Saturday, October 3, 2015

Zoo News Digest 30th September - 3rd October 2015

Zoo News Digest 30th September - 3rd October 2015 
(ZooNews 910)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleague.

My birthday today. It was a good night last night but I woke up this morning with that 'never again' feeling. Then the other feeling came upon me…just how did I get this far along life's journey?  When I really think about it has been mostly good. I continue to learn every day but one thing I am very sure of….these are best days of my life. I would not go back one , ten, twenty or thirty years if the wish was granted me. I would also turn down any offer of eternal youth. My life, all our lives is about the here and now. I'm living mine.

Although probably not the best birthday present of my life it comes pretty close. The Penguin Team from Ski Dubai got 1st place in Research Advancements at IMATA in the Bahamas. I am so proud of the whole team. That is those here now and those who have come before. They all played their part in making our Penguins the happiest and most enriched on the planet. In spite of our huge achievements these past few years I truly believe we have only scratched the surface of what we can learn. Special mention must be made of Anna Svensson who gave the presentation, pulled it together and did so much work on her special project. We feel proud of her, Sweden should too.

Delighted to see that some zoos have banned the use of plastic bags and following on from that, bottled water. This is another huge step in the right direction. If all would now follow on and stop using any product which uses unsustainable Palm Oil in its production. We in zoos really can make a difference to the world. Not just in the conservation of animals but in the conservation of other things too. We need to think about our children and our children's children.

I remarked on Facebook about the article I posted on Toronto Zoo's White lions was a step in the right direction. How wrong I was. Every other newspaper mentioned 'rare' at least twice. Very sad really. This global population of white lions is unmanaged and is damaging in many ways. The bullshitters will have a lot to answer for. It will take decades to put the situation to rights once again.

Saddened to learn of the attempted suicide by the keeper in Thiruvananthapuram. Most in the West are unaware of the huge frustrations experienced by zoo staff are lumbered with a 'daily wage' or 'casual employee' status. Many of these have worked in zoos for ten, fifteen or more years and are experienced professionals but still looked upon as 'shit shovellers' because of the nonsensical bureaucratic crap they work under.

I remain committed to the work of GOOD zoos, 


Interesting Links

Belgian scientists look for biofuel clues in panda poo
Belgian researchers are examining the excrement of giant pandas to try to understand how they can digest tough bamboo, hoping for clues on how to develop new generations of biofuel.

The genetic make-up of endangered pandas is that of a carnivore but the animals have adapted to a diet consisting almost exclusively of bamboo.

While a few scientific studies have looked into the digestive tract of the panda, the researchers say their study is the first to focus on the microorganisms in the animal's gut.

"We can look for new enzymes which could be used to degrade tough biomass," said Korneel Rabaey, professor for biochemical and microbial technology at Ghent University, standing outside the giant panda enclosure at the Pairi Daiza zoo in Belgium.

The results of the study may point to new, cheap

Detroit Zoo no longer sells bottled water
Visitors to the Detroit Zoo have one less option if they get thirsty walking the grounds.

The zoo no longer sells bottled water, part of a multi-year effort to make changes that are environmentally friendly.

It’s an effort other zoos are watching closely, said Rob Vernon, spokesman for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. He said he believes Detroit is the first zoo in the nation to stop selling water in plastic bottles.

Instead of 20-ounce Aquafina bottles the zoo sold for $3.99, visitors will have to bring their own containers and can fill them up at filtered water stations. Or they can buy reusable green-and-white bottles with the zoo logo at $2.59 each.

The switch has had an effect on the zoo’s bottom line. The sale of Aquafina bottled waters brought in about $250,000 a year, which breaks

Poop on a Stick Tests Penguins’ Sense of Smell
Who doesn’t enjoy waking to a pleasant smell wafting past? Unfortunately for them, the penguins in a recent study woke up not to pancakes frying nearby, but to less appetizing aromas—for example, feces on a stick. But scientists promise the experiment taught them valuable lessons about a penguin’s capabilities. Besides, they let the birds go right back to sleep.

“Research into the sense of smell in birds has a bit of a dubious history,” says Gregory Cunningham, a biologist at St. John Fisher College. In recent decades, scientists have begun to get a better grasp on what birds can smell, but there’s still a lot to learn.

With king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus), researchers have focused more on sound than smell. The birds form monogamous pairs to breed; parents take turns caring for the egg or chick and foraging for food. When a penguin returns from the sea, it uses the sound of its partner’s squawk to find it among the huge breeding colony.

Penguins seem to use their sense of smell to help them hunt for fish, so it’s possible the birds also use smell to find each other. Maybe they can sniff out the colony when they’re getting close; m

Bats are important and October is their month

Australia Zoo exodus: ‘Vet sacked during an operation’
A VETERINARIAN at Terri Irwin's Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital was allegedly sacked mid-surgery last month, as staff turnover spirals and fears for animal safety increase.

Sources say 12 staff have left in the past six months, including the highly-regarded head vet Dr Claude Lacasse.

Vet Dr Jackie Reed was allegedly stopped while operating on a koala and told she was out of a job. It's understood the Wildlife Hospital employs 16 nursing staff and four vets at a time.

More than half of these have had to be replaced or the positions are still vacant, with the zoo advertising on its website.

The hospital is one of the projects operated by Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors Ltd, a registered charity.

It is funded by donations and the Sunshine Coast Council contributes $50,000 a year as part of its draft Koala Conservation Plan.

All staff employed at the zoo are required to sign confidentiality contracts on employment and those concerned about what is happening there say they are afraid of speaking out for fear of being sued.

Australia Zoo declined to comment on the staffing situation, preferring instead to focus on the good work of the hospital.

But at least four sources, plus two carers who agreed to be quoted directly, have contacted the Daily and provided insight into the situation.

Wildlife carers Margaret Hewitt and Diane Meldrum revealed they no longer felt comfortable sending sick animals there.

In the past month, six nurses have left and Dr Lacasse, who had been employed at the zoo for seven years, quit two weeks ago.

"Ever since Australia Zoo got involved

Critically endangered Sumatran rhino pregnant again
A rare Sumatran rhino in Indonesia is pregnant with her second baby and expected to give birth in May, raising new hope for the critically endangered species, conservationists said Tuesday.
Only about 100 Sumatran rhinos are believed to exist in the entire world so the pregnancy is seen as tremendously good news for those trying to save the animals from extinction.
The mother is Ratu, a wild rhino who wandered out of the rainforest and into the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Indonesia’s Way Kambas National Park 10 years ago.
She got pregnant in January after mating with Andalas, a male rhino at the park, said Susie Ellis, director of the International Rhino Foundation.
Sumatran rhinos have very long pregnancies that last about 16 months, even though they are the smallest of the living

Animal Keeper Attempts Suicide
 An animal keeper at the city zoo allegedly attempted suicide on Friday by locking himself up inside the cobra enclosure.

Both the keeper and Director of Museums and Zoos were unavailable for comment.

Zoo sources said that the keeper, a temporary employee who has spent more than a decade at the zoo, was disappointed that he was still not a permanent employee.

To get permanent employment as an animal keeper at the zoo, one needs prior experience in handling wild animals. Experience as a temporary employee does not count. In the master plan, it is suggested that people with a zoo-keeping course from Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University are eligible.

This would mar the opportunities of the temporary staff who have been working at the zoo for years. When contacted, the keeper confirmed the news. He said that the process to make him permanent had started more than six months ago, but with financial difficulties mounting, he decided to take his life as and the papers had not

Whatever Happened to Tbilisi Zoo? – A Eulogy of Sorts
One such tale is the sad fate of Guliko Nozadze, a much-beloved zoo caretaker, who, along with her husband and an elderly watchman, perished in the overpowering waves of the as they worked to release trapped animals from their cages. And all that only three days after she was discharged from hospital, where she ended up after losing an arm in a tiger attack.

Death of young elephant at Oklahoma City Zoo fuels breeding debate
A 4-year-old elephant at the Oklahoma City Zoo, where Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo moved its two female elephants this spring, died suddenly Thursday.

