Monday, March 7, 2011

Zoo News Digest 6th - 7th March 2011 (Zoo News 730)

Zoo News Digest 6th - 7th March 2011 (Zoo News 730)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

Just the title to the story 'Play with a liger' sends out a message to every true zoo professional that this is an organisation to stay clear of. This is clearly a cub factory, breeding especially so people can play with tigers, ligers and wolves. There is nobody who can convince me that this sort of exploitative breeding is right. It is places like this which encourage the very worst such as Sri Racha Tiger Zoo and its evil clones. There is no breeding programme associated with such places, no conservation and no true education as a result. I hope this place goes under. True enough it will cause problems with re-housing but with luck the animals will end up with true professionals who really care about species rather than pocket.

I thought the story and photos of the 13 white sea turtle hatchlings to be fascinating. I always imagine albino's to be a two in a million occurrence but here we have thirteen in one nest. Amazing. I have seen perhaps a dozen in my travels. I took a photo of one which I included in my hub about Turtle Conservation in Thailand. I wonder though what the chances are of such turtles surving in the wild.

'Hunting is good for Africa's Lions'..what do you think? Always a hot topic for debate. I believe it would depend on whether there is a surplus of lions. If it becomes necessary to cull then why not get someone to pay for it and so put money back into conserving the remaining animals. It looks like just this sort of question is going to have to be asked about the Gir Forest Lions in India which are now moving out from where they have previously stayed happy and protected.

Meanwhile we have yet another meeting to discuss tigers. Happily this one is made up of people who actually know something about tigers, and big cats in general.

I truly believe we should forget about protecting tigers. We need to protect the forests. The tigers and everything (including the butterflies and bees) in them will be protected as a result. Forget about doubling numbers. The numbers will double if there is food to go round. There will be no food unless there is grass for the food to eat.

An 80 year old lobster! That is an age. I am fond of lobster but could never eat any creature which was older than I am. Give it a fancy name, as they have done here 'Bone Cruncher' and he is bound to be popular in the aquarium.

There is a lot to be said for choice of name. I recollect some years ago we had fairly regular auctions of paintings done by our chimpanzees. Okay the colours were a little different as were application and style but it was the names which really sold them. We, the staff would choose the names by what we 'saw' in the painting. The bidding public could see these too. Worked well.

Please see the links to the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trusts courses below. If interested apply today. There are still spaces available. If you don't work in a zoo any of these could enhance your CV and if you do it would as well.

Finding myself in a little bit of a moral dilemma today. Such is life but then 'needs must'.


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Play With A Liger, Wolf Pup To Help Exotic Animal Park
Wolves, tigers, and even a liger are roaming in Edmond to help raise money for an Oklahoma exotic animal park.
The G.W. Exotic Animal Park set up shop in Bryant Square this weekend. They're trying to raise money and awareness. For $25 for two people, you can actually go in the cages and play with wolf pups or the liger cub, which is part lion, part tiger.
"We are trying to make it through the winter, trying to get the bills paid, trying to keep money coming in at all times. Just reminding people spring break is coming up. Reminding

Lawyers for owner of Greenwich zoo call for tossing of charges
Defense lawyers for a Greenwich zoo owner who has been indicted for alleged environmental and wildlife crimes asked a judge on Friday to throw out the charges, arguing there is insufficient evidence and that procedural errors were made before the grand jury.
Jeffrey Ash, owner of Ashville Game Farm, faces 29 felony, misdemeanor and noncriminal violation counts related to the operation of his Lick Springs Road business.
One of his two lawyers, Robert Winn, argued Friday that the indictment should be dismissed because the Washington County District Attorney's Office allowed improper "hearsay" testimony before the grand jury, falsely concluded a tarantula could seriously injure a person and wrongly charged Ash with forgery and illegally possessing a duck.
"We feel the integrity of this grand jury was so imperiled that entire indictment should be dismissed," Winn said.
Ash was indicted in December, four months after a ringtailed lemur at his zoo apparently bit a 7-year-old child. Three lemurs were killed to be tested for rabies, but none were found to be rabid.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation initiated an investigation after the biting incident, an investigation that ended with criminal charges, including forgery, endangering the welfare of a child, reckless endangerment and protection of the public from attack by wild animals.
Winn spent more than 20 minutes Friday breaking down what he and defense lawyer Tucker Stanclift claim are flaws in the indictment.
Winn said Ash was cited for an injury in which a monkey bit a child, but it was not noted in the charges that the 1-year-old's father lifted the child so he could reach a cage that was 8 feet off the ground.
Stanclift called the charges "nonsense" and said prosecutors and police have an "over-reaching agenda."
"They're trying to shut down a Washington County business

