Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Zoo News Digest 30th July - 5th August 2009 (Zoo News 610)

Zoo News Digest 30th July - 5th August 2009 (Zoo News 610)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

I am a little worried about the Giant Panda cub in Chiang Mai Zoo. Unless I have missed the mention I have seen nothing in the Bangkok Post for well over a week. Maybe at long last they are leaving it to the mother to care for it.

Yet another excuse for a zoo trying to create a Liger. I have to ask myself 'Just what is the point?'. It is not is not even particularily difficult to achieve. It does nothing at all for conservation in the same way that White Tigers and White Lions do nothing at all.

I am not a prude but find myself in wholehearted agreement with Hilvarenbeek safari in banning 'naked hair torsos' in their visitors. I believe the beach is fine. I just wish that the Thai authorities would do the same in my little corner of the world. I really have no wish to see these treble breasted, hairy pimpled and tattooed 'Jabba clones' wandering the street and putting me off my food in restaurants.

Mole Hall opens again. This time to concentrate on education and conservation. Good.

I am sure that Sean Whyte has his heart in the right place but I believe his insistence that the Orangutans be repatriated to Indonesia is a mistake. I am sure that, at least for the present, the WFFT can offer them much better conditions and care. The unfortunate animals can NOT be returned to the wild and rescue centres in Indonesia are struggling to cope.

In principle I am not against the idea of Komodo Dragons being 'relocated' to Bali Marine and Safari Park. There would have to be provision made that they were not to be doped up for photography sessions of course. What I am against is the range of excuses being offered to explain the relocation. Just what do they mean 'Genetic Purification'? The whole deal smells a bit to me. I would have thought that a move of some of numerous animals held in Jakarta Zoo would be easier and cheaper or do Jakarta know something we do not?

It is a constant source of annoyance to me the number of zoos which make super human efforts not to use that word. It is almost as if it was a racial slur.

I note that Craig Busch has decided to drop his claims. Too much dirty laundry being put in the wash?

So SABRE has been refused permission to keep Siberian Tigers. That actually pleases me. Having trawled through their website I can see no mention of them being a member of an official breeding programme. Are their animals in a studbook? A huge question mark hangs over anywhere which is delighted to be donated White Tigers.

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This Weeks Books of Interest to the Zoo Professional

On with the links:

Lion and tigress in Chinese Wildlife Park set to produce first ‘liger’
A tigress and lion in a Chinese Wildlife Park have finally mated, and authorities now looking forward to first liger species.The four-and-half-year-old tigress and the lion were deliberately kept in a single cage at the Badaling Wildlife Park in Beijing.And it was after eight months of staying together that the two animals finally made love, reports the China Daily.Zookeepers are now hoping for the park’s very first liger sometime this year

Only gorillas can display hairy torso in this Dutch zoo
Hilvarenbeek safari park became the first zoo in the Netherlands to introduce dress code as complaints about half-naked visitors walking around increase.The Beekse Bergen safari park in Hilvarenbeek became the first zoo in the Netherlands to introduce a dress code where all visitors have to be fully-clothed.The zoo has posted notices saying: "As of 1 August the only ones in the park allowed to display naked hairy torsos will be our four male gorillas."According to AD, the motto for the campaign is "Only female gorillas are impressed by hairy chests". Due to the warm weather, many male visitors have been walking around the park stripped to the waist. The safari park has since received a lot of complaints.A spokesman for the zoo said that visitors who are semi-clothed will not be asked to leave or fined. Instead, they will be directed

Mole Hall Wildlife Park to re-open
MOLE HALL Wildlife Park is set to re-open its doors following an extensive refurbishment project - after almost a year in the wilderness.When the gates to the Widdington attraction were locked for the final time in September 2008 - due to owner Douglas Johnston suffering from terminal cancer -it was thought that the park would never again be open to the public.But those fears have proved unfounded.Park administrator, Katrina Allhusen, said: "It was never the plan to be closed forever, we were very upset at the time and things got taken out of proportion. "We were always confident that we could re-open and now we are delighted that we can once again invite the public in to enjoy themselves."Mrs Allhusen added: "Our new focus will be on conservation of the natural species in the park and on educating children. We believe it is important that visitors not only enjoy themselves but learn something in the process."Some animals have remained inside the park during the last 10 months and many others were sent to various specialist sanctuaries, most of which now will return to the attraction.Officially the park will re-open at the start of August but Ms Allhusen has said that visitors may have to be a bit patient in the first few weeks as work continues."We will not have all the animals back at the beginning because we need to complete the fencing, although people can still come in for a picnic," she

Letters: Send the orangutans home
Since confiscating 11 orangutans from a private zoo on Feb. 5, the National Park authorities have remained suspiciously tight-lipped. Will anyone be prosecuted? Will the orangutans be repatriated to Indonesia?
Readers may consider this to be remarkably reminiscent of behavior the authorities adopted in 2006, when they did all they could to block the return of up to 100 illegally-held orangutans back to Indonesia.
All attempts to find out the long overdue results of DNA tests of these 11 orangutans have met with silence. We are left to wonder why no one will be transparent with such information. If, as is very likely, these orangutans were all illegally imported into Thailand, the authorities have a legal obligation to return them to their original country without delay.
Even more troubling for many is the apparent lack of enthusiasm from Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) who are currently looking after the orangutans, to return them back home to Indonesia. WFFT have made it clear they want to keep them.
It is difficult to understand why a wildlife rescue centre, apparently opposed to trade in wildlife, is seemingly reluctant to send these creatures, caught in the wild, returned to the forests of Indonesia - rather be kept caged in Thailand.
By making no attempts to return these orangutans to Indonesia, WFFT is knowingly, albeit with approval of the Thai authorities, holding onto illegally traded, highly endangered