Zoo officials say they will perform a necropsy to determine what killed Malee, the first elephant born at the zoo. Staff had treated her for a type of herpes infection particularly deadly to young elephants.

Behold, the San Antonio dragon master!
Daenerys Targaryen may hold sway over three flying, fire-breathing dragons on HBO’s hit “Game of Thrones,” but the fictional despot and her fantasy creatures have nothing on the very real Craig Pelke and his very real dragons at the San Antonio Zoo.

Parents sympathise with zookeepers seeking to soothe gorillas in daylight saving transition
Melburnians will have an hour sliced out of their sleeping time this weekend, although with the grand final, warmer weather and the long weekend, few will be complaining.
Spare a thought, then, for those who struggle to adjust to daylight saving.
According to Melbourne Zoo senior primate keeper Damian Lewis, primates – our closest relatives in the animal kingdom – can be a little touchy about the transition to daylight saving, beholden as they are to the routines of their keepers.
"Their day-to-day lives are based around daylight hours [in the wild], so they might wake up a bit earlier and they might go to bed a bit later," Mr Lewis said.

Safe Havens for Slow Movers
Following a heavy downpour on a summer afternoon earlier this year, the turtle sanctuary at the Dr. Cecilia Koo Botanic Conservation Center (KBCC) in southern Taiwan was teeming with life—albeit life at a slow pace. After the rain, the lumbering creatures on the institution’s grounds began to stir, preparing to take a walk in the comparatively cool air. Their current comfortable, carefree lives stand in sharp contrast with the dangers they faced only a few years ago. “Smugglers were ready to ship the turtles to mainland China when they were intercepted by police,” says Kuo Jui-hsuan (郭睿軒), a collection manager for the KBCC. “Many could have died on the trip across the Taiwan Strait if they hadn’t been rescued.”

Established in 2008 by Koo Cheng-yun (辜成允), chairman of Taiwan Cement Corp., the Pingtung County-based KBCC was borne from the idea that plant biodiversity in Taiwan and around the world is precious and must be preserved. As the center grew, so too did its ambitions, with a new focus placed on threatened and endangered animal species. The re-evaluation of its mission occurred when, at the end of 2013, the Forestry Bureau under the Council of Agriculture (COA) asked Li Chia-wei (李家維), the chief executive officer of the KBCC, if the institution could take in yellow-margined box turtles confiscated from smugglers. The conservationist agreed a

Who Are You Calling a Deadly Sin?
At the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., there lives a three-toed sloth. Specifically, this sloth occupies a box in the Small Mammal House.

At least, that’s where the sloth has been every single time I have visited the zoo, and I have been five times over the past two years. Of course, the sloth does leave his box; friends sometimes send me cellphone photos and videos, capturing the sloth while he hangs from a tree branch or climbs around—but in spite of my best efforts, I’ve never seen him outside the box.

And after two years of trying, I don’t want to.

It’s hard to explain, but you have to start way, way back in tim

Marwell Mammal Nutrition Seminar 

 Marwell Wildlife Mammal Nutrition Seminar - Day 1

Tuesday 3rd November
   8.30-9.00                  Registration
   9.00-9.10                  Welcome
   9.10-10.40                One Health
o   The role of Vitamin D in mammal diets
Susan Lanham-New
o   A One Health perspective on the role of microbes in nutrition
Roberto la Ragione
o   Nutrition for health and longevity
Teresa Hollands
10.40-11.10                 Tea/Coffee Break / Poster presentations
11.10-12.10                 Roughage, Grass and Browse Feeding
o   The principles and practice of paddock management for nutrition of ungulates in zoos
Andy Beer
o   Forage provision and nutrient sampling at ZSL London Zoo
Sven Seiffert
12.10-13.00                 Lunch
13.00-14.30                 Nutrition in practice
o   Nutrition in relation to ecology and behaviour
Will Justice
o   Diet review for Pygmy Hippopotamus at Marwell Wildlife, to better meet recommended nutritional practices for this species and help resolve obesity issues
Jackie Moody
o   The Nutritional Dilemma
Penny Buttling
14.30-15.00                 Tea/Coffee Break / Poster presentations
15.00-16.00                 Workshops (at selected stations)
16.00-16.30                 Train pickup
Marwell Wildlife Mammal Nutrition Seminar - Day 2

Wednesday 4th November
   8.30-9.00                  Registration and Welcome
   9.00-10.30                Disease and Health Management
o   Diabetes mellitus in zoo animals; a nutrition related disease
Yedra Feltrer
o   Diet manipulations and hypercholesterolaemia in captive meerkats
Amanda Ferguson
o   Wasting syndrome across a range of mammal species
Amy Plowman
10.30-11.00                 Tea/Coffee Break / Poster presentations
11.00-12.30                 Natural Diet, Physiology and Behaviour
o   Fruits as food: Common misconceptions of feeding frugivores
Christoph Schwitzer
o   The benefits of fruit-free diets for primates
Amy Plowman
o   Effects of carcass feeding on behaviour of carnivores
Dani Free
12.30-13.20                 Lunch
13.20-14.20                 Advances in Species Specific Nutrition
o   Advances in Giraffe nutrition
Paul Rose
o   Current practices in Bongo nutrition and browse provision
Ollie Szyszka
14.20-15.00                 Panel Discussion
o   Evolution of nutrition in zoological collections – past and future
15.00-16.00                 Tea/Coffee Break and option to walk around the park                 Train pickup

Detroit Zoo cricket breeding effort aims to save $225K
A new cricket breeding program at the Detroit Zoo is part of an effort to cut the cost of feeding animals.

Zoo officials say crickets are part of the daily diet of about 1,900 amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals at the zoo.

The zoo says it usually spends more than $98,000 a

London Zoo investigates claim a visitor was bitten by a spider
London Zoo is investigating a claim that a mother-of-four was bitten by a spider in its new “In with the Spiders” room.
Elsa Fricker, 33, has told how she was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery after a "spider bite" she believes she sustained at popular attraction became infected.

Toronto Zoo's giant panda pregnant with twins
One of the Toronto Zoo’s giant pandas is pregnant — with twins.
Zoo staff and breeding experts observed two separate, fetal heartbeats in ultrasounds taken in the last week of Er Shun, a female giant panda on loan from China.
The next three to four weeks are critical, the zoo said in a statement, and “staff are cautiously hopeful for healthy births within this time frame.
Toronto spokesperson Jennifer Tracey said the support from people in Toronto and colleagues from other zoos around the world has been overwhelming.
“It’s an incredible accomplishment,” she said. “It’s great news for our reproductive program and for the endangered panda species.”
Er Shun was artificially inseminated last

Safari park lets visitors pet wild lions as they introduce torch-lit night time tours
A safari park is offering extraordinary night tours where visitors can stroke lions in torchlight and observe the animals in their nocturnal phase.

The unique excursions take place in special open vehicles with headlights which allow the guests to see the dozing animals.

The trips are being organised by the Taigan Safari Park in the Bilohirsk Raion region of Crimea, in the southern Ukraine.

How to design a good zoo
Last time you were at the zoo, peering at the gorillas and tigers and elephants did you ever stop to think about the layout of the various enclosures and architecture of the buildings?

Rachel Couper has just published an architectural history of early zoological gardens called Animal History. As part of her research she visited six of the most important early zoos - in Paris, London, Berlin, Hamburg,

Gentle giant elephant leaves Howletts Wild Animal Park for a new life in the sun
One of a Kent wild animal park's star attractions who has enthralled visitors for 26 years has been driven off to a new zoo in Spain.

Jums, the magnificent bull elephant, was crated up on Monday and taken by lorry from Howletts at Bekesbourne near Canterbury to the Cabarceno Natural Park near Santander.

Howletts bosses say the swap is "beneficial" for the elephants and is part of a breeding exchange programme with a new bull coming from the Cabarceno to take his place.

One year on, killer white tiger becomes Delhi zoo's biggest celeb
Delhi zoo's white tiger Vijay, who mauled a man last year, is the biggest attraction for visitors as zoo footfall jumps this year Ayear ago, a 20-year-old man was mauled by Delhi zoo's white tiger, Vijay, after he jumped inside the tiger's enclosure. The incident was witnessed live by scores and was later played on loop and widely shared, making Vijay a topic of discussion. Since then, no zoo visitor wants to miss out on seeing the 'killer' tiger and zoo officials say his popularity is the reason behind increased footfall.


