Saturday, April 17, 2010

Zoo News Digest 12th - 17th April 2010 (Zoo News 665)

Zoo News Digest 12th - 17th April 2010 (Zoo News 665)

Dear Colleagues,

It is sad to learn about the tragic death of anybody and the world is full of it. I was especially saddened though to learn about the keeper shot dead in Dusit Zoo. A senseless pointless death. My condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

I am sure that the idea of Lego animals within a zoo is a good idea especially if educational and making a point. However my initial read of the story made my skin crawl as I thought back to the loss of Windsor Safari Park.

Without intending to be picky but Al Ain Wildlife Park (zoo) has held Black Backed Jackals in the past.

I found the story of the fish vending machine of interest. I have seen a couple before and heard of others. The Japanese one looks a much more professional affair. It will be interesting to know how how it works out long term. I'm none too sure how something would work today in the over PC U.K.

Something is afoot in the White Oak Plantation. Rumours filtering out. Does anyone care to elaborate?

Just when I thought it safe to go back into the water (so to speak) and my surgeon tells me I need another biopsy. This one scheduled for the 28th. It just goes on and on and on and on.

Lastly, if you have not seen the other posts on the blog since I mailed out the last Digest please take a look.

Looking for a job?  Several new vacancies posted in recent days.

Please post in comments below if you feel so inclined.

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On with links:

Dusit Zoo's wildlife suffer from rallies
Street rallies in Bangkok are affecting the wildlife at Dusit Zoo, which houses more than 2,000 animals.
The zoo, which is close to the Royal Plaza and parliament where protesters have been gathering, recently relocated 14 animals to provincial zoos.
Three elephants, two cranes, six red kangaroos and three wallabies were moved last month.
The elephants were moved to Songkhla Zoo, while the other animals were sent to Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo.
"We normally relocate animals whose cages are close to Uthong Noi Road, which is close to the gathering site of various protest groups," said Karnchai Saenwong, director of Dusit Zoo.
"Animals that are in other zones will not be moved as they are not much affected by the rallies. We moved them for their own safety. They also may be affected by tear gas if it is used to disperse the protesters." When the situation returned to normal, the animals would be moved back to Dusit Zoo.
Protests by the anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship have caused the number of zoo visitors to drop by almost 90%, said Mr Karnchai.
In March last year, 2,000 to 6,000 people visited the zoo a day. Last month, there were only 1,000 visitors a day.
"We are not worried about losing money, but we are worried about the safety of our animals and visitors should any unexpected incident occur," said the zoo director.
Dusit Zoo was also affected badly when yellow shirt demonstrators led by

'Cute' mate for Delhi Zoo's female gibbon
After a long wait, a 20 something female hoolock gibbon in Delhi Zoo has finally got a mate in five-year-old 'Cute' which arrived here from Itanagar a fortnight ago.
Rescued from Delo village in Lower Dibang Valley district in the Northeast region about two years back, Cute will help authorities in undertaking the species breeding conservation programme.
"Delhi's lone female hoolok gibbon was without a mate for a last few years and arrival of 'Cute' is the outcome of intensive efforts by authorities as per zoo policy which states that no captive animal should be without a partner," says Delhi Zoo director Anand Krishna.
Hoolock gibbon, which falls under

Gorilla's On The Brink

See Bristol Zoo's WebCam by clicking HERE

Gorillas to have new pad at Werribee Zoo
Bachelor gorillas will have a new pad this summer at Werribee Open Range Zoo.
The state government is kicking in $1.5 million towards a new exhibit that will initially house the silverback male Motaba and his two young sons, Yakini and Ganyeka. It will include more males once they are old enough.
"Motaba has already sired five young, so the silverback Rigo has been introduced to the zoo's family group with a view to breeding with the four females," Environment Minister Gavin Jennings said.
"Gorilla family groups are polygamous in nature with only one silverback breeding male in the group at a time."
Mr Jennings said construction of the exhibit was expected to start mid-year and be completed during summer.
"The new exhibit will be located on

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Lego Artisan Creates Endangered Species for Zoo
With the precarious state of ecosystems throughout the world today, it is difficult to know for certain which threatened species will continue to be around for future generations - and which will have gone the way of the Dodo. But as sobering of a legacy that may be, it is increasingly important to raise awareness of these fading animals early and often to the children of today, whose attitudes and actions as adults may determine the fate of the planet's biodiversity. So, with that in mind, one zoo is educating its young visitors

