Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Zoo News Digest 15th - 17th May 2011 (Zoo News 751)

Zoo News Digest 15th - 17th May 2011 (Zoo News 751)

Photos by Balazs Buzas
In Abidjan Zoo

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleague,

I have had half a dozen emails with reference to the situation in Abidjan Zoo. The question all are asking is what is going to happen with the animals? The truth is I don't know but what I do believe is what really matters is the here and now. There are animals starving there and they need to be fed. Did you send a donation? I did, not very much but what I could realistically afford. The PAAZAB helped out this collection back in 2004 when it was having problems. I know they are having a meeting about the current situation and hopefully they will make a decision as to what is going to happen next. Where are all the big animal charities when things like this happen? Not enough glamour for them perhaps. The IPPL sent a generous donation and a number of private individuals too (for which I thank them). Remember this is a country in turmoil but slowly pulling itself back together. Hopefully they will be in a position to support themselves again soon. We have to face up to facts however that unless things have changed that this is a private zoo and a dysfunctional one at that. Outsiders cannot continue to support something which appears to be purely profit motivated. It should pull itself together join and meet the newly implemented standards of the PAAZAB and if it cannot then it should close down.....and that I believe would be a pity.

Just what is a "A leading evolutionary anthropologist"? Certainly not a title I have come across within the world of zoos and as such not someone whose expertise I would ever call upon in the question of gorilla mixing. He is entitled to his opinion of course as much as is the man who sells me my newspaper every day. I do not think he should have been given newspaper space to his opinion however, though, in fairness to him, at least he stated who he was. Look in the various news/discussion groups and at the comments of the cowardly self opinionated no nothing little pricks who hide behind pseudonyms. The staff at London Zoo made the right decision. There was always a risk and they knew that. The alternatives were not really acceptable and so a mix at the 'right' time was the sensible way forward. I would have done the same. It is sad for all concerned. If you don't work in a zoo you really don't know how sad such a loss can be or how difficult it was to make the decision. I was delighted to see this morning that Charlotte Uhlenbroek's comments (Murder at London Zoo) in the Mail was much better thought through than Professor Sommer.

Shark Fin Ban....Well done Washington State. Now what about the rest of the USA??

Thailand...more wild Tigers than China! Now that is good news. What really needs to be done now is to sort out the inbred hybrids in the dysfunctional zoos like The Tiger Temple, Sri Racha Tiger Zoo, Tiger Kingdom and a host of others.

Yesterday I made a visit to Chessington Zoo. The last time I was there was I thought 1983...only it wasn't it was 1976 when I called in to interview somebody for a job (I can't remember who). Of course the whole place has changed since I was last there to the degree that all was 'new'. I am glad that I could get in as a guest because to be honest £31 is more than I earn on most weeks. Yes you read it correctly. The zoo itself is of course mixed in with the funfair side of things but I thought very well done, I don't believe that any of the livestock were suffering as a result. What about mixing zoos with other non zoo amenities? Well it is as a good zoo vet friend of mine once said. "First hire your exotic dancer and then you can think about conservation". And he is right. True enough some come for the animals but a goodly number come to see the "exotic dancer" and the animals and zoo benefit as a result.
All of the animal exhibits in Chessington Zoo ranged from good to excellent. The Binturong exhibit was the best I have seen anywhere (and I must have seen a 100 binturongs here and there) and made all the better by the three youngsters playing around. The Fossa exhibit was exceedingly good too. I could go on. I liked how the sign at the tigers pointed out the whole White Tiger nonsense. The signage in general was good everywhere except the Creepy Caves (never liked that name) where the animal information was lost amongst the advertising bumph. The staff were well turned out and friendly and helpful. A good visit. Nice to catch up with Marc Boardman who I seem to have known forever.

Catch up with the latest snippets of news about the situation on Cairo/Giza Zoo on the Zoo News Digest Facebook Page.

