Saturday, May 1, 2010

Zoo News Digest 26th - 30th April 2010 (Zoo News 667)

Zoo News Digest 26th - 30th April 2010 (Zoo News 667)

Dear Colleagues, 

The cowards way is to put the boot in when the victim is lying defenceless on the ground. This is one of the aspects of the anti-zoo fraternity that I dislike the most. They do it practically every time. The loss of the tiger in Banham Zoo is no small thing. There are people there who really cared, even loved this animal. There is genuine grief felt as well as the concerns as to why. Yet almost straight away in wade the anti-zoo bovver boys baying in their blinkered ignorance for the closure of zoos. I suppose it was inevitable that the bigot* (and no, I am not going to apologise) Angela Smith should be roped into the fray too.

Auctioning the rights to name their elephant calf was a stroke of genius by Whipsnade Wild Animal Park. I don't recollect having seen a zoo do this before. Animal paintings, tickets to special events are one thing but a name...wonderful. In the past 'adoptive parents' have often been allowed to name, but really this is for very little gain. It is going to be interesting to see just how much the Whipsnade auction will raise. Big companies could get advertising, lovers could gain credit, the vain could become vainer. At the end of the day though this will be money that can be put to good use in conservation.

Much in the press this week about grieving chimpanzees and various interpretations coupled to film clips. All very interesting. I have, sadly, seen a few apes die peacefully and a few stillbirths too. It is an emotional experience and, like any death, affects people in different ways. With me the level of emotion was dependent on my attachment to the animal concerned. I am not ashamed to admit that in some cases I wept (privately) like a baby. I was never too sure however about the reaction of the other animals. There was definite puzzlement and curiosity. After the event there was a "I wonder where _____ has gone?" type behaviour. I can't say for sure though that I ever saw 'grief'.

There is as ever in this weeks links those which show just how wrong the papers can get their stories. Is there really such a tiger as an 'Endangered hybrid?' I think not. Then there is the release of Lemurs into Java...another mistake.

Sedgwick County Zoo have been getting it in the neck for euthanasing some baby owls in line with a common sense and realistic established practice. I think the big problem here is not so much the euthanasia as peoples understanding of it. Wherever it is discussed there is that group of people who cannot get to grips with the concept. When, some months ago, I suggested that the Romanion Lions be euthanased I seemigly not only touched a raw nerve but swung on it as well. We really have to educate people more that euthanasia does not hurt. It is quick and painless and to be realistic, practical in many cases too. Sadly more than four million domestic cats and dogs are euthanased EVERY year in the US ALONE. Add in Europe and the figures would be even more frightening ... disgusting even. Good zoos are apart from this. Good Zoos use euthanasia as a tool to sensibly manage their combined populations for the betterment of the SPECIES as a whole. Bad zoos go it alone.

Another place which is getting it in the neck is Australia Zoo. I am not Australian and have never visited the country and so probably lack a full understanding of Anzac day. I have though visited Gallipoli and wandered through the acres of departed and wept at the sacrifice. I came away not only with a greater respect for Australians but for the Turkish people too. It does seem to me though that the Australia Zoo are being unfairly attacked in this case. They are an educational establishment and as such with their memorial service and minutes silence have probably drawn attention to the day to a group of people who may otherwise have missed it. Please note that I am not defending Australia Zoo in particular here because there are aspects to the collection I disagree with. It is just that I believe there is a mischief factor at play here and they are being picked on. It would be interesting to check out other, similar businesses around the country and see what happened there.

I am all for banning 'barbaric tools' and instruments of torture but I would not include the ankus amongst these. In the right hands it is an extension of the arm and an item that makes close contact management of elephants safer and more efficient. could hurt an elephant. It seems though that if we are to consider banning the ankus then we should also consider banning cars and motorcycles. Let common sense prevail. It is not the tool but the person handling it.

The death of the crocodiles in Chhattisgarh is a shock. I hope that a full investigation is made and printed so that we can all learn exactly what the cause was.

I have included below the latest update on the situation with the Tiger Temple. This horrific place could not survive without tourists. Casting my thoughts back to the situation with chimpanzees and photographers in Spain some years back. I recollect that some European Zoos had signage on their chimpanzee enclosures asking tourists not to get photographed with them. It would be nice to see the same situation taking place on tiger enclosures today. We really need to get the message out. Zoos which care can do just this. There may be some who are doing it already. Can you tell me who? I have the greatest respect for Sybelle and the stance she is taking on the Tiger Temple. She really is taking a risk. For the small part that I have played I have received several threats. There are some very very nasty people hiding behind the cloak!

My thanks to those people who were kind enough to send good wishes re my latest biopsy. Things went well. I feel fine and, once again in is just a case of waiting for results. There was though an interesting aspect to this latest op. Those who previously followed my travel journal may recall places and countries where I became 'invisible'. My present location is one of these. I noted however that I became 'visible' the moment that I appeared in public with a great big white sticking plaster in the middle of my face. People became much more chatty and friendly. Something to do with eyes meeting eyes. I need to experiment further with this.

I received a couple of SPAM articles from my own email address today. How these people expect me to trust them to purchase anything from them with stupid acts like that is beyond me.

There are some great jobs on offer at the moment. See the link below. I would like to draw your attention to the posts at Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation. If I was in a position to do so I would jump at these. An opportunity to work with some of the rarest animals in the world. The bonus being the location, the experience gained and the truly lovely people you would work with....and something really positive to add to your CV too.

* Bigot - One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

Looking for a job?  Several new vacancies posted in recent days. Take a look at:
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Private zoo discovered at Kyrgyz ex-leader's home
A pair of snow leopards and two bear cubs were among the exotic animals found in the private zoo of ousted Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
A golden eagle, two falcons, four African peacocks and Indian ducks were also found in the zoo at the family home in the southern Jalalabad region.
Investigators found the collection when they raided the estate after Mr Bakiyev fled the country. He is now in Belarus.
He has been charged in absentia with organising mass killings.
Mr Bakiyev was ousted in protests on 7 April in which more than 80 people died.
The interim government says his administration ordered troops to open fire on protesters. It plans to seek Mr Bakiyev's extradition fro

Government Lauded For Tougher Wildlife Conservation Laws
The tabling of the Wildlife Conservation Bill 2010 last week, with tougher penalties, is welcomed by the Malaysian Nature Society, Traffic Southeast Asia and the Wildlife Conservation Society-Malaysia.
The three non-profit organisations congratulated the government for the long-awaited bill to strengthen enforcement against illegal hunting and trade.
"We hope this new law will provide better protection for Malaysia's wildlife and close the gaps that have allowed wildlife criminals to continue operating.
"We are glad to note the Bill's provision for higher penalties and tougher action. This new Bill features many improvements, and we hope the ministry will continue to review and update

Calls for zoo closures after rare Siberian tigress found drowned
Campaigners have called for the phased closure of zoos after a Siberian tiger used for breeding purposes was found drowned in the enclosure of a zoo in Norfolk.
A full veterinary examination is under way at Banham Zoo, near Diss in Norfolk, after a post-mortem examination on the body of a pregnant Siberian tiger concluded the cause of death as drowning. The tiger, called Malyshka, had already given birth to two cubs and was pregnant with more. Further tests this week will examine if the five-year-old may have suffered a seizure. Martin Goymour, the zoo's director, said: "All the zoo staff, particularly her keepers, are very much saddened by her loss. We are professional in what we do in animal care at all times, but something like this hits home. We've kept tigers for years and the enclosure has been successful.
"Very few zoos in Europe are able to handle tigers, which is why the loss of Malyshka is such a severe blow," he told the BBC. "She was very important to the European breeding programme and was number three in the hierarchy of genetic diversity for captive tigers. We are also in contact with European stud book co-ordinators to find a suitable replacement female for our conservation programme involving either the senior male or one of the youngsters."
But after Mr Goymour's comments yesterday, campaigners called for a debate about breeding rare species in captivity. There are thought to be only 450 Siberian tigers left in the wild.
"There are still serious welfare issues regarding keeping animals in zoos and the argument of captive breeding is utterly irrelevant," said Craig Redmond, campaigns director for the Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS).
"There are so few cases where captive animals have been bred and brought back into the wild with success. Each time a situation like this occurs, it needs to be thoroughly investigated so that the public are made aware of the actual circumstances of the death and the necessity of the zoo – not be automatically led down the route of conservation. Zoos do not have a valid role any more. They are there purely for education purposes or a day out."
The comments mirror those of Angela Smith, the charities minister, who earlier this month denounced the concept of zoos, describing them as "relics of the Victorian era". Arguing that while certain venues "tried very hard", it was necessary to address the issue of animal welfare. Her

