Sunday, April 26, 2009

ZooNews Digest 22nd - 27th April 2009 (Zoo News 589)

ZooNews Digest 22nd - 27th April 2009 (Zoo News 589)
Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

The swine flu epidemic is a bit of a worry. I note that Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico is already closed as a precaution. A wise move particularily as other places such schools and sports fixtures have closed as well. Cases are now appearing around the world. So far only Mexico has been badly hit. All Zoos should have some sort of contingency plan for events such as this. It is not just lack of visitors hitting the budget but what about lack of staff?
Probably the finest publication dealing with zoo emergencies is that produced by Animal Keepers' Forum. This is the Special Dedicated Issue on Crisis Management in Zoos.
If your zoo does not have a copy and it has not been required reading for your staff then it is about time you rectified the situation.

I had actually written a hubpage on the Swine Flu Pandemic when I first heard about it. Happily it has not yet become a zoo problem...but it could.

There are as per usual some interesting links.

I was surprised to learn there were so many elephants in Thailand. True enough I do see one or two wandering arpound the streets every day. The idea of returning animals of that size back to the wild seems a daunting one and I will be fascinated to learn more should the project ever become a reality.
The only serious 'return to the wild' project that I was ever deeply involved in was that for Red Squirrels in Wales. I recall at the time the debates and the politics surrounding the project and particular in relation to the suggestion that only 'Welsh' squirrels should be released. At the time a stupid suggestion particularily if one had followed the localised extinctions in Scotland and elsewhere and re-introductions from Scandinavia and Germany. There was it would seem no such thing as a British Red Squirrel. Now it turns out there is....or at least one gentically different to all others in the UK (see links). Again something I am very keen to learn more about.

Sriracha Tiger Zoo is using Tigers to rear piglets again! They never stop. Nor are they the only ones who do such stupid ignorant things...I have seen it elsewhere in Thailand. The vet says it "
could help calm their fierceness". For why? What is the point? They do it the other way round too and besides all the cute little piglets in their little striped tiger coats are going to end up getting the chop anyway. Do the public ever think of that? It is not clever. It is not wonderful. Sriracha Tiger Zoo is one of those pointless collections which lost its sense of direction years ago...if it ever had one in the first place. They have 400+ Tigers now and say they are producing 50 a year (seems an under estimation to me) so what are they going to do with them all? We know of their previous rather dubious exports to China. Are they going to continue?

Getting away from Zoos for just a minute. We all need to relax sometimes. Take a look at my hubs:
How to live in Pattaya in Thailand on ten dollars a day or less
How to Live in Pattaya in Thailand on Five Dollars a Day or Less
You could have a cheaper holiday in Thailand than you imagined. If you tie your holiday in with dental treatment you could actually save money and have some sun and fun along the way.

Hubpages are brilliant, quick to create webpages which can earn you a small passive income from day one. Read my "Quick Guide to Hub Construction." I truly believe it will be worth your while.

This Weeks Books of Interest to the Zoo Professional

On with the links:

Ministry orders halt to elephant exports
Newspaper section: NewsElephant exports will be suspended for at least five years until a new registration process for the captive beasts is complete, says the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.
Better records on elephants born on farms are needed, including new ID cards, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti said yesterday.
"We decided not to export any more elephants until we have a better system to prove that the beasts we send overseas are from farms, not from forests," Mr Suwit said.
"This can help protect them from poaching."
The process would take at least five years.
The Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has estimated that there are 3,000 elephants living in the wild and another 3,000 on farms.
Poachers take elephants from the wild and domesticate them so they can be traded legally at home or sent overseas.
The present ID system and DNA checks cannot stop poachers taking

Gang convicted of stealing ostriches
A court in Vietnam has convicted 29 people of stealing dozens of ostriches, porcupines, pythons and other animals from enclosures at animal centres and selling their meat to restaurants.
"They confessed and repented for their crimes, so the court gave them reduced sentences," said Le Thi Huong, chairwoman of the People's Court of the southern province of Dong Nai.
The leader of the group, Huynh Van Khau, was sentenced to five years in prison, while 28 other defendants got one and two years in prison.
According to the indictment, Khau and his accomplices stole captive wild animals from authorised wild animal centres on over 30 occasions. The centres, located in Ho Chi Minh City and neighbouring provinces, were licensed to raise animals for research.
Khau's group was convicted of stealing 10 crocodiles, 43 pythons, 25 porcupines, 17 ostriches, three bears and several other animals.
They then sold the animals to restaurants, netting nearly 0.5 billion dong ($A39,194).
A military court already sentenced Khau to 9-1/2 years in prison in 2007 for stealing and killing a tiger from the Centre for Medicine Research and Production of Military Zone Number 9.
The Vietnamese national health

Pig suckles baby tigers at Thailand zoo
A Thai zoo hoping to tame its tigers is letting a sow suckle a pair of cubs, while a tigeress takes care of some of her piglets.
The bizarre arrangement at the Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Chonburi is intended to accustom the prey and predators to one another, and make the tigers more docile, officials say.
It has also drawn thousands of tourists to the zoo, located some 80 km (50 miles) east of Bangkok.
"It is to calm the tigers' fierce behavior because the pig will not teach them to hunt or be wild. The pig will only lie down and feed them, so that could help calm their fierceness," said veterinarian Soonthon Kamvisek.
In one room, a two-year-old pig named Ple allows the tiger cubs to suckle along with her piglets. In the next room, the cubs' mother nuzzles six little pigs.
Both surrogate mothers are loving to their little ones and never push the babies away when they are hungry.
"It is weird as I have never seen it anywhere else before. It shows that whether they are pigs to tigers, they can still live together," said visitor Nanthiga Sangchan.
The zoo has successfully bred at least 50 tiger