PHOTOS: Girrrrrrl power helps tame the wild beasts at Naples Zoo
Everybody laughed at Cindy Hall when she first said she wanted to become a zoo keeper.
“I remember being 5 years old. We found a baby bunny with a broken leg and took it to the vet,” said Hall, who grew up in Maysville, Ky. “They asked me what I wanted to be and I said a veterinarian or a zoo keeper. I couldn’t pronounce ‘veterinarian’ and I didn’t really know what a zoo keeper was.”
Now the 15-year-veteran zoo keeper is one of 14 female zoo keepers working at the Naples Zoo. Her job includes feeding alligators, giving public lectures on wildlife and training ocelots — a wild cat indigenous to Central and South America. Hall said it’s more

Chinese zoo leaves tigers outside sports centre over land dispute
Two tigers and a lion are the latest victims of land theft in China to take their grievances to the streets.
The big cats, each in its own individual cage, have taken up positions in front of a sports centre next door to their home in Zhengzhou City Zoo, in central Henan province, to press for the return of land borrowed 26 years ago.
On a fence dividing the zoo from the sports centre hangs a banner reading: “Return our 50 mu of land, return the greenery to the people.”
The long-running dispute between the zoo and the sports centre came to a head after it emerged that there were no plans to return the land. Instead, the borrowed land was to be developed into a street of bars and

The curious case of the Kiwi hedgehog
Hugh Warwick was a vocal opponent of the cull of hedgehogs on the Scottish islands known as the Outer Hebrides. However, in this week's Green Room, he argues that sometimes there are compelling reasons to support a cull.
Killing hedgehogs is wrong, isn't it? The public outcry against the cull of hedgehogs in the Outer Hebrides was intense.
So why am I, a devoted fan who helped end the cull of Hebridean hedgehogs, finding it hard to argue against the killing of hedgehogs in New Zealand?
The reason begins back in the mid-19th Century. In retrospect, what happened seems a little foolish. No, more than that, it seems barking mad. New Zealand is still cleaning up the mess that arrived thanks to the 1861 Animal Acclimatization Act.
The Act enabled the establishment of Acclimatization Societies to help ease the pains of being so far from home. There were some pretty obvious species that were shipped

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Government to move Laxmi, Anarkali out of Byculla zoo
Nearly 15 days after Laxmi killed an unidentified man at the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan in Byculla, the state government has decided to shift the elephant and her zoo mate, Anarkali, to the custody of the forest department.

Some people should not be allowed to keep animals and others should not be allowed within a hundred yards of them

Asia’s biggest zoo beckons tourists
Area-wise it is Asia’s biggest Zoo and is named after the Lord of Seven Hills. Spread over an area of 2,212 hectares of natural forest, Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park is all geared up to entertain the summer visitors.
It boasts of a wide variety of animals including 75 species of animals, birds and reptiles. In all, there are 1,008 animals. Unlike other zoos, SV Zoo Park has been developed on a mythological theme. It highlights the role of wild animals in mythology. SV Zoo Park, which has not witnessed any notable development since its inception in 1987, is now adding feather after feather to its tail, after P Ramachandra Reddy, who hails from the district, took over as Forest and Environment Minister.
Earlier, the visitors used to return from the zoo with pale faces, as they were not only dissatisified but also tired, with going round the zoo on foot. Though private vehicles are allowed inside the premises for a price, after paying the entry ticket, majority of the people are not in a state to hire the vehicles and are left with no option but to walk. But, the introduction of a train and battery-operated golf carts enable the visitors to round up the entire zoo and watch all the species only for a marginal charge of Rs 20 per a person.
Some of the salient features of zoo are the recently introduced Lion Safari. The beautiful and colourful winged associates of man, the birds, do have befitting place in the zoo and they include Pelicans, Ducks, Parakeets, Macaws, Peacocks, etc..
The creation of herbivores safari, ropeway, mono rail and others are on

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Spring is in the air for Vienna zoo's pandas
Hopes are high in Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo that the patter of tiny bear paws could be heard soon after its two pandas, Yang Yang and Long Hui, mated twice this week, the zoo said Tuesday.
Schoenbrunn already made history when Fu Long, Europe's first panda to be naturally conceived in captivity, was born there in August 2007.
Coupling of pandas in captivity is extremely difficult, since females are only fertile three or four days a year.
But the arrival of spring in the Austrian capital this year appears to have also set the hearts aflutter of Yang Yang and Long Hui, who mated twice on Monday, the zoo said in a statement.
The panda pair even chose the same place in their pen as last time for their mating, the statement said.
"Now, we have to be patient and see if we're going to have a new birth in three or six months' time," the zoo's experts said.
With pandas, a pregnancy can last between

