Sunday, December 26, 1999

ZooNews Digest 20th December - 26th December 1999 (Zoo News 83)

ZooNews Digest 20th December - 26th December 1999 (Zoo News 83)

Dear Colleague,

A quietish week on the news front but just as busy on other projects
and answering letters. Many thanks. If I have missed anybody, sorry and
I will get to you as soon as I can. Christmas day as busy as ever. All
keeping staff in to work plus the invaluable help of a couple of
volunteers and trainees. With no extra sections to cover all the
important work gets done quite quickly. The weather the previous two
days was truly awful and we were slightly worried that we may have had
some structural damage, even a repetition of the Christmas day of 1997.
Happily this was not the case.
We went over to Derbyshire to collect Adam on Christmas Eve. Quite a
tiring drive, but the roads were surprisingly quiet and we were in a
sort of weather window. Nice to have everyone at home, even if just for
a short time. Roz's sister and kids due to arrive tomorrow.
Shelley is now back from New York and Thompson Park Conservancy. I only
know this because Olivia bumped into her at `Fat Cats' the other night.
I expect she will appear soon enough.
The seals are fine. Visibly getting fatter and fitter each day. Two
more are ready to go, possibly before the New Year if the weather is
kind. I will put in their flipper tags tomorrow so we are ready when
the time is right.
Zoo Biology is, as ever, very interesting. I would have liked to have
seen a better response to the euthanasia question, but then it is a
sensitive subject.

Tiger will leave Vilas Zoo

Estes sued over voters' zoo ban

Sacramento Zoo suits new director just fine

Zoo's newest tenants are pure fantasy
(Lowry Park Zoo)

Life sweet for zoo's honey bears
(Wellington Zoo)

L.A. Zoo's Only Tiger Euthanized at Age 16

Zookeeper injured by Asian elephant
(Vilas Park Zoo)

Zoo, public deals with loss of last Kodiak
(San Francisco Zoo)

Wayward otter gone for good
(Wellington zoo)

Ready and waiting for a nice, juicy worm
(Taronga Zoo),1249,145013093,00.html?

Born to Be (Almost) Wild
(Several zoos mentioned)

Requiem for a wallaby
(Little Rock Zoo)

Zoo gets funds to study stress, mating of birds
(Honolulu Zoo)

Wood frogs like to get an early start
(quote by Toledo Zoo)

Fight to the Death

Reptiles in the news
(3 stories)

Reindeer rentals rack up extra cash

When I posted the Taronga Tapir story last week I had not had an
official statement to go on. I have now, and this is reproduced in full
below. I am delighted to learn that the keeper concerned will be home
for Christmas.


A Taronga Zoo keeper was injured in an accident at the Zoo's Malayan
Tapir exhibit late yesterday.
The female keeper was attempting to secure the mother and baby tapir in
their night den when the female tapir charged the keeper.
The keeper sustained injuries to her right hand, back and leg but
managed to leave the exhibit where she received help from another Zoo
keeper and two visitors.
The injured keeper was transferred by ambulance to the Royal North
Shore Hospital were she underwent surgery on her right hand. Her
condition is satisfactory.

If you know a story I have missed this week do drop me a line with the
full web address and I will try and include it next week.

Bit & Pieces

ZooNews Digest subscribers can be found in :
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bali, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil,
Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Croatia, Czech Republic,
Denmark, Eire, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hong Kong,
Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan,
Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Malaysia, Malta,
Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea,
Peoples Republic of China, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia,
Senegal, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri
Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, The Netherlands, Turkey,
Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States,
Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


QUIZ for old zoo hands
A quiz for you who are bored during the holidays. Please respond to Thanks.

1. How has animal acquisition changed today and when did you as a zoo
person first observe the change (the when is important).

2. Can you give names to the different phases of animal acquisition
through history ? Can you give general dates (decade type dates) and
cut off points for these "phases".

3. Can anyone give me a phone number in the USA for any old, old
animal dealers ?

4. Who were the most famous animal dealers ?

5. Who were the most principled animal dealers ?

6. Who were the most disgusting animal dealers ?

7. What was the largest ever animal shipment of modern times ?

8. Do you think CITES and the Endangered Species Act (this is for USA)
is always fair ?

9. Do current laws always uphold what genuine zoos are trying to do
for conservation ?

10. Do you think it is really necessary for western zoos to breed
animals from Asia and South America when those zoos are now beginning
to get organised. When they are organised, will people let them get on
with it or insist on a Noah's Ark in Europe and USA ? Will USA and
Europe want to put their animals in the Asian Ark or the South American
ark ? Be honest now ! What do Asian and
South American zoo folks think of this.

