Sunday, February 6, 2011

Zoo News Digest 1st - 6th February 2011 (Zoo News 723)

Zoo News Digest 1st - 6th February 2011 (Zoo News 723)

Canis aureus
Photo by Jonas Livet

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

The troubles in Egypt are tending to dominate the news right now. Easy for some to dismiss as somewhere far away but Zoo News Digest is International and has a number of Egyptian subscribers. I am sure that I am not alone in wondering how the animals in Giza Zoo are faring. I have been trying to dig out news items. There isn't any. Well just one which states " For example, at the Egypt Zoo (or Zoo at Giza), the animals haven’t been fed for eight days. The animals are starving.” Not good news for the Orangutans presented by the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort or any of the other animals living in the zoo. Is anything being done to assist by the general zoo world? Eight days is a long time. It must be ten days by now.

'Big Cat Rescue Entertainment'. Now there's a contradictory title if ever there was. I am all with PETA and Carol Baskin on this one. This irresponsible place needs closing down.

The news that the Egyptian Jackal is actually a Wolf came as a bit of a surprise. It is now Canis lupus lupaster and Canis aureus lupaster is no more.

I never cease to be amazed at how quickly Google is at indexing some of the posts I make. This last week they actually had indexed in under a minute. Whereas the search facility on the Zoo News Digest Blog is pretty good I find it quicker to use the Google search engine and type in 'Zoo News Digest + elephant' You could replace 'elephant' with 'ant' or 'baboon', 'orangutan' or whatever. It works well.

I note that the issue of culling in zoos has arisen once again. It is a good thing too. It needs to be raised time and again until people realise that it is not cruel or unkind but a necessary tool in the long term maintenance of captive species. It is going to be a long uphill battle however judging by some (not all) of the blinkered babble on internet groups such as Zoo Chat.

So I reach the end of another week wondering how many people I have upset. It is a few I fear. Take care.

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Anger at delay in Lion Man case
A lawyer is annoyed at what he calls an "inexplicable delay" by the Employment Relations Authority to release its determination in a case involving Lion Man Craig Busch.
Auckland-based Steve Barter is representing Zion Wildlife Gardens, which is seeking more than $200,000 in lost income from Mr Busch through a counterclaim.
The ERA's determination has been pending for more than a year.
After Mr Busch was sacked from the park, he filed a claim with the ERA for unfair dismissal but later withdrew his application. While ERA member Yvonne Oldfield heard arguments on his application, she also invited submissions on two counterclaims.
The first counterclaim by Zion was for Mr Busch to return tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment he took from the park after being sacked.
He was subsequently ordered in November 2009 to

'Big Cat' Fight
The name sounds familiar, because they have promoted their cause in public forums around the country.
After encountering protestors and alleged PETA investigations, Big Cat Rescue Entertainment is under the microscope.
There is speculation from both parties; however it is still unclear where exactly this animosity stems from.
Representatives acting on behalf of 'Big Cat Rescue' in Florida actively protest the presence of 'Big Cat Rescue Entertainment' in communities, nationwide.
After encountering endless scrutiny, the traveling show's owner maintains that he's just in it for the animals.
G.W. Exotic, owner and operators of Big Cat Rescue Entertainment, are a USDA registered zoo.
Their mission is to raise environmental awareness through hands on education.
“People really care more if they are hands on, learning about something that they have never touched before,” said Joe Schreibvogel of G.W. Exotic.
However arguments from another organization, bearing a similar name, say this practice is unethical.
“He's breeding these animals, when there are already so many big cats with no place to go,” said Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue. “Using them for a four week period of time that he can make a lot of money of them and then they disappear into these zoos.”
“If they're over bred, I wouldn't have a waiting list for zoos,” Schreibvogel said.
“The kind of back yard breeders, the hoarders and collectors that might pay him for the animals are not the kind of places these animals belong,” Baskin replied.
“They have always went to USDA licensed facilities,” Schreibvogel said. “They can offer a better facility then I can.”
There are varying accusations against G.W. Exotic, involving details from a public USDA report.
“Last year [...] it came out that 23 cubs had died,” Baskin said. “That's just the ones they found out about. If you think about, the USDA inspector shows up maybe once a year?”
“That's why I have 187 cats, because I don't pawn my cats off on anybody else that doesn't ask for one and we have a no kill policy,” Schreibvogel said.
Video surfaces on PETA's website, an alleged undercover investigation.
While Schreibvogel admits to catching PETA 'spies', he maintains the video is fabrication.
“Because I have the largest privately owned facility in the United States, and they can make money off of me,” Schreibvogel said.
PETA Director Debbie Leahy issues a statement saying there is 'a lack of basic needs', and that cubs should stay with their mothers.
“Don't dictate to me what is too young because the government is the one that says we have to use them between the time that we're born and 12 weeks old,” said Schreibvogel.
The two organizations go toe to toe in allegations, but there are no standing USDA violations against Big Cat Rescue Entertainment, or Big Cat Rescue sanctuary

