Monday, February 8, 2010

Zoo News Digest 6th - 8th February 2010 (Zoo News 647)

Zoo News Digest 6th - 8th February 2010 (Zoo News 647)

Peter Dickinson
Dear Colleagues,

The story which really made my blood boil this week was the one about the EU:

"the European Parliament proposes getting round measures to limit the use of biofuels from deforested land by classifying dense plantations as “forests”, thus pretending that no destruction has taken place. “This means,” it says frankly, “that a change from forest to oil farm plantation would not per se constitute a breach....."

This is so wrong, so underhand, so evil, so sneaky, so evil that it actually made me feel sick. It made me ashamed. I have been ashamed a lot lately. Not about anything I have done but by being British with our corrupt unapologetic MP's. Now the EU...I am now ashamed of being a European. These people obviously do not give a toss about wildlife. All they think about is lining the pockets of the big boys.

I like jellyfish and jelly fish displays. Most collections limit themselves to between one and three species. I was excited to learn of the new multi million yuan jellyfish aquarium in Nanjing where they are displaying "dozens of categories". Not that I will ever get the chance to visit but it is nice to know that there is somewhere concentrating on them. I was lucky enough to get to see the behind the scenes jellyfish breeding unit in Dalian, China a few years ago. Fascinating, complicated, fiddly and exciting.

I see that Dalian is in the news this week. Not the Pole Aquarium where I was working but the Forest Zoo. The Forest Zoo is very large and spread over a wide area. There is the old zoo which I drove through a couple of times and the modern 'new zoo'. This is very well done and managed and is better than many a UK collection. My biggest surprise about this place was that it was paid for by a Filipino millionaire. I continue to wonder why he did not spend the money on improving the facilities in some of the appalling Philippine zoos. I say some, but not all. I note that Prof. Gordon McGregor-Reid will be visiting Bacolod and Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation Inc later this month. I hope that he likes the place. The difference between this collection and Chester Zoo is so immense that it is probably not measureable. That said NFEFI remains in my top ten of all the zoos I have visited. Not because of biggest, rarest, newest or flashiest but because they care and on a very limited budget do their very best for conservation, education, research...and more.

Sticking with the Philippines I note that a huge confiscation of poached wildlife has been put in the hands of Davao Crocodile Park. I do hope that they are able to cope because there was an awful lot of animals jammed away in far from adequate off show facilities when I visited a couple of years ago. It would seem that the only reason that the animals were put here was because there was nowhere else. NFEFI would have been my first choice although they would be pushed for space as well. As far as Davoa Crocodile Park goes it isn't too bad. It is for the most part modern and brick built and there is an element of crocodilian conservation but they let themselves down so badly, so very very very badly with the Davao Crocodile Park Roadshow in Manila. This is the major flaw with most commercial collections. If they can get away with it they will. Money wins over providing adequate care and facilities every time and animals get the worst part of any deal.

Why I wonder did the Elmvale Zoo see it as a wise idea to send White Tigers to Ho Chi Minh city zoo. According to the few square inches in the newspaper these animals (rare) are there to promote the year of the tiger. As white tigers have absolutely no conservation role to play all they are doing is taking up space in an Asian Zoo that could be taken up with an Asian Tiger species that actually needs saving. I note that Binh Duong imported a pair at the same time. Mind you that doesn't surprise me because they already have a pair of White Lions. I would not be in the slightest bit surprised that their original importation of White Rhino was based on the White name rather than knowledge of the square lip.

I see the unfortunate Giraffe at Mountain View Conservation Centre died. The photograph of the overgrown hoof was terrible. I am told their was a bit of video footage doing the rounds as well which looked even worse. What I would really like to know is why it was allowed to get into such a state? Not an excuse, but a statement of fact. I am only too aware that these things can happen anywhere or to anyone and anything but there is one too many disasters taking place.

South Lakes Wild Animal Park 'Day for Dads' made me smile. It is actually a great idea and I wouldn't knock it. More zoos should do the same. However my smile was based around the idea that David should actually have a 'Day for Dad David' as he is rapidly extending is number of progeny.

Not sure about climate change? The last link in this digest comes from Florida. I believe that 70 dead crocodiles, 60 dead manatees and the biggest number of fish deaths in modern history speaks louder than words or statistics.