No winners. No prize ... unless you consider a better essay for the
zoo encyclopaedia a prize ! I do. I am doing the essay on Animal
Acquisitions for the now infamous zoo encyclopaedia and would like
comments and information from a variety of sources to make the article
as varied as possible. I know everyone is sick of hearing about the
encyclopaedia but it is a great public service for zoos to have this.

Thanks to all. Sally Walker -


The SeaWorld Orlando Education Department has two unique Internship
opportunities for college students. The Camp SeaWorld/Adventure Camp
Internship provides an opportunity for students to work with SeaWorld's
summer camp programs and is offered from May to August. The new
Internship which gives students the opportunity to staff various animal
attractions and interact with park guests, is offered as a twelve-week
Internship during the Spring, Summer and Fall semesters. Contact for information on the Camp
SeaWorld Internship. Contact for
information about the Educator Internship. Check out for more information about either internship.


The International Training Centre (ITC) of the Wildlife Preservation
Trusts is based in Jersey, Channel Islands. Here at the Headquarters of
the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust the ITC offers a unique
opportunity for training in Conservation and Zoo Biology. The ITC runs
a three-week Summer School intended as an intensive introduction to
principles of Conservation Biology with an emphasis on the role that
Zoological parks and similar institutions can play in the process.
Group research projects are incorporated in this course but there is no
hands on animal work. 17th July to 4th August 2000 cost £1,145
including Bed and Board. A longer residential course is also offered
running from between 12 to 16 weeks. With more time this longer course
offers an opportunity for practical work within the Jersey Zoo and a
more extensive research project in addition to a more comprehensive
treatment of zoo and conservation biology in the theory sessions. For
further information on these courses please contact us ITC, Durrell
Wildlife Conservation Trust, Les Augres Manor, Trinity, Jersey JE3 5BP
Tel. +44 (0)1534 860037
Fax +44 (0)1534 860002 e mail

The Dallas Zoo presents a WILDLIFE RESEARCH EXPEDITION to study
endangered wildlife in Mexico April 1 -15, 2000
The Dallas Zoo is providing a unique opportunity for volunteers to
participate in ecological studies of endangered wildlife. The primary
focus of the research is a radio-tracking study of ocelot, jaguarundi,
and coatimundi. This will provide information that is vital for
developing a conservation strategy for these endangered carnivores. In
addition, we will also be capturing and banding raptors to understand
aspects of their migration and reproduction. We have previously
banded greater black hawk, common black hawk, grey hawk, harris hawk,
and numerous roadside hawks. The final component of the trip is a
baseline survey of reptiles and amphibians. No systematic survey for
reptiles and amphibians has been done previously.

We are seeking 4-6 volunteers to devote two weeks of time to assist
Mexican biologist Arturo Caso with these studies on this Wildlife
Research Expedition to Tamaulipas, Mexico. The next research
expedition will run from April 1-15, 2000. The cost of $1,600 includes
transportation from
Harlingen, Texas, to the study site, lodging, 3 meals daily, research
training, field supplies, and research equipment. This expedition will
be led by Jeanette Boylan, research technician, and Richard Reams,
Senior Keeper, from the Dallas Zoo. For further information please
contact Wanda Weaver at (214) 670-6833 or e-mail Jeanette Boylan at There is extra time that can be spent bird
watching. A great variety of birds can be seen in this region, and
many migrants will be passing through during the time of this
expedition. Birds seen at the study site include: - 34 raptors,
including the Aplomado falcon, Collared Forest Falcon, and Bat Falcon -
4 species of Parrots/Parakeets, including the Red-crowned Parrot and
Yellow-headed Amazon - Native woodpeckers; Lineated Woodpecker,
Olivaceous Woodpecker - 3 species of Trogons and the
Blue-crowned Motmot - Kingfishers; Amazon Kingfisher and Green
Kingfisher - A large variety of water birds and songbirds


WILDLIFE INFORMATION NETWORK is still open for review. If you have
tried to get on to the site previously but have encountered browser
problems go to This is your chance
to review WILDProâ Multimedia v. 1.0 When you have, don`t forget to
add your comments before you exit.
Well worth having a look whilst the opportunity is there.


