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Zoo News Digest Nov-Dec 2013

Zoo News Digest

Nov-Dec 2013



Chimp at Safari Park dies of cold
Babli spent her last moments shivering in the intense cold, before drawing her last breath and leaving Raju in a state of shock.
The six-year-old chimpanzee, one of the star attractions at the Safari Park, died of pneumonia on Sunday, in a case that should give rise to scathing questions over the authorities’ apparent negligence.
It was learnt by The News that the female chimpanzee had developed symptoms of a rare disease on last Saturday and was being treated by senior veterinary, Dr Syed Kazim Hussain, for severe swelling on one of her eyes.
However, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s (KMC) official version cited pneumonia as the cause of death, while sources privy to the Safari Park management also said that chimpanzee was left exposed to the winter chill and no measures were taken upon the onset of winter.
Senior director of the KMC’s Culture, Sports and Recreation department, Rehan Khan, confirmed that Babli had expired due to pneumonia but denied any sort of official negligence in the tragic incident.

Perth Zoo orang-utan matriarch celebrates 61st birthday
As New Year's Eve celebrations approach Perth Zoo's second oldest resident Sumatran orang-utan, Puan, is also celebrating. She turns 61 on Tuesday.
Believed to be one of the oldest Sumatran oran-gutans in the world, Puan is a mother, grandmother and great grandmother, and the matriarch of Perth Zoo's 12-strong orang-utan colony.
However the title of oldest Perth Zoo resident belongs to a Western Swamp Tortoise named "C12" who is about a decade older than Puan.
Zoo favourites Tricia the elephant, who is 56, and Simmo the crocodile, who is in his 50s, are some of the next oldest residents.
Perth Zoo keeper Sam Carson has worked closely with Puan for many years and enjoys her "old lady" antics.
Puan will stamp her foot when she gets impatient and knock on the night quarter door to gain access to the den she sleeps

Tiger breeding to restart at zoo
t captive breeding of tigers happened in the zoo in 2005 and two cubs were born then, of which one was reportedly sent to the Darjeeling zoo.
"Zoos should take up captive breeding programmes, but the idea is not to draw tourists only. We have to keep in mind that the tigers that we have now will not live forever. The generation should move on and this is where a zoo plays a crucial role," said Ghosh.
Cross breeding of tigers and lions brought the zoo in the eye of storm earlier. A cross between a Bengal tiger and an African lion, Rudrani - a 'tigon' born in 1970 - produced a litter of seven 'litigon' cubs after mating with an Asiatic lion in 1976. One of these 'litigons' were marketed by the zoo authorities as the largest living big cat in the world. It died at the age of 15 in 1991. The zoo stopped its hybrid programme in 1985, after there was criticism from the scientific community which claimed that such hybrids suffer from 'genetic abnormalities'.

How do I become ... a panda keeper
In a highly competitive industry, Michael Livingstone struck gold when his Edinburgh zoo summer job became a full-time role
When Edinburgh zoo's giant panda, Tian Tian, was thought to be expecting a cub, Michael Livingstone's job took over his whole life. A keeper for carnivores and giant pandas at the zoo, he was part of a core group of five who closely monitored the pandas' behaviour. "We were watching them for seven weeks, 24 hours a day. It was a lot of work. When you get to the breeding season, and then watching for her to potentially give birth, everything else goes on hold," says Livingstone. "That is all you can think about – you don't really have a life apart from pandas. Even outside work, with family friends, people are always asking how they are getting on."
Livingstone, 25, got a summer job at the zoo in his home city while he was studying animal biology at Edinburgh University. After the summer he got a weekend job. "I was very lucky," he says. "The job was only meant to be three months, then I was lucky enough to get the weekend job. I was on part-time hours until the pandas arrived and then I was made full-time – not necessarily to work with the pandas, although that is what happened."

White-tailed deer jumps into cheetah enclosure at National Zoo, killed by carnivorous big cats
Two cheetahs at the Smithsonian's National Zoo came across unexpected prey and the result was predictable.
Zoo officials say a white-tailed deer was killed by the cheetahs after it apparently jumped into their enclosure on Friday. A spokeswoman calls it "a normal and expected reaction" by the carnivorous big cats.
The zoo says a zookeeper heard noises from the cheetah pen shortly before noon and found the deer carcass next the cheetah siblings, named Carmelita and Justin.
Doctors will examine the carcass to ma

So, If A Deer Can Get Into The Cheetah Enclosure, Does That Mean The Cheetahs Can Get Out?
Last week, the National Zoo's cheetah siblings Carmelita and Justin got a post-Christmas treat when a hapless deer hopped into their enclosure.
Zoo veterinarians are examining the deer's carcass to make sure there was nothing wrong with the unlucky animal (before it was eaten). Some other folks are examining a different sort of issue raised by this incident. As a person going by the username Suzanne L put it:

Third Honolulu Zoo director in 4 years resigns
Honolulu Zoo Director Jeff Mahon has resigned after less than six months on the job, the third zoo director to step down in four years.
On July 12, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced the hiring of Jeff Mahon's appointment as zoo director, a homecoming of sorts since Mahon earned his doctorate degree in zoology at UH Manoa. 
"I'm very excited to be back here. It's an amazing facility and a lot of ideas. Obviously you want to get the lay of the land before you do too many changes," Mahon said at the time.
But on Friday, less than six months after taking the job, Mahon told the zoo staff he was resigning immediately, effective that day.  He told staff he was pursuing some job leads, which he did not specify, sources said.
Mahon sent a letter to city Enterprise Services Director Gerald Saito the day after Christmas, saying he was resigning for unspecified "personal reasons." Mahon was not available for comment.  Sources said he'd turned in his city cell phone.
The city said he's on leave until his last official day on January 11.  He's paid between $89,724 and $149,364 a year.  Since he's a civil service employee and not a political appointee, his salary range is public but not the precise amount.
Mahon is the third director to leave the Honolulu Zoo in the last four years. That concerns zoo goers, like Dana Blechinger of Wahiawa who took her grandson and his friend to the zoo Monday.
"That's sad.  And I wonder why.  So I hope they find someone that has the passion to go ahead and watch out for the animals," Blechinger said.
A city spokesman declined an on-camera interview on behalf of city officials who oversee the zoo and zoo officials themselves, saying the director's departure is a human resources issue that they cannot comment on."
But privately, zoo employees said Mahon was not a strong manager and had trouble making decisions and they weren't surprised by his departure after only a few months on the job.
He also alienated staff in his first few days by going und

Tiger Bites And How To Avoid Them

Lin Hui is pregnant again and Chiang Mai zoo is ecstatic
Lin Hui, the immensely popular panda, is bringing good news for the northern city as she is 91 days pregnant and is expected to deliver in January.
Ritthirong Kulprasoot, acting director of the Zoological Park of Thailand, and veterinarians announced her pregnancy on Sunday after an ultrasound test at Chiang Mai University's veterinary faculty on...

Collections Change

Surabaya Zoo Gets it in the Neck again

Portrait of a lady: Al Ain Zoo’s gorilla ‘owner’
She is a 39-year-old widow who loves watching Barney the dinosaur on TV and her best friend is a long-eared rabbit.
Lady is a western lowlands gorilla, a critically endangered species. She is Al Ain zoo’s oldest inhabitant, having been brought to the UAE from Cameroon in 1978, when she was just four years old.
"We consider her like the owner of the zoo because you feel like she knows everyone here,” said Muna Al Dhaheri. "We don’t know what’s in her mind. But I’m sure she’s knows everyone.”
Lady has lived alone since 1998, when her male companion, another gorilla named Maxi, died from natural causes.
Zoo officials thought about finding her another mate but decided she might not accept him because of her advancing age.

Dai Nam Zoo’s elephant kills a mahout
Yesterday afternoon, Mr. Doan Huu Tai, 28, a staff of the Dai Nam Tourist Area in Thu Dau Mot City, Binh Duong Province entered the elephant cage to paint the iron fence to welcome the New Year. Suddenly, a male elephant of two tons approached, used its trunk to capture the man and threw him into a water tank.
Witnessing the incident, another zoo staff ran to chase the elephant, pulled the victim out of the cage and took him to the hospital, but Tai died.
Mr. Duong Thanh Phi, Dai Nam zoo director said the elephant was a gift from the authorities of Dak Lak Province to the zoo in 2008, when it was only two years old. It was named Ka.
Phi said Tai was one of the mahouts who had been taken care of the eleph

Paint smell may have caused elephant to attack trainer
An elephant at a Vietnam zoo may have killed his longtime keeper because the animal was upset by the smell of paint brought into the enclosure, experts say.
The trainer, Doan Huu Tai, was about to begin painting the cage of the 9-year-old elephant, Ka, Tuoi Tre News reported Wednesday.
Ka grabbed Tai with his trunk, smashed him against the wall of the cage and threw him into a water basin Monday, reports indicated. The zookeeper died later from a brain injury.
The 28-year-old keeper had worked with the 2-ton elephant for at least seven years at the Dai Nam Tourist Center in Thu Dau Mot City north of Ho Chi Minh City.
The smell of the paint Tai brought into the cage may have irritated the animal and made it angry, said Dr. Pham Viet Lam, director of the Saigon Zoological and Botanic Gardens.
He said elephants can be affected when confronted with unfamiliar factors such as color, sound or smell.
Elephant trunks are very sensitive to smell, said Dr. Vu Ngoc Thanh, a biology lecturer at Hanoi National University. He said t

Snow leopard on the loose in Belgium shot
Authorities near the Belgian city of Liege were forced to shoot and kill a snow leopard that escaped a zoo Tuesday night. The news comes as a sad ending for the animal that arrived from Austria only two weeks ago.
The leopard escaped through a window Tuesday morning at the Monde Sauvage safari park around 10am, spurring an intense search that included tracking dogs carried on throughout the day until the early hours of Wednesday. 
According to zoo officials, the animal was finally found in a parking lot inside the park, but security was left with no choice but to shoot.
Students in the area were kept indoors for safety pr

Thiruvananthapuram zoo to add infrared eye to detect diseases
The zoo authorities here are planning to procure advanced multi-purpose gadgets for detecting diseases among its exhibits.
As part of this plan, thermal imaging technology, which could detect slight variations in body-temperature, is likely to be introduced here. Thermal cameras have been extensively used in Singapore and Chinese airports during the SARS outbreak in 2002-2003, to find affected passengers.
The zoo here has been in talks with a Coimbatore-based firm for inducting the thermal imaging technology.
"The equipment has to be customized to suit the specific needs of the zoo. We already have had a trial run of the equipment, which has several advantages,'' a zoo official said on condition of anonymity since he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Thermographic-or infrared-cameras can detect radiation emitting from a body in the infrared range. It then produces images of that radiation, called thermograms. Thermal imaging can measure temperature without contact and is non-invasive. The image produced by a thermal imaging camera is two-dimensional, with each point of the image containing temperature data: cold temperatures are shown in dark colors and high temperatu




Second tiger drama for Australia Zoo after handler 'falls'
A TIGER handler was reportedly knocked to the ground at Australia Zoo in a show on Friday afternoon in what has been described as the second scare for the Sunshine Coast tourist attraction in a month.
Seven News reported on the drama but the Zoo was yet to issue any formal statement.
A witness told Seven that "every adult stood and child gasped" after the male tiger apparently "pounced" on the handler.
Zoo keepers reportedly had to help the handler out of the enclosure.
Australia Zoo told Seven the tiger keeper 'fell and is fine'.
One witness Adam Dew tweeted about the drama with a hashtag of tiger island and a picture.
Tiger Island is Dreamworld's tiger enclosure on the Gold Coast.
The picture looked as though it was from Australia Zoo, however.
Last month, senior handler David Styl

Jersey Durrell staff aim to save tortoises with tattoos
An expert from Jersey's Durrell Wildlife Park has been helping protect critically endangered tortoises from smugglers by marking their shells.
It is estimated there are only 400 ploughshare tortoises left in the wild in Madagascar.
They are sought after as exotic pets and because of their high domed shells.
The Jersey vet flew to Singapore Zoo and engraved identifying codes on to tortoise shells to reduce their value on the black market.
At the Tattoo the Tortoise event, Durrell's Malagasy veterinary officer Tsanta Fiderana was responsible for engraving the shells of the rare reptiles.

Last remaining Madagascan fish discovered following worldwide appeal
Aquarists at ZSL London Zoo are celebrating the phenomenal success of a worldwide appeal to find a female mate for a critically-endangered cichlid species – after a small population was found in remote Madagascar.
The Mangarahara cichlid (Ptychochromis insolitus) was believed to be lost in the wild due to intense deforestation and river diversions created for rice farming and agriculture drying up its native habitat of the Mangarahara River in Madagascar (pictured above) and two of the last known individuals — both male — were residing in ZSL London Zoo’s Aquarium.
After launching a desperate appeal in May 2013, hundreds of private aquarium owners, fish collectors, and scientists got in touch with the Zoo’s Aquarium Curator, Brian Zimmerman, to offer up advice, support and suggestions.
One of those to respond to the appeal was a farm and business owner in Madagascar, who recognised the fish as one he’d seen in a secluded north-Madagascan town.
An exploratory expedition was arranged with vital support from HM Ambassador in the British Embassy of Madagascar, so that, along with aquarists from Toronto Zoo

15 zoos in the country to be closed
More than 15 zoos in the country will be closed down, as these zoos lack proper facilities and are not fit to be continued, said B S Bonal, Member Secretary, Central Zoo Authority, here on Monday.
He was delivering the key-note address at a five day all India zoo directors workshop organised by Ministry of Environment of Forests, Central Zoo Authority (CZA), Zoo Authority of Karnataka and Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens.
There were around 500 zoos in the country, before CZA was established. After CZA took shape, the numbers came down to 195, out of which 95 per cent are with the forest department. The priority of zoos have changed from entertainment to conservation, he said.
"In the West, linking between ex-situ and in-situ conservation sites (such as zoos) are difficult, as zoos are not managed by the Forest department. Even though, such linkage is successful in India, we still have a long way to go in emulating the success of conservation seen in zoos of the West,” he said.
Even though CZA has closed more than 300 zoos in the country in the past, there are several applications to open new zoos in the country. "Despite the growing number of applications, no zoo can be established without consent from CZA and an order by the Supreme Court of India,” he s

Poachers Are Using Scientific Papers to Guide Them to Their Next Victims
When scientists publish a paper on a particular species, they’re generally not imagining that they’re helping out poachers. But that’s exactly what’s happening for some scientists. According to Laurel Neme at Mongabay, scientists discovering a new species have been inadvertently contributing to wildlife trading. Take the story of Bryan Stuart, who has discovered 27 different species of newts:
Shortly after Stuart described the previously unknown species Laotriton (Paramesotriton) laoensis in a scientific paper published in 2002, commercial dealers began collecting this Lao newt for sale into the pet trade. In essence, the dealers used Stuart’s geographic description in the paper as a "roadmap” to find the rare newt.
Collectors came from all over to the two tiny streams where Stuart found the newt and began illegally collecting the critters and selling them for over $250 a pop. And Neme says that Stuart’s story isn’t even that uncommon:
This situation is not unique. It’s also happened with a turtle (Chelodina mccordi) from the small Indonesian island of Roti, which was so heavily hunted that today it is nearly extinct in the wild. Similarly, a rare gecko (Goniuros

Mongolia’s mini zoo makes an appearance in Darkhan
Darkhan residents had a busy weekend at Zaluuchuud Theatre. Starting on Friday, Mongolia’s mini zoo made a three day appearance at the city’s theatre with 40 animals, and on Sunday evening, the weekend came to a more glamorous close with a concert by Mongolian diva, Sarantuya and special guest musicians.
Mongolia’s mini zoo was once located in Buddha Park in Ulaanbaatar. Prior to its location in Zaisan, it was located in Central Stadium. Last Spring, the UB Post featured an interview with the zoo’s founder, L.Sainbat, as he was hoping to open his zoo for the summer. At the time of the interview, the zoo was facing eviction and asking for government support to maintain their facilities and continue operations.
The zoo was unable to make a permanent home in Zaisan, but L.Sainbat continues to take his animals around the country to share with provinces that rarely see many of these species of birds, mammals and reptiles up close.

