Thursday, November 26, 2009

Zoo News Digest 23rd - 27th November 2009 (Zoo News 632)

Zoo News Digest 23rd - 27th November 2009 (Zoo News 632)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

It is easy enough to say what you believe in or to comment on what you know to be wrong. We all do it every day, it is one of the things which make us human and of course it largely makes a blog a blog. It is however, only recently that I realised how much hate an opposing point of view can generate in some people. It matters little that there is ample evidence and proof to support me because those who oppose are indoctrinated, even brainwashed. They either cannot or will not consider any possible alternative. This past month as a direct result of this Digest and Hubs I have had attacks from four different camps. I have threats to 'hunt me down' and to 'expose me' hanging over my head. I have nothing to expose and I am hardly hiding but at the same time it does cause some discomfort. I don't like threats. I am non violent but feel the need to hit back but I really cannot be bothered to argue.

The situation of the Indian Zoo Elephants went very quiet after the announcement was made in the press. I expected to see more zoo comment but there was scarcely a whisper. I was then delighted to read what Sally Walker had to say. Sally, I respect greatly not just for her opinion on so many things but for her tireless dedication to her work. You can read what she has to say by clicking on Elephant Madness ? or a better future for elephants ?

I was saddened to learn that the Bear shot last week in Berne was shot with a fragmenting bullet. Can anyone tell me if Swiss police carry these for shooting animals or is it the last place in the world that you want to be shot by a policeman?

Please post in comments below if you feel so inclined.

This blog has readers from 105 countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote D’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Eire, England, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao, Latvia, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montserrat, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Wales, Zambia.

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.

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On with links:

State deals Safari Wild project major blow
TAMPA Neighbors don't want Safari Wild, a wild animal park, next door in rural Polk County, and now it appears the state doesn't either.
The Department of Community Affairs has appealed Polk's development order allowing Safari Wild to be built in the Green Swamp, an environmentally sensitive area that supplies drinking water to much of Central Florida.
It is asking for an administrative hearing on the issue to be scheduled.
Polk issued its development order in October.
After a 45-day review, the state determined the project, co-owned by former Lowry Park Zoo CEO Lex Salisbury, is a commercial development located in an area where such development is prohibited.
Salisbury has told county and state officials Safari Wild is a working game farm/ranch. He says it's an agri-tourist enterprise and should be allowed in the Green Swamp, where there are many other working farms.
Plans for Safari Wild originally included a welcome center, hotel cottages and a restaurant. The venture, which is under construction, is to eventually house 1,000 wild animals on 250 acres. Small groups of pre-booked guests will

Madagascar's lemurs in danger from political turmoil and 'timber mafia'
The lemur, a furry primate that symbolises Madagascar's unique biodiversity, is under renewed threat from a "timber mafia" pillaging the island's forests for profit.
Environmentalists warn that a political crisis in the impoverished country is reversing conservation gains of recent years and putting "hundreds if not thousands" of species, many not yet identified, at risk of extinction.
Madagascar, which has been isolated from landmasses for more than 160m years, is the world's fourth largest island and a "conservation hotspot" with thousands of exotic species found only here. These include nearly 100 species of lemur, six of which are deemed critically endangered.
Decades of logging, mining and slash-and-burn farming have destroyed 90% of Madagascar's forests, though the rate has slowed in the past two decades.
The former president, Marc Ravalomanana, was praised for putting 6m hectares under protection and backing eco

Zoo Workers Claim Grizzly Nearly Broke Free
Some workers at the Toronto Zoo claim a male Grizzly named Samson nearly broke out of his overnight pen this week.
Samson, who weighs about 1,000lbs., ripped down some of the wooden logs in his overnight area and then started working on chain-link barrier Tuesday morning. Some zoo employees claim that if they hadn’t recognized the problem when they did, the massive animal may have worked its way out of the pen to freedom within an hour.
Zoo officials described the accusation that Samson nearly escaped as alarmist and silly, and insist the pen used to contain the bear is safe. The bears roam around in a large enclosure during the day.
The zoo’s chief operating officer said Samson wasn’t trying to escape, but get closer to his female companion, Shintay.
Some workers say otherwise. They claim the pen, which is more than 30-years

Flying foxes get sanctuary in Jharkhand
Every evening, as dusk gathers on the smoking chimneys of this iron and steel township, an army of giant vampires creeps out of lairs on a small island in the middle of a lake.
Welcome to the little known Jubilee Lake Mega (giant) Bat sanctuary - the state's lone urban bat reserve - on a 0.69 hectare island inside the Tata Steel Zoological Park in the heart of this industrial town in eastern India. The bat population here has logged a sharp rise from 500 in 2008 to 700 in 2009, according to a census carried out by zoo authorities and local researchers this week.
The sanctuary boasts of two of the largest bats in the world -- the herbivorous flying fox (Pteropus giganteus) and the sphinx (Cynopterus sphinx) -- natives of the tropics and the sub-tropics.
"In 2006-07, K.K. Sharma, who heads the department of zoology of the Jamshedpur Cooperative College, carried out a survey with a group of students and