A letter from Sally Walker :

It being Chrismas I thought I might present you with an editorial I
for the December issue of the publication I used to edit (I am Editor
Emeritus now but still do much of the non-journal portion of Zoos'
Print). This
editorial was to introduce and make more meaningful some articles in
Zoos' Print
about elephant management. I am sending it around now because I feel
sometimes that not enough people know about the destruction which can be
achieved by probably well meaning but uninformed animal welfare people
now politicians. The events I have related are in the past but there
events going on even as I write and as you read which are taking up the
valuable time of the Forest Department of Tamil Nadu and continuing to
destroy the reputations of people who have given their lives to improve
the standard of elephant medical care and management.

I have avoided using names and insulting terminology. Please do not
I have done this because I am a pussy. I am a raging lioness on this
subject but I do not want to fall into the same category of those who
achieve their objectives by exaggeration and slander.

Read and weep and think of what can be done. The Indian Forest Service
does NOT need the help of western elephant managers. Sometimes these
western zoo people may be facilitated by others in India who want big
grants for elephant work and feel the ends justify the means. The
elephant work is important but it may not be worth it. Just my opinion
course. I have taken money too but from positive and constructive
welfare organisations of which there are a number out there. My
favourite is the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare which always
tries to solve problems scientifically and sensibly.

from ZOOS' PRINT, Volume I-XIV, Number 3-12, DECEMBER 1999
Elephant memories

Last Spring 1999 there was a great uproar over a "makhna" (tuskless
elephant from the forests of Tamil Nadu and Kerala who, for his own good
reasons, saw fit to raid crops and attack human beings over a long
of time. The Forest Department, which would have been within their
to shoot the elephant, elected instead to capture him and keep him in
their elephant camp. There was a history of complaints against this
elephant by villagers so when the capture operation was mounted, some
hundreds of them turned out to see it, which may have compromised the
quality of the capture. Whatever it was, the elephant was insured in
process of taking him to the forest camp and his wounds took a long time
to heal. An American lady and one of her volunteers who was running a
local animal welfare organisation near the forest elephant camp assisted
in looking after the elephant in the early stages of the healing
complained that the forest department and their vets were not doing
best and wanted to take the elephant to her "sanctuary" of 3 acres. The
Department refused and she unleashed a vicious publicity campaign
Department, Researchers and Veterinarians which had international
implications. That many of her allegations were completely false and
most of them highly exaggerated notwithstanding, that is not the subject
of this note, but merely background ... for readers to whom this subject
may be new.

What happened then is an incredible story of American politics which
should be told someday in detail. Unfortunately this rendition will be
merely a precis to introduce the elephant material produced in this
and reinforce the fact that Asia is historically the seat of elephant
management and -- despite some ill practices which occur from time to
time, and even frequently, depending on the time and place -- Asian
mahouts and veterinarians are the experts in handling elephants, at
if the elephants are in Asia.

What happened is that the American lady contacted a Congressman who
happened to have a staff member just as "sensitive" to animal rights and
wrongs as lady # 1 who proceeded to draw up a letter damning the Indian
experts and authorities who were in charge of the elephant and got more
than 30 other Congresspersons to sign it. The letter was addressed to
very high level officials in the Indian government. The language used
the letter, while not vulgar, was "unparliamentary" and definitely
inappropriate for American Congressmen to use against Indian officials.
It is possible that the staff member got it signed by other staff
of the 30 odd Congresspersons because it is hard to believe 30
Congresspersons could have agreed to sign that letter.

However the Congressman himself saw some political hay in this for
and proceeded to organise a rally to enjoin the President of the United
States to sign a waiver lifting the sanctions on the Asian Elephant
Conservation Fund. There was also a letter to the President signed by
Congressmen. In the letter and also a subject of the rally was a
by an extreme animal rights group ostensibly sent to the US Fish and
Wildlife Service requesting funds under the AsECF to send American
trainers to India to train Mahouts and institute "protected contact"
devices into Indian elephant management ! Actually they claimed this
proposal already had been submitted but it had not. That is by the
What is interesting about this rally and the letter is that the
had already approved a memorandum recommending waiver of the sanctions
India as they apply to the Rhino-tiger and Asian elephant programs. The
President had also signed an authorization for the White House to
with Congress on this matter. If Congress approved the waiver, another
memo would have to be signed by the President actually lifting the
sanctions off of these programs. This was not anticipated to be a
in any sense.

