Friday, February 5, 2010

Zoo News Digest 3rd - 5th February 2010 (Zoo News 646)

Zoo News Digest 3rd - 5th  February 2010 (Zoo News 646)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

Returning to the subject of escapes. That's four now in a very short space of time. Cheetahs in New Zealand, Tigers in India, Wolves in Sweden and Buffalo in the US. They say these things go in three's but we have already gone one over so lets hope that there are no more for a while...of forever. I note that rusty fences were indicated in two of the escapes and human error in the third. In actual fact though it was human error in all four, if you think about it. I can appreciate that Cheetahs under normal circumstances pose little public danger and neither do wolves. The Tigers which escaped seemed to be quite placid too. The action taken by staff in first of these three incidents (not too many details on the fourth) appears to have been exemplary but but but. Any escape really should not happen, be it a Lemur, a Coati or a Camel. A rabbit on the wrong side of the enclosure fence is an escape. I have known some pretty wild domestic rabbits which were more dangerous than your average Cheetah. I have also known Cheetah that were more risky than some Tigers. Wolves in the dark behave differently to the day. Out of these escapes the Buffalo proved to have been most dangerous of all. Okay I am rambling. It is all food for thought. Gauging how dangerous an escape is, is no easy feat. The best possible scenario is no escapes at all.

Whilst in no way denying that the breeding of 16 Giant Pandas is a remarkable feat. The photographs of the cubs shown in the link below are both cute and appealing. Sadly though I think the pulling of animals at such an age is both cruel and unnecessary. This is Panda Farming. Okay I appreciate that it is not on the same gutter level as Tiger Farming but I would much prefer that the cubs were to remain with their mothers for a more natural period of time. I understand that this is close to three years. These cubs are clearly not that old. With so many remaining in the wild and a goodly number in captivity there really is not the urgency to produce and farm in this manner.

Returning briefly to the cheetah escape in New Zealand. I can't actually imagine a Cheetah swimming. I don't doubt they can but can't actually picture it my minds eye.

Those who have been following the plans by Indonesia to 'rent' out tigers to those who can afford to keep them will be interested to learn that such an activity was already in operation. Five Tigers (subspecies unknown) originating from Taman Safari Indonesia were confiscated from a house outside of Jakarta. They had been there, apparantly, for some twenty years. This is interesting because the article states that that there were two adults and three cubs. My question would be 'What has happened to all the other cubs born in the past twenty years?'... And... 'Are the adults the original breeding pair?'

What has happened with the 'Tiger Temple' court case? I don't know. I will let you know as soon as I do.

Please post in comments below if you feel so inclined.

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On with links:

ISIS Elects New Trustees to Board of Directors

The International Species Information System (ISIS), the world’s largest zoological service organization, announces the election of the following new trustees to its 24-member Board of Trustees:

Dr. Bishan Singh Bonal (Central Zoo Authority – India)

Dr. Robert Cook (Wildlife Conservation Society – New York, NY)

Mr. Mauricio Fabre (Zoologico Nacional Parque Metro de Santiago – Chile)

Dr. Ken-ichi Kitamura (Japanese Associations of Zoos and Aquariums)

Dr. Michael Maunder (Al Ain Zoo – United Arab Emirates)

Mr. Jim Fleshman (Cameron Park Zoo – Waco, TX) has assumed the role of ISIS Board Secretary.

“The addition of these members strengthens our leadership capacity across the globe,” said Roger Stonecipher, ISIS CEO. “Our board now represents 14 nations, which will be critical for the exciting and challenging tasks ahead of us in the coming year.”

In addition to their regular duties, the ISIS trustees will oversee the rollout of the first unified global database system for endangered species and other animals living in the world’s zoos and aquariums – the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS). ZIMS will allow the ISIS global network to instantly

Report unveils the cruel treatment of elephants at zoos

The zoo watchdog organization "In Defense of Animals" (IDA) today released an unprecedented survey showing that scores of elephants are warehoused throughout the long winter months in miserable confinement, many of them hidden from the public.

"Elephants living in cold climates will be confined indoors for the vast majority of each day during the winter, standing in small concrete cages where they lack the space they need for healthy movement," says IDA captive elephant specialist Catherine Doyle. "Cold weather dramatically increases the suffering that elephants already endure in zoos, where they are dying prematurely from conditions caused

Needed: pedicure for elephants

It's not just the fashion-conscious who need a pedicure regularly, captive Asian elephants are more in need of them, finds a pilot study.

