Monday, September 7, 2009

Zoo News Digest 1st September 2009 (Zoo News 617)

Zoo News Digest 1st - 7th September 2009 (Zoo News 617)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

Very sad to learn that the Sumatran rhino has died at the Cincinnati Zoo. Any death is sad but especially so in this case.

Once again The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species manages to get a series of excellent photos accompanied by a load of twaddle. Surprisingly quiet of late I am pleased to say. This time their chimpanzee is 'nurturing' a puma cub, or so they would have you believe.

Sorry to learn about the Fota ostriches having to be put down. I recollect boxing up the first breeding male to go to Fota....and wow was he good at it. Many years ago now though.

Many thanks to those who sent donations to the Digest at the start of the month. Much appreciated....and very much needed. Thank you.

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Chimp nurtures little Puma Orphan
Holding a bottle to a puma cub's mouth, Anjana the chimp displays all the behaviours of a caring mother nourishing her vulnerable offspring.The odd pairing is nothing unusual to staff at Anjana's zoo in South Carolina, where the five-year-old ape is renowned for her affinity with little big cats.Zookeepers say Anjana and her latest charge, a nine-week-old orphan named

Fota ostriches put down over TB
An ostrich flock at Fota Wildlife Park in Cork has had to be put down after a bird died from suspected avian tuberculosis (TB).Director of Fota Dr David Gibson said the park had bought the four ostriches from a private collection in Ireland.“One bird died in unusual circumstances. The circumstances were so unusual a post mortem was carried out which showed lesions in the bird’s liver which is an indication of avian TB,” he said.Avian TB is one of the most common diseases affecting wild birds and is so common, it is not a notifiable disease.“However, as a precautionary measure in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture a decision was made to put down the remainder of

Park continue dolphin hunt
SOLOMON Islands Marine Wildlife Park yesterday caught about nine dolphins at the Marine school seashore in Honiara. This came days after dolphin advocacy organisation like Earth Island Institute attacked the Government’s policy to export live dolphins overseas.It was a rare moment yesterday as hundreds of people turned up to watch the Park’s fishermen trapping the live dolphins with their nets.The show has turned into an excitement towards the end as the fishermen struggled with the mammals and lifted them onto their boats.Inside the boat, the fishermen laid new mattresses bought from a shop as bed for the dolphins to rest on.One of the workers, Erick Chow said the dolphins were taken to their Park’s pen.The Park’s pen is located behind the Prime Minister’s office.Mr Chow said as part of their catch, there were 10 dolphins kept in their pen.He said they were still to verify the number of

Three-month-old Bengal tiger cub found in Mosta warehouse
A Bengal tiger, one of the world's endangered species, was yesterday discovered cavorting in an air-conditioned room on the roof of a warehouse in Mosta, sources said.The three-month-old cub, a golden tabby, which is said to have cost its owner some €23,000, was being well cared for, fed chickens so it gets its daily requirement of lean protein and had a sizeable pen to roam in.The discovery was made after a raid by members of the Animal Welfare Department, the police's Administrative Law Enforcement and the Malta Environment and Planning Authority's Environment Protection Department.When contacted, Animal Welfare director Mario Spiteri confirmed the cub was found and that the raid had been carried out after receiving several anonymous phone calls reporting the sighting of a tiger.The authorities decided the cub should remain with the owner until investigations established how it was brought in and whether the owner had the necessary paperwork to import it.The population of Bengal tigers in the Indian subcontinent is estimated to be between 1,300 and 1,500 and the species is in danger of extinction due to over-hunting by poachers and illicit trade. Habitat loss is another threat.The tigers are poached for their coats and used for components to make various traditional medicines. Many Asian cultures have an ingrained belief the tiger is a potent source of healing power. Tiger bone and other parts of the animal

1st Cloned 'Wolf' Found Dead at Zoo
The world’s first cloned wolf, “Snuwolf,” was found dead last Saturday at Seoul Grand Park, a Seoul National University (SNU) veterinary team said Tuesday. According to zoo staff, which had taken care of Snuwolf since 2007, it was found in its cage with its mouth covered with blood. An initial necropsy showed no sign of foul play. An in-depth examination was conducted with the results expected in a month. SNU Prof. Lee Byeong-chun, who cloned the animal back in 2005 from a cell of an adult female wolf, said it seems to be a natural death. “His organs were found to have been damaged, possibly due to the hot weather.”However, there is some question whether cloned animals may suffer inexplicably from diseases or disorders that ordinary animals recover from. Dolly, the first-ever cloned sheep in 1996, survived

