Friday, May 27, 2011

Zoo News Digest 24th - 27th May 2011 (Zoo News 754)

Zoo News Digest 24th - 27th May 2011 (Zoo News 754)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleague, 

There have been a great deal more interesting links this past few days. Not always good news of course. I was sad to learn of the death of the Binturongs especially as I had been watching these same animals just a couple of weeks ago. It is just one of the facts of life....these things happen. We learn by them all the time. My sympathies to all at Chessington Zoo because I know they will be upset. I am aware that some of them thought that was the best exhibit in the zoo at the moment.

There are several links with reference to Craig Busch and Zion Wildlife Park. They make interesting reading.

A snow leopard killing 68 goats in a single night! must have thought it was Christmas. It is not going to make itself very popular though. I can fully understand the feelings of the local people.

I see poor old Polo gets a mention for the first time in a while. What is it with single captive Gorillas? Within the UK under zoo legislation this would not be allowed....nor should it anywhere. I am not blaming any of the countries which keep single Gorillas, I can understand their wish and need to keep them but... but... but... something could be done and should be done.

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Kids see a lion eat cuddly zoo animal
FAMILIES watched in horror as two lions tore apart a baby animal that escaped from its enclosure.
The cute binturong - also called a bearcat - was one of a pair to climb a tree before dropping into the big cat den at Chessington World of Adventure.
Jason Harcombe, visiting with his two-year-old son Oscar, said: "The poor animal didn't stand a chance. The lions jumped on it straight away and

Beast of a show: A bear who fished in the Thames and a thieving leopard ruled the 13th century menagerie at the Tower of London
Helping a polar bear find fish in the Thames and stopping a leopard from stealing umbrellas are not the conventional skills you'd see on a CV. But these are exactly what menagerie keepers at the Tower of London had to do.
At the 13th century zoo, which housed an array of animals given to the royals, one keeper spent his days preventing a polar bear from escaping while it fished for food in the Thames.
The bear was a gift from the King of Norway to Henry III in 1252 and The Times report records of expenses submitted at the Tower for 'muzzle and an iron chain to hold the bear when out of the water and a long and strong cord

Environment minister: Azerbaijan has not a zoo, it has a menagerie
The Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources of Azerbaijan has embarked on a project to create a zoo in Gobu settlement.
Today, Huseyn Bagirov, minister of environment & natural resources, has said that talks and consultations on the occasion are underway with 70 specialists of international level.
"Azerbaijan is lacking today a zoo – there is a wild beast show in which animals are kept not in the best way. In accord with the relevant presidential order, it was allotted 55 hectares of land and 2.8 million manat for a zoo project conforming to international standards. To date, we’ve outlined a scheme of zoo facilities for keeping animals relating to different climatic zones and creation of natural conditions for them,” Bagirov noted.
He added that the main purpose of zoo creation was not in providing services on demonstration of animals.
"In this zoo we intend to deal with restoration, reproduction of animals in their natural environment and, thus, prevention of the extinction of endangered animal species. To this end, appropriate flora will be planted

Zoo smear campaign got bosses suspended
EDINBURGH Zoo executives Gary Wilson and Iain Valentine were suspended after a malicious employee compiled a "dirty dossier" making the worst allegations Scotland's most senior employment lawyers had ever seen, it emerged last night.
In a stormy annual general meeting of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, which runs the zoo, board members revealed details of a malicious smear campaign.
The event, at Murrayfield Stadium, followed the emergency meeting held two weeks ago that saw zoo chairman Donald Emslie forced to resign.
Board trustees bowed to pressure from society members and confirmed that the pair had been suspended over allegations of "serious financial concern".
However, they were cut off mid-speech by Mr Valentine's wife, who broke her silence to berate the society for the way it had carried out the investigation into her husband.
As Dr Tom Mitchell, chair of the audit and risk committee, and a RZSS board trustee, told the AGM that the "allegations in relation to Gary and Iain contained elements of serious financial concern", Mrs Valentine shouted "point of order", before taking the microphone.
Mrs Valentine told hundreds of society members: "I have kept my silence for seven-and a-half weeks in this enforced purdah, but I feel compelled to say I am still waiting to hear why my husband has been suspended.
"And it's completely out of order, at a meeting like this, where the man is not here to defend himself, for you (speaking to Dr Mitchell] to stand there and say that the reason he has been suspended is an actual allegation of . . . I know that that is not the case, otherwise we would have surely been told by now."
Afterwards, speaking through tears, she told the Evening News: "I just wish he (Dr Mitchell] had spoken to me before tonight. We haven't even been told what these allegations are over. You can't understand how difficult this is for us."
Just before the outburst, Jane Green, RZSS trustee and convenor of the Law Society of Scotland's Employment Law Specialisation Panel, who is closely involved in the investigations, said the "malicious" anonymous employee had compiled a "dirty dossier".
She added: "I have been an

