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|Zoo News Digest May-June 2018|
Zoo News Digest
The 10 Biggest Mistakes of Trainers
One of the worst parts is working with people that think they know everything. You know that I’ve been this way before and saw all the bad outcomes coming from it. It all happened when I worked with Sea Lions for about 2-3 years. I felt like I was a confident young man and this reflected to “I know it all” well… biggest mistake in my career. Over the years I worked with a lot of different trainers one better than the other. I’ve worked with trainers that had huge ego’s. The hardest part is not just themselves but what kind of reflection this has to the team. Very narrow minded unmotivational people, short term thinkers. They can actually give you the feeling you don’t excist. Very hard to work with. Don’t become this way. Luckily on an early stage I got put into place to get back on track. In the training world being open minded and flexible in choices is a key aspect in having success with your animals.
The Darwin Initiative is helping to save the Andean bear
The Darwin Initiative is a UK government scheme, operated by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which works to support international projects with the aim of upholding both biodiversity and the natural environment. Since 1992, the scheme has supported over 1,000 projects in 159 countries, awarding £140m in total.
The Darwin Initiative funds and supports projects which target several biodiversity conventions, including:
Saving the ‘Asian unicorn’: Wildlife experts gather for pioneering conference
Renowned conservationists have gathered on the coast to discuss saving one of the world’s critically endangered species.
Racine Zoo receives 'sensory inclusive' certification
The Racine Zoo recently became the first Wisconsin zoo to receive certification as a sensory-inclusive facility.
The designation was created through a partnership with KultureCity, a nonprofit organization recognized nationwide for using its resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs.
This new initiative aims to promote an accommodating and positive experience for Racine Zoo guests with sensory issues.
Path to certification
The certification process included staff training by leading
After Relocation, an Endangered Species Stops Avoiding Predator Scents
Attempts to save animals from extinction often include relocating them to zoos or another location safe from threats. But a study published in Biology Letters today (June 6) suggests that this isolation could have unintended consequences. The authors found that after just 13 generations, northern quolls (Dasyurus hallucatus)—small, carnivorous marsupials native to Australia—sequestered on an island without predators no longer avoid predators’ scents as do their counterparts on the mainland that coexist with predators. This could make the animals more susceptible to predation when they are reintroduced to habitats with predators.
“This [paper] is really important because one of the challenges in much of the world—and especially in Australia—is trying to reintroduce species to places with . . . predators. Many of these reintroductions or translocations fail,” says Dan Blumstein, who studies the evolution of behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles, and did not participate in the work. “What this shows pretty convincingly is that the complete loss of all predators for relatively few number of generations of captivity leads to the loss of predator discrimination abilities.”
Northern quolls are about the size of a s
WHY IS APE TRAFFICKING NOT A HIGH PRIORITY FOR GOVERNMENTS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT?
When it comes to the illegal wildlife trade, it appears that Ape trafficking falls under the radar and is little known in comparison to the thriving global business in elephant ivory, rhino horns, tiger bone wine, and other wildlife products.
What is most alarming is that Ape smuggling involves trade in ‘LIVE’ animals! They are some of the most endangered, intelligent and sensitive animals on earth. Although recent studies have found there are more gorillas and chimpanzees than previously believed, their numbers are still rapidly declining.
Secret trafficking pipelines start from the lush forests of Central Africa and South East Asia, and then travel through loosely policed ports in the developing world, ending up in wealthy homes, circuses and unscrupulous zoos thousands of miles away. On the way, the pipeline is lubricated by corrupt officials and run by transnational crim
Do Conservation Strategies Need to Be More Compassionate?
At a moment of best-selling animal intelligence books and headlines about songbird language and grieving elephants, it’s easy to forget that nonhuman minds were until recently considered — by most serious-minded scientists, anyway — to be quite simple.
Well into this millennium, animal consciousness was regularly dismissed as either nonexistent or profoundly dissimilar to our own. Animals were considered “conscious in the sense of being under stimulus control,” as the famed psychologist B.F. Skinner opined so neatly in 1974, expressing a conventional wisdom that dated to the zoological musings of Aristotle. The notion of animals as thinking, feeling beings was relegated to the edges of serious discourse.
Those days are past, buried by an avalanche of scientific findings and history-of-science critiques. More people than ever worry about the welfare of farmed animals; pets are practically citizens; and wild animals too are increasingly regarded as beings with whom peopl
What’s Still Threatening Coastal California Condors?
In recent years, however, conservationists noticed a worrying trend: Condors living in coastal environments, such as near Big Sur, California, had fewer successful egg hatchings than condors living further inland.
“As many as 40 percent coastal-living California condor breeding pairs showed evidence of eggshell thinning,” Dodder explained.
Researchers have hypothesized that the coastal condors’ diet might partly explain why.
California condors are scavengers that primarily subsist on carrion, the decaying flesh of dead animals. For coastal condors, that means a large part of their diet is made up of
Lack of skilled staff blamed for animals’ deaths at Peshawar Zoo
The management on Tuesday denied any negligence on its part in handling the animals at the facility and blamed the deaths at the Peshawar Zoo on the lack of skilled staff.
A government committee, which was constituted to investigate the deaths of dozens of animals at the zoo and fix responsibility, has held the management of the facility responsible for poor handling of the animals and failure to improve the habitat for the animals and birds.
The report pointed out lack of required and qualified staff, mishandling and mistreatment of animals, harsh living conditions, chopping of trees and th
Dalian sea world apologizes over video of trainer putting lipstick on beluga whale
A Chinese sea world has apologized online after video went viral of one of its trainers putting lipstick on the mouth of a beluga whale.
The 10-second clip was uploaded recently to the popular short video platform Douyin, apparently by one of the trainers at the Shengya Ocean World in the seaside city of Dalian. In the clip, a female trainer laughs while painting the animal’s mouth red. The post was captioned “very pretty!”
Five dead tiger cubs found trafficked by car in central Vietnam
Vietnamese police discovered the corpses of five tiger cubs upon inspecting the trunk of a car in the central province of Nghe An on Tuesday afternoon.
The four-seater car's occupants Bui Van Hieu, 26, and Hoang Van Thien, 27, said they were transporting the tiger corpses to a local buyer who would have used them to brew wine.
The dried cubs weighed a total of over 10 kilograms (22 pounds) and would've been sold for about VND70 million ($3,080), the men said.
Police have detained Hieu and Thien, along with Nguyen Van Chinh, 33, who had been escorting the haul along National Highway 7A in a different car. Investigation is continuing.
Tigers are facing extinction in Vietnam, where the animals are trafficked for their meat, decorative skin and claws. Th
“What the FUNK” Secret Koala Cull Part-1
ase Study: What Not To Do! What were you thinking, Victoria?
Cape Otway Region Victoria: The koalas based along Victoria's Great Ocean Road are a popular tourist attraction. Millions of people have continued to visit them each year since their introduction by the Victorian Government in 1985. They have been the object of numerous studies and increased interest over the years, as well as a source of enjoyment for locals and tourists alike.
Animal charities to open European circus elephant sanctuary
Animal rights groups say they will establish Europe's first sanctuary for former circus elephants.
World Animal Protection and Elephant Haven said Monday that the sanctuary will be created in France and certain sites will be operational by this fall. The groups say the project came about after lobbying by the Danish Parliament, which recently announced its commitment to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.
They add that 14 other Euro
Belfast Zoo monkey dies following escape
A monkey from Belfast Zoo has died after being hit by a car.
The spider monkey, which had escaped from the zoo on Saturday afternoon, was "clipped by a car" on the M2 in north Belfast that evening.
Zoo keepers had been tracking the monkey before the incident occurred. It was taken back to the zoo, but died shortly afterwards.
Belfast City Council said it was
Only Remaining Polar Bear in S. Korea to Move to British Wildlife Park
The only remaining polar bear in South Korea, which has been living in a zoo south of Seoul for more than two decades, will move to a wildlife park in Britain later this year, zoo officials said Monday.
The planned relocation of the bear, named Tongki, from the Everland zoo to Britain’s Yorkshire Wildlife Park came as the zoo has looked for ways to provide the aged bear with a better living environment after other polar bears of the zoo died.
Animal activists have also called for better living conditions for Tongki.
Everland zoo officials said they reached agreement with the British zoo on Tongki’s relocation in November.
Born in 1995 at a zoo in the southeastern city of Masan, Tongki moved to the Everland zoo two years later. Considering a bear’s life span is 25-30 years, the 24-year-old Tongki is about 70-80 in human years. It has been living alone i
William Trently: It’s time to move beyond aquariums, touch tanks and dissection
So there are aquariums and touch tanks at science centers and entertainment venues throughout the land. Many host educational activities for kids, such as fun games or marine animal dissection
Often I’ve patronized restaurants that feature a huge fish tank decorating the reception area. Lolita, the orca at the Miami Seaquarium, performed twice for me. My formal education included the dissection of a shark, a cat, a human. I have always loved educational science-oriented centers, and my children have enjoyed the touch tanks and other exhibits.
Over the years, however, I have come to frown on aquariums, touch tanks and traditional dissection. I now see a tragic unfairness in the way animals are treated by humans. I am not alone in that understanding; with the rise of social media and more open communication worldwide, there are growing numbers of like-minded individuals. A sampling of this way of thinking follows below.
With all the stresses inflicted upon marine animals by human activity, why add to them unnecessarily by harvesting squids for dissection when alternative methods are available, such as virtual dissection? Why disrupt their ecosystem further if we don’t need to? And why go through with what can often be a horrific journey for these animals, stolen from their everyday normal lives into traps and temporary stor
Batu Secret Zoo welcomes Indian rhino Bertus
The Batu Secret Zoo and conservation institution in East Java welcomed a new family member on May 18 -- a male Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) called Bertus.
The 10-year-old rhino, which was born in Rotterdam Zoo in Holland, traveled almost 48 hours from Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland, his home for the last eight years, to Batu Secret Zoo.
Bertus is the first Indian rhino housed at an Indonesian zoo.
Veterinarian Irwanda Kusuma Wardhana said his arrival meant that the zoo had gained the trust of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria.
"We started negotiations [to bring Bertus to Indonesia] in 2015. The establishment of the cage and exhibit started last year. The design was based on the European standard of 7,500 square meters,” Irwanda added.
Bertus was transport
Management held responsible for animals’ death in zoo
Terming the situation prevailing at Peshawar Zoo “alarming”, an inquiry committee has held the top management of the facility responsible for the death of animals.
Following the reports of death of animals and birds in the zoo, the provincial government constituted an inquiry committee headed by Kabir Afridi, the additional secretary of higher education, which submitted its findings to the government a few days ago.
“The vet officer, his subordinates and admin officer were advised about the health, precautionary measures and habitat development of the animals. Despite all this, the animals are dying which is an alarming situation for the administration,” the committee said in its concluding remarks to the inquiry report.
Killarney wildlife park shuts 'because of red tape'
Too much red tape and new regulations have forced a popular Killarney wildlife park and visitor attraction to close after 25 years.
New Bristol Zoo chief says taking role 'like coming home
THE NEW chief executive of Bristol Zoological Society has said that taking on the role means he is ‘coming home’.
Coming into the role, Dr Justin Morris takes on the responsibility for Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Wild Place Project in Easter Compton,
Dr Morris, who was born in Whitchurch and lived in Bristol in his early years, has previously held senior posts at the British Museum and at the Natural History Museum in London. Most recently he has been director at the Somerleyton Estate in East Anglia, which covers more than 5,000 acres.
No monkey business for illegal farm
Officials on Friday raided a monkey farm in Preah Vihear province over the facility’s lack of permission to raise hundreds of monkeys in Preah Khlaing commune.
According to an Environment Ministry report, the monkeys were kept by 35-year-old Mey Sengky, who confined them without permission.
Roun Yet, chief of Tbeng Meanchey district, said that the farm manager was previously notified but did not heed the warning
“We cooperated with a working group composed of the provincial forestry administration and national officials,” Mr Yet said. “We, along with the military police, had to ensure security to seize th
Lyme Disease vaccine set to become available soon, as first trials successfully passed
n an exciting announcement, French drug manufacturer Valneva has announced that they’ve successfully completed their first-ever human trial of a vaccine against the disease. The vaccine, which is reportedly up to 96% effective, might soon be available in the UK and US at a “reasonably low” price.
Does the US have a pet tiger problem?
Taj was a four-month-old tiger cub when purchased at a Texas truck stop by the driver of an 18-wheeler lorry. But after Taj began tearing up the truck’s cab, the driver contacted Austin Zoo to get the animals off his hands. The zoo now looks after the fully grown 17-year-old Bengal tiger male.
Taj is one of as many as 7,000 tigers living in the US either in zoos or privately owned, according to some estimates. That’s nearly double the estimated 3,890 tigers still prowling in the wild around the world.
Many of America’s tigers could be in pe
Faecal transplants could help preserve vulnerable species
New gut bacteria can expand the diet of animals like koalas and rhinoceroses.
Koalas are among the world’s fussiest eaters, consuming only the leaves of eucalyptus trees — and just a few varieties of eucalyptus at that. Research now suggests that the animals’ discriminating diet is determined in part by the bacteria that live in their guts, which seem to restrict an individual koala’s ability to digest certain species of eucalyptus.
The finding, which was presented on 8 June at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) in Atlanta, Georgia, comes amid a growing interest in how an animal’s microbiome influences its ability to adapt to environmental change. Researchers studying koalas and other vulnerable species are trying to find out whether altering an animal’s gut bacteria through changes in diet — or even faecal transplants — can increase its chance of survival.
That is an urgent question for the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), whose habitat in Australia is
PETA Blames Florida Zoo for Tiger Cub Deaths
A private Florida zoo faced renewed accusations of animal abuse on Friday by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
In a federal lawsuit filed in Tampa, PETA claims Dade City’s Wild Things and its owners violated the Endangered Species Act by allowing patrons to handle, pet and swim with tiger cubs.
According to the lawsuit, Dade City’s Wild Things staff forced cubs to interact with patrons by forcibly grabbing the animals and not allowing them to escape. PETA also claims the cubs are prematurely separated from their mothers and suffer under bad conditions.
PETA filed a similar suit in October 2016. But during the protracted legal battle, owners Kathryn Stearns and her son Randall shipped 19 tigers to Oklahoma days before a court-ordered inspection. During the trip, one of those tigers ga
Tiger selfies: Chinese, Indian tourists lead cruel social media trend that’s driving Thailand’s captive-wildlife industry
On the shabby outskirts of a seaside resort in Thailand, a Chinese couple in beachwear lean across the back of an adult tiger. The big cat yawns with weary insouciance as two handlers cajole it around its pen and prod it with bamboo sticks. In a smaller enclosure, another couple giggle as they dangle their infant son over a juvenile tiger. Nearby, a tourist in his 20s poses as if in mid roar over two dozing young tigers before – prompted by the handlers – grabbing their tails and putting them up to his mouth, as guffawing friends watch on.
This is the disturbing new face of wildlife tourism in Thailand, where tigers are hand-reared to provide social-media images for foreign visitors. Every day, busloads of tourists are whisked away from their sunloungers to spend an hour or so posing for pictures with u
The dog squad sniffing out the critically endangered Baw Baw frog
Rubble is a seven-year-old border collie — a classic working dog.
But the pooch has never herded a single sheep.
No offence to livestock, but Rubble has always had a higher calling — first as a search-and-rescue dog, and now as a conservation detection dog.
Rubble and brother Uda are employed to sniff out some of Australia's most elusive and endangered native animals.
Wild Animal Health Fund awards 13 grants for zoo animal, wildlife research
he Wild Animal Health Fund has awarded 13 grants for research on zoo animals and wildlife for 2018 totaling $105,407. The fund, in its seventh year, is a program of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.
Much advancement has taken place in veterinary medicine for domestic animals over the past century, according to the AAZV. Sources for research funding have included governments, the food animal and fiber industries, veterinary schools and other animal-related institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and, to a lesser extent, the public. But research funding for zoo animals and wildlife has not been abundant. Until the AAZV founded the Wild Animal Health Fund, only one other major funder supported research for these animals.
"The Wild Animal Health Fund is building a donor base of concerned citizens who are passionate about zoo animals and wildlife and understand the threats
Yellow Fever hits Golden Lion Tamarin population in Rio de Janeiro’s Atlantic Forest
Brazil’s Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado (AMLD; Golden Lion Tamarin Association), along with the Brazilian Ministry of Health and Ministry of the Environment reported that the first confirmed death of a Golden Lion Tamarin (GLT) to yellow fever occurred on 17 May 2018. Until this report we did not know if GLTs were susceptible to the disease. Our main concern is that this disease has the potential to reduce significantly an already small and fragmented GLT population. The continued existence of an assurance population of GLTs in captivity is an essential safeguard for species survival.
Yellow fever was unknown in our area during the four decades of our work. The current outbreak of yellow fever began in Minas Gerais state in December 2016, and quickly spread to Rio de Janeiro state. The first human deaths in Rio de Janeiro state occurred in Casimiro de Abreu municipality, which is the center of the GLT geographic distribution. In 2017, a few howler monkeys were reported to have died due to yellow fever in Macaé, Rio de Janeiro state, b
ANIMAL WELFARE AND PUBLIC SAFETY ADVOCATES APPLAUD SENATE ACTION TO RESTRICT POSSESSION OF DANGEROUS BIG CATS
The Animal Welfare Institute, Big Cat Rescue, Born Free USA, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund are celebrating the introduction of the Big Cat Public Safety Act (BCPSA) in the US Senate. Championed by Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, the bill would ensure that unqualified individuals, including chronic animal abusers, are prohibited from obtaining and keeping dangerous big cats like tigers, lions, leopards and pumas.
By reintroducing the BCPSA, senators from six states across the nation are joining more than 130 bipartisan members of the US House of Representatives in calling for an end to the unregulated trade and nationwide abuse of captive big cats. Recent national headlines have documented public outrage at the inhumane display of a tiger at a high school p
PETA slams Auckland Zoo for euthanising lions
Auckland Zoo's decision to euthanise two elderly lions has been slammed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Kura, 19, and her daughter Amira, 17, were put to sleep on Wednesday in what staff described as the "best call" for the animals.
