Saturday, December 5, 2009

Zoo News Digest 28th November - 5th December 2009 (Zoo News 633)

Zoo News Digest 28th November - 5th December 2009 (Zoo News 633)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

I have been traveling the past couple of days and appear to have picked up a heavy head cold along the way. It has slowed down what I have been doing so I will just get this digest out without comment today...other than to say thank you to the four people who were kind enough to send donations to the digest. Much appreciated and neededd.

Please post in comments below if you feel so inclined.

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On with links:

Mane attraction
Lions rescued from shocking conditions as private pets in Romania have become the mane attraction at an African wildlife park.
One 18-month-old male called Paco was being kept in a fifth floor Bucharest flat by a gypsy family who had bought him from zoo keepers as a cub.
Another aged just 10 months was being kept in a tiny cage in a restaurant in Urzicen where customers were invited to feed him scraps.
Now - along with two other lions rescued from appalling

4th-generation southern white rhino born in Ohio
Officials at a southeast Ohio conservation center say a southern white rhinoceros could be the first fourth-generation member of the threatened species born in any other North American managed herd.
Officials at the Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio, say the calf was born Oct. 31.
The southern white, or African rhino, was almost extinct at the turn of the century. Some were exported to North American and Europe in the 1950s. Estimated populations grew to more than 11,000 in the wild and 740 in captivity by 2005.
The white rhinos can weigh 6,000 pounds and live

Time running out for many amphibians
It’s too soon to know whether conservationists from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo who ventured into the rainforests of Panama to save frogs arrived too late, or in the nick of time.
Chytrid had already attacked, they revealed Friday.
The local zoo is part of the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project, with partners in Washington, D.C., Texas, Massachusetts, Mexico and Panama.
The goal of the project is to save amphibians from the chytrid fungus (or Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), which can lay waste to half the amphibian species in its path. Scientists say we are watching

Cincinnati zoo says liver failure resulting from disease caused death of endangered rhino
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden said Thursday that the ailment (hemochromatosis) left 21-year-old Emi with an excess of iron in her system. Zoo officials say they're not aware of another documented case of a Sumatran rhino dying from the disease, which has been found in other captive wild animals and occurs in humans and domestic animals.
Emi had lived at the zoo for 14 years and was key to,0,285431.story

Zoo to return circus link tigers
A North Somerset zoo is to return its three tigers following criticism of its relationship with a circus.
Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, in Wraxall, was expelled from an industry body over its links with the Great British Circus.
The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) said it had hidden its dealings with the circus.
The Great British Circus is the only one in the UK which uses tigers in its shows. Zoo owner Anthony Bush said: "We have decided to give the tigers back."
'Film work'
One of the Noah's Ark tigers is used on a Great British Circus promotional DVD and is seen performing tricks during a training session in the circus ring.
Mr Bush issued a statement which read: "The tigers we were donated never performed in a circus. One

How to Woo a Panda
There's one sound certain to make a male panda swoon: the high-pitched chirp of a female panda. Although the noise may not be appealing to us, researchers have determined that it's music to the ears of male pandas, as females make it only once a year when they are ready to mate. The discovery is the first instance of a nonhuman mammal changing its voice to advertise her peak of fertility, and it may help with panda conservation efforts.
Although giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) are relatively solitary, males and females keep track of each other via smells and sounds. Pandas have a rich repertoire of vocalizations, from growls and moans to bleats and chirps, the latter made primarily by females. "It's been known for some time that around estrous, females begin to chirp," says Benjamin Charlton, an ethologist at Zoo Atlanta in Georgia and the lead author of the study. Scientists have recently shown that women's voices become more high-pitched during their most fertile periods

