Monday, May 23, 2011

Zoo News Digest 20th - 23rd May 2011 (Zoo News 753)

Zoo News Digest 20th - 23rd May 2011 (Zoo News 753)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleague,

'Cash Cows' and the responding article both make an interesting read as do the comments and links leading from them. It is almost as if the anti-elephant people have decided...'lets give Toronto a rest for a while and attack Woodland Park Zoo'. These anti-zoo people tend to preach to the converted but lure in the gullible with bait like "illegal breeding practices". Just what is that meant to mean? Illegal? Then there is the "Experts with the World Wildlife Fund estimate that elephants in captivity should have a minimum of 247 acres to roam." Experts? Do they really know anything about zoo elephants? There is no question in my mind that there are some people and some collections which should not be keeping elephants. In fact they should be banned from doing so. That said the decision as to which people and which collections should not, must not, rest with anti-zoo groups or 'experts' from outside of the zoological profession. Within the USA it should be the AZA who decide and if collections cannot meet their rigorous inspections then they should not hold elephants. The same would apply in Europe where zoo inspections take place. Fail the inspection then you face the consequences. Zoos wherever they are must police their own. We should not be called to task by these groups of blinkered biased acolytes.

I note we have another circus 'rescue' in the news. Don't get me wrong here but I still have not had an answer as to how this word 'rescue' is used. Be it lions, elephants, camels, chimpanzees or whatever. If the said animals were paid for then they are purchased or bought. If they are donated then thats it, they are donated. How and who decides on this word 'rescue'.


To free from confinement, danger or evil

To take forcibly from custody

To recover by force

To set free from danger or imprisonment

I am all for animals moving to better homes and environments but I really do believe that the word rescue should not come into it. It's the same when an organisation uses 'volunteer' to describe someone they expect to pay to work for them

I visited the London Aquarium the other day. Again a huge shock over prices. Cost me 18 quid to get in and that was more money than I earned last week....really, truly. I had emailed the Aquarium to see if I could get a complementary but did not even get a reply which was a shame. As to the visit? Well the last time I was there was four or five years ago and we were evacuated because of a bomb scare. My most recent visit was extremely enjoyable. I am more critical of my aquarium visits than I am of collections of land animals. I will have to try and find time to write this one up. It would have been nice to talk to someone during the visit however. I did have questions.

World Turtle Day if you forgot ;-) The 'Holy' Turtle story amused me. Much more of a resembelance to Darth Vader I thought than the Virgin Mary.

Loved looking at Shenga's bath. Reminded me of happy days with my ele girls.

I have read the first link over several times and am still not sure if I understand it correctly. It mixes history with the present and so does not come out that clearly. Undoubtedly Chiang Mai Night Safari does have problems but that is largely due to extremely poor advertising. The answer is not to "set aside a large area" and call it Tiger Kingdom, especially as we already have the very successful Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai. The Night Safari have a different angle though as they are going to use White Tigers, which they have already (and do posing/petting photos with). So far the existing 'Tiger Kingdom' has not lowered itself to aquiring these inbred hybrids but they could easily do so. No...the problem with the Night Safari is advertising. Someone from their advertising department should walk around the city, visit a few hotels and see what they can find out. There is lots to see and do but the Night Safari is conspicuous by its absence. (I really should charge for solving problems like these).

To be honest I can't recall which zoo (though it was only recent) which failed to pay the bills and so food supply to the animals had stopped. But here we have it happening again! This is appalling. This time in Alipore. This sort of situation should not be permitted to repeat.

Three days without food. Shocking, terrible. What about the unfortunate animals over in Abidjan Zoo? Some money has got through in donations which is good but as to action and the future? Who knows? I don't and would like to know. Sad to learn that the big zoo groups do not send funds to zoos in 'war' zones. Rather leaves it to the others doesn't it?

I have always accepted that getting bitten, scratched, bumped and trod on as a possibility in my work. These things do happen from time to time and I have the scars to remind me. I would not however accept a 'love bite' from a tiger (see links) as I believe that handling is totally unnecessary. Working hands on with tigers and other big cats is and always will be an accident waiting to happen.