Endangered species stamp celebrates Scottish wildcat
The Scottish wildcat is featuring on a new stamp which aims to highlight the plight of endangered animals in the UK.
Experts believe there could be as few as 400 wildcats left in the wild, making it even rarer than the Bengal tiger.
The survival of the wildcat, also known as the Highland tiger, is threatened by interbreeding with domestic cats.
Dr David Hetherington, of Cairngorms Wildcat Project, said the "iconic" animal was now seriously endangered.
But he added: "If everyone pulls together, for example by making sure their pet cats are neutered and vaccinated and by reporting wildcat sightings, I'm sure we can save our Highland tiger from extinction."
'Conservation message'
Helping to launch the stamp was Seasaidh, a three-year-old Scottish wildcat from the Highland Wildlife

Climate link found in strange Arctic bird deaths
‘You see a bird for apparently no good reason fly into the cliff and die’
Like scenes out of Gary Larson's "Far Side" comic strip, scientists have discovered a tragicomedy playing out in deaths of Arctic seabirds.
Some crash into each other in heavy fog. Others perish when heavy winds slam them into cliffs. Still others simply bleed to death after being attacked by mosquito swarms.
"We saw birds dying of what at best could be called Gary Larson events," said Mark Mallory of the Canadian Wildlife Service in Iqaluit. "You see a bird for apparently no good reason

Circus elephant kills 13-year-old boy
A 13-year old boy was killed Saturday by an elephant belonging to a traveling circus in the southern province of Dong Nai.
Pham Xuan Tin, a sixth grader in Bien Hoa Town, and several friends found an elephant chained to a truck inside a local stadium at around noon. They sneaked in and teased the elephant by throwing stones and pulling its tail, a student said.
The upset animal, weighing more than two tons, tried to attack them with its trunk. Tin failed to run away in time and the elephant grasped him in its trunk and flung him to the ground twice.
Tin suffered brain injuries and died on the way to hospital.
Nguyen Van Hung, deputy head of Sao Mai Circus, said his troupe had come from the northern province

Parks, zoo try to clear bats' bad rep with public
Nocturnal creatures are focus of new educational program on good that animals achieve
Bats, commonly believed to be nocturnal marauders or vampire-like bloodsuckers, often frighten people and send them running for cover.
But it's an undeserved rap, experts say.
''Bats are one of the most misunderstood, most important animals in the world,'' said Autumn Russell, director of education at the Akron Zoo.
They won't get stuck in your hair. They aren't flying rats and they don't carry rabies in greater numbers than other wild species, she said.
And the kind that sucks blood is found only in Hollywood horror movies.
There is no question, bats aren't all that cute and cuddly, Russell admitted. Insect-eating bats have wrinkled faces to help funnel radar-like echoes as they search for food, Russell said.
Bat expert Mike Johnson, chief of natural resources for Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, believes society's dislike of the bat is unfounded.
''Any nocturnal animal has the connotation of fear. The fact



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Ocelot found out of usual element
Mysterious carcass sparks debate, interest
A phone call Texas game warden Matthew Waggoner took two weeks ago was like one game wardens and wildlife biologists get every year.
Folks regularly contact Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with reports they have seen, photographed or found some dead unusual animal — one that doesn’t exist, is extinct in Texas or is so rare and the report coming from so far from the animal’s range that it’s unlikely the caller saw what he thought he saw.
Almost without exception, they are mistaken. The black panther turns out to be a large feral house cat or bobcat. The jaguarundi is really an otter. The wolf is a big coyote or a feral dog. The chupacabra is just a dog or coyote with a bad case of mange.
So when Waggoner got word a woman claimed to have found a dead ocelot along Highway 180 between Mineral Wells and Palo Pinto in north-central Texas, he was properly dubious.
The nation’s entire population of ocelots consists of fewer than 100 animals in two small patches of habitat in Texas’ Cameron and Willacy counties near the mouth of the Rio Grande.
While the medium-sized cat’s range once covered coastal and eastern Texas before habitat destruction and unregulated hunting reduced them to the two remaining pockets

For sale: the rarest animals on earth
A flourishing illegal online trade in exotic animals is threatening the survival of many species. Sonia Van Gilder Cooke investigates just what creatures are for sale
From Burmese pythons to pygmy marmosets, there is a roaring illegal trade in animals online. A recent convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species found one rare species – the Kaiser's spotted newt (an orange and black salamander in the highland streams of Iran) – now numbers fewer than 1,000 adults in the wild because of internet trading. So what can you find on the internet? In just one day, I discovered dealers who appear to be selling some of the rarest species on earth.
Within a few hours, I was staring at an advert for one of the world's most endangered creatures. It read, "Very superb, jumbo size and most of all very rare". Only 200 mature ploughshare tortoises survive in the bamboo scrublands of north Madagascar; the rest, it seems, are online. And what would this pair of 30-year-old tortoises cost? £24,000, and a trip to Kuala Lumpur: there's no international