It has been an unusual week. Why? Because it is the first week in a long time, a very long time that I have not recieved an abusive, insulting or threatening email. In fact the opposite happened. I was sent a donation to which the sender added a note "My pleasure. Not that I have any time these days to read your digest (as much as it saddens me), however I find it important to support the initiative." Very nice. A boost to the morale. Ah well. I am bound to have upset somebody today so things will get back to normal.

Please post in comments below if you feel so inclined.

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Jellyfish aquarium opens in Nanjing

This jellyfish lives in a newly-opened aquarium in Nanjing city, east China's Jiangsu province. Nanjing invested 8 million yuan in the aquarium, which showcases thousands of jellyfish belonging to dozens of categories. All photos taken on January 28, 2010

Ill. zoo seeks elephant despite opposition

Officials at a zoo in the Chicago suburb of Brookfield, Ill., say they are seeking an elephant to serve as a companion to their African elephant, Joyce.

The Chicago Tribune said Friday while animal rights groups have openly opposed keeping elephants on display, the Brookfield Zoo is attempting to add another of the large mammals to its collection.

Carol Sodaro, Brookfield Zoo's associate curator of mammals, said elephants "are very social animals that live in large herds, with strong bonds and long social relationships with other elephants in the herd. It is important for them to interact with other elephants."

In an attempt to locate a companion for

Giraffe at animal-conservation centre dies during hoof-trimming; charges likely

The B.C. SPCA is preparing animal cruelty charges after Jerome the giraffe died during a hoof trimming procedure at a Fort Langley animal-conservation centre on Friday afternoon.

The young male giraffe had lived at the Mountain View Conservation Centre, which the SPCA has been investigating for animal cruelty and neglect, for several months. A number of current and former employees first told The Province in December that animals are dying and suffering at Mountain View because of lack of veterinary care.

Jerome had overgrown hoofs and the SPCA made an order for them to be trimmed back in November, but the zoo did not have the proper equipment in place for the procedure, SPCA animal protection officer Eileen Drever said.

Jerome died Friday afternoon while sedated for

A $2.55 elephant encounter in Thailand

A Thai center plucks dozens of the animals from brutal labor camps and shelters them in a tranquil setting while offering interaction with visitors. You might get close enough to hear them purr.

Reporting from Lampang Province, Thailand - It was, unquestionably, the best $2.55 I've ever spent on vacation.

For less than the cost of a Double Whopper, I spent a day in the company of 55 whoppers -- domesticated Asian elephants being rehabbed after lives of labor. No chains, no enclosures, often no distance at all from behemoths within touching range.

For an animal lover like me, it was a pachyderm paradise for the price of peanuts.

As for the elephants, it was probably just another routine day at the 300-acre Elephant Conservation Center in northern Thailand. As part of their schedule, the elephants performed in 45-minute shows that displayed their former tasks, such as hauling logs, and newfound skills, which include painting abstract art that has sold for thousands,0,1024635.story

A giant-sized fascination with whales

English author Philip Hoare won the Samuel Johnson Prize last year for his book "Leviathan, or The Whale." His new book is "The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Deep" (Ecco Books, 2010, $27.99), and he will give a reading from it tonight at 7 at Cornerstone Books in Salem.

He spoke with The Salem News recently about his books and his fascination with whales.

How did you become interested in whales?

My whole awareness really boils down to the start of the first "love the whale" campaign, which included Roger Payne's recording of "The Song of the Humpback Whale." I heard that in the early '70s.

The first whale I ever saw was a killer whale in a tank in the Windsor Safari Park. It was really very thrilling for a young boy. But its dorsal fin had flopped over and become detumescent; that was a symbol of its state. I went home and painted it in my journal. I found that journal again recently.

So that's a very public and a very personal experience. It seems like your book is always reconciling, or steering between these two elements.

In the same way that (Herman) Melville tries to come to terms with his physical experience of the whale, trying to fill in the gaps. Through the whole of "Moby-Dick," he calls the whale a fish. He knows it's not a fish; he's playing with these ideas. And I'm playing with our conceptions of what whales are, what whales represent to us, the perceived notions. I'm demythologizing those. The whale as both a new age symbol and a source of ecological fret.

Are you critical of the way we attribute qualities to whales?

I take all these things on, and I give them credence. "Charismatic megafauna" —biologists use that term deploringly of Joe Public who gets carried away with big game and whales instead of, say, microbes, something more authentically "scientific," implying that we're imbeciles for falling for these whales.

