Monday, January 17, 2011

Zoo News Digest 15th - 17th January 2011 (Zoo News 719)

Zoo News Digest 15th - 17th  January 2011 (Zoo News 719)

 Litoria infrafrenata - Odsherred Zoo
Photo by Jonas Livet

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

I am sure we were all saddened by the tragic accidental death of Stephanie James. Accidents happen in every line of work. I really wonder though about the tastelessness of some newspaper article headings and "Elephant in fatal accident will not be punished" really takes the biscuit. Punished? What do they think we are?

There are links to a number of interesting stories below. Some depressing and some good. The article 'The Toad' makes an extremely good read so make sure you don't miss it.

Please find notification of the forthcoming International Congress on Zookeeping listed below. Okay it is over a year away but that gives you time to plan ahead.


To those in pending membership to the Zoo Biology Group. Sorry but if you have not sent a detailed bio as requested your membership will progress no further.

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From Elephants to People: A Veterinary Scientist's Unique Career Path
In 1995, Laura Richman was working as a veterinary pathology resident at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., when she and her colleagues faced an unusual case. A 16-month-old elephant named Kumari had died mysteriously after a 5-day illness. Richman and Richard Montali, one of the zoo's veterinary pathologists, did a detailed necropsy and noticed swelling, signs of pain, and a strangely purple tongue. When they looked at heart, liver, and tongue tissues under a microscope, they saw signs of severe bleeding and telltale blotches that pointed to an unknown virus.
"First slide that went under the microscope, I saw the evidence of the virus and I couldn't drop it," Richman says. Her relentless curiosity propelled her on a scientific journey to understand the virus, now known as elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV).
Richman, who at 47 is now vice president for research and development for translational sciences at MedImmune in Gaithersburg, Maryland, couldn't have foreseen that the discovery would lead her to a career in human translational medicine. But her veterinary background

£50,000 coral research facility opens

A new £50,000 aquarium has opened at Essex University to help with research into the growth of corals under controlled laboratory conditions.

The new tropical research facility forms part of the University’s Coral Reef Research Unit and doubles up as a coral husbandry facility, enabling the unit to propagate their own corals.
The main system is unique in that it contains distinct experimental chambers, allowing different environments to be created in separate


Knoxville Elephant Keeper Killed

Elephant in fatal accident will not be punished
The Knoxville Zoo African elephant that fatally injured one of her keepers will not be punished as multiple agencies begin to investigate what zoo officials call a tragic accident.
Elephant keeper Stephanie Elaine James, 33, died from internal injuries she suffered Friday afternoon when a zoo elephant named Edie pushed her into the heavy metal bars of a stall inside the pachyderms’ barn. At the time James and another keeper had been attending to the elephants for the evening.
In the incident’s aftermath, visibly shocked zoo officials are working to determine what happened, to remember their co-worker and to provide solace to others on the park staff. Knoxville Zoo Executive Director Jim Vlna, in a press conference this afternoon, expressed deep sorrow at James’ death as he detailed plans to review the incident.
“This is a very difficult day for all friends and colleagues of Stephanie, who was a respected

Glanders kills Amur tiger presented by Russia to Iran
Glanders, a respiratory infection, killed the Amur tiger presented by Russia to Iran as a gift, Tehran Zoo manager Amir Elhami told the IRNA news agency on Friday.
He said the tiger was terminally ill before it was brought to Tehran from Russia.
The manager refuted claims that the tiger had allegedly died because of poor conditions at the zoo. He said that other zoo inhabitants had no glanders and were in good health.
The previous case of glanders happened at the Tehran Zoo 50 years ago, Elhami said.
“The Russian tiger that was brought to the country was itself a carrier of glanders and did not catch the disease in Iran,” Amir Elhami told Press TV.
Meanwhile, a source at the Russian trade office in Iran strongly denied the possible transfer of ill animals to Iran in an interview with Itar-Tass. “Two Amur tigers – a male and a female – presented by Russia to Iran in April 2010 were absolutely healthy at the moment of the transfer. The animals were closely examined by veterinarians and put under quarantine. Top-grade biologists examined them upon the arrival in Iran,” he said. “Eight months have passed since the moment of the transfer. A sick animal accustomed to a rather cold climate would not have survived Tehran summer heat, especially in a tight zoo cage,” he remarked.
The tiger’s death at the Tehran Zoo in late December caused a scandal. The local media recalled that about $5 million had been spent on the tiger reproduction project in northern Iran. Iranian officials accused each other of the failure of the costly project.
Iranian environmentalists planned to restore the tiger population in pre

