On with links:
Asia’s giant softshell turtles teeter on the brink extinction
At the moment, only four members of the Giant Softshell turtle (Rafetus Swinhoei) species exist in the world.
The most well-known is an exalted geriatric specimen of indeterminate sex. It lives a complex existence in the center of Hanoi - addled by fishhooks and confined to Hanoi’s polluted Hoan Kiem Lake. It is believed, by some, to be the manifestation of an ancient deity.
Others in the Vietnamese scientific community have argued that it belongs to its own separate sub-species and shouldn’t be considered in conservation efforts.
Due to his advanced age and great cultural importance, however, most do not consider him a candidate for breeding.
For a long time, it seemed as though the species would be revived in China, where a male and female pair have been mating in a complex zoo enclosure.
Three consecutive years of breeding efforts have turned up no fertile eggs. Some fear that the world’s only remaining female was ruined by the calcium-poor diet she was fed during her 80-year career as a traveling circus and zoo attraction.
But she has been eating well for some
6 dolphins arrive in China by air from Japan
Six dolphins have arrived in Beijing by air from Japan, Chinese state-run television reported Sunday. CCTV said the dolphins—two Pacific White-sided Dolphins and four Bottlenose Dolphins—have passed quarantine examination and been moved to the city’s ocean park to begin a 30-day period of isolation and inspection.
It said each dolphin arrived in a special water tank 3 meters long and 1 meter wide.
Japanese in some remote coastal fishing communities kill or capture hundreds and even thousands of dolphins from September until April each year. Most dolphins are killed for their meat, but much higher prices can be fetched by the selling of live dolphins to aquariums around the world for use
15 missing baby crocodiles found dead at Chhatbir zoo
Fifteen baby crocodiles that had gone missing a couple of weeks ago from the Chhatbir Zoological Park were found dead on Monday. The crocodiles were born in the zoo on June 7. Officials said the babies went missing one after the other within a couple of days. The zoo authorities constituted a team of three officials to look into the matter. Initially it was suspected that the lone male crocodile in the zoo could have eaten the babies, but after noticing that one of the missing crocodiles was back inside the fence, officials suspected the crocodiles might have hibernated in the sand. Arrangements were made to screen the sand heaps with a hope to trace the crocodiles.
On September 16, the pond was emptied, but the babies could not be found. Subsequently, a team, comprising the deputy
Bangalore biological park packs tigers in like sardines
Besides contaminated and low quality food, the wild cats at Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) face another risk related to their enclosure. Experts say it is not according to the prescribed norms of the Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA).
The size of the enclosures should be 12x12 feet or 12x15 feet. But in BBP, it is only 12x9 feet. Also, the animals need sufficient walking and crawling space and a water body. But in BBP, there is no water body for them to relax in, say experts.
In some enclosures, two tigers are housed while the rule says one tiger per enclosure. This proximity of animals will lead to fights and even death as in the case of Medha (18) who was killed by her 10-year-old son Brandis, a Royal Bengal tiger, in October last year. The two were living together in a single enclosure for nearly a decade.
There are 40 enclosures in the safari area and they house 47 tigers and nine lions with cubs. Thus there is a need for more enclosures.
A senior forest department official said such anomalies were happening in BBP because expert opinion was not sought in tiger management. Tigers will have a healthy and peaceful life if each is kept in a single enclosure. For instance, during feeding, two tigers kept in a single enclosure often shy away from each other while eating. They skip the meal. Or else, they fight over the food leading to injuries and even death.
BBP’s executive director Millo Tago, howeve
Infection kills five tigers in Bangalore
Five tigers have died and eight more have taken ill in the last 10 days in the city's Bannerghatta Biological Park. Forest officials are battling a severe bacterial infection and are now on an emergency damage control mission.
Eight tigers, including a white tiger, at the park are on antibiotics for the last couple of days after five big cats died at the park last week. Post-mortem analysis points to bacterial infection that all animals are suffering from.
M N Jayakumar, additional chief conservator of forests, said: “For about 11-12 days some animals are having diarrhea and vomiting. Seven to eight animals have been having
Gibbons of southeast Asia are the 'forgotten' apes
Gibbons have become the "forgotten apes" and many species will soon go extinct unless urgent action is taken.
So say primate experts who have made a call to action to save the crested gibbons of southeast Asia, which are the most vulnerable group of all apes.
For example, just 20 Hainan gibbons survive on one island in China, making it the world's rarest ape species.
Experts highlighted the status of the apes at the XXII Congress of the International Primatological Society.
"The crested gibbons are the most threatened group of primates and all species require urgent attention to save them from extinction", says Dr Thomas Geissmann, a world-renowned gibbon expert based at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, and advisor on the apes to conservation organisation Fauna and Flora International
Appeal coming over Edmonton zoo's pachyderm
A legal fight over the future of the Edmonton zoo's only elephant isn't over yet.
Last month, a judge dismissed arguments from two animal rights groups that say Lucy is suffering at the zoo and should be moved to an elephant sanctuary in the United States.
But Zoocheck and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have announced they will appeal the ruling.
Their fight to move Lucy is backed by celebrities such as Bob Barker, former host of the game show "The Price is Right," and actor William Shatner.
Julie Woodyer with Zoocheck says Lucy's loneliness and health issues can't be ignored.
The city says the 34-year-old elephant is comfortable in her familiar surroundings and moving her at her age could
My thoughts on the above issue are in my article Elephant Care. Here I side with the zoo. They KNOW the animal and so they KNOW best. Elephants are individuals and what may suit one will not necessarily suit another.