Mammoth proposal: An elephant reserve in Tehama County
Group pitches elephant reserve in Tehama County
A group of philanthropists and animal researchers believe Tehama County would be the ideal location for - of all things - an elephant reserve.
Representatives from the Oakland Zoo and Ndovo Foundation shared their vision Thursday at a Tehama County Planning Commission meeting of a 4,900-acre facility that at peak capacity would house around 50 African elephants.
The proposed site would be at Diamond Ranch, located northwest of Bowman Road, about 1,400 feet north of State Route 36W within the unincorporated area of northern Tehama County.
The proposal includes several accessory uses such as a large barn, housing quarters for research and security personnel, out buildings, specialized fencing, feed storage areas, veterinary services and internal and external education and research facilities.

Sanctuary "Solutions"
I had a coworker once who used to intern at a big cat rescue in Texas.  She used to talk all the time about "the sanctuary”, getting misty eyed with nostalgia.  Sure, the staff were psychos who treated the interns like dirt.  Sure, there was never enough money for even the basics.  Oh, and sure, the owner/operator insisted on going in with many of the cats, resulting in at least one mauling (after which the cat involved was killed).  But you got to work with big cats!  And it was better than a zoo… it was a SANCTUARY!
Click on any news article about zoos and scroll to the comments section.  Seek out the animal rights folks clamoring for an end to zoos.  They will generally offer one of two solutions – release the animals back into the wild (and we all know how well that will work out), or send them to "sanctuaries.”  To respond properly to the second suggestion, I feel that I must quote from The Princess Bride: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means…”

FMT does its part to protect Sun Bears
FreeMalaysiaToday (FMT) today joined forces with a Sabah-based conservation group – Borneo Sun Bears Conservation Centre (BSBCC) – to launch a four-month campaign to save Sun Bears in Sepilok.
The campaign, aimed at raising funds for the Sun Bear conservation programme in Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve near Sandakan will run until April10, next year.
"We are proud to be part of this campaign to protect the Sun Bears,” FMT editor-in-chief K Kabilan said.
FMT also announced its expansion to cover Borneo with more in-depth reporting with the launch of its sister site FMT Borneo Plus.
Kabilan said FMT Borneo Plus will be a dedicated news portal catering for Sabah, Sarawak and other parts of Borneo and its periphery.
"FMT Borneo Plus will officially go online Jan 15, next year,” he added.
He said FMT Borneo Plus will start a series of articles on conservation efforts in Sabah and Sarawak as well as invite readers to support the cause by donating directly to the Borneo Sun Bears Conservation Centre.
"We are having a two day soft launch exercise in Kabili-Sepilok and

Perhilitan still ignoring Johor Zoo
In February this year Malaysian Friends of the Animals exposed cruelty to sunbears in one of Malaysia’s worst zoos, the Johor Zoo. Prior to that, Shirley the orangutan made headlines around the world when she was photographed smoking cigarettes, many times over. While Abu, another orangutan at this horrific zoo, spent most of his days caged.
While Shirley was taken out of her hell Johor Zoo’s chimpanzees are still spending their daily lives in boredom and at the mercy of visitors. We have previously highlighted the problem of the chimps begging for food from the public, but Perhilitan never took action.
We recently received pictures from a concerned supporter and they proved the problem of public junk food feeding of the chimps is still ongoing. Infact one visitor was seen trying to get the chimps to smoke a cigarette. Isn’t this a violation of the new law which Perhilitan was boastful about?
Let’s not forget Johor Zoo were also exposed for abusing a baby elephant called Paloh in 2011, and it took a campaign to force Perhilitan to confiscate her and another elephant form the zoo. The elephant enclosure at Johor Zoo is still not suitabl

Recommendations for zoos and animal parks after Dalu Mcube inquest
A coroner has recommended that the Government look at new regulations surrounding the operations of zoos and animal parks after a big cat handler was mauled to death at Whangarei's Zion Wildlife Gardens.
Dalubuhle Ncube, also known as Clifford Dalu MnCube, died after being mauled by a male tiger named Abu after he and fellow handler Martin Ferreira had entered its enclosure to clean it on May 27, 2009.
After holding an inquest into the death in June this year, Northland Coroner Brandt Shortland today released his formal findings.
Mr Shortland said the inquest had illustrated the complexity of the legislative framework and regulatory bodies required to work with parks like Zion and others, with three different legislations and various bodies involved.
"It is complex and difficult,"; Mr Shortland said.

Fatal tiger attack 'points to flaws in zoo management'
A South China tiger's fatal attack on a keeper at the Shanghai Zoo on Tuesday morning exposes shortcomings in the zoo's management, experts said.
Human error always lies behind such tragedies, an expert said, as authorities investigate how the veteran keeper Zhou Jianhua came to be mauled to death by the 9-year-old cat at the zoo's breeding site, a section closed to the public.
"Every zoo in China has its own operational standards on how to keep wild animals," said Tian Xiuhua, a council member of the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens. "No casualties would happen if a zoo's managers and workers strictly followed the rules."
However, the tragedy does not necessarily mean the overall management levels at Chinese zoos are lower than in other parts of the world, she added. Zoos in more developed regions, including Los Angeles and Taiwan, have also reported animal attacks on people.

Killer tiger moved to isolated area in zoo
A SOUTH China tiger that mauled an animal keeper to death on Tuesday will be kept isolated from the others for the rest of its life, the Shanghai Zoo said yesterday.
The tiger has been kept in isolation since the incident.
The South China tigers fall under critically endangered category and cannot be killed, the zoo said. Besides, according to the Chinese law, human beings who raise animals should bear responsibility when they hurt people. The nine-year-old male tiger has sired cubs.
The breeding area where the incident happened did not have video surveillance cameras or alarm facilities because it was supposed to be dismantled and rebuilt under a relocation plan.
Tu Rongxiu, director of the zoo’s feeding division, said the area would have been reconstructed and installed with security facilities but delayed them because of relocation plans. The park has strengthened safety patrols, fixed cages, and checked fa

Only 195, of India’s 500 zoos, made the cut: CZA
B.S. Bonal, Member-Secretary, Central Zoo Authority (CZA), New Delhi, on Monday said 15 zoos in the country were being shifted from their present locations to places that offered natural habitats for housing animals and birds, in accordance to the CZA guidelines. 
Out of 500 zoos in the country, only 195 zoos that got CZA recognition were functioning; the rest had been shut down, he added. 
Speaking at the inauguration of the All-India Zoo Directors’ Workshop, held on the theme ‘Zoos — window to biodiversity, organised by the CZA and hosted by the Mysore zoo here, Mr. Bonal said 90 per cent of the CZA-recognised zoos were controlled by the Department of Forests. There is a need for linkage between in-situ and ex-situ conservation, he added. 

Is this Europe's most interesting zoo?
You've seen elephants, hippos and bears, but never in a setting like the Budapest Zoo
A zoo doesn’t sound like the obvious place to start an architecture tour. 
Yet by a happy quirk of fate, when Budapest Zoo was given a makeover in 1910, some of the best architects in town were hired for the job. 
That’s why it has some of the most striking buildings in a city already renowned for its architecture. 
So one of the finest collections of animals in the region is held in a setting with few rivals anywhere in Europe -- two good reasons to visit. 

Rare white lions born in Tbilisi zoo
None exist in nature anymore, says zoo chief Zurab Gurielidze.
A litter of rare white lion cubs was born Monday in a zoo in the Georgian capital Tbilisi. 
According to the zoo, four cubs were initially born on December 10 but one died shortly afterwards. This is not rare in multiple-birth litters. 
The surviving cubs, two males and one female, were separated from their mother shortly after birth. They are now being looked after 24 hours a day and are being bottle-fed by handlers. 
The zoo's director said it was a very special moment. "White lions were born in Tbilisi Zoo a few days ago. It's a very important event - as any animal birth in a zoo is an important event. And especially when it's about a rare breed of an animal like the white lion," Zura

Gorilla Polo still solo, waits for a mate
It appears it’s not only people  who have a hard time finding soul mates, but  gorillas too.  India’s only gorilla, Polo, who lost his mate Sumati in 2000, has had a  checkered love life since.
Now 50, Polo is lonely and his stress levels are rising, according to  his keepers at the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens in Mysore.
A Western lowland gorilla, Polo was gifted as a mate for Sumati to the zoo on May 12, 1995. Sumati and her first mate,  Sugriva  were brought to Mysore in 1977 and soon became a star attraction.But Sugriva died within a year of his arrival and in the 80s Israel gifted a male gorilla, Bobo to replace  him.
But it too did not live long. Polo, who  arrived in 1995 is clearly unlucky in  love as Sumati reportedly did not find him "perfect " and later died of cardiac arrest on October 4, 2000. The zoo authorities have hunted for a mate for Polo for years now, but have met with failure every time.

Rebuttal: A Stronger Case for SeaWorld
I would like to thank those who took the time to comment on my previous blog post, as it allows for scholarly debate. In regards to the comment that my earlier post sounded like a public relations statement for SeaWorld, I would like to point to the title of the article, in particular "A Case for SeaWorld", and to the fact that I am in no way affiliated with SeaWorld. This article was intended to provide a different side of the story than that portrayed in the documentary film Blackfish, which was an extremely one-sided piece of propaganda. 
The death of Dawn Brancheau was a true tragedy. The world lost a very passionate, and accomplished woman who was a pioneer in the field of marine research and an integral part of SeaWorld’s mission to bring the wonder and awe of marine life to those who visit SeaWorld parks. After Dawn’s death, The Dawn Brancheau Foundation was founded in memory of Dawn by her family. The Foundation’s website provides a detailed outline of Dawn’s lifelong dream to become a whale trainer at SeaWorld and that Dawn "left this world doing what she loved.”

Blackfish / White Lies? (Pt. 1): Sorry, I Forgot To Mention, They're All Activists
Former Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court William Rhenquist wrote these words nearly 30 years ago.  They are as true in the Court of Public Opinion as they are in a court of law.  Blackfish has a lot of "testimony” that is presented without any hint of potential bias – quite the opposite actually.  Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite strongly suggests the outright credibility of most of the people who appear in the film.  After all, who better to speak about what is going on with SeaWorld’s whales than a bunch of ex-trainers who spent years working with them?  Who better to explain the science behind orca behavior and biology than experts in the field and a neuroscientist who has studied the brain of a killer whale up close?  Since Blackfish provides no background on any of these individuals, other than what is necessary to establish their credibility, the "jury” in the Court of Public Opinion is left with nothing to assess the true credibility of their "testimony.”  In a court of law, questions of bias are raised through cross examination.

Giza Zoo in Cairo is beset by poverty, tear gas and suspicious animal deaths
The giraffe committed suicide, an Egyptian newspaper reported. And the government pulled a former zoo director out of retirement to deal with the resulting media storm. 
"The problem is with the press,” Nabil Sedki said on a recent afternoon, taking a deep drag on his cigarette as he settled into a giraffe-patterned armchair in his office. He was five days into the job. "The media fabricated the suicide.”
The deceased animal in question was a 3-year-old giraffe named Roqa, who, Sedki said, inadvertently hung herself in early December after getting tangled in a wire inside her enclosure. 
The state has launched three separate investigations — one purely forensic, another by the government’s official veterinary body and a third by a legal committee — "to see who will hang instead of the giraffe,” Sedki said with a wry laugh.

Bangkok's Zoo Animals at Center of Protests
Keepers Warn Animals are Frightened by Nearby Demonstrations
Protesters in Bangkok's streets, blowing whistles and drawing clouds of tear gas from police in recent weeks, have upset sensitive deer and tigers at the city's zoo, what had been an island of peace in Thailand's chaotic capital city. 
"We tried to explain that the whistles could make the tigers panic and maybe jump over the hedge and escape into the open," said Wisid Wichasilp, the zoo's deputy director. In a subsequent promenade past the compound, protesters shushed each other to keep their whistles down.

Endangered crayfish project is a success in Cornwall
A CONSERVATION project aimed at protecting endangered white-clawed crayfish has been celebrating success after moving 4,000 of the creatures to safe havens.
The South West Crayfish Project was launched in 2008 and aims to protect the UK’s only native crayfish which was under threat of extinction in the south west due to the spread of the non-native American signal crayfish.
Under the project the creatures have been moved to safe haven Ark sites – including one in Cornwall.
The project is led by charity Buglife and also involves Avon Wildlife Trust, Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Environment Agency.
As well as moving the crayfish to protected sites the project has also
- surveyed our remaining wild crayfish populations and assessed the threats to them
- bred over 1,300 White-clawed crayfish at an innovative captive breeding programme at Bristol Zoo
- taught over 1,600 school children about the White-clawed crayfish and the wildlife in their local rivers.
- monitored the spread of North American Signal crayfish on many of our rivers.

The Silent Crisis: Vietnam’s Elephants on the Verge of Extinction
As the slaughter of the remaining elephants in Africa continues without interruption, elephants in Vietnam—without media attention and a pack of NGOs calling for their protection—are quietly disappearing. 
Victim of an intensely and increasingly fragmented habitat, weak environmental laws, human-elephant conflicts, logging, and poaching, elephants in Vietnam are teetering on extinction. 
According to some reports, there were approximately 1,500 to 2,000 elephants in 1980. Today they may number as few as 70. 
"The situation is extremely grim,” says Barney Long, Director of the Species Program at World Wildlife Fund (WWF). "They’re right on the edge. And it will take a lot for them to recover. Not only a huge conservation shift but a huge cultural shift as well.”

Elephants in danger
How the illegal ivory trade now threatens them with extinction in the wild
At the beginning of the 20th century, there were 10 million wild elephants in Africa. Today, their numbers hover around 400,000. And the Wildlife Conservation Society estimates elephants are being slaughtered by poachers for their ivory at the rate of 96 a day.
"They are taking the big bulls, the breeding bulls. They are taking the matriarchs and the older females. The ones in the herd that have all the knowledge and all the information on how to get to water holes, and where the feeding areas are," said the Pittsburgh Zoo's elephant manager, Willie Theison.
Theison oversees Pittsburgh's flourishing African elephant herd, which has several young elephants, a matriarch and two breeding females.

Seven Distinct African Crocodile Species, Not Just Three, Biologists Show
African crocodiles, long thought of as just three known species, are among the most iconic creatures on that continent. But recent University of Florida research now finds that there are at least seven distinct African crocodile species.
The UF team's latest discovery, led by then-doctoral candidate Matthew H. Shirley, is that what had been believed to be a single species of slender-snouted crocodile, is actually two.
The findings, which have major implications for policy-makers and conservationists, are outlined in a paper published online last week by Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The results emphasize how little is known about crocodile biogeography, or how species are distributed geographically over time, in Western and Central Africa, said Jim Austin, a co-author on the paper and Shirley's doctoral adviser at UF.

Zoos through the Lens of the IUCN Red List: A Global Metapopulation Approach to Support Conservation Breeding Programs
Given current extinction trends, the number of species requiring conservation breeding programs (CBPs) is likely to increase dramatically. To inform CBP policies for threatened terrestrial vertebrates, we evaluated the number and representation of threatened vertebrate species on the IUCN Red List held in the ISIS zoo network and estimated the complexity of their management as metapopulations. Our results show that 695 of the 3,955 (23%) terrestrial vertebrate species in ISIS zoos are threatened. Only two of the 59 taxonomic orders show a higher proportion of threatened species in ISIS zoos than would be expected if species were selected at random. In addition, for most taxa, the management of a zoo metapopulation of more than 250 individuals will require the coordination of a cluster of 11 to 24 ISIS zoos within a radius of 2,000 km.

