Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Zoo News Digest 28th - 31st May 2011 (Zoo News 755)

Zoo News Digest 28th - 31st May 2011 (Zoo News 755)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleague,

I was lucky enough to have short visit to the new Penguin exhibit in Regent's Park Zoo this morning. In a word 'Fantastic!'. It is well worth seeing.

I am delighted to see the link "A visit to a zoo increases science and environment knowledge in children more than books or classroom teaching alone". Although it is something which those of us in good zoos have always known it is nice to have something else to back it up.

Congratulations to Paignton Zoo for its great achievements with recycling. I hope that more zoos will make the effort. Zoos really should be making an example to the communities they serve and as is shown with zoo visits are in a position to get the message home to children.

The article on Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens states it is "the only zoo between Edinburgh and Yorkshire". Really? I find that statement quite surprising. The South Lakes Wild Animal Park, Muncaster Castle, Trotters World of Animals and Washington Wildfowl Park immediately spring to mind and that is without pulling my thinking hat on. Or is it because the press is, as usual, making that all to common mistake of believing that if something is not called a zoo then it isn't a zoo? They should read IS IT A ZOO?

Pleased to hear from Al Ain's involvement in repairing the damage done to the lions. Declawing and tooth filing. How bloody horrific. What do people think they are about with such cruelty....and yet it is more common than people think.

I had two emails saying "did you see the link on Edinburgh Zoo panda house". What they wanted to know was what I thought about the "nursery". I think it is a good idea to incorporate a nursery into the planning of any new zoo building as a 'just in case'. Whereas I am 100% in favour of parent reared animals it may well be in the agreement with China that any cubs are hand reared. The Chinese Panda people seem to like that sort of thing.
Worse in a way for me is those collections deliberately hand rearing big cats for handling. I still cannot get to grips with the statement of one individual working in one of these places who argued that he could do a better job of rearing than the mother cat!
Some years ago we had a large number of tortoises stolen from our zoo. We figured that the theft was pre-planned and they had all been removed in a couple of pushchairs. We had photographs of every single one of them, top and bottom and some were microchipped. A day later I had an anonymous phone call telling me roughly of the location of the pub on Anglesey where they were held. All the information was passed on to the police. We never saw any (except one) of them again. We did get one back 'donated' by an anonymous individual a year or so later.

I mention this story because the whole incident made me very angry. It was the third such theft and really pissed me off. Now it is someone elses turn and I understand ow they must feel.

Fourteen Tortoises were stolen a couple of days ago from the Sevenoaks area of Kent

3 x adult female Iberas

1 x adult male Ibera

6 x female adult Russians (Horsfields)

1 x male adult Russian

2 x juvenile female Russians (one has only one eye)

1 x juvenile male Russian

Please keep an eye out at Car boot sales (likely to be sold individually) and ring John Heyward on 07802 404929 if you have any information.

The thought that Pachycondyla sennaarensis might in any way be used as a painkiller fills me with surprise. I have had a couple of dozen stings from these tiny ants. Every one of them was more painful than a scorpion.

Sorry to learn of Blackbrooks problems. I do hope they win through.


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Study finds zoo visits increase knowledge
A visit to a zoo increases science and environment knowledge in children more than books or classroom teaching alone, a British study found.
In research conducted at the London Zoo, researchers from the University of Warwick tested more than 3,000 school children ages 7 to 14 about to visit the zoo on their knowledge of animals, habitat and conservation, then tested them again after their visit.
The findings showed a 53 percent positive change in educational or conservation-related knowledge areas, personal concern for endangered species or desire to participate in conservation efforts, a university release said Friday.
When zoo visits were augmented by an educational presentation by zoo staff, the increase in learning almost doubled compared with self-guided visits, the study found.
"Globally, more than a tenth of the world's population passes through zoos annually so the potential is there to reach a huge audience," Warwick sociology Professor Eric Jensen said.
"In recent years zoos have come under criticism for failing to demonstrate educational impact with certain lobbying groups arguing that it's cruel to keep animals captive," he said.
"But zoos have been changing for years now to offer more educational and conservation information, 'behind the scenes' access for visitors, learning about habitat conservation work -- all of which culminate in a better engagement experience for the visitor."
Children came away from their zoo visit with an increased understanding of ideas such as conservation, habitat and extinction, the study found.
"The research clearly show

Research shows a visit to a zoo boosts science and environment knowledge
Research from the University of Warwick shows a trip to the zoo can boost your child's science and conservation education more than books or classroom teaching alone.
In research conducted at ZSL London Zoo, more than 3,000 school children aged between seven and 14 were asked about their knowledge of animals, habitat and conservation and then tested again after their trip.
The results show that 53% had a positive change in educational or conservation-related knowledge areas, personal concern for endangered species or new empowerment to participate in conservation efforts. The study proves that their trip around the zoo provided a statistically significant increase in scientific learning about animals and habitats. When zoo visits were supplemented by an educational presentation by zoo staff this increase in learning almost doubled against self-guided visits.
Eric Jensen, a Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, who produced the report said: "Globally, more than a tenth of the world's population passes through zoos annually so the potential is there to reach a huge audience.
"In recent years zoos have come under criticism for failing to demonstrate educational impact with certain lobbying groups arguing that it's cruel to keep animals captive. But zoos have been changing for years now to offer more educational and conservation information; 'behind the scenes' access for visitors; learning about habitat conservation