Zoo project may be saved
A stalled £100 million leisure and heritage scheme in the heart of Dudley, including a revamp for the town’s zoo, could be saved by a new investment deal, it has been revealed today.
Dudley Council Leader David Caunt said the authority was on the brink of an agreement with Advantage West Midlands for “several million pounds”.
If agreed, the new contract would help to resurrect the Castle Hill plans which feature a £10m package for Dudley Zoo including a mini version of Cornwall’s Eden Project.
Talks between the council and developer St Modwen broke down in February putting the project in jeopardy. It had been feared it could take up to two years to select a new developer and get the ambitious scheme off the ground.
But Councillor Caunt said talks about setting up a “venture partnership” between AWM and the council along with

Ape escapes in Dutch zoo, no visitors hurt
Separated from his mother and confronted by a group of angry pregnant females, a bonobo ape didn't hesitate Thursday at a Dutch zoo.
Zamba ran through a 23-foot -wide moat surrounding the animals' island at the Apenheul zoo and straight into an area where dozens of shocked visitors were standing.
But there, the 11-year-old lived up to his species' reputation as peacenik primates and left the public alone until zookeepers ushered him safely back into captivity.
Nobody was injured in the Thursday morning escape, said Bert de Boer, a spokesman for the zoo in the central city of Apeldoorn.
There was no panic, De Boer said.
Bonobos — often lauded as the peaceful ape — are known for their matriarchal society in which female leaders work to avoid conflict, and

Lion Man caged by his mother in bitter feud at park
THE FEUD between Craig Busch and his mother, Patricia Busch, over management of the Zion Wildlife Gardens is so heated the Lion Man now has to phone his mum every time he, his partner and their visitors want to come and go from the lion park.
On Wednesday, Craig's lawyer, Wayne Peters, asked High Court judge Justice Paul Heath to prevent any moves by Patricia to stop her son and new partner from leaving or re-entering their house, which is in the middle of the park, and just 10m from her home.
Craig who shot to international stardom through his Lion Man TV series also sought an interim injunction against Patricia and associated companies listed as Country Developments Ltd, Wildlife Pictures Ltd and Primal Productions Ltd for allegedly breaking agreements in 2006 and 2007.
A hearing has been scheduled for Friday in the High Court at Whangarei.
Craig has been locked in an increasingly bitter and public dispute with Patricia, who is now running the Whangarei park with the help of former Auckland Zoo chief Glen Holland, whom she hired to replace her son.
In Heath's oral judgement Patricia's lawyer, Gilbert Walker, said "no steps will be taken to eject" Craig and his partner from their home before an Employment Relations Authority ruling expected to happen some time after Friday's interim injunction hearing.
Peters also asked for orders to allow Craig's friends, medical staff and lawyers access to the house. Craig is recovering from an operation.
Heath said he was satisfied that orders were required, but

Secrecy shrouds San Diego elephants' move
Ranchipur, the bull, is ready. Cookie and Mary are getting there.
Cha Cha, well, she's always been the idiosyncratic one, the youngest and a bit flighty.
Soon, Ranchipur and the three females -- Asian elephants all -- will transfer from the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park to the zoo itself. The exact day and time of the move is a closely held secret.
The four will be stars in the zoo's largest and most expensive exhibit: the $45-million Harry and Grace Steele Elephant Odyssey, 7 1/2 acres with 30 species, including jaguars and California condors.
Four years in the planning, the exhibit will have its grand opening May 23.
But before Ranchipur and his harem can wow visitors, they have to be driven along the winding roads that connect the Wild Animal Park to

Thousands of dolphins block Somali pirates
Thousands of dolphins blocked the suspected Somali pirate ships when they were trying to attack Chinese merchant ships passing the Gulf of Aden, the China Radio International reported on Monday.
The Chinese merchant ships escorted by a China's fleet sailed on the Gulf of Aden when they met some suspected pirate ships. Thousands of dolphins suddenly leaped out of water between pirates and merchants when the pirate ships headed for the China's.
The suspected pirates ships stopped and then turned away. The pirates could only lament their littleness befor the vast number of dolphins. The spectacular

Two wild Tigers get 'Lifetime Achievement Award'
Travel Operators for Tigers (TOFT) Lifetime Achievement Awards will be made on Friday night to Ranthambhore's famous tigress Machali and Bandavgarh's celerity male Tiger, known as B2 (or Sundar) in recognition of their star pulling power in Ranthambhore and Bandavgarh Tiger Reserves.
The two tigers - though not personally accepting the awards - with be given the prize at the launch of the TOFT Wildlife Tourism Awards, being held at the British High Commissioner's Residence in Delhi.
"They are multi-million dollar earners but it isn't a business award they are being given but an environmental one" says TOFT founder, Julian Matthews.
"Machali herself earns as much

38 animals die in fire at Calif. wildlife refuge
Officials say a fire swept through a building at a California wildlife refuge, killing 38 animals including monkeys and birds.
An electrical malfunction likely caused the Thursday morning blaze at the Zoo to You refuge in Paso Robles.
The nonprofit's education director, Anita Jackson, says the converted one-story home was engulfed in flames when she arrived. It took firefighters 15 minutes to contain the blaze.
The group takes in rescued animals, hosts school visits and conducts other educational programs.
Among the animals that died was a 50-year-old Macaque monkey named

