Sunday, August 29, 2010

Zoo News Digest 23rd - 29th August 2010 (Zoo News 684)

Zoo News Digest 23rd - 29th August 2010 (Zoo News 684)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

My first email on Saturday morning was a joy. Accusations and veiled threats. I am not sure if I prefer the veiled variety to the open type. Okay this was a different correspondent but this all comes down to the same bigoted guy with the chip on his shoulder. The same guy who stated with glee "The social status of a zoo keeper is not much different from a sweeper or a dustbin collector (According to an article in BBC Wildlife magazine in 1994)." The same guy who said "Let me tell you this bluntly, you are not within a light year of my academic ability".
To be honest I don't want to come within a hundred light years of he and his type and I honestly and truly would prefer to share my table with sweepers and dustbin collectors.... and in fact do have both amongst my circle of friends and I hold an entirely different view of their professions. Zoo Keepers of course are the salt of the earth and this guy could not hold a candle to any of them. Why is it that I am not surprised that someone who claims to care so much about animals is so deprecating of his fellow human beings?

As a very much pro-zoo person I am more than happy to admit that there are some zoos I would like to see closed, yesterday. The point is 'some zoos', not all zoos. Those zoos which contribute nothing to conservation and are purely commercially exploitative would be at joint number one on my list along with those who cause pain and suffering to animals.
As part of my Zoo News Digest I have joined a number of animal related groups in search of snippets of news and to pass on news and information too. I have got used to the snide remarks, direct attacks and occassional threats that some of the information I provide provokes but I cannot get used to the huge numbered of blinkered ignorant people there are out there. There are so many of them. Zoos really need to maximise there resources in education. One bigoted teacher can infect a lot of young minds. There is damage to repair.

I have traveled from Vigan in the North to Mindanao in the South of the Philippines specifically to look at zoos. Where I learnt of the existence of one I went out of my way to visit it. I have written up most of my visits and really should find the time to write up the rest. I visited 25 in all. There were a half dozen or so that I was aware of missing but life gets in the way sometimes and I thought I would save them for another day. Imagine my surprise then to read in the article 'Zoos in RP fall short of int’l standards' that there are "There are total of 2,750 big and small zoos in the Philippines". What? I don't believe it. I am delighted though that there are discussions on zoo animal welfare taking place. I hope though that these will not simply be a case of 'money talking' because then it is the purely commercial zoos which get most of the say. I disagree with the statement "the Manila Zoo has the poorest standard" as there are worse. Check out my reports on Philippine Zoos in my Zoo Hub list.

I am sure that Bill and Melissa Meadows have their hearts in the right place. I just feel it is so sad that people who obviously have the money, and the time to dedicate on conservation should get involved with Snow and Marmalade Tigers.

The Surabaya Zoo story rambles on. There really does appear to be a lot more to this than is immediately apparent. Although it has been mentioned that Tony Sumampauw (Sumampau) is the head of the caretaker administration he is also chairman of the Indonesian Zoo Association and a co director and owner of the extremely commercial and animal exploitative Taman Safari Group of zoos (Taman Safari Indonesia, Taman Safari II and Bali Safari and Marine Park) which have sadly been unable to shake off their early circus background.

Why Mr Sumampau would want to get involved with yet another zoo is open to question especially as Taman Safari II is just 58 minutes by road from Surabaya Zoo. The Surabaya Zoo is Taman Safari II’s biggest ‘animal attraction’ competitor!
One idea which has been proposed is to move the Surabaya Zoo out of the city and so provide the animals with more space. This undoubtedly ties in with suggestions of inevitable Real Estate Development on the vacated zoo property. If the zoo were to move out of the city it would become an even greater competitor to Taman Safari II. I suppose it will be inevitable if they carry on down that route that a ‘marriage’ of the two collections would be suggested especially as they were being managed by the same man. There is, I feel, something not quite right about this whole affair. Something smells wrong.

I really liked the story of the great Drusillas haircut. There have been several earlier ones where wool had been donated but I believe this was the first donation of human hair. It is surprising how many zoos have contributed in one way or another to assisting to rectify the oil spill damage.

I remain extremely disappointed at the number of zoos which have signed up to the International Vulture Awareness Day (THERE IS STILL TIME). It is not as if they are not aware. I have posted out on the blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Zoo Biology, on ZooNews Digest as well as a number of other places. On most of these it has gone out more than once and on some several times. Why so much? Because I am only too aware of the apathy, but never dreamed it was so bad. I mean you don't even have to have vultures to participate as some of the participants have shown. Take a look at the ISIS list to see who keeps vultures.

I hope you will take the time to watch the two videos of "The Cove Unveiled". You may have already watched 'The Cove' and formed an opinion. As a free thinking and rational human being you owe it to yourself to listen to the other side of the story.
My biopsy was a bigger affair than expected but a success and more than a little painful. I guess it went okay as the surgeon mumbled something about it being nothing but scar tissue before arranging another appointment two months from now.

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At Chinese zoos, the animal keepers are the savage ones, activists say
A report finds poor conditions and mistreatment at major zoos and safari parks, including the declawing of tigers and bears. It's probably much worse at other places, animal advocates say.
In 10 years of visiting zoos and animal parks in China, David Neale has seen a bear punched in the head by a trainer, tigers whose teeth and claws had been removed and hundreds of animals that lived in filthy, unhealthy conditions.
Too many facilities take credit for simply keeping animals alive, while a large number rely on barbaric techniques such as whipping, beating and prodding with metal hooks to control them, said Neale, the animal welfare director of Animals Asia, a Hong Kong-based advocacy group.
"The conditions are appalling," Neale said recently. "It's setting the bar at the lowest level."
In a report released this month by Animals Asia, cases of poor conditions and mistreatment, including the declawing of tigers and bears, were plentiful during the last year at 13 state-run zoos and privately owned safari parks.
Animal welfare activists say the report not only reflects the poor conditions at parks named by the agency, but also suggests that captive animals all across China may be facing conditions that are as bad or worse.
Kati Loeffler, veterinary advisor for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, estimated that there were hundreds of other zoos and parks in China with similar practices and facilities, and thousands of animals facing maltreatment.
"The scenario that Animals Asia describes is unfortunately very typical. But to be honest, these are probably the best conditions there are for animals in China," Loeffler said, because the zoos and parks named in the report are among the largest and most well-financed in China. "There are many places that are smaller and with less money, and the conditions there, we can only imagine what they are."
The release of the report followed the deaths of two giant pandas in July. One was accidentally killed by poisonous gas at the Jinan Zoo in Shandong province, and the other's death at the Beijing Zoo was caused by untreated intestinal complications that went unreported for almost 20 days.
Four months earlier, 11 Siberian tigers at the Shenyang Forest Wild Animal Zoo in northeastern China starved to death.
After the deaths of the giant pandas, the State Forestry Administration issued a statement criticizing zoo managers for prioritizing profit over the well-being of,0,2116802.story