Knut, the $140 Million Polar Bear
The perils of the high-stakes celebrity animal business
As the world's first celebrity polar bear, Knut used to spend his days feasting on raw meat, swimming in a black-bottom pool, and gazing at the hundreds—if not thousands—of visitors who flocked to see him every day at the Berlin Zoo. During his prime, candymaker Haribo churned out 1 million raspberry-flavored Knut gummy bears daily, and Berliner Volksbank issued tens of thousands of ATM cards featuring his furry face. There was also the 2007 book, Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World, and the 2008 film, Knut & Friends. Along with Leonardo DiCaprio, he graced the cover of Vanity Fair.
Knut (pronounced Kuh-noot in German) achieved international fame hitherto unknown in the animal kingdom on account of his irresistible story. He was born into captivity in 2006, rejected by his mother, and raised by a zookeeper. To environmentalists, Knut was an emblem of the anti-global-warming movement; to business, he was a cuddly money machine. In its 167-year history, the Berlin Zoo—which is subsidized by the city and listed on the Berlin Stock Exchange—has been profitable for only three years, says Heiner Klös, its animal curator. Those were 2007 to 2009, the Years of Knut, when yearly attendance rocketed from 2.5 million to 3.5 million visitors, and the zoo made more than $30 million. In all, Gerald Uhlich, a former chief executive of the zoo and the architect of Brand Knut, estimates that the polar bear generated more than $140 million in global business.
In 2010, however, Knut grew up and became less cute, and attendance waned. Then in March, he unexpectedly died. Zoo-dwelling polar bears usually live well into their thirties—Debby of Winnipeg made it to 42—but an autopsy revealed Knut had suffered from encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain that caused him to lose consciousness, tumble into the water, and drown in front of several hundred horrified fans.
Now the fate of Brand Knut—unprecedented in the history of brands and animals—is up for grabs. Scores of book publishers, moviemakers, marketers, advertisers, and manufacturers of stuffed animals, lunchboxes, and coffee cups hope to profit before the public's memory of the cuddly cub is replaced with that of a large, dead polar bear. There are already plans for a television documentary in Germany. The chinamaker KPM is issuing $315 commemorative Knuts that have Zur Erinnerung ("in memoriam") inscribed on them. Uhlich is writing a book about the untold story behind the rise of "der Icebear." And for good reason. "A dead Knut brand could still make millions," says Birgit Clark, a London-based trademark attorney who has studied the Knut phenomenon. What happens to Brand Knut in the next few months will determine if it stays profitable or, like Knut, dies too.
However, the greatest threat to the brand—and potential Knut profiteers—is actually its owner, the Berlin Zoo, which is reluctant to

Do Some Circus and Zoo Animals Dream of Freedom and Revenge Against Their Masters?
One Author Says Yes
Translating the revolutionary consciousness of voiceless animals is no more silly than doing the same for human beings.

Hatchlings insure future of tortoises
Perth Zoo has added 44 Western Swamp Tortoise hatchlings to its population as part of a program to boost numbers of the critically endangered species.
Tortoise keeper Bradie Durell said the animals were found only in WA in the Swan Valley but there was also an "insurance population" in the Adelaide Zoo.
"Their total population is between 400 and 500 and of those about half are in the wild," Mr Durell said.
He said the zoo had bred more than 770 Western Swamp Tortoises since 1989 and released 500 into the wild.
"Captive breeding programs are very important because they help to get the populations back up," Mr Durell said.
The tortoises, which grow up to 14cm or 400g, are preyed upon by foxes, feral cats, rats and ravens.
The babies weighed between 5g to 7g.
Mr Durell said a lot of their habitat had

Oldest Indian Lioness is no more
Twenty-year-old Rani, a lion placed at the Van Vihar National Park, died here today due to old age, park officials said. They claimed that it was the oldest lion in the country.
The lion was born on July 12, 1991 at Indore’s Kamla Nehru Zoo and was shifted to Bhopal’s Van Vihar on February 12, 1992. The park was home to the lion for over 19 years. The lone lioness at the civic-run Kamla Nehru Zoo here died today due to Parkinson’s disease, officials said.
Rani, 22, had also suffered a paralytic attack on her hind limbs, they said, adding usually the life span of the lion was 15 to 18 years in Indian zoos.
Veterinarians said Parkinson’s is a disease of the nervous system that gets worse over a period of time and causes the muscles to become weak. The lioness was born in the zoo, managed by the Indore Municipal Corporation, itself, officials said.
A team of five veterinarians conducted the post-mortem on the lioness, after which the body was disposed of, they added.
“Normally, the average age of lion is 14 years, but this animal was an exception and survived for nearly 20 years due to proper care and better wildlife management. Inder was the oldest lion of the country,” they said.
Inder did not have any serious ailment, but int

Red tape lengthened deer’s suffering by 3 hrs
Activists claim zoo staff didn’t attend to the animal’s injuries stating that they need permission from superiors; staff says they don’t have space for protected animals
The world may be zipping past us with the help of constantly evolving technology, but when it comes to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), the proverbial red tape is still making us trip. Take for instance the PMC-run Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park and Wildlife Research Centre. Two youths, who had rescued a wounded deer, were kept waiting by the zoo staff on Wednesday for three hours before the animal was admitted for treatment, stating that there was no space for it on their premises.
Being stonewalled, the youths from Daund — Sagar Bhosale and Navanath Ghodake — sought help of a few animal activists. The activists confronted the staff. The staff then called up their seniors and got permission for taking the deer into custody. The deer was brought in at 7.30 pm and admitted for treatment at 10.30 pm.
Manoj Oswal, animal welfare officer, Animal Welfare Board of India, said, “The animal rescue centre, the only one of its kind across 15 districts, is facing constraints. That said, the matter still could have been handled better if a system for such emergencies was in place. I examined the deer at the rescue centre today (Thursday) and found that the animal was in shock from its injuries. I hope it gets