I've been accused of anthropomorphizing whales. But that's the only way to talk about these things. We can't know what a sperm whale does with that large brain; we have to imagine it. Even the terms we have for them, "sperm" and "right" whales, we're trying

Bills aimed at wild animal sanctuaries

Proposed legislation allowing in-county inspectors to do checkups of sanctuaries holding dangerous animals has been introduced by two state lawmakers from Roane County.

While the bills have statewide application, state Sen. Ken Yager, R-Harriman, said they were filed with Roane County's Tiger Haven in mind.

Yager said residents of East Roane County and County Commissioner Ray Cantrell contacted him to express ongoing concerns about the big cat sanctuary.

Neighbors are worried about the possibility of big cats escaping and have gripes about loud growls and roars, Cantrell said.

"Residents continue to contact me quite often," he said. "They

Turtle meat price soars

The new managing director of the Turtle Farm has made his first major decision, which will see the cost of turtle meat triple in price. In a written statement issued on Friday evening, Timothy Adam, who has been in post less than two weeks, said the business now needs to raise the selling price on turtle meat to reflect the true cost of production and maintenance of the Cayman Turtle Farm facilities. From Monday, 8 February, turtle steak will cost CI$27.00 per pound, three times its current price. Recognizing the cultural significance of the meat, the new MD and the board said they were committed to doing what it takes to protect the future of the farm.

According to the statement, the price of the turtle stew will rise from CI$5.40 per pound to CI$16.00 per pound, turtle menavelin will rise from CI$4.00 per pound to CI$12.00 per pound, and the bone from CI$2.00 per pound to CI$6.00.

Calicia Burke, Marketing Manager at the farm, said that farmed turtle meat is one of the rarest forms of food as it is found only in the Cayman Islands and only from the Cayman Turtle Farm. "Our farm avoids the need for any green sea turtles to be taken from the wild by the general public. Our aim is to continue facilitating conservation and

British zoo official to visit NFEFI

Prof. Gordon McGregor-Reid, chief executive officer of the North of England Zoological Society, will visit the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation Inc., in Bacolod City Feb. 13.

The Society also operates Chester Zoo, one of the largest in Europe, and one of the leading wildlife attractions in Britain with 1.3 million visitors a year, a press release from NFEFI trustee Robert Harland said yesterday.

The Society owns 150 hectares of land with about 50 ha developed to date. The collection currently includes about 7,000 animals of about different 500 species – half

Detroit Zoo welcomes hundreds of rescued animals

The Detroit Zoo welcomed hundreds of rescued animals Thursday night from among the nearly 27,000 animals seized Dec. 15 by federal authorities from an exotic-animal importing firm in Texas — in what animal experts have said was the largest exotic animal rescue effort in U.S. history.

Their arrival followed a judge’s ruling that the animals were mistreated and will not be returned to U.S. Global Exotics, zoo spokesman Patricia Janeway said.

“We are providing sanctuary for many of the exotic mammals,” including five wallabies, four sloths, three agoutis, two ring-tailed lemurs and two coatis, as well as hundreds of reptiles, spiders and amphibians, Janeway said today.

In addition, the Detroit Zoo is helping to place hundreds more animals in other accredited zoos and sanctuaries throughout the country, she said.

The zoo played a key role in the rescue, Janeway added.

Several curators and supervisors from

Gorilla's Return To Family Going Well, Zoo Keepers Say

Omaha zoo officials are in the process of reintroducing a nearly 7-month-old gorilla to his family group since recovering from a broken arm.

Hadari broke his arm three weeks after his birth. Since then, zoo keepers have worked for six months to rehabilitate him.

During that time, Hadari was cared for around the clock by keepers, who also made a special vest to stimulate the mother's hair and to teach Hadari how to grasp and hold onto the mother.

With a successful rehab under their belts, zoo keepers then had to focus on the reintroduction, which carries its own dangers. Zoo keepers

Dalton Zoo boss organises special day for dads

South Lakes Wild Animal Park is set to host a special day for all fathers who have been separated from their children, either with contact orders or forced separation.

The awareness day takes place on July 18 and park officials expect a guaranteed audience of around 4,000 people.

Signatures for a petition to help the campaign will be collected throughout the whole summer at the park, which will be presented to a senior government minister after the event.

There will be special offers for fathers who have difficulties seeing their children after a relationship breakdown. Zoo boss David Gill wants to encourage as many dads as possible to attend and highlight their cause.