Zoo sets a 'gold standard' with its recycling
PAIGNTON Zoo has become a gold standard recycling champion in recognition of its recycling rates. The zoo recycles three quarters of its rubbish using waste collection firm TQ Recycling, putting it in the top ten per cent of recycling achievers, and saving on the cost of landfill.
Director Stephen Tooke said: "Paignton Zoo has shown that even complicated businesses can recycle a huge amount and save themselves a packet in the process.
"No company wants to waste money, especially in the current economic climate, so it's really worth checking you're recycling everything you can."
Zoo environmental officer Peter Morgan, said: "Under TQ's system almost all the recycling can be kept in the same container so it makes life very simple for visitors and staff. The results can be seen for themselves.
"As an environmental organisation part of our mission

Judges dismisses suit accusing zoo of elephant cruelty
A judge threw out a lawsuit today filed by a group of animal activists accusing the City of Seattle of illegally providing financial support to the Woodland Park Zoo because of its treatment of elephants.
King County Superior Court Judge Michael Heavey ruled that the activist group had no grounds to sue the city and that there was nothing illegal about the city funding the zoo.
"We are very pleased with the ruling," said Woodland Park Zoo President and CEO Dr. Deborah Jensen.
According to a press release from the Woodland Park Zoo, the activists argued that the zoo's care of elephants constituted cruel treatment. The zoo argues that there has never been a finding of inhumane care.
"Our elephants are healthy and thriving," Jensen said. "This was an attempt to get a court to decide issues of elephant care and medicine that have been appropriately delegated to experts - at our zoo and at other

The jumbo question: For or against Auckland's new elephants?
New elephants are coming to Auckland Zoo - but not everyone is happy about it. We look at the arguments for and against the council's $3.5 million new attractions
Why are we talking about this now?
The Auckland Council this week approved the purchase of two "orphan" elephants for Auckland Zoo.
Two femaleAsian elephants, likely to be aged between eight and 12, are being sought to keep lone elephant Burma company. Elephants are intelligent animals that thrive on social interaction, and since Kashin's death in 2009, 28 year-old Burma has only had a horse named Cherry for company.
The zoo has begun looking for young captive elephants, probably from a sanctuary in Pinnewala, Sri Lanka. Its keepers are seeking females because males are poorer company, as they tend to stray from their mother.
Wasn't the Auckland Zoo going to buy a herd of elephants?
The proposal to expand the zoo into Western Springs park to allow for the breeding of 10 elephants has

Marine Life Park
Dive into the aquatic world and get a chance to interact with dolphins, snorkel with rays and come face to face with some of the ocean’s most fascinating creatures.
Set to be the largest oceanarium in the world, the Marine Life Park is where families come for a whale of a time. Venture into a wading pool for some intimate interaction with reef fishes, or learn about the wonderful but depleting coral reefs. You can also join one of the engaging programmes especially tailored to both entertain and educate visitors.
Research, public education and conservation efforts for marine life are the cornerstones of the Marine Life Park. Resorts World aims to educate and enrich the understanding and protection of the oceans, and the Marine Life Park will serve as a showcase for ocean science education, research and stewardship.
Innovative design, engaging programmes and excellence in animal care and husbandry will create magical

ZSL London Zoo Keeper tells us about the brand new penguin exhibit

Man's pet tigers, leopards, jaguars under fire
Calcutta, a female Bengal Tiger, doesn't look like a man eater.
Owner-exhibitor Steve Salton obtained her almost two years ago from the Asheville Zoo but stresses Calcutta and the other big cats that live behind his Mayfield, New York home aren't pets.
"They'll kill when they're hungry and they'll kill if they're provoked," Salton said. "They're always locked up."
Neighbor Rich Travis has no affection for the wild animals caged next door. He wants them gone and is doing his best to make that happen.
"No one wants to step up and so we keep pushing the issue and pushing the issue," said Travis.
Salton is inspected regularly by state and federal authorities and issued licenses to have the animals. He's obliged to exhibit them, which he does, by appointment. That hardly satisfies Travis.
"My complaint is with the system that allows something like this to go on", Travis said.
Travis lives in a house built by developer

Rare orangutan bride looks forward its wedding day in E China
Hongbao rests in her cell in Hangzhou Safari Park in Hangzhou, captal of east China's Zhejiang Province, May 27, 2011. Hongbao, a female orangutan from Hangzhou Safari Park, will soon travel to Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, to marry Leshen, a 12-year-old male. With typically reddish-brown hair, orangutans are highly endangered

Zoo official’s suspension revoked
The suspension of Alipore zoo's deputy director Piyali Chatterjee was withdrawn on Friday as mysteriously as it had been ordered, by additional chief secretary (forest) K S Rajendra Kumar after the intervention of forest minister Hiten Burman. The minister said a thorough probe would be conducted to all allegations concerning the zoo that had been brought to his notice.
"I was a bit surprised. How could she be suspended when the model code of conduct was still in force? So, I asked the secretary to maintain was the status quo. I think there were many anomalies. But this suspension and the police complaint by the deputy director were uncalled for," Burman said.
The suspension, Burman said, had been made on the ground that she misbehaved with union leaders. Additional chief secretary K S Rajendra Kumar said: "She was suspended for some definite reasons. Now, the suspension has been withdrawn. I do not want to elaborate on the reasons."
Burman confirmed that allegations on food for the zoo animals, financial misappropriation and financial irregularity had been brought to his notice. "They will be probed. No delinquency will be spared," he said.
Not only does the suspension violates the model code of conduct, she was also not served a show-cause or charge sheet. Later, Piyali Chatterjee lodged an FIR against three zoo staff — head clerk Rabin Mukherjee, storekeeper Rathin Dey and peon Dipankar Sarkar — for their alleged misbehaviour and intimidation.
They apparently went to the house of the deputy director to hand her over two letters signed by the zoo director Raju Das. Later, the zoo authority allegedly restricted her entry into the zoo.
Burman said that he would set up an advisory board soon to guide development work. "The advisory board will look into every aspect of the zoo and prepare

