Monday, August 16, 2010

Zoo News Digest 9th - 16th August 2010 (Zoo News 682)

Zoo News Digest 9th - 16th August 2010 (Zoo News 682)

A Liger

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

As if we did not have enough irresponsible breeding of White Tigers and hybrid big cats we now have Ligers once again. It isn't clever and contributes nothing other than taking up spaces which could be utilised for serious conservation breeding. The birth certainly does not deserve the massive press interest generated. I fully appreciate that it isn't their fault they were born but euthanasia does not hurt and that is really the action which should be taken, coupled with a snip to the parents so there is no repeat. I do not believe there is a reasonable argument for keeping them.

I would like to have had more information on the dolphin smuggling in Chon Buri. I have always believed that there was a connection between the Tiger Temple and Oasis Sea World in Chantaburi and so that would figure. The only other place which keeps dolphins in the area is The Sanctuary of Truth. Whatever. I am glad the animals rescued and were released.

The debate about Surabaya Zoo is an interesting one (read about my own visit HERE). I have read the story over several times in different sources and feel that this is more to do with a clash of personalities than anything. I may be wrong of course. One would have to look more deeply at the post mortem results and other criticisms. Animals do die in zoos. Except in very dire circumstances (Shenyang Forest) they do not die of neglect. They die of disease, infection, old age and more. No-one wants them to die but these things happen. It is especially trying when deaths occur in runs of several during a short period of time. It is like a kick in the gut every time...even in spite of doing everything possible to prevent such deaths. I can still remember a group of animals we were losing in mystery deaths. We monitored them closely, very closely. I actually watched an apparently completely healthy individual walk past me and drop dead in front of my eyes. These things happen. I am not defending Surabaya, nor being critical either. It needs an independent professional assessment (by a zoo person) from the outside and so eliminate the personality problems.

The sun shone and all was well at the Rotten Bar and Grill....only there was no grill because permission was not obtained. Plenty to drink though from The Pelican on All Saints Road. There was a good mix of bands as there was a mix of people. I headed down to Portobello afterwards and caught a bus to the Bush.

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'Ligers' bred in Taiwan zoo

A private zoo in Taiwan could be fined after breeding 'ligers' – a cross between a lion and a tiger.
The zoo is the island's first to breed the hybrid of a lion and a tigress, but officials seized the cubs and said they may fine the owner.
The three liger cubs were born in Taiwan on Sunday at the World Snake King Education Farm in the south, but one of them died almost immediately.
"The pregnancy of the tigress caught me totally unprepared," said Huang Kuo-nan, the farm's owner.
"The lion and the tigress have been kept in the same cage since they were cubs more than six years ago, and nothing

Zoo keeper defends liger cubs
A private zoo keeper in Taiwan has claimed that he did not intentionally cross-breed a lion and tiger to create two liger cubs.
Huang Kuo-nan will be investigated by the authorities and faces a fine of around £1,000 if he is found guilty of breeding rare protected animals, Sky News reports.
The two cubs were the surviving offspring of the first pregnancy of African lion Simba and Bengal tigress Beauty, who have reportedly been mating for three years.
Huang said: "Usually when a lion and a tiger are kept together, they will for sure attack each other to death, but these two have been spending time together since they were small."
The cubs, which lack the ability to repro

Controversial zoo plans are up for discussion
CRUNCH talks about Chester Zoo’s controversial multi-million pound development scheme are set to take place next month.
A public meeting will be held by Upton by Chester Parish and District Council in September to discuss the zoo’s Natural Vision Project.
The controversial plans for the £225 million ‘Eden Project of the North’ development sparked fierce debate among residents, councillors, zoo bosses and green belt campaigners, when the application was put forward to Cheshire West and Chester Council’s planning board.
The development would include provision for a themed hotel and a ‘Heart of Africa’ biodome development, which will be situated on Green Belt land up to the edge of the A41 from Flag Lane North to the Backford Dip.
Following increased pressure Chester Zoo axed a second hotel and a garden centre from the plans.
Despite the change campaigners and some local residents have mixed feelings about the development and hope to raise their concerns to the council at a meeting at Upton British Legion, Heath Road, Upton, at 7pm on Wednesday, September 8.
Former parish councillor Brenda Southward said the proposals had sparked a lot of discontent among some villagers.
Mrs Southward, of Brook Avenue, Upton, said: “A lot of people are up in arms about the whole thing, but my personal view is that it is good for the village, Chester tourism and jobs. But on the other hand I am concerned about Green Belt land and would not want it to encroach on it too much.”
Upton by Chester Parish and District Council chairman Jean Evans said the meeting was being held to clear up misconceptions about the project.
She said: “We will have a meeting to explain to people what would or could happen. If people didn’t understand the plans, the lead planning officers have been invited to answer people’s questions and it is also a chance to give their views on the project. From here we can gauge what kind of percentage of people are for or against it.”
Campaigners from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) say they are still “seriously concerned” about plans to build on 100 acres of Green Belt land.
Planning co-ordinator for CPRE Ann Jones said: “CPRE is particularly concerned about the impact that the outline proposals will have on the integrity of the Green Belt in the vulnerable narrow space between the built up area of Chester and the built

