Sunday, June 20, 2010

Zoo News Digest 14th - 20th June 2010 (Zoo News 674)

Zoo News Digest 14th - 20th June 2010 (Zoo News 674)

Dear Colleagues,

I thought the story 'Kids eat crocodile' to be of interest. It definitely adds another element to a zoo visit which will make it more memorable. They ate ostrich too I believe. No doubt some vegan/vegetarian element will have a complaint somewhere but I have not sought it out. Personally I have no problem with this story except in that it follows up closely behind the report of Beijing Zoo serving up crocodiles, kangaroos, antelope, and hippopotamus which was not accepted too well. In fact I am still seeing mentions of this. Why? Because it was China? Or because it included hippopotamus? If the hippopotamus was surplus, humanely killed, then why not? Would it be more acceptable if it had been fed to animals? Last questions going through my mind. With what species do you draw the line? Why is crocodile more acceptable than hippo? What about surplus carnivores? It is a touchy subject. It is worth pondering over though especially as the subject of Bushmeat being smuggled into Europe in such huge quantities has once again reared its head.

I am appalled that the director of Magdeburg Zoo and his employees have been convicted over the humane euthanasia of three surplus generic tiger cubs. They do say that 'The Law Is An Ass' and here it has demonstated that is a great big one as well. The management of zoos should be in the hands of those who manage them and not with those who do not have the faintest clue.

Talking of Asses. What sort of idiot breaks into a zoo and then posts the pictures on Facebook? Well they are out there folks so beware. Long before Facebook, long before the internet I came across this sort of stupidity twice in zoos I worked in. Just by chance I was shown photographs of people in with bears and lions. These were visitors! Two different zoos. The idiocy of Joe public no longer surprises me.

Normally it is marmosets or reptiles which are stolen from zoos. A tiger and camels must be something of a record...or is it?

Sorry to learn of the child being attacked by a peacock. It may be a first for Denver but I have seen similar over the years. With chickens and pheasants too. It is something one needs to be very wary of. Especially those collections brave enough to risk walk through Emu and Rhea enclosures.

During the week I carried the story about the CZA plans to start a breeding programme for White Tigers. I still cannot believe that they are actually serious about this project. As I have not seen it mentioned elsewhere then perhaps they have seen sense. Mind you just because something does not get a mention anywhere on the internet does not mean it has not happened. There is still not a whisper about Al Ain sending the Orangutans to Giza Zoo. I stand alone in condemning the move.

I have noted this past few weeks a dramatic drop off in internet searches for Craig Busch Lion Man. Perhaps he has timed it just right to attempt a comeback. I hope that the new series will actually tell the truth and not promote myths.

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1st Japan-born African elephant dies at 24
The first African elephant born in Japan, named Tango, has died at 24 in Gunma Safari Park, park officials said Tuesday.
Born after a difficult labor like other African elephants on May 5, 1986, the bull elephant had thrived and been popular, but died at 9:50 a.m. Sunday after he had pains in the foot and other ailments, the officials said, adding that the park is looking into the cause of the death. African elephants are believed to live for about 60 years, so Tango had been expected to have a baby with a female elephant that came

China mulls first animal protection law
At a wildlife park outside Beijing a dozen lions battle over a live chicken thrown into their enclosure by a tourist -- who has paid four dollars for the privilege.
A siren wails and three four-wheel-drive vehicles race into action, screeching to a halt just shy of the animals to separate them and restore harmony to the caged pride -- until the next feeding.
"It was scary," says one visitor, standing at a viewing point above the enclosure.
"Yes, but it was thrilling too, lots of fun," adds her friend, part of a group touring the Badaling park.
Throwing live animals to the lions is a popular attraction. For 60 dollars, visitors can feed them a bleating goat.
Ethically questionable practices such as this, seen at zoos around China, have contributed to the government producing the nation's first draft animal protection law.
"Animals in most of the nation?s zoos, wildlife parks and aquariums are a serious concern," said Peter Li, a China specialist for Humane Society

Arabian Oryx runs wild once more
A UAE-funded programme to re-introduce the Arabian Oryx back into the wild, an effort which started in Jordan last year, could soon be extended to Iraq and Syria.
The initiative, worth Dh4 million, released 20 antelopes, born in captivity in the UAE into Jordan’s Wadi Rum last year. Three babies have since been born and another 40 animals are set to be released over this year and next. “We have two more countries in the pipeline,” said Abdulnasser al Shamsi, the executive director of animal welfare and forestry projects at the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi.
Once numerous across the Arabian Peninsula, the Arabian Oryx has been extinct from the wild since 1972. The antelope has since survived only in zoos and private collections.
Abu Dhabi has the largest population, about 3,000 animals in captivity, and 155 live in a protected area in Umm al Zamool.
Yesterday, Mr al Shamsi said that 15 to 20 UAE-born Arabian Oryx can be sent to Iraq as early as next year, possibly in a secure area near the border with Jordan and Saudi Arabia. He was speaking from Damascus, where a regional conservation strategy to

B.C. zoo escapes animal cruelty charges
The founder and CEO of a controversial B.C. zoo says he feels vindicated after the Crown chose not to pursue animal cruelty charges filed by the SPCA.
In November 2009, the SPCA launched a probe into Mountain View Conservation and Breeding Centre in Langley, after a group of eight employees alleged that management had cruelly euthanized animals and neglected dozens of sick and injured animals by not calling a veterinarian.
During the investigation, three giraffes perished, and the SPCA alleged neglect led to the suffering and

Big Cat Diary from Dubai with Ricky Reino
Chessington Zoo volunteer Ricky Reino, 21, reports from Al Bustan, a private zoo in Dubai.
"It is really hot here, with an average temperature of 30°c at 6am, rising to 50°c during the afternoon, and a humidity of 50 to 80 per cent, so is really uncomfortable to live in.
The air conditioning units have become my best friends.
This week I have become accustomed to the zoo and way of life, which is a massive culture shock that takes some getting used to.
I was given my own master set of keys as well as a golf buggy for getting around the zoo, plus a pick-up truck for travelling off-road to the other animal sites, which are about five minutes away from the zoo - through the desert.
The zoo is very pretty, and themed nicely.
I have had to compile an up-to-date stock list of all the cats and ungulates - hoofed mammals - and make a database indicating which individuals of each species are in which enclosure.
It was a big task, considering there are more than 1,000 individual ungulates here, many of the same

The Ethics of Killing Large Carnivores
The killing of large carnivores in North America by means of trophy hunting, whether for "sport" or "management," has been and continues to be a source of noteworthy and unrelenting controversy.
Interestingly, most of the furor appears to have little to do with the conventional battlefield of left or right ideology as the intensity of emotion attached to top predators like bears, wolves, cougars and coyotes often transcends the simplistic bifurcated politics that can mark such disputes.
Both sides appear to be stuck in a continual expert-driven argument in which each camp claims that science supports their respective positions. Perhaps it is time that the debate over the trophy hunting of large carnivores in North America was also conducted within the context of ethical considerations, as the present conflict will likely never transcend the inflexible stances that are so deeply entrenched.
In his paper, Environmental ethics and trophy hunting, Dr. Alastair Gunn states that "Nowhere in the (scientific) literature, so far as I am aware, is hunting for fun, for the enjoyment of killing, or for the acquisition of trophies defended."
For instance, many who are outspoken advocates of grizzly hunting in British