Last chance to save the gorilla
YOU might have missed it, but in December 2008 - when the world's media were preoccupied with President Barack Obama's election and the global economic recession - the United Nations declared 2009 the Year of the Gorilla. If you did notice, you could be forgiven for wondering why. Just weeks earlier it was reported that almost half of all primate species are at risk of extinction, so why lavish yet more attention on the one that is seldom out of the spotlight?
The simple answer is because they need it now more than ever. Despite all the film footage, fieldwork and fund-raising, and the efforts of park rangers and conservation NGOs, the number of gorillas continues to plummet. Hunting, logging, mining and disease are taking a terrible toll on the greatest of the great apes, and if things continue as they are, they may be reduced to nothing more than a series of small, highly vulnerable populations within decades.
That's not the only reason the UN chose to focus on gorillas. These apes are such iconic animals they can galvanise people into action like few others. Redoubling efforts to protect gorillas and their habitats will benefit other endangered primates, including chimps and bonobos. If those efforts centre on development projects and gorilla tourism, they can also improve the lives of some of the world's poorest people. That is the UN's plan. And entirely the wrong one, as far as many gorilla experts are concerned. For all its good intentions, they say, there's no way it can work fast enough to give gorillas any chance

UAE Releasess 20 Arabian Oryx in Jordan's Wadi Rum
Twenty Arabian Oryx (8 males and 12 females) were released yesterday (Wednesday July 29, 2009) by the United Arab Emirates in the Wadi Rum Protected Area of Jordan. The release is part of HH Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces' initiative to reintroduce the Arabian Oryx into its natural habitat in Jordan.The project began when the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), which chairs the Coordinating Committee for Conservation of Arabian Oryx, and Al Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, Aqaba Special Economic Zone, signed a sponsorship agreement in April 2007. Under this agreement, EAD is sponsoring the $1.100 million three-year project which entails several components, including the reintroduction of the Arabian Oryx into the Wadi Rum Protected Area. This also includes rehabilitating the habitat and helping local residents to improve their living standards.The Oryx release, which came after 8 decades of extinction in Jordan, was attended by HE Mohammed Ahmed Al Bowardi Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Managing Director of EAD, HE Ali Mohammad Bin Hammad Al Shamsi, UAE Ambassador to Jordan and HE Majid Mansouri, EAD's Secretary General. Eng. Hosni Abu Ghida, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority and representatives of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as well as dignitaries and heads of tribes in the Wadi Rum region also attended this release. The released oryxes were

Spain to give Portugal 20 Iberian lynxes
Spain has agreed to give Portugal 20 of its Iberian lynxes, in a bid to save the species form extinction. Spain currently has the only active breeding centre for Iberian lynx. Portugal has built a new breeding centre especially to receive lynx from Spain.This new development is a concrete example of how Spain and Portugal are working together to protect the world’s most endangered cat species. The Iberian lynx is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, with just 200 believed to survive in the wild. “This is fantastic news for Iberian lynx conservation,” said Paul Hotham, Regional Director of Eurasia. “The next step is to make sure that once lynx bred

San Diego Zoo announces giant panda Bai Yun is pregnant (and may give birth to twins)
The San Diego Zoo has announced that its 17-year-old resident female giant panda, Bai Yun, is pregnant. Bai Yun was born at China's Wolong Giant Panda Research Center and came to the San Diego Zoo in 1996 as part of a scientific exchange program. (Zoo officials and a Chinese diplomat announced late last year that the loan of Bai Yun and a male panda, Gao Gao, would be extended for an additional five years

Woman Upset SD Zoo Animals On Loan Treated Poorly
The San Diego Zoo has loaned at least four animals to the Las Vegas Zoo, but one woman said the Las Vegas counterpart is not treating the animals well, the 10News I-Team learned.The Las Vegas Zoo does not have accredidation and is being called 'a terrible place for animals' by United States Humane Sociey investigator Jane Garrison."This zoo should be closed immediately," Garrison said. "People who care about animals