Wildlife Waystation works to evacuate exotic animals from Little Tujunga Canyon
Yesterday we learned about the farm animals who were shuttled away to safety because of the Station fire, but what of the exotic creatures at the Wildlife Waystation in Little Tujunga Canyon? The 160-acre facility is home to more than 400 animals, including tigers, lions, bears and chimpanzees.Our colleague Robert Lopez from the L.A. Now blog wrote yesterday that volunteers arrived with pickup trucks to help evacuate the animals. Waystation spokesman Jerry Brown said that an 18-wheel Budweiser truck even came to the rescue. Moving the hundreds of animals that call the Waystation home is no simple task, as anyone who's ever had to load even one nervous animal into a car or livestock trailer will understand. The process continues today, with trucks leaving the sanctuary on a regular basis. At present, Brown says, "this is still very, very much an evacuation," although the sanctuary has received an enormous amount of assistance from others in the animal-rescue community. Today, Times photographer Al Seib took the photo above of chimpanzees as they were loaded into cages to make their way to the L.A. Zoo; Brown said today that the zoo has provided safe harbor for nearly 50 chimps, as well as other animals like exotic reptiles. (Well, mostly safe; two female chimps escaped while being unloaded at the zoo, necessitating a different kind of evacuation -- that of zoo visitors. One chimp wandered to another exhibit at the zoo and was

Brookfield Zoo dolphins FedEx'd to Minnesota
Brookfield Zoo's three bottlenose dolphins were boxed up and FedEx'd to a Minnesota zoo Monday.Tapeko, Noelani and Allison traveled in a custom-made, metal-framed box aboard a FedEx jet to the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, a Minneapolis suburb, where they'll stay temporarily while their home here gets a total makeover. The Brookfield Zoo's dolphin exhibit is expected to reopen next summer."They were actually very comfortable and relaxed," Rita Stacey, Brookfield's curator of marine mammals, said of the dolphins, which were suspended in special slings inside the open-topped box, which was partially filled with water.It was the first flight for Noelani, 5, and Allison, 3. Tapeko, 27, had,CST-NWS-dolphin01.article

Albatrosses set breeding record
A small group of light-mantled sooty albatrosses has set a new breeding record.The birds have created a colony on King George Island, one of the South Shetland Islands located in Antarctica. This new breeding colony is the southernmost breeding location of any albatross species ever recorded. Researchers spotted two confirmed nests on the island, one containing eggs and the other nestlings, and three more possible nests. The light-mantled sooty albatross (Phoebetria palpebrata) is a medium-sized albatross that has a circumpolar distribution around the Southern Ocean. It is the most abundant albatross in Antarctic waters and is known to range further south than other albatross species, often flying as far south as the border of the Antarctic pack ice during long-distance foraging

Gorilla sexual intrigue could explain human monogamy
Female gorillas use sex as a tactic to thwart their rivals, new research suggests. Pregnant apes court their silverback male to stop other females conceiving."It seems to us that mating is another tactic that females use to compete with each other – in this case to gain favour with another male," says Diane Doran-Sheehy, a primatologist at Stony Brook University in New York.Her team chronicled the sex lives of five female western lowland gorillas and one silverback almost every day for more than three years. "We wondered if, basically, [pregnant] females can mimic [ovulating] females and dupe the male into mating with them and distract him from what those other girls are doing," Doran-Sheehy says.This kind of competitive behaviour may even help explain how humans evolved into a mostly monogamous

How the dolphins being massacred to satisfy a food fetish are poisoning the Japanese who eat them
At the heart of a Japanese nature reserve, a horror story is unfolding.
Over the coming months, thousands of dolphins - some only a few days old - will be hacked to death. Hundreds more will be sold into captivity, where they will die lingering deaths from stress and disease. The dolphins are captured and slaughtered just off the southern Japanese fishing village of Taiji. Every autumn, tens of thousands of the creatures gather there to feast on the abundant fish. And once they have eaten their fill, one of the world's greatest wildlife spectacles unfolds as the dolphins socialise and play.Thousands of the creatures can be seen leaping through the air playing the dolphin equivalent of tag. As far as the eye can see, dolphins race this way and that, blowing huge plumes of seawater into the air - just for the fun of it. If you are lucky enough to be on a boat, the creatures will ride your bow wave or even leap straight over the top of you. But Japanese fishermen see this event rather differently. For them, the dolphins are a source of cheap meat - and pests to be exterminated. And they kill them with a ferocity seen nowhere else on earth. As soon as the fishermen see a pod of dolphins, they launch an armada of small boats to capture the creatures. The fishermen first confuse and terrify the animals by banging steel pipes suspended in the

