I was disgusted at seeing the tiger that was taken to the school prom. The animal was so very obviously distressed...and hardly surprising given the wholly inadequate cage it was being displayed it in. Who exactly supplied the animal? We need to name them because it is organisations like that who are giving other zoos a bad name.
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If you are a subscriber to the email version then you probably knew this already. You would also know that ZooNews Digest pre-dates any of the others. It was there before FaceBook. It was there shortly after the internet became popular and was a 'Blog' before the word had been invented. ZooNews Digest reaches zoo people.
I remain committed to the work of GOOD zoos,
not DYSFUNCTIONAL zoos.
What’s In the Word
In this theme, I
cover some of the key questions surrounding the ambiguities of the definition
of ‘conservation’. Throughout my many years working professionally in the
captive koala sector, I have noticed a gradual shift in the meaning and
understanding of the word ‘conservation’
The Definition of
According to the
Oxford English Dictionary, ‘conservation’ is the “preservation, protection, or
restoration of the natural environment and of wildlife”.
What it doesn’t say,
however, is how to preserve species and environments, what conservation is
meant to look like, an
including TUI and TripAdvisor 'profiting from animal cruelty'
The world’s biggest
tour group has been promoting tourist trips to an elephant “orphanage” in Asia
where it’s claimed “many animals were bred – rather than rescued – and are
chained for long periods and threatened with bullhooks”, an investigation
TUI, which is also
Britain’s leading holiday company, was also allegedly found selling elephant
rides to tourists, even though it claimed to have stopped in 2015 on ethical
The tour giant – and
some of the world’s other best known names in travel – are accused of profiting
from animal cruelty by promoting attractions worldwide where animals may be
caused to suffer behind the scenes to make them compliant for holidaymakers.
19 Exceptional Zoos
and Aquariums Achieve AZA Accreditation
Twice a year, the
Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) independent Accreditation Commission
(the Commission) evaluates accreditation applications from the world’s best
aquariums, nature centers, science centers and zoos. Most recently, the
Commission reviewed 21 accreditation applications and 2 applications for
certification. As a result of these rigorous assessments, AZA proudly announces
that the following facilities are accredited:
Zoological Park, La.
Audubon Zoo, La.
Brevard Zoo, Fla.
Isla Mujeres, Mexico
El Paso Zoo, Texas
Fort Worth Zoo,
Houston Zoo, Inc.,
Zoological Garden, Ky.
Maritime Aquarium at
Laboratory and Aquarium, Fla.
Corporation, Hong Kong
Aquarium at Moody Gardens, Texas
Zoological Society, Texas
standards are widely acknowledged as the ‘gold-standard’ in the zoological
profession, and our independent Commission grants accreditation only to those
who have reached this level of achievement,” said AZA President and CEO Dan
Ashe. “AZA-accredited facilities are proven leaders in animal care, welfare,
and conservation, contributing $216 m
There's an enormous
difference between animal rights and conservation
I stopped buying
Lush products a while ago, largely because of this issue (I didn’t want to give
money to charities that use fear-mongering, hand-wringing anthropomorphism to
actively fight biodiversity), and their treatment of the Little Fireface Project
only solidified this. Now Lush has sponsored a conference whose end goal is
essentially dead elephants, whether they want to admit that or not.
Animal Training VS
Enrichment Programs; What Is More Important?
Throughout my career
I discovered that the phycology of animals interest me most. Questions like why
animals do their thing and why they have certain responses etc is an
interesting part of why I enjoy what I do. Animal Training in general is a
passionate part where I try to get better at and discover how my style of
training works and what I’m actually doing. Meeting individuals that need
different strategies that give you another perspective about the science of
operant conditioning. Its cool to see how different species act different and
are completely different on many different aspects when you train them. How you
thought an animal would be is not at all what it is working with them up close.
We learn so much through those interactions what helps us respect these animals
Team Fiona: A
Conversation with Christina Gorsuch, Curator of Mammals at the Cincinnati Zoo
After spending time
at three other zoos, Christina Gorsuch became Curator of Mammals at the
Cincinnati Zoo in 2015. She oversees the care and husbandry of a wide variety
of animals from lions to black rhinoceroses to Asian elephants to Mexican
wolves to African wild dogs. However, soon Gorsuch would become most associated
with hippos when she became social media famous as Coach of Team Fiona, the
animal care team responsible for caring for the zoo's prematurely born hippo.