Jairam may give zoo to Delhi govt
Environment minister Jairam Ramesh is seriously contemplating to hand over the management of Delhi zoo to the state government. After an inspection on Thursday, Ramesh said that despite several warnings, civic agencies concerned had been unable to maintain the standards of sanitation.
"There is a major sewage problem in the zoo that, despite repeated efforts to check it, keeps reappearing. Sewage enters the zoo premises and contaminates the water. The death of the second giraffe could have been caused by poor quality water but we still have to confirm that. The ministry has given Rs 5 crore to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to sort out the problem but they are yet to start work. Most of the civic work in the zoo is being carried out by MCD, Delhi Jal Board and the Public Works Department, and if they are not able to brush up their act

Whipnsade animals celebrate the zoo's 80th birthday

Christian the lion, our joy and pride
In 1969, John Rendall and Anthony Bourke bought a lion cub in Harrods and raised him in their Chelsea flat. But what happened to the cub when he grew up?
The grainy film first appeared on YouTube four years ago. Since then, it has melted millions of hearts: a fully grown male lion hugs two young men like an over-enthusiastic kitten.
The moving reunion of the men with their pet took place a year after they had left him in the African bush."It was so humbling the way he ran towards us with such love and excitement in his eyes, and we felt exactly the same way," says John Rendall, of the lion he raised and delivered to Africa through a series of extraordinary coincidences. "We had such a beautiful relationship with him. Christian changed the path of our lives."
In 1969, Rendall and his friend Anthony "Ace" Bourke, came across a lion cub in Harrods, London, which then traded in exotic animals. They fell in love with him and took him home to their Chelsea flat. They named the cub Christian, inspired by a biblical sense of irony. He lived with them in a Kings Road furniture shop, SophistoCat, where he had a giant tray of cat litter and rarely ruined the store's furniture. He played with local children in the walled garden of a churchyard. He was fed steak and taken to restaurants and glamorous parties in the back of their Mercedes cabriolet.
The scratchy homemade film, shot in Kenya 40 years ago, has been seen by more than 100 million people, landing Rendall and Burke on Oprah and triggering the reissue of their 1971 book and a new Hollywood film with Zac Efron as Rendall.
Today, sitting in his African-themed Chelsea flat, Rendall, 65, who is still a laid-back dandy, shows me photographs and bits and pieces from his past. "Christian opened my eyes to

Video: Bryan Hawn Introduces New Times To His Hyena
You gotta admit, buying a hyena and keeping it as your pet in a South Beach apartment is pretty ballsy. It's even gutsier to turn yourself in to the Florida Wildlife & Game Commission so that your pet hyena can be placed in a proper home.
That's what Bryan Hawn did. Now he can visit his best pal Jake whenever he wants.
We got to see Hawn and his furry fanged friend play inside a chain-linked yard at the Zoological Wildlife Foundation in the Redland.
"Knowing that I would still be a part of his life made it easier to leave him," Hawn says. "The bond I have with this wild animal is absolutely priceless. The

$15M zoo upgrade unveiled
Have you visited the Emperor Valley Zoo recently? If you have, you would have noticed work being carried out on the facilities there.
This work is part of a restoration programme undertaken to upgrade the Zoo’s infrastructure and enhance visitors’ exploration and learning experience.
Phase one of the upgrade programme at the Zoo has been completed at a cost of $15.6 million. The “new look” facilities were revealed to the public on Wednesday by the Tourism Development Company (TDC).
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Minister of Tourism, Rupert Griffith, said the upgrades at the Zoo, which were officially completed last month, make a substantial contribution to improving the urban environment of Port-of-Spain. He noted that the Zoo upholds this country’s tradition of encounters and dialogue, while preserving the natural heritage, green spaces and ecosystems.
Griffith noted: “The Emperor Valley Zoo will be unrivaled as a conservation centre promoting awareness and education of indigenous and neo tropical wildlife, scientific research and learning; breeding of endangered species and recreational facility catering to those eager to explore and learning about our wildlife species and flora and fauna.”
The Zoo’s upgrade includes a humming bird garden, giant river otter enclosures, butterfly garden, turtle pool, flamingo pool and fish pond as well as public restroom facilities, landscaping

Kirkley Hall zoo ready to open to the public
A NEW North zoo opens its doors to the public tomorrow – but it’s more than just a public attraction.
For Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens is also a hands-on learning curve for students at the adjacent college.
Around 10 of the 30 students on agricultural courses at Northumberland College’s campus near Ponteland will work voluntarily with the 100-plus animals on show to further their education and knowledge of the animal kingdom.
They will also act as hosts as well as keepers when the mini-zoo opens for the first time tomorrow morning.
Full-time animal keeper Rachel Chapman, herself a former Kirkley Hall student, said: “It was built by the students for the public, and it’s for the benefit of both.
“There are four relief keepers and half a dozen hosts from the students and they are happy to work voluntary extra hours doing what they love.
“This will give them background experience as well as build their confidence with animals when they get qualifications.”
As the only zoo between Edinburgh and Yorkshire, it will also be a novel attraction for the North East public.
Enclosure animals include meerkats, wallabies, emus, alpacas, pygmy goats and lemurs.
There are also eagle owls, lizards, snakes, chipmunks, marmosets and aquatics.
Qualified keepers will also be on hand to talk to visitors and answer questions about the animals
For children there is also a small funfair – and for the hungry and thirsty, there’s a cafe/bar plus a souvenir shop.
For Rachel, working with animals is a genuine labour of love and she says: “Every morning

