Friday, December 3, 2010

Zoo News Digest 1st - 3rd December 2010 (Zoo News 708)

Zoo News Digest 1st - 3rd December 2010 (Zoo News 708)

Dear Colleagues,

Way way back when the Taliban were still in charge of Kabul Zoo I was drawing peoples attention to the situation there. Somebody may have a copy of that early pre runner of Zoo News Digest. Whereas some called for the closure of the zoo both at the time and after liberation I did the opposite. I remain committed to good zoos and their role in conservation, education, research etc. Did Kabul Zoo fit into those categories? Almost certainly not but it offered something else. It was somewhere that people could escape from politics and religion. I believed it was important that conditions improved but that the zoo stayed open and the other  aspects would come in time. The changes came, support from the North Carolina Zoo amongst others was welcome and needed.
Over the years since then the zoo has hit the press a time or two. The death of 'Marjan' their blind lion, the only pig in Kabul, the death of animals 'donated' by Badaling Wildlife Park amongst others. It has not really been very good news. Somewhere along the way Kabul Zoo has started to take the wrong path. Today we learn that a team of five Afghan officials are in India to acquire AN elephant, A leopard and A snow leopard. This sounds like a huge big bad joke to me. Now is not the time and it is certainly never the time to start a postage stamp collection of single specimens. What is even more disturbing is the statement "Indian authorities have agreed to help us regarding the upkeep of the elephant once it is transported to Kabul"
Just what is going on here? Indian authorities decide to kick all the elephants out of Indian zoos because they cannot be bothered to improve their facilites and yet they seriously consider sending AN elephant to KABUL? We still haven't had an update on what they are doing with Turkmenistan. Something is very wrong here. Are you listening India???? If this puts me on the hit list of yet another group of people, so be it. Lets have some answers though.

Sad to learn of death in Hattiesburg. She was a big animal. I do wonder just how old she really was?

'International Zoo'?? That's a new one on me. What exactly does it mean? It sort of fits into the file with the likes of the 'Rescue Zoo' which is another pointless title.

My apologies remain. I am still struggling to catch up with the backlog of mail that the problem of last week generated. I will get there eventually.

You may be wondering about the photo. I just thought I would share with you a picture of the office of Zoo News Digest.

Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort The Orangutans are waiting, the chimpanzees are waiting and the rest of the zoo world are waiting to see what will happen next

Do you have an animal/zoo/wildlife photo that you would like to see included at the start of Zoo News Digest? Sorry I can't afford to pay for it but I will credit you and link back to a website if you wish. Sadly I cannot guarantee when I will get round to including as this will depend on the level of response. If you are interested please email the photo to me. Use 'Photo' as your subject heading. Please give your full name, the name of the species and where the photo was taken. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Rare white rhino born in snowy Liverpool safari park
Despite the climate being more Arctic than Africa, this baby rhino could not wait to make his entrance into his snow-covered home.
Staff at Knowsley Safari Park, on Merseyside, are celebrating the patter of not-so-tiny feet after the rare male white rhino calf was born yesterday morning.
The nine-stone 'big baby' is the first rhinoceros calf to be born at the animal conservation centre

The Hattiesburg Zoo mourns an alligator
A longtime resident of the Hattiesburg Zoo has passed away. Gator the alligator died on November eighteenth.
The male alligator weighed eight hundred pounds and lived at the Zoo for more than thirty years. Zoo Administrator, Lori Banchero said Gator came to the Hattiesburg Zoo as a fully grown adult.
She said he had a good, long life because alligators typically live between thirty to fifty years.
"And the zoo staff and myself are all saddened whenever we have a loss of one of our animals here," said Banchero.
Gator leaves behind his exhibit mate named

Topeka Zoo Hopes To Become "World Famous" Again
The Topeka Zoo has been no stranger to controversy over the past year, but they are hoping a new plan of operation will return the facility to its previous title of “World Famous Topeka Zoo.”
"We want to make sure we are on this road to being a world class organization,” Topeka Zoo Director Brendan Wiley said during a city news conference.
Wiley announced a comprehensive plan for improving the quality of zoo operations. The USDA issued three citations less than a month ago. So, they've revamped the vision statement, “returning to world-class” and mission statement, “To enrich the community through wildlife conservation and education.” Zoo officials are focusing on seven strategic areas: animal care, conservation, education, guest experience, communication, financial and leadership.
Wiley said the majority of employees will be briefed