Fecal Condition Scoring Resource Center
Fecal condition scores and fecal color provide insight into how a diet is being digested by an animal and the state of gastrointestinal health. The following fecal condition scoring scales have been obtained from a variety of sources. We have credited the authors where we can, and encourage you to submit additional scales or corrections to attributions. More info is at the bottom of this page.
In male dolphin alliances, 'everybody knows your name'
It's not uncommon in dolphin society for males to form long-lasting alliances with other males, sometimes for decades. Now, after studying bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Australia, for more than 30 years, researchers find that these males retain individual vocal labels rather than sharing a common call with their cooperative partners.
Opinion: Africa is not Disneyland
Some imagery that comes to our screens can be tough to stomach, and every now and then Africa really tests one’s emotional make-up.
There is a primordial energy in the wilds of Africa, where ecosystems still function naturally, and wild animals are, well, wild. The following photos submitted to our Photographer of the Year competition reflect what goes on all day every day out there in the wild, where animals kill to survive and where individuals (weak and strong, old and young) often suffer horribly in the process.
Cincinnati Zoo just got a $50 million gift. But it's just the beginning of a big plan
It started with eight monkeys.
Three deer, six raccoons, a hyena and an alligator. A circus elephant – and over 400 birds.
That was most of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden collection when it opened its doors in 1875.
The cultural institution has certainly grown and evolved in the last century.
But Thursday morning marked the beginning of the the zoo's most expansive change yet.
Zoo officials announced a $50 million gift – the largest in its history – from Cincinnati philanthropists Harry and Linda Fath.
That donation is also the foundation of the zoo's $150 million capital campaign and new master plan, efforts that aim to transform a
You talking to me? Scientists try to unravel the mystery of 'animal conversations'
African elephants like to rumble, naked mole rats trade soft chirps, while fireflies alternate flashes in courtship dialogue
Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of 'animal conversations'.
An international team of academics undertook a large-scale review of research into turn-taking behaviour in animal communication, analysing hundreds of animal studies.
Turn-taking, the orderly exchange of communicative signals, is a hallmark of human conversation and has been shown to be largely universal across human cultures.
The review, a collaboration between the Universities of York and Sheffield, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands, reveals that this most human of abilities is actually remarkably widespread across the animal kingdom.
While research on turn-taking behaviour is abundant, beginning mor
First gorilla born in captivity in Europe dies in Basel Zoo
Goma, the first gorilla to be born in a European zoo, has died aged 58 in Basel.
Basel Zoo reported on Friday that the female ape had died of old age surrounded by her family.
Apart from the usual signs of old age there was nothing wrong with her and until recently she was in robust health, the zoo said.
Loved by a generation of Basel residents, Goma was born in the city zoo in 1959 and was initially raised by the family of then zoo director Ernst Lang as it was feared her inexperienced mother would not care for her properly.
SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. Announces Removal of All Single-Use Plastic Straws and Single-Use Plastic Shopping Bags from its 12 Theme Parks
As part of its mission to protect animals and habitats worldwide, and just in time for World Oceans Day, SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) today announced that all 12 of its theme parks have removed all single-use plastic drinking straws and single-use plastic shopping bags.
“This milestone environmental achievement is a testament to our mission to protect the environment, the ocean and the animals we share our planet with, which are currently threatened by unprecedented amounts of plastic pollution,” said John Reilly, interim chief executive officer for SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. “We see the harmful effects of plastic pollution in the animals we rescue and rehabilitate, and therefore, recognize the importance of doing our part to curb plastic pollution.”
Recent news and studies have shown alarming consequences of the growing threat of plastics to our oceans and wildlife. The Ocean Conservancy, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group, estimates that eight million metric tons of plastics enter the ocean each year, on top of the estimated 150 million metric ton
7 of 11 missing animals from Santa Fe College zoo found
Seven of the 11 missing animals from the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo have been found, the college announced Monday night.
Three Florida box turtles, two red-foot tortoises, a skink and a squirrel monkey were found at an apartment near Santa Fe’s northwest campus, which is off of Northwest 39th Avenue. The animals were taken overnight between May 29 and 30, according to the college’s news release.
Two gopher tortoises and two box turtles, which were discovered missing May 24, have not been found.
Gopher tortoises are a protected species, and it is a third-degree felony to harm or tamper with them. The two missing tortoises were on medication to prevent a deadly virus.
Santa Fe said in the statement that the Santa Fe College Police Department was working with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. Law enforcement receiv
This Is Why The Animal Schools You Every Day
While I just came back from a travel to Jerusalem I started to think about why many of our training sessions end up in something we didn’t plan at all. Within the workshop I had to give together with a coworker we talked a lot about motivation strategies and communication. The planning of sessions and how important it is to have a “toolbox” full of techniques and strategies for you to respond to the behavior the animal shows you within your session. But a toolbox isn’t build up easy.
Did you ever observe that the animal seems to “play” with us? Or is it even playing? Might it not just be us adding emotions into a situation we shouldn’t?
There are quite some thought about if the animal school you yes or no. Looking from the outside to a training session there is a lot going on for the trainer to respond to but that doesn’t mean we want to end up schooled by the animals we work with. Who trains who (Read another blog about this topic HERE) depends on the skillset and patience of the trainer. The success and teamwork reached with the animal depends o so m
Exotic-animal park is fined for code violations
New developments are affecting the status of a Walk on the Wild Side, a nonprofit locked in a dispute with Washington County over the keeping of exotic animals at a former horse farm north of Hillsboro.
A hearings officer decided Monday (June 4) that the nonprofit violated county code twice. One violation was its feeding and management of exotic animals on land zoned for farming, and the other was its failure to obtain county permits for structures to house the animals.
The maximum penalty of $10,000 — $5,000 for each violation — was imposed.
Steve Higgs and Cheryl Jones, the owners, can reduce that penalty by 50 percent if they remove the animals, show they are in compliance with state wildlife regulations, and either remove the structures or obtain the proper per…….The other change would broaden an exemption from the ban if there is a certification by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, or if an application for certification is awaiting approval. The proposed grace period is one year, after which the exemption would expire.
Dolphin Discovery Achieves American Humane Certification for Animal Welfare
Six Dolphin Discovery facilities in the Mexican Caribbean have achieved certification through the global American Humane Conservation program for the welfare and humane treatment of the animals under their care. Dolphin Discovery, located in Isla Mujeres, Dolphin Discovery Dreams in Puerto Aventuras, Dolphin Discovery Cozumel, Dolphin Discovery Playa del Carmen, Dolphin Discovery Riviera Maya in Puerto Aventuras, and Dolphin Discovery Tulum in Akumal passed rigorous third-party audits to earn the prestigious Humane Certified™ seal of approval, joining an elite group of less than four dozen institutions worldwide to achieve certification under the American Humane Conservation program.
Animal Management and Welfare in Natural Disasters
The Link Between Elephants and Human Trafficking
One of the most beloved activities for tourists traveling in Thailand is to ride on elephants. The camps offer fun interactions like watching elephants paint, feeding bananas to baby elephants, and mini treks through the jungle. People are likely familiar with the criticisms environmental and animal-friendly folk level toward these camps for the maltreatment of elephants—but what these critics almost always miss is the elephants’ most trusted companion: their caretakers, the mahouts.
Mahouts used to hold a much more revered and well-paid position in society, due to the degree of expertise, experience, and physical strength it takes to work so closely with such large, intelligent, sensitive—and dangerous—animals. In the best scenarios, the mahout and elephant develop a lifelong bond of love and trust through which they can work together. However, the increasing demand for cheap tourist attractions drives prices down and caretakers are forced to take work well below the minimum wage.
Global reintroduction perspectives : 2018
This sixth edition of the Global Reintroduction Perspectives provides 59 case studies covering invertebrates, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and plants. We hope the information presented in this book will provide a broad global perspective on challenges facing reintroduction projects trying to restore biodiversity.
Santa Barbara Zoo becomes Certified Autism Center
The Santa Barbara Zoo is the first zoo on the West Coast to become a Certified Autism Center.
It's a certification near and dear to the heart of Santa Barbara Zoo School Director J.J. McLeod, a mother of three kids under the age of six.
McLeod says her 5-year-old son is on the autism spectrum, so she knows what parents face when they plan a busy day out at a high sensory place like a zoo.
Patna zoo to ban plastic from June 5
he Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, better known as Patna zoo, will ban plastic with less than 50 microns of thickness from June 5.
The zoo, which is spread in 152.95 acre area, is home to nearly 800 animals and trees of around 300 species. “The major theme this year will be to discourage the use of plastic and make the visitors aware about the harmful effects of plastic. Plastic with less than 50 microns of thickness will be prohibited on the premises. A notice has been issued by Union ministry of environment and forests to make all zoos, national parks and sanctuaries free from plastic litter by the World Environment Day, which is celebrated on June 5,” a zoo official told this newspaper on Sunday.
“Plastic materials have turned into one of
Pygmy hog conservation receives a shot in the arm
In a boost to pygmy hog conservation, Barnadi Wildlife Sanctuary located in Udalguri and Baksa districts near the Assam-Bhutan border received six more critically-endangered pygmy hogs on Saturday, taking the total of such releases into the sanctuary to 22. The release was carried out as part of the ongoing Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme (PHCP), which is an attempt to save the species and its habitat as part of a collaborative project of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, IUCN/SSC Wild Pig Specialist Group, Assam Forest Department and the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change with EcoSystems-India and Aaranyak as local partners.
“Before their release into the wild, the hogs were taught to survive independently at a pre-release facility at Potasali in Nameri Tiger Reserve. The released hogs are monitored by using field signs (nests, forage marks, footprints and droppings) and sometimes, camera traps,” an Aaranyak spokesperson sa
A sense of disgust in bonobos?
These primates, known for their liberal attitudes toward sex, are also generally open-minded when it comes to new foods -- as long as the grub is clean.
Researchers from Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute have now found that a bonobo's curiosity transforms into caution when food is presented with or near feces, soil, or bad smells. Their study was published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.
In nature, parasites and pathogens are everywhere, and many enter our bodies by riding along with food. We therefore need a way to detect these hitchhikers with the help of our various senses.
"Current studies suggest that animals evolved a system to protect against such threats, now known as the adaptive system of disgust," explains Cecile Sarabian, lead author of the study. "For example, bodily fluids are universal disgust elicitors in humans, and recently, we published evidence that the same reaction exists in our primate cousins."
In a series of experiments, bo
Zoo keeper sends lions scampering away in fear as he breaks up a fight in the pride using just his SLIPPER
A zoo keeper sent a dominant male lion scampering away in fear - using just his slipper.
In the highly amusing video, owner Oleg Zubkov breaks up a scrap between the pride of lions at his park in Ukraine.
In the footage, filmed at Tagan safari park in the Crimea, the big cats are seen picking on one of the group's smaller females.
The Power of Partnerships: Zoos Joining Forces with Animal Welfare Organizations
A snippet of my quite controversial post over at Blooloop.com about my naively optimistic wish of eliminating the US vs THEM mentality that has invaded every aspect of our world:
“But my real wish, my dream, is of, “what an amazing world this would be’ if we could all join forces. We could unite over a common cause: working to protect the remaining non-captive animal populations from extinction. Let’s join together the very best characteristics from both sides of the aisle. Join the mega audience of zoos and aquariums, (with an attendance greater than all professional sports combined), with the marketing, messaging and PR skills of the animal rights groups, whos
German zoo escape: Lions, tigers and jaguar recaptured in Lünebach
Two lions, two tigers and a jaguar that escaped their enclosures at a zoo in western Germany have been recaptured.
The animals were found inside the zoo compound in Lünebach after a search involving a drone, officials told German media. Local residents had earlier been told to stay indoors.
A bear also escaped from the privately owned Eifel zoo, but was shot dead, a local official told AFP.
The animals broke out after flooding from a storm damaged their enclosures.
A massive search was then launched involving police, firefighters and veterinarians.
Local authorities did not give further details of the recapture but a spokesperson told AFP news agency that the animals were "in their cages".
Wild Personalities: Elephant Edition
One characteristic that is really apparent with elephants—and with many other species—is that they can exude a wide variety of personalities. They can be bold or shy, laid-back or short-tempered, curious or afraid, and the list goes on. Behavior is the first line of defense that wildlife use when they face a human threat, so understanding how individuals respond to new situations is quite important when considering how to approach conservation issues. These different personalities can have real-word consequences for wildlife.
As conservation challenges become more complex, we need creative solutions for people who live in areas where human-elephant conflict may occur. Across Asia, elephant habitat overlaps in areas where there is a dense human population and agriculture. Where there are farms, there is food—and raiding crops can spell big trouble for elephants and farmers alike. By knowing which elephants are more likely to be bold and take risks, we can be more targeted in our conservation planning and actions.
We are studying the behavior of elephants who currently work in a logging camp but are potential candidates for future release into the wild. If we can differentiate which animals are more
National aquarium dolphins are learning their biggest trick yet—traveling to a new home
There was something about the big blue mat that on this particular morning Jade just didn't like.
It made no matter that the 18-year-old bottlenose dolphin, one of seven owned by the National Aquarium, had seen this identical pad many times before. Perhaps she was spooked by the photographer at the edge of the pool holding a clicking black box that obscured her face. Or the problem might have been the big green beach umbrella that threw dark and unfamiliar circles of shade over the pool.
Whatever the reason, when trainer April Martin knelt down at one end of the mat and positioned her hand vertically with her fingers pointing skyward (a signal for Jade to propel herself out of the water and land belly-first on the pad) the dolphin was having none of it. She made a half-hearted little hop barely strong enough to push her snout onto the mat and then immediately fell back into the pool.
Martin turned and walked a few steps away from the bucket of fish with which the dolphins are rewarded.
"Jade isn't getting positive reinforcement," Kerry Diehl, the Aquarium's assistant curator of the Dolphin Discovery exhibit observed. "But she'll get a chance to try again."
During the next 30 months, Jade will have many opportunities to perform that maneuver—the first in a series of skills that the trainers hope will culminate in the fall of 2020 with the seven dolphins riding in the back of a truck and then on a plane to their new
Caring for corvids – Providing enrichment for the world’s smartest birds
The Corvid’s intelligence has been well documented over the years through many means . Corvidae, or the crow family, consists of over 120 species and includes crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws, jays, magpies, treepies, choughs, and nutcrackers . However, astonishing as their intelligence may be, it makes the task of providing enrichment for these birds all the more difficult. As an animal care professional, how do you properly provide for all their needs? (For the sake of brevity, I won’t be going over training, social situations, or complete nutritional needs).
Why is enrichment important?
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Behavioural Advisory Group defines ‘enrichment’ as “A process for improving or enhancing animal environments and care within the context of their inhabitants’ behavioural biology and natural history. It is a dynamic process in which changes to structures and husbandry practic
SUSTAINABLE MAGIC IN WELLINGTON ZOO
Our guest blogger, Camilla Carstensen, recently visited New Zealand’s Wellington Zoo, and was impressed by the zoo’s sustainability efforts, including its commitment to FSC. In this post, Camilla explains how the zoo’s approach to being green captured her admiration, while the zoo’s lemurs captured her heart.
I am sitting at home, but my thoughts are not here. I can still feel little hands in mine, trying to spread my fingers to get hold of grapes and apples, I smell the nice, warm smell of thick fur, and I hear the fluffy sound, when they jump around me. The lemurs.
I have been to Wellington Zoo.
Explain to me who’s a Koalas Experts: Part-2
The Wollondilly Shire Council is currently mapping and researching areas with known koala populations in the region, as well as throughout the western part of the Sydney catchment area near the Warragamba Dam. I recent wrote an article https://www.wollondillyadvertiser.com.au/story/5245433/rare-sighting-of-koala-in-silverdale/ on a young male koala who had found his way into the community of Silverdale along the catchment area on Marsh road. He had reached his limit, finding himself on the edge of urban development, meeting humans for the first time. I could assess the reasons for this sighting, and the situation he was in. He was the only sighting on the south-west of the Penrith region. On top of this, there has been an increase of koala sightings more from the north west of Penrith around Cranebrook, and a recent roadkill of a koala in Shanes Park area.
Kolkata zoo in a fix over tiger breeding
The Alipore zoo authorities are having a hard time breeding tigers in captivity. In fact, they haven’t tasted success since 2006, with even the last unsuccessful attempt happening around four years ago. The reason, according to the zoo authorities, is the inability, or in most cases, passivity of the male tigers. But while breeding tigers in captivity seems like a tough proposition from what they told us, their counterparts from the Nandankanan zoo in Bhubaneswar deem it a rather easy process. In fact, Nandankanan’s tiger population rose to 26 recently after two Royal Bengal cubs were born to a white tigress mated with a Royal Bengal male. But the litany of failures at the Alipore zoo does have a reason, according to the authorities.
Checking the mate
According to the zoo authorities, they have left no stone unturned since 2015 to successfully breed their tigers. “Mating is a natural need of any biological being and a necessity for their healthy life,” said zoo direct
Tortoise, gibbon and lemur stolen from Ontario zoo, police say
Elmvale zoo has offered a reward for the safe return of the animals
Three animals were stolen during an alleged break-and-enter at a central Ontario zoo, police said Tuesday.
The Elmvale Jungle Zoo said a tortoise, a gibbon and a black-and-white lemur were taken from the facility, which opened for the season just a few weeks ago.
Call to cull dolphin shows
Ban Animal Trading South Africa (BAT) protested outside uShaka Marine World as part of a worldwide protest against marine mammals in captivity recently.
BAT held its sixth Empty the Tanks demonstration to urge members of the public not to attend dolphin shows.
“We feel that keeping marine mammals in captivity is cruel and unethical,” said Prathna Singh of BAT.
Empty the Tanks started in January 2013 after its founder, Rachel Carbary, witnessed dolphin captures and slaughters in Taiji, Japan.