Cranes reintroduced to West Country after 400 years (GREAT VIDEO)
9 August 2010 Last updated at 10:31 Help It has been 400 years since wild cranes were regularly seen in the West Country.
The graceful birds are now being reintroduced to the region and it is hoped they will soon start breeding.
The precise location of where the cranes have been released is being kept secret.
The BBC's John Maguire met some of the conservationists

Bear in high-wire motorbike stunt and example of China's animal cruelty
A picture of a bear forced to ride a high-wire on a motorbike with a monkey in tow has been released by a charity to bring attention to the cruelty inflicted on animals in China's zoos and theme parks.
The image is one of a number of pictures released by the British charity Animals Asia, others show bears being forced to box, toothless tigers riding on the back of horses, pigs being pushed off a 10ft diving board and monkeys performing handstands on the horns of a goat.
They are included in a report, released in Hong Kong, which found widespread maltreatment of animals at 13 safari parks and zoos across China that were visited by their representatives between over the past 12 months.
The scenes are expected to intensify calls for China to speed up the enactment of its first ever animals rights law, a draft proposal of which was submitted to the authorities earlier this year but is yet to receive official approval.
David Neale, Animals Asia's animal welfare director, said that many of the animals were often brutalised during training for their "tricks" and kept in unsanitary, cramped conditions when away from public display.
"The animals are housed in small, barren, concrete enclosures often in darkened rooms at the back of the performance

City zoo keepers to get lessons on the wild
In an effort to impart knowledge on maintenance, conservation and welfare of wild animals, officials from Veer Jijamata Udyan or Byculla Zoo have planned to send zoo keepers on a training programme to some of the better-managed zoos across the country.
The tour will be subsequent to a two-month in-house training programme, starting from Monday. At Byculla Zoo, a team of veterinarians and wildlife experts will hold special sessions for the 45 keepers to improve their animal handling skills.
A N Anjankar, director of the zoo said, "The idea is to empower them with knowledge that will help in better maintenance of the zoo. A visit to various zoos in the country will allow them to learn new techniques and they will be able to see how animal enclosures are maintained.''
Some of the zoos that have been identified by officials for the tour include the Katraj Zoo in Pune, Mysore Zoo, Hyderabad Zoo, Delhi Zoo, Ahmedabad Zoo and even

Elephant expansion at Auckland Zoo
A $13 million extension to Auckland Zoo has been given the thumbs up - which could bring the only elephant herd in Australasia to New Zealand.
Auckland City Council's arts, culture and recreation committee has endorsed a proposal to enlarge the zoo's existing enclosure to six times its size, which would incorporate two areas of Auckland's Western Springs Park.
The proposed areas, which run adjacent to the zoo's current elephant enclosure, will include an exercise area, a new elephant bull house, a public viewing area and boardwalk.
The extra space could take a herd of up to 10 new elephants, and the zoo is in talks with another zoo in Asia to bring a herd over.
The zoo wants to expand to improve the well-being of its sole remaining elephant, Burma, whose companion Kashin died in August 2009.
Burma is a non-breeding female. She has

Highland Wildlife Park's polar bear weighed
The UK's only polar bear has been weighed to help her keepers determine the state of her health.
Mercedes, who weighs 291kg (45 stone), was moved from Edinburgh Zoo to the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig in the Cairngorms last year.
Her estimated age of 29 is old for a polar bear, but wildlife park staff said she was healthy.
She is thought to have gained some weight after losing some following her arrival in the Highlands.
For the weighing process, Mercedes was "trained" to step on to mechanical scales in her enclosure.
Animal collection manager Douglas Richardson said the scales were placed in a small passage which connects her two roofed den areas.
He said Mercedes was "quite gentle" for a polar bear, but staff still had to be careful when working close

The Performance
Watch this video to the end. It is as disturbing as it is horrific. It does not mention zoos anywhere but....sadly, there are zoos which do exhibit such shows (read my Zoo Hubs to learn of some). It really does have to stop.

