Monday, September 6, 2010

Zoo News Digest 1st - 6th September 2010 (Zoo News 686)

Zoo News Digest 1st - 6th September 2010 (Zoo News 686)

Dear Colleagues,

John Dineley
I had a bit of a break on the Sunday and caught up with my friend and colleague John Dineley at London Zoo. John is a Zoo Fellow and so was able to get me in as a guest because, to be honest I could not afford a ticket. It is my first visit to the zoo in a number of years and on my previous two visits it really had been a case of popping in to see one exhibit and leaving. Today was a much more leisurely stroll around the zoo. There was much to see, many changes and I liked what I saw. The visit was made all the better by catching up news with John. We first met in, I think it must have been 1970, have worked in at least three collections in common and share many friends.

As to the zoo. My visit was made by the extensive display of living corals. I am fascinated by them. Upside down Jellyfish.....never seen those before that I recall. The Bearded Pigs were wonderful, The Clore Rainforest was a definite improvement.... I could go on. A great day. Thank you John and thank you Regent's Park.

Thank you too to the four people who sent donations this week. Much appreciated. I will write in the next day or so.

There are a lot of interesting links to stories below.

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Group wants to end setting dogs on chained bears
A declawed, defanged bear is chained to a stake as hunting dogs bark and snap, trying to force the bear to stand on its hind legs. The training exercise called bear baying is intended to make the bears easier to shoot in the wild and it's only allowed in South Carolina.
Armed with new undercover video of four such events, the Humane Society of the United States is pressuring state officials to explicitly outlaw the practice, which the organization says is effectively banned in every other state. Animal rights advocates say it's cruel to the nearly defenseless bears and harms them psychologically.
Hunters say the exercise popular in the state's hilly northwestern corner helps them train their dogs on what to do when they come across a bear

Atlanta zoo to be inspected after snake escape
Georgia wildlife officials will inspect an Atlanta zoo after a venomous rattlesnake was able to escape and slither around a city neighborhood.
Zoo staff noticed the female tiger rattlesnake was missing during a routine check late Friday. The snake was found dead Monday after a nearby property owner killed it.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Lauren Curry said Tuesday that an inspection team will be sent to Zoo Atlanta to investigate. Zoo officials have said a staff member did not properly

Australian boy mauled by sea lion at zoo
An 11-year-old Australian boy was recovering in hospital Saturday after reportedly being left with a "dirty great hole in his belly" after being mauled by a sea lion during a show at a Sydney zoo.
Jack Lister may have scared the flippered animal when he moved behind it after being chosen from the audience to get up close to the creatures in the performance in front of hundreds of people, a spokesman for Taronga zoo said.
"Jack had stood back to walk away and the (sea lion) just turned around then lunged at him," stepmother Dalitta Wright told Sydney's Daily Telegraph.
"Jack pulled himself away and it then lunged for his back.
"It all happened so quickly... I heard the scream come from him... and started running towards him. It was quite traumatic."
Witnesses told the paper that the sea lion bit the boy, who then fell on the animal, prompting it to bite him again.
"He screamed out several times, as you would," witness

Also : Boy Bitten By Sea Lion During Zoo Show

Anson Wong pleads guilty to exporting snakes without permit
A businessman pleaded guilty at the Sessions Court here Wednesday to exporting 95 snakes without permit last week.
He posted bail on Thursday.
Wong Keng Liang, better known as Anson Wong, 52, believed to be an international wildlife trader, admitted to exporting 95 Boa Constrictor - which is endangered species - without permit at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 8.50pm on Aug 26.
The Boa constrictor is a large, heavy-bodied species of snake and variable in drawing and color. They are very adaptable and live in a number of habitats in different climates.
It is a member of the Boidae family found in Central America, South America and some islands in the Caribbean.
The snakes were found in a luggage bag while Wong was in transit from Penang to Jakarta.
Wong could be fined a maximum of RM100,000 or jailed up to seven years or both under Section 10(a) of the International Trade of Endangered Species Act 2008.
Prosecuting officer Faridz Gohim Abdullah, from Perhilitan (Wildlife and National Parks Department), applied to the court to set his bail at RM50,000 in one surety.
Sessions Court judge Zulhelmy Hasan set his bail at RM50,000 in one surety. Zulhelmy also ordered Wong