The organisation creates awareness and educates the public about animal exploitation, and is calling for an end to animal exploitation.
Soaring Success for Wassenaar Zoo Library Sale at Bonhams
Highlights of the sale included:
A world record of £102,500 for a first edition of the five volume Birds of New Guinea and the Adjacent Papuan Islands by John Gould and Richard Sharpe. This was Gould final work completed after his death in 1881 by Sharpe and published between 1875-1888.
A first edition of the seven-volume Birds of Australia (1840-1869), by John Gould. The result of his own tour of the continent during which he named 30
Chester Zoo celebrates its 100,000th member
Chester Zoo is celebrating a momentous milestone – its 100,000th member.
This is an all-time high for the zoo’s membership scheme, which provides vital funding for the zoo’s conservation, science and education projects around the world.
In return, members receive fabulous benefits including unlimited entry, invitations to special talks and events, as well as added discounts in the zoo’s shops and cafes.
Memberships and adoptions manager Karolyn Curwell said: “We’re absolutely delighted at the success of our membership scheme.
“It reflects the huge efforts of ev
Ugandan Elected to Head Africa Zoo Body
The Executive Director of Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre James Musinguzi, has been elected the next Chairperson of the Pan African Association of Zoos and Aquaria (PAAZA).
This was during the just concluded PAAZA conference 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa which was running under the theme "Good Business for Good Conservation".
Speaking to Daily monitor from South Africa, Mr Musinguzi confirmed the development saying, "I have just be
How to Impregnate a Rhino
Besides the usual way
When Parker Pennington first saw the embryo, she gasped—but very quietly.
At the time, as is often the case for her these days, she had her arm fully inside the rectum of a white rhino, and she didn’t want to alarm the animal by yelping excitedly.
In her immersed hand, she held an ultrasound probe, which revealed that the rhino, who goes by Victoria, had a tiny marble in her uterus. She was pregnant. If everything goes well, the marble will grow into a baby, who will greet the world in the summer of 2019, and eventually become a two-ton, two-horned behemoth. But even as a small, grainy orb on a black-and-white screen, its very existence felt miraculous. It meant that Pennington’s very first attempt to artificially inseminate Victoria, just 18 days earlier, had worked.
Chimpanzees on the loose cause chaos at Sapporo zoo
Two chimpanzees that had escaped from their enclosure forced Sapporo Maruyama Zoo to temporarily close on the afternoon of May 28.
Female chimpanzee Gacha, 52, and male chimpanzee Akki, 9, escaped from their enclosure into a walkway area for workers through a door which a zookeeper forgot to lock, according to the facility.
As the two chimpanzees also broke a window and could have entered the area for visitors, officials decided to have guests take shelter inside buildings for their safety and locked down the zoo before 3 p.m.
An employee guided the two chimpanzees back to their enclosure using apples and locked them up about 25 minutes after they wen
UAE wildlife conservation efforts make a difference around the globe
The UAE’s wildlife conservation efforts to conserve species such as gazelles, houbara bustards, turtles and even some rare plants and other living organisms are incredible and made a great difference around the globe, a senior official said yesterday.
The late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE, was one of the world’s greatest conservationists. His foresight and vision long preceded the present-day global conservationists’ movement, Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, secretary-general of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, told a packed house at the majlis of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces..
“The Environment Agency–Abu Dhabi (EAD), which takes care of more than 50,000 animals throughout the country, the Emirates Wildlife Society and other environmental organisations are committed to helping our society to red
Captive Dolphins Look Forward To Interacting With Caretakers, New Study Suggests
new study exploring the behavior of captive dolphins has revealed the marine animals look forward to interacting and playing with their caretakers more than with toys or among themselves.
The work, conducted by researchers from University of Paris’ animal behavior lab, looked at the anticipatory nature of bottlenose dolphins in French theme park Parc Astérix.
Dolphin 'happiness' measured by scientists in France
Scientists working with dolphins at a marine park near Paris have attempted to measure how the animals feel about aspects of their lives in captivity.
In what researchers say is the first project to examine captivity "from the animals' perspective", the team assessed what activities dolphins looked forward to most.
They found that the marine mammals most keenly anticipated interacting with a familiar human
The results, they say, show that "better human-animal bonds equals better welfare".
The study, published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, was part of a three-year project to measure dolphin welfare in a captive setting.
Lead researcher Dr Isabella Clegg worked at Parc Astérix, a theme park with one of France's largest dolphinariums.
With colleagues at the University of Paris animal behaviour lab, she designed experiments to decode dolphin behaviour - essentially looking for physical postures that indicate how the animals were feeling.
DON’T BE FOOLED BY EMOTIVE ANTI-ELEPHANT TOURISM #PROPAGANDA – #PHAJAAN OR #CRUSH
There are organisations and people out there that want you to believe there are 100’s of #crush #phajaan #torture #training videos representing the #cruel way in which ALL #elephants are trained in Thailand (wild and domesticated). I spent 3 days actually viewing many of them (it was difficult) but what I found was the SAME footage used in ALL those different videos. The footage is filmed in the remote highlands of northern Thailand, west of the village Mae Jaem. Journos, filmmakers, photographers and possibly PeTA, WFFT and other interested parties were invited to witness this so called brutal centuries old ritual called ‘crush’ or ‘phajaan’. This was organised by ENP (named Elephant Heaven at the time) early 2002. How this was organised and planned in the first place should make one wonder. PeTA state they obtained the video in June 2002 and released it publicly in October 2002. Around the same time Jennifer Hile’s Vanishing Giants documentary was released.
A young female and a young male captured from the wild were put through this inhumane practice on separate days while the Westerners looked on documenting, photographing, and filming it – ENP & PeTA’s emotive campaign to s
Dolphin liberation in Korea
"Dolphin liberation in South Korea has raised awareness towards the welfare of marine animals and has resulted in the strengthening of animal protection policies and the level of welfare."
An engineering student, affiliated with UNIST has recently carried out a scientific investigation on dolphin liberation in South Korea. The paper presents the overall analysis of the social impact of the first case of dolphin rehabilitation in Asia, which occurred in 2013.
This study has been carried out by Sejoon Kim in the School of Energy and Chemical Engineering in collaboration wit Professor Bradley Tatar in the Division of General Studies at UNIST. Their findings have been published in the April issue of the journal, Coastal Management and will be published online, this month.
"After the release of captive dolphins from South Korean marine parks, there has been a growing environmental movement towards the conservation and management of marine and coastal ecosystems," says Sejoon. "Although such movement relies on a single-species conservation focus an
Tasmania Zoo founder, Dick Warren, dies
Founder of Tasmania Zoo, Dick Warren, has died.
Tasmania Zoo paid tribute to Mr Warren on its Facebook page.
“Dick was a passionate wildlife conservationist who dedicated his life and his love to create a place where he could share and educate the community,” the post said.
“He will be remembered f
What a difference a year makes: Zoo workforce's delight following hugely-positive inspection report
STAFF at South Lakes Safari Zoo are calling on the public to visit to the attraction after inspectors gave the attraction a bill of clean health since new bosses took over.
A team of three council-appointed inspectors, two of which visited the zoo a year ago when the new company was first awarded a licence to run the attraction, carried out a comprehensive audit last month.
As well as inspecting every aspect of the zoo, including a full day spent visiting all areas, talking to staff and observing visitors, the inspectors examined all the paperwork, feeding regimes and administrative processes.
When Cumbria Zoo Company was awarded its licence last May licensing bosses at Barrow Borough Council imposed a raft of strict conditions after an inspe
The Books That Made Us Who We Are!
Going through the social media sites many questions come in regarding what books others have or read to extend their behavioural knowledge. I concider myself an animal training addict and have read quite some books. Lately my focus slowly goes to further psychology in people because a lot of that we can reflect to animals. Over my career I did read quite some articles and books and I still don’t feel I read enough. I love the training stories that people have on the internet with their great successes. Here is a list of my so far all-time favourites:
Nipah scare : Kolkata zoo authorities caution visitors against
In the wake of the Nipah virus (NiV) scare in different corners of the country, the city zoo authority has cautioned visitors against feeding animals by plucking leaves and fruits from trees in its garden.
"We have many visitors who pick leaves and fruits from the garden and feed the animals. With the Nipah virus alert, we are not willing to take any chances and have hence issued this notification. This is basically a precautionary measure," Alipore Zoo director Ashish Samanta said.
The city zoo has good number of fruit bats, considered one of the carriers of the Nipah virus, he added.
Several boards displaying the notice against feeding animals have been put up at different points of the zoo to attract the visitors' att
Humans fail to escape from ape enclosure
The phone rang at the Edge Rock Gym on Philips Highway.
It was someone from the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens with an unusual request: Would some of the gym’s best climbers try to escape from a new ape enclosure?
The zoo is replacing the popular but outdated Great Apes Loop with the African Forest exhibit. The $9 million project covering about 3 acres is scheduled to open about Labor Day. Right now it’s under construction. Workers in hard hats — some who built Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando — are busy with their latest project, highlighted by a 48-foot concrete tree.
But on a recent morning, a few workers stopped what they were doing to check out what was happening in the area that will be home to gorillas, colobus monkeys and possibly mandrills.
Peter Dyszel, a 28-year-old male human, and Hunter Geer, a 30-year-old male human, were trying to find a way out of a large enclosure surrounded by walls of 12 feet and higher. No ropes. Just hands and chalk, feet and climbing shoes, plus a couple of mats to cushion the falls.
“It’s become pretty much a zoo standard, es
5 Giant Salamander Species Identified—And They're All in Danger
A new study shows that there are more species of Chinese giant salamander than previously thought, but most of those could go extinct in the near future.
The Chinese giant salamander does not fit the traditional definition of “cute.” Growing to nearly six feet long and weighing roughly 140 pounds, the flabby creatures are the largest amphibians in the world. Their beady, lidless eyes peer out from broad, flat heads with blunt snouts, and their mud-colored bodies have short limbs and long tails. The species’ slimy skin is not pleasant to pet, either.
With these characteristics, the amphibians are certainly not as charismatic as pandas and other fluffy mammals, but they’re just as crucial to a healthy ecosystem. In two studies published last week, scientists found that instead of one species—as previously thought—there are actually roughly half a dozen species of Chinese giant salamander.
“We weren’t surprised to find two or three [species],” says Bob Murphy, senior curator of herpetology at the Royal Ontario Museum’s Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, and corresponding a
Iriomote Cat killed in traffic accident on Iriomote island for third time this year
An Iriomote cat, one of Japan’s protected species, was found dead on prefectural route 215 in Taketomi town on Iriomote Island around 6:00 AM on May 4. The cause of death is thought to be by traffic accident, and it is the third case its kind reported this since April 26 this year.
According to the Ministry of the Environment’s Iriomote Wildlife Conservation Center, the Iriomote cat was female. The body was 77 centimeters long and weighed 3.2 kilograms. The cat was found on a road with multiple wounds and broken bones. The ranger at the center, Shota Sugimoto, commented, “The damage could have only been
1899 turtles seized, 4 held
Turtles in crates being ferried along with fish were seized from a truck and two men arrested near Dhulagarh early on Saturday.
Forest officials said the crates had 1,799 turtles, the highest rescued so far in a single day in the past five years.
Earlier in the day, forest officials seized 100 turtles from Birati and arrested two men.
Turtle meat is a delicacy and many people eat it despite a legal ban on killing the animal, a forest official said.
A turtle is sold at Rs 700-1,500 depending on the demand
"The rescued turtles were Indian softshell turtles that are protected under Schedule I of the wildlife protection act," Subhendu Sinha, a range officer of the state forest department, said.
Sinha was part of the team that raided the truck. "Killing, hunting or selling turtles is illegal. Those found guilty of doing so can be jailed for a minimum of five years," he said.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists Indian softshell turtle as "vulnerable" in its Red
Yerevan Zoo opens doors after renovation
After major renovations all parts of the Yerevan Zoo are again open to visitors. The event was attended by Mayor Taron Margaryan with his family.
As the Yerevan municipality reports, this year one of the most beloved recreation zones of townspeople meets its visitors in completely new, comfortable and modern conditions and facilities.
Accompanied by the director Yerevan Mayor walked in the park, familiarized himself with the activities carried out in the zoo within the frames of the second stage of improvement and development program which was already completed.
It should be noted that as a result of the work carried out in 2016-2018 two new cages with passages for wolves and bears were put into operation Total area of the cages is 5550 sq m which is 5 times bigger than previously. 2 observation decks were constructed which can place 30 visitors at the same time. The program also involved construction of a new cage for lions with the surface of 2950 sq m, 400 sq m of which are winter shelters for the animals. 2 more observation decks were constructed here which can give a place for 80 people at the same time. A zone for direct communication with animals which is of 1200 sq m was constructed too.
Besides, animals quarantine zone was constru
ZOOS AND AQUARIUMS LOOK TO REDUCE PLASTIC WASTE
Looking to reduce their usage of plastics in day-to-day operations, zoos and aquariums across Australia have been assessing how they have been using plastics - finding biodegradable alternatives or removed the items altogether.
Taronga Zoo in Sydney have paid particular attention to their hospitality services, removing over 320,000 single-use sauce packets per year, along with 350,000 single-use food trays. In addition they have an innovative initiative in which compostable coffee cups, cutlery and food packaging is diverted for composting and turned into electricity and fertiliser pellets.
New maroon bins around the Zoo indicate a waste stream for compostables.
Zoos Victoria has also already started the changeover of plastic cutlery at Melbourne Zoo to compostable wares. These are composted on site in their in-vessel composter, greatly minimising greenhouse gas emissions.
Healesville Sanctuary and Werribee Open Range Zoo will follow this initiative by July 2019.
Plan to give Bangkok’s monkeys new home, instead of evacuating them
The Bang Khun Thian district in Bangkok has drawn up ambitious plans to turn a 13-rai landlocked plot into a paradise for 600 to 700 long-tailed macaques instead of evacuating them to Phuket.
Prasert Chawee-in, director of the Bang Khun Thian district authority, said they did not agree with the proposal by a committee of the National Legislative Assembly to catch the monkeys and release them to Phuket’s uninhabited islands. Prasert said his was the only district in Bangkok that had five groups of monkeys of long-tailed macaques. He said the largest group lived near the Khun Kala Monument, which is known as “Monkey Monument” on the frontage road on the southern part of the western ring road in Tha Kham subdistrict.
Prasert said the district already owned a land-locked plot of 13 rai near Klong Chalermchai Pattana, just 500 metres from the monument and the district adm
Cockroach milk is packed full of nutrients, tastes like cow's milk, experts say
The latest superfood trend?
Yes, you read that right!
Experts say a rare milk crystal produced by cockroaches contains human health benefits and boasts four times as much protein as cow's milk, according to the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in India.
But what does it taste like?
A researcher told NPR he tried the milk and it tasted similar to cow's milk.
According to 2016 research, milk found from the Australian native Pacific beetle cockroach was found to contain protein sequences packed with essential amino acids, proteins, fats, and sugars.
Where can you get your hands on this special beverage?
South African company Gourmet Grubb reportedly sells Entomilk, a milk that comes from sustainably farmed insects.
They also make ice cream with insect milk in case you're looking for something a little more sweet.
Recently, Canada's largest grocer, Loblaw Companies Ltd., started picking up cricket powder at local grocery stores.
Jarrod Goldin, president of Entomo Farms in Ontario, told Global News his business can't keep up with demand, calling the ingredients "versatile."
According to Global News, Goldin ventured into the insect market after the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation announ
Couple take pride in Brunei
A Thai team of animal trainers at the private zoo of the Sultan of Brunei have made a name for themselves as well as for their home country and are happy and proud of their job there. Chawallak Sathansap,...
RESEARCHING THE SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR OF AFRICAN PAINTED DOGS
Rhiannon Bolton, student from the University of Liverpool, tells us more about her work at Chester Zoo below:
“The only thing I thought I was ever going to do was work in animal wellbeing and conservation. I completed a Masters degree in conservation related veterinary science and endocrinology (the study of hormones) and I was then lucky enough to become a Chester Zoo Conservation Scholar. My PhD combines all my favourite things which are animal wellbeing, conservation and endocrinology; and will hopefully enable me to make a difference!
“My main focus is on cooperatively breeding mammals, a breeding system whereby other individuals in addition to the parents help to raise the offspring. Often, only one alpha female and one alpha male will reproduce but other family members are expected and needed to help with raising the next generation. This phenomenon only occurs in about 3% of mammal species, making them absolutely fascinating. Unfortunately, many of these incredible mammal species are t
Critics blast outsourcing federal animal inspections
Federal officials came here to get public feedback on an idea to outsource some inspections of zoos, animal breeders and research laboratories.
The response from the majority of those who showed up to Thursday’s meeting at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel: Don’t do it.
A parade of speakers stepped up to the lectern and said using information from private, third-party groups to confirm facilities are complying with federal law would effectively allow foxes to guard the henhouses.
"This misguided proposal is not the answer," said Michigan State University College of Law professor Carney Anne Nasser, who is director of the Animal Welfare Clinic there.
Monkey News: Rare monkeys airlifted to Britain after being rescued from smugglers
TWO rare monkeys have been airlifted to Britain after being rescued from the horrors of the black market trade in endangered creatures. The white-throated guenons were seized as they were being smuggled out of Africa to the Middle East where they would likely have become fashionable pets.
Dolphin Echolocation Discovery Could Improve Ultrasound Technology
The recent discovery that when using echolocation, dolphins actually emit two intertwined ultrasound beams at different frequencies at slightly different times, could allow scientists to develop new ultrasound and sonar equipment.
Researchers from Lund University used a mathematical algorithm to successfully disentangled and read the overlapping signals, a discovery that could inspire sharper image quality on ultrasound technology to measure the thickness of organ membranes deeper inside the body than is currently possible.
“It works almost like a magic formula! Suddenly we can see things that remained hidden with traditional methods,” Josefin Starkhammar, a researcher in biomedical engineering at Lund University, said in a statement.