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Peter Dickinson
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"These are the best days of my life"

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Zoo News Digest 21st - 29th September 2015 (ZooNews 909)

Zoo News Digest 21st - 29th September 2015 (ZooNews 909)

Meerkat at Chester Zoo

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

With reference to the National Geographic article on the Chimelong Elephants.  I don't know about you but I was not convinced by the photos or the video that anything was seriously wrong. There may be of course but I was unconvinced. The movement of these young animals to China has been a big item on the anti-captivity agenda for many months now and they seem to not wanting to let it go. Photographs and video can so easily lie.
To me the most interesting aspect of the article is in relation to that about the young African Elephants destined to go to the USA (U.S. Zoos Work to Relocate Elephants, Making Room for Rhinos in Africa). What is the difference…really? The real difference is the way that the stories are covered. Chimelong were secretive. The US is not. The press are in general anti China (especially in connection to animals) but not when it comes to the US. The US article suggests that the animals will be culled if they don't take them. That is true. It is equally true with the Chimelong animals.

Sticking with China for a moment though. Giving live rabbits to tiger cubs to improve their hunting skills is a nonsense . They are never going to be released and so don't need to hunt, ever. Stating they haven't got teeth yet is another bit of crap. They have and they are sharp and painful. I'm not against them having a rabbit but for heaven's sake kill it first.

And the damned Monkey School. What gets me most here is that the Daily Mail appear to not be able to see anything wrong. That is such a pity. I daresay their reporter comes from the 'fun with dead mice' school.

I have three staff in the Bahamas this week, all giving talks at the IMATA conference. Keeping my fingers crossed for them. They have worked so very hard…but they do all of the time.

The item about the child bitten by a venomous snake in the zoo caused me to remember that the same thing happened to me a while back. I was bitten on the foot by a Russell's Viper in a zoo in Thailand that I was visiting. I was a bit off the beaten track in the back of the facility when something sort of rolled under my flip flop. As I looked down the snake was biting my foot. It was all over in a flash and the snake headed off. One small pinprick in the top of my foot and one tooth embedded in the cross piece of the flip flop. I kept the tooth but lost it somewhere a year or so later. I was fine, a lot luckier than most. I didn't run or panic but rather sat down under a tree and started to write in my notebook. As I felt no effects after fifteen minutes I moved on. How do I know it was a Russells? Because I had kept and bred dozens some years previously.

There are a few articles on the tragedy in New Zealand below. It has been covered by most every newspaper. Since when though did Mr Antle become the 'Tiger Commentator'? He would be the last person I would go to for a comment on anything.

Every now and again on Facebook I see photos posted by Zookeepers doing 'fun' things with dead or frozen mice. Maybe I am just different because I never see anything funny in them at all. I may have killed a million mice….it won't be far off, but I have never seen anything funny about it. A life is a life and deserves some degree of respect. I wonder if this same group of keepers would do 'fun' things with dead chimpanzees, or meerkats or or or.

I remain committed to the work of GOOD zoos, not DYSFUNCTIONAL zoos.


Interesting Links

International conference shuns local lion film
Despite repeated requests from South African attendees, the organisers of an international travel conference which takes place in Cape Town this week have decided not to include the acclaimed new documentary ‘Blood Lions’ in their programme even though the film raises serious questions about one of the key tourist attractions promoted during the event.

Every year, thousands of young people from around the world spend millions of rands to work as volunteers for a variety of wildlife and nature conservation projects in Africa. Many of them choose to spend time at facilities that offer visitors the opportunity to pet lion cubs and walk through the bush with juvenile lions. Most of the volunteers do so under the impression that their work is contributing to the conservation of the species in the wild.

‘Blood Lions’, which opened to acclaim at this year’s Durban International Film Festival and was recently screened in the Australian parliament, exposes lion petting and walking operations in South Africa as merely one additional revenue stream for the controversial but lucrative industry of breeding lions in captivity. The vast majority of the lions raised by this industry are destined for canned hunts and the bullets of wealthy trophy hunters – not for a life of freedom in the wild, but few of the volunteers are aware of this fact.

After watching the film, Toby Dixon of You2Africa, a Cape Town based company that promotes volunteer tourism at wildlife conservation projects, decided that its message was so important that it should be shown at the World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) 2015 to take place in Cape Town from the September 22 – 25, an event which he will be attending himself and at which youth volunteering in Africa will feature strongly.

Dixon met with Wendy Morrill, one of the conference organisers, in Amsterdam in June. He organised a Skype conversation between her and ‘Blo

The essence of good zoos
Today I heard news that gave me hope for a species declared extinct in Victoria. We have been working with the  Eastern Barred Bandicoot for 20 years alongside our partners at Mount Rothwell, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Parks Victoria, the Victorian Government and now Phillip Island Nature Parks.

Last month, a small population of Bandicoots from Mount Rothwell and Zoos Victoria was released to Churchill Island under the stewardship of Phillip Island Nature Parks. And the good news? All females now have young! In just one month a new generation of this rare creature has emerged.

Tiger and lion cubs attack rabbits at a Chinese zoo as survival training before being released into the wild… but don’t worry, they haven’t got any teeth yet
A Chinese zoo has come under fire for giving their lion and tiger cubs live rabbits for hunting practise as the young predators were presented to the public for the first time.
Introducing seven baby tigers and four lion cubs to visitors, a zoo in Tsingtao, China, released a number of rabbits into the enclosure.
The two-month-old cubs could be seen chasing after the rabbit and biting it across the neck after hunting it down.

Class, stop monkeying around! Chinese zoo opens a performing school for macaques
A Chinese zoo has opened what might be the world's most unusual entertainment school.

Around 30 snow monkeys have been recruited by the Yellow River Delta Zoo in Dongying, eastern China, to study in its newly formed  'macaques performing school', reported People's Daily Online.

The monkeys, originally from Japan, are expected to learn tricks, such as walking on stilts and mathematics, and will be sent around China after their training to enter the entertainment industry.

US and China Agree to Halt Ivory Trade
In a historic accord to save Africa’s elephants from out-of-control poaching, President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping agreed Friday to end commercial ivory sales in the United States and China.
The announcement marks the first public commitment by President Xi to end ivory sales in China, the world’s largest market, and follows a pledge made by Chinese officials in May to phase out the domestic trade. It also puts heavy pressure on Hong Kong, a global hub for commercial ivory, to ban its legal trade — one that has provided cover for smuggling and illicit sales of ivory from African elephants poached in recent years. A recent survey found that over 90% of ivory sold in Hong Kong was being smuggled into main

Young Elephants in China Show Signs of Abuse
New photographs and video exclusive to National Geographic suggest that two dozen young elephants flown to China from Zimbabwe in July are being mistreated and are slipping into poor health, according to analysts who have examined the images.

The elephants—many no more than two or three years old—are being held in at the Qingyuan quarantine facility in Guangzhou Province, awaiting transfer to Chimelong Safari Park, also in Guangzhou. 

In late 2014, the elephants were taken from their mothers and families in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, where they were held in a capture unit before the airlift.

U.S. Zoos Work to Relocate Elephants, Making Room for Rhinos in Africa
Three U.S. zoos are collaborating with conservation officials in Swaziland, Africa, in an effort to provide 18 African elephants necessary new homes. The animals were removed from two privately managed government parks to prevent further degradation of the landscape and in order to make room for critically endangered rhinos. If the elephants are not relocated they will be culled.

18 Swazi elephants taken to USA zoo
Eighteen elephants from Swaziland will find new homes at three Zoos in the United States of America.

The three are, the Dallas Zoo, the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kan and the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Neb.

Six elephants will join the four already living in the Dallas Zoo’s Giants of the Savanna habitat.

The Dallas Zoo expects more than double its herd of elephants because of the partnership the two other zoos have with the country.