Cayman Islands special event: saving the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana
Scientist Fred Burton MBE will be giving Telegraph readers an exclusive talk on the history behind the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana and his desperate fight for their survival
British scientist Fred Burton was awarded an MBE for preventing the first major extinction of the 21st Century.
He brought the rarest iguana in the world, the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana, back from functional extinction.
Described by BBC Wildlife magazine as “one of the most remarkable conservations stories you will ever hear”, the story starts in 1979 when the young British scientist Fred Burton arrives on Grand Cayman and becomes intrigued in the Blue Iguana.
When, many years later, as Environmental Programmes director for the Cayman Islands National Trust, he discovers that less than 15 are likely to be alive in the wild – too few to breed, therefore making the Blue Iguana functionally extinct – and so the
Air Charter Service has a whale of a time
Earlier this month Air Charter Service (ACS) Hong Kong flew eight Beluga whales from Vladivostok, Russia into Guangzhou, China.
The large marine mammals – native to Arctic regions only – were being flown to China for the opening of a new zoo due in Zhuhai in early 2011.
A large cargo aircraft - an IL-76 – was required as the whales – which can each grow up to five metres long - and their tanks weighed a total of 32 tonnes. Because it had a non-pressurised cabin, the aircraft had to fly at a low altitude and be temperature regulated.
The shipment included five female and three male Beluga whales, eleven cargo attendants, a head veterinarian, a zoo representative and an ACS representative.
The flight took months to organise as specialist tanks had to be built. The project required extensive planning and correspondence between the zoo, the airline and ACS.
Gavin Copus, ACS Asia Pacific CEO, said: “This was an impeccably planned operation and the flight went extremely smoothly. The whales
Lampang’s Elephant Art Center Where Elephants Learn to Paint
Lampang is situated in the valley of the Wang River, east of Chiang Mai in the heart of Northern Thailand bordered by Khuntan Range on the west and the Pi Pan Num range on the east and the river which is a major tributary of the Chao Phraya, flows directly through the city.
Although the city was originally developed on the north side of the river, it now focuses on the south side of the Wang River. Today, the downtown of Lampang has grown on the south east of the river along the main roads of the city which is surrounded by dense commercial and residential buildings.
Lampang is primarily known as Muang Roth Ma, (Horse Carriage City) as horse and carriages portray the people’s way of life
Camera spots 'new species' of elephant shrew
A mystery animal with a long snout has been spotted in Africa, which scientists say could be a completely new species of giant elephant shrew.
Camera traps set up along the coast of north-eastern Kenya captured pictures of the elusive mammal.
Scientists say the find underlines the conservation significance of isolated African forests, threatened by rapid coastal development.
The animal was first seen by a fellow of the Zoological Society of London.
She was unable to identify the creature, which prompted the ZSL and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to set
Dolphin therapy for autistic children
More than 40 years of working with marine mammals may have perfected a human-animal teamwork to perform excellently for families and children searching for a natural experience.
Yet, to the 59-year-old Russian, Alexander Zanin, the man behind the great performance of dolphins at the Dubai Dolphinarium in Creek Park, it is not enough.
He and his training team are putting together a pipeline for Dubai Dolphinarium for assisting autistic children in UAE through a dolphin-assisted therapy. It takes time though because Dubai Dolphinarium has to set up a separate pool for the autistic kids.
Zanin, the head of the six-man team training and teaching five dolphins and four seals to perform before excited crowds of children and their families four times a day, told Khaleej Times that he had experienced dolphin-assisted therapy working greatly for autistic children while working in Turkey before.
He said that a German family is visiting Dubai Dolphinarium on a quarterly basis for three years now just to expose their autistic child to a dolphin-assisted therapy. “Many special needs kids all over the world have gone for therapy by the sea. Others improve from zoo psychological therapy. We will have a dolphin-assisted therapy as a Dubai Dolphinarium programme in the days to come.”
“There have been authentic reports of autistic children, who have experienced up to 65 per cent remission after undergoing a series of dolphin-assisted therapy. I know this will work in the emirate. Dubai Dolphinarium will by then not be just an entertainment place but a therapy centre for dolphin-assisted therapy for autism,” he said.
Zanin has worked with Dubai Dolphinarium since its preparation stage in 2007 to develop the dolphin and seal show programme, training the seals and the dolphins
ITV News left red-faced over dead 'polar bear' story
ITV's West Country breakfast bulletin made a bit of a blunder recently when it mistakenly reported a washed up dead cow on a Cornish beach as a dead polar bear.
The bulletin even showed video footage of the carcass as astonished presenter Miss Naomi Lloyd gasped: "A walker in Cornwall has caught an extraordinary sight on camera. A polar bear has washed up on a beach near Bude." Miss Lloyd went on to add: "The bear comes from the Arctic Circle and an investigation is under way as to how it could have ended up there."
However closer inspection revealed that it was in fact a cow, not a polar bear, leaving ITV News noticeably red-faced over the incident.
The cow had a white appearance because of being in sea water for a prolonged period of time.
This is not the first time that something unusual has washed
Jerusalem Zoo Erects Barrier To Protect Visitors From Stone-Throwing Chimps
A barrier is being built at a Jerusalem zoo to prevent stone-throwing chimps from hitting visitors, officials said.
The new reinforced glass barrier will surround the chimpanzee exhibit at Jerusalem`s Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, zoo director Shai Doron told reporters.
