On with links:
Zoos: Failing animals, conservation and education
Critical Society, Issue 4, Autumn 2010
Maryland Zoo finds success in breeding endangered golden frogs
Working for a decade, almost entirely out of public view, staffers at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore have made the institution the nation's largest breeder and shipper of the endangered Panamanian golden frog.
On Tuesday, 25 of the tiny, yellow-and-black amphibians were packed with wet paper towels in 13 pint-sized deli cups. The cups were set into a comfy nest of crumpled newspapers inside a Styrofoam box labeled "Live Amphibians!" The frogs were then driven to BWI-Marshall Airport for a 10-hour trip to the Fort Worth Zoo, in two hops on Delta Airlines jets.
There's another shipment of 20 frogs flying out later this week to the Oakland Zoo in California. And 10
One thousand tortoises a week illegally gathered in south Madagascar
Ten *or* more zebu carts filled with around 100 terrestrial tortoises each are leaving the Mahafaly Plateau in south Madagascar every week, according to a survey conducted by WWF staff.
And while poaching of the endemic radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) and the spider tortoise (Pyxis arachnoids) for the bush meat and pet trade is long established, ongoing political instability has seen a large jump in illegal collection.
Poachers are also now much more likely to be armed and dangerous, with Toliara area gendarmes suspecting a well established network behind the poachers now lies behind the trade.
Radiated and spider tortoises are among only four terrestrial tortoise species found in Madagascar and their range is limited to the unique but also under pressure southern spiny forest.
Some 7,855 living tortoises and more than 4.8 tonnes of meat were seized between 2001 and 2010 – thought to represent around two per cent of an estimated 600,000 tortoises collected from the eco region during that period.
Highly sought after in exotic pet markets
“The population decline of these flagship species is alarming,” said Tiana Ramahaleo, WWF’s Conservation Planning and Species Programme Coordinator in Madagascar. “If we don’t manage to halt tortoise poaching and habitat destruction in the South, we might lose both tortoises in the wild in less than fifty years”
Radiated tortoise meat is a delicacy for the Vezo and Antanosy ethnic groups in the south and people from the High Plateau around Madagascar”s capital Antananarivo during special events such as Christmas, Easter and Independence Day – accounting for peaks in poaching for a few weeks before the festivals. To a lesser extent, radiated tortoises are
Humane society says it will look into fresh complaint about Edmonton elephant
The Edmonton Humane Society says it will investigate a complaint by animal welfare groups about the treatment of the lone elephant at the city's Valley Zoo.
The groups — Zoocheck, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Voice for Animals — made a formal report to the society Tuesday after losing a court bid earlier this year to have Lucy moved to a U.S. sanctuary.
It's the second time animal rights groups have made a complaint to the humane society about Lucy's health and the latest salvo in their long-running battle to have her moved out of the Edmonton zoo.
Humane society spokeswoman Shawna Randolph said a previous investigation in 2007 determined everything was OK.
The society also does yearly checks on the health of animals at the zoo, she said. Still, an investigator will be assigned to review the new complaint.
"Although this is a high-profile animal, we're not treating this any different than any other case," Randolph said.
"We take all of these requests to look into the welfare of animals very seriously and we're going to in this case."
Julie Woodyer with Zoocheck said the new complaint is much more detailed than the 2007 one. She said the groups have provided the humane society with a half-metre-high stack of expert reports and other documents to support their concerns.
"We're laying out in tremendous detail exactly why we believe Lucy is suffering."
Lucy is a 35-year-old Asian elephant and animals rights groups have long suggested she is lonely and ailing, especially during the harsh Edmonton winters. The
Russians sentenced for smuggling 100 tonnes of mammoth tusks
Two Russians have been sentenced for smuggling 100 tonnes of mammoth tusks dug up from the permafrost of northern Russia, security services in Saint Petersburg said Thursday.
Mikhail Gladyshev and Andrei Zvonkov received eight year suspended sentences at a court in the Leningrad region for smuggling "mammoth tusks and fragments of prehistoric animal skeletons," Russia's FSB security service said in a statement.
The men exported more than 100 tonnes of the prehistoric bones, with a market price of up to 1,000 dollars per kilogram, from the Sakha Republic in the far north of Russia, the FSB said.
They used fake export permits from the official agency in charge of the country's cultural heritage, it said.
Despite the huge volume of the smuggling operation, the men received a reduced sentence for cooperating with investigators.
Thousand-year-old Mammoth bones and tusks
Mammoth ivory trade raises fears for elephants
A burgeoning trade in ivory harvested from long-dead mammoths is raising concerns about the effect of the practice on endangered elephant populations.
The international trade in elephant ivory has been effectively banned since 1989, when the United Nations passed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES treaty.
Before that, African and Indian elephants were hunted to the brink of extinction by poachers eager to sell their valuable tusks to collectors.