Grey seal pup exploratory laparoscopy.mp4

Wild chimps outwit human hunters
Across Africa, people often lay snare traps to catch bushmeat, killing or injuring chimps and other wildlife.
But a few chimps living in the rainforests of Guinea have learnt to recognise these snare traps laid by human hunters, researchers have found.
More astonishing, the chimps actively seek out and intentionally deactivate the traps, setting

Aquarium unveils new Conservation Center
Expanding conservation, research role
The National Aquarium is set Thursday to unveil its new Conservation Center, established to focus the institution's work in marine conservation and research, and to expand its scope to a national and global stage.
In cooperation with scientists at aquariums and universities here and across the country, the center's researchers are already at work tracking contaminants from the BP oil well blowout, and studying threatened eagle rays.
"With what's happening to the environment today, with the pressure of human activity, [the board felt] a need to do something more significant, more meaningful in terms of protecting the environment," said Erik Rifkin, a marine zoologist, aquarium board member and interim director of the new,0,2476753.story

Pregnant Rhino Urine Collection-Cincinnati Zoo

Bridge made of recycled fire hoses from Japan helps endangered orangutans in Borneo
A bridge made of recycled fire hoses in Borneo links endangered orangutans' habitats, which have been destroyed and fragmented due to deforestation.
The Borneo Conservation Trust Japan (BCTJ) has released a photograph of a young orangutan crossing a "suspension bridge" made of recycled fire hoses from Japan.
The bridge was jointly constructed by the organization and the government of the Malaysian state of Sabah about two years ago in an attempt to allow wild orangutans living in the jungles of Borneo to freely move between their habitats, which have been isolated from each other due to the development of oil palm plantations in the area.
Orangutans spend most of their time atop trees, swinging through branches to cross rivers and move around forests. However, the jungles in the downstream area of the Kinabatangan River have been divided as a result of deforestation, making it difficult for the animal to cross the river using tree branches to visit other areas on the island.
A survey conducted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) in 2004 estimated there were about 56,000 orangutans left in Borneo; however, researchers from British Cardiff University pointed out that there is little chance for new-born orangutans to survive for the next 50 years due to inbreeding caused by the fragmentation of their habitats.
To avoid the critical situation, Dr. Isabelle Lackman-Ancrenaz, a French researcher based on the island, attempted

Bengal tiger Escapes Miami Zoo (Taiwanese Animation)

2 Year Old Girl Faces Off a 500 pound Bengal Tiger at Florida Zoo

Burger King dumps Indonesian palm oil company
US fast food giant Burger King said it would no longer buy palm oil from Sinar Mas or its subsidiaries after Greenpeace campaigned against the Indonesian group's land-clearing practices.
Burger King joins the likes of Unilever, Nestle and Kraft in shunning Sinar Mas in a move that will increase pressure on other corporate buyers of its palm oil products, such as Pizza Hut, KFC, and Dunkin' Donuts.
Indonesia is the biggest producer of palm oil which is used in everything from biscuits to cosmetics, but environmentalists say plantations are driving deforestation blamed for habitat loss and greenhouse gases.
Burger King said a recent independent audit of Sinar Mas palm oil unit SMART's land-clearing practices - commissioned by Sinar Mas in response to the Greenpeace

Charles Darwin's ecological experiment on Ascension isle
A lonely island in the middle of the South Atlantic conceals Charles Darwin's best-kept secret.
Two hundred years ago, Ascension Island was a barren volcanic edifice.
Today, its peaks are covered by lush tropical "cloud forest".
What happened in the interim is the amazing story of how the architect of evolution, Kew Gardens and the Royal Navy conspired to build a fully functioning, but totally artificial ecosystem.
By a bizarre twist, this great imperial experiment may hold the key to the future colonisation of Mars.
The tiny tropical island of Ascension is not easy to find. It is incredibly remote, located 1,600km (1,000 miles) from the coast of Africa and 2,250km (1,400 miles) from South America.
Its existence depends entirely on what geologists call the mid-Atlantic ridge. This is a chain of underwater