Missing monkey captured in Cumbrian church
A missing South American monkey has been recaptured in a church, five days after escaping from an enclosure at a Cumbrian wild animal park.
The small Capuchin went missing from the South Lakes Wild Animal Park in Dalton on 8 April.
Park staff called in police, fearing for the animal's safety.
The monkey was spotted close to Dalton Railway Station on Tuesday and eventually recaptured when it ran

Black rhino calf makes Dubbo zoo debut
A black rhinoceros calf has made her public debut at NSW's Taronga Western Plains Zoo, watched by hordes of excited children on school holidays.
Born on February 17, the calf is the latest addition to the Dubbo zoo's rhino herd, which includes white, black and Indian rhinoceroses.
After weeks of careful monitoring away from public glare at the open range zoo, the 40-kilogram tot was given star treatment on Tuesday.
Zoo staff said parents and children gathered early to catch a glimpse of the calf.
"She seems unfazed by the public attention but isn't straying far from first-time mum Bakhita," says zoo spokeswoman Shallon McReaddie.
"She seemed quite relaxed

Bristol Zoo's £70m appeal for wildlife park
A giant wildlife park could open near Bristol by 2017 – but only if £70million is raised in the next few years.
The project, currently being called The National Wildlife Conservation Park is vast – a 136-acre site by junction 17 of the M5, which will be made up of different areas representing a number of threatened ecosystems.
Sallie Blanks, one of the Bristol Zoo team behind the plans, told Bristol business leaders yesterday that the zoo had an extraordinary project ahead of them.

Conservationist Tony Fitzjohn: born to be wild
When Tony Fitzjohn was hired by the conservationist George Adamson to replace his assistant, killed by a lion, he had found his calling. Four decades and one near-fatal mauling of his own later, Fitzjohn is the last of a dying breed. Jessamy Calkin meets him at his rhino sanctuary in Tanzania.
Arriving at Mkomazi, the national park in northern Tanzania established by Tony Fitzjohn, we are met by his wife, Lucy. 'I'm just getting the children's rooms ready for you,' she says apologetically, 'because a couple of elephants went on the rampage last night and trampled the guest tents.' The children have just left for boarding school; the elephants have scarpered, and Fitzjohn himself appears, smiles briefly and barks orders in Swahili into his radio. His staff call him the governor, everyone else calls him Fitz. He is a restless, good-looking man in shorts and a singlet that doesn't conceal the leathery scars on his neck and shoulders caused by his near-fatal mauling by a lion. He reports that he and Ephraim, the night-watchman, had to chase the elephants off with a JCB and a tractor. There is a drought; they had come in search of water and when they found none they ripped up the guest tent. While tearing out the shower and

Denver Zoo is a Sustainability Champion! Recently, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Connected Organizations for a Responsible Economy (CORE) recognized Denver Zoo as one of three Sustainability Champions for their efforts to reduce waste and greenhouse emissions, among other accomplishments. Winners were selected from more than 100 entries. A team of judges examined how each candidate met criteria for the environment, economy, society, innovation and education.
Denver Zoo’s efforts were intently shaped by its Workplace Conservation Committee, which has worked for several years to make the zoo’s operations more sustainable. Their efforts were especially noticeable in wide-ranging environmental initiatives. In 2009 zoo employees logged 156,000 commuter miles using alternative transportation such as public bus, light rail, walking, biking, and carpooling. The zoo diverted about 680 tons of compostable material from the landfill between 2008 and 2009 and recycled 2,600 pounds of electronic waste, 37 tons of commingled recycling, 54 tons of cardboard and 6.25 tons of metal.
“We’re a conversation organization, and we’re here to protect a secure habitat for all species,” said Denver Zoo Sustainability Coordinator Jennifer Hale. “Being sustainable just rolls into that mission.”
Additionally, Denver Zoo was recognized for its innovative, educational and economical thinking. The zoo is developing its gasification system, which will develop a way to use waste to generate heat and power and divert about 90 percent of its waste stream from landfills. The zoo

Dolphin that didn't fit in at MN Zoo starts new life in Chicago
Having trouble fitting in since her mother died, Spree the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, below, has been moved from the Minnesota Zoo to a new home in Chicago.
Making the charter-flight trip Wednesday with 8-year-old Spree were three other dolphins that since last summer had been living at the Minnesota Zoo while Chicago's Brookfield Zoo renovated its Seven Seas Dolphinarium.
Spree had difficulty fitting in with the dolphin pod since her mother, Rio, died in 2006 at age 35, according to zoo officials in Apple Valley.
In Rio's absence, Spree