Tiger will be bred again, despite cub's death
A female Siberian Tiger whose third straight cub has died at the Calgary Zoo will likely be bred again.
Ten-year-old Katja gave birth to a female cub on Monday but abandoned her after 36 hours, possibly having detected the health problems that led to organ failure and ultimately the death of the infant Thursday night.
Katja also gave birth to two cubs in September, but both died due to mishandling by their inexperienced mother.
Despite the deaths, Ron Tilson, director of the Species Survival Program which overseas all the captive tigers in North American zoos, said he has no reservations in recommending Katja breed with her nine-year-old male partner Baikal again.
"I'm going to tell them to give her a rest and when she comes back into estrous it's just fine to try and breed them again," said Tilson.
"All of the things are in favour of her

Disney Rival Ocean Park to Woo Visitors With Aquarium

Ocean Park Co., a theme park that competes with Walt Disney Co.’s Hong Kong Disneyland, expects attendance to climb by as much as 15 percent in 2011 as it opens new attractions including an egg-shaped aquarium.

The government-owned 34-year-old theme park received a record 5.4 million paying visitors last year, Chairman Allan Zeman said in an interview in Hong Kong yesterday. A “conservative” forecast for 2011 attendance was for growth of between 10 percent and 15 percent, he said.
The new aquarium, designed by Aedas Architects Ltd.’s Hong Kong unit and Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets Inc. with nightly water shows composed by Academy award-winning Peter Lehman, is one of the major new attractions as part of a HK$5.5 billion ($707 million) redevelopment plan. Ocean Park announced the facelift funded by bank and government loans in 2005, to boost competitiveness, as Disney arrived in

Hunt on for Corbett's wounded tigress
At the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve, a hunt is on for a wounded tigress that has killed four women since November. What's worse, the maneater was shot on Tuesday but couldn't be tracked down since then.
''A search is on for the man-eating tigress... we have built special machans and cages to trap it... we are trying to get the situation under control,'' said Rajesh Gopal, member, National Tiger Conservation Authority who is at

China's presence in Africa blamed for new threat to rhino
A devastating upswing in rhino poaching by criminal syndicates armed with helicopters, night vision goggles and silenced rifles is threatening to roll back more than three decades of conservation work that brought the species back from the brink of extinction.
Figures released by the charity WWF show that the number of rhinos shot dead in South Africa increased by 173 per cent last year, a trend that has seen poaching reach a 15-year high across the continent.
Although South Africa allows for limited legal hunting of white rhinos, national park officials say 333 rhinos were illegally killed last year including 10 critically endangered black rhinos. The yearly total is the highest ever in the country and nearly

Indonesia animal trade under pressure from campaigners (VIDEO)
Animal welfare campaigners are calling on the Indonesian government to do more to protect endangered animals from traffickers and traders.
They insist the illegal trade in primates, tigers and turtles is causing untold damage to some of the world's richest biodiversity