China's pandas worth more than Tiger Woods: Australian zoo
Two giant pandas due to begin a 10-year stay at an Australian zoo could give the local economy a bigger boost than recent visits by Tiger Woods or Lance Armstrong, officials said Wednesday.
Wang Wang, four, and three-year-old Funi are due to arrive at Adelaide Zoo Saturday for a long-term loan from the Panda Protection and Research Centre at Ya'an in China's Sichuan Province.
Zoos South Australia chief Chris West said the stay would be a "financial bonanza" for the state's economy, reaping an estimated 600-million dollar benefit over the 10 years.
"The pandas can be expected to generate 632 million dollars (584 million US) for the state economy over 10 years," West said.
"Each year (the pandas) could generate significantly more economic benefits than the much-vaunted appearances by golfer Tiger Woods

Franklin Park Zoo: Learning from zebras
Franklin Park Zoo shares a dilemma with its most famous animals of the moment, a zebra named Evita and the baby she delivered last week. Both mother and foal are Grevy’s zebras, native to the savannas of Kenya and Ethiopia, where their ranks have dwindled to fewer than 2,500.
Like the zebra species, Franklin Park Zoo is endangered, facing a budget crisis and having recently promised the state it will become more self-sufficient. Zoo New England, the nonprofit group that runs both Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo in Stoneham, is struggling to keep both state-subsidized zoos afloat..
One reason the Grevy’s zebra is almost extinct - in addition to hunting and habitat loss - is that it competes with livestock and humans

Reindeer-Dung Jewelry Flying Off Gift Shop's Shelves
People went crazy last Christmas for necklaces on sale at the Miller Park Zoo. The Illinois zoo is excited to offer the same necklaces this holiday season. The necklaces are covered with glitter. And they may also give the wearers some clue to the real-life chores of Santa Claus. The $15 necklaces are made with some beads, glitter and

Police Taser runaway deer
Lost deer four-steps past pursuing police during bizarre big city adventure
Bambi's trip downtown abruptly ended when she was drugged, Tasered and then thrown into the back of a police truck.
Oh dear, where to begin?
The intrepid deer's tour of the city core – including a jaunt by Union Station and some Bay St. financial towers – finished on a small grass patch on Edward St. on Tuesday morning, where she

Gov't Silence Dooms Whales to Slaughter
Latin American governments are considering a bloc response to the Japanese whaling fleet's departure for Antarctica, in a new season of what it claims is "hunting for scientific purposes" and which threatens to kill 1,000 whales in the protected Southern Ocean sanctuary.
But the diplomatic action being considered by the countries of the region belonging to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) will apparently be too late to prevent another slaughter of these mammals taking place, just as it has in previous years, conservation organisations complain.
Last week Japan authorised the departure of the whaling fleet, in spite of ongoing negotiations at the IWC about whether or not whaling for scientific purposes should continue to be permitted. Conservationists want to eliminate the "scientific" loophole that Japan uses to supply its home market with whale meat.
On the other hand, countries in favour of whale hunting want to lift the moratorium on commercial whaling, in force since 1986. The Commission is so polarised on the issues that neither side can reach the two-thirds majority of votes required to change the rules.
However, Latin America is working hard. All the countries in this region are in favour of whale conservation, and as a group they are at the forefront of actions to end whaling. Their prominence is reflected in the appointment of the current IWC Chair, Cristián Maquieira of Chile.
At the prompting of the region, a Small Working Group on the

Chester Zoo lands top conservation award from BIAZA
Staff at Chester Zoo are celebrating a prestigous award gained for their work in helping save a rare bird from extinction.
The "fody" - a colourful bird found only on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius - is among the most endangered species in the world, with only a few hundred left in the wild.
Chester Zoo, together with the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, are winners of the Field Conservation Award from the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) for their work in preserving the fody.
Knowsley Hall at Prescot, Merseyside - in the centre of the famous Knowsley Safari Park - was selected as a fitting venue for the 2009 BIAZA Awards ceremony.
The awards recognise excellence in contributions to wildlife conservation, animal welfare, zoo veterinary medicine, animal husbandry, and landscaping and gardening skills along with increasing public understanding, awareness and engagement with zoos.
The BIAZA judges praised Chester and Durrell for