The Frozen Zoo aiming to bring endangered species back from the brink
San Diego Zoo began collecting ski samples from rare animals in 1972 in the hope they might be used to protect these endangered species in the future. A breakthrough in stem-cell technology means that day is getting closer
The inside of a metal box filled with liquid nitrogen and frozen to -173C (-280F) is hardly the ideal habitat for a large African mammal. But, as a test tube is fished out of the frigid container amid a billowing cloud of white gas, a note written on its side is unequivocal about its contents. "This is a northern white rhino," says Scripps research scientist Inbar Ben-Nun as she reads out the label and holds the freezing vial with thick gloves that look like industrial-grade oven mitts.
Ben-Nun is holding no ordinary scientific sample. For the frozen cells in that test tube could one day give rise to baby northern white rhinos and help save the species from extinction. They would be living specimens of one of the most endangered species on Earth, who after a few months would be trotting into wildlife parks, and maybe, just maybe, helping repopulate their kind on the African grasslands. No wonder that the place where the sample came from is called the Frozen Zoo.
The Frozen Zoo was founded in 1972 at San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research as a repository for skin-cell samples from rare and endangered species. At the time that the first samples were collected and put into deep freeze it was not really known how they would be used and genetic technology was in its infancy. But there was a sense that one day some unknown scientific advance might make use of them and it was better to be safe than sorry. Now, thanks to a team at the nearby Scripps Research Institute, that day has come a lot closer.
Genetic scientists at Scripps, working from an anonymous-looking building in a business park in San Diego's northern suburbs, have succeeded in taking samples of skin cells from the Frozen Zoo and turning them into a culture of special cells known as induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells. Stem cells are a sort of all-purpose building block of life that can then become any other sort of cell. By creating IPS cells from a species it is now theoretically possible to use them to create egg cells and sperm cells. Those two could then be combined via in vitro fertilisation to form a viable embryo. And long-dead animals whose species are almost extinct could create new life. The breakthrough, so far, has come with creating IPS cells for the silver-maned drill monkey, a primate native to just a few parts of West Africa and which is the continent's most endangered monkey. On 1 June this year, the stem cells morphed into brain cells, proving their viability.
"The Frozen Zoo was a wonderful idea. They just thought: 'Well, something might happen, so we should preserve some samples for the future'," says Dr Jeanne Loring, who is leading the Scripps team of which Ben-Nun is a part. "This is the first time that there has been something that we can do."
The implications of Loring's breakthrough are clear for those trying to save endangered animals. If the technology is perfected and IPS cell cultures can be established for many of the species held in the Frozen Zoo, then conservationists will not just have to rely on preventing extinction by coaxing a few remaining individuals to breed. Instead, cell lines preserved in the Frozen Zoo can be added to the possible gene pool, increasing the chances of healthy reproduction.
"If we could use animals that were already dead – even from 20 years ago – to generate sperm and eggs then we can use those individuals to create greater genetic diversity. I see it as being possible. I see no scientific barrier," Loring says.
It has also raised another prospect among some observers: that of a Jurassic Park scenario. If viable cell samples could be harvested from the remains of extinct animal species, such as stuffed Tasmanian tigers in museums or the woolly mammoth corpses dug up from the Siberian tundra, then perhaps scientists would one day be able to reverse extinction. It is not a prospect that many scientists involved want to encourage. But ever since news of Loring's work with the drill monkey cells was revealed, the Jurassic Park headlines have been coming thick and fast.
Loring's lab at Scripps holds samples from the northern white rhino and the drill monkey, but the real Frozen Zoo, just a few miles away, is on a much larger scale. Housed in a building inside San Diego Zoo, its freezers contain samples from 8,400 animals, representing more than 800 species. They include Gobi bears, endangered cattle breeds such as gaurs and bantengs, mountain gorillas, pandas, a California grey whale and condors. The entire gigantic menagerie is housed in four deep-freeze tanks, representing a staggeringly important slice of some of the world's most rare wildlife.
Dr Oliver Ryder, the geneticist who heads the Frozen Zoo programme, welcomes the news of Loring's work, which itself built on a breakthrough in 2007 by Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka. For Ryder it is confirmation that the zoo's founding as a sort of "bet" on the science of the future now has great prospects of paying off. "We wondered if one day pigs would fly. Well, now pigs are flying. I am very excited by the results," Ryder says.
But Ryder does not appreciate some of the wilder headlines that have sprung from the potential implications of the research. The words "Jurassic Park" get short shrift from the plain-spoken scientist. He has little time for those who advocate bringing back long-dead species or those fringe figures who dream one day of recreating a dinosaur just like in Steven Spielberg's movie. Apart from the fact that the science of extracting viable DNA for such animals is virtually impossible, he believes it distracts from the Frozen Zoo's primary aim: to stop species becoming extinct in the first place. "What would be the benefit of bringing back something that has been extinct for some 10,000 years? It is intriguing and evocative but it plays to human hubris. What's the motivation? Is this for personal benefit or society saying: 'We have arcane powers and the world is our oyster'?" he asks.
When it comes to species still on the brink, with perhaps just a few individuals left, however, Ryder is insistent that humanity has a duty to save them and that the Frozen Zoo can play a crucial role. Especially close to Ryder's heart is one of the species that Loring is working on: the northern white rhino. There are just eight of the animals left alive on earth and not all of them are viable breeders. To put it bluntly: the northern white rhino's gene pool is more accurately a rapidly drying-up gene puddle. But, if Loring's work succeeds in creating northern white rhino IPS cells and then turning them into sperm and eggs, that gene pool can be deepened again.
It is a race against time. Unlike with the drill monkey, Loring's efforts with rhino cells have not yet worked. But at least Loring thinks she knows why. The drill monkey samples were coaxed into becoming IPS cells using viruses loaded with carefully selected human genes that can trigger that reaction. Loring suspects it worked with drill monkeys because – as fellow primates – they are genetically close enough to humans for the introduced human genes to work properly. Rhinos, she thinks, may be too distantly related. However, she plans to try again, this time perhaps using genes from a closer animal relative to the rhino, the horse.
Ryder makes no secret of how emotionally attached he is to saving the northern white rhino while there are still living animals, rather than just reviving some later entirely from a test tube. He recalls witnessing the birth of a female northern white rhino more than 20 years ago and watching it being introduced to its herd: something that would be lost for ever if the last northern white rhino died before Loring's technology is perfected. "I saw her meet the rest of the rhino herd. There was a clear sense of how to meet the baby. If we wait until there are no white rhinos and then one is created from a test tube, to whom are we going to introduce it?" he says. "My feelings about the rhino come straight from the heart. I am not ready to give up on this rhino."
Sadly, it is already too late for other species. The Frozen Zoo already holds samples from animals that are now extinct. One such is the po'ouli bird, a species of honeycreeper that lived in Hawaii and was only discovered in 1973. Unfortunately, the last recorded sighting of the po'ouli was in 2004, and it is thought to be extinct, assailed by habitat loss and the introduction of disease by humans. Now it resides only in the Frozen Zoo in the form of its skin cells preserved and frozen. Ryder, sticking with his belief that there is no point in rescuing the already extinct, hopes instead that studying the po'ouli bird's genes will help conservationists prevent other related

Tiger Escapes From Cage At Miami Zoo
A tiger escaped from its cage at a zoo in Miami on Saturday, forcing the zoo to be partly evacuated before the tiger was recaptured, the Miami Herald reported.
Nobody was injured by the Bengal tiger, said Lt. Ignatius Carroll, a spokesman for Miami Fire Rescue.
A witness said the tiger jumped from its cage at the Jungle Island zoo after a monkey jumped into the cage, WSVN-TV reported. Another witness saw the animal loose near the entrance to the zoo.
The tiger was captured around 1 p.m. local time.
Jungle Island’s website said male Bengal tigers measure around six to nine feet in length without their tails and weigh around 400 to 660 pounds. Females

Bilby gets a second Chance at zoo
THE Australian bilby may be on the brink of extinction, but at Taronga Zoo it's thriving.
With fewer than 1000 of the small, large-eared nocturnal marsupials left in the wild, the zoo's keepers have been working closely with its three resident bilbies, Dougal, Sparkie and Yippie, gradually getting the timid creatures used to crowds, reported The Daily Telegraph.
"We've got them used to people and now we can bring Dougal, Sparkie and Yippie out at Taronga's Australian Nightlife exhibit for tours so our visitors can see them," the Sydney zoo's mammal keeper, Paul Davies, said.
"We're getting amazing reactions from people. Many Australians say they've heard of them but never seen one."
He said the number of bilbies was dropping fast as they succumbed to feral cat predators and climate change.
"The small marsupials are similar to bandicoots and have the most remarkable ears which function like sophisticated air-conditioning systems to help them survive in their harsh natural desert environments where temperatures swing from boiling hot to freezing cold," Mr Davies said.
"When it's hot, the bilbies keep their ears erect. The ears are hairles