Australian zoo helping Philippine crocodile population
Conservation experts say dozens of recently-released, critically endangered Philippine crocodiles are doing well in their new habitat. Zoos Victoria in Australia and the Mabuyaya Foundation in the Philippines have been breeding the animals in captivity for more than a decade.Fifty crocodiles have now been released into in a lake in Isabela Province in the northern Philippines.Zoos Victoria conservation partnerships coordinator Chris Banks says it's a protected area and a local team will monitor the animals movements and growth. "There are other creek systems close by, so it is likely that as these crocodiles become more accustomed to the area and they grow, they will move out into a larger area - which is part of the plan," he said. "All of that is supported heavily by the local government and

Al Ain zoo to remain open from 9pm-2am
It may be after hours for many people but the animals that live in the biggest zoo in the Middle East are enjoying the cooler temperatures. Throughout Ramadan, Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort is opening from 9pm to 2am to help the animals cope with the intense midday heat. A spokesman for the zoo, said: “The animals prefer it in the evenings as do the visitors because it’s just too hot during the day and especially during Ramadan so it’s difficult for people to visi

Zoo saga ends on a low note
It seemed preordained that the Lex Salisbury drama would end on a low note. The former chief executive officer of Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo caught (another) huge break last week. Yet, he could not refrain from pointing fingers in a written statement released by his attorney. It was a tacky parting shot from someone who enjoyed a sweet ride for a long time. And it was a teachable moment for the zoo board. Salisbury quit in December after a blistering city audit found he had mingled zoo and personal business. Auditors said Salisbury took animals and materials that belonged to the zoo to his private ranch and a private safari-style theme park he was building in Polk County. Anyone could see the conflicts between Salisbury's $339,000 job as head of the city's zoo and his role in developing a for-profit attraction on the side. Auditors found more than 200 instances in which zoo animals were donated, loaned or traded

Animals No Safer Inside Kenya's Parks Than Outside?
Wildebeests, antelope, and other iconic African animals are declining just as quickly in Kenya's parks and reserves as in the country's unprotected lands. That's the finding of a recent study that questions a central tenet of Kenya's wildlife conservation strategy. Based on existing data, the team estimates that key animal populations have fallen by 40 percent over the past 30 years both inside and outside parkland. The work seems to confirm what Kenyan environmentalists have suspected for years: Aside from a few success stories, such as elephant and zebra conservation programs, efforts to sustain wildlife numbers in Kenya seem to be failing due to poor monitoring and enforcement. The paper adds to growing evidence that many of Africa's protected parks are seeing wildlife declines as a result

Illegal trade in Sumatran tigers, body parts remains widespread
The illegal trade in Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatraensis) and their body parts in Jambi province has gone on unabated and has caused the tiger population to dwindle year by year. "If this is tolerated, tigers will be extinct in Jambi within the next few years," Jambi province Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA) head Didy Wurjanto said. Didy said the number of tigers in the province stood at around 50 a few years ago and they lived in four national parks and production forests in the province. "The number has dropped to only 20 this year," he said. He said his office had processed 10 cases of illegal trading in Sumatran tigers this year that led to the prosecution of poachers and traders dealing in tiger parts. Four tiger pelt traders were caught red-handed conducting transactions

Sea Life Centre's sharks produce a record 100 eggs
MATING sharks at Birmingham’s Sea Life centre produced a record number of eggs over the bank holiday weekend – and there is no sign of them slowing down.And visitors to the city centre venue have been able to see the unusual spectacle of parent sharks mating.Curator Graham Burrows described the production of more than 100 eggs as “incredible”.“I’ve never seen such an explosion of eggs before in my time as a marine curator.”With 20 baby sharks also having just

Horse Trainer Teaches Zoo Keepers Elephant Training Techniques
Despite their immense stature, elephants are delicate creatures. Their soulful eyes, expressive trunks and colossal bodies excite and inspire millions of people who visit them each year in zoos and nature preserves around the world. They're a self-aware species capable of humanlike emotions: They grieve for their dead, hold grudges, and form close relationships with herd members and humans. But for years, it's been their contact with people that has caused elephants the most agony. Elephants have suffered unspeakable atrocities under the "old-school" attitude of elephant training, which relied on tactics