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Ming Ming, world’s oldest giant panda, dies in Chinese zoo at age of 34
Chinese state media say the world’s oldest panda has died at the age of 34.
The Global Times reported Ming Ming died from old age and had kidney failure. She had been living at a zoo or preserve in Guangdong province.
The China Panda Protection Center in Sichuan province said in a statement she died May 7, but it was reported only Tuesday in local media. More details on her were not available.
The newspaper said wild pandas live 15 years on average and captive ones 22 years.
Giant pandas are among the world’s most endangered species, with about 1,600 in the wild. More than 300 are in captivity in China, most in a breeding program aimed at boosting the population.
The country also loans panda

Is it time to ban tiger farms?
Any conservation gains made to protect wild tigers are overshadowed by the large breeding centres that supply the illegal trade in body parts
Isn't it time to ban tiger farms? This question was on my mind as I returned from a reporting trip to Thailand to look at efforts to save the world's favourite endangered species.
Conservationists and law enforcement officers had good news to share in the south-east Asian nation. The Thaplan national park has more tigers than previously believed and police and customs officers have notched up an impressive series of arrests of poachers and smugglers.
But they warned that these small gains were overshadowed by the continued presence of large breeding centres, which supply and maintain the illegal market for tiger bones, penises and other products.
As is the case with their even bigger counterparts in China, these commercial farms often label themselves conservation zoos even as they lobby for a resumption of the tiger trade.
They argue that a legal supply from registered farms could ease the pressure on the wild population. At international conservation meetings, this view is often supported by the same lobby groups that push for a resumption of whaling, the loosening of the ivory trade and the conversion of forests to palm oil production.
Higher-minded scientific advocates of captive tiger breeding are driven by a desire to supplement the dwindling


Chairman of Edinburgh Zoo quits after no-confidence vote
The chairman of Edinburgh Zoo has bowed to calls for his resignation after initially resisting a vote of no confidence following months of turbulence and infighting.
Donald Emslie will leave the post just months after he signed the high-profile multi-million pound deal to bring pandas to Scotland.
His departure follows an increasingly bitter spell at the zoo, with a vote of no confidence passed against him last week and a defeated motion of no confidence against the board.
Mr Emslie originally said he would not stand down following the vote but released another statement last night.
He said: “At the EGM on Thursday evening and to the media afterwards, I said that I had listened to the members’ views but acknowledged also that I had obligations

New zoo chief vows to bring 'real stability' after turmoil
A FORMER football club boss has been put in charge of Edinburgh Zoo just months before two giant pandas are expected to arrive at the attraction.
Hugh Roberts, who had spells in charge of both Sunderland, and Rushden and Diamonds, will take over as chief executive of the troubled attraction tomorrow following months of behind-the-scenes turmoil.
He will be charged with helping the zoo recover from a dramatic slump in visitors, the cost of carrying out major infrastructure improvements and ensuring the arrival of two giant pandas from China goes through successfully.
Last night Mr Roberts, who made his name as managing director of brewing giants Adnams, said he was well aware of the "recent upheavals and the financial pressures facing the zoo", but insisted he had widespread experience of similar situations.
Mr Roberts has pledged to bring "real stability" to the zoo, which is at the centre of a probe by Scotland's charity watchdog amid allegations of financial impropriety.
The new chief has held senior roles at a host of organisations in recent years, including the Chartered

Zoo’s panda deal probed amid £4m shortfall claim
EDINBURGH Zoo’s business plan behind its deal to bring giant pandas to Scotland is being investigated by the charity regulator.
The Herald revealed earlier this month that the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) had launched a probe into the zoo after anonymous allegations over the conduct of a number of managers in March led to the sacking of one executive, the suspension and then clearing of another, and the ongoing suspension of a third.
It is now understood the regulator opened an investigation into the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, which runs the zoo, two months before that, after receiving a complaint that relates directly to the panda exchange business funding plan.
The complaint was lodged just days after the historic deal was signed between Edinburgh Zoo and China and raised questions over the viability of the 10-year loan and the conservational benefits if the plan cannot be sustained.
The news comes as Donald Emslie, the then zoo chairman who signed the panda deal, resigned after a no-confidence vote. The new interim chief executive Hugh Roberts, who takes up his post today, has vowed to bring “real stability” to the attraction.
Mr Roberts said: “I’m aware of the recent upheavals and the financial pressures facing the zoo, as an experienced interim I deal with such situations quite regularly.
“So my first aim is to bring real stability to the zoo. I want to ensure financial and commercial success while staying true to the hopes and aspirations of the members.”
The zoo insists the pandas will cost it around £6 million over six years, and it is hoped they will boost the attraction’s flagging fortunes – it lost £1.3m last year and 100,000 visitors – by raising its income by 20%.
However, Animal Concern, which lodged the complaint, said its studies have shown the cost of “renting” the pandas will be at least £10m and questioned the pledging of