A Vaalwater predator park owner was distraught to discover four of his beloved big cats were poisoned in the early hours of Friday morning.
Justin Fernandes posted an emotional video on his personal Facebook page showing how he discovered three poisoned lions and a tiger at their Jugomaro Predator Park in Limpopo.
Describing it as the worst nightmare of his life, Fernandes can be seen repeatedly wiping away his tears.
Speaking to camera, Fernandes said they were alerted to trouble at 02:00am on Friday morning when one of their wolves started "barking". While walking around the park, Fernandes saw one of their lions, Elvis biting on the gate.
"I thought his jaw was actually stuck in the gate. We got the got they keys and moved him away. As I moved him away, we saw there was something wrong with this cat."
He said one of the other lions, Kai, was already dead.
BJWT, Promoting The Illegal Exotic Pet Trade Since... Well, Always
Captive Wildlife Watchdog (formerly BJWTWatchdog) has, from the very beginning, criticized Black Jaguar White Tiger founder Eduardo Serio for glorifying captive big cats as pets, along with promoting other exotic animals as pets. Despite his gratuitous hashtags like #notpets Serio’s behavior and treatment of his animals falls squarely into the category of pets. BJWT fans will argue that the cubs living cardboard boxes in Serio’s closet, and confined to various rooms in the house are just in “Stage 1” and that when they get older, they’ll go to “Stage 2”.
The fact, however, is that there is no biological, scientific, or conservation-based rationale for raising exotic animals in a human dwelling, while treating them like pets.
The choice to contain his continual flow of cubs (cubs which Serio is now openly admitting to breeding on site, even species not native to Mexico) in cardboard boxes in his house, is just a choice, not a requirement. Just as Serio’s fixation on incorrectly feeding those cubs is a choice, not a matter of ignorance. “Papa Bear” chooses to do these things specifically because he’s been criticized for them, more than anything else. If he were to change what he does after being criticized for it, it would be an admission th
Michigan deputies stunned to find 8 Bengal tigers at scene of semi-truck crash
Michigan deputies responded to a semi-truck crash on a local interstate late Monday. When they arrived, they learned the truck was hauling a rather unusual shipment to New York: Bengal tigers.
The Bay County Sheriff’s deputies were aware the truck was hauling animals, but they were not informed of what kind prior to arriving at the crash site, Michigan Live reported.
The semi-truck “hydroplaned and its driver lost control of the rig, causing it to leave the roadway, enter a grassy median and jackknife,” Sheriff Troy R. Cunningham told the news site. The tigers were not injured in the crash, nor was the driver.
The perception of conservation in UK zoos
This questionnaire is the final project for my MSc in Primate Conservation at Oxford Brookes University. All participants should be over 18 and are completing this questionnaire voluntarily and are free to stop at any point. All answers will be anonymous. For any further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. It should take around 5 minutes to complete, thank you for your participation.
After zoo cover-up on animal deaths, Delhi HC asks Centre for report on action against officials
After several deaths of protected animals, including the common langur and hog deer, at the capital’s National Zoological Park were reported by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), the Delhi High Court Friday sought a report from the Centre.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Deepa Sharma directed the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to file an affidavit on the steps being taken against the Delhi Zoo, which had allegedly suppressed the deaths by submitting inaccurate inventory reports and fabricated post-mortem reports.
It also sent a notice to the Ministry and Delhi Zoo, asking them to file counter-affidavits in eight weeks.
On Wednesday, The Indian Express had reported that zoo officials failed to record the deaths of at least 50 animals last year to show a re
How is Dolphinaris Arizona regulated?
It was business as usual at Dolphinaris only a couple days after the marine park announced one of its dolphins died.
The dolphin aquatic park confirmed a 10-year-old dolphin, Alia, passed away on Wednesday. It is the second dolphin to die since the park opened less than two years ago.
PLEASE, LET TRUSTING THE DODO AS A SOURCE GO EXTINCT
Let’s talk today about how important it is to fact-check major publications in the realm of animal media before sharing any information they present. Specifically, let’s talk about why The Dodo is never a source on animal related issues to be trusted, because of the misinformation they perpetuate and the directly harmful ideas they propagate. Dodo articles are rife with misinformation, twisted presentations of facts, quotes from purported ‘experts’ who are well known to be biased and unreliable sources, have non-existent primary citations, and in many cases are just egregiously incorrect about things that can simply be googled.
Today, a new article showed up that I was hoping would be a valid source of information: How To Tell if An Animal Sanctuary is a ‘Fake’. It is, sadly, just as egregiously not fact-checked as everything else animal related The Dodo has produced - and what’s worse is that the incorrect information it presents is mixed in with other really valid and important points for interpreting the quality of a sanctuary. Before we break down why it’s so infuriating, let’s look at the way Dodo articles are produced in general.
London Zoo uses art to highlight plastic pollution scourge
An art installation made of 15,000 plastic bottles went on show at London Zoo on Thursday to highlight the devastating impact of litter on the oceans, as public pressure to tackle the problem grows in Britain.
Between five and 14 tonnes of plastic are estimated to enter the world’s oceans every year, causing irreparable damage to marine wildlife and ecosystems.
The work by artist Nick Wood represents the 15,000 water bottles bought every minute in Britain, which has committed 61 million pounds ($81.62 million) to develop new ways of tackling plastic waste.
“In the middle of the ocean we are finding huge amounts of plastic,” said Fiona Llewellyn, Marine Project Manager at the Zoological Society of London.
“In London, the average adult uses 175 single-use pla
The Jamaican iguana, an international success story in conservationism
Once thought to be extinct, the Jamaican iguana, which was rediscovered in the Hellshire hills of St Catherine in the 1990s, is once again thriving, although still very much endangered.
When the latest batch of 50 reptiles - bred at the Hope Zoo in St Andrew - was turned loose on March 6 this year in the Hellshire hills, it marked the largest number of iguanas ever released at one time under the programme.
This is significant for conservationist Tandora Graham, a member of the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research in the United States. She led a recent group of 11 volunteers from five zoos in the United States and supervised the latest release of the reptiles back into the wild.
Graham has been coming to Jamaica since 1996 and was full of praise for the Hope Zoo’s ‘Head Start and Reintroduction Programme for the Jamaican iguana, which she described as one of the Caribbean’s unique species. She sa
Chameleon Breeder Podcast
It is time to revisit our understanding of hydration in chameleons. We are well aware of hydration during the day, but that is only half of the story. Today we are going to talk about hydration over the entire 24 hours in the day to form a holistic approach to a captive hydration strategy.
Zoos in India are cramped, lack specialists who can cater to animals in captivity. Delhi zoo’s problems are not unique.
In 1810, the British colonist Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles visited a small menagerie in Barrackpore in Calcutta. The visit left a lasting impression on Raffles, who was also an amateur zoologist. The “scientific documentation” of plants and animals at the menagerie is said to have influenced the colonist-turned naturalist when, a decade later, he set up the world’s first modern zoo in London.
Barrackpore’s collection went into the making of the country’s first modern zoo at Calcutta, whose first Indian superintendent general, Ram Brahma Sanyal, authored a manual in the 1890s that remained the standard handbook for zookeepers all over the world till well into the 1960s. The management of Indian zoos today, unfortunately, does not reflect any of this illustrious heritage.
An investigation by this paper has revealed that Delhi’s National Zoological Park tailored data to show a remarkable drop in mortality rate. It did not record the deaths of at least 50 animals, including several endangered species. In 2015-16, the year before it doctored data, the Delhi zoo
Podcast: Don’t call me extinct
In Animals, History & Culture, Research News, Science & Nature, Spotlight
Extinct species don’t usually get a do-over… but don’t tell that to the scimitar-horned oryx. Erased from the wild for three decades, these desert antelope are back in the Central African country of Chad with a thriving herd of over a hundred individuals. But how did this happen? We visit the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute and a remote animal reserve in the United Arab Emirates to reveal the twists and turns of this amazing comeback story.
Do Men Have the Balls for Promiscuity?
As this blog enters its sixth year, choosing the next topic is sometimes difficult. Only rarely does a suitable theme turn up of its own accord. An e-mail message challenging my previous blog post (Monogamy Anchored in Our Genes? posted April 30, 2018) was therefore fortuitous: “You have it wrong on human sperm competition. Human testicles are much larger than would be the case if there were not sperm competition. Compare to truly monogamous or harem holding species. I will not engage further on an email discussion of this, for it is very well known among behavioral ecologists.”
At first, I was frustrated to see my carefully compiled account thus dismissed outright, with no mention of altern
Technical handbook for the management of captive Egyptian vultures
Using genetics to tackle the illegal ivory trade in Cambodia
RZSS WildGenes are working with Fauna and Flora International (FFI) on a project to develop a conservation genetics laboratory in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. The Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) was founded in 1960 and is the first Cambodian University to offer a Master’s degree in Conservation, thanks largely to support from FFI. Over the last few years, we have been working with scientific staff at RUPP on a project to study the few remaining wild elephants in Cambodia. Up to this point we have been extracting DNA from faecal samples to allow researchers to identify individuals using their genetic profile.
Chimpanzee calls differ according to context
The need for cooperation may facilitate call diversification
Studies examining animal alarm calls suggest species which require different escape responses for different predators are more likely to have correspondingly different alarm calls, facilitating appropriate escape responses from receivers. However, what causes calls to diversify in less urgent contexts is little examined. "To address this, we examine a quiet contact vocalisation of chimpanzees, the 'hoo'," says Catherine Crockford of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. "We found that chimpanzees have at least three acoustically different 'hoo' variants, each given in a different behavioural context: alert, travel and rest."
In order to maintain cohesion, chimpanzee receivers must respond differently to signallers in each context: in rest contexts, receivers must stay in the vicinity of signallers, in travel contexts, receivers must approach signallers, and in alert contexts, receivers must approach signallers slo
Dolphins 'had teeth pulled' for tourists on 'paradise' holiday island hot spot Bali
Orangutans, tigers and elephants also suffering for holidaymakers' entertainment behind scenes
Dolphins at a tourist attraction in Bali had their teeth removed or filed down to ensure tourists were not harmed, leaving the creatures “traumatised”, investigators have found.
Others are put at risk by being forced to leap from the water onto the side of the pool during shows for holidaymakers – putting stress on their internal organs and causing them breathing difficulties.
And meanwhile, behind the scenes at various attractions on the idyllic-seeming Indonesian island, orangutans, tigers and elephants are secretly kept in filthy, cramped enclosures with bare concrete floors.
Is Bali the world's worst destination for animal cruelty?
A new report by World Animal Protection (WAP) has criticised the popular honeymoon islands of Bali, Lombok and Gili Trawangan in Indonesia of being among some of the worst destinations in the world when it comes to animal cruelty in captivity.
Wildlife abusement parks: Wildlife entertainment tourism in Bali, Lombok and Gili Trawangan claims that 100 per cent of the 26 venues it investigated in November last year that owned captive elephants, tigers, dolphins or civet cats and 80 per cent of venues with primates did not meet the basic needs of captive wild animals.
A world premier! Scientist discovers new Dracaena species in Royal Burgers' Zoo
The covered tropical rainforest, Burgers’ Bush, of Arnhem’s animal park Royal Burgers’ Zoo, houses the world’s largest Dracaena collection. Dracaena cinnabari is also known as the Dragon blood tree. Botanist and Dracaena fanatic Theo Damen recently made a remarkable discovery in the Bush: a species of Dracaena that was still completely unknown to science. The plant’s abnormal growth and inflorescence set Damen on the trail of his discovery, which has officially been a scientific fact since publication in the May 2018 issue of the ‘Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Plant Geography BLUMEA'. Theo Damen has named his find Dracaena bushii, both in honour of his great inspirer Jan Just Bos and the site Burgers' Bush. Bos gained national fame as a presenter of the Dutch television programme ‘Ja, Natuurlijk' (yes, of course) and as a botanist, he had a predilection for plants of the Dracaena genus. Burgers’ Zoo acquired the complete Dracaena collection from Wa
To dress up its report card, Delhi Zoo buried at least 50 animal deaths
OFFICIALS at the National Zoological Park in Delhi (Delhi Zoo) evidently buried the deaths of at least 50 animals last year and dressed up data to show a remarkable dip in mortality rate, official records accessed by The Indian Express show.
The official death count at the zoo in 2017-18 was 91 from an opening stock of 1,202 animals. On paper, this was good news since it was a sharp fall from the 325 deaths recorded in 2016-17 — a 7.6 per cent mortality rate compared to 27 per cent the year before, and just slightly above the 5 per cent considered acceptable for zoos globally.
But the Delhi Zoo’s numbers are suspect. For, the deaths of several animals were not recorded: these include endangered species such as the brow-antlered deer found in Manipur, sambar deer, black buck, white buck, spotted deer, barking deer, red jungle fowl and palm civet, records show.
Consider the key contradictions in the zoo’s records:
* Every zoo submits the mandatory
You Know Black Panthers. But Have You Ever Heard of Odisha’s Black Tigers?
In April 2018, Chhattisgarh reported a sighting of a black panther after 24 years, bringing immense joy to wildlife enthusiasts.
What is a black panther? How did it come to Chhattisgarh and what does it mean for the black panther population in the state? You can find out all about it in our story here.
Recently, the Odisha Forest Department also spotted a black panther in the Sundergarh forest, which makes it probably the only state in India which is home to both black panthers and black tigers!
We are all familiar with the Bengal tiger, the magnificent beast which prowls the land in search of prey; the soundless feline who h
Protected species including Javan langur, leopard seized from Bali treehouse tourist attraction
Five protected animals of four different species have been seized from eastern Bali, for suspected illegal use as part of a tourist attraction from the Bukit Lemped Tree House in Karangasem.
“From the results of a temporary inspection, the owner of the tree house cannot show the letters and origin information about the protected animals,” said administrative head of the Bali Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA), I Ketut Catur Marbawa.
Endangered animals including deer, the Javan langur monkey, a leopard cat, and two porcupine are believed to have been held captive, used as an attraction for tourists at the Karangasem tree house. The animals are said to have been inadequately cared for, the Ja
Application to sanction Rabat exotic animal farm filed
An application to sanction an exotic animal farm on ODZ land in Rabat has been filed with the Planning Authority, requesting the sanctioning of a number of cages for exotic big cats.
The application plans show that there are four cages to be sanctioned. One cage is listed as being able to hold eight tigers, another to hold three lions, another for three jaguars and one for three leopards. The official application description reads: “To sanction the change of use from a cow breeding farm to an exotic animal farm (animals with appropriate certificates). Sanctioning also include safety fencing.” The “farm” is located on Dingli Road.
This newsroom asked the Environment Ministry a number of questions. The ministry was asked whether the site owner has permission to hold exotic animals, and whether they had knowledge of the animals currently held on site.
The ministry said tha
Why birds don't have teeth
Why did birds lose their teeth? Was it so they would be lighter in the air? Or are pointy beaks better for worm-eating than the jagged jaws of dinosaur ancestors?
Actually, birds gave up teeth to speed up egg hatching, a research paper published Wednesday suggests, challenging long-held scientific views on the evolution of the toothless beak.
Compared to an incubation period of several months for dinosaur eggs, modern birds hatch after just a few days or weeks.
This is because there is no need to wait for the embryo to develop teeth—a process that can consume 60 percent of egg incubation time, said researchers Tzu-Ruei Yang and Martin Sander from the University of Bonn.
While in the egg, the embryo is vulnerable to predators and natural disasters, and faster hatching boosts survival odds.
This would be a concern for dinos and birds—all egg layers. In mammals, embryos are protected inside the mother.
"We suggest that (evolutionary) selection for tooth loss (in birds) was
Prof. Craig Packer on Trophy Hunting
Craig: “I initially studied animal behaviour and started my career working with Jane Goodall in Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. When I finished my PhD, I wanted to carry on doing that sort of work and I was very lucky to be able to take over the Serengeti Lion Project! I viewed that just as a wonderful opportunity to study the natural behaviour, the behavioural ecology, and the evolutionary biology of an unusually cooperative species.
[Years later] I had students looking at human-lion conflict having to do with livestock losses which can provoke people into retaliation. About that time, I was approached by the Tanzanian government to look into an outbreak of man-eating lions in southern Tanzania and I thought: ‘Well I guess we should really be looking into that, that’s more important than livestock losses because anything that risks human lives really has to be given priority!’. Then I had more students working on man-eating lions and the issue was a reflection of the fact that lions don't confine themselves inside the boundaries of these parks. They go outside and there are a number of issues invol
Living Landscapes: A Conversation with Fred Koontz, Retired Vice President of Conservation at Woodland Park Zoo
Fred Koontz is an expert in the science of small population management and understands the opportunity zoos can play in that realm. He worked at the Bronx Zoo as Curator of Mammals at a time when the zoo was dramatically growing its involvement in insitu conservation. After a 13 year absence from the zoo industry, he became Vice President of Conservation at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle in 2011. During his six years there, Koontz developed a living landscape program for the Pacific Northwest, tied the zoo's new Banyan Wilds with a commitment to Malayan tiger conservation and changed the way the institution talked about conservation. Here is his story.
THE 6-FOOT CHINESE GIANT SALAMANDER IS IN SERIOUS TROUBLE
THE 6-FOOT-LONG, 140-POUND Chinese giant salamander is a being that defies belief—and seemingly the laws of the physical universe. It’s the largest amphibian on the planet, a gargantuan (though harmless) beast that rests on river-bottoms hoovering up fish. Once it grows big enough, not many critters dare touch it—save for, of course, humans.
Particularly the conservationists who are working to save the creature. The good bit about that work is that scientists have used tissue samples and genetics to determine that the salamander is not one species, but at least five. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that there are automatically five times as many salamanders in the world. And that reclassification means conservationists have been going about trying to save the critically endangered creature all wrong. It’s a devastating reminder that saving species means properly classifying them first.
You could once find the outsized salamander across China, from high elevations to
Clock ticks, parasites too, for zoo animals in cages: Study
In what could be an indication of poor upkeep of facilities at Arignar Anna Zoological Park, colloquially called Vandalur zoo, a study has revealed that infestation of parasites like mites and ticks is higher among animals in enclosures compared to those roaming freely on the 1,500-acre premises.