Chester Zoo - Top Marks For Educational Signage
More signage news from around the UK from Hants and Dorset signs as Chester Zoo’s education signage and facilities have been given full marks. The zoo education division has picked up the prestigious Sandford Award from the Heritage Education Trust and the Learning Outside the Classroom quality badge from the Council for Outdoor Learning.The Learning Outside the Classroom badge is given to organisations that provide an excellent and safe learning experience. The zoo first received the Sandford Award in 2004, becoming the first zoo in the UK to do so. This time around, the Sandford judges described the zoo as an ‘excellent resource’ adding that ‘nothing could compare to seeing

You've den us pride!
NEWS of the World readers are off to a roaring start with cash donations to save 14 sick lions trapped in a decaying zoo. Thousands of you dug deep to raise £45,000 after reading our heart-rending report of a pride of lions who will die if they aren't rescued from the Romanian zoo. But £105,000 more is needed to bring the beasts from Ozadea Zoo to safety at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Park director

Unhealthy Rhino at the Dai Nam Safari Park
This is just one of those things where you just have to be there. In the wild, this rhino should be charging me. Here, it seems to want my help though most likely, it wanted some food. The other rhino would not let it eat.This rhino had a huge cut near it’s right eye with flies flying around it. I wish there was a way to rescue or protect these animals at the Dai Nam Safari Park.

Zoo volunteers help explain mysteries of the genome
Chimps trained to enable keepers to take DNA samples with cheek swabsAs the University of Leicester approaches the 25th anniversary of the discovery of DNA fingerprinting (September 10), Leicester geneticists interested in a particular type of DNA are receiving some help from an unusual band of assistants.Chimpanzees at Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire have been trained to enable keepers to take DNA samples with special cheek swabs.Dr Richard Badge, of the University's world renowned Department of Genetics, is studying 'mobile DNA' in the genomes of humans and other primates.Most genes are always found in the same place in the genome. For example, the human DMD gene, changes in which can cause muscular dystrophy, is always found on the X chromosome. However the 'genes' that Dr Badge and his colleagues study have been moving around the genome throughout mammalian and primate evolution, and are still doing it today. Dr Badge explained: "This makes every human (and every chimpanzee for that matter!) a little bit different at the DNA level, a little like a DNA fingerprint."The reason we are interested in chimpanzees is that the main type of mobile DNA in their genome apparently moves much more frequently than ours, despite the fact that these mobile DNAs are very, very similar. "The chimpanzees at Twycross are very valuable because not only do they include unrelated chimpanzees they also have small family groups where the relationships between the individuals is known. This enables us to observe the difference between individuals in terms of their mobile DNA and say something about the process of movement, which is not really understood in detail."So far we have samples from fourteen Chimpanzees. We have full pedigrees for

Endangered Sumatran Rhino Dies At Cincinnati Zoo
An endangered Sumatran rhino has died at the Cincinnati Zoo, a blow to a program that successfully produced the first calves born in captivity in decades. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden says Emi, a 21-year-old Sumatran rhino that had been at the zoo for 14 years, died Saturday after appearing less energetic for several weeks.Emi produced three calves at the zoo, including Andalas, born in 2001, the first Sumatran rhino successfully born in captivity since the 19th century. Zoo Director Thane Maynard says Emi led the way in the effort to establish a successful captive breeding program for this critically endangered animal. The zoo

Brookfield Zoo helps restore addax antelope herds
Weak and near death when he was born at Brookfield Zoo, a baby antelope named Chad now carries big hopes on his little shoulders that he will grow up to help save his species by siring lots of calves."He had a rough start when he was born," Joan Daniels, the zoo's associate mammal curator, said as she watched the now-robust 10-week-old bound across his grassy enclosure to a keeper holding out special formula in nippled bottles. Daniels said keepers decided to take Chad from his mother soon after birth so they could hand-rear him."I am quite sure he would have died because normally they stand up within the first hour," she said. "That was the only reason we intervened."Chad is an addax, an endangered type of antelope from the Sahara Desert, which is so dry that the species has learned to go years without drinking water, living off moisture in plants.And they face extinction not,0,3319486.story