Dead elephant was poisoned, says Kiev zoo
The only elephant in Kiev's zoo, 39-year-old Boy, died Monday in his enclosure, apparently after being poisoned, the zoo's director said.
"This morning at 10.45 a.m. he let out a terrible cry and fell. I have the conclusions of veterinarians ... It was a poisoning," zoo director Svitlana Berzina told Reuters.
Boy, a 6 1/2 metric ton Asian elephant, arrived in Kiev zoo in the mid-1970s.
"It was a tragic and sudden death," she said. "The animal was in stable condition and nothing indicated any trouble. It was an instantaneous death."
Berzina said there had been an earlier attempt to poison Boy in the 1990s. "On that occasion, we managed to save him," she said. The circumstances of this previous attempt to poison Boy were not clear.
"The reasons for his death will be the subject of an investigation by veterinarians and law-enforcement bodies," Maria Azoryan, a Kiev city administration

Elephant provides breakdown assistance to zoo keeper
An elephant put its size to good use when it helped a zoo keeper start his car by giving it a shove.
Lawrence Bates was all set to call for assistance when his jeep at West Midland Safari Park broke down, until Five the elephant decided to give him a helping hand.
The 18-year-old African Elephant got behind and pushed the car out of trouble and out of the enclosure.
She even cleaned the car in the process.
Five reached into a bucket of water with her trunk, sprayed the vehicle with water to remove any dust, then gathered up a sponge with her trunk and cleaned the windows and paintwork with the style of a true professional.
Director of Wildlife, Bob Lawrence, said: "The jeep broke down one morning and the lads jumped out to have a look at it, popped the bonnet and had a look at the oil.
"We still couldn't get it to

How to apologize to an orangutan
Orangutans have social rules for apologizing, just like we do.
In the rare mid-April sun of drizzly, seaside Seattle I was watching orangutans at the zoo communicate.
It was a good day because the orangutans, each in their own way, in their own time, was letting the keeper Andy Antilla know that his apology was accepted.
Orangutans remind us of rudimentary courtesy and moral behaviour. If we forget, it damages the relationship with them, as it would with us.
They remind us of how much thought, understanding and communication is possible without words - something that our big brains stuffed with words have trouble grasping. Most of us cannot imagine who we would be if we couldn't write and speak.
They remind us that working with thinking, sentient beings creates a bond and, with a bond, comes responsibility.
I was pondering all this while watching the 310-pound, dominant male orangutan Towan extend a lower lip, as though pouting, to the keeper Andy Antilla to be touched and caressed, as if

Mogo Zoo Raising Endangered Species of Tigers
A hybrid Bengal tiger has been raised at Mogo Zoo on the NSW south coast, the cub is 70-kilogram, 10-month-old tiger and is known as Kinwah.
Clive Brookbanks and his partner Sally Padey, the owner of Mogo Zoo, who helped raising the small tiger, shared their experience as they said that the cub was often up on the table.
When born, the tiger had a defected hip joint and due to that it was feared that his mother would not accept him. Therefore, the option of hand-rearing was adopted when the cub was only

Chimps' emotional response to death caught on film
A video of the reaction of chimps to the death of an elderly group mate challenges procedures for dealing with terminally ill animals in captivity
In the final hour, they huddled around, studied her face and shook her gently as if to revive her. And when the others had drifted away, one stayed behind to hold her hand.
As death scenes go, it has all the poignancy of human loss, but this was no everyday tragedy. The last breath was drawn before scientists' cameras and represents one of the most extraordinary displays of chimpanzee behaviour ever recorded.
Video footage of the death of Pansy, who at fifty-something was the oldest chimpanzee in the UK, was released by scientists today. The film captures for the first time the complex reactions of our nearest evolutionary cousins to the death of a group member.
Studying the apes' behaviour could tell us as much about ourselves as the attachments and responses to death that chimpanzees exhibit within their groups and families, scientists believe. It could also challenge procedures for dealing with terminally ill animals in

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Animal Emotions 
Do animals think and feel?
Grief in chimpanzees, self-control in dogs, a drowned Siberian tigress, and a hearing on the educational benefits of captive marine mammals
Recent news in the world of animals shows us clearly that animals are far more than we give them credit for. Following up on a Psychology Today blog I wrote on grief in animals two recent papers published in the journal Current Biology report on the response of chimpanzees to dead individuals. In the first, individuals showed large changes in behavior when encountering dying and dead chimpanzees, including as a female named Pansy, grooming and caressing their friend, being significantly more subdued after her death, changing their nesting behavior so that they didn't nest on the platform where Pansy died although they had regularly used the platform for the month before she died, inspecting her mouth (perhaps testing for breath) and limbs, attacking the corpse (perhaps attempting to rouse her), removing straw from her body (perhaps attempting to clean her), and remaining lethargic, quiet, and eating less for weeks after her death. It is clear that Pansy's friends were feeling something and the authors of this report conclude: "We conclude that chimpanzees' awareness of death has been underestimated ... a thanatology of Pan [the genus of chimpanzees] appears both viable and valuable." They go on to write, "it might be more humane to allow elderly apes to die naturally in their familiar social setting than to attempt to separate them for treatment or euthanasia." The same might be said for elephants and other animals who

Orphaned Gorillas Arrive by Helicopter at New Rescue Center in Congo
The first group of orphaned gorillas was successfully airlifted by helicopter today to the Fossey Fund’s new GRACE (Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center) in Congo, where they will begin a new life geared toward returning them to the wild.
The flight was provided by the United Nations’ peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after weeks of planning and logistics, to move the gorillas from temporary facilities in Goma. This included building crates to hold the gorillas, training them how to get in and out of the crates, choosing take off and landing sites, organizing necessary personnel and hoping for good weather.
Preparing for Flight
Just a few days earlier, storm clouds clung low on the horizon as the dust and heat filled the air on the streets of Goma. The welder had not finished the gorilla transport crates because there had been heavy rains and no electricity over the past few days. His open-air “studio” was located on the lava-encrusted side street and the crate-building process was behind schedule.
Eventually, the crates were ready, and Debby Cox, the Fossey Fund’s consultant on the building and operating of GRACE, kicked the door of a crate with all her

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PETA’s exaggerated claims
Organization unjustly equates human suffering to animal suffering
A few weeks ago, a really nice girl approached me outside the library and asked me to sign a petition. She explained that their organization was petitioning McDonalds to slaughter their chickens in a more humane way.
I ended up signing the petition, not because I care about how you kill my food, but simply because I like to support people who are active about what they believe in.
I came to find out a couple minutes later as I picked up a stray pamphlet flying down the walkway that she was a part of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
Personally, I have always had issues with PETA. In my opinion, they go very extreme on issues that are not that important – I am sure you’ve heard about them throwing red paint on people’s fur jackets, symbolizing animal blood.
Not only do actions like this make them look crazy, all this energy used to sabotage celebrities’ clothes could be put to use for much better causes.
This brings me to my biggest problem with PETA overall: They stand by the belief

Rare Japanese crested ibis born at zoo in Ishikawa
A Japanese crested ibis chick hatched at a zoological park here on Sunday.
The Japanese crested ibis, designated a special Japanese natural treasure, hatched at Ishikawa Zoo in Nomi, Ishikawa Prefecture, at 7:31 a.m. on Sunday.
The egg was laid by a 6-year old female ibis that mated with an 8-year-old male at the Sado Japanese Crested Ibis Conservation Center in Sado, Niigata Prefecture. It was the first egg to incubate among all four eggs laid together between March 27 and April 2.
It is only the second time that an egg moved from Sado to another facility to avoid mass bird flu infections and other risks has hatched successfully, following a hatching at Tokyo's Tama Zoological Park.
The city's natural conservation division said it still remains unknown whether the chick, which is about 12 centimeters in length and weighs 62.9 grams, is male or female. It will