The elephants will come from two country parks, where an overpopulation has stripped the already drought-ridden parks, depriving other species, like endangered rhinos of food.

Elephants were stripping the park's 900-year-old trees of their bark and eating grass faster than it could grow, leaving it barren. The black rhino were running out of food.

According to business wire press release, local government decided it needed to either relocate or kill 18 elephants in order to sustain its parks.

“We see these animals in Swaziland that are basically in a dire situation,” said Gregg Hudson, president of the Dallas Zoo, “and it’s important for us to reach out and ask ‘Is there a way we can incorporate them into what we’re doing here?”

The relocation must first be approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but zoo officials expect the agency to approve its application within the next 30 days.

Hudson said the zoo has extra property on the west side of Marsalis Avenue where the new animals would be cared for until next spring, when they can be added to the Giants exhibit. O

Child bitten by wild snake at Birmingham Zoo
Officials say a child was bitten by a copperhead snake at the Birmingham Zoo.

Local news media reported that zoo spokesman Clark Maxwell said the child was bitten by a wild snake around noon Thursday near the Trails of Africa exhibit and that the snake wasn't a part of the zoo's animal collection. The child's condition was unknown.

The child was transported to the Children's of Alabama hospital for treatment.

The snake was captured and relocated by zoo staff for examination.

Zoo officials said they were workin

Hamilton Zoo reopens, but questions remain
From its early days as a game farm to its emergence as a world-class visitor attraction, Hamilton Zoo has held strong to one quality: a sense of intimacy.

Whether it's a meerkat sentry dutifully eyeballing passers-by, or a strutting peacock displaying its iridescent plumage among lunching visitors, the zoo has brought generations of city-dwellers closer to nature.

It's a place where curious animal admirers can observe creatures big and small in verdant surrounds. 

A Hamilton success story, dubbed "the zoo with personality", it attracted a record number of visitors last financial year.

The visitor upsurge was largely attributed to the arrival of the zoo's new Sumatran tiger cubs, Kembali and Kirana.

And the zoo's family continues to grow and births are celebrated with naming competitions.

But a week ago, the zoo lost a much-loved mem

Tens of thousands of birds illegally sold on the streets of Jakarta
A comprehensive survey of Jakarta’s sprawling bird markets shows the daunting scale of the illegal trade in native birds and raises the alarm for Indonesia, home to the highest number of threatened bird species in Asia.

Pandas would change our zoo - and not for the better
OPINION: It was my first day in Hong Kong.

The fun park was part zoo and part kitsch Asian-style Disneyland full of in-love Chinese couples videoing each other. Admission was not cheap, but I didn't mind because I was going to see pandas.

The outdoor panda enclosure was excellent.

The beautiful bears slept, sat, climbed, slept, munched on bamboo, slept, scratched, slept, farted and slept. I found the loud rifle shots of kids playing a theme park game close by disconcerting but nobody else did.

The indoor giant panda enclosure was fascinating.

Two bears sat mournfully staring at the animal species on the other side of the glass that had reduced their numbers to a handful.

The two pandas were adorably cute but looked sad. Reading about how their numbers had been so drastically reduced by humans made me sad.

I made for a quick exit but I wasn't to be that lucky.

The enclosure was designed so that the only exit was through an extremely tacky gift shop, where I was loudly accosted by retail staff. Pandas cost big money t

Risma Welcomes New Male Sumatran Tiger to Surabaya Zoo
Surabaya mayor Tri Rismaharini welcomes a new male Sumatran tiger named Wira to Surabaya Zoo. Wira was donated by Indonesian Safari Park to Surabaya Zoo (KBS) that is in need of male Sumatran tiger for breeding.

“It was a long process, since five months ago. Because it is an administrative issue, I handle it myself,” said Risma-how the mayor popularly known- to journalists after the ceremonial event for the animal’s transfer on Sunday, September 27.

“And it has just been delivered to KBS now."

Risma believes that Wira would help to avoid

Alaskan Officials Investigate Beheading of 25 Walruses
The deaths of 25 walruses are being investigated near Cape Lisburne, Alaska after photographs reportedly showed the animals, including a dozen babies, had been shot and beheaded, according to Alaska Dispatch News.

Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska were first notified of the incident when they received an email containing photographs of the animals earlier this month. From there, an investigation began.

"They were reporting that these animals had been shot and their heads had been taken," Andrea Medeiros, a spokeswoman for the service, told the Dispatch News. "Time is of the esse

Critical Wildlife Conservation and Research Projects Funded by AZA-Accredited Zoos and Aquariums
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) today announced Conservation Grants Fund (CGF) grants totaling $370,269 to be awarded to 18 projects.
“AZA’s Conservation Grants Fund provides support to AZA members who are scientists, wildlife experts and educators working to expand our knowledge of wildlife biology, reproduction, welfare, health, and the threats animals face in their natural ranges, while also actively working in the field and with communities around the world to address these threats,” said AZA Senior Vice President of Conservation and Science, Dr. Debborah Luke. “As a result of their work, we are all better positioned to help ensure the future of threatened and endangered species.”
Established in 1984, the AZA Conservation Grants Fund is a competitive grants program that supports the cooperative conservation-related scientific and educational initiatives of AZA members and their partners. Major areas of funding for conservation and animal care are represented including research, field conservation, education and outreach, animal welfare, animal health and animal management. Many Conservation Grants Fu

What I learned working at the zoo
I am a tour guide—and a pretty good one, if I do say so myself—at a world-famous zoo in the United States. I started volunteering because I love animals and the environment. I still do, but over the last few years, I have found that the primate Homo sapiens can be the most fascinating to observe.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

Tiger from Greece dies at sanctuary east of San Diego
Phevos, a tiger brought from Greece to a sanctuary east of San Diego amid international concern that it was being neglected at a zoo outside Athens, has died.

The 17-year-old male tiger was euthanized after weeks of a slow, painful decline that veterinarians at the Lions Tigers & Bears sanctuary in Alpine were unable to arrest, accordi

Dade City’s Wild Things faces complaints from feds
The U.S. Department of Agriculture in July issued a formal administrative complaint against Dade City’s Wild Things about the zoo’s handling of tiger cubs and other violations.

The following month, the USDA found more violations at the Meridian Avenue zoo during a routine inspection, recently released records show.

On Aug. 25, a USDA inspector found a tiger enclosure with rotten wood and exposed screws, lion and tiger enclosures that did not provide shelter from heavy rain, an “extremely dirty” freezer where animal food is kept and ducks swimming in water meant for llama consumption, the inspection report said.

The USDA’s July complaint accused the zoo of mishandling animals, maintaining improper enclosures and exhibiting tigers and monkeys at an unsafe distance from the public.

The zoo, which may face a lawsuit asserting it is violating the Animal Welfare Act, did not return a telephone call seeking comment. The zoo is run by Kathryn Stearns and her son, Randy Stearns, records show.

Despite being issued an official warning by the USDA in May 2012, the zoo “continued to mishandle animals, particularly infant and juvenile tigers, exposing these anim

Queens in lion kingdom
While many of us the world over shared and looked at pictures on social media of lions that died in the Gir National Park in Gujarat this July in massive floods, and then of the cute cubs that did survive, Rasila P. Vadher and her team was in the midst of all the mayhem.

The woman in charge of the Rescue Team at the national park says it took them a while to come to terms with the fact that the sudden release of dam waters meant that lions, that can usually swim were taken aback by the force of water, hit trees, and died. Gir, one of India’s oldest national parks, is the only home to the largest population of Asiatic lions in the world – abo

Assam Conservationist to Get Harry Messel Award
Dr Goutam Narayan has become the first Indian conservationist to get the Harry Messel Award for Conservation Leadership announced during the IUCN Species Survival Commission Leaders’ Meeting held in Abu Dhabi recently. The citation mentions that Narayan has been given the award “in recognition of his pivotal role in leading the Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme in North Eastern India since 1995, thus saving a whole genus from extinction, and his long service to the SSC Wild Pig Specialist Group.”