The study, conducted between April 2008 and December 2009, says that more than 50% of these elephants suffer from one or more foot problems and require regular filing, polishing and application of specialised oil to maintain their feet.

Three doctors Dr K S Subramanian, Dr V Purushothaman and Dr M G Jayathangaraj from the department of wildlife science of the Madras Veterinary College (MVC) examined temple elephants in Tamil Nadu for foot ailments. "Fifty-five of 58 captive elephants kept at various temples in the state showed one or more foot ailments such as cracked and split nails, excess cuticular growth above and in between the nails, hardened footpad, excess footpad growth, abrasion

Sofia Zoo will receive reparations for carnage inflicted by strays

Sofia Zoo is poised to receive financial compensation from the security firm that failed to prevent the carnage resulting in the brutal death of 15 animals, dismembered by stray dogs, Bulgarian media reported on February 2 2010.

A pack of strays penetrated the grounds of Sofia Zoo and killed a total of 15 animals, including deer and fawn, Bulgaria's bTV reported on January 31 2010, in an incident that had occurred several days earlier.

Sofia municipal council asked zoo director Ivan Ivanov to make an assessment of the damages which will be paid by the security company Bodu.

At the time of the attack, five security personnel

Lone wolf put down after partner's death

A HEARTBROKEN wolf has been put down just days after his life-long companion died.

Odin and Ishka had lived together at Shepreth Wildlife Park since 1996.

But Ishka seccumbed to kidney problems a uterus infection and arthritis, and Odin spent the nights howling in distress.

He spent the last nine days struggling to move around his enclosure as he searched in vain for Ishka.

Vets and keepers concluded crippling arthritis and sorrow compromised his welfare and he was

After ordeal, Jhargram baby gets a home

A day after the elephant calf that wandered into a village in Jhargram, he was brought to Alipore zoo on Tuesday.

Since the arrival of the five-month-old calf, there have been constant queries from visitors, who are eager to get a first glimpse of the baby elephant.

“At present we have kept the calf away from visitors as we want him to recover from the ordeal. He is under strict supervision of three zoo veterinarians who are monitoring his health,” said Raju Das, Joint Director, Alipore zoo.

The calf has been kept in an enclosure as he was too big to be kept in the zoo hospital. Since he is too young to eat solid food, he is being fed lactogen, ORS and vitamins.

“He was slightly dehydrated

Animal Help Continues

The Humane Society's international response unit continues to address the health needs of animals in Haiti.

Team leader and Billings resident, Dave Pauli, said their efforts are crucial to maintaining the health of the people there. Pauli is working with a group of veterinarians.

In the past few days they have treated street dogs for worms, rabies and injuries and tended to the needs of an area zoo


Answering to a scripted question from Jamaat-e-Islami lawmaker Hamidur Rahman Azad, the minister said there are 10 zoos in the country. Of them, he said, Dhaka Zoo and Rangpur Zoo are being run under the government management.

“There are 2,090 species of animal in Dhaka Zoo. But rearing, management and treatment of the wild animals is very difficult,” he said.

The minister also said that rearing and providing treatment to animals and birds are being done through skilled manpower

Plymouth marine academy plans criticised

Proposals to turn a Devon school into a marine academy have been criticised.

At the moment, Tamarside Community College in Plymouth has among the poorest academic results in England.

The school plans to become an independent academy, supported by the University of Plymouth, Cornwall College and Plymouth City Council.

But the National Union of Teachers (NUT) has said it believes academies have a damaging impact on children, teachers and the whole community.

It claims academies can select 10% of pupils by aptitude, which could result in some local pupils being turned away.

Parental consultation

The marine academy - the first of its kind in England - would follow the national curriculum, but also have its own specialism in marine studies.

It would receive government funding of about £17m, but would no longer be under the local authority control, which the NUT claims means publicly funded

Close Toronto Zoo elephant exhibit, group says

A California-based animal rights watchdog group used Groundhog Day to cast a shadow over the Toronto Zoo’s elephant herd.