Blue Planet Aquarium’s poison arrow frog with a romantic twist
A POISON arrow frog with a bizarre heart-shaped pattern on his back has got pulses racing at the Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire Oaks.
Romeo, a male dyeing frog, is part of a highly successful breeding colony of the potentially lethal amphibians, a member of a group of frogs whose toxic skin was once used by native South American tribes to poison their arrowheads.
His peculiar markings were spotted by keeper Adam Mitchell, who is also a keen photographer.
“Dyeing poison frogs are a highly variable species, ranging from almost completely blue, through cream, black and even yellow depending on where they come from,” said

Captive orangutans in Indonesia may be freed
Their black eyes peer from the slats of wooden cages, hundreds of orangutans orphaned after their mothers were shot or hacked to death for straying out of Indonesia's rapidly disappearing forests in search of food.
No one wants to get them back into the wild as much as Birute Mary Galdikas, who has devoted a lifetime to studying the great red apes, now on the verge of extinction. And for the first time in years, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon, thanks to a Hong Kong-based development company's plans to protect a 91,000-hectare (224,866-acre) peatland forest along Tanjung Puting National Park's eastern edge.
"The problem has been finding a safe place to release them," said the 64-year-old scientist. "Many are ready to go right now."
A half-century ago, more than three-quarters of Indonesia, a sprawling archipelagic nation spanning the width of the United States, was blanketed in plush tropical rainforest. But in the rush to supply the world with pulp, paper and, more recently palm oil - used in everything from lipstick and soap to "clean-burning" fuel - half those trees have been cleared.
It is here, in scattered, largely degraded forests, that almost all the world's 50,000 to 60,000 orangutans can be found. Another 1,500 live in a handful of crowded rehabilitation centers, many of them rescued after their mothers were killed.
Fadhil Hasan, the head of Indonesia's palm oil association, denied plantation workers were intentionally killing orangutans to protect their crops from raids, saying villagers involved in the illegal wildlife trade pose the greatest threat to the apes.
"Sure, maybe it happens occasionally," he said. "But the businessmen who run these plantations, and their workers, understand that these animals are protected."
Young orphaned apes can't be released directly into parks like Tanjung Puting -home to 6,000 orangutans - because of a 1995 decree that prohibits the release of ex-captives into forests with large wild populations, primarily over fears they'll introduce diseases like tuberculosis.
But the small patches of trees that remain are inadequate for their breeding needs and massive appetites. In the wild, the giant apes spend almost all of their day looking for fruit, consuming up to 20 percent of their body mass.
"We manage, just barely, to give them what they need for adequate lives," said Galdikas, as a dozen caretakers lift shaggy, young orangut

Mystery deaths at Sepahijala zoo
The mysterious deaths of two leopards and some birds sent the Sepahijala zoo authorities into a tizzy. In the last four days, two leopards and as many as 11 birds of various species including night herons, pond herons, eagles, owls, kites, small cranes and white and black-necked storks have died in the zoo.
Besides the two leopards, another wild cat was found dead in the zoo area. A vulture was also found sick and immediately shifted to the intensive care unit. Vultures are now considered an extremely endangered species.
The wildlife conservator and director of Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary, Ajit Bhowmik, confirmed