Zoo wants animal remains, so won’t cremate its dead
In a bid to add to its animal exhibition, the Delhi Zoo has decided that instead of cremating dead animals, the bigger ones will be buried so that their bones can be dug out after the flesh has decomposed.
Under the plan, bodies of animals like tigers, jaguars and antelopes will be buried and dug out after three to five months.
Last year, the zoo started the exhibition of animal remains at the Education Centre, next to the Lion Tailed Macaque enclosure. Antlers of six deer species and preserved bodies of five baby animals are on display here.
“Visitors can learn more about the animals by looking at them closely. By October, we expect to increase our collection, since we will be starting another exhibition then to commemorate Wildlife Week that is held between October 1 and 7,” said R A Khan, Curator (Education), Delhi Zoo.
The zoo now wants to add animal parts such as teeth, claws, skeleton and hooves to the exhibition. According to a zoo official

Animal performances still going on even with implemented ban
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Rural Development have issued a regulation last year stepping up management of zoos and implemented a three month ban on animal performances. But the regulation have expired last week and local zoos and parks turned a blind eye on animal performances.
However in the past three months since animal performances were still popular at the Shenzhen Safari Park and Xiaomeisha Sea World. Animal performance were staged every day at the park, and each performance involved birds, lions, tigers and dolphins. Both parks said the didn’t receive any notice from local government departments that banned the animal performances. Park employees claimed that the animals were not tortured in any ways when they were trained or forced to perform beyond their capabilities.
A representative from the Animals Asia Foundation said that its against animal nature to perform since they are born not to be show animal. Yet a lot of people are still not aware that many of this animal performance is a torment to them. Also before the three month banned was implemented an investigation by the State Forestry Bureau discovered that animals from 50 zoos are suffering from abuse.
A tourist said that its boring to just watch animals in

New African wolf species identified
U.K. scientists say genetic evidence revealed the mysterious "Egyptian jackal" is not a jackal at all but a new sub-species of gray wolf.
Researchers at Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit say gray wolves reached Africa about 3 million years ago and spread from there throughout the Northern Hemisphere, reported Monday.
The newly designated wolf, often confused with the golden jackal, is a relative of the Holarctic gray wolf, the Indian wolf and the Himalayan wolf, they say.
"We could hardly believe our own eyes when we found wolf DNA that did not match anything in GenBank," study co-author Eli Rueness of the University of Oslo said.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature does not consider golden jackals as threatened but the newly discovered African

Howletts staff hail success of elephant mother and calf
Keepers at a Kent wild animal park have said it is a "great success" an elephant has survived after giving birth to twins.
Staff at Howletts, near Canterbury, said the birth of twins in the wild would often result in the death of both mother and calves.
The African elephant, called Masa, gave birth last week to an as-yet-unnamed male following a 22-month pregnancy.
However, his twin did not survive.
Charlotte Jones, of Howletts, said: "Twin elephants are incredibly rare, estimated to occur in less than 2% of cases.
"For both mother and one of the calves to have survived is a great success.
"The mother is doing fine and didn't

Elephant link
An Indian elephant, which died recently in a zoo in the country, inspires El Salvador to seek closer ties with India.
SOME stories begin with no indication of the end. The story of Manjula is one such. This Asian elephant, who began her voyage to El Salvador, the smallest Central American country, in 1955 and became a national icon ever since she made the country's national zoo her home, died of ill health in September 2010. The emotions her death evoked among El Salvadorians have been a huge revelation.
“Manjula [or Man-hew-la as Salvadorians pronounce the name] is an emotional issue in El Salvador. She was the first elephant we saw in our lives. We have no elephants there. The day she died hundreds of people gathered to see her last rites. And the nation declared it a day of mourning,” said Ruben Ignacio Zamora Rivas, El Salvador's Ambassador to India. It was a pleasant winter morning, and the Ambassador, sipping coffee at the embassy in the upmarket Vasant Vihar in New Delhi, reminisced about the only elephant his country had housed. What the story brings home is the fact that Manjula was not just another elephant: she was brought from India, and the people of El Salvador became

London's sexiest places ... for fetishists (Might not seem to apply, but it does. Watch your tanks)