Surprise guest arrives at Banham Zoo
She abseiled in the face of killer bees, swam with sharks and filmed a menagerie of creatures, but for Anna Forrester, arriving back at her former workplace was an added highlight to the last few months. Miss Forrester, who had previously worked as an animal trainer at Banham Zoo, was revealed as the winner of BBC2's Wildest Dreams series after a two-month intensive crash course in wildlife filming. But Miss Forrester arrived back in Norfolk over the weekend in a bid to highlight the plight of a lesser known creature in aid of International Vulture Awareness Day. Over the past two years, the Friends of Banham Zoo has raised more than £4,000 for the Gyps Vulture Restoration Project in Pakistan, and has cared for many of

Mercedes the polar bear is subject of a heated debate
With her head on her paws, Mercedes, the only polar bear in British captivity, slept yesterday, oblivious to a heated debate about her living conditions and the future of her species. For the past 21 years, shes has been a main attraction at Edinburgh Zoo but, while children run freely from one enclosure to another, she paces up and down or swims around in circles.To animal welfare charities the behaviour of the great "sea bear" is a clear indication that years of confinement in an enclosure less than one millionth of the size of the area she would roam in the wild have taken a toll on her sanity.There are estimated to be between 22,000 to 27,000 polar bears living in 20 populations across eight Arctic countries but, although the WWF claims the wild population is stable, there are fears that numbers could fall becauseof hunting and global warming.Although Edinburgh Zoo agreed in 1993 not to replace Mercedes when she dies, officials have said that if the species numbers continue to decrease they will build an improved enclosure to support a captive breeding programmeYesterday afternoon, Edinburgh Zoo's Committee on Animal Welfare and Ethics met to discuss the future of polar bears at the zoo amid protests against any change to current policy.One group pointed out it was particularly unfair to keep the great beasts, which can grow up to 10ft tall, in captivity. "Polar bears are about the most unsuitable animals to be kept in zoos," said Ross Minett, director of the Edinburgh-based Advocates for Animals.As natural hunters, polar bears, which can weigh up to 1,700lb, usually survive on a diet of seals but will also eat walrus, beluga whales, reindeer and birds.Mercedes, who was captured in Canada

Chimps recaptured after LA escape
Two chimpanzees who were evacuated from an animal sanctuary threatened by wildfire have been recaptured after they escaped from their crates while being unloaded at the Los Angeles Zoo.Zoo spokesman Jason Jacobs says the female chimps fled Tuesday afternoon, prompting zoo visitors to evacuate. One chimp made her way to the small primates and bird exhibit before being tranquilized about 20 minutes later.The other climbed over the fence and into Griffith Park. She was spotted about

Monterey Bay Aquarium: Seahorse or SeaWHORES?
Ads touting a new seahorse exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium started cropping up some time ago (the exhibit opened on April 6 and will run until 2012.) But it wasn't until a friend who was traveling on BART spotted one of the ads that I realized how bizarre they are. "Have you seen these?" She asked. "They're creepy. They made personal ads for the seahorses." A visit to the aquarium's Web site confirms this observation. Different species of the animals have been granted human names and drafted appeals for mates. Ken Kuda, is "eternally single" and "looking for love." Eartha Excises thinks that "Men should

Zambian poachers shoot rare white rhino
Poachers have shot the last two white rhinos in Zambia, killing one and wounding the other, in a night operation at the Mosi-Oa-Tunya national park in Livingstone, an official said on Tuesday. The shooting of the two endangered animals in a heavily-guarded zoological park near Victoria Falls in Zambia's tourist resort town of Livingstone took place last week."I can confirm that one of the white rhinos was shot dead by suspected poachers. The other one

Babar on Ice: A New Way to Save Endangered Elephants?
German scientists devise an innovative method for freezing elephant spermIn what could be an important step toward stabilizing the world's population of endangered Asian elephants, German researchers say they've hit on a way to freeze elephant sperm without destroying its viability.Elephants are notoriously tricky to breed in zoos, with high rates of miscarriages and infant mortality. Artificial insemination (AI) is possible, but fresh sperm is delicate and can be damaged in transport. And in addition to being costly and logistically tricky, bringing elephants from other zoos to do the job can be socially

Editorial Reviews
Product Description
Simian Virology is the first text to comprehensively cover all currently known simian viruses. Chapters provide an overview of nonhuman primate models of medically important viral diseases as well as natural infections of nonhuman primates with human and animal viruses. The text covers a variety of topics including primate models of medically important viral diseases such as AIDS, hypotheses on the origins of epidemic forms of HIV, and viral diseases caused by non-simian viruses in both wild and captive primates.