Va. Aquarium staff fixes foot of 400-pound crocodile
How do you give medical care to the aching foot of an annoyed, 400-pound crocodile?
An obvious answer is "very carefully."
But on Thursday at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, there were no jokes or punch lines as six staffers, including a Gloucester veterinarian, climbed into a wet tank to treat a rare and ailing crocodile named Gloria.
Gloria and her 14-foot-long boyfriend, Grover, are both tomistomas, a highly endangered crocodile species native to Southeast Asia and the island of Borneo.
They have been together on display at the Virginia Beach aquarium for about two years, and curators hope the two wil

Immigration questions two women sleeping at Zoo
Two women who arrived at Piarco International Airport last Sunday night found themselves in an awkward situation when they declared to Immigration officers that they would be staying and sleeping overnight at the Emperor Valley Zoo, for a week.
One of the women also gave her surname as “Owlett,” and Immigration officers concluded the women may have been monkeying around, and subjected the visitors to almost two hours of questioning. The officers informed the women that the local zoo, like all zoos, accommodated only animals.
However, the American women insisted that they planned staying at the Port-of-Spain zoo, even though they didn’t have the Zoo’s address. However, after a thorough investigation the women were eventually allowed entry into the country. The Emperor Valley Zoo does in fact have a visitor’s suite. The Emperor Valley Zoo also falls under the Ministry of Tourism.
The duo — Senior Bird Keeper, Athena Wilson and Animal Care Supervisor for Birds, Janice Owlett of the San Diego Zoo came to Trinidad as part of an ongoing collaboration with the Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago. While here, they spent time working alongside the local zookeepers in readiness for the new exhibit opening soon under the first phase of the Emperor Valley Zoo upgrade project.
They have also joined their local counterparts in some research work on local hummingbirds, some of which are on display at the San Diego Zoo, and are huge attractions.
The visitors amid their busy schedule, made time to enjoy the natural beauty of Trinidad, taking trips to the Caroni Swamp Bird Sanctuary and Asa Wright Nature Centre, followed by a visit to,136841.html

Place of worship hits tiger conservation
A huge place of worship right in the middle of Palamu tiger reserve has hindered progress of conserving the big cats.
The pucca building at Labher on way from Betla to Garu has become a troubled zone also as a ranger had been beaten up by local villagers some years back.
National Tiger Conservation Authority member of east and northeast effective management evaluation Srivastava said the ranger had objected to the construction of the place of worship at Labher.
The Supreme Court has asked the state governments to ensure a relocation of all places

The secret life of animals
The Smithsonian's database of thousands of 'candid camera' shots gives a fascinating insight into wild behaviour
They were just going about their daily business: the elephants strolling, the hyena mooching, and the pair of thirsty pandas taking a refreshing drink. Then... gotcha! With the click of a hi-tech shutter and perhaps a blinding flash, a moment from their hidden existence was captured for posterity.
In recent decades, scientists have come to rely heavily on motion-sensitive cameras to conduct research into animal populations and behaviour. The tiny automated devices, which can be left in remote areas for weeks at a time, are triggered by sudden changes in temperature.
Until now, the photographs that they produce have largely been kept below the radar: made public only via the publication of scientific research projects. Though they are often pretty and occasionally fascinating, the primary purpose of the images has been to inform professional ecologists.
That all changed yesterday, when the Smithsonian released a vast database of more than 202,000 "candid camera" shots, from seven major projects around the world, via its website. The collection is available for viewing to the public via the newly launched "Smithsonian Wild" website.
While many photos are relatively mundane, a few capture moments of high drama: one shows an ocelot creeping up behind an armadillo, ready to pounce.
Each shot is published with a record of the exact location and time at which it was taken, allowing

13 White Hatchling Sea Turtles
We have posted about sea turtles here before, but for those of you who don't know, Tim Baynham (nyami), Nicole Mann (hissing roach) and myself manage a sea turtle conservation project in Soyo, Northern Angola. Our project focuses on protecting nesting females, their nests and the education of the local community of Soyo.
Yesterday we recieved a call from one of the neighboring fishing villages reporting that the turtle patrol team on the peninsula had found a nest containing 13 white hatchling sea turtles. In the past

