Thursday, March 10, 2011

Zoo News Digest 8th - 10th March 2011 (Zoo News 731)

Zoo News Digest 8th - 10th March 2011 (Zoo News 731)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

Sorry, but I reckon that two headed turtles, or two headed anythings for that matter should be euthanased. I believe it is cruel and unkind to prolong the life of such a creature. To me, what makes the whole thing worse is when people cash in on such unfortunate freaks of nature.

Very sad to learn of the SIV infection in the Gombe chimps.

Robert Mugabe continues on with his insane plans. Look like now it will be the wildlife of Zimbabwe which is going to suffer. I doubt he has any plans in reality...that would need thought.

So sorry to learn of the death of JoGayle Howard. Just 59 years old. A sad loss. Younger than me. Makes me more aware of my own mortality.

The story 'Steve Irwin's body may be dug up if Queensland zoo closes' bothers me. What a horrible thought. All the more reason for the zoo to become a trust rather than a private concern or enterprise. That way closure would be much less likely. The raison d'etre of all zoos today should be conservation, conservation and conservation plus education, research, and edutainment.

In comparison to other animal showmen I have always had a bit of time for Kevin Richardson. He has not declawed his big cats and does not, apparently, put anyone else at risk. I still don't believe it is ever necessary to enter enclosures with big cats. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, an accident waiting to happen. It panders more to the person than it does to the animals and does not further understanding of animals or contribute anything towards conservation. He does however appear to be a caring guy and I just wish he would stop doing it. It sends out the wrong message to others who have neither the caring nor the understanding. Playing with lions is not necessary and it is risky. I noted that he used a pepper spray on the TV show the other day. I often wondered whether he had something like that secreted away. I wonder too if he has always carried it or whether it is since his marriage or the birth of his child.

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18 Japanese crested ibises being released into wild from Niigata conservation center

Conservationists began releasing 18 endangered Japanese crested ibises in Sado on March 10, as part of efforts to restore their presence in the wild.

The door of an "adaptation cage" that was used to teach the ibises how to survive in the wild was opened at around 6:15 a.m. at the Sado Japanese Crested Ibis Conservation Center, and by noon seven of them had flown off. This is the fourth release of artificially-raised Japanese crested ibises from the center into the wild.
According to the Ministry of the Environment (MOE), the birds range in age from 1 to 6 years and consist of 10 males and eight females. The first bird to leave was a 2-year-old female, at

Tiger kills lion in Turkish zoo
A Bengal tiger has killed a lion at Ankara Zoo after finding a gap in the fence separating their cages, say zoo officials in the Turkish capital.
The tiger severed the lion's jugular vein in a single stroke with its paw, leaving the animal dying in a pool of blood, officials said.
They denied local media reports that the tiger had broken down

Has Viagra helped endangered species by reducing demand for rhino horn, etc?
As an upright environmentalist kind of guy, I was wondering if the rising popularity of erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, etc, has caused a corresponding subsidence in the demand for powdered rhinoceros horn and other aphrodisiacs made from the body parts of endangered animals.

Did Mongolian government permit hunting snow leopards for research? SLT takes immediate action.
Below is a clipping from a March 2010 Mongolian Newsletter reporting the hunting permits allowed for the year, including four leopards for research.

Zoo's Brian Keating stepping down
When Brian Keating first started working for the Calgary Zoo, the animals were still kept in cages with bars procured from an old city jail and no one was thinking about conservation.
That was 1982, and within a year the bars were cut down and Keating, an anthropologist and then the zoo's education curator, was getting new ideas on for a future direction for the organization inspired by his international travels to find endangered wildlife.
"I'd come across places like Ngorongoro Crater (a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Tanzania) and I would see signs like 'the anti-poaching team of the this park is sponsored by the Frankfurt Zoological Society,' " said Keating.
"And then I'd go into the Congo, which was then called Zaire, and we stayed in a lodge to go mountain gorilla searching and that lodge was sponsored by the New York Zoological Society.
"It seemed that New York, Chicago, San Diego, Frankfurt and London appeared all over the world with conservation efforts. I always

This two-headed tortoise is destined for stardom
This African spurred tortoise was born in Slovakia and has 2 heads, 5 legs and a shell.

