Friday, June 26, 2009

ZooNews Digest 23rd - 26th June 2009 (Zoo News 603)

ZooNews Digest 23rd - 26th June 2009 (Zoo News 603)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

Whilst I was away in the Philippines I was unable to read the 'Bangkok Post' so I missed my morning Chiang Mai Panda updates. Now I am back in Thailand the paper is relatively quiet on the subject. Not so the TV. There is the cub in an incubator, picked up prodded and examined. What surprises me is that it is still being mother reared...or apparently so. Why I ask though do people have to interfere? If it was left untouched in the first place it would as likely be in top physical and mental health now and so too would be the mother. If the cub had died...she would have learnt something for the next round. It is the cubs first birthday tomorrow and festivities are planned.

The front of this mornings Bangkok Post has a photograph of an elephant painted up like a Panda at the Ayutthaya Elephant Kraal. This to draw attention to the fact that other animals need attention too. To true. I have previously gone on about the zoo's neglect for other, rarer, species under their care.....and now they are going to spend 20 million Thai Baht on a new set up, a 'snow house' for the 'Panda Family'.

I note that Al Ain Zoo is making the claim to be the "Hottest Zoo in the World". It probably is too. Although it is more than 25 years since I last worked there I can still clearly recall the hot days. I discovered that when my eyeballs immediately dried up that the temperature had reached 49C. Hot eh? It got worse. I can remember the temperature hitting 53C on several days. Sometimes we even got hotter temperatures at night. It may well be hotter still since global warming arrived. Yes...hottest zoo in the world.

I see there is outrage about new animals at Limassol Zoo. I don't know whether to share the protest or not. I have not visited the place since 1981. I'd like to think there had been a big change since then. It was awful.

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On with the links:

Panda cub turns one month old tomorrow

First, there will be a very big cake measuring 1.2 metres wide and 1.7 metres long. Then, students from 10 schools will sing "Happy Birthday" to the fluffy female cub in front of her cage.The baby panda is also set to get many birthday presents. As the cub will be on public display tomorrow, visitors are being encouraged to bring along presents or something the cub will be able to play with. The presents may be wooden toys or rocking horses. "They can be playthings for the baby when she is a few months old," panda project chief Prasertsak Boontrakulpoontawee says. The baby, which now weighs more than 1 kg, was born in Thailand on May 27 to Lin Hui and her mate Chuang Chuang. Lin Hui has proved to be a

Thai elephants just have to grin and bear it

The Ayutthaya Elephant Kraal has painted Plai Panlan, a 5-year-old male elephant, in the panda colours of black and white to remind the public that elephants have needs, too.The watercolour is harmless, and the elephant did not seem to mind. Kraal staff are gently mocking the national craze over the female panda cub born to Lin Hui and Xuang Xuang at Chiang Mai zoo.Kraal manager Itthipan Kaolamai said staff were striking a blow for Thai elephant causes. Many of the beasts were still in need of state help, but in all the fuss over pandas

Zion is cleared to open

Zion Wildlife Gardens - closed after a keeper was killed by a tiger last month - has been cleared to reopen for public tours today.It's given everyone a real positive lift that they needed. We were still grieving. This reopening is what Dalu would have wantedSara Reid, Zion spokeswoman World-famous Whangarei big cat park Zion Wildlife Gardens - closed after a keeper was killed by a tiger last month - has been cleared to reopen for public tours today.The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) and the Department of Labour yesterday approved the reopening from 9.30am today with rules in place to prevent staff from having direct contact with adult animals among the park's 40 lions, tigers and leopards.Zion keeper Dalu Mncube d