Adelaide Zoo boast's 'world's best' panda forest
The Giant Panda forest and Entrance Precinct at Adelaide Zoo has just been named South Australian Development of the Year.
Developed by Zoos South Australia and designed by HASSELL, the Giant Panda Forest at was also recently described by a Chinese Government delegation as the "world's leading exhibit" for these iconic and endangered animals.
Property Council of Australia (SA Division) Executive Director Nathan Paine said that since completion The Zoo has experienced a 70 per cent increase in visitor numbers as well as a 25 per cent increase in Zoo membership. More than 30 per cent of visitors have come from interstate or overseas.
"This is another example of how excellence in the built environment can have huge flow-on benefits for the community," Mr Paine said.
Along with the new Entrance Precinct


I can keep my rhino for a small fee

Testimony of a criminal

All evidence suggests that rhinos are now extinct in Vietnam with the last of our rhinos killed in early 2010.

But if rhinos did exist, and if I could get my hands on one, surely I could keep it, based
on the current practices of decision-makers in some of the provinces.

The trick would of course be capturing it. I would need to do this in secrecy, as getting caught hunting a rhino would almost surely land me in jail. Then of course, I must transport the animal to my private zoo. This also entails risk as getting caught would result in jail time. The beauty of it is, if I can get the rhino to my zoo, which I incidentally plan on expanding to include all sorts of lovely endangered creatures, it is mine to keep.

I am so sure of this that I feel safe inviting local authorities to have a look at my collection. “Hey, guys here is my rhino that I caught in the wild and transported illegally to my private zoo,” I would say.

They would shake their heads and say, no, no, no. This is illegal. But then, they would fill out papers and more papers. And request for help from above. And in the end, my provincial leader would be required to make a decision. Given that some provinces interpret the law differently, chances are that I would be issued an administrative fine and allowed to keep my rhino.

The above is taken from ENV - Education For Nature - Vietnam - May 2011
To reads the whole article plus news of tigers and more: Click HERE


Third tragedy hits London Zoo's gorillas: First two males die... now baby Tiny is crushed by jealous silverback (Lots of Comments)
An infant gorilla born at London Zoo has died after having a fight with his 'surrogate father' - in the third tragedy to hit the gorillas.
Two adult males have also died at the world famous site in Regent's Park in recent years.
Tiny, who was seven-months old, was the first gorilla born at the zoo in 22 years. He died after being injured by new silverback male, Kesho.
Keepers had hoped Kesho would be a surrogate parent to the youngster after the death of his biological father Yeboah.
They had hoped the new silverback, who arrived last August, would bring balance and stability to the group following the tragedies.
While he had been gradually introduced to two of the females, Effie and Zaire, keepers waited until they were confident of a successful introduction to Tiny and his mother Mjukuu.
The first meeting on Wednesday ‘went very well’, according to the The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), but at a

London Zoo criticised over death of baby gorilla Tiny
A leading evolutionary anthropologist has called London Zoo "incompetent" over the death of its baby gorilla in an attack by a silverback.
Professor Volker Sommer said he was "bewildered" why seven-month-old Tiny was introduced to new male Kesho.
In the wild, when a new male takes over an existing group, there is a danger he will kill any young fathered by other males to ensure his genes survive.
London Zoo said it took expert advice and did all it could to cut the risks.
The young western lowland gorilla, who was fathered by a male that died last year, was injured on Thursday when he and his mother Mjukuu were introduced to Kesho for the second time.
Vets believe Tiny, the first gorilla to be born at the zoo for 22 years, may have suffered internal injuries following a scuffle in which he broke an arm.
The infant underwent a three-hour operation to pin his arm but vets were unable to revive him.
Prof Sommer, an advisor to the International Union for Conservation of Nature on great apes, said introducing Tiny to the silverback "ignored findings accumulated over the last 40 years".
In a letter to the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), he said: "What on Earth did ZSL expect to happen? Any undergraduate student of zoology could have told you what to expect!
"How can it be that ZSL, an organisation known for being guided by scientific knowledge, ignores findings that have been accumulated over the last 40 years?"
He said those responsible should no longer keep apes if the zoo was not up to scratch with what science told us.
The letter added: "Sorry, but the word 'incompetence' comes to mind for those responsible for this blunder.
"As a logical conclusion