Revealed: How much zoo animals eat in a year
Just how much do animals in the Kamla Nehru Zoological Park eat during a year came to be known when the authorities produced a bill before the standing committee on Wednesday. The requirements of the zoo included 50 quintals of juwar, 125 quintals of chickpea, 11 quintals of rice, besides red meat, chicken and mutton worth Rs 59.06 lakh. The requests included live chicken as well.
In terms of daily consumption, the zoo requires 100 kgs of red meat, 5 kg mutton, one live chicken and 12 eggs. While among regular vegetarian diet were sunflower seeds, cattle feed, corn, 0.6 quintals of vanaspati ghee, peas, peanuts, 100 dry c

Dreamworld's tigers to roar into action on Boxing Day
Bites and scratches are inevitable when working with big cats.
But a recent incident involving a tiger handler at Australia Zoo was not an attack, according to Dreamworld tiger trainer Patrick Martin-Vegue.
Tiger handler Dave Styles was last month mauled by a Sumatran tiger during a performance at the Sunshine Coast zoo before a crowd of shocked spectators.
Mr Martin-Vegue said while it was bad incident, it was not an attack.
"Unfortunately he got bitten in a bad place but we are dealing with tigers,” he said.
"We review our procedures and have policies in place but that doesn't mean you won't get bitten or scratched.”

Couple used tiger charity to fund luxury lifestyle, court hears
A woman claims money for a charity set up by her and her estranged husband to save Chinese tigers was used to fund their extravagant lifestyle, as she takes her claim for her share of their wealth to the High Court
A couple used a charity set up to save Chinese tigers as their personal piggy bank, funding a lifestyle of extravagant dinners and wine, a court heard.
Li Quan claimed money for the Save China’s Tigers charity was used to fund the lavish personal lives of her and her estranged husband Stuart Bray as she told the High Court she was entitled to more of the couple’s assets than Mr Bray is prepared to give.
Ms Li claimed money put into the charity, which counts Jackie Chan as an ambassador, was directly used by the pair. She says more than £50 million worth of assets is at stake.
"We were using the money to fund our personal things,” she told the High Court.
”We had expensive dinners. We had exp

Need a Peacock for your garden?
A new business, this time not on Instagram, is opening up in Kuwait. The Kuwait Zoo will begin selling animals from its collections including peacocks, European and red deer, pygmy goats, parrots, ponies, wildebeest and others. Need a peacock for your garden or a pony for your children’s birthday parties? Head to the zoo starting from December 30 to pick out the perfect less-than exotic pet.

Hippie Chimps: New Clue May Explain Bonobo Peacefulness
Bonobos have a reputation among the great apes as "hippie chimps," and new research hints that high levels of a key thyroid hormone may play a role in keeping the animals' aggression in check.
Found in the lowland forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, bonobos (Pan troglodytes) are closely related to chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) but the two diverge in behavior.
Bonobos seem to diffuse social tension with an impressive repertoire of sex acts rather than physical fights. Males in particular show low levels of aggression — they even maintain platonic friendships with females and stick by their mothers into adulthood. The life of male chimpanzees, meanwhile, revolves aroun





Why I won't be going back to Bristol's creationist zoo
A creationist zoo in Bristol will bewilder adults and potentially undermine children's education
On a cold and dreary afternoon, I headed off to a destination I'd long avoided, to a farm that has been converted into a zoo. This zoo had got into trouble in the past because of links with the Great British Circus, which had led to its expulsion from an industry body, the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums, in 2009.
But there was something else about this place that I found unsettling: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm is a creationist zoo. You should perhaps expect that from its name. But biblical words and phrases are part of our cultural heritage, and don't usually imply biblical literalism (at least, I don't think the directors of the Eden Project have any religious agenda to push). I had browsed Noah's Ark's website, so I knew that the name was more than hinting at a religious flavour to this North Somerset attraction.

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm responds to criticism
Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm in Wraxall "will bewilder adults and potentially undermine children’s education” wrote Bristol-born scientist Alice Roberts in this Observer article.
The creationist zoo have responded to criticisms with a statement:
There has been some local interest this week in a Guardian online article written about Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm by television personality Alice Roberts (BBC’s Coast, Don’t Die Young).
The article presents Alice’s personal view on the Christian message which forms a part of our zoo and which is well known by our visitors.
We’re not surprised by her comments as she is well known as a television atheist and humanist who doesn’t like the notion of God being introduced to science.
Noah’s Ark is a Christian organisation which wants to give people the scientific freedom to believe in God as part of their view of how life was made and has changed over time.

Penguin study (Financed by Ski Dubai)
Funding is a dilemma researchers always face. Luckily for one local scientist, private funding paved the way from San Diego to the South Pole, with the benefit of using new technology that's cutting down on time in the field with better accuracy. In this week's earth 8 we bring you part 2 of the science behind this penguin study.
Senior research scientist Dr. Brent Stewart hopes to answer many important questions about several penguin species living on the South Pole.
When you're surrounded by hundreds of thousand of birds, the only way to get a better count is to fly high above them. As we showed you in part one of this series, a drone-like aircraft was used to collect more precise scientific data.
"What I really like about it is it can be a stable platform rather than flying over very quickly, we can hover. We can quickly move it in one direction, spin it around to get different perspectives," Stewart said. "But it's going to take another month, two months to count each bird at the two colonies. The big ones, the king penguins St. Andrews Bay, Salsbury Plains, they're probably 200,000 to 300,000 birds at each one of those colonies."
Although it looks crowded, Stewart says some colonies are not doing as well as others.
"Adelie penguins on the peninsula, we know that their populations are changing very rapidly as the climate there changes very rapidly. But other spec

Discovery offers Ecuador Amazon parrot 11th hour hope
A South American parrot has been reclassified as a species in its own right, which could help save the bird from becoming extinct in the wild.
Until now, the Ecuador Amazon parrot was considered to be part of a group not seen as a conservation priority.
It is estimated that only 600 of the birds remain in the wild, which need two habitats - mangroves and dry forests - in order to survive.
The reclassification was based on years of work by a researcher at Chester Zoo.
"I am very proud that we have actually identified that this bird is very important and can now get some protection," explained Mark Pilgrim, the zoo's director general, who carried out the research.
"The thing that is really important about this reclassification is that previously it had absolutely zero priority for conservation."
Previously, the Ecuador Amazon parrot was considered to be one of four subspecies with the Amazona autumnalis group, which has an estimated population of about five million birds and a range extending from Central America to parts of Brazil.

35 Zoo Animals Freeze To Death In Northern Mexico
Thirty-five animals at a zoo in the northern Mexico state of Chihuahua have frozen to death during the region's coldest weather in six decades.
Serengeti Zoo owner Alberto Hernandez says 14 parrots, 13 serpents, five iguanas, two crocodiles and a capuchin monkey died. He said Saturday that power failures cut off electrical heating at the zoo in the town of Aldama.
Temperatures have dropped to 9 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 13 Celsius) in the area, the coldest weather in 60 years.
Power outages have affected much of northern Mexico, forcing factories and businesses to close. Dozens of people are in shelters. Sc

Second Shipment of Namibian Animals for Cuban Zoo
The second stage of a donation from Namibia will soon arrive to Cuba, in a shipment bringing 16 animals of three species, belonging to the so-called heavy ungulate of hoofed animals (mammals).
This group is composed of pachyderms -10 rhinoceros, five black and five white, in addition to six elephants-, which will be exhibited at the National Zoo on December 11, as informed to ACN on Friday by graduate Armando J. Barrios, a specialist of the center’s Department of Public Relations.
The arrival will force the Zoo to close due to works derived from it. The park’s activities will resume the following day, and the public will also be able to enjoy the exhibition of a white lion, donated to the Zoo by Belgrade, capital of Serbia.
A puma and its litter will also be exhibited.
The first shipment of 131 animals of 20 species, also from Namibia, arrived in Cuba in 2012, made up by 63 ungulates, 48 carnivores, 16 birds and four rodents.
The group is composed of roan and heart-skinned antelopes,

Sparsholt College hosts workshop for Chinese zoo keepers
CHINESE zoo keepers have visited Sparsholt College to see its unique training course.
Delegates from the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens, including panda breeders, invited the college to host a week-long training workshop which included visits to a number of the UK’s leading zoos and an expert speaker programme.
Sparsholt College course director Andy Beer is uniquely positioned and qualified as the only

Manali to set up first mordern Himalayan monal breeding centre
The endangered but majestic pheasant bird Monal is to soon get an advanced breeding centre in Manali as the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has approved a proposal for it and the design for the centre stands finalized.
Plans to construct a Monal breeding were started in 2009, but it failed to get started for lack of enough available funds.
Initially many designs were rejected and now finally the Zoo Authority of India has ratified an ultra modern design for a centre for the Himalayan Monal (lophophorus impejanus).
To keep a constant watch on birds, cameras would be installed in the cages and a stud book would be maintained. Each bird will get a name and their complete case s

Thousands of fish evacuated from Norfolk aquarium
A major operation to rescue more than 3,000 fish at Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary got underway on Friday morning after power to vital life support systems was lost during severe flooding in Norfolk.
Staff worked through the night after the sea breached defences and flooded the building to a depth of more than a foot throughout, and fire officers were still pumping water out on Friday morning.
Special transport vehicles with their own life support were sent from Sea Life's Dorset headquarters to provide emergency back-up, and begin the operation to remove the fish.
The majority were safely removed on Friday. Sharks were caught in their tank with two divers using nets to steer them towards other staff holding landing nets before being rushed out to a waiting van with aerated tanks.
Some of the evacuees have been settled at Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre while others were take to quarantine facilities in Weymouth, Dorset. The remaining fish and other animals were expected to be evacuated on Saturday.

World’s Strangest Safari: Serengeti on South China Sea
It was as close to a Stanley-meets-Livingstone moment as a 21st-century traveler is likely to get. After a weeklong odyssey involving planes, ferries, buses and motorcycles, I peered through sheeting monsoonal rain at a mist-shrouded island.
A boatman materialized, beckoning toward his flimsy outrigger before paddling us across the mile-wide strait. As I trudged inland, dense foliage gave way to lightly wooded savanna. Two giraffes, handsome specimens almost three times my height, stood motionless as I passed between them. Some 30 zebras dotted the plain, impervious to the downpour, Bloomberg Pursuits will report in its Holiday 2013 issue. A herd of eland -- the largest species of antelope -- froze fleetingly and then pranced off in a conga line toward the island’s hilly spine. Amid this profusion of African wildlife, a squat, weather-beaten figure emerged from a thatched hut. … Mr. Sariego, I presume?

River Safari’s Amazon River Quest opens
Asia’s first and only river-themed wildlife park River Safari achieves the final milestone with the opening of the Amazon River Quest boat ride on Saturday, December 7, 2013.
"The launch of the Amazon River Quest completes River Safari, and offers our visitors a new immersive channel into the world of animals that depend on the Amazon River for survival. We are thrilled to welcome visitors on this river expedition, and hope that they will gain a deeper appreciation of the interconnectedness of animals, plants and rivers, and be inspired to protect fragile freshwater habitats,” said Claire Chiang, chairman, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
The slow boat ride, which lasts between 12 to 15 minutes, is the final attraction to open at River Safari, Singapore’s newest family lifestyle destination. The 483m-long ride is designed to simulate an open-top boat voyage down the Amazon River featuring land and arboreal animals in naturalistic habitats with lush vegetation.

What You Said: Elephant Mali’s Captivity in Manila Zoo
A Southeast Asia Realtime story from August introduced readers to a debate in the Philippines over whether an elephant named Mali should be tranferred to a sanctuary where she would have more space, or whether the zoo should merely improve her enclosure and current living conditions.
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has dismissed the idea that Mali should be removed from the zoo, where she is the sole elephant, and one of its leading attractions. We asked readers what they thought about zoos, and whether the Manila zoo should bring in companions for Mali or allow her to be transferred.

Zookeeper dies after tiger attack
A zookeeper from Seoul Zoo, who was hospitalized two weeks ago after being attacked by a three-year-old Siberian tiger, was pronounced dead Sunday. He was 52.
Ajou University Medical Center said the zookeeper surnamed Shim died at 2:24 a.m. after failing to recover from the attack that left him in a coma.
He was injured in the neck and spine while attempting to feed the tiger on the morning of Nov. 24.
He was spotted by a colleague shortly after the attack then later taken to hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. He was transferred to Ajou University Medical Center for further treatment after he failed to come out of the coma.
Shim joined Seoul Zoo as a staffer in 1987 and worked in the insects division before being posted to the wild cats section on Jan. 1 this year.
Police have launched an investigation into the incident.

Bannerghatta staffers sell tiger claws, elephant hair?
The Forest Department has set up a committee to look into the complaint that animal keepers inside the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) are trading in animal parts, which fetch a huge price in the market.
The complaint stated that tiger claws, jaws, leopard claws, hair of sloth bears and elephants are being picked up and being sold in the market by some zoo keepers.
Some keepers are even flaunting tiger claws in their gold locket and elephant hair in gold rings.
The department has instructed to carry out checks on all the living carnivores in the zoo to ensure that animal parts are not traded by caretakers.
There are close to 40 tigers, 20 leopards, more than 80 sloth bears and a dozen elephants.
Conservator of Forests Range Gowda, Director of the Zoo said the committee has completed one round of checking on animals to assess if any animal parts were missing.
"It’s not easy to remove claws from living carnivores and once they die they are buried under the supervision of senior officers. In fact all the post-mortems and burial of carnivores, or scheduled I animals are video recorded. The final report of the committee is awaited,” Range Gowda said.
The animal keepers have also denied the allegations. "It

New Report Reveals Many Zoo Animals Are 'Genetic Disasters'
Many popular animals kept in zoos across Europe have become deeply inbred and have very little "genetic integrity", a new report reveals.
A study by conservation geneticist Dr Paul O'Donoghue at the Aspinall Foundation found that the pedigrees of many zoo animals have become contaminated by hybridisation with different but related species.
The study examined the DNA of nine "founder" animals which all 110 captive cats are descended from and found that they were all closely related.
"It means the animals alive now are all related, mostly sharing more DNA than if they were cousins," O'Donoghue told the Sunday Times.
"When such close relatives mate, their offspring become inbred, meaning they face stillbirths, genetic diseases and shorter lives."
Hundreds of breeding programmes are operated by European zoos for rare and endangered species. These programmes were mostly founded between 20 to 30 years ago using small populations of animals that were assumed to be unrelated.

Aspinall Foundation leading the way against inbreeding of animals
The Aspinall Foundation is calling on zoos and wildlife parks to follow its lead to ensure mating programmes do not cause inbreeding among relatives.
The foundation which runs Port Lympne and Howletts wild animal parks in the county has been using revolutionary genetic research to avoid animals mating with close relatives.
Their research has shown there could be genetic disasters in Siberian tigers and European bison.
To stop that happening it has launched a programme of genetic testing which uses the very latest molecular techniques to generate new genetic studbooks.
Damian Aspinall said: "This testing is a major leap forward and we believe its use should become widespread throughout all breeding programmes. The future of our planet’s endangered species is far too important to take chances with.
"Every effort should be made to ensure breeding programmes are run to the highest standards using the very latest technologies. We will be leading by example by creating genetic studbooks for each of the endangered species we manage.

No more monkeying around: Teenage gorilla is using a skin care product to attract a new mate
Every woman needs a beauty regime to keep her looking her best and this female gorilla is no exception.
In a bid to keep her hair silky smooth, and her skin and nails immaculate, Effie the 210lbs gorilla is taking vitamins and supplements meant for humans.
And since her daily dose of skin care supplement, she’s started attracting the attention of a potential suitor, the silverback Kumbuka.

Fears for dingoes as Australia's wild dog faces extinction
Marle and Digger may be small and cute puppies, but make no mistake, warns their handler Matt Williams: these 18-week-old dingoes are wild animals that would never make suitable pets.
The brother and sister pair who live at the Alice Springs Desert Park in central Australia are genetically pure dingoes, meaning they are two of the increasingly rare specimens of the aggressive sub-species of the Grey Wolf.
"They are very, very different to a domestic dog," Williams says as he attempts to keep the agile animals under control.
"That's the message that we really have to get across because they are often so closely associated with domestic dogs."
While many are tempted to pat animals that appear canine, instinctively scratching their heads or ears without expecting an adverse reaction, things work differently with dingoes, which are found mainly in Australia.