A bit different but fun and interesting

India to re-introduce extinct Cheetah
The Environment Ministry has released latest finding of the International Union Conservation for Nature according to which two more species are now on the critically endangered list.
This takes the list of endangered species that are in danger of being lost forever to 57.
These findings are surely going to hurt animal lovers and activists. But, there is a reason to cheer as well. The government has said that India is close to re-introducing the cheetah in two years' time.
While the Cheetah had become extinct in India, the Madhya Pradesh government

A new zoo loo
The 250th Changing Places toilet opens at Marwell Wildlife
Marwell Wildlife in Hampshire has become the 250th location – and the first zoological park – in the UK to install an accessible Changing Places toilet.
Changing Places toilets meet the needs of an estimated 250,000 disabled people in the UK, including those with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD

Karachi Zoo: Crows pick at Bactrian camel’s wounds
The state of the two Bactrian camels at the Karachi Zoo perhaps provide the clearest example of the horrific conditions the animals live in. Crows picked away at a wound on the brown camel, which winced and shook itself to try and get the black birds off its back.
After some time, a shorter darkish Bactrian emerged in a crooked walk from its brick shed. A regular visitor said that the animal was limping because of a severe wound that was a few months old.
Another visitor, Dureen Ance Anwer said: “[They] had wounds all over their bodies and … maggots had grown in. Crows were feeding on those maggots. Out of helplessness and pain, the camels would roll on the ground every time the crows gleaned with their pointy beaks”. A group of young school children approached the cage and called out to the two animals. The darker one, whose face was covered with flies, kept scraping its body against the cage, probably trying to get rid of an itch, while the brown camel remained aloof.
“Even though there are just a few attractions

Sea Turtle Restoration Project
Help Stop the Catastrophic Kimberley Gas Hub
Australia has its very own Dick Cheney. His name is Colin Barnett and he is the Premier of Western Australia. He wants to leave a legacy of oil and gas profits and do so at the expense of the wild and sacred Kimberley.
He doesn't seem to care much about Australia's own flatback sea turtle. In fact, the turtle sections of the gas hub environmental review conclude that this massive industrial project won't do any harm to the little-known sea turtles that breed, feed and migrate along the Kimberley coast.
Please help us support

Elephants help each other out
They say elephants never forget; now scientists have shown they are also capable of helping one another.
Scientists based at the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang conducted tests to see if elephants would co-operate to collect food on a heavy tray that could only be moved by pulling two ropes in unison.
"Not only did the elephants act together, they inhibited

Mystery remains as black swans return
A PAIR of black swans returned to the Huangpu River yesterday, after first being sighted at the weekend - but where they came from remains a mystery.
As there is little food for the birds in the river, Shanghai Wildlife Conservation Center said it will try to catch them and put them in a zoo.
Yesterday morning, the swans were spotted swimming near Binjiang Avenue in the Pudong New Area. A witness, surnamed Zhang, said he rarely saw any birds on the Huangpu River, certainly not black swans.
When the swans appeared for the first time on Saturday, a center patrol boat tried to catch them. "It's difficult to get them on the water," said Pei Enle,

SIV strain infects Goodall chimps
A DEADLY AIDS-like disease is infecting the chimpanzees of Gombe national park in Tanzania - the animals made famous by the renowned British primate researcher
Jane Goodall. Researchers have found that a strain of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) has spread to many of the chimps, with sharply raised death rates among infected animals.
There are at least 40 different types of SIV in African primates but two of these crossed the species barrier to generate HIV-1 and HIV-2 - the human form of the virus.
Chimpanzees were, however, thought to be so accustomed to such viruses that they were resistant to them. This now appears to be wrong.
The SIV strain affecting the Gombe chimps is closely related to the HIV-1 virus, which makes its research important to scientists studying the human disease.
"Our results show that the strain of SIV found in some Gombe chimps has a substantial negative impact on the health, reproduction and life-span of wild chimpanzees," said Beatrice