The Harry Messel Award recognises exemplary service to the IUCN Species Survival Commission, especially from individuals who have made a specific contribution to species conservation on the ground or through their leadership, as part of the work of an SSC Specialist Group or Task Force. Dr Narayan has been instrumental in reviving the long-term survival prospects of the critically endangered pigmy hog through the Pigmy Hog Conservation Centre at Bas

Chinese Villagers Join Together To Save An Elephant Stuck In Mud
A wild elephant who had gotten hopelessly stuck in a thick mire in southern China was saved from the grimmest of fates — all thanks to a crowd of villagers who worked tirelessly to free her.

It's unclear how long the female elephant had been trapped, but by the time rescue arrived, she was almost completely submerged in mud. Unable to hoist the exhausted animal out of the pit themselves, pol

China knows how to save endangered species, it's the tiger's turn.

China's 1989 Law on the Protection of Wildlife — which is now online in English and available for the
world to see — was created, it says, for the purpose of "protecting and saving the species of wildlife
which are rare or near extinction; protecting, developing and rationally utilizing wildlife resources, and
maintaining ecological balances."

The law lists 42 articles detailing the care and protection of "wildlife resources", which are owned by the
state, for their survival, including enforcement and penalties for violators.

In an interesting op-ed piece that went online Sunday, Mang Ping, a professor of ecological ethics at the
Central Institute of Socialist Studies in Beijing, points out that the "language" of the law plainly implies that
another of its goals is to "fairly use" the wild animals that are considered resources, and that is what has
been causing some animal conservationists concern.

"The relationship between man and nature is increasingly fused with a new ethical consideration," Mang
writes. "Wild animals for instance are no longer viewed simply as a useful resource for humans to exploit.
They are considered to have their own intrinsic value as part of the Earth's biological community."

Of the 580 species of mammals in China, about 30 percent are defined as "wild", Mang says, citing
research. And some of those "rare and endangered" ones seen as having "important economic or
scientific value are domesticated, bred and commercially utilized". In other words, farmed.
When it comes to tigers, however, the plan o

EU clamps down on grey squirrels and other invasive wildlife
Anyone caught exporting or possessing invasive species such as grey squirrels, ruddy ducks and water hyacinth in the EU will soon face heavy fines and confiscations, under a new blacklist filed at the WTO, which the Guardian has seen.

Raccoons, Javan mongooses, and South American coypus are among the 37 types of flora and fauna that will soon face eradication or strict controls in a bid to halt threats to native wildlife and economic losses, estimated at €12bn (£8.8bn) per year by the EU.

Initially, the new EU regulation will ban a wide range of activities linked with invasive species including trade, transport, possession, breeding and putting on the market.

 It also obliges countries including the UK to eradicate invading populations within two months of a new appearance where possible, and to draw up blueprints for containing existing colonies.

The advance of grey squirrels imported

Rare white tiger cubs receive special care at Saigon zoo
The baby tiger grasps the man’s arm with its front legs while sucking warm milk from a bottle.
That is its 3 a.m. meal. The next will come in three hours.
It quickly falls back to sleep as the man washes the bottle before cleaning milk drops on the floor.
Nguyen Ba Phu takes care of the cub at the Saigon Zoo with two colleagues.
"It's like a mother taking care of her newborn,” he said.
The 32-year-old vet is among a team of experts who helped the only white Bengal tiger couple mate at the zoo.
They eventually give birth to three cubs two months ago, an extremely rare event during the 150 years of the zoo’s history.
Two of the cubs are staying with the mother. Phuc and his two colleagues have been taking care of the weaker one in a room of more than 20 square meters.
They give the cub ground beef during the day, but milk feeding is a harder job.
Phuc said the cub usually finis

Seoul Zoo caught selling animals to slaughter farm
Seoul Zoo sold 43 of its deer and black goats to meat traders in August claiming that there was no space for the “surplus” animals, activists said Tuesday.

Garcia, president of Coexistence for Animal Rights on Earth (CARE), says he was tipped off about the sale from an animal handler at the zoo.

Investigators followed a truck from the zoo and raided the farm.

A young black goat had been decapitated, six goats had died during transportation, and many goats had sustained injuries as a result of poor handling and transportation practices.

AJ Garcia claims that the practice of selling surplus animals for consumption has become a serious issue.

“It’s become a business for them. They purposefully overpopulate the zoo and then they sell the animals off,” Garci

Genetic Secrets of the Last Truly Wild Horses
The Przewalski's horse is the world’s last truly wild horse, found in small numbers on the steppes of Mongolia and China. Their mere existence today is astonishing—by the 1960s they had been declared extinct in the wild. A dozen remained in private zoos in several countries, and scientists undertook an ambitious breeding program. Today, there are around 2,000 of the animals, about one quarter of which live in the wild.

Researchers have now sequenced the genomes of more than a dozen of the creatures, and compared the results to genomes from domesticated horses. The scientists show that Przewalski's and domesticated horses are genetically distinct but diverged only 45,000 years ago, a relatively short stretch in evolutionary time, says Ludovic Orlando, a researcher at the University of Copenhagen. (While there are other in September 2015

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Glacier Run at Louisville Zoo is a theme area modelled after the town of 
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In September 2000 our first newsletter was distributed to 44 ZooLex 
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After 100 years in captivity, a look at the world's last truly wild horses
n the 1870s, the world's last truly wild horses, known as Przewalski's horses, lived in the Asian steppes of Mongolia and China. But by the 1960s, those wild horses were no longer free. Only one captive population remained, descended from about a dozen wild-caught individuals and perhaps four domesticated horses. Thanks to major conservation efforts, the current population of Przewalski's horses numbers over 2,000 individuals, with about a quarter living in reintroduction reserves.

Wild animals caged for months after rescue due to long legal process: experts
Animals seized from illegal wildlife traders should be released immediately to their habitat, instead of being kept as crime evidence for a long time, conservationists said.
Nguyen Van Thai, director of Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, said investigation agencies only need to take pictures of the rescued animals and record information on the number, the species and the weight.
However, Vietnamese investigators often choose to keep the wild animals until the case is closed, he said.
Vietnam has shown progress in wildlife protection, including convicting people involved in the poaching and trading of endangered species, he said.
“But we still need to change the law further to release these animals to the wild early,” said Thai.
In August, the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program launched by Save Vietnam’s Wildlife and the Cuc Phuong National Park received 60 pangolins that relevant agencies seized from illegal trade

Elephant NGO barred by zoo
Elephant conservation NGO EARS Asia has been ejected from Teuk Chhou Zoo in Kampot province and forbidden from caring for its two elephants, amid mounting pressure for a proposed animal swap involving the pair to be called off.

In a statement posted on their Facebook page yesterday, EARS Asia spoke of the devastation felt by founder Louise Rogerson, who has overseen the care of elephants Kiri and Seila for the past three years, after she was barred from entering the zoo on Wednesday.

The move by the zoo follows the launch of a campaign by EARS Asia in August to prevent Kiri and Seila from being swapped with animals living at the Hirakawa Zoo in southern Japan.

“This will not stop us in our campaign to bring to the world the absurdity of the Cambodian and Japanese trade deal. This also means that our campaign is working,” reads the statement.

While that campaign has been run by the EARS Asia board in Hong Kong without Rogerson’s participation, her ejection follows a series of articles in both the Cambodian and international press highlighting concerns surrounding the proposed deal.

Those concerns focus on the ability of Teuk

First Jersey chough chick born in about 100 years is male
DNA testing was used to confirm the sex of Dusty, the spring-born Chough.
Choughs, a red-billed member of the Crow family, died out in Jersey in about 1900.
Over the past three years, wildlife experts have worked to reintroduce the birds to the north coast and had some success with hand-reared chicks.
DNA samples were sent to a lab that specialises in finding out the gender of birds to find out for certain if Dusty was male or female.
Keepers say it is great news for the populati

New controversial fox cafe brings wilderness to Bangkok
Cat cafes are so last year after a coffee shop opened up in Bangkok that uses foxes to entice customers who are fine petting wild animals and using them as selfie props.
Little Zoo Cafe has opened up in Muangthong Thani and has quickly become the latest popular place for Instagramming as visitors are surrounded by tiny fennec foxes along with a meerkat and raccoon (aka Timon and Meeko.)
The exotic babies have made headlines in the media and on local forums, drawing a mix of approval and disapproval from netizens.