I like the story of the shark in the Blackpool Aquarium. It's there but nobody has seen it yet. It put me in mind of an incident some thirty five years ago when we temporarily had a large empty reptile exhibit. All it contained was a sand base and oxygen. For a bit of fun we put a label on the front 'Invisible Sand Snake'. It turned out to be the most popular exhibit in the reptile house for the duration.

So the Thai police have arrested a tiger and a tiger trafficker. I hope they do a bit of DNA work. I strongly doubt it was wild caught. Lets root out the breeder.

There appear to be some strange happenings on the Craig Busch front. Check out the following site and I believe what you will understand. It appears to be an attempt to cause some sort of panic amongst fans as my information states that it is a scam. I am reliably informed that "The companies are not closing. The park is not closing. There isn't any documentation at all to prove this so called closure is at all a fact. It is not. It is a ruse to scam people into buying supposed goods and services for a company that does not even own Zion Wildlife Gardens." So if you are going to spend some of your hard earned money please do a bit of investigation first.

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'Sustainable' zoo, the elephant in the room
For some time now it's been politically correct to strive for sustainable tourism. And while members of the public sometimes confuse this term with ecotourism, they are very unlikely to mention the word "zoo" in the same breath.
Despite its fancy name, the Chiang Mai Night Safari _ which opened its doors to the public back in 2006 _ is a species of zoological garden.
The Designated Area for Sustainable Tourism Administration _ Dasta _ is a government-funded body and one of the three main projects it has earmarked for the promotion of sustainable tourism (along with ventures in Koh Chang and Pattaya) is northern Thailand's newest zoo.
Even stranger is the fact that Dasta is supporting a plan by the Night Safari to set aside a large area _ to be dubbed "Tiger Kingdom" _to house captive white tigers.
They've got to be kidding, you say.
But no; this is no joke, unfortunately.
Sustainable tourism, according to Dasta director-general Nalikatibhag Sangsnit, is based on the principle that people can share or preserve the resources of the area in which they live, be allowed to participate in tourism schemes developed in their communities as well as earn money from these developments.
A praiseworthy concept indeed but it bears little relation to the way the Night Safari is being operated.
The project was the brainchild of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, himself a native of Chiang Mai. When he broached the idea in 2002, local residents, academics and activists expressed concerns about the ecological, social and economic impacts and asked for a public hearing. Eventually families in the designated area were forced to sell farmland to the zoo which also took control of a portion of the adjoining Doi Suthep National Park.
How on earth could a project which hasn't received the full backing of local residents and which consumes natural resources merely to create an artificial tourist attraction be considered a glowing example of sustainable tourism?
The answer has largely to do with politics.
The key person in this affair was a senior civil servant named Plodprasob Suraswadi. He was the chief of the Forestry Department back in 2002 when Thaksin appointed him chairman of a government committee set up to study the Night Safari project. He later became head (permanent secretary) of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry which, in 2004, requested 1.15 billion baht from the Cabinet to develop the zoo. A year later, by which stage he was serving as assistant to the PM's Office minister, Plodprasob was given a seat on Dasta's board of directors.
So the same person who oversaw the initial vetting of the zoo scheme was a chairman of the Dasta board which designated the Night Safari as an area for sustainable tourism. The benefit of this decision was twofold: Dasta can now shape the direction in which the zoo develops and it can also help find the public funds to keep the enterprise afloat.
Every year the government allocates a budget in the region of 110 million baht to operate the zoo which currently earns slightly more than a quarter of that sum _ about 30 million baht _ per annum.
Dasta claims that the zoo is creating work for local people by holding light-and-sound presentations and Lanna cultural shows to entertain visitors to the Night