Snow leopard kills 68 goats in a single night in Gilgit
A lone snow leopard wrecked havoc in a remote valley of Gilgit one night, killing 68 goats in six separate incidents, officials said on Thursday. The attacks also left six goats critically injured.
The animal broke into the corrals at Dhee Village, Gojal near the Pak-China border before killing the goats, Rehman Posh, a conservationist working with the Khunjerab Village Organisation, told The Express Tribune on Thursday.
“Bodies of the animals were scattered all over the place after the incident,” said Posh, adding that the people got enraged over the depredation that inflicted a huge financial loss on them.
Giving the breakdown, Rehman Posh said that 23 of the goats belonged to Mirza Mohammad, 13 to Ali Baig, 12 to Bahadur, nine to Aslam, seven to Ghulam Rasool and four to Qalandar Shah.
Talking about the different organisations that are trying to protect the endangered species, a group of villagers said they were not satisfied with their “mere lip services”.
“We have submitted our complaints. But they just come to tell us the importance of the snow leopards

It's the city that is treading into leopard territory, says Ravi Chellam
Leopard sightings in the city are making headlines almost every other day. DNA spoke to Ravi Chellam, country director, Wildlife Conservation Society – India, to find out why the big cats are seen prowling about in the IT city.
There is news that leopards are being spotted in the city. Is there any reason why leopards are moving towards Bangalore?
It is not a rare to spot leopards in Bangalore, considering the city is bordered by the Bannerghatta National Park, which houses several wildlife species. Also, keeping in mind that the city has seen a widespread property development, we have to understand that it is not the leopards that are moving close to the city, it’s us who are moving close to the leopard habitat. The city’s growth is not planned; it hasn’t taken into consideration the impact the development may have on wildlife.
There is more news on leopard spottings now than earlier. Why?
The population is large in the city suburbs. So more people are now able to spot leopards. For example, if there were only very few people and no electricity, chances of sighting a leopard at night is very low. Because more people have seen leopards, the media has also startedcreating awareness in the city about this animal.
What would be the impact on a roadwhere leopards are known to be spotted?
It depends on the size of the road, how it is constructed, and the density and speed of traffic using this road.In general, roads are killers for wildlife, especially the smaller ones.Large roads with lot of fast-moving traffic can be barriers for animal movement and act as death traps for wildlife animals. The highways are proving to be ‘death traps’ for leopards at night.
Bangalore south has seen cases of road-kill of leopards (on Nice Road) and leopard cubs being ‘abandoned’. How can Bangaloreans co-exist with leopards?
When Nice Road was planned and constructed, the needs of the wildlife were not taken into account. As a result, we are seeing leopards being killed on this road, particularly at nights.Wildlife crossings and measures to control speed of vehicles in sections where wildlife occur, should have been a part of the design. I feel it is not too late now to incorporate wildlife crossings, which will enable the animals to safely cross the road.If there is a will to reduce impact

Wild Asses Pushed Toward Extinction - the Latest Research Says
Fences and railway lines in Mongolia are cutting endangered wild asses off from their habitat, pushing the animals toward extinction, a new study finds.
Wild asses, which are related to donkeys, once ranged across Mongolia, Russia and into the Middle East.
Today, they’re found only in small pockets in these areas, with the largest group living in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. Despite protected areas set aside for wildlife in Mongolia, the asses are in trouble, researchers reported last February in the journal, Biological Conservation.
Both manmade and natural barriers (mountains) keep the asses separated from one another and cut off from their migratory routes, a fact illustrated by one wild ass observed walking almost 40 miles (62 kilometers) alongside a railroad fence.
Researchers knew the wild asses face challenges in their Gobi desert habitat. Local ranchers see the asses as competition for their livestock, so they chase away or illegally kill the animals. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists Asiatic wild asses as “endangered.”
Using GPS data from 19 asses fitted with radio collars, along with historical range data and a genetic analysis of 80 asses, a team of European, Mongolian and Chinese scientists found that the protected areas set aside for the asses aren’t enough.
DNA analysis showed that two ass subpopulations are separated by the mountain ranges crisscrossing Mongolia. However, the researchers found, even though the two subpopulations can’t interbreed, they still show high levels of genetic diversity, meaning they’ve yet to lose their evolutionary resilience to disease and environmental change.
But while the asses’ genetic diversity is heartening, the other news isn’t as good. Humans have restricted the wild asses’ habitat and food supply, especially in the southeastern Gobi, where protected areas aren’t enough to support the asses with grass and water.
The asses are cut off from China by border fences, and in the east, the Ulaanbaatar-Beijing railway line cuts off more than 10,500 square miles (17,000 square km) of habitat. There are under- and overpasses across the railway fences designed for use by herders and livestock, the researchers wrote, but wild gazelles and asses seem unable to find these crossings.
Saving the wild asses will be a matter of international cooperation, the researchers wrote.
Wildlife crossing points should be built over or under

It's ape time
Children visiting the century-old Mysore zoo never a visit to see Polo, a western lowland gorilla. He is the only gorilla exhibited in any zoo in India. The 46-year-old male gorilla, gifted by the Dublin Zoo, in Ireland on May 12, 1995, is a star attraction. The primate has been without a companion for the last 10 years.
Most visited Polo has been the most-watched exhibit. He has been zoo for 19 years now. The first gorillas of the zoo — Sumati and Sugriva — were brought to Mysore in 1977 and they hogged the limelight until Polo arrived. Sugriva died within a year of its stay. The zoo managed to get a companion for Sumati when Israel gifted Bobo, a male gorilla, in the 80s. Sadly, it (Bobo) too did not live long.
All alone
Sumathi once again became lonely and was without a companion until Polo arrived. Somehow, Sumati did not find him (Polo) a “perfect” companion. Sumati died of a cardiac arrest on October 4, 2000. Thereafter, Polo has been single. Most of the time Polo remains confined to a corner of its enclosure. He beats his chest, claps and, sometimes, makes