Last roar of the tiger: Just 3,500 tigers survive in the wild and we've got only 20 years to save them
Tigers, among the most beautiful of all earthly creatures, are on the way out. According to the latest reports, just 3,500 are left in the wild - with only 1,000 females of breeding age.
Even if the world was friendly towards them, which it isn’t, this could be too few to survive for much longer than a couple of decades. Only a huge, concerted effort can save them.
Even 100 years ago, tigers were spread through all of Asia. There was always only one species - the biggest cat in the world, Panthera tigris - but it was subdivided into nine subspecies, each adapted to its
'Lost' frogs found after decades
A mission aimed at rediscovering amphibian species thought to be extinct has yielded its first results.
Conservationists have turned up live specimens of two West African frogs and a cave-dwelling salamander from Mexico.
The salamander was last seen in 1941, and was rediscovered by abseiling into caves deep in the forest.
The expeditions are partially designed to bring attention to the plight of amphibians around the world, with a third of species at risk of extinction.
"It's pretty extraordinary to think about just how long it has been since these animals were last seen," observed project co-ordinator Robin Moore of Conservation International (CI).
"The last time that the Mexican salamander was seen, Glenn Miller was one of the world's biggest stars.
"The Omaniundu reed frog disappeared the year that Sony sold its first ever Walkman."
The expeditions, formally
Kohl's donates $1M to Milwaukee Zoo
Menomonee Falls-based Kohl’s Corp. is donating $1 million to the Zoological Society of Milwaukee County to create a new interactive family theater at the Milwaukee County Zoo, Kohl’s said Tuesday.
Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) will donate the money over three years to create Kohl’s Wild Theater, a participatory theater that uses drama, puppetry, games and songs to bring conservation messages to children and families, a press release said. The donation comes from the Kohl’s Cares merchandise program, which sells special merchandise and donates 100 percent of the net profit to children’s health and education
Local Company Makes Big Donation to Zoo
Going green took on a whole new meaning this morning as Pacific Steel & Recycling made a major contribution to the Pocatello Zoological Society to help alleviate the financial burden for their current undertaking of the Grizzly Bear Exhibit Project.
Zoo director Scott Ransom said, "every zoo needs a destination exhibit. Whether it's elephants, lions or in our case grizzlies."
With today's $20,000 donation from Pacific Steel and Recycling, Pocatello Zoo is just $80,000 short of finishing an attraction Zoo director Ransom says will double the zoo's attendance. "People will now use this as an excuse to drive from many miles around to see this world class grizzly exhibit."
A half acre exhibit is being built to mimmick what a grizzly would encounter in a natural setting.
The acre is filled with boulders, trees, a recycled stream and a stocked pond named after Pacific Steel and Recycling.
"The one thing that struck me the most is a quote from Scott Ransom, 'we would like to get a grizzly bears off of the concrete and on to grass," said Pocatello
Life is lonely for these zoo animals
Stringent rules laid down by the government and the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) regarding procurement of animals on an exchange basis have meant that many species in Mysore’s century-old zoo lead a life of solitary confinement, writes Shyam Sundar Vattam
The century-old-Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, Mysore, houses many species living a life of solitary confinement. They have ended up as mere showpieces placed inside enclosures for the sole purpose of entertaining thousands of tourists who flock the zoo daily.
Stringent rules laid down by the Government of India and the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) regarding procurement of animals on an exchange basis, have made the animals’ lives miserable.
The zoo authorities seem helpless about the issue too, because the permission of the central government and the CZA is a must to bring any species from international zoos to Indian zoos.
Such a situation did not prevail even two to three decades ago when zoos across the world freely exchanged animals and birds without any problems. But the rules were made more stringent following complaints of misuse by some zoo authorities.
But, this has affected genuine zoos such as the Mysore zoo that enjoys a very good reputation at the international level. In the current situation, it will take not less than two to three years to get any exotic animal from an international zoo, thanks to elaborate procedures. In the Mysore zoo too, there are some species
Mauritius worried by proliferation of gecko of Madagascar
The director of the Reptile Conservation of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF), Nik Cole, Monday warned Mauritians who breed pets such as the gecko of Madagascar (Phelsuma Madagaskarika) and other reptiles, against the danger those pets represent for the local biodiversity and for human health.
According to scientific specialists, the gecko of Madagascar arrived in Mauritius in the 90s, through the trade of domestic animals and has been sold to private individuals to be bred as pets.
'Besides, they are still sold. When they can no longer take care of them, some people release them into the nature; others escaped from their cages. The result is that today, there are many geckos of Madagascar across the island,' said Cole.
This animal population has really exploded in Mauritius and has become, according to him, 'a serious problem'.
Cole explained that some Mauritians introduced them into their gardens and their yards, thinking they would attack the other lizards which are a nuisance, particularly those which get out at night and make much noise.
'Unfortunately, this Malagasy gecko only operates during the day and local lizards only
Blue Planet Aquarium provides home for unusual toad and blind fish
A BIZARRE toad and a shoal of blind cave fish are being given a new home at the Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire Oaks.
The creatures are from an animal attraction in Cheshire which has closed down.
The aquarium is also re-homing a collection of brightly coloured Malawi cichlids from the Palms Tropical Oasis.
Native to South America, Surinam toads are most well-known for their remarkable reproductive habits.
The females carry up to 10 eggs in special pores on their backs
Oakland Zoo wins Employer of the Year Award
The Oakland Zoo has been selected for a 2010 Employer of the Year Award by the nonprofit Marriott Foundation.