Charity launched to save Scottish wildcat from extinction
A CHARITY was launched yesterday to help save the Scottish wildcat amid fears it might be extinct in five years.
The Scottish Wildcat Association (SWA) has been registered as a charity dedicated to protecting the predator whose numbers, it claims, have dropped to fewer than 400. The group attacked Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), which it said has been "paralysed by inertia", despite an action plan being launched to save the cats five years ago.
The wildcat was once widespread throughout Europe, Asia and Africa but is now extinct in many countries. Its decline in Britain began in the early 1800s and it disappeared from England and Wales by 1862, leaving Scotland as its last mainland

ProFauna Calls for Indonesian Government’s Action to Stop Elephant and Tiger Poaching in Sumatera
Two elephants were ironically killed near Elephant Conservation Center in Sumatera. Government must take action to curb the killing leading to ivory tusk illegal trade.
Elephant and Tiger poaching in Sumatera get more rampant. ProFauna Indonesia, a wildlife protection organization in Indonesia, records the recent deaths

Colony of rare red squirrels discovered in remote Welsh forest
A remote part of Wales is home to the last remaining colony of rare red squirrels, conservationists have discovered.
Since the introduction of the American grey squirrel in the 19th century, numbers of reds have declined after their colonies were forced to retreat.
But new evidence suggests that the red squirrels of the Tywi Valley in the Cambrian Mountains of Mid Wales are among the purest left in Britain, thanks to a unique genetic code.
Dr Lizzie Wilberforce of The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales said: 'Visually they are no different to any other red squirrels.
'But their genotypes have never been found anywhere else - they have a Welsh red squirrel gene which tells us that they are unique

California Condor Nest Discovered in Mexico
Wearing a backpack filled with candling equipment and a harness, Juan Vargas, San Diego Zoo field biologist, rappelled 330 feet down a rocky cliff on the hunt for a rare and precious egg in Mexico’s wilderness.
On Wednesday, April 8, Vargas braved the heights and found the precious egg nestled in a cavity in the Sierra San Pedro de Martir National Park in Baja California, Mexico. It is only the third egg to be

Rare discovery indicates hope for Yangtze alligators
Just 120 Yangtze alligators (Alligator sinensis) remain in the wild in China, making them the world's most endangered crocodilian species.
But now field researchers have higher hopes for the survival of the species, after finding that it is not only extending its habitat but also successfully breeding. The survey team found alligator tracks in areas where the species has not been found for many years, and "We have for the first time found wild baby alligators," Wang Chaolin, deputy director of the Chinese Alligators Protection Nature Reserve in east China's Anhui Province, told China's Xinhua news service this weekend. "Normally their survival rate is only 2 percent. The finding of the infants indicates

World's endangered bears to star in feature-length film
Ecologist Chris Morgan is taking his BMW motorcycle on a journey to four continents in search of the world's endangered bears _ an epic adventure that's being made into a feature-length documentary called "Beartrek."
The goal isn't just to show the bears in their habitat, stunning as the wild coast of Katmai, Alaska, and the rainforest canopy of Borneo, Malaysia, may be when shot in high definition.
The idea is to raise money for conservation efforts by selling audiences on why wild bears in wild places should matter to people, to spin an entertaining tale that will do for conservation what

Sacramento Zoo's new carousel to feature dung beetle chariot
Carousels make memories of lilting music, colorful horses and twirling dung beetles.
Dung beetles? This is not your grandfather's carousel.
On the new Sacramento Zoo carousel, several unorthodox choices – including the dung beetle – will carry riders round and round.
The carousel, being assembled this week, will open May 20. Rides will cost $2.
The "Conservation

SPCA to probe Vancouver zoo zebra deaths
Four zebras who died within days of each other after two buffaloes were introduced to their enclosure at the Greater Vancouver Zoo succumbed to exertional myopathy, a muscle disease that occurs when animals are chased or stressed.
"(Zoo officials) released the cape buffaloes into the enclosure where the zebras were and immediately the zebras started running around and stressing out, busting through fencing, and one ended up in a pond," said Eileen Drever, an animal protection officer

Global response to kangaroo plight
An international rescue operation has been launched to help a baby kangaroo.
Baby Tijana fell from her pouch after her mother was startled by an emu at Belgrade zoo in Serbia.
Mum wouldn't let the tiny kangaroo climb back in, so she is now being cared for in an incubator and is being fed with special milk donated

Giant frogs flown from Caribbean island to save them from extinction
A dozen giant frogs have been airlifted from a Caribbean island to save them from extinction.
The endangered mountain chicken frog was being killed off by a deadly fungal disease and was rescued in a joint mission by the Zoological Society of London and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.
A total of 50 frogs have been saved after it was found frogs on the island were being wiped out by chytridiomycosis. Hundreds of died in the last few weeks
Dr Andrew Cunningham, a senior ZSL scientist, says: "Chytridiomycosis has already decimated the mountain chickens

Palm Beach Zoo opens animal-care complex
State-of-the-art animal-care complex is opened at Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park
It's a state-of-the-art facility outfitted with diagnostic laboratories, radiology, surgical rooms and an intensive-care unit.
It's nearly good enough to treat humans, but the new eco-friendly building will treat the more than 1,600 residents at the 23-acre Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park.
"It's Earth Day and a wonderful time to dedicate ourselves to science and conservation," Terry Maple, president and CEO of the zoo, said

