Monday, October 12, 2009

Zoo News Digest 8th - 12th October 2009 (Zoo News 624)

Zoo News Digest 8th - 12th October 2009 (Zoo News 624)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

It may seem odd but I feel let down and hurt as the list of zoos that the infamous Lion Man Craig Busch will visit in the UK comes to my attention. Can these collections really be serious? Is money more important to them than respectability within the world of zoos? Are they happy to condone malpractice?
Of course it may all be just rumour. I have not seen any advertising. Only Dartmoor posted the visit on their blog site but that now has disappeared. I hope it is because they have had a rethink.

I think johnstoni's quote that "its like advertising an audience with Mary Chipperfield..." was very apt.

The biggest story this week? Dyed donkeys in Gaza.

Sad to read of the stress problems for animals in Chinese zoos. All I can say is that not everywhere is the same....but then maybe they are during extended holiday periods. Al Ain was hell on such days and some of the UK zoos I worked in were not much better.

It is quite some time since I checked out how many countries the mail out version of ZooNews Digest reached (80+) but this week I have been monitoring this the blog and there have been readers from: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote D’Ivoire, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Eire, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao, Latvia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uruguay, Vietnam, Wales.

The ZooNews Digest continues to be read more often by more staff in more zoos than any other publication.

Please consider advertising on this blog as I need the money but understand.... I am of stubborn principle and will not advertise products or services that I disagree with no matter how much you pay me.

Please feel free to use the comment section at the end of this Zoo News Digest.

Is your meeting/conference/symposium listed here?
If not why not? ZooNews Digest is read by more zoo people than any other similar publication. I will advertise up till the event.

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Why not try writing on HubPages?

Write about what you know about or are interested in. You can post on line. Free to join and yet you can earn money continually. A passive income. Not much to begin with but it mounts up. It pays me enough to buy a cup of coffee every day...well nearly every day.

Imagine if you were to write one hub a week. That is 52 hubs per year. Each earning you a slowly increasing amount of money each week. In ten years you woulf have 520 hubs earning more. It is working towards a nice little extra source of regular income for your retirement.

Read how with my "Quick Guide to Hub Construction." I truly believe it will be worth your while.

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On with links:

Frog theft suspect acquitted
The Nakhon Ratchasima provincial court has acquitted a National Science Museum researcher accused of stealing three rare frogs from Sakaerat Environmental Research Station.The court cited insufficient evidence in its ruling for acquitting researcher Thanya Jan-art, 51, of the charge.The theft complaint was filed against Mr Thanya by Thaksin Atchawakhom, the director of the research station in Nakhon Ratchasima's Wang Nam Khieo district.Mr Thanya was alleged to have stolen the frogs from the research station.Mr Thaksin claimed the frogs in question were three of four frogs belonging to a new species called the "Khorat big-mouthed frog" discovered in the jungles of Sakaerat national park on June 27, 2003. The frogs

Six kangaroos arrive in Jakarta from Australia
Six female grey kangaroos arrived in Jakarta on Saturday evening after a 18-hour flight from Perth, Australia.The Indonesian Safari Park (TSI) in Cisarua, Bogor, West Java province, received the animals from the Australian Zoo.The kangaroos were accompanied by three Australian Zoo`s staff members, namely Dr Tim Potas, Lauire Pond and Kelsey, and were greeted by Cisarua TSI Director Tony Sumampau upon their arrival in Jakarta.They would be placed in a quarantine area for a week for adaptation

Tiger's victims charged
Two men who broke into the Calgary Zoo and got on the wrong side of a tiger have been charged. Trever James Wearmouth and Thomas Anthony Bryce-Hart, both 27, will appear in court to face one count each of trespassing. Two intruders scaled a 2.5-metre fence topped with barbed wire north of the zoo's west gate about 1 a.m. last Monday and headed to the tiger exhibit. Investigators believe the men jumped over a fence and approached the tiger enclosure, potentially sticking their arms inside the holes in the wire toward Vitali, a 150-kg male Siberian tiger. Zoo staff say two-year-old Vitali's paws are too large to reach through the gaps in the fence, so at least one of the men likely reached inside the cage, where the tiger is presumed to have grabbed the suspect's arm, pulled