Endangered sea turtles released in Thailand (INCLUDES VIDEO)
An annual ceremony to celebrate the Queen of Thailand's birthday has been marked by the release of 779 green turtles.
The turtles were released from the Royal Thai Navy's Sea Turtle Conservation Centre in the Sattahip naval base as a token of gratitude to Queen Sirikit who turns 78-years-old on Thursday.
Most of the turtles are three to six months old, while seven are adults aged between six and 16 years old. The adult turtles have been fitted with microchips for conservation research.
Some 300 officials, conservationists and students take part in the event each year to watch the young turtles born and raised in the conservation centre


Few Genetic Variations Separate Great Danes and Dachshunds
The difference between a pug's smashed schnoz and the narrow muzzle of a dachshund depends on just one small segment of genes, according to a new study.
The findings, published today in the journal Public Library of Sciences – Biology, are the most comprehensive genetic analysis of domestic dogs to date, and could have an impact on human genetics, the researchers say.
Thanks to years of breeding for function and form, dogs are now the physically most diverse land animal, according to Stanford University. What researchers didn't know was whether the differences between Great Danes and chihuahuas or shar-peis and whippets was caused by lots of little genetic changes adding up, or just a few big changes.
To find out, Stanford professor of genetics Carlos Bustamante and

Inside the Minds of Animals
Not long ago, I spent the morning having coffee with Kanzi. Kanzi is a fellow of few words — 384 of them by formal count, though he probably knows dozens more. He has a very clear, very expressive and very loud voice, but it's not especially good for forming words, which is the way of things when you're a bonobo.
But Kanzi is talkative all the same. He keeps a sort of glossary close at hand — three laminated sheets filled with hundreds of colorful symbols that represent all the words he's been taught or picked up on his own. He can build thoughts and sentences, even conjugate, all by pointing.
(See a portfolio of smart animals.)
Kanzi knows the value of breaking the ice. So he points to the coffee icon on his glossary and then points to me. He then sweeps his arm wider, taking in primatologist Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, an investigator at the Great Ape Trust —the research center in Des Moines, Iowa, that Kanzi calls home — and lab supervisor Tyler Romine. Romine fetches four coffees, takes,8599,2008759,00.html

NGO: Johor's Danga Bay petting zoo risks tiger attack
A UK-based conservation NGO is worried that zoos such as Johor's Danga Bay Petting Zoo (DBPZ) risks tiger attacks on members of public.
"The risks at Danga Bay cannot be underestimated," said Nature Alert director Sean Whyte, whose team of investigators have been to Danga Bay about three times thus far this year.
"A tiger escaping from the circus can cause a panic. Many people could be crushed to death running away from a terrifying situation,” he said.
Sean made these observations after a tiger attack in an Indonesian zoo recently. He fears that the same may happen in Malaysia.
According to an AFP report, the 10-month-old tiger attacked a little girl in Indonesia late last month, as it was being transferred from one enclosure to another.
Upon seeing the toddler, the tiger became 'excited and wanted to play' with her, knocking over one of its trainers in the process.
Sean claimed that Nature Alert 'investigators' found DBPZ's tigers to be very sleepy in public photo shoots.

Zoo animals star in new webcams at Durrell
Webcams have been set up at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey for the first time.
They will be used to monitor the zoo's nocturnal animals and can be viewed online.
Meerkats, skinks and fruit bats are among the animals which will have camera's on them 24 hours a day.
Durrell's Kelly Barker said: "People should be able to experience all our activities, including our work in the field and our training programmes."
The trust was started in 1959 by the author and naturalist Gerald Durrell, whose aim was to help save

Animal deaths at Calgary zoo reflect problem with care, says report
To many in the city, the tally of animal deaths at the Calgary Zoo in recent years seemed unusually high.
A hippo died after a long, painful transfer from another zoo. More than 40 stingrays perished after someone messed up oxygen levels in their tank. A large spiral-horned wild goat got caught in a toy rope and strangled.
Some wondered whether the zoo had just hit a patch of bad luck, something that could happen at any facility trying to care for so many animals.
But a report released Thursday by the groups that accredit zoos across North America suggested the string of deaths wasn’t an unfortunate fluke.
It concluded human error was behind more deaths than at other zoos and urged immediate steps be taken to ensure the creatures’ safety.
“This is not just a series of unfortunate events ... there is a pattern related to lack of preparedness and expertise to accept new animals, increased work expectations, workload ... and a lack of rapid and appropriate aggressive response to problems,” said the report.
Zoo president Clement Lanthier

