Monday, January 10, 2011

Zoo News Digest 8th - 10th January 2011 (Zoo News 717)

Zoo News Digest 8th - 10th January 2011 (Zoo News 717)

Dear Colleagues,

It is only a matter of weeks since we learned of a fire in a zoo and now we have had one in Riga City Zoo. Another terrible tragedy which will upset zoo staff in more ways than one. My sincere sympathies. I reiterate what I said previously. All zoos need night staff. It may not prevent this type of thing happening but it will certainly reduce the liklihood. It is not just fires but electricity failures, vandalism and more. Well versed night keepers could improve a day keepers lot too.

I read the story about Knowsley Safari Park with interest. It makes a disturbing read especially when accompanied by such vivid photographs. I felt though that this was a case of not the whole story being told and there appeared to be an element of 'sour grapes' to it. This thought was confirmed when I came to the line "claimed standards at the park nosedived after her partner - who worked as curator - lost his job last year" which more or less confirmed my thoughts. There may be some truth in this, I don't know though. No doubt this story is not going to go away in a hurry and it will be of value to learn more.

Saddened to hear of the worsening of the Foot and Mouth outbreak in South Korea. No doubt it won't be long, if it hasn't happened already, that conspiracy theories will arise. I do wonder what the situation is in the North. I note that the zoos are closing now too. Very worrying and fightening. I recollect my thoughts on the UK Foot and Mouth Outbreak in 2001. As if the Foot and Mouth was not worry enough, Korea is also having to contend with bird flu as well.

Sad to learn of some UK zoos having to tighten their belts and lay off staff in the same week that some US zoos are announcing having just had their best years ever. Life is, as they say, swings and roundabouts.

Congratulations to Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AWPR) on their great success in breeding of desert antelope and gazelle. Such big numbers born can only mean even bigger numbers held. Important then to spread them out. Having all your eggs in one basket is a dangerous thing. I mention this because of the Foot and Mouth in Korea and recollect similar outbreaks in Al Ain in years gone by.

The story of the hunter shooting a hibernating bear sickened me to the core. I am not a violent person but was awash with violent thoughts when I read that news item.

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Forced zoo tax foiled in House
Visitors to Brookfield Zoo may be spared a hike in ticket prices after the Illinois House Friday sent legislation to Gov. Quinn blocking the village of Brookfield from imposing a zoo admission tax with the revenue redirected to the village. The village sought

A death at the zoo (comment and reply)

Editorial: No, you can't hunt at the zoo, either
It seems like Colorado shouldn't need a law to say it's illegal to track hibernating bears to their dens, wait for them to fall asleep and then climb inside and blast 'em. But apparently we do.
A Craig hunter tracked a 700-pound bear to a cave in Moffat County in November, then waited several hours before crawling in and shooting it. His actions were not illegal, but they should be.
We support hunters and hunting rights in Colorado. Hunting is part of our Western heritage, and hunters play an important role in culling herds and improving overall wildlife health in Colorado. However, we also believe in the concept of the "fair chase."
Colorado wildlife commissioners this past week

2010 best year for antelope, gazelle births in Al Ain park
Al Ain: The year 2010 saw a record number of desert antelopes born at the The highly-threatened group of animals are a key part of conservation work and a number of conservation research initiatives are moving ahead in AWPR.
The year 2010 marked one of AWPR's best recorded year for antelope births, with a record number of young antelope raised, including 16 Scimitar-horned oryx, 27 Arabian oryx, 10 Beisa oryx, four Addax, three Chad dama gazelles, six Mhorr dama gazelles and six Speke's gazelles.
The Scimitar-horned oryx and Mhorr gazelle are extinct in the wild and only survive in captivity, making AWPR's herds extraordinarily valuable. The Addax survives with fewer than 300 individuals in the wild.
The Beisa oryx, native to the dry lands of North East Africa, is declining rapidly, already extinct in Eritrea and Uganda and with populations rapidly declining in Kenya.
The Arabian oryx at AWPR are being utilised

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

Jobs go at zoo as finance woes mount in big freeze
A Cambridgeshire zoo has been forced to make staff redundant after the Christmas cold snap left it crippled by rising debts.
The deep snow meant the number of visitors to Shepreth Wildlife Park, near Royston, plummeted to an all-time low over the crucial holiday period with barely a single person stepping over the threshold for two weeks.
The -10C temperatures also left them with soaring electricity bills for the animal enclosures and the zoo’s founders, father and daughter team Terry and Rebecca Willers, fear they might not be able to pay their remaining employees.
One of the reasons for the park’s problems has been the failure of the indoor Play Barn, introduced in October 2009, which bosses hoped would encourage families to come regardless of weather conditions.
The zoo, which started as a private wild animal sanctuary in 1979 with a single injured jackdaw and a pony who still lives on site, is home to popular tigers Amba and Rana, as well as hundreds of other species of exotic wildlife, which would have to be re-homed if it were forced to close.
Animal manager Rebecca Willers, 30, emphasised that despite the tough times no keepers had been made redundant and maintaining the animals’ high quality of care was