Gorilla goes ape, frightens visitors and forces closure at Zoo Atlanta
Just like kids, gorillas don’t like the doctor. At least that seems to be the case for Zoo Atlanta resident, Taz, a 360-pound gorilla that went ape, frightened visitors and caused the closure of the gorilla viewing area. According to reports from the AJC and 11 Alive, the 20-year-old silver back gorilla charged and then slammed his fists into the barrier at the Willie B. Conservation Center, thus cracking the thick glass and prompting the immediate evacuation of the viewing area.
The target of Taz’s fury seems to be Dr. Hayley Murphy, Director of Veterinary Services at Zoo Atlanta. The veterinarian put the gorilla through a full physical on Saturday, and apparently Taz was none too happy to see her return on Sunday. Zoo officials don’t seem alarmed about the incident, and claim that Taz was displaying typical behavior, and trying to impress and protect his family. In a press release from Zoo Atlanta, Dr. Hayley Murphy said, “Gorillas often associate their veterinarians as the ones giving vaccinations and can react nervously – much like many people do with a visit to the doctor or dentist.” The press release also stated that the animal management and veterinary teams immediately initiated safety procedures by quickly evacuating the Willie B. Conservation Center and bringing the gorilla group (including Taz) into their overnight holding area. “World-

Zoo's Gorilla Exhibit Reopens; 911 Call Released
The gorilla exhibit at the North Carolina Zoo reopened Tuesday, two days after a gorilla nearly escaped by using a branch to climb up the glass enclosure.
A zoo spokesman said the branch had fallen into the exhibit earlier in the day Sunday. Officials believe the branch may have been weakened by strong Saturday storms.
The exhibit was closed so workers could check the integrity of the enclosure and examine nearby trees for loose limbs.
Video taken by a spectator shows the gorilla, a young female, making two attempts to scale the glass walls that serve as a barrier between the animals and zoo visitors. In the video, the gorilla leans the branch,0,1595982.story

Fate of rescued lion cubs uncertain
Circus trainer faces prosecution but can claim cubs if he pays for costs incurred by ministry
An Egyptian circus-trainer who ill-treated two young lion cubs is facing prosecution under the Animal Welfare Law.
However, the six-month cubs could be sent back to Egypt under the same Law which lacks an article that allows the state to permanently confiscate them.
Following an undercover operation this March, Gulf News broke the story about how the two malnourished male lion cubs, suffering from dehydration, had been offered for sale on the black market for Dh35,000 each.

India fails to honour its elephant promise over granting of freedom
Swaying forlornly in her concrete pen the rheumy-eyed Laxmi does not look like a cold-blooded killer.
Last month the 58-year-old elephant — a middle-aged dame in her species’ terms — trampled to death a member of the public who sneaked into her bleak compound in Byculla Zoo, Mumbai. Visitors watched as the man — apparently an alcoholic who entered the compound to pilfer the iron padlock that secured the enclosure — was smashed against a wall. He was the latest victim of a captive Indian elephant.
The death was doubly tragic, since Laxmi is not supposed to be in Mumbai at all. Last November, amid great fanfare, India announced that all elephants languishing in its dingy zoos and seedy circuses would be moved to newly created “elephant camps” deep in the jungle.
The move, which followed a long-running campaign by animal rights activists, would liberate 140 elephants from 26 zoos and 16 circuses, the Central Zoo Authority promised. Some would even lead new

Metrozoo getting a new name: Zoo Miami
Miami's famous. To cash in on its cachet, Metrozoo will soon adopt a new name that officials say better describes the South Dade attraction: Zoo Miami.
Back in 1980, Pat Benatar's Hit Me With Your Best Shot was climbing the pop charts, millions of Americans were trying to figure out who shot J.R. on Dallas, and leisure suits had just gone out of style.
And the fashion for Dade County government was ``Metro.'' As in Metro-Dade Police, Metrobuses and the newly opened Metrozoo.
All that began to change when the county changed its name to ``Miami-Dade'' in 1997. Now the only holdouts are the transit vehicles and the zoo.
Soon it will just be transit.
Next month, Metrozoo will become Zoo Miami.
The logo and entrance for the zoo in South Miami-Dade will be unveiled during the holiday weekend of July 3-5, with discounted admission prices.
The zoo, which is a part of the county parks department and technically not in Miami, says the change ditches the outdated ``Metro'' brand and replaces it with a more logical name

Best Place for a First Date - 2010
Miami Metrozoo
In Miami, too many dudes follow the path of accused Ponzi schemer Nevin K. Shapiro and cracked-out music producer Scott Storch to woo the ladies. However, just because you can check into a W Hotel beachfront suite for a few days, rent a Carolina-blue Lamborghini Diablo, and buy bottle service at every Opium Group venue on South Beach using other people's money or plastic credit doesn't guarantee she is all into you. In fact, she and her friends will probably end up playing you into paying for a few shopping sprees at Neiman in Bal Harbour before dumping you for the next poseur multimillionaire. We suggest you show her a little of your fond appreciation for nature and the creatures with which we share the world. Pack a picnic basket with watercress sandwiches and scones, but forgo the tea for a bottle of rosé. Pick her up and take a ride on Florida's Turnpike, get off at Exit 16, head west on SW 152nd Street, and

Micke Grove Zoo to remain without proper accreditation
San Joaquin County cuts would eliminate three animal specialists
It appears that Micke Grove Zoo will continue to lack the national accreditation it needs to acquire more grants to bring more animals and attract more visitors.
While facing the need to trim the San Joaquin County budget by $56.2 million, the Board of Supervisors will determine during the week of June 21 whether to discontinue the county's Zoo Education Program.
County Administrator Manuel Lopez said discontinuing the Zoo Education Program would eliminate the chance to restore its accreditation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, based in Maryland.
"Education is one of most important things a zoo does," zoo association spokesman Steve Feldman said.
While continuing the program is important, zoo director Ken Nieland said the 53-year-old zoo in south Lodi stands to suffer in an even

Egyptian police stop man at airport trying to smuggle 8 foxes, 50 chameleons to Thailand
Security at Cairo's international airport on Wednesday stopped an Egyptian man trying to smuggle eight live foxes and 50 chameleons in a huge suitcase out of the country.
Police stopped the 36-year-old traveller and asked him to open his suspiciously large suitcase, revealing the squirming mass of animals confined in small plastic cages.
Brig. Gen. Mustafa Salah of airport security said they confiscated the animals and will turn them over to the Cairo zoo.
According to Salah, the man said he planned to sell the animals in Thailand, use the money to buy cellphone parts and a computer that he would resell upon returning to Egypt.
Transporting live reptiles out of the country is illegal in Egypt.
Though he was released by police, the man elected to stay in Egypt saying he did not want to be separated from his animals.
Airport officials often confiscate live animals being smuggled

Vienna zoo breeds endangered batagur turtle
The Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna said on Tuesday it has successfully bred one of the most endangered species of turtle, the Batagur baska, for the first time in captivity.
Two baby Batagur turtles were hatched in the zoo's reptile house at the beginning of May, the zoo said in a statement.
The Batagur baska -- which is listed as "critically endangered" by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature -- is a river terrapin that can grow to up to 60 centimetres (24 inches).
At home in the rivers of Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, India and Bangaldesh, its meat and eggs were long considered a delicacy.
But only 20 of them are now known to be in existence, including six in the Schoenbrunn zoo, the statement said.
With the help of Reiner and Peter Praschag, a father-and-son team of turtle experts from Graz, the zoo was able to create "exactly the perfect conditions