“The zoo just can’t provide the conditions that elephants need to thrive,” Catherine Doyle, In Defence of Animal’s captive animal specialist, said Tuesday.

Among those conditions, Doyle said, elephants need vast space to move and a suitable climate in which they can be outdoors for significant periods year-round.

“The question that has to be asked is how often are these elephants out for?” Doyle said. “If they’re out for maybe a half-hour, an hour, even two hours out of a 24-hour day, the rest of the time they are spending that indoors, on concrete floors which are known to be damaging to their feet and joints.”

The zoo’s three remaining elephants should be sent to a sanctuary, Doyle said.

“The city and the zoo really need to close that elephant ex

Darwin’s full humanity evolves in Creation

Randal Keynes is a great storyteller. You may not have heard of him but you’ve heard of his great-great-grandfather, Charles Darwin. I spoke with Keynes recently about the film Creation based on his book “Darwin, His Daughter and Human Evolution,” the biography he wrote in 2002 about his famous ancestor.

Keynes wrote it after finding a writing box referred to as “Annie’s box” in the dresser bequeathed to his father from Down House in Kent where Charles and Emma Darwin had lived. The English Heritage Organization had contacted Keynes about providing some stories about his ancestors for tours of the now historic home. He started putting together stories of the Darwins by tying them to the contents of Annie’s box. Annie was their first daughter who died at the age of 10 from tuberculosis. Her parents had put mementos of her youth in the box along with the notes Darwin kept about her disease.

Creation focuses both on the torment of the scientist in his youth and on his relationship with his wife before and after the Annie’s death. We see Charles Darwin as a conflicted man who sat on

Employee Admits Error In New Tulsa Zoo Audit

The death of a crooked neck giraffe continues to cast a dark cloud over what was once voted America's favorite zoo.

A new audit reveals the trailer that brought Amali to Tulsa had bloody marks on its ceiling. The 47-page audit chronicles what led up to the 5-year-old giraffe's death, and for the first time, a Tulsa Zoo curator admits a mistake was made.

Zoo officials say no one is more broken-hearted over the death of five-year-old Amali than they are.

Staunchly defending their actions and efforts to save Amali, the zoo has never really admitted any mistakes until now.

The mayor called on Tulsa's auditor to look into what happened to Amali. He produced a 47-page report, including more than 200 photographs and a dozen interviews with witnesses.

The report reviews the purchase of Amali from an Ohio Zoo and the hiring of the company that specialized in transporting giraffes.

According to the report, eight witnesses said they heard the transport driver say Amali "didn't settle down, ride well or travel well during the trip."

In these pictures obtained by the News on 6, you can

Escaped raccoon injures man at Bakersfield zoo

Ian Smith says the 22-pound male raccoon, unprovoked, charged at his 8-year-old daughter. He lifted her to safety and struggled with the raccoon for several minutes before subduing it.

A raccoon somehow slipped out of its cage at a Bakersfield zoo and attacked a man and his 8-year-old daughter, gnawing into the man's finger and clawing his legs in what he described as a bloody wrestling match that lasted several minutes.

Ian Smith, an unemployed 30-year-old medical supply salesman and competitive kick boxer, received about 20 rabies shots around his gashes and puncture wounds after Sunday's encounter. The raccoon, which was euthanized, proved not,0,1774178.story

Jumbo run for conservation
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Elephant keepers go the extra mile for animal conservation Elephant keepers from ZSL Whipsnade Zoo are embarking on a mammoth run to help raise money for animal conservation

Lee Sambrook, Andrew Durham and Gary Hampson will be swapping their wellies for running shoes when they take part in the Brighton Marathon on Sunday 18th April 2010.

In an effort to raise money for the worldwide conservation work of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the trio have been hard at work training for the run – with

Marmots breed easier

While Wiarton Willie grabs the spotlight every year, his endangered cousins, the Vancouver Island marmots, are quietly breeding easier.

Related to groundhogs, Vancouver Island’s endangered marmots have been at risk of extinction. However, their population in the wild rose from 25 several years ago to its current 280, said Maria Franke, curator of mammals for the Toronto Zoo.

To focus attention on their plight, Franke was playing with two of the zoo’s marmots, Radar and Dagwood, at a demonstration at the Toronto Zoo’s Animal Health Unit on Tuesday.