Gorilla Pregnancy

Iconic zoo relocating to Loganholme
LOGAN will experience a population boom next year - of about 240 animals.
After more than 30 years at Dakabin, Brisbane's iconic Alma Park Zoo is packing its bags and heading to Loganholme.
In what has been hailed as the most exciting venture in the city's 30-year history, the zoo will relocate to Logan after being squeezed out of its current site due to nearby housing developments.
After more than 12 months of discussions, it was agreed the zoo will be set up on the Pacific Motorway at Loganholme on council owned land.
“Alma Park Zoo is one of Queensland's most loved and well-known tourist attractions and for the owners to select Logan as the place to start another chapter in the zoo's successful history is an enormous coup for the city,” Logan Mayor Pam Parker said.
“It will draw more people to the city and discover the true Logan and residents and I can see.”
While he was sad to see it moving from

Apocalypse Meow: Free-ranging Cats and the Destruction of American Wildlife

London Zoo to open England’s biggest penguin pool this week
The world famous zoo’s new Penguin Beach will house a 1,200 square metre pool – four times the size of the old one and three times deeper.
It will include a new underwater viewing area where visitors can see the birds diving for their food at twice-daily feeds.
Zoological director David Field said: “ZSL London Zoo’s penguin feeds are a wonderful tradition that has been delighting visitors since our first penguin arrived in 1865.
“Penguin Beach takes the zoo’s penguin tradition into a new era, allowing us to breed large colonies of threatened penguins in an amazing new habitat. Hopefully by witnessing how breathtaking these birds are, we can encourage ZSL London Zoo’s visitors to help protect them.”
The zoo, in Regent’s Park, will initially be home to 80 of the flightless birds, but the colony is set to grow to 200 in the future.
Four species of penguins will be bred – known as Humboldt, macaroni, black-footed and rockhopper – and there will be a special penguin nursery, with a chick incubation unit and

Dolphinarium to be built in Zavodskoi District of Minsk.
It will appear on the territory of the Minsk zoo. Its construction will be finished in 2013 and its opening will coincide with the World Hockey Championship. As it was communicated in the district administration to the investors the preparation works are already being realized and the construction will begin very soon.
Oleg Rezanovich reports: The Zavodskoi District among other districts of Minsk places last as for the attractiveness

Shark Talk

Supporters rally for Lion Man return
Lion man Craig Busch and his supporters believe there could be a chance for him to return to his park, with rumours circulating that it may be sold.
Busch's supporters are trying to raise $3 million to pay the debt which they say has been building since he was fired as the operator at Zion Wildlife Gardens in Whangarei in 2008.
The park would not return ONE News calls but its website says it is seeking investors.
Busch was dismissed as operator of the park after an ongoing dispute with his mother Patricia, who also owns a share of the park.
The park was closed for a period in 2009 after two separate incidents of staff being attacked by tigers. The second attack was fatal.
A website has been set up which calls on people to make donations.
"In order to ensure that the cats and park will definitely be saved for Craig, he has to come up with the money to pay off the huge debt that has been built up over the time since he was thrown out of his own park," the website states.
Zion spokeswoman Sara

Behind the Siamese Smile

Online support for Lion Man's return
The jungle drums are beating after changes at Zion Wildlife Gardens have meant two staff members have lost their jobs.
But claims are also being drummed up that the big cat park's founding owner Craig Busch could make a triumphant return - but only if a global campaign to raise $3 million is successful.
Zion spokeswoman Sara Reid said the two jobs were disestablished weeks ago as part of rationalising staffing at the lion park on the outskirts of Whangarei. Ms Reid said there is no truth to rumours other jobs will soon follow or that the park could close.
"There are still 10 staff employed there," she said.
Zion Wildlife Gardens is subject to a ramped-up online campaign to see Mr Busch reinstated as owner and manager.
The campaign, which has southern African and United

Aquatica Texas: Opening May 2012

Zoo staff 'felt unsafe' around Lion Man
Staff at Zion Wildlife Gardens felt so "unsafe" around former big-cat handler Craig "Lion Man" Busch that new management spent almost $100,000 upgrading internal security.
The revelation has been made in a ruling by Employment Relations Authority member Yvonne Oldfield, ordering Mr Busch to pay those running his former wildlife park near Whangarei more than $25,000 to cover the costs of damaged and missing equipment and the proceeds of a photoshoot at the reserve.
Mr Busch is in a long-running battle with his mother, Patricia, for control of Zion Wildlife Gardens Ltd (ZWGL) after being dismissed from the park in November 2008.
In statements from the legal team representing Zion Wildlife Gardens, Ms Oldfield was told that "Mr Busch behaved in ways that intimidated and threatened park staff, including Mrs Busch". Witnesses had said "he was prone to irrational, unpredictable and aggressive behaviour".
Ms Oldfield was told that in May 2008, Mr Busch entered the office area and "despite protests from the administrative worker present", removed files and animal records, which he later refused to return.
A security guard was later hired and stationed outside Mrs Busch's home on Zion land to "protect her when she was sleeping". During the day, the guard "was stationed outside the enclosure where materials were stored to ensure that items there were not removed".
ZWGL told the authority it had spent $96,378.50 on upgrading security; a figure that included security guard hire, new locks and the installation of security cameras.
Ms Oldfield wrote: "I am satisfied that some staff at the park genuinely felt unsafe in Mr Busch's presence.
"However, some witnesses who had worked with him for some time had long held the view that he was volatile and aggressive." But despite ruling that Mr Busch must cover the costs for a range of equipment at the park, Ms Oldfield said he should not be responsible for the security costs because she was "not satisfied" they were related to any breach of an employment agreement.
Neither did she find Mr Busch liable for costs related to the cancelling of interactive tours at the park in May 2008.
His decision to do that followed an approach to Mrs Busch for funds to declaw some young cubs so they could be used for interactive tours.
Three staff members told Mrs Busch that her son had made the decision "with the intention of damaging the business".
But Ms Oldfield said in her ruling: "Mr Busch says that he had ultimate responsibility for the safe running of the park and the decision he took was reasonable in light of concerns he held in relation to health and safety issues at the time.
"Mr Busch said his concerns were vindicated, at about the time he cancelled the tours, when a volunteer was bitten by one of the animals."
The interactive tours were restarted after Mr Busch's dismissal, but