Species-saving Kakapo dies at age of 80
Richard Henry, a key member of a species of fat, flightless birds called kakapo, has passed away at the ripe old age of 80. He had had been credited with a significant contribution towards saving the entire species, after it was nearly made extinct by invading stoats, rats and cats.
The kakapo is a member of the parrot family, and is native to New Zealand. It's unique among parrots in that it's flightless, nocturnal, and herbivorous. It's also the heaviest member of the parrot family, leading it to be described memorably as the "world's largest, fattest and least-able-to-fly parrot" by Douglas Adams when he visited a population of kakapo for a BBC Radio 4 documentary.
The kakapo is thought to be one of the world's longest-living birds, which caused problems when the islands it lives on were colonised by Polynesians and Europeans. The population of the birds crashed swiftly, and they were almost wiped out. Ad-hoc conservation of the species began in 1890 by the original Richard Henry, but it wasn't until a formally-defined Kakapo Recovery Plan was begun in 1989 that the species' numbers began to recover.
Richard Henry was discovered in 1975, when it was thought that the kakapo may have already become extinct, and was swiftly moved to Maud Island, which only conservationists and scientists

'Tidal revolution' to begin as river powers Hull aquarium The Deep

A PIONEERING tidal machine should be in place to power The Deep by the end of March, the Mail can reveal.

North Ferriby company Neptune Renewable Energy Ltd has completed some last-minute design changes to the Proteus machine and should start to supply the aquarium with half its electricity within the next couple of months.
The Proteus was brought to Albert Dock in the summer after being constructed in Sunderland.
Neptune's engineers believe the Proteus will generate at least 1,000 megawatts of energy a year – enough to power 500 homes.
Financial director Glenn Aitken said: "The device is ready and will be placed in the Humber in February or March. We are in the process of getting some additional funding as we need to design and manufacture a footbridge.
"There is a huge amount of power in the river, which has been a driving force for Hull for hundreds of years."
Neptune will be the only company to have a full-scale, commercially viable, tidal stream power plant up and running in the Humber.
But Neptune only sees this as the start of a tidal revolution in Hull.
Mr Aitken said: "The first step is to get this machine up and

Lonely otter cries away his life in narrow cage
An indigenous male otter (Lutrogale perspicillata sindica), an endangered species called Ludhro in local parlance, passes his days wailing from dawn to dusk in a narrow cage, probably because of loss of habitat and isolation.
The cage that can barely fit this 34-60 inch animal has been placed near Haleji Lake for a year in violation of the Sindh Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1972.
The otter`s plight came to light during the annual planning and networking meeting of the WWF-Indus for All Programme convened in Hyderabad on Thursday.
Nawaz Kumbhar, an environmentalist, informed the meeting that the otter, a semi aquatic mammal, had been put in a narrow cage away from his natural habitat and away from his female, which was perhaps the major reason for his desperation and restlessness.
Mr Kumbhar said the smooth-coated otter was captured by then conservator of wildlife Saeed Baloch near Chotiyarioon Dam about 6km from Sanghar near Bakhoro Mori. He dumped it in his jeep and threw it into a cage placed near Haleji, he said.
Many participants of the meeting told this correspondent that they had witnessed the encaged otter who continued to wail and groan non stop.
They were critical of the Sindh Wild Life Department official who displaced the water animal instead of taking strict measures for its breeding.
They underlined the need for establishment

Big Hunts at Angola Nature Reserves Forbidden
The reinforcement of patrolling in national parks by guards from these institutions, in collaboration with the Police and the Armed Forces, has enabled over the last six months the reduction of big game, a source with the sector has announced.
The head of the department of conservation of the Ministry of Environment, Joaquim Manuel, has said.
"Hunters are still entering in conservation areas, but for little time and sometimes without success, as they fear being captured by specialists that make frequent patrols, meant at the preservation and maintenance of the fauna and nature reserves", explained Joaquim Manuel.
Although they represent a reduced number, he said, guards are still working to prevent poaching.
Works have been done for the training and integration

Curious crows use tools to explore dangerous objects
New Caledonian crows use tools to investigate unfamiliar and potentially dangerous objects, according to scientists.
New research shows crows cautiously investigating new objects using sticks as an extension of their beaks.
New Caledonian crows are known to fashion tools to access food sources such as wood-boring beetle larvae.
Scientists suggest this study is the first time birds have been recorded using tools for multiple