THIS is the video that proves a fully grown black panther is on the loose in northern Europe.
The big cat reportedly escaped from a French zoo last year - and this footage was shot close to the Belgian towns of Spa and Theux in the Ardennes.
A policewoman claimed to have seen the panther on August 1, and another eye witness claimed to have spotted it 14 days later in the same area.
The Belgian national park authorities

Also here: Escaped Black Leopard Caught On Camera

He may be king of the swingers among the gang at the zoo but Hanama the orangutan is suddenly finding there’s more to life than just aping around.
He has discovered the joys of family living by taking over as stand-in father for a pair of newly born baby lions.
And the three-year-old giant ape is enjoying his new role so much that he has taken to joining in the rough and tumble of games with the seven-week-old male cubs Skukuza a

Is anyone really taken in by this rubbish? ORANG-UTAN STAND IN FATHER FOR LION CUBS

Father of the pride: How a British backpacker became the saviour of Africa's big cats
The funny thing about being mauled by a lion is that they don't bite chunks out of you - they suffocate you.
All that firepower - and they use a pillow. I'd been knocked to the ground by a fully-grown lion, who then proceeded to put my head in his mouth and squeeze so hard that I started to lose consciousness.
Desperately, I tried to fight back, but I wasn't strong enough. As I faded away, I can remember wondering whether it was one of our lions or a wild one that had attacked me
It was one of ours - Shyman. And it was Freddie, the youngster I'd lovingly raised from a cub, who bravely rescued me. Time and again, Freddie valiantly went for the lion twice his size, as Shyman attacked, grabbing me by the neck and trying to drag me off.
But hard behind Freddie came the Old Man - George Adamson, the Kenyan game warden who reintroduced lions to the wild and was immortalised in the book and film Born Free - waving his stick and shouting at the top of his lungs.
Incredibly, it worked, and George was able to drag me away - though he told me afterwards he thought I would die from my wounds. I had holes in my throat big enough to put my fist into, and my attacker's teeth had come within millimetres of my carotid artery and jugular vein. I had my ear ripped off, and Shyman had also taken a chunk

Forget Mice, Elephants Really Hate Ants
A nose full of biting ants can really spoil your appetite. Especially if your nose is 3 meters long. African bush elephants (Loxodonta africana) avoid this discomfort by refusing to munch on acacia trees that house swarming ant colonies. Their aversion, a new study suggests, helps maintain the savanna's delicate balance between forest and prairie.
Trees and grasses constantly vie for control of the savanna, but wildfires, drought, variable soil chemistry, and giant herbivores prevent either plant from taking over. Not enough fire to keep the trees in check, and the canopy will close in; too many elephants eating the trees, and the savanna would become grassland. Or so scientists thought. They seem to have underestimated the acacia's ability to defend itself.
Unlike many acacia trees that are stripped bare by elephants, whistling thorn trees (Acacia drepanolobium) seemed immune. The trees bristle with the 5-centimeter-long thorns typical of many acacias, but some of the spikes also swell into hollow bulbs the size of ping pong balls.

Ghost Hunters go hunting at 'America's First Zoo'
In case you weren’t aware this is the first time that the Ghost Hunters have ever investigated at a zoo. We know this because we are told no less than 4 times that, indeed, this is the first time that the Ghost Hunters have ever investigated a zoo.
The zoo in question is the Philadelphia Zoo, in, you guessed it, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We are told by Kris Williams as the team heads to the zoo in the giant Ghost Hunters Monster Trucks that the zoo is believed to be built on an ancient native American burial ground and has reports of lights going on and off, doors opening and closing, footsteps, cold chills, disembodied voices and apparitions.
Beginning the tour of the zoo we are treated to several shots of the actual zoo animals; some rhinos, a couple of lions and a wandering peacock. As Jason, Grant and Britt (who is still standing in for Steve) are taken on a tour of the zoo it soon becomes apparent that the TAPS team will not be interacting with any of the animals at the zoo, but instead will be investigating the administration buildings on the zoo property making this less about ‘investigating a zoo’ and more about ‘investigating someone’s office space.’ So, no worries, no animals were harmed or even touched during the filming of this episode of the Ghost Hunters.
Beginning the investigation, Jason and Grant head to the Shelly Administration