Aquarium worker injured by stingray
A diver at the Melbourne Aquarium has been taken to hospital after being stung by a stingray.
The 37-year-old woman had been working in one of the tanks at the aquarium when the barb struck her right hand.
Paramedic Louise Benson says the woman rated her pain as 10 out of 10 and was very distressed.
"Firstly we reassured her that she'd be OK and calmed her down - she was quite anxious - then we gave her something to breathe on for the pain," Ms Benson said.
"She had her hand in a tub of hot water because that helps relieve the pain, so everything actually looked quite normal apart from the stingray

Al Ain Zoo pulls rescued lions' teeth out
When your lions have toothache, whom do you call?
Al Ain Zoo recently found itself wrestling with this painful question and found the answer in Dr Gerhard Steenkamp, a specialist from South Africa.
A 113kg tawny lion, believed to be less than two years old, and his sister from the same pride were rescued by the Ministry of Water and Environment last month.
The ministry gave the pair to Al Ain Zoo, which quickly realised they were in a bad way. Both had had their claws removed and their upper and lower canines filed down. The pulp of their teeth was exposed, which led to the bone becoming infected.
As no local vet was able to perform the surgery, zoo officials called in Dr Steenkamp from the University of Pretoria.
After an X-ray yesterday morning, Dr Steenkamp went to work on the sedated male, extracting two lower canines and preforming root canal work on the two upper canines.
"It's fortunately not that complicated because the teeth are so young," he said. "If they are well formed, the dental wall is so thick you have to cut it out in pieces."
Dr Steenkamp had hoped to avoid removing any teeth, but the lower ones were beyond repair.
Dr Arshad Toosy, the manager of veterinarian operations at the zoo said the lion was monitored closely during

Herpes virus kills elephants in Berlin Zoo
Two-year old female elephant Ko Raya died on Friday, after suffering from a type of elephant herpes. It is the same disease that killed her sister Shaina Pali just eight weeks ago.
Ko Raya had been under the weather for the past few days and on Friday morning she was fell over during a mud bath and died.
“Her mother wanted to get her to stand up,” eyewitness Sigrid H. (75) told mass-circulation paper Bild. “Ko Raya didn’t have any more strength. Suddenly all the elephants started trumpeting together. I think they wanted to call for help.”
Veterinarian Dr. Andreas Ochs explained that although the zookeepers rushed to the elephant, it was too late. “She was already dead.”
The herpes virus can be fatal to Asian elephants and it has already killed two other animals at the zoo over the past few years. “The virus spreads through the blood,” Ochs explained to Bild. “It attacks the internal organs, damaging the liver, intestines and heart muscles.”
Zoo Director Bernhard Blaskiewitz says

Edinburgh Zoo panda enclosure to have nursery for cubs
It has emerged the new panda enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo is being built with panda cubs in mind.
Two pandas, Tian Tian and Yuang Guang, are due to arrive from China later this year.
About £250,000 is being spent creating a perfect home for the pair. It will have pools, caves, climbing structures and even its own nursery.
Both pandas have successfully bred before and it is hoped they could produce further offspring.
It is expected the pandas will generate huge public interest and the new enclosure has been designed to accommodate 600 spectators per hour.
The zoo's facilities manager, Marty Hall, said: "We have a large expanse of glass to give views into the panda nursery, which is what people want to

Cheetah believed to be lost pet captured amid villas in UAE capital Abu Dhabi, activist says
An animal activist says a cheetah has been captured roaming the streets of the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi.
Raghad Auttabashi of the Al Rahma Welfare and Rescue Society told The Associated Press the big cat appeared to be seven or eight months old and had an injured front left paw. It also had a broken metal chain around its neck, suggesting it was being kept as a pet.
She says it was rounded up Sunday by animal control authorities in a residential neighbourhood and has been handed over to a wildlife conservation centre.
Another cheetah was captured on the prowl

Dead polar bear Knut could still make millions
$140 million
That's the amount of money generated worldwide by Knut the polar bear, an animal born in captivity at the Berlin Zoo who became an international celebrity. His image has adorned books, ATM cards and gummy bears, and he drew millions of visitors to the zoo. Then Knut unexpectedly died in March, putting his power as a marketing machine in doubt. Undaunted, moviemakers, publishing companies and plush-toy manufacturers are plowing ahead. "A dead Knut brand could still make millions," says Birgit Clark, a trademark attorney who has studied the Knut phenomenon.

Penguins bring Sofia Zoo incomes of about BGN 60,000 in 3 months: director
The incomes in Sofia Zoo have increased by approximately BGN 60,000 in three months thanks to its penguins. This is an average of around BGN 20,000-25,000 a month, Sofia Zoo Director Ivan Ivanov told FOCUS News Agency.
This is to say that the municipality received BGN 60,000 in three months. And this is the money from tickets only and most children visit the zoo free of charge. If you divide BGN 60,000 by BGN 2, which is the price of an adult ticket in the zoo, you get 30,000 visitors who came to see the penguins, he said.
On 2 March 2011 a group of 8 Humboldt Penguins, who were hatched in Berlin Zoo, arrived in Sofia. Now the penguins are in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, and will not return to the zoo in the Bulgarian capital.
“Other penguins will arrive next week from Johannesburg