Sedgwick County Zoo Responds to Baby Owl Controversy
The Sedgwick County Zoo says it did the right thing when it euthanized four baby owls. The owls were brought there by a Wichita family who found the birds. Family members say they're upset about how the situation was handled.
Brian Oster says four baby screech owls fell out of his tree Sunday as he was cutting it down.
"Their eyes were not open yet, but they were chirping a little bit," he said.
Not knowing what else to do, Oster's son David took the babies to the Sedgwick County Zoo.
"He said they wanted him to sign a form, and they are going to euthanize them," said Brian.
Within the hour, that's what happened. The zoo says the four owls were only days old and were not good candidates for rehabilitation. The Osters say they thought the zoo would spend more time finding the animals a home first.
The zoo says it's permits do not allow them to hold the animals for any period of time. It says euthanizing them was the most humane solution.
Ken Lockwood from the Eagle Valley Raptor

Sumatran Tiger Pair Making Love Nest in Zoo as Part of Bid to Grow Population
To provide them with the correct conditions to reproduce, two Sumatran tigers from Aceh’s Natural Resources Conservation Agency are scheduled to be moved to the Taman Safari Indonesia wildlife park in Bogor, West Java, the agency’s chief said on Monday.
Abubakar Chekmat said the agency, known as BKSDA, was scheduled to put both Cut Nyak, 5, and Salamah, 3, on a flight to Jakarta on Tuesday evening.
“It is no longer possible for both the tigers to be released to their natural habitat. Both are tame. Cut Nyak was even treated by a local resident before she was returned to BKSDA last year,” Abubakar told the Jakarta Globe. “If we release them to their natural habitat, the possibility that they will die is very high. We therefore decided to transfer them to Taman Safari. There will be a better chance for them to reproduce there, where they can be monitored by zoo officers.”
Bongot, a veterinarian from Taman Safari, confirmed on Monday that both tigers were physically healthy and ready for the flight to Jakarta, even though Salamah had lost one of her limbs following an emergency amputation after one of her feet got caught in a boar trap last year.
“They will first be tranquilized before they are flown off to Jakarta. They will be put in special cages,” Abubakar said, adding that he had previously reported the transfer plans to Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf, noting that BKSDA was overwhelmed with the responsibility of taking care of both tigers.
Yulius Suprihardo, spokesman for Taman Safari, said

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Taronga Zoo defies crisis to raise $46m
A DECADE after its formation to help dig Australia's most popular zoo out of a financial crisis that threatened its existence, the Taronga Conservation Foundation has managed to raise more than $46 million through canny marketing to benefactors and companies.
Under the guidance of chairman Maurice Newman, the foundation has become a key fund-raiser for the zoo, allowing it to continue work in a number of areas, including helping to fund its successful elephant breeding program and research into a cancer threatening to wipe out the Tasmanian devil.
"We have raised $46m and our target is $56m," Mr Newman said. "But I take very little credit for what has been done."
During the past 10 years, the foundation has had to market itself and the $225m redevelopment of the zoo to the single benefactors willing to offer support and the major corporations wanting to link their brands with the zoo's activities.
"We had the global financial crisis in 2008 and spilling over into 2009, (yet) we had record years and I think that must say we are doing something right," Mr Newman said. "At the beginning we really didn't have any skills in fundraising . . . and to believe

What a croc: Australia Zoo Anzac service 'crass commercialism'
RSL Queensland says Australia Zoo should face the full weight of the law after it remained open for business all day on Anzac Day.
State branch chief executive Chris McHugh today slammed the decision as a display of "crass commercialism".
"We are exceptionally disappointed in what they have done," Mr McHugh told
"The law is quite explicit ... they have thumbed their nose at a convention which all other businesses accept.
"You have to question what they thought they would achieve by doing that."
The Department of Justice is investigating why the Sunshine Coast zoo was open all day despite a ban on places of amusement operating before 1.30pm.
The home of the late Steve Irwin faces a maximum penalty of $20,000 if found to have breached trading hours laws.
But a spokeswoman for the park has defended its actions, saying it held a commemorative service in the Zoo's Crocoseum, including a minute's silence.
"Australia Zoo is a proud Australian business and on Sunday joined Australians around the country, marking their respects by hosting an ANZAC Day commemorative service in the Zoo's Crocoseum," the spokeswoman said.
"Patrons were up standing and acknowledged a minute's silence as ex-service veteran Alan Wilcocks, from Beerwah RSL Sub Branch, read out The Ode and bugler Sam Robb played The Last Post."
However, Mr McHugh said the zoo's decision to hold a memorial service at 11am did not make it exempt from the law.
"It is drawing a very long bow. They opened at 9am. They are not supposed to open until 1.30pm," Mr McHugh said.
Beerwah RSL Sub Branch president John Rouhan said he was not aware Australia Zoo did not have a permit to open early on Anzac Day.
"We didn't realise that they did not have the approvals this year," he told the Sunshine Coast

Rare Borneo rhino maybe has baby
Malaysian conservationists caught on film a Sumatran rhinoceros thought to be pregnant, raising hopes that the critically endangered species on Borneo island was breeding in the wild, an official said Wednesday.
A remotely controlled camera set up in a forest in Sabah state on Borneo captured a still picture of the rhino on Feb. 25, said Raymond Alfred of the World Wildlife Fund.
It is the first such image in the wild of a female thought to be pregnant, providing cheer to conservationists after the initial failure of a breeding-in-captivity program for the Borneo Sumatran rhino, whose numbers are believed to have dwindled to less than 30.
"The size (of the rhino) is quite extraordinary," Alfred told The Associated Press. "Based on the shape and the size of the body and stomach," it would appear that the rhino is pregnant.
But it is difficult to be conclusive on the basis of the picture alone, he said.
Another 50 cameras have been set up in the area to gather more evidence about the female, which appears to be 20 years old, he said, adding that researchers were also trying to find its dung for analysis.
Government officials and WWF experts had set up the first camera in January and retrieved it last week, Alfred said.
The picture shows the Borneo Sumatran rhino — a subspecies of the bristly, snub-nosed rhino native to Indonesia's Sumatra

Time to ban barbaric tools of the circus trade
The recent death of an animal groom at a Shrine-sponsored circus in Pennsylvania is a tragic end to an already tragic situation. Elephants have been beaten, battered and broken by the circus industry. Is it any wonder they snap from the stress?
Bullhooks look like a fireplace poker—they are batons with a sharp metal hook on the end. They are the standard tool that circuses use to break and manage elephants. These ugly devices are designed to cause pain and can rip and tear skin and leave bloody wounds.
Longtime elephant trainer Tim Frisco was caught on videotape viciously attacking terrified elephants with bullhooks and electric prods during an elephant training seminar. Frisco instructs other trainers to hurt the elephants until they scream and to sink the bullhook into their flesh and twist it. He also cautions that the beatings must be concealed from the public. The elephant who killed the groom in Pennsylvania is believed to belong to Terry Frisco, Tim Frisco's brother.
Let's imagine this scenario. A man with a dog act is hired to perform at a kids' party. He doesn't have the dog on a leash, he just carries a fireplace poker. When he wants the dog to walk with him, he uses the metal hook on the poker to catch the dog under the chin and yank. When the dog takes more than a step or two away from him, the man uses the poker to jab the dog under her armpit or behind her ear until she is so frightened that she stops moving and just cowers.
Can you picture how upset the children would be? C

Giraffe's basketball-sized heart beats for about 30 years (Video)
Mammal hearts beat 800,000,000 times in a lifetime

Egypt wildlife in need of protection
Egypt has a rich biodiversity and a vast number of animal species found on its soil. But in spite of this richness, Egypt’s wildlife is threatened by ongoing smuggling and illegal hunting, while captive animals suffer from a range of ill treatment that goes ignored by officials.
The law for the protection of wildlife, implemented in 1994, prohibits the killing of threatened species native to Egypt. The law was amended slightly in 2009 to protect all threatened species in Egyptian territory.
A total of 28 protected areas, scattered across Egypt, protect and control the habitat of certain wildlife.
“The biggest threat for wildlife in Egypt is hunting for bush meat,” says Dr. Sherif Bahaa Eddin, an ornithologist and member of the NGO Nature Conservation Egypt. “People hunt owls, quails, whatever they can catch for food, because