No criminal charges for after-hours zoo intruders
Two men accused of breaking into the Calgary Zoo after a night of drinking will not face criminal charges.Police said Friday the pair --identified as Trever James Wearmouth and Thomas Bryce-Hart, both 27 -- each face one count of trespassing, under provincial laws, related to the apparent prank that led to one of the men being mauled by a two-year-old Siberian tiger.A Criminal Code charge of trespassing only applies to homes, police said."We do know that the offenders had been drinking prior to this," said Staff Sgt. Rick Halford. "What's their state of mind before that and during that, we don't know."We know that they were intent on perhaps surprising somebody, but things got a little carried away."The injured man is the common-law husband of a zoo security guard whom they called immediately after

Metroparks Zoo: Leopard briefly escapes from exhibit
At approximately 3:30 p.m. Friday, a 4-year-old male clouded leopard briefly got out of its exhibit in The RainForest at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Officials say it appears that some harp wire in front of the clouded leopard exhibit broke and the animal was able to exit its exhibit.Once outside the exhibit, the clouded leopard worked at trying to get back into his exhibit but was unsuccessful. No one was injured or in danger during the incident, officials said.The exhibit is on the second floor of The RainForest.The Zoo's Animal Care and Veterinary Services staff immediately responded to secure the clouded leopard and tranquilize him so he could be moved to an off-exhibit holding area.Late Friday, the clouded leopard

Honoring the impulse to heal
Jane Goodall knows the planet is in trouble. She's seen the damage with her own eyes, traveling the world in the name of wildlife preservation. The Earth's animals and plants are imperiled by pollution, by the loss of habitat, by poachers and by profit motive, by water shortages, by global warming, by the human population explosion. Goodall acknowledges the sober news, delivered in October 2008 by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, that predicts at least one-quarter of mammal species "are headed toward extinction in the near future." She senses public despair. She senses public helplessness. And yet ... "There is still hope for animals and their world," writes Goodall, her tone upbeat, steadfast, almost cheerful. "Even when our mindless activities have almost entirely destroyed some ecosystem or driven a species to the brink of extinction, we must not give up. ... For the sake of our children we must not give up, we must continue to fight to save what is left and restore that which is despoiled." Goodall's latest book, "Hope for Animals and Their World," is at its core a testament of hope — an inspirational call to transcend our history of ignorance and neglect and to move in the direction of communal good will on behalf of nature. It illustrates through vivid, heroic examples how humankind's fundamental impulse to heal has already saved dozens of species

Rare baby panda and koala bears in new BBC series
The ground-breaking work of pioneering programmes to protect some of the world's most threatened animals, including rare baby pandas and koalas, are explored in a new BBC One documentary. Nature's Miracle Babies shows how more miracle babies are being born through artificial insemination. The BBC series will look at how the Chinese breeding programme of the notoriously fickle giant panda is making some progress with new techniques learned from human fertility

Big cat working like a dog to entertain visitors at the zoo
The end of the Golden Week holiday is good news for zoo animals, many of which were overfed and overworked performing for tourists during the past eight days.Ai Ai, a female tiger at the Wuhan Zoo, Hubei Province, suffered from fatigue after performing seven shows daily to entertain visitors. She had to jump through hoops 21 times a day."The overwhelming number of visitors was a burden for the animals," Zoo Manager He Zhihua told the Global Times yesterday."We are so glad that the longest holiday has finally ended. I believe the tiger would think the same way," he said.The circus-type show requires Ai Ai to jump three times though two rings, measuring two meters high and one meter apart. Her act is a "must-see" performance for tourists.Manager He said that among the zoo's 20 performing tigers, Ai Ai is the only one with the athletic ability to jump that high. So the big cat was exhausted performing for an average 20,000 visitors a day.To help the tiger relax, zookeepers massaged her aching muscles, fed her live chickens as a special treat, and gave her hot showers every evening after the show.The zoo manager expressed worry over the tiger's health after Ai Ai refused to eat and became easily irritated due to

