Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Zoo News Digest 13th - 20th October 2009 (Zoo News 625)

Zoo News Digest 13th - 20th October 2009 (Zoo News 625)



Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

Lots of interesting snippets of news right now. Irwins to build a big new zoo in Las Vegas. Interesting choice of location. There is of course a zoo there already. Can Las Vegas cope with two? I suppose if they can keep people happy in a dozen or so Casinos then three or four zoos would not go amiss. The only thing that really bothers me is the statement "mayor Oscar Goodman said at the weekend the zoo project would include an enclosure which would include "crocodile wrestling."" My question is why? Why wrestle crocodiles? It is totally unnecessary, it is pointless, it is not clever or brave, it is not educational and whether you like crocodiles or not it is cruel. If you have a different point of view please discuss in the comments at the end of this digest. Of all the animals that we keep in zoos the crocodiles are amongst the group that we are least likely to handle. Why? Because there is very very rarely any need to.

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm is getting a lot of mentions right now. I am saddened to learn that there was any link with the so called 'Great British Circus". I thought that all that nonsense in the zoo world had gone a long time ago. Tiger parts in the freezer? Well that is not so bad if the intention was for an educational exhibit. I am not so sure though about the suggestion that it had not been post mortemed. I feel it should be. It is early days I am sure we will learn a lot more soon especially as they had had a mole in their midst. Mind you we have stupid statements from CAPS Craig Redmond saying 'What we discovered was shocking but really only scratched at the surface of what goes on in zoos.' Why stupid? Because once again we have somebody putting all zoos into the same boat. All zoos are not the same in the same way as hotels, cars or members of CAPS are not the same. Noah's Ark Zoo Farm is definitely out of a mould of its own. "her mutilated body dumped in a hole" What is this? If the animal for whatever reason had been cut up for purposes of research, taxidermy or even a post mortem it cannot be described as mutilation! Stupid use of the word. I am not defending the zoo here as I want to know more and so make an informed decision. I am quite happy to have them post something here on the digest if we are going to learn by it.

White Lions at West Midland Safari Park. Oh dear.

iPhone tells me it's all happening at the zoo - good little story. I have remarked on this innovation before. It is definitely a way forward in zoo education and is a useful extra source of revenue. I will be interested to see which other zoos take it up.

In the early days of ZooNews Digest I made it known that I was not against the inclusion of other items of interest as, for example, jokes and even lonely hearts. Well the jokes have appeared now and again but this issue includes the first ever 'looking for someone' advertisement. In all seriousness getting the right partner in this profession is not easy. Few people are prepared to talk about work 24/7 or give up so much in the line of duty. Animal people tend to pair up with animal people. It is rather like policemen marrying nurses as they appreciate each others long hours and shift work. So if you are looking for a lady, why not answer the ad?

The Craig Busch discussions continue. I have said my piece and do not go back on a single word I have said. Yesterday I was the subject of discussions on his facebook page when rubbish like this was said:

"Furthermore... when Peter Dickinson was 'growing up' .. it was practically mandatory that predators in captivity were declawed...he is the perfect example of 'HINDSIGHT'! All very well for HIM to criticise NOW... if he is/was so &#...039;bluddy' perfect, as a 'curator' & knows it ALL...why did he not stop the practice THEN?? Because that is the WAY things WERE then!...History, people, history... It is"

Much more in a similar vein. The thing is I have genuinely never ever come across a declawed cat in the UK wild or domestic. Oh and yes there is even a special discussion group about me on the internet entitled:

Peter Dickinson? Old fart, or seasoned expert! You decide!

Ha Ha! Well it keeps the thinking hat on and madness from the door. Incidentally I don't think I have ever claimed to be an expert on anything, ever.