Victory - No More Elephants In El Salvador Zoo
IDA's campaign to end the display of elephants at the Parque Zoológico Nacional in El Salvador is a success! The Ministry of Culture has announced that the zoo will not acquire another Asian elephant to replace Manyula, who died last September.
IDA applauds the government of El Salvador for its progressive decision to no longer keep elephants at the zoo, sparing another elephant from a lifetime of loneliness and suffering. Manyula, who was taken from India as a calf, lived alone in a tiny enclosure at the zoo for more than 55 years. Though deprived of all that was natural to her, she was a national icon and hundreds of people turned out for her burial. Shortly after her death, there were calls to replace Manyula with another elephant, but fortunately the government did the right thing and permanently closed the elephant exhibit.
Thanks to everyone who took action and sent messages to Salvadoran officials. Please e-mail messages of thanks to El Salvador Secretary of Culture Dr. Hectór Samour and Georgina Hernández, Director of

Animal activists doubt logic of translocating elephants
Wildlife activists in the state are raising questions over the decision to translocate Deepa, the six-year-old rescued female elephant who died during her translocation to Manas National Park on Sunday, after they came to know that she was dropped from a similar exercise in 2008 because of her health condition.
Deepa was part of a group of six jumbos who were to be moved to Manas from the Bokakhat-based Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC). She, however, died after being sedated to be loaded on a truck meant to take her for reintegration with a wild herd at the national park.
Veterinarians, who conducted a postmortem on Deepa, declared congestive heart failure as the cause of her death. However, samples were sent to Guwahati Veterinary College for further confirmation.
Meanwhile, the state forest department has ordered an inquiry into the death of the elephant. The inquiry, which will be headed by chief conservator of forests (wildlife) S P Singh, has been directed to submit a report within a week.
Wildlife activists are raising doubts over the soundness of the decision for including Deepa in the translocation program because International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said she was dropped from an earlier translocation programme in 2008 on health grounds. In 2008, eight elephants were translocated from CWRC to Manas. IFAW said though Deepa was scheduled to be released at Manas in 2008, she was dropped from the plan to be reintegrated into the wild due to detection of "problems" during her health screening then.
"I do not understand the logic of making Deepa a part of the translocation programme if she was dropped from a similar plan on health grounds in 2008. I think the decision to include her in the latest translocation programme reflects on the fact that the entire exercise was hurriedly done. It raises the question whether proper health check-ups were done. Deepa should not have been given permission for translocation. Her death is very unfortunate," said Dr Kushal K Sarma, an wildlife expert who specializes in elephant health.
IFAW, however, said that Deepa's recent veterinary report showed her health condition was stable and she qualified for the Sunday translocation.
Project Elephant director A N Prasad said he was not aware of her death. "I have no information about the death of the elephant. I think releasing of rescued elephants into the wild is a logical step. It is not for the first time such a release programme has been undertaken. It has been done earlier as well," Prasad said.
The six jumbos were to be translocated on Sunday from CWRC to Manas under a collaborative project of the Wildlife Trust of India-IFAW, state forest department and Bodoland Territorial Council. However, the animal died after being sedated in order to be put on a truck meant for carrying the elephants.
Following Deepa's death, the remaining five jumbos were moved to Manas on Monday. All the six elephants including Deepa were orphaned calves rescued by CWRC after they became detached from their natal herds either due to human-elephant conflic

Phylogeography, genetic structure and populationdivergence time of cheetahs in Africa and Asia: evidencefor long-term geographic isolates