Personnel at the zoo participate in a program to boost the numbers of he furry creatures, raising them in captivity before releasing mature marmots on Vancouver Island.

“Many (marmots) are eaten by eagles or die from clear cut logging,” she said. “They are released in the wilds at one to two-years-old.”

Franke said plant-eating marmots grow to weigh as much as seven kilograms and are only found on Vancouver

Safari park to be created in Azerbaijan

Turkish and German companies have won a tender to create an open zoo on 200 hectares of land in Azerbaijan.

The animals will live in a near-natural environment and visitors will not be aware of fences, Azerbaijan's minister of ecology and natural resources, Huseyn Bagirov, said in an interview published today on the ruling New Azerbaijan Party website.

"The Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia have no such specialized park. I believe this will attract tourists to the country. This park will also function as a scientific centre. Work on the project will start soon and I think we will have a modern complex in two to three years

Red deer family found after 'incredible journey'

The five deer were thought dead on Friday - but found after they made the trek to the place of their birth from a safari park in rural Perthshire.

A family of red deer thought to have been killed after they went missing from a Highland tourist attraction has been found - after they made an "incredible journey" back to the place where they were born, it was revealed on Wednesday.

Staff at Highland Safaris, near Aberfeldy, Perthshire, organised search parties for miles around after the five animals mysteriously disappeared.

After days with no sightings, they feared the deer had been stolen or killed by poachers.

But, like a plot from a Disney film, it emerged the animals, led by Imperial stag Turbo, had escaped

Sick Beluga at Mystic Aquarium

Animal care staff at the Mystic Aquarium are working around the clock to save

Inuk, a male beluga whale, who is suffering from kidney failure. Staff say the 28-year-old beluga became sick on Friday when he seemed to lose his appetite. A blood test revealed kidney failure and a possible serious infection.

Veterinarians at the aquarium have been giving the beluga whale supplemental fluids to clear his kidneys.

"We have been in frequent contact with other facilities that house belugas, as well as leading experts in nephrology, to share information and provide the best treatment possible," said Dr. Tracy Romano, senior vice president of

Thailand's Tiger Temple Sues Conservationists Over Abuse Allegations

Three advocates for wildlife conservation and welfare appeared in a Kanchanaburi court this morning to answer charges of defamation brought by the Tiger Temple, a tourist attraction in Kanchanaburi.

Edwin Wiek, founder and director of Wildlife Friends of Thailand, a wildlife rescue center near Hua Hin, has been charged along with two other conservationists over remarks in an April 2009 article published in the "Thai Post," a daily Thai-language newspaper. In the report, accusations were made concerning illegal possession of and

Topeka Zoo Director job posted

The City of Topeka has posted the qualifications it desires in its next zoo director. The city is also looking for a zoo veterinarian.

Both jobs are listed on the city's web site.

The director's job opened up in December with the retirement of Mike Coker. He stepped down as a two day review of zoo operations by a team from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums was wrapping up. City manager Norton Bonaparte had requested the review after a USDA inspection was critical of zoo procedures. Topping the list of concerns were the deaths of seven zoo animals from January 2007 to July of 2008.

Pay range for the job of director is $78,000-$92,000 annually, with

Woman Charged After Cobra-Biting Claim

Police Found Dangerous Rattlesnake At Her Home

Police with the Department of Natural Resources have charged a woman with possession of a venomous snake after she recently claimed she was bitten by one.

Last month, 58-year-old Betsy Nighthorse claimed she was bitten by a cobra that she discovered in a White Marsh parking lot.

Police investigating her claim found another snake -- a Neo Tropical Rattlesnake -- at her

Adopted mystery rodent flies the coop

An orphaned animal that was fostered by a family of mice at an east coast Tasmanian wildlife park has escaped.

The creature known as Cuckoo was so tiny when it was handed in that keepers could not identify or feed it.

Luckily a mother mouse took the creature in and fed it for two weeks until it could be weened off milk.

Head keeper Andrew Pottage says the creature got so big it was able

Michael Jackson's dead giraffes cause a stink

Two dead giraffes formerly belonging to King of Pop Michael Jackson have had to be dug up and moved - after residents complained about the terrible smell.

The animals - Rambo and JJ - died last November and were buried at the Banjoko Wildlife Preserve in Page, Arizona.