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Lion Man: Zion is out of control - Video
For nearly a year the Lion Man has been without a lion park, and today Craig Busch had a final chance to argue to get his job back. His mother, Patricia Busch, has been running the park since he was fired last November. Now the Employment Relations case is coming to a close and a decision on his future could come shortly.Whatever happens there, Busch has another battle on his hands – to save his reputation. He hopes to do that with a tour of parks and zoos in the UK and Europe."Everyone wants to see me,” he says. “They don’t want to know about the discussions, things that are going on. So that’s where we are heading – for a positive trip.” At previous employment relations hearings, senior managers claimed Busch was fired from the park because he was not doing the jobs expected of him.But Busch says his mother has other reasons.“I think it’s called greed, jealousy – people that can’t do what I do, and I don’t advise them to because you’ve seen what happens,” he says.Zion keeper Dalu Mncube was tragically mauled to death by a tiger in May.Busch says safety standards still are not up to scratch.“I still see rope barriers there

Lion Man cops cat op criticism
Two experts are criticising Lion Man Craig Busch for declawing 29 big cats at Zion Wildlife Gardens.The declawing procedure - known as onychectomy - was carried out by veterinarians under Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry supervision. It took place before Mr Busch's mother, Zion director Patricia Busch, last year sacked her son, with whom she is now involved in a legal battle over the administration of the wildlife park. A Maf report says Mr Busch declawed the animals for the protection of themselves and humans interacting with them. But the park's current operator, Tim Husband, has described the cats' declawed front paws as "mutilations" carried out so the animals could "perform" with their handlers"."Cats which have suffered this procedure will in later years have problems with their hips and backs," he said. Zoologist Peter Dickinson, who produces the ZooNews Digest and is now working in Thailand, said declawing was "barbaric and inhumane"."Euthanasia would probably be a kinder and more considerate option than declawing. It permanently maims the animal, affecting the big cat's natural behaviour and instincts and its long-term mental and physical state," he said.The Animal Welfare Act 1999 defines the declawing of large felids as a restricted surgical procedure and the veterinarian doing it must satisfy himself or herself that the procedureis in the best interests of the animals. A Maf investigation earlier this year found Maf vets had been present when veterinarians in private practice had declawed Zion cats at Kerikeri in 2000 and later at Whangarei. A 12-page report on the Maf investigation concludes by saying the apparent overt or tacit acceptance of the declawing procedure by the Maf supervising vets made prosecution of the private vets "problematic". A notice was issued restricting future declawing of Zion cats. The report, produced in February, recommended the Veterinary Association include restrictions on large felid declawing on its website. The association's animal welfare co-ordinator, Virginia Williams, said on Friday that recommendation had not yet been carried out, but she expected it to happen soon. Mr Busch could not be contacted for comment yesterday. A public response via New Zealand Lionman in June this year stated that declawing of big cats was a contentious issue and Mr Busch had sought expert advice before declawing big cats in the presence of Maf vets. The cats had never shown any negative effects from

Success as three turtles hatch
ANIMAL Welfare staff at Moulton College have become the proud carers of three Asian Yellow Pond Turtle hatchlings.Several years ago, two male and two female adult turtles were lent to the college by Woburn Safari Park as part of their zoo transfer and captive breeding scheme. They settled in well and last year Moulton College became one of a highly select group of animal collections

Efforts on to identify site for Zoo
Coimbatore Corporation has joined hands with the Forest Department and the District Administration to identify land where the existing mini zoo of the civic body at VOC Park could be shifted.Talking to The Hindu, Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra said that it was earlier planned to shift the zoo to Kavundampalayam where there was a compost yard. Following which a land was identified at Ettimadai, near Madukkarai. The experts now have pointed out that the approach road to the zoo would be a problem since it had to cut across a railway line. The existing zoo is at present without adequate space for accommodating new animals and was being run with the mini zoo licence from the Zoological Authority of India.Mr. Anshul Mishra said that the civic body was looking for 20 to 30 acres either on Anaikatti Road or on the Siruvani road for shifting the zoo. Once, the zoo is shifted to a spacious premises, the authorities have planned to bring more animals especially

Irwins to build $40m zoo in Las Vegas
A plan to build a second Australia Zoo, this time near the famous Las Vegas strip, is back on the agenda almost five years after first being proposed.Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman said at the weekend the zoo project would include an enclosure which would include "crocodile wrestling."According to reports from the casino capital of the world, representatives of the Irwin family met with Mr Goodman last week about opening the new zoo, which would resemble the original at Beerwah.The new zoo would reportedly cost $40 million to build."It looks like a great project