This award is given annually for exemplary participation in a program called "Bridges ... from school to work," and for "providing exceptional employment opportunities for young people with disabilities," zoo officials said. This is the second year the zoo has participated in the program, but the first time it has won the award.
Each year, the zoo hires between six and 12 young people from the program to work at the zoo during the summer and the holiday Zoo Lights program, said spokeswoman Nicky Mora.
Oakland Zoo officials accepted the award Tuesday evening ¿at the San Francisco Marriott Union Square Hotel. "We are honored to receive this award and strongly support the work of the Bridges program," said zoo Executive Director Joel Parrott.
Parrott commended staff members, Tim Love,
Saint Louis Zoo President Jeffrey Bonner named chairman of the board for AZA
The President and CEO of the Saint Louis Zoo has been appointed to head the board of directors for a global wildlife conservation group.
The non-profit Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) elected Dr. Jeffrey Bonner to the position of Chair of the Board of Directors. Bonner will be one of four officers on the board. As chair, Jeffrey Bonner will be involved in every aspect of national organization.
Bonner was appointed President and CEO of the Saint Louis Zoo in 2002. Prior to that position, Jeffrey Bonner carried the same titles for the Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens from 1993 to 2002.
Bonner received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1982 and is a recipient of the National Research Service Award. He is a Fulbright Scholar, Burgess Fellow, Traveling
Bobby's a good bird, his keeper says, but some Clay Center Zoo visitors have gotten a different impression.
The zoo's big boss, Clay Center Public Utilities Commission Director Bill Callaway, is among those claiming to have heard Bobby say "(expletive) you" to people walking by his cage.
"I've got a couple of irate citizens who swear he does (swear)," Callaway said. "It's hard to determine because he's not real plain, but yeah, I can say I've heard him say something like that."
The raven is among some 30 animals on exhibit at the zoo at the north end of Utility Park, at Fourth and Pomeroy streets in Clay Center.
Debbie Snyder, who heads the three-person zoo staff, has come to the bird's defense.
"I'll swear on a stack of Bibles. That bird has never cussed," she said. "All he ever says is 'Hello Bobby.' "
That more acceptable phrase was caught on tape this past Thursday when an online episode of "Yesternews" was taped at
The bear whisperer
Most people would run the other way at their first encounter with a bear. Richard Goguen did just the opposite.
He is known as the bear whisperer, and for a good reason. Not only can he talk to wild animals, he has close bear buddies.
“I think the first day I ever whispered to a bear was my teddy bear.”
But after befriending one lonely cub 10 years ago, he is now a known face amongst bears in his area.
“Really they introduced me into
Zoo defends anti-palm oil posters
Adelaide Zoo says it does not think it should have to remove anti-palm oil posters plastered on its orangutan enclosure.
The posters by international activists, the Palm Oil Action Group, suggest the palm oil industry in Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea causes the mass deaths of orangutans through loss of habitat.
Malaysia's tourism minister saw the posters during a zoo visit last month.
Adelaide Zoo chief executive Chris West says the posters help consumers make informed decisions about buying palm oil products.
"The facts are that if you continue to cut down rain forests in habitat areas of orangutans to convert it to palm oil plantations then orangutans will disappear," he said.
"We don't think that the Australian public want orangutans to disappear
She Ain't Heavy, She's My Dolphin
A four-week-old baby dolphin gets its first official weigh-in at Dolphin Quest Hawaii, cradled in the arms of three dolphin trainers as they all step up on a scale on the beach. After subtracting the combined weight of the trainers, Dolphin Quest veterinarians determined the baby dolphin weighs 43 pounds, a healthy weight for her age. The baby, an as-yet-unnamed female, was reunited with her dolphin mom, Pele, and resumed nursing immediately after the weighing. Baby was born at the marine park located at the Hilton Waikoloa Village resort on Hawaii’s Big Island.
Close monitoring of the baby’s weight and growth rate, along with its nursing frequency, respiration, behavior and other health parameters, is part of “Project Newborn”, a dolphin
Five elephants killed as train hits them
At least five elephants were killed and three others were injured on Wednesday when a speeding goods train hit the animals when they were crossing railway tracks near Binnaguri in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal.
"Five elephants were run over and killed on the spot. Three others were injured as the train hit the group of animals at about 11.15 pm," Subhas Chandra Ghosh, ranger of Binnaguri Wildlife range, told PTI.
The elephants were going from Maraghat range forest to Diana forest, he said.
The train movement was stopped for nearly an
An exclusive animal police force?
Rob Laidlaw is an acclaimed animal activist and founder of Zoocheck, one of Canada's leading animal rights organisations. He began his animal protection work in 1979, investigating slaughter houses and farming practices in Ontario. Since1984, he has been involved in wildlife issues, with an emphasis on the welfare of wildlife in captivity. His work has included successful campaigns to change wildlife protection policies and laws in many jurisdictions, as well as the closure of a number of substandard zoos. For the past 10 years, he has also been involved in numerous international initiatives, with a particular emphasis on wildlife in captivity issues in Asia.
Laidlaw has authored several children's books on animal issues, such as On Parade, The Hidden World of Animals in Entertainment and Wild Animals in Captivity is a Chartered Biologist, and a former Humane Society Inspector, past member of the board of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and past Project Manager/Technical Advisor for the World Society for the Protection of Animals operating in 91 countries around the world. He currently serves as Director of Zoocheck Canada.