Red-eared turtles threaten ecological balance
They say the creatures could seriously affect the nation’s ecological balance if left uncontrolled.
The warning was made after the Can Tho Seafood Import Joint-Stock Company imported 24,000 red-eared turtles from the US to Vinh Long Province’s Tra On District for breeding and processing.
Head of the Science, Technology and Environment Management Institute under HCM City’s University of Technology, Le Huy Ba, said this was an irresponsible action. He described it as a threat by the enterprise to the nation’s ecological system.
"The International Union for the Conservation of Nature considers the turtle one of the world’s 100 worst invasive species. I don’t understand how it could have been imported to our country so easily. The matter should have been carefully studied beforehand," Ba said.
Ba said Viet Nam had gained painful lessons from many imported animals and plants, such as golden snails, water hyacinth

Gorilla Keepers Work to Limit Stress of Vet Exams

Ohio keeper hurt by elephant broke rules
A zoo in Ohio says a keeper who was critically injured by an elephant broke two rules by going into the enclosure alone.
The Toledo Zoo has released a review finding that Don RedFox should have had another person with him and that he should have carried a steel rod used to handle elephants.
Zoo director Anne Baker says the 53-year-old keeper has been disciplined, but she would not give details during a news conference Tuesday.
The 7-year-old elephant named Louie charged RedFox twice July 1 and pinned him in a corner. He was hospitalized with life-threatening

Fury at 'circus-style' cruel zoos
Zoos and parks were exposed yesterday for their barbaric circus-style treatment of endangered animals simply so they can "amuse" visitors.
Shameful pictures, taken by an animal rights group, showed Asiatic black bears forced to box one another and ride motorbikes.
While tigers, which have had their teeth pulled out, were prodded into jumping through hoops on fire and riding on horses.
Animals Asia slammed China for tolerating the cruelty to the critically endangered bears, but warned shocking treatment of animals was widespread across the country.
David Neale, welfare director, said that many of the animals were beaten during training.
He said: "They are housed in small, concrete enclosures, often in darkened rooms at the back

Two San Diego-Born Pandas Headed For China
Two giant pandas born at the San Diego Zoo, now 3 and 5 years old, will be sent to China at the end of the summer, it was announced today.
Su Lin, born in 2005, and Zhen Zhen, born in 2007, will be sent to the Wolong Nature Reserve Giant Panda Bi Feng Xia center, where they will be part of a conservation breeding program there, according to the zoo.
"We will miss Su Lin and Zhen Zhen, but as a conservation organization we are aware of the significant breeding contributions they will make in the preservation of this critically endangered species at another panda conservation center such as Bi Feng Zia," said Carmi

Free neutering of farm cats in the Cairngorms!
Cats Protection (CP) have launched a scheme whereby farmers and crofters in the Cairngorms National Park can get farm cats neutered for free during the month of August.
The charity supports the Cairngorms Wildcat Project by neutering both pet and feral cats, helping to prevent interbreeding, and thus hybridisation, with endangered wildcats. It will have a stall tomorrow at the Black Isle Show to inform people about their neutering work and is encouraging Cairngorms farmers and crofters with unneutered cats to visit them at the Show to register for a neutering voucher. Not only does neutering help reduce the risk to the wildcat population, but it prevents unwanted kittens (apparently an unneutered female domestic cat can be responsible for 20,000 descendants in just five years!), benefits the health of the cats themselves, and by helping to keep the domestic cat population under control, reduces the impact on wildlife species which are predated by cats.
Farmers not visiting the Show can call the CP national helpline on 03000 121212 to register for a voucher. CP operatives may also be able to trap and transport the cats to the local

Zoo attendance goes down when temperatures heat up
Edie the elephant loves to put on a show- but there hasn't been much of an audience. That's because Mother Nature has been keeping them away with 90 degree temperatures.
John Vlan, Executive Director says, "Weather is the biggest concern we've always had. We are 27,871 people down. "If we made no changes we would be a little over 400-thou and dollars as a deficit.