Save Chinas Tigers

More Zimbabwe rhinos dying to poachers
Activists call 'growing Asian footprint' one reason for decline
Conservationists are raising the alarm for Zimbabwe's rare rhinos after a sharp increase in poaching because of a breakdown of law enforcement in this troubled southern African country.
Organized criminal gangs kill rhinos to sell the valuable horn that is used as a traditional medicine in Asia and carved for ceremonial dagger handles in the Middle East, Raoul du Toit, head of southern Zimbabwe's Lowveld Rhino Trust, said in a telephone conference call with reporters.
Zimbabwe's rhino population declined from about 830 in 2007 to 740 at the end of 2008 despite an excellent birth rate in monitored herds, London-based Save

UC Davis to join research, treatment of endangered mountain gorillas
UC Davis veterinarians soon will begin researching and treating some remarkable patients: the extremely endangered wild mountain gorillas of central Africa.
The university on Thursday announced a collaboration between its Wildlife Health Center and the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, which is working to conserve the world's remaining 740 mountain gorillas that live in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda, Uganda and Congo.
With $750,000 in funding from the

Rescued Turtle Number Quadruples
When an 8kg turtle now known as Cracky missing its tail and the rear part of its shell came onto Dubai’s shores, it was brought to the turtle rehabilitation unit at Burj Al Arab to recover where the number of recuperating turtles quadrupled this year.
Cracky’s injuries, the result of a suspected fight with a shark, are an anomaly. While the rehabilitation centre has seen turtles with traumatic injuries, most notably one named Dibba with damage to its head, the majority brought to Burj Al Arab (BAA) are weak from cold winter water temperatures.
The Arabian Gulf normally provides a warm habitat for the turtles to feed and nest, but when the temperatures fall, some turtles, particularly ones less than a year old, go into shock, becoming almost immobile.
When they stop moving, barnacles grow on their shells, weigh them down and make feeding difficult.
“We have to jump in the tank and we have to force feed them,” said David Robinson, an aquarist with Burj Al Arab said. “That’s 90 per cent of the battle.”
The aquarium received 87 turtles this year, 84 of which were the endangered hawksbill turtles. According to data published by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), there are just8,000 breeding female hawksbills left
in the world.
While the marine environment off Dubai’s shores has undergone massive changes in recent years, the environmentalists and aquarists working with the rehabilitati

Rescued endangered dolphin tagged and released
An Indus River Dolphin -- nicknamed Musafir (traveler) by the staff that found it -- was rescued, tagged and successfully returned to the Indus River near Sukkur Barrage, Pakistan, by the World Wide Fund for Nature–Pakistan, in collaboration with the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) and the Sindh Wildlife Department. A young male, Musafir is two-and-a-half-years old, weighs 18 kilogrammes and measures 118 centimetres in length. He was found trapped in Mirwah Canal emerging from Sukkur Barrage, Pakistan, by staff members from the Sindh Wildlife Department in January 2009. Soon after Musafir was found, a rescue operation was organised by the WWF-Pakistan in collaboration with the Environmental Agency-Abu Dhabi and the Sindh Wildlife Department. An initial medical assessment was done by recording the condition of his teeth, mouth, the colour of mucous membranes, and signs of external injuries

They say it's just a zoo
HULU TERENGGANU: The development of the pheasant sanctuary here has drawn mixed reactions from conservationists. Malaysian Nature Society Terengganu chapter vice-chairman Anuar Abdullah McAfee said the bird sanctuary should emulate the Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary, which was within city limits, and where migrant and resident birds could be found. The public can venture into the Sabah sanctuary to observe the birds, which are not caged or restricted."The Ajil Pheasant Park attracts many visitors. It is breeding and will hopefully reintroduce species once found here but it is a small area holding captive birds for public viewing," he said. Conservationist Lim Aun Tiah said a sanctuary must provide free movement. Although the enclosures in the park were reasonably big, the pheasants were still restricted.Singapore National Biodiversity Centre National

Animals and money: Bronx Zoo lays off hundreds of 'unpopular' animals
The Bronx Zoo, the largest city zoo in the country, is facing a $15 million shortfall, and so hundreds of animals are being evicted. It's a real loss. The 114-year-old zoo, run by the Wildlife Conservation Society, is getting rid of animals based partly on which ones are popular with its 2.1 million annual visitors. That means four exhibits and a whole slew

San Diego Zoo adding $45-million Elephant Odyssey
Visitors to the San Diego Zoo’s Elephant Odyssey habitat will travel back in time to explore the ancestors of animals that roamed California 10,000 years ago or more.Opening May 23, the new $45-million pachyderm playground brings together the zoo’s three elephants with four from its sister Wild Animal Park into a single herd. The elephants’ new home features a 2.5-acre yard, a 120,000-gallon pool and a medical facility where visitors can watch zookeepers and veterinarians feed and care for the massive animals.In an adjacent 4.5-acre area of the new habitat, a series of secondary exhibits showcase lions, jaguars, wild horses and camels in naturalistic environments, while smaller habitats house pond turtles, rattlesnakes, tree sloths and dung beetles.The new exhibit also marks the return of the

Zoo chief meets a star guest of future
HIS visit may have lasted only a couple of minutes, but Adelaide Zoo chief Chris West was yesterday thrilled to have been allowed to sit down with one of the two pandas in China earmarked to spend the next decade at his Australian menagerie.Speaking from the Bifengxia panda centre in Sichuan, Dr West told The Australian it had been "hugely exciting" to see the giant bears ahead of their move to his zoo in September. "It now feels real to be here in panda country and know they're well," Dr West said. The giant pandas, among the world's rarest animals, will be coming to Australia as part of an international breeding and conservation program. It is the first time pandas will have been lent to an Australian zoo for a long-term stay, after two giant pandas spent three months in Melbourne and Sydney

Forest Dept plans tiger safari park in Malabar Sanctuary
A major ploy for setting up a Nature Conservation Park and a Tiger Safari Park within a reserve forest is taking shape in the inner circles of the Forest Department.The safari park, which is to be built inside the proposed Malabar Sanctuary in the Kozhikode Forest Division by flouting norms, has the support of Forest Minister Benoy Viswom.Tiger safari is one of the 16 projects under an umbrella project - Nature Conservation Park.The Rs 24-crore project is to come up in 115 hectares of land inside the proposed Malabar


The Zoo Biology Group is concerned with all disciplines involved in
the running of a Zoological Garden. Captive breeding, husbandry,
cage design and construction, diets, enrichment, man management,
record keeping, etc etc


World Tapir Day - April 27th!!!!!