Heat wave claims crocodiles in Chhattisgarh zoo
A pair of crocodiles were victims of a heat wave at a zoo in Chhattisgarh where the maximum temperature has touched 45 degrees Celsius, officials said on Wednesday.
A postmortem report Wednesday said that male and one female crocodile, both aged about six years who were found dead at Nandan Van zoo on the outskirts of capital Raipur Monday, had died of the searing heat.
"The crocodiles failed to sustain a plus 45 degrees Celsius temperature. The female crocodile was pregnant and all 16 eggs were taken out from her stomach during the post-mortem," Jaikishore Jaria, the veterinary doctor of the zoo, told reporters.
Forest department sources said "poor care of the crocodiles" could also have played a role in their death.
"The zoo had just a pair of crocodiles left and both were kept in open-air water

Majority of New Diseases Coming from Animals
If reports are to be believed, 75% of emerging illnesses in human beings originate from animals. It includes bird and swine flu diseases. These are commonly known as “zoonoses”. HIV/AIDS, transmitted by African chimpanzees and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS has also emerged from bats.
Research has revealed that even malaria appears to be a zoonotic disease. It has been confirmed that malaria emerged from chimpanzees but was transferred to human beings during the last 2 to 3 million years.
This has still not improved our response to these

New species of monitor lizard discovered in Indonesia
Scientists have discovered a new species of monitor lizard, a close relative of the Komodo dragon.
Sam Sweet, a professor in the department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at UCSB, and Valter Weijola, a graduate student at Abo Akademi University in Turku, Finland, say that the distinctive lizard lives in the Moluccan islands of east Indonesia.
The scientific name of this lizard is Varanus obor; its popular names are Torch monitor and Sago monitor.
It's called Torch monitor because of its bright orange head with a glossy black body. Obor means torch in Indonesian. It is a close relative of the fruit-eating monitor lizard recently reported from the Philippines.
The Torch monitor can grow to nearly four feet in length, and thrives on a diet of small animals and carrion.
The Torch monitor exists only on the small island of Sanana in the western Moluccan islands. A unique aspect of this geographical region is the lack of mammalian predators, which may have given reptiles the space to evolve as the

Painting show calls for better Siberian tiger protection
A painting and photography show on Siberian tigers opened in northeast China Wednesday, calling for better protection of the animal, the organizer said.
Hundreds of works about Siberian tigers from all over China presented in "China Siberian Tiger Painting and Photography Show" are on view at the Siberian Tiger Zoo of Changchun, capital of Jilin Province.
The theme of the one-month show is "protect Siberian tigers, love nature."
"People are free to visit the zoo today for the opening, and visitors with zoo tickets can see the show at no extra charge starting from tomorrow," the zoo's spokesman said.
China has only about wild 20 Siberian tigers living in the regions of Changbai mountains in Jilin Province and the Wanda mountains of Heilongjiang Province near China-Russia border.
"With more efforts to protect the habitat in recent years, more

Raju's zoo heading for closure?
Ramalinga Raju’s personal zoo in Bahadurpally is headed for closure in a year’s time. Sources say that the zoo, spread over six hectares, located in Mahindra Satyam’s Bahadurpally campus, is being closed as the new management wants to prune expenses.
The little-known ‘Satyam zoo’ came up in 1996 when Ramalinga Raju decided to take his father’s love for wildlife a step ahead and put together a few animals and birds in the IT firm’s backyard. This mini zoo or the deer park is home to spotted deer, rabbits and tortoises among numerous species of exotic birds.
“The present management has already cut down the manpower in the horticulture section. Though they have applied for the annual renewal afresh from Central Zoo Authority (CZA) a few weeks ago, we are told that the zoo would be closed down in some time,” said a source. Raju’s zoo has another section for several exotic birds, peacocks, two ostriches and this will

Rare species of tiny, lethal frog is bred in British aquarium
Extract from the phantasmal poison frog produces a powerful painkiller which could save lives, say experts
A rare species of tiny, lethal frog normally found in South America has been bred at a British aquarium.
The phantasmal poison frogs, which measure less than a centimetre in length and whose poison is 200 times more powerful than morphine, have been bred at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Portsmouth. It is hoped that the frog, one of the most toxic amphibians on the planet, which exists in the wild in Ecuador, could help save lives.
Jenna MacFarlane, of the aquarium, said: "Despite their deadly status, scientists have discovered that an extract from the skin of the phantasmal poison frog, Epipedrobates tricolor, can block pain 200 times more effectively than morphine, without addiction and other serious side-effects and we are delighted to have been able to breed them successfully here in Portsmouth.
"It's imperative we are able to mimic exactly their wild environment in order for the species to thrive in captivity and it's a real achievement they are breeding so successfully.
The World Conservation Union considers the frog to be endangered. It is thought to survive at only seven

Snails Are Saving Endangered Gorillas
Humble snails are helping to prevent Cross River gorilla poaching in Nigeria, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.
The WCS has just launched a new program that promotes snail farming, which helps local people generate income, provides an alternative source of animal protein, and hopefully will eliminate illegal hunting of what is Africa’s rarest and most endangered great ape.
Eight former gorilla hunters were selected from four villages to participate in the new initiative. With help from the WCS, they've constructed snail pens, each of which was stocked with 230 African giant snails. Because of the snail’s high protein content, coupled with low maintenance costs, quick results, and easy replication, snail farming is expected to catch on quickly.
Just as French chefs prize snails, locals there view these gastropods as a delicacy and the high demand for them in villages and larger communities makes the prospect of farming viable.
“People living near Cross River gorillas have trouble finding alternative sources of income and food and that’s why they poach,” said James Deutsch, Director of the Wildlife Conservation

Tigers at centre of ownership stoush
Taranaki's new white tigers are caught in the middle of a legal cat fight between television's Lion Man and his mother.
Lion Man Craig Busch says he owns the tigers and never gave permission for them to be moved, while his mother's company says it is the real owner.
The three female bengals arrived at Pouakai Zoo in New Plymouth last week from Zion Wildlife Gardens in Northland.
Zion is the park that featured in The Lion Man TV series, fronted by Mr Busch and his former partner.
It has been embroiled in a number of sagas in recent years, including the death of a keeper, an assault conviction against Mr Busch, and a legal battle between Mr Busch and his mother, Patricia Busch, following Mr Busch's dismissal from the park.
Now, Mr Busch is again threatening legal action against his mother, who he says didn't have the right to move the white tigers away from Zion because she doesn't own them.
A spokeswoman for Mr Busch told the Taranaki Daily News that Mr Busch's trust, the Busch Wildlife Foundation, actually owned the cats and he didn't want them to be moved.
She said Mr Busch, who is overseas, would take the tigers back to Zion as soon as he regained control of the park.
"It's not the fact they aren't being looked after – they certainly look happy – it's more the principle of the thing," spokeswoman Jill Ward said.
"Patricia has now set the precedent that she can do what she wants. But Craig maintains he owns the animals and is supposed to have some control over them, which he doesn't."
Mrs Ward said she did not blame Pouakai Zoo for taking the tigers.
"Our only issue is that we made it quite clear that [the move] was contrary

Topeka Zoo Hires New Director
At a City Hall news conference on Wednesday, Brendan Wiley was announced as the Topeka Zoo's new director.
Wiley worked for 11 years at the Kansas City Zoo and most recently was the executive director of Animal Haven in Merriam, KS.
He starts May 24th and his annual salary was reported to be $78,000.
To find out more about Wiley and how he plans to turn the Topeka

Development of Zoological Parks
Central Zoo Authority has prepared a concept paper viz. Ex-Situ Wild Life Conservation and Zoos in India, Vision 2020. This document envisages achieving the objectives of zoos as indicated in National Zoo Policy, 1988 to compliment and strengthen the national efforts in the conservation of rich biodiversity of country particularly the wild fauna. Following are the important components of the Vision- 2020:
Master Plan, Construction of appropriate animal housings in zoos, Conservation Breeding Programme, Rescue and Rehabilitation, Animal Health care in zoos, Development of other infrastructure in zoos, Research, Training of in-service zoo personnel, Record keeping and International Co-operation.
The details of the financial assistance provided to the zoos State-wise, is at Annexure.
Central Zoo Authority provides financial assistance to recognized zoos in the country for better upkeep and maintenance of animals in the zoos. Central assistance is released after processing the proposals and as per availability of funds. During the last financial year (2009-2010), Central Zoo Authority has received proposals for financial assistance