John Ball Zoo offers two programs to help fight invasive species
With the threat of unwanted species invading Michigan waterways, lakes, and ponds, John Ball Zoo officials are offering two programs to help kids and adults understand the problem and what they can do to help.
From 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 18, the Zoo will host an invasive species workshop featuring Dr. Dan O'Keefe, a wildlife and fisheries biologist and extension educator for the Michigan Sea Grant program. O'Keefe will present information about Asian carp and put guests in the shoes of a fisheries manager for discussions as to what should be done if the carp does make it to the Great Lakes. The adult workshop is free and the public is welcome.
On Saturday, Jan. 22, from 9 to 11a.m., the zoo will host the Sooper Yooper Family Breakfast for adults and children. Sooper Yooper is a children's book written by Mark Newman, editor, photojournalist, and communications specialist, and illustrated by the late Mark Heckman.
The book's superhero, 'Sooper Yooper' (aka: Bill Cooper), and his faithful bulldog sidekick, Mighty Mac, have no specific super powers but do fight

Experience: I lived with wolves'
I ate what they ate, mostly raw deer and elk, which they would often bring back for me, or fruit and berries'
Like most young children, I grew up with an innate fear of wolves. It wasn't until I was a bit older and saw a wolf in a zoo that I realised how far away this animal was from the mythological creature I'd learned about in books and films.
I grew up in a small village in Norfolk and was always interested in the natural world and wild animals. I knew I wanted to work with them in some way when I was older. In my 20s, I read about an American naturalist, Levi Holt, who ran a wolf research centre in Idaho and I thought, "That's where I want to go." I sold everything I had and raised enough money for my plane fare. When I met up with biologists working on the reservation, they took me on as a basic field biologist, teaching me how to track wolves and collect data for them.
Even though the other biologists and scientists thought it was dangerous, I soon wanted to get closer to the wolves really to understand their behaviour. I couldn't help wondering, "Could a human become part of their family?" If I could, I thought, imagine what information I could share.
After a year or two of working for the centre and getting to know the area – a rugged, mountainous landscape covered in forest – I moved to the wild. The first time I got up close to a

Dolphins recognize voices of other dolphins, research finds
It might be tough for dolphins to remember faces, considering they always look like they're smiling. But new research indicates they apparently never forget a voice.
That's one finding from a research project by University of Chicago doctoral student Jason Bruck that represents, he says, "a decoding of their whole communication system — at least the start of that."
Bruck, who is working with dolphins at Brookfield Zoo and five other facilities, plays recorded whistles of dolphins that had been in the same tank 20 years earlier but hadn't seen their tank mates in that time. When that happens, the dolphins swim toward the signal. When he plays the whistles of unfamiliar dolphins, the

Cricket crisis? Bug virus imperils live food supply for pets
Crickets. For many lizards and snakes, it's what's for dinner.
But a virus has killed millions of the tiny critters, mostly those raised as food for house pets and zoo animals.
The virus has forced some businesses that raise crickets in the U.S. to close, according to news reports. Although some pet stores in Monroe County that sell crickets as feed said they haven't had their supply disrupted, there is anxiety among some suppliers.
"This is a huge concern for us," said Bobby Blood, director of sales at Timberline, an Illinois-based company that raises crickets and supplies the Pet-Smart in Bartonsville. Blood said his company hasn't been affected by the virus and is taking precautions to keep it that way.
The virus, named the cricket paralysis virus, only kills the cricket. It has no harmful effect on the animals that eat crickets, such as frogs, lizards, tarantulas and some