Poetry In Pathology
Legendary primatologist Dian Fossey spent decades documenting the lives of the mountain gorillas of Rwanda. Now, scientists are exhuming the bodies of those gorillas to learn about evolution. Researcher Erin Marie Williams is part of that team and sent this third dispatch from the field.There are seven cervical, 13 thoracic and three lumbar vertebrae in each mountain gorilla (unless there aren't, which is rather common), making a grand total of 23 (more or less). Hands and feet have 19 bones, 27 if you count the wrist and ankle bones. There are also 26 ribs, six leg bones and six arm bones (we're at 169 bones, if you're keeping count). Throw in two clavicles, two scapulae, two patellas, and some skull bones, and you've got well over 200 bones in one mountain gorilla. Last year, before we arrived, the crew here recovered, cleaned, photographed and cataloged over 70 mountain gorillas. If you do the math, this means that they sorted through hundreds of mountain gorilla bones in just six weeks. Picking Up The PiecesToday, at the Karisoke Research Center's garage, it took me all morning to sort out the hands and feet of a single male gorilla. Or maybe it was just one hand and one foot. However, Rome was not built in a day. Fortunately my colleagues are far more proficient than I am. While I labored over my one hand and one foot, Amandine Eriksen, one of the two forensic anthropologists

Monkey business: Lionshare Farm may get orangutan from troubled Fla. zoo
A private zoo in Greenwich that is seeking to import four cheetahs from South Africa could become home to another endangered animal, a baby orangutan, if the cash-strapped Florida zoo housing it goes under. The Zoo of Northwest Florida in Gulf Breeze, Fla., has posted a 3-year-old orangutan, Indah, as collateral on a loan made in December by Marcella Leone, co-owner of Lionshare Farm, a private zoo and horse center on Taconic Road.Despite this support, the Florida zoo remains in financial dire straits.Last week, its executive director, Danyelle Lantz, said she expects to run out of adequate funds to stay open through August unless the local government kicks in additional funding, according to published reports. Lantz declined to comment Thursday.If her zoo closes, Lionshare could be first in line to house the baby orangutan -- a prospect that has riled animal advocates who assert that transferring the animal to a private zoo as collateral is unethical, and borderline illegal."Using this animal as collateral is absolutely outrageous and dangerous to its future," said Lisa Wathne, a captive exotic animal specialist for the People for the Ethical Treatment

Pakistan's Lahore Zoo has more than its share of problems
At the Lahore Zoo, the largest zoo in Pakistan, the animals are suffering due to mismanagement and inhumane treatment., according to nature lovers and former board members. The zoo hasn't invested in a pharmacy, sick bay, examination room, X-ray machine, vaccination schedules or ultrasound equipment.Critics say mismanagement and inhumane treatment jeopardize the animals there. Now, the zoo is also grappling with a smuggling scandal involving white tigers and the aftermath of a suicide attack.It's been battered by a suicide attack, residents are traumatized, and officials have been sharply criticized for failing to provide clean water, decent food or basic healthcare.A community in Pakistan's troubled frontier area? A camp for displaced people fleeing the fighting in the Swat Valley? No, the Lahore Zoo.Nature lovers and former board members say a long history of mismanagement and inhumane treatment at the 137-year-old zoo jeopardizes the animals it's supposed to protect."If all this is not fraud and misuse of office, I don't know what is," said Masood Hasan, an advertising executive and former member of the Lahore Zoo Management Committee. "It might not be a bad idea to . . . put all the officials inside cages."The latest problem to hit the troubled institution is a smuggling scandal involving two white tigers, which were allegedly imported from Indonesia a few months ago without the permits required to move endangered species internationally. According to local news reports, the zoo applied for various permits retroactively after agreeing to pay about $47,000 per tiger, a hefty markup from the importer's cost of $1,250. An inquiry will try to determine what role the zoo, importer and middlemen played, and whether bribes were paid, but Hasan said he didn't expect much to come of it.Zoo-goers didn't seem particularly surprised,0,4691206.story

Zoo Receives Major Award
There's a celebration underway this week at the zoo of Acadiana. The zoo has received a coveted award; National Accreditation from the Zoological Association of America. It's a distinguished honor for this longtime Acadiana Landmark, where compassion for the animal kingdom is all in the family.It's an accomplishment that's been more than a year in the making. The Zoo of Acadiana is now joining an elite group of wildlife sanctuaries around the country through its accreditation by the Zoological Association of America. "It will open up a lot of doors for us, as far as collaborating with other zoos that are accredited by the association, especially in regards to getting new animals and enhancing our collection and working with other zoos on other large projects and efforts" Says Mathew Oldenburg.Oldenburg is the second generation of his family to devote his life to caring for members of the animal kingdom, and was literally born into the job. When his dad, George, took over as director of the facility some 20 years ago, Matthew began learning the family business from the ground up, and is now moving into a leadership position by spearheading the accreditation effort. But the Oldenburg's give all the credit to the people of Acadiana. "We're more than grateful for the children and families of Acadiana and the surrounding areas, who continue to support

Govt to Relocate Komodo Dragons to Bali
The government is planning to relocate five pairs of komodo dragons from their natural habitat in Wae Wuul, West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara to the Safari Park in Bali. The reason is genetics purification.Then, an inevitable polemic surfaced. Some assume the genetics purification reason is only a cover up. They question why the komodo dragons will be moved to Bali. It is suspected that there is a business motive involved because Bali is an international tourist destination, especially because the government chose the Safari Park as the place of relocation.Bali Safari and Marine Park (BSMP) expected the relocation will not be a continuous polemic because all of the decisions were made by the Indonesia Safari Park (TSI) in Bogor while Bali is just providing the place.“If asked why the komodo dragons would be relocated, it’s the policy of the TSI. Even though the Forestry Minister has issued the Decree, until now there hasn’t been any team formed to pick up the komodo dragons,“ General Manager of BSMP, Hans Manansang said on Sunday, August 2.According to him, BSMP is one of the forms of off-site conservation which could complete the on-site conservation. At off-site conservations, the population can be supervised and there are available facilities and supporting equipments. “The conserved animals belong to the people and they would later be returned to them,” Manansang said. Why should the comodo dragons be relocated? He explained that the conservation was done to anticipate the threat of extinction caused by habitat damages