National park to release Javanese lemurs into wild
Some 20 Javanese Lemurs (Nycticebus Javanicus) are to be released into the wild by the Halimun Mountain National Park in cooperation with International Animal Rescue (IAR).
"Their release is intended to return the animals to their natural habitats, and at the same time to observe the primate`s habits to devise a strategy to promote their breeding, " said Halimun Mountain National Park chief Bambang Supriyanto here Monday.
Bambang said the event would be conducted on Wednesday (Apr 14) in Ciapus, Bogor, West Java.
To monitor the primate`s activity, all the 20 lemurs would be equipped with six collar radio transmitters. The monitoring would be done over a six-month period by an expert from IAR, Dr. Richard Moore.
The research on the Lemurs would focus on their breeding habits and life cycle to obtain a scientific understanding of the primate`s role in the wild.
"This understanding will help to maintain their population. The effort is very important to prevent them from becoming extinct by human activity such as hunting

Labour call for zoo closures criticised
COLCHESTER Liberal Democrat candidate Bob Russell has criticised Basildon South & Thurrock East Labour candidate Angela Smith, who has called for the closure of all Britain’s zoos, despite Colchester Zoo being the biggest single tourist attraction in Essex.
He accused Mrs Smith, a minister in Gordon Brown’s government, of seeking to divert attention from what he described as “Labour’s betrayal” for its failure to ban the use of exotic animals in circuses, even though it has been a Labour Party commitment.
Elephants and lions were still being used

Zoo Kiwi Flight Of A Lifetime Will Help Kiwi Mates
Five North Island Brown kiwi hatched and reared at Auckland Zoo fly out to the United States this evening to assist the international captive breeding programme for our endangered national bird.
Destined for San Diego Wild Animal Park, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia, and Germany's Frankfurt Zoo, the birds (a single female and two pairs) will contribute valuable new bloodlines to the American and European kiwi populations, which currently stand at 16 and 22 respectively.
"This is the first international kiwi transfer from New Zealand in almost 20 years, and we've been working closely with the Department of Conservation (DOC) and our overseas partners to enable it to happen. We're delighted that as well as introducing new blood to the northern hemisphere captive population, it's going to help open lines of communication between kiwi

Female crawfish wanted to breed by Anglesey sea zoo
Fishermen are being asked to keep a look out for a rare female marine crawfish, so conservationists can breed them in captivity to increase numbers.
Anglesey Sea Zoo already has two male crawfish, one of which was found last weekend off the Lleyn peninsula.
Little is known about the crawfish, also known as rock lobsters, and why numbers are declining.
The plan is to build on expertise from an earlier breed and release scheme for the common European lobster at the zoo.
The male crawfish was found off Aberdaron last Sunday.
It is the first one the fisherman, or anyone at the sea zoo had seen for many years, according to Dr Dylan

Jal Sansthan allows separate water pipeline for zoo animals
Scorching heat, power cuts and resultant water crisis is nothing new for the denizens. But, where people have devised ways to fight these problems, the animals at the city zoo were left totally helpless. However, thanks to the timely action taken by the zoo authorities, the animals now have an assured supply of water to quench their thirst.
Till now, the zoo was dependent on the tubewells for water but owing to prolonged power cuts, the water supply remained affected on most of the days. It was then that the zoo officials thought of an innovative solution to the problem. They arranged for a separate water line directly from the Ganga Barrage water pumping station to the zoo.
Director, Kanpur Zoo, K Praveen Rao said, "It is for the first time here in Kanpur Zoo that we had to request for a separate water line from Jal Sansthan due to odd hours of power rostering. We were forced to think differently for keeping the wildlife alive. When we need to pump water from the tubewells, there was no power and when power supply is on, the timings

Riau to have Sumatran tiger study center
The Sumatran Tiger Conservation Program Foundation will establish a Sumatran tiger study center in Riau Province.
The study center was aimed at monitoring and preserving the remaining endangered Sumatran tigers as their population continued to decrease annually, Bastoni of the Sumatran Tiger Conservation Program Foundation, said, here, on Friday.
"The first study center will be set up in Sinepis, Rokan Hilir District, as a model. And later, if it runs well and shows concrete benefit, similar study centers will be established in other conservation area," he said.
The study center will be established with the cooperation of forest concession holders in Riau.
Around 20 to 25 tigers live in Sinepis conservation area. The study center is also expected to prevent any tiger attack or encroachment in human settlement areas in Rokan Hilir District.
"The study center will also monitor the movement of the Sumatran tigers in Rokan Hilir as they get wilder due to food shortage in the conservation area," he said.
Inhabitants of Pasir Limau and Sungai Daun villages recently

'Eden Project for butterflies' hopes to become world's biggest
Second stage of conservation project begins with release of hundreds of Heliconius chestertonii into butterfly house
Hundreds of specimens of a tropical butterfly – bred from just seven abandoned pupae – are now flying in Butterfly World, an ambitious scheme to create an Eden Project for butterflies by the M25.
Heliconius chestertonii, a small but striking butterfly with dark blue iridescent wings, was successfully bred by Clive Farrell, the lepidopterist and entrepreneur behind the £25m project to build the world's largest centre for butterfly conservation close to St Albans, Hertfordshire.
Heliconius chestertonii lives up to nine months in ideal conditions, compared with the typical two weeks for most butterflies. The specimens have been released into the butterfly house at Butterfly World to mark the opening of phase two of the unique development, which is supported by David Bellamy and Sir David Attenborough.
The final stage of the project – a 100-metre wide dome filled with lush tropical rainforest, Mayan ruins and 10,000 butterflies – is due to be completed in the autumn of 2011.
For Farrell, a property developer who has bred butterflies for 20 years, Butterfly World has been a lifelong ambition. He was sent seven fragile pupae in the post by a friend who had to abandon a breeding attempt owing to the heating costs involved. Unusually, Farrell managed to hatch all seven into adult butterflies, from which two females bred and laid more eggs. The cannibalistic caterpillars had to be placed far apart on tropical food plants. Last winter, Farrell successfully bred hundreds of the butterflies, which can race through their egg to

Zoo raises more than $103,000 for conservation, one quarter at a time
And the winner is .... the orangutan.
The orangutan — whose habitat in Borneo and Sumatra is being devastated by the clearing of forests for exotic wood and palm oil plantations — was the top vote-getter in the second year of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Quarters for Conservation program. But it isn’t the only species to benefit from the program. Year two of Quarters for Conservation raised more than $103,000 for conservation efforts around the world, zoo officials announced Friday morning.
Here’s how the program works: The zoo contributes 25 cents from each admission — or $2.50 from each family membership — to wildlife conservation projects. Half of the money goes to longstanding programs to protect black-footed ferrets, Mexican gray wolves and other species. The other half goes to a half-dozen projects represented in a display in the zoo’s entry plaza; visitors receive a token to vote for their favorite program, thus determining the percentage of funding each gets.
“Every time you come to the zoo, you help save wildlife,” said Bob Chastain, zoo president

Biodiversity Target Missed: World Fails to Slow Loss of Animals, Plants
World leaders have failed to fulfill their commitments to reduce the global rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, and have instead overseen "alarming" biodiversity declines, finds the first assessment of how the targets expressed in the 2002 Convention on Biological Diversity have not been met.
Since 1970, human activities have reduced animal populations by 30 percent, the area of mangroves and sea grasses by 20 percent and the coverage of living corals by 40 percent, the assessment finds.
"Our analysis shows that governments have failed to deliver on the commitments they made in 2002: biodiversity is still being lost as fast as ever, and we have made little headway in reducing the pressures on species, habitats and ecosystems," said the paper's lead author Dr. Stuart Butchart of the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre and BirdLife I

BD200,000 zoo opens at Al Areen
A BD200,000 complex housing exotic wild animals will be opened at Al Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve, Sakhir, on Monday.
It follows the opening of a BD100,000 aviary this month and officials hope the two new attractions will lead to an increase in visitors.
The new complex will house leopards, foxes, wolves and hyenas, which were shipped in from Africa and Asia in December.
Half the cost of the project, a joint venture by the government and private sector, has been paid by Batelco.
"More than 10,000 people visit the park every month and we are expecting more with the opening of these two attractions," said park tour guide head Saqer Khamis.
"The opening of the complex was due in February, but was postponed because of unfinished work.
"Now it's complete and will be opened on Monday."
The Al Areen wildlife sanctuary was officially opened in 1979 with a mission