More than a zoo

When an American journalist asked him “what attracts you personally to the desert?”, TE Lawrence responded: “it’s clean”. Now, the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort, formerly known as the Al Ain Zoo, is planning to show visitors that there’s much more to enjoy in the desert.This project is not about building a traditional zoo or resort. Rather, it seeks to transform the idea of what a zoo or resort can be. The 900 hectare wildlife park plans to be the only place in the world where visitors can experience life in various deserts around the world, such as the Kalahari or the Sahara. It’s an ambitious attempt that will put Al Ain on the map for the “hottest” zoo in the world. But the vision goes beyond that. By breeding endangered species and recreating threatened desert environments, visitors

Mysore zoo to have a few exotic species soon

The century-old Mysore zoo has succeeded in its efforts to procure exotic species of animals and birds from the zoos abroad with the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MEoF) reportedly giving its consent for its exchange programme. Accordingly, the zoo will exchange animals and birds with the prestigious Singapore Zoo and Zoo Zlin in the Czech Republic.The last exchange of animals by the zoo with a foreign zoo was in 1996. Since then, the zoo did not achieve success despite submitting several proposals to enrich its collection.The “never quitting attitude” of one of the oldest and biggest zoos in the country finally paid off with the Union Ministry giving its approval for exporting and importing animals and birds.With this, the zoo authorities are making efforts to obtain permission from the agencies concerned.In a few weeks, those visiting the zoo may see some rare and endangered species of animals and birds from Singapore and the Czech Republic.Sources in the zoo told The Hindu that

City zoo fire is treated as arson

A fire which destroyed the Mountain Tea House at Belfast Zoo is being treated as arson by police.None of the animals were injured in the blaze. Intruder and fire alarms were set off at the cafe in north Belfast shortly after midnight on Tuesday. Firefighters were called to the scene at Bellevue. Zoo spokeswoman Joy Bond said the zoo would be open to the public but the area around the blaze was cordoned off. "The tea house has been significantly damaged. There is very little of it left. We are pleased to say that our animals are ok," she said. "We do worry that fires may spread

Death of animal handler at Zion an accident waiting to happen?

The Zion Wildlife Park reopened over the weekend - not quite a month after animal handler Dalu Mncube was mauled to death by a white tiger.Campbell Live has been investigating Mr Mncube’s death and asking whether it was simply terribly bad luck, or an accident waiting to happen.Our research suggests the latter.Campbell Live has talked to two people with strong views on the operation of the park.First – a former staff member who argues the culture instituted by the Lion Man, Craig Busch, became unmanageable after he left – sacked by his mother Patricia.Demetri Price was a handler at the park, and a qualified supporter of Craig Busch.Mr Price resigned earlier this year and returned to Australia.Campbell Live strenuously asked Patricia Busch for an interview, but she declined.Tim Husband is the highly experienced consultant

Valley Zoo calls for phones to save gorillas

The Valley Zoo is calling on Edmontonians to help save a rare gorilla habitat.And it's as simple as dropping off your old cellphones for recycling.Cellphones contain a mineral called Tantalum, found in an ore called Coltan, officials said today.This ore is mined in the Congo, where the endangered silver back gorillas live.The mining is destroying rare gorilla habitat.Officials said the gorilla population in the Congo has dropped 90% in the past five years.Cellphones and accessories donated to the Valley Zoo will be directed to an organization called ECO-Cell – the "premiere cell phone recycling program for environmentally-minded fundraisers," according to the group's website.Zoo officials believe that will help eliminate the need for increased mining in gorilla habitat.ECO-Cell will also return a portion of the proceeds from the phones to the zoo, which will be directed to conservation efforts, officials said."This is a great opportunity to help save wildlife habitat and dropping off a

London Zoo's flamingo chicks have an unusual fear -- the color pink

Two flamingo chicks at the London Zoo are making life difficult for their keepers with their bizarre aversion to the color pink.The chicks, named Little and Large for the obvious reasons, are being hand-raised by zoo staff. Since Little needed to gain some weight, keepers tried to encourage him to eat by feeding him through a lifelike-if-your-brain-is-the-size-of-a-walnut pink sock meant to resemble