Murder at London Zoo: The unsettling story behind the death of a baby gorilla at the hands of its surrogate father
By Charlotte Uhlenbroek
When I first heard that London Zoo’s baby gorilla had been killed by his surrogate father last week, I felt heartbroken.
This baby — just seven months old and nicknamed Tiny — was utterly adorable and the latest arrival at the zoo’s Gorilla Kingdom, which I helped open in 2007.
Although I never met Tiny, I had followed his story and seen how his mother, Mjukuu, doted on him.
Even now he has gone, one particular photograph remains in my mind — of him dozing peacefully on her chest while she caught 40 winks on a bed of hay — her protective arm around him. What a glorious sight it was.
As a zoologist who has studied animals both in the wild and captivity, I was especially interested in the zoo’s plans on how to incorporate Tiny into primate family life since his birth last October. And, from the work I have done with gorillas across the world, I knew it wouldn’t be easy.
Tiny’s natural father — Yeboah — died suddenly from diabetes in March last year, shortly after getting Mjukuu pregnant. That left a group of three females, Mjukuu, 11, Zaire, 36, and Effie, 17, without a male. As a silverback is always the focal group of any gorilla group, it was a hugely unnatural set-up.
Females don’t interact with others much and often show signs of stress, such as pulling out their own hair, when they are without a male. But to introduce a new ‘surrogate’ father into this group of western lowland gorillas with a vulnerable baby would be terribly risky.
For a start, the zoo keepers would have worried about infanticide, which often happens in the wild when a new silverback takes over a group if the old one dies or is driven away.

ZSL London Zoo’s infant gorilla
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is sad to announce the death of ZSL London Zoo’s infant gorilla.
The seven-month-old western lowland gorilla was injured on Thursday when his mother Mjukuu was introduced to the silverback male Kesho for the second time since his arrival.
Gorillas have complex social structures which makes introducing new animals to a group extremely challenging. In the wild, male gorillas commonly attack the offspring of rivals, so introducing an unrelated baby gorilla to a dominant male is particularly complicated, but it was essential in order to maintain a cohesive social group.
Kesho’s arrival in August 2010 was recommended by the Gorilla EEP (European Endangered Species Programme) species committee after the death of the zoo’s male gorilla.
He was gradually introduced to females Effie and Zaire, but we had waited for many months until we were confident we had the best chance of a successful introduction to Mjukuu and the baby.
Every sign prior to the introduction had indicated that the gorillas were ready, but these animals have complex social structures, and the outcomes can never be predicted with any certainty.
During the second introduction a scuffle between the whole group occurred and the baby’s arm was seriously injured.
The gorillas were immediately separated and the

Pakistan Zoo Funds (Some interesting zoo footage)