Chinese Zoo Tigers Are Upfront and Personal With Visitors
In keeping with that old expression about letting the cat out of the bag, Wenzhou Zoo, Zhejiang province has done just that literally, and has received much criticism for its actions.
Visitors to the zoo are not only allowed to pet a tiger, they can also pose for pictures as they pretend to ride it!
An animal troupe puts on big cat shows every day at the zoo. They are not part of the operating zoo but rather rent space. After the 20-minute performance, visitors are invited to come up close, touch the tiger and pose for pictures as they pretend to ride the animal.
Three men supposedly “keep an eye on” the tiger, while a female photographer charges 30 yuan (about 6 US dollars) for taking pictures. Here’s where things get a little fuzzy and safety boundaries break down significantly. Keeping an eye on and restraining are two completely different things. How fast could these men intervene if the tiger is having a “bad hair moment” or something of that ilk?
The photographer claims that the tiger is tame and its teeth and claws have been filed down, but many have noted that she stands a considerable distance away while taking pictures.
“The zoo shouldn’t allow a tiger to pose for pictures with people

17 graduate from Zoo Academy
The inaugural class at the Henry Doorly Zoo’s expanded, full-day Zoo Academy graduated Friday at a ceremony in Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Pavilion.
The 17 seniors from the Papillion-La Vista school district spent their entire school year at the zoo. They studied math, science and social studies while having hands-on learning experiences with zoo professionals.
“They actually had lockers on premises,” said Dawn Ream, a zoo spokeswoman.
The academy, currently in its 15th year, had previously brought students to the zoo

Animal bites visitor at zoo
Porter Zoo was bitten Friday by an animal that briefly escaped from her enclosure.
"There was a situation where a white-handed gibbon got off the island," said Ciri Haugh, marketing coordinator. "The keepers were responding to the animal being off the island and part of that response is moving the visitors away from the area."
Jerry Stones, facilities director, said he was driving along a walkway in a go-cart when a group of visitors wanted to stop and photograph him. As they moved away, one of them asked, ‘Is that monkey supposed to be here?’ "
Stones said he looked around to see Chanie the gibbon sitting on a wooden railing next to the walkway.
"I told those people ‘Please leave,’ " Stones said. "They left and moved on toward the spider

Polar bear poo helps in superbug hunt
Polar bear droppings are helping scientists shed light on the spread of deadly antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
Bacteria such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are a growing problem in hospitals and researchers are anxious to understand how they evolve.
Norwegian researchers said they had found little sign of such microbes in the faeces of polar bears in the remote Arctic, suggesting the spread of resistance genes seen in the droppings of other animals may be due to human influence.
In contrast to the results from polar bears on the Svalbard archipelago, antibiotic resistance has been discovered in a range of animals including deer, foxes, pigs, dogs and cats that live close to humans.
Trine Glad of the University of Tromso said her team's research, published on Thursday in the journal BMC Microbiology, was important evidence in the debate as to whether resistance occurs

Zoo wants 17 new animals; cost is $70,000
Visitors to the El Paso Zoo may be able to see 17 new animals this summer.
The City Council on Tuesday will consider spending $70,000 to buy the animals, pay for medical screenings and relocate them to El Paso.
The zoo would get six zebras, two greater kudus, five Thomson's gazelles, two African ostriches and two East African crowned cranes. It does not have these species now.
The animals would be part of the zoo's new Africa exhibit.
Zoo Director Steve Marshall said the public would be able to view them some time in July, as the exhibit is unveiled in phases. The first of them opened in March with lions and meerkats.
"This is really exciting," Marshall said. "This is our first large collection of African animals in the history of the zoo. We've had one or two before in an old-style exhibit. This is a modern immersion experience where you are surrounded by an African exhibit."
The animals will be purchased from Safari West of Santa

‘Euthanization’ of Renuka lion safari draws protests
In Himachal, we often hear of ‘Sangarsh Manch’ as a people’s action group formed to oppose a hydel project or some other mega-project, but in the Renuka area of Sirmaur, local people have organized themselves not to save their own livelihood, but the lives of ‘now helpless’ lions inhabiting the only lion safari in the state. Following direction from the Central Zoo Authority, the lion safari, spread over seven hectares of land, is proposed to be closed completely. Last week two lionesses were shifted from here to Gopalpur Zoo in Palmpur and the remaining one lion and three lionesses would also be sent to the same zoo in the coming days. Claiming that the state government and the wildlife department are to be blamed for the mess, residents have now decided to take up the cause themselves.
In an effort to save the safari, locals have now urged PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) to intervene in the matter. Office bearers of a ‘Sangarsh Manch’ formed to oppose the move have already sent a written complaint to them in this regard. It is learnt that CZA did not want to increase the number of these lions as they suspected the genetic purity of the breed residing here. Sources claimed Himachal government’s wildlife department not only failed to prove the genetic purity of the breed but, surprisingly, also avoided various guidelines set by CZA to know the purity or exact breed of these wild cats. It is also learnt that even after repeated requests, DNA samples of the lions were never provided to CZA by the wildlife department of the state.
Once an adobe for 28 healthy Indian-Afro lions, the safari officials were also targeted by former environment minister Menaka Gandhi for its worse upkeep. This safari came under strong criticism when lions started dying during 1996 to 2005. “Although there were no concrete findings about why the lions were dying, even than authorities straight-forwardly decided to close the safari,” said Vikram, an activist and member of Sangarsh Manch. It was said that as all lions here were coming from the same family, it might have created genetic problems. CZA had then banned proliferations of lions in the safari and their number started drastically reducing. The wildlife department was advised to bring lions from different families for cross-breeding, but they failed to do so.
“There is no logic that a lion can be safer in a cage at Gopalpur Zoo rather than in an open safari,” said Vikram, adding that five out of the six lions sent to the zoo till 2008

ICF and the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, April 28, 2010
In 10 years, the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP) has accomplished an impressive conservation result—the establishment of a healthy, migratory population of 103 Whooping Cranes, with high survival rates for both juveniles and adults. Released cranes in this population are now pairing, establishing breeding territories, nesting, laying fertile eggs, and initiating incubation. The cranes are not yet incubating their eggs to full-term.
ICF plays an integral role in this reintroduction project through our successful captive breeding program, for which we just received the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Endangered Species Recovery Champion Award. ICF’s Crane Conservation Department, in partnership with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, leads the Direct Autumn Release (DAR) program. Thirty-three Whooping Cranes have been successfully released into the eastern flyway through the DAR program. ICF’s Veterinary Services Department has made improvements in health care, bird handling and disease identification within the flock. Through outreach programs and on-site tours, ICF has generated greater public awareness about Whooping Cranes and the importance of habitat protection and responsible stewardship.
WCEP organized an external review to address the challenges of this experimental reintroduction effort and to identify what works well, and what we could improve or change. The review team provided a comprehensive report that addresses the strengths and shortcomings of both the operations and organization of WCEP. The review

Big Plan For Zoo
A new, multi-million dollar visitor experience at the Auckland Zoo will become a reality thanks to a grant from the Lottery Significant Projects Fund.
The grant of almost $2.7 million will go to Auckland Zoo's Te Wao Nui development.
The zoo has been working for three years to secure funding for the project that will transform a third of the zoo into a botanical garden and conservation park.
The enclosure will feature native New Zealand species such as tuatara, kiwi, blue ducks, kereru and native plants.
Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye says she's delighted at the funding which is partnered with funding from the Auckland City Council.
"What makes this experience so special is that this exhibit

Bear shot in N.W.T. was grizzly-polar hybrid
Could be first 2nd generation hybrid found in wild
Biologists in the Northwest Territories have confirmed that an unusual-looking bear shot earlier this month near Ulukhaktok, N.W.T., was a rare hybrid grizzly-polar bear.
The unusual-looking bear caught the attention of biologists after David Kuptana, an Inuvialuit hunter, shot and killed it on April 8 on the sea ice just west of the Arctic community, formerly known as Holman.
The bear had thick white fur like a polar bear, but it also had a wide head, brown legs and brown paws like a grizzly.
Kuptana said he shot the bear from a distance after it scavenged through five unoccupied cabins near Ulukhaktok, then tried running toward the community.
Wildlife DNA analysis shows the bear was a second-generation hybrid, officials with the N.W.T. Environment and Natural Resources Department said in a news release Friday.
The bear was the result of a female grizzly-polar hybrid mating with a male grizzly bear, according to the department.
"This confirms the existence of at least one female polar-grizzly hybrid near Banks Island," the release said.