The £6bn trade in animal smuggling
It funds terrorists and civil wars, and brings more species closer to extinction
Animal smuggling has grown to a £6bn-a-year criminal industry, and is exceeded only by the drugs and arms trades. Its illicit profits are a major source of funding for terrorist and militia groups, including al-Qa'ida, and the snaring and slaughtering of animals is driving dozens of species to the brink of extinction.
These are the main findings from a month-long Independent on Sunday investigation into the growing scale and impact of wildlife trafficking – an illicit business which, thanks to huge profits and the violence to which it so readily resorts, is overwhelming the law and order resources ranged against it.
For all the international treaties, police units, campaign groups and NGOs battling it, the trade continues to grow. The world's tiger population has plummeted from 100,000 at the start of the 20th century to below 4,000 today; 20,000 elephants are killed each year for their ivory; the number of rhino poached in South Africa doubled last year; sea turtles are being harvested at an astonishing rate, their shells turned into jewellery; and, over the past 40 years, 12 species of large animal have vanished completely in Vietnam. The trade takes its toll in human lives, too. Each year, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, more than 100 African rangers are killed, the men unequipped

Why being hunted is good for Africa’s lions
This week, a coalition of animal rights activists filed a petition with the Department of Interior to list African lions as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act — their latest attempt to impose restrictions on hunters. As usual, the activists use sensationalized, emotional messaging that has nothing to do with the science of wildlife conservation.
Hunters and hunting actually benefit Africa’s lions — as well as its humans. Revenues from hunting generate $200 million annually in remote rural areas of Africa. This revenue gives wildlife value and humans protect the revenue by protecting the wildlife.
Placing African lions on the Endangered Species List will effectively end hunting of the animal. When the conservation and financial incentives that hunting provides are lost or mismanaged, the value local communities place on the sustainability of lion populations greatly diminishes. This leads to humans killing lions as a result of human-lion conflict.
For example, in lion range states where hunting has been banned, cattle herders are using snares and deadly pesticides to poison and kill lions in high numbers in the interest of protecting their own livelihoods. Other resident wildlife also falls to snares and poisons that target lions.
Human-wildlife conflict is a consistent threat across lion range, but people better tolerate coexisting with lions when lions have an economic value. Ending hunting in countries that currently allow it could spell the end of responsible management of lion populations.
Through adaptive management, governments set hunting regulations that are non-detrimental to the health and survival of the game species populations, specifically for lions, as this species generates huge economic revenues for rural communities. Hunting is the most successful tool for maintaining incentives to conserve lions.
We are proud to say that Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) is a true leader in the conservation movement. From the restoration of America’s forests and

Tiger experts meet today
A meeting of top global experts on tiger is being held in New Delhi on Monday to discuss the “new way forward” in tiger conservation efforts. Those participating in the meeting include George Shaller, Alan Rabinowitz and Joe Smith from Panthera, an American non-profit organisation, Belinda Wright, Bittu Sahgal and Valmik

Vietnam scrambles to save Hanoi's sacred turtle
Hundreds of people are working around the clock to clean up a lake in the heart of Vietnam's capital in hopes of saving a rare, ailing giant turtle that is considered sacred.
Experts say pollution at Hanoi's Hoan Kiem Lake is killing the giant freshwater turtle, which has a soft shell the size of a desk. It is one of the world's most-endangered species, with only four believed alive worldwide.
Teams of people are cleaning debris, pumping fresh water into the lake and using sandbags to expand a tiny island to serve as a "turtle hospital." The rescuers may even try to net the animal for the first time as part of the effort.
The Hoan Kiem turtle is rooted in Vietnamese folklore, and some even believe the creature that lives in the lake today is the same mythical turtle that helped a Vietnamese king fend off the Chinese nearly six centuries ago.
It swims alone in the lake and in the past has been glimpsed only rarely sticking its wrinkled neck out of the water. But it has recently surfaced