Texas law protects the volunteer who offers assistance
I recently came upon an automobile accident. The car had run into a ditch, and the driver was stuck inside. I was able to help her get out of the car, cover her cuts and move to the side where she lay down. I reported the accident to the police, who quickly arrived with an ambulance and took her away. When I told a friend this story, he told me I was dumb to help out because I could get sued. Is this correct?
In my opinion, your friend's concerns are misplaced. Texas law encourages people to assist others in an emergency situation.
Under the law, a person providing emergency assistance is not liable unless the person acts "willfully or wantonly" negligent. In other words, as long as you are acting in good faith and provide the care or assistance you believe is reasonable, you have no liability if you worsen the situation or cause additional injuries.
My son was bitten by an animal at a petting zoo. The zoo has refused to pay his medical expenses. Can I sue in small claims court?
Assuming your medical bills are less than $10,000 you may bring a claim in small claims court. The real question, however, is whether the zoo has any liability for the bite.
For the zoo to be liable, you must show more than just the injury. Animals are animals, and when we go to a petting zoo, we always assume the risk that one of them might bite. For the zoo to be responsible, you must show some fault on its part that caused the incident.
For example, if the zoo knew that this animal has bitten children in the past and did not post notices or remove the animal, it could be considered "negligent," and responsible for your child's injury. On the other hand, if this was just an accident and the first time this animal had bitten a child, you probably have no basis

Author becomes 'biographer' of traumatized animals rescued from zoos and medical research
Author Andrew Westoll spent a summer with 13 chimpanzees who found refuge at the Fauna Sanctuary in Quebec.Photograph by: Brett Gundlock, National Post, Postmedia News, National Post; Postmedia NewsWhen Andrew Westoll walked in his front door after spending a summer living with a group of chimpanzees at a sanctuary on the outskirts of Montreal, he was greeted by his dog, a wheaten terrier named Max.
"I saw my dog, who I'd lived with for four years, and he was completely new," Westoll recalls. "I'd never noticed the nuance of his existence -of what he was doing, what he was telling me -in the way he was greeting me at the door. I was now suddenly sensitive to a much deeper level of consciousness in animals, because I'd just spent 10 weeks living with the most intelligent, gestural species. Everything they were doing with their bodies was telling me something. And I'd been tuned in to that vibe, that kind of energy."
Fauna Sanctuary was founded by Gloria Grow and her partner, Dr. Richard Allan, as a home for neglected, abused and abandoned animals, and welcomed its first 15 chimpanzees in 1997. Westoll was studying biology at Queen's University at the time, and wrote to the sanctuary, offering his services as a volunteer. "I was probably one of 100,000 people who did that," he says. Shortly thereafter, however, Westoll got a job in Suriname and headed to South America.
After stumbling after Eden in the jungles of Suriname, to borrow the subtitle of his 2008 debut, The Riverbones, which chronicles his time studying monkeys in the largest tract of pristine rainforest in the world, Westoll was in search of another subject when he remembered Fauna. "I've always just been following my nose, and my nose just led me to this sanctuary."
He sold an article about the residents

Crocolandia: Park with mini-zoo
A turtle farm converted into a park with a mini-zoo might not be an idea of a profitable business venture.
But the investment not only gave job opportunities to the park’s 13 staff members but also helped educate visiting students about wild animals in our country.
The park investment called Crocolandia, has also proved that a community social responsibility done through a formal organization and operated to fit its operational needs could actually work in Cebu.
Crocolandia, founded and run by the Crocolandia Foundation Inc., is a one-hectare property in Biasong, Talisay City, south of Cebu.
Crocolandia Foundation Inc. was founded in November 2000 by Go Ching Hai, whose daughter Janet Nelly Chiu now sits as the president of the foundation.
“It’s because of their love for nature and their passion to pursue and practice their calling that brought the founder and their partners together to create the foundation and open Crocolandia in January 6, 2001,” said Crocolandia manager Reah Bacordo.
The park with a mini-zoo property opened after their female seawater crocodile named Magellan started laying eggs.
“At present we have 79 crocodile species and have at least two kinds of each, which we got from donations from organizations and private individuals,” Bacorbo said.
Bacordo said visitors often told them that they not only enjoy watching the 17 reptiles — saltwater crocodiles, the Philippine freshwater crocodiles, spectacled caiman, turtles, tortoise, pythons, boa, lizard and iguana — in the farm but also they found their trips


Zoo’s snake house closed as Red Sand Boa is stolen
A security lapse has led to the theft of a snake from the Veer Jijamata Udyan in Central Mumbai, popularly known as the Byculla Zoo. Officials at the zoo were taken by surprise when they found a Red Sand Boa, a non-poisonous snake measuring about two feet, missing from its cage on Saturday morning.
“This is first theft of any animal in the zoo’s history,” said zoo director Anil Anjankar. “The lock was broken between late Friday night and early Saturday morning. When our cleaner went to clean the snake cage, he found that someone had stolen the snake,” said Anjankar.
Officials are ruling out money as a motive for the theft as the snake is very common in many parts of India. “There is a superstition that this snake helps bring riches to a person and that might be a probable reason for the theft,” added Anjankar.
While officials claim there is enough security to guard the cages, they admit

Tigers can survive with humans, says a new study
Tigers can survive with humans, debunking the popular conception that the big cats like solitary space inside the forests, says a new study published in Journal of Applied Ecology, which can help India in better management of its tiger population. India in this March had declared that there were 1,7 06 tigers in India, as against 1411 in 2006, stirring a debate whether tigers and humans can survive together with the wildlife areas shrinking around the country.
The study conducted in 38,000 square kms of tiger reserves in Karnataka comes at the time when the environment ministry has released new draft guidelines to relocate 10,000 people from 41 tiger reserves in India and says the tigers can survive even in human-dominated landscapes through effective protection of the source populations.
“Our results re-enforce earlier findings that prey depletion and human disturbance are key drivers of local tiger extinctions and tigers can persist even in human dominated landscapes through effective protection of source populations,” said Ullas K Karanth, Director of Bangalore based Centre for Wildlife Studies.
The study was conducted in Malenad-Mysore Tiger Landscape (MMTL) in Western Ghats found that presence of livestock and human presence proved to be a negative influence on local tiger presence but the tigers managed to overcome these influences. “Good tiger numbers showed that they can live with humans,” Karanth said.
The study also demystifies the government claim that the tigers