The man behind Gaza's fake zebras
The owners of Happy Land Zoo in Gaza made headlines when they painted two donkeys with black stripes to look like zebras in a bid to amuse children in the besieged strip. Yet despite the zoo's name, director Mahmoud Barghout, 20, describes the depressing realities that may force them to shut down
We opened about a year ago to provide a place for children where they could enjoy themselves and get away from the harsh realities here. They are so tired and traumatised from the war. They have almost nowhere to go to have a break in Gaza.
Children are fascinated by animals. They love looking at them and spending their time here having fun. When we opened the zoo it was very hard because everything was expensive, and as we went along it became even costlier. Everything costs more here because of the war and the siege; raw material, land, animals, animal feed, equipment. We had to get loans from relatives and friends to keep going.
We got some small animals through the tunnels from Egypt, and that of course increases the costs. A lion cub cost us around US$5,000 to smuggle in. Another three zoos in Gaza went bankrupt because they could not afford the costs, so we bought bigger animals from them that are impossible to bring through the tunnels.
A lot of our animals died during the war last January. Israeli tanks and jeeps were stationed outside the zoo, planes kept flying overhead, making it impossible for us to come and feed the animals. The whole area was occupied. When we were able to return, we found a lioness, two tigers, two wolves, a fox, camels, two ostriches, birds and monkeys – all dead. Most of them died of hunger and a few

Myanmar seeks cooperation with Singapore in wildlife conservation
The Myanmar Forestry Ministry is seeking cooperation with a Singapore group in wildlife conservation, sources with the ministry said on Thursday.
A meeting in Nay Pyi Taw between the ministry and the Group CEO of Wildlife Reserve of Singapore on Wednesday touched on zoo maintenance, animals exchange, expertise provision, zoo administration, animal training and keeping and upgradation of zoo, the sources said.
Myanmar established its first-ever zoological garden in Myanmar 's new capital of Nay Pyi Taw in March 2008, accommodating famous animals and rare ones such as penguins, Kangaroos and white tigers as well as mammals, birds and reptiles.
The Nay Pyi Taw zoological garden covering an area of more than 400 hectares stands the third after Yangon's and Mandalay's and the largest in the country.
The historical Yangon Zoo, which expands as 20.3 hectares, was set up in January 1906, accommodating over 1,000 animals including 554 mammals of 62 species such as elephant, tiger, bear, hippopotamus, monkey, takin and mountain goat, 424 birds of 70 species and 130 reptiles of 19 species such as crocodile, snake and monitor lizard, while the Mandalay zoological garden, which expands

Nepal orders probe into slaughter of rhinos
Nepal’s government was investigating the poaching of rhinos in the Himalayan nation after 28 of the endangered animals were killed over the past 11 months, an official said Monday.
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and Forest Minister Deepak Bohara summoned conservation officials and the chiefs of police and army Sunday ordering them to come up with a strategy to halt the killings.
The Rhinos are protected by the government and the forests are declared conservation areas. Security forces are tasked with guarding them, however, increased political turmoil in Nepal has meant their redeployment to urban areas.
“Stopping the poaching is a major challenge for us. There is always an increase in poaching of wildlife in the conservation area when there is political problems,” said Department

Sayajibaug Zoo under Central scanner
Central Zoo Authority to look into alleged irregularities in premises, callous attitude of authorities
Sayajibaug Zoo authorities are now under the scanner after a visiting member of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) asked them to begin a thorough inspection on the flaws which has crept into the administration. This comes in the wake of the controversy over the death of a deer due to negligence last week.
CZA Committee member Karthik Satyanarayan said he will not just be inspecting the details over the use of dead crows to shoo away crows in the deer enclosure but also into the death of one of the badly injured deer in the zoo. Other issues in the zoo will also be looked into, he said.
The use of dead crows to shoo away the birds came to light when a city-based animal activist Snehal Bhavsar of Gujarat Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA) took up the matter, accusing the zoo officials of killing

Siberian tiger eats three of four cubs
THE mystery of three missing Siberian tiger cubs at a central China zoo was solved after a zoo worker determined their mother had eaten them.
The tiger gave birth to four cubs at the Wuhan City Zoo on May 28, and the animals were transferred to a private cage surrounded by curtains.
Security was enhanced after one tiger went missing on June 2, but two more cubs soon disappeared, state-run news agency Xinhua reported today.
Zoo worker Du Youshun later found bloodstains in the cage and said it wasn’t unusual for tigers to eat their babies if they think they cannot feed all of them.
Mr Du also said it was possible that the mother's instincts

Kids eat crocodile
CROCODILE and ostrich meat were sampled by eager students who enjoyed learning about legendary explorer David Livingstone.
An expert from Exmoor Zoo dressed as the Scottish born great European traveller of Africa and talked about his clothing and what it might have been like

Using art to promote conservation
Pollyanna Pickering is widely recognized as one of Europe's foremost wildlife artists, and is one of the most published fine artists working in Britain today. She is an honorary patron of The Wildlife Art Society International, and a signature member of the Artists for Conservation Foundation and the Society of Feline Artists. She is also a full juried member of the New York based Society of Animal Artists. A familiar face on TV, the most recent documentary about her work Made in England was broadcast on BBC1 last year.
Pollyanna was born in Yorkshire an she began her real art training at Rotherham Art School, where, in her first year she won the award for most promising student - and met her future

Why vanishing snake colonies have ‘large-scale implications’ for humanity
The first documented evidence of the baffling disappearance of up to 90 per cent of snake colonies in five disparate spots on the globe has “large-scale implications” for humanity, a Canadian expert says.
And the “most obvious cause, intuitively, would be climate change,” biologist Jason Head of the University of Toronto, told the Star.
“Snakes are top predators in their eco system,” said Head. “They are regulators on rodents. If we remove that regulator, you can expect an increase in the number of disease vectoring (carrying) animals.”
Venomous snakes are taking the biggest hit in the findings, which has serious consequences for medicine, said Head.
“Snakes are not an insignificant component of human society,” he said. “There are large-scale implications” to the disappearance of some kinds of snakes, including

A New Strategy for Saving The World’s Wild Big Cats
Populations of many of the world’s wild cats are plummeting, with the number of tigers falling to roughly 3,200. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Alan Rabinowitz, a leading wild cat biologist, lays out a vision of how populations of these magnificent creatures can be brought back from the brink.
For more than three decades, Alan Rabinowitz has studied tigers, jaguars, and other wild cats in some of the world’s most remote regions. But working for years at the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, Rabinowitz did far more than research these great animals — he helped create parks and preserves to protect wild cats, including

Berlin polar bear star Knut disturbed: scientists
Most polar bears in captivity in Germany have psychological problems, with Berlin Zoo's superstar Knut probably the worst of all, scientists said Thursday after a two-year study.
"He (Knut) and his companion Gianna are definitely displaying behavioural problems," researcher Frank Albrecht, from the animal welfare group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), told AFP.
Knut, who became an international media sensation in 2007, even making the cover of glossy US magazine Vanity Fair, suffers from panic attacks and "sways to and fro" in an abnormal manner, Albrecht said.
The first public appearance of "Cute Knut" attracted 100 camera crews from around the world and the cub generated millions of euros (dollars) for Berlin Zoo in lucrative merchandising and extra entrance fees.
But now Knut is a strapping three-and-a-half year old and experts have been saying for some time that all the attention has altered

Court convicts Magdeburg Zoo workers for killing tiger cubs
A court in Magdeburg handed the city’s zoo director and three of his employees a suspended sentence on Thursday for violating animal rights laws by euthanising three tiger cubs because they weren’t purebred.
In May 2008. the men put the cubs to sleep directly after their birth because their father had not been 100 percent Siberian tiger as they initially thought.
Though none of the zoo workers will actually serve any time, should there be a new offence the zoo director must pay an €8,100 fine, the court said.
The employees defended their decision as a practical measure, saying the mongrel tigers were worthless, could not be used for breeding and would have taken up valuable space at the Magdeburg Zoo from pure-blooded animals. They said they had no other alternative because other zoos were not interested in taking on the baby big cats.
But the judge at the district court found the four guilty, saying there were “no sufficient reasons to kill less valuable, but