International wildlife smuggler held at KLIA
A man, believed to be international wildlife trader Anson Wong, has been detained at the KL International Airport following the seizure of more than 90 snakes from various species.
It is learnt that the man was in transit from Penang to Jakarta on Thursday when he was detained by Malaysia Airlines staff, who had been alerted after a piece of luggage was reported broken. The snakes were found inside the bag.
According to a government official, 95 of the snakes are believed to be boa constrictors, two are suspected to be rhinoceros vipers and one is believed to be a matamata turtle.
Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed that a man named Anson Wong was picked up at 8.50pm on Aug 26, by airport security for allegedly trying to smuggle snakes. He has been remanded until Tuesday.
“We have handed the person over to Perhilitan (Wildlife and Natio­nal Parks Department) for further investigations,” he said.
It had been reported by The Star in February that Wong had been linked to a Dec 15 seizure in the United States of various types of animals from an exotic animal outlet.
Two of the trader’s companies were found to have been supplying animals to the outlet.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) had claimed that CBS Wildlife and Sungai Rusa Wildlife, both owned by Wong, were supplying various types of animals and wildlife to US Global Exotics (USGE).
Wong pleaded guilty to trafficking in

A place where elephants can thrive
I’d like to clear up several misconceptions about the National Zoo’s elephant habitat raised by Peter Stroud’s Aug. 22 Local Opinions commentary.
Mr. Stroud’s comments were based on a single afternoon visit nearly a year ago. Our scientists, veterinarians, keepers and field researchers are internationally recognized as dedicated leaders in the care of Asian elephants in zoos and in the wild.
Elephants need imaginative spaces for exercise and soft ground for their feet. Today, their indoor barn has rubber and sand flooring, and their outdoor area has about two acres of varied terrain, tall grasses, shade, a pool and mud. When the renovation is complete in 2013, there will be even more space and opportunities for enrichment, for what we ultimately envision as a habitat for a natural herd of elephants.
We are confident that our elephants will thrive in their new home. On Labor Day weekend, our visitors will be invited to see the first phase of the elephant habitat. The main viewing area at the bottom of a hill, as well as from the bridge, will allow visitors

Elephant-herd idea cruel plan to make money
Bridget Vercoe writes that Auckland Zoo's scheme is ill-conceived and unnecessary.
Auckland Zoo's $13 million plan to establish a breeding herd of elephants is cruel and will do nothing to protect this majestic animal in the wild.
Despite assertions to the contrary, the breeding programme proposed for the zoo is not linked to any valid conservation programme and probably for good reason.
Elephants born and bred in zoos cannot be, and are never, released back into the wild. Any elephant born at Auckland Zoo will remain in captivity its entire life.
It will either live out its life at the zoo or be shipped at great expense and detriment to the animal's welfare to another zoo, either in New Zealand or overseas.
Life for a zoo elephant is far from pleasant. Elephants are a notoriously difficult species to maintain in zoos. Zoo elephants suffer a range of health problems not commonly found in wild populations.
They are often overweight through lack of exercise, experience foot and leg problems, have circulatory problems such as heart attacks, suffer from arthritis and have been known to die from

Watch These Videos

Note to all from SachemoV : As the producer of this video, allow me to state quite clearly this work is mine alone and has not been commissioned by or for Sea World, or for any other aquarium for that matter. Their parks were specifically referenced in this video only because they were featured prevalently in The Cove.

This video is not intended to be "pro" or "anti" captivity, just to keep to facts of a volatile issue - and one that needs to be solved with honesty.

Dolphin Show = Dolphin Kill? An Investigation of The Cove Part 1

Dolphin Show = Dolphin Kill? An Investigation of The Cove Part 2

V I Panda
Probably the most significant event in the zoo world over the past week was the birth of the Panda in Vienna Zoo. It was significant not because it was a Panda but because this was a natural birth and the mother was rearing it herself.
Yang Yang the mother Panda in Schoenbrunn

Second panda born in Vienna zoo
Another panda has been born in Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo, the second in Europe to be conceived naturally in captivity, the zoo said Tuesday.
The 10-year-old mother, Yang Yang, who made history on August 23, 2007, by giving birth to Fu Long -- Europe's first panda to be naturally conceived in captivity -- gave birth a second time on Monday afternoon after around four hours in labour, the zoo said in a statement.
The new baby, whose sex cannot yet be determined, was born exactly three years to the day after Fu Long, who was returned to China last year.
As was the case with Fu Long, Yang Yang was actually carrying two babies, but the second did not survive, said the zoo's expert Eveline Dungl.
"Female pandas usually find a second baby too much and unfortunately we couldn't save it," Dungl told the Austrian news agency APA.
The surviving panda weighs around 100 grammes (0.2 pounds) and measures 10-12 centimetres (four-to-five inches) and will remain in the litter box with its mother for the next few months.
Both the mother and the new baby were in

Operation Dolphin in Bolivia
So far, a team of scientists from the Museum of Natural History Noel Kempff in Bolivia, led by biologist Mariana Escobar, were able to rescue two of the nine individuals who had been stranded in the Pailas River, a tributary of the River- Grande-as a result of low water in the area. Han sido trasladados a otros lugares donde el nivel es mucho mayor. Have been transferred to other locations where the level is much higher.

Los Angeles Zoo is home to 22 baby Komodo dragons
Twenty-two Komodo dragons have hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo this month, giving a modest boost to the world's endangered population.
The zoo's adult female Komodo, Lima, laid the eggs on Jan. 22. The first one popped through its soft-sided egg shell on Aug. 8 and hatchlings kept coming for two weeks.
Komodos are the world's largest lizards and are popular attractions at zoos from the United States to Europe. All 2,500 left in the wild can be found at the 700-square-mile Komodo National Park in Indonesia.
Komodos are cannibalistic and usually eat their young and eggs of their own species, so zoo officials say staying alive is tricky for a hatchling.
This is the first time the Los Angeles Zoo has succeeded at a breeding attempt. It joins fewer than 10 other zoos in North America

Man proposes in penguin enclosure at Welsh Mountain Zoo, Colwyn Bay
IT was quite a p-p-p-proposal. A young Romeo asked his sweetheart to marry him – in the penguin enclosure at the Welsh Mountain Zoo.
Happily, Sarah Evans, once she’d got over the shock, said yes.
Her bridegroom to be Ben Smith knew 26-year-old Sarah was a huge fan of the Humboldt Penguin – so you could say it was the p-p-p-perfect p-p-p-place for him to p-p-p-pop the question.
The couple had met on holiday in Brisbane, Australia, nearly four years ago and became inseparable. Ben coaxed his bride to be to the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay.
Ben, 24, said: “I looked on the internet and saw that a keeper at the Welsh Mountain Zoo had been proposed to here in the penguin parade. I phoned up and the zoo was really

Editorial — Zoo plays a role
The Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove has come in for a great deal of media attention over the years, and not all of it has been positive.
Some of the negative attention over the years related to the care given to specific animals, and there is no doubt that some of these situations were heartbreaking.
However, in the larger context, the zoo has served the overall community very well. It is a major tourist attraction, has introduced children and adults to many animals at close range and, for the most part, it provides good care to the animals who live there.
In recent years, zoo management has taken issues of animal care very seriously and has worked hard to meet the objections of the more reasonable members of the animal rights lobby. It has been pushed in some instances by the SPCA, but there is definitely a will and desire to do the right thing.
There is no way that the zoo can ever meet the standards of the most radical animal rights lobbyists, who are completely opposed to any type of enclosure for wild animals, and in many cases are totally opposed to humans eating animals, which most of us do every day.
The zoo is home to 135 different species of animals, and many of them are native North American species that most people never have a chance to see up close. In many cases, they are animals found or rescued from situations