Firms asked to back panda deal
SCOTTISH financial services firms have been called upon to stump up £2 million to sponsor the giant pandas due to arrive at Edinburgh Zoo.
Sir David Brewer, chairman of the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC), said firms that put up the cash would have "quite a card to play" in their efforts to win business there.
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, which runs the zoo, announced that the Chinese government was "gifting" a rare breeding pair of pandas to Scotland in December. The charitable body has since run into trouble, after a number of the board's executives were sacked and the chairman was asked to step down.
Brewer said the zoo had maintained a "wonderful reputation" with China, despite its "issues".
He said the pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guang, were the "biggest good-will gesture the Chinese could give", adding that it was a boost for relations between Scotland and Chinese vice-premier

New attraction to spread its wings at Rainbow Landings
THE new chief executive of Edinburgh Zoo today pledged to turn the defunct Rainbow Landings site into a major new attraction to boost visitor numbers at the ailing institution.
Hugh Roberts, interim chief executive of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, which owns the zoo, aims to revamp the enclosure.
He said the site could see a return of the hugely popular lorikeets, which have since been given to other zoos, but that it was likely that it would become home to a new star feature.
The £350,000 site, which let visitors feed the parrots pots of nectar, was the zoo's biggest visitor draw, but was shut down in October after operating costs overran.
Its closure featured heavily at the stormy RZSS annual general meeting last week when society members were told income had fallen by £1.1 million and expenditure had increased by £600,000.
Mr Roberts was brought in a fortnight ago to deal with a dramatic slump in visitors.
He told the Evening News the attraction would be brought back in some form, whether it was birds or animals.
He said: "The Rainbow Landings facility will be brought back to life, but how we bring it back to life, seven days into the job, I can't say."
Mr Roberts met RZSS members at Murrayfield for the first time on Wednesday, and heard from some that their children had been left sorely disappointed when they arrived to find the attraction had closed.
Mr Roberts said: "I'm going to be looking at the best way of using the space, as it's in such an important location.
"I'd like to say I can bring

Koalas left up a gumtree in fight to survive
In one corner, a heavyweight tag team of ecologists, environmentalists, researchers and animal rights activists.
In the other, an equally muscled powerhouse of regulators, lawmakers and developers.
In the middle, weighing in at up to 14kg, munching on eucalypt leaves, nodding off for 16 hours a day and blissfully unaware of the rumpus around them, Australia's koala.
The future of the unique arboreal marsupial is again under fierce scrutiny in an inquiry by the Senate environment committee, and through a decision federal Environment Minister Tony Burke will make by November on whether to declare the koala a threatened species.
In this process the koala's greatest problem may be uncertainty: Burke's department has advised against a "threatened

Bred from African wildcats, the two-stone mega-moggies taking over living rooms across Britain
Hundreds of British cat lovers are no longer satisfied stroking the traditional moggy atop their lap.
A growing trend is emerging for 'mega moggies' bred by crossing a domestic feline with a species of African wildcat to create Savannah cats.
Only owners with deep pockets and space can provide homes for the felines which cost up to £10,000 and can grow to three times the size of the traditional household


Cheetah reintroduction programme genetically flawed
An esteemed international journal, Molecular Ecology, has kicked off a debate on the ambitious `300-crore Cheetah reintroduction programme of the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to revive these gravely endangered Asiatic grassland predators.
A paper published in the latest issue of the journal states that African Cheetahs are genetically very different from their Asian counterpart. The findings of the report have raised questions about the success of the Cheetah reintroduction programme.
“Is it to increase the population of exotic Cheetahs in Indian grasslands (which already exists in abundance) or is it aimed at rejuvenating their Asiatic counterparts to which India was once a home?” asks an expert.
The article, “Phylogeography, genetic structure and population divergence time of cheetahs in Africa and Asia: evidence for long-term geographic isolates”, based on genetic studies of both the species of the cheetahs has been written by Pauline Charruau. It states, “Asiatic cheetahs are unambiguously separated from African subspecies “divergence time estimates… place the split… at 32,000-67,000 years ago”.
Cheetahs are critically endangered in their Asiatic range, where the last 70-110 individuals survive only in Iran. We demonstrate that these extant Iranian cheetahs are the last representatives of the Asiatic subspecies, the report said.
“The basic objective of the much-hyped project was to revive this last surviving Asiatic subspecies and in the process our grassland ecology,” pointed out Dr Pramod Patil, grassland conservationist. After the publication of the paper and proven genetic dissimilarity between the two sub-species, it is baffling why the MOEF is still pushing for the Cheetah reintroduction programme.
The African sub-species are not threatened; they exist in good numbers, what is the point in “importing” 18 of these exotic animals and raise them on Indian grasslands? he questioned. He further pointed out that the Asiatic sub-species are not known to breed in captivity, and if the same holds good for African species then the programme is not likely to be successful.
To add to it, as per the article Cheetahs are genetically weak species. One cannot rule out the possibilities of inbreeding among the 18 South African Cheetahs, which would lead to further weakening of species.
“The objective is certainly not clear, what purpose would it solve,” shot back conservation biologist Dharmendra Khandal. He further pointed out that as per the claims of Pakistan there are chances of the presence of Cheetah there. It is said that till 1997-98, Asiatic Cheetahs from Iran and Afghanistan must have crossed as far as Pakistan border.
The proposed site at Shahgarh in Jaisalmer (Rajasthan) is not very far away considering that these animals are prone to crossing territories. “This would definitely cause ‘genetic pollution’ of these endangered Asiatic sub species,” he pointed out.
Dr Patil further pointed out that even if Cheetahs are brought to the country “where is the conservation policy for grasslands”. India has the highest livestock population in the world, one can thus imagine the tremendous grazing pressure on the grassland. The Ministry should come up with a National Grazing policy if the grasslands are to be protected, he added.
Further, there is already protest amongst local people in Madhya Pradesh against the decision, hence reintroduction of Cheetahs could open a new chapter on human-wild life conflict. Without local support it is not possible to release cheetah into the wild.
Harping on similar lines, former PCCF MP, PM Lad, said, “The prospects of survival of genetically alien cheetahs here is very bleak, what is the ultimate purpose, I fail to understand.” In fact a senior forest officer declined to accept the