Quebec Zoo Wants Toronto Elephants
Alain Fafard has his eye on our elephants.
The animal care director at the Granby Zoo is hoping his high-tech elephant enclosure will be the new home of the Toronto Zoo’s Toka, Thika and Iringa.
The elephants are leaving Toronto, but zoo staff has yet to decide where they’ll end up.
“Our zookeepers are ready to welcome them,” said Fafard. “Our elephant enclosure is the best in Canada.”
Granby is one of just five zoos across Canada accredited by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
The Toronto Zoo board decided last week to move the elephants to an AZA accredited zoo. But the board also passed a motion by chair Joe Torzsok that would allow sending the elephants to a sanctuary, if a suitable zoo can’t be found.
Granby Zoo renovated its elephant enclosure in 2006, explained Fafard. The zoo now boasts a more than 7,000-square-metre outdoor play area with a graduated-depth pool.
“The deepest part is 10 feet deep,” said Fafard. “The elephants can be completely submerged in water and swim. They like that in the summer.”
The indoor part of the new enclosure has geothermal heated floors, a cooling and ventilation system and a semi-outdoor area heated with solar technology so that the elephants can go outside in the winter without getting cold or slipping on ice.
“At least they can go out and breathe the fresh air,” said Fafard. That outdoor “patio” is covered in sand, which the elephants like to play in and throw at each other, he added.
A consulting report commissioned by the Toronto Zoo in December 2010 said that in order to keep the elephants, the zoo would need a 3,700-square-metre holding and exercise barn and two new outdoor paddocks with a combined 7,500-square-metre space (up from the current size of about 3,000 square metres).
With two elephants currently living in Granby, the zoo just east of Montreal has room for up to four more, said Fafard.
City councillor and zoo board member Glenn De Baeremaeker wants Toka, Thika and Iringa to go to a sanctuary such as the PAWS (Performing Animal Welfare Society) facility in California.
“My initial reaction to hearing that it might be the Granby Zoo is that that would be a betrayal of our elephants,” he told the Star. “I thought

Patrolling at Nandankanan zoo to protect animals
The authorities of Nandankanan Zoological Park have started afternoon patrolling in view of the ongoing heat wave-like condition here to ensure the safety of animals. The patrolling started on May 7 as the mercury shot up. It has been intensified further in the past two days because of the persisting high temperature, a zoo official said.
Several parts of the state experienced a heat wave on Thursday. The city recorded a sweltering day's high of 42.2'C, five degrees above normal. The temperature has stayed above 40'C since May 10.
Assistant director Kamal Lochan Purohit said the officials have been particularly monitoring small animals like squirrels, monkeys and birds, which are more vulnerable to the extreme heat. However, so far no animal or bird has taken ill in

Fresh tiger census to begin in November:
Similipal and Satakosia are among the 41 protected areas in the country, where fresh tiger headcount will begin in November.
The ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) took this decision following a three-day workshop where experts deliberated on the Best Management Practices in Tiger Conservation'. A MoEF release said the November census, titled Phase IV of the National Tiger Estimation Programme', will initiate "intensive" annual monitoring of the big cats.
Significantly, the MoEF considers Similipal, one of the prime tiger reserves in the country, as "problematic". It is categorized with Indravati, Palamau and Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam reserves. Similipal has been in news for a host of reasons, including Maoist attacks, timber

RW Park Zoo unveils new animal hospital on Thursday

Why shark numbers off Sabah down almost 100pc
Reef shark populations have fallen by 98 per cent in 15 years and Technical Advisor of The Green Connection (Aquarium and Science Discovery Centre), Prof Steve Oakley, attributed this to the Government having allowed shark fishing for many years.
"Unfortunately, due to the increase in demand, the shark populations cannot support the fishery any longer. Most shark species have a relatively small range. Hammerhead sharks around Sipadan are being caught when they move away to feed at night," he said in a press statement, Saturday, in response to those who oppose the "Say No To Shark Fins Soup" Campaign.
The Green Connection is a partner in the campaign organised by JCI Tanjung Aru. Disclosing that there are no sharks in most of Sabah's national parks, Prof Oakley said six of our competitor tourist countries (Palau, Guam, Seychelles, Maldives, Honduras and Hawaii) have banned catching sharks.
He added that Bahamas have the most sharks in the world because of a 20-year-old ban on longline fishing. "Bans are being prepared for California, Oregon and other coastal US areas."
According to him, sharks contain toxic amounts of methyl mercury

ZooMontana loses AZA accreditation
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums revoked ZooMontana’s accreditation on Monday, leaving the future of several zoo animals in question.
Zoo board president Ian McDonald said the AZA accreditation, approved in September, was revoked because a long-term funding plan was not sufficiently in place.
McDonald said the revocation letter, received via email, also cited the zoo’s history of financial struggles as well as the relationship between the board and “key” staff members.
Before the AZA letter arrived, the board had officially accepted the resignation of the zoo’s executive director, Jackie Worstell, and the zoo’s marketing director, Daniel Lundquist. Both were put on administrative leave on Monday. Hired in 2006, Worstell will be paid through July 15. Lundquist’s final day is June 1.
McDonald said the board will hire an interim director by the end of the week. He would not divulge any information about the impending new hire, only saying, “They are a qualified person for the job.”
“The main thing is to clear up everything in-house and make sure there are enthusiastic and motivated leaders to lead the zoo to