Drusillas zoo donates hair to Mexico oil spill clear-up
Staff and visitors at a zoo in East Sussex have taken part in a local appeal to donate human hair to help mop up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Nearly 60 people had their hair cut for free at Drusillas Park by Jal Clarke, of Icon Stylists in Eastbourne.
He launched the appeal in July after learning that aid workers intend to use human and animal hair stuffed into nylon tights to mop up the slick.
The hair is laid along the shoreline and the oil clings to the follicles.
Last month Mr Clarke visited the zoo accompanied by Eastbourne MP, Stephen Lloyd, to collect shorn llama and alpaca fleeces.
Icon Stylists still require human hair, old hair extensions, animal hair and nylon tights and are appealing to businesses that work in these areas to collect any donated items in a bin bag.
Mr Clarke said: "We have had great support so far from Drusillas but we urgently need a lot

Zoo to recreate gorilla rainforest
Dublin Zoo has unveiled plans for a massive revamp of one of its oldest enclosures to create a gorilla rainforest.
The new landscape, slightly smaller than the Croke Park playing pitch, will have streams, dense vegetation, small hills and rocky outcrops mimicking the animals' wild environment.
Zoo chiefs are also planning forest paths with special

Thit Cho a Danger to Health
The transport and slaughter conditions for dogs on menus in Asia are said to be so unhygienic that they are a threat to public health.
Responding to reports about a new book by China’s first astronaut in space, which reveals that China’s space team had dog meat in their diet, Animals Asia Foundation’s Irene Feng says: “I’m shocked. There are so many health risks associated with the farming, slaughter and consumption of dogs.”
According to the foundation, diseases such as cholera, rabies and trichinellosis are all associated with the dog meat trade and can all be transmitted to humans.
CEO Jill Robinson, who founded the Hong Kong-based charity that protects animals in Asia, stresses that as well as the human health issues, the cruelty involved in the dog meat trade cannot be ignored.
“These dogs are piled on top of each other in tiny cages and driven for days in a truck,” she says. “When

Endangered tadpoles released into SoCal stream
Researchers have released dozens of tadpoles into a Riverside County stream in hopes of reviving a frog species endangered in the region.
San Diego Zoo officials say zoo researchers bred the 36 mountain yellow-legged frog tadpoles that were released Tuesday into a stream near the town of Idyllwild.
The mountain yellow-legged frog is on the federal Endangered Species List in Southern California and has recently been proposed for listing under the California Endangered Species Act.
Fewer than 200 adult mountain yellow-legged frogs are thought to remain in the region's mountain ranges.
Researchers had released some 500 mountain yellow-legged frog eggs into the creek in April, but the tadpoles from

Forest dept seeks `private' advice for Gorakhpur Zoo
Things are moving slowly but steadily for the first zoo of eastern UP in Gorakhpur. The forest department has submitted a proposal to the government for finalising private consultants for the project.
"We would be able to say more on the project once consultants are finalised," said Ajay Kumar, chief conservator of forest, Gorakhpur. It is a big project of the forest department, which also involves other state agencies like Gorakhpur Development Authority (GDA). A lot of things have to be worked out and it would take some time, he said.
The proposal has pegged the revised fund requirement for the project at Rs 86 crore. Gorakhpur zoo will have an area measuring 212 acre. The land has been acquired from the GDA and after forest department pays the stamp duty, it will be registered under the department.
The USP of Gorakhpur zoo will be its size and the modern design. It will outsize the two existing zoos of the state, each in Lucknow and Kanpur. Kanpur zoo has an area of about 189 acre (76.5 hectare) and Lucknow zoo is a much smaller entity in comparison with just 70 acre of area under it.
The idea is to provide the natural wild ambience to the inmates in their enclosures. "This is where role of consultants would come into play," said Kumar. The design of enclosures and the entire zoo will be planned with the help of consultants.
The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has ordered that Gorakhpur Zoo will house some 146 animals from 9 smaller centres (probably mini zoos) of the state. However, efforts will be made to not overcrowd it. The list of animals to be housed here is still to be finalised. Whether it would have more animals than Kanpur (some 1,300 animals) and Lucknow (
Read more: Forest dept seeks `private' advice for Gorakhpur Zoo - Lucknow - City - The Times of India

Istanbul animal market faces accusations of mistreatment, smuggling
From cats and dogs to tropical birds and giant turtles, Istanbul’s Animal and Flower Market offers a wide variety of animals for sale – creatures that critics say are mistreated, unhealthy and perhaps even illegally trafficked.
The 20-shop complex between the New Mosque and the Spice Bazaar in the Eminönü district draws many customers willing to overlook the smell of dirty cages for the cheap prices and convenient location. Some of them end up regretting having done so.
Commenting on an online forum, a poster nicknamed Zapake wrote that a dog he bought at the animal market had contracted canine distemper and died. He blamed the vendor who sold him the dog, saying that conditions there are unhealthy for the animals and the shop owners do not know how to vaccinate the pets properly.
“Whenever I consulted [the vendor] about my

Lion reported in parked car
Authorities in Kazakhstan said they received a call from a shocked motorist about a lion in the car parked next to his vehicle.
A spokesman for the Interior Ministry in the city of Kostanai said the man reported the lion Monday morning and authorities determined it had been purchased by a businessman for his private zoo, RIA Novosti reported Wednesday.
"The lion was left in the parking lot because its owner returned late from his trip. The cage containing the predator was locked, and the lion was calm," the spokesman

Wildlife in flight!
As the first phase of the Mattala airport project in Hambantota gets underway there are allegations of animals being killed for food by site workers and large tracts of land being set ablaze driving elephants into human habitation and other environmental issues.
Kumudini Hettiarachchi reports
Heads but no bodies, skins and scales strewn around while in the backdrop massive forest fires are visible that usually Sri Lankans see only on television.
This is not happening in some far off foreign land but amidst an area which has been in the spotlight for several weeks now, for its showpiece harbour and proposed second international airport. What is taking place at Mattala in Hambantota as 800 hectares are cleared under the first stage of the airport project?
The ground reality is sending shock waves not only among perturbed environmentalists but also the people of the area.
There is a massacre of anything that moves, be it four-legged, two-legged or no-legged for food, said a concerned conservationist, pointing out that mouse deer, snakes, frogs and even the pangolin (scaly ant-eater or kedellawa) are ending up on the plates of the employees of the foreign company mandated to carry out the Mattala airport project.
The pangolin, the Sunday Times learns, falls under the ‘Near Threatened’ category of the IUCN’s Red List due to poaching while their numbers are also decreasing because they get caught in traps and snares easily.
A set of photographs from within the site in the possession of the Sunday Times says it all. No animal has been spared, with conservationists charging that not only are they putting into coking pots all those animals which have got trapped within the area enclosed for clearing but also getting local workers to bring in other creatures as well.
The project was launched in November 2009 with much fanfare after Acting Chairman of the Central Environmental Authority Chairman Sunil Wimalasuriya on May 4, 2009

Local bamboos for pandas
NEARLY all spare land at the Singapore Zoo has been mobilised - for bamboo planting.
The jade-green clumps are in preparation for the arrival of a pair of giant pandas from China, which will be in residence at the River Safari attraction opening in 2012.
As each animal consumes about 20kg of the fibrous plant matter every day, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), the parent company of the zoo, has decided to grow its own bamboo to ensure a reliable supply, explained WRS assistant director of horticulture Melvin Tan.
In the past six months, about 1,300 clumps of bamboo have been planted at the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and the site of the River Safari.
They make up about a fifth of what WRS needs. The remainder will be planted at the zoo's own 5ha farm in Kranji, where food for the monkeys