The Toad
Will protecting an endangered toad trump Tanzania’s need for energy and development?
Kim Howell is a white-haired giant who wears Kissinger glasses that magnify his eyes. He was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and paid for a degree in vertebrate zoology at Cornell University by working at the school’s Library of Natural Sound. Howell preserved archival recordings of birdcalls collected in Africa in the nineteen forties and after four years he was convinced he should go to Africa. He taught science at an elementary school in the Zambian bush before going north to Tanzania, where he taught at a school for apartheid refugees. That was in 1970. Howell has lived in Tanzania ever since, raising a family and teaching zoology at the University of Dar es Salaam.
During his career, Howell has discovered tapeworms, spiders, and other species previously unknown to science. Former students and colleagues have named a bird, a shrew and a lizard after him. Discovering a new species can define a zoologist’s career and Howell’s big find came in 1996 when he reached into some vegetation at the base of a waterfall and pulled out a little toad, believed to inhabit the smallest native habitat of any vertebrate on Earth. Following his discovery, the Kihansi spray toad became the focus of one of the most controversial conservation efforts in recent decades, a crucible for the clash between biodiversity conservation and Tanzania’s need for economic development.
“I’ve often said I wish I had never discovered the toad,” reflected Howell.
In 1993, Howell saw an ad in a local newspaper, placed by Norconsult, a Norwegian engineering firm. “There was this hydropower project that was going to be done and they were looking for someone to look at birds,” Howell said. He responded but didn’t hear anything until a man walked into his office nearly two years later and offered him the job. Howell accepted. “How often do you get to go someplace no one’s ever been to before and get paid for it?”
The journey from Dar es Salaam took a full day on a dirt road through the lush floodplains of the Kilombero Valley. To the west, the road hugs the lower curves of the crescent-shaped Eastern Arc Mountains.
With rainforests estimated to be thirty million years old, the range forms one of the world’s two-dozen biodiversity “hotspots.” Biologists have likened them to the Galapagos Islands. Like the Galapagos, they contain an extraordinarily high concentration of endemic species, at least ninety-six vertebrates and over eight hundred endemic plants. The archipelago analogy is also apt because, like a chain of islands, the Arcs are thirteen mountain “blocks” beginning in Kenya and cambering down through Tanzania, each with their own unique variations of species and habitat but formed by the same geological event and shaped by the conditions of the Indian Ocean.
In the nineteen eighties, the Tanzanian government started eyeing a remote area of the Eastern Arcs, known as the Udzungwas, for a hydropower project. In the crevice between two mountains was a narrow gorge where a series of steep waterfalls, fed by the Kihansi river from above, created the perfect conditions for generating electricity. Over roughly two miles, the falls plunge nearly three thousand feet. Plus, unlike most rivers in Tanzania, Kihansi flowed throughout the five-month dry season. The cascades glinted in the sun from miles away.
From the moment they arrived in the Udzungwas to do the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the hydropower project, Howell and the other biologists knew something wasn’t right. “We were conducting our studies literally one step ahead of the bulldozers,” recalled John Gerstle, a water resources engineer who headed the EIA. Normally construction for such a large project wouldn’t begin until after the study. In fact, the World Bank, the main financier, had commissioned a study years earlier. “They had done what they called an EIA,” said Gerstle, who lives in Colorado, “but it was not taken seriously by any knowledgeable person who saw the study.”
In 1993, following the flawed report, the World Bank’s Board of Directors approved a two-hundred-million-dollar loan to Tanzania’s government for the project, which would increase the country’s electricity capacity by nearly 40 percent. But a group of European donors balked at the slim fifty-page assessment and demanded a new report. “It was a bit late,” Gerstle said, “because the decision had already been made… They were just desperate to get new capacity.”
Like much of Africa, Tanzania was, and remains, mostly in the dark. Electricity shuts off without notice almost daily and stoppages can last hours. For three months this year, the semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar went without electricity after a cable to the mainland failed. Villagers in Zanzibar recall their childhoods as a time when they had more consistent and cheaper access to electricity—and hence better running

Chimps at Nebraska zoo bite off keeper's fingers
Two chimpanzees at a Nebraska zoo attacked a keeper and bit off two of her fingers, police said on Saturday.
The keeper at the Riverside Discovery Center in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, was petting a 40-year-old chimpanzee on Friday who apparently did not want to be touched, according to police.
When the chimp grabbed the keeper's hand, the keeper started screaming, causing the chimp to scream, police said. This attracted another chimp, who also grabbed the keeper's hand.
The chimps bit, and the keeper lost her index finger and a ring finger on one hand at the knuckles, police said. The middle finger had a laceration but was not bitten off.
Anne Janes, executive director of the zoo in western