Experts complete Calgary Zoo review
A team of experts has finished a draft report looking into operations at Calgary Zoo.
The review team completed the draft about two weeks ago and sent it to the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums and its American counterpart, said Nancy McToldridge, chairwoman of the review team and director at the Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens in California.
"Those organizations will review it, but not change content," McToldridge said in an e-mail.
The associations are expected to finish with the report in about another week.
It then comes back to the review team for final approval before it will be submitted to the Calgary Zoo, said McToldridge.
Once the report arrives in Calgary, zoo officials will take some time to put together an action plan addressing the issues, said spokeswoman Laurie Herron. Once the plan is in place, the report will

Mystery unveiled: Cross-breed cub is a female; named Chitra
The mystery on the gender of the mixed-breed cub, born to yellow tigress and fathered by a white Royal Bengal tiger, was unveiled today. The 13-day-old cub turned out to be a female and was named Chitra by Minister for Forests and Wildlife Preservation Tikshan Sud.
The zoo authorities had to wait for the tigress to get used to human touch after giving birth to the cub on April 2. After eight days, she stopped licking, caressing and feeding Chitra. It was then the authorities of Chhatbir Zoological Park decided to put her on hand rearing. Last year, the tigress, Chorni, had a miscarriage.
On the ninth day, zoo keepers observed reduced feeding by the mother, who later completely stopped. As the cub became weak, it was shifted to the zoo hospital on April 11 for hand rearing due to the mother’s lactating problem. On the

Gibbons, the smallest of the apes, find sanctuary in Summerville
Tucked away on the back roads of a quiet southern town, surrounded by the very gibbons she has vowed to protect, lives a powerful woman who knows how to keep promises.
Each morning, for the past 37 years, as Dr. Shirley McGreal and her dedicated staff have worked to make the world a better place for all primates, the whoop-whoop-wooing of the gibbons happy songs outside their office windows, have been a constant reminder

Lions from Bulgaria will be flown to Lionsrock, South Africa
Two lions from Bulgaria will be transported to South Africa, after they were rescued by Four Paws from private owners across the country and brought to Sofia Zoo for temporary treatment, a Four Paws media statement announced on April 14.
Lea, a cub from the Bulgarian town of Haskovo, was brought to Sofia in good condition. Reportedly, she is young, playful and non- aggressive. She is due to be flown to Lionsrock in South Africa within a month.
She will be taken to Africa along with a four-year-old lioness Aphrodite. The lioness was saved from a private hotel in Melnik at the end of March 2010.
Lionsrock is a sanctuary in the eastern free state of South Africa for big cats, about 18 km from Bethlehem and about 300 km from Johannesburg. Once there, the animals will live in an environment closer to their natural habitat, the report said.
The European animal welfare organisation Four Paws, which

Marten captured at site of crested ibis slayings
A male marten was captured Tuesday night at a conservation center where nine rare Japanese crested ibises were killed in March, the Environment Ministry announced Wednesday.
The marten was captured in the same cage at the Sado Japanese Crested Ibis Conservation Center on Sado Island, Niigata Prefecture, where the nine slain ibises were being prepared for release into the wild. Based on fur found in the enclosure after the attack, the birds are thought to have been killed by a marten, though it is not yet

New Conservation Efforts At Fort Worth Zoo
The new herpetarium at the Fort Worth Zoo has an interesting treasure between its walls that most visitors will never see.
There are four quarantined rooms being used to breed animals that are on the brink of extinction.
The zoo's Museum of Living Art, or MOLA, is now home to more than 5,000 reptiles and amphibians. But the new $19 million exhibit is helping the zoo take part in a worldwide effort.
"It's a mass extinction event that's happening with amphibian species," said Diane Barber. She's the Curator of Ectotherms at the zoo. She's helping lead the U.S. effort in saving some critically endangered

Every (Wild) Dog Has Its Day
We humans are suckers for certain kinds of wildlife, from lions to elephants. I hadn’t known I was a zebra fan until I drove my rented car into a traffic jam of zebras here. My heart fluttered.
As for rhinos, they’re so magnificent that they attract foreign aid. Women here in rural Zimbabwe routinely die in childbirth for lack of ambulances or other transport to hospitals, and they get no help. But rhinos in this park get a helicopter to track their movements.
Then there are animals that don’t attract much empathy. Aardvarks. Newts. And, at the bottom tier, African wild dogs.
Wild dogs (which aren’t actually wild dogs, but never mind that for now) are a species that has become endangered without anyone raising an eyebrow. Until, that is, a globe-trotting adventurer named Greg Rasmussen began working with local villages to rebrand the dogs — and save them from extinction.
It’s a tale that offers some useful lessons for do-gooders around the world, in clever marketing and “branding,” and in giving local people a stake in conservation. For if it’s possible to rescue a despised species with a crummy name like “wild dogs,” any cause can have legs.
Mr. Rasmussen was born in Britain but grew up partly in Zimbabwe. He bounced around the world for years as a sailor, zookeeper and kennel owner, surviving a charging elephant, a venomous 12-foot black mamba