Record visitors but lower income at Brookfield Zoo
Investing in infrastructure a main strategy for future
Despite record attendance of 2.2 million people in 2010, Brookfield Zoo fell nearly $3 million below its projected revenue estimate, said Stuart Strahl, president and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society, which operates Brookfield Zoo.
Last week Museums Work for Chicago, a partnership of 14 Chicago area museums and zoos, announced that overall attendance at those local institutions decreased about 3 percent in 2010. However, Brookfield Zoo was one of just a few that experienced increased attendance in 2010, with 2 percent more visitors over 2009.
But the increase was not enough for the zoo to hit its revenue targets, said Strahl. While the zoo also sold a record number of annual memberships, it sold about 50,000 fewer individual daily tickets.
"We had a record number of members come, but we also had a record number of free passes," Strahl said. The zoo saw increased free visits by community groups as part of the zoo's outreach campaign, he added.
The fall off in individual ticket sales affected parking income and "people are spending less inside the park on special attractions" like dolphin shows and the Hamill Family Play Zoo and on souvenirs and food.
"It added up to about two and three-quarter million dollars below our projections on a $55 million budget," Strahl said.
The zoo has not planned any increases in admission, parking or membership fees in 2011, Strahl said.
The zoo also experienced less in the way of gifts from foundations and grant money was also lower, he said.
That's not to say the zoo didn't turn a profit in 2010. While its 2010 tax returns have not yet been filed with the state of Illinois, in 2009 the Chicago Zoological Society saw operating revenues outpace expenditures by more then $5.5 million. Of that number, $4.1 million was transferred to its capital projects fund and other transfers resulted in the operating fund showing a net loss of $70,000.
The zoo also funds capital improvements through philanthropic gifts and government grants, though the latter can sometimes be an iffy proposition.
In 2009, the state of Illinois earmarked $71.1 million for infrastructure improvements at the zoo as part of that year's much-ballyhooed capital bill. To date, said Strahl, Brookfield Zoo has received about 33 percent of that money. There's no guarantee the institution will receive the rest it was promised.
The zoo's policy of transferring operating profits into its

Lawmakers aim to ban aquarium fish collecting
State senators have introduced legislation that would impose a statewide ban on collecting reef fish for sale in the aquarium trade.
The Maui News reports the bill would prohibit the of sale aquatic life taken from state waters for aquarium purposes. Violators would face fines or possible jail time.
The legislation would allow exceptions for animals collected for subsistence or traditional or cultural use, human consumption, scientific research or public display.
The bill hasn't been scheduled for a hearing yet, which is an essential step if it is to become law.
Democratic Senate President Shan Tsutsui of Wailuku-Kahului, Democrat

Infant bonobo Teco offers rare opportunity
Today, Des Moines bonobo Teco celebrates eight months of life as scientists revel in the hope he will unlock new realms in ape communication and maybe even treatments for autism.
Teco was born at Great Ape Trust on June 1, marking the Des Moines research and conservation center's first ape birth. He's already playing baby games on a scientist's iPad and showing interest in the abstract symbols his cover-boy father, Kanzi, uses to communicate with people.
And he's caused some drama.
Ape trust scientists planned all along to do genetic research on Teco and his parents. That work became even more important when they discovered that Teco's eye movements and behaviors suggested he has autism.
That makes even more significant the trust's research into how the apes' genetic makeup plays into their physical appearance and behaviors, said William Fields, director of scientific research at the center.
Eventually, trust scientists may be able to find a way doctors can diagnose autism among human infants in the first month or so and treat it more effectively. They

Now, info on animals not caged in zoo
In a step that is likely to expand the ambit of RTI usage, the Delhi high court on Wednesday permitted an animal welfare organization based in the capital to seek information under the RTI Act on welfare of two elephants scheduled to be sent to Germany in an exchange programme in return for two cheetahs.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said the organization — Animal and Birds Charitable Trust — had the right to access periodical reports from Germany about the health conditions of the two pachyderms from the "Centre, Central Zoo Authority and the Animal Welfare Board under the RTI Act."
HC's permission came during the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the Trust challenging the government's exchange programme on the ground that the proposed zoo in Germany does not provide a conducive atmosphere for the two elephants as some elephants have died there earlier. The PIL sought quashing of plans to send the elephants to Leipzig Zoo in Germany in exchange for the cheetahs.
While HC refused to stay the exchange it asked the Centre and the Central Zoo Authority to ensure "conducive" atmosphere for the pair of elephants to be sent from Karnataka's Bannarghatta Sanctuary. "Ensure that the elephants live in a conducive atmosphere in Germany," the bench added after the counsel for the Centre and the CZA assured it that the prescribed guidelines under the Wildlife Protection Act for the exchange of animals between the zoos would be adhered to.
"The atmosphere and climatic conditions near Leipzig Zoo in Germany are conducive for Asiatic animals," the government said.
"We are only inclined to direct that transportation or transfer of the elephants should be done in terms of the guidelines and it would be obligatory (upon the Centre) to get updates on health conditions of the elephants and the petitioner (trust) will also be provided with the details under the RTI," the bench then noted.
The PIL, filed through advocates Mohit Chaudhary and Rashi Bansal, said the animal exchange programme has been chalked out between the German zoo and the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, Mysore. According to the programme, a pair of Indian elephants would be transported to Germany in exchange for two pairs of cheetahs, the PIL said pleading that the Centre be restrained from going ahead with it.
"The habitat in India is totally different from the environment in Germany. Indian elephants will be totally unprepared for such a cold weather, which may pose risks to their health and lead to unacceptable periods of confinement indoors," the petition said.
It also provided a chart of comparative temperatures of