Giant panda has second set of twins in Japan
A giant panda born and raised in Japan has given birth to two cubs, her second set of twins, a zoo official said Thursday.
Nine-year-old Rauhin gave birth to a female and a male cub Wednesday at Adventure World zoo in western Wakayama prefecture -- where she has spent her whole life -- after mating naturally with a panda brought from China.
Rauhin was the first Japanese-born panda to breed when she gave birth to twin cubs in 2008.
Her caretakers at the zoo conducted artificial insemination to improve Rauhin's chances of breeding two years ago, but the new babies were born as the result of natural mating with the Chinese male panda, the zoo said.
"The two pandas go together very well," Adventure

Rare tiger cubs meet the public at Port Lympne
A pair of endangered tiger cubs have been introduced to the public for the first time at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park.
The two female cubs were born to their parents Tugar and Ingrid on 27 June 2010.
At six weeks they are having a taste of the outside world for the first time.
Amur tigers are endangered due to poaching and loss of prey species. It is estimated that there are less than 500 left in the wild.
Adrian Harland is Animal Director at Port Lympne: "Amur tigers and very endangered and we are very pleased that we've got two new arrivals."
"The breeding programme is very important," said Adrian. "It's computer dating, we move animals all over Europe to make sure the breed pairs are good genetically

New research suggests orangutans not so solitary
When British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace arrived in Borneo's jungles 150 years ago, one of his great hopes was to see orangutans. Even he was surprised at his success, spotting the red apes feeding along river banks, swinging between branches, and staring down from trees almost the moment he arrived.
He saw 29 - shooting more than half of them and sending their skins and skeletons back home - in just 100 days, an experience shared by many other adventurers and collectors during the same period.
"Whereas some early explorers would see as many as eight orangutans in one tree or encounter 35 along a river in one day, spotting even one in the wild in the same undisturbed forests is now rare," said Erik Meijaard, one of the authors of a study published Wednesday in PLoS One, a journal of the Public Library of Science.
"This prompted us to ask if these notoriously solitary apes once lived in much higher densities," said Meijaard. "We believe hunting may have caused a change in behavior, causing them to be less social."
The scientists measured the density of orangutan populations now compared with assumed densities in past - based in part on frequency of sightings by 19th century explorers - and found that encounters were three to six times higher back then. They also looked at possible causes, including ecological changes and disease, and determined

Vet removes tumour from wide-awake crocodile

Chimpanzee at KC Zoo dies after attempt to assimilate him with other males
A male chimpanzee at the Kansas City Zoo died Wednesday after being placed in a group with other males the day before.
There had been some scuffling among the powerful primates, and Josh, who was nearly 21 years old, had some scrapes on his hand, but there was no indication of traumatic injury, zoo Director Randy Wisthoff said Thursday. A necropsy was performed, and tissue samples were sent to laboratories to determine the cause of death.
Josh had been the alpha, or dominant, male in the larger of two troops of chimpanzees at the zoo. Josh’s troop included one other male and 10 females. The other troop had two males.
Zoo staff was hoping to assimilate all the chimpanzees, with the exception of one elderly female, to improve the animals’ social structure. Wisthoff said that was being done at the recommendation of the chimpanzee species survival plan, a protocol among accredited North American zoos.
The first step was to place all four males together and later add the females. The males were in the off-exhibit holding

Nepal zoo opens 'honeymoon suite' for rhinos
Nepal's only zoo has opened a new "honeymoon suite" for its two one-horned rhinos in the hope of persuading the endangered pair to breed for the first time.
Kancha, 20, and 22-year-old Kanchi have lived together in captivity for most of their adult lives, but have never bred -- something the zoo's manager Sarita Jnawali attributes to the quality of their enclosure.
She hopes that their new, much larger home, which features mud rather than concrete floors and two large ponds for them to wallow in, will persuade them to finally start mating.
"As far as we can tell, Kancha and Kanchi have never mated," Jnawali told AFP on Friday.
"Before, we didn't have the proper facilities for the rhinos to breed, and we hope this new enclosure will help us to increase species numbers."
Thousands of one-horned rhinos once roamed the plains of Nepal and northern India, but their numbers have dwindled in recent decades

Smuggled dolphins returned to freedom
Two humpback dolphins were returned to the sea yesterday after police saved them from being transported to a zoo in Chon Buri on Wednesday.Villagers of Ban Ta Se in Hat Samran district gathered to witness the release of the dolphins.
The ceremony was presided over by Trang governor Maitri Intusud and Marine and Coastal Resources Department deputy chief Prawim Wutthisin.
The dolphins, about two metres long, were caught illegally off Trang's coast and transported in a van to Chon Buri.
Highway police stopped the car for inspection when it reached Chumphon's Muang district on Aug 11.
Three men - Sompis Niemkert, Manit Mathuna, and Nathapong Niemkert - admitted they were hired by an owner of a zoo in Chon Buri to catch dolphins and bring them for display there, according to police.
Inquiries are continuing into the involvement of the zoo.
A dolphin conservation group in Ban Ta Se says the episode has shown it needs to stay alert for illegal catches off tambon Ta Se's coast, home to many types of dolphins.
The area has about 130 bottlenose, humpback and Irrawaddy dolphins, said group chairman Tawan Tuionn.
In Surat Thani, a female dugong has beached on a shore