Here is her story.
Lizards with toxic
green blood may have evolved it to fight disease
Coursing through the
veins of some New Guinean lizards, is blood so toxic it would kill a human 40
deadly, what makes it even more striking is its colour. It is such a bright
shade of lime green it makes the reptiles’ muscles, bones and tongues green as
This colour comes
from high levels of biliverdin – a green bile pigment produced as a waste
product that causes jaundice in humans.
Not only are these
reptile perfectly healthy, scientists think the prevalence of green blood among
New Guinean skinks means counterintuitively this toxic b
Hippos Poop So Much
That Sometimes All the Fish Die
At first, Chris
Dutton and Amanda Subalusky had no idea why the fish were dying.
At a bridge on the
border between Kenya and Tanzania, they noticed that whenever the Mara River
rose by a few feet, dead fish would wash up on its banks, sometimes in the
thousands. Storks, vultures, crocodiles, and hyenas made short work of the
carcasses, so “if you weren’t there to see it, you’d never know it was
happening,” says Dutton. Local rangers knew about the die-offs, but they blamed
the events on farmers who sprayed pesticides in upstream fields.
It wasn’t the
farmers. Through an increasingly bold set of experiments, involving
remote-controlled boats, computer simulations, a makeshift dam, and vast
tankers of excrement-filled water, Dutton and Subalusky identified the real
The duo, who are
married, published their results in a paper with the remarkably polite title of
“Organic matter loading by hippopotami causes subsidy overload resulting in
downstream hypoxia and fish kills.”
At The Zoo, Harvard
Medical Students Get A Different Kind Of Training
Sofina is sedated,
sprawled out on an examination table as four medical professionals hover over
her. The 8-year-old has had Type 1 diabetes most of her life, but it seems like
her normal insulin isn’t helping. Sofina’s doctors worry she might have developed
Cushing’s disease and they’re taking blood samples to figure out what’s wrong.
Joseph Rosenthal, a
fourth-year Harvard Medical School student, will be the one drawing Sofina’s
blood. This is a bit of a unique experience for him. He’s drawn blood before,
but up until recently, the process has mostly been with humans. Sofina, who resides
at the Franklin Park Zoo, will be his first ring-tailed lemur patient.
Alex Becket coaches Rosenthal through some of the unexpected hurdles, like
spotting a vein and not something that just looks like a vein.
“Now keep in mind,
that with fur, it might bunch up on y
When Conservation Is
Just Another Way To Spell Exploitation
Anyone involved with
the conservation of lions in South Africa knows, and shudders, at the mention
of Ukutula Lodge & Conservation Center (usually and more aptly referred as
Ukutula Lion Farm) Anyone who is not deeply involved with lion conservation is
still most likely familiar with Ukutula’s name, and not for any good reason.
One of the largest
predator breeding facilities in South Africa, Ukutula’s name has become
synonymous with the cub petting industry, as well as with the canned hunting
industry. In recent years, Ukutula has begun insisting that it “tracks” all the
lions it sells as offal from its massive cub petting farm “in order to assure
that they aren’t used for canned hunting”. All of the information which
supposedly proves that claim, however, is “confidential” which means that the
public can only take the word of a company which breeds and exploits lions for
profit, as proof that they don’t actually sell them for yet another tier of
profit, to the canned hunting industry.
And frankly, even if
Ukutula published the names of the buyers of their lions, it’s not difficult to
legally avoid “selling to canned hunting facilities”. An entity like Ukutula
can sell their lions to anyone who is “unassociated” with any canned hunting
facility, and legally state that they “do not sell to canned hunting
facilities” while the person they sold all their lions to, will then turn
around and hold a dispersal sale, auctioning or selling all the lions to canned
hunting farms. And it’s not illegal. Nor is it illeg
Lions and Tigers and
Bears Are Going Extinct
A research paper
published April 12, 2018, in the online journal PLOS Biology, identifies the 10
most “charismatic” animals known and loved by humans that may soon become
extinct, perhaps, in great part, because, most of us don’t realize how few of
them actually exist. They’re talking
about elephants, giraffes, lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, polar bears,
gorillas, gray wolves, and, of course, pandas, that are all going the way of
the dinosaur. Why don’t we know this? Why aren’t we paying more attention?