Vandals break into zoo, leave dead monkey behind
A small monkey was found dead at a North Texas zoo following a break-in by vandals over the weekend.
Gainesville police spokesman Sgt. Belva McClinton said Tuesday that authorities don’t know what caused the death of the cotton-top tamarin at Frank Buck Zoo.
She says police have identified three juvenile suspects in the vandalism, but are still investigating and have made no arrests. The intruders broke in sometime after closing Friday at the zoo about 70 miles north of Dallas.
Zoo director Susan Kleven tells the Gainesville Daily Register that the vandalism included oil poured

Penguin Ping Pong

Guard dogs keep unwanted predators out of zoo
For the Texas Zoo's new night security guards, chasing off hungry raccoons and co-existing with squawking guinea hens are all just a part of a day's work.
Sarge and Jazz, who are a brother and sister pair of Great Pyrenees, officially started their jobs as night security guards on Saturday.
"They guard the zoo not from people coming, but they guard the animals from natural predators," said Andrea Blomberg, zoo executive director. "It's our job to keep the animals safe."
Talks to bring in canine security guards started in early February when zoo staff met to discuss the influx


INTERESTING: Item on the declawings at Zion Wildlife Park

Not familiar with the above? Read Craig Busch and Zion Wildlife Park

Who cares about rhinos anyway?
Last year’s furore over organised rhino poaching elicited widely contrasting responses from South Africans. Bunny-huggers turned into rhino-huggers by their hundreds and declared the crimes bad enough to warrant the re-institution of the death penalty.
Others considered the outrage over the illegal hunting of a couple of glorified zoo animals as overly emotional and insignificant in a country plagued with many bigger problems from chronic poverty to large-scale unemployment.
It might sound disingenuous, but as far as I’m concerned both of these opinions contain a kernel of truth (although, rhino-huggers, you’ll never get my vote on the death penalty...).
The survival of a single endangered species like the rhino is insignificant in the sense that it merely represents the tip of an iceberg of animals and plants that are threatened by extinction, not because of the nefarious operations of a few crime syndicates, but because of our own activities. Yours and mine.
We should care about butchered rhinos in the hope that such high-profile incidents will put the spotlight on the much, much larger, global crisis of biodiversity.
So today’s take-away phrase is mass extinction. The one we humans are currently in the process of precipitating.
Brand new species usually evolve at more or less the same rate as others die out, keeping overall biodiversity at a relatively constant level. When die-offs outpace new arrivals too rapidly, however, mass extinctions literally change the face of the earth by almost wiping the biological slate clean.
Periods of major mass extinction in which 75% or more of the earth’s plant and animal species disappear forever are natural phenomena that have occurred five times in the geological past, the most well-know example being the cataclysmic event that killed off the dinosaurs and many other species about 65 million years ago.
Exactly what causes such extinctions has been hotly debated by scientists for decades. Clearly it’s complicated, but the main culprits are asteroid or comet impacts and volcanic eruptions on a scale big enough to make Eyjafjallajökull (the Icelandic volcano that grounded Europe’s commercial airline fleet last year) look like the geological equivalent

Pandas for hire
It was just like any other state visit. A plane with a painted logo sat on the tarmac. Inside, the flight crew were all wearing tailor-made costumes.
The red carpet was out. TV cameras and fuzzy microphone-wielding reporters were at hand. Nearby cars got stuck in traffic as thousands of fans flooded Tokyo streets decorated with special cartoon banners.
Minutes later, the great bear and his first lady arrived: Bili and Xiannu, loaned to Japan for an annual fee of 79 million yuan ($950,000), had ended their 30-hour journey from Sichuan Province to Tokyo.
Though sparking a public frenzy in the Japanese capital on February 21 and reportedly boosting the local economy by US$240 million, the Ailuropoda melanoleuca at the center of all the Nippon hoopla were criticized for costing too much by a Japanese Times editorial headlined "Softer Touch with Pandas" on February 25.
With wild pandas already almost extinct in their motherland, other nations can borrow a captive panda for 10 years at up to $1 million a year, a China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) official confirmed.
"Pandas are dispatched overseas merely for international scientific research supported by foreign friends," said Zhong Yi, director of the association's International Affairs Office.
Partners donate their own preferred amount, explained China's "father of pandas" Zhang Hemin, director of the Wolong Nature Reserve Administration.
"All proposed panda imports are targeted at conservation," he said, avoiding all mention of previous "commercial loaning" prohibited since 1996 by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Thanks to foreign exchange earnings from international projects, he revealed, China has expanded its panda research and conservation bases from 13 to 64.
A total of 30 pandas - nearly 10 percent of all of China's 317 captive pandas -were living overseas last year, according to the State Forestry