White lions coming to Dreamworld
TWO rare white lions are preparing to call the Gold Coast home.
It is understood Dreamworld will babysit the 200kg animals while the National Zoo in Canberra undergoes renovations.
Jake and Mishka, who are sister and brother, will be temporarily shifted from their home to the Gold Coast in the coming months.
While the logistics are still being sorted and finalised, it is understood the lions will be housed in a temporary enclosure within the park.
Dreamworld would not confirm the deal was officially done, but the team at the National Zoo said Jake and Mishka were heading north.
"We can confirm that we are currently in planning for a new enclosure here at Dreamworld that would have the capacity to house various animals, including exotic species, and one of those that we are currently looking into is the white lion," said Al Mucci, Dreamworld General Manager of Life Science.
It is expected the plan will be completed by the middle to end of February.
Dreamworld said they were unable to provide further

White Lion Breeding is not Conservation

Three little pigs face chop in breeding row
BOSSES at Edinburgh Zoo have admitted they might have to cull three endangered piglets, just months after two others were killed because there was a "surplus" of the species.
The trio of baby Red River Hog piglets, named Ellis, Nelson and Moses, will follow in the footsteps of brother Sammi and sister Becca if a worldwide breeding programme orders them to be put to sleep.
The zoo works closely with the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), which recommends that animals be culled rather than rehomed if the species does not have a breeding recommendation.
Today, campaigners called for zoo bosses to search for any possible alternative to culling, and said the issue raised questions about the real value of the breeding programme.
The Evening News revealed that Sammi and Becca were culled last year because they were "surplus to requirement", despite being the first pair of Red River Hogs born in the zoo's history.
In 2009, when the pair were born, it had been recommended to Edinburgh Zoo that it did not breed the Red River Hogs. It is unknown as to whether the same recommendation was made last June when Ellis, Moses and Nelson arrived.
One zoo insider said: "I wouldn't be surprised if they were culled. Many zoos and animal organisations around

Zoo piglets' bacon saved after protest
A CAMPAIGN to save three endangered red river hog piglets has proven to be one of the shortest in history after Edinburgh Zoo bosses said they would do their "utmost" to find a new home for the trio.
Bosses said they would do everything they could to relocate Ellis, Moses and Nelson after the Evening News yesterday revealed they were under threat because there was a "surplus" of the species.
The zoo previously claimed it had to carry out cullings recommended by a worldwide breeding programme.
Previously, two piglets, Sammi and Becca, were put to sleep after they were deemed "surplus to requirement".
The announcement that the latest litter might be culled left charities and residents furious, sparking a national campaign.
Thousands of people joined the Save The Hogs internet campaign.
One insider said: "I'm glad the zoo are rehoming them. Saying that, they tried and failed to rehome the

Complacency over deforestation pushes orang-utan closer to extinction
Illegal logging and hunting continues despite legal protection, so the WWF is raising awareness to help save the orang-utan
The destruction of the world's rainforests continues at an alarming rate. Where I'm from in Borneo, illegal logging, coupled with hunting, is driving species such as the orang-utan ever closer towards extinction.
There are three subspecies of orangutan in Borneo and we only have about 2,000 orangutans left in the wild in West Kalimantan province, and through deforestation and hunting their numbers continue to fall. Just last month I heard from villagers that some people are still killing and eating them even though they're supposed to be protected by law.
I've just been travelling around the region in this part of Indonesia as I've been running a series of summer schools as part of a WWF awareness campaign to highlight the problems facing the orang-utan.
Over the past two years, the main focus for the campaign has been children because we've found it very difficult to change the minds and attitudes of older generations. We invite the kids to come along to these camps from nearby villages and at the last one more than 200 kids turned up. We do many different activities from drawing to tug-of-war competitions but the over-arching aim is to touch their hearts with stories about this wonderful creature and the rainforests in which they live. We want to leave them with the understanding that these unique creatures need protecting.
We're also starting to join forces with local government officials and religious leaders to spread the message to communities that live in traditional longhouses. We tell them about a recent success story that acts as a warning against killing orang-utans. One trader in Pontianak, where I'm based, was recently jailed for two years for trading orang-utans.
Such discussion also helps us talk about their habitats and the need to protect them too. In West Kalimantan from 1995, large-scale illegal logging cut through a forest corridor that linked two national parks where one of three subspecies of orang-utan (Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus) lives. This meant they couldn't