Removing Jackson Zoo elephants recommendation - no requirement
'We did not misreport anything,' spokeswoman says
The decision to move both of the Jackson Zoo's elephants elsewhere apparently was more a matter of prudence rather than urgency.
In August, Jackson Zoo officials announced they were shipping female African elephants Rosie and Juno to the Nashville Zoo, in part, to meet an accreditation standard of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
That guideline - calling on institutions with elephant exhibits to house at least three females - is a recommendation rather than a requirement, according to the AZA's standards.
"We have to do what is best for these animals," said Rosemary Jalink, Jackson Zoo spokeswoman.
"We did not misreport anything. We hated to lose them. But I know our accreditation would be impacted if we hadn't done this."
Asked if the zoo's accreditation could have been affected, AZA spokesman Steve Feldman said, "I can't predetermine what the accreditation commission would have

Kadam promises to move CM on Gorewada zoo
Even as the fate of proposed international zoo at Gorewada hangs in balance, forest minister Patangrao Kadam has decided to take up the progress of the project with chief minister Prithiviraj Chavan.
Kadam, who had called a meeting of top forest officials at the insistence of city BJP MLAs Devendra Fadnavis and Sudhakar Deshmukh, told TOI, "a meeting with Chavan will be called next week. It will be attended by the finance minister, two BJP MLAs and officials," Kadam told TOI. He added that officials have been told to expedite paper work for the project.
The minister said as the project needed over Rs 700 crore, strategy to get the money in phases would be discussed in the meeting. "We will also look into acquiring additional revenue land for constructing lodges and tents, which is not possible inside Gorewada as it is a reserve forest," Kadam said.
Kadam did not promise any allocation for the project merely saying that the issue of initial budgetary allocation would also be taken up with the CM. However, sources attending the meeting said the minister talked of making a provision of Rs 100-150 crore initially to start the project's first phase.
A half-hour discussion in the assembly on Gorewada project was postponed on Thursday. The notice for discussion was given by Fadnavis. He did not respond to the calls made to him. MLA Sudhakar Deshmukh, in whose constituency the zoo falls, said, "I and Fadnavis

Kabul zoo officials in India seeking elephant, leopards
A team of Afghan officials are in India to find an elephant and leopards for Kabul's war-damaged zoo but transportation through Pakistan could be a problem, they said Thursday.
The Afghan capital's zoo suffered severe damage during Taliban's 1996-2001 regime and the authorities are now working to restock with animals donated from India.
"Afghanistan wants an elephant, a leopard and a snow leopard from India because at present it does not have these animals," Kabul zoo director Aziz Gul Saqeb, who is leading the five-member team in India, told AFP.
"Indian authorities have agreed to help us regarding the upkeep of the elephant once it is transported to Kabul," he said after inspecting animals in a state-run zoo in the northern Indian town of Kanpur.
Kabul zoo's showpiece lion Marjan, who was blinded by a grenade blast in 1993, died in 2002.
India and Afghanistan have enjoyed good ties and since the US-led invasion ended the Taliban's regime. Delhi has committed 1.3 billion dollars to Afghanistan -- mainly aid for social services including health and education.
Some 4,000 Indians are building roads, sanitation projects and power lines in Afghanistan, and India is also building the new




Dear friends of the rain forest,

the Swedish transnational home wares giant, IKEA, sells huge amounts of candles and tealights made of palm oil. But can you enjoy the cosy glow of candles knowing that to produce palm oil rain forests are irretrievably razed, appalling crimes are perpetrated on people living there and the world climate is ruined?

Please take part in our campaign to save the rain forests by writing to IKEA, demanding they stop selling palm oil products.

Heartfelt thanks and best regards

Klaus Schenck
Rainforest Rescue
22391 Hamburg
49 -40 - 4103804


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