Octopus vs. Sea Lion—First Ever Video
New National Geographic Crittercam footage shows never before seen eating habits of the Australian sea lion—including video of a sea lion hunting a large octopus. The footage is from a project intended to help save the endangered sea lions, in part by uncovering where and how the

Pregnant rare Sumatran rhino spotted in Borneo
Wildlife experts here remain hopeful about the future of the highly endangered Sumatran rhino following a rare picture of a 20-year-old female that is believed to be pregnant.
The picture of the female rhino was captured by remote camera trap devices set up jointly by the Sabah Wildlife Department and WWF-Malaysia.
The picture was considered rare as there were estimated to be less than 30 rhinos left on the entire island

Wolf Conservation Center Receives $300K Grant
Plans for the Wolf Conservation Center’s move to the northeast corner adjacent to the 383-acre Leon Levy Preserve have just received a major boost and vote of approval from Parks Commissioner Carol Ash and the State’s Environmental Protection Fund.
{mosgoogle}The WCC is one of only three organizations in the Hudson Valley region to receive an Acquisition and Development Grant from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP).
In the letter awarding the grant, Commissioner Ash cited Governor David A. Paterson's commitment “to making smart investments in the environment, in historic preservation, and in community quality of life.” In keeping with that commitment, the state has made more than $20.8 million of grant funds available for distribution this year, and, according to the letter, the competition for this year's grant funding was “extremely keen.”
“It is immensely gratifying to receive this grant and acknowlegement, and to be in the company of amazing environmental institutions like Teatown and the Mohonk Preserve (the other two grant recipients in the region) – they have been around for over 40 years, and we are only 10 years old!” said WCC Executive Director, Deborah Heineman.
Founded in 1999, the WCC has a dual mission:
1.To educate people about wolves, their precarious recovery since near extinction at the beginning of the 20th Century, and their role as a top predator crucial to the maintenance of a healthy, balanced ecosystem.
2.To actively shelter and breed endangered Mexican gray wolves and red wolves as part of the national SSP (Species Survival Plan) program administered by U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
“We are very pleased with the strides we have made in our first decade,” explains Heineman, “and have had an impact on literally tens of thousands of people throughout the Northeast with our experiential education programs. We have also accomplished our dreams for our SSP program: We had our first litter of endangered wolves on Earth Day two years ago and currently have three breeding pairs that we hope will have pups. But there is NO room for further growth at our present site, and when a group of local$300K_Grant_2010050113229.html

Rare fennec fox cub triplets born at East Sussex zoo
Three rare foxes have been born at an East Sussex zoo as part of a European breeding programme.
The fennec foxes cubs were born at Drusillas Park Zoo, Alfriston, last month and are believed to be the first litter to be bred in Europe in 2010.
The animals are the smallest member of the dog family and have oversized ears, which can grow up to 15cm (6in) long.
Zoo manager Sue Woodgate said:"I am absolutely thrilled with the new arrivals."
Fennec foxes have a high mortality rate and the triplets, born to parents, Mali and Tabari, are

Lungs of the world are choking
The lungs of the world are suffering from serious breathing problems. It struck me again when we drove for ten hours on a dirt road on the Indonesian island of Borneo without seeing... trees. I mean real firm standing trees with leaves. The once stunning rain forest has been replaced by a scenery that mostly resembles a graveyard. Undefinable bush on both sides of the road where blackened burned remains of trees are the only evidence that this used to be a forest. Borneo-romantically described as the lungs of the world-is not the most cheerful place on this planet.
The island has turned into a wild west area where loggers, miners and greedy officials rule.
Far away from the capital Jakarta logging permits, conservation assessments, sustainable palm oil are just abstract concepts of people wearing suits sitting in airconditioned offices. Here the rules of the jungle apply.
The minister of forestry had put it bluntly. "Two million hectares of forest has been illegally converted into palm oil plantations."
The real amount is probably higher. Large established

IUCN to help on Iran wild cats
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is set to hold a workshop in Iran to study the living conditions of the country's wild cats.
Iran inked a memorandum of understanding with the IUCN as part of efforts to preserve the country's wild feline species of which two have become extinct, Mohammad-Baqer Sadouq, an official with Iran's Department of Environment told MehrNews agency on Saturday.
The environmental expert said little information was available about the condition of Iran's wild cats including Pallas cats -- also known as the Manul -- and Sand (Dune) cats, technically known as Felis margarita.
The new development comes as director of the Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah Project Alireza Jourabchian announced earlier that there were fewer sightings of the endangered wild§ionid=351020105

Me Tarzan! How Zoo heir Damian Aspinall is reintroducing gorillas into the wild
When your father is a millionaire eccentric, with a vision of creating some sort of equatorial rainforest in your back garden in Kent, your childhood is never exactly going to be 'normal'. Still, Damian Aspinall's earliest memories take some beating. One involves him climbing a tree, as six-year-olds do, and getting stuck. His father, 'being my father', reacted in a rather peculiar way.
'He just walked off, saying something like, "Oh, Damian, you'll figure it out". 'That's what he was like. Strict. Harsh. He thought things like that would toughen me up. Anyway, I remember crying my eyes out, for what seemed like ages. Eventually, one of our female gorillas climbed up and carried me down in her arms. She spent the rest of the day comforting me. I've never forgotten that feeling.'
Fast forward four decades and, in some regard, little has changed, save for the ' family' dynamics. His father is long dead, but the gorillas with whom the young Damian forged such a bond are still very much a part of his life. Now aged 49, he gets quite emotional when telling the story of how, on a recent trip to the west African country of Gabon, he was reunited with an old friend, Kwibi, a silverback gorilla who had, like so many, been raised on the manicured lawns of the family home.
'It was one of the most amazing, and moving, moments of my life,' he reveals. 'Kwibi's reintroduction to the wild had been so successful that the last time he'd had contact with a human being, a hunter, he had become very aggressive. But when he saw me, he recognised me. He greeted me like a long-lost brother. Eventually, he introduced me to his wife and children. It was so touching.'
It's not the first time he uses the family analogy. The purpose of the trip to Gabon had been to return three young gorillas, bred in captivity, to the wild. Damian went too, full of excitement, trepidation

Tiger tourism in India: the case against
Is tourism good for India’s vanishing tigers? Justin Francis, managing director of the travel agency, believes the decision to ban tiger tourism is correct.
This week, India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority announced that it plans to phase out tourism in its 37 tiger reserves. Here we ask two experts whether the government was right to take such a drastic step to arrest the decline of this endangered species, which now numbers just 1,350 in the whole of the subcontinent.
Justin Francis, managing director of the travel agency, says:
I have reluctantly concluded that the Indian government’s decision to ban tiger tourism in core conservation areas in the short term is the correct one.
The government’s failure to manage tourism responsibly has, by its own admission, resulted in lodges being built in sensitive habitats; hotels blocking corridors tigers follow between conservation areas; and unregulated viewing, which has disturbed tigers.
Despite the excellent work done by responsible tour operators and lodges to support conservation, tourism has damaged tiger populations.
My reluctance in agreeing with the ban stems from my belief that in the long term conservation works only when it is done in partnership with local communities who live around parks

Tiger tourism in India: the case for
Is tourism good for India’s vanishing tigers? Julian Matthews, chairman of Travel Operators for Tigers, says the decision to ban tiger tourism is misguided.
This week, India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority announced that it plans to phase out tourism in its 37 tiger reserves. Here we ask two experts whether the government was right to take such a drastic step to arrest the decline of this endangered species, which now numbers just 1,350 in the whole of the subcontinent.
Julian Matthews, chairman of Travel Operators for Tigers, says:
Having spent many years visiting India’s forests and wildlife parks, I am amazed by the decision of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to cast tourism out of core tiger areas.
These “over-loved” parks have the best habitats and the highest tiger densities. Corbett, the most visited park, still has the highest number of tigers in India (according to the NTCA’s 2008 census). Bandavgarh has the heaviest densities of tigers in its main tourism zone, with five breeding females and 14 cubs, and it receives 45,000 visitors a year.
When sub-adult tigers leave the tourist zone to seek their own ranges in buffer zones, they get “lost” – poached or poisoned. These facts suggest that the best security for tigers exists in tourism zones, and tigers and their prey sense it.
Travel Operators for Tigers (TOFT) estimated that one Ranthambhore tigress generated some $130 million (£90m) in direct tourism revenue in the 10 years of her adult life. Take this away,

7 Animals Being Eaten To Extinction (PHOTOS) 

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Behind the Cloak of Buddha
(News update from the Thai Tiger Temple)

Hello All,

As you know the 10 yr old female original tiger called Sangtewan has spiralled into an appalling state after giving birth to possibly her 45th litter of cubs....this dear girl..