Wildlife park’s conservation efforts pay off
Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation (AWWP) has announced three recent developments, marking the success of the park’s conservation efforts in breeding various endangered species.
A spokesperson for the park owned by Sheikh Saoud bin Mohammed bin Ali al-Thani, explained that after an eight-year preparation period, four female Erlanger’s gazelles arrived in Qatar earlier this year as part of efforts to contribute towards the survival of the species.
The programme is a result of a collaboration between the King Khalid Wildlife Research Center (KKWRC) in Thumamah, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and AWWP.
“The Erlanger’s or Neumann’s gazelle is considered one of the most threatened ungulate species worldwide,” explained the spokesperson, adding this rather small and dark gazelle with a stout body and short legs is described from the West of the Arabian Peninsula.
There are currently only two known facilities keeping Elanger’s gazelles – KKWRC which has 40 specimens, and AWWP.
Following DNA analysis to ensure the same species was being represented, the four females arrived

Lucrative ‘Monkey Meat’ Operation Revealed in Drug Raid
A standard narcotics investigation in the central Thai province of Ratchaburi Wednesday has uncovered an endangered and protected species smuggling operation between Laos and Thailand. The drug using offenders had contained numerous crab-eating macaques, which had been cruelly beaten and restrained live in plastic bags
Ratchaburi, the 1st of September 2010: Initially investigating a drug using gang of teenagers, officers from the Baan Pong Police Station and Narcotics Control Board, raided a premises in the area, arresting multiple youths on numerous drug usage and possession charges.
However, during police investigations, officers noticed a strange collection of ‘moving’ plastic bags contained inside a large cage at the rear of the premises. Having detained the offenders, police discovered that the plastic bags contained live crab-eating macaques that had been cruelly beaten, restrained and showed signs

Iguana experts to find best strategy
AN EXPERT team is expected to report back this week on what strategy would best eradicate the green iguana from two northern islands.
The experts - two herpetologists - are on Taveuni scoping out habitats and habits of the green iguana.
The herpetologists Dr Peter Harlow of Taronga Zoo in Australia and Nunia Thomas of NatureFiji-MareqetiViti, will be assisted by Dr Robert Johnson, a reptile veterinarian also of the Taronga Zoo.
"Based on their findings we will be able to map out strategies, how much it's going to cost and the equipment and materials needed for the exercise," Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Colonel Mason

Mall menagerie exposes life in Thailand's hellish zoos
There is a gorilla on the seventh floor of a department store in Bangkok.
''King Kong'' spends his days alone. There are no trees in his 15-by-10-metre concrete enclosure, just a tyre and a few ropes hanging from the low ceiling
Ten metres away, a penguin is alone in an air-conditioned pen, standing on tiles next to a pool of water smaller than a bath and nowhere near deep enough for him to swim. Just a few years ago, there were a dozen penguins. Only this one survives.
Bangkok's Pata Zoo sits atop a department store on a busy road in the northern suburbs of Bangkok. Crammed into cages and pens across the sixth and seventh floors of the ageing building are more than 200 species - a menagerie of orang-utans, pythons, turtles, flamingos, monkeys, leopards, tigers, bears and even a Shetland pony.
The director of the Wildlife Friends

Learn more: Pata Zoo in Bangkok Thailand

National Aquarium Unveils Future with Launch of the National Aquarium Conservation Center
The National Aquarium was joined today by honored guests, esteemed partners, elected officials and supporters from the community to officially unveil the National Aquarium Conservation Center and kick off its celebration of the Baltimore venue’s 30th anniversary year. The Conservation Center enables the National Aquarium to become a global leader in conservation, research and education, and to advocate for ocean health issu

National Zoo debuts new, larger home for elephants
Ambika was finishing up a hectic morning. There had been all the hubbub over the National Zoo's new elephant exhibit. VIPs everywhere. The media. It was more than a 62-year-old pachyderm could take. By 11 a.m. she was off by herself in one of the new stalls, with straw piled on her head, trying to r

Visitor boom sparks new call for expansion
A ZOO boss whose animal park broke all attendance records over the August bank holiday says it shows urgent need for town hall officials to hurry up and clear his expansion plans.
David Gill, who wants to treble the size of the South Lakes Wild Animal Park if he can get a new road entrance and a mega car park, threatened to sell up and leave the area earlier in the summer because of frustration over mounting delay and cost in gaining planning permission.
Mr Gill says he has not u--turned on earlier threats to close the zoo and quit the area, but said: “Obviously I have to think very much about loyalty to the staff and the animals.
“The problem I have got is with Barrow Borough Council. They have been staggeringly obstructve. If they are making it such hard work to run a business here, then life is too short. I can choose easier work and