Lion Man to pay $25,000 for park losses

Lion Man Craig Busch has been ordered to pay $25,000 as the bitter battle for control of Northland's Zion Wildlife Gardens continues.
The order has been made by Employment Relations Authority member Yvonne Oldfield, who found that Busch, made famous with his reality TV show, was guilty of "serious breaches of his employment obligations".
The orders, which total $25,109.43, plus 8.4 per cent interest, include $10,657 for damages to a bandsaw, $10,742 for the loss of use of equipment critical for the upkeep of the park and $3712 in damages covering a fee charged to photographers, which he did not pass on to park management.
On the issue of the bandsaw, Oldfield's ruling stated that the machinery was damaged and park management lodged an insurance claim to replace it.
Credit was provided by a retailer near Zion, just north of Whangarei.
Busch used the credit to gain a

Palm oil products and the weekly shop
In researching Dying for a Biscuit, Panorama asked the makers of the top selling products containing palm oil and the major supermarket chains about their palm oil use. We also requested information on how they sourced their palm oil and whether or not they participate in the GreenPalm trading scheme, aimed at encouraging growers to produce more sustainable oil.

Miami Science Museum’s New Hands-on Stingray Sea Lab Exhibit To Give Up Close View Of Sea Life
Miami Science Museum announces the opening of its newest exhibit: Stingray Sea Lab on Saturday, May 28, 2011, as part of the inaugural Miami Underwater Festival. Stingray Sea Lab, open to all ages, will include a 3,000-gallon stingray touch tank, a small invertebrate touch tank, a sea grass tank and an algae refugium. Hands-on exhibits, including a video microscope station and dissection lab, are interspersed throughout the exhibit. Stingray Sea Lab will serve as a prototype for the new Miami Science Museum’s aquarium, scheduled to open in Museum Park in 2014 (Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science).
“This new exhibit is designed to give visitors a very personal experience with local sea life. Visitors will get to touch live stingrays at this new 3,000 gallon touch tank then discover what is found in Miami’s amazing and diverse sea grass beds, from crabs and seahorses, to the many baby fish that start their lives there,” said Frank Steslow, Miami Science Museum COO. “The Stingray Sea Lab will allow us to test different technologies and prototype the exhibit so that we can build an efficient, educational and visually stunning aquarium at the new Museum.”
The Stingray Touch Tank will feature four different species of stingrays native to South Florida, including cow nose, southern, Atlantic and yellow stingrays, housed in a 3,000-gallon saltwater touch tank. The 200 square foot touch tank is 3 feet deep and features approximately 30 feet of viewing window space, allowing guests of all ages to gain access and touch the stingrays while still providing a center area where the animals can rest. Visitors are encouraged to dip their hands into the water and allow the stingrays to touch them. Stingrays are incredible creatures and they make for a fun, hands-on, educational family experience. To ensure the safety of visitors, caretakers who carefully monitor the stingray exhibit also trim the

Auckland Zoo allowed to import Kashin replacements
The Auckland Council has voted in favour of getting two elephants from Asia for Auckland Zoo.
The idea to expand the herd was because of fears about the wellbeing of Burma after her companion, Kashin, died in August 2009. The zoo brought in a horse called Cherry to keep Burma company while plans for elephant companions were made.
However the zoo's website said: ''the bond and the relationship that was hoped for didn't really progress between Burma and Cherry, so we have decided not to continue having Cherry here at the Zoo''.
Today's decision, which has caused controversy with animal experts who say the elephant programme in Auckland should be stopped, was made at the a meeting of the Strategy and Finance Committee.
If the decision meets all other council processes, two juvenile elephants would be brought from an orphanage in Sri Lanka.
The cost of bringing the elephants would be borrowed from the council and repaid over three years.
The two female elephants would provide friendship for sole remaining elephant Burma.
Auckland Council spokeswoman Glyn Jones said the vote came only after reassurances ratepayers would not have to pay for the elephants, and animal welfare and conservation

D.C. Zoo Employee Denies Charge She Tried to Poison Feral Cats
Several residents caring for feral cats in the Washington, D.C., neighborhood of Columbia Heights noticed a strange substance in the cats' food. The caretakers reported the substance to the Washington Humane Society, which tested the substance last month and determined that it was rat poison.
Officials have since arrested Nico Dauphine, a National Zoo employee, for allegedly attempting to poison the feral cats. Dauphine, a postdoctoral fellow with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center at the National Zoo, was charged with attempted cruelty to animals and faces up to 180 days in jail and a fine of $1,000, if convicted.
The Humane Society conducted a month-long investigation monitoring video surveillance and matching card swipes in and out of an apartment complex near the scene of the alleged crime. The agency, which has the authority to enforce the laws of the District, obtained a warrant for Dauphine's arrest. Dauphine turned herself in but has denied the allegations.
"She's a suspect," Scott Giacoppo, a vice president and chief programs officer with the Washington Humane