New birth brings fourth generation of endangered gorillas to Brookfield Zoo
A new arrival Wednesday at Brookfield Zoo adds a fourth generation to the zoo’s family of western lowland gorillas.

Kamba, 11, gave birth Wednesday to Zachary; and mom and infant can be seen at the zoo’s Tropic World: Africa habitat, according to a statement from the Chicago Zoological Society.

Dalton zoo boss appears in court
Barrow Borough Council prosecuted the zoo and Mr Gill, the director, following its investigation into the death of Sarah McClay, who was fatally mauled by a tiger at the Dalton attraction on May 24, 2013.

The 53-year-old, represented by solicitor Mr Paul Rogers, appeared before Furness Magistrates' Court on Thursday afternoon.

He did not give any indication of plea to 14 charges - seven of which are against him, and seven against the company.

District judge Gerald Chalk adjourned proceedings to Preston Crown Court on October 23.

The council is also prosecuting Mr Gill and the zoo for alleged breaches of health and safety law following an incident in July 2014, when zoo keeper Jasmin Walker fell from a ladder while preparing to feed big cats.
Mr Rogers said Ms Walker's injuries had "fortunatel

£1.2m National Lottery grant to protect UK’s red squirrel
A unique new project to secure the future of the native Nutkin in the UK is set to receive £1.2million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The much-loved, endangered native red squirrel and its habitat will be protected and promoted through Red Squirrels United, a new four year programme bringing together eight partners from across the UK.

Red Squirrels United will operate directly in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and work with the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels partnership on cross-border conservation action and skills-sharing to achieve the development of a truly UK-scale red squirrel conservation initiative for the first time.

The project will deliver key national  conservation objectives with the aim of protecting red squirrels through communication, education and conservation activities.  It is supported by Governm

Spiny Anteater Gets a Breeding Boost
The endangered long-beaked echidna, or spiny anteater, may have help on the way, thanks to the success of a breeding program between a university and a wildlife preserve in Australia.

The University of Queensland (UQ) and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary announced that they have worked together to produce 14 short-beaked echidna babies in captivity in the last five years, a number higher than any zoo has been able to produce.

"Up to a few years ago it was thought almost impossible to breed echidnas in captivity, and most births were somewhat accidental and unplanned," UQ Assoc


Dear Colleagues,
The September 2015 issue of ZOO’S PRINT Magazine (Vol. 30, No. 9) is online at <>
 in a format that permits you to turn pages like a regular magazine.
If you wish to download the full magazine or certain articles click on <>
Integrating teaching and folklore theatre to promote HECx in Tamil Nadu, India
-- R. Marimuthu and B.A. Daniel, Pp. 1-5
Rescue, Treatment and Release of an Endangered Greater Adjutant Leptoptilosdubius
-- Purnima Devi Barman, Samshul Ali, Parag Deori and D.K. Sharma, Pp. 6-9
Distribution of Adiantum capillus-veneris L. (Adiantaceae) in India
-- Parthipan, M. and A. Rajendran, Pp. 10-11
New distributional record of Impatiens pseudo-acaulis Bhaskar (Balsaminaceae) - from Western Ghats of Kerala
-- V.S. Hareesh, C.V. Sanal, S. Sabik and V.B. Sreekumar, Pp. 12-13
Announcement: 5th AZEC conference, 7-12 December 2015
P. 13
‘Living with Villagers’ for Bat Conservation at Triyuga Municipality, Udayapur, Nepal
-- Sanjan Thapa, Pp. 14-17
Status and conservation of montane herpetofauna of Southern Eastern Ghats, India
-- S.R. Ganesh and M. Arumugam, Pp. 18-22
Announcement: IUCN World Conservation Congress, 1-10 September 2016, Hawai’i, USA - Call for contributions closes October 15
P. 22
Husbandry and Care of Birds (Chapter 32, ZOOKEEPING)
-- Ted Fox and Adrienne Whiteley, Pp. 23-30
Education Reports
Pp. 31-32

Scientists optimize breeding management for European minks
The European mink (Mustela lutreola) is one of the most endangered mammals in Europe. The reasons for its decline are the destruction of its habitat in riparian areas, competition with the alien American mink and historically, extensive hunting.

Newent's Bird of Prey centre recognised for its role in protecting animals
THE British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), which promotes the values of good zoos and aquariums, has compiled a list of the top ten birds benefitting from the work of zoos and aquariums in the UK and Ireland.

The International Centre for Birds of Prey plays a significant role in helping to protect these animals.

The International Centre for Birds of Prey supports the conservation on the Oriental White Backed Vulture in India and Nepal. Since the mid-90s, 99% of the population has been lost; the result of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac being used as a veterinary drug in livestock. When an oriental white backed vulture consumes a carcass that has been treated with diclofenac, the drug causes renal failure and visce

'We'll never know 100%' how cheetah escaped
How did "Pounce" the cheetah escape from its enclosure at the Indianapolis Zoo? We may never know, according to zoo officials.

The cheetah broke out of its exhibit Sept. 6, prompting a Code Red alert and temporary lockdown of zoo facilities.

Saving the few wild tigers left in the world: A talking point for Obama and Xi?
President Obama and China’s President Xi Jinping face an agenda of delicate issues, from China’s military buildup and creation of artificial islands in the South China Sea, to cyber theft of U.S. secrets, in talks that begin in a private dinner Thursday after Xi arrives in the nation’s capital from Seattle.

An international group of 13 wildlife experts, in a letter released Tuesday, is asking Obama to mention another topic — the threatened extinction of the 3,200 tigers that remain in the wild in Asia.

Wildlife “farming” is not conservation
The Earth is not a warehouse.

And living, breathing animals are not inventory.

Pseudo-conservationists often argue that we should focus solely on numbers, that only the size of wildlife populations matter. They largely ignore the complicated dynamics of ecosystem health, habitat range, and biodiversity.

Worse still, in their quest to sacrifice some for the greater good of a species, they ignore the intrinsic value of individual animals and the importance of those individuals on herds, communities and other various subsets of the population whole.

Yesterday's Crimes: Killer Elephants, Poisoned Orangutans, and the Curse of SF Zoo
When banker and philanthropist Herbert Fleishhacker found 30 acres near the southwestern coast of San Francisco, he thought it was the perfect place for the zoo he’d been dreaming about.

But you have to wonder if the San Francisco Zoo was built on an ancient Indian burial ground. Mysterious tragedies proliferated. The place seemed snake-bitten from the start.

Fleishhacker wanted to expand his zoo from a couple of sad grizzlies in cages to a world-class menagerie, so he hired George Bistany, a big game hunter and animal expert he met on a cruise in 1929. Born in Egypt, Bistany made a harrowing career out of capturing wild animals for zoos and "escaping death in a score of tight situations in the jungles and mountains of four continents," according to the Fresno Bee.

Bistany also believed there was a psychic bond between humans and apes.

"Monkeys have a well-developed communication system," he told the Santa Ana Register. "In the tailless varieties, it is both spoken and telepathic."

"What is more, I can understand them and talk with many," Bistany added.

Bistany’s far-out ideas were lent credence after one of his orangutans saved his life. When Bistany leapt into a cage to separate a pair of brawling apes, an orangut

Why I Believe In Zoos
@liceham my anger in this reply is in no way aimed at you! I am super grateful you gave me a reason to write down some of my thoughts on this subject, and I love that you’re informing your own opinions. I think you’re great!
I’m really sorry this took me so long to reply to; I have a lot of feelings on this subject and I wanted to make sure I expressed all my points well.
I like your use of the phrase “low-key anti-zoo” because I feel like it sums up the feelings of a vast majority of people sort of 40 and under (although my favorite is “I don’t believe in zoos”. It’s a zoo, not fucking Narnia). I think the “zoos are bad” mentality has become part of our cultural consciousness, something that we absorb as truth in our childhood or adolescence and then never question as adults who are capable of informing our own opinions. I don’t blam

Critically endangered miniature frogs get new lease on life through breeding program
An army of critically endangered miniature frogs has been given a new lease on life after being released in Western Australia's South West.