For quite a while now, Sangtewan has had terrible kidney and liver problems, basically steming from the near vegetarian diet she (and the other tigers) have been fed all of their lives. The utter lack of nutrients, vitamins, everything required for a healthy tiger, has highly contributed to her demise and these illnesses. This is not a lone case eg: Phayru

After recieving word that Sangtewan had her 5 day old cubs removed and she was in severe pain, the dire need for veterinary care was vital.

The Temple is very aware of who I am, and that I watch and report on the tigers. But the Temple also has threatened me in the past, in particular a sinister man by the name of Rod Gonzalez. The threats were very real and absolute life threats. But we cannot allow fear to restrict our moves to save these creatures.

So, I wrote to the temple, informing them I knew exactly what was going on with Sangtewan and offering to supply that veterinary care, in fact begging.....

In addition, as there is not enough room for the number of cats they have there now, and with the prior knowledge and witnessing the 'disappearances' or trades of cats, when it becomes too crowded, the time to act is right now, something had and has to be done.

This correspondence is written in simple english, to ensure it is understandable to them.

I do not like dealing with the devil, but I also cannot stand idyly by and watch these tigers die preventable deaths, one by one.

By exposing myself to them, and informing them of the knowledge that the medical conditions of these tigers is known, it offers a small form of protection to the tigers, by letting the Temple know they are being watched closely, that the tigers are very known and they are being monitored.


Hello Dr Somchai

I recently came to the temple to see the tigers. I did see them, but am writing to you in particular about Sangtewan. I know that she is very very sick now. Sangtewan is extremely ill and needs pain relief immediately. She needs antibiotics, and kidney and liver medication. I love Sangtewan very very much and hope that you will help her immediately.

Please let me know if you cannot help her and I will send help for her.

I also wanted to know that as the older cats are big know, and take up alot of room at Tiger Temple, would you be looking for people to buy the tigers and rehome them? If you do, I would like to purchase 5 - 10 adult tigers.

Please let me know if this is possible. And please tell me if I can help with Sangtewan and any of the others health problems.



Somchai Visasmongkolchai April 27 at 3:32am Report

Dear Ms.Sybelle

May be you misunderstanding about Tiger Sangtawan, she is very good health with her 5 cubs at this moment and stay in Tiger Island which this year we will let the tigers free when we set up electric fence already. You can get Tiger Sangtawan pictures in the attached file.

Best regards

This is the Dr that has the worst reputation for the care of these tigers and many other animals.

Dr Somchai has sent me a photograph of Sangtewan as of 20/4/10. I will post that on the BCB site.

One of the biggest problems is that the level of care given to these cats is of such a low standard that there will be no recovery of Sangtewans condition. She will die slowly. Education is vital, i am pursuing that still.

However, one positive is that the Temple will speak to me and offer information of sorts. I hope to build on this...

I have since had conversations with the Dr in regard to enrichment for the cats. Everything counts, and it doesnt matter I am talking with the enemy, if there is a way to educate them, to protect those tigers, i will do it....

I am telling you all this for your knowledge and to ensure that if anything happens, you all know exactly what is going on.

The media is being pursued for their support, to expose this place, to help educate the public, but in the meantime, there is only one way to save these tigers now, and that is to get them out of there, one by one.

I am pursuing the temple now, to allow the older tigers to be taken out of the temple and rehomed.

I will keep you updated into how that is going.

Sybelle xo

To keep updated on the Tiger Temple please go to the Facebook Page
Behind the Cloak of the Buddha



Dear Elephant friend

Despite the ongoing political problems in Bangkok our elephants still need to eat and be taken care of. So in an unprecented move we are reducing our price during MAY 2010 only.

Book now and come this month and you will receive a whopping 25% off* our regular price.

For details please check our website here

We and our elephants look forward to hearing from you very soon

best regards

Elephantstay Team

*conditions apply


April 2010 | Vol. 2 | No. 4 | Pages 789-848 | Date of Publication 26 April 2010
ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print)


Description of a new species of scorpion of the genus Lychas C.L. Koch, 1845 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from Maharashtra, India

-- Zeeshan A. Mirza & Rajesh V. Sanap, pp. 789-796

Breeding biology of the Small Bee-eater Merops orientalis ( Latha m, 1801) in Nagapattinam District, Tamil Nadu, India

-- S. Asokan, A. Mohamed Samsoor Ali & R. Manikannan, pp. 797-804

Additions to the Odonata (Insecta) of Goa

-- Parag Rangnekar, Manoj Borkar & Omkar Dharwadkar, pp. 805-814

Association of spiders and lichen on Robben Island, South Africa: a case report

-- Aeshita Mukherjee, Burkhard Wilske, Rene A. Navarro, Ansie Dippenaar-Schoeman & L.G. Underhill, pp. 815-819

Sympatric speciation

-- Krishna Kumar Verma, pp. 820-823

Meliolaceae of Kerala, India – XXX new species and new records

-- V.B. Hosagoudar & M.C. Riju, pp. 824-826

On some testacids (Protozoa) of Melghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra, India

-- L. Bindu, pp. 827-830

Rediscovery of two rare butterflies Papilio elephenor Doubleday, 1845 and Shijimia moorei Leech, 1889 from proposed Ripu-Chirang Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam, India

-- Kushal Choudhury, pp. 831-834

Subspecific status of the southern Indian population of Nyctemera coleta (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae)

-- Peter Smetacek, pp. 835-836

Distribution of Lygosoma guentheri (Peter, 1879) (Reptilia: Scincidae) in Andhra Pradesh, India

-- S.M. Maqsood Javed, M. Seetharamaraju, K. Thulsi Rao, Farida Tampal & C. Srinivasulu, pp. 837-840

Status of waterbirds at Hathnikund Barrage wetland, Yamunanagar District, Haryana, India

-- Prakash C. Tak, Jagdish P. Sati & Anjum N. Rizvi, pp. 841-844

A response to the article “Taxonomic errors and inaccuracies in Sri Lanka’s Red List, 2007: a cautionary note”

-- Channa Bambaradeniya, Devaka Weerakoon, R.H.S. Suranjan Fernando & Chaminda Bhathiya Kekulandala, pp. 845-847

Addendum to An updated and annotated list of Indian lizards (Reptilia: Sauria) based on a review of distribution records and checklists of Indian reptiles

-- P. Dilip Venugopal, pp. 848

Thanking you,

Sanjay Molur
Founder Editor, Journal of Threatened Taxa
Wildlife Information & Liaison Development / Zoo Outreach Organisation
9-A Lal Bahadur Colony, Gopal Nagar, Peelamedu, PB 1683, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641004, India
Ph: +91 422 2568906 (Direct), 2561743, 2561087, Fx: +91 422 2563269 , , , , ,


The International Journal of Conservation
Table of Contents - Volume 44 - Issue 02


EAZA European Carnivore Campaign


Name ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's baby elephant

Zoo keepers stumped coming up with a name for their new baby elephant have decided to auction the naming rights on eBay to raise money for conservation.
For the first time ever, keepers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo are inviting bidders on eBay to help name their newest arrival – a male baby elephant born on 12 April.
Bidding starts at just 1p but the honour of naming the two-week-old elephant will go to the highest bidder over the week-long auction. The winner will also get the chance to meet the elephant calf and his keepers at ....


New literature in the Rhino Resource Center

MAY 2010

Dear colleagues and friends,

This is the 19th issue of the quarterly e-newsletter of the RRC – the Rhino Resource Center. Edited by Dr Kees Rookmaaker.

This quarter, there are 121 new references to literature about rhinos in Africa, in Asia and in c...


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Peter Dickinson


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