Protest against palm oil smear campaign in Aussie zoos
The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) have submitted official protest to the Australian Government - to express its anger over the move by zoos in Australia to allow activists to blatantly smear Malaysia’s and Borneo’s image through anti-palm oil public posters.
MPOC Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Yusof Basiron told The Star Friday that his council had sent two memos to the Australian Government.
“We are countering the lies spread by these activists and making known our objections to the Australian authorities.
“The allegations against us are very serious and damaging to the image of not only our palm-oil industry, but also the reputation of peninsula Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah.
“The Aussie posters was also brought up to the attention of our Cabinet also. The posters used by these activists in Australia contained a lot of lies. We want the zoos to take down those posters,’’ he said in a telephone interview from his headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
The Star recently highlighted the move by environmental activists who put up posters in the Adelaide Zoo criticising the oil-palm projects in peninsula Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra and Papua

Red wolves were nearly extinct
Red wolves remain one of the most critically endangered animals on the planet.
Before European settlers arrived in North America, red wolves roamed across one-third of the eastern United States. Aggressive predator control programs and habitat loss reduced the population to only 14 wolves in the 1970s.
At that point, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium stepped up to help and, along with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, started a red wolf breeding program. In 1987, the first red wolf was reintroduced into the wild at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in eastern North Carolina.
Thanks to the involved professionals and citizens, there are now approximately 100 to 120 red wolves in the wild and 180 in zoos around the country.
Red wolves have tall pointy ears, long legs and large feet. They typically weigh 45 to 80 pounds and are 4 to 51/2 feet long, resembling German shepherd dogs in size. Their color is mostly brown and tan with tinges of black and white. Their cinnamon-colored head and ears

Rotary Club first to be affiliated with zoo
It may be a zoo out there but members of one group like to meet right in the heart of it. The Rotary Club of Miami MetroZoo, chartered in October 2009, has one distinction over the nearly 34,000 Rotary Clubs around the world. It is the only one affiliated with a zoo and its members savor that difference.
Weekly meetings are held in a Zoological Society building on the newly named Zoo Miami grounds. William B. Tuttle, the zoo's exhibits and graphics coordinator and the club's first president, sees the Rotary's Zoo Miami location as being part of a bustling new business hub. Plans for the area include the Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation Department entertainment complex, water park and hotel near the zoo, he noted.
The club recently kicked off its membership drive with Ron Magill, Zoo Miami's communications

Tainted Dr Motghare to work as zoo vet now
The Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV) is refusing to learn from its mistakes of the past. On Wednesday, the agriculture varsity appointed Dr SS Bawaskar as full-time in charge of the zoo while naming controversial and inexperienced Dr AB Motghare as veterinary officer.
The orders were issued by associate dean of College of Agriculture Vandan Mohod saying that the decision has been taken as per CZA norms. However, the PDKV move is seen as a cosmetic change to streamline management, but it is still a far cry from the full-time director and full-time vet required for the zoo.
The orders state that Dr Bawaskar, who functioned as vet and officer-in charge, will now act as full-time administrator while another vet Dr Motghare will work in animal husbandry and dairy department of the college at Ramdaspeth, and also in the zoo. He will assist Dr Bawaskar.
People For Animals ( PFA) city chief Karishma Galani has expressed shock over Dr Motghare's new assignment. "How can a person like Dr Motghare, who lacks experience

The monkey and the kitten (Photos)
A wild-long tailed macaque monkey has adopted an abandoned kitten at Ubud's Monkey Forest in Bali

Throw book at wildlife trader: conservationists
Environmentalists have called on Da Lat authorities to make an example of Tu Loan, a prominent wildlife meat trader that was implicated in last week’s restaurant raids.
"We urge the Lam Dong courts, Procuracy [prosecutor’s office] and police to carry out detailed investigations, prosecute and punish Tu Loan and her associates to the full extent of the law,” said Dr. Scott Roberton, Wildlife Conservation Society’s Country Representative for Vietnam.
On August 26, seized hundreds of kilograms of wildlife meat during a raid on 12 restaurants in Da Lat. About two-thirds of the meat, weighing more than 200 kilograms, was found at the restaurant run by Tu Loan, who also owns the

