Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Zoo News Digest 2nd February 2010 (Zoo News 645)

Zoo News Digest 2nd February 2010 (Zoo News 645)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

It will be very interesting to see what happens tomorrow when those few people on the ground who have spoken out against the Tiger Temple in Thailand are taken to court. A letter from the International Tiger Coalition did not make a jot of difference previously. People are so easily taken in by this place. If you are in any sort of position to speak out against this place you should. I am talking about Zoo Organisations whether in Thailand, Asia or elsewhere. Please do. There is big business backing the Temple.

Groundhog Day today. I don't suppose it really matters which animal you have gone by. It looks like another six weeks of winter. Climate Change? Who knows? Why not attend the conference in Chester.

The accident with the Arabian Oryx was very sad and once again it demonstrates the importance of having proper barriers.

I note three staff have been suspended whilst investigations take place over the escape of the Tigers in the Assam State Zoo. It is as it should be. I often wonder in cases like these though. The buck has got to stop with one person. Three people do not lock/unlock a gate. Only one is responsible. This is something I drilled into people often enough. The other consideration is the guilty party once you have decided who it is. What do you do? They have to be punished in some way but do you dismiss them? Serious as the incident is, no-one was hurt, a lot of people have learned a shocking and hard lesson and one more than any. Will they be more likely to make a mistake again? Or will they be less likely? People do learn by mistakes and learn big time by big mistakes. It is a risk. It is a decision I am glad I don't have to make at this time.

The story about the giraffe at Mountainview Conservation Centre I find to be shocking. Having to consider euthanasia because hooves cannot or rather have not been trimmed is terrible. I hope it does not become necessary.

Please post in comments below if you feel so inclined.

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On with links:

Abilene Zoo officials rush to correct problems

Abilene Zoo officials are scurrying to address concerns cited in a recent inspection by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.

Mike Hall, the city’s director of community services, said Monday, “Most of the things are taken care of or will be in the next few weeks.”

In January, an AZA team inspected the zoo for two days and issued a list of “continuing concerns and achievements.” The inspection was a follow-up to one last year that led to the AZA tabling the zoo’s request for reaccreditation.

The city has until Feb. 12 to provide evidence the concerns have been addressed.

An accreditation hearing is set for March 4 in Virginia Beach, Va., at which time more evidence could be presented, Zoo Director Bill Baker said.

The AZA first accredited the Abilene Zoo in 1985 and


Bridgeton zoo's coatimundi predict six more weeks of winter

Expect six more weeks of winter, based on the predictions of the Cohanzick Zoo's furry meteorologists Monday.

The zoo's three coatimundi, or coatis, were released from their indoor enclosure Monday morning, but had to be coaxed from their dens, at Bridgeton's yearly version of the traditional Groundhog's Day celebration.

After braving a few minutes in the snow, the Central American white-nosed cousins of the raccoon decided they had enough and returned to their home.

"Well, it looks like that's that," zookeeper Alison Bohn said to a very small group of people who came out to witness


Cane toad 'sausages' help wildlife

Cane toads are being turned into sausages in the Northern Territory as part of a research project to help save an endangered mammal.

The sausages, which are made up of the minced legs of the toads, are being fed to quolls as part of the project by Sydney University and the Territory Wildlife Park.

The sausages are then laced with a chemical that makes the quolls sick.

Researcher Stephanie O'Donnell says the aim is to make the quolls feel ill so they will avoid eating the poisonous amphibians in the wild.

"They can't smell [the chemical]. They


Five Blackbucks found dead at Rajkot zoo

Authorities at the Pradyuman Park Zoo in Rajkot found five Black Bucks dead in their enclosures under mysterious circumstances on Monday.

The incident has shocked keepers and officials of the Pradyuman Park Zoo.

The deer were lying mutilated when the keepers went to their enclosure early in the morning.

Authorities believe that two stray dogs, which trespassed into the deer enclosures, may have killed the animals. However, they are awaiting a medical and post-mortem report to ascertain the cause.

Even though the zoo is well-guarded by around 38 security guards, entering of canines in the premises is a security lapse, said a zoo official.

"We had deployed a security guard outside the


Mountain chief's regret as Alladale gets dangerous animals licence

Mountaineering representatives have criticised councillors’ decision to renew a controversial estate’s licence to keep dangerous animals.

