Monday, January 25, 2010

Zoo News Digest 22nd - 25th January 2010 (Zoo News 642)

Zoo News Digest 22nd - 25th  January 2010 (Zoo News 642)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

'Kali' the tiger was 15 years old on the 21st January. In just 8 years she has produced 60 cubs! 60! This is not clever. This is criminal, cruel, unkind and pointless. I wonder if the zoo (which, I don't know) in Sweden which bred her feels a twinge of guilt? A sense of responsibility? Zoos must not dump their animals on any old collection. They must check out where they are sending stock. There is too much of this turning a blind eye. I wonder where the 60 cubs ended up? All 'white' incidentally.

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On with links:

Oregon Zoo gains a trunkful of history

The estate sale brimmed with photo negatives and slides, military memorabilia, antiquated mountaineering gear and a box that so intrigued Larry Clark he sprang for the $4 price. Its label read simply "zoo."

Good thing he snagged it: Images, memos, letters and yellowed news clippings inside the box fill in missing pieces of Oregon Zoo history. The unexpected archive provides glimpses into how things were in the 1950s and '60s, and illuminates ways that science and husbandry have changed zoo operations. Plus, its contents make you wonder how things might have been if some outlandish ideas had taken hold.

Imagine, for example, Packy, the zoo's prize elephant, confined to a dungeon because of his frightful behavior.

Or a proposal to use pachyderms to help log Northwest forests.

But first things first.

Clark, a Southeast Portland antique dealer

Two gorillas adjust to SA zoo life

Two eight-year-old male gorillas, Bongensa and Binga, have been flown in from Switzerland to help Pretoria Zoo in its efforts to save Africa's most charismatic species from extinction.

A European breeding programme for endangered species will create a new gorilla family group in Pretoria after the death of the zoo's gorilla .

Clifford Nxomani, managing director of the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, said Hobbit, a male gorilla in his late 30s, died recently, so the zoo applied to become part of the European breeding programme.

Bongensa and Binga, who were born at the Zurich Zoo in Switzerland, will be joined by another two male gorillas from the Ramat Gan Zoo in Israel.

"The arrival of these young gorillas m

Hastings Introduces the Wildlife and Zoological Veterinary Medicine Enhancement Act

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) introduced the Wildlife and Zoological Veterinary Medicine Enhancement Act. This legislation will develop affordable and well-qualified opportunities for individuals who are seeking to become wildlife and zoo veterinarians, spur job growth, and promote robust public health policy. (Please find attached a copy of the legislation)

“Wildlife and zoo veterinarians are the primary source of essential health care for, and management of, wild animals in their natural habitat and in captivity. Not only do they preserve natural resources and animal lives, but they help protect human health by preventing, detecting, and responding to exotic and dangerous diseases,” said Hastings.

In spite of a growing threat to public health posed by emerging infectious diseases as well as higher risks of large-scale outbreaks, the United States continues to face a shortage of positions for

Jungle Zoo protest case collapses

POLICE have admitted a mistake which led to the collapse of the case against a Cleethorpes zoo boss accused of deliberately driving at protesters.

Bernard Bale was cleared of driving at the protesters demonstrating outside The Jungle Zoo because of a "procedural error".

CCTV footage and a mobile phone clip filmed by a protester – which were both shown in court – captured Bale's van mounting the grass verge where the protesters were standing

A Devon breeding programme is helping to save the dormouse

Conservationists working to increase the dwindling population of dormice have started a project to produce a breed of supermice. Over the winter, staff at Paignton Zoo, Devon, have cared for animals collected to augment the bloodlines of the captive breeding population.

The common or hazel dormouse has become an increasingly rare species in Britain. The zoo-bred mice are released into the wild in parts of England from which they have disappeared. The zoo

WWF fears for Siberian tiger after Russian oil leak

A leak from Russia's new Siberian oil pipeline shows the potentially damaging consequences the project could have for the endangered Siberian tiger, an environmental campaign group warned on Friday.

Around 300 cubic metres (10,600 cubic feet) of oil leaked from the pipeline in eastern Siberia, Igor Dyomin, spokesman for Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft told AFP.

The leak covered an area 10 metres (yards) across and two kilometres (1.2 miles) long, he said.

"The major accident on the new Siberia-Pacific oil pipeline which has just come into operation shows the project has major flaws around ecological safety," the environmental campaign group WWF said in a statement.