Two zoo- logists from Bharathiyar University, in the study, examined 412 mammals in the zoo for a year. They found that the prevalence of mites and ticks among caged animals was more compared to those in habitats that allow them to move freely. Their findings were published recently in peer-reviewed International Journal of Current Research in Life Sciences.
The finding, researchers said, was incidental. “Our main aim wa
Europe's largest aquarium opens in France
Europe's largest aquarium has opened in the north of France. An extension to the French National Sea Centre in Calais allows the building to house one of the largest tanks in the world, holding the equivalent of four Olympic swimming pools.
The highlight of the extension is a spectacular panoramic window.
"This window is five metres high, 20 metres wide and 38 centimetres thick," explains Philippe Vallette, Nausicaa's managing director. "It is a technical feat that was carried out in Europe which allows us to discover, not just a part of the aquarium, but a real part of the sea."
22,000 marine creatures will be added to the aquarium including hammerhead sharks, manta rays and shoals of fish.
The centre’s role is to educate and encourage the general public to protect marine life for the future and to assess the impact of resources and how they can help with marine conservation.
The new €70m euro extension building was made i
Chinkaras in captivity may soon become extinct, says study
A research on the status of the current captive population of Indian gazelles or chinkaras — placed in Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 — in Indian zoos said the gazelle population is likely to become extinct or decline sharply over the next 20 years, unless intensive measures to address causes of decline in captivity are implemented.
The study, recent
Weymouth SEA LIFE welcomes only colony of fairy penguins in Europe
A colony of fairy penguins, have moved into a brand new state-of-the-art enclosure at Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park, opening on Saturday, May 26.
Twenty fairy penguins have relocated from Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary in Australia to Weymouth in Dorset, due to the closure of the Manly Sanctuary in February. This is an exciting opportunity for Weymouth as these fairy penguins are the only colony in Europe.
Fairy penguins (also known as little blue penguins) are the world’s smallest penguin measuring just over 25cm tall and they weigh around 1 kg. The penguins are native to New Zealand and Southern Australia, but Weymouth was chosen as their new home due to the seaside town’s average summer and winter temperatures being very similar to those experienced by the penguins in their natural habitat.
The park has invested in excess of £100,000 into the new enclosure which will give visitors the opportunity to get closer to the penguins than ever before and interact with the
Birds from different species recognize each other and cooperate
Cooperation among different species of birds is common. Some birds build their nests near those of larger, more aggressive species to deter predators, and flocks of mixed species forage for food and defend territories together in alliances that can last for years. In most cases, though, these partnerships are not between specific individuals of the other species -- any bird from the other species will do.
But in a new study published in the journal Behavioral Ecology, scientists from the University of Chicago and University of Nebraska show how two different species of Australian fairy-wrens not only recognize individual birds from other species, but also form long-term partnerships that help them forage and defend their shared space as a group.
"Finding that these two species associate was not surprising, as mixed species flocks of birds are observed all over the world," said Allison Johnson, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Nebraska who conducted the study as part of her dissertation research at UChicago. "But when we realized they were sharing territories with specific individuals and responding aggressively only to unknown individ
"THE ZOO" May Have Aired its Season Finale, but AZA Members Continue to Share Our Stories
This weekend, Animal Planet aired the Season Two finale of its highly successful series THE ZOO, which highlights the AZA-accredited Bronx Zoo, its staff, and its animals. THE ZOO is one example of the steps our members take to tell our stories and give people an intimate look at the important work taking place at AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums.
Zoos and aquariums have been hesitant to bring the public behind-the-scenes. Whether out of apprehension, modesty, or the sheer complexity of the work we do, zoo and aquarium professionals have kept relatively silent regarding animal care practices. Perhaps we thought it best to focus on the animals in our care, with minimal outside interference. But it is becoming increasingly important to be transparent, to educate the public about our expertise and rigorous animal welfare standards, and to demonstrate our ded
Is This the World’s Most Diverse National Park?
Madidi National Park in Bolivia goes from lowland to mountaintop, from 600 feet to almost 20,000 feet above sea level. It covers more than 7,000 square miles of wildly different habitats. It is, says Rob Wallace, an ecologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society in Bolivia, “a place where the Amazon meets the Andes.”
First record of large-antlered muntjac in Quang Nam, Vietnam, in the wild
Under a biodiversity monitoring and assessment activity supported by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), scientists and conservationists of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) and WWF-Vietnam captured photographs of one of the rarest and most threatened mammal species of Southeast Asia, the large-antlered muntjac (Muntiacus vuquangensis), in Quang Nam province, central Vietnam. Prior to this milestone, this species had only been camera trapped in three protected areas in all of Vietnam since the year 2000. The new records from Quang Nam—which include photographs of both a male and a female—provide new hope for the continued survival of a species that is on the brink of extinction.
"It is amazing news," said Phan Tuan, Director of the Forest Protection Department of Quang Nam in Vietnam "The two individuals are both mature and of reproductive age. These images prove that the species still survives in Quang Nam province and give us hope that there might even be a breeding population."
The large-antlered muntjac was discovered by scientists in 1994 and is found only in the Annamites mountain range bordering Vietnam and Lao People's Democratic Republic. Illegal hunting, mainly accomplished by the setting of wire snares, has decimated the species across its range. Snaring pressure is apparently high in the forests of central Vietnam. From 2011 to 2017, for example, government rangers and WWF Forest Guards removed more than a hundred thousand wire snare
Canadians see value in zoos, aquariums, but voice support for banning whales and dolphins in captivity
The future of zoos and aquariums in North America has come into question in recent years, and two proposed laws to reduce or outright ban cetaceans in captivity, both in the House of Commons and Senate, appear to reflect the state of public opinion.
Some have called it the “Blackfish” effect – citing the impact of a popular documentary about the problematic nature of housing intelligent aquatic animals at SeaWorld. SeaWorld Entertainment’s stock plummeted after the film aired on CNN, and has never recovered to pre-Blackfish levels.
A new study from the Angus Reid Institute finds Canadians more than twice as likely to say these mammals should be banned from captivity in Canadian aquariums, than to say that this practice should be allowed.
This finding follows movements in this country against the captivity of cetaceans – whales, dolphins and porpoises – which have been led against Marineland, the popular aquarium and zoo in Niagara Falls, Ontario. In that provice, residents are more than three-times as likely to say that such practice
Optimism & Pessimism; 2 Different Things
The first thing we should do is all agree on what the meaning is for these word from a behavioural perspective. I would like to share my thoughts on this topic because I think its an important topic to think about.
There are plenty of us who think that they are number one or number two. But where does that come from? We aren’t born with it, we are shaped this way. One of us has more negative outcomes about their actions in their lives than others while the other one has more positive outcomes and so becomes an optimist. Let’s put this back to the animals we work with.
At this moment I’m pretty busy in our Welfare group we have in the zoo I work at. The main question for us is obviously if the welfare of our animals is good yes or no and how can we measure this. Click HERE for more info on that topic. I’ve looked up some presentations from a welfare conference held in the USA. Interesting and knowledgeable people who gave some great speeches. At the same I wrote some questions down that I want to discuss wit
What’s In the Word “Conservation?”
In this theme, I cover some of the key questions surrounding the ambiguities of the definition of ‘conservation’. Throughout my many years working professionally in the captive koala sector, I have noticed a gradual shift in the meaning and understanding of the word ‘conservation’
The Definition of “Conservation”
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, ‘conservation’ is the “preservation, protection, or restoration of the natural environment and of wildlife”.
What it doesn’t say, however, is how to preserve species and environments, what conservation is meant to look like, an
Holiday giants including TUI and TripAdvisor 'profiting from animal cruelty'
The world’s biggest tour group has been promoting tourist trips to an elephant “orphanage” in Asia where it’s claimed “many animals were bred – rather than rescued – and are chained for long periods and threatened with bullhooks”, an investigation claims.
TUI, which is also Britain’s leading holiday company, was also allegedly found selling elephant rides to tourists, even though it claimed to have stopped in 2015 on ethical grounds.
The tour giant – and some of the world’s other best known names in travel – are accused of profiting from animal cruelty by promoting attractions worldwide where animals may be caused to suffer behind the scenes to make them compliant for holidaymakers.
19 Exceptional Zoos and Aquariums Achieve AZA Accreditation
Twice a year, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) independent Accreditation Commission (the Commission) evaluates accreditation applications from the world’s best aquariums, nature centers, science centers and zoos. Most recently, the Commission reviewed 21 accreditation applications and 2 applications for certification. As a result of these rigorous assessments, AZA proudly announces that the following facilities are accredited:
Alexandria Zoological Park, La.
Audubon Zoo, La.
Brevard Zoo, Fla.
Dolphin Discovery Cozumel, Mexico
Dolphin Discovery Isla Mujeres, Mexico
El Paso Zoo, Texas
Fort Worth Zoo, Texas
Georgia Aquarium, Ga.
Houston Zoo, Inc., Texas
Jenkinson's Aquarium, N.J.
Louisville Zoological Garden, Ky.
Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Conn.
Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, Fla.
Ocean Park Corporation, Hong Kong
OdySea Aquarium, Ariz.
Rainforest & Aquarium at Moody Gardens, Texas
Sacramento Zoo, Calif.
San Antonio Zoological Society, Texas
Seattle Aquarium, Wash.
“AZA’s accreditation standards are widely acknowledged as the ‘gold-standard’ in the zoological profession, and our independent Commission grants accreditation only to those who have reached this level of achievement,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “AZA-accredited facilities are proven leaders in animal care, welfare, and conservation, contributing $216 m
There's an enormous difference between animal rights and conservation
I stopped buying Lush products a while ago, largely because of this issue (I didn’t want to give money to charities that use fear-mongering, hand-wringing anthropomorphism to actively fight biodiversity), and their treatment of the Little Fireface Project only solidified this. Now Lush has sponsored a conference whose end goal is essentially dead elephants, whether they want to admit that or not.
Animal Training VS Enrichment Programs; What Is More Important?
Throughout my career I discovered that the phycology of animals interest me most. Questions like why animals do their thing and why they have certain responses etc is an interesting part of why I enjoy what I do. Animal Training in general is a passionate part where I try to get better at and discover how my style of training works and what I’m actually doing. Meeting individuals that need different strategies that give you another perspective about the science of operant conditioning. Its cool to see how different species act different and are completely different on many different aspects when you train them. How you thought an animal would be is not at all what it is working with them up close. We learn so much through those interactions what helps us respect these animals even more.
Team Fiona: A Conversation with Christina Gorsuch, Curator of Mammals at the Cincinnati Zoo
After spending time at three other zoos, Christina Gorsuch became Curator of Mammals at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2015. She oversees the care and husbandry of a wide variety of animals from lions to black rhinoceroses to Asian elephants to Mexican wolves to African wild dogs. However, soon Gorsuch would become most associated with hippos when she became social media famous as Coach of Team Fiona, the animal care team responsible for caring for the zoo's prematurely born hippo. Here is her story.
Lizards with toxic green blood may have evolved it to fight disease
Coursing through the veins of some New Guinean lizards, is blood so toxic it would kill a human 40 times over.
Besides being deadly, what makes it even more striking is its colour. It is such a bright shade of lime green it makes the reptiles’ muscles, bones and tongues green as well.
This colour comes from high levels of biliverdin – a green bile pigment produced as a waste product that causes jaundice in humans.
Not only are these reptile perfectly healthy, scientists think the prevalence of green blood among New Guinean skinks means counterintuitively this toxic b
Hippos Poop So Much That Sometimes All the Fish Die
At first, Chris Dutton and Amanda Subalusky had no idea why the fish were dying.
At a bridge on the border between Kenya and Tanzania, they noticed that whenever the Mara River rose by a few feet, dead fish would wash up on its banks, sometimes in the thousands. Storks, vultures, crocodiles, and hyenas made short work of the carcasses, so “if you weren’t there to see it, you’d never know it was happening,” says Dutton. Local rangers knew about the die-offs, but they blamed the events on farmers who sprayed pesticides in upstream fields.
It wasn’t the farmers. Through an increasingly bold set of experiments, involving remote-controlled boats, computer simulations, a makeshift dam, and vast tankers of excrement-filled water, Dutton and Subalusky identified the real culprits: hippos.
The duo, who are married, published their results in a paper with the remarkably polite title of “Organic matter loading by hippopotami causes subsidy overload resulting in downstream hypoxia and fish kills.”
At The Zoo, Harvard Medical Students Get A Different Kind Of Training
Sofina is sedated, sprawled out on an examination table as four medical professionals hover over her. The 8-year-old has had Type 1 diabetes most of her life, but it seems like her normal insulin isn’t helping. Sofina’s doctors worry she might have developed Cushing’s disease and they’re taking blood samples to figure out what’s wrong.
Joseph Rosenthal, a fourth-year Harvard Medical School student, will be the one drawing Sofina’s blood. This is a bit of a unique experience for him. He’s drawn blood before, but up until recently, the process has mostly been with humans. Sofina, who resides at the Franklin Park Zoo, will be his first ring-tailed lemur patient.
Veterinarian Dr. Alex Becket coaches Rosenthal through some of the unexpected hurdles, like spotting a vein and not something that just looks like a vein.
“Now keep in mind, that with fur, it might bunch up on y
When Conservation Is Just Another Way To Spell Exploitation
Anyone involved with the conservation of lions in South Africa knows, and shudders, at the mention of Ukutula Lodge & Conservation Center (usually and more aptly referred as Ukutula Lion Farm) Anyone who is not deeply involved with lion conservation is still most likely familiar with Ukutula’s name, and not for any good reason.
One of the largest predator breeding facilities in South Africa, Ukutula’s name has become synonymous with the cub petting industry, as well as with the canned hunting industry. In recent years, Ukutula has begun insisting that it “tracks” all the lions it sells as offal from its massive cub petting farm “in order to assure that they aren’t used for canned hunting”. All of the information which supposedly proves that claim, however, is “confidential” which means that the public can only take the word of a company which breeds and exploits lions for profit, as proof that they don’t actually sell them for yet another tier of profit, to the canned hunting industry.
And frankly, even if Ukutula published the names of the buyers of their lions, it’s not difficult to legally avoid “selling to canned hunting facilities”. An entity like Ukutula can sell their lions to anyone who is “unassociated” with any canned hunting facility, and legally state that they “do not sell to canned hunting facilities” while the person they sold all their lions to, will then turn around and hold a dispersal sale, auctioning or selling all the lions to canned hunting farms. And it’s not illegal. Nor is it illeg
Lions and Tigers and Bears Are Going Extinct
A research paper published April 12, 2018, in the online journal PLOS Biology, identifies the 10 most “charismatic” animals known and loved by humans that may soon become extinct, perhaps, in great part, because, most of us don’t realize how few of them actually exist. They’re talking about elephants, giraffes, lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, polar bears, gorillas, gray wolves, and, of course, pandas, that are all going the way of the dinosaur. Why don’t we know this? Why aren’t we paying more attention?
Most of us are captivated by and naturally attracted to animals, especially mammals. We often feel an emotional connection. The animals that are most popular with humans are everywhere we look, in the form of stuffed animal toys and cartoon and realistic images used in ma
'A rich conservationist is a rare species'
The Whitley Fund for Nature is celebrating a quarter of a century and looks set to successfully continue providing financial assistance to conservationists across the globe. To date, almost £15 million has been awarded to over 197 wildlife pioneers in 80 countries.
No mean feat in a competitive and challenging field not always financially sufficient or fortunate enough to provide long-standing support.
Seen by many as the 'Green Oscars', the awards target those working in nature conservation regarded as international advocates for bio diversity. Notable emphasis is on local projects in resource poor areas and funding is provided for proven grass-roots conservation leaders in developing countries. Emphasis is on people and wildlife working in a mutually beneficial way.
Best in the field
The 2018 recipients of the prestigious prize consist of six 'of the best in the field', from various backgrounds and regions.
Munir Virani's Kenyan project is saving the region's threatened vultures who due to negative cultural perceptions are often poisoned. The project aims to reverse this misguided thinking and it's hoped it will serve as a model for other African countries.
Symbio Wildlife Park’s Jarrad Prangell has been named Australasian Zookeeper of the Year
Symbio Wildlife Park is celebrating one of its team being named the best zookeeper in the nation.
Jarrad Prangell, 26, won the title of Australasian Zookeeper of the Year at the Australasian Society of Zoo Keeping (ASZK) Conference.
While finalists are not told who nominated them he is pretty sure it was Symbio’s owners Matt and John Radnidge.
Mr Prangell started working at the family zoo when the Radnidge family gave him an opportunity at 21. He has always had a passion for working with animals but growing up in Sydney’s Inner-West meant he would take every opportunity to explore the bush during camping trips and family holidays to the Blue Mountains and South Coast.
He loves all animals but his particular interest has always been reptiles. Now he gets to look after reptiles and amphibeans at Symbio.
“I grew up watching Steve Irwin. I always knew what I wanted to do and the Radnidge family gave me a chan
Zoo workers injured when 800-pound animal escapes
Two employees of a Rhode Island zoo suffered minor injuries when an 800-pound animal described as a "goat-antelope" escaped its enclosure.
The takin, native to the eastern Himalayas, escaped just after 9 a.m. Tuesday and was back in its enclosure by 10 a.m., before the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence opened to the public.
VIDEO: Florida school ‘sorry’ about live tiger at prom
A Florida high school has apologised for exhibiting live wild animals including a caged tiger at a jungle-themed prom in a hotel.
Friday night’s event for final-year students at Christopher Columbus High School, an all-male private school in the suburbs of Miami, featured typical prom entertainment such as a disco and dancers.
However, the party also included more controversial “entertainment”: a display of live animals, included a lemur, macaws and a tiger.
Video footage shared online by the sister of a student showed the animal pacing a small cage in the middle of the dance floor, surrounded by a crowd of excited prom-goers.