Social Cognition in Polar Bears
In most zoos and animal parks, polar bears (ursus maritimus) attract such a disproportionate amount of attention that they are referred to in the industry as "charismatic megafauna," or in other words, "really cool animals." Perhaps it is because it is especially rare for the average zoo-goer to happen upon a polar bear in the wild, or because they live in such an inhospitable environment. Perhaps it's just because polar bears are so damn cute.
Whatever the reason, psychologists Michael J. Renner and and Aislinn L. Kelly of West Chester University in Pennsylvania write that because of their high level of regard they serve as "important ambassador[s] for species-survival plans and conservation efforts" and therefore have significant value in public education.
Perhaps owing to the scarcity of available resources in the wild, polar bears live most of their lives in isolation. Aside from brief encounters for mating purposes, they live and hunt alone. The longest that polar bears are known to live together is for three years while mother bears care for their cubs. Their solitary lifestyle makes social encounters between individual polar bears extremely uncommon. And yet in captivity, polar bears are housed socially, with several individuals sharing the same space. Given their size and strength, aggressive interactions between individuals could be dangerous and potentially deadly. For these reasons, it is important to understand the social behavior of polar bears, in order to best design their zoo enclosures to minimize conflict and maximize health and quality of life.
The polar bears at the Philadelphia Zoo spend

Two More Casualties at Surabaya Zoo
The Surabaya Zoo, also known as the KBS, has lost more of its collection this week. Leli, a 17-year-old lioness, was found dead on Wednesday.
Two days earlier, a six-year-old female Papuan kangaroo was also found dead.
I Wayan Titib Sulaksana, the deputy chairman of the Surabaya Flora and Fauna Park Association, which oversees the zoo, said that the recent deaths highlighted flaws in zoo management.
“Lately, the zoo has had to deal with an increasing number of animal dying,” he said.
“If this continues, the zoo will have to close down.”
He said that his records showed that in June this year alone, the zoo lost 13 animals, including a Komodo dragon and a Bali starling, both endangered species. The other animal casualties included a Bawean deer, a babirusa, a proboscis monkey, two pythons and several birds.
However, a spokesman for the zoo, Agus Supangkat, dismissed the recent deaths as reasonably normal occurrences.“Our animal collection comprises some 4,200 animals. It’s only normal that

All animals at Indonesia's largest zoo could die if conditions don't improve, official warns
All of the animals at Indonesia's largest zoo — many of them critically endangered — could be dead within five years unless strong action is taken to change the culture of neglect and corruption that permeates the facility, a zoo official said Saturday.
An endangered Sumatran tiger was found dead Saturday morning in its cage at the Surabaya Zoo, spokesman Agus Supangkat said.
The remaining 13 Sumatran tigers are being kept in dirty, cramped cages and are also at great risk, said Tonny Sumampouw, the chairman of the country's zoo association who has been tasked with overseeing the facility after the government took it over earlier this year.
In recent days, an African lion and an Australian kangaroo also have died, Sumampouw said.
He said hundreds of animals die every year at the zoo, and others suffer from hunger, stress and overcrowding. The 94-year-old facility was built under Dutch colonial rule on a 37-acre (15-hectare) plot of land and currently holds 4,200 animals.
Sumampouw, who is running the zoo as a caretaker until a new director is named, blamed bad management and corruption for the problems.
"My assumption is that all those animals will definitely disappear in the next five years unless there are efforts to reorganize how the zoo is managed," Sumampouw said.
Many employees have been caught stealing meat intended for the animals and sometimes, in the case of rare species, stealing the animals themselves, he said.
He said fixing the problems "will be a big challenge" for the new boss.
A spokesman for the zoo's old management

Surabaya Zoo Faces Beast of an Overhaul in Wake of Animal Deaths
The Surabaya Zoo is desperately in need of radical change if it wants to prevent a massive loss in its animal collection over the next five years, a zoo official said, following the death on Saturday of a Sumatran tiger, the third animal to die there in the past week.
Animal expert Tony Sumampau, who has been appointed by the Ministry of Forestry as head of the zoo’s interim management, said that pneumonia, too little food, unattended and rundown cages and unprofessional staff had led to the deaths.
“If the zoo’s condition continues like this, I predict the animals in the zoo will all die,” he said, adding that he had data revealing that as many as 320 animals in the zoo died over the past 12 months.
The latest casualty was Martina, a 20-year-old Sumatran tiger that died on Saturday after suffering from hepatitis. Leli, a 17-year-old lioness, was found dead on Wednesday. Two days earlier, a 6-year-old female Papuan kangaroo was also found dead.
Other animals at the zoo, including a giraffe, a jaguar, a bison, a pig deer and a bull