A new lease of life for the dead dodo
Two important paintings of the extinct bird will star in a Natural History Museum exhibition that reveals the historically close relationship between art and science
It remains the most distinctive image that we have of the dodo. Painted by the Dutch artist Roelandt Savery in around 1626, the picture shows the extinct bird as having a large head, curved neck, short stumpy legs and a big rump. The poor creature looks faintly absurd, which probably explains the inclusion of the image in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
The image is of special scientific importance, too, because the Natural History Museum's first superintendent, Professor Richard Owen, used it to scientifically describe the bird. Owen placed the bones over the painting and his interpretation, published in 1866, became the dodo's recognised description.
Now Savery's original painting is to go on display

Former Tucsonan donates 750 acres to Reid zoo group
More than 750 acres of Sonoran desert north of Sahuarita has been given to the Reid Park Zoological Society to be used for conservation.
The property, part of the Ruby Star Ranch, was donated to the society by former Tucson resident Gilbert Aguirre. It is valued at more than $5.4 million.
"It's very exciting," said Nancy Schlegel, executive director of the Zoological Society. "The possibilities of what we can do for conservation are just amazing."
The ranch is leased for cattle grazing, but over the next three to five years the Zoological Society will decide how to best use the property. A house sits on the acreage, which is surrounded by mining operations and ranch land.
"It's a situation where we haven't really fleshed out our plans in too much detail," said Susan Basford, Reid Park Zoo's administrator. "It's something that requires

Poachers kill pregnant rhino
A pregnant rhino was killed and de-horned on a game farm in the Hoedspruit area, Limpopo police said on Monday.
"According to information, the carcass of the rhino was discovered on Saturday when a farm manager was patrolling the farm," Lieutenant Colonel Ronel Otto said.
She said the name of the farm could not be made public. It seemed as if the rhino was killed a few days earlier.
"Both the horns were removed."
A post-mortem revealed the animal

Expert raises ecology doubt on tiger park
A government move to declare a wildlife sanctuary in southern Karnataka as a new tiger reserve is unscientific and reflects arbitrary decision-making on tiger reserves, a leading wildlife scientist has said.
The Union cabinet in principle approved on Friday the creation of five new tiger reserves — the Biligiri Ranganatha Temple (BRT) sanctuary in Karnataka, Ratapani in Madhya Pradesh, Sunpeda inOrissa, Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh, and Mukundara hills in Rajasthan.
“The choice defies ecology-based science,” said Ulhas Karanth, director of the Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore, who has conducted research on the ecology of tigers and prey-predator population ecology in several parts of the country.
India’s tiger conservation programme launched in 1972-73 with nine reserves covering about 1,400sqkm has expanded over the years, and now has 39 reserves over an area of 46,390sqkm.
Project Tiger is believed to have helped increase the tiger population from less than 1,000 in the early-1970s to about 1,400 as estimated in 2008.
“This process of continuous expansion of tiger reserve areas appears to have become rather ad hoc,” Karanth said. “You can’t just go on adding areas. Some areas might also need to be deleted from the list of tiger reserves.”
Karanth said areas now devoid of tigers such as Panna in Madhya Pradesh or Sariska in Rajasthan or remote forests such as Indravati in Chhattisgarh, located in areas of civil unrest where wildlife staff do not venture, remain labelled as tiger reserves.
A tiger reserve gets significant extra funds through Project Tiger — and sections of wildlife researchers appear concerned that listing areas with unviable tiger populations or areas that cannot be adequately managed only allows scarce conservation resources to be spent on areas that are unlikely to actually benefit tigers.
Karanth said the move to declare the Biligiri Ranganatha Temple hills sanctuary as a new tiger reserve is an example of arbitrary decision-making that has ignored strong ecological arguments in favour of Kudremukh, also in Karnataka.
The proposed BRT hills reserve is adjacent to Bandipur and Nagarahole — two reserves with high density of tiger population. Kudremukh, on the other hand, is located at a distance in Karnataka’s central Western Ghat region. “Instead of having all tigers in a single corner of the state, it makes better sense to have them in different areas,” Karanth said.
The Biligiri Ranganatha Temple hill area is also ecologically

