Monday, February 28, 2011

Zoo News Digest 26th - 28th February 2011 (Zoo News 728)

Zoo News Digest 26th - 28th February 2011 (Zoo News 728)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

If you have not already done so please view the video in The Plight of Orangutans in Indonesian Zoos (see below). It makes sad viewing but makes a point. One of the main points is that people must stop using Orangutans as photographic stooges. We have to stop the boxing matches too as in Safari World in Bangkok. If it all seems so far away, it isn't, just look at the 'The Insitute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species'....the Myrtle Beach Circus. Reputable Zoos do not exploit animals in such ways. And moving further afield I don't care how many medals they have or whether they are president of this that or the next or how much bribe money is (sorry that should be donated funds) paid out. Wrong is wrong regardless of whether it is dressed up in titles and memberships of 'seemingly' reputable organisations. The world is changing. It has changed. The menagerie and the freak shows are way way past their sell by date. It really is time to get serious.

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The Plight of Orangutans in Indonesian Zoos

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Japanese Macaque captured after 8-months on the run from Czech zoo; colleague still at large
A monkey has been returned to a Czech zoo, but keepers are puzzled as to why he doesn't celebrate.
Hana Labska, a spokeswoman for the zoo in Olomouc, 250 kilometres (155 miles) east of the Czech capital Prague, said Friday the Japanese Macaque looked to be "upset" in his first hours back in captivity.
Simpy and a colleague, Tatin, escaped from the zoo eight months ago when the sound of a chain saw triggered a dash for freedom.
Labska said the primates had escaped before, but always returned soon after.
Since fleeing, the monkeys had gone their separate ways and been spotted in numerous places around the region.
During his hundreds of kilometres (miles) on the run, Simpy

Cole Bros. Circus settles illegal elephant sale case
Tina and Jewel, 2 Asian elephants, now call Los Angeles Zoo home
Children may dream of running away to join the circus, but Tina and Jewel have escaped that life.
The two Asian elephants have traded the big top for the Los Angeles Zoo after federal authorities intervened on their behalf.
DeLand-based Cole Bros. Circus, its owner John Pugh, and former circus employee Wilbur Davenport entered plea agreements Thursday in federal court in Texas to resolve Endangered Species Act violations relating to the sale of the elephants.
Pugh and the circus were charged with unlawfully selling the elephants to Davenport, who was charged with unlawfully receiving the animals. Davenport approached Pugh in 2005 about buying Tina and Jewel, the federal Department of,0,5169308.story

Exercise helps police prepare in case of zoo escape
Police were on the prowl Friday morning, practicing what they would do if an animal were to ever escape from the Memphis Zoo.
Officers teamed up with zoo workers to track down the fictional animal. In the drill scenario, the animal had escaped the zoo and was hiding somewhere in Overton Park.
"We were very pleased overall," said Joe Scott, the Memphis Police Department’s deputy chief. "We were able to note some improvements we can make for future scenarios. Overall it went very well."
According to zoo officials, once they became aware that an animal has escaped, the police department was notified. Then, the MPD dispatched squad cars, motorcycles helicopters and even the TACT squad to the area. Once officers were on scene, they set up a command post inside the zoo.
Zoo workers played the part of the animal and thanks

Aquarium an attraction with teeth
As visitors squeal at the ragged-tooth shark gliding overhead, it’s easy to pick out the aquarium nerd. “Brain coral!” a little voice exclaims.
If Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, in this Appalachian resort town, is anything to go by, the company’s next fin fiesta, proposed for just south of the CN Tower, would spawn a lot of fish fans — and give the troubled Toronto Zoo a run for its money.
The Star visited the decade-old, Canadian-owned Aquarium of the Smokies over two days recently and found a bustling complex bursting with exhibits and educational eye candy.
While the Ripley’s brand has, believe it or not, given some Torontonians pause, there are no two-headed dolphins floating in formaldehyde.
There are 38 tanks, ranging from something you might see in a recreation room to a two-storey, 2.8-million-litre “Shark Lagoon” teeming with thousands of creatures including the four-metre, serrated-jawed stars, stingrays the size of area rugs and otherworldly sawfish.
Nine exhibits are sprawled over two levels, including Rainforest, Ocean Realm, Touch A Ray Bay, Coral Reef and a “discovery centre” with wet and dry educational displays.
Mesmerized visitors watch colourful jellyfish pulse against a deep blue background. Kids and parents roll up sleeves to stroke stingrays and horseshoe crabs. “Oohs,” “aahs” and Jaws jokes echo up and down a 100-metre moving sidewalk as wide-eyed patrons glide through a clear tunnel at the bottom of Shark Lagoon.
At Penguin Playground, the newest attraction, kids and a few limber adults crawl through a clear tunnel, pointing at two-foot-tall birds swimming by. The humans stand up into an onshore bubble to exchange up-close stares with the endangered African inhabitants.
Temporary exhibits in the past have included “Lethal Weapons,” showcasing