Friskney sanctuary holds the largest collection of parrots in the UK
A PARROT sanctuary's leading reputation for rehabilitating birds has resulted in it housing the largest collection of parrots in the UK.
The Parrot Zoo, Friskney, has attracted pet owners seeking to rehouse their pet from as far and wide as South America, Qatar and New Zealand.
Zoo owner Steve Nichols said: "People are in love with their parrots but at some point they know they have to part with them to offer the bird more."
The zoo now houses 2,000 birds of 100 different species and featured in the top ten tourist

Elephant poaching in the Garden of Eden
I first fell in love with elephants two years ago on a trip to Laos, where I visited an elephant sanctuary and had the pleasure of photographing and interacting with the beautiful creatures. As an artist, my main concern was the elegance of their bodies, but I was also moved by their interactions with one another and with their human caretakers. When I returned to the states, I began a series of elephant paintings in an effort to capture the beauty I had encountered in Asia. My passion for elephants grew as I learned all the fascinating intricacies of their relationships with one another. They develop strong friendships, and mourn loved ones. Herds bury their dead under branches and leaves. Elephants taught me that other creatures are capable of the same love and grief as humans, which made my subsequent discovery even more heartbreaking.
One day, as I was looking through pages of elephant images on a search engine, I noticed an aerial photograph of two elephants lying next to one another

Facebook photos capture zoo break-in
Albuquerque police are investigating a series of Facebook photos that show a group of people breaking into the Rio Grande Zoo and posing with wild animals at night.
The photos were sent anonymously to the media and to the City of Albuquerque.
So far, nobody has been charged.
Eyewitness News 4 was able to contact one of the participants in the photos. He declined to talk on the record and said he was on his way to talk to police.
Bio Park Director Rick Janser expressed disappointment about the photos.
“A giraffe can kick the head off a lion, so they’re very lucky they weren’t injured by these animals,” Janser said.
“When somebody breaches the trust of the citizens of Albuquerque by endangering the animals, it’s egregious. Even though they thought it was fun, the outcome could have been totally different,” Janser added.
The city says security guards patrol the zoo at night, but nothing

The 22ft python who needs SEVEN zoo keepers to carry her to her health check
While we all tend to dread visits to the doctor – not many of us require seven people to get us there.
But Bali the python is no ordinary patient, and as she measures 22ft in length, the great snake required a team of zoo keepers to carry her in for her health check.
The reticulated python, who lives in Chester Zoo, had her

Human error increased Calgary Zoo death rate: report
The review by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums says animal deaths due to human error are significantly greater in Calgary than at similar zoos.
There's no smoking gun, but a series of changes are hoped to prevent further animal mishaps at the Calgary Zoo.
Dozens of cow-nose stingrays died in 2008. In December, a capybara, the world’s largest rodent, was pinned by a hydraulic door being operated by worker and crushed to death.
The report suggests a stronger animal welfare policy and stricter supervision for zoo keepers.
The zoo has already had a change of a senior director and closed its bat display in response to the report.
As well, the zoo has requested an urgent meeting with the city to discuss the future of union employees.
The report identifies unionized city workers outside the control of zoo management as a major problem.
The report blames lack of training and expertise for one high profile fatality, after dozens of cow-nose rays died

Government Ditches Wildlife Trade Deal
GOVERNMENT has aborted a wildlife trade deal with the secretive Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) amid widespread condemnation from pressure groups, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.
Sources close to the development said the planned shipment of US$23 000 worth of wildlife to the DPRK in a deal conservationists termed President Robert Mugabe's "Noah's Ark". It has been blocked after local and international natural resources campaigners criticised the destined living conditions of the animals at Pyongyang Zoo.
Pressure groups had protested against the deal saying the Asian country did not have a secure habitat for the game after the Parks and Wildlife Authority made public its intention to export the animals to Pyongyang.
North Korea had ordered several species, including elephant, giraffe, jackal, zebra, catfish, civet, blue monkey and spotted hyena.
Parks and Wildlife Authority spokesperson, Caroline Washaya-Moyo, yesterday could not confirm or deny the cancellation of

Animal mass grave discovered at Chinese zoo
The bodies of more than 30 animals, including rare white tigers and lions, that died of malnutrition have been found in a mass grave near a Chinese zoo.
The discovery comes just weeks after more than a dozen tigers were found to have died of starvation at another Chinese zoo amid suggestions that the administrators wanted to harvest their parts to make expensive – and banned – tiger-bone tonic.
The bones and remains of a quantity of animals could be seen poking through the snow In a three-metre deep pit near the Harbin Northern Forest Zoo, in Heilongjiang province in northeast China, state media reported.
They included two white tigers, five white lions, two leopards and five other big cats that had died in early 2008, zoo staff told a Chinese reporter.
Also believed to be buried in the mass grave were two of the zoo’s three Asian elephants and 28 of its 29 endangered great bustards.
Zoo officials said the deaths followed a decision in 2007 to change the animals’ diet to save money when the zoo ran into financial difficulties. A regimen of mutton and beef was replaced with chicken. Some keepers even gave their lions

Illegal bushmeat 'rife in Europe'
About 270 tonnes of illegal bushmeat could be passing through one of Europe's busiest airports each year, the first study of its kind estimates.
A team of researchers says the illicit trade could pose a risk to human or animal health and increase the demand for meat from threatened species.
The figure is based on seizures from searches carried out over 17 days at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.
The findings appear in the journal Conservation Letters.
A team of researchers from France, Cambodia and the UK said it was the "first systematic study of the scale and nature of this international trade".
"We estimate that about five tonnes of bushmeat per week is smuggled in personal baggage through Paris Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport," they

Drug tests on A'Famosa tiger
The Deparment of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) is awaiting the results of a drug test done on a tiger that was allegedly drugged by its handlers at the A'Famosa Resort in Malacca recently.
"We have done a drug test on the tiger believed to be on the video posted on YouTube and are now waiting for the results," said a department source, adding that the drug test was done on Monday before being sent to the Department of Chemistry.
When asked how the department could confirm that it was the same tiger, he said: "We are trying to get all the tigers tested but that is still pending further discussions with the investigating officer."
Other than the drug test, the source said that no witness to the drugging of the tiger has come forward.
"Although the YouTube video is proof, we also need actual eyewitnesses to develop a stronger case," he told The Malay Mail yesterday.
Perhilitan deputy director-general

Revenue Authority backs away from zoo donation
Proceeds from golf event had been slated for aviary project
A planned charitable donation from the Baltimore County Revenue Authority to the Maryland Zoo has been nixed by officials of both organizations — just one day after questions arose about a potential conflict of interest.
Former Baltimore County Executive Donald Hutchinson is a member of the Revenue Authority Board of Directors and is the paid president of the nonprofit zoo. Carole Sibel, the wife of revenue authority board Chairman Hanan Sibel, is on the zoo’s board.
The donation, which was not voted on by the five-member authority board but was approved by William Cook, chief executive of the revenue authority, was to come from proceeds of a $1 million hole-

Saturday is the International Day of Action for Elephants in Zoos, when activists around the world will be sending a message that elephants just don’t belong in cramped, unnatural displays that shorten their lives by decades.
This year, everyone can help the elephants, no matter where you live, by participating in our first-ever virtual demonstration on Facebook and Twitter. It’s easy to do and a great way to spread the word that it’s time to stop the elephants’ suffering.
Here’s how it works:
Facebook Instructions – Speak up for Elephants in 3 easy steps!
1. Make sure you have your protest “sign“. All you have to do is right click on the “Elephants Suffer” image and choose “Save” to get this “sign”. Replace your profile photo to your “sign” and keep it up all weekend!
2. Go through the zoo list and “Like” the promotional