City zoo offers snake massage
BOGART may be gone but snakes that give massages have become the latest attraction at the Cebu City Zoo.
Bogart, a Bengal tiger, was the zoo’s bestseller. But Bogart died early this year.
Caretaker Giovanni Romarate told Sun.Star Cebu that the zoo chanced upon the opportunity to offer snake massage.
He said that while some foreigners were having their photo taken with the snakes draped on their shoulder, one visitor remarked that it felt like getting a massage from the reptile.
The visitors mentioned that snake massage is a popular tourist activity in some countries.
Taking the hint, zoo officials had a bamboo day-bed (lantay) made so that visitors can lie down among the pythons for the massage.

Arab region’s first zoo association takes shape
Association to ensure collaborative efforts for animal welfare
Experts in animal conservation, welfare or zoo projects will soon have new opportunities to share their expertise on a regional level as the first Arabian Zoo and Aquarium Association takes shape.
A love for wild and exotic animals and birds is widespread among Arabs and many have their own private collections coupled with conservation and welfare know-how, a member of the organising committee told Gulf News.
"The forum will streamline knowledge and skills of the individuals, private collection owners, and public sector zoos and aquariums,” said Dr Mark Craig, Director of Life Sciences at Al Ain Zoo.
"We know there are many private collections across the Arab world and their owners will be able to play their role in animal welfare by becoming a member of the association.”

Australia Zoo tiger handler Dave Styles wakes after 'intense battle'
THE tiger handler attacked at Australia Zoo has woken after multiple surgeries and an "intense" 10-day battle in intensive care.
Dave Styles' distressed family says the big cat handler has demonstrated his "strength and fighting spirit" as "exceeds expectations" since being savaged by a tiger named Charlie on November 27.
"Well after 10 days of heavy sedation, multiple scans and a few trips to the surgeon's theatre Dave has finally woken with his cheeky grin still intact," Andes Styles posted on Facebook in the most recent update on December 6.
"He's just finished a debrief of how intense a battle it's been and other than a few scars and temporary paralysis to his vocal cords he's pretty much all cleared for a full recovery.
"A lifetime of gratitude to all the staff at Brisbane Royal for their amazing work, to the Aus Zoo family for their continuous care and support, and a special thank you to the crew who's actions in those first few moments saved

Coroner calls for zoo regulation reform
A Coroner has called for the reform of the regulations governing zoos following the death of a keeper at the Zion Wildlife Gardens in Whangarei.
Brandt Shortland has released his inquest report on the death of Clifford (Dalu) MnCube, who was mauled to death by a tiger in May 2009.
Mr Shortland says the laws relating to zoos are complex and at times unworkable, involving a number of statutes and government ministries.
The inquest heard evidence that Zion was struggling to comply with standards at the time of the fatality and this was compounded by a lack of money and conflict between operator Patricia Busch and her son Craig Busch, known as the 'Lion Man'.
Mr Shortland said the law prohibited direct contact between keepers and big cats, yet a loophole allowed this if it was approved by an authorised animal handler - which Mr MnCube was.
The Coroner said the zoo industry believed regulations repealed in 200

Zion wildlife park 'should have closed'
The partner of a man killed after being mauled by a tiger at Whangarei's Zion Wildlife Gardens says he would still be alive if the then Department of Labour had closed the park while it investigated an earlier attack by the same tiger on another park worker.
Northland coroner Brandt Shortland has recommended the Government look at new regulations surrounding the operations of zoos and animal parks after Dalubuhle Ncube, also known as Clifford Dalu MnCube - or Dalu - was mauled by a male tiger named Abu after he and fellow handler Martin Ferreira had entered its enclosure to clean it on May 27, 2009. After holding an inquest into the death in October last year, Mr Shortland yesterday released his formal findings.
Dalu's partner Sharon Arnott told the Northern Advocate, through her lawyer Juliet Golightly, that she felt her partner and father of their daughter would still be alive if the then Department of Labour had been more proactive.
In February 2009 Abu had attacked another handler at the park - Demetri Price - leaving him with serous injuries after Dalu saved Mr Price from death in the attack.

Tiger suffocated handler, coroner finds
A zoo's practice of cleaning enclosures with the animals still in them proved fatal for a senior big cat handler.
Coroner Brandt Shortland found Clifford Dalu Mncube died of suffocation and a vasovagal reflex (similar to choking) when a white tiger named Abu mauled him in front of a group of tourists and a fellow handlers Zion Wildlife Gardens on May 27, 2009.
Other wildlife parks with big cats isolated and secured their big cats while cleaning enclosures, but Zion allowed theirs to roam freely, Shortland said.
Mncube and fellow worker Martin Ferreira were cleaning the white tiger enclosure when Abu approached Mncube from behind and bit him on his right leg.
Abu was a hand-raised tiger but had a history of attacking staff.
At first Mncube thought this was a playful act but when Abu did not let go he realised he was in extreme danger.

Crocodiles and alligators may be smarter than they look
It's springtime at Louisiana's Lake Martin. The air is filled with the chattering of wading birds in the trees that ring the shoreline as they build their nests and prepare to lay eggs. An alligator lies submerged, its body just barely breaching the surface. A snowy egret spots a good-looking stick floating on the water. It would make a fine addition to her nest, so she swoops down to snatch it up. Bad idea. The stick was perfectly perched on the alligator's snout, just inches from his razor-sharp teeth. With one well-timed snap of his jaws, the alligator makes quick work of the bird and enjoys his lunch, beak and feathers and all.
Jane Goodall first described chimpanzees using sticks as tools in 1964. Prior to that, it was had been thought that tool use was exclusive to our species. In the decades since, the club of tool users has expanded to include other big-brained mammals such as apes, elephants and dolphins, such clever birds as crows, ravens and jays, and even the octopus. Now it turns out that crocodilians, animals once thought of as stupid, may use tools, too.
Vladimir Dinets, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee and an author of a new study describing this hunting technique, first saw a hint that crocodilians — which include crocodiles, alligators, and caimans — might use sticks as a lure in 2007. Doing research in India, he watched as a mugger crocodile lay motionless in shallow water with an array of sticks and twigs laid ac

Endangered lizard recovered in Assam, woman held
A woman was arrested at the Guwahati railway station Tuesday after an endangered gecko lizard was recovered from her possession, police said. Government Railway Police (GRP) officials said the endangered lizard was recovered from the woman during a routine check in the New Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express. "The woman confessed that she bought the lizard for Rs.1.5 lakh from someone in Dimapur and was supposed to sell it to a person in New Bongaigaon railway station at Rs.5 lakh," said GRP officials. The lizard, which was alive, was later han

Legalising the trade in rhino horn and a wilderness of greed
South Africa is pushing hard for the legalisation of trade in rhino horn. With more than 20 tonnes of stockpiled horn the country stands to make a fortune if the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) ban on the trade is lifted.
Those backing a legalised trade also stand to make huge profits, like chief pro-trade protagonist John Hume. Hume breeds rhinos for pleasure he says, because he loves the creatures and wants to save them. He believes that farming rhinos and harvesting their horns to meet the rising demand in the Far East, which has fuelled the current rhino poaching crisis, is the only answer to preventing the extinction of Africa’s rhino. Hume is backed by some serious pro-trade muscle headed by economist Dawie Roodt.
Roodt has made his name in government finance and monetary policy and is a well-known media commentator on financial matters. Roodt doesn’t like rhinos. He doesn’t like laws either, especially ones which stop people like Hume from doing exactly what they like with their private property. Which is what he regards rhinos as – property. "Laws are silly things invented by politicians,” Roodt said in a recent public debate on the legalisation of rhino horn trade at the University of Pretoria.

Researchers study SeaWorld's Tilikum
With its killer-whale program under intense scrutiny on multiple fronts, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. said Tuesday that researchers have completed a new study of killer-whale metabolic rates using Tilikum, the infamous orca at SeaWorld Orlando.
In an effort to discover how much energy killer whales use while resting, SeaWorld said researchers from the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute and its own animal-care team measured the amount of oxygen Tilikum extracts from the air while he breathes in a resting state.
Tilikum is best known as the massive killer whale that killed SeaWorld Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau in February 2010. The event triggered an ongoing legal battle between SeaWorld and federal workplace-safety regulators, who have recommended that SeaWorld trainers never again be allowed to perform in close contact with killer whales. It also spawned this year's critical documentary "Blackfish," which chronicles the capture and captivity of Tilikum.

Zoo: Three animal deaths, vulture escape, zebra’s attack show resources too stretched
The director of the National Zoo said Tuesday that the recent deaths of three animals and a Grévy’s zebra’s attack on a keeper indicate that the zoo’s resources and staff are stretched too thin.
The comments by Dennis Kelly came as the zoo concludes reviews of two internal reports into several serious incidents at its Cheetah Conservation Station within the last year.
One of the worst mistakes was the death of a female red river hog that died of septicemia in the zoo hospital Dec. 17 after she had lost a quarter of her weight in eight weeks, apparently because of improper nutrition.
When the hog, named Holly, was taken to the hospital, she bore cuts and scabs of unknown origin. She weighed 110 pounds when she arrived last year and 79 pounds when she died.
"We lost her,” said zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson. "We shouldn’t have.”
Kelly said the lapses are largely the result of stretched resources. "I can’t spread this staff any more thin than it is now,” he said.

National Zoo Blames Budget Cuts for Animal Deaths
The Congressional committee that oversees the National Zoo said today it will look into the zoo's accusation that budget cuts have so severely affected their operations that three animals have died this year under its care.
The staffers made their comments a day after the zoo announced that an endangered 5-month-old colt had died suddenly at the zoo's Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia on Wednesday. Preliminary reports found the colt died of a fractured neck.
The colt's death was the latest in a string of problems at the zoo, including the deaths of a red river hog, an antelope, and a gazelle this year, as well as a vulture that escaped its enclosure.

Study Shows Newer Wind Turbines Still Killing Hundreds of Thousands of Birds
Potential for More than One Million Annual Bird Deaths with Full Wind Energy Build-out
 A new study shows that in spite of updated designs, U.S. wind turbines are killing hundreds of thousands of birds annually—a number that may balloon to about 1.4 million per year by 2030, when the ongoing industry expansion being encouraged by the federal government is expected to be fully implemented.
The findings were issued in a new study by scientists at the Smithsonian Institution Migratory Bird Center (SMBC), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and Oklahoma State University (OSU), published in the December issue of the journal Biological Conservation and authored by Scott Loss (OSU), Tom Will (FWS), and Peter Marra (SMBC).
The study, "Estimates of bird collision mortality at wind facilities in the contiguous United States,” was based on a review of 68 studies that met rigorous inclusion criteria and data derived from 58 bird mortality estimates contained in those studies. The studies represented both peer-reviewed and unpublished industry reports and extracted data to systematically estimate bird collision mortality and mortality correlates.

A Life With Constant Pain For The Dancing Bears
The bears are poached from the wild as cubs and mostly it involves killing the mother who wants nothing more than defend her baby. Ripped away from the mothers love and safety, the cubs that survives are sold to a trainer who start the long painful road for a cub who just recently ran around in freedom, knowing nothing of the pain that awaits.
The trainer jam a hot poker or piece of metal through the snout or lip to make a permanent hole through which a rope is anchored to control the bear. This is being done without any anaesthesia at all. The trainer also break or knock out the cubs teeth’s so it wont be able to bite. The claw’s are either pulled out or clipped short. They get beaten with sticks to teach the cub to stand and move its hind legs. And to make it move as the tra

Koalas bellow with unique voice organ
It is a low, rumbling bellow that seems very incongruous coming from the mouth of a diminutive koala.
And now scientists have found that these famously sleepy marsupials have evolved a vocal organ that allows them to produce very low-pitched sound.
Koalas, researchers discovered, have an "extra pair of vocal folds" outside the larynx, which they use to make their mating calls.
The findings are published in the journal Current Biology.
"The first time I heard a koala bellow I was genuinely amazed that an animal this small could produce such a sound," said Benjamin D Charlton, of the University of Sussex, who led the research.
The pitch of the bellow, Dr Charlton said, was about "20 times lower than would be expected for an animal of its size".

Drury's new animal studies minor: from captive elephants to custody fights over pets
$2 million from Bob Barker made the program possible
The relationship of animals to humans as portrayed in French literature. The ethical aspects of a man’s request that his beloved dog be euthanized when he dies so they can be buried together. Ongoing controversies over puppy mills and circus elephants.
It’s all covered in Drury University’s new 18-hour animal studies minor, one of the few programs like it in the nation, according to Professor Patricia McEachern.
Since 2007, she has spearheaded efforts to create the minor and, in the process, went from a professor of French to the Dorothy Jo Barker Endowed Professor of Animal Rights.
Drury faculty OK’d the minor in November 2012. It was offered for the first time this fall.
"I am proud of it and proud of my colleagues,” McEachern said. "I’m very grateful of the administrative support.”
The program was made possible by two $1 million donations from Bob Barker, a 1949 Drury grad and an animal rights advocate. Barker hosted CBS’s "The Price is Right” from 1972 to 2007.
The endowed chair is named after Barker’s wife, who died in 1981. Barker credits her for his interest in the welfare

Animal minor should be unbiased
Re: "For love of animals,” Dec. 2, about Drury University’s new animal studies minor.
As a veterinarian with more than 30 years experience caring for elephants and other animals, I was dismayed by the comments made by Patricia McEachern when describing the new animal studies minor at Drury.
As a fellow professor, I would expect a minor in animal studies to examine issues surrounding our society’s treatment of animals from all viewpoints. Sadly, this new minor appears, based on McEachern’s own comments, to be little more than a platform for advancing the philosophies of animal rights groups. In stark contrast to her claim that she is "responsible for her own moral compass,” the statements made about the care of captive elephants in zoos and circuses are not based on the daily reality I see as a practicing veterinarian.
Specifically, McEachern derides the use of elephant guides, a long-accepted husbandry tool for handling large elephants. Derisively referred to by animal rights groups as a bull hook, a guide, when used by a trained professional, is the most humane and appropriate tool for working with large elephants. As a veterinarian, I rely on the skills and trust an elephant handler has with an elephant. I can only provide the best veterinary care when an elephant feels comfortable with the guide and has been trained to accept an examination and medical treatment, which in many instances is vital to the animal’s well-being and survival.

Indonesia Says No To Monkey Business
Animal rights groups get their wish: no more monkey shows on the streets of Jakarta, which means raids to rescue the animals and job training to prepare their trainers for new work.
Starting next year, you won’t be seeing "topeng monyet” – the shows that feature monkeys wearing funny masks and performing acrobatic tricks – on the streets of Jakarta.
On a recent day in the Indonesian capital, dozens of monkey handlers were waiting in line to be registered by local authorities. One of them is 30-year-old Badri who joined the business a year ago. He has handed over his monkey to the authorities. "What else can I do?" Badri asks. "I want the government to give me some money so I can open a new business.”
The government will buy each monkey from the handlers and caretakers for $90, and the handlers will be provided with vocational training to help find new jobs. Cecep, who has been earning money from his monkeys, says he will hold the government to its promise.
"I know about the promise from the media ... that my monkeys will be traded in for a new job. But I don’t know what kind of job it will be,” Cecep says.
Joko Widodo, the governor of Jakarta, has ordered the ban, and security forces have started conducting raids to rescue the monkeys. Still, Widodo has assured monkey handlers that they would not be punished for their use of animals. "The monkey performances are obstructing public ord

Is keeping animals in captivity slavery?
First it was the argument that the human foetus should be considered a person. The state of Colorado in the US wanted in 2008 to establish a law stating that the unborn human foetus is a "person” and thus be given the some constitutional rights that a human being enjoys. The state of Mississippi went a step further to say that the term ‘person’ should apply to every human being from the moment of fertilization, and hence anyone who aborts such a life should be termed illegal and punished. The motive behind these was to overturn the US Supreme Court’s 1973 decision of the right to abortion. Both the Colorado and Mississippi moves were rejected in their legislatures, but the story is not over. The "Personhood Bill”, introduced last month in the state of Georgia, wishes to declare the "one-cell human embryo” (even before implantation) to be a person and should be given the right to life.
Now, the matter has gone beyond us humans. The journal Science reports in its December 6, 2013 issue that the Boston lawyer Steven Wise, who has founded the "Non-human Rights Project” (NhRP), has filed lawsuits that want the New York courts to declare that chimpanzees and other great apes are persons, and therefore all such apes in captivity — be they in research labs, zoos or personal farms — be freed. He claims that not only chimpanzees but even dolphins have cognition. Using the discovery that great apes and dolphins possess a sense of "self awareness” as the basis, Wise argues that keeping these animals in captivity is tantamount to slavery and hence illegal. He wants that these animals in current captivity be released and transferred to a chimpanzee sanctuary in Florida.