The ban has helped elephant populations recover somewhat but has done little to reduce the demand for ivory. So a group of enterprising Russian businesses is reviving a centuries-old tradition of recovering the ivory tusks of extinct woolly mammoths when they are exposed from the permafrost in Siberia during the short Russian summer.
It can cost as much as 10 times the price of illegally acquired ivory but has the advantage of being legal, since it does not circumvent the worldwide ban on new ivory products.
The main buyer is China. A recent report in the journal Pachyderm estimates the country imports more than 54 tonnes worth of Russian mammoth ivory a year, and there’s believed to be more than 150 million undiscovered skeletons beneath Siberia. At current market prices of $350 US per kilogram, there’s clearly an untapped market.
“Every year, from mid-June, when the tundra melts, until mid-September, hundreds if not thousands of mostly local people scour the tundra in northern Siberia looking for mammoth tusks,” authors Edmond and Chryssee Martin said in their
Pakistan Wildlife News - September 2010
Airport rhino horn smuggler jailed for 12 months
An antiques dealer who tried to smuggle rhino horns out of Manchester Airport has been jailed for 12 months.
Donald Allison, of Lancashire, hid the two horns in a sculpture as he tried to board a flight to China.
The horns, which could be worth up to £600,000, were from a rhino called Simba which died at Colchester Zoo.
They were destined for the lucrative Chinese medicine market to be sold in powder form. Allison, 62, was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court.
Airport-based UK Border Agency (UKBA) officers foiled the plan on 30 June 2009 after intelligence reports suggested a plot to smuggle white rhino horns on to a flight from Manchester Airport to China via Amsterdam.
The two horns were discovered concealed in Allison's luggage within a specially constructed false
The White Rhino Smuggler Jailed for a Year
Many others like Zoo Director Anthony Tropeano are deeply disgusted due to the horrendous crime committed by Donald Allison as he had tried to smuggle £540,000 of rhino horn out of the UK.
However he has now been jailed for almost a year after he was caught flying to China carrying the parts of the animal in the zoo. This animal was said to be dying due to natural causes.
The 62 year old was reportedly held at Manchester Airport in June 2009. He was said to be carrying horns in a hollow statue.
The zoo animal is believed to be a rhino, Simba, who had spent as many as 30 years as a star attraction in Colchester, Essex. This white rhino is believed to be a cure of cancer and is also a sex drug. It is said to fetch as much as £60,000 a kilo, which is much more than
Zanu-PF poaching links exposed
Dawie Groenewald, the alleged rhino-poaching kingpin, has been linked to powerful Zanu-PF members in Zimbabwe, including Kembo Mohadi, the joint home affairs minister, and Jocelyn Chiwenga, the wife of army chief Constantine Chiwenga.
Groenewald, of Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris, was arrested with his wife, Sariette Groenewald, and a contracted hunter, Tielman Erasmus, in Limpopo last month in connection with poaching. Groenewald was released on R1-million bail and his wife on bail of R100 000.
Also among those held in police raids were two vets from the Modimolle area, Karel Toet and Manie du Plessis, and Toet's wife, Mariza.
Groenewald, a former police officer, is well known among Zimbabwe's ranchers. According to Johnny Rodrigues, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF), Groenewald's association with Zanu-PF's top brass in running illegal hunting activities in Zimbabwe could open a can of worms.
"Groenewald's arrest is likely to expose a lot of high-powered people in Zanu-PF who are involved in poaching activities. The case is a time bomb waiting to explode," he said.
"These Zimbabweans are exporting resources for huge profits when they haven't put a cent into the safari business. It shows the dearth of law and order in the country."
In 2003 Groenewald operated Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris in Zimbabwe before it was banned in September 2005 by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.
Safari industry watchdogs raised concerns that Out of Africa was involved in poaching and hunted on the farms of evicted white farmers
Injured rhino to heal at zoo
THE Johannesburg Zoo is making hasty preparations for the imminent arrival of a rhino that was badly injured in several attacks by poachers.
Phila, a five-year-old black rhino cow from Modimolle in Limpopo Province, was shot nine times on different occasions for the small stub of a horn that was left after it was dehorned in an attempt to save it from becoming a target for poachers.
Joburg Zoo’s brand and communications manager, Letta Madlala, said the rhino would recuperate at the zoo before being returned to its original herd.
“We are delighted to be providing assistance in taking care of Phila,” said Madlala. “We will make sure that she will receive the best care at the zoo and be kept under tight security.”
After the first attempt on its life, Phila was taken to a safe location, but this did not deter poachers from attempting a second attack. After the second attack, the rhino was moved once more to another place, but helicopters were
Animal Management At The National Zoo (Video)
Smithsonian and National Zoo officials spoke to a committee formed to investigate animal management practices at the zoo following the death of several animals housed at the zoo. They talked about their expectations for the study and answered questions from members of the committee.