Gabon: 13 ape heads, 32 ape hands, 12 leopard skins, 1 lion skin, 5 elephant tails - and 5 dealers behind bars!
After Conservation Justice and the AALF project planned a second wave of arrests, the team comprised of the forces of law and order and "Ministère des Eaux et Forêts" (MINEF) arrested the five wildlife dealers on the 13th in Libreville. They have confiscated 13 great apes heads (one for gorilla and 12 from Chimpanzees), 32 great apes hands (2 from Gorilla 30 from chimpanzees), as well as 12 leopard skins, a part of a lion skin, and 5 elephant tails.
Imagine what the killed apes leopards, lions and elephants of this seizure represent, and now imagine that the dealers confessed they have been carrying their specialized trade for several years.
Putting these dealers behind bars probably has a direct impact on the lives of hundreds of chimps and gorillas. I hope this landmark arrest operation and the photos attached will serve all of us in proving the importance of law enforcement projects (AALF, PALF, RALF and LAGA) for the survival of great apes. The problem is not specific to Gabon and such specialized dealers exist throughout West and Central Africa, though Gabon shows it is possible to stop them. Help us establish law enforcement

Who's going to bear the cost?
ZOO chiefs are set to plead for government aid to help foot the bill for bringing two giant pandas to Scotland.
Edinburgh Zoo will have to pay up to £7million to lease the pair from China for a decade.
But private sponsors have been unable to cough up the full cost for Tian Tian and Yuangguang, who will be Britain's first giant pandas.
Gary Wilson, chief operating officer at the zoo, said: "We will approach the Scottish Government.
"We are a charity, and hopefully we'll be able to fund some of this through sponsorship."
First Minister Alex Salmond had claimed the Royal Bank of Scotland was underwriting the deal.
But Mr Wilson said: "We have a number of companies we want to go to. Banks aren't top of our list."
The pandas could arrive in

Cairns Wildlife Safari Reserve on the market
FOR sale: 24 lions, four tigers, three bears, two cheetahs, seven hippos, one rhinoceros, seven monkeys, two pythons, two otters, various deer, four ostriches and 20 other birds, reptiles and animals.
The Cairns Wildlife Safari Reserve is on the market, with expressions of interest being called for the zoo, near Kuranda.
No price tag has been put on the freehold property and business but its estimated value is more than $3 million.
Owner Jenny Jattke said she was selling to spend more time with her children and elderly parents.
Operating and owning the 53ha property, about 40km west of Cairns, for the past five years had been one of the most exciting times of her life, she said.
“But it’s time for me to spend more time with my family, my four children (aged 13-20) and my elderly parents,” Ms Jattke said.
“I’ve been working (at the zoo) seven days a week. I’ve haven’t spent one day with my children during the school holidays.
I want to spend more time with them before they grow up.
“It’s been the time of my life, it’s been great.
“Every day is a highlight. Outside my office (now) there are 19 lions just 5m away
Marketing agent Greg Wood of Knight Frank Cairns said they would be scouring

Katraj Zoo to play host to 30 more species
Over the last 12 years, there has been a substantial increase in the number of visitors to Katraj Zoo. In 1999-2000, the number was 8,68155. This increased to 1,367202 in 2009-10. As of April last year,1020681 people had visited the zoo in 2010. “The zoo sees nearly 13 lakh visitors every year,” Jadhav said.
When contacted, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Deputy Mayor Prasanna Jagtap said, “The implementation of the master plan is one of our priorities. We have also introduced