Man faces charges over endangered species in freezer
Alan Dudley faces charges on four counts of trading endangered species after a collection of exotic animals – including a tiger and a monkey – were found in his freezer.
Dudley, 52, is accused of storing a range of dead animals, including lemurs, a Goeldi's monkey, a tiger, sparrowhawks, buzzards and owls, at his semi-detached home in Coventry, West Midlands.
Police were also said to have found the remains of a chimpanzee, marmosets, loggerhead turtles and the skulls of a baby seal and penguin.
Dudley has been charged with 10 counts of breaching the Customs and Excise Management Act and the Control and Trade in Endangered Species Regulations 1997.
The allegations are believed to centre on claims that he was illegally trading animal skulls and was buying specimens from across Europe and America.
Some of his alleged purchases are said to have been made on the internet auction site eBay.
A spokesman for

No African safari in tiger parks
The Union environment and forest ministry has rejected a move by the tourism lobby to turn parts of tiger reserves and reserved forests into exclusive enclaves for high-end tourism.
The environment and forest ministry has decided to nip the proposal in the bud, which emanated from Madhya Pradesh, with the tourism lobby asking that a patch of forest reserve be handed over to them to run as a South Africa-style safari where rich tourists can be catered. While the Madhya Pradesh government forest department had supported the proposal pushed by a group of tour companies — Travel Operators for Tigers — the union

Winter windfall puts snow leopards in their element
Padding about atop snow especially brought in for them, the snow leopards at the National Zoo and Aquarium got a rock star reception yesterday.
Cameras flashed, video rolled and an avid crowd of visitors marvelled at how pretty they looked in their very own winter wonderland.
Brother and sister Bhutan and Shiva, both 11 years old, were the lucky beneficiaries of 15 tonnes of snow presented to the zoo by alpine resort Perisher.
The zoo's European brown bears, Brutus, Blondie and Dark Girl, also got treated to a carpet of snow underfoot. There was even enough left over for zoo staff to build a visitor for the bears' enclosure a large snowman.
The resort and the zoo are raising money for the Snow Leopard Trust, which studies and protects the endangered animal. Zookeeper Shelley Russell said the leopards were experiencing snow for the first time.
''It looks like it's something fun and new for them. Look at them, having a play.''
She noted their cat-like behaviour: Shiva and Bhutan both purr and get into scuffles over food. ''It's just like having cats at home,'' she said.
Both snow leopards enjoy chowing down

Zoo camels and tiger stolen in Quebec
The public is being asked to assist in the search for a pair of camels and a tiger belonging to the Bowmanville Zoo after they were stolen in Montreal.
At 6:45 am this morning in St. Liboire, Quebec, a black Ford 550 owned by the zoo and a trailer it was towing were stolen. Inside the trailer was a tiger (named Jonas) as well as two camels (named Shawn and Todd). The license plate number of the truck is E43 98Y and the plate of the Ford pickup is 909 1XS.
The zoo's director said that the animals were being shipped from Nova Scotia back to their home in Bowmanville.
Anyone who spots the truck or the trailer should open any windows that may be closed and call police immediately. Police say that the truck and trailer may be in Quebec or Ontario.
Police speculate that the thieves were unaware of the cargo

Zoo posts $20,000 reward for stolen tiger, camels
The Bowmanville Zoo near Toronto has posted a $20,000 reward for any information leading to the recovery of two stolen camels and a tiger.
The stolen Ford truck attached to a trailer transporting the beasts was found in the early hours of Saturday northeast of Drummondville, but there’s still no sign of the missing animals.
“We want them back,” said zoo curator Robert Clement on Saturday.
The animals stolen along with a truck and trailer from a parking lot in Quebec will die if they don’t get water soon, the head of the privately owned Toronto-area zoo warned Saturday.
“All mammals can survive a longtime without food,” Michael

7,000 fish killed by antiseptic substance at Niigata aquarium
About 7,000 fish died Friday in a water tank at an aquarium in Niigata after workers mistakenly poured in an antiseptic substance with too great a density. Workers at the Niigata City Aquarium noticed the fish, including sardines, damselfish and rays, were dying around 10 a.m. in the aquarium’s largest water tank, about 30 minutes after the substance wa

3-year-old attacked by peacock at Denver Zoo
James Hartley says it was the most bizarre and equally frightening news he has ever received as a parent.
Hartley says his son's daycare called and told him, "'Mr. Hartley, your son was attacked by a peacock at the Zoo, and we're putting him in an ambulance, and sending him to the hospital.'"
The 3-year-old boy was taken to the hospital in an ambulance on Wednesday after the incident with a peacock at the Denver Zoo. The boy received a total of 10 stitches.
"To hear he was attacked by one, the first thing is: are his eyes OK? Where is he bleeding from?" Hartley said.
The Denver Zoo confirmed Hartley's son was injured by one of their 10 peacocks that roam zoo grounds. Hartley asked 9NEWS not to use the little boy's name.
"Part of his nose had been cut and was flipped over, and so you were able to see part of the cartilage of his nose. Plus, he had gotten scratched across the forehead," Hartley said.
Hartley says the little boy received

Lion Man filming show in Africa
'Lion Man' Craig Busch is preparing to roar back onto the TV screen.
Craig, who become an international star with his series The Lion Man, is filming a new wildlife reality show in Africa.
Negotiations for the rights to the new show are underway with broadcasters in several countries, including New Zealand.
And Sunday News can also reveal Craig is not planning to return to New Zealand in the near future while his wrangle with mother Patricia Busch continues over ownership of big-cat sanctuary Zion Wildlife Gardens.
"There is a lot of interest in it [the new series], particularly in the UK," Craig's spokeswoman said. "I would hope that [it will screen] this year."
The original series of The Lion Man is still played heavily overseas.
Lyrics in its theme song proclaim: "There's a mighty beast from mother nature. And he has gathered them up with the promise of a bright new world. He's the Lion Man with one goal in mind. To create a safe haven so they can survive. He's the Lion Man, putting their future in his hands."
A spokeswoman for Patricia would not comment on Craig's planned TV return. Craig recently travelled to the UK to meet with fans who are helping fund his ongoing legal battle to wrestle back control of Zion.
"I don't think he has any plans to come back until there is something to come

No apologies from former zoo boss after damning report
Alex Graham was on the job for less than five months as CEO of the Calgary Zoo when he laid off one-sixth of the staff at the facility.
It was a controversial move with almost every area of the operation hit: office workers, groundskeepers, animal keepers, food outlet staff and construction workers.
Now more than a decade later, Graham is far from repentant.
He calls those cuts a matter of putting in play a “survival plan” at an operation he says was heading downhill.
The Calgary Zoo would now be dead, Graham argues, had he not brought significant intervention, projects, and other changes.
His comments come as the Calgary Zoo this week released an independent report into animal care at the facility. The review was launched in December after a series of high profile deaths at the zoo, which drew significant criticism from some animal groups.
The deaths included more than 40 cow nose rays, a capybara who was trapped and killed in an hydraulic, and a spider monkey that passed away after getting frostbite when it was let out in cold weather.
The review found a series of problems at the zoo, including poor communication, low morale, deferred maintenance, and a higher number of human-related deaths compared to other zoos (although Calgary Zoo disputes that last assessment).
The review also said animal acquisitions over the years appear to have been “largely based on opportunities,” with no coherent planning when it came to bringing animals to the facility.
“With a lack of a clear organizational strategy for acquisitions, the display value appears to become a major driving factor,” the review found.
During Graham’s tenure as zoo CEO, from 1999 until 2007, he was lauded for his fundraising and ability to get major projects off the ground, including the $32-million Destination Africa.
But others criticized his approach, fretting the zoo was getting too enmeshed with making money at the expense of a conservation philosophy. It’s criticism Graham dismisses as “idle talk” from naysayers.
“It was heading in the wrong direction and had it continued in that direction for very long, there wouldn’t have been a zoo in Calgary today,” Graham says.
“We had to turn it around financially and we had to make it much more successful. It was going nowhere.
“There was no major construction being done, there was no significant money being spent on new exhibits and so on, and the place was in desperate need of a major overhaul.”
That assessment is rejected by his predecessor, who says the facility was not in trouble when he handed over the reins.
Ian Gray argues the shift at the zoo after he left was not directed by financial woes, but by a more business-minded philosophy from some on the board of trustees who were attracted to “grandiose” projects.
A retired colonel who was once the commander of Canadian Forces Base Calgary, Gray became the executive