Charlie the Smoking Chimp Dies: What Killed Him?
Charlie the smoking chimp has taken his last puff.
The cigarette-loving simian, who gained worldwide fame years ago after videos of him puffing away were widely circulated, has died at the relatively advanced age of 52 at a South African zoo.
Only about seven percent of captive chimps make it past age 40, according to a 2007 Harvard study cited by the New York Daily News.
Smoking certainly takes a heavy toll on humans, causing an estimated halfa-million deaths each year in the U.S. alone. But it doesn't seem to have caused Charlie's demise.
"He appears to have died of old age," a zoo spokesman said, according to the newspaper.
Maybe that's because he was only an occasional smoker.
One zoo worker told the Daily Mail that in the 15 years he has worked
Tiger cub born to 'infertile' mother in German zoo
A Sumatran tiger thought to be infertile has given birth in Frankfurt Zoo, although only one of her two cubs survived, the zoo said on Wednesday.
"It looks like the last (fertility) treatment was a success," said Manfred Niekisch, director of the zoo in western Germany. "It is not that unusual that a pregnancy goes undetected in a big cat."
Mother Malea, nine years old, however rejected the cub, a female called Daseep.
The newborn was nonetheless doing well under human care, almost quadrupling in weight to four kilos (nine pounds), opening her eyes and becoming very playful, the zoo said.
Later this month Daseep will join Tschuna, a Siberian tiger cub born two and a half weeks earlier at another German zoo, in Wuppertal, who was also spurned by her mother. This would help both cubs to
Key interventions debated at Rhino Summit
Delegates at the Rhino Summit in Pretoria have been debating various interventions aimed at stopping poaching.
The two-day event began on Tuesday and is a response to a sharp rise in the number of rhinos killed across South Africa.
Around 230 animals have been killed this year, their horns hacked off and sold on the black market.
On Tuesday, delegates listened to presentations by politicians, the police and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
Wednesday’s discussions will focus on the economic effects
Panthera October Newsletter
White tigress to mate with brown tiger in Vandalur zoo
Encouraged by the success of their white tiger breeding programme, the wildlife authorities at Arignar Anna Zoological Park (AAZP), Vandalur, are planning to cross breed white and brown tigers as part of their conservation efforts.
The zoo authorities are planning to shift seven-year-old Anu, a white tigress, to the enclosure of Vijay, a seven-year-old male brown tiger brought in from the Vizag zoo. Anu has so far produced five white tiger cubs with her partner Bheeshmar, an eight-year-old male white tiger.
"We are thinking of mating Anu with Vijay, hoping to get brown cubs. The two brown tigers we currently have at the zoo are too old to reproduce," R Sundararaju, chief wildlife warden, told The Times Of India. "We also want to prevent inbreeding among the white tigers as the risk of genetic deformities in such cases are high. A genetic mutation has already
Animals seized from Wong go to Malacca Zoo
Animals seized from convicted wildlife smuggler Anson Wong will be placed in the Malacca Zoo.
State Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia Department (Perhilitan) director Jamalun Nasir Ibrahim said the animals, including two Bengal tigers and a crocodile, will be transferred to the zoo, which is under the purview of the department.
"The animals will be either kept there or released into the wild," he said.
Jamalun said wild and endangered animals, such as the tiger and crocodile, will be kept as part of the zoo’s collection, while the rest will be set free.
"But before letting the animals go, we have to train them to adapt to the surroundings as they had been kept in captivity for a while," he told theSun today.
Jamalun said the department will seize the animals this week, as it is awaiting instructions from the Kuala Lumpur headquarters, which is handling the case.
The animals kept by Wong and his wife are being seized as the permits and business licences issued to keep these animals were revoked recently, according to the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.
On Aug 28, Wong, also known as the Lizard King, was arrested
Zoo joins schools to design a garden
A NEW competition will encourage children to design a sustainable garden which incorporates elements of recycling, edible food and wildlife habitats.
Youngsters will see the project through from the seed of an idea to the fruits of their labours, after Paignton Zoo teamed up with NPS, which looks after land at Devon's schools.
The Grow Up! competition, launched at the Devon County Show yesterday, is supported by the Western Morning News and will prompt pupils to think about biodiversity.
The winners will see their design created
6 elephants test carpet durability
Elephants and a rhino at the Dallas Zoo are getting to tromp over samples of Mohawk Flooring carpeting to see how the product stands up, the company said in a news release.
Last year the company submitted carpeting for stress tests under a single Rhino.
“The Zoo’s six elephants are going to march 45,000 pounds across our SmartStrand carpet, said David Duncan, Mohawk’s vice president of marketing. “Twice a day every day for two weeks.”