Big Funding for Polar Bear Exhibit, Rescue Shelter
A big funding announcement was made Thursday for major upgrades to the Assiniboine Park Zoo’s polar bear exhibit.
A $31-million investment will help create the world headquarters of Polar Bears International and a state-of-the-art rescue shelter right here in Winnipeg.
The International Polar Bear Conservation Centre will conduct and co-ordinate polar bear rescue research, conservation and public-education initiatives, Premier Greg Selinger and Hartley Richardson, board chair of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, said in a statement.
A new arctic exhibit will feature a polar bear enclosure with underwater and above-ground viewing opportunities to enable visitors to come

Zion wildlife park to face charges
Whangarei's Zion Wildlife Gardens will face charges over the death of animal handler Dalu Mncube, the Department of Labour says.
Mncube, 26, died in May after being attacked by a 260kg tiger as he cleaned its enclosure at the gardens.
Charges have been laid under the Health and Safety Act for "failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees while at work" and "failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that no hazard that is, or

Zoo elephant deaths spark call for shutdown
After the fourth elephant death at the Toronto Zoo in four years, a California-based animal rights group is calling for the "cramped" and "unnatural" exhibit to be shut down and the three remaining animals sent to a sanctuary.
"The Toronto Zoo lacks the space and natural conditions necessary to the health and well-being of African elephants," said Catherine Doyle of In Defense of Animals.
On Monday, Tara, a seemingly healthy 41-year-old elephant who was matriarch of the four-member herd, fell over and died despite attempts to right her. Elephants are in danger when lying down due to the weight on their organs.
Another elephant, Tessa, 40, was killed five months ago after being knocked over by an elephant rushing to feed. The zoo says an

Popular veterinarian quits Micke Grove Zoo
Wild animals at Micke Grove Zoo lost their long-time veterinarian, Jackie Gai, who left her job at the south Lodi zoo for another position.
Zoo director Ken Nieland said that San Joaquin County, which owns and operates the zoo between Armstrong and Eight Mile roads, will provide an interim service until a new veterinarian is hired.
Nieland said that a vacated position like Gai's will give county officials a chance to reassess the county's need for animal medical care

Rare fishing cat found in An Giang
Several residents in Ba Hoa islet, Binh Thanh commune, Chau Thanh district, the Mekong delta province of An Giang , have caught a number of fishing cats, a rare species listed in the national Red Book of precious fauna and flora.
Banh Thanh Hung, Head of the Forest and Nature Reserve Guard Office of the An Giang Forest Ranger Department, on Nov. 8 informed that the office has released a fishing cat to the Tra Su cajeput forest in Tinh Bien district.
Earlier in mid October, the office

Smugglers stopped: two tonnes of live rare snakes and turtles seized
Cambodian authorities have seized nearly two tonnes of live rare snakes and turtles being smuggled in a boat to Vietnam and arrested two men, police said on Thursday
Authorities stopped the boat early on Wednesday and found 1655 kilos of snakes, mostly pythons, and 263 turtles weighing a total of 317kg, said deputy provincial police chief Chan Savouen.
Police arrested two men, aged 17 and 20, who were caught transporting the creatures along the Bassac River in southeastern Kandal province to neighbouring Vietnam, he said.
Police said some of the reptiles had been illegally hunted in Cambodia and others were thought to have been trafficked from neighbouring Thailand.
The snakes and turtles were



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.


Elephant Managers Association Auction Update

We want every item to receive a bid so we have reduced prices on these amazing donations. Tell a friend and bid now.




A new name for EAZA NEWS

Introducing ZOOQUARIA – a new name to accompany the bright new look for EAZA’s quarterly magazine. The latest issue, highlighting the important issue of climate change on the cover, is now in the mail and available for download from the website.

Stories in this issue include a look inside the renovated carnivore house in Nuremburg, rhino training at Colchester, photographs and reports from the EAZA Annual Conference in Copenhagen and other key autumn meetings, and features on the conservation of grey crowned cranes and polar bears. EAZA’s new chairman Simon Tonge pays tribute to his predecessor Bert de Boer, and Aquarium Committee chair Philippe Jouk is interviewed.

Download Zooquaria 68:

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


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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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