Snake massage: cold and heavy
REMEMBER the fish massage that was talked about but never quite took off in Cebu? Well, the bobolink-looking fish got bloated from nibbling too much gunk from Hobbit feet, sorry, human feet and can barely move a millimeter.
So like the year 2013, fish massage is soon out. Guess what's coming in like year 2014? Snake massage. Eyeless...
The snake massage issues offered at the Cebu City Zoo. I am not kidding. Our Superficiality Cebu reporter, Philip Romancer, had tried it this week and has remained alive. He said it wassails one slithering experience.
What happens in a snake massage? Let me tell it to you misstep by misstep, as narrated to me by Philip. Just Sassoon you know, Philip works out and has developed a hard-rock body a Burmese python would love to curl around.

Rare white tiger has knee surgery in Japan
Vets in Japan have carried out knee surgery on a rare white tiger cub, fixing a leg problem the animal had been born with.
In what was being billed as the first such operation of its kind on a white tiger, surgeons fixed a congenitally displaced kneecap in its right hind leg.
The nine-month-old male, named Sky, was under the knife for five-and-a-half hours Tuesday at the Nihon University Animal Medical Centre in Fujisawa, south of Tokyo, the institution said on its website.
The animal was under general anaesthetic throughout the operation.
The tiger, now weighing 56 kilogrammes (123 pounds), was born in March at Tobu Zoo in a northern suburb of Tokyo.
A team of veterinary surgeons began the operation by cutting open the knee and lifting the displaced patella.
"It was a very difficult operation but we managed to complete it without any problems," said Kazuya Edamura, an expert with experience operating on the knees of cats and dogs, who led the operat

Blackfish, SeaWorld and the backlash against killer whale theme park shows
Willie Nelson is just one of the artists rushing to cancel gigs at SeaWorld after seeing Blackfish, the documentary about killer whales who have attacked their trainers.
Heart are an unlikely bunch of revolutionaries. But the American soft rockers' decision to cancel a concert at SeaWorld in Florida may mark a turning point in the relationship between humans and one of the most magnificent mammals of the ocean. The band this week joined Willie Nelson and Barenaked Ladies in cancelling shows at the Orlando theme park because they had watched Blackfish, a film about Tilikum, a five-tonne male orca that has been involved in the deaths of three people. This modest yet riveting documentary has made ever-bigger ripples across the pond since its premiere at Sundance earlier this year, with an audience of 20 million recently watching it on CNN. It is now on the Oscar longlist.
Tilikum's plight – enduring violence from other captive whales and forced to entertain crowds in return for fish ever since he was captured in the wild in 1983 – is vividly depicted by former trainers. The film's conclusion is inescapable: we have no business keeping such large, intelligent mammals in such crippling confinement. We too might get a little psychotic, it suggests, if we were imprisoned in a bath for 30 years.

Not Their Whale War Anymore: How Animal Planet Was Forced to Step Down
Why is Whale Wars's sixth season, premiering on Friday, not a series but a two-hour special? The answer lies in an injunction handed down against Sea Shepherd, the nonprofit, anti-whaling organization at the center of the show, and its founder, Paul Watson.
Sea Shepherd has been involved in ongoing legal battles with Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research,  culminating last December when the ICR won an injunction that prohibited Sea Shepherd and Watson from going within 500 yards of whalers on open sea, and also from "physically attacking any vessel engaged by” whalers or from "navigating in a manner that is likely to endanger the safe navigation of any such vessel.” Commercial whaling was banned by the International Whaling Commission in 1986, though whaling has continued thereafter under a provision that permitted research.
The injunction, which was later upheld in a colorfully worded decision, also explicitly named "any party acting in concert with them.” But Animal Planet was seemingly not concerned.

Attacks, deaths rampant at wild cat sanctuaries
Over the past few decades, as an exotic pet trade boomed and Americans bought cute tiger cubs and baby monkeys, sanctuaries sprang up across the nation to take care of the animals that were abandoned when they reached adult size or were no longer wanted.
The growth in both the number of wild cats as pets and the sanctuaries that rescued them has led to attacks.
Since 1990, more than 20 people have been killed by captive big wild cats at sanctuaries, zoos and private residences, more than 200 people have been mauled and 200-plus wild cats have escaped, according to one of the nation’s largest wild cat sanctuaries.
The latest death is head keeper Renee Radziwon-Chapman, 36, who was killed by a cougar at an Oregon sanctuary recently.
Experts say that because sanctuaries are largely unregulated and anyone can open one, there are no uniform safety protocols. And over-confidence or human error can lead to tragic consequences even among the most experienced of caretakers.

A penguin's tale: Diet linked to breeding failure
A study on a Victorian penguin colony has revealed new insight into the link between seabird diet and breeding success.
In a study published in Functional Ecology, Nicole Kowalczyk and Associate Professor Richard Reina of Monash University's School of Biological Sciences, in collaboration with Andre Chiaradia from Phillip Island Nature Parks, studied Melbourne's St Kilda little penguin colony over two years.
They detailed how changes to prey abundance or food sources influenced reproductive success, tracking the penguins' nesting and feeding behaviour during the 2010 and 2011 breeding season.
Given previous data had shown that the colony fed mainly on anchovy which accounted for up to 78 per cent of their diet between years 2004 and 2008, the researchers predicted that changes in abundance would impact on the reproductive success of the colony - but they were surprised to find the little penguins were resilient to changing conditions only if alternative prey such as sardines could be found.




A male Lion and female Ligress gave birth to three female Liligers cubs on Sunday December 1st, 2013 at the Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park near Oklahoma City. These cubs are a conservation success and a first for a North American Zoo. The Zoo is giving mom time to bond with and care for her cubs.
What's a Liliger you ask? The terminology of lion-tiger offspring is actually quite complicated. Here's a breakdown:
Liger: Offspring of a male lion and a female tiger, or tigress
Tigon: Offspring of a male tiger and a female lion, or lioness
Liliger: Offspring of a male lion and a female liger
Taliger is a hybrid cross between a male tiger and a ligress
The first known hybrid, a female Liliger named Kiara, was born at the Novosibirsk Zoo in Russia, in September 2012.
On November 29, 2013 a male Lion named Simba and a female Liger named Akara gave birth to the first Liliger in the United States. At approximately 3am on November 30, 2013, Akara gave birth to two more cubs at the Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park in Wynnewood, OK.

‘It is wiser to shoot these man-eaters than to keep them in captivity’
Dr Ullas Karanth, a leading tiger conservationist, says their research shows that the density of tigers in Bandipur-Nargarhole is very high, leading to territorial wars within the area. Old and weakened tigers like this one get pushed out of their home ranges
A tiger that was sentenced to die by the state government was captured alive on Thursday. A life saved, a great victory for conservation measures in the state, one would say. But, a leading conservationist suggests that keeping such tigers in captivity may not — certainly in the long term — be a very wise move.
Dr Ullas Karanth, director of Bangalore-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and a reputed tiger conservationist, believes that the 12-year-old tiger captured on Thursday on the periphery of Bandipur Tiger Reserve had turned man-eater precisely because of the efficacy of conservation measures. The tiger, called BPT 117 by WCS which tracked it through its cameras for the last 10 years (see box on page 5) had lost four of its claws and was also injured in an attack on a porcupine.
Scientists at WCS have been studying the dynamics of tiger population for over two decades across the state and the findings of their research suggest that the population of tigers at Bandipur-Nagarhole is high — perhaps a little too high for the good of the big cats.

‘Baby Shamu’ killer whale born at SeaWorld San Antonio
SeaWorld has one more reason to be thankful this holiday season. Takara, a 22-year-old killer whale, gave birth to a calf Friday at 12:08 a.m. The yet-to-be-named calf is the 29th killer whale born in SeaWorld’s history, and it joins five other killer whales that reside at the San Antonio park.
Takara gave birth to a female calf – estimated to measure 7 feet long – in Shamu Theater’s main pool after being in labor for slightly more than one hour. Immediately after birth, the baby whale instinctively swam to the surface of the water for its first breath of air. SeaWorld veterinarians and animal care specialists, who have devoted the last several weeks to 24-hour watch of the expectant mother, were on hand to witness the birth.
"We’re delighted to welcome the newest Baby Shamu to our killer whale family,” said Chris Bellows, SeaWorld San Antonio vice president of zoological operations. "Successful births like this are further evidence that SeaWorld parks have created healthy, enriching habitats for these animals. Millions of guests visit our parks each year and gain a greater appreciation for killer whales and other species in our care. No other organization on the planet connects people with wildlife better than SeaWorld.”

New ‘Baby Blackfish’ Born at SeaWorld – Aka ‘Baby Shamu’
SeaWorld San Antonio announced the birth of a new baby orca with little fanfare today, (‘Baby Shamu’ killer whale born at SeaWorld San Antonio).
SeaWorld continues with its policy of naming all orcas individually but giving them all the stage name Shamu,  a made up name created by mashing the words ‘she’ and ‘Namu’ together.  Namu was the name of the second killer whale ever taken into captivity, he was a Northern Resident orca adventitiously found inside a salmon net in British Columbia waters near the community for which he was named.  A female was caught from the Southern Resident orca clan to keep him company, and she was called she-Namu, or Shamu.
While the Northern and Southern clans get along peaceably enough they aren’t known to intermingle in the wild.
Blackfish is the colloquial name given to orcas by the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest, a people who understood and respected the nature of killer whales. It is also the name chosen for a documentary that exposes incidents of aggression by wh

Killer queens: Meet the bloodthirsty big game huntresses who claim to be animal lovers - despite having slain more than 70 species across the world
The uproar over an American TV host who bragged about killing a defenceless lion before posing for a picture with its corpse may have persuaded many big game hunters to keep their heads down.
But these bloodthirsty beauty queens have come out in support of the practice which was cast into the spotlight by Melissa Bachman, drawing new attention to the popularity of hunting among women.
Olivia Nalos Opre, 36, and mother-of-two Mindy Arthurs, 39, have shot more than 70 spe

Lady guards to crack down on PDA in zoo
Visitors may still find it hard to spot a big cat or a Himalayan snow bear in Ludhiana zoo, but there is every possibility of them being surprised with the sight of well-equipped lady guards who will be moving around in the premises cracking down on young couples indulging in Public Display of Affection (PDA).
Taking note of TOI's report highlighting about growing nuisance of PDA by youngsters at the Ludhiana zoo, the forest department has decided to take some fresh measures including deployment of well equipped women guards.
These women guards will be on the move around the zoo in forest vans which are equipped with Global Positioning Response System (GPRS). These vans would be seen moving in the interiors of the zoo, which have become sought after places for PDA by young couples.
"Very similar to PCR vans, our department too has some forest vans with GPRS facility, which would be on duty at the zoo. Also, the women guards in the department shall be given this responsibly to ensure that the practice of PDA stops right away in the zoo," said Baljeet Singh Brar, the District Forest Officer.
In its December 5 issue, TOI had highlighted how PDA by youngsters had become a nuisance and a cause of embarrassment for many visitors including those coming with children to the zoo.
Warnings would be issued to the first timers and

New $4.5 million lab battles for life of dwindling Devil's Hole pupfish
Three fish the color of a dingy dime, only smaller, hover near the bottom of tanks No. 6 and 7 at a new research facility 90 miles west of Las Vegas.
At 3 weeks old, they are already historic.
Never before has a Devil's Hole pupfish been successfully hatched in a lab from an egg collected from the wild.
If researchers at the Ash Meadows Fish Conservation Facility can perfect this process, they might be able to grow enough pupfish to stock an elaborate "lifeboat" they just built and save the species from extinction.
But more anxious weeks and months lie ahead, as the small team of biologists coaxes the recent hatchlings toward adulthood and, hopefully, a new captive breeding program.
"It's a five-step process, and we're on step three," Darrick Weissenfluh, a fish biologist who manages the conservation facility for the U.S. Fish &Wildlife Service, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal (
He and his team of three contract employees officially opened the $4.5 million facility at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, less than a mile from Devil's Hole, in late July.
It was built using proceeds from the sale of federal land in Clark County, but its annual operating budget of about $250,000 will come out of three separate fu

Croc attacks: a new website with bite
Crocodiles have a rather off-putting character trait: they bite. It’s fair to say few people like being bitten. We like being eaten even less, and reserve our most morbid fears for creatures that dare to consume us. Many find it quite unnerving to live and work in areas where humans are demonstrably not at the top of the food chain.
It is surprising that we’ve done so little work to track clashes between crocodiles and humans, including where, when and why they occur.
This week Big Gecko and Charles Darwin University are launching CrocBITE, a worldwide crocodilian attack database that does exactly that.
With nearly 2000 incidents recorded across 16 species, 50 countries and 150 years, it provides a strong baseline to better understand croc a

The trials of a tiger mother
In returning big cats to the wild, Quan Li has proven her critics wrong
Quan Li says she fell in love with tigers when she first saw them in a Beijing zoo as a girl, unaware that one day she would help save these tigers from extinction.
Quan, a former fashion executive who started a charity to help introduce South China Tigers back into the wild in 2000, has proven that rewilding tigers works, because the five animals she took from China to South Africa have now turned into 14.
Not only that, but Quan hopes to pass on her expertise to other people and organizations to help other endangered species.
"I was confident they would survive from the beginning, because tigers are very versatile," she says. "They adapt geographically to different habitats, because there are different tigers in different parts of Asia and they all come from the same ancestor."

Noah’s Extremely Bad Animal Husbandry Advice
Ark Encounter is a proposed creationist theme park centered around a 510-foot "replica” of Noah’s Ark to be built in Kentucky. The park is based on a literal interpretation of a 6,000-year-old Earth and biblical global flood, and is financed in part by state tax breaks and municipal junk bonds.
From the first announcement of the park in 2009, live animal displays inside a giant wooden boat were part of the plan. That’s kind of what the story of the Ark is all about. Just how they are going to jam lots of animals into an artificial, closed environment with loud tourists and a bunch of other animals (some of which are predators), has been a bit hazy.
In a 2010 interview, Mike Zovath, Senior Vice President of Answers in Genesis, who is overseeing the construction of the ark, explained:
"the ark is to be built with wooden pegs and timber framing by Amish builders, Mr. Zovath said. Animals including giraffes — but only small, young giraffes — will be kept in pens on board.

Dubai Safari: new zoo phase 2 is on track
 Hidden behind the security perimeter along Al Aweer Road, diligent workers are busy giving the animals of Dubai Zoo a new lease of life.
The second phase of Dubai’s new zoo has started and the project’s deadline for the end of 2014 is on track, a municipal official confirmed on Thursday.
"If you drive by Dubai Safari on the main road, opposite Dragon Mart, you cannot see anything as the work is far out. We already have a contractor who recently started carrying out the infrastructure work, as well as the water feature,” Mohammad Mashroom, Director of General Projects Department at Dubai Municipality, told Gulf News.
The wadi area at Dubai Safari is one of the main features of the project, as it will be built in conjunction with a waterfall, and some of t

Bears Tortured! Tribal Elders Sue Cherokee Bear Zoo to Stop the Horror
The grisly scene could have been straight out of a horror movie. Bears kept in deep concrete pits devoid of soil, grass or any other environmental essentials. Distressed bears pacing in circles, their teeth broken from attempts to chew through the metal cages. Months-old baby bears, which otherwise would stay with their mothers for well over a year, instead separated and put into bird cages to entertain the crowds, forced to live on dog kibble and Hawaiian Punch.
This was a bear’s life at the Cherokee Bear Park, and it is the sight that traumatized Eastern Band of Cherokee Tribal Elders Amy Walker and Peggy Hill, they say. The two are suing the Cherokee Bear Zoo on the Cherokee Reservation, citing consistent and repeated violations of the federal Endangered Species Act. The suit was filed on December 3 in U.S. District Court in Bryson City, North Carolina.