More groups reject Komodo dragons relocation plan
Environmental activists grouped under the Flores People's Solidarity Forum rejected Friday the central government's plan to relocate 10 Komodo dragons from Wae Wu'ul National Park in Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara to Bali Safari Park. The activists urged forestry minister M.S. Kaban to revoke decree No. 384//2009 permitting the move of the endangered species from the national park. The decree stated the relocation was aimed at breeding the dragons in an effort to prevent their extinction. The government was concerned about the declining population of the giant lizard, which currently stands at around 2,500, because of their cannibalistic nature. "There is no better habitat than their original habitat here in Maggarai for the Komodo dragon genetic purification tests," Forum representative Rofino Kant said. Rofino stated that the relocation would not only damage tourism in Manggarai and Flores in general, but would also speed the extinction of the prehistoric reptile. "The relocation would damage the image of Komodo National Park which is, at present, trying to garner support to become one of world's new seven wonders," he said. The group sent a statement to the minister, the governor of the provincial legislative council and to the regents of Flores, Timor, Sumba, Alor, Rote Ndao and Sabu Raijua. East Nusa Tenggara legislative council deputy speaker Kristo Blasin said the Komodo dragon was the province's tourism icon and, while appreciating the government's good intentions of saving them from extinction, tourism in the province should not be sacrificed in the process. "If they were moved to Bali, it's possible that local and foreign tourists would just visit the Safari Park, instead of visiting the animal's real habitat in West Manggarai. I also believe that the relocation would cause tourism to suffer here, despite the government's good intentions," Kristo said. Earlier Governor Frans Leburaya expressed his objections to the plan, urging the central government to conduct the Komodo dragons breeding program within their original habitat, sending a written request for the revocation of the ministerial decree. As well as activists, dozens of students staged an rally earlier, rejecting the relocation plan. The students saw the transfer plan as an effort to shift the tourism appeal from Komodo Island to Bali. The relocation plan, the central government said,

British interns at N.C. park learn valuable career lessons from big cats
The Conservators’ Center Inc., an animal preserve in Mebane, lets interns and visitors alike take a walk on the wild side. Its nearly 100 untamed animals include a diverse mix of lions, tigers, wolves, servals, leopards, lynx, bobcats, Guinea singing dogs and other exotic creatures. Making sure the fenced animals are fed and taken care of this summer are animal-care director Janine Tokarczyk, a few part-time employees, volunteers and an equally diverse group of about a dozen interns, three of whom came from England. The trio is working toward their diplomas in animal management at Houghall College in Great Britain. During an interview at the preserve Thursday morning, the three young ladies, Bekki Mullett, Danielle Whitley and Katie Neesam, fed raw chicken to a pair of 13-week-old, part-Arctic wolf pups and talked about their fortuitous discovery of the center tucked away in rural North Carolina. “I accidentally e-mailed here, thinking it was in England,” Neesam said, adding that she sent messages to about 25 animal care centers in her native country. Their three-week internship at the center fulfills a requirement of their diploma. To pay for their adventure to the United States and the preserve, Mullett, Whitley and Neesam each received 500 pounds from their college, 300 pounds each from an organization, and raised the rest of their money totaling 3,500 pounds, or about $7,000. Their duties include preparing food for the center’s animals, building and cleaning cages, and interacting with the animals through enrichment exercises, such as giving them toys to play with. The preserve includes a winding maze of fenced-in creatures. Certain animals, like the gentle, spotted servals that resemble tall, graceful kittens, let people know through their reactions whether they can be petted. But coming into contact with the preserve’s 36 lions, tigers and leopards, is forbidden, Tokarczyk said. “No matter how sweet they are, they are wild animals,” she said. The closest anyone comes to touching them is hand-feeding them raw beef, which is attached to a short stick and poked through the fence for the large cats. Visitors must stay at least four feet from the fenced lots. To clean the cats’ lots, interns slide a door open from outside the unit, coaxing the animals into a separate, connected lot where they stay while their dwelling areas are cleared of excrement. Animal-care staff feed the large cats by lobbing raw, dead chickens over the top of the tall fences and into the pens. Some are fed through a square hole in the fence, which is constructed to prevent contact with the animals. During feeding time Thursday, two lionesses sharing a lot, Adeena and Willow, scrap briefly over a piece of meat until a staff member provides them another slab. The lions and tigers become cranky and aggressive just before feeding time. They growl and lunge against the inside of their lots as interns walk by with tempting pieces of raw chicken and beef. The preserve is located on a 45-acre parcel, covering about 10 acres, Tokarczyk said. Tokarczyk and the founders would like to add more animals to the preserve. “We’d love to develop more,” she said, adding that the non-profit center would need more money. Douglas Evans and Mindy Stinner founded the Conservators’ Center in 1999. The preserve has been at its present location since 2001. It has a board of trustees and makes its money through visitor tours and private donations,