Rare lemur species born in Dundee
Pair of red-bellied lemurs - believed to be the only pair in the UK - born at Camperdown Wildlife Centre.
An extremely rare species of lemur has given birth to a pair of twins - believed to be the only pair in the UK - at a Dundee wildlife park.
The tiny pair of red-bellied lemurs were born at the Camperdown Wildlife Centre last month.
The birth of twins is extremely rare among red-bellied lemurs. The pair are the only set of twins in Scotland - and believed to be the only pair in the UK.
The future of Red bellied lemurs is vulnerable due to a threat to their natural habitat in the tropical forests

Zoo needs more funds, less bad press
Although the National Parks Commission (NPC) has been receiving increased funding, Board Chairman John Caesar yesterday said that the Georgetown zoo requires a lot more for its development.
Breaking a month of silence on the condition of the city zoo, Caesar told a news conference that the NPC was concerned about the negative publicity the Georgetown zoo has received recently and stressed that the facility is a “critical treasure” that requires more funds to meet its developmental needs.
Funding, according to Caesar, has increased significantly over the years. In fact, government subventions increased by 27% from 2003 to 2006. Last year, it received $110.2M. It must be remembered, Caesar urged, that this amount is used to support the National Park in Georgetown, the Kaieteur Park, the zoo and several other locations for which NPC is also responsible. Last year, $28.5M of the total sum given to the commission was allocated to the zoo. Despite this, Caesar said, the zoo still needs $75M to $80M to get other works done.
Although he added that the NPC is not adverse to criticism, he explained that the Board decided to hold the press briefing in order to deal with recent negative publicity, in wake of reports by Stabroek News.
The lack of space, poor housing facilities and poor health and safety practices as it related to the animals at the zoo were highlighted in recent reports. The poor working conditions and lack of safety gear for zookeepers were also pointed out and later a former senior manager came forward and blamed the situation on a combination of poor decisions by NPC and inadequate funding. Stabroek News had also viewed a decade old management report that provided evidence of some of the same issues needing to

Swamp deer remains dear to Lucknow zoo
When it comes to breeding of swamp deer, Lucknow zoo has a clear edge over other zoos in the country. Reason being that the zoo is home to 57 swamp deer. In addition, the animal has been the mainstay of zoo’s exchange programme.
"We have got many animals in exchange of our swamp deer," said zoo director Renu Singh. Currently, there are 19 males, 27 females and 11 unsexed deer. And with the scientific breeding of the species already on the cards, the future for this schedule (I) animal appears bright. The present lot of 57 deer has descended from the founder stock which had come from Bahraich way back in 1965. And now, they have presence in almost all the zoos of the country, viz, Kanpur, Mysore, Nandan Kanan, Jhaldapara, Hyderabad and Delhi. In fact, the zoo has got many

The Year of dead Tigers
Was the starvation of 11 Siberian tigers an isolated incident or the tragic consequence of a larger issue? Hu Yongqi and Wu Yong in Shenyang, and Cao Li and Wang Zhuoqiong in Beijing report.
After the starvation deaths of 11 tigers in Northeast China, animal rights campaigners this week attacked owners of private zoos for "caring more about profit than animal welfare".
The scandal at Shenyang Forest Wild Animals Zoo, which was exposed by disgruntled staff last week, not only raises fears about the poor management of these facilities, but also highlights the government's lax supervision, experts claimed.
The Siberian tigers, which died of malnutrition between December and February, were among 40 at the zoo. "Another three are in critical condition and one of them is on the verge of death," said Zhang Chenglin, director of the veterinary hospital at Beijing Zoo and one of three experts who investigated the tragedy. "We are not sure if the tigers can be saved."
It is not the first time the zoo has been mired in scandal. In 2009, two tigers, allegedly also dying of starvation, were shot dead after they mauled their handlers in separate incidents.
The park in Liaoning province is currently closed to the public, according to a security guard on duty on Tuesday. Almost two thirds of its 145 staff went on strike over unpaid wages on March 10 but city officials said the dispute has been