I met Laidlaw when he was in India collecting information and photos for two children's books: one about dog issues and the other about rescue centres and sanctuaries. Here, Laidlaw talks about the
'Callous' rhino poaching - 11 get bail
Eleven people, including two veterinarians, a pilot and a game farmer, all allegedly part of a "callous" rhino poaching syndicate, were granted bail in the Musina Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
"The accused are alleged to be part of a syndicate which operates around Polokwane, Modimolle and Musina, and have been involved in rhino poaching, killing, selling of the horns, as well as disposing of the carcasses of the rhinos," NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said.
Looking tense, the accused were crammed into the dock while photographers - some of whom had earlier been detained by police for taking their photographs -snapped their pictures.
Most of the men were wearing khaki shirts and denims.
Sariette Groenewald, wearing a striped dress, stood next to her game farmer husband, Dawie Groenewald, while Mariza Toet, a petite blonde dressed in a polka dot top, was wedged between her veterinarian husband Karel Toet, and his colleague, Manie du Plessis, the two alleged masterminds.
Groenewald was set the highest bail amount - R1m - his wife was released on R100 000, Toet on R50 000, and his wife on R20 000 bail.
Du Plessis, professional hunter Tielman Roos Erasmus, Dewald Gouws, Nardus Rossouw, Leon van der Merwe, and Jacobus
Lucky break in rhino poaching case
On a farm close to Musina, forensic investigators are examining and looking for the carcasses of white rhinos.
Authorities are trying to find how many dead white rhinos are on the 4 000-hectare farm named Pragtig, owned by Dawie Groenewald.
They say each carcass is important in strengthening the case against the 11 accused who appeared in court yes-terday.
The rhinos were apparently bought and taken to the farm.
The case is the culmination of many hours of hard work.
It follows forensic investigators’ lucky break
Private sector zoo contract request raises concerns of privatization
Controversy has erupted recently around the Cairo Zoo in Giza as the private sector has inundated the ministry of agriculture with requests to lease the land. The issue becomes more important as the number of surrounding development plans--government, private foreign firm, or animal rights group sponsored--increase. One plan aims to raise the zoo capacity in order to attract more visitors.
The zoo is awaiting direct intervention from President Hosni Mubarak to finalize plans for its development. Review is set for completion by the cabinet as well as the National Democratic Party (NDP) Policy Secretariat next month, pending approval from the president. If approved, the zoo would be leased to the private sector on a 25-year contract, which would allow the company
Panthera Launches New Website
Early reproduction retains fertility in cheetah females
Reproduction in free-ranging female cheetah in Namibia is far better than expected. Their reproductive organs are healthy and approximately 80 percent of their young reach adulthood. With these findings, scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin have overturned the established dogma that cheetahs generally reproduce badly due to their low genetic diversity. The scientists demonstrated that female fertility critically depended on the age at which they conceived their first litter.
The world's largest population of cheetahs inhabits Namibian farmland. Although some farmers persecute and eliminate cheetahs, the cheetahs' main predators, lions and hyenas, are absent. 'In contrast to the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania where almost 80 percent of cheetah cubs are killed by lions and hyenas, the majority of young cheetahs in Namibia reach adulthood' explains Dr Bettina Wachter from the IZW. The IZW scientists studied whether the reproductive problems that were thought to hamper cheetahs affected the Namibian population of this species. To achieve this, they investigated whether cheetah females had normal reproductive cycles and examined the condition of their
Tom Siebel On Being Gored By An Elephant
A year ago . . . I was on safari in Tanzania with my wife and two daughters, and we had spent three days touring the Serengeti in the back of a Land Rover . . . seeing lots of animals, wildebeests, lions, zebra. . . . [My family was] quite jet-lagged and decided to take a day off. So I asked the guide if we could take a walking safari. . . . I showed up at 6:30 in the morning with my Nikon camera . . . and he [had] a double-barreled .470-caliber rifle and [said,] "I don't anticipate we'll have any problems, but if we get charged by an animal, it's very important that we stand our ground because if you turn and run we're going to get hurt because they chase things that run. . . ."
So, we . . . go out for a walk and in front of the lodge is a watering hole. . . . In the Serengeti [they] are pretty few and far between so they're pretty attractive features for migrating animals . . . and we came upon a herd of water buffalo . . . big and mean and kind of superbad looking, so we tiptoed around that . . . and about  minutes later, we came across a herd of elephants . . . about
Lincoln Park Zoo scientist helps trace origin of Malaria
A team of researchers including a Lincoln Park Zoo scientist has discovered the origin of the deadliest form of malaria, a disease that kills nearly one million people worldwide each year.
The group’s findings, published in the Thursday’s issue of the journal “Nature,” focused on Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest strain of malaria.
They found it while studying apes, gorillas and bonobos in Africa. P. Falciparum previously was thought to have originated in chimpanzees. But the new research concluded that the strain is of gorilla origin.
“The value of this specific research is that we now have a better understanding of the ecology of Plasmodium and its long relation to humans and one of our closest-living relations, gorillas,” Dave Morgan, a fellow at the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes at the Lincoln Park Zoo, said by email from the Congo. “This research also highlights the importance of ape populations residing in Central Africa and their link to human health issues.”
For the past decade, Morgan and other scientists working on the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project, based in the Congo, tracked apes and gorillas through the forest, collecting feces and analyzing the samples in a lab.
“One of the main goals of the Goualougo
German scientists discover rare ape species in Asia
German scientists said on Tuesday they had discovered a new rare and endangered ape species in the tropical rainforests between Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia by its distinctive song.
The new type of crested gibbon, one of the most endangered primate species in the world, is called the northern buffed-cheeked gibbon or Nomascus annamensis, a statement from the German Primate Centre (DPZ) said.