Paraguay zoo seeks mate for lonely Hyacinth Macaw
The Asuncion zoo is desperately seeking a mate for Coco, the last known male of his species left in Paraguay.
Coco is an endangered Hyacinth Macaw, known in Paraguayan Spanish as a "papagayo azul." Scientists estimated several years ago that only 6,500 were left in the wild, mostly in Brazil.
It took a DNA test to show Coco is male, and zoo veterinarian Cristiane Rainner says they've kept him apart from other kinds of Macaws for now, even though

‘Lucky’ Santa Barbara Zoo Penguin Gets Happy Feet with New Boot
Shoe company Teva creates a custom protective boot to cushion the animal's impaired webbed foot
There are 18 Humboldt penguins at the Santa Barbara Zoo, but only one of them is named Lucky — and for good reason.
He was born in a nest box on April 15, 2010, but after initial checkups with the zoo veterinarian, the seabird appeared hobbled by an impaired foot. Another examination and X-rays revealed no broken bones but did conclude that the gregarious penguin’s webbed foot wasn’t

Welcome the White Tigers
The China Post news staff--Two white tigers from Guangzhou Xiangjiang Safari Park(廣州香江野生動物園), named ZhouHai(昭海) and HuangLo(歡樂), will arrive in Kaohsiung on May 26th. The Kaohsiung City Council will hold a welcoming ceremony at Kaohsiung International Airport before the animals go to their new home at Shoushan Zoo (壽山動物園).
“We will make them happy and get them accustomed to new life here,” said zoo administration chief Zhang Bo-yu (張博宇). In 2010, Shoushan Zoo sent two experts to Xiangjiang Safari Park to learn the white tigers' living habits, hoping to make the rare cats comfortable in Taiwan's environment. “We will treat them well, feed them well and make them feel at

No need to panic over zoo deaths: Experts
The expert committee that was constituted to examine the recent deaths of animals in the Thiruvananthapuram zoo has concluded that the deaths can only be considered as isolated incidents in the respective species and hence not of concern.
The expert committee report has been submitted to Minister for Zoos and Museums P K Jayalakshmi as well as Culture Secretary K Venu. Jayalakshmi also visited the zoo on Wednesday soon after receiving the report of the expert committee.
The committee came to the conclusion that there is no immediate cause of worry after a detailed study of the post-mortem reports, revisiting into the previous deaths, examining the feed store and feed ingredients and also after consultations with the zoo director, zoo superintendent and the zoo keepers.
However, the committee has urged the zoo officials to implement the recommendations on the health-related aspects. The most important of the recommendations is the establishment of an in-house laboratory to carry out routine medical procedures and the purchase of rapid antigen and antibody detection kits for detecting infectious diseases without any time delay.
Regular testing of water samples, periodic analysis of feed

The new chick in town can barely stand on legs that one day will carry her far. She's full of spunk, dressed in grey down, capturing hearts and stealing attention from the few who get to peek at her -- she's the first baby Caribbean flamingo chick born in captivity this year at Ardastra Gardens, Zoo & Conservation Centre in Nassau and one of the few to survive birth in captivity around the world.
"This is an exciting time for us," said Richard Roswell, director of animal care at Ardastra, Nassau's charming home to rare birds, reptiles and animals. "Cases of flamingos being born in captivity and surviving are rare internationally. When one was born in the U.K. in Gloucestershire, it was the first time in the 60 years of the zoo's history that it happened and the live birth made the lead story on the BBC and international headlines. Our first live birth occurred in 2001

Who knew? I am a domestic terrorist for taking pictures of farms
“Have you heard about the Slow Food campaign? The movement is urging supporters to send in pictures of farms to protest against bills in Florida, Iowa and Minnesota that would make it illegal to take a picture or a video of a farm. Slow Food members are calling it the farmarazzi campaign."
Two weeks ago, I was sharing this news with a fellow breakfast diner at a noisy table at Selma Cafe.
“I don’t like to hear the word Nazi — that word upsets me.”
"Nazi?" How did we get to Nazi? I am talking about a photo campaign to protest bills, not gassing trainloads of children and systemic fear mongering by the state.
“Oh no, you misheard, I don’t like that word either.” I slow down and raise my voice: “Fffaaarrrmarazzi. Like paparazzi, but farm-a-razzi.”
Two weeks later, Slow Food USA has collected more than 33,000 signatures for its campaign, and 450 pictures of farms. The legislation has been “indefinitely postponed” in Florida, and Slow Food continues to collect pictures and

Polar bear cub was reviewed for return to Arctic
A rescued polar bear cub is thriving at the Alaska Zoo but federal wildlife officials said Wednesday they briefly considered trying to reunite the wild tyke with its mother after the adult bear was spotted on sea ice of the state's northern coast.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials ultimately concluded it was unclear whether the mother bear would re-accept the small cub after walking more than 30 miles away onto sea ice.
"The odds of being able to get this cub back to the family group were really, really low," said Rosa Meehan, the USFWS marine mammals manager in Alaska.
Meehan spoke Wednesday as zoo officials gave the young female cub the chance to expand her surroundings — a romp in an outdoor pen as reporters and photographers looked on.
The cub, now weighing 30 pounds, moved tentatively when its cage door was opened, but as an hour went by, it started to romp, climbing

