Saturday, May 23, 2009

ZooNews Digest 21st - 23rd May 2009 (Zoo News 595)

ZooNews Digest 21st - 23rd May 2009 (Zoo News 595)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

I am not going to apologise. I know I am biased. I know I am opinionated...but I would also like to think and believe I am open minded. I am prepared to change bias and opinion on information available to me. My editorial comment is based on my own experience, listening to people, years of reading and putting together ZooNews Digest along with private and open emails I receive. Okay, having said that I thought you might like to take a look at the latest offering from the so called Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S)

Aaaaafgh!! If I had any hair I would pull it out.

So now we have authors jumping on the has been 'lovey' bandwagon. This time calling for a move of the elephant from Edmonton Zoo. I have never been to Edmonton, it is unlikely I ever will. Here I am not in possession of all the facts but I do not like to see elephants on their own. Any chance that 'Lucy' will get a companion anytime soon?

Angela Potter, Britain's Top Worker. Wow! Credit to the girl, but not unusual within the world of zoos. Well actually she is something of a record holder but keepers forgoing holidays, giving up days off or working umpteen hours of unpaid overtime are not a rarity in my experience. I have always thought the zoo would be a great place for study of human behaviour. Keepers like to have a day off but hate to take one in case they miss something. Keepers returning from a day away are often surly for a few hours until they have ascertained everything on their section is as they left it. I do also believe though it is a management failing not to ensure that their staff do not get everything they are entitled to. "All work and no play" is not my life formula.

I have never heard of Kumari Mullin before today and when I read of her forthcoming visit to Panther Ridge I thought 'the woman is a nutcase'. I dug a little deeper, checked webpages, and discovered that she also thought that people might think that of her. If she is open enough to say it I think I might actually like her...and besides there are things between heaven and earth that no-one understands.

The link about tagging the beavers reminded me that I had actually applied for the job. It cost me about £25.00 to do so but I never heard a whisper in return. I know I am not alone in such things which is why I wrote the hub:
Only Short Listed Applicants Will Be Notified

My latest hubpage is only slightly animal related: Is the Fish Spa a Con or a Cure?

Visit my webpages at:

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:

May 23: World Turtle Day

Hundreds of freshwater ponds and small lakes have either dried up or have turned into saline ponds due to a persistent shortage of rain and canal water, imperiling marine species, The News has learnt. A wildlife conservationist, while recalling his trip to Shikarpur Town, told The News that there are a number of lakes along the highway; where he saw children carrying water, vegetables and baby turtles for sale along roadsides. He added that many people buy turtles for keeping them in cages for children’s entertainment despite being unfamiliar with their proper care, resulting in the death of turtles due to lack of care and natural feed.He pointed out that in Europe and other countries, people keep pet reptiles but they are considered skilled conservationists. In Pakistan, however, it has become fashionable to keep such pets, which is the death knell for birds, mammals and reptiles. A common complaint of wildlife conservationists is that when government authorities seize illegal consignments of turtles at airports that are supposed to be smuggled to other countries, they hand over the same to common people for keeping in

Australian zoo plays role of guardian angel to Tasmanian devil

Sydney institution is part of intensive conservation effort to save threatened speciesThe two baby Tasmanian devils playing in a glass enclosure at Sydney's Taronga Zoo are not just crowd-pleasers -- these furry black creatures could be the saviours their species desperately needs.In a climate-controlled shipping container nearby, some 500 button-sized southern corroboree frogs present the best chance of keeping the striking black-and-yellow striped Australian

Blacktip reef shark reproduce in Nha Trang aquarium

A black-tip reef shark (Carcharius Melanopterus) has produced five offspring for the first time in Vietnam in an aquarium at the Institute of Oceanography in Nha Trang Town, Khanh Hoa Province

Elephant-size donation moves zoo to magic number

When voters approved a $33 million infusion of public cash for the Hogle Zoo in January, they added one rather significant stipulation: Zoo leaders would have to raise $11 million on their own to unlock the cash. Zoo fundraisers say they had collected the first $7.5 million before the issue went to voters. But then things slowed down. As of March, the zoo remained $2.5 million short, facing a dour economy and a looming deadline. "Anything on your dresser, in the washing machine, we'll take it all at this point," Beth Wolfer, Hogle director of development, said as she handed out elephant-shaped

Naples Zoo: A new exhibit opens this weekend

To inform visitors about living with the state’s wild bears, Naples Zoo created Black Bear Hammock. Opening this weekend, the exhibit features two distinct habitats: a natural habitat and a backyard habitat.Guests will learn basic safety tips in case a bear is encountered in the wild, as well as ways to avoid attracting them to their yard. Naples Zoo hopes visitors will leave with a deeper appreciation of the bears’