Kolkata zoo to get kangaroos
Two pairs of kangaroos, the Australian national animal, will be housed soon in Alipore Zoological Garden here, a West Bengal forest official said.
The four kangaroos will be brought from a Czech Republic zoo under an inter-zoo exchange programme, he said.
"We were informed that some zoos in Europe have successfully carried out kangaroo breeding programme and have spares for exchange so we approached them. Later we got the clearance from the national zoo authority and also from the state government and we now are in the process of arranging the transportation of the kangaroos," said Raju Das, director of Alipore Zoological Garden.
The kangaroos will be arriving here possibly by May-end, he said.
A separate enclosure has already been made

Leap for joy: 50 years of dolphins recognized at Brookfield Zoo; one dolphin to give birth in fall
The dolphin exhibit of Brookfield Zoo is celebrated for its 50-year history with the zoo this weekend.
Brookfield Zoo highlights its group of seven common bottlenose dolphins with Decades of Dolphins on Saturday and Sunday, May 21 and 22. The weekend event will be filled with lots of memories and fun featuring music that reflects the decades from the 1960s to the present, special Dolphin Shows, retro games and a liquid watercolor craft activity for kids.
Updated News: Brookfield Zoo just announced that one of their dolphins is expecting. Tapeko, a 29-year-old dolphin, is pregnant and due to give birth mid-fall. Veterinary staff confirmed the pregnancy during an ultrasound exam, which they have been performing — and will continue to perform — on a routine basis to monitor the development of the fetus, which has a 12-month gestation period.
Tapeko, who has been at Brookfield Zoo since 1991, is an experienced mother, having successfully raised three calves. Two of her daughters, Noelani, 7, and Allison, 5, reside with her at Brookfield Zoo. Additionally, she was a surrogate for her grandson when one of her daughters, who was at the time a first-time mom, could not provide the proper care for

London Aquarium Penguin Exhibit

Cash Cows
Is the Woodland Park Zoo Mistreating Its Elephants?
People will pay fistfuls of cash to see a baby anything. When a female Asian elephant was born at the Woodland Park Zoo in 2000, the zoo's "name the baby elephant" contest generated nearly 16,000 entries. Zoo employees privately proposed naming her Cash Cow—female elephants are called cows—but she was officially named Hansa, meaning "supreme happiness" in Thai. (Asian elephants are native to the hot jungles of Southeast Asia and India.) After Hansa's birth, attendance at the Woodland Park Zoo doubled. Then, at age 6, Hansa was found dead in the elephant barn by zookeepers. Her death was caused by elephant herpes, a disease that kills nearly 90 percent of infected young Asian elephants in captivity and was likely passed on through her mother, Chai, a wild Asian elephant gifted to the zoo in 1980.
The zoo has tried to artificially inseminate Chai at least 57 times since acquiring her, according to a lawsuit that will have its first hearing on May 27. (The lawsuit is the source of the allegation about employees calling the baby Cash Cow.) All those attempts to get Chai knocked up have resulted in only one live birth (Hansa) and many miscarriages. "These miscarriages have caused Chai to suffer both physical and psychological pain," the

Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo defends treatment of elephants
Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo is defending itself against accusations of animal mistreatment and illegal breeding practices.
A scathing article written in The Stranger cites a lawsuit filed against the City of Seattle, which claims the zoo participates in abusive breeding practices and subjects the elephants to conditions that lead to severe foot injuries.
On Friday, Bruce Bohmke, zoo Chief Operations Officer, defended the zoo on News Talk 97.3 KIRO FM's Ross and Burbank Show saying The Stranger's story is, "full of half truths and inaccuracies. They just made some of that stuff up."
At issue was whether the elephants at Woodland Park have enough room. While Bohmke conceded that "confinement of any animal has an effect on the animal," he also said the zoo association they're accredited with requires 1/3 of an acre per elephant.
"We certainly have that." Bohmke explained the article's World Wildlife Fund citation that elephants in captivity need 247 acres to roam and wild elephants need to walk 20 miles per day is inaccurate.
"Elephants do walk 20 miles a day in extreme conditions where they're trying to find food or water and they're desperate. Most studies that have been done on elephants in the wild talk about how they move maybe three miles a day and, in some cases where there's abund