"The discovery of a new species of ape is a minor sensation," said Christian Roos from the DPZ.
"An analysis of the frequency and tempo of their calls, along with genetic research, show that this is, in fact, a new species."
The distinctive song "serves to defend territory or might even be a precursor of the music humans make," the statement added.
The male of the new species is covered
Zoo visitors becoming an endangered species
The number of visitors to the cash-strapped San Francisco Zoo dropped again this year, continuing a decline seen since a 2007 peak.
Zoo officials reported a 10 percent admission decrease this summer compared to the prior year, with 18,000 fewer visitors in July alone. Possible causes include the abnormally cold and wet summer weather and the slow economy, zoo spokeswoman Lora LaMarca said.
“As you know, this has been a pretty bad weather year,” LaMarca said. “We hope that the new norm is that flat is growth.”
Attendance has been declining, however, since 2007, which saw record-breaking crowds of 1.1 million drawn to the opening of the Grizzly Gulch exhibit. That year ended with a fatal Christmas Day incident in which an escaped tiger killed one patron and mauled two others.
Attendance fell to 965,296 in 2008
Zoo Atlanta Saves Rare Tortoise and Gets a Surprise
here is nothing particularly impressive about the "impressed" tortoise from Southeast Asia -- other than it would have tasted good to the Chinese palate.
It is literally being eaten out of existence.
It is one of the rarest, most endangered animals in the world.
There might be 2,000 left in the wild.
Zoo Atlanta intervened on behalf of one "impressed" tortoise and helped it beat nearly impossible odds. It was confiscated by Chinese authorities and brought to Zoo Atlanta, under the care of curator of herpetology, Dr. Joe Mendelson.
"Everything indicated that this turtle would have been boiled in a pot of soup many, many years agio," said Zoo Atlanta's curator of herpetology Dr. Joe Mendelson.
"We were doing these x-rays to look for any evidence of internal abnormalities and lo and behold," said Zoo Atlanta veterinarian Dr. Sam Rivera.
Lo and behold, inside the so-called "impressed" tortoise Dr. Rivera found... rocks.
"You can almost see the individual rocks and grit within the stomach and also in parts of the intestine," he said, holding an x-ray up.
"It was scheduled to be sold...per pound...on the food market, which is why it was full of rocks," Dr. Mendelson
ANIMAL campaigners were last night trying to rescue four dolphins being kept in a filthy swimming pool just 30ft square by 13ft deep.
The bottlenoses, two male and two female, were found by a Brit working in Egypt who was alerted by their distinctive
With its polar bear swimming in circles, KC Zoo tries to enliven life in captivity
Look, kids, here comes the polar bear!
Here he comes around again!
And again …
Nikita the polar bear spends much of his days just swimming in circles in his new $11 million home at the Kansas City Zoo. He’s beautiful to behold underwater through the huge glass windows. But visitors are beginning to wonder about his repetitive behavior.
“It saddens me to watch that bear doing laps,” said Kyle Bradley of Raytown, a zoo supporter. “I stopped counting them
Bronze statue of famous gorilla up for sale
A life-size bronze cast of a famous gorilla is expected to sell for thousands of pounds when it goes under the hammer in Gloucestershire, auctioneers said.
Jambo hit the headlines for guarding a five-year-old boy who fell into his enclosure at Jersey Zoo on July 31 1986.
The gorilla was credited with changing public perception of silverbacks from dangerous King Kong beasts
Gazans Desert Their Donkey-Zebra
"We haven't had a single visit yet through Ramadan, what kind of zoo doesn't get visitors during holidays?" asks Mahmoud Barghoud, 22, co-creator of the Marha zoo.
The Marha Land zoo and children's park lies halfway between Gaza and Deir al-Balah on the main north-south highway running Gaza's length, waiting for customers to visit. In the peak of summer, the park gets a handful of visitors on a good day. During the month of Ramadan and since, there have been none.
Of Gaza's roughly ten scattered zoos and animal parks, the Marha zoo has gained the most fame for its creativity: in 2009, using women's hair dye and a donkey, they created Gaza's first 'zebra'.
But in the face of its ingenuity, the zoo has suffered financial and physical losses.
"When we returned to the zoo after the Israeli war on Gaza stopped, the first thing we saw were the dead monkeys. We'd had six of different types and they were all sprawled out dead," says Barghoud.
"The lioness was dead. The two camels were dead. The two hyenas were dead. Our gazelles, the foxes, the wolves, the caribou, the deer, the ostriches
N.C. Zoo Named One of Best in World by National Organization
A national organization has named North Carolina Zoo one of the best in the world, according to a release from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
"The North Carolina Zoo is one of the best in the world because it has met the highest standards in the world," said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. "It takes hard work and dedication to meet AZA Accreditation Standards." The N.C. Zoo was also granted accreditation by AZA, which was originally granted to the zoo in 1984.
To be accredited, the N.C. Zoo underwent a thorough investigation of standards, which
Why lions roar and wildcats miaow
The low roar of a lion, or the miaow of a wildcat, has more to do with where a cat lives than its size.
Scientists analysed the calls of 27 cat species, investigating how they vary in habitats from open sandy deserts to thickly planted jungles.
Cats living in open areas have deeper calls than those in dense habitats, the researchers found.
Previous research suggested a cat's size determined the pitch of its calls, made to find mates or
Cruel and unusual
As people across the country make plans to travel and enjoy the National Day Golden Week that begins October 1, most bears, monkeys and tigers that live in cages at zoos should expect less free time to lounge around.