From the Back Cover
Simian Virology is the first text to comprehensively cover all currently known simian viruses. Chapters also provide an overview of nonhuman primate models of medically important viral diseases as well as natural infections of nonhuman primates with human and animal viruses. Beginning with introductory chapters on primate taxonomy, virology basics, and general properties of retroviruses and herpes viruses, Simian Virology proceeds to discuss all known simian viruses, from history and classification, to treatment and prevention. The text also covers a variety of topics including primate models of medically important viral diseases such as AIDS, hypotheses on the origins of epidemic forms of HIV, and viral diseases caused by non-simian viruses in both wild and captive primates.
Simian Virology is a thoroughly researched text written by two of the leading experts in this field. This book will be a valuable reference tool for research virologists, conservationists, primate and zoo veterinarians, and can also be used as an information source for undergraduate and graduate students interested in nonhuman primates.

Key Features:

First text to comprehensively cover all currently known simian viruses
Provides an overview of nonhuman primate models of medically important viral diseases as well as natural infections of nonhuman primates with human and animal viruses
Introductory chapters cover primate taxonomy, virology basics, and general properties of retroviruses and herpesviruses
Details the history, classification and structure, pathogenesis and infection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of simian viruses
Valuable tool for research virologists, conservationists, primate and zoo veterinarians, and students

Product Description
Chimpanzee Behavior encapsulates the fascinating behaviour of wild chimps and discusses the differences observed in different populations across the species, and across the many levels of their social behaviour. It tells the story of why sex competition in a forest chimpanzee population made the females of the group highly social and gave the males a high level of within-group solidarity, making them very xenophobic towards outsiders. Christophe Boesch brings back to the table the debate over ecological pressures and social organization, and the influence they have over issues such as the evolution of warfare, co-operation, altruism and the position of females. Writing for undergraduate and graduate students, he presents insightful views to give readers the background information to understand the struggle for survival of our closest living relative, the chimpanzee, and through this find some keys to the ever-so-intriguing question of what makes us human.



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


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Liz Romer


46 Rescued Orangutans Released by Helicopter Back Into the Wild

The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) has successfully released 46 orangutans back into the wild. The orangutans had been rescued from forest fragments and housed for months at the Nyaru Menteng Rescue and Reintroduction Project in Central Kalimantan until suitable — and secure — habitat was located. The release site is a section of rainforest in the upper Barito region of Central Kalimantan, within the Heart of Borneo.

"Here there are several thousand hectares of primary lowland rainforest, in lush green valleys and mountain ridges, divided by large rivers flowing through gorges and over rapids," noted a statement from BOSF. "The area has plenty of available food for orangutans, as evidenced by ground surveys, yet only supports a small wild orangutan population, probably owing to a combination of historical hunting by indigenous hunter-gatherer tribes (which has now ceased) and the wide rivers and mountain ridges acting as barriers against the species' dispersal."

Sixty-one orangutans were released in the upper Barito region in 2007 and 2008. In 2009, researchers identified another 20,000 hectares of suitable habitat, which is where the 46 were released over a six day period from August 17th to 22nd.

BOSF reports that fifteen adult males (nine flanged, six unflanged), eleven adult females, seven adolescent males, twelve adolescent females and one female infant (with her mother) were released.

"Those orangutans were then flown to a holding camp near to the release site, ready for their final journey back to the wild. BOS veterinarians were on hand throughout the entire operation to make sure that the apes didn't suffer too much from the stresses of the journey and were released in a healthy state. Helicopters were used for the final stage of the release. The orangutans were sedated and placed in individual cages, then flown – six or seven to a sling, suspended 100 feet below the helicopter - to the release points, where a team on the ground waited for the helicopter's arrival and then opened the cages. Six separate release points were chosen, spaced 2 km apart to ensure that the influx of orangutans wouldn't exceed the forest's carrying capacity."

Despite the release, the Nyaru Menteng Center still houses hundreds of orangutans, including many infant orangutans orphaned when their mothers were killed by plantation workers or loggers. About 200 orangutans are ready for immediate reintroduction but BOSF is challenged to find sufficient habitats for additional releases due to large-scale deforestation in Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo. Forest loss in Kalimantan is primarily driving by logging, fires, and conversion for oil palm plantations. Habitat destruction has replaced the illegal pet trade as the largest threat to Borneo orangutans, which are listed as endangered by the IUCN. Orangutans in Sumatra are even worse off — they are considered critically endangered with a population now estimated at less than 7,000 individuals.