Chapultepec ZOO will remain closed due to the swine flue endemia until further notices.

Up to this moment there have been reported more than 15 people dead by swine flue virus and more than 1300 infected people.

El Universal
Ciudad de México Domingo 26 de abril de 2009

Josep Vilet
San Luis Potosí ZOO


Great Ape Debate, Linnean Society London

LIVE streaming video of orang-utan conservation debate
Thursday 30th April 18:00-19:00 British time

******************************************************************************* in April 2009

~°v°~ ~°v°~ ~°v°~ ~°v°~ ~°v°~

Hello ZooLex Friend,
We have worked for your enjoyment!



The Himalayas Exhibit for Siberian tigers at Zoo Zurich is one of several
animal exhibits representing the fauna of the Himalayas. The exhibits are situated in a steep part of the zoo with climatic conditions which are comparable to certain height and vegetation levels in the Himalayas. This makes it possible to use plant species which are related to those of the original location:

Here is the German original:



Thanks to Eduardo Diaz Garcia we are able to present Spanish translations of all presentations of Himalayas exhibits at Zoo Zurich which we published so far: Himalayas exhibits for snow leopards, Mongolian wolves and red pandas.

Recinto del leopardo de las nieves:

Recinto de lobo de Mongolia:

Recinto de los pandas rojos:



The second international bear care conference will take place on November 6-8 2009 in San Francisco, California. Designers are very welcome to come and learn about wild bear behavior and needs and how these can be brought into the captive environment.

Online registration is now available:


We keep working on ZooLex ...

The ZooLex Zoo Design Organization is a non-profit organization registered in Austria (ZVR-Zahl 933849053). ZooLex runs a professional zoo design website and distributes this newsletter. More information and contact:



Dear All,

6.00pm, 12 May 2009 – ZSL Scientific Meeting EXTINCTION RISK IN COMMON SPECIES

Scientific meetings are free and open to everyone – no need to book in advance but please arrive early as seating is limited.

We hope you will be able to attend the above Scientific Meeting at 6.00pm on Tuesday, 12 May 2009. Doors will be open from 5.00pm on the evening and seats will be on a first-come, first-served basis; please arrive early to ensure you get a good seat.

The evening has been organised by Professor Tim Blackburn ( Institute of Zoology , ZSL); questions will be taken from the audience once we’ve heard from our three speakers: Kevin J. Gaston ( University of Sheffield ); E.J. Milner-Gulland (Imperial College London); and Andrew A. Cunningham ( Institute of Zoology , ZSL).


A 3-course dinner with the speakers will follow this Scientific Meeting. Places for dinner must be booked by Wednesday, 6 May. Please see attached flyer for further details and please forward to others who might be interested. Further information can also be found at

Thank you and please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any queries on ZSL’s programme of scientific events.


Joy :-)

p.s. we have just released details of a NEW event in the Conservation Challenges for the 21st Century series. Please see,336,EV.html

for details on “Climate change and wildlife conservation: crisis or opportunity”. More information next week…


Rhino Mayday
Huxley Conference Theatre, ZSL London Zoo
Wednesday 29 April 2009

Spend the day with guest speakers at the Zoological Society of London learning more about the mammal that we are desperately trying to save from extinction; the rhino

We have nine conservation experts lined up to talk about a variety of topics ranging from an update on the situation in Zimbabwe and how it is affecting conservation to translocation of rhinos and the lessons learnt. The Rhino Mayday is not intended as a fundraising event in itself, but as an awareness-raising and networking day and there will be an exciting programme of talks from 10.30am to 5.00pm.

Brad Cain - Manchester Metropolitan University: Conservation Genetics of Black Rhinoceros populations in Kenya.

Maggie Esson - Chester Zoo: Rhinos - the ultimate teaching tool!

John Gripper - Sebakwe Black Rhino Trust: An update on the political and economic situation in Zimbabwe

Richard Kick - ZSL: Census results on rhino in Nepal and issue around invasive species and anti-poaching

Martin Mulama - Ol Pejeta Conservancy: Experience and lessons learnt on 'same-day-release' of translocated rhinos, Kenya

Felix Patton - Manchester Metropolitan University: Botswana's rhino: history, current position and future challenge

Dave Robertson - Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park 1895-2009: The pleasures, pitfalls and perils of protecting pachyderms

Robert Risch - Status and perspectives of conservation of the Sumatran Rhino in Borneo

Berry White - Crate Training for Rhino Translocation

Tickets cost just £15 (including refreshments) and are available from our website

or by calling 020 7357 7474.





2009 Orangutan Workshop Update

-The website is completely up and running. Check out (please note it will not work properly on networks that filter out personal sites) to find out information about registration as well as paying online through PayPal.

-We are excited to announce that the workshop will feature an in depth vet discussion featuring Dr. Rita McManamon, Dr. Sam Rivera, & Dr. Hayley Murphy . Several topics will be covered and there will also be a chance for keepers to ask questions.