“If SmartStrand can stand up to this wildlife, it can
Lion attacks tamer at circus, sent to zoo
The lion performance, one of the most spectacular at the circus in the Ukrainian city of Lvov, recently nearly ended in tragedy.
The incident occurred on Saturday when Perseus, the star lion of the troupe – called Persik for short – refused to obey its tamer. First, the animal refused to perform a trick and then attacked the man.
Perseus, followed by another lion, attacked tamer Aleksey Pinko twice. To help the poor man out, assistants rushed on stage and tried to stop the animals with sticks and cold water.
”We were trying to calm them with a high-pressure hose, using sticks and maces that trainers have, and tridents which are used in such emergency situations,” a circus worker told Russia 24 TV channel.
Although management of the circus claimed there was no panic among spectators, video footage shows quite the opposite. People were screaming, emptying their seats and clamoring for the exits.
The aggressive lion seriously injured Pinko’s leg and arm and also scratched his stomach. Now the trainer, who has had to undergo surgery, is receiving hospital treatment with his condition listed as “moderate severity.”
”Doctors observe positive response to the treatment,” Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper quoted a hospital doctor as saying. “No inflammatory or abscess process is present.”
According to TCH.ua information
Zoo hosts animal training workshop
A MEERKAT at the Singapore Zoo on Wednesday checked out a coconut filled with crickets and worms. It had to use its ingenuity to get at the treats.
The coconut was left in its enclosure by participants of the first South-east Asian Animal Enrichment and Training Workshop.
Some 40 people from organisations in Singapore and the region, including zoos, rescue centres and wildlife parks, are taking part in the four-day workshop at the zoo, which ends on Thursday.
On Wednesday, they started by preparing the tools and items for the enrichment exercises - which included changing the presentation of the animals'
Baby Sloth Born at Rosamond Gifford Zoo
The birth of a baby two-toed sloth at the Rosamund Gifford Zoo ends a 16-year hiatus in the zoo's sloth breeding program.
Six-week-old Baby Ruth is the offspring of mother Bad Eye and father Beauregard.
Sloths are nocturnal and spend most of their time sleeping. Even when they are awake, they are the world's slowest moving mammal.
They are not on the endangered species list but because their habitat is disappearing, zoos around the world have been working to ensure their survival.
Prior to the 16-year gap, the Syracuse breeding
Human remains found in Polish zoo
A large number of human bones have been found in a zoo in Płock, a city in central Poland. No one yet knows how many.
It is suspected, though not confirmed, that the human remains date back from World War II. Mirosław Milewski, the president of Płock, told PAP that the bones, which include a skull with what appears to be a bullet hole, were dug up by Polish workers while they were laying pipes.
Płock prosecutor's office has taken charge of the
Cobra egg plan leads to bedlam
Cai Yong thought it would be a good idea to buy 3000 cobra eggs and then hatch the snakes at an abandoned school building in homemade cages of plywood, brick and netting.
The local businessman's plan to make money by selling cobra venom for traditional medicine fell apart when more than 160 of the serpents slithered through a hole in the wall and created bedlam in remote Xianling.
Starting at the beginning of this month, cobras were spotted in outhouse toilets, kitchens, front yards and the mah-jong parlour in the tiny farming village in Qijiang county in Chongqing municipality, south-western China.
Advertisement: Story continues below ''I saw one in the bathroom,'' said Zhang Suli, 47, the wife of a corn and rice farmer. ''I was scared, and I started screaming.''
The Mid-Autumn Festival holiday
Taronga Zoo returns pelicans to sea
Just weeks ago, six pelicans were rushed to Taronga Zoo after being caught in an oil spill.
On Friday, the now recuperated birds were well enough to be freed at a Sydney beach, and they headed off to find food.
The pelicans were part of a batch rescued by the National Parks and Wildlife Service following an oil spill at Kooragang Coal Terminal at Newcastle in August.
Advertisement: Story continues below Heavily oiled and sick, they were taken to Taronga's veterinary hospital for treatment.
Taronga staff proudly released the birds at Chinaman's Beach in Mosman, on Sydney's
Zoo roars into the new century
The Calgary Zoo is a much different place than it was 50 years ago, when CTV launched.
In the 1960s, the Calgary Zoo was popular with people of all ages.
Animals of all kinds filled St. George's Island from the Americas. Asia, Africa and Australia...
The zoo was strongly marketed to children. A dinosaur exhibit was very popular with kids and there was even an amusement park called "Kiddieland."
"The Calgary Zoo started like a menagerie. There was a row of large cats, a section with only primates in cages. And from there, we have evolved into a zoological park," remarks Calgary
Nuneaton Zoo (Slide Show)
Nuneaton Zoological Gardens was run on a three-and-a-half acre site in Plough Hill Road, Chapel End. http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/multimedia/nostalgia/images/2010/09/22/nuneaton-zoo-92746-27424996/
Twin Pandas Born at Madrid Zoo