animal   Park  in  Australia  before leaving the country as his business failed with debts of £2 million.

Police are working on the assumption human error or mechanical failure allowed the Sumatran tiger to escape from its pen at  South   Lakes .

There were said to be strict controls in place at the enclosure building, which has four animal pens accessible from a staff area where, among other things, cleaning equipment is stored.

Mr Gill has been criticised for claiming Ms McClay died because she broke the park's protocols by walking into the tiger's cage.

But police later said Ms McClay was in the staff area when the tiger first confronted her and it had not been established it was down to her error.

The wildlife park has been at the centre of a number of licence reviews following health and safety issues raised by inspectors.





Tiger jumps 18 feet enclosure, escapes from tiger safari
The wild male tiger which had strayed into Nandankanan Zoological Park on April 29 has escaped
from zoo’s tiger safari. The information was given by PCCF (Wildlife) J D Sharma this morning.
According to reports, the tiger jumped an 18 feet security net and escaped from the enclosure
last night. An investigation into the incident has been ordered by Sharma. However, he says that
there is no danger to tourists and visitors.
The tiger was kept in Nandankanan after it strayed in the tiger safari which led to panic in the
area. It was tracked through CCTV cameras. In a High-power Committee meeting held on May 15, it
was decided to keep the animal in the zoological park until its original habitat is identified.
The beast was kept in the tiger safari and was transferred to

Monkey Business: Eccentric Berlin Zoo Director Under Scrutiny
The Berlin Zoological Garden is a flourishing business. For weeks now, shareholders have been
pleased about the rising share price of a company that seems extremely healthy.
At the beginning of the year, the zoo's operating assets included 1,059 mammals, 8,454
invertebrates and 770 amphibians. The annual report listed two red giant kangaroos, a night
monkey and 14 capybaras as "remarkable breeding successes." What's more, the zoo is considered
the world's most diverse in terms of the species it houses, and visitor numbers are also near the top internationally.
Nevertheless, the supervisory board is worried. Stories have repeatedly surfaced about zoo
Director Bernhard Blaszkiewitz, whose management style has come under sharp criticism. Most
recently, for example, when he described his women employees as "0.1" -- the zoological code for
breeding females.

Gleiss Lutz, a major law firm with an international reputation, has now been hired to clear up
the matter. The firm -- which normally deals with big business clients like Commerzbank, Siemens
and Daimler -- spent weeks doing research between animal enclosures and feed storage areas,
interviewing dozens of zoo employees. It will soon present the supervisory board with the
strictly confidential results of its review, and then a decision will likely be reached over whether 59-year-old Blaszkiewitz can keep his job.

'Many Claims Are Being Made'

The list of the eccentric director's alleged foibles is long. For example, Blaszkiewitz reportedly types his correspondence on a typewriter and has his emails printed out for him. When arguing with employees, he likes to respond in Latin. He finds vegetarians suspect. He pities "people who eat bird feed in the morning," as he once said. "If that's what God had wanted, we would have a beak."

Tabby Tiger in deteriorated health condition shifted to Zoo
The cruelty never ceases to exist on the captive animals of Karachi’s Safari Park and Karachi
Zoological Garden. The 2 parks had the highest number of different species of captive animals and
the tragic death of variety of animals is also different tale that was packed with horrors and

The Safari Park had shifted the left-alone Golden Tabby Tiger (male) to the Karachi Zoological
Garden.The male tabby tiger had been kept in an environment that causes him to fall sick. The canine
tooth and a nail of front foot were missing while the tiger limped when walking. It was presumed
that the male tiger could also cease to live like the tigress so the KMC administration had
decided to shift the male tiger to the Zoo.

The sources privy to the ongoing development told Pakistan Observer that the health of male tiger was deteriorating and could die any time. The administration wanted to reinstate the suspended official of the Safari Park and for that reason; the decision of shifting male tiger to the Zoo was made.

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) had in recent past procured a pair of Golden Tabby
Lion from a local animal trading company in Lahore on barter system. The KMC had exchanged 65
precious animals and birds of different species worth millions. However, the untrained and non-
professional officials of the Safari Park failed to provide the natural habitat to the Golden Tabby Tigers, which had resulted in tragic death of the Tigress on day 11 in the Safari Park.

The KMC administration had suspended the Safari Park Director Salman Shamsi and Senior
Veterinarian and additional Director of the Park Dr Kazim and an enquiry was conducted to
ascertain the real cause of death of Tigress. The KMC had also conducted an enquiry on death of 4
lion cubs died at the Zoo and the then Director was also

Madagascar pursues stolen tortoises in Thailand

Madagascar has sent an emergency mission to Bangkok following the recent largest ever seizure of
smuggled ploughshare tortoises (Astrochelysynophora) by the Thai authorities.
The purpose of the mission, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust said in a press release, is
to assess the health of tortoises trafficked out of Madagascar in a suitcase in March.
The illicit wildlife from the island nation have been kept at a rescue centre since their seizure
in Bangkok.
However, the animals have been reported to be in poor health while a number have already died,
most likely due to the inadequate care they received from the smugglers durin

A Really Cool Plan
Detroit Zoo unveils plan to build new $20-million penguin exhibit
Ron Kagan, executive director and CEO of the Detroit Zoological Society, doesn't exactly talk
with the animals, but he did sense some measure of envy among the penguins after the zoo's polar bears moved into their new home.

And who could blame them if their feathers were a tad ruffled? The Detroit Zoo's Penguinarium, after all, was ahead of its time when it debuted in 1968, offering for the first time a natural environment where 60 penguins could live in a three-sided habitat encircled by a large pool. The design allowed the penguins — Kings, Rockhoppers, and Macaronis — to "fly" through the water, much as they would in the open sea.

The Penguinarium was first renovated in 1985. Three years ago, Kagan and his team set out to redesign the exhibit. Much like the initial planning for the bears' Arctic Ring of Life, Kagan quickly set aside the renovation idea in favor of a newly constructed exhibit, to be called the Penguin Conservation Center, or PCC.

Here, for the first time, Kagan unveils the zoo's plans for the $20-million exhibit, to be built just north of the historic Wildlife Interpretive Gallery near the zoo's entrance on Woodward Avenue. Projected to open in 2016, the PCC will be the largest project ever undertaken at the Detroit Zoo.

Zoo to serve edible insects
Amarillo Zoo hopes to entice visitors with some odd snacks of the creepy-crawly kind in a Saturday event.

"Incredible Edible Insects” runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the zoo, 2401 Dumas Drive.
Visitors can sample a variety of insect-based dishes, including some by chefs Mark Coffman of
Sava Italiano and Bud Andersen of "Back to the Table with Chef Bud.”
Among the allegedly tasty treats are superworms — the larval stage of the small ground beetle —
that will be frozen, then toasted in the oven.

"They’ll have a popcorn or burnt popcorn taste. .... It’s interesting,” said zoo educator Haley Wilde. "We dip them (in chocolate) in such a manner so you can still see the legs and everything to give it that extra ‘eww’ factor.”

Also on the menu: chocolate "chirp” cookies, with toasted crickets tossed into chocolate chip
cookie dough; and "six-legged surprise,” or basic, flavored toasted crickets.

Visitors can also try to break the world record for spitting a cricket,

Scientists find evidence of success restocking American burying beetle
The American burying beetle is making a comeback in Missouri, but more help is on the way next week.
Last summer, a team of conservationists from the St. Louis Zoo, the Missouri Department of
Conservation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nature Conservancy released 118 pairs of
the beetles on a Southwest Missouri prairie.

"They did very, very well,” said Bob Merz, a zoo official and director of the Center for American
Burying Beetle Conservation. The center is part of the zoo’s WildCare Institute, dedicated to
saving animals in the United States and around the world.

Ten days after the 2012 release, Merz, accompanied by another zookeeper, excavated about one
third of the sites where the beetles had been relocated. They found that 27 of the 39 broods checked had larvae, and concluded that 81 of the 118 broods most likely had reproduced. That is
close to the reproduction rate the scientists had in the lab, Merz said.