Controversial Christian zoo skinned tiger Tira and stored her head in freezer
A Christian zoo decapitated a dead tiger and cut off its paws before it dumped the carcass on farmland and stored the head in a freezer, an investigation has revealed. The female Bengal tiger called Tira was skinned after she died of natural causes and then buried in a black bin bag at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm.Investigators also discovered she was on loan from the owner of the Great British Circus - one of the last big top shows in Britain to use live tigers in performances.Bosses at the zoo, in Wraxall near Bristol, admitted the skin, paws and head were removed to be hung on the wall as part of a display for 'secondary education'. After the revelations, staff at Noah's Ark - which promotes creationism and denies the theory of evolution - dug up the remains and incinerated them.The case emerged in an undercover investigation by campaign group the Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS), which planted an undercover worker at the zoo.The organisation also claims the zoo is raising young tigers as part of a breeding programme to hand back to the circus.Campaign Director Craig Redmond today called for the attraction to be closed down.He said: 'What we discovered was shocking but really only scratched at the surface of what goes on in zoos.'We initially planned just to confirm that the zoo was a breeding centre for the circus owner but the fate of the tiger Tira, her mutilated body dumped in a hole, shows how these animals are

Two employees of Kyiv Zoo say they were attacked
Serhiy Hryhoryev, the head of the education department of Kyiv Zoo and member of the Union of Ukrainian Journalists, and Ihor Mariychuk, the assistant manager of the zoo's ungulates department, have said that employees from the zoo's legal department attacked them during the celebration of the zoo's centenary on Saturday, October 17.They told this to Interfax-Ukraine on Sunday.Hryhoryev and Mariychuk said that they had been attacked by Serhiy Sofiyevsky and Vitaliy Tyschenko, the employees of the zoo's legal department, along with Dmytro Bohdan, the common law husband of the zoo's director, Svitlana Berzina, who works in the zoo as the director's adviser.They said that in the presence of many visitors to the winter pavilion for giraffes, Tyschenko, Sofiyevsky and Bohdan had tried to force them into their back room, knocking them down and hitting them in their heads and kidneys.Hryhoryev and Mariychuk managed to escape from the attackers, who,

Audubon zookeepers join Teamsters union
A small but important group of workers at the Audubon Zoo has voted to join the Teamsters union.Audubon's zookeepers voted 17-14 to join Teamsters Local 270. Despite the close vote, the zoo's management has decided not to challenge the election results, and the union will now be certified as the workers' official bargaining agent.Zookeepers work directly with the animals in exhibits such as the Asian domain and primate center, but their ranks do not include animal curators, who are considered part of man

Should employers hire the overqualified?
MOST SAY NO - A slight majority of local employers and staffing agencies polled said take a pass on the overqualified applicant, citing the likelihood they would quickly move on.Wanted: Special events coordinator for Virginia Zoo. A bachelor's degree in marketing or communications and two to three years' experience in special events preferred. Some evening and weekend work required.The zoo's job posting this year attracted 400 applicants, about 10 times more than the last time it sought to fill the position, said Annie Vogt, the zoo's director of development and communications.No less surprising were the credentials of the candidates. "I would say at least a quarter of those applicants were overqualified," Vogt said.In addition to recent college graduates, they included someone with 10 years in business management and another candidate who'd worked 20 years in public relations. Some used to earn

Chester Zoo host film premiere on overfishing
A HARD-HITTING film about the devastating effects overfishing has on the world’s oceans will be premiered in the North West.Chester Zoo will play host to the first North West screening of investigative reporter and author Charles Clover’s film The End of the Line.Filmed over two years, the film follows Charles as he tackles politicians and celebrity restaurateurs over the issue of overfishing.With scientists predicting that most seafood will be wiped out by 2048, the film and book of the same name aims to identify

Struggling zoo’s troubles mount
A cash-strapped San Francisco Zoo kept its doors open when nearly 2½ inches of rain drenched The City last Tuesday, but not a single person walked through the entrance gates.With gusts of wind blowing up to 56 mph, zoo officials had to pay their staff until they made the executive decision to close for the day around 3:30 p.m. without having brought in any revenue.The zoo currently faces a deficit of some $3 million, on top of about $2 million in debt, and so on Thursday the Recreation and Park Commission, which oversees the zoo, decided it wants the facility itself to call the