B.C. aim to help bruins get back to bear necessities
B.C. wildlife officials are ready to go further in weaning marijuana patch black bears from their diet of dog food that could spare their lives, the province’s environment minister said Monday.
Initially, a B.C. conservation officer had said there’s a good likelihood many of the up to 15 bears found lounging around a large > marijuana garden at Christina Lake would be destroyed because they faced a steep challenge in adapting to the wild after a long-term diet of human handouts.
But on Monday, B.C. Environment Minister Barry Penner said the officers are willing to set up feeding stations leading into the bush that would gradually lessen the bruins’ dependence on unnatural food.
“The conservation officers have indicated they’d be prepared to try that, to get them out from that site at greater and greater distances,” said Penner.
If the bears don’t disperse on their own from the 28-hectare site 700 km southwest of Calgary discovered by RCMP three weeks ago, officials would try the feeding stations, he said.
But Penner said the time and resources his staff can

Kingdom in the Clouds
Patrick Stewart narrates a landmark three-part series on the world's last mountain gorillas.
The largest gorilla family in the world is starting the perilous journey down to feed on the fresh shoots of bamboo. They run the risk of being caught in illegal snares and Cantsbee, the dominant silverback, will have his work cut out keeping them all safe, especially those closest to him.
Meanwhile on the other side of the Rwandan volcanoes a young gorilla has been deserted by her mother. She turns to her silverback father for guidance and protection, but is he up to the job?
In Uganda, Marembo the teenage silverback has come of age. He has lived 15 years under the watchful eye of dominant silverback Rukina but now feels it is time to make the break on his own.

Zoos in RP fall short of int’l standards
None of the almost 3,000 zoos in the Philippines meet international standards in the proper treatment of animals and maintenance of facilities, a newly formed group of private zoo owners said.
Zoological parks in the country, said Philzoos president Henry Babiera, are dealing with long-running problems of poor maintenance and ill treatment of animals.
In a conference of zookeepers last Monday, Babiera said Philzoos intends to ask government for assistance to help improve Philippines zoos in term of facility, conservation, education, research, and recreation in order to make them reach international standard.
The conference was organized in cooperation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB).
There are total of 2,750 big and small zoos in the Philippines. Only 25 of big zoos and 12 of the small ones have so far officially joined Philzoos.
Philippines zoos are lacking in professional zookeepers, veterinarians, and budget—thus their and poor standard—because they fail to get the full support from government, according to Jake Gaw, administrator of Avilon Wildlife Conservation Foundation and vice president of Philzoos.
Gaw said that, among Philippines zoos, the Manila Zoo has the poorest standard. It puts bears in very small cages, thus limiting their movements and denying them of what they would naturally do in the wild.
Henry Babiera, who is CEO of Lombija Wildlife Park and Heritage Resort, suggested that small zoos limit the number of animals so that they can provide animals with bigger space. However, most of small zoos now have plenty of animals in their custody, thus the need to limit the space given to the animals.
According to Dr. Govindasamy Agoranmoorthy from Southeast Asian Zoo Association, all zoos should observe the five basic animal freedoms, such as freedom from hunger, thirst, and malnutrition; freedom from physical discomfort and thermal pain; freedom from injury and disease; freedom to conform to essential behavior pattern; and freedom from fear and distress.
“PHILZOOS association is so important for us as private zoo owners because we can ask the government for help both financial support and law enforcement in order to improve our zoological parks standard,” Babiera added.
In response to Philzoos’ concerns, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri said he would help zoo owners in terms of funding and creation of laws to further raise the quality of zoo keeping. He said he would closely work with PAWB and Philzoos.
“It is very important to improve zoos standard

Oklahoma couple finds passion in caring for exotic animals
Bill and Melissa Meadows love the rare and unusual. But theirs is not a love affair with rare gems or hard-to-find antique furniture pieces. They love rare and exotic animals. The owners of Tiger Safari zoological park in Tuttle, the couple have been collecting such animals since their passion began 17 years ago with their first exotic pet: Shirkon, a cougar they still own.
"He was our very first and was going to be our very only,” Melissa Meadows said. But that was not to be. Since the couple opened Tiger Safari seven years ago, their collection of exotic animals has grown to include more than 140 animals.
Bill Meadows claims that he and

Salisbury Zoo's economic impact worth $17M
The Salisbury Zoo is worth about $17 million in terms of economic impact, according to a recent study.
The study was performed by the Salisbury University Business Economic and Community Outreach Network to compliment the Renew the Zoo capital campaign now under way.
Zoo Director Joel Hamilton called the results impressive.
Hamilton, Zoo Commission President Ron Alessi and business trend analyst Memo Diriker are scheduled to present the report to the City Council during a meeting tonight.
The $17 million is only the

Sundarvan to get facelift
Soon, the city will have several zoos to choose from. The Central Zoo Authority of India has approved three master plans (layout) for the state zoos. All the three that have got clearance are from Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar.
The CZAI has cleared master plan (layout) for Kamla Nehru Botanical Garden, the Indroda Nature Park and Sundarvan Zoo. Kamla Nehru park and Indroda park were managed with government funding and were also getting help from the CZAI, but since Sundarvan was in the mini zoo category, it was difficult to get funds and the zoo was managed by Centre for Environment Education ( CEE).
Officials said the present structures in Sundarvan were very old and needed urgent attention. The plan which has been prepared for the development of Sundarvan was around `2 crore. But, since there was shortage of funds, the entire plan would be taken up in phases.
Kiran Desai of Sundarvan said, "Yes, we are facing shortage of funds, but we have made representations to the central government to give funds for development. The government has agreed to funds such zoos too. The master plan is spread over a period of 10 years.". He added that the CZAI wants it to be theme-based zoo and hence it would not go in for addition of new animals. Thus, Sundarvan would remain a reptile park.
The present enclosures would be given a facelift. The structure will be expanded and each enclosure will be of 10 feet long and equally broad. The height of each enclosure will be eight feet. The new enclosure will have vegetation to suit the animal which it houses. Also, there would be separate feeding chambers for each animal. This would help the keepers take care of animals in a proper way.
Rishit Shroff, who has designed Sundarvan, said that the best feature would be the crocodile enclosure which would be open. One can also see them swim in water. "A bridge will pass over the enclosure. If the crocodile in water one can get inside the tunnel-like structure

Surabaya ‘death zoo’ to remain open to public amid takeover
Surabaya Zoo will remain open to the public after the Forestry Ministry decided to take over its management as of Sunday following the deaths of hundreds of animals, including endangered species.
East Java Governor Soekarwo said Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan had set up a special team to take over the management and investigate the deaths of animals in the 15-hectare zoo, one of the largest in Southeast Asia.
“I’ve assigned the husbandry agency to care for the zoo’s animals. The office will report to me if any of the animals are sick. We don’t want the zoo to lose more animals,” he said Saturday.
Soekarwo said the new team would be in charge of the zoo’s administrative works, services to visitors and security.
He said the provincial administration would assist, including in setting aside maintenance funds to provide food for the zoo’s animals. Funds will be taken from the administration’s natural disaster budget.
“The deaths of the animals are an extraordinary incident so we can use the budget allocated for disaster management,” Soekarwo said.
Zulkifli said Friday in a press conference the ministry had been forced to take over the zoo’s management because no improvements had been made since early this year, leading to the deaths of 689 animals between 2008 and 2009.
“Since February this year, 26 animals, including a

56-year-old chimp gives birth at zoo in Kansas
A 56-year-old chimpanzee has surprised officials at a zoo in northeast Kansas by giving birth.
Officials at Sunset Zoo in Manhattan announced Monday that Suzie the chimp gave birth to a female on Aug. 18 and that the mother and baby are in good health.
Zoo director Scott Shoemaker says Suzie was taken off birth control because of medical concerns — and because zoo officials didn't think she would get pregnant at her age.
Zoo curator Mark Ryan says he hasn't heard of any older chimpanzee who has given birth anywhere in the country.
The Manhattan Mercury says