Members of the Highland Council’s Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross licensing committee today unanimously agreed to grant Alladale Wilderness Reserve a licence under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. The licence relates to a compound on the estate in which wild boar and elk are kept.

Hillwalkers and climbers have complained that the fencing at the site restricts their access to the countryside, including the 846m (2,772ft) corbett Càrn Bàn. The council’s own access officer Matt Dent recommended refusal of the renewal of the licence on the estate, set up by millionaire Paul Lister.


Sarus Crane rehabilitation- Mysore Zoo achieves Natural breeding

The Sarus Crane which is one of the endangered species has finally found a true nestling place at Jayachamarajendra Zoological park in Mysore. Though they had been there ever since the Zoo began, only this year they started breeding in captivity. Thanks to the trouble taken by the curators of the facility, the first captive breeding has been reported in the zoo.

Officials of the zoological park clarify that there was little or no human intervention in the breeding, the bird that gave off springs inside the Zoological park area was a resident of the facility. "We only isolated her and gave her safe haven in an enclosure and prevented other predators of Sarus crane eggs from entering the enclosure,” said an official. Left by itself this giant bird can protect herself as well as its off springs adequately which the present bird did and chased away small predators by herself. Generally the Sarus Crane lays two eggs but this one laid three, two of them did not hatch and third one did and yielded a healthy baby delighting the zoo authorities.

According to the Zoo authorities this is the tallest species among the Crane family standing at 4-5 feet tall, with a wingspan of eight feet. The body plumage is light gray. The crown is covered with smooth greenish skin. The rest of the head, throat and upper neck are covered with rough orange/red skin. The ear is marked by a small


The man with 24 crocodiles living at his semi

If you were looking for the largest collection of crocodiles in Britain, you'd probably try one of the big zoos.

Actually, it's in the back garden of a semi in Oxford.

That's where Shaun Foggett keeps an astonishing 24 crocodiles and


Arabian oryx almost blinds 2-year-old boy in Riyadh zoo

An Arabian oryx attacked a two-year-old boy in a zoo here Saturday causing serious injuries to the boy’s right eye.

According to Al-Watan Arabic newspaper, the boy was standing beside his father watching animals when the oryx came close to him and pierced his right eye with its horn.

The hospital to which the boy was taken reported that 95 percent of his eyelid was torn.

The area has no fences to prevent this type of incident, the newspaper said.

Khaled Al-Enizi, the father of the boy, blamed the management of the zoo for “weak security and inadequate preventive and control measures.”

The father intends to take legal action against zoo officials, the newspaper said.

Abdulrahman Al-Hamdan, Assistant Director of Public Relations at the Security Forces Hospital, said a specialist team operated on the boy for two hours. The boy’s skull and eye socket were CT


Some animal lovers are opposed to Groundhog Day

The folks at the DuPage County, Ill., Forest Preserve District don't come right out and say they oppose Groundhog Day. Still, they have a definitive position, and it leans toward killjoy.

They don't celebrate that whimsical, pseudo-holiday of Feb. 2. The district contends that the pudgy rodents, also known as woodchucks - or whistle-pigs in the South - need uninterrupted hibernation from early November through February and into March.

"And they could count on the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County to support their right to hibernate in peace," the district stated in a release notifying the world of its position on the issue.

Sleep soundly tonight. Groundhog rights are preserved and protected.

Forest Preserve District animal ecologist Dan Thompson maintains he is not a killjoy, merely a nature enthusiast trying to seize a teachable moment.

"During hibernation, a groundhog's heartbeat, metabolism and respiration slow," Thompson said, "allowing it to live on its body fat. If a groundhog is awakened from hibernation too early, it might not have the energy to find food and survive in cold winter temperatures."

It is true, contends Ben Hughes, handler of celebrity groundhog Punxsutawney Phil of east central Pennsylvania, that the animals hibernate deep into February


Billionaire's legacy provides $60,000 towards BAMZ projects

An organisation named after one of Bermuda's wealthiest long-term residents has donated $60,000 to help support three programmes at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo (BAMZ) that work to educate the Bermudian youth in conservation and the environment.