US-based group launches study on tarsiers in South Cotabato's Mt. Matutum
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has cleared a group of United States-based experts to conduct a one-year study on tarsiers, the world’s smallest primate, that is endemic to Mt. Matutum in South Cotabato.
Alfredo Pascual, DENR Region 12 director, said a Wildlife Gratuitous Permit was issued recently to Endangered Species International, a California-based conservation group.
“The permit would allow the group to conduct research for the possible conservation of the tarsiers (which have been monitored to live in Mt. Matutum),” Pascual said.
Biologist Pierre Fidenci, Endangered Species president, said their study aims to assess the tarsiers’ distribution, population size and density, habitat association, and status in Mt. Matutum, a recognized protected landscape.
Fidenci said they plan to establish a core conservation center at Sitio Bagong Silang in Barangay Linan, Tupi town in South Cotabato “to better protect their habitat and to prevent the tarsiers from total extinction."
Rolly Visaya, Tupi town information officer, said residents have been reporting about the presence of tarsiers

Physicians, veterinarians learn from each other at first-ever 'Zoobiquity' conference
UCLA, UC Davis, L.A. Zoo foster species-spanning approach to medicine
A second grader and a Shih Tzu dog can both experience separation anxiety when their caregivers leave. A dangerous brain tumor manifests itself similarly in an alpaca and a school principal. West Nile virus attacks a flamingo in the same way it assails a nursing-home resident.
Behind the skin, fur and feathers, humans and animals are profoundly alike; they carry vastly similar genetics and have tremendous overlap in their health and disease. Yet while veterinary and human medicine come together periodically to address topics such as food safety and emerging infections, the two fields mostly operate separately. But because they are often confronted with similar clinical challenges, experts say both fields will benefit from more cross-disciplinary interaction.
To that end, Zoobiquity, one of the first conferences of its kind, brought together 200 physicians and veterinarians to give each a better understanding of the global and species-spanning nature of illness and to help forge ways that both fields can work together to further medicine, science and research.
The one-day synergistic effort, which took place Jan. 29, was organized by the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, and the One Health Center of the UC Global Health Institute.
"Whether examining shared molecular structures or

Taronga Zoo elephant diagnosed with TB
One of the stars of Sydney's Taronga Zoo, an 18-year-old Asian elephant, has been diagnosed with Tuberculosis.
The Asian elephant, named Pak Boon, has been diagnosed with the illness which keepers believe she bought with her when she came from Thailand four years ago.
She was tested for the bug when she came to Australia, but tests at the time came up negative.
Pak Boon gave birth three months ago to a female calf, Tuka.
Her handlers say the pregnancy almost certainly brought on the illness, which the zoo's vet says can be quite common in elephants and can lie dormant in their system for years.
The baby has tested negative for TB, as

New inspection confirms problems at Chattanooga Zoo
A Jan. 26-27 federal inspection at the Chattanooga Zoo confirms problems that could have contributed to at least four of 10 recent animal deaths there, according to documents released Friday.
Inspector Susanne Brunkhorst, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, focused much of her three-page inspection report on two marmosets that died after being without food for at least two days and the snow leopard that lost two cubs while locked out of shelter in bad weather.
She also noted feeding problems that she saw herself. The inspection came after USDA received an anonymous complaint and at the invitation of Zoo Director Darde Long after Hank the chimp became the seventh animal to die in a month.
"During the inspection of the petting zoo area, it was noted that the goats and miniature horses were all very busy eating some hay that had just been placed in the hay rack. It was also noted that there was only one small square bale of hay in the loft," Brunkhorst wrote.
"In addition to the 11 goats and 2 minihorses, the camel and the

Zoo Officials Respond to USDA Inspection
Hundreds came out to the Chattanooga Zoo this weekend to celebrate the life of Hank the Chimp. But among the celebrations zoo officials are responding to the results of a federal inspection. A complaint was filed with the USDA just after Hank's death.
The inspect report revealed improper handling of animals, listing a pregnant snow leopard left in 20-degree temperatures.
There was also improper feeding after a miscommunication led to two animals going unfed.
The zoo director says they have hired an additional

35 animals freeze to death at zoo in northern Mexico as frigid weather grips region
Thirty-five animals at a zoo in the northern Mexico state of Chihuahua have frozen to death during the region's coldest weather in six decades.
Serengeti Zoo owner Alberto Hernandez says 14 parrots, 13 serpents, five iguanas, two crocodiles and a capuchin monkey died. He said Saturday that power failures cut off electrical heating at the zoo in the town of Aldama.
Temperatures have dropped to 9 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 13 Celsius) in the area, the coldest weather in 60 years.
Power outages have affected much of northern,0,4552281.story