Myanmar works for wildlife conservation
Myanmar has been working for wildlife conservation and it will soon open its first ever international level Safari Park in the new capital of Nay Pyi Taw, according to official media report Sunday.
The park, with endangered species of animals from inside and around the world, was designed to serve as a public recreation center and enable people to learn about the natural ecology.
Animals are kept in natural condition as an open zoo in order that visitors could feel as though there are in an African forest, an administrator of the park was quoted as saying.
The park would soon be filled with over 200 animals of 16 rare species from some foreign countries, the administrator said, introducing kangaroo, giraffe, white rhino, zebra, ostrich, goat, deer, one-hump camel, lion and African deer.
The Safari booths are to be divided as Asian booth, Australian booth and African booth, of which the African Safari booth is the largest with an area of 24 hectares serving natural habitats for a total of 68 animals including six camels, eight African deer, six goat deer, six lions, 10 tigers, six white rhinos, 10 ostriches, six giraffes, six zebras and four ponies, it was disclosed.
Partly moved from the zoological garden in the former capital of Yangon, the first-ever zoological garden was opened in Nay Pyi Taw in March 2008 in which famous animals in Myanmar and rare ones such as penguins, Kangaroos and white tigers as well as mammals, birds and reptiles are kept.
The Nay Pyi Taw zoological garden project, which covers an area of more than 400 hectares stands the third after Yangon's and Mandalay's but the largest in the country.
Of the two existing zoological gardens, the historical Yangon's, which expands as 20.3 hectares, was set up in January 1906, accommodating over 1,000 animals including 554 mammals of 62 species such as elephant, tiger, bear, hippopotamus, monkey, takin and mountain goat, 424 birds of 70 species and 130 reptiles of 19 species such as crocodile, snake and monitor lizard; while the Mandalay zoological garden, which expands as 21.5 hectares, was inaugurated in April 1989 and has 107 mammals of 35 species, 142 birds of 39 species and 137 reptiles of 15 species.
In January 2006, the Yangon Zoological Garden celebrated its rare centenary with special fun fair and drew thousands of visitors.
According to the garden officials, the Yangon zoological garden is among the 40 ones in the world which have a history of over 100 years, attracting about 1.5 million visitors annually.
The Yangon zoological garden also exchanges animals and facts about them with counterparts of other countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Nepal, Germany and Czech Republic apart from many international organizations.
Meanwhile, the Myanmar forest authorities are calling on the country people to participate in the task for conservation of rare birds and wildlife to stabilize the ecosystem which faces collapse as in the world.
Taking note that the population of tigers worldwide gradually declines with tiger species being available in 13 countries only, Myanmar is cooperating with seven other Asian nations in an effort to establish a tiger protection corridor wh

Hop on over to Johor Zoo's Rabbit Garden
The Johor Zoo is getting into the Chinese New Year spirit by bringing in 50 rabbits to commemorate the Year of the Rabbit.
Head zookeeper Mohd Sham Mahdon said the zoo brought in a variety of rabbits that will be on display at an enclosure dubbed the “Rabbit Garden”, which has been decked with Chinese New Year decorations.
Mohd Sham said visitors, especially children, were allowed to pet these rabbits inside the enclosure.
He said public response to the Rabbit Garden was positive. As rabbits were vulnerable to diseases

Roaring success – thousands visit zoo free
DALTON zoo has recorded its best ever year after scrapping entry fees.
South Lakes Wild Animal Park has been free since November last year.
So far almost 60,000 people have taken advantage of the offer.
Even last month’s snow and ice didn’t deter revelers – too much.
Zoo boss David Gill said: “It has staggered me how good it has gone. The snow and ice has slightly ruined it for us.
“But on days where the road (Broughton Road, the main road to the zoo) was completely blocked by snow, down to the fire station in Dalton, we still had hundreds of visitors who had parked their cars in Dalton and walked up the hill.
“Lots of people got to see the zoo deep in snow.”
Mr Gill said the overwhelming success of the free entry scheme had come as a surprise.
He said: “I was confident of its success, but not on this level. As a business it has been a huge success.
“At a time when


4th International Congress on Zookeeping

9-13 September 2012


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