Zoo nutritionist’s recipe for success
Nutritionist Andrea Fidgett describes herself as the ‘Jamie Oliver’ of Chester Zoo.
But whereas the TV chef is currently dedicating himself to improving the health of the nation through better diet, Andrea has the health and well-being of more than 450 species to consider.
Dr Fidgett, who originally, studied Zoology at Glasgow University, is the only zoo nutritionist in the UK. “I was always interested in working with wild animals – exotic rather than native wild animals,” she said.
After graduating she was employed as a research assistant at Gerald Durrell’s zoo in Jersey. Her interest in nutrition was sparked when she was asked to undertake

Behind the curtain
Zoos are better places for animals than they used to be. But more still needs to be done
ONCE, they were grim places of bars and concrete. But zoos today are, more often than not, places where endangered species are bred in verdant and naturalistic enclosures. At least, that is what the public sees. As night falls and the facilities need to be cleaned, the animals are commonly led into small concrete holding areas. For decades zoos around the world have used such areas without question and assumed that their effects on the animals’ behaviour were negligible so long as high-quality enclosures were available during the day. This notion may, however, be wrong, for a new study shows that, at least among the great apes, holding areas

Tiger cub makes public debut at Cairns zoo
A "miracle" tiger cub born at a far north Queensland zoo six weeks ago has made his public debut.
The male Sumatran tiger born at the Cairns Wildlife Safari Reserve is the second cub born at the zoo.
Another cub born at the zoo last year died of complications.
Zoo managing director Jenny Jattke says the cub's mother, Louise, was on birth control when she became pregnant.
"She is 14-years-old so that's equivalent to a 60-year-old female so that's quite incredible in itself to give birth to him," she said.
"She hasn't had cubs before so at 14 to be a mother, is pretty special."
Ms Jattke says the new cub, who is yet to be named

Donate blood, get zoo 2-for-1 passes
Blood donors can pick up a two-for-one admission pass to the Living Desert if they give blood Tuesday.
Community Blood Bank will give the admission deal to all donors during the 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. blood drive.
It will be held at Kmart

Turtle Back Zoo opens late after search for leopard in hiding
A leopard found hiding behind a retaining wall at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange forced a brief evacuation for the facility, according to a report on
Zoo officials, who delayed the opening of

Dr. Jeremy Goodman, Turtle Back Zoo, After Code Red on 9/5/2010

DNA profiling of Whale Sharks to begin soon in Gujarat
"The research study shall also cover analysis of water samples zoo plants (miniature plants) and other typical plant species found along the Gujarat coast," he said. The programme includes areas of research like satellite tagging, genetics, photo identification and eco tourism. The programme will be jointly run by WTI, Gujarat Forest and Environment Department, and CMFRI Veraval region Centre. For promotion of tourism, the state is planning to introduce an Australian concept here in which expert spotters and air planes will be used to locate whale sharks in the

Koala sanctuary expansion 'political game play'
A koala conservation group says the State Government's expansion of a south-east Queensland koala sanctuary is political game play.
The government has purchased a 127 hectare property to add to the Daisy Hill koala sanctuary.
Sustainability Minister Kate Jones says more than 20,000 trees will be planted and she hopes 30 more koalas will join the 50 already in the park.
"This land had been earmarked for development as it was zoned rural-residential," she said.
"But now it will be permanently protected as conservation park.
"This is the first purchase under the $43 million package to buy koala habitat in south-east Queensland and we will be seeing purchases like this happening in coming years."
But the Australian Koala Foundation's chief executive officer Deborah Tabart says it is a political move.
"For 20 odd years I've been listening to the Queensland