Most of us are
captivated by and naturally attracted to animals, especially mammals. We often
feel an emotional connection. The animals that are most popular with humans are
everywhere we look, in the form of stuffed animal toys and cartoon and
realistic images used in ma
conservationist is a rare species'
The Whitley Fund for
Nature is celebrating a quarter of a century and looks set to successfully
continue providing financial assistance to conservationists across the globe.
To date, almost £15 million has been awarded to over 197 wildlife pioneers in
No mean feat in a
competitive and challenging field not always financially sufficient or
fortunate enough to provide long-standing support.
Seen by many as the
'Green Oscars', the awards target those working in nature conservation regarded
as international advocates for bio diversity. Notable emphasis is on local
projects in resource poor areas and funding
is provided for proven grass-roots conservation leaders in developing
countries. Emphasis is on people and wildlife working in a mutually beneficial
Best in the field
The 2018 recipients
of the prestigious prize consist of six
'of the best in the field', from various backgrounds and regions.
Kenyan project is saving the region's threatened vultures who due to negative
cultural perceptions are often poisoned. The project aims to reverse this
misguided thinking and it's hoped it will serve as a model for other African
Park’s Jarrad Prangell has been named Australasian Zookeeper of the Year
Symbio Wildlife Park
is celebrating one of its team being named the best zookeeper in the nation.
Jarrad Prangell, 26,
won the title of Australasian Zookeeper of the Year at the Australasian Society
of Zoo Keeping (ASZK) Conference.
While finalists are
not told who nominated them he is pretty sure it was Symbio’s owners Matt and
Mr Prangell started
working at the family zoo when the Radnidge family gave him an opportunity at
21. He has always had a passion for working with animals but growing up in
Sydney’s Inner-West meant he would take every opportunity to explore the bush
during camping trips and family holidays to the Blue Mountains and South Coast.
He loves all animals
but his particular interest has always been reptiles. Now he gets to look after
reptiles and amphibeans at Symbio.
“I grew up watching
Steve Irwin. I always knew what I wanted to do and the Radnidge family gave me
Zoo workers injured
when 800-pound animal escapes
Two employees of a
Rhode Island zoo suffered minor injuries when an 800-pound animal described as
a "goat-antelope" escaped its enclosure.
The takin, native to
the eastern Himalayas, escaped just after 9 a.m. Tuesday and was back in its
enclosure by 10 a.m., before the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence opened
to the public.
school ‘sorry’ about live tiger at prom
A Florida high
school has apologised for exhibiting live wild animals including a caged tiger
at a jungle-themed prom in a hotel.
Friday night’s event
for final-year students at Christopher Columbus High School, an all-male
private school in the suburbs of Miami, featured typical prom entertainment
such as a disco and dancers.
However, the party
also included more controversial “entertainment”: a display of live animals,
included a lemur, macaws and a tiger.
Video footage shared
online by the sister of a student showed the animal pacing a small cage in the
middle of the dance floor, surrounded by a crowd of excited prom-goers.
welcomes endangered rockhopper penguin chicks
RZSS Edinburgh Zoo
are celebrating the hatching of three endangered northern rockhopper penguin
chicks. The chicks mark the most successful northern rockhopper penguin
breeding season at the zoo in over 27 years. Only days old, the chicks will
remain on their nests with their parents until they reach around 3 months. READ
MORE: Edinburgh Zoo’s penguins have a new bubble machine and they love it Dawn
Nicoll, senior penguin keeper, said, “We are very excited to welcome three new
chicks to our rockhopper colony. It has been amazing to watch the new parents
caring for their young and being very attentive, though we aren’t out of the
woods yet as the first 30 days are crucial for a newborn chick’s development.
Puerto Vallarta Zoo
will appeal decision of Profepa inspection
After revealing that
personnel of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office and Environmental Protection
(Profepa) seized 54 animals from the zoo in Puerto Vallarta, the site’s
director, Martín Castañeda, has prepared a criminal appeal against the federal
agency for irregularities in documentation.
Castañeda, the agency, in the report, said that the animals were in perfect
health and in appropriate environments for their stay, a contrast to the
bulletin issued to the media, which indicated that there were no conditions for
the healthy recreation of the animals seized.