Siberian tiger mauls keeper in China
A Siberian tiger mauled a keeper to death in eastern China after being left to roam the cage as it was being cleaned, state media said Sunday.
Zhan Guanshun was attacked by the tiger while cleaning the cage at a wildlife rescue centre in Anhui province on Saturday, the Anhui News reported.
The tiger bit Zhan's neck, inflicting fatal injuries, the report said.
China says it has nearly 6,000 tigers in captivity, but just 50 to 60 are left in the wild, including about 20 wild Siberian tigers.
In the 1980s, China set up tiger farms to try to preserve the big cats, intending to release some into the wild.
But those farms have come under the international

Surgeons rebuild crocodile's face (old story)
Vets in Florida say they have successfully rebuilt the face of a crocodile hurt in a car crash last December.
The medical team at Miami's Metrozoo bolted four steel plates to the animal's skull, secured with 41 screws.
The 10-foot (three metre) croc can

Modi dedicates new 137-acre Pradyuman park zoo in Rajkot
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi dedicated Pradhuman Prak Zoo in Rajkot on the eve of the Independence Day.
Rajkot this zoo is spread in 137-acre of area and is a dwelling for wild and grass-eating animals and birds. Surrounded by Lalpari and Randarda lakes this region is filled with more than 35,000 trees of 69 different species.
Within the park, blocks of the same group animals are made and displayed according to taxonomic and zoo geographic method. The zoo will also

Rare 'princess' turtle returns to Malaysia after 32 years
A leatherback turtle has made a surprise return to a Malaysian beach after 32 years, a report said Friday, hailed as a "miracle" by conservationists and renewing hopes for the endangered species.
The leatherbacks—the largest of all sea turtles—were once a star attraction at Rantau Abang beach in Malaysia's northern state of Terengganu but overfishing, poaching and pollution caused the population to plummet.
The turtle, dubbed the "Puteri Rantau Abang" or Rantau Abang Princess and identified by special markings, returned last month to end a long dry spell of turtle landings which have been rare in Terengganu since the 1980s.
"It is a miracle that leatherback turtles are making a comeback to this area," Malaysian Fisheries Department director-general Ahamad Sabki Mahmood said according to The Star news

Report highlights zoo animal abuse
Performing animals in Chinese zoos and parks are often trained using abusive practices, including routine beatings and are housed in inadequate shelters, according to a report by a Hong Kong-based animal welfare group.
Bears are regularly whipped and beaten with sticks, elephants are prodded with metal hooks, and tigers and lions are defanged and declawed, causing them chronic pain, said the Animals Asia Foundation in a 28-page report.
The group surveyed animal performances and living conditions at 13 zoos and safari parks in China over a yearlong period until this August.
"The combined aspects of performances, abusive training methods and inadequate housing conditions are causing severe animal suffering for many thousands of performing animals across China," the report said.
Earlier this year, the problem of animal mistreatment in China was highlighted with the reported deaths of 11 rare Siberian tigers at the Shenyang Forest Wild Animal Zoo

Toledo Zoo elephant trainer has no memory of attack
The elephant trainer who was attacked at the Toledo Zoo by a 7-year-old male elephant on July 1 has no memory of the incident, officials said Tuesday.
As a result, Anne Baker, the zoo’s executive director, and Marna Ramnath, a former president of the zoo’s board of directors who chaired a six-member review team that performed an internal investigation, said they do not believe they’ll ever know for sure what happened involving trainer Don RedFox.
Mr. RedFox, 53, of Swanton Township, was hospitalized for a punctured lung and other injuries for weeks after the incident. He is now resting at home and is expected to return to work, Ms. Baker said.
"We fully expect Mr. RedFox to return," she said.
Louie the elephant, which was involved in the attack, was not supposed to be in his cage when the incident occurred, Ms. Baker and Ms. Ramnath said at a news conference on Tuesday morning.
The male elephant is expected to remain in protected contact at the Toledo Zoo, which means keepers must stay behind a barrier when they are working with him.
"We obviously don’t want this ever happening again," Ms. Baker said.
At the news conference, she and Ms. Ramnath outlined six procedural changes the zoo will undertake to improve communications and training. They both said an adherence to protocol will be especially important once the new elephant display is completed