You may well have seen it before. Enjoy again. It is funny. VERY FUNNY!

and you will need a laugh before being depressed by the next item

Outlawed bear baiting continues in Pakistan’s Punjab
Landlords [a British colonial term, meaning land owner] in the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Sindh enjoy a particularly bloody form of entertainment: bear baiting. The rules are simple: a pair of trained fighting dogs are unleashed on a tethered bear whose claws and sharpest teeth have been removed.
The practice of bear baiting was reportedly introduced in Southern Asia by British colonisers in the 18th century. It was gradually abandoned in all countries except Pakistan, where they are staged during events organised by regional landlords to impress and entertain the general public. The bears are illegally captured by poachers, and then trained into submission by their gypsy owners.
Each fight lasts about three minutes, and the dogs are said to ‘win’ if they have managed to make the bear roll over on the ground. Bears are often injured, but seldom killed – they are much too valuable for their owners to let them die. Some bears are made to fight up to ten times a day.
Although the bear baiting was banned in Pakistan in 1980 by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, it continues to prevail in deeply rural tribal regions.
Animal protection groups like the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) have worked with Pakistani authorities to try to eradicate the practice. According to the WSPA, education campaigns

Zim land reforms target wildlife
Zimbabwean authorities will force the country's predominantly white wildlife park owners to join with black partners in a new round of controversial land reforms, state media says.
"Government is now implementing the wildlife-based land reform policy after five years of resistance from conservancy owners," The Herald newspaper reported.
"This will see 59 indigenous people getting leases from the government or sharing conservancies with white former owners."
Parks and wildlife authority director-general Vitalis Chadenga said the project was "one of the unfinished businesses of the country's land reform programme."
Under land reforms launched by long-time President Robert Mugabe in 2000, Zimbabwean authorities seized farms from thousands of

Dallas Zoo improves quality of life for its biggest residents
The Dallas Zoo was heavily criticized for having elephants live in cramped and outdated enclosures. But now the zoo is riding high on the huge success of its new exhibit, Giants of the Savanna, where elephants have lots of room to roam.
Other American zoos are watching closely as Dallas uses new high-tech tools to monitor the animals' "quality of life" in their new exhibit
Jenny the elephant and five new friends live in what's considered one of the best zoo elephant habitats in the country.
In 2007, Jenny lived in the cramped confines of the Dallas Zoo's 50-year-old enclosure. Back then, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit and San Francisco had all closed their elephant exhibits, lacking the money and space to properly care for the massive pachyderms.
At the time, Dallas Zoo Director Greg Hudson wouldn't rule out the possibility of doing the same thing here.
Last year, the Zoo opened the sprawling Giants of the Savanna habitat, where elephants, giraffes and other species mix together — a new idea.
"The behaviors that you're seeing over here are behaviors I see out in the wild," said Dr. Charles Foley, an expert who helps manage and protect elephants at the Tarangire National Park in Tanzania.
Researchers at the Dallas Zoo say the amount of time Jenny spends exploring her environment is up more than 90 percent, and all the elephants have much healthier feet, which


JoGayle Howard, a National Zoo scientist who helped breed giant pandas, dies at 59
JoGayle Howard, a National Zoo scientist known as the "Sperm Queen" for her skill and ingenuity in helping clouded leopards, giant pandas and other endangered species with the delicate task of breeding in captivity, died March 5 at the Washington Home and Community Hospices in the District.
She was 59 and had malignant melanoma.
Dr. Howard came to the zoo as a paid intern in 1980 - back when the reproduction of captive animals, she said in a 2010 interview posted online, was more art and luck than science.
"The breeding programs would put a male and female together; if they didn't breed, they would try another male," she said. "I was shocked at how little information we had, and how little help we could give."
During the next three decades at the zoo and the Smithsonian's Center for Species Survival, she became a leader among scientists working to improve animals' reproductive chances by understanding their basic biology.
A veterinarian by training, she also used her clinical skills to pioneer the use of common human-infertility treatments - such as artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization - on animals.
"She was really the first woman scientist to have a goal of taking technologies developed for overcoming human infertility and applying them to species recovery on a large scale," said David Wildt, who heads the Center for Species Survival. She "put babies on the ground."
Early in her career, Dr. Howard was among a team of scientists who successfully adapted artificial insemination for use on cheetahs. Later, she again adapted insemination techniques for the black-footed ferret, once the most endangered