Zoos are expecting big crowds during the holiday and they are planning to add extra animal shows to entertain visitors and that could be a nightmare for the animals that will be required to ride bicycles, walk on ropes and do a bunch of other tricks.
"During the national holidays, our animal shows will be increased from three to four times a day to seven to eight times a day," He Zhihua, head of Wuhan Zoo in Hubei Province, told the Global Times yesterday.
"Considering the animal welfare, performing animals will take turns to work and will be given more food in return," He said.
There are about 30 wildlife zoos in the country, and the most popular shows feature bears, monkeys, tigers, elephants and lions, followed by sea lions, dolphins and birds.
According to a report by Animals Asia Foundation, a charity that wants to stop cruel treatment of animals in Asia, many zoo workers mistreat animals by whipping and striking them.
The foundation reviewed animal shows at 13 zoos and safari parks from September 2009 to August, and found that many animals were forced to perform through fear, intimidation and physical violence.
Beaten into compliance
The report say trainers often beat animals into compliance. At five parks, workers removed teeth from tigers and lions to make them defenseless when the performers placed their heads inside the animals.
The practice of removing teeth from animals produces severe and chronic pain and leads to infections including gum disease.
In one park, a bear was forced to "wrestle" with a performer and a horse was forced to carry a tiger on its back in another park.
Three parks forced bears to ride a
Animals taken from Borth Animalarium and owners fined
Nine endangered animals are to be confiscated from a Ceredigion zoo after its owners admitted displaying animals without the proper paperwork.
The animals, which include a leopard, two lynx and two ring-tailed lemurs, were found at Borth Animalarium, near Aberystwyth.
Owners Alan and Jean Mumbray admitted not having the correct paperwork for a commercial premises in court on Monday.
They were both fined and told the animals would be found new homes.
Two ring-tailed lemurs
Two black and white ruffed lemurs
Two spur-thighed tortoises
Jean Mumbray was fined £937.50 and ordered to pay costs of £250, and Alan Mumbray was fined £300 and £100 costs at Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court, said Dyfed-Powys Police.
Sgt Ian Guildford, a
Dalton zoo's academic plan
PLANS for a new educational centre at a zoo are set to be given the green light.
The proposal for the 300 square foot extension at South Lakes Wild Animal Park, Dalton, has been granted conditional planning permission by Barrow Borough Council planning officials.
But the educational centre needs to get the backing of the borough council’s planning committee before work on the scheme can begin.
The extension will be fitted to the building where the shop is situated.
Zoo boss David Gill says the new facility will benefit visitors and staff.
Mr Gill said: “The Education Centre/Events Centre is to give us more floor space for events, without taking up more land use.
“It is taking the roof off the
Seaworld welcomes new dolphin calf
A THREE-WEEK-OLD dolphin born at Seaworld will brighten people's lives when she grows up and she doesn't even know it yet.
The unnamed calf, born on September 2, is the third dolphin arrival at the theme park this year and once old enough, will be part of Seaworld's interactive dolphin team.
She will play with special needs
Zoo’s vow to raise £10,000 for tigers
THE Isle of Wight Zoo has pledged to raise £10,000 over the next year to support an expanding tiger project in India.
Islanders have been warned to expect the unexpected as the zoo plans a series of strange and bizarre events throughout the year, all in aid of its flagship species.
This week the zoo welcomed renowned wildlife artist Joanna May, as she prepares for the launch of her tiger exhibition.
Joanna, who sells her work though Christie’s auctions, spent two days at the zoo to learn about tigers and sketch individuals to base her paintings on.
She will donate a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of her tiger paintings and prints to the zoo and WWF.
Earlier this year, the zoo received the news its current project, supporting a tiger conservation project in Karnataka, would be expanding. The area is populated by wild tigers in the Kudremukh National Park and Bhadra Reserve, and the project
World's oldest black rhinos at Hiroshima zoo
A couple of black rhinoceros at the Hiroshima City Asa Zoological Park are the two oldest such rhinos in the world among the species kept at zoos, officials at the zoo said. The female, Hana, is an estimated 44 years old and the male, Kuro, is an estimated 43 years old—the two oldest according to a database of the Swiss-based World Association of Zoos and Aquariums listing 487 black rhinos at 69 zoos in the world, the officials said.
The two rhinos were both caught in wild in Kenya before they
Rare animal on the run from Sussex zoo
A rare lemur is on the run from a Sussex zoo.
One-year-old Kirioka, a rare red-bellied Madagascan Lemur scaled a fence at Drusillas Park in Alfriston and disappeared.
The runaway primate vanished on Wednesday night and, despite numerous attempts to recapture it, is still running wild.
A motorist spotted the little lemur by the roadside near the zoo's entrance at 5.30am this morning.
A police patrol combed the area but were called off their search after an hour.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said the creature, which is about the size of a large domestic cat, was
Cologne Zoo on High Alert after Fox Attack
Keepers at Cologne zoo are mourning the loss of five penguins torn to pieces by predatory foxes. The zoo's management is deploying new security measures to protect the remaining avian livestock.
The fox has been the traditional enemy of farmers in Europe for centuries. Now, though, it looks like zoo keepers would be well advised to keep the cunning canines on their radar.
Staff at Cologne's zoo are in a state of shock after a brutal attack on the facility's penguin colony. Foxes tore five penguins to pieces, according to the German tabloid Express.