Final episode of BBC One's Wild Welsh Zoo filmed at Manor House Wildlife Park
A gorgeous gibbon has failed to lure her reluctant mate to freedom in time for the final frames of a BBC series. The final episode of Wild Welsh Zoo was filmed at Manor House Wildlife Park yesterday (Wednesday). The park was bought by TV star Anna Ryder-Richardson just over a year ago. Since then she has been on a mission to improve the life of 12-year-old Steve, the park's resident Siamang gibbon. "He's one of my favourites," said Anna. "We hold hands, I feed him through the bars. I just want to pick him up and give him a big squeeze." Steve had lived his whole life in a concrete cage with just a

Monarto Zoo to offer safari tourism
Monarto Zoo, east of Adelaide, is seeking private investors to help fund a new eco-tourism resort.The zoo plans to offer visitors to the new facilities a wildlife experience similar to those provided by large African game parks."This presents a huge and exciting opportunity to do something totally new and authentic," said Zoos SA chief executive Chris West."It will combine eco-tourism and have a direct conservation benefit by featuring African animals in a natural setting and providing space and resources to help save native Australian species from extinction."The Monarto Zoo recently acquired another 500 hectares of land so it could offer four-wheel drive safari tours in what is now the largest reserve outside Africa.With the new development it will also offer overnight accommodation as well as a restaurant service.South Australian Tourism Minister Jane Lomax-Smith said there was a growing

Gaza zoo unveils a 'zebra' to dye for
You gotta give the folks at a Gaza zoo points for creativity.They didn't have the cash to bring a real zebra into the blockaded city through smuggling tunnels, so they did the next best thing. They took two white donkeys and gave them black stripes with hair dye, a paint brush and masking tape - and the kids who visited yesterday were none the wiser. "The first time we used paint but it didn't look good," said Nidal Barghouthi, whose father owns the Marah Land zoo. "The children don't know so they call them zebras and t

Zoo visitors cause stress for animals
The eight-day national holiday was relaxing and fun for many Chinese, but not for many of the animals in the Xiangjiang Zoo in Guangzhou.Some of the animals suffered stress due to the throngs that crowded the zoo nearly every day during the holiday, according to workers at the zoo.Visitors took thousands of photos, subjecting the animals to nearly constant flashbulbs. Many people tapped or banged on the cages, called at the animals and created noise from sunrise to sunset.Others fed the animals, in some cases food that the animals should not eat. Still others left behind trash that some animals tried to eat.Many animals were frightened and hid much of the day, refusing to come out, local newspaper New Express Daily reported.Koala bears from Australia covered themselves up in the grass. A panda crouched in a corner. A gibbon, irritated by a child's teasing, rushed to get out of the cage and nearly broke

Rare pigeon hatches at London zoo
Curator praises 'fantastic accomplishment' as bird team engineers breeding despite falling numbers worldwideIt may be declining rapidly in the wild, but a colourful species known as the Victoria crowned pigeon is proving a welcome addition to the bird collection at London Zoo.One of the rare breed, which sports cyan blue feathers, an auburn chest, tall plume and orange eyes, hatched last month and is the first of its kind to have been bred at the zoo.It left the nest for the first time this week and has been exploring the surroundings of the Blackburn Pavilion exhibit.The Victoria crowned pigeon, renowned for its dedicated parenting, mates for life with both parents continuing to care for chicks up to three months after they fly the nest. At present

Cat burglar steals birds
TWO endangered birds worth almost $5000 have been stolen from a Far Northern wildlife park in a bizarre bird heist.Birdworld at Kuranda lost their two prized black lories some time between Saturday and Tuesday.Birdworld had traded a scarlet macaw, valued at about $14,000, for the lories, which sell for about $4500 a pair, to an exotic Victorian bird breeder in August.The birds, which inhabit Western New Guinea and associated islands, were the only ones of their kind in Far North Queensland. Less than 25 are resident