'Just a money-making venture': Campaigners fail to stop opening of Trafford Centre Sea Life 
Animal rights groups have failed to stop a controversial Sea Life aquarium from opening in Manchester’s Trafford Centre next week.

The £6.5million attraction owned by Merlin Entertainments sparked outrage among campaigners who
feel it is an infringement on animal rights to exploit them for the entertainment of humans.
Although Merlin gives monetary contributions towards conservation efforts it was revealed that
just £250,000 – 0.02% – of their £1billion pound revenue from 2012 was directly donated to marine

The grant was given to a turtle sanctuary in Greece, in statistics released to the Captive Animals Protection Society. Manchester Animal Action, who campaign locally against all forms of animal exploitation, said the
public have the wrong idea about the work of aquariums.

"People who do go tend to have been convinced that aquariums are vital conservation projects simply because they contain some threatened species, and that the aquatic animals – particularly
fish – do not suffer pain or stress as terrestrial animals do when kept in captivity,” a Manchester Animal Action spokesperson said.

"However, we know that this is simply not the case – aquariums such as Sea Life exist as money
making entertainment ventures and the animals imprisoned there do suffer.”

The Females of the Madagascar Sucker-Footed Bat are Missing
For the last six years, Paul Racey has been trying to find a female eastern sucker-footed bat. He has failed. The bats only live in Madagascar and since 2007, Racey’s team have tramped through the country’s eastern forests with nets, bags, and devices that detect the bats’ sonar. They’ve captured 298 individuals, some many times over. But every single one of them was male.

Where are the females? Why are they so ridiculously hard to find? And why do they segregate themselves from the males? No one knows. After so much fruitless searching, Racey doesn’t even have a good hypothesis.

All he knows is that the females must exist. For a start, a Smithsonian team once collected a female sucker-footed bat around 30 years ago, and it’s still housed in their collection. Also, Racey keeps on finding young males every year. "You can hold their wings up to the light and see bits of cartilage round their joints, which haven’t ossified fully,” he says. So, the bats must be reproducing. "There have to be females. It’s just that we can’t find them, and it’s very embarrassing.”

To put this in perspective, Racey has spent his entire career studying bats and has worked in Madagascar for 20 year

Costa Rica poachers 'kill turtle activist'
An environmentalist campaigning for the protection of endangered sea turtles in Costa Rica has been found dead in a suspected killing by smugglers.

Jairo Mora was reportedly found face down with his hands tied on Moin beach, 170km (105 miles)
east of the capital, San Jose.

Vanessa Lizano, the owner of the turtle sanctuary where Mr Mora worked, said he had been killed because of his work.

Sea-turtle eggs are considered a delicacy in some parts of the world. Ms Lizano told the BBC: "Jairo went on patrol with some volunteers and they were attacked by armed men.
"It was him they wanted, because he was the one who was always looking after the nests."

Ms Lizano said that poachers in Costa Rica can make up to $300 (£200) per day smuggling turtle

Dolphins too stupid for suicide, says Ocean Park vet
Ocean Park yesterday countered claims that a dolphin had tried to kill itself by saying the species was not "intelligent enough" to commit suicide.

However, one marine conservationist said the remark was an insult to dolphins.

According to Nimal Fernando, senior veterinarian at the park: "Dolphins can't really commit suicide. The mental ability to make a decision to kill yourself is beyond a dolphin's reasoning capability."

But Samuel Hung Ka-yiu, chairman of the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society, said: "We aren't intelligent enough to judge whether or not dolphins have enough intelligence to kill themselves.

"You can't use human standards to measure dolphin intelligence."

Claims that 14-year-old Indo-Pacific bottlenose Pinky had attempted suicide at the park's Marine Mammal Breeding and Research Centre were triggered by a video that went viral on Facebook last week showing the dolphin slamming herself against a pool wall.

It led to Civic Party lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching asking the police to investigate whether Pinky had been subjected to animal abuse.

Ocean Park responded to the video by explaining that Pinky, who was born at the park, is in the habit of leaping up close to the edge of the pool and occasionally her lower body touches the side.




One man and his tiger! Buddhist cuddles up to deadly big cat... one of a HUNDRED raised by the monks from cubs
When temperatures reaching a stifling 37 degrees, even these well-adapted tigers need to find a way of escaping the heat.
The beautiful big cats are pictured at the controversial Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, where around 100 live alongside Buddhist monks.
Many were brought to the reserve as cubs and have grown up around humans. But even so these pictures show just how remarkably close these fearsome creatures can get to their keepers.

Why Efforts to Bring Extinct Species Back from the Dead Miss the Point
A project to revive long-gone species is a sideshow to the real extinction crisis

"We will get woolly mammoths back.” So vowed environmentalist Stewart Brand at the TED conference in Long Beach, Calif., in February in laying out his vision for reviving extinct species. The mammoth isn't the only vanished creature Brand and other proponents of "de-extinction” want to resurrect. The passenger pigeon, Caribbean monk seal and great auk are among the other candidates—all species that blinked out at least in part because of Homo sapiens. "Humans have made a huge hole in nature in the last 10,000 years,” Brand asserted. "We have the ability now—and maybe the moral obligation—to repair some of the damage.”

Just a few years ago such de-extinction was the purview of science fiction. Now it is so near at hand that in March, Brand's Long Now Foundation, along with TED and the National Geographic Society, convened an entire conference on the topic. Indeed, thanks to recent a

THE owner of South Lakes Wild Animal Park has said the attraction will create a memorial to the zookeeper who died after being attacked by atiger.

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Dalton zoo boss apologises 'sincerely' after Facebook comments
Sarah McClay, 24, died on Friday after being attacked by a Sumatran tiger as she worked in the enclosure at the zoo in Dalton.

Zoo owner David Gill has said staff will be allowed to attend her funeral, the details of which are yet to be arranged.

Mr Gill said he had missed the funeral of 14-year-old Lindal girl Bethany Crook – who died after being hit by a bus on May 1 – to allow more members of staff to attend.

He told the Evening Mail: "I will not have any hesitation to do something similar – I would rather everybody else has the opportunity to go. That is not out of disrespect.

New volunteer at Selamatkan Yaki!
Hello, my name is Jodie and I am Selamatkan Yaki’s fourth volunteer!
I joined the hard working and enthusiastic team 5 weeks ago, coming from England, where I work as a full time Zoo keeper at Drusillas Zoo park. There I work with an array of different species but I work very closely with the Sulawesi crested black macaques (Macaca nigra) which have become a key species during my career.

American helps deploy drones to nab rhino poachers in Africa
he exact location of the anti-poaching operation is secret, as is the number of rangers who will be on duty. Also confidential: where the drones will fly as they search out poachers intent on slaying rhinos for their horns – one killed every 11 hours in South Africa alone.

But over the next several days, Tom Snitch thinks that his project, at a private game farm adjoining South Africa’s famed Kruger National Park, will prove that unmanned aerial vehicles can end the scourge of rhinoceros poaching.

Demand for rhino horn has boomed in recent years, with criminal syndicates offering as much as $30,000 a pound for the horns. Poachers already have killed 350 rhinos in South Africa this year; last year, 668 endangered rhinos died for their horns. They’re sold in Asia, particularly in Vietnam, where ground-up horns are touted as a cure for hangovers, cancer and other ailments, and where rising incomes have made the horns accessible to more people and their possession a status sym

The role of trophy hunting in white rhino conservation, with special reference to BOP parks
role of trophy hunting in conservation. has trophy hunting been sustainable?
Approximately 820 white rhino have been hunted in South Africa since 1968, when white rhino hunting began in earnest. Table 1 shows that over this time, the numbers of white rhino in SA have increased from 1800 to over 6370. Table 2 shows how white rhino numbers on private land (where most hunting occurs) have also increased to well over 1000. The average rate of hunting as a percentage of all white rhino in SA, was about 0,93% per year up to 1987 (24,8 rhino/year); and has averaged 0,81 % of the population per year since then (43 rhino/year) - see table 1.
Out of private-owned animals prior to 1988 (see table 3), hunting rates were ca 10,5% per year however, rhino numbers in private hands were mainly being bought from the much larger pool of Natal Parks Board (NPB) animals at low, fixed prices. In 1989 rhino prices throughout SA reached a realistic market value when NPB, the major suppliers, began to auction their rhino. Since then, hunting rates out of privately owned animals have dropped to approximately 3% per year.
Bop Parks' hunting, which has been based on the original founder stock of 212 animals introduced in the early 1980's, has been conducted at an average yearly rate of about 3%. Figure 1 summarises the history of these animals, discussed more fully below. (Note: 248 rhino were obtained from NPB from 1978-82, but due to the country-wide drought and the poor physical condition of the rhino, 36 died shortly after release).
In conclusion, trophy hunting has been and still is highly sustainable.
Has white rhino trophy hunting benefited white rhino conservation?