Panthera - March Newsletter

Letters: Knoxville Zoo failed in protecting worker
This is in regards to the death at the Knoxville Zoo.
Whether this incident was an attack, intentional, unintentional, playful, etc., or considered an “accident,” the Jack Hannahs, the Knoxville Zoo and the zoo community is still avoiding responsibility and will continue to spin this story as an “accident.” The argument that this young lady was willing to take the risks as part of the job responsibility for working with the elephants is no excuse, and the Knoxville Zoo should take full responsibility. This death was highly preventable, had the Knoxville Zoo made the decision to put keeper safety first by utilizing protected contact when their new barn was constructed.
Unfortunately, the zoo establishment would rather stick together protecting themselves, rather than admitting any wrong doing. Until the zoo institution steps up and accepts responsibility, requiring protected contact managing

Shhh ... It's a koala whisperer
A LOST koala has been caught on camera following a clairvoyant to get home after the psychic told him he was “in the wrong tree” on the Sunshine Coast.
Medical intuitive and clairvoyant Doctor Michael Taylor and wife, fellow clairvoyant K, made the unexpected friend when they visited Australia Zoo last week.
The incredible images of the tenacious but apparently confused koala walking along side Mrs Taylor on the soggy day was captured by Dr Michael Taylor, who is also an “animal whisperer”.
Dr Michael said he had received tickets to the popular Sunshine Coast attraction as a birthday gift some time before.
He said he and his wife had enjoyed a nice quiet day at the zoo when they noticed “an unhappy koala” up a tree that

New phone app guides people about enclosures at Colchester Zoo
ANIMAL lovers will be able to use their mobile phones to get the lowdown on life at Colchester Zoo.
It is having a phone application designed to act as a personal guide.
The app is likely to include features such as maps, lists of animal feeding times and zookeeper talks.
It is thought it will also keep subscribers up to date with news about births, deaths and new exhibits, and allow people to reserve tickets.
Colchester Zoo has commissioned Ipswich-based Crafted Media to build the app so it is ready in May.
Alex Downing, communications and development director at Colchester Zoo, said: “Crafted Media came up with some exceptionally creative ideas for developing our first mobile phone application.
“It will act as a personalised guide for our visitors, providing instant information about all the zoo has to offer so that they can plan their visit in detail and then get the most out of their visit while in the park.
“We love to see our visitors enjoying our animals face to face

How to survive a bear attack
Following an unusually big year for bear attacks, here's a look at how to meet a black, brown or polar bear and come out alive.
Bears don't want to attack people. We kill them far more often than they kill us, and many bears seem well aware of that ratio. When they do attack, it's usually because they were either starved or startled.

Tirupati temple caught in civet deadlock
A search by the Sri Venkateswara Temple, Tirupati, for a supply of the aromatic secretions of the civet has pitted the temple authorities against India’s Wildlife Act, creating a deadlock that officials are trying to resolve.
Temple staff have for decades been adding the secretions from the perineal glands of civets into a mixture of spices and oils and applying it to the temple deity every Friday morning as part of a traditional ritual, temple sources said.
The temple complex used to keep civets in its dairy farm until about five years ago when wildlife officials ordered that the animals be moved to a zoo in Tirupati. The ritual called Punugu Ginni Seva — or civet vessel service — requires a few grams of secretions a week. Staff collect only secretions that have dropped to the ground and do not harm the animals in any way, temple sources said.
The Tirupati zoo now has three civets — an aged male, a young male and a young female. The small number has prompted temple authorities to search for strategies to maintain the supply of the civet’s secretions.
A proposal by the temple authorities to fund a special