Zoo mulls another costly panda mission
The price of pandas just got personal for Giorgio Mammoliti.
So passionate is the North York councillor about bringing a pair of the bamboo-chewing bears to the Toronto Zoo, he’s willing to shell out $7,000 of his own money on his ursine quest, heading off potential criticism of a hefty travel bill in an election year.
“Hopefully this will stop all the nonsense, including the mayor’s nonsense,” Mammoliti said, referring to comments from Mayor David Miller on the optics of a large delegation heading to China.
City council just voted in April to request the zoo board not to send more than three people on such

Zagreb zoo to celebrate European Bat Night
For the fifth year in the row, Zagreb zoo will celebrate "European Bat Night", a popular, annual event to boost public awareness of endangered bats in Europe.
Visitors can look forward to a rich educational and entertainment programme from 6pm to 10pm on 28 August. The zoo has prepared numerous presentations, workshops and bat walks after dark.
Today, European Bat Night takes place in many cities and regions in more than 30 countries in

Zoo Announces Plan to Move Elephants out of Jackson
In keeping with its commitment to provide the best care possible to its animal collection, coupled with a struggling financial time, officials at the Jackson Zoo have made a most difficult decision concerning the elephants at the Zoo.
The Jackson Zoo Board of Directors and staff have decided that it is in the best interest of its two African elephants, Juno and Rosie, to be relocated from their existing exhibit to the Nashville Zoo in Tennessee.
The Zoo hopes to house elephants again in the future if funds become available to create an exhibit that can accommodate a herd of at least three elephants, as required by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (“AZA”).
The Jackson Zoo is the only AZA accredited zoo in the State of Mississippi—a fact which the Board and staff take very seriously. “The AZA requires at least three elephants in a single exhibit. In that manner, if one elephant should die, it is not as traumatic for the surviving elephant,“ said Beth Poff, executive director of the Jackson Zoo. “To comply with AZA requirements, it would cost between $8 to 10 million to construct a new exhibit at the Zoo.
Unfortunately, at this time, the Zoo does not have the resources to fund such a project, requiring us to move the elephants to another AZA facility.“ “We have an obligation to the animals, and the Nashville Zoo has agreed to

3 white tiger cubs to be displayed at zoo from Sunday
Visitors to the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur will be able to see three white tiger cubs at close quarters from Sunday. The cubs, along with other adult white tigers, will be let out into the display enclosure 84 days after their birth.
For the second time in 15 months, six-year-old white tigress Anu had given birth to three cubs on June 6 this year. Zoo-keeper K Chelliah has been taking care of the cubs which have remained healthy ever since their birth. After they stopped having their mother's milk, the cubs were being fed 250 gm of chicken and beef daily. Now each cub weighs about 8 kg.
With their addition, the number of white tigers in the zoo has risen to seven and the total number of tigers to 15. "The cubs have grown up well. So we decided to leave them within the enclosure for public view. Being a holiday, we thought Sunday would be the ideal day to let them out," zoo director KSSVP Reddy, who is also chief conservator of forests, told TOI.
The zoo allows people to adopt animals by paying for their daily feed. The adoptive person gets a tax exemption for the amount paid and also gets special access to zoo

Bridges help dormice to cross Church Village bypass
Dormice will be able to cross a new bypass safely, thanks to three special bridges costing £190,000.
The bridges are over the Church Village bypass near Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, and are part of plans to protect ecology along the 4.6-mile road.
The bridges consist of wire mesh tubes suspended between trees and tall poles.
The Wildlife Trust of South West Wales' conservation manager, Robert Jones Parry, says the bridges should help maintain dormouse populations.
Dormice are a European Protected Species and are subject to stringent safeguards under the Habitats Regulations Act. The Countryside Council

Dolphin Blow
Imagine collecting DNA samples being as easy as breathing in and out. Well, that’s exactly how researchers are collecting dolphin DNA.
Published today in PLoS ONE in an article called, “Thar She Blows! A Novel Method for DNA Collection from Cetacean Blow,” scientists reveal that they can collect DNA from dolphins, whales and porpoises by collecting the blow, or exhalations, from the animals.
Researchers at the National Aquarium in Baltimore collected blow and blood samples from six bottlenose dolphins between March and May 2010. A test tube was held inverted over the dolphin’s blowhole as they were trained to exhale on cue. Taken along with each blow sample, a control

Bachelor pad: Hogle Zoo forms silverback companionship
In their native Africa, the endangered species live in packs of five to 30, with one dominant male heading up a group of females and their offspring. Young black-backs leave the group after puberty. Some kidnap or coax away other females to make their own group, but more often, male silverbacks live in bachelor troops.
"Bachelor groups are a necessity in the captive population because of the surplus males," Fenn said.
Today, most zoos try to form bachelor groups when the male black-backs are young, rather than a mature adult. "The gorilla management community didn't realize that was a necessity back in the day," Fenn said.
Indeed, even the American Zoo Association's Species Survival Plan, biographical information kept on each zoo animal, adds a new layer for gorillas. Listing genealogical history

Zoo licence row closes Cornwall tortoise sanctuary
The owner of a tortoise sanctuary has closed it to the public after officials reclassified it as a zoo.
Up to 12,000 people a year visit the Tortoise Garden at Sticker, near St Austell, which is home to more than 400 animals.
But Cornwall Council says it had to term the attraction as a zoo - because the tortoises were "wild" animals, not domestic pets.
Sanctuary owner Joy Bloor said she hoped the law might be changed.
Mrs Bloor has run the sanctuary, which relies on visitors' donations, for about 11 years and it is home to many rare and endangered varieties.
Most were unwanted, abandoned, injured or illegally imported and were given to her after being rescued by members of the public and organisations including the RSPCA.
Mrs Bloor said she was "absolutely devastated" at the decision to close and that she had

Camrose bison still on the loose
Some of the bison that escaped from a farm near Camrose remained on the run late Wednesday.
About a dozen of the animals were seen northeast and northwest of the city. About 40 broke free from a farm north of the central Alberta city of about 16,000 on Monday night.
RCMP said they've pulled back on their search for the bison because they want the animals to calm down from the stress of being chased Tuesday.
"They're quite a large, roaming animal, so it could become a public safety concern," said Const. Michael Devloo. "So far, not so much. We

New homes for Singapore polar bears
A new habitat is being built for the two polar bears - Inuka and Sheba - at the Singapore Zoo.
Wildlife Reserves Singapore said the 1,400 square metre habitat in the upcoming River Safari will be three and a half times the size of the existing one.
It said the polar bears' new home will be housed within the wildlife theme park's Frozen Tundra exhibit.
It aims to educate visitors on the importance of glaciers and semi-frozen freshwater ecosystems, among the most threatened of the world's biomes.
Wildlife Reserves said the polar bear dens and indoor areas will be climate controlled, with temperatures that simulate the Arctic north.
Three viewing elevations will be

EU interested in importing Georgian frogs, says minister
The European Union is interested in developing imports of frogs from Georgia, the country's agriculture minister said on Tuesday, reported RIA Novosti.
"EU countries are interested in importing Georgian frogs and investing in this field," Georgian Agriculture Minister Bakur Kvezereli said.
Georgia has been exporting live marsh frogs