The white-bellied frogs are endemic to a vast area of forest south of Margaret River and are under immense pressure due to the destruction and disturbance of their habitat.

The creatures are the focus of a breed-for-release program at Perth Zoo, which has been designed to bring the threatened species back from the brink of extinction.

Eggs are collected from the site every year and are reared in aquariums at the zoo for 12 months before being released back into the wild to breed.

More than 60 frogs were discharged back into the region's muddy creek lines this week.

Perth Zoo zoology technical officer Tammy Goad said the process of releasing the frogs could be tricky, due to their paltry size.

"When they metamorph, they're about 0.02 of a gram, which is smaller than a rice bubble," she said.

"It's quite challenging for us to work with an animal that small, especially when we have a couple of hundred of them to deal with.

"We put the frog into a little depression, put a leaf over the

IL Supreme Court: Brookfield Zoo not a public entity, shouldn't be legally protected like one
Brookfield Zoo sits on publicly owned land. And every year, it receives a large amount of tax dollars to help fund operations.

But the zoo should not enjoy the same protections from lawsuits given to governmental organizations and their offshoots in Illinois, the state’s high court has ruled.

On Thursday, Sept. 24, the Illinois Supreme Court declared in an opinion the zoo does not pass crucial elements of the test used to determine whether an organization is a “public entity” under Illinois law, and so should not be shielded under the Illinois Tort Immunity statute from lawsuits filed more than a year after an alleged incident has occurred on its grounds.

The unanimous Illinois Supreme Court decision was authored by Justice Mary Jane Theis.

The ruling upheld a state appellate opinion, which had been au

'Horny' rhinos studied by Liverpool scientists and Chester Zoo experts
Chester Zoo experts and Liverpool scientists have been studying the rhino dating game in a bid to save the animal from extinction.

Specialists have been comparing rhino birth rates at different zoos as part of a programme to work out what makes rhinos want to mate.

The team, comprised of scientists from Chester Zoo, The University of Manchester and The University of Liverpool, is now busy writing up the research which is set to appear in several prestigious scientific journals.

It comes as World Rhino Day this week highlighted the plight of the five remaining species of rhino, an animal which has been on earth for 40 million years.

Rhino mother and calf settle in at Flamingo Land zoo
A RHINOCEROS mother and her calf are set to be unveiled in a £1.6m project to make a theme park and zoo among Europe's leading places to see the animals.

Staff at Flamingo Land, near Pickering, said black rhinos Samira and nine-month-old Olmoti had arrived from Zurich zoo as part of an international breeding programme and would be joined at the North Yorkshire attraction by a male.

The animals, which can reach 3.75m in length, weigh 1.5 tonnes and are capable of running at 35mph, will be the first inhabitants of the zoo's Selous Black

Sumatran rhino leaving Cinci for mating; another in Indonesia pregnant
As a Sumatran rhino in Cincinnati prepares to leave for an Indonesian sanctuary, another already there is pregnant with her second calf in the original habitat of the highly endangered species, a government conservation official said Wednesday.

Why are all the lions dying at India’s Lion Safari breeding program?
In India, there is a place where Asiatic lions should be thriving, but instead they are mysteriously dying. It’s called the Lion Safari, and its purported goal is to help reintroduce the nearly-extinct Asiatic lion to areas in India where this species used to live. The small lion breeding program is situated near the town of Etawah, which is the hometown of Akhilesh Yadav, the incumbent Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. In the past year, at least seven lions have died at the facility, including two adult lions last fall and five newborn cubs this summer. This means that all of the lion cubs born at the facility so far have died soon after birth. The worst part about this tragedy is that nobody outside the park really knows why the lions are dying.

Wellington City Council pushes for pandas at the zoo
Wellington City Council is trying to move along the idea of acquiring giant pandas for the city's zoo.
Deputy Mayor Justin Lester says the Government has driven the panda initiative in the past and wrote to the council in 2011 to seek their interest.
"The Christchurch earthquakes stalled further traction at the time, but it's worthwhile looking at it again now," he said.
Mr Lester, who chairs the governance, finance and planning committee, says he's putting forward a proposal for the council to invest in a business case, as part of the annual plan, to investigate the financial viability of the project.
"I think Wellingtonians would love to have pandas at the zoo. There would be considerable conservation and economic benefits to

'Not one person in Wellington has said they really want a panda' - councillor

Panda diplomacy? Malaysians voice outrage at 600,000 USD price tag for each panda cub born in their country
Last month, China News happily reported that a giant panda named Feng gave birth at the National Zoo of Malaysia.
Some say that Malaysia would be better off without the new panda cub. Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar explained to The Sun Daily that for each panda that is born in the National Zoo of Malaysia, the country must pay 600,000 USD within 12 months to China and then return the cub to the PRC after 2 years. All together, around 18 countries have been given pandas by China and each of the nations face similar charges every time their pandas successfully mate.
"Even to name the panda cub, we need China's approval as per the agreement," minister Wan Junaidi added.
Due to the MH370 disaster, the pandas were actually delayed in arriving to Malaysia. The two giant pandas only arrived in Malaysia last year, but it would seem they have settled in rather well. Malaysia gave the pandas new (approved) names as a welcoming gesture. The male Fu Wa was renamed Xing Xing meaning "prosperity," and the female Feng Yi became known as Liang Liang meaning "pretty."
Their arrival coincided with the Malaysian national zoo's 50th anniversary and the event was headlined by the opening of the Giant Panda Conservation and Exhibition Center. The event also happened to correspond with the commemoration of 40 years of good relations between China and Malaysia.
The cost of maintaining a panda is nearly 10,000 USD per month, a hefty price to pay for adorableness and diplomatic allegiance. It cost a further 4 million USD to build the conservation center in the zoo. Some say that by successfully managing to mate the apathetic creatur

Malaysia To Pay China US$600,000 For Each Panda Cubs That Are Born Here
Malaysia has to pay US$600,000 to China for each panda cub that is born here after 12 months and return the cub to China when it is two years old, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said.

This is stated in the Malaysia-China Giant Panda International Conservation Agreement programme, in which two giant pandas, Fu Wa (Xing Xing) and Feng Yi (Liang Liang), were loaned to Malaysia for 10 years, he told a press conference at the Giant Panda Conservation Centre here at Zoo Negara after making an official visit to the zoo.

"No, the pandas do not belong to Malaysia, even if it was born in Malaysia.

"We have to return the panda cub to Chengdu, China, after two years. We also have to give a gift for the birth of the panda, that is pay US$600,000 for each panda cub that is born here," he added.

"Even to name the panda cub, we need China's approval as per the agreement," Wan Junaidi said, adding that the ministry will organise a naming contest for the cub like the one held to name its parents.

The cub will only be displayed to the public once its mother releases her and the baby is able to move freely.

At the moment Liang Liang is still clutching her cub.

The total cost of maintenance of the pandas still remains at an average of RM60,000 a month.

He said the point to note is that Malaysia is able to keep "unique animals" and take care of them.

The birth of the cub has reportedly set a world recor

Kudeweh family statement
The family of Hamilton Zoo Curator Samantha Kudeweh have gathered at her Waikato home following her death on Sunday, 20 September, at the zoo she loved.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Samantha's colleague Catherine Nichols – also a Hamilton Zoo staff member – says the extended Kudeweh family wanted to thank the public and the global zoo and conservation community for their messages of support over the past 24 hours after news of Sam's death became public.

Samantha, 43, was recognised and respected globally as a talented, passionate and highly knowledgeable conservation and zoo professional whose expertise and understanding of animals was highly sought after by other zoos and captive animal breeding programmes.

Catherine says Samantha was an experienced zoo industry professional who had an exceptional reputation following more than 20 years in the conservation and zoo sector.

Her role as Curator at Hamilton Zoo made her second-in-charge to the Zoo Director, and she was responsible for the management of the animals and acquisitions of new animal exhibits.