Hoolock gibbon conservation programme
The Centre for Environment Education (CEE), North East is going to undertake a ‘Site Specific Conservation Education Programme (SSCEP)’ in selected hoolock gibbon sanctuaries of Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura involving 20-25 schools together with a local NGO partner forming a cluster. The programme will involve development of gibbon educational packages in the context of the North-east to support classroom teaching-learning and make it more environment-friendly; orientation workshop series for NGOs and teachers to help them effectively carry out implementation of school programmes; year-long school cluster activities; evaluation information and attitudinal changes brought about by the project; thorough pre- and post-project Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) surveys; building up linkages with allied institutions and departments for implementing

Pigs play football at wildlife centre
Most footballers keep themselves in trim shape – but a new team in Lincolnshire is proud of its porky physique.A sport-savvy gang of five pigs have taken up the nation's favourite sport at Woodside Wildlife and Falconry Centre at Newball, near Langworth.The park introduced pig football a week ago – and organisers say it's been a cracking success.The four-legged footballers will be instantly recognisable to fans because of their wide snouts, curly tales and a penchant for scoffing grub during the game."We wanted to come up with something that both the pigs and visitors would enjoy," said owner Neil Mumby, who came up with the idea after wanting to extend on pig racing."It was quite simple to do as we just filled a hollowed out ball with pig food so that every time they

Ohio family claims to hit 52 zoos in 52 weeks
It has been a wild year for members of an Ohio family who say they've accomplished a goal to visit 52 zoos in 52 weeks.Marla Taviano of Columbus, her husband and three daughters started Aug. 1, 2008 with the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky and spent weekends and vacations going to zoos across the country, including the Dallas Zoo, New York's Central Park Zoo and the San Diego Zoo. The family's Web site shows they really wound up hitting 55 animal parks.Taviano says she got the idea while trying to think of an adventure that would feel like traveling the world and seeing exotic creatures, but on

Dallas to save $1.5 million by handing over zoo
Last week, we broke the news that City Hall intends to hand over the Dallas Zoo's management and animals to the Dallas Zoological Society.What we didn't know was how much money the city hoped to save.From this briefing on the city's plans, it looks like the number is about $1.5 million off the $12.3 million City Manager Mary Suhm had proposed to run the zoo in the coming fiscal year.The $12.3 million figure included massive cutbacks that would have eliminated more than 40 jobs at the zoo.According to page 11 of the briefing, the city calculates the savings off handing over the zoo at a significantly higher figure of $4.75 million.That figure represents the savings over the cost of running the zoo at its current level, without the extreme

Como Zoo's fifth Sparky the sea lion dies at 31
The Como Zoo's oldest sea lion, who entertained visitors for 20 years, died Monday at the age of 31. Sparky V was the second-oldest California sea lion in the nation and suffered from multiple ailments, said Como spokesman Matt

Lion Man abandons legal proceedings
Lion Man Craig Busch has dropped his claims to be reinstated and his personal grievance for unjustified dismissal from Zion Wildlife Gardens.An Employment Relations Authority hearing on whether Busch was wrongly dismissed from the Whangarei wildlife park last year was postponed in late May, following the death of keeper Dalu Mncube . Busch had complained he had been unfairly dismissed from his job at Zion Wildlife Gardens, near Whangarei, by his mother Patricia Busch.But despite Busch dropping those claims, Zion spokeswoman Sara Reid says the hearing is still going ahead on Monday afternoon, with the park

New hope: German gorilla gives birth again
A traumatized gorilla who carried around her dead baby's body for several days in a German zoo last year has given birth again — and this time her offspring is healthy.Twelve-year-old Gana's very public mourning for her last child gained widespread attention last year. The baby gorilla, Claudio, died when he was three months old of a severe intestinal infection.Gana's new daughter was born early Sunday, said Ilona Zuehlke, a spokeswoman for the Allwetter Zoo in Muenster.The newborn is healthy and lively, much to the mother's apparent joy, Zuehlke said Tuesday."Gana looks very happy," she told The Associated Press.Zuehlke said the zoo probably would name the baby Claudia — after Claudia Kleinert, a German television weather forecaster

Zoo pelican swallows cell phone
Can you hear me now?A pelican at the Tautphaus Park Zoo took something other than food in his bill when a cell phone that had been dropped in a pool at the exhibit made its way down the hatch.The flock in the exhibit were playing with the phone Monday until one of the birds swallowed it. For three hours, zookeepers couldn't figure out which bird did it until the culprit coughed up the goods."Luckily, the bird regurgitated it so it wouldn't harm him," zoo superintendent Bill Gersonde said. "We just need folks to be really cautious

UN breeding barn owls to stamp out crop-eating rodents in Laos
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is breeding barn owls under an innovative new programme that hopes to deter rodents from attacking crops in northern Laos.Rats in Laos turned their attention to crops last year, with devastating results for farmers, after bamboo plants flowered and the number of bamboo seeds decreased as a result. To prevent a repeat of that situation, FAO is using the barn owl, a natural predator, to control