Fight over lion park
A decision over an application to put the Zion Wildlife Park into liquidation to pay for lost wages has been reserved.
Associate High Court Judge Jeremy Doogue reserved his decision into the application made by Tauranga business consultant Sam Bailey to liquidate Earth Crest Ltd (trading as Kingdom of Zion Ltd).
Sam, who represented himself in court, was employed by the owner and sole director of the park’s operating company - Suzanne Eisenhut - after Lion Man Craig Busch’s return to the park in February 2012.
He was employed as a business consultant to offer advice on decisions involved in getting the park back on its financial feet.
Sam filed high court proceedings against the operating company Earth Quest saying he is owed nearly $9000 in lost wages.
Under instruction, counsel for the defendant Nick Elsmore argued the action was filed outside the 30 day window.
The liquidation application was permitted to continue when it was found it was filed with a day to spare.
At the disputed facts hearing the defence argued against the application saying Sam was also trading under a company name.
The defendants also argued against the High Court application to liquidate Earth Crest Ltd, saying the case is more suited to the Employment Relations Authority, the Employment Court or District Court.
There was another technical argument over the address for service, and whether it should have been in Tauranga or Kamo, Whangarei. The application to liquidate has to be served at the company’s registered head office, which Nick says was filed after the company had moved head office to Kamo.
Sam rebutted the arguments.
The defendants also argued Sam owed them $10,000 for damage to a serval cage he allegedly caused doing work that wasn’t authorised by the owner, so they owe him nothing.

India, Nepal zoo bodies agree to work together
India's Central Zoo Authority (CZA) and the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTTC) in Nepal signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday to foster closer professional zoo relationship as well as to protect and conserve threatened wildlife and habitats. 
Under the MoU, the agencies will work to promote and co-ordinate staff exchanges to train them in technical and management aspects of zoos, including conservation and research. The CZA will sponsor two senior level NTNC personnel each year while NTNC will annually sponsor one senior level CZA personnel to participate in workshops, trainings and exposure visits. CZA will also annually sponsor veterinarians, biologists, educators and zoo keepers from NTNC to participate in trainings and workshops at Indian zoos. 
"Both parties have agreed to promote the exchange of zoo animal specimens to improve genetic diversity, ensure sustainable captive breeding, enhance species existence in captivity and highlight species diversity. They will undertake joint 

In defense of dolphins
Diana Reiss' research changed the way we look at dolphins, but dolphin advocacy is her priority
In the fall of 1985, a giant humpback whale named Humphrey attracted international fame when he lost his way while migrating southward to breed. He ended up swimming into the San Francisco Bay instead. For two weeks rescuers from The Marine Mammal Center in California and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration desperately tried to lead him back to sea but had little success. Finally, they called in Diana Reiss, a renowned dolphin researcher, to help. By then Humphrey was already 80 miles inland and his beautiful coat was decaying due to extended exposure to fresh water.
Reiss temporarily abandoned her dolphin research at Marine World and joined the flotilla that was trying to herd Humphrey back to the ocean. It was there that fellow marine biologist Kenneth Norris introduced Reiss and the rescue team to the oikomi technique – the Japanese method of creating a sound barrier to herd marine mammals. Together with Norris and other marine experts, Reiss banged metal pipes off the sides of their boats. The sound formed an acoustic barrier that coaxed Humphrey to swim south, out of the bay.
"Norris was the first to tell me about the technique,” says Reiss, sitting in her cramped office at Hunter College in New York City, where she is a full-time professor. Little did she know that the same method they used to save Humphrey was being used to slaughter dolphins in Japan. This would become a key issue of her advocacy work years later.
But Reiss didn’t start out as a marine biologist or as an activist. Her first inclinations were towards the arts. After attending an all-women’s college, she went on to a Master of Fine Arts program in stage design. She then began working at an independent and experimental Philadelphia theater. But a few years in, she realized that her heart was not completely in it, so she began taking courses in animal behavior at Temple University in Philadelphia. That’s whe
Zoo director receives national award
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) announced today that Jim Anderson, Director of the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, has been named AZA Inspector of the Year.
Anderson serves as an Inspector for zoos seeking accreditation through the AZA.   He has served as Director of the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo since 1994.  He first joined the staff as a train driver while on summer break from college in 1976.
"Accreditation is one of the most important components of the AZA, and we rely on our inspectors to ensure that zoos and aquariums meet the highest standards,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. "Jim’s leadership, dedication, and extensive experience make him a valuable member of the AZA inspection team.”
Anderson has conducted 20 inspections at zoos around the country and is currently vice-chair of the AZA Accreditation Commission.  He also serves as a mentor for zoos seeking accreditation and on a variety of boards and committees with AZA.
"I have the privilege of working with Jim Anderson on an almost daily basis,” said Chuck Surack, President of Sweetwater, who serves as President of the Fort Wayne Zoological Society Board of Directors.  "He is a real treasure for the Fort Wayne community, and it's great to see him recognized nationally for his leadership in the zoo profession. He has accomplished remarkable things at our zoo, a
Rare Asiatic Golden Cats are World-First Test Tube Babies
A pair of Asiatic golden cats have been bred using artificial insemination for the first time in an effort to ensure the future of this rare and beautiful species.
Asiatic golden cats (Pardofelis temminckii) are small, nocturnal cats that live in the tropical rainforests of southeast Asia, their range stretching from China, Nepal and India to Burma, Thailand and Malaysia. They’re about two or three times the size of a house cat, the females growing to around 66 cm long (minus the tail) and 9 kg in weight, and the males are much larger at 105 cm long and 16 kg. They are shy animals that live solitary lives, fiercely maintaining large territories and only coming together briefly to mate.
The most common colouring of an Asiatic golden cat is a golden brown or fox-red, but they can also be a dark brown, grey or pale cinnamon. There is also a spotted, ocelot-like morph that is more common in China than the usual colouring, and numerous melanistic, or black, individuals have been found, particularly in Nepal. There’s even a tiny area in Sikkim, which is a small mountainous state in the Eastern Himalayan region, where melanistic Asiatic golden cats are far more common than any other morph.
Because of their striking colour, in some parts of Thailand Asiatic golden cats are called "Seua fai”, meaning ‘fire tiger’, and local legend states that the burning of its fur or the eating of its flesh can drive tigers away. The Karen people of Thailand and Burma believe that carrying a single Asiatic golden cat hair will have the same effect.
Tiger lair ‘open’
A TIGER was allowed to roam free and kill zookeeper Sarah McClay after its enclosure was left unlocked, it was revealed yesterday.
Bosses at South Lakes Wild Animal Park said the 24-year-old Scot’s death was the result of "human error” — because checks were NOT made to ensure the den doors were closed.
And they claimed Sarah, of Glasgow, failed to follow security protocol before she was dragged from a workers’ pen by the Sumatran tiger on Friday.
A zoo statement said: "Sarah was in the keeper work area at the time
Beaver kills man trying to pose for photo
It was the most serious in a string of beaver attacks on humans in Belarus, as the rodents have turned increasingly aggressive when confronted by humans after wandering near homes, shops and schools.
The fisherman wanted his photo shot with a beaver. The beaver had other ideas: It attacked the 60-year-old man with razor-sharp teeth, slicing an artery and causing him to bleed to death.
It was the most serious in a string of beaver attacks on humans in Belarus, as the rodents have turned increasingly aggressive when confronted by humans after wandering near homes, shops and schools.
"The character of the wound was totally shocking for us medical professionals,” recalled village doctor Leonty Sulim. "We had never run into anything like this before.”
Once hunted nearly to extinction in Europe, beavers have made a comeback as hunting was banned or restricted and new populations were introduced. In Belarus, a former Soviet nation between Russia and Poland, the beaver population has tripled in the past decade to an estimated 80,000, according t