Mr Gill said: “The fathers are very often the losers and children are often the losers when a relationship breaks down.

“It is a very serious and a very emotional

Skink rescue plan launched

A select group of grand skinks living in the Lindis Pass is at the centre of a Department of Conservation breeding programme to preserve the endangered New Zealand lizard species.

Six juvenileskinks were recently recovered from the Lindis area by a team of Doc rangers.

Doc captive breeding specialist Lesley Judd said the skinks would enable a breeding programme for the endangered grand and Otago skink populations to broaden their gene base.

"Grand skinks are on an extinction knife-edge.

In the Lindis area they are

Changing views: What's ahead for zoos?

Mix giraffes, wild horses, sanctuaries and American culture together in a big pot and you are likely to stir up quite a kettle of opinion. All have been in the news recently.

The latest ingredient in the stew was the demise of two giraffes at the Tulsa Zoo. One was delivered to the Tulsa Zoo with a badly bent neck. So much for travel accommodations for wild animals. Another died in a barn where it had been placed during extremely cold weather. So much for storage accommodations.

The idea of a sanctuary for wild animals has added to a growing debate on how our American culture will treat animals. In some quarters, the role of a zoo has become part of the debate.

Putting animals on display was an ancient custom. They symbolized the power of conquest. These displays evolved into zoos. It was not uncommon for the zoos and traveling shows of times past to include some human "freaks" displayed in cages. In time the idea of caging people fell into disfavor. Our culture retained the idea of caged animals.

There are some regulations that govern the caging of animals but they are rather loose and most of them protect the captors rather than the captives. There are some regulations that cover capture and transportation of wild animals. The main change has been the way the zoos and marine parks have positioned themselves to the public. They are now agents for "species preservation and public education." Some zoos refer to their exhibits as "living classrooms." The physical appearance of the zoo has been refined with components of nature such as boulders, trees and water.

A new study funded by the Science Foundation and conducted by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is being promoted as evidence that zoo and aquarium visits produce long-term effects on

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo partners with Pensacola college to train future keepers

On a recent day a group of Pensacola Junior College students gathered around a table for the day's lesson: how to castrate and remove the antlers from a white-tailed deer.

As a pair of tigers tussled and growled in the background, participants in the school's zoo animal technology program watched as a local veterinarian performed the procedures on the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo's recently acquired buck.

The 15 students will spend two days a week at the Gulf Shores zoo during the spring and fall semesters as part of their studies toward two-year degrees. The lessons range from feeding and training animals at the nonprofit park to cleaning up cages and pens.

"We are all really flattered that they would do their hands-on at the zoo," said Zoo Director Patti Hall.

(Press-Register/Ryan Dezember)Pensacola Junior College zoo animal technology student Haley O'Donovan listens to the heart beat of a white-tailed deer that has just been given a vasectomy and had its antlers removed at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. The program began in 1996 and had long sent its students to a zoo in Gulf Breeze, Fla. But when that zoo closed last summer Pensacola Junior College approached

AVMA supports push to increase zoo and wildlife vets

New federal legislation aimed at increasing the number of zoo and wildlife veterinarians has gained the support of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The Wildlife and Zoological Veterinary Medicine Enhancement Act, introduced Jan. 21, aims to create funded positions for zoo and wildlife veterinarians in both clinical and research settings. It also has implications for student loan and curriculum issues affecting students who specialize in zoo and wildlife studies.

“This is absolutely needed, says AVMA Chief Executive Officer W. Ron DeHaven. “If passed, this legislation will strengthen curriculum in our veterinary schools. It will create opportunities for our veterinary graduates

Internet site support for Durrell

About 4,000 people have joined an internet group that supports the work of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.

Membership to "Save Jersey Zoo" has grown rapidly since redundancies were announced at the trust.

The group, on the social networking website Facebook, says it is for people who want to help the trust in Jersey survive and grow.

It is also calling for government

How much to save a species?

4,000 toads kept in zoos as scientists hatch plan to return them to native river

This is a story about a waterfall, the World Bank and 4,000 homeless toads.

Maybe the story will have a happy ending, and the bright-golden spray toads, each so small it could sit easily on a dime, will return to the African gorge where they once lived, in the spray of a waterfall on the Kihansi River in Tanzania.

The river is dammed now, courtesy of the bank. The waterfall is 10 per cent of what it was. And the toads are now extinct in the wild.