Zoo asks city to help ease staffing woes, boost safety
Calgary Zoo officials have requested an urgent meeting with the city to discuss staffing concerns, changes to union contracts and a reduction in funding for infrastructure maintenance after a scathing report was released this week detailing a series of problems concerning animal care.
Clement Lanthier, Calgary Zoo president, along with other executives are expected to meet with City of Calgary corporate services in the next week to discuss how to increase flexibility in staff scheduling, and how to better fill vacant positions with more experienced staff.
The request for a meeting comes in the wake of this week's report from a review team, including officials with the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and its U.S. counterpart.
The findings suggested a series of deadly mistakes at the zoo, low morale and poor collection planning are among system-wide problems that have plagued the facility for years.
The review also revealed the number of human-related animal deaths is "significantly greater" in Calgary than at other zoos.
But zoo officials say the review is an

Iowa museum alters Gulf exhibit for oil spill
An empty 40,000-gallon fish tank.
That'll soon be a main feature of an Iowa museum's altered exhibit on the Gulf of Mexico.
The oil spill in the Gulf inspired officials at Dubuque's National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium to change part of the new $40 million museum expansion, set to open June 26.
"The Gulf exhibit will not open as a celebration of a vibrant, life-filled Gulf; instead it will be empty and completely devoid of life," museum officials said in a statement Friday. "This should cause everyone to pause and consider the delicate balance of life in our oceans."
Museum officials said the spill -- up to 120 million gallons of oil has gushed into the Gulf -- is one of the worst disasters of its kind and they grappled with an appropriate way to recognize the crisis.
The new Diamond Jo National River Center has a theater, child-friendly exhibits and saltwater aquariums, including the Gulf of Mexico tank which had been designed to hold,0,317588.story

‘We’re like Manchester United’ says zoo boss Gill
SOUTH Lakes Wild Animal Park could triple in size if owner David Gill’s plans are given the go-ahead. The zoo boss also plans to move the entrance to Melton Brow – meaning animal park traffic will no longer go through Dalton.
Mr Gill said his plans were a necessity rather than purely for financial gain.
He told the Evening Mail: “The first thing I want to make clear is that having to do this is not something I particularly want to do.
“It is not something I am very driven about, thinking ‘I want to make this zoo bigger’.
“Because we have been so successful,we have an absolute necessity to improve the facilities.
“It’s like Man United – they have that much demand for tickets that if you don’t spend millions on making your stands bigger you disappoint a lot of people.
“We have to make the place capable of handling more people.
“I’ve been thinking about this for a lot of years, and I’ve ‘ummed’ and ‘ahhd’, because it is such a huge risk in investment.
“It is not as if this is public money put at risk, when I borrow it, I have to pay it back – I put my family at risk, everything at risk, and I don’t

Sad life for forgotten elephants
Swaying forlornly in her concrete pen, the rheumy-eyed Laxmi does not look like a cold-blooded killer.
Last month the 58-year-old elephant - a middle-aged dame in her species' terms - trampled to death a man who had sneaked into her bleak compound in Byculla Zoo, Mumbai.
Visitors watched as the intruder, apparently an alcoholic who entered the compound to pilfer the iron padlock that secured the enclosure, was smashed against a wall. He was the latest victim of a captive Indian elephant.
The death was a double tragedy because Laxmi was not supposed to be in Mumbai. In November, amid great fanfare, India said all elephants in its zoos and circuses would be moved to "elephant camps" in the jungle.
The move, which followed a campaign by animal rights activists, would liberate 140 elephants from 26 zoos and 16 circuses, the Central Zoo Authority said. Some would even lead new lives patrolling tiger reserves or be incorporated into eco-tourism projects. Months later, however, not a single elephant has been transferred.
"No new parks have been created and no funds have been allocated," said NG Jayasimha, a member of the Animal Welfare Board of India. "It's easy to make an announcement, but little thought was given to implementation."
The official torpor is a blow for the country's estimated 3500 captive elephants. Most live in Hindu temples or work moving timber, roles they

This Indian owns 15 tigers, 63 lions, 9 cheetahs
While watching a TV advertisement involving a tiger, an eight-year-old Nazeer Ahmed Cajee told his father that he would one day own a big cat. Thirty-one years later, the South African of Indian origin has far exceeded his vow. He is now a proud owner of 15 tigers, besides 63 lions, 15 white lions, nine cheetahs and four hyenas in his 3,000-acre predator park on the Johannesburg-Rustenburg highway. Nazeer’s sprawling jungle empire is also home to a white tiger cub. “My farm is the only second place in South Africa to have a white tiger,” Nazeer informs.
“I was madly in love with animals, birds and insects from my childhood,” Nazeer, 39, says.
Nazeer, whose grandfather migrated from Gujarat to South Africa 70 years ago, says he had to struggle a lot in the initial days to acquire animals. “Afrikaners (whites of Dutch ancestry) treated me with contempt because they believed they were the chosen ones in the field. Hunting, running cattle farms and predator parks have been the preserve of Afrikaners,” he adds.
One particular incident steeled Nazeer’s resolve further. “I went to the farm of an Afrikaner to buy a lion. I had half-a-million rands in my hand. The Afrikaner was watching a rugby match and kept me waiting for three hours. When he finally came out, he was stunned to see a frail Indian wanting to buy a lion. ‘What does an Indian know about animals? You can go,’ he told me curtly. I returned home empty handed even though I had the money to buy a lion and the passion to rear it,” he recalls.
Fifteen years of hard work has taken Nazeer to the top of the pile in what he

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July Lab Primate Newsletter is coming soon!

Dear Friends,

The e-mail edition of Volume 49, number 3, of the Laboratory Primate Newsletter will be sent this week to subscribers by list-server. The Web edition, at  should be ready at about the same time.

The Web edition contains a PDF version, besides the HTML one, which can be
printed out to resemble nearly exactly the old paper edition, which is no longer being printed regularly.

We expect to hand-bind a very few copies to be sent to those scientists, scholars, and support staff who work with nonhuman primates AND WHO ARE UNABLE TO READ THE E-MAIL EDITION OR THE WORLD WIDE WEB EDITION. Those who can get the electronic editions, but prefer to read paper, may print the PDF version from the Web.

We will also send paper copies to those who have paid for 2010 and beyond. If you HAVE paid, but are willing to print your own issues from the Web, please let us know! We will appreciate it!

We will no longer accept subscriptions, unless you are willing to pay $100/year. We will continue to send free copies to those who really have no computer access or ability to pay.

Everyone is encouraged to subscribe to LPN-WARN, which sends a note as soon
as the new issue is available on the Web. Send the message
subscribe LPN-WARN Your Name to

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If you REALLY AND TRULY cannot access an electronic edition, send your story
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If you CAN afford (and want) to pay the new price, send cash or a check or money order in U.S. dollars (made out to Psychology Department, Brown University) to:
LPN, Box 1853, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, U.S.A. but please don't ask to buy a subscription if you could do your own printing.