Jyamchang Bhote, a young professional mountaineering guide, reached the summit of Mount Everest for the third time on 19 May 2009 at 10 A.M. local time. He held up a banner sponsored by the Wildlife Watch Group (WWG) and the U.S.-based International Primate Protection League (IPPL). The banner carried the slogan “Stop the Monkey Business! Don’t Export Nepali Monkeys to American Labs.” Today a framed photograph of this historic expedition, dedicated to prevent Nepalese monkeys from being sent to deadly experiments in U.S. labs, was handed over to Nepal’s new Forest Minister, the Honorable Deepak Bohara, at his office at Singh. Before presenting the framed photograph to the Minister, Mangal Man Shakya, Chairman of WWG, handed over the joint Appeal with Nepalese Federation of Forest Resource Users Group (NEFUG) and a special letter from the Chairwoman of IPPL, Dr. Shirley McGreal, O.B.E., addressed

Zoo protocol for escaped animals
A reader asked us what happens at Woodland Park Zoo when an animal escapes, which we think is good information to know. Here’s what the zoo told us:Woodland Park Zoo is committed to ensuring visitor and public safety; ensuring safety of zoo staff, volunteers and affiliated personnel; and ensuring the safety of the animal collection. Each unit that houses dangerous animals has a plan of action in the event of an animal escape.When an animal escapes, guests are immediately evacuated from the area and escorted to secured buildings on zoo grounds by the zoo’s emergency

Zoo staff on the prowl to Highland park
A TEAM of fundraisers from Edinburgh Zoo are getting on their bikes for a 120-mile ride.Eight staff members from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland are cycling from the zoo to the Highland Wildlife Park to raise Scottish wildcat awareness.The team will set off on Saturday morning and arrive at the wildcat enclosure at the Highland Wildlife Park on Sunday.The Highland Tiger campaign, of which the sponsored cycle is a part, is aimed at educating the public and raising awareness of the Scottish wildcat's plight.The Highland Tiger Tour has already exceeded its target of £500 sponsorship for the conservation

Brunei Sanctuary For Endangered Turtles
Bandar Seri Begawan - Brunei's initiative to construct a turtle sanctuary is now in the implementing stages with input from various government agencies aimed at furthering conservation and management of endangered sea turtles to protect them from extinction.Senior fisheries assistant of the Fisheries Department. Hariel Hj Simpul, who said this, explained the department's initiative to improve their services and promote awareness of turtle conservation and management in the country.The turtle sanctuary and conservation programme, formulated by the Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, involves the building of the centre on 5.33 hectares of land located at Meragang Beach in Muara.He said that the approved location for the sanctuary will serve as a home for its existing and rescued turtles and provide these delicate

A genetic linkage map for the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
Genome elucidation is now in high gear for many organisms, and whilst genetic maps have been developed for a broad array of species, surprisingly, no such maps exist for a crocodilian, or indeed any other non-avian member of the Class Reptilia. Genetic linkage maps are essential tools for the mapping and dissection of complex quantitative trait loci (QTL), and in order to permit systematic genome scans for the identification of genes affecting economically important traits in farmed crocodilians, a comprehensive genetic linage map will be necessary.

Hope of freedom for orang-utans dashed
248 endangered primates left in cages after mining company pulls out of rescue A world-renowned programme to return hundreds of orang-utans threatened with extinction to the wild has been thrown into disarray by the withdrawal of Britain's biggest mining company from Borneo.Dozens of orang-utans that had been due to be released this month have been left locked in cages after BHP-Billiton warned it could no longer guarantee the safety of the animals on forests it had been surveying for coal. With BHP's support over the past two years, orang-utans from a rehabilitation centre – made famous by the BBC TV series Orang-utan Diary – have been released onto BHP's land in Kalimantan. But last month the world's largest mining company told investors it was withdrawing from the area for "strategic reasons" which it declined to explain. A planned airlift of 48 adult orang-utans scheduled to take place on 20 July was cancelled a week before it had been due

Calgary Zoo to build $24.5-million penguin exhibit by next spring
The Calgary Zoo plans to start building a $24.5-million penguin exhibit — featuring about 80 birds from four species — by next spring after the project spent months in limbo. It’s the only piece of the ambitious Arctic Shores proposal that will be built in the near future.Antarctic Landing will give visitors a chance to see King, rockhopper, Gentoo and Humboldt penguins at play, including a viewing area in the middle of a chilly indoor pool that allows the birds to be seen both above and underwater.There will also be a separate outdoor pool.“It will be one of the most eagerly anticipated openings in quite some time,” Don Peterkin, the zoo’s director of facilities, said of the display they hope to open in 2011. “It’s one of those exhibits

Burgeoning deer population becomes a headache for city zoo
The laxity on the part of the zoo officials and of the Culture Department in finding a suitable piece of land to house the burgeoning deer population at the city zoo continues to cost the zoo dear.The death of three spotted deer on August 1—the latest of deer deaths at the facility—after being tranquilised and shifted to another enclosure makes it clear that the deer numbers are way beyond what zoo officials can handle.Though the norms of the Central Zoo Authority allow a zoo of this size to house only 20 deer, the city zoo has close to 250 deer now. This includes more than 80 spotted deer and as many sambhar deer. On August 1, two male and one female spotted deer were tranquilised and shifted to another enclosure. After they were administered medicine to revive them, the animals reportedly ran helter-skelter inside the enclosure and banged against the wire mesh around.“Deer by nature are excitable to an extreme and whenever we try to shift them or catch one, there are such fatalities,” said