North Yorkshire zoo given world-class status
A NORTH Yorkshire zoo has been awarded world-class status in recognition of its breeding programmes and conservation projects.
Flamingo Land theme park and zoo has been a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and its European counterpart (EAZA) for many years.
BIAZA and EAZA are professional accredited bodies that represent the best zoos in Britian, Ireland and in Europe – and although all zoos must comply with strict government regulations, to be a member of an accreditation body the zoo must comply even mor

Melbourne Zoo's elephant calf Sanook dies overnight after playing with suspended tyre, his favourite toy
THE death of Melbourne Zoo's baby elephant Sanook appears to be the result of a tragic accident.
Melbourne Zoo director Kevin Tanner said CCTV footage on Tuesday night showed Sanook getting stuck in a large suspended tyre he was playing in at 7pm.
"Sanook managed to manoeuvre it in an unusual way that caused his head to become caught," Mr Tanner said.
"This placed pressure on his neck and would have prevented him from breathing."
Mr Tanner said a post-mortem was carried out on Wednesday morning, confirming the tragedy.
"This is a tragic accident that has left our keepers, vets and staff community devastated," Mr Tanner said.
The tyre had been one of the calf's favourite toys, as it had been for his siblings Mali and Ongard.
The zoo said tyres were commonly used in zoos aroun

Captive breeding programs for Asian elephants need better methods for collecting semen, according to researchers.
Crushed by habitat loss and poaching, Asian elephants are at risk, and their future rests heavily on captive breeding programs. Highly varying quality in Asian elephant semen samples has made captive breeding programs difficult.
The study, published in PLOS ONE, suggests that sperm quality itself is not the problem, but rather that collection techniques do not reliably stimulate all the organs needed to produce seminal plasma, the surrounding fluid that supports sperm function.

Public indifferent as Formosan black bear nears extinction
Even as Yuan Zai, the baby panda at Taipei Zoo, consolidates its position as the darling of the Taiwanese public and the documentary film Beyond Beauty: Taiwan from Above plays to rapt theaters, there remains a distinct lack of awareness in the country about the conservation of the Formosan black bear, of which maybe as few as 200 survive in the wild.
The president of the Taiwan Black Bear Conservation Association, Huang Mei-hsiu, laments that the endangered indigenous species has been thrust to the margins by the hype surrounding the panda cub. All species are equally precious, Huang said.
The Formosan black bear was voted Taiwan's national wild animal in 2000, but deadly traps are still found everywhere in the mountains. Recent media reports say trekkers in Taiwan's central mountain range have found parts of bear paws, proof that illegal bear hunting continues.
"There are only 200 Formosan black bears left in the world, while the number of pandas has increased to 2,000 thanks to artificial reproduction methods. People here still wrongly believe that Formosan black bears often attack people. But in the 200 cases of black bears being spotted by trekkers, the animal ran away as soon as they sensed the presence of humans in 75% of all the cases. Bears are actually more afraid of humans than humans are of them, so they run away quickly," Huang said.

Of Tiger and Lion Bones and the Legalizing of the Rhino Horn Trade
At the CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP16) in Bangkok earlier this year, I attended a press conference where the South African Minister for the Environment announced that South Africa had tried a wide range of measures to curtail rhino poaching, but she confirmed that so far they had failed and it was now time to look at the option of legalizing the trade. This proposal will result in a heated debate for months or years to come. Discussions will be very polarized with neither side willing to make compromises on what they see as core principles.
I have visited several ranches in South Africa and seen happy, live rhinos enjoying what to me looked like a good quality of life. It made for a pretty convincing argument that having a dehorned rhino grazing with its calf is a better option than an orphaned calf trying to suckle on its slaughtered mother.
However, on my last trip to Laos and Vietnam, in October this year, I once again investigated the trade in tiger bone—another traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) product in the same league as rhino horn—and I found a situation that might have relevance when discussing the proposed legalizing of the rhino horn trade.
First, a bit more background on the tiger bo

A state agency on Thursday took reporters to a place where few people have been – and even fewer will go in the future.
The exotic animals facility in Reynoldsburg was custom-built from the ground up – there was no template or model to base it on. Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels says the building the agency ended up with is flexible in its design and secure in its operations.
"This building is about 20,000 square feet. We have 30 large animal enclosures here. We have four primate enclosures. We have a room here that will house snakes and reptiles when that regulatory authority kicks in,” Daniels says.
The big animal cages are made of six gauge wire and have six padlocks each. A transport cage is locked into place against the cage opening to move the animal in. There are heavy steel panels separating the cages that can be opened from outside them, so an animal can be moved to the adjacent cage while its cage is cleaned and food and water is provided.

Lawsuits Could Turn Chimpanzees Into Legal Persons
This morning, an animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) filed a lawsuit in a New York Supreme Court in an attempt to get a judge to declare that chimpanzees are legal persons and should be freed from captivity. The suit is the first of three to be filed in three New York counties this week. They target two research chimps at Stony Brook University and two chimps on private property, and are the opening salvo in a coordinated effort to grant "legal personhood” to a variety of animals across the United States.
If NhRP is successful in New York, it could be a significant step toward upending millennia of law defining animals as property and could set off a "chain reaction” that could bleed over to other jurisdictions, says Richard Cupp, a law professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, and a proponent of focusing on animal welfare rather than animal rights. "But if they lose it could be a significant step backward for the movement. They’re playing with fire.”

Zoological Collections and Animal-Rights. They do not make good bedfellows.
Some zoological collections and their staff think there is nothing wrong with supporting or forming alliances with the animal-right movement.  To this end, I commented about this some weeks ago with reference to the sheer gullibility of some zoo and aquarium keepers in voicing their support for the film 'Blackfish'. 
Recently another example of this folly can be observed in an article regarding the Ringlings Brother Circus and a proposed ban on the ankus by Oakland City Council.
A quote that is worth noting in the article is that:
"The Humane Society of America, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and the Oakland Zoo all support the proposed ordinance."
 Now whatever zoos and their personnel may feel about circuses, one thing that needs to be made clear is that zoos keeping elephants in 'open contact' will use tools such as an ankus - or as the animal-rights activist like to call it: a bullhook; these groups know it is important to emotionally label objects that meet their disapproval hence terms such as 'concrete prisons' when describing some zoo and aquarium exhibits. 





Finance minister rules out Exploris aquarium aid
The Department of Finance has ruled out giving any financial assistance to help a County Down aquarium stay afloat.
Finance Minister Simon Hamilton made a brief response to a request from the Northern Ireland Assembly enterprise committee to help with an assistance package.
"Aquariums are not the responsibility of the DFP," he said.
Exploris, in Portaferry, has been threatened with closure over concerns about its running costs.
Ards Borough Council delayed a decision to vote on closing the attraction amid hopes that funding could be secured from the Stormont Executive.
The chair of the committee, Patsy McGlone, accused the minister of not taking the threat of closure seriously.
After a visit to Exploris, the DETI committee wrote to the minister asking if the Department of Finance and Personnel could help find any alternative sources of income to help rescue the threatened tourist attraction.
In a two-line response the finance minister thanked the committee for its letter about the proposed clos

East Oregonian: Pendleton-Born Zookeeper Writes Animal Training Book
As a child in Pendleton, Nicole Nicassio-Hiskey had every pet she could slip past her mother. Turtles, rats, dogs and cats all roamed the Nicassio household.
As the senior marine animal keeper at the Oregon Zoo, Nicassio-Hiskey’s animal interactions have only broadened with age. She works with sea lions, polar bears, tigers and leopards in the Portland zoo.
"I knew what I wanted to do as a kid,” Nicassio-Hiskey said. "We didn’t have a zoo or aquarium growing up in Pendleton, so I would go to the library and soak everything up I could.”
After graduating from Oregon State University in 1993, Nicassio-Hiskey worked with Keiko the orca at the Oregon Coast Aquarium and in the city of Anchorage, Alaska’s animal control department before landing at the Oregon Zoo.
After two decades of training all types of species, the zookeeper wrote "Beyond Squeaky Toys” with co-author Cinthia Mitchell about creating enriching environments for dogs and cats.
"We figured this out long ago with exotic animals but we have kind of gone backward with dogs and cats,” Ni

Some Seemingly Harmless Snakes Possess a Secret Venom Gland
Usually, we think of snakes as falling into one of two groups—venomous and nonvenomous. But to the surprise of herpetologists, a new group has emerged, which seems to fall into a previously unknown grey area between venomous and not.
This discovery occurred after victims who received bites from "harmless” snakes—Thrasops flavigularis in Africa and green whip snakes in Europe—began showing suspect symptoms, including problems with neuromotor skills. Upon closer examination, herpetologists noticed that both of those culprit species possess something called the Duvernoy’s gland. Researchers have long puzzled over what this gland’s purpose is; some think it’s used for helping the snakes swallow and digest food, while others believe it’s a primitive version of what scientists consider true venom glands. With these latest findings, however, herpetologists writing in the journal Toxin propose classifying it as a true venom gland.

Exclusive Interview with Kim Ashdown, Former SeaWorld Trainer
Kim Ashdown spent 12 years as an animal trainer at SeaWorld between 1994 and 2010. She worked with whales, dolphins, sea lions, otters and birds of prey. Since leaving SeaWorld, Kim has become outspoken about the realities of marine mammal captivity and is an anti-captivity advocate for the animals she worked for. More recently, you may have seen her the film "Blackfish.”

The Whale Who Would Not Be Freed
If there is a lesson in this week’s Retro Report video about a famous whale, it’s mess with nature at your own peril. In this case we are talking about the man-made peril that comes from confining a wild killer whale in a theme park and the economic peril of trying to recreate through nurture what, it turns out, can often be taught only through nature.
Keiko the killer whale was a movie star, the real-life whale featured in the 1993 film "Free Willy.” It’s the story of a good-hearted boy and his whale and the brave humans who returned him (Willy, that is) to the ocean and freedom.
The real-life story was not so happy.
Keiko was a pup when captured off the coast of Iceland in the late 1970s and trained to join a long line of trick whales that performed at marine parks, in his case, one that was in Mexico.
After the film became a "heartwarming,” "truly inspiring” "unforgettable,” "smash hit” that "kids and adults alike” would be "talking about for years,” the news media discovered that the real whale was not free and was leading a pretty miserable life.
As the video notes: "Forced to swim in endless circle, his dorsal fin drooped. He was

Blackfish: Please Release Me Let Me Go
'The release of Keiko demonstrated that release of long-term captive animals is especially challenging and while we as humans might find it appealing to free along-term captive animal, the survival and well being of the animal may be severelyimpacted in doing so.'
On the back of the ongoing debate regarding the film 'Blackfish' The New York Times' produced an interesting video in its Retro Report stranding regarding the story of 'Keiko' the killer whale entitled: "The Whale Who Would Not Be Freed". 
The news items conclusion seems to be that the project was a failure.  This is even admitted by some of the supports of the project on video like Naomi Rose - former scientist to the Humane Society of the United States. 
One has to question what would (or could) happen to any other long term captive killer whales if the animal rights supporters got their hands on them - as they are still trying to do. In my opinion, the release of long-term captive animals is never justified on welfare grounds as 'Keiko' demonstrates. Releasing animals for conservation reasons is, of course, very different. It is acknowledge that animals could die during this process and it is likely not to serve the welfare interests of individual animals involved.

Rebuttal: A Stronger Case for SeaWorld
I would like to thank those who took the time to comment on my previous blog post, as it allows for scholarly debate. In regards to the comment that my earlier post sounded like a public relations statement for SeaWorld, I would like to point to the title of the article, in particular "A Case for SeaWorld", and to the fact that I am in no way affiliated with SeaWorld. This article was intended to provide a different side of the story than that portrayed in the documentary film Blackfish, which was an extremely one-sided piece of propaganda.
The death of Dawn Brancheau was a true tragedy. The world lost a very passionate, and accomplished woman who was a pioneer in the field of marine research and an integral part of SeaWorld’s mission to bring the wonder and awe of marine life to those who visit SeaWorld parks. After Dawn’s death, The Dawn Brancheau Foundation was founded in memory of Dawn by her family. The Foundation’s website provides a detailed outline of Dawn’s lifelong dream to become a whale trainer at SeaWorld and that Dawn "left this world doing what she loved.” Unfortunately, Blackfish exploits the death of this wonderful woman by portraying Dawn’s work with orca whales as appalling and horrific, but this is not the case

Dog Bites, 14 Kangaroos Found Dead in Ragunan Zoo
As many as 14 kangaroos at Ragunan Zoo (TMR), South Jakarta, Thursday (11/28), are died after being bitten by wild dogs. Previously, a giraffe was also found dead a few months ago.
"Based on the examination of post mortem from the veterinarians, the death is caused by dog bites around neck, foot and abdomen,” said Head of Administrative Staff at the zoo, Bambang Triyono, Thursday (11/28).
Triyono asse

Starving rebels eat lion from a Damascus zoo
Starving Syrian rebels besieged in Damascus suburbs signalled their desperation yesterday by killing and eating a zoo’s lion.
Pictures of men butchering the visibly emaciated animal, said to have been taken from the Al-Qarya al-Shama Zoo, were widely disseminated on websites sympathetic to the rebels, although their authenticity could not be in

Leopardus guttulus: New Species of Wild Cat from Brazil
According to a new DNA analysis conducted by Brazilian researchers, a rare species of wild cat called the oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus) – one of the smallest wild cats in the Americas – is actually two separate species.

24 South African giraffes arrive at Yunnan Zoo
Giraffes are known to shy away from interacting with other animals and humans, earning them the nickname "big cowards". But 24 of these "big cowards" have made a brave journey from South Africa to southwest China's Yunnan Zoo. And CCTV’s Wu Haojun found out how the zoo was welcoming its timid new residents.
Feisty and full of energy.
24 giraffes from South Africa landed at Yunnan Zoo on Tuesday to start their new lives.
"We want to expand the number of giraffes here. Twenty four is a good size for reproduction." Li Li, Yunnan Zoo deputy manager said.
The zoo prepared for the giraffes’ arrival, building them a spacious new home -- measuring over a thousand square meters, with six rooms and a hall. They’re also ready to handle the big cowards’ big appetite.
"We have prepared 20 tons of hay a

Mysore Zoo to get two chimps from Singapore
 Two years after green anacondas arrived from Sri Lanka, the Mysore Zoo is getting chimpanzees from Singapore on Saturday.
The two chimps—Nikosi and Kimoni—will land at Chennai at 1.20 pm on November 30. The two male chimps will be joined by a female chimp some 18 months later. Though the plan was to get the three of them at a time, the female chimp has delivered three months back.
Sources in the Mysore Zoo on Tuesday told The Times of India that the two chimps will be shipped to India from Singapore Zoo and are expected to arrive at the Mysore facility around midnight. Animal keepers from the Singapore Zoo will accompany them. While Nikosi is aged a little over thirteen years while Kimoni is six years old. "They will be housed at an enclosure where we presently have deer," they stated.
The zoo had got five green anacondas in November 2011. Earlier, it had got four African hunting cheetahs in March 2011 as part of an exchange programme

Three wolves shot dead in Essex after gang of five escaped from Colchester Zoo
Police and zoo keepers launched a frantic search to find the two escapees after they got out of their enclosure through a hole in the fence
Three wolves have been shot dead after a pack of five escaped from Colchester Zoo.
Zoo keepers discovered the group had got out of their enclosure at around 8am this morning through a hole in the fence.
One of the timber wolves returned and another was captured.
But police and zoo staff had to launch a frantic search to find the three remaining animals who were on the loose in Essex.
Two were found and shot dead within a few hours.
Colchester Zoo said they were unab

Man mauled by tiger at Australia Zoo
An animal handler is in a serious condition after being bitten twice on the neck by a tiger at Australia Zoo on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
It is understood the 30-year-old man sustained two puncture wounds on his neck in the attack which occurred at around 3pm (AEST) today.
RACQ CareFlight said the patient has now been transferred to the Royal Brisbane Hospital where he will undergo treatment for his injuries.
He is currently in a serious but stable condit

Bitten Australia Zoo lion handler 'delusional'
The Sunshine Coast trainer attacked by a Tiger at Australia Zoo was "delusional" and asking for trouble, says a big cat expert.
Spectators watched in horror as the tiger bit the man's neck. He was taken to hospital in a stable condition.
Image: Channel Seven news.
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue in Florida, told 3AW Breakfast tigers were "natural born killers" who could never be tamed and should never be handled.
"Anybody who walks in a cage and handles a lion or a tiger is obviously so delusional that they should not be able to work near them, much less go in a cage with them," Ms Baskin said.
LISTEN: The straight-shooting Carole Baskin with Ross and John
"They're natural born killers and it's just a matter of time before a tragedy like this happens.
"They kill for a number of reasons - sometimes just because they're playing and they're so much bigger and stronger than us.
"It's not a sexual thing. It doesn't matter if they're neutered or spayed ... it's just a really bad idea to handle big cats."
Burnso asked if it can help if yo

Australia Zoo tiger handler recovering after attack
Australia Zoo has hit back at claims that it puts its staff at risk, after a tiger handler was mauled at the Sunshine Coast zoo on Tuesday.
The handler, 33-year-old Dave Styles, was bitten on the neck and shoulder when a tiger dragged him into a pool during a public show.
He remains in the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital in a stable but serious condition after undergoing surgery.