But after several complaints about the stink, the carcasses were dug up and relocated elsewhere.

Michael Jackson's two other, living giraffes were also forced to move house. Princess and Sue have been found

Surprise rhino birth spotted on webcam (Great Video! - Peter)

Staff at a Scottish wildlife park were alerted that one of their rhinos had gone into labour by someone watching online in Cyprus

Staff at a Scottish wildlife park were alerted to one of their rhinos going into labour by a phone call from somebody in Cyprus.

Dot the Southern White Rhino was being watched on a webcam at Blair Drummond’s Safari Park, Stirling by someone watching thousands of miles away when

Durrell hopes to have guests stay at the Zoo this year

It's not been easy at Durrell in the last weeks with ten staff being laid off to save money and the remaining employees facing a greater workload.

One of the ways the Trust hopes to make money for their animal conservation is to open up student accommodation on site to islanders and tourists.

They want to make the student lodgings at its International Training Centre available when they're

Brookfield Zoo seeks a companion for its lone elephant, Joyce

Search offers a glimpse into zoo's commitment to keep elephants on display amid fierce opposition by animal-rights groups

Seeking single female roommate for high-spirited, inquisitive middle-age female. Must be African by birth or descent, age not important. Must be social and vegetarian. Trumpeting a plus, the louder the better. Large indoor space. Secure fenced yard, charming mudhole. All meals, clean daily bedding, electricity, heat provided free.

That tempting offer might be how Joyce, a 27-year-old African elephant, might word a want ad if she were in charge of finding a companion to share her space and keep her company at Brookfield Zoo.

Joyce lived with another female elephant, Christy, 28, until a week before Christmas, when Christy died from what the zoo said was a congenital kidney defect.

Finding a companion for Joyce is a top priority, but it is also a lengthy, nationwide, complex undertaking that offers a glimpse into evolving zoo philosophy and renewed commitment to keep elephants on display in the face of fierce opposition by animal-rights groups. To reinforce that commitment, Brookfield,0,1269218.story

Escaped buffalo cause multi-car crash near Chico

Six vehicles, including a California Highway Patrol cruiser, struck and killed several buffalo Tuesday night when the animals escaped from a private zoo and ended up on eastbound Highway 149.

Most of the drivers and passengers in the vehicles, including the CHP officer, suffered only minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

Several of the vehicles sustained major damage. Four of the buffalo, each weighing between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds, were confirmed killed. A calf may also have been hit, but searchers couldn't find its body.

CHP spokesman Doug Garret said as many as 21 buffalo escaped about 8:20 p.m. from fenced property bounded by Highways 149 and 99.

The property is owned by Irvin Schlaf, who may end up being held responsible for damages. The animals are reportedly part of a large private zoo and are not being raised for commercial purposes. Other animals, including ostriches, llamas and exotic birds, also are kept on the property.

Garret said an investigation is under way to determine if someone

Zoo in a life-or-death race

The last 14 Asian elephants born in Houston have died, but now there’s hope for a vaccine

It's stork time at the Houston Zoo's elephant barn as the maternity countdown begins for Shanti and Tess, endangered Asian elephants whose pregnancies, officials hope, will bring success to a pachyderm breeding program thus far marked by failure.

Zoo officials Thursday staged a maternity “boot camp” in which they outlined efforts to ensure live births and the survival of the calves. In 25 years of zoo breeding efforts, all 14 calves died before or relatively soon after birth.

Six of the calves — most recently Max, who died at age 2 in November 2008 — succumbed to a disease caused by a herpes virus.

“We have lots of concerns,” said Daryl Hoffman, the zoo's large mammal curator. “As we learn more, our success rates should improve. Every one that we lost was under different circumstances.”

Last year, the Houston Zoo and Baylor College of Medicine joined forces to develop a vaccine to protect against the herpes illness, which causes blood vessels to leak and can lead to heart failure.

Dr. Paul Ling, associate professor of molecular virology and microbiology, said an effective vaccine still may be five years away. But researchers have created a successful test for the virus, thereby allowing for treatment of infected animals before the deadly disease develops.

Four of the zoo's five Asian elephants, including

World Bank calls for China, other Asian countries to shut down tiger farms

China and other Asian nations should shut privately run tiger farms as they are inhumane and fuel demand for the endangered big cat's bones and skin, the World Bank said Thursday.