Tracking Whale Sharks With Astronomical Algorithms
With the help of algorithms designed to guide the Hubble telescope’s starscape surveys, conservation-minded coders have designed software that helps biologists identify whale sharks by their spots. The program enlists the help of citizens with cameras, and lets researchers track Earth’s biggest fish across time and oceans.
At the ECOCEAN Whale Shark Photo-Identification Library, people can upload photographs to the database, where they’re analyzed and classified. Photographers can then learn about their individual animal and receive emails each time it’s spotted. In the meantime, researchers will use the records to study population trends and the histories of individual whale sharks.
“If you put a tag in skin, it wears off or falls away. But we can recognize these animals for the rest of their lives,” said whale shark expert Al Dove of the Georgia Aquarium, a participant in the ECOCEAN project. “It lets you recognize and track animals without marking them, and it’s permanent.”
The program began when Jason Holmberg, then an English teacher in Cairo with a passion for scuba diving, saw his first whale shark during a trip

Zoo director’s home to be museum to righteous couple
The house where the Warsaw Zoo’s World War II-era director Jan Zabinski and his wife, Antonina, sheltered Jews from the Nazis is to become a small museum dedicated to their heroism.
The museum dedicated to the couple will open this fall, according to a report Wednesday on Polish Radio.
Yad Vashem recognized the Zabinskis as Righteous Among the Nations in 1965.
Zabinski, who was allowed to enter the Warsaw Ghetto as a municipal official, helped get Jews "over to the Aryan side, provided them with indispensable personal documents, looked for accommodations, and when necessary hid them at his villa or on the zoo’s grounds,” according to the Yad Vashem website.
With the Zabinskis' help, according to the website, many Jews found temporary shelter in the zoo’s abandoned animal cells, "until they were able to relocate to permanent

Zoo helping to cut risk of skin cancer
The Living Desert is taking part in the third annual “Don’t Fry Day” campaign to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Throughout the day Saturday, the zoo will offer activities, information and tips for protecting your skin while outside.
Each year, there are more new cases of skin cancer in the U.S. than new cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined, according to the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention.
Overexposure to UV radiation is the primary risk factor for skin cancer, according to the council.
Risk of skin cancer can be reduced|newswell|text|Frontpage|s

Merlin Entertainments to Open Sealife Aquarium in Rome
SEA LIFE will be located in their lakeside Acquario di Roma retail and leisure development. This new attraction will be complementary to a planned 4D theatre and Mediterraneum exposition, both of which will also feature marine based elements. Construction of the complex is well under way and it is planned that SEA LIFE will open during Spring 2012.
“Merlin Entertainments is Europe’s leading visitor attraction operator, and we have been looking to find the right development in Rome for some time. Our experience shows that the combination of quality family attractions such as SEA LIFE, together with retail and restaurant facilities provide a major driver for repeat visits. We believe that SEA LIFE will greatly enhance the shopping and entertainment experience, and are confident that both local and visiting families will revel in the deep sea wonders that the aquarium will bring,’ said Nick Mackenzie, Managing Director of Merlin Entertainments’ Property & Development Group.
‘Over recent months we have also developed an excellent working relationship with the Mare Nostrum Romae S.r.l team, and this was also a key factor in our decision. Our commitment to build a SEA LIFE aquarium underlines our belief that Rome, and particularly the Acquario di Roma, is a perfect location for what we hope will just be our first attraction here, and we are delighted to be able to move our plans forward.”
SEA LIFE is the world’s biggest aquarium brand with more than 10 million visitors a year and over 30 superb attractions in Europe, USA and Asia Pacific. The SEA LIFE focus is also always on quality of experience rather than scale, taking visitors on a seamless journey under the sea which entertains, inspires and teaches both young and old. The attractions offer everything from viewing windows giving a glimpse into the ocean itself; to enlightening talks, feeding demonstrations, as well as involvement in the brand’s global environmental and conservation marine campaigning. As with its other ‘midway’ attractions, Merlin calls the SEA LIFE experience ‘fun learning’.
The Rome attraction will highlight all of the qualities which have gained the brand the support and endorsement of marine experts worldwide

Georgia Aquarium starts new program letting visitors wade into water with beluga whales
The world's largest aquarium is letting guests get an up-close view of its beluga whales.
A new program at the Georgia Aquarium gives visitors a chance to wade in the water with the giant white mammals. Visitors get a behind-the-scene tour of the whales and the harbor seal exhibits and an opportunity to interact with the whales alongside animal training staff at the aquarium.
The program costs $224.95.
Experts estimate there are

New parasites found in frogs
University of Sydney researchers have identified two new parasite species causing disease among endangered Australian frogs. They say they are most likely native, overturning a commonly held view they were introduced with cane toads in 1935.
The parasites have so far been found in 10 frog species, including the iconic Green and Golden Bell Frog, the Southern Bell Frog and even the Yellow Spotted Bell Frog - a species presumed extinct for 30 years until recently.
These singled-celled myxosporean parasites have been identified in bell frog populations since 1997, says Ashlie Hartigan, a PhD student leading the research with Dr Jan Šlapeta from the Faculty of Veterinary Science, David Phalen, Director of the University of Sydney's Wildlife Health and Conservation Centre, and Karrie Rose from the Australian Registry of Wildlife Health.
"Infected frogs lose weight, are lethargic