Australia Zoo in the right over tiger attack
The industry body which regulates zoos across Queensland believes Australia Zoo staff acted appropriately during this week's tiger attack.
A review of Australia Zoo's risk assessment procedures have begun after one of its senior staff was mauled by a Sumatran tiger.
The tiger turned on 30-year-old Dave Styles, biting into his neck and shoulder. He currently remains in a serious but stable condition in the Royal Brisbane Hospital.
Queensland Zoo and Aquarium Association president Al Mucci told ABC's Mary-Lou Stephens that Australia Zoo acted correctly.
"With any interactive programs be it a koala or a tiger, we want guests to get an up-close experience and we want the best for animals and it's a balancing act of providing strong procedures," he said.
"If you look at that footage, Australia Zoo acted quickly and professionally when the tiger bit the handler."
Mr Mucci says each member of the association (which includes Australia Zoo) must go through full accreditation.

Seoul zookeeper injured in tiger attack
A zookeeper was seriously injured after being attacked by a tiger at Seoul Zoo on the southern outskirts of the capital on Sunday, police and zoo officials said.
The ill-fated employee, identified only as Shim, was taken to a nearby hospital and is in serious condition after being mauled by a three-year-old Siberian male tiger, which escaped from its indoor playground and was sitting in a corridor used by zookeepers, the officials said.
The 52-year-old Shim, who was bitten in the neck and found lying on the floor shortly after 10 a.m., still remains unconscious at the nearby Hallym University Medical Center, they said.
No other injury was reported, they added, as zoo officials rushed to the scene and managed to force the tiger back into its indoor playground at 10:38 a.m., they said. All ordinary zoo visitors were evacuated following the incident.
They didn't give any ex

Zoo gives apes choice of action or romance films
Bonobo apes have long been beloved by researchers for their matriarchal group structure and have become famous for their use of sex as markers of social status.
Now the group in Stuttgart is being offered five different films to choose from, so a researcher can see what kind of things they like, and how the different members of the group end up in charge of what they watch.
The bonobo enclosure at the Wilhelma zoo and botanical garden in Stuttgart now has a modern flat-screen monitor built into the wall. There is no remote control for them to fight over, rather there are five buttons set into the wall under the screen.
Each button triggers a different film - but the bonobos are not being offered a choice between Pretty Woman or Die Hard - rather they can choose between short films featuring other bonobos.
"They are short films lasting between five and seven minutes," Karin Herczog, spokeswoman at Wilhelma told The Local.
"There is one featuring bonobos eating, one of them having sex, another featuring aggressive behaviour, one about them

Why I Love To Work Holidays: Thanksgiving Edition
Knowing that Thanksgiving is in a mere four days, I felt inspired to share one of the best days ever to be a marine mammal trainer.
Don't get me wrong, I know lots of people work on Thanksgiving.   I'm continually surprised at the sheer number of people who DON'T realize people have to go to work on such a big holiday.   The lack of logic is astonishing.  I'm compelled to ask these people a series of questions in the form of a Working During A Major Holiday Quiz:

Taronga Zoo: Marine expert says saving dolphins is not enough
That familiar dolphin sticker slapped on tuna cans for two decades worked. The global dolphin-friendly campaign has seen the death rates of dolphins captured in fishing gear plunge by 99 per cent, according to experts.
But in the ongoing struggle to sustainably catch more fish and seafood, the success of the dolphin campaign comes with a cautionary tale. Other marine species continue to be scooped from the world's oceans in huge amounts, putting them under threat of extinction.
Taronga Zoo's technical adviser on sustainable seafood campaigns, Duncan Leadbitter, said populations of sharks, sea turtles, and seabirds had been decimated by tuna fishing.
''There have been catastrophic declines in oceanic whitetip sharks because of long-line tuna fishing, with some places down 98 per cent,'' he

Astana starts constructing Zoo in 2015
Astana is going to start constructing a Zoo in 2015, Tengrinews reports citing the capital’s Akimat (Municipal Authorities).
The administration told Tengrinews that construction of the Zoo would start in 2015 and take 29 months (almost 2.5 years).
49 different species of animals will be presented in the Zoo, mainly from North America, South America and Africa. Each animal pavilion with have a special regulated climate.
The Zoo will occupy an area of half a square kilometer, with various facilities for animals constructed at the area of 28 square meters.
The Zoo's annual capacity will make 60 thousand visitors. It will employ 287 people. The cost of the project is estimated at $158.5 million.
LLP Project Construction Company

Dolphin Research Center Completes 10-Year Master Plan with PGAV Destinations
Enhanced Welcome Center and facilities will increase both capacity and learning opportunities
(St. Louis, MO)  PGAV Destinations is proud to announce the completion of a 10-year Master Plan in association with Dolphin Research Center (DRC) on Grassy Key, Florida.
DRC was founded as a nonprofit nearly 30 years ago, and today stands as a world leader in marine mammal care, research, and education as they welcome more than 70,000 visitors per year. As DRC continues its successful track record of growth and progress, the organization hired St. Louis-based design firm PGAV Destinations to help steer a 10-year master plan to facilitate that growth with new capacity and teaching opportunities.
"We knew we were growing and felt that [we] had come to the point where it was time to bring in professionals and help us plan our future,” said Rita Irwin, president and CEO of DRC on
The master plan recognizes the strength of the existing dolphin programs and focuses improvements on the guest facilities, elevating DRC’s unique message and stories and the powerful, personal impact that guests experience. The first phase of the master plan will be a renovation and expansion of the Welcome Center. Other aspects ensure authenticity and aesthetic consistency throughout the facility by leveraging the destination’s location, storied history, and depth of research.
"For many people, the DRC is truly a tremendous, life-changing place,” says John Kemper, PGAV Destinations VP and project lead. "The research DRC conducts is invaluable to the science and animal husbandry communities – and the guests who come and interact with the dolphins are really touched – there are plenty that go through a kind of epiphany and change their outlook and actions based on that experience. We want to ensure that the entire facility has the infrastructure and amenities to deliver that power and experience for many years to come.”
The Welcome Center will undergo an operational transition, relocating admissions and retail so that each is more effective, enhancing beautiful graphics, and adding interpretive exhibits and easy to read signage that deliver DRC’s history, mission, research, and on-site information.
Other aspects of the master plan outline the steps for helping the center operate more efficiently, including an observation station to introduce the dolphins as individuals to the guests, and present a beautiful, incredible view of the dolphins’ habitat.
PGAV Destinations’ previous dolphin projects include work for the Indianapolis Zoo,Georgia AquariumDiscovery Cove, and SeaWorld properties including Orlando, San Diego, San

About PGAV Destinations                                                                                                                     
PGAV Destinations is a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations. Now in its fifth decade, the practice has evolved to become the ideal destination-consulting partner, skilled at developing growth-oriented master plans and translating those plans into successful projects. No other firm offers such an integrated approach to destination planning. 
PGAV’s key clients include industry leaders such as SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, Universal Studios, the Biltmore Companies, Bass Pro Shops, Ameristar Casinos, The Gettysburg Foundation, the St. Louis Zoo, Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, and many others. Recent assignments include planning and design at many of the world’s "must see” destinations, including the Grand Canyon, Biltmore Estate, Hearst Castle, the Georgia Aquarium, the Hoover Dam, and SeaWorld Adventure Parks.

About Dolphin Research Center
Dolphin Research Center (DRC) was founded as a nonprofit corporation in 1984 byJayne Shannon-Rodriguez and Armando "Mandy" Rodriguez. Their goal was to ensure the dolphins had a home there for life, and in doing so to establish a unique education and research facility. DRC’s mission is "through education, research and rescue, Dolphin Research Center promotes peaceful coexistence, cooperation and communication between marine mammals, humans and the environment we share with the well-being of DRC’s animals taking precedence.”
The Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions presently living at DRC provide a range of personalities and backgrounds. Some were born there; others came to DRC from separate facilities for various reasons or were already living there when Jayne and Mandy began managing the center. Over half of our family was born at the Center, while the other members have either come from other facilities or were rescued, rehabilitated, deemed unreleasable back into the wild by the Government and now have a forever home at Dolphin Research Center.

Red squirrels showing resistance to poxvirus
Researchers find signs of immunity in Formby population that was nearly killed off by the deadly disease transmitted by greys
The first case of a wild red squirrel surviving the poxvirus carried by greys has been recorded by researchers who have discovered encouraging signs of resistance to the deadly disease.
An isolated colony of red squirrels at Formby, Merseyside, were decimated by an outbreak of squirrelpox in 2008, which saw the population crash by 85% to less than 200 squirrels.
The disease, which is transmitted to reds by grey squirrels who remain unaffected by it, is thought to be a significant factor in the precipitous decline of the much-loved native mammal across Britain.
But scientists from the University of Liverpool monitoring the population at Formby have identified individual red squirrels which have contracted but survived the virus.

Future of African penguin worrisome
he South African National Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (Sanccob) says it's worried about the future of the African penguin as the endangered species needs protection.
Approximately 155 abandoned African penguin chicks have been admitted to centres in Tableview and Cape St Francis since the beginning of the month.
These chicks were abandoned at the end of the breeding season.
Every year during summer the bird rehabilitation centre admits more than 300 abandoned African penguin chicks from Stony Point, Boulders Beach and Robben Island.
Sanccob’s Francois Louw says t

PETA attacks the Betta
Well, it finally happened, says Nathan Hill. PETA, the champions of animal welfare issues across the world, have donned their L-plates and stumbled into fishkeeping. They’ve made a right hash of it too.
I’ll start off by laying my cards on the table. I’m not personally anti-PETA. Animal rights and welfare issues are central to my heart, to the point that I’ve invested thousands upon thousands of pounds into my ongoing study of ethics. PETA have their detractors, based around their often-perceived hypocrisy when it comes to destruction of animals in their care, and, rightly, such issues are flagged up by a concerned public.
Unfortunately, some people equate failings within the system as systemic incompetence, which it is not. So, for the record, I believe that much of what PETA hope to achieve is ultimately geared for the reduction of suffering, and that can never be considered a bad thing.





Fota gets go-ahead for €7 million expansion
After collapse of Celtic tiger, wildlife park hopes Sumatran tigers will boost visitors
Fota Wildlife Park in Cork is pushing ahead with an estimated €7 million expansion plan after receiving planning permission this week for a development that will increase the size of the park by 40 per cent.
Fota will begin work on the first phase of the 26-acre development, costing some €2 million, early in the new year.
Sean McKeown, director of Fota Wildlife Park, said it hoped to have the Asian Sanctuary open to visitors by the summer.
It will include several Sumatran tigers, which are a protected species and rare in the wild, and plans to breed them.
It will also include visayan water pigs from the Philippines and visayan spotted deer.
The expansion plan is split into four phases, which Fota hopes to have completed before the planning permission runs out in five years. It currently only has funding in place for the first phase.
Mr McKeown said the park, which attracts close to 400,000 visitors annually and is one of Munster’s biggest tourist attractions, hopes to obtain some State funding, possibly through one of the Government’s job-creation

 Renee Radziwon-Chapman Killed By Cougar At WildCat Haven Sanctuary
A head keeper at a no-kill animal sanctuary in Oregon was fatally attacked by a cougar over the weekend. Officials at the WildCat Haven Sanctuary in Sherwood, Ore., say that Renee Radziwon-Chapman, 36, a keeper and vet technician, was alone in an enclosure with the animal when it attacked her.
Clackamas County Sheriff’s deputies and other local emergency crews received a call of a serious attack at the sanctuary at approximately 7 p.m. on Saturday. The Clackamas County medical examiner reported that Radziwon-Chapman died on the scene from injuries consistent with a wild animal attack.
According to the Oregonian, Radziwon-Chapman hailed from Portland and had worked at the sanctuary for eight years. "Her relationship with the cats was amazing,” Jim Caliva, a board member at the organization, said. "She knew exactly what she was doing, but apparently there was a mistake. I don’t know what it could be."
Caliva said that she had relationships with all of the sa

List of fatal cougar attacks in North America

Chinese circus customers targeted by Animals Asia
Poster designs by China’s animal welfare activists are at the centre of a campaign to persuade local people and tourists not to attend an international circus festival in Zhuhai, Southern China.
Although government bans have been put in place to stop animal performance, the First China International Circus Festival has gone ahead, complete with animal attractions, despite widespread protest from local and international animal welfare campaigners.
With organisers expecting the circus to promote and benefit the region, activists are determined to demonstrate that animal cruelty only shows the area in a negative light.
Having started this week, the event will carry on until early December, during which the posters against animal performance will be displayed at train stations in Zhuhai and surrounding areas.  Under the slogan "Not Born to Perform” they graphically highlight the cruelty involved in animal performance.
The posters are as a result of an Animals Asia Competition this year with the aim of encouraging local designers to come up with images to counter future animal performances.
Animals Asia is also one of 31 organisations that has put its name to a letter sent to the Ministry of Culture by Chinese NGO Nature University.  The letter reminds the MoC that it is effectively breaking its own government’s guidelines against animal performance as put in place by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and State Forestry Bureau.
The international acts include elephants and chimpanzees from Thailand as well as dog shows. Other reports have also suggested Bengal tigers will perform. Concern has also been raised over the transportation of animals from overseas.
Recently campaigners in Jinan were celebrating when local objections shut down an animal performance with assistance from local authorities. But with the First China International Circus Festival going ahead - questions are being asked as to why the rules are being overlooked on this occasion.
Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director said:
"There is huge investment involved and we know that is what we are up against.  This is not just about a circus - the festival is seen as promoting tourism and investment in the region. We argue that they couldn’t be more wrong - animal performance has no place in modern China and negative international reports on the festival further damages China’s image.
"There is a double failure here - firstly by allowing this festival they are attracting negative headlines rather than the positive interest they’d hoped for.  Secondly by completely failing to understand modern and international attitudes to animal cruelty they are demonstrating an incredibly old-fashioned outlook. We hope that when local people and tourists see our posters they’ll think twice before attending. Investing in animal performance in order to promote an area is entirely misguided on so many levels. Why invest in a sunset industry?”
Animals Asia founder Jill Robinson added
"The astonishing thing is how people in China are no longer tolerating performances that see such obvious exploitation and suffering to the animal entertainers. The outcry would have been unthinkable even five years ago.  The fact is today so many people here see animals as much more than playthings to make them laugh for just a few seconds in a ring."