Staff pay delays at Cairns Wildlife Safari Reserve
A FRESH claim that staff at the Cairns Wildlife Safari Reserve have not been paid for more than five weeks was rejected by owner Jenny Jattke.
Two people, who asked not to be named, made the claim in an email to The Cairns Post.
Mrs Jattke said yesterday there were delays but not of five weeks, and all staff would get what they were owed.
"We’ve had difficulties in the past but our staff always get paid," she said.
"The staff here are well aware that the animals come first … you can’t not feed the animals.
Last year, the Fair Work Ombudsman investigated the zoo’s failure to pay staff in May because of low visitor numbers and the financial crisis.
At the time, Mrs Jattke said staff were willing to work without pay until the park was back on its feet, and were paid when money was available.
"We thank our staff every day for what they do," she said yesterday.
The zoo also has local support, she said, from supermarkets, food suppliers and

Census puts leopards at 1,150, sloth bears at 280
The recently concluded wildlife census has pegged the leopards' population at about 1,150 and that of sloth bears at about 280. A sneak peek into the census data from 17 districts in the state showed a rise by nearly 70 to 80 leopards and 30 sloth bears as compared to the 2006 census.
The highest increase in the number of leopards is 10% to 12% in Gir Sanctuary and the nearby Saurashtra region. Officials said there were 310 leopards

Purebred pups help dingo bloodline
PERTH Zoo's newest arrivals don't just look cute and cuddly they're also leading the fight to preserve the bloodline of Australia's purebred dingoes.
The two 11-week-old dingo pups, in quarantine but due to go on show soon, are the only dingoes at the zoo after a pair of adults died of old age.
The new brother and sister are genetically complete alpine dingoes from one of the last strongholds for their kind in the New South Wales highlands.Perth Zoo Australian fauna keeper Belinda Turner said the animals arrived at the zoo from the Australian Dingo Conservation Association in NSW last month.
"Their personalities are evolving before our eyes," she said. "The male is a bit smaller than his sister, but he's catching up quickly. He's very food-motivated, and he's a very people-focused dingo.
"There's a little bit of sibling rivalry. His sister is calm and a

Singapore theme park urged to free dolphins
A Singapore animal welfare group on Friday launched a campaign to urge a casino and leisure complex to free 25 dolphins destined for a new marine park attraction.
Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) bought the mammals for an "interactive dolphin spa programme" at its Marine Life Park attraction, where visitors can interact with the animals.
"We hope that RWS will make a socially responsible decision and free the dolphins," said Louis Ng, executive director of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES).
He issued the appeal at the launch of a campaign called "Save the World's Saddest Dolphins" to raise public awareness through songs and videos on the website www.saddestdolphins.com.
RWS, which runs Singapore's first casino as well as the adjacent Universal Studios theme park, had no immediate reaction, saying it was studying the campaign's allegations in detail.
ACRES invited the public to participate in the campaign by filming themselves making "save the dolphins" speeches or holding placards that will be sent to RWS via email, as well as uploaded on Facebook and YouTube.
"Using social media and by approaching this issue

New England seal turning 40 with grace
Turning 40 seems like a breeze for Smoke the seal.
She's not sulking about her glaucoma, or the cataracts that have turned her eyes a cloudy blue-white and forced her to navigate her tank essentially from memory.
She'll pull out a wiggle dance if you want it (still smooth). She waves, practices a newly learned rolling maneuver and even plants a grandmotherly peck on a visitor's cheek.
As long as she gets a special birthday squid for lunch, folks at the New England Aquarium anticipate her milestone birthday Wednesday will pass without any moments of moody reflection.
"She's just got a super-sweet disposition," said Paul Bradley, the aquarium's lead marine mammal trainer.
Smoke just isn't letting age get to her, even though she's believed to be the second oldest seal in captivity in North America, behind one a year older in Wisconsin. Harbor seals normally live to their mid-20s.
This New England seal with the long life came to aquarium just after that life was nearly cut abysmally short. She was abandoned as a pup on a rocky Maine beach in May 1971.
But that misfortune turned out to be good luck. She was rescued and eventually put in the aquarium's care, without which she'd never be nearing her ripe old age.
One of the obvious reasons harbor seals survive longer in captivity is the absence of predators. They also don't have to worry about food scarcity, which can weaken the animal and make it more vulnerable to disease, said Tony LaCasse, the aquarium's spokesman.
Smoke has also benefited from "boutique care," as LaCasse puts. She has monthly blood tests, a managed diet, and trainers and veterinarians to make sure any problems are quickly treated.
Still, as much attention as the aquarium give its seals, Smoke's longevity stands out. In his 22 years working there, Bradley says no other seal has even broken 30.
Just last year, the oldest seal in captivity in the world, a 44-year-old male gray seal, died at the New York Aquarium. LaCasse said the only seal older than Smoke in captivity is a 41-year-old female harbor seal at Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wis.
The aquarium doesn't know the specific day in May that Smoke was born but has traditionally celebrated her birthday on the last Wednesday of the month.
Smoke's disposition hasn't changed much over those decades. She's always had the friendly, even temperament that LaCasse theorizes has contributed