Could SeaWorld's concept art for Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin have set up visitors for disappointment?
SeaWorld Orlando's largest-ever theme park investment, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin has opened to huge crowds (with wait times typically exceeding two hours)… and mediocre reviews. Some fans have lauded the ride for its advanced ride system and intricate set detail. But others have ripped it [see comments] for lacking an engaging story and not delivering enough on-ride views of the attraction's stars -- SeaWorld's penguins.
SeaWorld promoted the attraction aggressively, as one would expect given the size of its investment, which park president Terry Prather has called the largest in company history. In addition to the predictable media outreach, SeaWorld tried to appeal directly to fans through social media, including a YouTube series called "Behind the Freeze," in which SeaWorld Creative Director Brian Morrow updated fans on the progress of the new attraction in the months leading to its opening last week.
But could some of SeaWorld's early marketing efforts set the stage for public disappointment in its new ride? Many fans complained the Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin did not meet their e
In pictures: Yorkshire Wildlife Park to open £1.2m conference space
Yorkshire Wildlife Park is to open The Monkey Playhouse - a £1.2m complex with two conference suites - in June 2013.
The Monkey Playhouse houses a 600m2 play area and café with two conference suites.
The first floor Gallery Suite backs onto a huge glass viewing window that overlooks an outdoor enclosure with 17 baboons. This space can be used for a wide range of meetings, conferences and team building events, catering up to 100 delegates. 
The larger of the two spaces – The Outlook Suite – is equipped with an AV system and caters for up to 140 guests.
The venue also has outdoor break-out spaces with panoramic views of Yorkshire’s very own African Plains and Lemur Woods.
Both suites can be boo
Safety at safari park paramount
Blair Drummond Safari Park has re-assured visitors that safety remains paramount at the attraction after a woman was knocked over by a llama.
Jackie MacDonald (61) was at the park with her 10-year-old grand-daughter Eve last Friday when she was jostled by a llama said to have been "spooked” after a pig had entered the pen they were in.
Mrs MacDonald, from Dumbarton, was there with keen animal-lover Eve, who had received the park’s `junior keeper for the day’ experience ticket as a special treat, when the incident happened.
The grandmother said that they were enjoying their day when one of the llamas charged into her, knocking her to the ground and leaving her with pain to her head and hip. Mrs MacDonald, who sa

The Untold Story Of Sun Bears And Their Contribution To The Forest
From dispersing fruit seeds to carving out narrow holes on trees, later used by hornbills and squirrels to nest, the Malayan Sun Bear contributes to a thriving forest habitat.
The smallest of the world's bears serve as forest doctors, engineers and planters and by foraging for termites and other insects, help mix nutrients in the soil.
Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) founder and chief executive officer Wong Siew Te said the species that lives in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia also play an important role in the ecosystem.
Describing the Sun Bear's task as a forest doctor, Wong said the species uses its claws to scrape off and destroy termite nests around tree barks, and this in turn saves the host tree from dying due to termite infestation.
"Sun Bears do this to get termites and their larvae, an important food source for these bears. If they do not do this, the termites will eventually kill the host tree by feeding on the wood fiber from the inside.
"Uncontrolled termite populations could lead to the death of many trees," he said in a statement issued by the BSBCC to create awareness on the Sun Bear which is listed as "Vulnerable" on The IUCN Red List and at risk of becoming endangered unless circumstances threatening their survival improve.
Threats including habitat loss, poaching and t
New plan to protect elephants
Scientists, NGOs and the public to help Wildlife and National Parks Department improve conservation and management techniques, and curb poaching and illegal trading of wildlife parts, writes Nuradilla Noorazam
 PERHILITAN has  confirmed that a new  initiative, called the  National Elephant Conservation Action Plan (NECAP),  which is based on collaborative efforts by the department and the Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia since last year, is expected to be unveiled  this year.
A Perhilitan spokesman said NECAP would be more comprehensive than previous plans and was designed to encourage holistic management for elephant conservation, requiring paramount commitment from stakeholders, government agencies, non-governmental organisations and the public to address the threats and constraints in conservation endeavours.
NECAP will also feature a more extensive scientific-based approach in dealing with the challenges in ensuring the continuous survival of elephant species in the peninsula. The plan encourages academicians and scientists to conduct more research on wildlife conservation and management techniques, as well as new te
Penguin theft? I've seen it all at Dublin Zoo
HE was a Rose of Tralee escort and even auditioned for Big Brother, but Dublin zookeeper Brendan Walsh is most at ease around animals.
The zoo is part of our national psyche and, at over 180 years old, is one of the oldest and perhaps most progressive zoological gardens in the world.
Mind you, it did come very close to the brink in the early 1990s – but a significant grant and additional allocated park land meant the facilities for animals have been vastly improved.
Gone are the days of elephant rides and the monkeys' tea party.
In fact, chimps Betty and Wendy, now aged 51, are in a 'retirement home' of sorts within the zoo itself, which is still open to the public.
Staff are now driving the message of education, conservation and the welfare of the animals themselves. Crucial to th





Wild lynx to be brought back to British countryside
Wild lynx could be allowed to roam the British countryside for the first time in almost 1,000 years under plans by a group of leading wildlife experts.
Senior biologists and cat specialists are this week due to apply for a license to reintroduce the cats, which can grow up to four feet in length, into an area of forest on the west coast of Scotland.
Under the plans, which have been backed by officials from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), two pairs of Eurasian lynx would be brought to this country from northern Europe.
A new charity, the Lynx UK Trust, has now been set up by the biologists to oversee the project. They are to submit an official application for a permit to Scottish Natural Heritage, which regulates species reintroduction in Scotland.
The initial reintroduction would act as trial to see whether lynx could then be reintroduced to other areas of the country including parts of Wales and northern England.
The plan, however, is expected to be controversial with farmers and some land owners, who will see the lynx a

Santa Cruz Island foxes back from the brink of extinction (Photos)
Nestled among California's Channel Islands you'll find Santa Cruz Island, home to pristine chaparral, sea caves and the island fox: a small, fuzzy relative of the gray fox found only on the Channel Islands. But just 15 years ago you'd have a hard time tracking one down — fewer  than 100 foxes lived on the island in 2000.

Today there are more than 1,300 foxes roaming Santa Cruz Island. KPCC's Kevin Ferguson reports on the animal’s comeback.

On a Monday morning, a dozen reporters and I boarded a boat headed for Santa Cruz Island. The Nature Conservancy and National Park Service — the island's two landowners — were taking a victory lap celebrating the conservancy's five-year effort to bring back the tiny island fox.

The island — just 20 miles off the coast — is the largest of California's Channel Islands, roughly three times the size of Manhattan. Although it's largely uninhabited today, that wasn't always the case. In fact, as recently as 1984, the island was home to several farms and ranches. Today it’s home to a few rangers, researchers and the occasional hiking group.

Christie Boser, a biologist for Santa Cruz Island with the Nature Conservancy, is guiding us to demonstrate what's becom

Cheetah owners in UAE can help save species from extinction
Cheetahs kept by private collectors could help efforts to save the species from extinction, according to a leading conservationist.
Several wildlife centres in the UAE already participate in international captive breeding programmes. However, Dr Laurie Marker, one of the world's top experts on cheetahs, says individuals with one or two animals also have a part to play.
Dr Marker, who lives in Namibia, is the founder and executive director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, which operates a number of initiatives to protect the animals.
She is the keeper of the international cheetah stud book that is used to plan captive breeding programmes. Animals from different collections around the world are brought together to mate, according to a schedule designed to maximise the genetic viability of the total captive population.
"We've helped the world to develop a cooperative programme to manage the animals properly, to care for them properly and communicate about their animals," said Dr Marker. "Thi

SA farmers fingered in lion smuggling
South African lion breeders are alleged to be part of an illegal network smuggling lion and cheetah cubs from Botswana to stock their farms.
At least five South African lion farmers have been fingered in investigations in which lionesses are killed in Botswana and their cubs smuggled to lion farms in South Africa, where a multimillion rand industry caters to the international trophy-hunting market.