Edinburgh Zoo welcomes endangered rockhopper penguin chicks
RZSS Edinburgh Zoo are celebrating the hatching of three endangered northern rockhopper penguin chicks. The chicks mark the most successful northern rockhopper penguin breeding season at the zoo in over 27 years. Only days old, the chicks will remain on their nests with their parents until they reach around 3 months. READ MORE: Edinburgh Zoo’s penguins have a new bubble machine and they love it Dawn Nicoll, senior penguin keeper, said, “We are very excited to welcome three new chicks to our rockhopper colony. It has been amazing to watch the new parents caring for their young and being very attentive, though we aren’t out of the woods yet as the first 30 days are crucial for a newborn chick’s development.
Puerto Vallarta Zoo will appeal decision of Profepa inspection
After revealing that personnel of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office and Environmental Protection (Profepa) seized 54 animals from the zoo in Puerto Vallarta, the site’s director, Martín Castañeda, has prepared a criminal appeal against the federal agency for irregularities in documentation.
According to Castañeda, the agency, in the report, said that the animals were in perfect health and in appropriate environments for their stay, a contrast to the bulletin issued to the media, which indicated that there were no conditions for the healthy recreation of the animals seized.
“It is verified that in the development of the activities that the inspected person performs, related to the management of the wild life, no acts of cruelty are carried out, in turn they are observed in general in good apparent physical condition in all the housed specimens as well as it was observed that in the interior of the cages of each animal are troughs and drinking troughs”, dictates the inspecti
Appearance of exotic animal suggests possible existence of 'illegal zoo'
It is thought the animal, barely alive, had fled a cruel master, seeing as its neck and legs were bruised. It was caught by employees of the Mežavairogi animal sanctuary, who located and caught it after being tipped off that an exotic animal was roaming free between the Iecava and Baldone areas near Rīga.
It was delivered to the Rīga Zoo, and specialists are trying to wring it away from death's embrace. The animal was famished to the point that specialists at the Rīga Zoo weren't able, at first look, to tell if it's a male or female mara.
People with information about its possible master are asked to inform the authorities. Seeing as it's not the first exotic animal to be seen in the vicinity, it's possible there's a sinister scheme at work.
"It can't be excluded there's an illegal mini-zoo somewhere, or maybe someone is keeping exotic animals for fun," said Rīga Zoo director Ingmārs Līdaka.
Authorities were unable to find the owner of the wallaby, which had been taken into the zoo earlier. As it was discovered during freezing temperatures, the wallaby was named Sp
Students, parents outraged by caged tiger at high school prom in Miami
Some parents and students are outraged after organizers of a Miami high school prom featured a caged tiger for its jungle theme. The caged animal's presence angered some who called it animal abuse for the sake of entertainment, CBS Miami reports.
The Christopher Columbus High School prom took place Friday night at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport and Convention Center. The sister of one student posted video of the event on Facebook and called the decision "shameful."
She told CBS Miami that she and her family are longtime animal rights activists who consider the act animal abuse. They said the entire act was done in poor taste.
"Tigers are wild animals. They don't need to be displayed as objects for our amusement. They don't like the fire, the cage
Matchmaking for zoo animals
Zoos have always been places where people come to marvel at, and connect with, the wonders of the animal world. But with more and more species endangered in their natural habitats, zoos have had to change their stripes. They've shifted their focus to conservation, and gone is the old practice of bringing in exotic animals from the wild. But without them, zoos today have to re-populate from within. And it's complicated. It turns out that behind every baby animal crowds flock to see and biologists want to protect, there's an elaborate mix of science, software, genetics, and moving vans. It's no longer the old-fashioned birds and the bees at the modern zoo -- it's more like Match.com.
Animals with babies -– always a sure-fire hit at the zoo. It's what all living creatures are biologically programmed to do: mate, rear young and pass their genes onto the next generation. But you might be surprised to learn that long before the babies. And even long before the making of the babies. There is this
Alleged wildlife smuggling kingpin jailed in Thailand
A court in Thailand has sentenced a Thai man believed to be a kingpin in the illicit wildlife trade to 2 ½ years in prison for smuggling rhinoceros horns, an organization that works with police to combat trafficking said Friday.
The group Freeland said the court in Samut Prakarn province convicted Boonchai Bach this week in the shipment of 11 kilograms (24.2 pounds) of rhino horns from Africa worth $700,000. The rhino horns were seized in December when a Chinese smuggler was arrested at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport. A wildlife quarantine officer at the airport accused of assisting the smugglers was also arrested.
The group said a relative of Boonchai's was caught when he sought to pick up the shipment, implicating Boonchai as the financier and leading to
Emirates Park Zoo and Resort Wins ‘Best Zoo Operator Award in the Middle East’
Emirates Park Zoo & Resorts received a well-deserved recognition as it took home the ‘Best Zoo Operator Award in the Middle East’ during the 4th Theme Parks & Entertainment Development Forum, which was held at Meydan Hotel, Dubai on May 8th, 2018.
The 4th Theme Parks & Entertainment Development Forum is a platform that brings key decision-makers from across the MENA region to discuss, establish partnerships among industry experts and learn the ways of profiting from local and global investment opportunities in the leisure and entertainment division.
The award recognized Emirates Park Zoo & Resort’s excellence in service and efforts towards habitat preservation, while promoting safety and cleanliness habits at the highest level. The zoo continues to exceed in customer expectations providing them with an exceptional experience in terms of hospitality, entertainment and recreational activities in the Middle East.
zoo concepts for the 21st century shift focus to animal welfare
architectural competitions platform archstorming presents the three winning teams of its latest competition titled ‘coexist: rethinking zoos’. challenging the traditional concept of zoos, submissions propose interactive and imaginative alternatives such as elevated and non-intrusive paths, autochthonous species adapted to the climate and even 3D virtual animals. the winning proposals focus on improving the well being of animals and enhance the educational and scientific aspects of a zoo by including spaces for art, history and reflection.
Is that selfie really worth it? Why face time with wild animals is a bad idea
The phenomenon of kangaroo selfies hit the headlines earlier this month, when several tourists were injured while feeding wild kangaroos in Lake Macquarie, north of Sydney. They may have wanted a memorable holiday snap, but ended up with rather more than they bargained for.
One news report described how the "cute and cuddly" animals had begun "viciously attacking people".
Is that really fair on the kangaroos? Of all the adjectives you could use to describe an animal that is territorial, fiercely maternal and has large claws, "cuddly" is pretty far down the list.
The problem with that description of the incident is that it suggests that the kangaroos were to blame for the injuries. In reality, it was the fault of the people getting too close and offering them the wrong food. Having become so used to being handed carrots, we can hardly blame the kangaroos for being "hopped up", as the news coverage punningly put it.
In India, another recent case ended in tragedy when a man attempted to take a selfie with a bear. The man reportedly turned his back on the bear and was then mauled to death.
World’s first different-sex Francois' leaf monkey twins debut in China
A pair of Francois' leaf monkeys made their public debut on Sunday at Guangzhou's Chimelong Safari Park in south China’s Guangdong Province.
According to the zoo, the pair is the first set of different-sex Francois' leaf twins ever born in captivity.
Currently, there are a total of 14 Francois' leaf monkeys living in the park. Xiao Xiao, their mother, gave birth to the pair in April. The babies were born with bright orange fur which will turn black within two to three months, reports Chinese news portal China News.
Maritime Aquarium Eliminates Nearly All Single-Use Plastics
As a leader in Long Island Sound and ocean conservation, the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is doing its part for the environment by significantly reducing its employ of single-use plastics.
According to a news release, gone from the aquarium's cafeteria and theater concessions stand are all drinking straws. Guests now have the option of boxed water or beverages in glass and aluminum containers, instead of in plastic bottles.
Additionally, plastic silverware, coffee lids and food containers have been replaced by biodegradable substitutes. In the Aquarium's gift shop, plush animals no longer are stuffed with plastic beads, toys no longer have cellophane wrapping and purchases no longer go into plastic bags.
"Plastics are pervasive in the consumer wo
Zion's big cat pride set for a public revival
A troubled big cat park in Northland has been closed to the public for years, with its population of lions and tigers in decline. Harrison Christian goes inside Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary as it gears up for a re-opening, which the park's founder claims he'll fight to stop.
The bad headlines came lightly at first, then thick and fast. Financial trouble; domestic violence; alleged mistreatment of animals. Craig "the Lion Man" Busch collected dozens of lions and tigers at a facility in Northland before he left the country – and the cats – to start again in South Africa.
Four tigers; two cheetahs; seventeen lions and one black leopard. That's the full inventory remaining at what is now called Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary. Where the park once had almost 40 animals a decade ago, there are now only 24 left.
Nestled in the countryside east of Whangarei and echoing with the roars of the big cats, the park has stood dormant since the government ordered it closed to the public four years ago. There's been talk of a revival ever since, but dates indicated for a re-opening have come and gone.
Meanwhile, various operators kept things running; the cats might be off-limits to the public, but they still have to eat, getting through an average of four cows per week. A new level of activity is stirring behind the fences under Australian couple Janette and Dale Vallance, who plan to have tourists through the gates this summer.
Balancing tourism and conservation: Dubai shows how
As Dubai grows into the metropolis we know it as, so does the need for environmental awareness and conservation. While many conservationists continue to insist animals solely belong in the wild, what they often fail to address is the fact that the boundaries of their natural habitats are shrinking by the day. Regrettably, animals are increasingly coming under the threats of poaching, global warming, and conflict. In this context, Dubai Safari Park, which imported older elephants and other animals last year, is playing a critical role in the conservation of endangered species. It is also sensitising tourists and residents about protection and conservation.
Timothy Husband, the park’s technical director, gave his assurance to a local newspaper that the desert elephants, brought in from Namibia, were to enhance breeding and care facilities, and for rides. “Some of them are critically endangered. We aim to increase the n
Dubai Safari park to close on May 15
The Dubai Safari will close its doors to the public on May 15 as the attraction undergoes some "beautification works", it was announced on Saturday.
The park will welcome visitors again on October 1, following the completion of the embellishment programme scheduled to take place during the summer months.
The activists are wrong: Aquariums support conservation
Judging by the dozens of aquariums around the country offering Mother’s Day programming, tens of thousands of American moms appear set to spend their special day getting a front row seat to the majestic and awe-inspiring creatures of the sea. For good reason. A trip to the local aquarium is something the whole family can enjoy, with sea life giving moms a well-deserved break from entertaining the kids.
Unfortunately, an activist movement called Empty the Tanks is trying to spoil the fun. Today, it is hosting coordinated worldwide protests demanding that aquariums return their inhabitants to the sea. Its mission statement is, “End captivity, protect the oceans.”
Great Indian Bustard’s numbers down to eight
A latest report by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has revealed that Maharashtra may have less than eight Great Indian Bustards (GIB) currently. With the number of GIBs pegged so low in a recent survey, the forest department will be focusing on measures to conserve the endangered bird species.
Officials have stated that the count of GIB was around 30, decades ago. The forest department will be focusing on protecting the grasslands and monitor the eleven clusters across the state, which have been identified as the species' habitat. Moreover it will also be focusing on preventing fire in these areas.
The GIB is listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and listed as an endangered species. A report on potential habitat by the WII, in collaboration with the state forest department, was recently released and it stated that during a survey in September 2017, out of 1,401 respondents, 72 confirmed that they have spotted the bird in their area. “While doing the survey, the GIB was not found. However, we had kept dummy birds throughout an area of 55,000 sq km to know the detection rate of these species. Only 13 per cent of the dummy birds could be identified during the survey, leading to the conclusion that less than eight GIB are there in the state,” said M.K. Rao, additional principal chief conservator of forest (Wildlife West).
“We had carried out radio telemetry survey for two years, where we found that t
Mexico City Officially Bans Dolphinariums
In a victory for captive dolphins, Mexico City announced an official ban on dolphinariums last week, putting an end to captive dolphins within the city limits.
According to La Verdad, the reform not only bans captive dolphins, it also includes sea lions. All captive dolphins and sea lions within the city must be relocated to accredited sanctuaries within the next six months. The animals’ new homes will be thoroughly evaluated prior to the move in order to ensure that they are as close as possible to the natural habitats of dolphins and sea lions in the wild. Those who do not comply with the new law will face fines ranging from 300,000 to 300,960 pesos (about $15k).
The vast majority of politicians were in favor of the ban, with 40 vote
Zookeeper mauled to death at Chinese animal centre which sold 'tiger wine'
A zookeeper was reportedly killed by a tiger at a controversial wildlife centre in southern China accused of selling "tiger wine".
The man, who was aged around 50, went to clean a tiger enclosure with a colleague at the Xiongsen Bear and Tiger Mountain Village in Guilin, a city in the Guangxi autonomous region on Tuesday (May 8) morning, according to China National Radio.
His colleague left the man, who has not been named, alone in the enclosure at around 11am.
His body was found at around 2.30pm and his family were told later that day that he had been mauled by a tiger.
Panda-hosting Ähtäri Zoo losing money
Ähtäri Zoo, which is hosting two pandas from China, is seeking a million euros from the city of Ähtäri, its main financier, to help cover last year’s losses.
The zoo’s consolidated financial statements put it around one million euros in the red. Some 800,000 euros of the losses at the animal park in South Ostrobothnia are directly panda-related. The zoo is, however, upbeat about the future. Visitor numbers have been growing in the past few months, and operations are expected back in the black during 2018, according to Ähtäri Zoo CEO Jonna Pietilä.
Bear from Romanian zoo tastes freedom for the first time in 28 years
Pamela, a female bear from the Zoo in the Romanian city of Oradea, got the chance to roam free after 28 years in a cage, local Stirileprotv.ro reported.
Representatives of the Oradea Zoo asked the Millions of Friends Association to take the bear, as she was being attacked all the time by her grown up cubs. The situation had forced the zoo employees to move Pamela to an even smaller cage, which led to an unhappy life for the animal.
Thus, the female bear was taken to the Libearty Bear S
The Beginnings of Waikiki's Wildlife Treasure: A Conversation with Paul Breese, the Founding Director of the Honolulu Zoo
In 1947, Paul Breese was named the first director of the Honolulu Zoo and was tasked with turning a small bird park into a world-class zoological park. With the help of Belle Benchley of the San Diego Zoo, he built the zoo from the ground up and put together an impressive collection of exotic animals. The zoo soon had significant breeding success with a number of species including Galapagos tortoises (the first successful births in America), cassowaries (the first successful birth and rearing in captivity), Asian hornbills and giraffes. Most noteworthy, Breese became Chairman of the Nene Advisory Committee and the Honolulu Zoo successfully saved the Hawaiian geese from extinction through the Nene Restoration Project. Here is his story.
Like the fossil fuel industry, trophy hunting is unsustainable
Trophy hunting is like the fossil fuel industry. They’re both messy, unsustainable, in need of an alternative approach and, ultimately, fail to deliver on their promises.
Trophy hunting is a colonial construct with an anachronistic view on the environment. While it has served certain interests, its failures to effectively deliver on wider conservation promises and its negative impacts outweigh any benefits it accrues. It’s time to search for more effective and sustainable alternatives.
Despite being entrenched in conservation programmes, doubts around trophy hunting started a long time back. Some argue that distaste for sport killing began when Theodore Roosevelt returned from East Africa in 1909 with his hunting bag of over 500 trophies, including 17 lions, 11 elephants and 20 rhino.
Back then, indiscriminate hunting had already placed many of the continent’s charismatic species under threat. Today, and with many of these same species still
UAE releases 1,000 Houbara bustards
Officials of the UAE Embassy in Islamabad have released 1,000 Houbara bustards in Rahim Yar Khan region of Punjab province as part of the country’s commitment and efforts for preservation of the bird.
Representatives of the Fund for Houbara Conservation Abu Dhabi, officials of Forest, Wildlife and Fisheries Department of Punjab and media were also present.
Speaking on the occasion, UAE Ambassador in Islamabad Hamad Obaid Al Zaabi said that his country has achieved a distinguished position on the global level for its efforts to conserve the Houbara bustard. Several projec
Nearly Two Years Later, ‘World’s Saddest Polar Bear’ No Longer Sad?
As animal welfare increasingly becomes a part of the public conversation, it’s becoming more common to see stories about animals living in situations that are harmful to their mental and physical health. Take SeaWorld’s dolphins, or Yemen’s starving zoo animals—or the tragic case of Pizza the polar bear.
Too often we never find out what ultimately happens to these animals. Do they ever leave their decrepit enclosures in that zoo? Do they ever get a reprieve from performing for people? Do they survive their near-death experiences in captivity?
In a new series, “Where are they now?” Wildlife Watch will report on animals whose plights have elicited widespread concern and sympathy, to see how they’re faring now. We begin the series today with an update on a bear called Pizza, who’s been called “the world’s saddest polar bear.” Please send us an email at ngwildli
Carnivores in captivity give birth at the same time of year as those in the wild
Many species have a specific mating season when living in their natural habitat. The young animals are usually born in spring when environmental conditions are optimal for their survival, while births at less favorable times such as the start of winter are thus avoided. Depending on whether seasonal reproduction is a strong characteristic of a species or not, the time period for births will be a longer or a shorter window.
Researchers at the Clinic for Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife at the University of Zurich investigated the seasonality of more than 100 species of carnivores. As it is rather difficult to ob-serve births of animals in their natural habitat, they evaluated data from 150,000 births that took place in zoos. Zoos consistently document births and forward the i
Patience pays off for elephants' keepers in North Sumatra
A certain bond, albeit with caveats, seems to define the relationship between tame elephants and their mahout ( keepers) in Mount Leuser National Park’s Tangkahan Elephant Ecotourism Camp in Langkat, North Sumatra.
Tangkahan Elephant Ecotourism Camp’s elephant and mahout coordinator Sudiono recalled the time when his wife was feverish, he told her to see a doctor.
“When an elephant is ill, I look after it day and night until it is fully recovered. I am afraid it will die. If it refuses to eat, I’ll go the extra mile to find the food it likes such as ripe bananas,” the 44-year-old said.