Wildcat number are low but experts are fighting tooth and claw to save the Scottish species
The Scottish wildcat is often portrayed as being all snarl and teeth, back hunched and ears flattened, spitting out furious defiance.
The reality, of course, is less dramatic, for its behaviour is largely similar to a domestic cat as it goes about its daily rounds, padding softly through the bracken and grass with not a hint of a scowl, pausing now and again to
listen for the telltale rustle of a field vole.
But while it may be benign in behaviour, there is real drama unfolding around its survival status in Scotland, with the wildcat now

Hibernating bears may help sick humans
Hibernating bears set their energy demands on low; but unlike most other animals that take long winter naps, they don't chill out very much, researchers have reported.
Figuring out how bears cut energy use but still keep their body temperature relatively warm could one day help doctors treat people who have suffered heart attacks and strokes.
The body temperature of small hibernating mammals can drop to near freezing. But that is not the case for black bears, according to new research.
The study's senior author, Brian M. Barnes of the University of Alaska, and his colleagues studied five black bears that Alaska wildlife officials had removed from areas near people.
The bears hibernated wooden nest boxes fitted with cameras and sound recorders as well as instruments to measure oxygen use. All of the bears had implanted transmitters to measure their temperature, heart rate and muscle activity.
The scientists found that rather than having their temperature drop to near freezing, the bears went through cycles of several days when their temperature fell to 86 degrees. Then

Conserve all forms of endangered species, says Zoo executive director
Present conservation priorities are only restricted to tigers, elephants, orchids and other mega species, while we are practically blinded about other life forms such as butterflies, said K B Markandaiah, Executive Director, Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens.
He was speaking at the valedictory of a two-day national conference on ‘Scientific documentation of life of butterflies: Need, process and importance’ organised by St Philomena’s College here on Sunday.
Pointing out the need to conserve butterflies for posterity, Markandaiah said they are a flagship species with an aesthetic appeal and ecological importance.
With 15,000 butterfly species in the world and 1,500 species in India, he said that one-third of them are endangered.
While butterflies are critical biological indicators, he mentioned that the future of the winged species is under threat.
He said that earlier, they were visible in home gardens, but now they are disappearing from backyards also.
Second largest pollinators
Being the second largest pollinators, next only to honey

Historic hippo birth at Swedish zoo (VIDEO)

80-year-old 3ft lobster named the Bone Crusher makes a big impact at aquarium
With just one squeeze of his massive orange claws he could snap a person's finger in two.
The Bone Crusher, as he's been dubbed, is a monster of a lobster measuring 3ft from his tail to the end of his claws and is believed to be aged around 80 years old.
He became tangled up in a trawl net off the coast of Lyme Regis, Dorset, and is now living at the marine aquarium in the popular holiday town.
Max Gollop runs the aquarium perched on the end of the historic harbour wall known locally as the Cobb.
Mr Gollop, who has been running the aquarium for the past 10 years, said: "He could break your fingers.
"We called him the Bone Crusher because he crunches up crabs and whelks with his massive claws.
"He's the biggest lobster we've had and has certainly broken the record for the biggest lobster.
"He was brought in after he got caught up in a trawl net – he was far too big to be caught in one of the lobster pots.
"Since he came in last month he's proved to be a massive

Lion on the march, reclaims lost kingdom
The Asiatic lions of India were hunted down all over the country and they found refuge in a tiny corner of the Saurashtra peninsula which was their home for most of the 20th century. Now, slowly but surely, the lion is reclaiming his larger kingdom.
The Gir national park and sanctuary is unable to contain the growing population of the lions. As their numbers grow from the count of 411 done in mid-2011 , the lion kingdom today is nearly 10,500 sq km — almost one-fifth of Saurashtra.
As many as 114 lions have drifted way beyond the protected area and spread out into other areas of Amreli, Bhavnagar and Junagadh districts. The length of this kingdom, spread across southern Saurashtra , is a whopping 200 km as the crow flies. Having learnt to live close to friendly human habitations, the lion is moving