All issues of the Newsletter, from 1984 to the present, are available on the World Wide Web, at Volume 49, number 3 should be there soon.

The expected Table of Contents for Volume 49 number 3 follows. The numbers are page numbers in the "print" (PDF) edition. There still may be a few changes...

Articles and Notes

A Case of Fatal Staphylococcus aureus Infection in a Long-tailed Macaque
(Macaca fascicularis): A Sign of Diabetic Involvement? by R. Plesker & E.
Prenger-Berninghoff . . . 1

Designing Environments for Aged Primates, by C. D. Waitt, M. Bushmitz, & P.
E. Honess . . . 5

Feeding Behavior of Saguinus oedipus in Relation to Food Hardness in a Zoo
Setting: Possibilities for Enrichment? by C. Ceja & J. White . . . 10

News, Information, and Announcements

Meeting Announcements. . . . 4

Research and Educational Opportunities. . . . 9
Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program; Student
Environmental Enrichment Course; Postgraduate Lab Animal Science Course; and
Animal Welfare and Scientific Research

Resources Wanted and Available . . . 13
PubMed Extends Its Biomedical Database to 1947; Comprehensive
Guide on Animals and the Law; PRIMO Database Back Online; Online Collection
of Great Ape Skeletons and Records; My Encyclopaedia of Primates; More
Guidance for Periods of Noncompliance; New Edition of ILAR Guide; and
PrimateLit Goes to Wisconsin

News Briefs . . . 15
Gorillas Could Vanish from Congo by 2025; Orangutan Turns 50 at
Arizona Zoo; European Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing; Male
Gorilla Dies in London Zoo After Short Illness; Europe Reviews Primate
Rights Rules; and Four Gorillas Die from Extreme Weather Conditions

Workshop Announcements . . . 16
Three Rs in Vaccine Research; Association of Primate
Veterinarians; and Primadaption Workshop

Curious George: Monkey as Metaphor, by M. Fink . . . 17

Announcements from Publications: Changes at BMC Biology . . . . 17

Ancestor Worship in Baboons? by J. Price . . . 18

Information Requested or Available . . . 18
New Veterinary Specialties? and APHIS Animal Care Website

2010 Directory of Graduate Programs in Primatology and Primate Research . .
. 34


Position Available: Director of Veterinary Sciences. . . . 14

Recent Books and Articles. . . . 19

Judith E. Schrier, Editor Laboratory Primate Newsletter

Box 1853, Brown University Providence, RI 02912
Phone: 401-863-2511 e-mail:
FAX: 401-863-1300 Website:



The Calcutta zoo is now a hushed space housing broken-spirited creatures. What it requires is a thoughtful overhaul

Of all the despondent creatures in the Alipore zoo, the spoonbills look the most forlorn. The birds, with their drooping eyes and lowered heads, are forever still and silent. This funereal silence has enveloped some of the other inmates as well. A jaguar, no bigger than a dog, lies panting inaudibly; Sundarkant, far away from his home in tide country, sulks in his cramped space, the elephants sniff the breeze noiselessly, while the lions and leopards wear a dazed look. One seldom hears a growl, a roar or even a trumpet. The zoo, a hushed space spread across 45 acres, shelters 1,270 birds, 231 mammals and 66 reptiles whose bodies and spirit lie broken.

The only noise that can be heard comes from those who roam free. Children and adults imitate animal and bird calls, beat the cages with sticks to startle the prisoners and, occasionally, tease them. It is just another day in the lives of the prisoners.

It is easy to be outraged by the zoo in Calcutta. As if the lack of space, unruly visitors and uncaring staff were not enough, a baby painted stork went missing within nine weeks of the Marmoset theft.

A sedated female chimpanzee fell to its death soon after,


There Follows The Directors Response:

Dear Readers of the Article "UNHAPPY ARK" printed in "The Telegraph" by UDDALAK MUKHERJEE on the 8th of June 2010,

The article has given a very gloomy and sad picture of the Zoological Garden, Kolkata and being the Director of the Zoological Garden I am compelled to respond and provide a balanced view to the esteemed patrons of "The Telegraph" and the proponents of the article.

It's an open secret that the Zoological Garden has passed through a phase of lack of infrastructural development in the past few decades and had not been managed as per the standards of the best zoos abroad and in the country. However the Zoological Garden, Alipore, Kolkata does have its share of success stories in the past. The history of the Zoological Garden, Alipore would be incomplete without paying tribute to Rai Bahadur Ram Brahma Sanyal who was the first Superintendent of the Zoological Garden, Alipore. He was appointed as the Superintendent of the Zoological Garden, Alipore in April,1880. Ram Brahma Sanyal used to record all his observations in respect of the housing, feeding, reproductive behavior and treatment of captive wild animals in the daily registers of the Zoological Garden, Alipore. All these observations encouraged him to write the book, “A Handbook Of The Management of Wild Animals In Captivity In Lower Bengal”. This book was the first of its kind and was published in the year 1892. A review of the said book was published in the leading scientific journal, “Nature” and soon after the publication of the said review in “Nature”, Shri Sanyal became famous in his field and was made corresponding Member of Zoological Society of London. The Zoo in the recent past has been successful in the following fronts:
1) Breeding of Marmoset
2) Breeding of White Fallow Deer
3) Breeding of Sambar
4) Breeding of Manipur Dancing Deer and Swamp Deer
5) Breeding of Tigers
6) Breeding of Various pheasants
7) Breeding of Giraffe etc

In the past quite a few open air enclosures were built for the White Tiger, Lion, Primates, Elephant, Bear and Various Deer Species. Which I do believe was taken up keeping the well being of the animals into consideration. In August 2009 there has been a change in the administration of this zoo. A complete overhaul of the management was done to make things work. Which, I again believe, was decision taken by the government for improving the functioning of the zoo. Since August 2009 the following measures ( The list is not exhaustive, just a few, for our readers information) were taken for improving the zoo fronts such as security, animals health, new and better enclosures as per CZA guidelines, vet care, visitor facilities, visitor management, research, providing support to other PAs with veterinary facilities and successfully rehabilitating Sundarban Tigers back to the wild:

a) The security of the Zoological Garden was thoroughly revamped. 75 private (ex-armed forces) security guards were engaged. The perimeter boundary wall was repaired. Concertina was installed on the entire length of the wall.
b) The damaged and vulnerable enclosures were repaired.
c) The equipments of the Veterinary Hospital was repaired and pest control was introduced in all parts of the zoo.
d) The zoo has been made garbage free by out sourcing the cleaning and garbage collection in the zoo.
e) Daily animal reporting system was introduced for all the sections of the Zoo.
f) Voluntary organisations had been engaged during the months of Oct-April to educate the visitors.
g) Plastic was banned in the zoo.
h) Staff Quarters and office repair and maintenance has started.
i) Quality and quantity check of the food for the animals has started.
j) Veterinary Care for the animals was intensified.
k) Renovation has been initiated for the various enclosures.
l) Five new enclosures for the Birds, Tiger, Coast Crocodile, Mugger, Gharial, Reptile House are being constructed as per CZA approval of the designs.
m) Food Court and new entry gate construction has started for better management of garbage and accountability.
n) The old reptile house is being renovated into NIC.
o) The White Fallow deer, Kangaroo, Barking deer enclosure, Sambar etc are being enlarged and renovated. These are being an environmentally friendly look.
p) A website for the zoo has been launched for better dissemination of information.
q) Successfull breeding of Giraffe, Marmoset, Spoon Bill etc has been started.
r) Visitor amenities have been improved, such as Foot paths are being relaid, Roads have been repaired, Rest Sheds and Toilets have been built, Drinking water facilities are being installed, New signages have been installed.
s) CCTV and entry gate automation is in the process of being installed.
t) Provided veterinary support to 24 Pargana South Division, Sundarban Tiger Reserve, Deer rescue center, Salt Lake and Burdwan Division.
u) High capacity pumps with industrial scale filter will be installed to remove algal growth from the moats.
v) The kitchen along with the store for animal food is being modernized and it will be fully functional by Mid July.
w) Three full time Veterinary Doctors have been engaged to provide round the clock care to the animals.
x) A national level advertisement is being floated in the "Times of India" on the 16th of June 2010 for preparation of Concept Plan for A new aquarium and parking lot for the zoo in the other half of the Zoo Campus.
y) Exchange of animals with other zoo around the country is on.
These measures I do think are in overall interest of the animals of the Zoo and not primarily aimed in enhancing commercial gains for the zoo as opined in the article. The plan to introduce boating is not there in the master plan. However for a zoo to become successful in the line of Singapore zoo there is no harm in finding avenues for generating better revenue. After all it is definitely an expensive job to feed and maintain so many animals and the above measures which have been initiated does cost money. The zoo does need help from well wishing volunteers and NGOs. We have engaged some in the past for better visitor management and awareness generation. I will be very happy if interested organizations approach the zoo for such activities. Their help will always be welcome. I will be glad if a balance view is portrayed on sensitive matters such as wild animals so that we as responsible citizens are taken seriously by the public and do not contribute in creating "A STATE OF FEAR" in their minds.