Wash. bans sale, trade of shark fins
Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed legislation that prohibits the sale, trade or distribution of shark fins or derivative products in the state of Washington.
Supporters including the Humane Society of the United States say Senate Bill 5688 reduces pressure on sharply declining populations of sharks. The group says more than 73 million sharks are killed each year mainly for their fins. The practice of finning involves slicing off the fins of a shark while it is still alive and discarding the severely wounded animal at sea.
State Senator Kevin Ranker of San Juan Island was the bill's primary sponsor. The measure unanimously passed the Senate. The House voted 95 to 1 in favor of it.
Hawaii and Guam have passed similar measures. Proposed


Sharks at risk for overfishing in the UAE
For centuries a staple of traditional Emirati cuisine, the Gulf's sharks remain some of its least-studied creatures.
Little is known about how many species there are, let alone their feeding, ecology and habits.
That kind of data vacuum means that it all but impossible for conservationists to make much more than a guess about how sharks' numbers are changing with time.
A young, Dubai-based researcher is hoping to change that. For more than a year, Rima Jabado has been studying the sharks brought to landing sites along the length of the UAE's Arabian Gulf coast.
So far, Ms Jabado, originally from Lebanon, and a doctoral student at UAE University, has confirmed 26 species in the Arabian Gulf.
She has also interviewed 126 local fishermen about the type of gear they use, their fishing sites and their opinions on whether and how sharks could be protected from overfishing.
The results of the study, which has three more years to run, will be important not only for conservationists but also for the fishing industry, says Dr Aaron Henderson, an assistant professor at the Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat and one of two scientific advisers to the study.
While sharks are a valuable catch for the UAE's fishermen, they are also an essential part of the marine ecosystem. As top predator, their presence keeps many other species, including some that are commercially important, in check.

Now, drugs to snatch and tame elephants
Wildlife officers allegedly involved
Wildlife officers say that certain persons involved in the trafficking of wild elephants are allegedly using illegal drugs in their effort to capture the pachyderms.
They say that by using these illegal drugs elephants could be made unconscious.
It is alleged that some officers of the Wildlife department are also involved in snatching and spriting away baby elephants as one of its officers has charged Rs 100,000 to Rs 200,000 to facilitate such capture of a baby elephant.
The department has also gathered information that most wild elephants are being poached or trafficked from the forests in the North Western Province, and the Mahaweli wildlife forests.
The Huruluweva reserve forest which is under the jurisdiction of the Wildlife department is a well-known and popular tourist attraction. Also its officers said that poaching of wild elephants takes place mostly in areas that are concentrated around that reserve forest -- and the Ritigala reserve forest.
According to Wildlife department officers, in view

Thailand jungles mask surprise rise in tiger numbers
Experts film previously unknown group on hidden cameras – but loss of habitat and threat from poachers cloud newfound hope
Deep in the jungle, armed forest rangers trek through the palms on a mission to confirm some rare good news: the discovery of a wild tiger population in an area of Thap Lan national park previously written off by wildlife experts.
Working with foreign conservationists, the rangers have been gathering evidence from camera traps over the past two years that suggests this single national park in Thailand may have more tigers than China.
Thap Lan, with its spectacular forests of saw-bladed plan palms, is an oasis of biodiversity amid expanding human development. Elephants, clouded leopards, spotted linsang, boar and deer thrive below the canopy, which is filled with the song of myna, lapwings, laughing thrushes and other exotic birds.
Locals have long insisted that tigers also prowl in this area. Camera traps, triggered by heat and movement, have been left strapped to trees for a month. Some have been destroyed by wild elephants or infested by nesting ants, but the memory cards inside have yielded a trove of images of bears, leopards, itinerant monks, as well as tigers and – worryingly – armed poachers.
More than half the park has still to be checked, but rangers have already confirmed eight tigers. This is not yet enough to be classified as a sustainable population, but park managers are optimistic more animals will be found. "I'm very happy as this is beyond expectations," said Thap Lan's superintendent, Taywin Meesat. "There are areas deeper inside where we haven't placed camera