The released orangutans will be monitored by BOSF, which has also established ties with local communities to ensure they are aware of the reintroduction project.

BOSF and other groups are hoping that a climate change mitigation mechanism proposed by the U.N. could help fund protection of other suitable forest habitat. REDD, as the scheme is known, would compensate developing countries for reducing emissions from deforestation. Independent of REDD, BOSF and other orangutan conservation groups will still need to continue raising substantial funds to care for the orangutans presently in rehabilitation facilities across Borneo and Sumatra. It can cost more than $2,000 per year to feed and care for an orangutan, which if it is an infant, may be reared for eight to tens years, perhaps longer.

Michelle Desilets

Executive Director

Orangutan Land Trust




Girnar Ropeway Project

You must be knowing that the Girnar Ropeway Project proposal is going to be listed on agenda of the meet of the National Board for Wildlife to be held on 16 September, 2009 for final clearance. It will be last chance to do something for Girnar, its ecosystem and Vultures of Girnar. Please pass on this message to your friends who love nature and care for it too. You can request members of the National Board for Wildlife and Ministery of MoEF, Govt. of India through sending this mail on the addresses given below:
<>, <envisect@nic. in>, < in>,<envis@cal2.vsnl.>,<>, <gandhim@nic. in>, <rahmani.asad@>, <bnhs@bom3.vsnl.>

Write them the following lines:

"Ropeway on Girnar Hill of Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary is going to pass through the only vulture colony of Long-billed (Girnari) Vultures and force them to abandoned nests there. Forest department and Ropeway company knows this fact very well but they intentionally not mentioned exact location of the Ropeway in their EIA report. No map at all. It seems that State Forest Department is trying to help the project proponent to get the clearance anyhow. Though the project has not been approved any right in the Notification of declaring the Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary, foundation Stone for the project was laid down and markings for proposed project is already made in the sanctuary. Without giving any thought regarding Schedule I wildlife (Vultures and Asiatic Lions) or mentioning reasons for how the project will not affect the wildlife, positive opinions are being given. State Wildlife Advisory Board approved the project, though it was not put before it through the State Ministry of Environment and Forest. Few friends tried to get information on such issues but their applications under RTI asking for the location of ropeway addressed to Principal CCF, Gujarat is being misdelivered to the Principal of some school by playing mischief with addresses on covers containing RTI applications. The project is on the table of the National Board for the wildlife, India for the final clearance. Please do not sanction or approve this project and ask the project proponent to show the exact location for the project and Vultures' nesting colony and ask them to prove first that it is not going to damage the vulture nesting colony there"

Your one mail can save millions of living organisms.
Protect Environment.

Nishith-- Dr. Nishith Dharaiya

Asst. Professor (Environmental Science)

Department of Life Sciences

HNG University,

Patan (Gujarat)

India 384 265

Phone: (91) 2766 220932 x381

Cell: (91) 9998981560

Wildlife Alliance

Wildlife Alliance's presentation at the AZA Annual Conference in Portland is on the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of previously-captive leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis) in the Phnom Tamao Protected Forest in Cambodia.

Nick Marx has a poster there, related to his publication on the same topic in the IUCN Cat News for the Cat Specialist Group.

Info on the AZA conference at

Info on the tour is as follows:

Wildlife Alliance is doing a tour in September featuring Cambodia Wildlife Rescue Specialist Nick Marx. We would be delighted to have some of our social networking friends in attendance!

Straight from the front lines of Asia's wildlife crisis, Nick will discuss the illegal wildlife trade in Southeast Asia and share with us stories about his animal rescue and rehabilitation work in Cambodia. From Asian elephants and Asiatic black bears, to tigers and rare primates, Nick has seen (and rescued) it all.

His pictures and personal stories will showcase his team's tireless efforts to rescue and care for animals victimized by poachers and wildlife traffickers.

Come learn how Wildlife Alliance is providing direct protection to wildlife and forests!

Events are planned for

Portland, Oregon (Sept. 15): Presentation and house party

San Francisco, California (Sept. 17): Presentation and house party

Denver, Colorado (Sept. 23): International Tiger Day Gala hosted by Landry's Downtown Aquarium - contact us for details

New York, NY (Sept. 25): Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project cocktail party


BVZS Autumn meeting November 2009

The meeting will be held in York on the weekend of November 7th and 8th. There will be a visit and tour of Flamingoland on Friday November 6th the itinerary for which can be found here The theme is based on reproductive and urogenital problems in all species from mice through parrots and lizards to Giraffe and Elephants. See this link for more information.