But 4,000 of them live in the Bronx and Toledo, Ohio, where scientists at the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Toledo Zoo are keeping them alive in hopes, somehow, of returning them to the wild.

Meanwhile, though, the toads embody the larger conflicts between conservation and economic development and the complexity of trying to preserve and restore endangered species to the wild. Their story also raises questions about how much effort should go to save any one species.

These issues are particularly pressing for frogs, toads and other amphibians, whose populations are plunging worldwide in the face of factors like habitat loss, climate change and disease. Jennifer B. Pramuk, the curator of herpetology at the Bronx Zoo. said at least 120 species vanished in recent years.

"It's probably much higher than that," said Pramuk, a leader in the toad effort. "There are areas of South A

For sale: Gaza zoo where the zebras were not all they seemed

Israeli blockade leaves animals starving and owners with no choice but to sell up

An emaciated lion, a hyperactive camel, and the only "zebra" in Palestine – this unusual assortment of animals could soon be yours. Mahra Land, a ramshackle zoo in Gaza, is now on the market.

The zoo made headlines last year when its owners engineered, not with genetics, but black paint, a pair of "zebras" out of two donkeys. TV reports showed delighted local children patting, slapping and even riding the docile if exotic looking creatures. The donkeys replaced two real zebras that starved to death during Israel's three-week war on the Gaza Strip last year.

But six months after acquiring global stardom, one "zebra" has died, and the owners, no longer able to meet the costs of feeding their menagerie under Israel's illegal economic siege of Gaza, are being forced to sell up.

In their darkened office – electricity cuts are a daily occurrence because Gaza's power plant keeps running out of fuel – Mohammed

Roxbury's Schaller talks of the need for conservation

More than a half-century ago, George Schaller went to the northern regions of Alaska and discovered a space he still speaks of with awe.

"You can hike there for a week and never meet another person,'' he said of the 30,000-square-mile Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. "It's America's last great wilderness.''

He returned there in the past few years and found, to his delight, the landscape where he once camped and studied remains unchanged.

"The place is the same,'' he said, speaking at Roxbury Town Hall to a standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 people last Sunday. His talk was sponsored

Animals not being abused, says zoo caretaker

Do not blindly accuse people of mishandling tigers or taking advantage of them, said Saleng Zoo caretaker and animal trainer J. Siva Priyan.

Siva explained that this was the year thatzoos which had tigers could educate and acquire enough money to take care of the animals themselves.

It is very expensive to feed these tigers and the Year of the Tiger allows us to raise funds to take care of them, he said.

He explained that not all zoos or parks that have been promoting tigers were abusing them.

“We are animal lovers, too,” he said, adding that each tiger consumes about six kilogrammes of meat a day.

Siva said that if complainants had proof of abuse or exploitation, they should report it to the relevant authorities.

In Malacca, keepers of the tigers at A’Famosa

EU raises biofuel threat to rainforests

Talk about having your oilcake and eating it. The European Commission wants to use a scandalous sleight of hand to justify felling tropical rainforests to make way for oil palm plantations that would produce biofuels.

A leaked document from the Commission to ministers and the European Parliament proposes getting round measures to limit the use of biofuels from deforested land by classifying dense plantations as “forests”, thus pretending that no destruction has taken place. “This means,” it says frankly, “that a change from forest to oil farm plantation would not per se constitute a breach of the

Ladakh: Chasing the snow leopard

She wasn't visible at first. Then she moved, rippling silently down a gully of rocks and padding straight up to us. This was Uncia uncia, the snow leopard, one of the most endangered species on Earth and one of the most beautiful. She was certainly the most captivating creature I have ever seen: fur like mist, pale jade eyes, the regal and remote air of a monarch whose realm is the roof of the

Quentin Bloxam retires after 44 years at Durrell

After over 44 years, Durrell’s Director of Conservation Science, Quentin Bloxam, retires today. He’ll miss the animals, staff and the banter but he hopes to be able to continue helping Durrell’s work where he can.

An important part of Quentin’s role at the Trust has always been to help develop its overseas work, and some of his favourite memories are of sitting quietly in the forests of Madagascar, watching animals. Now he’s relieved of the pressure of gathering data, he hopes to have more moments like this as he travels more

'Year of the Tiger' will see drive to save rare mountain species

TAKING TURNS to act as human ploughs, Liang Jianmin and his tiger survey team forge through mile after mile of knee-deep snow in the mountain forests near China’s frozen mountain border with Siberia.