Unrestricted poaching could see extinction of African elephant in 15 years
The mighty African elephant could face extinction within 15 years due to the illegal ivory trade.According to a Sunday Express report, poachers slaughter 104 elephants every day for their valuable tusks. As a result, conservationists are now demanding an international crackdown on the ivory industry.The worldwide illegal trade in wildlife is third only to drugs and arms, and is worth an estimated 12.5 billion pounds a year. The International Fund for Animal Welfare last night warned that unless immediate

Lowly owners exploit rare yaks
The next time you go for a yak ride or pose for a photo or two with the shaggy-looking animal at tourist-frequented Kufri, be mindful of the fact that the rare creature is being exploited for commercial purposes. Right outside a Kufri wildlife park, many yak owners cash in on district licensing authority’s apparent apathy towards the long-haired bovine’s sad plight. For Rs 20, you can get a picture clicked with a yak, also called camel of the snow. What the owner will not tell you is that these rare animals die within the same year they are brought to Kufri. This is because this tourist destination is at a much lower altitude than what is naturally suited for yaks, which is around 10,000 feet to 18,000 feet. Being one of the many offering yak rides, Madan Lal, acknowledges that his animals have died an abrupt death in the past. ‘‘District administration gives me licence to claim money for a picture and video with the yak. At least 8-10 yaks have died within

Readers rescue the lions
WILDLIFE experts have begun the process of rescuing a pride of lions from a run-down Romanian zoo thanks to News of the World readers. Experts from Yorkshire Wildlife Park visited the country with a letter of intent after generous readers raised £120,000. The animals have been suffering in tiny cages at Oradea. We highlighted their plight in August. Park boss Cheryl Williams said: "The lions need a lot more space. We will let them roam freely." The appeal still needs

Zoo visitors get last chance to see polar bear
UK's only polar bear to move to new home in Highland Wildlife Park later this week.Visitors to Edinburgh Zoo are getting their last chance to see the UK's only polar bear in what has been her home for the last 25 years. Mercedes is to move from Edinburgh Zoo to the Highland Wildlife Park, near Kingussie, later this week. Final preparations are now being made for her departure and she will travel north by road in a transport crate sometime this week, on a day yet to be determined. She trained by keepers to walk into her transport crate. David Windmill, chief executive

Do We Still Need Zoos?
I paid a visit the other day to The Prospect Park Zoo, my local – spent the better part of a Sunday afternoon there with the wallabies, and the prairie dogs, and the meerkats. The very names of the animals just invoked underscore how much the place has changed from the zoo I knew as a kid growing up in Brooklyn. Gone are the lions and tigers and bears of yore, as well as the great apes, elephants, hippos and the rhinoceros with whom I had developed a particularly close bond.I remember calling the zoo’s administrative offices years ago when I first learned that the place was closed for renovations into the more child-friendly, petting-zoo-type facility it has now become, a renovation that was, somewhat ironically, hastened by the awful misadventure of a couple of neighborhood kids one hot spring night back in the late 1980’s. Looking for a break from the heat, two boys climbed over the zoo’s outer perimeter fence and decided to take a swim in the polar bear’s moat. Nearby residents heard awful screaming and called the police. By the time they arrived they found the bears pawing at the limp body of one of the boys. Thinking that he might be still alive and that the other boy

Dudley the rhinoceros dead at Little Rock Zoo after living 42 years
Little Rock Zoo officials say Dudley the rhinoceros has died at the age of 42.A news release from the zoo said Dudley was euthanized Friday after zookeepers found him lying down and struggling unsuccessfully to get to his feet. The zoo said Dudley had been in decline recently, losing weight and resting his head on the ground for long periods.The release said Dudley had lived there since 1995, when he was acquired

Zoo rhino bites hand of employee feeding it
A rhinoceros at the Pittsburgh Zoo smashed the tip of a keeper's thumb as she hand-fed it treats yesterday."Anybody that has a pet knows that any time you hand-feed an animal treats, occasionally you get little bites," said zoo CEO Dr. Barbara Baker. "It wasn't aggressive on the rhino's part."Dr. Baker said the zoo wasn't releasing the name of the bitten employee and refused to say which of the zoo's