Malaysia implants Borneo orangutans with transmitters
Veterinarians have been tracking three orangutans they implanted with tiny transmitters as part of efforts to protect the endangered primates once they reintroduce them to the wild, a Malaysian official said Monday.
French and Austrian veterinarians worked with the Wildlife Department in eastern Sabah state on Borneo island to implant specially designed coin-sized transmitters in the necks of the orangutans for the first time ever in September, said Senthilvel Nathan, the department's chief field veterinarian.
The orangutans' jungle habitat in Sabah has shrunk over the decades and their numbers have plummeted as loggers cut down the forests and plantation farming encroached.
Fewer than 11,000 orangutans remain in Sabah. Up to

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm tourism award
Noah's Ark Zoo Farm has been presented with a top green tourism award.
The centre has been presented with a silver award by the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GBTS) for its eco-friendly practices.
Officials from the organisation, which assesses the green credentials of businesses across the UK, visited the farm last month to look at its operation.
They judged the zoo farm on a number of criteria including sustainability, waste minimisation, recycling and

City zoo plans big for the birds
The oldest zoo in India is planning to set up one of the largest aviaries in the country.
On Thursday, the Alipore zoo top brass wrote to the Central Zoo Authority seeking financial grant of Rs 3-4 crore to set up the aviary and refurbish the building that houses reptiles.
“In the first phase of the project, we would like to do away with the small aviaries in the zoo and come up with a bigger and better one. Some of our best assets would be showcased there,” Raju Das, the director of the zoo, told Metro.
“Tigers need not be the only attractions in the zoo. Even birds can draw crowds if displayed nicely,” he added.
According to the proposal, the new oval-shaped aviary would be spread over 10,000sq ft and would tower to a height of 40ft. There would be an artificial water body inside.
The birds would be segregated into enclosures through which a walkway has been planned. The stress would be on providing good nesting places, ample vegetation and quality food. Agriculturists and biologists would he

Foolish zoo visitor
A Swiss man was mauled by a bear after climbing into the animal's cage.
The man broke into the enclosure of four-year-old Finn - a European brown bear - at Bern Park zoo in Switzerland in an attempt to get close to the large, dangerous creature.
Once the bear noticed there was an intruder in his cage he grabbed the 25-year-old man by the neck and dragged him across.
Police officers were forced to shoot the animal to make him let go of the man.
The foolish visitor sustained severe head injuries and leg wounds in the attack but is expected to make a full recovery.
Finn has not been so lucky.
He was shot with a fragmentation bullet - which splinters as it hits its target, to cause less injury.
However, Finn is not expected to survive as veterinarians are unable to operate because the bullet split into too

Orangutans in danger of being wiped out by palm oil industry - Video Orangutans are human beings' closest relatives. They have a DNA structure that is 97 percent the same as ours and are the world's most intelligent animal with more advanced learning and problem-solving ability than any other animal

ICCAT leaves albatross conservation dead in the water
After a 3-year seabird risk assessment that found tuna and swordfish longline fishing has significant impacts on Atlantic seabird populations, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) failed to act at a recent meeting in Recife, Brazil.
“Albatrosses and petrel populations in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea are undergoing some of the most severe decreases anywhere in the world”, said Dr Cleo Small - Senior Policy Officer for the BirdLife Global Seabird Programme, based at the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK).
More than 40 fishing nations are members of ICCAT, and they gathered recently in Recife, Brazil for the annual meeting of the commission. Collectively they control longline fishing

Siberian tigers almost extinct: Report
Siberian tigers are almost on the verge of extinction, thanks to poaching and habitat loss, says a report.
The area monitored for the study, 23,555 square km, represents 15 to 18 percent of the existing tiger habitat in Russia.
Only 56 tigers were counted at these monitoring sites. The total number of such Siberian tigers was estimated to be 500 in 2005, having recovered from less than 30 animals in the late 1940s.
Deep snow last winter may have forced tigers to reduce the amount they travelled, making them less detectable, but the report notes a four-year trend of decreasing

Scientists spot rare wild cat in Fujairah wadi - report
A never-before-seen wild cat has been spotted in the protected zone of Wadi Wurayah on the East Coast, according to a report.
Camera traps set up by the ecologists working in the mountainous area of Fujairah have captured an image of a rare breed of wild cat (Felis silvestris lybica) whose presence was, until now, just assumed thanks to some elusive tracks, newswire WAM quoted a Gulf News daily report as saying.
Wadi Wurayah is a 129-kilometre-square area that was officially declared the UAE's first protected mountain area by Sheikh Hamad Bin Mohammad Al Sharqi,



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


Okay this is NOT zoo related but with the festive season coming up it is worth clicking on the link to make a choice or really original gifts. Most of these you will not find anywhere else! Even if you are not feeling festive you will find gifts with a difference for any occassion.


Bristol Zoo’s head vet wins international award

Bristol Zoo Gardens’ head vet has won an international award for her ground breaking research work on tortoises.