Meet the beetles
Like most young men, Henry Walter Bates sought adventure. Unlike most, he was also obsessed with beetles. So in 1848, aged 23, he set sail from Liverpool on the trading ship Mischief, bound for Brazil. During 11 years in "savage solitudes", the naturalist fell ill with malaria, yellow fever and dysentery; he was horribly lonely but, despite physical pain and mental anguish, he kept on collecting rainforest species never before seen by European eyes. When he left South America, never to return, he shipped to the Natural History Museum more than 8,000 different species – mostly insects – that were previously unknown to science.
The Victorians' wonder at the miracles of nature, and their hunger to conquer foreign lands, has long made species hunting seem an anachronistic endeavour. Theirs was an age of never-to-be-repeated mapping of the world's plants and animals, a time of The Origin of Species and the feting of explorer-scientists such as Bates, Alfred Russel Wallace and Darwin. The discovery and naming of things has never quite captured the public imagination in the same way since.
Yet now, barely a week passes without

Rhino horn: All myth, no medicine
Although few features in the animal kingdom are as magnificent as the horn of the rhino, such magnificence comes at a deadly price: The illegal rhino horn trade is responsible for decimating the world's rhino population by more than 90 percent over the past 40 years.
And a recent upsurge in rhino poaching has conservationists extremely concerned.
2006: A spike in illegal rhino horn trade
The 2009 report African and Asian Rhinoceroses--Status, Conservation and Trade (IUCN/TRAFFIC) revealed that illegal trade in rhino horn, particularly in southern Africa, had become progressively worse since 2006.
"The combined loss of horns from poaching, thefts from natural mortalities, government stocks and other private collections, abuse of legal trophy hunting and illegal private sector sales suggests that a minimum of 1,521 rhino horns were destined for illegal trade in this time period. Compared to the six-year period 2000-2005 when a minimum of 664 horns were acquired for illicit trade purposes, this figure represents

Scientists Discover Pea-Sized Frog in Borneo
Scientists in Borneo don't need to kiss this frog -- he's already their little prince charming.
Researchers say they've found a new kind of frog that might be the smallest such amphibian living outside the Americas.
The pea-sized frog, dubbed Microhyla nepenthicola, measures between 10.6 and 12.8 millimeters in length, making it small enough to live inside puddles that accumulate in pitcher plants in the forests of the

State-protected bears damaging eastern Turkish melon farms
Bears have been damaging tons of melons in the Uluköy district of the eastern province of Erzincan, benefiting from laws that prevent people from shooting them, Doðan news agency reported Wednesday.
“Between 10 and 15 square meters of land are damaged each day,” said Uluköy Mayor Yaþar Kocatürk, adding they expect new solutions from the government about the issue since locals are stuck between the bears and the law.
With tons of melons ruined by bears that enter farms by night, growers are angry, saying they are prevented from using guns against the animals due to possible legal penalties.
They also said they have faced these attacks for five years during every harvest season, but have been powerless

Baby tiger found stuffed in bag at Thai airport
Authorities at Bangkok's international airport found a baby tiger cub that had been drugged and hidden among stuffed toy tigers in the suitcase of a woman flying from Thailand to Iran, an official and a wildlife protection group said Friday.
The woman, a Thai national, had checked in for her flight and her oversized bag was sent for an X-ray which showed what appeared to be a live animal inside, according to TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring group.
The woman was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport before boarding her Sunday flight. The cub, estimated to be about 3 months old, was sent to a wildlife conservation center in Bangkok.
"The cub arrived at our unit Monday," said Chaiyaporn Chareesaeng, head of the Wildlife Health Unit at the Department of National Parks' Wildlife and Plant Conservation Center, where the animal was put under close supervision.
"He appeared exhausted, dehydrated and couldn't walk, so we had to give him oxygen, water and lactation," said Chaiyaporn. "We

Rare frogs leaping back from ‘brink of extinction’ thanks to Chiricahua leopard frog recovery plan
Chiricahua leopard frogs can now ribbet a bit easier, thanks to ongoing efforts to restore the threatened population of this rare amphibian breed.
This week saw the 10,000th Chiricahua leopard frog released into the Arizona wild, thanks to extensive recovery efforts by biologists from the Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the Phoenix Zoo’s Conservation Center, said a joint news release.
The Chiricahua leopard frog release party set loose more than 1,700 frogs of all ages, from tadpole to adult, into the Tonto National Forest, frogs that had been raised in the Phoenix Zoo’s Conservation Center.
Look for the newbies at multiple sites in the forest near Payson. These frogs came from eggs collected in

Vets left in the wilds
Wildlife Department vets are on strike, demanding better facilities and more effective measures to manage the human-elephant conflict. Malaka Rodrigo highlights the difficult conditions under which they work
Serving as a wildlife veterinarian is a dangerous job in Sri Lanka. Whether it is to tranquillise a rogue elephant for translocation or treat a dying jumbo, these vets -- there are just seven of them -- have to go on foot in dense jungle braving numerous dangers. They run the risk of being killed by the elephants – even one mistake could be fatal for the whole team.
Recalling one such incident, veterinary surgeon Dr. Chandana Jayasinghe, who is in charge of the North-western Zone, said he had a narrow escape when he treated a female elephant.
“We tranquillised the elephant to put a radio collar on her. After the job was done, we gave her anti-tranquillizer, but the elephant didn’t respond in time. We went closer

Europe Announces Breakthrough in Breeding Bluefin Tuna
Scientists in Europe have bred Atlantic bluefin tuna in captivity, and without using hormones, potentially boosting stocks of a fish that has become endangered because of huge demand for sashimi and sushi in Japan and other countries.
“If the results of this research can ultimately be commercialized, it can improve food supplies and contribute to economic growth and employment while also helping to ensure a sustainable management of bluefin tuna,” Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European Union’s commissioner for research, said this week.
Concern has grown over the health of the species because too many bluefin are being caught before they get the chance to breed. The migrating wild fish are caught, then fattened

Cairns Wildlife Safari staff angry at 'roar' pay deal
THE workplace watchdog will investigate more complaints that staff at the Cairns Wildlife Safari Reserve have been underpaid.
A Fair Work Ombudsman spokesman confirmed the office had received further underpayment complaints from zoo staff.
He said the office would investigate the complaints.
"As the investigation is ongoing, it is not appropriate to comment further at this time," the spokesman said.
The pay issue was believed to have been resolved this week.
But several zoo employees contacted The Cairns Post to complain they had not been paid for weeks.
The zoo’s owner Jenny Jattke could not be contacted yesterday.
One staff member, who asked not to be named, said the financial position of the zoo was worrying.
"We haven’t been paid before, but this time it feels a bit worse," they said.
"Vet care is the most important

Bites renew calls to close Cherokee bear zoo
Visitors to a bear zoo on the Cherokee Indian Reservation — including a 9-year-old girl — were bitten by a caged cub on two occasions last month, renewing calls from animal-rights advocates to close the business.
A federal inspector watched on July 21 as a young girl fed a mixture of Lucky Charms cereal and cat food to a six-month-old bear cub at Chief Saunooke Bear Park. The animal bit her, leaving tooth marks on her wrist.
The incident was the second time that week that a bear bit a customer, according to a subsequent U.S. Department of Agriculture report that ordered the exhibit to add safety features.
“There must be some form of public barrier to protect both the animals and the public from direct contact,” the report says.
Cherokee's bear zoos came under fire last summer from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the national animal welfare advocacy group.
The group brought game show icon Bob Barker to the reservation to call on Principal Chief Michell Hicks to close the parks.
Hicks, at the time, told Barker that Cherokee residents had complained about PETA activists on the

Chinese Bear Poses For Pictures With Tourists
A bear has become a minor celebrity in a Chinese zoo by happily posing for pictures with tourists.
Tian Tian was forced to retire from his job in a circus - where he performed on the parallel bars and a bike - because he was too obese.
He is now paraded around Shendiao Mountain Zoo in Shandong, northern China, but because of his time interacting with humans at the circus, he relates to people better than other bears.
"I have to take her and wander around during the day time outside the bear pen," said Tian Tian's feeder Wang Qunfa.
When she first arrived at the zoo and tourists began to request pictures, officials