Siberian tigers barred from entering Idaho
A Nevada man who wanted to open a big cats exhibit is upset with state rules.For years, he has fought the ensuing extinction of the Siberian tiger. His foundation, Siberians Are Becoming Rapidly Extinct, or SABRE, was organized for that purpose.In 2007, Renzo, who lives with his family and his tigers in Silver Springs, Nev., east of Reno, was trying to open an educational exhibit for his tigers in the Blackfoot area, complete with a restaurant and hotel for tourists. The exhibit would have housed seven tigers and one black panther. Renzo hoped the Idaho location would draw wildlife tourism from Yellowstone. Renzo says the exhibit would be not-for-profit, with the proceeds supporting SABRE. "We had the financing; we had the paperwork and permits ready to go," Renzo said. "We were ready to move forward." The planned 24,000 square-foot complex would have cost about $6.3 million, he said. But the Idaho State Department of Agriculture blocked his attempt to bring the tigers into the state. The department said Renzo would have to sterilize the cats before

New Attractions At Bangor State Fair (Peter's Note - Hogwash!!!!)
.....However there are some new attractions like a group of bengal tigers. "Well your going to see eight bengal tigers," says Mike Inks a handler with Marcan Tiger Preserve, "bengal tigers are native to india. a lot of people don't know there are four different colors that bengal tigers come in, the most rare being the snow white bengal tiger, there's only about 40 of those in the world so it's a great opportunity to see them up close and personal right here in your hometown." Some popular acts will be back as well, like the Dsconnected K9's dog show, returning for its s......



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

The 6th European Zoo Nutrition Conference
Barcelona, 28-31 January 2010

For everyone patiently waiting for more information about the next nutrition conference, the logistical arrangements are almost finalised and materials will be circulated v.v. soon! I can share some information now which might help with your planning…

The 6th European Zoo Nutrition Conference organised by Conzoolting and the EAZA Nutrition Group , will take place in Barcelona from 28 to 31 January 2010.
The Conference will start on Thursday 28 January with an evening icebreaker, the scientific programme commencing on Friday. There will be a Conference Dinner on Saturday evening and the meeting closes with lunch on Sunday.
An invitation letter is being prepared with details on registration, accommodation and information regarding the programme. The EAZA website ( under ‘nutrition’) will be updated with programme information throughout the upcoming months.
Please also start thinking about contributions to the Scientific Programme. Abstracts for oral and poster presentations are welcomed; submission deadline September 25th.
A submissions template will be part of the conference information pack, with these guidance notes: abstract for posters and papers should be no longer than 500 words, and should include, where applicable, an introduction, brief descriptions of the methods, results and conclusions – please avoid submitting abstracts stating, “results will be discussed”. In all cases, the relevance of the paper to zoo animal nutrition should be included.
New for this conference is a workshop on ‘Experiences with diet changes’. Taking a case study format, we are inviting all participants to summarise their practical experience of modifying diets. Perhaps you have a great success story, or you might be struggling to achieve the results you want – this is an ideal opportunity to share problems, ideas and solutions.

26th EAZA Annual Conference hosted by Copenhagen Zoo,
15-19 September 2009

I’m also busy preparing an agenda for the next business meeting of the EAZA Nutrition Group , scheduled on Friday 18th September from 16:00-17:30. Please email me directly with any items for inclusion, particularly relevant publications, or conferences that are recent or upcoming.

Many thanks and I look forward to meeting many of you in person in Copenhagen , Barcelona or both!

Dr. Andrea Fidgett
Chair, EAZA Nutrition Group
North of England Zoological Society
Chester Zoo, Upton , Chester , CH2 1LH , UK

Tel +44 (0)1244 650295 / Fax +44 (0)1244 381352 /

Dear Colleague

This is for your kind information that Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park has been working towards captive breeding of Snow leopards since 1986. Now we are working on compilation of knowledge available from zoo community all over the world on following points---

Individual Identification
Method: visual method/transponders/tag

Restrain method: Physical/ Chemical. How often done,Purpose of doing so, If chemical then doses of medicine used, recovery time,

Transport Procedure: cage size, caretakers, feed provided during transportation.

Diet: Quantity, nature of the feed, nature of feed during illness, frequency of the feed.

Environmental Enrichment provided for Snow leopard: Dietary/non-dietary forms. Frequency of change,

Housing – Exhibits and holding enclosures, sizes and the furnishing provided in the holding enclosures. Size of open enclosure, size of feeding cell, Height of Fencing, Nature of wire used,

Measures for pest control: traps/ other methods.

Records on behavioural observations: method used for observation.