Therefore, the fuss raised by the Congressman SF's office was completely
unnecessary for achieving the objective so it must have been politically
motivated to draw attention to the Congressman and his good deeds and

About this time some Americans paid a visit to India to discuss the
mistreatment of the makhna and suggest improvements to elephant
in India, offering the help of the American zoo community. The results
this visit and meeting are not known completely and will be included in
detailed version of this story at some later time.

The point is that some very vocal lunatics in the western animal world
could create a situation in which it made sense to a lot of people for
American elephant managers to come over and teach Indian foresters,
mahouts, etc. how to train, treat and manage elephants. For all I know
this proposal is still pending, but this is not certain. One of the
methods that is to be conveyed is "protected contact" which essentially
consists of creating a variety of highly mechanised structures of metal
protective devices run by electric power which contain the elephant
so that that the keeper can maintain the animal without danger to
It eliminates also the personal contact and relationship between the
elephant and his keeper. Also, given Indian difficulties with
power and mechanical structures -- particularly in zoos and in elephant
camps -- it is a little ludicrous to even suggest such means as
Nonetheless, this was being seriously suggested by the Congressman and
his supporters and a number of zoos and welfare organisation in USA.

Not all westerners or even Americans agreed. Those who supported the
various Indian elephant managers under attack are numerous and cannot
be named here.

This little summary has been given to help readers unfamiliar with
elephant issues appreciate the following articles and other pieces, e.g.

1/ the article by Poole and Taylor, "Can the Behavioural Needs of Asian
Elephants be met in Captivity?" which effectively squashes any
that Asian elephants are better off in captivity in USA or Europe than

2/ the elephant management guidelines by the US based Elephant Managers
Association which recommend Guidelines and Manuals from Africa and Asia,
including the Practical Elephant Management: A Handbook for Mahouts from
India, and

3/ the note and exerpt from this month's ZOO ZEN which is a summary of
Handbook mentioned above.

End of editorial

Zoo Staff Personals

Looking for work? Someone to travel with? Somewhere to stay? Let me
know and I will post it here.


Situations Vacant
(Please mention you saw the advertisement in ZooNews Digest should you
apply for any of these posts, many thanks) Do you have a vacancy to
advertise? Please email me.

Experience in zoo animal husbandry, (particularly primates) and
possession of the City & Guilds Certificate in Zoo Animal Management
preferred. Pay according to age and experience.
Interested applicants should apply in writing only (not by e-mail) to:
Neil Bemment, Curator of Mammals, Paignton Zoo Environmental Park,
Paignton Devon TQ4 7EU

Chester Zoo, one of Europe's leading zoological collections is looking
for a Keeper/Trainee Keeper to work within their Bird Department. The
ideal candidate should, ideally have around four years previous zoo
experience. However a trainee position would be considered if the
applicant could demonstrate serious hobbyist experience. Candidates
should have or be studying towards the City & Guilds Certificate in
Animal Management.
Please send applications in writing, enclosing current CV to Mrs Jayne
Quinn, Personnel Manager, Chester Zoo, Caughall Road, Upton-by-Chester,
Closing date for applications is 5th January 2000

Their is a vacancy within the UK Orangutan Foundation. They are looking
for someone with a wide range of skills ideally with Education or PR
experience. Amongst the qualities looked for are : a flexible attitude
to working hours, ability to motivate, a team worker, understanding of
environmental issues, previous project management experience, computer
literate including internet applications, networking skills,
administrative skills, degree in relevant subject, effective verbal,
written, communication and presentation skills.
Send your applications in writing enclosing a full CV to :
Mrs Ashley Leiman (Director),Orangutan Foundation, 7 Kent Terrace,
London NW1 4RP

Please include a stamped addressed postcard if you would like receipt
of your application acknowledged


Bristol Zoo is looking for a Keeper of Invertebrates. Applicants should
be educated to at least GCSE level, which should include English and a
Biological Science and ideally have some experience of exotic animal
Although experience with invertebrates would be desirable, full
training will be given.
The ability to relate to both people and animals is essential.