Layoffs Announced At Louisville Zoo
The sluggish economy means a second round of job cuts at the Louisville Zoo.Twelve full-time employees will be laid off before the end of the year.Zoo officials told WLKY the layoffs are to help make up for a roughly $1.2 million revenue shortfall.Currently, the zoo is in the midst of its month-long Halloween celebration. Members can get in free this weekend, but will be charged the next two weekends in the hope the zoo will be able to raise some money.Aimee Baston, her husband, John, and their daughters, Rachel and Abby, made a roughly one-hour trip Friday from Versailles to come to the Louisville Zoo."We decided something outdoors would be fun," said Aimee. "The girls love the animals and so here we

One dozen endangered birds released into wild on Kauai
Twelve, small, dark endangered birds were released into the forest of Kaua'i on Tuesday, a milestone in the conservation of native Hawaiian birds. Through collaboration of private and government organizations, the puaiohi, or small Kaua'i thrush, has been captive-bred and released annually into the forests of Kaua'i for the last 10 years.

Sustainable Renovation of Zoo Showcases Conservation Efforts
A historic zoo in Vincennes, France, originally built in 1934 is looking to complete a major renovation, boosting itself to sustainable park status. Backed by the French government, the Prime Minister pledged to help engage a public/private partnership to complete the project. With a focus on conservation, education and awareness, the renovated zoo will feature six exciting “biozones” to replicate endangered areas of the world. Run partially on solar power, the zoo will showcase several green buildings and sustainable landscape

Zoo drops $60K in legal fees following split
The Toronto Zoo spent just over $60,000 in legal fees last year to wind up the Toronto Zoo Foundation, following an acrimonious split with the fundraising group.It spent a further $14,063 hiring a public relations consultant, according to a report to the government management committee. The breakup concluded in May, when the zoo foundation dissolved itself and transferred about $9 million still in its coffers to the Toronto Community Foundation.The report on consulting services shows that Carter Professional Corporation billed the zoo $60,282 last year for “legal and consultation services” related to the foundation’s transfer of its assets.Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, who

Gujarat zoo refuses lion exchange - Asiatic Lion Re-introduction Project spurs numbers supremacy game
Tata Steel Zoological Society’s bid to procure Asiatic lions has hit a hurdle, thanks to the proposed Lion Re-introduction Project in Madhya Pradesh.The Sakkarbaug Zoo in Junagadh (Gujarat) has turned down Tata Zoo’s request for a pair of Asiatic lions on exchange basis. There are about 80 such lions in the Gujarat zoo, all rescued from Gir Wildlife Sanctuary.Sources said that the war of attrition between Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh governments prevented Sakkarbaug zoo authorities from giving away surplus Asiatic lions to their counterparts, including the one at Jamshedpur.The problem began with the Asiatic Lion Re-introduction

Study Planned For Javan Rhino Subspecies In Vietnam
WWF announced today that a comprehensive survey of Cat Tien’s Javan rhino population will begin next month and continue until April 2010. The purpose of the study is to gather urgently needed genetic data in order to develop a local conservation management strategy for these critically endangered mammals.It is estimated that there no more than five individuals of this rare Javan rhino subspecies (Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus) still surviving in Vietnam’s

Orissa zoo gets a baby chimpanzee
Bringing cheers to conservationists, a chimpanzee Wednesday gave birth to a female at Nandankanan zoo in Orissa.“Nine-year-old chimpanzee Purnima gave birth to a female today (Wednesday). The zoo staff spotted her baby during the routine check,” Nandankanan zoo Deputy Director S. Mohapatra told IANS.“Both the baby and mother are in good health,” he said.The zoo, located on the outskirts of Orissa capital Bhubaneswar, already houses two female chimps - 19-year-old Pampeta and nine-year-old Purnima - and one male 20-year-old Julu.Chimpanzees are advanced primates

Studying Panda's Chirps Reveals The Language Of Love
The giant pandas at Zoo Atlanta have given animal lovers great joy over the ten years they've been here. But they've given science even more. Now, when pandas talk, researchers are listening. The births of giant panda cubs Mei Lan and Xi Lan at Zoo Atlanta had as much to do with science as with nature. Male Yang Yang was -- and has always been -- more interested in bamboo than female Lun Lun, so the cubs came by way of artificial insemination. But what if you could entice by more dependable, natural means, these pandas to get together. That would help this depleted species. "These pandas," said Dr. Ben Charlton, "Are definitely a part of the research." Dr. Charlton has been studying panda communication, in the wild in China, and here at Zoo Atlanta. And what he learns from the noises they make could help panda numbers. He is the first researcher to record panda bleats and chirps and play them back to see how that affects and influences live panda behavior. "Pandas are highly vocal in breeding context," Charlton said. "When they come together to breed. So there's obviously a lot of important information being signaled then." Charlton believes that by identifying and recording a female panda making "come hither" sounds he might be able to make magic happen. "You could play back, say female chirps, they produce these chirps when they're