"The WWF is worried about the planned

Brazilian Animal Rights Groups Wants Chimp Freed

He was rescued from a circus 13 years ago and has been living alone at the Niteroi Zoo ever since, but 24 year old Jimmy may soon be moving out.

Last month animal rights groups filed a petition of habeas corpus to set Jimmy free and relocate him to a reserve to live with other apes.

The petition argues that Jimmy is a living being with rights, rather than an object and should be granted the same freedom of movement that applies to people under Brazilian law.

Selma Mandruca from the Great Ape Project.

[Selma Mandruca, Coordinator, Great Ape Project]:

"We decided to file this habeas corpus to protect chimpanzee Jimmy from the inadequate place in which he lives. He is a chimpanzee who lives in isolation and this goes against the nature of chimpanzees, who just like human beings, are gregarious animals who must live in groups. He also faces a situation of inadequate exposure

British team discovers lost Eden amid forgotten forest of AfricaScientists from Kew have brought back an astonishing collection of new specimens from the unmapped heart of Mozambique

It was one of the few places on the planet that remained unmapped and unexplored, but now Mount Mabu has started to yield its secrets to the world.

Until a few years ago this giant forest in the mountainous north of Mozambique was known only to local villagers; it did not feature on maps nor, it is believed, in scientific collections or literature. But after "finding" the forest on a Google Earth internet map, a British-led team of scientists has returned from what is thought to be the first full-scale expedition into the canopy. Below the trees, which rise 45m above the ground, they discovered land filled with astonishingly rich biodiversity.

The scientists found what they believe are three new species of butterfly, a previously undiscovered adder snake and new populations of rare birds. They also expect to find new plants among the hundreds of specimens they have brought back with them.

Photographs from the trip - published here for the first time - show just part of the forest, tropical creepers, giant snakes such as the gaboon viper, and other wildlife seen by the team, including small klipspringer and blue duiker antelope, noisy samango monkeys, elephant shrew, and the granite-like rocky peak of Mount Mabu. Back at Kew Gardens in west London, where he is based, expedition leader Jonathan Timberlake said the wonder of what they experienced was only sinking in now that they are home: "That's when the excitement comes out - when you come back home or start reading some of the background

Durrell to launch two appeals

DURRELL are to launch two major appeals this year calling on the public to help them through their current funding crisis.

An emergency request for short-term funding is likely to be made to fund day-to-day costs, and an appeal will be made for help to pay for the building of a new visitor centre and improvements to the gorilla complex. It is hoped that the developments will increase visitor numbers.

This week the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust announced that due to a projected £1 million deficit this year, they have to make up to 14 staff redundant, and reduce their animal

Good Zoo Keeping Animals Safe

Keeping the animals safe and warm throughout the winter season at Oglebay's Good Zoo is a priority for the zoo's animal care staff.

Joe Greathouse, curator of animals for the Good Zoo, said there are a number of issues they have to take extra precautions with through the winter season. He said ice is always a bigger concern than snow.

"Hoof stock, ostrich and kangaroos can slip on the ice and damage their tendons, so even though they like a sunny winter day outside, we have to keep them in if the exhibits are icy," said Greathouse.

Even the animals that relish the snow and cold, such as the river otters, bears and the red panda have continuous access to indoor shift areas or holding buildings in cold weather. They are there for the animals' protection and comfort if needed. A good example is the the miniature donkey exhibit. They usually like to walk around the outdoor pen, but if it's extremely windy or cold they will stay inside the barn, Greathouse said.

Fresh water and good nutrition are obvious essentials the staff provides for the zoo animals on a daily basis. "Access to unfrozen water is absolutely critical for all animals," said Penny Miller, director of the Good Zoo.

She said that if an animal has to eat snow to get hydrated, it will become hypothermic and dehydrated. "At the zoo and home on the

IG Report: Last U.S. Jaguar Captured, Killed Intentionally

The last known wild jaguar in the United States captured and killed last year in Arizona, was intentionally caught by employees of the Arizona Game and Fish Department in a snare, the Interior Department's Office of Inspector General said in a report issued Wednesday that implicates the state agency in criminal activities.

Jaguars are a federally protected endangered species. The death and subsequent necropsy of this animal, named Macho B, are subject to an ongoing criminal investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement and the U.S. Attorney's office in Tucson, Arizona.