“It is verified that
in the development of the activities that the inspected person performs,
related to the management of the wild life, no acts of cruelty are carried out,
in turn they are observed in general in good apparent physical condition in all
the housed specimens as well as it was observed that in the interior of the
cages of each animal are troughs and drinking troughs”, dictates the inspecti
Appearance of exotic
animal suggests possible existence of 'illegal zoo'
It is thought the
animal, barely alive, had fled a cruel master, seeing as its neck and legs were
bruised. It was caught by employees of the Mežavairogi animal sanctuary, who
located and caught it after being tipped off that an exotic animal was roaming free
between the Iecava and Baldone areas near Rīga.
It was delivered to
the Rīga Zoo, and specialists are trying to wring it away from death's embrace.
The animal was famished to the point that specialists at the Rīga Zoo weren't
able, at first look, to tell if it's a male or female mara.
information about its possible master are asked to inform the authorities.
Seeing as it's not the first exotic animal to be seen in the vicinity, it's
possible there's a sinister scheme at work.
"It can't be
excluded there's an illegal mini-zoo somewhere, or maybe someone is keeping
exotic animals for fun," said Rīga Zoo director Ingmārs Līdaka.
unable to find the owner of the wallaby, which had been taken into the zoo
earlier. As it was discovered during freezing temperatures, the wallaby was
outraged by caged tiger at high school prom in Miami
Some parents and
students are outraged after organizers of a Miami high school prom featured a
caged tiger for its jungle theme. The caged animal's presence angered some who
called it animal abuse for the sake of entertainment, CBS Miami reports.
Columbus High School prom took place Friday night at the DoubleTree by Hilton
Hotel Miami Airport and Convention Center. The sister of one student posted
video of the event on Facebook and called the decision "shameful."
She told CBS Miami
that she and her family are longtime animal rights activists who consider the
act animal abuse. They said the entire act was done in poor taste.
wild animals. They don't need to be displayed as objects for our amusement.
They don't like the fire, the cage
Matchmaking for zoo
Zoos have always
been places where people come to marvel at, and connect with, the wonders of
the animal world. But with more and more species endangered in their natural
habitats, zoos have had to change their stripes. They've shifted their focus to
conservation, and gone is the old practice of bringing in exotic animals from
the wild. But without them, zoos today have to re-populate from within. And
it's complicated. It turns out that behind every baby animal crowds flock to
see and biologists want to protect, there's an elaborate mix of science,
software, genetics, and moving vans. It's no longer the old-fashioned birds and
the bees at the modern zoo -- it's more like Match.com.
Animals with babies
-– always a sure-fire hit at the zoo. It's what all living creatures are
biologically programmed to do: mate, rear young and pass their genes onto the
next generation. But you might be surprised to learn that long before the
babies. And even long before the making of the babies. There is this
smuggling kingpin jailed in Thailand
A court in Thailand
has sentenced a Thai man believed to be a kingpin in the illicit wildlife trade
to 2 ½ years in prison for smuggling rhinoceros horns, an organization that
works with police to combat trafficking said Friday.
The group Freeland
said the court in Samut Prakarn province convicted Boonchai Bach this week in
the shipment of 11 kilograms (24.2 pounds) of rhino horns from Africa worth
$700,000. The rhino horns were seized in December when a Chinese smuggler was
arrested at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport. A wildlife quarantine officer at
the airport accused of assisting the smugglers was also arrested.
The group said a
relative of Boonchai's was caught when he sought to pick up the shipment,
implicating Boonchai as the financier and leading to
Emirates Park Zoo and Resort Wins ‘Best Zoo Operator Award in the Middle East’
Emirates Park Zoo
& Resorts received a well-deserved recognition as it took home the ‘Best
Zoo Operator Award in the Middle East’ during the 4th Theme Parks &
Entertainment Development Forum, which was held at Meydan Hotel, Dubai on May
The 4th Theme Parks
& Entertainment Development Forum is a platform that brings key
decision-makers from across the MENA region to discuss, establish partnerships
among industry experts and learn the ways of profiting from local and global
investment opportunities in the leisure and entertainment division.