Lemur Quake Victim
A 10-year-old lemur was the only animal from Orana Wildlife Park to die in Saturday's earthquake.
Gidro, a black and white ruffed lemur, drowned as a result of the magnitude 7.1 earthquake which hit Christchurch at 4.36am.
He was a fantastic animal to work with and very nice-natured, animal collection manager Ian Adams said.
"Many visitors will have had the opportunity to meet him up close and others would have seen him interact with staff at the daily feed presentation," Mr Adams said.
Orana Park lost power for four hours and there are still concerns about a kiwi egg that is due to hatch soon.
The egg was rocked about in its incubator and head keeper of native fauna Tara Atkinson said

PCMC run Bahinabai Chaudhary zoo at Akurdi
The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) will transfer control of the Bahinabai Chaudhary zoo, located at Akurdi, from the garden department to the veterinary department to improve the zoo's administration and ensure better facilities to the animals.
Speaking to TOI, Ashish Sharma, municipal commissioner, said, "The letter in this regard is being prepared and I will sign the order in a couple of days."
Members of the standing committee expressed concern about the administration of the zoo at the weekly meeting held on Wednesday, while discussing the death of a female leopard at the zoo. They had complained that the animals were being given inferior quality fo

Polar Bears and zoo's green contradiction
I REFER to the article ('Helping errant zoos do better'; Aug 23), which stated that 'the zoo, though, stopped short of granting the non-governmental organisation's request for the polar exhibit to be phased out'.
Ms Fanny Lai, chief executive officer of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), explained that 'one reason we keep polar bears is as an insurance in case something happens in the wild. We can't foresee the future, but it doesn't look positive for polar bears'.
In 2007, Singapore Zoo confirmed in a number of media articles that it will not bring any more polar bears into the country. Is the zoo reversing its decision again?
Disappointingly, WRS had already

Rehabilitation center for rare species of predators to be build in Primorye, Russia
In the Far East of Russia, in the Primorsky Territory, ecologists are planning to open the country's first full-fledged rehabilitation center for wild animals. Its construction will begin in mid-November 2010. The purpose of this center is to return the beasts of prey to the wild.
"Every year, especially in winter, cubs tend to lose their mothers due to hunger, disease and poaching and become completely defenseless. These pups are doomed to perish in the harsh conditions of maritime taiga. It's good if they fall into the hands of specialists in time and receive the necessary care", stated the public environmental fund "Phoenix".
Unfortunately, later these cubs usually go to the zoo. Zoos are overcrowded with these

Guinea pig poop powers Peruvian villages
The residents of Pachacamac, a Peruvian village outside Lima, have almost one thousand fluffy, tailless guinea pigs in an enclosure. They’re not pets though: instead, the animals are a source of renewable energy that powers the entire town.
Green solutions like wind power, tidal turbines and solar panels aren’t always feasible for smaller, less developed countries. For more practical results, professors Carmen Felipe-Morales and Ulises Moreno invite scientists to their lab so studies in renewable energy and plant genetics can be used to make a fast, tangible difference to countries like Peru.
Alongside creating potatoes optimised for the village’s soil and climate, and developing several different types of organically produced fruits and cereals, the two scientists have an building, with low-roofs and several compartments, occupied by almost one thousand guinea pigs.
While the cute rodent is a popular domesticated pet in Europe and North America, it’s an even more popular menu option for residents of the Andes range in South America, where the guinea

'Project Panda' receives 30,000 applications
More than 30,000 people from 47 countries have applied to become "pambassadors" since the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in the capital of Sichuan province announced last month it would select six people to spend a month with pandas at the base.
The research base had announced during the Sichuan Week at the Shanghai Expo that it had launched "Project Panda", an online competition seeking six panda enthusiasts who would serve as a panda keeper, photographer, videographer, journalist, scientist and researcher.
The project is being held in partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
The six lucky winners will stay with the locals in close proximity of the base, where they will also witness the birth of panda cubs, said Zhang Zhihe, the chief of the base.
Twelve finalists will be short-listed on Sept 23 and will begin a weeklong training course in Chengdu before the winners are announced, he said.
Many of those who have applied are true panda enthusiasts, Zhang said.
He told China Daily of Oliver, a French teacher whose bedroom is filled with panda images on his T-shirts, murals, toys, hats, pillows and sheets. Jeroen Jacobs, a Belgian, has his own panda website that tells how many pandas there are in the United States and which panda would give birth in a Japanese zoo. Christina, another applicant, is a Harvard student who once missed

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 Dolphin Debate - You Decide

The Dolphin Debate - You Decide from Rosalie e'Silva on Vimeo.