"Our review of the FWS agents' documentation showed evidence linking an AZGFD subcontractor and possibly an AZGFD employee to criminal wrongdoing

Snow monkey temporarily escapes from Tokyo zoo

A snow monkey from Aomori Prefecture, the northernmost habitat in the world for a simian, enjoyed a hiccup of freedom Sunday after escaping from Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, the first day

White Tiger

Joe Fortunato, the executive director of the Bucks County Zoo, plays with a white tiger cub in the facilities in Warminster.The 20-pound, 16 week-old female is there until the end of February when she will be relocated to

Save the tiger: Pressure mounts for tougher action

After trudging through the wilds of western Thailand for several hours, the forest rangers thought they were finally onto something: the distant sound of crunching leaves.

Automatic weapons drawn, the five Thais crept forward, hoping to catch a tiger poacher. It turned out to be a banteng, a wild cow, which disappeared into the woods.

But all in all, the absence of illegal hunters was good news, said ranger Sakchai Tessri. "When we passed before, we would always run into poachers." Now he felt their room for maneuver was narrowing.

"In the old days," he said, "they would spend many nights in the forest for poaching. Now they just come in, shoot, grab and go quickly."

The 6,400-square-kilometer (2,500-square-mile) Huai Kha Kheang and Thung Yai Wildlife Sanctuaries on the Myanmar border represent a rare success in the struggle to save the world's dwindling tiger population.

Funded by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, the increased patrols, armed with the latest technology, have scared off poachers and helped stabilize the tiger population of more than 100, along with animals such as the banteng which they prey on.

Elsewhere, tigers are in critical decline because of human encroachment, the loss of more than nine-tenths of their habitat and the growing trade in tiger skins and body parts. From an estimated 100,000 at the beginning of the 20th century, the number today ranges between 3,200 to 3,600, most of them in Asia and Russia.

Now hopes are rising that 2010 will see a turning point.

Ministers from the 13 countries with tiger populations will hold a first-ever meeting Wednesday through Friday in Hua Hin, Thailand to write an action plan for a tiger summit in September in Russia, where Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been championing the survival of the tiger.

The purpose of this week's meeting is to elicit promises of more money for conservation and to persuade countries to set tiger population targets. It is being organized by the Global Tiger Initiative, a coalition formed in 2008 by the World Bank, the Smithsonian Institute and nearly 40 conservation groups. It aims to double tiger numbers by 2020.

"The bleeding continues," said the World Bank's Keshav Varma, the initiative's program director. "I'm not sure if these poachers are feeling the heat of regional and global and national action. They seem to be o

I howled for the woman I loved... and she howled back - British wolfman tells how his obsession drove away the love of his life

Until I met Helen Jeffs, I don't believe I'd ever really been in love. But the more I saw of her, the more I was convinced I'd found a soul mate.

A teaching assistant, she lived across the valley from Combe Martin Wildlife Park on Exmoor, where I looked after wolves, eating and sleeping alongside them. For a while, Helen and I communicated by howling at each other across the valley with wolf sounds that I'd taught her.

My obsession with wolves hadn't helped past relationships. I had split up with Jan, the mother of my four children, after 11 years together, but there was never any animosity; it was more a case of separation by default

Maybe I never gave that relationship a chance. I was so passionate about wolves that I wonder whether any human relationship could have come close. If I'd had to choose between spending a night in the wolf enclosure or at home, I would probably have chosen the wolves.

Nevertheless, I thought there might be someone who would drag me back into the human world. But I hadn't expected the pull to be so sudden and so strong.

Helen and I spent most of our time together around the wolf enclosure I had built, or in my caravan in the park. She was under no illusion about what she was getting herself into but that didn't seem to faze her.

On the morning she agreed to move in with me, I had a meeting to discuss ideas for a TV series which ended up going out on channel Five in Britain and Animal Planet in America. And, after my two-year stint living with a wild wolf pack in the American Rockies, I had learned so much about them that my work had also been featured on the National Geographic Channel.

I mentioned at the meeting that I was going to teach Helen to join the wolves that I looked after at Combe Martin. At that moment, the theme for the series -Mr And Mrs Wolf - was born. We were

Happy birthday to heroic tiger mother!