-Reminder: The first cut off date for registering for the hotel is May 12, 2009 to get the discounted workshop rate. It is likely that the discounted rate will be extended, however I encourage everyone to register sooner rather than later since there is no guarantee.

-Presenters Needed! If you would like to present at the workshop please contact

A list of presenters and topics already being covered is also available.

-We are also excited to announce that the workshop will feature products from Chandler Farm’s Great Ape Collection. These are a line of high end bath products that are not only Palm Oil Free, but Sulfate Free, and Paraben Free. Additionally, a portion of the profits go to benefit the Phelps Great Ape Foundation. You’ll also be able to meet Ronna Phelps the woman behind these products and hear her story at the workshop.

-Have a good fundraising idea? A local restaurant here in Atlanta wants to help us raise funds for orangutan conservation so we are looking for a good fundraiser idea. Any help is greatly appreciated!

If you have any additional questions about the workshop or anything associated with it please feel free to ask.


Orangutan Aid

I’m a volunteer/docent at Miami Metrozoo and have teamed up with Orangutan Outreach to spread the word to other zoos, animal facilities, and volunteer/docent groups around the world to join us in a very special international Mother’s Day campaign focusing on the plight of orphaned orangutans.

At Metrozoo, our volunteer/docent group will be hosting this special day in which we will set up tables full of fun facts, biofacts and interactives for our visitors. Mother’s Day events can be as simple as one table hosted by one volunteer to a full blown awareness day. I've provided easy to print PDF files with posters, info sheets, brochures and event ideas at


Why Orangutans? What better way than on Mother’s Day to celebrate one of Earth’s best mothers? Orangutan mothers and babies have a very close relationship and have the longest childhood of all the great apes - up to 8 years. As solitary animals, they don’t have a troop around to give them the many lessons of finding fruit, building nests and other survival techniques. The mother teaches them everything about survival in the forest before they set out on their own.

Orangutans only give birth about once every 8 years and have just 4 to 5 babies in a lifetime. This is why orangutan populations are very slow to recover from disturbance. Sadly, many orangutan mothers are killed every year in Indonesia so that their babies can be sold illegally as pets. Many mothers are killed as their rainforest homes are destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations leaving hundreds of helpless orphans. As a result, there are hundred's of orangutan orphans. There are up to 800 orphans just at one sanctuary, the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Project. That is a lot of missing orangutan mothers!

It’s hard to believe, but estimates are that orangutans may have as little as 10 to 20 years left before their extinction in the wild. Mother’s Day is the perfect day to bring awareness to the plight of these beautiful red haired apes and to, hopefully, encourage people to want to help protect them.

For more information:

or contact me at


Endangered Species Recovery

20th July – 7th August 2009

A short-course for anyone with an active interest in animal conservation
and a desire to learn how species can be saved. Lectures will be given by world class conservationists. Practical activities and behind the scenes experiences in Durrell’s animal collection will provide participants with first-hand exposure to the realities of endangered species recovery. On completion participants will be equipped with a fuller appreciation of the complexities of animal conservation and an ability to develop their personal or professional interests in the field.

For further information please visit

(get involved menu, select training)
Or contact Catherine Burrows at:

Postal address:
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
International Training Centre
Les Augrès Manor
Tel: +44 (0)1534 860037
Fax: +44 (0)1534 860002

Closing date for applications : 31st May 2009

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust was established 50 years ago by Gerald Durrell. At its Jersey headquarters 50 projects in 18 countries worldwide are managed. From this unique centre endangered mammals, birds, reptiles and
amphibians are bred.

Saving Species
Durrell has a proven track record of saving species from extinction. With ever-increasing numbers of species coming under threat the work we do has never been more vital.

Training Conservationists
The International Training Centre (ITC) is based at the Jersey headquarters and runs a wide range of courses including the ever popular Endangered Species Recovery Course (ESR, formally known as the Summer School) This three-week course introduces you to the realities of exotic animal management in captivity and in the wild, direct from those with first-hand experience.

Developing skills
The ESR course is designed to encourage a critical understanding of current and future needs in conservation. It consists of:

• A balanced mix of practical activities, discussion sessions, lectures and supervised research activities

• A tutored student project tailored to suit your background and interests

• Key lectures given by internationally recognised conservationists and senior
Durrell staff

• Guided behind the scenes tours of the animal departments led by experienced
animal staff

• Practical problem-solving exercises from small mammal trapping to animal

• Field visits to illustrate local conservation initiatives.

Is this the course for you?

• Suitable for university students, zoo staff, veterinary personnel, field biologists and those with a keen interest in wildlife conservation

• Ideal for those considering a career move into conservation


• All participants will be presented with an official certificate at the end of the course

• You will become part of the Durrell Network, linking conservationists globally

• You will develop contacts with lecturers that may prove invaluable in your professional and/or personal interests in species conservation

“The course gave me a wonderful insight into how important the work at Durrell is and the dedication of the team involved. Very inspirational, educational and engaging.”
Yolanda Barnas, Teacher, ESR participant 2007

Price includes
The fee per person of £2410 includes
• Course fees and materials
• All meals except weekend lunches
• Accommodation from 19th July to 8th August
• Durrell membership

Additional time spent working on section after the course is available for a supplementary cost.

“Thus the Trust would become a form of university...where people can get the correct training and then take their talents back to form conservation units throughout the world”
Gerald Durrell

Gerald Durrell knew that training conservationists around the world is perhaps the most effective, long-term means of saving endangered species and their habitats. He established the ITC in 1984. Since this time we have trained more than 1500 conservationists from over 120 countries.