Under the current arrangement, all sick elephants have to be referred to the Veterinary Society for Sumatran Wildlife Conservation.
“I don’t really know why I have such a deep affection for elephants, which is just there by itself and is perhaps forged by the many years we have spent together,” Sudiono said.
He and the 11 other mahout under him accompanied Environment and Forestry Ministry officials during a recent visit to Tangkahan, which was formerly an illegal loggers’ transit point.
What will it take to stop the animal selfie phenomenon?
LAST WEEK, IT was reported that kangaroos at a popular tourist area in New South Wales had begun attacking tourists for their food and causing significant injuries. Why? In a bid to get the perfect selfie, tourists were coaxing the kangaroos with carrots and if the animals didn’t get the carrots, or any other food high in sugar, they would become aggressive.
The area around the Morisset hospital, which boasts a notoriously large population of kangaroos making it a popular tourist destination, had signs telling tourists not to feed the kangaroos, not only because the animals were known to become aggressive but because it was to the detriment of the animal’s health. Despite this, people persisted.
For lemurs, size of forest fragments may be more important than degree of isolation
Occurrence of these endangered primates rises with patch size, but is mixed for patch connectivity
Occurrence probability of three lemur species in tropical dry forest increases with fragment size but can increase or decrease with fragment isolation depending on the species, according to a study published May 9, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Travis Steffens and Shawn Lehman from University of Toronto, Canada.
Lemurs live only in Madagascar, and nearly all species are at risk of extinction primarily due to habitat loss and fragmentation. The independent effects of forest loss and of forest fragmentation are not well understood, however. To assess the relative impact of these threats, Steffens and Lehman surveyed lemurs in fragmented dry deciduous forest in Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar between June and November 2011, observing six lemur species in 42 forest fragments. The researchers then used incidence function models to examine whether the lemurs formed metapopulations, spatially-separated populations within a species, in a fragmented landscape and under different forest fragmentation conditions.
In their simulations, the researche
The Last Days of the Blue-Blood Harvest
Every year, more than 400,000 crabs are bled for the miraculous medical substance that flows through their bodies—now pharmaceutical companies are finally committing to an alternative that doesn't harm animals.
Horseshoe crabs are sometimes called “living fossils” because they have been around in some form for more than 450 million years. In this time, the Earth has gone through multiple major ice ages, a Great Dying, the formation and subsequent breaking up of Pangaea, and an asteroid impact that killed the dinosaurs and most of life on Earth yet again. In other words, horseshoe crabs have truly seen some shit.
Yet, I would conjecture, some of their strangest experiences must have come in just the past few decades, as one of the soft-bodied mammals that came after dinosaurs began using their hands to scoop horseshoe crabs out of the ocean en masse. Contemporary humans do not deliberately kill the horseshoe crabs—as did previous centuries of farmers catching them for fertilizer or fishermen using them as bait. Instead, they scrub th
Standard for zoo containment facilities
We approved a new standard for zoo containment facilities.
The new standard comes into force on 1 July 2018, and replaces the MAF Biosecurity New Zealand Standard 154.03.04 Containment Facilities for Zoo Animals.
However, there will be a transitional period of 12 months, ending on 30 June 2019, during which zoo containment facilities may choose to comply with the previous standard.
Read the new Standard for zoo containment facilities (pdf 700KB)
Read the decision document for the approval of the new standard (pdf 200KB)
We received three submissions during the consultation.
View the submissions received (pdf 1MB)
View the report on the submissions (pdf 400KB)
Guidance available soon
MPI is developing guidance material to help people who have to comply with the standard. It will include information about how the requirements can be met, what measures will be considered acceptable, and what information needs to be provided to MPI to a
A judge just raised deep questions about chimpanzees’ legal rights
For several years, an animal rights organization has sought to convince New York courts that chimpanzees kept by private owners are “legal persons” with a right to be free. For several years, the courts have rejected that argument.
New York’s highest court did the same on Tuesday, denying an appeal of a lower court’s refusal to grant writs of habeas corpus to two caged chimps named Tommy and Kiko. But in a striking concurring opinion that was cheered by the chimps’ advocates, one judge wrote that the legal question at the heart of the case — whether all animals are mere property or things — is far from settled.
“Does an intelligent nonhuman animal who thinks and plans and appreciates life as human beings do have the right to the protection of the law against arbitrary cruelties and enforced detentions visited on him or her?” wrote Eugene Fahey, one of five Court of Appeals judges who ruled on the matter. “This is not merely a definit
Zoo Plantman: A Conversation with Rob Halpern, Owner of Zoo Horticulture Consulting and Design
Rob Halpern has carved a role in the zoo industry as the authority on zoo landscapes. While he will always be remembered for his work on the renowned Congo Gorilla Forest at the Bronx Zoo, he has worked on dozens of projects with his company Zoo Horticulture Consulting and Design. Halpern believes design of planting is essential to the quality of an exhibit. “When I design the planting, I think of how it will be like grown in,” he articulated. “Landscape should change over time and the people in charge of running them should make them better than I made them. The whole role of horticulture in zoos is interesting. It’s an ongoing battle.” Here is his story.
Procapra Przewalskii: "ballet dancer" on China's plateau
Procapra Przewalskiis are seen in Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China's Qinghai Province, April 26, 2018. The number of Procapra Przewalskii, an antelope species being listed as endangered, has increased to a record high of 2,057 in the latest survey. Przewalski's gazelle was named after Nikolai Mikhaylovich Przhevalsky, a Russian explorer who found a specimen and brought it back to St. Petersburg in 1875. A typical Procapra Przewalskii is 110 to 120 centimeters long and weighing about 15 kilograms. The long-horn animal with a short tail was described as a "ballet dancer" on plateau by Przhevalsky because it jumps in a beautiful curve.
Venture Bound: Zoos work to save species
Carla and I, as fans of zoos, are particularly interested in how successful zoos will be in trying to save endangered species.
For years we enjoyed taking our daughters and later our grandchildren to see the exciting variety of animals at exhibitions. When zoos first opened, animals were mostly confined in cages. This is an uncomfortable situation for the animals with little stimulation, little room to move around and few natural surroundings. The problems with these cages were recognized and remedied over time with zoo environments that more resembled animals’ natural habitats.
For example, at the San Diego Safari Park and Busch Gardens in Florida we were the ones in cages (buses) traveling the wide open areas in which the animals also had housing.
The space problem has not been completely solved. At the St Louis Zoo although the elephant area was bigger than that of other zoos, they still seemed unhappy. They stood swinging their trunks and slowly shifting their weight from side to side, looking sad.
When I attempted to take a picture, two of them
Would You Capture a Behaviour or Shape the Behaviour?
In 2008 I started with my travel addiction. Seeing other places is just wonderful. I’m fortunate that I know quite some friends who share the same passion I have in the field and that actually allowed me to visit many different Zoos and Aquariums over the years. Throughout that time, I was able to shadow most of the trainers at these facilities what helped me to become the person I am today. I always brought questions with me what I wanted to know or wanted to see. One of the discussions that popped up at one of the facilities I was had to do with capturing behaviours.
The precarious lives of rare albino animals
Alba is one of the rarest creatures on Earth: She's the only known albino member of a dwindling population of Bornean orangutans. Her snowy fur and inquisitive pale eyes make her an otherworldly anomaly - and such a target that people are taking unprecedented measures to keep her safe.
To protect her from poachers, the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation has spent $80,000 on an island off Indonesia where Alba will reside for the rest of her life. The sanctuary, where Alba will live with three other orangutans starting in June, will be patrolled around the clock by security guards.
Many zoos have attracted crowds by keeping rare white animals, including Snowflake the gorilla at the Barcelona Zoo and Onya-Birri, an albino koala, at the San Diego Zoo. But these creatures
Traumatised bears, wolves find solace at Greek sanctuary
Orphaned as an infant, three-year-old Patrick takes a wary view of visitors. He crouches low, licks his claws and starts humming - a bear's equivalent of thumb-sucking.
"It soothes him when he's stressed," says Melina Avgerinou, a caretaker at the Arcturos bear sanctuary in northern Greece.
Patrick's tale is typical of many bears that have found refuge in the Arcturos sanctuary at Nymfaio on the slopes of Mount Vitsi, some 600km northwest of Athens.
Everything You (and John Oliver) Need to Know About Koala Chlamydia
Tiger chemistry: Delhi zoo explores mix and match idea
Call it a mix-and-mate proposal, the first in Delhi Zoo in the last 27 years. White tigress Nirbhaya and Royal Bengal tiger Karan have been moved into the same enclosure—No. 10—by alert zoo officials, who claim they have noticed a certain “chemistry” building up between them over the last several months.
The obvious purpose is to get the big cats to make cubs, May-June being the prime mating season for tigers. The last time such a thing was done was in 1991, when Sundar—a yellow tiger—and Shanti—a white tigress—were moved in together. That union had produced twin cubs: Swaraj, who was white, and Aman, who was yellow.
This time round, all eyes are on Nirbhaya, born in Delhi Zoo in 2015, and Karan, born in Mysore Zoo in 2013 and brought to Delhi a year later. For both, this will be the first mating experience, zoo officials said.
“In the two days that they have been in the same enclosure, they have mated 15 times. So, our move has
Concern over fate of tiger at defunct Melios zoo
Mystery surrounds the fate of one of the Siberian tigers at a controversial Nicosia private zoo following reports by animal activists that one of the two tigers is believed to be dead as it has not been seen in its enclosure.
A lawyer from Luxemburg, advisor to a number of animal protection associations, said in an email on Monday night that one of the two Siberian tigers in Melios Pet Centre in the Nicosia district is feared to be dead. She said that following a report by a visitor that the animal was missing from its enclosure, and after enquiries, the zoo owner, Menelaos Menelaou, confirmed the animal was dead but that he did not inform authorities.
Tricolour Burial For Peacock In Delhi, Activists Say "Protocol Not Followed"
However, wildlife activists criticised the handling of the case, saying animals should be preferably be cremated in the presence of forest officials.
"Post-mortem has to be done in a supervised environment in the presence of a forest official. The post-mortem has to be photographed and videographed," Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder and chairman of Wildlife SOS, said.
"And, the animal should be preferably cremated in the presence of a forest official, to avoid harvesting of any body parts with an intent to smuggle," he said.
There is an incinerator in the Delhi Zoo as well, the official of the NGO said.
Wildlife activist Gauri Maulekhi said that the forest department needs to be pro-active in assisting the police in such cases.
"I am not aware of any such protocols. There is no such thing t
Zookeeper is mauled to death by a tiger while cleaning the cage of the beast at a Chinese zoo
A zookeeper has been mauled to death by a tiger at a zoo in south China.
The 50-year-old man was cleaning the cage alone as the beast charged in and launched an attack.
The zoo, which claims to keep about 1,300 tigers of different species, has confirmed and reported the incident to local police.
Pressure mounts on ‘zoo’ as minister confirms tiger death
Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis confirmed on Wednesday that one of the two Siberian tigers in a Nicosia private zoo has died, and that he will preside over a meeting with all state services to discuss how to best handle the case of Melios Pet Centre.
The zoo, in Ayioi Trimithias in the Nicosia district, has been operating illegally since last September, the minister said, and that both the town planning service and the state vet services have reported the owner, Menelaos Menelaou, to the police.
Canadian zoo faces charges after taking bear out for ice cream at Dairy Queen
A private zoo in the Canadian province of Alberta is facing charges after a bear from the facility was taken through a drive-thru Dairy Queen in a pickup truck and hand-fed ice cream through the vehicle’s window.
News of the outing emerged earlier this year after Discovery Wildlife Park, located about 70 miles north of Calgary in the town of Innisfail, posted a video on social media showing a captive Kodiak bear sitting in the passenger seat of a truck.
The video later showed the one-year-old bear, known as Berkley, leaning out of the truck’s window, enthusiastically licking an ice cream cone held by the owner of a local Dairy Queen.
Amid widespread criticism, the video – along with a second one showing Berkley licking frosting off an ice cream
Taronga Zoo settles dispute with rival over 'Sydney Zoo' name
A Federal Court cage fight between Taronga Zoo and a rival over the name Sydney Zoo has been settled out of court, with the western Sydney newcomer set to keep the name.
In a joint statement released on Thursday, the parties said they were "pleased to confirm that they have resolved the legal proceedings over the use of the name ‘Sydney Zoo’".
Ark, lifeboat or something wilder? Future of zoos under debate
Earth, in case you hadn’t heard, or noticed, is going through a sixth mass extinction. Animals and other life are disappearing the world over and it began well ahead of global warming, although the human-caused rapid climate change going on isn’t helping.
Scattered across the globe, attempting to deal with this, at least a little bit, are the world’s zoos and aquariums. You can debate about animals in captivity. You can argue about the environmental cost-to-benefit ratio of keeping an orca in a relative bathtub, a leopard in a studio apartment.
But to familiarize yourself with the efforts of the best of these animal havens is to understand that they work with sincerity and some urgency to try to understand and save endangered species, while also navigating public expectations and budgetary pressures.
In other words, they operate in “powerful ethical rapids,” in the words of the editor of “The Ark and Beyond: The Evolution of Zoo and Aquarium Conservation,” an eye-opening new book from the University of Chicago Press. But before we get to that book and its consideration of zoos, have a quick look around Chicago.
Lincoln Park Zoo, which you may think of as
Zookeepers Have A Problem With Diversity
Ask any zookeeper about the importance of diversity, and they’re likely to launch into a well-rehearsed speech about biological niches and the importance of the global diversity of species. Zookeepers are trained and passionate conservationists, and they know their stuff when it comes to this topic. But there’s another form of diversity that we don’t talk about nearly enough – zookeeper diversity. That is, the diversity of zookeepers themselves. It’s alarmingly low, and it’s something that we should really be thinking a lot more about.
I’ve visited many zoos across the United States. And I’ve attended many conferences, workshops, meetings, and professional development courses over the years. And without fail, the vast, vast, majority of the zookeepers, aquarists, curators, and other animal care professionals that I’ve met and observed have not been people o
Sarah Chin: A zookeeper’s tale of turning passion into action
To say that Sarah Chin loves animals is an understatement.
As a young girl, she preferred to spend recess playing with the class rabbits at kindergarten than with her schoolmates at the playground.
Instead of a cute puppy or a kitten, she once asked her mother if she could keep a pet snake at home because for her, reptiles are friends, not foes.
While other kids would aspire to become doctors, lawyers, and astronauts, she had wanted to become a veterinarian, a marine biologist, and even a pet shop owner.
And at a young age, she had made it a personal mission to rescue the different bugs and insects that had somehow found their way into their home.
Sarah, simply, has always been passionate about caring for animals.
This passion, which she has cultivated for many, many years, led her to pursue Zoology in college and become a zookeeper right in her motherland, Singapore.
Pink Tiger Bone Jewellery…A new tale in the context of the commodification of the tiger
She then mentioned that she could also supply some of the more upmarket pink tiger bone jewellery and that the pink colour was the result of the tigers being deboned while only sedated. She showed us images on her phone, one a tiger hanging on a meat hook being butchered and images of pinkish necklaces and bracelets.
Sentenced to life
July 21, a warm summer day in 2007, Yamuna gave birth to Vijay. Yamuna is from Delhi — her union arranged like many others — and the father, Laxman, from Bhubaneswar.
In the same year, on February 6, Kalpana was born to two Delhi inhabitants, Kaveri and Swaraj. Years later, as fate would have it, or as the world demanded, Kalpana met Vijay. She was introduced to him for the sole purpose of mating and reproducing at the Delhi zoo, continuing the line of tigers — more importantly, white Bengal tigers — in captivity.
There’s no romantic story here with tragedy lurking behind the surface. The Wildcat Sanctuary says that normal tiger behaviour in the wild would prevent the kind of inbreeding that would be necessary to produce white cubs. Furthermore, it alleges that captive inbreeding of white tigers results in high neonatal mortality rates, typically exceeding 80 per cent.
That’s not to say that white tigers have not been seen in the wild — sightings are just rare. The white colour of the Bengal tiger comes due to the lack of pigment pheomelanin. But somehow, in a country obsessed with fair and lovely skin tones, one reason so many visitors come to Delhi zoo
Four lions suffer paralysis at Lahore Safari Park
The administration of Lahore Safari Park is concerned because four lions of the African race are suffering from paralysis.
“The paralysis has affected their backside and they cannot move about like other lions,” said Lahore Safari Park Deputy Director Shafqat Chaudhry. “Their cubs are also likely to inherit the disease.”
Two male lions aged between 2.5 and three years and two female African lion are suffered from paralysis due to calcium deficiency, he said. He added that the lions suffer from this problem when they reach the age of six months and one year. “Due to consumption of beef continuously, the amount of phosphorus increases in their body and the quantity of calcium decreases. This leads to their bones weakening which then causes paralysis.”
A Unique Business: A Conversation with Bill Gersonde, Director of the Abilene Zoo
Bill Gersonde first made a name for himself when he turned around the Idaho Falls Zoo, bringing it from an antiquated institution on the verge of closure to a respectable facility accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Since 2010, he has served as Director of the Abilene Zoo. Gersonde has implemented a variety of creative ideas to push the zoo forward. He also currently serves on AZA's Wildlife Conservation Management Committee. Here is his story.
BSc (Top-Up) Animal Management and Applied Zoology Hons
The BSc (Hons) in Animal Management and Zoology Top Up course aims to create or develop animal management professionals with a broad understanding on managing farms, zoological collections or working within the field of conservation. Undergraduates will acquire advanced practical hands-on animal management skills whilst furthering business and enterprise skills needed to manage animal and zoological collections, including enriching the customer experience, education, environmental interpretation and animal encounters that reach beyond the boundaries of the collection.
Vocational relevance, professional standards and transferable skills for employability are central to this Bachelor’s degree. This will be through the inclusion of a high proportion of applied and work based learning elements which will ensure a high calibre graduate entering the industry. The programme will empower individuals to further develop their practical skills, academic research skills and core knowledge required to work in zoos, animal rehabilitation reserves, aquaria and animal collections or related animal industries both nationally and internationally.