The award recognized
Emirates Park Zoo & Resort’s excellence in service and efforts towards
habitat preservation, while promoting safety and cleanliness habits at the
highest level. The zoo continues to exceed in customer expectations providing
them with an exceptional experience in terms of hospitality, entertainment and
recreational activities in the Middle East.
zoo concepts for the
21st century shift focus to animal welfare
competitions platform archstorming presents the three winning teams of its
latest competition titled ‘coexist: rethinking zoos’. challenging the
traditional concept of zoos, submissions propose interactive and imaginative
alternatives such as elevated and non-intrusive paths, autochthonous species
adapted to the climate and even 3D virtual animals. the winning proposals focus
on improving the well being of animals and enhance the educational and
scientific aspects of a zoo by including spaces for art, history and
Is that selfie
really worth it? Why face time with wild animals is a bad idea
The phenomenon of
kangaroo selfies hit the headlines earlier this month, when several tourists
were injured while feeding wild kangaroos in Lake Macquarie, north of Sydney.
They may have wanted a memorable holiday snap, but ended up with rather more
than they bargained for.
One news report
described how the "cute and cuddly" animals had begun "viciously
Is that really fair
on the kangaroos? Of all the adjectives you could use to describe an animal
that is territorial, fiercely maternal and has large claws, "cuddly"
is pretty far down the list.
The problem with
that description of the incident is that it suggests that the kangaroos were to
blame for the injuries. In reality, it was the fault of the people getting too
close and offering them the wrong food. Having become so used to being handed carrots,
we can hardly blame the kangaroos for being "hopped up", as the news
coverage punningly put it.
In India, another
recent case ended in tragedy when a man attempted to take a selfie with a bear.
The man reportedly turned his back on the bear and was then mauled to death.
different-sex Francois' leaf monkey twins debut in China
A pair of Francois'
leaf monkeys made their public debut on Sunday at Guangzhou's Chimelong Safari
Park in south China’s Guangdong Province.
According to the
zoo, the pair is the first set of different-sex Francois' leaf twins ever born
Currently, there are
a total of 14 Francois' leaf monkeys living in the park. Xiao Xiao, their
mother, gave birth to the pair in April. The babies were born with bright
orange fur which will turn black within two to three months, reports Chinese
news portal China News.
Eliminates Nearly All Single-Use Plastics
As a leader in Long
Island Sound and ocean conservation, the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is doing
its part for the environment by significantly reducing its employ of single-use
According to a news
release, gone from the aquarium's cafeteria and theater concessions stand are
all drinking straws. Guests now have the option of boxed water or beverages in
glass and aluminum containers, instead of in plastic bottles.
plastic silverware, coffee lids and food containers have been replaced by
biodegradable substitutes. In the Aquarium's gift shop, plush animals no longer
are stuffed with plastic beads, toys no longer have cellophane wrapping and
purchases no longer go into plastic bags.
pervasive in the consumer wo
New Meetings and Conferences updated Here
If you have anything to add then please email me at email@example.com
I will include it when I get a minute. You know it makes sense.
Recent Zoo Vacancies
Vacancies in Zoos and Aquariums and Wildlife/Conservation facilities around the World
After more than 50 years working in private, commercial and National zoos in the capacity of keeper, head keeper and curator Peter Dickinson started to travel. He sold house and all his possessions and hit the road. He has traveled extensively in Turkey, Southern India and much of South East Asia before settling in Thailand. In his travels he has visited well over 200 zoos and many more before 'hitting the road' and writes about these in his blog http://zoonewsdigest.blogspot.com/
or on Hubpages http://hubpages.com/profile/Peter+Dickinson
Peter earns his living as an independent international zoo consultant, critic and writer. Currently working as Curator of Penguins in Ski Dubai. United Arab Emirates. He describes himself as an itinerant zoo keeper, one time zoo inspector, a dreamer, a traveler, an introvert, a people watcher, a lover, a thinker, a cosmopolitan, a writer, a hedonist, an explorer, a pantheist, a gastronome, sometime fool, a good friend to some and a pain in the butt to others.
"These are the best days of my life"
Independent International Zoo Consultant
+971 50 4787 122 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Skype: peter.dickinson48
Independent International Zoo Consultant
+971 50 4787 122 | email@example.com | Skype: peter.dickinson48