"I don't want to say lion breeders as a whole are involved but there are definitely five or six people that I know of," said conservationist Sarel van der Merwe, chairman of the African Lion Working Group.

About 700 lions are killed in trophy hunts in South Africa each year, with the average price for a lion hunt being R360000, said Adri Kitshoff of the Professional Hunters' Association of SA.

There are about 160 lion-breeding farms in South Africa in which up to 5000 animals are held in captivity, according to Fiona Miles, of international rescue organisation Four Paws.

The hunting of captive-bred lions and the extremely lucrative trade in lion bones with Southeast Asia is legal in South Africa, despite mounting pressure for both activities to be banned. Wildlife experts believe that the canned hunting industry fuels the illegal cross-border trade in lions.

Botswana is known for its strict conservation policies. President Ian Khama, a keen conservationist, has decreed a total ban on hunting from January.

According to a report in the Botswana daily newspaper Mmegi, the trade in lion involves live animals, skins, trophies and game meat. Big cats from Botswana are fed into the "canned hunting" industry in South Africa.

"Everybody knows what is going on," said Van der Merwe.

"The guys in the Problem Animal Control Group (a government body thatdeals with "problem" predators in Botswana) all have cellphones. Instead of reporting problem animals to their superiors, they call farmers in South Africa."

If the problem animal is a liones

Secrets of the bone trade told
On the farm of Nico Roux in Heilbron in the Free State lies a magnificent eight-year-old white lion male - with piercing blue eyes and light-golden mane.
He is one of about 5000 captive-bred lions in South Africa but, partly because of his colour, and, partly because of the plans of his owner, he will hopefully never end up in the sights of a hunter.

He is probably worth more alive and as a tourist attraction than as a target for trophy-hunting.

"The hunter wants the wild lion," said a hunting expert who asked not to be named.

The hunting of animals bred in captivity is controversial, but as one lion farmer described it, to farmers, the keeping and breeding of lion to sell for hunting purposes are the same as breeding sheep.

"If it pays it stays," said another.

On a more frequent basis, lion bones are exported to Southeast Asian countries, to be processed into cocktails like "lion bone wine", which is used to heal aches and pains like rheumatism, and increase virility.

On the roof of a shed next to his ho

Four ‘white lions’ arrive at Safari Niagara; Contest to name them launches Monday
afari Niagara introduced four white lions this weekend – two males and two females – ranging from five to seven months old.

They were captive born from a facility in South Africa, arriving April 17 and will be a permanent exhibit at the zoo.

White Lions are extremely rare and have not been seen in the wild in more th

South Africa: Zuma-lion bone advert contested by Avaaz
A campaign group has taken court action in South Africa over the removal of an advertisement urging President Jacob Zuma to ban the trade in lion bones.

The advert, showing a lioness looking down the barrel of a gun with Mr Zuma in the background, was removed from the main airport in Johannesburg last year.

Campaign group Avaaz said airport authorities violated freedom of expression by pulling down its advert.

Asia is a lucrative market for lion bones, used in traditional medicines.

Official statistics show that South Africa increased its export of lion bones by 250% between 2008 and 2010, Avaaz says.

It placed the advert at

African elephants to reproduce in Beijing
Female African elephant Zhouzhou prepares for her trip to Beijing to mate with the male elephant Zhuangzhuang, at the Nanning Zoo, Nanning, South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on May 24, 2013. Two 18-year-old female elephants, Feifei and Zhouzhou from the Nanning Zoo, both weighing 2,000 kilograms, will be moved to the Beijing Zoo to mate with Zhuangzhuang. Zhouzhou will travel from Nanning in a 13-meter "wedding cage" and Feifei will travel from Liuzhou, South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. Zoo employees hope the reproduction of elephants can add to the population of the endangered African species.

Zoo challenged over keeper’s death as police say tiger had escaped
A woman who died after she was mauled by a Sumatran tiger in a zoo in Cumbria could have been dragged by the animal into a pen, police have said.

Sarah McClay, 24, died on Friday when she was attacked by a tiger at South Lakes Wild Animal Park in Cumbria.

The news appears to contradict the zoo's version of events which sparked an angry reaction from Ms McClay's family over the weekend as they rejected suggestions from the park owner she had died from an "error of judgement".

Cumbria Constabulary said the tiger escaped from its pen and attacked the 24-year-old zoo worker in the staff area which animals are not supposed to enter, adding there was no suggestion of "foul play or any issue of suicide or self-harm".

David Gill, the park owner, had said there was "no reason" for Ms McClay to be in the big cat enclosure and that she died from a "sad error of judgement and breach of protocols."

The incident could raise questions about keeping dangerous animals in captivity. Proponents argue zoos are necessary to preserve endangered species and raise awareness




Second chance for rare turtles
One hundred rare turtle hatchlings have been released into the Mekong River in Cambodia as part of conservation efforts, after receiving a traditional Buddhist blessing from monks.

Listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and found mainly in Southeast Asia, the critically endangered Cantor's giant soft-shelled turtle was believed to be extinct in Cambodia until it was rediscovered in the Mekong River in northeastern Kratie province in 2007.

Since that rediscovery, Conservation International (CI), a US-based environmental NGO, has made inroads into protecting the species and ensuring its continued survival

UAE reaffirms resolve to fight wildlife crimes
Nation’s commitment to protect flora and fauna evident in intervention to stop illegal shipment of tusks
The timely interception by Dubai Customs authorities, to prevent the illegal shipment of elephant tusks, signifies that countries opposed to smuggling and selling of endangered species of animals or their body parts, are escalating their operations against poachers.
The mass slaughter of elephants for ivory is resulting not only in endangering the species and lowering their numbers, but also in promoting the ivory trade, which is illegal in most countries. It is believed that a staggering 50,000 elephants may have been killed for their ivory last year. This leads to a waning of numbers. The UAE is a proactive player in regulating and controlling international trade in wild flora and fauna. Stringent federal laws have been set up to thwart the ambitions of those who indulge in such activity. Punitive measures are also set in place.
More than the laws that are formulated, however, it is also up to individuals or customers who must play their part in curbing this illicit activity. Awareness is crucial. Think before you buy works m

Zookeeper Sarah McClay dies after being mauled by tiger at Cumbria animal park
24-year-old woman was taken by ambulance to Preston Royal Infirmary
A 24-year-old woman has died after she was attacked by a tiger inside an enclosure at a zoo in Cumbria.

Police said Sarah McClay was attacked at the South Lakes Wild Animal Park, near Dalton in Furness. She was taken by air ambulance to Royal Preston Hospital following the attack, where she later died.

Police and Barrow Borough Council are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Ms McClay's family were "very shocked and distressed" and had requested privacy to grieve, police said.

Cumbria Police said the animal was later securely locked in its enclosure and there had not been any risk to the public.

The wildlife park closed early following the attack, as officials from Cumbria police and Barrow Borough Council arrived to investigate the circumstances leading to the incident.

David Gill, the o

Endangered Species: Egypt's gazelles
Egypt’s gazelle population has decreased consistently and drastically for the past four decades mainly due to two factors: unregulated hunting practices and habitat destruction.

Three species of gazelle used to live across Egypt. The Arabian gazelle is thought to have completely disappeared, as the most recent footprints of this mammal were found in the 1930s in Wadi al-Arish at the border with Israel.

The slender-horned gazelle’s population is difficult to estimate, but according to Omar Attum, professor of biology at Indiana University Southeast who closely studies Egypt’s gazelles, the number of slender-horned gazelles is likely no higher than a hundred.

"Slender-horned gazelles have low population densities. There have been some records of them in Siwa recently, but I really worry as the revolution in Libya has made weapons more widely available in a very large and porous border area,” he explains, stressing that whenever there is an armed conflict anywhere in the world, wildlife is threatened.