Monogamy Anchored in Our Genes?
Biological anthropologists and evolutionary psychologists commonly take it for granted that human monogamy has a biological basis. Desmond Morris was an influential early advocate. His 1967 swashbuckling best-seller The Naked Ape proposed long-term monogamous human mating as an extreme expression of natural pair-bonding. Morris dismissed alternative mating arrangements in other cultures as relics of “obscure, backward tribal units”.
Bristol Zoo Crocodile habitat
Here are a few random photos from a project at Bristol Zoo, UK where we improved the Dwarf African Crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis) and Malayan river turtle (Orlitia borneensis) exhibits along with Aquarium Technology Ltd who were the main contractors. Pictures taken on the day the planting was being introduced and the pools being filled.
Koda Creative were contracted by ATL to spray concrete the pools, making a smooth surface to which ATL applied GRP waterproof liner. After this, we made washed out earth river bank, rockwork, two trees, fallen tree bridge, fallen tree enclosure divider and tree stump waterfall catcher.
Also during this project we fit in some extra work, a Chinese crocodile lizard (Shinisaurus) vivarium habitat.
World's oldest recorded spider spends entire life sitting in her hole, lives to age 43
Researchers in Australia monitored what is most likely the world's oldest spider on record, who died at age 43, outstripping the previous record-holder, a 28-year-old tarantula.
The lead researcher, Leanda Mason, said of the spider in question, "to our knowledge this is the oldest spider ever recorded, and her significant life has allowed us to further investigate the trapdoor spider’s behaviour and population dynamics,” according to a press release.
A sedentary creature, the female Gaius villosus trapdoor sp
Akron Zoo sets global sustainability standard for zoos with 'Big Hanna' compost system (photos)
The Akron Zoo has unveiled a composting machine named "Big Hanna," designed to help the zoo achieve its zero waste goal.
The zoo is the first zoo in the world to implement such a system, which will divert 47 tons of material away from landfills, said Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler at a public unveiling on Monday.
The Ohio EPA awarded the zoo a $160,000 recycling and development grant for the machine, which the zoo will match at $81,000.
Summit ReWorks provided $20,000 toward the sustainably designed building the machine occupies. Keep Akron Beautifully and Let's Grow Akron will purchase compost from the zoo.
The zoo has had an organic wa
Recently, the death of Sudan, the “last” northern male white rhino housed at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, was met with the expected paroxysms of grief around the world at the “loss of another species”. This is a classic case of an “extinction” that has been carefully contrived. I have no doubt many white rhinos still remain in South Sudan, and in a year or two, a “saviour” (most likely a Caucasian) will “discover” them to much fanfare and acclamation.
This is not a new phenomenon. In 2016, a population of over 100 lions was “discovered” by Hans Bauer of Oxford University in Alatash, Ethiopia. The same year, Iain Douglas-Hamilton of Save the Elephants “discovered” an adult elephant that had ventured across the border from Kenya into Somalia. Neither of these phenomena could have existed or occurred without human observation, but it only made news when they were observed by Caucasians.
This is typical of the conservation discourse in Africa, where not one of the so-called “authorities” on any wildlife species is black, nearly a century after the establishment of formal conservation structures. This can only be caused by two circumstances—either black Africans have n
Does The Animal Take Responsibility of a Time Out?
In the last 2 years I have changed my thoughts on many different topics. Reading books about psychology made me reflect a lot of different characteristics we humans have into animals. Anthropomorphism might come to mind with you reading this story but that’s not really what this is all about.
The other day doing my usual things I started to think about responsibility. You know how each and every one of us is responsible for their own thoughts, sayings and actions. We have the power to change our thinking and what we say. Nobody else has your responsibility. What comes to mind for me thinking about this is; do animals take responsibility from their own actions? In a good and a bad way?
'There's a lot of fakery': insiders spill on the dirty tricks behind wildlife photos
The Brazilian photographer Marcio Cabral was stripped of a prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year award last week after judges noticed that the anteater at the foot of a glowing termite mound in his picture looked an awful lot like the taxidermy anteater found at the entrance to the national park where he captured the shot.
If Cabral did use a stuffed creature in his photograph – a charge he strongly denies – it would be a new low for those claiming to document “wild” animals, and emblematic of a murky underbelly in the field. Among the tricks regularly used without disclosure to get magazine-worthy natural history images are the hiring of trained animals, the gluing or freezing of insects into position and the use of bait to lure subjects closer to the camera.
“There’s a lot of fakery,” says the US photographer Clay Bolt, one of the judges in this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards. Although the British Natural History Museum’s awards offer the “gold standard” f
Huge lion savages British wildlife park owner and drags him into enclosure as horrified tourists scream in fear
This is the distressing moment a British safari park owner was dragged away by a blood-thirsty lion after entering its enclosure at a wildlife park.
Horrified onlookers screamed in terror as the man, believed to be Brit expat Mike Hodge, was dragged along the ground of the big cat pen like a rag doll towards some bushes.
The shocking clip is believed to have been filmed at the Makarele Predator Centre, in Thabazimbi, South Africa.
According to reports Mr Hodge was the owner and had relocated from the UK with his wife Chrissy in 2003.
ANIMAL WELFARE STANDARDS AND EVALUATION IN VIETNAM
This month we returned to Vietnam to continue our collaboration with the Vietnam Zoo Association (VZA) and the work we are doing to set national standards in Vietnam. Following a workshop in December 2014, co-hosted by Wild Welfare, Animals Asia and Change for Animals Foundation, both the VZA and a Vietnam government national working group were set up to discuss animal welfare concepts for captive wild animals. Since then, we have been working with the VZA and its members, providing individual institutional support as well as association workshops and training in partnership with Animals Asia Foundation. This month we met up with our colleague Mr Tung, Vice Chairman of the VZA to visit some of the members, taking the opportunity to understand the main animal management practices, problems and opportunities for future membership criteria.
We considered all aspects of zoo management practices, including enclosure design and infrastructure, public feeding opportunities, animal shows, off show exhibits, holding quarters, feeding and nutritional care, hand-raising provisions, veterinary support and keeper knowledge regarding husbandry and management. Government owned zoos and private facilities can have very different approaches and demands placed upon them, and we worked with both, to help identify a constructive approach to raising standards within the Vietnam zoo community that works for any facility regardless of ownership.
We also took the opportunity to join with Animals Asia, and meet with the Ministry of Agriculture to continue discussions in regard to developing zoo natio
What Ecologists Can Learn From Memes
On the other side of the country, Mason Fidino, a quantitative ecologist at the Urban Wildlife Institute at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, was wondering something similar: How should ecologists and wildlife management teams be thinking about the internet, both as a source of information and as a tool to harness in order to get their message out?
Fidino’s training is in statistics, computer programming, and ecology, but he also runs his group’s Twitter account—a side project that no one quite taught him how to do. When the UWI played around the idea of a social media presence, he says, they decided, “Hey, let’s make this thing, and Mason will be in c
Animal rights activist takes a dive into sea lion pool to avoid angry audience member after protesters disrupt performance at zoo
Three animal rights activists have been arrested after disrupting a sea lion show at Antwerp zoo in Belgium.
One of the protesters was forced to jump into the pool after an angry audience member approached her as they held up placards saying 'stop shows with animals.'
The footage, which was caught on an audience member's phone, shows a trainer interacting with the animals during the sea lion performance at the zoo.
Anthropology professor helps create conservation program in Vietnam
A cohesive conservation plan protecting the Vietnamese environment—and primates—is now signed legislation, in part due to efforts of a University of Colorado Boulder anthropologist.
The plan, which was approved by the country’s prime minister last May, aims to expand protected forests, increasing habitat for primates.
Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys in Vietnam. Photo by Le Khac Quyet. At top of the page is an image of a red-shanked douc. Photo by Herbert Covert.
Worldwide, 75 percent of the world’s primate populations are in decline, while 60 percent are threatened with extinction, according to a study published in Science Advances last year. In Vietnam, 88 percent of primates are threatened with extinction.
A journal article titled “Primates of Vietnam: Conservation in a Rapidly Developing Country,” published in Anthropology Now in September, details the causes of environmental degradation in Vietnam, and future challenges and practices used to combat the rapidl
Environmental Health: A Conversation with Sharon Deem, DVM, PhD, Dipl ACZM, Director for the Saint Louis Zoo Institute of Conservation Medicine
The Saint Louis Zoo's WildCare Institute is one of the most well-regarded conservation programs at any zoo in the world. It features 13 centers around the globe that focus on biodiversity hotspots connected to conservation programs led by a staff member on the zoo. While not one of the centers, the zoo's Institute for Conservation Medicine works closely with the WildCare Institute. The Institute for Conservation Medicine is focused on solving issues related to environmental health around the world and is run by Dr. Sharon Deem. Here is her story.
Authorities seize 132 animals from zoo weeks after lion mauled keeper to death in cage
Animals at 'one of the worst zoos' have been seized by authorities just a month after one of its keepers was mauled to death by a lion.
The 132 animals were taken from the Nicolas Bravo Zoo in Mexico after its owners failed to provide suitable living conditions or legal documentation.
Following an inspection of the animal park, the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection took away 132 animals, including primates, reptiles, bears and big cats.
Animal experts decided that the zoo failed to meet expected standards and is therefore unfit to house certain species at the park.
Tons of pangolin scales from Congo seized by Vietnamese customs
Customs officials in a port in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday seized nearly 3.8 metric tons of pangolin scales from Congo, in the biggest haul of the animal parts ever smuggled to the southern metropolis.
The pangolin scales were stored in two containers, declared as logs imported from Congo, that arrived in Cat Lai Port on Sunday.
Vietnamese authorities had received a heads-up from Congolese customs about the suspicious shipment and had been keeping a close watch on the two containers since their arrival from a transit port in Singapore, according to Dinh Ngoc Thang, deputy chief of Ho Chi Minh City customs.
Cargo scanning at Cat Lai Port following the containers’ arrival at 4:00 am on Sunday revealed suspicious empty spaces at the center of each container, surrounded by logs.
As no recipient has since come to cl
What to Expect From North America’s First Dolphin Sanctuary
According to the Associated Press, the National Aquarium has begun a three-year program designed to get its seven dolphins ready for release into this sanctuary. Fortunately, they just received a major boost from tour company Virgin Holidays, which pledged $300,000 to make this sanctuary a reality.
The AP reported that the years-in-the-making project is in the early stages of shopping potential locations in Florida and, in the meantime, is painstakingly readying the dolphins for the habitat transition.
For example, the aquarium is raising the temperatures of the dolphins' tanks so that algae will grow and start to emulate the real waters to which they'll be relocated.
This donation by Virgin Holidays fits right in line with the company's stance.
Tiger farms and illegal wildlife trade flourishing in Laos despite promise of a crackdown
Laos, a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, has long held a key role in the global wildlife trade. Corruption and a flow of easy money across its porous borders have allowed the illegal trafficking of pangolins, helmeted hornbills and other wildlife products, as well as the country’s notorious tiger farms, to thrive.
In 2016, the Laos government told the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) in 2016 that it intended to shut down the tiger farms. However, a Post Magazine investigation has found the farms are flourishing, with another major operation having opened since the pledge was made. One expert described the trade in tiger parts used for medicines and potency treatments as “out of control”.
Zoo has three months to sort ‘qualified’ management
AN animal park in north Ceredigion has three months to bring in “experienced and qualified” management or a hearing to stop them keeping dangerous animals will be rescheduled.
An appeal to the restriction on Borth Wild Animal Kingdom’s licence was due to hold a case management hearing on Thursday, 26 April, but it has been adjourned for at least one month to “allow all parties to come to an agreement”.
Councillors at the healthier communities overview and s
OPINION | How our lions are cruelly slaughtered - with government consent
It's been a bloody time for the South African canned lion industry.
Last week‚ a lion 'abattoir' was exposed on a farm in the Free State‚ where close to 100 lions were reportedly to be killed and their skeletons prepared for export to Asia. Shortly after news of the slaughter broke‚ a game reserve owner from Limpopo was mauled by one of his captive lions‚ Shamba. The lion was immediately shot‚ causing a social media outcry.
In a separate incident‚ six more captive lions were poisoned and their limbs cut off on another Free State Lion breeding farm‚ allegedly for use in tradition medicine.
Experts warn that the bloodshed - facilitated by the flourishing captive-bred lion industry and SA's Department of Environmental Affairs' recently implemented export quota of 800 lion skeletons per year – may just be the first sight of a new demon waking from the captive-bred lion industry.
The mass-killing of captive-bred lions in the Free State was exposed after captive-bred lions were transported in crates to a farm‚ to be killed and their flesh removed for the bone export trade. According to Beeld‚ a to
Animals are dying in Pakistan’s zoos & no one cares
Pakistan had become an unsafe place for humans after the launch of Global War on Terrorism; however, it is also becoming dangerous place for animals due to carelessness and sheer negligence.
A report unveiled on Thursday has exposed the mismanagement of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government as it claims that over 30 animals died in the Peshawar Zoo after inauguration by Chief Minister Pervez Khattak in February 2018.
The report is not compiled by outsiders as Kabir Afridi, Additional Secretary Higher Education was heading the investigative committee probing recent deaths. The report says that more than 30 species of bird and a Nilgai have died in the
Caribbean Journey: A Conversation with Tom Schmid, President and CEO of the Texas State Aquarium
Tom Schmid has been President and CEO of the Texas State Aquarium since 1999. Over the course of that time, the aquarium has grown in size, attendance, financial stability and optimal animal welfare. Schmid also served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for several years, including a year as its Chair. This year, the Texas State Aquarium rehabilitated and released over 1,000 sea turtles in the largest cold stunning event in history. Here is his story.
Saint Louis Zoo named best zoo in the country, again
The Saint Louis Zoo has been named the best zoo in the country for the second year in a row. Not that there was ever any doubt in our minds.
Saint Louis was voted No. 1 in the USA Today best zoo category in the 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards contest. The Saint Louis Zoo was one of 20 nominated U.S. zoos, which were hand-picked by a panel of zoo and family travel experts.
“We’re humbled to be chosen again as the best zoo by our dedicated fans in the St. Louis region, across Missouri and friends around the country,” Jeffrey Bonner, president and CEO of the Saint Louis Zoo, said in a statement. “Our visitors, volunteers, members, generous donors, employees, and especially the taxpayers of St. Louis City and St. Louis County are the real champions. It’s through their strong support that we can provide superior care for the animals, save wildlife in wild places, connect people with
First training workshop in a series kicked off in Indonesia as CITES strives to better regulate trade in captive-raised animals
A training workshop on the application of new CITES guidance on trade in captive-raised animals was held in Bogor, Indonesia from 1 to 4 May 2018, bringing together 50 participants from 11 Asian countries representing national CITES authorities, as well as international experts.
“Today, international trade in ‘wild’ animals and plants is in fact mainly in specimens from captive-raised or artificially propagated sources. The significant increase in this type of trade has given rise to concerns related to the control of the production and trade, and the consequences for the conservation of species in the wild, if management attention moves from in situ to ex situ,” says Tom De Meulenaer, Chief of Scientific Services of the CITES Secretariat. “We are actively working with Parties to help ensure that they can better meet their obligations under the Convention by developing guidance and providing necessary training.”
The guidance was used to assess legality, sustainability, and controls of facilities to ensure compliance with CITES – related provisions concerning captive breedin
A drug lord and the world's largest invasive animal
At his infamous zenith in the 1990s, Pablo Escobar's drug-fueled empire—a vast underworld syndicate built upon the United States' insatiable appetite for cocaine—made him one of the wealthiest criminals in history.
With income peaking at more than $30 billion, the drug-smuggling kingpin spent lavishly on a sprawling estate for his family and members of his Colombian cartel. The excesses of Hacienda Nápoles, featured on Netflix's wildly popular "Narcos" series, included a zoo stocked with exotic animals transported from around the world.
But when Escobar's empire came crashing down, the animals were relocated to new homes. Lions and giraffes, sure. But relocation isn't nearly as simple for the largest occupants of Escobar's zoo: hippopotamuses, the herbivores that are placid in appearance but several thousand pounds, territorial and dangerous.
In the years since, four original hippo inhabitants of Escobar's zoo have gone rogue and multiplied to more than 40 animals—but the count could be 50 … or even 60. No one knows for sure since the animals are difficult to track. The bizarre situation c
Landowner Aims To Bring Wolves Back To Scotland, Centuries After They Were Wiped Out
When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995, they had dramatic impacts on parts of Northwestern United States. Decades later, a wealthy landowner wants to try a limited version of that experiment — in the Scottish Highlands.
Englishman Paul Lister is hoping to see the ancient Caledonian Forest of Scotch pine, alder and mountain ash regenerated, and wildlife long absent from the Highlands return. But as happened with the Yellowstone project, he's running into strong opposition.
The Highlands' rocky hills and windswept valleys, known to the Scottish as glens, are an austere, beautiful landscape. But some visitors are surprised to learn they were once heavily forested — before huma
Escaped gibbon forces zoo into emergency lock down
A zoo was forced to go into emergency lock down after a gibbon escaped from its enclosure.
Families were ushered into a restaurant for safety until handlers managed to recapture the gangly-armed siamang.
Twycross zoo near Leicester later confirmed that the gibbon was only on the run for less than 20 minutes and stressed that no public or staff were ever in danger.
Myrtle Beach zoo animals in 'psychological distress' according to federal report
The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports the U.S. Agriculture Department reviewed the Waccatee Zoo in Myrtle Beach. The report describes two baboons, a macaque monkey and two black bears pacing, rocking back and forth and showing repetitive behavior.
Jeff Futrell's family owns the zoo. He says zoos get inspected, just like restaurants do, and are given time to fix any problems. When asked how owners would tackle issues listed in the report, Futrell said the zoo would "take care of them."
The federal inspection says more needs to be
At this past year’s Annual Conference, Vickie Clyde shared some special news during a business lunch.
Click HERE to read more.