My Husband and Other Animals - Jaws III, the croc in captivity
Jaws was one of four salt-water crocodile hatchlings imported from Singapore by the Central Leather Research Institute, Madras, back in the early 1970s. The organisation planned to slaughter them after five years to assess the feasibility of crocodile farming.
In 1973, when his surveys showed that wild crocs were almost gone, Rom wanted to start breeding crocodiles at the Madras Snake Park, and went to the Institute to have a look at the reptiles.
As he walked around the murky pond with Rajamani, an Irula friend, one of the three-foot salties suddenly erupted out of the water and grabbed Rajamani's leg. This was their first encounter with the species, and they realised it was a very different croc from the easy-going mugger they were used to.
Rom proposed to the Institute's director that he would rear the salties and provide all the measurements annually in return for custody of the animals. The director thought it was a great idea; the expense of rearing the crocs would be Snake Park's and the animals didn't have to be killed. Eventually those four salties came to the Croc Bank.
When they reached adolescence, one began outstripping the others in size. Using his larger size to advantage, he beat up the others every day. In one of these skirmishes, he lost a part of his tail but gained a name: Jaws III, after the infamous shark movie. Rom built five ponds in the same enclosure and visually barricaded each from the other. But no, Jaws was having none of that. He chased the others out of all five ponds. During the heat of the day, he'd have a choice of water bodies while the others had to skulk on land in the shade. By this time, he had reached ten feet and the

PMMSN Frasers Release (Some familiar faces ;-))

ALBERT - Against Lion Breeding and Ecological Reintroduction Tourism
Thinking of supporting a conservation project working with captive lions in Africa? Think again… the ALERT Lion Encounter/Walking with Lions projects based in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, and many other copy-cat operations in South Africa, are conservation scams. There is no conservation benefit in the captive breeding and reintorduction of lions, and your time and money will be spent on developing a private business empire.
We particularly oppose the ALERT project operated by Antelope Park and African Incounter (all these companies are owned by the same man). In the ten years since this project was conceived, well over a hundred lions have been used in this captive breeding and 'reintroduction' project, one in five are dead, and not one has been released back into the wild - nor will they ever be. These hand-reared and habituated lions will only ever achieve Stage Two of their project - semi-captivity in fenced, managed enclosures. Only their offspring are proposed to be released into the wild. We ask what is the need for this convoluted captive breeding project?
ALBERT is against the captive breeding of African lions and their use in lion interaction experiences for tourists. We are also against the elaborate 'rehabilitation' and 'reintroduction' programmes these projects propose as justification for their breeding and tourist programmes - there is no conservation or scientific need for African lion reintroductions.
International conservation organisations do not propose or support captive African lion reintroductions as an answer to the problems and threats facing the lion in Africa - the only people who do are the captive lion breeders themselves, who look to justify their continued financial exploitation of lions and look for an 'acceptable' way of disposing of lions after they have finished exploiting them with tourists - now that the canned hunting industry has been exposed, breeders in the public eye can no longer sell on their lions to canned hunts as they used to do.
These lion breeders use their breeding and reintroduction programmes and claimed conservation merit to market their projects to paying 'volunteers' - who support these projects in ignorance of their true nature. We believe people need to kno....... and

Zoo and aquarium offer $2 rainy-day discount
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is offering customers a $2 discount on full-price tickets if it's raining at the time of admission.
The promotion, "It's Raining Cats and Dogs," will continue until May 27.
"We can't fight mother nature," said Barbara Baker, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, in a news release. "But we can make the weather more fun. Come see the flamingos open their beaks to catch rain drops, the tiger cubs roll around and play in the mud, and the African painted pups

CERM Endangered Raptors Centre (Webcam)

Three Large Bald Eagle Chicks on the nest (Webcam)