Pakistan Wildlife News - August 2010

Flood threatens endangered blind Indus dolphins
Pakistan Floods Ravage Bear Sanctuary

And much more reading.


Seeing the Zoo the Way Animals Do:
A workshop for animal care staff on improving animal welfare 
Presented by the Center for Zoo Animal Welfare
Detroit Zoological Society
October 18-21, 2010

Instructors: Cynthia Bennett, Gail Laule, Elizabeth Arbaugh, Mary Wulff

The Center for Zoo Animal Welfare is offering a workshop for animal care staff hosted by the Detroit Zoo. This unique four-day workshop is designed for animal care staff, supervisors, curators, and veterinarians working with all species of animals in zoos. The Workshop will present topics and exercises aimed at improving the welfare of captive animals by better understanding their perspectives and experiences. Participants will attempt to see the zoo through animal’s eyes, hear the world through their ears, smell the world though their noses, experience their world as they experience it.

The workshop will present topics relating to improving the welfare of captive animals, including understanding our limitations when we view the world through the lens of human perspective, identification of and problem-solving animal welfare issues through environmental modification and enrichment, positive reinforcement training techniques, and best husbandry practices. Workshop format includes lecture, discussion, small group projects, demonstrations, and multiple hands-on opportunities with animal environments at the Detroit Zoo.

For information contact:
Elizabeth Arbaugh, Animal Welfare Manager
Detroit Zoological Society
Tel: 248-398-0903 x3643 E-mail:


Presented by: and Shape of Enrichment
Hosted by: Oakland California.
Dates: December 6-10, 2010
Instructors: Gail Laule, Margaret Whittaker, and Val Hare

Active Environments and Shape of Enrichment are proud to present the fourth Training and Enrichment Workshop for Zoo Animals hosted once again by the Oakland Zoo, Oakland California. This unique five-day workshop is designed for keepers, managers, supervisors, curators, and veterinarians working with all species of animals held in zoos. The Workshop will present an array of topics relating to the behavioral management approach to caring for captive animals, with focus on environmental enrichment, positive reinforcement training techniques, and the problem-solving process. Workshop format includes lecture, discussion, small group projects, demonstrations, and multiple hands-on training and enrichment opportunities with Oakland Zoo’s diverse collection. Skills taught are directly related to enhancing staff’s ability to manage captive animal behavior, improve animal welfare, and enhance the overall care and management of captive animals. The Workshop format is designed to maximize the value for each participant and as much as possible to address specific situations, needs, problems, and objectives. Be prepared to interact, share, and participate to make the experience as useful and relevant to you as possible.

The registration fee is $800 and includes the following:
• 6 nights stay in the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Oakland Airport (double occupancy) **
• All workshop materials
• All breakfasts, lunches and snacks during the workshop
• Icebreaker, dinner, and closing banquet (3 dinners)
• Transportation to and from workshop and airport
• Commemorative Workshop t-shirt
** single occupancy fee: $1,175
Local fee (minus hotel): $475

For more information contact: Active Environments, Inc.
Tel: 805-737-3700
E-mail: Gail Laule
Oakland Zoo
E-mail: Margaret Rousser:
See Shape of Enrichment Website:


31st Annual Elephant Managers Association Conference and Workshop

September 30th - October 4th 2010

The 31st Annual Elephant Manager’s Association Conference hosted by the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, could very well be one of the most important to date. In today’s internet age, elephant management is now a global effort, and this conference will feature presentations on elephant conservation and management partnerships and collaborations in the US and worldwide. Accomplishments and developments in breeding, husbandry and research, as well as challenges on many fronts, have laid the groundwork for interactive and information-rich sessions. The conference will commence on Thursday, Sept. 30, with an icebreaker at the hotel, and conclude on Sunday evening, Oct. 3, with the “elephant olympics”, and a savory barbecue and bonfire at the zoo’s 724-acre International Conservation Center. More details will follow in the EMA newsletter and web site, Connect, on Facebook, and via email. Contact Terry Deluliis at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, 412-365-2500, with questions. Visit  for more information and to register.


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.


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


Zoo Conferences, Meetings, Courses and Symposia
click HERE



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