Further Information
Application forms are available at:

(get involved, select training)

Contact us
Tel: +44 (0) 1534 860037
Fax (44-1534 860002)

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust,
Les Augrès Manor,
La Profonde Rue,
Trinity, Jersey JE3 5BP,
Channel Islands, British Isles
Deadline: 31st May 2009

“Meeting so many like minded people, from all over the world, opened my
eyes to the fact that I could get out in to the field and make a difference!”
Dr. Ian Singleton, Director of SOCP, Sumatra, ESR participant 1987

“We may not be able to bring back the dodo but we can share our understanding of endangered species recovery to ensure that others do not go the same way”
Dr. Carl Jones, MBE Durrell International Conservation Fellow, and guest lecturer on ESR course

Endorsed by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums


Volunteering Opportunity

Elephantstay at the Royal Elephant Kraal Village, Ayutthaya Thailand

Elephantstay is now offering a fantastic opportunity to gain invaluable experience working with elephants. The volunteer positions are for people with animal experience. The duration of stay will be of 4, 12 or 24 weeks. We have two positions on offer at any one time.

Successful applicants will work with elephants and people under the direct supervision of experienced mahouts and the Elephantstay directors.
Duties include cleaning, feeding, diet preparation, exercising and husbandry of elephants. Our primary concern is the elephants welfare and earning an income for them. You will have plenty of direct contact with the elephants, but also you will be assisting with the people who participate in the Elephantstay program. You may also be required to assist with the elephant painting project.
The work is free contact with elephants. At this stage we have eight retired elephants, which will be the main elephants you will be getting to know and be working with. Depending on your length of stay and your progress there may be opportunities to assist with other elephants.
We have about 90 elephants on site so you will have exposure and contact with many of them including baby elephants still with their mothers, and bull elephants.
Basic housing is provided on site. Single fan room and bathroom, Bedding and towels are provided. Drinking water, tea, coffee, hot chocolate and 3 meals a day are provided on site. Snacks, juices, sodas, alcohol, etc are not provided but can be bought on site.
We have free wireless internet access for people with laptops.

As part of your training, you will participate in the Elephantstay program for 3 days. Please check

for additional information. As a volunteer you will receive 2 Elephant team t-shirts and a traditional Thai takaw.

Being a volunteer is all about dependability and initiative. To be an effective volunteer and to get the most out of your experience, you must be well prepared. The following information outlines what will be expected of you as a volunteer. These guidelines are important for the elephants, optimal learning experiences, and, most importantly, volunteer safety. We take them VERY seriously. Be sure you are able to meet all requirements before applying to participate.

Working with elephants free contact can be a physically and mentally challenging experience. The work is physically hard and the hours are long. You should expect to start at 7am and finish often late in the evening. Volunteers must be able to lift a minimum of 25 kilos as well as be prepared to work in a hot tropical climate.
Days off can be negotiated on arrival.
Successful applicants will have a two week trial period.
Applicants must have animal handling experience.

Qualifications and Skills:
A minimum of 2 years working with animals.
(Training of animals would be an advantage)
A good work ethic.
Ability to follow instructions.
Good communication skills.
Social skills.
Physically fit.
Ability to work in a hot tropical climate.
Ability to work in a team with little instruction.
Sense of humor.
Fluent English speaker.
Culturally sensitive and aware.

4 weeks - 30,000 baht
12 weeks – 70,000 baht
24 weeks - 120,000 baht

Cost does not include airfares, visas, insurance, transfers.

Send a cover letter and resume via Email to

The letter should cover
your areas of interest, goals, and what you can offer Elephantstay by being a volunteer. Your preferred dates.

Successful applicants will be notified by email as soon as possible.
Start times at this stage will be the first Monday of every month beginning in May 2009.


Announcing the ASZK Des Spittall Scholarship for Keeper Research
Named in honour of the late Des Spittall, a life member of ASZK, the ASZK committee has launched the Des Spittall Scholarship for keeper research. This is open to people who have been a financial member of ASZK for 12 months or more. This is an annual scholarship up to the value of $2,000. Applications close 31st October 2009
Please forward ‘Des Spittall Scholarship for Keeper Research’ application to ASZK President no later than 31st of October each year at email



Chester Zoo is a leading Zoological Garden in the U.K. actively involved in the conservation of threatened species, habitat support, scientific study and the provision of education and recreation to the general public.

In February 2001 Richard Hughes, a senior keeper at Chester Zoo, tragically lost his life working with the elephants that he loved. In memory of Richard, Chester Zoo has dedicated an annual scholarship award to support individuals wishing to undertake activities or projects concerned with elephant management, welfare or conservation.

The scholarship is open to applications for any type of activity or project that deals with issues of elephant management, welfare or conservation either overseas or in the UK. Proposals are encouraged from individuals from any relevant field who have an interest in elephants, from animal keepers and researchers to students. The Scholarship aims to allow individuals to become involved with elephant related interests beneficial to their career or personal development, as well as beneficial to elephants. Details we require for application include an outline of the project, aims and a statement of its relevance. Clearly, feasibility will be an important criterion when judging the submitted proposals.

Chester Zoo expects those awarded the scholarship to uphold the high standards that it expects of its own employees and to be fully acknowledged in any presentations/publications. It is a condition of the scholarship that the Zoo receives a full report on the completed project and copies of any resultant publications. The recipient may also be requested to provide a brief article for the Zoo magazine or to give an oral presentation on the completed project.