Canadian authors call on Edmonton to move zoo elephant

Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Nico Ricci, Jane Urquhart, Barbara Gowdy and 31 other Canadian authors are calling on Edmonton's mayor and council to move Lucy the elephant from the city-owned Valley Zoo.The authors sent a letter urging the city to get an independent assessment of the Asian elephant's health and to move her out of the zoo."The zoo's position that Lucy is better left where she is contradicts everything that science tells us about elephants," author Elizabeth Abbott said in a news release from animal welfare group Zoocheck Canada."Their position is nonsensical. Think about it. A socially isolated elephant in a small exhibit in a cold-climate zoo — this shouldn't even be up for debate."Lucy is the only elephant in a Canadian zoo that lives alone. She has been on her own since September 2007 when the Valley Zoo's other elephant, Samantha, was

Fears for devils' funding future

DESPITE the Federal Government's decision to upgrade the Tasmanian devil to endangered, stakeholders hold little hope for additional funding to fight the disease that is devastating its wild population.Save the Tasmanian Devil program chief scientist Professor Hamish McCallum said that the status change from threatened to endangered would only mean that the species' plight would continue to be a high priority.He said that the devil population had declined at a rate of 6 per cent annually, with no evidence of easing. However, Prof. McCallum was optimistic of research on the North-West that observed the possibility of the disease entering a high- density population with slightly different genetics.He said that tests were being

Britain's top worker

Are you as dedicated to your job as Angela Potter who has taken two holidays in 30 years? Let us knowDo you love your job so much that you're prepared to have only taken two holidays in 30 years? Well meet Angela Potter who's 46 and loves her job so much as Assistant Director of West Midlands Safari Park that she never takes a holiday.The average UK worker in a full-time job puts in around 41.4 hours every week with an average of 24.6 paid leave days per year. Angela works at least 60 hours a week and uses hardly any of her annual leave.

Primate Visit Animates Anthropology Students

Anthropology classes attended The Gibbons Conservation Center in Santa Clarita on Saturday for a chance to study apes up close and personal from the experts. The class battled extreme heat, dusty winds, and long distances for a chance to earn extra credit, and learn a little more about these apes known as Gibbons. Gibbons are miniature apes and quite an intellectual species. The apes were grabbing at hanging ropes and spinning in circles almost as if they were tiny acrobats. The Gibbons were demonstrating their different forms of locomotion for the many students who seemed to be their audience. The students were very attentive and the air was filled with sporadic chuckles brought on by the apes and their antics.Brittany Yasutake, a 20-year-old film studies major, was

Kevin James will learn how to mate from zoo animals. It's a comedy.

In a newly announced Kevin James movie, The Zookeeper, he will play a man who gets romance advice from his animals. Process. I'll wait... According to Variety, said animals try to "teach the keeper their methods of dating and mating to help him win back the woman of his dreams." Rosario Dawson has just signed on to costar, so without knowing anything more about the plot of the Happy Madison production, I'd say she's playing either the dreamgirl or the girl James ends up with when he finally realizes that the dreamgirl is a nightmare. I'm leaning toward the latter because Leslie Bibb (Talladega Nights) has also joined the cast, and I think she'd

New wildlife park for Doncaster

DONCASTER'S tourist industry has received a major boost with the opening of a new family-run wildlife park venture. The newly opened Yorkshire Wildlife Park at the former Brockholes Farm Visitor centre in Branton boasts exotic animals such as lemurs, meerkats, wallabies, antelope and African hunting dogs.It was bought last year

Orangutans cannibalise own babies

Two female orangutans have been seen cannibalising the bodies of their recently deceased babies.Such behaviour has never before been recorded in any great ape species. The two incidences occurred just one month apart in the same region of forest in Indonesia. The conservationist who witnessed both incidences suspects they were examples of aberrant behaviour, triggered by stressful living conditions suffered by both mothers. Humans aside, chimpanzees were the only great apes known to engage in cannabilism, the eating of members of the same species. The behaviour had also been inferred but not seen in gorillas, after the remains of infants were found in the faeces of two adults. But until now, no ape

Killed Endangered Female Wolf Dumped Along Roadside

She was one of the rarest in the world: a southwest wolf (also known as a lobo). Scientists gave her the designation F836 to keep track of her.Raised in South Salem, New York`s Wolf Conservation Center, she was released with

National Zoo giant panda not pregnant

The Smithsonian National Zoological Park says Mei Xiang, a giant panda at the Washington zoo, is not pregnant.Scientists at the park, commonly known as the National Zoo, conducted tests on the female panda to determine if she was pregnant, but the animal's declined urinary progesterone indicated the end of a false pregnancy, The Washington Post said Wednesday.Zoo researchers confirmed the diagnosis through ultrasound exams Tuesday that revealed no visible fetuses in Mei Xiang.The false pregnancy comes after the

Animal Intuitive Kumari Offers Animal Communication Training to Raise Funds for Panther Ridge Conservation Center, June 13 & 14