Richard Hoath, British naturalist and author of the book, "A Field Guide to the Mammals of Egypt,” explains that the population of slender-horned gazelles is limited to an area southwest of Fayoum. "This gazelle is strictly a desert species; it is able to survive without drinking water its entire life, provided it can feed on desert shrubs and bushes,” he explains animatedly.

The most common gazelle in Egypt today is the Dorcas gazelle, which lives in stony deserts and coastal plains with vegetation. Gazelles in desert areas play an important role of keeping the ecosystem balanced, as some

Animals escape from Alberta zoo; staff say holes cut in fences
RCMP are investigating after workers at a private zoo in Alberta say pen fences were deliberately damaged this weekend, allowing a number of exotic animals to escape.
According to GuZoo Animal Farm staff members, more than 11 holes were cut in pen fences sometime between late Saturday evening and early Sunday morning. A number of animals, including yaks, buffalo, Barbados Blackbelly sheep, coyotes, ostriches and a sika deer escaped.
Staff members say the perimeter fence of the family-owned zoo was not damaged and workers were able to corral the animals and return them to t





Toronto Zoo elephants won't fly south earlier than fall, says Canadian military 

Zoocheck, coordinating the move to the California PAWS sanctuary, is disappointed National Defence can't say when or if it will supply a cargo plane. National Defence officials in Ottawa have given the thumbs down — for now at least — to providing a transport plane to fly three of the Toronto Zoo's elephants to California, saying the earliest a move could happen would be the fall. The statement, issued lateFriday evening, came as disappointing news to Zoocheck Canada, the organization working to get the zoo's three remaining elephants, Toka, Thika and Iringa, to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in California. "It has been so frustrating, as we waited a full year while (Toronto) zoo staff stalled under the guise of due diligence, and now these further delays are not in the best interest of the animals,'' said Julie Woodyer, a Zoocheck director. Zoocheck, an animal rights organization, is working alongside PAWS to facilitate the move. The organizations approached the defence department earlier this year to borrow a military transport plane for the move. The zoo opposed the idea of the animals going to PAWS, in large part because the sanctuary isn't accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The zoo also has concerns about how PAWS has managed tuberculosis among Asian elephants at the sanctuary, but PAWS and Zoocheck say the matter is under control, and Toronto's African elephants won't come into contact with the illness. The zoo was forced to go along with the move to PAWS after Toronto city council voted twice to   have the animals sent there. The zoo has handed over responsibility of shipping its elephants to Zoocheck, which is why the organization turned to the Canadian military a few months ago. Former Price is Right game show host and animal advocate Bob Barker is financing the move. But there was a time factor: It isn't safe to move the pachyderms in hot weather, and the latest they could go was mid- to late June, Zoocheck said. In its statement Friday, National Defence said, "We have been unable to resolve issues to allow for their move befor


India Calls Dolphins `Non-Human Persons', Bans In-Captivity Shows

India's Ministry of Environment and Forests, has banned public entertainment shows by captive dolphins calling it morally unacceptable. In a statement by the Central Zoo Authority, the Government of India has advised all state governments in the country to reject any proposal to establish a dolphinarium "by any person / persons, organizations, government agencies, private or public enterprises that involves the import [and] capture of cetacean species to [use] for commercial entertainment, private or public exhibition and [other] interaction purposes whatsoever." Avinash Basker, Legal Consultant at the Wildlife Protection Society of India said: "As far as Dolphins in captivity are concerned, it's a great step. Dolphins hunting is illegal in India and those in captivity in the country would have been captured elsewhere in the world. Thus, it's good for Dolphins globally." Basker, however, mentions that there are other challenges about Dolphin Conservation in the country. "There are sporadic reports on Dolphin meat consumption in southern Indian states. The Extent of this problem is … not known as the fishing industry is not well regulated here." In India, Dolphins are protected


Story of a Zookeeper 

Ethan Anderson, 24, communes with the animals as a Central Florida Zoo hoof stock keeper. "I was always fascinated with nature as a young boy. Animals that are born in zoos don't know a life other than that. By working in animal care management, I wanted to give animals the best possible life, given the circumstances."  By the time Anderson was 18, he had researched careers in wildlife biology and field studies. After interning at Zoo Boise in Idaho, where he grew up, Anderson got his two-year degree in zookeeping from Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado. Then he had the chance to intern at the Central Florida Zoo, where he was hired full time last year. "I like working with the camel (Sir Gus Jr., shown) right now. He's very intuitive and motivated; he's got a great personality. Animals can teach you so much just from their body language." "My most memorable moment this year was hand-feeding one of the kangaroos. They kind of grab your hand with their paws, and it's a form of kinship with the animal and respect for you in being their caretaker. It's an enlightening feeling." "There are still moments when I get scared. Anything can happen. Sometimes you get in positions where the animal does get the better of you—that's just part of the job. You can't hold it against the animal; they're just being a wild animal." "It happened to me with a kangaroo. We were restraining him to give him some medication. They don't like being contained or held down, and when we finally got him and injected the medic


Turtles get unusual treatment: acupuncture 

Two rescued sea turtles are getting help easing back into the wild — from an acupuncturist. Dexter and Fletcher Moon, sea turtles stuck on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, get pricks from tiny needles in a therapy called acupuncture, which is used mostly on humans to relieve pain or treat disease.


Anteater's Surprise Pregnancy: Virgin Birth Explained 

Who's Your Daddy?

Archie the giant anteater may have a hard time answering that question. Born to mom Armani at the LEO Zoological Center in Greenwich, Connecticut, Archie seems perfectly normal except for one small detail: Zookeepers have no idea how he came into being. Armani had previously given birth to a baby named Alice after a romantic rendezvous with Alf, a male anteater also at LEO. But this wasn't an episode of Leave it to Beaver. Male anteaters are known to kill and eat their offspring, so the zoo's staff kept Alf separate from Armani and Alice for several months. Before the anteater family was reunited, however, Armani somehow got pregnant with Archie, according to the Connecticut newspaper Greenwich Time. (Related post: "Weird Animal Courtship and Mating Rituals.") This pregnancy mystery immediately triggered thoughts of virgin birth, a.k.a. parthenogenesis. Animals conceived via parthenogenesis don't actually have a father. Instead, the embryo grows and develops in the absence of fertilization. It sounds unusual—some might even say miraculous—but it's a surprisingly common occurrence in the animal kingdom. Researchers believe that an absence of available males likely drives the phenomenon. Although a variety of different animals have been found to reproduce via parthenogenesis, it is most common in invertebrates (such as water fleas, parasitic wasps, and bees) and certain types of vertebrates (fish, amphibians, and occasionally birds). Although the exact mechanisms of parthenogenetic reproduction can vary from species to species, all parthenogenesis produces normal, healthy offspring. Check out the wide range of spe 


Penguin exhibit at Florida's SeaWorld will get 10 tons of snow daily

SeaWorld Orlando opened its "Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins" on Friday, a new attraction that will be coated with 10 tons of fresh snow each day. To recreate a cold, dry climate suitable for penguins in hot, humid Florida, designers used airtight doors, humidifiers and air purifiers, SeaWorld said. Icicles and glittering ice crystals were created out of hand-blown Pyrex and glass. Housed in a facility kept at 30 degrees, it is the coldest exhibit ever featured at Florida's major theme parks, which include Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. The attraction features almost 250 so-called "flippered flyers" from such penguin varieties as Gentoo, Adelie and Rockhopper and


Tokyo Sea Life exhibits rare larvae 

Tokyo Sea Life Park has begun exhibiting fry of the unique ocellated icefish, after successfully hatching eggs from a pair of the rare creatures for the first time in the world earlier this month. Put on displayThursday at the aquarium in Edogawa Ward are three larvae of the Antarctic Ocean- dwelling fish, the only vertebrate whose blood is transparent. The larvae are 2.2 to 2.5 cm in length, according to sea life spokesman Satoshi Tada. On Tuesday, the aquarium announced it had managed to hatch the occellated icefish eggs May 7. As of Monday, about 20 larval fish had emerged from several hundred eg