Hanoi fails to catch Hoan Kiem turtle
Workers on March 8 began the task of trapping the ailing giant turtle to bring it to the Turtle Tower in the middle of Hoan Kiem lake for treatment.
Nearly 40 workers jumped into the lake to draw the net ashore.
They captured the turtle in their net but the turtle slipped from the net.
A volunteer named Le Quoc Dung who joined workers to draw up the net, commented: “The old turtle is very strong”. He said that the turtle got through the first net and tore a hole in the second net and swam away to the southern part of the lake.
After the turtle escaped from the nets, workers and volunteers went ashore and collected their nets.
Many witnesses showed their disappointment. Some walked to the southern part of the lake to follow the turtle.
Hoang Luan, 23, from Tu Liem district, Hanoi said that he was present at the lake at 8 am to see how the legendary turtle was “invited” to the shore. He said that workers used tools which looked “very rudimentary” and he showed worries for the turtle’s health because “he was excited”.
Tran Van Thanh, 60, from Tran Xuan Soan street, Hanoi, was also at the lake from the early morning. “I think that there are many obstacles inside the lake so it was very difficult

Steve Irwin's body may be dug up if Queensland zoo closes
The remains of ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Steve Irwin may have to be exhumed if Queensland Zoo, which is run by his widow Terri, has to close because of cash problems.
The Australian TV wildlife expert, who was killed in a freak accident five years ago, is thought to have been laid to rest at the Queensland zoo run by his widow Terri.
She is said to be considering selling the land because of a cash crisis, according to fresh reports in the US.
But Mrs Irwin has already rejected claims that the zoo – where her husband carried out daredevil stunts with crocodiles – is on the brink of closure.
‘I have absolutely no intention of closing Australia Zoo,’ she told the country’s broadcaster ABC. ‘Nothing has closed. Nothing will close.’
But she did admit that more than 20 staff members

You're gonna need a bigger tank: Giant shark arrives in Scotland after getting too big for old aquarium
The two-metre-long sand tiger shark has arrived at Deep Sea World in North Queensferry from Ireland after an 18-hour journey.
A giant shark which got too big for his last home has arrived in Scotland after an 18-hour journey from Ireland.
The two-metre long sand tiger shark has been given a new home at Deep Sea World in North Queensferry after becoming too big for his tank at Dingle Oceanworld aquarium in Co Kerry.
The 100 kilo fish was welcomed to the attraction on Tuesday after travelling 1000 kilometres from Dingle Aquarium. He was staying in a special quarantine tank after he was transported across Ireland, on the Belfast to Stranraer ferry and across Scotland in an epic 18-hour journey.
In a fortnight he will be put into the Underwater Safari display to join the six other sand tiger sharks


ZHCD Zoo Botanical NEWS for March

Celebrating Plants and the Planet:

Anyone over the age of 35 is painfully aware that the world is changing. For good? For ill? Perhaps some of each. March's links at  (NEWS/Botanical News) document some intriguing changes affecting plants and animals.

· Climate change is stressing all of us a bit but perhaps plants the most. Species that for millennia were able to resist potential pests are becoming susceptible. In Yellowstone National Park, the decline of whitebark pines may help speed the disappearance of grizzly bears.

· In Africa better protection for elephants has been hard on trees. But in France, better protection for forest mammals has been a boon for plant diversity.

· Are invasive plants enemy of ecosystem? New research reveals that removing invasive plant species can be devastating to bird populations that have come to depend on them.

· When two closely related and similar appearing plant species come to inhabit the same area, how do they avoid confusing pollinators and suffering the ignominy of cross-pollination? They adapt.

· As humans become increasingly fearful of what's in their environment, how do they adapt? They turn plants into early warning systems.

Maybe change would not be so upsetting (or exciting?) if we didn't think only of ourselves so much. To help us see the big picture, enjoy this site that shows humans' place in the universe:

Please share these stories with associates, staff, docents and -- most importantly -- visitors! Follow on Twitter:  -- a new story every day!

Zoo Horticulture
Consulting and Design
Greening design teams since 1987


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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