Proboscis Monkeys Regurgitating Their Food, Like Cows
A previously unknown behavior pattern is only observed in a large animal very rarely -- which is why the videos researchers have published for an article in Biology Letters are nothing short of a sensation: They show proboscis monkeys regurgitating, chewing and gulping back down food they've swallowed -- just like ruminating cows.
For Marcus Clauss, co-author of this Japanese study, these observations were sensational. He has been researching herbivores with a foregut-fermenting digestive system at the University of Zurich for many years; proboscis monkeys belong to this group of 'foregut fermenters', along with hippopotamuses, sloths, kangaroos and cows.
Unlike herbivores such as horses, rhinoceroses, rabbits and many other species of monkey, foregut fermenters have trouble digesting plant fiber in the colon: Their digestive system can't cope if too much food is ingested as the digesta passes through the foregut too quickly. In other words, they're condemned to cautious eating. Colon fermenters don't have that problem, however. These include species with a large food intake such

Scientist sacked for supporting tribal rights
A renowned wildlife scientist, Ravi Chellam has been eased out as head of the country's foremost wildlife conservation NGO -- Wildlife Conservation Society-India -- for being part of a government committee that backed tribal rights over forest lands under the Forest Rights Act.
Officially, the NGO has asked Chellam to sign on a separation agreement but sources said that he was given a 'leave or be thrown out' notice by the group which has a close affiliation with the New York-based and internationally operational NGO which goes by the same name -- Wildlife Conservation Society. Chellam was contracted directly to the New York-based NGO.
Chellam had earlier accepted to be one of the non-official members on the committee set up by Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh to review the implementation of the Forest Rights Act – a piece of legislation

Police stalk 'tiger' that turns out to be soft toy
Police needed a helicopter and thermal imaging cameras to work out that a tiger spotted on the loose in Hampshire was just a stuffed toy.
A member of the public reported seeing a tiger lying in a field near Hedge End on Saturday afternoon and a team of officers were sent to investigate.
They also concluded it was a tiger, prompting the clearance of a nearby golf course and a halt being called to play in the cricket game between South Wiltshire and Hampshire Academy at the Rose Bowl.
Police reinforcements were sent to the area and they consulted experts at Marwell Zoo about how best to capture the creature.
Officers with thermal imaging cameras then noticed something strange -

Zoo Begins Look Into Hearts of Apes

Bondla zoo houses a rare species of antelope
The Bondla zoo has got four Chousinghas or four-horned antelope, a vulnerable species and a rare find in the forests of Goa, according to records. The Wildlife Census conducted in 1997 and 2002 by the Goa forest department records the presence of spotted deer, sambars, barking deer and mouse deer, but not of Chousinghas. Three Chousinghas were spotted at the Sattari forests after that and brought to the zoo. The fourth one was found at Hivre Budruk in February 2011 and was handed over to forest officials by Jayawant Govind Gaonkar, who found the motherless calf in his cashew plantation.
These antelope are the smallest Asian bovids, just over half-a-meter tall at the shoulder and were listed as vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 1996. Chousinghas belong to the

Zoo to be on par with the best
In the late 1920s there was a menagerie set up in Dehiwela by a German named John Hagenbeck, a member of a famous show-business family from Hamburg. Acquired by the Government in 1936 and following many a transformation over the years, today it is fondly known as the Dehiwela Zoo.
The National Zoological Gardens (Dehiwela Zoo) plays a great role in ex-situ conservation of local and international fauna. Located on a beautiful landscaped 22-acre plot, it is just 11 kilometres away from the heart of Colombo city.
In 1936, the Zoo was under the purview of the Government Agent of Colombo. Today it is managed by the Department of National Zoological Gardens of the Economic Development Ministry.
The Zoological Gardens has over 350 species of wild animals, birds, reptiles and various kinds of fish. There are about 100 species of mammals, 110 species of birds, 65 species of ornamental fish, 35 species of dangerous and harmless reptiles and amphibians with over 2,500 varieties of birds such as water birds, pelicans and aquatic birds at the zoo.
Equipped with a five year plan the zoo is transforming into a more beautiful, state-of-the-art conservation centre with many short and long-term measures in the pipeline.
Under the instructions of Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa we are developing the infrastructure of the zoo, specially expanding the space for the animals,” said Director of the National Zoological Gardens and Director General Economic Development Ministry Bashwara Gunarathne.
Underground water tank
Many of the infrastructure development programs initiated last year are almost completed. A mammoth size underground water tank with a capacity of 30,000 gallons is built on the premises providing safe and clean drinking water for visitors as well as the animals.
According to Gunarathne the animals are essentially given clean drinking water