Please send applications and a full CV to D.A. Bolton, General Curator,
Bristol Zoo Gardens, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 3HA
e-mail :

Fax: 0117 9730253 by 31st December 1999


Department Animal Care, Position Keeper, National Aviary in Pittsburgh
Type Full-time, Hourly
Pay Range $16,480 - $22,660, plus benefits
Start Date Immediate
Deadline Open until filled
Responsibilities Responsible for day to day care of animal collection,
exhibits and off-exhibit areas. Take an active part in the direction of
the animal collection and its exhibition.
Participate in related education and conservation activities.
Prepare and deliver food; observe feeding activities. Clean and service
exhibits and exhibit support areas. Create and maintain a safe and
healthy environment for the animals, staff and guests. Perform
necessary maintenance in areas concerning, and on equipment related to,
animal care. Record all observations in appropriate areas. Design,
create and implement behavioral enrichment and breeding support
activities. Assist and interact with the Aviary's guests. Support all
other departments as required.
High school diploma or equivalent required College degree in Natural
Sciences preferred. Must be able to work weekends and holidays;
overtime mandatory on an as needed basis. Able to stand for extended
periods of time and be able to lift and carry up to 40 lbs. Vision
corrected to 20/20. Valid PA Drivers License and proof of employment
eligibility required.

Please submit resume with cover letter to:
James Mejeur,
Curator of Birds
National Aviary in Pittsburgh
Allegheny Commons West
Pittsburgh, PA 15212


The Raystede Centre For Animal Welfare is looking for a full time
Assistant Animal Manager. Further details and an application form can
be obtained from :
The Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare, Ringmer, East Sussex, BN8 5AJ
or telephone 01825 840-252

Animal Caretaker II (0224-M) $20,040
Position open at Georgia State University Language Research Center in
Atlanta, GA. Must have high school diploma or GED and one year animal
care experience. More information at
GSU is an equal opportunity educational institution and is an equal
opportunity/affirmative employer.
Essential job functions include: Cleaning and disinfecting cages and
surrounding areas; assisting
research techs with research protocols; preparing food and feeding
animals; assisting research techs with data collecting and entry; and
observing, assessing and recording the health and well being of
animals. Position requires working some holidays; working on weekends;
working overtime; regular attendance; and negative TB test. Resume and
names and phone numbers of three references required. Criminal
background investigation required.

The Horniman Museum and Gardens, London, is looking for an Aquarium
Manager. Initially the post is to cover someone on long term sick leave
but is likely to become a permament post.
The position will suit someone with a stong interest in conservation
who would like the opportunity to carry out research.
It is essential that applicants have a relevant degree level
qualification and hands on experience caring for fish and aquaria.
Supervisory experience will also be needed.
Salary is expected to be up to £20,000 p.a.
Interviews will be held on the 12th January 2000. If you fulfill the
criteria and are interested in this post please fax your CV to the
Director of the Horniman Museum on 0181 291 5506 by the 5th January
2000 at the latest

For the most up to date links to sites advertising Zoo work go to:



International Conference on Owl Biology, Ecology and Conservation
19 – 23 January 2000
Australian National University,
Canberra, Australia.
Email :

Monotreme and Marsupial TAG Meeting
24th January 2000
Banham Zoo
For more information contact Peter Dillingham at Blackpool Zoo

A full list of meetings will be included again in next weeks mailing.
If you have any meeting details to add please e-mail me at :

Help Wanted

Need assistance? You could try Zoo Biology, it is probably your best
bet for animal information. However ZooNews Digest reaches more like
minded people, more often than any other similar publication on the
planet! So you could try here. Let me know and I will post it.

Please don't assume that someone else will help/answer.Make it a
resolution to become more involved. Mark (see below), has not had a
single reply in spite of this being posted over a month or more.

Mark Meirering is a teacher Animal care. During this course his
students have to fulfill certain practical goals in the field of animal
care. A number of these students would like to obtain those goals in a
zoo. Regrettably there aren't enough zoos in the Netherlands to go
around. Mark is appealing for practical training places in foreign
zoos. He already one student who would like to go to Australia. If you
are interested, in a position to help or would like more information
please send an email to : "M.Meijering"


Zoo Biology

To subscribe send an e-mail to:
For those of you unfamiliar with Email groups they work like this. You
subscribe. You can then pose questions, answer questions, make
observations, inform or just read the Email. This will arrive with some
regularity (depending on the flow of information). By Zoo Biology I
mean anything relating to zoo management. Hediger described this as
"the science which embraced everything which was biologically relevant
to the management of the zoological garden."

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