Career Advice on becoming a Head Zoo Keeper by Katherine Lyon

Microchipping of snake charmer’s cobras a sign of the times in Delhi

Pali Nath believes his cobras are 1,000 years old. This may be a slight overstatement, but it speaks to his sense that his trade – snake charmer – is an ancient, integral part of Indian culture. He plies it at weddings and other auspicious occasions, and sometimes on the pavement at busy crossroads in Delhi.
Then he squats on his haunches and begins to plays his flute, then lifts the lid off a wicker basket of coiled snakes, the music and the swaying of the serpents has an other-worldly quality. He draws a crowd that, for a few minutes, falls still in this cacophonous city.
This is also, however, a modernizing city, and ancient though the practice of snake charming may be, it must keep up with the times.
Thus the municipal government of Delhi recently summoned Mr. Nath and a number of his confederates to have their snakes microchipped.
Yes. Microchipped.
Back in 2003, Delhi’s wildlife department ordered all city residents with wild animals to register their beasts. Dancing bears, auspicious-occasion elephants, festive camels, performing monkeys, parrots who tell fortunes and rats that predict the future – this

10 Things Zoos Won't Tell You
It's not just the animals that are wild.
When Patti Clark took over as executive director of the Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary in 2007, she inherited financial records stuffed into plastic bags, $60,000 in credit card debt and mounting maintenance costs. Her staff later found a storage unit filled with more records, as well as un-cashed donation checks. "It was pretty disheartening," says Clark, who has since managed to pay off the zoo's debt, hire an outside bookkeeper and boost revenue by 27%.
Such financial horror stories aren't uncommon among zoos, say experts. And the licensing and accrediting organizations offer little financial oversight. "If you're caring for your animals and upholding the standards, that's as far as we go," says Dave Sacks, a spokesman for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's Animal Care Program, which issues zoo licenses and conducts regular inspections for compliance with the Animal Welfare Act. State Fish and Game departments issuing state licenses don't generally check either, he says.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums says it requires proof of financial stability, including insurance coverage, evidence of financial support than outpaces expenses, and a backup plan in case funding is reduced, says spokesman Steve Feldman, a spokesman for accrediting group Association of Zoos and Aquariums, but reviews are made once every five years and membership in the organization is optional. In mid-May, the organization stripped ZooMontana of its accreditation. In March, the zoo's board president disclosed in a public letter that the facility had $140,000 in debt; and in early May, the zoo told local media outlets it would close for several days because its liability insurance policy had been cancelled and the zoo needed to hunt for a new one. ZooMontana did not respond to requests for comment. Feldman says the zoo had several

Ant venom holds promise as painkiller
A deadly ant that is dominant across the Arabian Peninsula could soon be put to a surprising use as a powerful painkiller.
Scientists in Saudi Arabia believe that venom from the Samsun ant could be harvested and used to make a cheap alternative to anti-inflammatory drugs currently on the market.
The ant species, which is known as Pachycondyla sennaarensis, has been linked with several deaths in the UAE in recent years.
However, zoologists at King Saud University in Riyadh found that the venom could reduce swelling in mice by the same level as diclofenac, a painkiller commonly used to treat chronic conditions such as rheumatism and arthritis.
"This could be a cheaper alternative to other anti-inflammatory drugs," said Abdel-Azeem Abdel-Baki, one of the researchers, whose work was published in the African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology in March last year.
"These ants are very common in the region and the venom can be easily extracted. One day there could be a use for it in medicine."
The researchers injected xylene, an irritant, into the ears of mice. They found that the ant venom could reduce swelling by 33.3 per cent, while diclofenac caused a reduction of only slightly more, 34.8 per cent.
Mr Abdel-Baki said the team were currently

Were zoo elephants abused?
It's not the Rodney King police beating video. But it sure isn't the elephant dance in "Fantasia" either.
A video has surfaced in recent weeks showing what animal rights groups call elephant abuse.
The images hit particularly close to home because the elephants are the same ones offered for rides at the Santa Ana Zoo and will soon be at the OC Fair.
Yes, I defended elephant rides several months ago after riding 7,000-pound Becky during a protest outside the zoo's gates.
After being contacted by Animal Defenders International, I've watched the often shaky, sometimes grainy video repeatedly to dissect their claims. It's disturbing.
Some might find it shocking

Staffordshire's Blackbrook Zoo struggles to stay afloat
Blackbrook Zoological Park - the only zoo in Staffordshire - is struggling to stay afloat and could soon be forced to close.
The attraction in Winkhill, near Leek, celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, but has seen its takings fall during the economic downturn and is now appealing for business backing and public donations.
The 30-acre site is home to the largest bird park in the UK and the largest collection of waterfowl in the world. It also features meerkats



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Oceanic Birds in Japanese Collections, 2006
Ken Kawata

California Sea Lion Development at Blackpool Zoo
Sarah Thomas and Khaled Fawzy

Reading the Tea-leaves: Zoos and Their Future Role in Conservation
Pauline Clegg

Some Notes on Orang-utan Captive History and Longevity
Richard Weigl

Book Reviews



International Zoo News

Recent Articles


Orangutan SSP Husbandry Workshop
October 16-20, 2011
Cameron Park Zoo, Waco TX
For more information please click HERE


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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 jo@animalsonfilm.com

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
Email: jo@animalsonfilm.com

Address: 32 Woodlea Crescent
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Website: http://www.animalsonfilm.com/


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