Two lion cubs escape Beltrami County wildlife park, briefly
You've heard of the lion lying down with the lamb. But what about lion cubs on the lam?
Two cubs were found Thursday morning in a Beltrami County yard along Hwy. 2, wrestling with a dog, the Sheriff's Office said, adding that no one was hurt.
The 6-month-old males, from the nearby Paul Bunyan's Animal Land, bumped open a gate on a temporary pen used during some cleaning and went for a walk, according to the Sheriff's Office. The cubs, Marjan and Aslan, respond by name and are fed by hand.
The cubs followed 

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Zoo asks city to raze aviary exhibit
City lawmakers are calling a request by the board of the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park to raze the zoo's aviary building "perplexing" and "a shame."
The City Council has asked to tour the A-frame building the city owns at the zoo to determine how the exhibit can be used and whether the city should renovate it.
"If it's deteriorating, then it should be fixed and used for its intended purpose," Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham said. "It's an odd-looking and unique structure. I'm perplexed by the letter asking for it to be demolished."
In letters to the council, the zoo's board said the structure, which was built in 1979, has fallen into disrepair. The board requested that the city raze the structure by

Zoo director interviews begin this week
The city of Topeka is set to begin interviews for the position of zoo director. The job was vacated by the retirement of Mike Coker in December. His retirement came after non-compliance citations from the USDA and an outside inspection by a three-member team from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
City spokesman David Bevens says the interviews of the five candidates will start late this week and continue into next week. All five are from outside the city. They will be interviewed by a six-member panel, including city manager Norton Bonaparte.
The city is not releasing the names of the candidates

Zookeepers in China eat monkey meat
Zookeepers at a zoo in China are eating monkey and giraffe meat believing that these have extra nutritional value, a media report said.
The bizarre report came from a soon-to-be-opened zoo in Dongguan in China's Guangdong province, where dead animals were reportedly given away as gifts or eaten by zoo workers, Global Times reported.
The Xiangshi Zoo, which plans to open in July, is an animal lover's nightmare, the report said.
The tiger enclosure is smelly because it is never cleaned and their excrement is allowed to pile up while no animal keeper attends to the big cats.
Some wild animals purchased from zoos in other cities could not get acclimatised to the local weather and food. Thus, many giraffes, peacocks and monkeys sent from Beijing died.
'A giraffe transported from Beijing in December 2009 was weak when it arrived. It just lay in the cage and died, while two monkeys and several peacocks died two weeks ago,' a zoo employee was quoted as saying.
Another employee said several animals that died at the zoo were either eaten by staff members or sent to friends as gifts, believing that wild animal meat has extra nutritional value.
'The workers at the zoo surely cannot eat the whole giraffe. Therefore, some

New species unveiled at wildlife park
A pack of six Black-backed jackals are now roaming the grounds of the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR).
This is the first time at AWPR that this species has been presented to the public. The pack consists of two males and four females. 

As the name suggests the Black-backed Jackal’s most distinctive feature is the mantle of black hair on the back that contrasts with its rust-coloured body.
Indigenous to the Southern and Eastern regions of Africa, the Black-backed Jackal is one of the few animals that mate for life. While they are not currently

Frog Tadpoles Scream Underwater

Breaking out of the zoo: study finds high risk of species escape
Lax security at zoos is putting ecosystems at risk for invasion by exotic species according to a new study by researchers in Spain.
Marıa Fabregas and fellow study-authors evaluated 63 of the existing 83 zoological parks in the country. They found that 221 out of the 1,568 evaluated enclosures were not secure against animal escape.
Of these, 98 (48.3%) were deemed insecure because the public could release the animals directly.
Zoos already are the 2nd biggest contributor of exotic species invasions in Europe. At least, 82 non-native terrestrial vertebrate species have been introduced to the continent as a consequence of zoo escapes.
The study did not mention the specific species - though after searching, I found references to the sacred ibis as an example.
The study found that non-secure enclosures held 183 different

Japanese Zoo Features Fish Vending Machine
You've all seen it: thoughtless people throwing popcorn and junk food to zoo animals regardless of how many "Do Not Feed The Animals!" signs are posted in plain sight. The critters eat what's tossed their way because they don't know any better; the idiot humans SHOULD know better but , well, they're idiots. The result is sick animals living in littered enclosures.