Clouded leopards spring one on keepers
It was an unplanned pregnancy.
Keepers at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium thought Chai Li and Nah Fun, a pair of 20-month-old clouded leopards, were too young to breed.
But the elusive cats mated without their handlers noticing, and now Chai Li is expecting a litter in mid-June. The zoo is one of only three places in the United States where the endangered species is being bred.
“They certainly are paired for breeding, but we thought it wouldn’t be until next year,” curator Karen Goodrowe Beck said. “It’s an unexpected but very delightful and happy surprise.”
Chai Li and Nah Fun were paired at the Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Thailand when they were 5 days old. It’s hard to pair adult clouded leopards, so the spotted cats usually are put together at an early age so they grow up and are comfortable with each other.
Because Chai Li and Nah Fun are so close and get along so well, keepers allow them to

Dakota Zoo closed, animals being evacuated
Dakota Zoo closed indefinitely at 4 p.m. Wednesday after consulting with local and state emergency planners, a release from the zoo said.
Most of the animals will be evacuated to other facilities in North Dakota and South Dakota. The release said the zoo anticipates being closed for several weeks.
A few animals will remain on site unless the water goes higher than currently forecast.
Volunteers are needed to sandbag the zoo

CZA lifts six-year ban on breeding in Byculla zoo
The central zoo authority has decided to allow animal breeding in the 150-year-old Veermata Jijabai Udyan and Zoo. There had been a stop on breeding since six years.
The high court in 2005 had ordered the zoo to put a stop on reproduction amongst animals. However, the CZA directed the zoo to maintain such conditions which can ensure planned animal breeding in the zoo premises.
The CZA has issued guidelines to the zoo officials to maintain a sex ratio of 2:5 amongst all species. “The CZA direction will help us uplift the zoo’s condition. Breeding amongst animals will lead to a healthier animal count,” said Anil Anjankar, zoo director. This will help us keep the new species intact, he added.
Due to the six-year ban, a majority of animals have no progeny and are bordering their life expectancy. With a limited number of younger breed of animals and 80% turning old, the zoo had been heading towards extinction.
“The ban on breeding was affecting the zoo. There is also a ban on buying animals in India. We can only exchange animals with other zoos. But with most aging, we could not even exercise this option,” said


Journal of Threatened Taxa

ISSN 0974-7907 (online)
0974-7893 (print)

May 2011 Vol. 3 No. 5 Pages 1737-1804

Date of Publication 26 May 2011 (online & print)

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ISSN 0973-2543 (online)

May 2011 Vol. XXVI No. 5

Date of Publication 23 May 2011

Please Click


Animals on Film

This is a call out to all enthusiastic wildlife photographers and zoo keepers out there!

Animals on Film is about to begin editing the Ratite & Macropod DVD programs if you have any photographic/Video/DVD footage that you think we could use in this series.
Please contact Jo Gosatti at

Both programs will cover capture and trapping procedures/equipment (Field and captive environments) ,safety equipment, animal husbandry and veterinary procedures specific for both Ratite & Macropod species. We will also be including a section on zoonoses too! If you have any photographs of injuries to yourself that demonstrates how potentially dangerous these animals can be, I think this would be also useful.

Each individual will be recognized in the credits and receive a copy of the program for their personal use. Please don't forget to get approvals from your organization that you work for prior to sending the footage in.

I would also like to give a big thank you to everyone who has been involved in developing this series as it could not have been done without you all.

General updates

The “Best Practice” Capture Handling and Restraint Programs are now been used in these existing course units:-


TV1200 Veterinary Professional Life 2.
NH002 Veterinary Science
VET631 Wildlife Medicine
VET530 Clinical Rotations (undergraduate program)


RUV3410A “Capture, restrain and assist in moving animals
S441 Certificate III in Companion Animals Studies
Certificate II Animal Studies
RUV2103A Assist with general animal care
RUV3501A Provide advice on companion animal selection and care
RUV3506A Capture, handle and transport companion animals
RUV30304 Certificate III in Companion Animal Services
RUV30204 Certificate III in Captive Animals Management
39132QLD Native Animal Rehabilitation Certificate III
ACM20110 Certificate II in Animal Studies
RUV30204 Certificate III in Animal Studies
1085 Captive Animals

Wildlife Rehabilitation Organizations

Wildlife Rescue Training Courses (Zoonoses Vol 9)

Library information
IT Mediums–All three programs have now been successfully loaded onto The Black Board Learning Management System, called locally Learnline in Australia

2007 Highly Commended Institutional Award Presented by ASZK Australasian Society of Zoo keeping, Inc. to Animals on Film

2008 Nominated Pride of Australia – Environmental Category

2009 Heidi Hellingman Award - Professional Achievement Award Presented by ASZK Australasian Society of Zoo keeping, Inc. to Mrs Jo Gosatti for Animals on Film
This award is open to individual members of ASZK or institutions for outstanding achievement in the Zoo industry. This can be either within the past year or for individuals who have contributed to the industry over a long period of time. Examples of achievements include developing husbandry techniques, training, breeding programs, educational programs, facility development.

2011 Small Business Awards
Nominated for Best Home Business Award
Finalist for Employee of the Year (Mrs Jo Gosatti)

Thankyou again
Mrs Jo Gosatti (Cowie)
Technical Director
Animals on Film
Hm Ph: 08 9301 5862
Mobile: 0403648402

Address: 32 Woodlea Crescent
Joondalup, 6027
W.A, Australia


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