New management at Austin Zoo means better future
As Patti Clark walks along a dirt road winding through the Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary, two lions roar raucously from within their covered enclosure. A black bear paces around his cage. Babe, the 500 pound pig, lounges in the dirt.
There's a lot going on at the western Travis County nonprofit, says Clark, the zoo's executive director. They're expanding the monkey area, building new trails, making plans for a new water system, paying off debt and attracting new donors.
But getting here hasn't been easy.
Just a few years ago, the Austin Zoo was saddled with serious problems: financial records in disarray, high employee turnover, decaying facilities and more than $60,000 in credit card debt. When Clark took over in 2007, she and the new board members found receipts, veterinary records and bank statements stuffed in bags

Zoo Closures Extended Due to Disease Outbreaks
Amid the spread of avian influenza and foot-and-mouth disease, the closure of four zoos will be extended to Jan. 25. They are Seoul Zoo in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province, Children's Grand Park in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul Forest in Seongdong-gu, and Dream Forest in Gangbuk-gu, Seoul.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government has banned public entry to the zoos since Jan. 1 in order to prevent zoo animals from being infected as the alert for livestock endemics was raised to the highest level and an outbreak of bird flu

Zoo killed animals and left them to rot by bins
ANIMALS shot dead by keepers in culls at a top safari park were dumped to rot beside bins.
The scenes were so gruesome the zoo's official photographer reported bosses to a council.
Cops were alerted after snapper Penny Boyd, 58, revealed how keepers untrained in shooting animals were also handed guns to practise on LIVE exhibits.
Horrified Penny - who compiled a chilling dossier of the carnage at Knowsley Safari Park on Merseyside - described the cack-handed shootings as "the last straw".
She raged last night after quitting her job: "One morning I heard a gunshot and looked out to see a beautiful antelope I'd known for years being downed.
"Another TWO shots were needed before it was dead. That kind of job should only be done by experienced people.
"But culling was being used as a means of training instead of being carried out in the kindest

In 2010, Tacoma zoo posted highest attendance in its 105-year history
Even amid still-tough economic times, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium posted yet another banner year for attendance in 2010, zoo officials announced today.
A bear market? Paw-lease!
Not at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, at least.
Even amid still-tough economic times, Tacoma’s bastion of beasts posted yet another banner year for attendance in 2010, zoo officials announced Friday.
The 680,891 visitors who traipsed through the 29 acres of wildlife exhibits within Point Defiance Park last year marked the highest number of attendees in the zoo’s 105-year history.
The record figure – which includes combined totals of more than 587,000 daytime zoo attendees and 93

Record attendance at Fresno's Chaffee Zoo in 2010
2010 proved to be a record setter when it comes to the number of visitors to Fresno's Chaffee Zoo. Zoo officials think this year will be even better.
Even a cold gray day didn't stop visitors from flocking to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. Kids say where else can they see animals from the wild, like these wolves choking down a meal.
Riley Browning said, "You never get to see them outdoors doing their own thing so it's really cool to

Tragic fire at Riga Zoo kills several animals
An overnight fire at the Riga City Zoo has killed three zebra, three ostriches and an antelope.
The fire was discovered by security guards on patrol at about 6 am Friday morning. By the time it was found it was already too late to save the animals.
The fire started in the zebra house, which was also used as a storage place for hay, and spread quickly. It is still unknown



ABWAK Symposium
Saturday, March 5 · 10:00am - 1:00pm

This 2 day Symposium is based on the concept of 'The Modern Zookeeper' with a range topics including husbandry, training and conservation.


The use of Positive Reinforcement Training to elicit an open mouth response in Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) at Dartmoor Zoological Park, presented by Hannah Webb

...Utilising training as a management tool to increase breeding success within a mixed bird exhibit. Presented by Adrian Walls

Effects of a Randomised Environmental Enrichment Schedule on the Behaviour of Giant Anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla): A Case Study. Presented by Kat Dale and Shelley Ansell

Using novel environmental enrichment to investigate locomotory and investigative behaviours of an Indian desert cat (Felis silvestris ornata). Presented by Joachim Williams and Chris Hales

to name a few!

(These presentations could be subject to change .....though hopefully wont be:)


PRIORITY GIVEN TO MEMBERS £36 (before 14/1/11)

£40 (after 14/1/11)

Non members (before 14/1/11)

£55 (after 14/1/11)

More Info HERE


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