The call came as governments from 13 countries where tigers exist in the wild met in Thailand to discuss their conservation and how to boost tiger numbers.

Tiger farms are found principally in China, as well as Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. Owners claim rearing the cats in captivity will help reduce the illegal trade in tiger parts which are used in traditional medicine, but environmentalists say it only stimulates further smuggling.

"Our position is that tiger farms as an animal practice are cruel. They fan the potential use of tiger parts. That is extremely dangerous because that would continue to spur demand," said the World Bank's Keshav Varma, who is the program director for the Global Tiger Initiative, a coalition formed in 2008 with the Smithsonian Institute and nearly 40 conservation groups. It aims to double tiger numbers by 2022.

"The Global Tiger Initiative as well as the World Bank are in favour of shutting down these farms," he said by phone from the sidelines of the conference in the beach resort of Hua Hin.

Wild tiger numbers have plummeted because of human encroachment, the loss of more than nine-tenths of their habitat and poaching. From an estimated 100,000 at the beginning of the 20th century, the number today is less than 3,600.

China alone is believed to be home to 5,000 domestic tigers, and farms thrive despite the government banning the trade in tiger parts in 1993. It has imposed stiff sentences on offenders and ordered pharmacies to empty their shelves of tiger medications purported to cure ailments from convulsions to skin disease and to increase sexual potency.

The first tiger farms started before the ban, but others sprang up afterward because speculators thought the ban would be temporary. The government says the farms have been developed to attract tourists but critics say they are used to harvest tiger parts.

Despite lobbying from influential businessmen for the ban to be lifted, China last month announced it would take stronger law enforcement action on the trade in tiger parts and products. It also promised stricter regulation of captive breeding.

Conservationists like the group TRAFFIC welcomed the new measures but continue to call for tiger farms to be shut down. They say

Lao domestic elephants may disappear in 50 years

The continuing decline in the number of domesticated elephants means they are likely to disappear from Laos within 50 years, a report has concluded.

The study was made by ElefantAsia after only one birth in 2009 was recorded among domesticated elephants in Xayaboury province and 15 elephants died in the same period.

Head of Programmes at ElefantAsia, Mr Gilles Maurer, said the elephants died of natural causes – old age and disease.

“The trend is getting worse and worse because in 2008 there were two births, but last year only one. We almost didn’t have any births last year because the baby elephant only arrived in December.”

He emphasised that if this low birth rate continued for several more years, there would be no way to save the domestic elephant. The birth rate had to rise if elephants were to continue to be part of the culture and lifestyle of the Lao people.

There are currently around 500 domesticated elephants in Laos, and ElefantAsia expressed concern these animals were ageing.

Life expectancy for elephants is about 60 years

Lucy's lawyer ignores facts

Animal rights groups take Lucy's case to court, the Journal, Feb. 2

Mr. Steve Phipps, lawyer for Lucy the elephant's defence, has a very weak case indeed. He claims that Zoocheck and PETA should have contacted the Edmonton Humane Society, that there was no written correspondence between the two bodies.

He must have been shocked to learn that all the correspondence between EHS and Zoocheck is posted on Zoocheck's website, visible for all to read.

Mr. Phipps claims that the zoo may not live up to Zoocheck's and PETA's standards, but that their standards are not the law. Again, he has missed the mark.

It's Alberta's own standards, set out in the Animal Protection Act and based on American Zoo Association standards

Protection Denied for the Pika

Federal officials have decided not to provide endangered species protections to the American pika, a tiny mountain animal thought to be struggling because of climate change. In a decision posted Thursday on its Web site, the Fish and Wildlife Service said that while some pika populations in the West were declining, others were not. The agency says Endangered Species Act protections are not warranted. The pika lives mostly in high, rocky mountain slopes in 10 Western

Panda cubs bamboozle keepers as SIXTEEN join zoo nursery in China

It's the ultimate case of panda-monium as no fewer than 16 cubs are released together in to their new nursery.