African Elephant Shenga Goes Swimming 2011

'Holy Turtle' Found on 'Day of Rapture'
While there has not yet been a second coming of Christ (as of this writing) on this day of Rapture, there was at least one holy sign for the faithful to embrace in northwest suburban Streamwood.
A printing company employee out on her break picked up a tiny turtle and was immediately struck by its markings.
"Right away, to her it resembled the Virgin Mary," said Ronnie Chavez in retelling his mom's Saturday morning tale.
The painted turtle -- about the size of a half-dollar -- was wandering across the parking lot. Chavez's mother, Gricelda, intended to move it to the safety of a pond, but the turtle flipped over when she reached down, revealing the pattern on the bottom of its shell.
"It caused a big stir. [Co-workers] came over. They were taking

Kapiti Island's stoat hunt to continue
The hunt for stoats on Kapiti Island will be extended for at least another six months after more stoat faeces were found on the native reserve.
Conservation Department staff spotted a stoat at Rangatira Pt on the island last November and later found stoat faeces nearby, along with a dead kakariki – or native parakeet.
After three months of searching for the elusive predator, a large male stoat was caught in one of 160 traps set there in February.
Department staff were not sure if any more stoats had managed to get on to the island, which is home to many endangered native birds.
Three weeks ago, more faeces were found in the area by ranger Scott Theobold and his search dog. Tests could not confirm whether they came from the

Bali Coral Reefs Reveal Nine New Species
A bubble coral that resembles underwater daisies and a decorated garden eel are among the nine potentially new species discovered in Bali's coral reefs, researchers just announced. The downside: The divers found few reef sharks, possibly signaling an unhealthy reef.
The nine species were found in the reefs outside of Bali, Indonesia, during a two-week survey, as a part of the Rapid Assessment Program (RAP), led by Conservation International. The surveys assessed reef health and will be used by the Indonesian government to decide which reefs should be identified as "Marine Protected Areas."
During the survey, researchers identified eight species of fish and one species of coral that hadn't been observed before. Among these potentially new species documented were two types of cardinalfish, two varieties of dottybacks, a garden

Monty the camel rescued from a life in the circus
MONTY the ­camel is ­following in the footsteps of former ­“colleague” Anne the ­elephant after Bobby Roberts released him from his ­travelling circus.
Monty, seven, is now ­enjoying acres of open ­pasture at ­Yorkshire Wildlife Park and has met other camels for the first time. Spokesman John ­Minion said: “He was a bit shocked by the other ­animals at first, but he’s feeding well.”
Monty had spent his life with the Bobby Roberts ­Super Circus. Matt Forde of Specialist Wildlife ­Services, who

Minister takes stock of zoo food crisis
The new forest minister, Hiten Barman, visited Alipore zoo on Sunday to check if the reports about a food crisis were true. Some food suppliers apparently did not get their bill on time and stopped their supply. For that, the animals in the zoo appears to be without food for the past three days. "Now, I have asked to make a plan for any kind of exigency," said Barman.
Barman went around the zoo at 11 am and talked to the zoo officials and asked them to take emergency steps to avoid any hardship to the animals. Officials said that Piyali Chatterjee, deputy director of the zoo against whom disciplinary action was initiated, had refused to hand over the keys of the zoo`s vault, for which the cheques meant for the food suppliers could not be handed over. As there had been delay in payment, some food suppliers had stopped supplies.
An official said that for three days supply of bread and milk was disrupted. Now, bread is purchased on a daily basis and for this extra money is being paid. Shabir Ali, who supplies beef, said that they are not getting money and for that they have submitted an ultimatum that if the dues are not cleared immediately, they will stop supply. Additional chief secretary, forest, Rajendra Kumar said that action would be taken against the deputy director. "She had not surrendered the keys after her suspension. This amounts to breach of discipline and action will be init