Feds won't prosecute wind farm if turbine blades kill a condor 

Federal wildlife officials on Friday for the first time agreed not to prosecute a developer if an endangered California condor is struck and killed by turbine blades at its proposed wind farm in the Tehachapi Mountains, about 100 miles north of Los Angeles. In granting a right-of-way, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, with approval of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will shield Alta Windpower Development from prosecution if a condor is fatally injured at its 2,300-acre site near the high-desert town of Mojave during the projected 30-year lifetime of the project. The Fish and Wildlife Service believes that the likelihood of a condor being killed at the 153- megawatt project, a subsidiary of Terra-Gen Power, is low because site is outside the bird's historic range and on the leeward slopes all but devoid of thermal updrafts the majestic scavengers with 10-foot wingspans need to gain altitude and soar. Also, Terra-Gen plans to install a detection system designed to switch off its 456-foot-t,0,3874393.story


Scientists Announce Top 10 New Species 

An amazing glow-in-the-dark cockroach, a harp-shaped carnivorous sponge and the smallest vertebrate on Earth are just three of the newly discovered top 10 species selected by the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University. A global committee of taxonomists— scientists responsible for species exploration and classification— announced its list of top 10 species from 2012. The announcement, now in its sixth year, coincides with the anniversary of the birth of Carolus Linnaeus— the 18th century Swedish botanist responsible for the modern system of scientific names and classifications. Also slithering its way onto this year's top 10 is a snail-eating false coral snake, as well as flowering bushes from a disappearing forest in Madagascar, a green lacewing that was discovered through social media and hangingflies that perfectly mimicked ginkgo tree leaves 165 million years ago. Rounding out the list is a new monkey with a blue-colored behind and human-like eyes, a tiny violet and a black staining fungus that threatens rare Paleolithic cave paintings in France. "We have identified only about two million of an estimat


Green tape fails to ground airborne ark 

LIKE a new-age Noah, Tim Husband is counting them off: 23 lions, two Bengal tigers, a pair of pygmy hippos, one rhinoceros. White. Spider monkeys, brown bears, ostriches, hippopotami and ringtailed lemurs are being loaded on the chartered Boeing 474 to take them from Cairns to a new home in Indonesia. Nothing has been left to chance in this airlift, the biggest of its kind to be mounted from Australia. Customised travel boxes have been built for each of the 38 exotic animals. For a month, Mr Husband and his team have been walking them in and out of the crates to get them used to the confines. The tawny African lions, it turned out, wer






Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright, Just One Gene To Make It White
White tigers were first recorded in India in the 1500s, but the last wild one was shot in 1958. Still, this spectral animal thrives in captivity. Its captivating white coat and blue eyes have made it a popular mainstay of zoos, and a small number of individuals have been repeatedly bred with each other to boost captive numbers. There were just a few dozen in the 1970s. Now, there are hundreds.

The white tiger isn’t a species in its own right, or even a subspecies. Instead, it’s a mutant version of the Bengal tiger, whose orange coat has whitened thanks to an extremely rare recessive gene. If a tiger inherits two copies of this recessive variant, one from each parent, it’s white. If it has even one normal copy, it’s orange.

Back in the 1970s, Roy Robinson suggested that the gene in question was tyrosinase (TYR). It’s involved in making melanin—a pigment responsible for black, brown, red and yellow colours. If individuals have faulty versions of TYR, they are born without melanin and have pale hair, skin and eyes—they’re called albinos.

The white tiger isn’t a true albino since it still has black pigment in its stripes and eyes. Instead, Robinson thought that it carries chinchilla—a version of the TYR gene that only removes the type of melanin behind yellow and red colours. Withou

Amid public backlash, zoo explains why snake was put down
The snake found on Tucker’s Point Golf Course was euthanized because it posed a ‘potentially devastating threat” to the island’s ecology.

Conservations Services Director, Drew Pettit, said experts had considered every possible option before deciding to humanely put down the Southern Black Racer that was found last week.

He told the Bermuda Sun: "Euthanizing animals is never an enjoyable task and is done at BAMZ only after careful consideration of multiple factors including the health status of the animal and,

Calgary Zoo forced to destroy penguin eggs
Two gentoo penguin pairs successfully laid three eggs at the Calgary Zoo this month — but all three eggs will have to be destroyed.

The gentoos are part of a species survival plan, a captive breeding program for endangered species.

The plan comes with specific breeding recommendations outlined by American zoo officials, which the Calgary Zoo must follow.

For the gentoos, part of the criteria is that the animal must have a traceable genetic background, otherwise it is excluded from breeding.

But despite the zoo’s best efforts, a female cleared for breeding mated with a male that wasn’t due to his murky genetic history, and they produced two eggs.

Another pair of gentoos, both with untraceable genetic pasts, also mated and produced an egg.

"Even though we all want to have penguin chicks, we take it very seriously that they are in captiv

Species Donated to Cuba by Serbian Zoo
As part of the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Cuba and Serbia, both nations announced the donation by Serbia of a couple of crocodiles and four flamingos.

In a press conference, Cuban Ambassador to Belgrade, Mercedes Martinez and the director of the Serbian zoo, Vuk Bojovi, gave information on the donation, for the joy of Cuban and Serbian visitors.