Not your ordinary pool accessory at SeaWorld
As SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment prepares to put trainers back in its killer-whale pools, the most complex — and expensive — safety upgrade the company is developing is a fast-moving pool floor capable of rising to the surface quickly in an emergency.
These are not off-the-shelf false-bottom floors. Although designers were hesitant to discuss specifics with the Orlando Sentinel last week, they say the floors — which SeaWorld is designing with the advanced-technologies unit of Houston-based Oceaneering International Inc. — will be much different than the cable-operated lift stations already in place in the company's killer-whale medical pools.
John Linn, SeaWorld Parks' senior director of engineering services, said there are 75 individually designed components among the roughly 10,000 parts used to make the floor.
Tech will be shared
What's more, SeaWorld says it expects the new floor systems will ultimately prove to have uses in other facilities beyond its marine parks. And it says that it intends to make the technology available to others once the floors are complete.
"We don't plan to develop this technology and keep it to ourselves. That is not the intent," Linn said. "Now, how that happens, how others have access to the technology, those details haven't been worked out. But, clearly, that is our intent: We're going to develop this and then it will be available."
SeaWorld has also worked with Oceaneering to develop what is essentially a remote-controlled underwater vehicle that could be deployed in hopes of distracting a whale who has broken from a trainer's control. The device is design,0,3019185.story


To see the prospectus and learn more please click


The Seahorse Trust

The Seahorse Trust has been nominated as charity of the week on E-bay in the week starting the 18th of April. You can help to raise funds for the trust by nominating us as your charity if you are buying or selling on E-bay.

We are already an E-bay charity and so you can donate to us whilst buying or selling at anytime but it is a great honour to be nominated as their charity for the week.

Please encourage all your friends and familly that use E-bay to donate to us in the week starting the 18th of April the more they buy and sell the more we can raise. At the checkout nominate us as your charity for your donation.

The more we raise the more we can do in saving and studying Seahorses.

So please pass this on to all your friends.

Best wishes


Neil Garrick-Maidment FBNA
Executive director
The Seahorse Trust (registered charity no. 1086027)
Escot Park
Ottery St Mary
Nr Honiton
EX11 1LU

Tel: 01404 822373


The book is available from the Zoo shop and from the Zoo website.

· or you can send a cheque made payable to ‘Bristol Zoo Enterprises’ to Maggie Pearson, Bristol Zoo, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 3HA.

· It costs £15 (plus P&P).

· The Zoo is also appealing for old film footage that people may have of the Zoo.

· If you have old film footage of Bristol Zoo, send an email to

Vivid stories, world firsts and creature capers from bygone eras have been revealed in a new book celebrating the rich history of Bristol Zoo Gardens.

Published to celebrate the Zoo’s 175th anniversary this year, the colourful, hardback book charts the origins of the zoo and its opening in 1836, through 18 decades and two world wars, the ‘Animal Magic’ years with Johnny Morris, to the present day.

With over 190 pages and more than 350 photos, “An Illustrated History of Bristol Zoo Gardens” goes on sale this week (March 7, 2011).

It includes stories such as the escapee buffalo which ran amok through the city streets in 1838, the opening of the world’s first nocturnal house in 1953, and many more tales of the Zoo’s various famous inhabitants including babies born in the Zoo such as tigers, leopards, jaguars, okapis, sloths, rhinos, gorillas, orang-utans and boa constrictors; many of which are now rare and had never been bred in the UK or Europe before.

The in-depth book also includes special sections dedicated to Alfred the gorilla, Johnny Morris, okapis, great apes, zoo babies and the nationally important 12-acre botanical gardens, as well as a pull-out map showing the Zoo’s planned layout before it was built.

The book was written and compiled by Zoo historians and enthusiasts, Alan Ashby and Tim Brown, along with Bristol Zoo’s Head of Research, Christoph Schwitzer.