· Social organization: behaviour when all the animals are kept together- groom, play, court, feeding, marking territory or engaging in social behaviours.
· Group composition: Number of animals in a group/ gender
· Behaviour when male and female Interacts.
· Behaviour between the male and the offspring.
· Behaviour between the female and the offspring.
· When are the cubs weaned and when do they start to live independently?


Behavioural indicators of stress: pacing etc.
Relationship between the keepers and the animals: how frequently do the keepers interact themselves with the keepers? How friendly are the animals to their keepers?
Whether the introduction protocols are followed or not if yes, kindly provide information’s on:

Acclimatization: methods used for acclimatization.

Visual Introduction: How are the animals kept in visual contact? / time period/ days.

Tactile introduction: are there any facilities where the animals are allowed to feel each other? / time period/ days.

Physical Introduction: when are the animals introduced and how long are they kept with each other?

Introduction of pairs: are the unknown pairs introduced only during breeding time or in other times too?

we would like your zoo to furnish us with some information regarding Snow leopards in your zoo.

Alankar K Jha.IFS

Director, PNHZ Park
Jawahar Parbat( Birch Hill )




Mona UK

Beached Whales





Impacts of environmental change on reproduction and development in wildlife

Dear All,

Thursday and Friday 15 and 16 October – Dear All,

Thursday and Friday 15 and 16 October – Impacts of environmental change on reproduction and development in wildlife – Please find attached details of the forthcoming symposium to be held at ZSL.

Registration is now open: Full information including a programme for this 2-day event is available from

Call for Posters The organisers invite interested parties to submit abstracts for posters with research relating to the symposium topic. Abstracts of no more than 250 words can be emailed or posted (using attached form – or please see,324,EV.html for the form as a word document) to Joy Hayward (details below) by 18 September 2009 for consideration by the coordinators. Accepted poster presenters will be notified by 25 September 2009.

All tickets for attendance must be purchased in advance; please complete and return all registration forms to me along with payment.

Please help spread the word: circulate information on this event to your colleagues, contacts, lab members and anyone you think might be interested.

Hope this is of interest to you and please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any queries on any of our scientific events.

With thanks & kind regards,
Joy :-)

p.s. Information on ZSL Science and Conservation Events 2009–2010 will be available soon – information will be circulated as soon as we have full details.

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: . Web: – Please find attached details of the forthcoming symposium to be held at ZSL.

Registration is now open: Full information including a programme for this 2-day event is available from

Call for Posters The organisers invite interested parties to submit abstracts for posters with research relating to the symposium topic. Abstracts of no more than 250 words can be emailed or posted (using attached form – or please see,324,EV.html for the form as a word document) to Joy Hayward (details below) by 18 September 2009 for consideration by the coordinators. Accepted poster presenters will be notified by 25 September 2009.

All tickets for attendance must be purchased in advance; please complete and return all registration forms to me along with payment.

Please help spread the word: circulate information on this event to your colleagues, contacts, lab members and anyone you think might be interested.

Hope this is of interest to you and please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any queries on any of our scientific events.

With thanks & kind regards,
Joy :-)

p.s. Information on ZSL Science and Conservation Events 2009–2010 will be available soon – information will be circulated as soon as we have full details.

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: . Web:


Wildlife Without Borders - Critically Endangered Animal Conservation Fund

Grants available.Please see:


1st Annual Mazuri® Exotic Animal FeedNutrition Research Grant

Land O’Lakes Purina Feed is pleased to announce the Mazuri® Exotic Animal Feed Nutrition Research Grant, to support research in the area of exotic animal nutrition. Proposals may be submitted for up to $10,000. One or more grants may be awarded, but the combined total will not exceed $10,000 (to be determined by the awards committee). Funding will be considered for basic or applied research projects in the area of exotic animal nutrition. Research proposals will be evaluated by a panel of three committee members, comprised of at least one representative from academia and one representative from the zoo community. Grants will be ranked and awarded based on the quality of the proposal (50% of total ranking), importance of the research (25% of totalranking) and likelihood that the research will be accomplished and disseminated (25% of total ranking). No committee members, nor their institutions, may be considered for funding from this Grant during the fundingyear. A list of the winners of the grants will be provided to any entrant upon written request. A short (no more than 5 pages, not including references) proposal should be submitted, including all information described below. Note that incomplete proposals will not be evaluated.

To Apply: Submit proposals by email to

Proposals are Due by September 14, 2009. Grant awardee will be announced no later than November 1, 2009.

Required Items:


Principle Investigators, Co-Investigators and CollaboratorsPlease describe the responsibilities of each investigator towards the proposed research.

General abstractA brief (250 words or less) overview of the project, its relevance, and future applications written to a lay audience.

Purpose Statement & Background informationDetailed overview of proposal, relevance to exotic animal nutrition, and necessary background information.

Materials and MethodsHypothesis, experimental design, method of analysis, expected results and potential pitfalls should all be addressed.

Timeline of activitiesBriefly describe timeline for major activities, including dissemination.

DisseminationPlease provide information on the routes of dissemination of data collected in this project.

Budget and JustificationProvide rationale for each budgetary item. Provide information regarding additional support if the proposal is also supported by other funding sources.


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 Zoo Jobs and Related Vacancies please visit:

For notification of Zoo related Meetings, Conferences, Courses and Symposia go to:


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

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