G.W. Exotic Animal Park Receives Special Guest
The G.W. Exotic Animal Park located in Wynnewood, Oklahoma was surprised last Wednesday with an amazing white lion as a loan through a Texas Corporation to draw more visitors to the park to help boost customers during the summer. The park was hit with a devastating ice storm and a series of very unusual snow storms which all but closed its doors.
Casper the white lion was born at the zoo in Belgrade Serbia nearly two years ago. He was bottle raised by Nadja, one of the zoo's caretakers. Nadja spent sleepless nights taking care of the rare infant and his brother and with time they grew into two of the worlds' rare pure white lions. At the age of almost two, Casper flew across the world to live it up at the G.W. Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. Casper is now living in a large compound getting all the prime rib he wants and is sharing the park with some very rare neighbors. Casper is just feet away from two of the park's rare Barbary Lions which took part in a DNA program with an African group studying Barbary Lions.
Casper was well cared for by Nadja who spent endless

Painting Beluga

Surat zoo plans to get lions in exchange for Indian Otters
Keen to get a pair of Asiatic lions, the Surat zoo officials have once again approached the Rajkot zoo and Sakkarbaug Zoo in Jungadh. This time, they plan to exchange it with Indian Otters. The captive breeding of Indian Otters is successfully done only in Surat, according to the zoo officials.
Sarthana Zoo, run by the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC), lost the hybrid Lioness Sita (21) in 2008. Sita, along with Bahadur, were brought from a Ranchi zoo nearly five years ago. While there was hardly any chance of Sita producing offspring as she was already 19 when she was brought here, her companion Bahadur was also showing signs of aging.
“We would like to have a couple of Asiatic lions so that we can keep them for public display, and if everything goes well, we would also go for captive

Lion cubs to test alien species law
A pair of African lion cubs seized by conservation officers could be the first test of B.C.’s new alien species legislation.
Environment Minister Barry Penner confirmed that the lion cubs were seized as part of an investigation in the Cariboo region in March. He declined to comment on a news report that the cubs were seized from Kim Carlton, whose property near 100 Mile House was the site of a fatal attack by a Siberian tiger in 2007, until Crown prosecutors decide if they will proceed with charges.
The death of 32-year-old Tania Dumstrey-Soos prompted the B.C. government to act, and new provisions of the Wildlife Act came into full effect on April 1. Possession or breeding of restricted species now requires a licence, which for now at least can be obtained at no charge.
The list of species is long, from the Asiatic elephant to the snow leopard to the yellow-blotched pit viper. It includes dozens of mammals, snakes and reptiles, plus three types of poison dart

Zoo tigers to roam free
Imagine coming face to face with a Bengal tiger, separated only by a (toughened) glass wall. That's as close you can get to this ferocious cat and live to take a picture of it. And you can soon do this, right here in the city, at the Alipore Zoological Gardens.
The oldest zoo in the country is set to become the first to have a massive all-glass enclosure for tigers.
Severely criticized for decades by the zoo community and conservationists for its cramped cages, Alipore zoo is taking a step at liberating the king of beasts. The open air enclosure will sprawl over 90,000 square feet of trees, grass and waterbodies, where a single tiger will roam supreme.
The plan has been approved by the Central Zoo Authority of India (CZAI), say sources. This will entail a lot of modification of the entire zoo by rearranging the enclosures in a particular order. The white tiger and white fallow deer enclosures will be merged to make the glass enclosure (the erstwhile occupants will be moved elsewhere).
Over the years, Alipore zoo has grown somewhat unplanned, in an unscientific manner, admit officials. A lot of places have been left unutilised, while a few places are overcrowded. "The most important thing right now is a complete rearrangement of enclosures for

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thylacinus  Volume 34 No 1


Conversation or Conservation? Do our behind the scenes experiences really contribute to our conservation efforts? …………………………………………………………...2

Enrichment At The, Alice Springs Desert Park Nature Theatre…..4

ASZK New Members ……………………………………………………………..7

The future of zookeeping and the challenges ahead …………….8

ASZK Conference 2010 ……………………………………………………….15

The International Congress of Zookeepers Update …………….16

International Orangutan Transfer from Auckland Zoo to Busch Gardens ..19

Auckland Zoo - Kashin 1968-2009 …………………………………….20

Zoo News …………………………………………………………………………22

Conferences and Workshops ………………………………………………..32

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*******************************************************************************  in April 2010

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Hello ZooLex Friend,

We have worked for your enjoyment!



The spectacled bear exhibit at Antwerp Zoo replaces the former enclosures of polar bears and brown bears. Ring-tailed coatimundi were introduced to the spectacled bears, but can retreat to their own indoor enclosure:

Sanne De Groot prepared this exhibit presentation as a student at van Hall Larenstein University in the Netherlands. We would like to thank Sanne, her supervisor, Dr. Tine Griede, and the Project Curator of Antwerp Zoo & Wild Animal Park Planckendael, Sander Hofman, for this great initiative and hope that other zoos will follow this example.



A ZooLex workshop was held at Zoo Salzburg in Austria on March 25 and 26, 2010. Here is a report:


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