The main hotel will be the Park Inn Hotel ( and for details on how to book click or ring number 01904 459988. For reservations go to

80 rooms have been reserved at £99 per room bed and breakfast(double occupancy)
Guests have to book their own accommodation through reservations using blockcode BVZO611. Any un-named rooms will be released on 1st October. Check in is guaranteed from 3pm on the day of arrival and check out required no later than 12.00 noon on the day of departure.

Car Parking: please note 20 complimentary car parking spaces are available on a first come first served basis. Any additional car parking is charged at £12.00 for 24 hours - alternatively there is a public car park 400 yards away from the hotel which charges hourly

Registration form can be downloaded here The programme as of September 1st 2009 can be found here

Dinner menu for the evening of November 7th

BVZS meeting Autumn 2009


The autumn meeting of BVZS will be held in York at the first weekend in November (the 7th and 8th). The theme is based on reproductive and urogenital problems in all species from mice through parrots and lizards to giraffe and elephants.

So come to York

YORK -- Here are some facts you may not know - the city was founded as Eboracum in AD 71 by the Romans and was made the capital of Britannia Inferior. The entire Roman Empire was governed from York for two years by Septimius Severus.
After the Angles moved in, the city was renamed Eoferwic, and served as the capital of the Kingdom of Northumbria. The Vikings captured the city in 866, renaming it Jórvík, the capital of a wider kingdom of the same name covering much of Northern England. Around the year 1000, the city became known as York.
Richard II wished to make York the capital of England, but before he could affect this he was deposed. After the Wars of the Roses, York housed the Council of the North and was regarded as the capital of the North. It was only after The Restoration that the political importance of the city began to decline. The Province of York is one of the two English ecclesiastical provinces, alongside that of Canterbury.

So come and visit the stunning York Minster, enjoy Stonegate and Shambles shopping and live the York history at the JORVIK Viking Centre, National Railway Museum and York Castle Museum. The York dungeons are well worth a visit if you are in need of a fright.

York is a compact walled riverside city and home to countless world-class attractions, museums and galleries. Accommodation in York is abundant, there are many stunning hotels and even more homely B&B's. see the document on the BVZS website for accommodation.

The hotel where the conference is meeting is something of an ugly duckling outside, but more of a swan internally, there is limited parking but the station is only five minutes walk away. There are great facilities, from the recently modernised bedrooms overlooking the Minster and the river, to a gym, sauna etc. Most fortunately the bar is situated adjacent to the main meeting room. So not too far to walk!

Travelling there
It is easy to get to York, being roughly 2 hours by rail from London, Edinburgh and Manchester, as well as having nearby airports at Leeds/Bradford and Humberside. If driving, it is just off the A1.

Programme: On the Friday afternoon, for the early birds, there will be a guided tour around Flamingoland zoo, England’s 7th biggest attraction. The tour will commence at 2.00 pm, meeting at the front gates. After a wander round the zoo, for those that are interested, there will be a short presentation on the work the zoo is carrying out in the rain forest of Tanzania, given by Dr A Marshall, the zoo’s conservation officer.

In the evening a walk around York and dinner. The Minster and old city walls are exceptionally beautiful when lit up, especially when it isn’t raining.

Saturday and Sunday: Lectures will start from 9.30am. There will two invited guest speakers, one of whom is Nialle Moore, the head of the Non-Native Species Secretariat. He will be giving a talk about non-native species in the wild in the UK. In the evening there will be dinner and dancing at the Park Inn hotel. On Sunday lectures will again start at 9.30 finish at 4.00pm.

An Elephant in the Room: The Science and Well-Being of Elephants in Captivity

Dear Colleagues,

A new book entitled An Elephant in the Room: The Science and Well-Being of Elephants in Captivity, is available for purchase on line through the kind generosity of Carol Buckley. Orders may be placed at The Elephant Sanctuary'swebsite at

Details concerning ordering and shipping (including international orders) may be found on the web site's gift shop page.

The book sells for $29.95


Enrichment and Training Workshop
5th December 2009
Reaseheath College,
For further information:
Richard Champion on
Sabrina Brando on



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Wishing you a wonderful week,

Peter Dickinson

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1 comment:

  1. Very sad news about Cincinnati's Sumatra rhino. There's only about 250 of them left on Earth, and 2 of the (about 1%) are in Cincinnati.

    Allen Nyhuis, Coauthor: America's Best Zoos