In these adorable images the tiny pandas are shown in their new home after being separated from their mothers to begin life on their

Valentine's Day treats for zoo animals

We received the following heads-up from the zoo about a fun event happening next Saturday, February 13th:

Woodland Park Zoo's animals will celebrate Valentine's Day the wild way…

Otters, red pandas, gorillas, snow leopards, and more will enjoy heart-shaped ice pops made of fruit juice, honey, strawberries and cranberries, herbal bouquets, heart-shaped steaks and more.

The special treats are part of the zookeepers' ongoing enrichment program to help enrich

Tourist Trap

A PAIR of tigers tuck into a live cow at a zoo - as tourists take snaps.

The doomed animal was CHOSEN by the holidaymakers from a menu, and served up by workers who dumped it off the back of a truck. It got to its feet unsteadily - as the beasts moved in for the kill.

Amateur photographer Chris Geddes, 31, captured the horror at the Siberian Tiger Park, in Harbin, China. He said

A Tusky Situation

Miami elephant gets dental work done

One of the Miami MetroZoo's favorite inhabitants, a 12,000-pound elephant named Dalip, had to get some tusk work done yesterday and he took it like a champ.

Elephant keepers at the zoo trimmed off about 12 inches from Dalip's ivory tusks to prevent him from

Insectarium marks 20 years

Open house this weekend features displays, mysteries and tastings

The Insectarium celebrates its 20th birthday this weekend with an open house.

Insectarium founder George Brassard will be there to sign autographs and pose for pictures. (The one-hour sessions are at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.)

Brassard's goal was to create a museum that would demystify the world of insects for children. The museum welcomes around 350,000 visitors a year and has become an important stop, with its collection of 140,000 specimens, for scientists to further their research.

"The museum has been a success since the beginning," director Anne Charpentier said.

Charpentier credited popular activities like the annual insect tastings, the release of Monarch butterflies and the magical Butterflies Go Free event for putting the Insectarium on the map, and

Queen Triggerfish Bred by Aquarium and University

Collaborative efforts result in successful captive breeding of the threatened queen triggerfish (Balistes vetula)

The New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts, and Rogers University in Bristol, Rhode Island, have teamed up to hatch and raise the world’s first captive-bred queen triggerfish (Balistes vetula).

A pair of queen triggerfish inside of the New England Aquarium’s Bahamian coral reef exhibit has been producing viable eggs since their early days in the aquarium. Although queen triggerfish lay up to 750,000 eggs every 18 to 20 days, the larvae are so small that they are difficult to feed and therefore keep alive.

The New England Aquarium and Rogers University decided to work together to hatch the queen triggerfish’s eggs. Researcher Dan Laughlin collected and transported the

Alaska OKs some exotic cats; bars chimps, sloths

Alaska is famous for wildlife: moose, bear, whales. Not capuchin monkeys and kinkajous.

And the Alaska Board of Game wants it to stay that way.

The board considers exotic pet requests every four years, and this year's petitions covered everything from allowing Alaskans to own the "organ grinder" monkeys to adding exotic cats to the list of animals people can own without a permit.

At the end of a four-day meeting this week, the vote was in: capuchins out; some of the cats in.

Chimpanzees, previously allowed

Commercial Fishing Endangers Dolphin Populations, New Study Finds

Extensive commercial fishing endangers dolphin populations in the Mediterranean. This has been shown in a new study carried out at the University of Haifa's Department of Maritime Civilizations. "Unfortunately, we turn our backs to the sea and do not give much consideration to our marine neighbors," states researcher Dr. Aviad Scheinin.

The study, which was supervised by Prof. Ehud Spanier and Dr. Dan Kerem, examined the competition between the two top predators along the Mediterranean coast of Israel: the Common Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and bottom trawlers. (Trawling is the

Whales, dolphins and porpoises suffer dramatic declines from by-catch in fishing nets

Toothed whales are currently suffering from a major threat which is unsustainable loss from by-catch in fishery operations. For 86% of all toothed whale species, entanglement and death in gillnets, traps, weirs, purse seines, longlines and trawls poses a major risk. Lack of food and forced dietary shifts due to overfishing pose additional threats to 13 species.

These are among the findings of a report launched today on the website of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (UNEP/CMS). A corresponding poster available online shows for the first time all toothed whale species sorted according to their conservation status as defined by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

This encyclopaedia on all 72 species of toothed whales includes the most recent scientific findings on the distribution, migration, behaviour and threats to this group of whales. Maps showing the currently known distribution of each species were provided by IUCN and the Global Mammal Assessment.