The animals have already adapted


Jury out on former owner of the Birds of Prey Centre in Newent, accused of owl thefts
JURORS are deciding whether the former boss of Newent's International Centre for Birds of Prey stole owls from zoos across Europe.
Keith Beaven, pictured, has denied four counts of theft of owls, as well three counts of fraud, one of falsely certifying black kites and another of selling the same bird, an endangered species.
During the week long trial, Gloucester Crown Court heard the 68-year-old, who ran the centre until February 2009, made false representations and conned international zoos into believing he still owned it.
The prosecution alleged he borrowed birds, pretending they were being used for breeding programmes, and then sold them on.
Beaven, of Corse, is accused of stealing two eagle owls from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, which had been seized by border officials, along with a ural owl, a spotted owl and a boobook owl from Dudley Zoo; a milky owl owned by Heidelberg Zoo in Germany and a strix uralen owl from Paignton Zoo in Devon.
He had admitted the theft of two surnia ulula hawk owls from the Ostrava Zoo in the Czech Republic and one count of fraud when he told them he was the owner of the majestic birds and gained £800.
Beaven told the court he genuinely believed he was the owner of some of the birds and made an administrative error with the kites.
Defending, Sarah Jenkins said Beaven had lost money while running the centre, but was an astute enough businessman to have sold it before he was in serious difficulties. She said: "There was never a suggestion he needed to engage in
Jumbo transport lands bridegroom in trouble
He had arrived at the wedding hall seated on an elephant, a violation of the Wildlife Act. Forest department sleuths who raided the premises have booked a case against the groom and the mahout
It was a big fat Indian wedding, with lots of noise, pomp and dazzle. The extravagance also landed the bridegroom in a soup — even before he tied the knot! Chandan Mal, better known as Manish, the bridegroom, had barely arrived at the Palace Grounds from his home in Sadashivanagar for his nuptials with Dimple when forest sleuths gatecrashed the party. Usually the bridegroom arrives on a horse, but Manish arrived on Rani, a 13-year-old female elephant. 
Using an elephant for commercial purposes is a violation of Central and state wildlife conservation rules. Forest sleuths have booked a case against both ‘giver’ and the ‘taker’ — Manish, who was ‘caught’ riding the elephant, and Hafiz, the mahout who had brought pachyderm to the city from the Sadguru Basavraj Deshi Kendra, a mutt in Airani, Haveri district. 
"This is sheer exhibition of the callous attitude of people to wildlife laws,” said Sharath R Babu, BBMP forest cell advisor. "Neither the mahout nor the bridegroom had the required permission to use the elephant. A wildlife volunteer had tipped us off and both BBMP forest cell sleuths and officials of the forest department raided the place. A case has been registered.”
Sleuths say the bridegroom, a member of the family which owns Sri Ganesh Diamonds and Jewellery, had travelled from his home sitting on the elephant and accompanied by a music band and a huge, noisy crowd. Sleuths say it was huge risk as elephants are sensitive to drums and crowds. Moreover, subjecting the animal to such treatment tantamount to an act of cruelty, they say. 
Sleuths say the elephant was brought in a Tata Acer (KA 25 C 3108) heavily chained for the entire 300-km journey from the mutt in Haveri. I
Man awarded for helping to breed endangered birds
Heizo Sugita, 61, a worker at the Tama Zoological Park, was recently presented with a national award of honor for his work in helping breed rare birds like the Japanese crested ibis and the Oriental stork.
Sugita, who has been raising birds at the zoo for 33 years, was given the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Silver Rays, a medal for public service.
Back in November 1980, just before the last remaining five wild Japanese crested ibises on Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture were caught for protection, Sugita visited the island to see the birds while they were still in their natural habitat. From a position above storied rice paddies on the eastern part of the island, he found himself transfixed by what he saw: the five birds, resting amongst dead pine trees around 300 meters in front of him.
After around an hour of observing the ibises, Sugita watched as they flew off to their nests. "I can never forget the vision of those beautiful birds flying against the blue sky of early winter," he says.
In the mid-1990s, a male Japanese crested ibis named Midori and a female bird from China named Feng-Feng successfully mated and produced eggs, but they were all unfertilized. Sugita, who was serving on a subcommittee on raising crested ibis and their reproduction, suggested cutting the feathers around the birds' cloacae to make it easier for fertilization to occur. This suggestion led to the first successful artificial birth of a Japanese crested ibis in Japan in 1999.
Apart from crested ibises, Sugita has also worke
Parents Sue Pittsburgh Zoo in Boy's Mauling Death
The parents of a 2-year-old boy who fell into a wild African dogs exhibit and was mauled to death last fall have sued the Pittsburgh zoo.
The lawsuit filed Thursday claims that officials had ample warning that parents routinely lifted children onto a rail overlooking the exhibit for a better view.
Jason and Elizabeth Derkosh seek unspecified damages in the Nov. 4 death of their son, Maddox. He fell from the wooden railing after his mother lifted him up to get a better
Israeli Zoo Animals Find New Home in Turkey
In early May, Turkish Airlines hosted an unusual group of passengers flying from Israel to Istanbul. A special group of wildlife animals from Israel’s Ramat Gan Safari and the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo were flown to Turkey on May 7.
Turkish zookeepers located at the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Natural Life Park asked the Ramat Gan Safari to assist them in expanding their African section of animals. A total of 45 animals of seven different species were flown including three meerkats, six nyalas, three monkeys, six fruit bats, three zebras and several antelopes.
In addition, according to the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News, 20 sacred ibis, a species of long-legged birds, were brought from the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo (Tisch Family Zoological Garden). It was the the first time that the Izmir Natural Life Park had become home to some of these species, including the sacred ibis and fruit bats, sent from Israel.
The Turkish daily reported that the new guests were first brought to Istanbul by plane and following customs transactions, were then transported by a special truck to Izmir. Israeli zookeepers, veterinarians, an
Breakaway bear causes panic at zoo
f you thought the drama and excitement of a beast breaking free from its zoo cage and giving zookeepers and visitors a hard time was the stuff of movies only, an enterprising Himalayan bear and ill-equipped staff at Kanpur zoo just proved you wrong.
The female bear, Priya, not only broke through the wooden cage in which she was quarantined for treatment, but also managed to disappear for a while, bringing the anxious zoo authorities on their toes, and resulting in the closure of the zoo for a brief period on Wednesday morning.
The bear was finally found perched atop a tree, and refused to come down even though the zoo authorities offered it baits like jaggery and conveniences like, well, a ladder. With all their efforts going in vain, the zoo staff finally placed a log alongside the tree and adopted the wait-and-watch policy. All this while, a tranquiliser gun was kept handy just in case the bear got in a bad mood.
Meanwhile, visitors already present in the zoo were asked to leave and no new visitors were allowed entry into the zoo premises. Barricades were also erected on the road leading to the hospital.
As news of the breakaway bear spread, Nawabganj locals gathered at the main gate of the zoo, vying to catch a glimpse of the nervous scenes inside the zoo. This however led to some heated exchange of words between the congregation of the curious and the zoo staff.
French ex-leader Giscard d'Estaing reveals panda attack
Former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing has revealed he was once jumped on by a panda when he dared himself to enter its cage.
He said he had been visiting Vincennes Zoo in Paris, where his daughter was on work experience, when he decided to test his "presidential courage".
A panda leapt on him and staff had to free him from its claws, Mr Giscard d'Estaing, 87, told a conference.
An expert at Edinburgh Zoo told the BBC the ex-leader had had a lucky escape.
"Although they are vegetarian bears, obviously at the end of the day pandas are still very powerful and muscular bears with teeth and claws to match," Iain Valentine, director of giant pandas at th
2 brown bears rescued from captivity in Kosovo
Two brown bears have been released into a special sanctuary after being held in a 20-square-meter cage almost their entire lives to amuse visitors at a Kosovo restaurant.
Ari and Arina, both 10 years old, were taken to their new, much larger home, by the international animal charity group Four Paws, which helped sedate and transport them.
Kosovo does not allow private ownership of wild animals, a measure it hasn't always enforced. Police on Wednesday held back the restaurant's angry owners as the bears were taken away.
An Environment Ministry statement said the bears were happy with their new home, which lies outside the capital, Pristina.
What’s Eating ‘Keet,’ SeaWorld’s Captive Killer Whale?
The orca’s dorsal fin is in terrible condition—but did a virus or the bite of another killer whale cause the damage?
As if having his dorsal fin completely collapse weren’t enough, something—or someone—has been eating away at the back of the massive appendage of Keet, an exceedingly itinerant 20-year-old male orca, currently parked at SeaWorld San Diego.
In a video recently posted on YouTube, visitors captured a treatment session in the medical pool. Other witnesses reported similar medical procedures on Keet over the past few months.
In the video, Keet obediently moves into position before the pool bottom, partly covered in green algae, rises up to beach him. Next, a female veterinarian gingerly applies what looks like laser surgery, apparently to cauterize the ragged flesh of his fin. At times you can see bits of his folded dorsal light up in orange as the laser burns away rotted tissue. The curator, heard on tape, is clueless as to what is going on.
I don’t how much pain, if any, the 7,000-pound killer whale is experiencing—he doesn’t seem to flinch. But it’s still a bit hard to watch. And one immediately walks away
Growing Siberian tiger population poses new challenges
While the growth of the Siberian tiger population has provided some comfort to animal protection experts, increasing human-tiger conflicts in northeast China have created new challenges.
Lang Jianmin, an expert and official from the Hunchun National Siberian Tiger Nature Reserve in northeast China's Jilin Province, said the tigers have been frequently spotted in residential areas and have also preyed on livestock.
"Eating livestock may cause the tigers to become more domesticated and ruin their relationship with local residents. If one of them eats sickened livestock, the entire species could be harmed," Lang said.
Lang said that while expanding the species' population has been no easy task, the challenges ahead will be equally daunting.
The State Forestry Administration announced on Tuesday that the number of wild Siberian tigers had increased to 18 to 22. The government has a goal of bringing the number to 40 by 2022.
According to data from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, only 12 to 16 tigers

Habitat loss and poaching threatens survival of Sun Bears
Habitat loss and poaching have led to a decline of up to 30 per cent of the Malayan sun bear population in the last three decades, according to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC).
In Borneo, this smallest of the world’s eight bear species is also seeing a drop in numbers following their illegal capture for the pet trade and when they are wrongly perceived as pests and gunned down, said BSBCC founder and chief executive officer Wong Siew Te.      
The Polar Bear, Brown Bear, American Black Bear, Spectacled Bear, Sloth Bear, Giant Panda and Asiatic Black Bear are other better known bear species.     
Found throughout mainland Asia, Sumatra in Indonesia and Borneo, the exact number of sun bears in the wild is unknown, making it even more pressing toreduce pressure on a species that is classified as "vulnerable” on the IUCN(International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List, and at risk of becoming endangered unless circumstances threatening their survival improve.     
Sun bears are also classified as a totally protected species under the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Ena




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