Scholarships will be awarded up to the value of £1000 for which the Society may require receipted expenses (Any special equipment purchased will remain the property of the society).

Application forms are available via email from

Applications should be received no later than Friday 24th April 2009.




Felid Husbandry Courses
April 27-30 Tacoma, Washington, USAFor more information on courses go to the
FTAG page at . Click on "get
meeting details".

BIAZA Records Group Meeting
Twycross Zoo
29-30th April 2009
For further information (preliminary agenda and registration details) please go the following link
Please confirm that you intend to attend by completing the registration form and send to and cc it to and

ASZK Annual Conference
30 April – 3 May 2009
Darwin, Northern Territory,
For information go to or email

May 10 - 14, 2009
Presented by Active Environments
Hosted by Performing Animal Welfare Society
Instructors: Gail Laule, Margaret Whittaker, Alan Roocroft, and Val Hare
For further information contact:
Active Environments' Office
7651 Santos Road Lompoc, CA 93436
Tel: 805-737-3700, Email:
Or: Margaret Whittaker (Active Environments)
Tel: 832-428-9637, Email:

European meeting on Tree Kangaroos
Krefeld Zoo, Germany
May 15 - 17 2009
For further information:

International Rhino Keeper Association Workshop
May 17 – 21, 2009
Busch Gardens Africa, Tampa Florida
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Derek
Weatherford at

The 4th Animal keepers Association of Africa (AKAA) Symposium.
Monday 18th May - 21st 2009.
Dr.Andrew Seguya, Dr Josephine Afema, Mr David Musingo, Dr Lawrence mugisha,
Go to or for details.

PAAZAB Conference
May 20 to 22 2009
Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, Entebbe, Uganda
For further info please contact:

International Conference on Diseases of Zoo and Wild Animals 2009
20th - 24th May 2009
Safaripark Beekse Bergen, Hilvarenbeek, The Netherlands

Conference of the Association of Latin American Zoological Parks
May 25 - 29 2009
Panama City, Panama
For further information:

The 9th International Conference on Environmental Enrichment.
31st May – 5th June 2009.
Torquay, Devon, UK
Submission for abstracts has now closed.
Please go to for details including a provisional timetable of talks.
For more information about sponsorship of the event or having a trade stall please contact Julian Chapman on

The 7th International Zoo and Aquarium Marketing Conference
16 - 20 June 2009
Odense Zoo and Givskud Zoo, Denmark.
More information will follow in due time.

"First African Symposium on Zoological Medicine"
July 18th and 19th 2009.
Johannesburg Zoo, South Africa.
Financial assistance available for vets from other African countries. For more details contact Teresa Slacke on

Professional Training Seminars at Shedd Aquarium
Animal Training Seminar with Ken Ramirez
Environmental Quality Seminar with Allen LaPointe
August 24 –28, 2009
Please contact the adult programs coordinator at for more information

Zoo Atlanta

AZA 2009 Annual Conference
September 12-17, 2009
Oregon Zoo

26th EAZA Annual Conference
14 - 20 September 2009
Copenhagen Zoo, Denmark.

3rd International Congress on Zoo Keeping and the 36th American Association of Zoo Keepers National Conference
September 24th - 29th 2009
The Puget Sound Chapter of AAZK and WoodlandPark Zoo
See these websites for further information:

CBSG (Conservation Breeding Specialist Group)
1-4 October 2009
St. Louis, MO, USA (right before the WAZA Meeting)
For further information:

64th WAZA Annual Conference
4 - 8 October 2009
St. Louis Zoo at the Renaissance Grand Hotel, St. Louis (MO), USA.
For more information, please visit

Second Okapi Workshop
11 14 October 2009
Antwerp Zoo
For further details go to:

2009 ZRA Annual Conference : Overview
October 21-25, 2009
Zoo Boise , Boise , Idaho
If you have questions about the 2009 ZRA Annual Conference Program, please contact the Program Chairman, Pam Krentz, Registrar for Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, at (216) 635-3361 or by email at

The Bear Care Group announces the second international bear care
conference 'Advancing Bear Care '09.

The 6th European Zoo Nutrition Conference
Barcelona, 28-31 January 2010
Please send comments or suggestions for topics/speakers directly to me ( Further announcements and information will be posted online via the nutrition area of the EAZA website (

20th International Zoo Educators' (IZE) Biennial Conference
19 - 23 October 2010
Disney's Animal Kingdom, Florida, USA.
For more information, please visit

International meeting of collectors of zoo literature and memorabilia
Internationales Treffen der Sammler zoohistorischer Literatur
Rencontre internationale des collectionneurs de documents en rapport avec les zoos
See here for more details:

7th International Penguin Conference
DATE: August 30 to September 3, 2010
LOCATION: Boston Massachusetts, USA
HOSTED BY: The New England Aquarium

AZA 2010 Annual Conference
September 11-16
Houston Zoo, Houston , TX

AZA 2011 Annual Conference
September 12-17
Zoo Atlanta , Atlanta , GA

AZA 2012 Annual Conference
September 8-13
Phoenix Zoo, Phoenix , AZ

AZA 2013 Annual Conference
September 7-12
Kansas City Zoo, Kansas City , MO


ZooNews Digest is an independent publication, not allied or attached
to any zoological collection. Many thanks.

Kind Regards,

Wishing you a wonderful week,

Peter Dickinson

Editor/Owner ZooNews Digest

Owner/Moderator Zoo Biology

Tel: United Kingdom ++ (0) 750 3707 968

Mailing address:
Suite 201,
Gateway House,
78 Northgate Street,
United Kingdom

"I may get hit by a bus tomorrow so I will live today"

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