Dr. Julie Barnes Named Director of Animal Health at Santa Barbara Zoo
Dr. Julie Barnes BVSc MSc has been selected as the Santa Barbara Zoo’s new Director of Animal Health. She was the Zoo’s relief veterinarian for more than five years before taking this full-time position.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Barnes join our team,” said Zoo Director Nancy McToldridge. “She has experience with our collection and staff as a relief veterinarian. We have tremendous respect for her clinical abilities, as well as her ability to fit in with our team.”
Dr. Barnes graduated from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and completed a Master’s degree in Wild Animal Health at the London Zoo. Returning to Australia, she was a relief veterinarian at several zoos and wildlife parks and then was employed as a full-time clinical veterinarian at the Taronga Zoo (Sydney, Australia) for seven years, which included work as a veterinarian

A zoo in name only
"The zoo meant more than a sight-seeing attraction to me; it was a poetic haunt, an inspiration to my mind. While an undergraduate, I visited the place often and encountered for the first time in my life animals like the antelope, turtle, baboons, crocodiles, lions, python, different species of birds, to mention a few,” recalled Arthur Anyaduba, an alumnus of the Obafemi Awolowo Universty, Ile Ife, Osun State.
Another former student of the university who is now a teacher there, Dr Arowole Oladare, also recounted, “As a Master’s student and that was in the late 80s, I remember I went to the zoo four different times. The way I can describe what I saw then is that it was fairly what a zoo should be. The animals in their different species were always in their element. They had the right attention and were well taken care of.”
Located directly opposite the Faculty of Social Sciences with a tarred road in-between, the zoo now has a newly constructed car park in the place where its main entrance used to be. The zoo is fenced with poles and wires. There is the rickety structure serving as a staff office, there are small sign boards that show the way to the different abodes of the animals. Displayed in conspicuous places are also different instructions that visitors must strictly adhere to for their safety and the preservation of the animals.
In another part of the zoo where there is a community of bamboo trees, there is an engaging sight. On the bodies of the greenish bamboo trees are various names, dates and comments scribbled with sharp objects by some of the adventurous young minds who visited the place. On the walls and cages of the various enclosures are short notices containing the names of the animals, their botanical nomenclatures, their provenances, and warnings to visitors – all written in English and Yoruba languages.
The animals are housed in near-suitable habitats with enough room to move about, jump, fly or hide. However, the only crocodile there, an aqua-terrestrial animal, is seen in ‘sedate contemplation’ beside a very shallow, dingy pond. Arthur lamented, “There’s hardly anything left there. The baboons, birds and many others have died of hunger and age, and no replacements have been made. Sad still is the fact that the few animals left there are hungry and dying. The exotic natural environment of the zoo, which in my opinion is the most natural zoo in the country, is daily under threat of being mowed down for the erection of unplanned and wrongly situated buildings.”
The Nation visited the zoo recently. The official on duty was recumbent, listening to his radio. “Good afternoon,” he heartily responded to the reporter’s greeting, briskly assuming a sitting position. “This zoo has serious problems,” he said in answer to a question on the state of the zoo. “There are no more animals like we used to have them. The ones we have there now are not properly fed; they are starving. That is why we don’t allow the lion and the lioness to stay together. The former in that state of hunger will eat the latter. So we allow one to be in the cage with the other outside in their enclosure. We alternate this position every week. There is also the problem of replacement. When these animals die, some of hunger and others of old age, they are not replaced. That is why we don’t have many any more.”
When The Nation contacted Professor ‘Shola Akinpelu, the head of the Biological Garden Unit (OAU Zoo), he was unwilling to make comments on the

Citizen partners with Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo as official Timekeeper
Citizen, one of the world's largest watchmakers, has entered into a partnership with Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, to become Official Timekeeper for what is one of the largest aquariums in the world.
The agreement will bring together Citizen, who is not just the world's largest maker of watches but also leaders in eco-friendly timekeeping technology and advanced professional watches, with one of the largest and most popular underwater attractions in the world.
As Official Timekeeper, Citizen will equip the divers at the Dubai Aquarium with their professional dive watches featuring automatic depth sensors and will display Citizen branding at strategic locations around the aquarium.
Gordon White, General Manager, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, said: "The specialized Citizen watches will equip our divers to manage their underwater schedules, which is crucial - especially as they have daily feeding routines for the aquatic animals including the sharks. As one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo offers unique branding opportunities for businesses to reach out to a wide audience, as demonstrated through

Snow Leopard dies in Wildlife Dept’s custody
A Snow Leopard which had spread terror among villagers allegedly died in the custody of the Wildlife Department on Saturday.
The wild-cat had come out of a forest in search of food last month and had spread panic among the residents of Minthal by killing livestock.
On Saturday morning, the villagers followed and caught the cat and handed it over to the Wildlife Department but it died so