Zoo Negara aims for world class
INDEPENDENT consultants will be hired soon to suggest how the 48-year-old Zoo Negara can be transformed into a world-class institution.This was the decision of a new committee formed by the Natural Resource and Environment Ministry, after a meeting at Zoo Negara yesterday.Committee chairman Natural Resource and Environment Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas said discussions will also be held with the Economic Planning Unit and Finance Ministry in sourcing for these people — who need to be knowledgeable about zoo affairs.“The independent consultants will present the recommendations to us, which we will take to the Cabinet. While that is being worked on, we still need to do some data collection and a study on some issues, before a conclusive decision is made on the zoo’s future.“In the interim, we are also waiting for the audit report from the Wildlife Department on the welfare of animals, facilities and its numbers. However, I don’t intend to disclose this,” Embas said yesterday.The consultants’ recommendations should be out by the year’s end, followed by its implementation soon after.Asked about the fears expressed by some quarters that his ministry might be misled by those currently managing the zoo, he said the committee had a wide representation.Some 15 parties, comprising among others the Finance

Fish fingers swimming around in London's Sea Life aquarium
Fish fingers swimming around with marine life have been confusing visitors to London's Sea Life aquarium. The models, complete with heads, fins and tails, have been causing a stir at the London-based attraction after they were added to the waters following a survey which found that one in 10 children think a fish finger is a real fish. The unusual fish have been bobbing around in the waters alongside other marine animals with some people actually believing

Safari park’s new girls take a bow
Three rare white lion cubs are the latest additions to take their public bow at the West Midland Safari Park.The white lion Cubs, which weigh 14 kgs each, were born at the safari park in Bewdley in July but have only just been introduced their adoring fans.The cubs have been named Portia, Phoebe and Pandora by staff at the tourist attraction.And the 14-week-old snow-white cubs are thriving under the watchful eye of their mother Natasha.Natasha is already mother to daughters Zara and Tara who were born two years ago.Four other cubs were born to lioness Maryn in August 2007. They are among just 130 white lions left in the world today and are usually only to be found in a 200 square mile area called Timbavati, in the Lowveld of Northern Province, South Africa’s bush country.West Midland Safari Park introduced the UK’s first ever pride of four rare white lions in 2004.They were the biggest single animal investment that the park has ever made and costing in the region of £250,000. West Midland Safari Park boosts one of the largest prides of breeding white

The Scientists' Bark
During pursuit of a dastardly fiend, Sherlock Holmes remarks upon the "curious incident of the dog in the night-time." A baffled inspector asks exactly what it was that the dog did to provoke such fascination. Nothing, Holmes replies, it was the fact that the dog did nothing that was curious. The same might be said about scientific discourse. Just as he pondered why the dog did not bark when the crime was committed, Holmes might wonder why today's scientists are mute on the subject of ethics when discussing mental commonality between ourselves and other animals. Primatologist Frans de Waal insists, in a recent article in Nature, that theory and data overwhelmingly establish human-animal continuity of mind. Quintessentially human attributes such as "culture, imitation, planning and the ability to adopt another's point of view" are found across species, including even the taxonomically-made-low octopus. Diverse scientific discoveries -- from evolutionary theory and

Zoo celebrates after rhino is born
THE first white rhino to be successfully impregnated in the UK through artificial insemination has been born at Colchester Zoo, it was announced this morning.The male was born to Cynthia, one of the zoo's white rhinos in the early hours of Sunday October 3 after a 16 month pregnancy. Anthony Tropeano, Colchester Zoo's Zoological Director said, “We are obviously delighted by the safe arrival of baby Zamba, a first for Colchester Zoo.“It is all the more special because it is the first