Trunk road underpass: How elephant herds were reunited
Zebra crossings are easy but how does an elephant get from one side of the road to another? Answer: it simply walks underneath.
At least, they can now, thanks to Africa's first dedicated elephant underpass –a new solution to the increasing problem of animal-human conflict in Africa.
It was 6.47pm when a gleaming set of white tusks poked through the end of the newly built underpass. A second set of tusks appeared, then a third. Moving cautiously, the three young males climbed a bank of dirt, made a sharp left turn and crashed into the forest.
The £150,000 tunnel – built with donated money – has connected two wilderness areas, Mount Kenya's highlands and the lower forests and plains, and brought together two distinct elephant populations separated for years by the road. Some 2,000 elephants live on Mount Kenya, with 5,000 occupying the lower plain.
Africa's wildlife is coming under increasing pressure from human development. Villages are being built and crops raised in areas that for centuries were the sole preserve of wild animals. The elephant underpass

Rescued tiger lands in SA
A tiger rescued from a zoo in Jordan has arrived at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The male tiger was approximately nine-months-old when its was rescued from a zoo. Its health had deteriorated and it was offered a new home at the Lionsrock Sanctuary in Bethlehem.
Princess Alia of Jordan arrived with the wild cat and will witness its release into the sanctuary.
The tiger was placed in

Central Florida Zoo's Maude the elephant moving to Miami
Maude, the Asian elephant at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, will be moving this month to Zoo Miami, where she'll join a herd.
It was a difficult decision to make to move Maude, zoo officials said. The elephant had been with them for three decades. Ultimately, officials say, it was in Maude's best interest to move her to Miami.
"We have every reason to believe Maude will enjoy her new home at Zoo Miami and the companionship of their two elephants," said Bonnie Breitbeil, director of Animal Collections, in a news release.
Maude's pachyderm companion, Mary, died in March. Maude, who had moved to Sanford from Tampa's Busch Gardens, was about 10 years old when she met Mary. Because elephants travel in herds in the wild, zoos need to have at least two of them.
Zoo officials are planning a big send,0,4479581.story

Quinn blocks hike in Brookfield Zoo admission
Gov. Quinn on Friday spared visitors to the Brookfield Zoo from higher ticket prices by signing legislation that prevented the village from imposing admission increases.
Zoo officials said the proposed 25-cent increase would have cost the zoo as much as $500,000 in revenue. If allowed, revenue

It's a stampede! Birth of 100 sea horses caught on video
A curator at Tennessee Aquarium captures speedy delivery on cell phone
A teeny cavalry has burst onto the scene at the Tennessee Aquarium, where one of the resident lined sea horses recently gave birth to more than 100 babies.
Captured on video, the little sea horses can be seen popping out of a hole in their father's belly. (In the sea horse world, it is the males who carry the young and give birth.)
Carol Haley, the aquarium's assistant curator of fishes, captured the speedy delivery on video with her cell phone in the last week of January.
"There was a male that was starting his abdominal crunches – that's exactly what it looks like," Haley said. "He was either going into convulsions or getting ready to have his babies."
Although lined sea horses, a particular species of sea horse, produce offspring at the Tennessee Aquarium every few weeks, it's hard to predict the event’s exact time. Haley said

Larry Vogelnest awarded a public service medal
WHEN Collette, the baby humpback whale was stranded in Sydney’s Pittwater last August, Taronga Zoo chief veterinarian Larry Vogelnest was there to help the distressed animal.
And when anaesthetising 400kg leopard seals on floating chunks of ice in Antartica, the Cobbity resident’s expert advice was invaluable.
He may be the king of the animals, but the human species has taken notice - he was awarded a Public Service Medal for his contribution to the Taronga Conservation Society yesterday.
Dr Vogelnest, who has been working with animals for more than 20 years, was overwhelmed that he was awarded the medal - granted for outstanding public service.
“I have no idea who nominated me, but it’s something that came

Modern cage for white tigers in zoo
To ensure that space crunch for white tigers will not affect its captive breeding programme, the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur has begun constructing a modern cage for the big cats.
On Thursday, workers were busy with the construction process that began a few days ago. The concrete floor and pillars have already been built. "The new structure, which will be linked to the existing one, is being built at an estimated Rs two lakh and is expected to be completed in a few weeks. The zoo sees around 4,000 visitors during weekdays while the figure doubles during holidays and weekends," zoo director KSSVP Reddy, who is also chief conservator of forests, told The Times Of India.
The new cage, which includes a sloping roof, will be 43.29 feet (13 mts) tall at its highest point and 11 metres (36.63 ft) wide — enough for four adult tigers at a time. It will have separate entries for animal keeper K Chelliah and the big cats. Solar-power lights will illuminate it and it will have good ventilation.
According to officials, the enclosure for a pair of fully grown adult
Read more: Modern cage for white tigers in zoo - The Times of India