The Ernest E. Stempel Foundation, named after the late billionaire, philanthropist, Bermuda resident and former head of American International Group donated the sum to benefit conservation efforts and environmental education.

The total of $60,000 will benefit three projects, the "Power of One" Environmental Youth


‘Negligent’zoo staff suspended

The Assam state zoo today suspended three of its employees whose “negligence” had led to a tigress and her cub slipping out of the unlocked enclosure door on Saturday morning, sparking panic among the visitors.

Fortunately, the animals did not cause any harm and were subsequently tranquillised and taken back to their cubicle.

Two veterinary department staff, B. Appa Rao and Prabin Mikir, and animal keeper Rangeel Ali have been charged with negligence of duty and suspended with immediate effect. The trio were cleaning the enclosure but had forgotten to lock its door, leading to the incident.

“The suspension has been effected with a lot of unhappiness but disciplinary action had to be taken given the serious nature of lapse on their part,” Narayan Mahanta, the divisional forest officer of the zoo, said today.

He said the negligence had been viewed seriously as it could have led to a disaster, given the presence of nearly 2,000 visitors in the zoo at the time.

Disciplinary action, however, was on the cards


Zookeeper pinned under 300kg gate

A ZOOKEEPER has been rescued by co-workers after she was pinned under a gate weighing more than 300 kilograms.

The woman, in her 20s, was trapped for about three minutes after the gate fell on her at Victoria's Werribee Open Range Zoo just before 3pm (AEDT) today.

Paramedic Brett Parker said quick-thinking co-workers raced to the zookeeper's aid.

"Thankfully, a number of staff were nearby and three men managed to lift the gate off her body,'' he said in a statement.

"Incredibly, when we arrived the woman was upright and talking, but she was in significant pain.

"Given the potential for spinal injury we gave her


Giraffe with overgrown hoofs may be euthanized

Jerome the giraffe will fight for his life on Tuesday at a controversial zoo in the Vancouver suburb of Fort Langley.

The young male giraffe, who lives at the Mountainview Conservation Centre, has overgrown hoofs and may have to be euthanized if the job of shearing them down doesn't work.

The veterinarian who'll make that decision, Dr. Bruce Burton, said he'll do everything he can to keep Jerome alive.

"He's probably one of the nicest giraffes you'll meet," Burton said. "Everything that we can do we will do to try and save this guy. We very well may not succeed."

"If we do not think we can help him, unfortunately, we are probably going to have to euthanize him."

Two giraffes died at the facility in December, and the facility is under SPCA investigation for animal cruelty and neglect.

Jerome, who stands between five and six metres


Lions Arrive At Bristol Zoo Following Controversy

Three 8-month old cubs have been welcomed at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm today.

In recent months there's been controversy surrounding the zoo keeping tigers and last year, were struck off the trade body's list.

Keepers at the zoo insisted the animals were not part of a circus breeding programme and were looked after correctly.

In a seperate issue, the farm is currently being investigated about claims of animal cruelty.

Emma Godsell who's the Big Cat keeper why they've brought the lions to the zoo amongst all this controversy.

She told us "They were born at Linton Zoo


Rescued blinded turtle Homer is flown to Newquay home

A turtle which was deliberately blinded off the coast of Greece is being flown to Britain to start a new life.

The 123lb (56kg) loggerhead turtle, Homer, will be cared for at the Blue Reef Aquarium at Newquay in Cornwall.

He has been cared for since 2007 at a rescue centre near Athens, but is now ready for a long-term home.

Pavlos Tsaros, from the Greek rescue centre, said turtles could destroy fishing gear and were deliberately blinded by some fishermen.

Homer, who is expected to arrive at Heathrow at 1700 GMT, will help raise awareness about


From The Blog -

Bonobo Cannibalises Her Own Baby

Tiger Temple Sues Conservationists

'Wild' Hyenas Born on Bani Yas Island

Dolphin Release by 'Free the Pod'

Climate Change Conference at Chester Zoo

Dr. Barker and Dr. Shatner Voice their Opinions?

Tiger Farms

Return of the Tahr

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


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. http://www.englishriviera.co.uk/site/accommodation/online-booking


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Kind Regards,

Wishing you a wonderful week,

Peter Dickinson

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