Tampa Bay Online Email State Decides Fate Of Safari Wild

iPhone tells me it's all happening at the zoo
I love zoos, but they can be confusing places. The great zoos are sprawling parks, with meandering trails that give you the feeling you're stumbling into a meadow or open veldt filled with fascinating wildlife.That's fun until you want to find a water fountain, a bathroom or a place to buy a cheeseburger and fries.The Houston Zoo, which certainly has its share of twists and turns, comes to the rescue with a new iPhone app that's both a guidebook and a smart marketing tool. It's one of two new iPhone zoo apps from an Austin-based company called AVAI Ventures - the other is for the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.The free Houston Zoo app is chock full of features, some of them rather hidden. When you first launch it, the app takes a couple of minutes to download the latest content. (A tip: If you

Aquarium worker bitten by shark
A man has been bitten by an angel shark at an aquarium in North Queensferry.The 23-year-old staff diver suffered between 15 and 20 lacerations, each roughly a centimetre long, in the attack at Deep Sea World. He was bitten on the hand by an angel shark, also known as a monkfish, which is usually about 5ft (1.5m) long. The man's wounds were dressed by paramedics and he was later released. Deep Sea World has begun an investigation into the incident. In a statement, Deep Sea World bosses said: "A member of staff had received an injury while diving in the aquarium's main ocean display. "Initial reports would indicate the male member of staff received cuts to his hand

DNA could offer captive-breeding alternative to snow leopard studbook
Captive breeding of endangered snow leopards (Panthera uncia) has relied since 1976 on an international studbook that matches animals at zoos around the world for purposes of keeping the big cats from becoming too inbred.Breeding via studbook, however, is a slow process that does not offer many benefits to an endangered species with small populations, such as the snow leopard. Now a team from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif., hopes



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



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 deadline extended until 15 November 2009

http://www.aszk.org.au/ for more details


Dear Colleagues,

We are please to announce 2 new workshops for 2010:

Environmental Enrichment Workshop with David Sheperdson and other speakers in collaboration with the Odense Zoo in Denmark.

April 22nd - 25th 2010

Advanced Animal Learning Seminar with Tim Sullivan and other speakers in collaboration with the Chester Zoo in the UK.

June 4th - 7th 2010

More information will be available soon on http://www.animalconcepts.eu/

Please email me if you are interested in the program(s).

Kind regards,Sabrina AnimalConcepts

The Netherlands


Celebrating Plants and the Planet:

October and a botanist's thoughts turn to beautiful autumn leaves and terrifying Halloween-themed plants and creeping insects. Makes sense, right?

This month's links at http://www.zooplantman.com/ (NEWS/Botanical News) are all about bugs, beginning with autumn leaves but quickly morphing into the evil deeds of plants:

· Red autumn color dominates North America while yellow dominates in Europe. Is the red a relict of a battle between plants and insects that ended 35 million years ago?
· From a region rich in carnivorous plants comes the baddest one of all: the pitcher plant that eats rats!
· When eating the occasional ant wasn't good enough, Venus Flytraps evolved to take on bigger prey.
· And when prey weren't enough, pitcher plants evolved to become the toilets of tree shrews (Yes! Video included!)
· Cycads are not content to attract pollinating insects. Male cones eventually drive off thrips while female cones then lure them in.

So many people have written to say how much they appreciate these stories that we have created a new web site specifically for them! Now you can find all the past stories by category, or share with educators, students, or fans of strange Nature: http://www.plantworldnews.com/

Finally, congratulations to The Minnesota Zoo and the terrific design team responsible for the 2009 AZA Top Exhibit Award winning "Russia's Grizzly Coast."

Please share these stories with associates, staff, docents and -- most importantly -- visitors! Remember, over a hundred other stories can be found in the archive section of the website.



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Dear All,

I have been asked to circulate information on the below two events which will take place at ZSL on Tuesday 24 November to mark Nepal Nature Conservation Year in collaboration with the Government of Nepal:

The Nepal Conservation in Crisis seminar (10.30am–3.00pm) will address key conservation issues affecting Nepal’s diverse and highly threatened ecosystems. A range of speakers will share their experiences and achievements in natural resources conservation and the seminar will be chaired by the Minister of Forests and Soil Conservation and Director of National Parks Nepal. Seminar places are free but must be booked in advance. Please see here for full information and please email jane.loveless@zsl.org if you would like to participate.