Sharon Redrobe submitted a paper on the use of ultrasound to scan a tortoises’ heart to detect failure and subsequent treatment, to The British Chelonia Group (BCG) Oliphant Jackson Memorial Fund. It is the first report of its kind on heart treatment of a live tortoise.

The late Dr Oliphant Jackson MRCVS (1913 – 1991) was a pioneer in reptile medicine who led the way in developing interest in the treatment of reptiles, forming the first regular reptile clinic in London. He influenced a whole generation of veterinary surgeons and inspired many to take an interest in the care and conservation of reptiles.

The Oliphant Jackson Memorial Fund was established in his memory to encourage veterinary students and qualified veterinarians to take an interest in chelonian medicine. The award invited submissions from vets for the care and conservation of tortoises, terrapins and turtles worldwide.

Members of the British Chelonia Group visited Bristol Zoo this week to present Sharon Redrobe with her £500 prize and certificate.

Sharon, who set up Bristol Zoo’s vet department 10 years ago this month (November) said:”This case involved a sick pet tortoise. The paper demonstrated how useful ultrasound scanning can be in tortoise medicine, and that we should consider heart failure in some of the elderly or sick tortoises we see commonly in pet practice.”

She added: “We routinely scan our tortoises at Bristol Zoo as part of their health checks. I am glad BCG has recognised the importance of this work and I fully support the great work BCG does in educating tortoise owners.”

The awarding panel was made up of the President of the BCG, The Veterinary Liaison Officer and an external veterinarian with an interest in chelonian medicine.

Diana Scott, general secretary of the BCG, commended Sharon on her paper. She said: “It is particularly good to see research which is equally relevant for ‘pet’ tortoises as well as those in large collections or zoos.”

The full title of Sharon’s paper was ‘diagnosis of pericardial effusion in a spur thighed tortoise'.

Sharon Redrobe is an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Zoo & Wildife Medicine and established Bristol Zoo’s vet service in 1999. The department gained RCVS Centre of Excellence in Zoo Medicine status in 2005, which it has since retained.

For more information about Bristol Zoo Gardens, please visit the website at



Volume XXIV, Number 12
December 2009
ISSN 0971-6378 (Print edition); 0973-2543 (Online edition); RNI 11:3
Date of publication 21 November 2009

List of Individual Articles
Cover - including contents, publication information and other cover material

PDF ( 252Kb )

Complete Magazine, Pp. 1-32

PDF ( 1157Kb )

Elephant Madness ? or a better future for elephants ?
-- S. Walker, Pp. 1-4
PDF ( 96Kb )

A Triathalon of Conservation Conferences in USA : Communication, Cooperation and Collaboration leading to One World…One Conservation
P. 5
PDF ( 47Kb )

The ABC’s and XYZ’s of the International Congress of Zookeepers ICZ
P. 6
PDF ( 26Kb )

History and Future of Intl Congress of Zookeepers — from their website
P. 7
PDF ( 80Kb )

One World One Zoo — Intl Congress of Zookeepers’ Vision - from President’s keynote
P. 8
PDF ( 20Kb )

The Future of Zookeeping and the Challenges Ahead
-- S. Good, Pp. 9-14
PDF ( 53Kb )

Again, What is CBSG, anyway?
P. 15
PDF ( 35Kb )

CBSG Steering Committee Meeting Notes, 1 October 2009
Pp. 16-18
PDF ( 252Kb )

CBSG 2009 Working Group Report Summaries
Pp. 19-22
PDF ( 52Kb )

The World’s 25 Most Threatened Primate Species, R. Mittermeier, et al
Pp. 23-27
PDF ( 72Kb )

Training in Field Techniques for Research and Conservation of Volant and Non-volant Small Mammals
-- R. Marimuthu, P. 28
PDF ( 199Kb )

Animal welfare Fortnightly Annual Offer of Educational Materials by ZOO
P. 29
PDF ( 22Kb )

55th Wildlife Week & Other Report Summaries
-- R. Marimuthu, Ed., Pp. 30-32
PDF ( 295Kb )

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We have a lot of new events planned for 2009 and 2010, some in collaboration with Chester Zoo, Odense Zoo, Reaseheath College and Howletts & Port Lympne.

Please check on
for the latest information and programs.

There will also be information on upcoming conferences and workshops in the animal field, like the PASA workshop in Kenya later this month.
Please let us know if we are missing one, or if you are organising an event so we can add it to the calendar. Thank you.

Please contact us if you have any further questions.

Kind regards,



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


For Zoo Jobs and Related Vacancies please visit:

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


ZooNews Digest is an independent publication, not allied or attached to any zoological collection. Many thanks.

Kind Regards,

Wishing you a wonderful week,

Peter Dickinson

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