Owners breach cordons for pets
Pet owners are breaking through cordons to retrieve their animals, the SPCA says.
A Wellington SPCA Animal Rescue Unit is heading to Christchurch to help with an overload of animal welfare issues. It will be accompanied by Massey University's new Veterinary Emergency Response Team.
It is the first deployment of this type to be undertaken in New Zealand.
SPCA rescue manager Blair Hillyard said the combined 12-strong team would assist urban search and rescue teams that encounter aggressive dogs while conducting house-to-house checks.
The team will also work with animals in areas where humans have been evacuated and will distribute animal food and veterinary supplies to families in need.
The situation for animals has been "deteriorating because of time issues" and is forcing concerned animal owners to break through police cordons to search for their pets.
"That is really one of the common problems of why people break the cordon. It's not to go and do burglaries ... it's to go and retrieve their pets. We will be providing that pretty critical service."
Members of the SPCA team, who are all volunteers, and Massey's vet squad, are trained in urban search and rescue, emergency management, rope rescue, and Civil Defence.
This will help them rescue human quake victims should the need arise, Mr Hillyard said.
"All the Civil Defence qualifications are based on human rescue so we are well placed to morph between the two."
The team will arrive in Christchurch on Sunday afternoon and will start work the next day. The deployment is initially for seven days but could be extended.
SPCA national chief executive Robyn Kippenberger said she was "very aware the worst is yet to come because there will be lots of animals displaced".
"We are not expecting a huge number of dogs but I am expecting a large number of cats. They will be strayed from the earthquake or strays whose colonies have been upset."
Two senior SPCA inspectors have already been sent to Christchurch to help with what is expected to be an influx of stray and displaced cats.
Orana Wildlife Park marketing manager Nathan Hawke said there

Island's dingo debate reignited
Dingo warrior Jennifer Parkhurst has not stepped foot on Fraser Island since being sentenced last year for feeding the emaciated animals.
It's taking an emotional toll on the controversial photographer but she fears she would be jailed if the dogs so much as approached her, she told ABC TV's Australian Story, which features Ms Parkhurst in tonight's episode.
Since being sentenced in November for 46 counts of feeding the dingoes - she was fined $40,000 and jailed for nine months, suspended for three years - calls to better protect the island's dingoes have been all but silent.
Tonight's Australian Story episode again raises the question of whether the 160 dogs are becoming extinct.
Veterinary experts and other supporters interviewed say the dingoes are in grave danger.
"If things go on the way they’re going, the whole dingo population on that Fraser Island will become extinct," veterinarian Dr Ian Gunn, from Monash University's National Dingo Recovery and Preservation Program, said.
He praised Ms Parkhurst's efforts to prove the dingoes' plight.
Ms Parkhurst's obsession with the

Amur tigers in population crisis
The effective population of the critically endangered Amur tiger is now fewer than 14 animals, say scientists.
Approximately 500 Amur tigers actually survive in the wild, but the effective population is a measure the genetic diversity of the world's largest cat.
Very low diversity means any vulnerability to disease or rare genetic disorders is likely to be passed on to the next generation.
So these results paint a grim picture for the tiger's chance of survival.
The findings are reported in the journal

New look for main National Marine Aquarium tank after tragic incident
THE finishing touches are being made to the refurbished centrepiece of the National Marine Aquarium after more than 200 fish were killed in an overnight power failure.
The tragic incident in November at the site on Plymouth's Sutton Harbour caused the Atlantic Reef tank's life support system to fail and most of the water drained out.
Staff arrived the next morning to find the dead fish in the near-empty 550,000-litre tank which had featured a wide range of life from our waters, including pollock, bream and smooth hound sharks.
The aquarium is hoping to reopen the attraction in the near future, which will be renamed the Eddystone Reef.
A spokesman said: "It has been drained to allow the rock work to be cleaned and tweaked ahead of the redesign and the transformation into the Eddystone Reef. Sourcing for the fish

River Safari's panda frenzy begins
All creature comforts will be provided when pandas are flown in from China next year
THE nitty-gritty of moving the two giant pandas from China to Singapore early next year has started in earnest.
And Singapore Airlines will make sure it is 'a great way to fly' for the pandas. SIA signed on last September to transport the VIPs.
A team of zookeepers and veterinarians from the Chinese city of Chengdu will accompany the duo.
Details have emerged of the planning and logistics involved in making the trip comfortable for the pandas.
Mr Ang Cheng Chye, the curator at River Safari, said individual custom-made crates will be used to move the bears to the airport in Chengdu.
They will then be loaded onto a Singapore Airlines



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Hello ZooLex Friend,

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Mongoose at the "African Village" is one of several animal exhibits within an African theme area at Zagreb Zoo. The African village is a display for educational and decorative purposes. Replicas of African huts and artefacts give visitors an impression of an East African village.

We would like to thank Annette Gunn, who did an internship with ZooLex in 2010, for preparing this presentation during her visit to Zagreb Zoo.



Thanks to Eduardo Diaz Garcia we are able to present the Spanish translation of a previously published exhibit presentation:

Tortugas gigantes

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February 2011 - Vol. 3 - No. 2 - Pages 1493-1576



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