A separate evening event, Fragile Nepal (6.30–11.00pm), will raise funds for the vital conservation work needed to safeguard this remarkable region and its fragile ecosystems. Full information can be found here and the evening includes a drinks reception, buffet dinner, presentations, Nepali entertainment, and a silent auction. Please email pippa.king@zsl.org to book your place.

I hope that these will be of interest; please contact Jane directly if you would like to participate in the Nepal Conservation in Crisis seminar or Pippa if you wish to book for the exclusive Fragile Nepal evening event.

Thanks and best wishes,

Joy :-)

Joy Hayward Scientific Meetings Co-ordinator,
NW1 4RY,
Tel: +44 (0)20 7449 6227.
Fax: +44 (0)20 7449 6411.
E-mail: joy.hayward@zsl.org.
Web: http://ctt-news.org/9GD-26BF-110QE2-1AIN9-1/c.aspx

The Gabriel Foundation presents


October 23-25, 2009 Elizabeth, Colorado, USAEarly Registration Rates extended to Oct 15th

REGISTRATION FEES:TGF Veterinary Member $610TGF Individual/Family Member $670Non Member $695Veterinary Technician $595Student Rate $495

A foundational and learning workshop designed for veterinary and other animal behavior professionals. This intensive three day workshop incorporates lecture, demonstration and hands on guided practice with parrots to improve the professional’s skills to :

• Prevent behavior problems• Resolve behavior problems• Train medical, husbandry and enrichment behaviors• Build your behavior practice

Class size is limited to ensure individual instruction

INSTRUCTORS:Susan Friedman, PhD http://www.behaviorworks.org/Barbara Heidenreich http://www.goodbirdinc.com/Susan Orosz DVM, PhD, Diplomate ABVP-AvianLynne Siebert, DVM, MS, PhD Diplomate ACVB Lilly Companion Animal Health

Visit http://www.thegabrielfoundation.org/ to register. Phone: 303-629-5900 X215

Visit this link for more information http://www.thegabrielfoundation.org/documents/VetWorkshopBrochure2009.pdf

Howletts and Port Lympne Student Enrichment and Welfare Course in collaboration with AnimalConcepts.
27th – 29th January 2010

Instructors: Sabrina Brando and Mark Kingston Jones

Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks are pleased to announce a course on Enrichment and Welfare to be run by Sabrina Brando and Mark Kingston Jones.

Sabrina runs AnimalConcepts, an international consultancy company specialising in enrichment, behaviour and animal welfare. Sabrina has 17 years experience in the field and collaborates with many facilities, universities and research institutes.

Mark has been involved in the animal welfare field since 2004 and now works at Howletts and Port Lympne as the Enrichment and Research Officer for both parks organising workshops, talks and working with keepers to design and implement enrichment ideas. He has been involved in two ‘The Shape of Enrichment’ workshops, in the UK and Indonesia, and has presented 9 talks on topics relating to animal welfare at conferences, both nationally and internationally.

This course is designed specifically for college and university students (past or present) who do not currently work within a zoo setting but are looking to do so as a career. Over three days students will gain a background in animal welfare and working with different species, as well as providing practical skills in designing, building and testing enrichment within the settings of both Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks, in Kent. Our aim is to provide valuable experience and the addition of useful skills to a would-be keeper’s CV. Please note you must be 18 or over to attend this course.

Lecture topics include: An overview of welfare and enrichment, animal husbandry and learning, choice and control, enclosure design and breaking into the zoo world. Additionally there will be talks and practicals with keepers involving working with carnivores, primates, ungulates, elephant management, getting involved in in-situ conservation, rope splicing and fire hose weaving.

The workshop registration fee of £150 includes:
All workshop materials
Practical sessions
Lunches during the 3 days, as well as drinks and snacks during the scheduled tea breaks.

Information on discounted accommodation is available on request and the number of available places is limited, so please book early.

For further information and to request a booking form please contact:
Kim Guillot at Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks
Email: intern@totallywild.net

Final deadline for registration is: 31.12.09




For Zoo Jobs and Related Vacancies please visit: http://zoowork.blogspot.com/

For notification of Zoo related Meetings, Conferences, Courses and Symposia go to: http://zoosymposia.blogspot.com/


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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