I acknowledge that the zoo has still a long way to go but with positive feedback, hard work and support we can achieve to be what we are striving for mutually. We are always willing to listen. Please feel free to write to us.

Raju Das, IFS
Zoological Garden,


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Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is one of the few institutions in the United States that exclusively display currently and previously native wild animals of the region. Apart from walking in a forest with exhibits for bears, mustelides, raptors and other species, visitor can take a tram tour through a free roaming area where they can see various hoofed animal species in semi-natural conditions.



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Monika Fiby: translation to German
Pierre Godlewski: translation to French and distribution
Andrei Kotkin: translation to Russian and distribution
Ivan Lozano Ortega: translation to Spanish and distribution
Dirk Petzold: distribution through
Sally Walker: distribution through
Enquan Zhang: translation to Chinese and distribution


We keep working on ZooLex ...

The ZooLex Zoo Design Organization is a non-profit organization
registered in Austria (ZVR-Zahl 933849053). ZooLex runs a professional
zoo design website and distributes this newsletter. More information and


Avian Rearing Resource Website

For generations people have been hand-rearing birds, over the years protocols have been refined and improved; this information is not always easily accessible and sometimes it is an art tracking down the most up to date information.

A website has been created to compile hand rearing protocols, encourage responsible hand-rearing, measure success rates, highlight problems, research into improving protocols and long term survival/breeding success of hand reared bird species.

Over time it is hoped that by sharing information we can work towards minimizing mortality rates and improving quality and future breeding success of hand-reared individuals.

The site is still in its infancy and will continue to evolve with your help and input, please feel free to e-mail any protocols or comments to me at




IEF is offering financial support in 2011 for in situ and ex situ projects, including protection of wild elephants and their habitats, scientific research, education efforts, and improvements in captive elephant care. Proposals are peer-reviewed by a panel of advisors from field conservation, medicine, research, academia, and elephant management. Funds will be awarded and available January 2011.

Criteria for funding:

Requests for funds should provide adequate information for evaluation of the project and the specific request, including a detailed design/methodology.

Projects that designate local/public education/awareness as a significant program outcome must include an evaluation component.

Projects must begin in the year that they are applying for funding, (but not before funds are to be awarded) and contain a clearly defined beginning and end point.

Funds will not be awarded for elements of a project that will have already occurred before awards are made.

Budget requests that consist primarily of salary will generally not be considered favorably.

Proposals are preferred that meet some or all of the following objectives and criteria:

The proposal should clearly contribute to the in situ or ex situ conservation of African or Asian elephants or their habitats.

Project is part of an established conservation program or is well-suited to become a long term program.

Project has conservation value and measurable impact.

Project is grounded in sound scientific methodology, is logistically feasible, and has a high probability of success.

Project has multi-institutional participation and matching funds.

Project is a new approach for long term elephant and/or habitat conservation.

Project is action-oriented not simply data collection or survey.

Project and Principle Investigator demonstrate a spirit of cooperation with ex situ elephant facilities and other like-minded conservation institutions.

Principal investigators must have a reputation for completing projects, publishing results in an expeditious manner and cooperating with funding agencies in providing reports and educational materials. If awarded funding previously by the IEF, satisfactory performance on previous grant awards is essential.

Projects must meet humane standards of care when animals are involved. Each of these studies must be approved by the appropriate agency at the facility or institution where the study is conducted. 

Examples of some funding priorities are:

Capacity building

Strategies for human elephant conflict mitigation or resolution

Strategies to combat habitat loss

Strategies that identify elephant ranges

Strategies to manage local elephant over-population problems

Strategies to counteract the bushmeat crisis/ivory poaching

Ex Situ elephant management, veterinary and reproduction projects

Visit The Website

Are You Going To Participate This Year?
I do hope so
Please highlight the plight of the vulture
Every Zoo should play their part
Every zoo which keeps vultures MUST do so

Learn more by clicking


2010 -2- Egyptian vulture project - Progetto Capovaccaio Italy


Endangered Raptors Centre

Via Santa Cristina, 6

58055 Rocchette di Fazio (GR)



1st Southeast Asian Animal Enrichment and Training Workshop
4 -7 October 2010

Hosted by: Wildlife Reserves Singapore
In partnership with: Active Environments and Shape of Enrichment
Instructors: Gail Laule and Valerie Hare
Chair of Organising Committee: Diana Marlena

Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) is pleased to announce the 1st Southeast Asian Animal Enrichment & Training Workshop. This unique four-day workshop will present an array of topics relating to animal behavioural management with particular emphasis on environmental enrichment, positive reinforcement training techniques and problem-solving processes. The workshop is open to zookeepers, aquarists, managers, supervisors, curators, and veterinarians from the Southeast Asian and Australasian region.

The workshop will be conducted in English and will include both theoretical and practical aspects through discussions, small group projects, demonstrations, and hands-on enrichment and training opportunities with WRS’ diverse animal collection at the Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo. Skills taught will enhance the participants’ ability to manage captive animal behaviour, enhance animal welfare, and improve the management of captive animals.

Participants who complete this workshop will be equipped with the basic knowledge and skills to allow them to apply these animal enrichment and training techniques in their home institutions. The workshop format is designed to maximise learning outcomes for each participant and by addressing specific needs and objectives.

Have fun while you interact, brainstorm and participate!

A registration fee of SGD$520 includes the following:
 All workshop material, including a copy of Don’t Shoot the Dog
 All lunch and tea breaks during the workshop
 Icebreaker and closing banquet
 Transportation between hotel and the workshop venue
 Tote bag and commemorative t-shirt
 A certificate of accomplishment
 A one-year free on-line subscription to The Shape of Enrichment

For further information contact:
Diana Marlena
Singapore Zoo
Tel: +65-6360 8601
Fax: +65-6365 2331

Thank you and we hope to see you in Singapore!

Fanny Lai
Group CEO
Wildlife Reserves Singapore


Zoo Conferences, Meetings, Courses and Symposia
click HERE



The Zoo Biology Group is concerned with all disciplines involved in the running of a Zoological Garden. Captive breeding, husbandry,cage design and construction, diets, enrichment, man management,record keeping, etc etc


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Kind Regards,

Wishing you a wonderful week,

Peter Dickinson


UK: ++ 44 (0)7551 037 585
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Skype: peter.dickinson48

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