"Samantha was a passionate conservationist, and today her family have recalled how, as an intermediate school student, she told her parents she wanted to work in the zoo sector," says Catherine. "She was a volunteer at Auckland Zoo for a number of years before joining the staff."

She grew up in Papakura, and studied at Lincoln University and Auckland University toward a Bachelor of Science.

She worked at Auckland Zoo for several years, before a shift to Zoos Victoria in 2002. During her stay in Melbourne she met Richard Kudeweh, another zoo professional who she would go on to marry.

In 2005, Samantha and Richard moved to Hamilton Zoo, where she started as the mammals team leader. In 2011 she was promoted to zoo curator, achieving one of her professional dreams. It gave her the opportunity to become involved in a number of species management programmes, an area of conservation which she had a passion for.

She was responsible for managing breeding programmes for a number of species, including the southern white rhino, and was able to influence the zoo sector across Australasia.

Hamilton Zoo tiger attack not isolated incident
A fatal attack on a Hamilton Zoo keeper by a Sumatran tiger should not be viewed as an isolated incident, commentators say.

A Worksafe NZ investigation was launched following curator Samantha Kudeweh's death at the zoo on Sunday morning.

Big cat commentator, Dr Bhagavan Antle, from South Carolina-based institution T.I.G.E.R.S - The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species, said any investigation into the fatal attack had to also examine a potentially lethal encounter with a tiger at Hamilton Zoo two years earlier.

In 2013, a keeper walked 10 metres into an enclosure she thought was empty before finding herself alone with a five-year-old female tiger after a gate had mistakenly been left open.

Antle said the 2013 incident raised "red flags" and circumstances surrounding the event had to be examined by Worksafe NZ investigators.

"You can't look at one event in isolation, you have to be very suspicious about whether there was any duplication in what happened," Antle said.

"You have to ask what on earth happened last time and what was put in place to stop a tragedy from occurring?

"Hamilton Zoo may be superbly designed and it could just come down to a human error or something, or there could be terrible flaws with their enclosures' designs, we don't know at this stage."

A council investigation into the 2013 close encounter concluded the incident was a result of human error and said appropriate processes were in place.

Editorial: Why kill thy fearful symmetry?
 If Hamilton City Council had made the decision to euthanise Hamilton Zoo's killer tiger, Oz, a hot wind of outrage would have swept across the country.

Animal welfare groups like Safe or Peta wouldn't be leading the chorus against it for once. The condemnation would have come from everywhere.

The death of zookeeper Samantha Kudeweh is a tragedy, a horror no family would ask to go through, but the fact it took so long for Hamilton City Council to rule out euthanising endangered Sumatran tiger Oz because of the attack turned an awful, awful day for the zoo into something even worse.

It caused howls of indignation from every quarter and a petition to save Oz's life on Facebook gathered more than 10,000 signatures before killing him was eventually ruled out at about 3pm on Monday.

It meant people were filled with rage at a time when sadness for the loss of Kudeweh was the appropriate emotion.

Questions rightfully need to be asked about the safety of the zoo and whether its procedures for entering the tigers' enclosure are thorough enough. But the question that never needed to be asked was whether or not to kill Oz.

Oz is a tiger with symmetry so fearful it would make William Blake gush. That he killed, as he was born to do, was not down to his failings.

The precedents for what follows after zoo deaths vary somewhat in New Zealand.

When lion keeper Dalu Mncube was fatally mauled by a white tiger in May 2009 at Whangarei's Zion Wildlife Garden, the 260kg tiger was shot dead shortly – note the word shortly – after the attack.

In contrast Mila the elephant, who accidentally crushed h

Tiger must be moved: expert
An experienced big cat keeper who had worked with the woman killed in a tiger attack at Hamilton Zoo thinks the animal should be moved overseas.

The zoo's male Sumatran tiger, Oz, fatally attacked the zoo curator and mother-of-two Samantha Kudeweh, 43, on Sunday morning. Her husband, Richard, also works at the zoo and the couple were part of a tight-knit group of colleagues.

Todd Barclay, who had worked with Mrs Kudeweh when she was based at Auckland Zoo and had previously worked with the male tiger, was perplexed as to what went wrong.

"I always found Sam to be extremely competent a

Councillor calls for big exotic animals to go from Hamilton Zoo
A city politician says Hamilton Zoo should stop exhibiting large exotic animals.

Hamilton City Councillor Andrew King said tigers and other large animals have no place in a New Zealand zoo. He doesn't oppose the council's owning a zoo, but said keeping large animals caged in cold environments is inhumane.

"When I was a child, people would go to the circus and you'd see lions and elephants. That was accepted back then, and now it's frowned on. I think in the future, places like Hamilton Zoo will be frowned on.

Tiger that mauled zookeeper won't be on display as Hamilton Zoo reopens
Oz, the Hamilton Zoo tiger who fatally mauled a senior keeper, will not be on display today as the zoo reopens, four days after the incident.

Hamilton City Council staff held a press conference at the premises.

Council chief executive Richard Briggs said Ms Kudeweh's funeral will be held on Monday at Hamilton Gardens.

Mr Briggs said the council arranged for a blessing at the site where Mrs Kudeweh was killed yesterday.

"This was a very emotional event attended by 50 staff and supporters."

Mr Briggs said it was still a "very, very diffic

After three years in chains, Kaavan walks free
Kaavan, a 31-year-old Asian elephant, has been unshackled in its enclosure at the small zoo of the federal capital – three years after the beast was put in chains.

Kaavan was put in chains by the Islamabad Zoo administration for security of visitors after the death of its female companion, Saheli, in 2012. The elephant was set free within its enclosure after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif intervened in the issue following global outcry over the animal’s plight.

However, animal rights campaigners, who have been pursuing the issue vigorously, have announced that th

How Aquariums Can Actually Save Animals in the Wild
The orphaned baby sea otter was as sad and winsome as any cartoon animal Disney ever put on screen. Last October, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Monterey Bay Aquarium rescued a tiny pup that appeared to be abandoned by her mother on a beach near Santa Cruz. Stranded and crying, she was thought to be less than a week old and weighed just over 2 pounds, the smallest baby otter found in years.

This Cambodian Zoo Can't Afford to Feed Its Animals, But It's Getting Two New Tigers
Teuk Chhou Zoo in southern Cambodia is a cruel hell for most of the animals kept there, where not even endangered species are spared from brazen neglect. Yet under the terms of a proposed swap deal with a zoo in Japan, two extinction-threatened white tigers could soon be calling it home.

Sat six miles north of the sleepy riverside city of Kampot, Teuk Chhou is one of two private zoos owned by tycoon Nhim Vanda, an elected ruling party official and four-star general who counts strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen as a personal friend.

A visit to the zoo is an affronting experience. The initial surprise at the trash skirting the crocodile pond is quickly eclipsed by the realization the crocs have it far better than most.

Throughout the 1.8 million sq. ft. site, tiny rusted cages line paths crossing expansive, unused lawns. Inside those cages, disheveled exotic birds sit forlornly, waiting to see if the eyes gawking at them will be joined by a hand

PETA slams Cincinnati Zoo
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden should lose its accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals claims.
In a letter to the AZA, PETA Foundation counsel Rachel Mathews says the zoo violated the organization’s rules when it allowed visitors to enter an elephant enclosure with nothing more than an electric wire between them and an employee nearby with an inhumane tool to tame the animal.

"I used to have baths with tigers!" - meet the woman who is trying to rescue Simi, the headline-grabbing tiger
MEET Simi – the tiger that stole the glory from new Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn at his first Prime Minister’s Questions.

Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner raised the issue about Simi, an eight-year-old tiger who cannot be rehomed on the island because of “red tape”.

The unusual question took the limelight away from Mr Corbyn, 66, who became leader of the opposition last weekend.

Laughter erupted in the House of Commons when Mr Turner brought up the subject of the Isle of Wight Zoo’s attempt to rescue the tiger.

Scottish wildcat at risk from deadly virus
The endangered Scottish wildcat could be further threatened by a deadly virus that is known to cause the cat version of HIV, according to new research.
Experts said they have isolated two cases of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) from cats with a mixed domestic-wildcat ancestry.


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