Vulture plans hatched for quarry
A disused quarry in the Borders could become one of Europe's largest aviaries to help save endangered vultures.The Eagle Gardens project has received a £637,000 grant from the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP). It would see a bird of prey visitor and conservation centre built at Ancrum near Jedburgh. The proposals also include a "free-flight" aviary which could allow 50 vultures to nest in the rock walls of the near circular quarry. The scheme needs a total of £1.5m in order to proceed and fundraising is about to begin to secure the additional money required to top up the SRDP

At Phnom Tamao, a Zoo of Rescued Wild Things
Cambodia’s Phnom Tamao zoo, with 1,200 animals and around 80 species, is a rare facility, populated mostly by animals indigenous to the country, many of them confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade.Nick Marx, an animal husbandry specialist for Wildlife Alliance in Phnom Penh, is director of the group’s wildlife rescue program at the zoo. In a recent interview with VOA Khmer in Washington, where he visited in September, Marx discussed some of the zoo’s characteristics. “There are a lot wild animals there, more than before,” he said. “We are helping the forest conservative administration to make cages for the animals. Phnom Tamao is under the supervision of Cambodian forest conservative, and we help them there.” In the US, Marx visited Washington, New York, Denver, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles.“There are a lot of Cambodian wildlife [specimens] in Phnom Tamao, because the Cambodians confiscated those animals from being traded, then they freed them

CHEETAHS are well named
CHEETAHS are well named, it emerged this week. With their stunning black eye markings, these temptresses of the savannah cheat on their mates as readily as they chase gazelles. A ­London Zoo study in Tanzania found that female cheetahs range far and wide to mate with as many males as they can find.But there is method in their nymphomania. Male big cats have a distressing habit of –eating the cubs of rival males. By mating with any male with a pulse, the mother boosts the survival prospects of her young. Well, that’s her story and she’s sticking to it.This tale of lust on the Serengeti is revealed in a beautifully illustrated book on wildlife mysteries by former Daily Expressman Lewis Smith.He tells how the sloth, a global byword for laziness, has had a bad press. In the wild, sloths only sleep nine hours a day (I wish…), spending the

Reptile zoo seeks law on exotic pets
The curator of Ireland’s only reptile zoo has called for urgent legislation in relation to the keeping of potentially dangerous exotic pets.James Hennessy, who runs the Reptile Village Zoo in Co Kilkenny, said he had been inundated with calls in the last year asking to rehouse crocodiles, poisonous snakes and turtles because their owners cannot look after them.“It has become pretty scary. We have to turn down animals because we are full up,” he said.“We’re here for conservation and education, but our role has changed in that we continuously get calls to rehome animals because their owners did not know what they were getting into.”Mr Hennessy is giving lectures on health and safety in relation to reptiles at the Pet Expo which started this evening and is running this weekend in the RDS Main Hall.“I will be stressing that people must do their research before buying these kind of animals. They are not like budgies or cats. I will be warning people about what can go wrong,” he explained.He blamed the internet for the easy access to animals such as spectacled caiman crocodiles which can grown to 10 feet, boa constrictors, cobras, which

Bulgaria's Environment Ministry orders Pazardjik zoo closed
The Pazardjik zoo has been ordered temporarily shut by the Bulgarian Environment Ministry, until it receives proper accreditation, Dnevnik daily reported on October 9 2009. The animals will be shipped to the zoo in Stara Zagora.The zoo is no longer allowed to admit visitors until its accreditation documents are approved by the ministry, contingent on the facility proving that it complies with the hygiene standards and that the animals are being offered proper veterinary treatment, which was not the case.The ministry has given the Pazardjik zoo six months to submit the appropriate application form in order to receive its license back, otherwise the facility is facing the grim prospect of having to close permanently.On September 4, another zoo in Bulgaria, in Haskovo, was in the spotlight for a similar reason, when the Haskovo regional veterinary inspectorate and the Chetiri Lapi (Four Paws) Foundation collaborated in the confiscation and relocation of a Bulgarian brown bear from the zoo. The animal was later shipped to the zoo in Pavlikeni.The drastic and unprecedented measure was deemed imperative after the bear's living conditions were branded "abysmal"."We've been monitoring the condition of the bear since the beginning of the year. He was in a terrible state, his health was very poor," said Dimitar Ivanov, director of the Dancing Bears Park in Belitsa.Haskovo zoo is notorious and made headlines in April 2009, when animal activists discovered the carcasses of more than 40 stray dogs in the zoo's waste containers. Eventually it transpired