From dawn to dusk they track, looking for droppings, paw prints, bark scratchings, scraps of fur caught on twigs and fences, any sign that the Amur tiger – the biggest cat species in the world – is still alive in the wilds of China.

Elsewhere in Hunchun, other teams scour the slopes and valleys near the North Korean border, while in Russia, zoologists and conservation groups trudge through the taiga forest with the same goal: measuring the scale of the challenge facing the most ambitious effort yet to save the endangered predator.

Next week, China will start the year of the tiger with fireworks, feasting and a new drive by the government, the World Bank and conservation groups to halt the decline of Asia’s most powerful wildlife symbol.

Since the last tiger year, in 1998, the worldwide

Ringling Bros.' baby circus elephant, Barack, fighting deadly virus

Elephant calf named Barack pulled from circus lineup

The first Asian elephant born as a result of artificial insemination at a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus facility has been pulled from the circus lineup after he became infected with a potentially deadly herpes virus.

The 1-year-old calf, Barack, is being treated for elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV), a disease that has killed several Asian elephants in zoos across the continent in the past three decades. He and his mother were taken off the traveling unit two weeks ago and sent to Ringling's Center for Elephant Conservation in Polk City, about 40 miles southwest of Orlando. The duo had made a brief appearance at the Orlando Amway Arena last month during the circus' "Greatest Show on Earth."

Barack is expected to survive, said veterinarian Dennis Schmitt, chairman of veterinary services and director of research for Ringling. The calf, named for the president because he was born on the eve of Barack Obama's inau,0,3618431.story

Davao police rescue 330 wildlife species in raid

Authorities have rescued 330 endangered species of birds, reptiles and mammals following a raid in Bunawan district, some 21 kilometers from the city proper. Arrested during the raid were eight smugglers, including an Indonesian national.

Joint operatives of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) placed the total value of species, allegedly shipped from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, at around P3.2 million.

Among the rescued birds were Palm Cockatoos valued at P50,000 each; Birds of Paradise valued at P75,000 each; Black Lories selling for P18,000 each; Yellow-crested Cockatoos and Black-caped Lories at P15,000 each, among others.

On Friday, authorities formally sued suspected smugglers identified as Mike and Felina Artucilla, Catalino Gabrinto, Jose Marie Justan, Warren Aguilar, Roger Abria, Menira Maulana and the Indonesian Billy Kawekes before the City Prosecution Office for violation of Republic Act (RA) 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

The rescued animals were turned over to the Davao Crocodile Park, owned by Dizon Agro Industrial, Inc., for custody and safekeeping because the regional environment office does not have an available wildlife center to house rescued animals. Davao Crocodile Park is a registered

HCM City displays white tigers

The two white tigers are two years old, around 100kg in weight, and were transported to HCM City from the Elmvale Zoo in Canada earlier this year. They have quickly become familiar to their new living environment in Vietnam.

Previously, Dai Nam Van Hien park in Binh Duong province also imported a pair of white tigers, an extremely rare species, to promote tourism.

White Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) mainly live in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Bhutan.

Cold took heavy toll on Florida wildlife

January's cold took a heavy toll on Everglades plants and animals. In the case of the pythons, that's a good thing.

Despite four decades of slogging through Everglades marshes and mangroves, wildlife ecologist Frank Mazzotti had never experienced anything like the aftermath of frigid January. The confirmed casualty count so far:

. At least 70 dead crocodiles.

• More than 60 manatee carcasses.

• A bright-side observance of multiple frozen-stiff Burmese pythons, the scourge of the Everglades.

And also, perhaps the biggest fish kill in modern Florida history.

``What we witnessed was a major ecological disturbance event equal to a fire or a hurricane,'' said Mazzotti, a University of Florida associate professor. ``A lot of things have happened that nobody has seen before in Florida.''

The cold was simply brutal on many tropical plants and animals. Toxic iguana-sicles dropping into the mouths of unfortunate pooches was only the tip of the iceberg that descended for two weeks on South Florida.

While scientists are still surveying losses, it's already clear that the record chill wiped out shallow corals in the Keys and devastated manatees. A preliminary assessment

From The Blog -

Compassionate Conservation: Animal Welfare in Conservation Practice - International Symposium

Less Than 50 Wild Tigers Remain in China

15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties

Tiger Temple - Another Opinion

Taman Safari Denies Tigers Came From Them

EU Madness Condemns Species to Extinction

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.


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