Wild monkeys under threat

Monkeys, some of them protected by law, are being trapped and sold as pets and, worse, for their meat.This is occurring at the Tudan Resettlement Scheme in Kuala Baram, near here, where some 6,000 squatters have been relocated.The whole area was forested 10 years ago and filled with wildlife but recently, more than 1,000ha of land has been cleared for squatters to set up their resettlement homes.And the wildlife in the area has become

Saving rhino gets government backing

The Pandeglang regency administration and legislative council have voiced their support for plans to expand the habitat of Javan rhinos at Ujung Kulon National Park (TNUK) in Banten province, on the western tip of Java. Regent Dimyati Natakusumah said the local administration and council hoped the TNUK would become a source of pride for the nation and also a world-renowned site that could pull in international revenue. "We've sent a letter to the Forestry Ministry to request an upgrade to the status of the TNUK to a World Wildlife Park, but they haven't responded yet," he said over the weekend, after a meeting in Pandeglang with representatives of international donors. To attain World Wildlife Park status, a park must have several water reservoirs and a fence encircling it to keep the rhinos within the park area. The regency council speaker, H.M. Acang, backed

Zoo officials hunt swimming horse

OFFICIALS of the TT Zoological Society were on Wednesday called out to Dhein’s Bay, in Chaguaramas, to rescue a horse swimming in the waters off the western coastline.It was initially reported that the horse had drowned but fishermen fishing off Five Islands said they saw the horse taking a swim. Up to late Wednesday, the horse had not been found. Head of the Zoological Society, Gupte Lutchmedial told Newsday they received a call at about 7 am, from an official at the Paddock of the Arima Race Club indicating that they should go to Dhein’s Bay to retrieve the carcass of a race horse which had drowned while taking a bath. Lutchmedial said when zoo officials arrived at the bay, the horse was no where to be seen. Curator of the Emperor Valley Zoo, St Ann’s, said,102732.html

'Miracle' gibbon birth at Swedish zoo

A nearly 40-year-old gibbon has given birth to a healthy baby at a zoo in central Sweden, much to the surprise of zoo officials who just a few months ago thought the mother may be dying.Last winter, zookeepers at the Parken Zoon in Eskilstuna thought the female gibbon appeared lethargic and feared that death was knocking on her door.But subsequent tests revealed she was pregnant, and

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo clocks its one millionth visitor
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo has become one of the most visited attractions in Dubai.This leisure attraction at The Dubai Mall recently welcomed its one millionth visitor, a landmark achieved in less than seven months of its opening. Having over one million paid visitors - who have experienced the aquarium tunnel and underwater zoo - complements the several thousands

Outrage over decision to bring more animals to Limassol zoo

AMID JUBILATION that the year-long efforts of animal rights activists lead to the removal of a family of leopards from Limassol zoo, Limassol Municipality has announced its decision for the centre to continue operating, undergo an €300,000 upgrade and bring more animals including kangaroos, llamas and monkeys. The decision has infuriated animal rights group ARC/KIVOTOS which has threatened to take legal action against the zoo for operating without a licence for the past seven years.“We are making all these efforts to repatriate the animals and succeeded in taking them to a better environment at no cost for the authorities. But it is inconceivable that we struggle for decades to do this and then they want to bring more animals in. “We will be taking legal action because Limassol Zoo has been operating illegally without a licence from Veterinary Services for the past seven years,” Kyriakos Kyriakou, Director of ARC told the Cyprus Mail.“When you get a parking ticket, you go and pay it without protesting. But the state has been breaking the law for years without any sanctions. Enough is enough,” Kyriakou added.At present, the wild animals remaining at Limassol zoo include two baboons, one langur monkey, a zebra, a raccoon, porcupines, a moufflon, exotic birds, as well as hawks and eagle owls.“These animals live in desperate conditions. The racoon, for exam



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


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


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Kind Regards,

Wishing you a wonderful week,

Peter Dickinson

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