It includes a foreword by world-famous television comedian and actor, John Cleese, who went to school at Clifton College, next door to the Zoo, and has been a supporter of Bristol Zoo ever since.

I spent many hours wandering round the zoo gardens, watching the animals close-up and learning about their behaviour,” he said. “This happy experience instilled in me a lifelong interest in the natural world.

Of course, it is embarrassing to recall that in the 1950s, the animals were often kept behind bars in cramped cages. Nowadays, thank heavens, zoos display animals in as natural surroundings as possible, and the concern for their health and wellbeing is, in my experience, deeply impressive. Bristol Zoo has led this transformation in the way animals are treated, and it is recognised throughout the zoo world as having had a major contribution to this change.”

He added: “Another transformation has been the growing awareness of the importance of conservation, and Bristol Zoo now plays its part in this by working to ensure that many species which would otherwise become extinct will still be here for our great-grandchildren to marvel at".

This work is carried out not only within the zoo gardens, but also by supporting conservation projects for primates in Colombia, lemurs in Madagascar, forest birds in the Philippines and penguins in South Africa. Nevertheless, the brutal truth is that species are becoming extinct in the wild, and increasingly we shall only be able to see and study them in zoos, which will become sanctuaries.”

Alan Ashby, who is art editor of Antiquexplorer magazine, said producing the book was a unique opportunity to tell the fascinating history of one of the world's best and oldest zoological gardens.

Working on this book has been a joy,” he said. “Bristol Zoo Gardens is one of the oldest and most important zoos in the world, yet there is very little published material on its history.

While researching the book, Alan discovered many previously-unseen photos, illustrations and archive documents, such as the never-before-published photo of a rare gerenuk (a species of antelope) with its keeper in 1956.

He added: “Walking around today's progressive, up-to-date zoo is an activity enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, myself included. However, now that I have a greater understanding of the zoo's rich past, I’ve realised that visiting this wonderful place can be even more rewarding.”

As part of its 175th birthday year, Bristol Zoo has teamed up with BAFTA-winning animation and production company, ArthurCox, on a project that will collate archive film, audio and photographic material from the local community to create a film which enables viewers to travel through Bristol Zoo’s history.

The Zoo and ArthurCox are now appealing for old film footage that people may have from Zoo visits from years gone by.

Kaia Rose, a producer at ArthurCox, said: “We want your film footage - from your attics, from your grandparents’ cine reels, or from family outings in summer. If we use your material then we will have it transferred and you will not only receive your film back but a digital copy to watch too.”

She added: “You can also choose to have a copy of your film deposited at the Bristol Record Office to be kept in its archives. You may not think your film is important, but it really is, and it will allow personal histories to inform this project and the 175th anniversary of Bristol Zoo.”

Bristol Zoo’s new book, “An Illustrated History of Bristol Zoo Gardens”, is available priced at £15.00 from the shop at Bristol Zoo, from the Zoo website at  or by sending a cheque made payable to ‘Bristol Zoo Enterprises’ to Maggie Pearson, Bristol Zoo, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 3HA.

If you have old film footage of Bristol Zoo, send an email to  or phone Kaia Rose at ArthurCox Ltd on 0117 373 2184.


2 weeks!?! - Actually Less Now!!!!!

Yes, there are only 2 weeks left to catch the Early Registration price for the 2011 ABMA Annual Conference! The conference will be held in Denver Colorado, April 17th - 22nd. Be sure to register and book your room for the conference NOW! After March 15th, prices will go up, and rooms will be scarce!

And don't forget - we have 2 events happening before the conference: a TAGteach primary certification seminar April 15th and 16th, and our preconference trip with avalanche deployment search and rescue dogs on April 17th.

Visit: , hover over the Annual Conference tab at the top, and click on 2011 Conference.

There is a lot of information on the website, and we will continue to update this as the conference approaches, so check back often! Any questions? Feel free to contact us at


For more information please contact Sabrina Brando



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