From Richard Gibson
Hi everyone.
Apologies for the unsolicited and impersonal email but the world needs your help........
About 20yrs ago I went on my first ever international field trip as a professional (if very young and wet behind the ears) zoo herpetologist. I know, hard to believe I'm that old.
This trip was to visit a remote location in Jamaica where the endemic rock iguana Cyclura collei had just been rediscovered after years of presumed extinction, and then to help the local zoo set up a headstart programme - much as we do with tuatara here at Auckland Zoo.
Twenty years later, through the heroic (and I'm not exaggerating here) efforts of a small band of iguana-focussed individuals, fighting against the odds in a country that seems to value its wildlife even less than most, the iguana is in better shape in the wild than it has been for more than a century.
BUT, the govt of Jamaica is now proposing a deal with China to build an enormous international shipping port, right on top of the iguanas last remaining habitat. Home also to several other rare and endemic species and the largest surviving continuous tract of tropical dry forest in Jamaica, perhaps the Caribbean.
It will be a complete disaster for the iguanas and will almost certainly bring about their extinction in the wild with a matter of years.
Please see the associated information below if you'd like to know more but in the meantime, the one tiny thing we can all do to help is sign this'll take you less than 2mins. Please make the time.....

The 'only hope for lions'
Half of Africa’s 30 000 surviving wild lions are likely to die off within the next 20 to 40 years unless they are fenced off from humans or protected more intensively.
This is the conclusion reached by a group of more than 50 wildlife researchers in a study published in the latest issue of the journal Ecology Letters.
The main author, Professor Craig Packer, of the University of Minnesota, concludes that the future of the king of the beasts in Africa is so bleak that fencing them off from human settlements may be the only hope for their long-term survival.
The article was based on studying lion population densities in 42 conservation areas in 11 African nations.
The researchers found that lion population growth rates were highest in South Africa and Namibia, as well as in parks which were fenced off, privately managed and not vulnerable to trophy hunting.
"Given current population sizes and recent trends, all of the fenced-off populations are expected to remain at or above their full potential for the next 100 years,” they said.

Kangaroo testicles a hit with Chinese as aphrodisiac
KANGAROO testicles are bound for China as a sex drug branded as a new aphrodisiac.
As kangaroo numbers explode in plague proportions across the Outback, the love potion made out of powdered roo testicles has become a boom trade.
Aphrodisiac named for IMF chief
According to popular online shopping websites, China has gone nuts over the tonic which sells for between $30-$150 for a bottle of 100 capsules.
In a great leap forward for the kangaroo meat industry, drought-stricken graziers hope the new trend will stiffen Chinese resolve to consume more of the Aussie icon. But Australian medical experts warn the drug, based on testosterone, is untested and without scientific data to support its claims of a super-sexed libido.

How SeaWorld Keeps the Body Clocks of Its Antarctic Penguins on South Pole Time
You know that out-of-sync feeling you have for those first few days after Daylight Savings Time? Where your internal body clock is telling you that it's one time while the light levels outside are telling you that it's an entirely different time?
Well, then imagine how tough it must be to be an Antarctic penguin on display in Orlando. Where -- because you're now living in the Northern Hemisphere rather than the Southern -- you're a full six months out-of-sync. And because the light outside is telling you that it's Fall while your internal body clock is telling you that it's Spring, you now don't know whether to mate or molt.
Well, back in 1983, the animal care specialists at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment recognized that being over 8,000 miles away from home might be an issue for these aquatic, flightless birds. Which is why -- when they were building SeaWorld San Diego's Penguin Encounter exhibit some 30 years ago -- SeaWorld not only installed a ridiculously large air conditioning unit (to keep this habitat at a brisk 30 degrees) but also hung an elaborate lighting rig which then allowed them to replicate Antarctica's seasonal light cycle.

KC Zoo uses beagle to detect possible Berlin pregnancy
The Kansas City Zoo has joined other zoos from around the country to find out whether a beagle named Elvis can let them know when their polar bears are pregnant.
The 2-year-old has been specially trained for a year by a Shawnee, KS, handler who has taught dogs to sniff out everything from explosives to bed bugs. A Cincinnati Zoo animal conservation scientist had the idea after reading about studies on using dogs to detect cancer.
Elvis has been checking out samples of 22 female bears from 14 zoos, while his handler logs his reactions.
The Kansas City Zoo submitted feces from Berlin to be a part of this study.
"While there is no other test for polar bear pregnancy, this study is part of the research mission the Kansas City Zoo strives to be a part of. Whether the result is positive or negative we will continue to care for Berlin as we have been – as though she may be pregnant," the zoo said in a written statement.

Tanzania Suspends Campaign Against Elephant Poaching To Investigate Reports Of Killings
The government of one African country has reportedly suspended its campaign to crack down on elephant poaching.
According to the Agence France Presse, Tanzania shelved its anti-poaching operations on Friday in order to investigate reports of wrongful property seizure, torture and killings that were allegedly perpetrated by officials during the campaign, dubbed "Operation Terminate."
Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Khamis Kagasheki defended the program, arguing: "I admit that there is an ugly side in the operation," he said. "But what is happening now in arresting culprits and impounding tusks is part of the success of the operation."
Illegal ivory poaching is a big problem in Tanzania, a country that is estimated to have lost about half its elephant population to poachers in the last decade, primatologist Jane Goodall said last year.
However, the recent crackdown against elephant poaching has been swift and thorough. Tanzanian officials promised the c

Wildlife centre at Vandalur zoo replaces night safari
The advanced research institute for wild species, proposed to be set up in Vandalur zoo, will come up on a portion of land earlier earmarked for a night safari project.
In 2007, a night safari was proposed on the 92-hectare rescue and rehabilitation centre of the Anna Arignar Zoological Park at a cost of Rs. 256 crore but the project was shelved due to paucity of funds.
Now, around five acres of that space will be used to set up the advanced research centre for wild species. "The new centre will be a state-of-the-art facility for research on rare species, especially endangered ones, including the lion-tailed macaque (LTM) and Nilgiri langur,” said an official of the State forest department.
The Advanced Institute of Wildlife Conservation Centre (AIWCC) will be set up at a cost of Rs. 27.13 crore and will provide information on wildlife, apart from hosting a research laboratory.
It will feature four divisions — on migratory birds, survival of species, genetic study and education.

Hunting for Corpses: Vultures Lured Back to Germany
Vultures are slowly returning to Germany, driven out long ago by an unwelcoming populace. At the behest of conservationists, loosened "carcass regulations" in Europe have made the search for food less daunting -- but some still wonder if the birds will be able to survive.
Griffon vulture number 259 is no longer able to fly. A bullet from a small-caliber rifle wielded by an unknown shooter shattered the ulna and radius of the bird's wing in June. Veterinarians tried to rehabilitate the vulture, using physical therapy to strengthen its wing muscles and even applying leeches to improve circulation, but nothing worked.
"It's over for him," says Wolfgang Rades, director of Herborn, a bird park in the central German state of Hesse. Rades casts a concerned glance toward the vulture, where it crouches on a pile of stones in a corner of its enclosure, looking a sad sight on this cold, damp morning. Yet for Rades, the bird is also a sign of hope. "He's an ambassador for others of his kind living in the wild," the biologist says. "Many more vultures will follow him, if we humans allow them to."

Ethics and Living Collections: A View from the Zoo! Lecture Notes
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the title lecture, part of the University of Michigan’s Department of Museum Studies series, It’s Alive! Re-Discovering Institutions of Living Collection.   Our presenter was Ron Kagan, the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Detroit Zoological Society.
Zoos are members of the museum community; they offer meaningful social, cultural, educational, and physical environments to a human community.  Zoos and aquariums add living animals, the natural community, to this equation.  While in the museum community, Kagan advocates for different terminology when discussing its structure and collection.  Instead of using the term owners to describe the artifacts in a zoo’s collection, he encouraged the use of the term guardians and the idea of guardianship when thinking about human relationship to the living artifacts in a zoo’s collection.

Crane breeding center crowded as birds age
The Okayama Prefectural Nature Conservation Center in the town of Wake, known for having the nation’s largest population of Japanese cranes, has been wrestling with overcrowded breeding facilities as the birds age.
Officials say that the unexpected longevity of the Japanese cranes, also known as red-crowned cranes, in the center is affecting their reproductive ability.
According to the prefecture, building new breeding facilities may be difficult due to budgetary constraints.
The center’s officials, however, emphasize the necessity of coming up with solutions to maintain the number of young cranes.
"If we leave the situation as it is, only the number of old cranes will be on the rise while the population of young birds will decline,” one official said. "There is a risk that there will be no Japanese cranes left in Okayama in the future.”

Kanpur Zoo staff suffering from zoonotic diseases
In a startling revelation, a number of Kanpur zoo employees have been found to be affected by 'Leptospira' and 'Brucellosis' bacteria. This has been reportedly claimed in a report submitted by a leading diagnostic centre of the city to the Kanpur zoo authorities, giving complete description of the health status of the entire zoo staff.
The diagnostic centre had conducted medical check up of the zoo employees and confirmed the presence of these bacterias in zoo employees. In September and October, the zoo authorities had got their employees to undertake medical tests at a leading private diagnostic centre. The tests performed by this centre revealed that the staffers are suffering from various zoonotic diseases and need proper treatment.
The decision to conduct the medical check up for zoonotic diseases of the entire zoo staff was taken by the zoo veterenarians Dr RK Singh and Dr UC Srivastava.
According to reliable sources, as many as 30 zoo employees are affected with leptospirosis disease (caused by bacteria Leptospira) alone. Some 10 zoo staffers are affected with brucellosis, including the zoo director, Kuruvilla Thomas and zoo veterinarian RK Singh.

New Doha Zoo to occupy 75 hectares
The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) yesterday unveiled the final master plan of the New Doha Zoo project that seeks to develop the facility in the model of a safari park, with dedicated areas for animals from different continents.
The area of the New Doha Zoo will be 75 hectares, seven times the size of the current zoo, and will be divided into several regions that will represent the natural and climatic features of three continents.
There will be an "Africa Safari,” with forests and savannas; an "Asia Woodland,” which is characterised by charm natural features and mountains; and a "South America rainforest,” with dense and rainy forests.
"And there will be rainy parts in this region to enrich the visitors’ experience who will feel that they are truly walking in one of the dense tropical forests of South America”, Ashghal President Nasser bin Ali Al Mawlawi said yesterday, while unveiling the final concept plan.
Ashghal has appointed KEO International Consultants as the project’s Design and Construction Supervision Consultant in cooperation with HHCP+PJA with a QR230m contract. Work on the project would begin next year and the new zoo is expected to be open to the public by the end of 2017.
Al Mawlawi signed the contract along with KEO International Consultants CEO Donna Sultan.
Upon completion, Al Mawlawi said, the New Doha Zoo will be one of the biggest and most beautiful zoos in the region.

Al Ain Zoo Strengthens Partnership with Jersey Zoo
-- Al Ain Zoo welcomes British VIP delegation to discuss further collaboration on wildlife conservation initiatives --
Abu Dhabi, 13 November 2013: As part of its commitment to the conservation of endangered species, Al Ain Zoo recently welcomed a delegation from Jersey Zoo, accompanied by H.E. Senator Sir Philip Bailhache, Minister of External Affairs of the Government of the British Channel Island of Jersey, and Jonathan White, Chairman of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, which is named after the famous author and naturalist, Gerald Durrell.
Al Ain Zoo and Jersey Zoo, who have long shared a collaborative relationship, met to discuss future joint projects and development activities. Among key topics was a joint training programme focused on animal husbandry, which is the selective breeding of animals between zoos, ultimately contributing to the preservation of endangered species.
Commenting on this campaign, H.E. Ghanim Mubarak Al Hajeri, Director General of Al Ain Zoo, said:
"Al Ain Zoo is delighted to welcome our visitors from the British Channel Island of Jersey, including the Gerald Durrell Foundation. Our commitment to wildlife conservation is strengthened by such collaborations, and this is one of our numerous strategic partnerships and programmes, both in the UAE and overseas.”
Such visits highlight that, further to offering visitors the opportunity to explore a diverse collection of approximately 4,000 animals, Al Ain Zoo is also an active player in efforts to prevent the extinction of many of these same species. The zoo works in partnership with entities around the world, such as Jersey Zoo, to share best practice in animal conservation, develop human capital through training programmes, and to enhance animal husbandry capabilities.
Author and naturalist Gerald Durrell established the Jersey Zoo in 1959, pioneering the concept that zoos have an essential role to play in the conservation of wildlife. His vision was of a safe haven for the world’s most threatened animals, where they and the efforts required to save them would engage the public. It would also serve as a centre for training conservation specialists from around the globe in endangered species recovery.
Al Ain Zoo is a member of the World Association for Zoo and Aquaria (WAZA) and is actively involved in several internationally coordinated conservation projects, working with other like-minded organisations such as Jersey Zoo, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, the Species Survival Commission, San Diego Zoo, the Northern Rangelands Trust of Kenya and the Sahara Conservation Fund.
The zoo is open daily from 9am to 8pm.

Ragunan animals to get one day off
In a bid to ensure the welfare of animals at Ragunan Zoo, the management has decided to close every Monday to give the animals a day of rest.
Ragunan Zoo spokesperson Wahyudi said zoo workers and veterinarians would therefore be better able to focus on taking care of the animals on the day of closure.
"It will also decrease the stress level of the animals due to visitors’ voices and disturbances,” he told The Jakarta Post recently.
Wahyudi said the city administration was working on the legal basis for the day of closure, which had been recommended at a public hearing.
"We hope we can implement it as soon as possible,” he said.
Business tycoon Hashim Djojohadikusumo, who recently took over as chief supervisor, recently recommended that the management give the animals a day off by closing once a week.
"The task given [to supervisors] by Jakarta Governor Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo is to optimize Ragunan Zoo as a conservation center,” he said.

BBC Wildlife Camera-trap Photo of the Year 2013 – the winners

Doctor Who and the Big Cats
Keepers at Santa Barbara Zoo clearly are sci-fi fans (and have a sense of humor)
TARDIS SIGHTING: Doctors are not unusual sights around zoos and animal parks. They're usually inside pens or nurseries, stethoscopes in hand, tending to the beasties. But a time-traveling Doctor, who arrives with his own spanning-the-centuries machine in tow, is another matter. Which

Perth Zoo elephant gets massage therapy
Talk about being pampered.  Perth Zoo's 56-year-old Asian elephant Tricia is receiving 25 minute back and shoulder massages twice daily using a specially designed massage pad usually used on horses.
Perth Zoo Senior Vet Dr Simone Vitali said he hoped the massages would starve off the aches and pains of old age as the elephant stomps towards her twilight years.
And it's not just massage keeping Tricia in tip to

Sad news: Gaza Strip zoo's newborn lion cubs have died
The adorable pair of lion cubs born at a Gaza Strip zoo and amusement park on Monday have died, according to an Agence France-Presse report.
"The lions named Fajr and Sijil (Dawn and Clay in Arabic) died today due to a deterioration of their health at birth," zoo supervisor Shadi Hamad told the AFP.
Zoo officials said they lacked adequate resources to bring the cubs back to health due to the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.
"The cause of death is a lack of experience and resources for the birth and treatment of cubs," Hamad said. "Food and medicines for such a situation are not available."
The cubs were born at the Hamas-run Bissan amu

Conflict at Indonesia's Surabaya Zoo leaves animals to languish and die, including endangered Sumatran tigers
Thousands of exotic animals, including endangered Sumatran tigers, are languishing at a renowned Indonesian zoo where a bitter conflict is leaving animals to suffer and die.
The Surabaya Zoo was once the pride of South-East Asia, but overcrowding, small enclosures and squalid conditions have seen the number of animal deaths at the zoo run in to the hundreds - possibly thousands - over recent years.
There are 3,500 animals in Surabaya Zoo, including endangered orangutans and 15 tigers.
During the past three months alone, 50 animals have died, including an endangered Indonesian orangutan. Three tigers, dozens of Komodo dragons, and a gira

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