Farmers arrested for cutting off their rhino’s horn
A father and son from Musina, Limpopo, have been arrested for darting one of their own rhinos and cutting off its horn.
The rhino was not killed but police said on Friday they were investigating whether the farmers were planning to sell the horn and cash in on a lucrative but illegal trade.
Over 150 rhinos have been killed this year by poachers and wild life organisations are calling the spike a "crisis."
Eyewitness News understands the arrests are part of a bigger investigation being conducted by the police to stop the poaching.
Spokesperson Ronel Otto said the two accused appeared in court

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

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Vandalur zoo celebrates silver jubilee
Schoolchildren crowd around the animal enclosures at Vandalur zoo, pointing and chattering excitedly. Even on a weekday, the zoo is packed. At the chimpanzees' enclosure, Srinivasan watches them with a hawk's eye, ensuring that no one throws plastic and hushing the children gently when they get too noisy.
"These chimps are my friends," says Srinivasan, one of the zookeepers. "I ensure that they are safe and healthy." For him, it's more than just a job. It's been 25 years since Arignar Anna Zoological Park, also known as Vandalur zoo, was thrown open to the public but his association with it dates

Bear Center Enclosure a Success
Sometime last evening Lily and Hope were separated again. We see this often with mothers and cubs in late summer. All cubs are getting pretty independent—and, with all Hope has been through this year, she tops the chart in independence. While Lily rested this morning, Hope foraged off on her own. People spotted Hope crossing a forest road a couple hundred yards away. Hope retreated up a tree until she saw an opportunity to run back in Lily’s direction. We’re liking more and more what we see in Hope. We joined up with both Lily and Hope today. Lily appeared to be trailing something—likely Hope. But when we joined Hope, she seemed confident and unstressed about this separation. Stay tuned!
Another thing we like is the bear enclosure at the North American Bear Center. With advice from Rob Laidlaw of Zoocheck Canada, and others, we built the kind of bear enclosure we believed should be the standard around the world. It’s wild and beautiful—a waterfall and pond set in a diverse, dense forest of over 2 acres.
Bears in captivity should have an environment that doesn’t drive them crazy with

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Escaped zebras in Carmichael leave unanswered questions
It's still unclear who will foot the bill for the damage caused during the search and capture of two zebras that escaped from a local animal facility.
California Highway Patrol investigators are working to determine who will be responsible for the incident that caused traffic hazards for drivers on a busy residential street.
The striped pair fled the animal training facility on the 6600 block of Sutter Street just after 7 p.m. Saturday, according to Sacramento County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Tim Curran.
Witnesses said drivers slammed on their brakes as the animals weaved in and out of traffic on Fair Oaks Boulevard near California Avenue.
Sheriff's deputies along with park rangers worked to corral one of the zebras, while the other made a mad dash toward Jameson Court.
The second zebra was

Red river hog training at Durrell wildlife park

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In French with English subtitles. Interesting video. Beautiful countryside


Celebrating Plants and the Planet:

Paul the prognosticating octopus got me thinking.

Animals - like plants - can also do amazing things. This month's links at  (NEWS/Botanical News) are about animals that do unexpected things… with plants:

· A species of ground-nesting bee in Turkey lines its nests with flower petals. The nests are both a brilliant adaptation to the ecosystem and beautiful to see. (Plenty of photos included!)

· Algae-eating fish cultivate algae beds, removing weeds and evicting predators.

· A European study of foxes and pine martins shows how carnivores can be important dispersers of tree seeds.

· A newly discovered Madagascan frog species lays eggs in the water collected by fallen leaves in leaf litter. This is a first.

· Ants are more than the original agriculturists. They also employ nitrogen-fixing bacteria to support their "farms." And that turns out to be an important source of nitrogen for tropical forests.

Jon Coe clued me in to these amazing topiaries at the Montreal Botanic garden (a special display several years ago): geese taking flight from a lake, dolphins cavorting, and more. Plants as animals!

Please share these stories with associates, staff, docents and -- most importantly -- visitors! Follow on Twitter:  - a new story every day!

Zoo Horticulture
Consulting and Design

Greening design teams since 1987


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.


thylacinus - Vol 34 No 1
journal of Australasian Society of Zoo Keepers


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Orangutan Accommodation at Giza Zoo

Photo credit to Cloe and Heidi Morrison and posted on 
 the REVITALIZE THE GIZA ZOO on Facebook page

These are the cages now being occupied by the Orangutans which were gifted to Giza zoo by the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort. These previously housed chimpanzees which have now been moved on to other Egyptian Animal Collections. The present caging for the chimpanzees is uncertain.


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Nominations are now open for the 2012 Indianapolis Prize


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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

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