Zoo will Stay Open Despite Loss of Accreditation
Monday the Association of Zoos and Aquariums pulled the accreditation for ZooMontana.
The president of the zoo's board of directors, Ian McDonald, says the zoo didn't meet the AZA’s standard for a long term funding plan. He says despite losing its accreditation the zoo will stay open.
“It was disheartening. We did the best we could. They made the decision based on their standards. We didn't meet their standards. So, they revoked it,” said McDonald.
AZA spokesman Steve Feldman says it wasn't an easy decision, "the accreditation is always tough. Its always very thoughtful and these decisions aren't made lightly.”
Since the zoo is no longer accredited, that means it can no longer house animals that are on loan from other facilities.
“Some loan institutions will let you keep the animals they have loaned to you. Even without AZA accreditation, so that's the

Gazette opinion: Let's support new leadership, new ideas for zoo
ZooMontana’s fortunes were looking up at the end of the week that first brought the park to the nadir of its existence since the first outdoor animal exhibit (river otters) opened in 1993.
A week after the zoo shut down temporarily for lack of liability insurance, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums revoked the Billings zoo’s accreditation. The ZooMontana board accepted the resignation of the executive director that she had announced months ago. Lacking an executive director, marketing director and staff for the admissions desk, volunteer board members started manning the desk themselves during one of the zoo’s busiest (and rainiest) visitor weeks of the year.
A ray of sunshine appeared Thursday when the ZooMontana board announced a new partnership with Beartooth Nature Center in Red Lodge. The Red Lodge zoo’s executive director, Jeff Ewelt, will serve temporarily as ZooMontana’s executive director, too.
Furthermore, three Beartooth Nature Center board members will join the ZooMontana board for the next 90 days and three ZooMontana directors will join the Red Lodge board for the

Get more animals, Deshmukh tells zoo
Although not so happy with several with Maharajbagh zoo not fulfilling norms, Anil Deshmukh, Maharashtra food and civil supplies and consumer protection minister, on Thursday expressed satisfaction over overall upkeep of animals and the condition of zoo. He asked its functioning be streamlined.
Deshmukh visited the zoo on Thursday to check whether the zoo was being run as per Central Zoo Authority (CZA) norms. He said he was satisfied with animals' health on Thursday. The minister had visited the zoo on May 4, 2010, following series of animal deaths due to negligence of then zoo controller.
"The tiger female cubs - Lee, Jaan and Cherry - have grown

Just a 'love bite', zoo says of tiger attack
TIGER handlers at Dreamworld accept the risk that they're likely to suffer flesh wounds from the big cats from time to time, the theme park says.
Kato, the Bengal tiger which bit handler Daniel Jans on the leg at Dreamworld yesterday, was back on Tiger Island in front of Gold Coast tourists yesterday, playing with other handlers and oblivious to the fuss he'd caused.
Al Mucci, general manager of life sciences, said danger was part of the job for anyone working with big animals.
"These things happen. We are working with nearly 200 kilo animals," Mr Mucci told reporters.
"As a cattle farmer would understand, when you're working with large animals you do cop your knocks and bumps and that's what happened yesterday."
Dreamworld CEO Noel Dempsey said Mr Jans is recovering well and

Evidence of hidden shark found in aquarium
Signs that there is a hidden shark living in one aquarium have been found.
There could be a secretive shark living in one of the fish tanks at the Blackpool Sea Life Centre.
Staff at the aquarium have found eggs belonging to a carpet shark in the tank, although no one has seen the animal itself.
Experts at the centre believe former curators may have introduced the animal without recording the fact and it has been living there undetected ever since.
It could have been in the tank for a number of years.
Senior aquarist Martin Sutcliffe said: "When we found the first egg during a routine dive in the ocean tank just before Easter, we initially thought it