Animal communicator Kumari Mullin is offering a rare opportunity to interact with the “big cats” of Panther Ridge Conservation Center, to learn the keys to deeper connection and telepathic communion with animals in a two-part Animal Communication Workshop on June 13 and 14, 2009.A portion of the fee will go to the center ( which provides a home for some of the world's most beautiful and endangered big cats, exotic felines who were abused or neglected in their previous homes. Many of the species in residence at Panther Ridge are rarely available to be seen in zoos, and then

Beavers tagged before going wild

A family of beavers have been tagged ahead of their release into the wild as part of a government scheme re-introducing the animals to Scotland.The mammals are being kept at the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig. The date of their release in Knapdale, Argyll, on a trial basis is a secret for the moment. The Scottish Beaver Trial is being carried out by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. In February, a river foundation

Baby rhino makes her debut at Chester Zoo

This little rhino calf may be grey and small but it has made a big impact at Chester Zoo.Just three days old, the Eastern Black Rhinoceros calf is the second to be born at the 110-acre zoo in eight months.Like Asani, the black rhino calf which arrived in October, the calf will eventually make big strides in helping to boost the dwindling population of Black rhinos in the wild.Born to six year old mum Ema at 2.45am on Friday following a 15 month pregnancy, the calf is female and will be given an African name. The calf’s father is 10-year-old Magadi.Tim Rowlands, Assistant Curator

Zoo safari saves on airline fares

“IT’S CHEAPER than going to Africa, I’ll say that,” Christine said as she scanned a rolling savannah where giraffes, gazelles and elephants ambled within a few dozen metres of a tent she shared with her husband, Jim.For the couple and more than 50 other safari wannabes who spent a Saturday night at San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park, the aptly named Roar Snore camp out was also enlightening, fun and a little eerie. But not necessarily restful.“Oh God, where did I put my earplugs?” my partner asked soon after bedtime, as sonorous snoring erupted from nearby tents. “That’s going to be louder than the animals.”For $129 (€95) each, plus $35 (€25) for park admission, you get a tent, dinner, breakfast, after-hours walking tours and plenty of time with park staff

Students to get an insight into zoo management

On the occasion of International Biodiversity Day on May 22, the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, popularly known as the Katraj Zoo, has organised a three-day summer camp on An Introduction to the Zoo' in its premises for students between 15 to 20 years of age. The aim of the camp is to disseminate information on preservation of biodiversity and changing the youngsters' mindset towards the issue. The camp

Nobody nose baby anteater's name

A Tokyo Zoo has unveiled its latest arrival - a baby anteater who is a little bit wobbly on its feet.The tot is still waiting for a name because zoo keepers can't make out what sex it is.And while it still has another month to go before it is unveiled to zoo visitors, it managed to stumble its way through a photocall for the press with charm.Perhaps it is taking after its

Five Iberian Lynx born in Lugo Zoo

The five cubs were born the same day from two different mothersGood news for the future of the Iberian Lynx with five cubs being born in just 24 hours from two mothers in Lugo zoo.The zoo had just one macho and two females, but now has a total of eight of the cats following the births.The two mothers are both staying close to their cubs and protecting them fiercely, while the father is

Virus kills another Whipsnade Zoo baby elephant

Leelee, a two-year-old female Asian elephant, has been struck down by the same deadly virus which killed Donaldson, a one-year-old male calf. She began showing signs of elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus (EEHV) on Friday, May 15, and immediately began undergoing treatment. The little jumbo was also given a blood plasma transfusion, but sadly died on Sunday, May 17. Vets battled for 50 hours in vain to try to sa

Wanted: new zoo chief

After 23 years of minding the lions and tigers and bears, controversial Toronto Zoo CEO Calvin White is retiring. The zoo's governing board meets today and is expected to name an interim chief executive while a search for a permanent replacement is undertaken. It ought to be a worldwide search, seeking the best and brightest candidate – one fully up to speed on the latest innovations in zoo infrastructure, marketing and fundraising.There is a sense that the Toronto Zoo has immense untapped potential. But a string of distractions, including White's

Fur flies as rival zoo makes daring bid for Knut's removal

A ROW over Knut, the celebrity polar bear, has reached the court room with two furious zoo directors trying to hold on to the revenue from the world's highest-earning quadruped.The atmosphere in the packed Berlin court yesterday resembled that of a high-powered divorce case, with lobbyists and society reporters scrambling for space and thrusting microphones in the faces of lawyers. "This case is quite unprecedented," sighed Judge Philip Hegermann. Knut was born under difficult circumstances in December 2006. Rejected and left to die by his mother, Tosca, a retired East German circus bear, keepers had to scoop him out of the compound and hand-rear him; his keeper bottle-fed him, strummed Elvis songs to put him to sleep, trained him to swim, taught him rudimentary football and massaged his gums when he suffered teething pains. The bear became a television star, appeared on the front cover of Vanity Fair with Leonardo DiCaprio, was designated a UN climate ambassador, appeared on stamps, became the subject of at least seven pop songs, the star of a film, produced a (ghosted) diary and had