The Albino tiger Kaili runs in a pond at Xiangjiang Safari park, in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, Jan. 21, 2010. Thursday was Kaili's 15th birthday. The life span of an albino tiger is usually 15 to 18 years. The albino tiger Kaili was imported from Sweden in 1997, and had bred 60 albino tigers in eight years.

Giant panda at Haicang Safari Park may leave Xiamen

After one year’s living in Xiamen, “Wei Yi”, the giant panda who made its home at the Haicang Safari Park in Xiamen, southeast China’s Fujian province on Feb. 9, 2009, is likely to leave for her hometown in Sichuan province next month, according to the park.

The 20-year-old female giant panda, whose temporary name is "Wei Yi (The Only One)" and is numbered No. 21 at the China Giant Panda Protection & Research Centre in southwest China’s Sichuan province, has attracted streams of tourists from Xiamen and nearby cities from the day it made home in the park.

Wang Xiaolan, an official of the park said, as the leasing contract will expire next month on the 9th, the giant panda may have to leave for her hometown. However, the park is considering talking about a new contract with the giant

'Muharram' joy for Johor Zoo

The Johor Zoo has another reason to celebrate - a second tapir was born in captivity on New Year's day.

The two-week-old tapir, named Muharram, was born to Minah and her mate Buta.

His "brother", Saffar, was the first tapir to be born in the zoo in 2008.

Head zookeeper, Mohd Sham Mahdon, was overjoyed with the birth, which came as a surprise.

"We did not know she was pregnant as we saw no physical changes," he said yesterday.

"Ours is the only zoo in the state that has a tapir born in captivity," he said, adding that the parents mated regularly.

Mohd Sham said Buta was so-named because he had a cataract in his left eye.

Tapirs, he said, were shy animals and seldom gave birth in captivity.

"This is a very good start to our Tapir Breeding Programme as the animal is a fully protected species," he said, adding that

Elephant center plan before St. Lucie commission Tuesday

African and Asian elephants could be roaming their own pastureland in western St. Lucie County by the end of this year if plans to create a national center for elephants are approved by the St. Lucie County Commission on Tuesday.

"We hope to start work on The National Elephant Center this spring and finish by the end of 2010,” said center Vice Chairman Rick Barongi. “We expect to start with 8 to 10 elephants.”

Funds for construction of the $4 million center came from contributions by accredited zoos across the United States, Barongi said. It will serve as a place to send elephants when zoos need to renovate their elephant areas. Also, a few elephants may retire there, and it will include a training program for new elephant keepers.

The county commission’s growth management department is recommending approval of the site plan.

Animal rights groups are opposing it, saying it will merely be a holding area and breeding ground for elephants.

Barongi said that although most elephants will not live there permanently, they will be well cared for, protected with security cameras and an observation tower. They will be indoors at night in stalls, and with habitat similar to what they would find in their native lands.

The center has a 40-year lease on 326 acres owned by Waste Management a quarter mile north of Okeechobee Road bordering Okeechobee County. Access to the center will be from Okeechobee. Just 34 acres of the property will be used for the elephant center, with expansion possible in the future.

“We chose Florida because of the climate,” Barongi said. “We’ve

China plans fifth panda breeding centre

China plans to open a fifth breeding centre for giant pandas in an effort to boost the population of the notoriously sex-shy species, state media reported on Wednesday.

Four young adult pandas are due to arrive at a zoo in the central city of Changsha on May 1 from a breeding base in southwestern Sichuan province, which was hit by a devastating quake in 2008, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Xie Zhongsan, an official at the Changsha Zoo, in Hunan province, said a cooperation agreement had already been signed with the breeding base in Sichuan to launch the new facility.

"We are waiting for the forestry authorities' approval of the new breeding base," he was quoted as saying.

"We plan to arrange for two to three panda experts to take care

San Francisco Zoo Tries to Claw Back to Prosperity

After Attraction Rebounded From Fatal Tiger Attack, Recession Hit; Layoffs, Cuts to Programs Lead to Slight Profit

The San Francisco Zoo, one of the city's oldest attractions, can't catch a break.

Just when it seemed that the zoo had rebounded from a 2007 fatal tiger attack, the recession has eroded its donor base and reduced the number of visitors. Last year the zoo laid off employees, reduced its hours and cut back on its animal breeding programs.