UNEP/CMS Executive Secretary Elizabeth Mrema said: "During the International Year of Biodiversity, the Convention on Migratory Species continues to address major threats such as by-catch, ship strikes, ocean noise impacts and climate change to safeguard these charismatic marine mammals. Governments need to enhance their efforts towards implementing targeted action plans under the Convention. "

Toothed whales occur in a wide range of marine and freshwater habitats, from the Arctic to the tropics. Some species live in large river systems

Solomons dolphin release 'obnoxious publicity stunt'

Chris Porter has drawn much controversy over the years for his business of exporting dolphins from Solomon Islands, but now he says he is prepared to make a change and release 17 dolphins into the wild.

He has invited one of his biggest

Denmark teen passage to manhood: kill innocent dolphins for sport

To be considered a man in the Faroe Islands, part of Denmark and Greenland: it is a ritual requirement to kill dolphins and other small cetaceans.

The whole town turns out to watch the slaughter. Children are kept home from school, so they can line the bloody shores and watch the brutality. They listen to the cries of wounded and suffering dolphins as if it were all a part of the festival atmosphere that residents claim proudly as their

Koala removal stumps wildlife park owner

The owner of the Waterways Wildlife Park, on the Oxley Highway near Gunnedah, says she does not know why the RSPCA has removed her entire population of koalas.

Three inspectors, a national parks ranger, two veterinarians and a film crew arrived at the park, home to more than 100 native animals, on Wednesday morning.

Six hours later they left with eight§ion=news

Indonesia Confiscates Five Pet Tigers

The Ministry of Forestry has confiscated five tigers from a private residence outside Jakarta where they were kept for nearly 20 years, said a senior official on Friday.

“We discovered that there were five tigers, two adult tigers and three cubs, based on people’s information,” said Awriya Ibrahim, director of forest protection at the ministry. “Unfortunately, we still need to run DNA tests to discover what species these tigers belong to because different species would mean different handling.”

Critically-endangered Sumatran tigers are protected by Indonesia’s conservation law, but Bengal tigers would require action under international law, he explained.

No matter the species, it is illegal own wild animals without a permit, Awriya added.

The alleged owner of the tigers, Kusbanu Hadisumarto, told local news media that the animals were Bengal tigers he had gotten from Taman Safari Indonesia wildlife park in the 1990s to breed at his home in Rempoa, Tangerang.

While the Bengal tiger is the world’s most populous, it is still endangered. The wildlife organization WWF estimates its wild population at 1,850. Tigers around the world are threatened by habitat loss and poaching.

Awriya said the tigers will be ‘staying the night’ at Kusbanu’s
From The Blog -

Three cheetahs escape from Christchurch park

Bristol Zoo Gardens reveals its top 10 endangered species

19th Annual Conference of the International Society for Anthrozoology

'Hook,' Founder Father of the Captive Iberian Lynx Population Dies

The 5th Australasian Training and Conditioning Workshop

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

Orangutans and Palm Oil


Wild Animals, Domesticated Humans: The Zoo in Modern Society

Through interviews with exhibit curators, zoo representatives, and zoo enthusiasts the goals and challenges of these facilities are explored with inter-cut footage of zoo patrons and animals in the exhibits.


Wildlife Middle East News Vol 4 Issue 3

December 2009

Vol 4 Issue 3 Contents


Captive-breeding of Arabian Leopard Panthera pardus nimr in the

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Hunting: an extinction threat to Middle East's most threatened bird

Summary of the monitoring of the efficacy of newborn treatments in

ruminants at Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation (AWWP)

Changes in the distribution, abundance and status of Arabian Sand

Gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa marica) in Saudi Arabia: A review

Haematology and Biochemistry Blood Parameters of juvenile Hawksbill

turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata)

Senyar: A rescue team for the marine environment of Kuwait

What’s new in the literature

AZA Gruiformes TAG 2009. Kori Bustard (Ardeotis kori) Care Manual

Review - The UV Guide UK – Enthusiasts Further Scientific

Understanding of the Role of UV Light in Reptile Husbandry

Download PDF from here:


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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Wishing you a wonderful week,

Peter Dickinson


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