World's smallest snake slithers into charts

THE world's smallest snake and longest insect are among the top ten new species discovered over the past year.Measuring almost 2ft, a bug that resembles a stick became the world's longest insect when it was spotted in Malaysia. A tiny snake, just 4in long, was also discovered last year, in Barbados. Known as the Barbados threadsnake, it is believed



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


Extremely useful tool for Zoo Inspectors, Curators and Head Keepers:

Use it and you will wonder how you ever managed without. Can actually save time for reptile keepers.


6.00pm, 9 June 2009 – ZSL Scientific Meeting

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, 9 June 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 Björn Schulte-Herbrüggen, Nick Hill and Dr Noëlle Kümpel (ZSL).

The following talks will be presented followed by a summary from Professor Katherine Homewood – there will also be the opportunity to put questions to our speakers during the discussion period:

Dr Glyn Davies - Director of Programmes, WWF-UK ;

Dr Lauren Coad - Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford & Kathryn Knights - Imperial College London ;

Dr Noëlle Kümpel - ZSL ;

Dr Sharon Brooks - University of Cambridge ; and

Professor Katherine Homewood - Anthropology, University College London


A 3-course dinner with the speakers will follow this Scientific Meeting. Places for dinner must be booked by Wednesday, 3 June. 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. please see for information on our 16 June “Biodiversity and ecosystems in a changing world” Stamford Raffles Lecture to be presented by Professor John Beddington and our 18 and 19 June “Biodiversity monitoring and conservation: bridging the gaps between global commitment and local action” symposium.

Joy Hayward
Scientific Meetings Co-ordinator
Zoological Society of London
Regents Park , London NW1 4RY
Tel: +44 (0)20 7449 6227. Fax: +44 (0)20 7449 6411. E-mail:



Dear Colleagues,

The June 2009 issue of ZOOS' PRINT [Volume XXIV, Number 6] is published and the online version is available free on the web at


Please note that if you wish to download the full magazine all at once click on COMPLETE MAGAZINE. If you want to select articles see below and you can click on any article and download it.

Thanking you,
Sanjay Molur, Editor and Sally Walker, Editor Emeritus


PDF ( 90Kb )
Complete Magazine
Pp. 1-28 PDF ( 1741Kb )

Review of CBSG, AArk, WAZA Mid-year meetings
Pp. 1-8 PDF ( 99Kb )

Wildlife Conservation Society, Climate Change, Wildlife and Human Health
Pp. 9-12 PDF ( 172Kb )

How to make Zoos more Effervescent
-- R. Hemanth Kumar I.F.S., Pp. 13-15 PDF ( 1336Kb )

Zoo Lex - Sumatran tiger enclosure at Heidelberg Zoo, Germany
Pp. 16-18 PDF ( 458Kb )

Captive/Conservation Breeding – not so straightforward as it seems
P. 19 PDF ( 22Kb )

Education Reports
Pp. 20-22 PDF ( 168Kb )

Z.O.O. Appreciates: Vernon N. Kisling, Jr.
P. 23 PDF ( 28Kb )

Handy User’s Guide for IUCN Red List website
P. 24 PDF ( 71Kb )

Living National Heritage - Species whose survival depends on the action of a single nation ... new website
Pp. 25-26 PDF ( 26Kb )

Nature Note: Opportunities for Scavenging
P. 26 PDF ( 19Kb )

Best Practice Guidelines for Prevention and Mitigation of Conflict Between Humans and Great Apes
P. 27 PDF ( 28Kb )

International Plant Names Index - I.P.N.I – another useful website
P. 28 PDF ( 29Kb )

For printed copies and subscriptions details, please mail to OR


MTI Bird and Fish Tracking Conference Proceedings


The 7th Annual Turtle Survival Alliance Symposium on Chelonian Conservation and Biology August 5th - 8th, 2009
St Louis, MissouriFor details on membership, registration, program and events, please visit our website at


John Reagan has recently published a document on the first results of a series of interviews with zoo directors who have been directly involved in attracting major external funding for their sites ( St Louis, USA; Leipzig, Germany; Adelaide, Australia)
If you are interested in reading this please go to


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:


Volunteering OpportunityElephantstay at the Royal Elephant Kraal Village, Ayutthaya Thailand
Please check for additional information.


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 2009Please forward ‘Des Spittall Scholarship for Keeper Research’ application to ASZK President no later than 31st of October each year at email


For latest Zoo Vacancies please see:

Please note that some vacancies are only advertised at:



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

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
Please go to
For more information

"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, USA

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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