A nuisance skulk of foxes also recently attacked the zoo's flamingos and ducks. All three enclosures are now surrounded by a low-current electric fence to protect the feathered residents.
Zoo executive director Christopher Landsberg told the newspaper that the fences are only a provisional measure. "We're working on a way to secure the periphery of the zoo to prevent
AZA Grants Accreditation to Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced that the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.
Silver Spring, Maryland (Vocus) September 23, 2010 -- The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced that the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.
“The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is one of the best in the world because it has met the highest standards in the world,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “It takes hard work and dedication to meet Association of Zoos and Aquariums Accreditation Standards.”
To be accredited, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium underwent a thorough investigation to ensure it has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards, which include animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process
Couple sues Sea World, saying boy traumatized by killing
A New Hampshire family who witnessed a whale kill a trainer at SeaWorld is suing the Orlando theme park.
Suzanne and Todd Connell filed the lawsuit Tuesday. It claims their 10-year-old son suffered emotional distress from witnessing Dawn Brancheau's death and seeks an unspecified amount of damages.
Fix it!: Aging, deteriorating fence worries officials at Springfield zoo
It’s a good thing the horse and two donkeys at the Henson Robinson Zoo seem content to hang around their barn.
If they wanted to make a run for it, the aging fence might not hold them.
“The fence that wraps all the way around the barn is in a pretty deteriorated condition,” said Larry Estep, a volunteer at the zoo. “… The wood is starting to rot to the point where boards are falling down. There are some wobbly areas. It’s not going to take a lot for it to fall over.”
Estep recently contacted Mike Stratton, executive director of the Springfield Park District, about some maintenance problems at the zoo.
“We have split-rail fences that go down the walkways to keep people out of areas they aren’t suppose to be in. A lot of the split rails have fallen down. … The landscaping has a lot of issues. There’s a lot of mud in various
Near-threatened species undergo sterilisation at Katraj zoo
The Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park and Research Centre, Katraj, has been carrying out sterilisation of wildlife species like blackbuck and nilgai for nearly one-and-a-half years after its request to other zoo authorities to take surplus stock of these animals did not get any response.
Now, they are also planning vasectomy on Sambar, a vulnerable deer species as per the standards of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an international organisation dedicated to conservation of nature. Blackbuck is an internationally recognised near-threatened species.
The zoological park has sterilised 20 blackbucks and three nilgais to restrict their numbers as the gestation period of these animals is 7-8 months. Admitting that there has been no response from other zoos for its request
No end to Macau’s tourism growth
......we will continue our promotion overseas to balance our source markets,” explained Joao Manuel Costa Antunes, director of the Macau government tourist office. “The arrival of new players in the gaming and gambl[ing] industry raised the interest of Chinese travelers to visit Macau. But as we offer an increasingly diversified product, such as spectacular shows, premium shopping, and new attractions, such as a panda conservation park, we also see strong increases from overseas markets - especially the
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.
Instructors: Mark Kingston Jones and Chris Hales
Due to the high demand for places and positive feedback, Howletts and Port
Lympne Wild Animal Parks are pleased to announce their fifth student course on
Environmental Enrichment to be run by Mark Kingston Jones and Chris Hales, in
collaboration with keepers from both institutions. Mark has been involved in
the animal welfare field since 2004. He now works at Howletts and Port Lympne as
‘Enrichment and Research Officer’, organisingworkshops, talks and working with
keepers to design and implement enrichment ideas. In addition to running the
previous Student Environmental Enrichment Courses, he has been involved in two
Shape workshops, in the UK and Indonesia and is now the Shape-UK & Ireland
events co-ordinator. As well as being an Honorary Research Fellow of the
School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent, he received two
animal welfare awards for student research projects, and has presented 9 talks
on topics relating to animal welfare at conferences, both nationally and
internationally. Chris has been an instructor on three previous courses, having
been a Keeper at Port Lympne for 12yrs, with experience working on every section
with a multitude of taxa. He has a wide range of experience in the field of
husbandry and enrichmentspecializingin carnivores and developing long term
secondary enrichment to promote natural behaviourswhich he has presented at the
This course is designed specifically 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 3½ 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 a would-be keeper’s CV. Please note you must be 18 or over to
attend this course.
This course is roughly split equally between lecture and practical components.
Lecture topics include: Animal welfare, the 5 categories of enrichment, the
enrichment framework, animal husbandry and learning, enclosure design and
breaking into the zoo world. Additionally there will be Keeper lead talks and
practicals involving working with carnivores, primates, ungulates, elephant
management, in-situ conservation, rope splicing and fire hose weaving. The
final day of the course will result in the application of all these principles
as delegates are split into groups allowing you the opportunity to design, build
and test enrichment with one of our animals from a selection of species.
Please note that delegates are required to provide their own lunches and can
either bring their own or purchase food from the canteen. Information on
discounted accommodation including dinner, bed and breakfast is available on
request and the number of available places is limited, so please book early.
The workshop registration fee of £150 includes:
~ All workshop materials over the 3½ days.
~ Practical sessions.
~ Drinks and biscuits during the scheduled tea breaks.
For further information and to request a booking form please contact: Christine
Deadline for registered is the 31st of October 2010.
The 31st Annual Elephant Manager’s Association Conference hosted by the Pittsburgh Zoo and 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 and PPG Aquarium, 412-365-2500, with questions. Visit http://www.internationalconservationcenter.org/ for more information and to register.
Now accepting papers
Please write to: Orga-Team ZooKunft, Office@zookunft.info
By 15 October 2010.