Aquariums sink Living and Leisure results: Melbourne Aquarium
THE James Packer-controlled Living and Leisure Australia booked its second consecutive annual loss.
It was dragged $2.76 million into the red by its lagging aquarium business.
"All operating segments have faced challenging circumstances over the period," said John Schryver, chief executive of the business that owns the Melbourne Aquarium and Under Water World on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
The company is a former offshoot of the collapsed Queensland property business MFS.
Arctic Capital, part-owned by James Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings, secured a 49 per cent stake in LLA after MFS collapsed in 2008.
Prolonged closure of LLA's Siam Ocean World, due to political instability in Bangkok, and a fall in visitor numbers at its Shanghai aquarium were partly to blame for the aquarium division's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation

‘Negligence’ Killed Zoo Animals in Surabaya
An investigation into the recent spate of animal deaths at the Surabaya Zoo has found that negligent keepers were to blame in many of the cases, an official said on Friday.
In just a few weeks, the zoo in the capital of East Java has seen a number of animals die, including a Sumatran tiger, an African lion, a Komodo lizard, a babirusa cub, a wallaby, a Bawean deer and several birds.
The Surabaya Police and East Java Nature Conservation Office conducted the joint probe on the orders of the zoo’s interim management team, which was formed by the Forestry Ministry after the facility’s license was revoked earlier this month.
Tony Sumampauw, the head of the caretaker administration, said the Sumatran tiger and male lion died because of old age and bad health. The animals had difficulty exercising because of the “limitations of their cages,” he said.
But negligence by keepers has been cited in the death of at least three other animals — a babirusa cub, a wallaby and a Bawean deer, he added. 
The cub was killed by an adult babirusa after it managed to find a hole into the latter’s enclosure, while the wallaby’s death was believed to have been caused by stress after an unfamiliar individual entered its cage.
“It is the wallaby’s natural trait that it is very prone to stress ... In this death, we suspect that someone else beside the keeper entered the cage and caused the stress that led it to ram the wall,” Tony said.
The keeper of the Bawean deer had failed to notify the zoo’s veterinarian when one of the beasts was discovered dying, he added.
Achmad Sachrozy, another member of the investigative team, said

Wild Mammals in Captivity: Principles and Techniques for Zoo Management
 Second Edition 

To order please click


To order or see more please click


Learn More HERE

Blog Posts:

Look to the right within the blog and see and click on blog postings. Some of these have not been mailed out by email. Most will have been posted on the Facebook Page however.


The 21th issue of the Journal of Threatened Taxa

Journal of Threatened Taxa


The September 2010 issue of ZOOS' PRINT [Volume XXV, Number 9]
is published and is online
Please click


We are pleased to announce that Naampet (finally) gave birth to a healthy baby boy on Tuesday 24th August at 2.30am! Mum and Baby both doing well and we are all extremely excited.

Check it out now here


The Roaring Silence: 10 Cool and Creepy Abandoned Zoos
An interesting collection of Photos and info
Please click


Frameworks for Evaluation
VSG Summer School
Techniquest, Cardiff
16 and 17 September

Join us at Techniquest, Cardiff Bay for our annual Summer School. This will be the usual fantastic opportunity to network with colleagues, hear the latest news from key thinkers in the field whilst also developing your skills through workshops and seminars.

This year we’re examining Frameworks for Evaluation. Perhaps you regularly use a framework and want to share your experiences or widen the frameworks you use? Perhaps you’re uncertain as to what a framework is? Or perhaps you think that frameworks are academic tools and want to hear about their practical use in the field. Join us for an interesting and challenging programme of talks, workshops and hands-on sessions to answer these questions and more and to explore the role of frameworks when conducting visitor studies.

Sessions include frameworks for public engagement, well-being, and Generic Learning Outcomes with contributions from Bernadette Lynch (keynote address), National Museum Wales, Heritage Lottery Fund and UCL amongst many others.

VSG Members: £75 per day or £130 for both days
VSG Members’ Concession: £55 per day or £90 for both days
Non-members: £85 per day or £150 for both days
Non-members’ Concession: £65 per day or £110 for both days

Bookings are now being taken for this even.
Visit here for more information including online bookings
For more information please contact Helen Featherstone at


Shape—Brasil II Conferência Brasileira de Enriquecimento Ambiental

A II Conferência Brasileira de Enriquecimento Ambiental será de 22 a 24 de outubro de 2010 no Anfiteatro “Altino Antunes” da faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia da Universidade de São Paulo.

Contaremos com a participação de três palestrantes internacionais (veja programação) desta vez com tradução simultânea.

A nossa outra novidade será o envio de resumos para apresentação oral e pôster.

Também teremos nosso Concurso de fotos: “Enriquecendo a imagem II”.

Faça já a sua inscrição. As vagas são limitadas.

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2011 ZooKunft
26 February 2011
Kronberg, Opel Zoo
On the theme of
Animal Presentation

Now accepting papers
Please write to: Orga-Team ZooKunft,

By 15 October 2010.


2010 Annual Conference in San Diego, California

September 18–22

The highlight of the year for AZH members is Annual Conference. This year's event will be hosted by San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park, September 18–22, 2010.

Learn More By Visiting


Disease invasion: impacts on biodiversity and human health


Disease invasion: impacts on biodiversity and human health joint ZSL and Royal Society symposium -

Thursday 18 and Friday 19 November 2010

in the ZSL Meeting Rooms

The transmission of infectious diseases from one species to another is not only causing problems for humans (for example, SARS and influenza) but is also threatening wildlife conservation and even the survival of large and robust populations.

Wild animals are both recipients of infections from humans and other species and reservoirs of new infections that can spill over to threaten humans, particularly when human-wildlife contact rates are increased. This conference will focus on the extent to which wildlife pathogens threaten biodiversity and human health; the processes driving these disease threats; where future threats will arise and how these can be mitigated.

Most threatening diseases are caused by infections that move between species, where one species acts a reservoir and then infects another, more vulnerable species that may suffer high-mortality rates. We will explore our understanding of the dynamics of these diseases, the processes of circulation in wild reservoirs, the interesting and rare process of spill-over and how establishment occurs in the new host species.

We will evaluate the biological and anthropogenic mechanisms that facilitate the spill-over and spread of infection into new species (including humans) and geographic regions, and the selection pressures that can lead to new infections evolving. Aspects of control will be addressed, including the control of infections within their reservoir hosts and the target species.

We will examine a range of issues, from molecular processes to large-scale ecosystems, in order to identify and predict future threats. Finally, policies for mitigating disease threats to conservation and human health will be examined and science-based recommendations made.

This symposium has been organised by Andrew Cunningham (Institute of Zoology, ZSL), Peter Hudson FRS (Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at The Pennsylvania State University) and Andrew Dobson (Princeton University) in partnership with the Royal Society as part of its 350th anniversary celebrations in 2010.

Full information including a programme for this 2-day event is available HERE .


The fourth Student Environmental Enrichment Course (SEEC):
September 20th - 23rd

Following positive feedback and high demand for places, Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks are pleased to announce their fourth student course on Environmental Enrichment to be run by Mark Kingston Jones and Chris Hales, in collaboration with keepers from both institutions. The course is specifically designed for college and university students (past and present) who do not currently work within a zoo setting, but are looking to do so as a career. Over the 3.5 days students will gain a background in animal welfare and enrichment, dealing with welfare needs of different species, as well as providing practical skills in designing, building and testing enrichment within the settings of both Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks, in Kent. Our aim is to provide valuable experience and an overview of additional useful skills to your CV as a would-be keeper. Please note you must be 18 or over to attend this course. Places are limited so please register early to avoid disappointment.

To Learn More Please Click


Nominations are now open for the 2012 Indianapolis Prize


Private Zoo For Sale
please see link for details


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


Zoo Conferences, Meetings, Courses and Symposia
click HERE



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Wishing you a wonderful week,

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