Bear bile virtually unavailable
Traditional Chinese medicine shop owners here have dismissed an international wildlife organisation’s claim that bear bile products are being openly sold.
The Sabah Chinese Medical Association said the banned bear bile was “virtually non-existent” and that any available in the shops were from other animals, like the wild boar and goat.
“There is no supplier for the product,” its spokesman told The Star here yesterday.
“The last time I saw real bear bile was about 30 years ago,” he said.
“If you want that stuff you may want to try some of the older Chinese medicine shops in Singapore.
“And if you can ever find it, 150 grammes

Thai Police Arrest Suspected Tiger Trafficker
Police have arrested a man suspected of being a key player in one of Thailand's largest tiger trafficking rings, police and a wildlife conservation group said Sunday.
Authorities had been searching for the 49-year-old Thai man since last year, when they issued a warrant for his arrest after seizing a Bengal tiger cub during a separate operation, police said in a statement.
Police believe the network is buying tigers and selling them to purchasers mainly in China via land routes in neighboring Laos and Vietnam, said Chanadda Thanikulap of the FREELAND Foundation, an anti-trafficking group based in Thailand.
The suspect was arrested Saturday in northeastern Thailand and

Baby tiger among wild animals for sale in Sharjah market
Despite countless warnings from experts about the dangers of keeping wild animals as pets, they are still easily available if you know where to look.
Posing as tourists, within just 20 minutes of walking into the Sharjah Animal and Bird Souq, reporters from The National were offered a five-month-old white tiger cub for Dh35,000.
"I can get you the baby tiger by Friday," the Pakistani shopkeeper said after being asked for something a little more unusual as a pet.
Kneeling on the ground to feed dozens of green parrot chicks in a cardboard box, he added: "It's from a breeder, a white tiger, very beautiful, very cute."
It was not, he claimed, dangerous or aggressive. "It has all the injections from the vet but will cost you Dh35,000. It comes with all the documents and paperwork you need, like a passport, but that will cost you Dh300 extra.
"Don't worry about the police. It's not illegal."
All commercial trade in tigers or their parts has been banned since 1987 under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).
Tigers are listed as an Appendix I species, which is an animal threatened with extinction. The World Wildlife Fund estimates

Biologists make case for killer whales in captivity
Killer whales in captivity help to steer young people into the conservation field, according to a marine biologist.
But Jerry McCormick-Ray, a visiting scientist at the University of Virginia's environmental sciences department, and her husband, G. Carleton Ray, a University of Virginia marine ecologist, were lone voices supporting orca captivity at the "Too Killer to be Captive?" debate held during the International Marine Conservation Congress in Victoria..
The word debate initially seemed dubious as the two official speakers, Paul Spong of OrcaLab, a Hanson Island whale research station, and Naomi Rose of the Humane Society of the United States, both believe firmly that killer whales should not be held captive.
Invitations were sent to industry representatives, said organizer Leslie Cornick, marine biology associate professor at Alaska Pacific University.
"But there was no response. Just a deafening silence," she said.
"It's quite disappointing. We were really hoping to get both sides."
McCormick-Ray, a former whale trainer turned scientist, was left to provide the pro-captivity side.
"The number of children that go through

Conserving Siamese Crocodiles (Interesting...nice artwork)

Check out some of his other work - Here is BIRDS OF ASIA

Tibetans, supporters stage zoo protest
EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE:Demonstrators anticipated the Sichuan governor’s moves at Taipei Zoo’s Panda Hall to protest the arrest of 300 monks from Kirti Monastery
Dozens of Tibetans and Taiwanese supporters of the Tibetan cause yesterday staged a demonstration at Taipei Zoo as Sichuan Province Governor Jiang Jufeng (蔣巨峰) visited the zoo in the afternoon.
Holding up Tibetan flags and signs reading “No freedom, no tourism in Sichuan” and “Release the 300 monks from Kirti Monastery,” while shouting “Free Tibet” and other slogans, the protestors demonstrated inside



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