The world of the wild panda trackers
Liang Chunping and Luo Chunping are members of one of the world's smallest professions. They are wild panda trackers employed by the Wanglang National Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province, home to nearly 300 giant pandas.
Liang and Luo, both at their 30s, share the same given name and the same passion for nature. They joined the reserve after leaving the army ten years ago and have been chasing giant pandas through the bamboo forests of the reserve ever since. They were trained by zoologists, but mainly rely on their instincts and physical fitness to keep pace with their surprisingly sprightly and elusive quarry.
The trackers are currently collecting preliminary data for China's fourth national Giant Panda census, due to take place in June. The previous census counted 1,200 wild pandas in Sichuan Province, including 260 in the Wanglang reserve.
When three reporters from china.org.cn joined them, Liang and Luo were collecting images and data from 36 infrared cameras recently installed around the 322-square-kilometer reserve. They also collect Panda droppings for DNA analysis. The DNA


Online Masters Commonwealth Commission Scholarships
The University’s Global Health Academy has been awarded 15 fully funded studentships across four online Masters programmes within the domain of One World, One Health:

■MSc in Biodiversity Wildlife and Ecosystem Health

■MSc in International Animal Health

■MSc in Global Health and Infectious Diseases (formerly MSc in Emerging and Neglected Infectious Diseases)

■MSc in Global Health and Non-Communicable Diseases

Click HERE to learn more.


Veterinary Work Wanted

I’m an Italian Wildlife Vet with a strong commitment in Wildlife Medicine and Biodiversity Protection.

I have been working as a free lance veterinarian for 8 years and, for 6 of them, I have been providing veterinary support in Wildlife Management and in Conservation projects, while working in Pet Veterinary Hospital with night and holiday shifts.

Particularly, I worked for 3,5 years in a full-time vet position, with an Italian non-profit wildlife hospital that take care about over 1,000 injured and orphaned wildlife patients each year (95% wild birds).

Recently I came back from the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle, after 1 year and half of veterinary service in “AmaZOOnico”, a Wildlife Rescue Centre for all Amazonian animals, more than ever non-human primates and birds, where I’ve learned to function in remote and adverse climate conditions and with basic equipment.

In these positions, my responsibilities have included design and implementation of preventative veterinary care programs; evaluation of animal health; diagnosis and medical/surgical treatment of illness and injury; capture and restraint of animals; euthanasia and necropsy; assessment and design of nutrition programs; sample collection, testing, database management and data analyses; problem analysis and resolution responsibilities; supervision and training of volunteers and the public about rehabilitation medicine and environmental and human health issues; development and maintenance of professional contacts with a variety of clients and partners involved in wildlife management; work with a wide variety of people; ability to organize, manage time and set priorities while meeting deadlines; ability to be flexible and shift priorities to meet departmental requirements.

Besides this, because I was always working for poor No-Profit Organization, I’m used to work in a multitasking environment (from cleaning cages to the development and maintenance of professional contacts) and this fits well with my flexibility and has allowed me to gain abilities also as wildlife rehabilitator and veterinary nurse, for example, and, as natural resource manager.

I’m looking for a job, as freelance or full contracted, that allows me to continue my career in the field of the Biodiversity Protection.

The Northern Hemisphere’s animals are my first preference but I know that it’s quite hard to find the perfect job and, by the way, it would be just wonderful even if I could continue to work in the field of the Biodiversity Conservation, no mattering the species of the animals and in which place of the world!

What I can offer, is high flexibility, willingness to travel, ability to work in a multi-cultural environment, full and continuous training, ability to work in the field as well as willingness to gain experience in endoscopy and echography as needs. Italian mother tongue and working knowledge of Spanish and English.

Dr Sonja Ciccaglione

For further details, please e-mail: sonja.c@alice.it and consult my Linkedin’s page http://www.linkedin.com/in/sonjavet



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