"They are living hand to mouth," says Jim Lazarus, president of the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department, which manages the city's relationship with the zoo.

The zoo's executive director, Tanya Peterson, says the situation isn't that dire. But she acknowledges the zoo—which opened in 1929 and boasts about 250 species of animals, including giraffes, grizzly bears and a troop of gorillas—has been hit by a "double whammy" of the economy and tiger attack. Revenue is down, but the recent

From The Blog -

5th Presenters Conference

Thailand Tiger Summit

DEFRA publishes Code of Practice for Welfare of Non-Human Primates

Dolphin Delivers During Show

The Shocking Truth About The Tiger Temple

The Sacking of Frank Buck

World Tapir Day

Dolphins Possible the Second Most Intelligent Animal After Humans

Gorilla Games

Tigers Are Released In Spite of Protests

Some Thought on Elephant Culling

Sumatran Tigers Released Back into the Wild

The International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators

Chimpanzee in Custody Case

Bat Biology and Conservation Workshop

The Indonesian Tiger Dumping Plan Stinks

'Mali', Manila Zoo's Elephant

Plus there is even more on the Blog. Scroll down...added to daily. Just the zoo interest stuff



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


Animal Keepers' Forum

February 2010 Table of Contents

About the Cover/Information for Contributors

Scoops & Scuttlebutt

In Memorium ~ Lutz Ruhe ~ AAZK Benefactor

Coming Events

AAZK Announces New Members

From the President

Rhino Poaching at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

Third Call for Papers ~ Conference 2010

AAZK/Geraldine Meyer Professional Development Grant Report

New Resource CD Available from AAZK, Inc. ~ Crisis Management

2010 Bowling for Rhinos Event Form

World Wildlife Fund’s “Ten to Watch” List

Care and Management of Geriatric Animals in Zoos (order info)

Rhino News Notes

Big Benefit for Contributing to Training Tales

and Enrichment Options Columns

People Skills for Animal People: Keeper Communication, Part II

Training Tales (Visitor Cued Gorilla “Tree Climb” Behavior)

The National Zoo’s O Line: The Enrichment Value of

an Orangutan Transit System

Keeper Profiles DVD Ordering Information

Book Reviews (Amphibian Biology, Vol. 8, Amphibian Declines)

Conservation/Legislative Update

To Subscribe and learn more please click HERE


Hello ZooLex Friend,

We have worked for your enjoyment!



Makasi Simba at Leipzig Zoo in Germany is a lion facility that was integrated into the Africa section of the zoo while the historic Lion House from 1901 was turned into an exhibition space.



Thanks to Eduardo Diaz Garcia we are able to present Spanish

translations of previously presented lion exhibits:

Lion Land at Schwerin Zoo:

Lions on the Edge at Victoria's Open Range Zoo

Pride of the Plains at Sedgewick County Zoo 



A ZooLex workshop will be held at Zoo Salzburg in Austria from March 25

to 26, 2010. Information and registration:

Deadline for reduced registration fee is by end of January 2010!


We keep working on ZooLex ...

The ZooLex Zoo Design Organization is a non-profit organization registered in Austria (ZVR-Zahl 933849053). ZooLex runs a professional zoo design website and distributes this newsletter. More information and



6.00pm, 9 February 2010
 ZSL Communicating Science series.



BVZS Spring meeting 2010. Theme "Preventative Medicine"
Venue Torquay and Paignton Zoo. Dates will be April 23rd to April 25th. More information will be posted soon. The Conference Hotel will be the Barcelo Imperial Hotel (Hotel Torquay, Barceló Torquay Imperial Hotel, Southern England)

Accommodation rates are £80.00 per room including breakfast regardless of occupancy.

Rooms can be booked via the hotel website as above website using the “BVG” code in the promotion code on the left hand side of the webpage. Alternatively rooms can be booked via central reservations on 08701 688833 quoting “British Veterinary Group”

60 rooms have been placed on an allocation for delegates Any unconfirmed rooms shall been released 21 days prior to the event, subject to availability.

Further details about the Hotel can be found here

For latest details including a call for papers click HERE

Registration form can be downloaded here

The English Riviera website does offer an online accommodation booking facility for those delegates who wish to book an alternative standard of accommodation.


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Kind Regards,

Wishing you a wonderful week,

Peter Dickinson


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