Monterey Bay Aquarium attracts dollars, jobs
It wasn't expected, but Monterey Bay Aquarium is on pace to match last year's attendance. And considering what a big impact the aquarium makes on the local economy, that's good news for Monterey County as well. "It's flat out been a good year," said Ken Peterson, the aquarium's communications director. The aquarium had projected a drop of nearly 250,000 from last year's 1.9million attendance, Peterson said, based mainly on the weak economy. A key reason for the better-than-foreseen turnouts, Peterson said, has been the Secret Lives of Sea Horses exhibit. "It's been our most popular exhibition ever," he said, adding that it will stay on at the aquarium for several years. The recession may have helped attendance, Peterson said, because people may have made a trip to the aquarium rather than taking a vacation



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


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 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 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.

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 Heidenreich Orosz DVM, PhD, Diplomate ABVP-AvianLynne Siebert, DVM, MS, PhD Diplomate ACVB Lilly Companion Animal Health

Visit to register. Phone: 303-629-5900 X215

Visit this link for more information

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

Final deadline for registration is: 31.12.09




Malagasy government’s decree for precious wood export will
unleash further environmental pillaging

Recently Madagascar’s transitional government issued two contradictory decrees: first, the exploitation of all precious woods was made illegal, but then a second allowed the export of hundreds of shipping containers packed with this illegally harvested wood.

Madagascar’s forests have long suffered from the abusive exploitation of precious woods, most particularly rosewoods and ebonies, but the country’s recent political problems have resulted in a dramatic increase in their exploitation. This activity now represents a serious threat to those who rely on
the forest for goods and services and for the country’s rich, unique and highly endangered flora and fauna.

Precious woods are being extracted from forests by roving and sometimes violent gangs of lumbermen and sold to a few powerful businessmen for export. Madagascar has 47 species of rosewood and over 100 ebony species that occur nowhere else, and their exploitation is pushing some to the brink of
extinction. Those exploiting the trees are also trapping endangered lemurs for food, and the forests themselves are being degraded as trees are felled, processed and dragged to adjacent rivers or roads for transport to the coast. No forest that contains precious woods is safe, and the country’s most prestigious nature reserves and favoured tourist destinations, such as the Marojejy and Masoala World Heritage Sites and the Mananara Biosphere Reserve, have been the focus of intensive exploitation.

Currently thousands of rosewood and ebony logs, none of them legally exploited, are stored in Madagascar’s east coast ports, Vohémar, Antalaha, and Toamasina. The most recent decree will allow their export and surely encourage a further wave of environmental pillaging.

Malagasy civil society, conservation and development organisations and the international community are united in lamenting the issue of the most recent decree, in fearing its consequences and in questioning its legitimacy. Consumers of rosewood and ebony products are asked to check their origin,
and boycott those made of Malagasy wood.

October 12, 2009

CAS California Academy of Science
CI Conservation International
DWCT Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
EAZA European Association of Zoos and Aquaria
ICTE Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments
MBG Missouri Botanical Garden
MFG Madagascar Fauna Group
The Field Museum, Chicago
Dr Claire Kremen, University of California, Berkeley
Dean Keith Gilless, University of California, Berkeley
Robert Douglas Stone, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
WAZA World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
WCS Wildlife Conservation Society
WWF World Wide Fund for Nature

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Dr. Alex Rübel, Director Zurich Zoo
Tel. no. 044 254 25 00, ,


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Kind Regards,

Wishing you a wonderful week,

Peter Dickinson

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