White Tiger Breeding is Not Conservation

Exotic fish with odd name causes problems at aquarium
An exotic Hawaiian triggerfish with an unpronounceable name has been causing problems for staff at a Hastings aquarium.
The Humuhumunukunukuapua'a fish, which can be found across the Pacific Ocean, has proved popular with visitors to the Blue Reef Aquarium.
But staff there have been struggling to pronounce its name when asked and have resorted to calling it a wedge tail triggerfish.
Kate Buss, who works at the East Sussex aquarium, said: "He's a beautiful-looking fish but none of us have got the faintest idea how to pronounce his name.
"It's proving a little embarrassing when we do our public talks and feeding demonstrations as he's the one fish in the toxic reef display that everyone always asks us about.
"We got someone

Python missing for 2 years is found
The owner of a Florida aquarium said a 14-foot Burmese python that disappeared two years ago was caught by police in an apartment complex.
Scott Konger, owner of the Tarpon Springs Aquarium, said he never expected to see Cleo the python again after she disappeared two years ago when someone broke into her outdoor enclosure, WFTS-TV, Tampa, Fla., reported Wednesday.
He said his hopes were raised when he heard about the Burmese python caught near Riverside Apartment Homes last week. A microchip implanted in the reptile identified it as belonging

Two crocodiles hatch from single egg
A wildlife park in far north Queensland is celebrating a rare event - the birth of twin crocodiles.
The two reptiles were hatched from a single odd-shaped egg.
A senior wildlife keeper, Clay Mitchell, says they were among a clutch of 63 crocodiles to hatch at the park, north of Cairns.
"It's actually quite a rare event - there has been eggs seen like this but none have made it right the way through term of incubation and actually

Experts confirm cause of rhino’s death at Cat Tien National Park
Experts looking into the death of a rare (possibly the last in Vietnam) Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) at Cat Tien National Park (NP) have confirmed it died from gunshot wounds, not natural causes. A rhinoceros can live to around 40 years of age in the wild, but this one is believed to have lived for only 15-25 years.
The conclusion was reached by a team of experts from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Cat Tien NP, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Freeland Foundation (an international non-governmental organization working in Asia for environmental conservation and human rights), together with two veterinarians, one a pathology expert

Feeder fears fate of grow-op bears after hibernation
The B.C. man accused of taming two dozen bears found at a marijuana grow-op says he fears the animals will be killed after they awake from hibernation.
Christina Lake resident Allen Piche appeared in court this week to face charges of feeding dangerous wildlife and marijuana production – but says his legal woes are less important than the fate of the bears.
"My concern has really been about the bears all the time," he told CTV News.
The bears, which were discovered during a police raid last August, are believed to be hibernating in the hills above Christina Lake. In a few months, they will begin waking up – and could head right back to Piche's property.
If they cause any trouble in the community, they will be deemed dangerously habituated to humans and



Wildlife Middle East News Vol 5 Issue 3

December 2010

PDFs can be downloaded from:

Vol 5 Issue 3 Contents


Distribution & abundance of greater flamingo in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Status and ecology of brown bears in Iran

Distribution update of the Arabian wolf from Saudi Arabia

Oman trains Yemeni conservationists in leopard research

Raptor trade in Kuwait bird market

Rhodococcus equi infection in Blanford’s foxes infected with distemper virus

News and reviews

Using drop nets to capture free ranging wildlife

News and reviews

Diseases and medical management of houbara bustards and other otididae

12th conservation workshop on the fauna of Arabia, first announcement

Feline infectious peritonitis in cheetahs in the UAE


Narrating the correlation of elephants as related to their import, groupings, breeding and transfers, along with other elephant related topics.


Persian Leopard Newsletter (PLN) No 5.

Over the past months we've been busy working on the 5th issue of Persian Leopard Newsletter. We are pleased to inform the new issue is released and presented to you, enclosed to this email. You can find the previous issues through the Year of Leopard section at ICS's




Read the PDF by clicking



For more information please contact Sabrina Brando


John G. Shedd Aquarium Andros Iguana research expedition from
April 29-May 8, 2011



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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the link to my blog, ShowMe Elephants. I have added Zoo News Digest to my compilation of links.