Which US Zoos Will Receive the Orangutan?
Zoo facing takeover by Spanish firm after secret negotiations
BOSSES at troubled Edinburgh Zoo have been in secret takeover talks with a Spanish leisure giant, The Scotsman can reveal.
Senior officials are considering handing over control of the attraction after almost 100 years of independent ownership in an effort to resolve mounting financial problems.
Parques Reunidos - which runs more than 70 amusement parks and animal and nature parks around the world - would be expected to plough millions of pounds into overhauling the ageing attraction in Corstorphine, if it won control of the site.
Senior officials are understood to have travelled to the global operator's headquarters in Madrid to discuss the firm taking over the attraction.
However, the plans have been withheld from the zoo's 23,000 members, who pay up to £56 a year to support the attraction.
They had already been successful in securing a crisis meeting with management next week in the wake of the suspension of two senior executives and the sacking of a third in recent weeks.
Plans to develop the zoo have been thwarted in recent years by widespread opposition to proposals to sell off green-belt land to housing developers.
However, the zoo is under huge pressure to make major infrastructure improvements to accommodate an expected increase in crowds when two giant pandas it has secured from China arrive.
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland confirmed last night that its board had discussed handing over the "commercial running" of the zoo to another operator, but refused to say why such a move was being considered, or address questions over its financial performance.
Among those involved in the takeover talks has been Iain Valentine, the zoo's currently suspended director of animals, who previously worked at Blackpool Zoo, one of the Spanish firm's flagship UK attractions, which it took over four years ago. It also runs the Bournemouth Oceanarium and the Lakes Aquarium, in the Lake District.
Sources close to the zoo said Mr Valentine had been at loggerheads in recent months with the acting chief executive, Gary Wilson, over the takeover plans. Mr Wilson is also currently suspended, although the reasons for the measures have never been made public.
One insider said: "The society is a registered charity and just does not have access to the kind of investment
Zoo's Ostrich Egg Breakfast hits milestone
The 25th annual Ostrich Egg Breakfast at the Oklahoma City Zoo will have ostrich eggs.
This year, that's a big deal.
The zoo is home to just one ostrich right now, and Sadie just hasn't been in the egg-laying mood, zoo spokeswoman Tara Henson said.
“On average, she lays one egg every other day from late February to early September,” Henson said, “but this year she's just not been laying eggs. Her appetite and behavior is fine other than a bit of a cough, which our keeper and vet teams have been treating and monitoring.”
Oklahoma City Zoo officials have been talking with folks from other zoos around the country, asking if they can borrow a couple eggs for breakfast. Logistics are still in the works, but Henson said the zoo expects to serve up at least a few ostrich eggs.
Not everyone who comes to the Oklahoma City Zoo's breakfast wants to eat an ostrich egg in the first place.
“Some people are more interested in seeing how big an ostrich
Safari Park employee bitten by snake
An employee at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park was bitten by a rattlesnake Wednesday morning and taken to the hospital for treatment, according to a park spokeswoman.
The incident occurred at about 11 a.m. in an area were guests are not allowed, said Christina Simmons, a spokeswoman for the park. The snake was native to the area
New digs for behemoths as zoo embarks on its largest expansion
Elephants might never forget, but the three behemoths at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo may be ready to cast off the memory of their current home when they get a look at their new stomping grounds.
This summer, the zoo will unveil the first phase of its Encounter Africa exhibit, which includes a massive expansion of facilities for the three – soon to be four – African elephants.
Wednesday, zoo officials invited donors and the media for a first look at the progress.
“We’ve embarked on the largest capital campaign in Cheyenne Mountain Zoo history, large because we’re talking about elephants, rhinos
Nature reserve for central tortoises set up in central Vietnam
Tim Mc CorMack, ATP director, said that Binh Khuong commune has the best living conditions for the Trung Bo (Central Vietnam) turtle.
The establishment of this reserve is scheduled in early May of 2011. The reserve will cover 8 hectares. Some organizations such as, the Alliance for the Living of Turtles (USA), the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CPEF) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) provided over $20,000 to this project. The funding will gradually rise on an annual basis, based on the development and effectiveness of this project.
The animal (Mauremys anammensis) only lives around flooded areas in Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh and Phu Yen provinces along the coast. Their habitat has been endangered by recent development and human encroachment.
Urban development and turning forest land into farmland have been blamed for diminishing the tortoise’s home.
According to experts, there are no Trung Bo turtles left in Vietnamese nature reserves. Hence it’s urgent to locate their remaining habitat to preserve
A Dogfight Over Wolf Center
A legal battle over using eight acres of land for a new Wolf Conservation Center in this suburb has some Westchester County heavyweights howling at each other.
Three wolves—the main attraction of the nonprofit that teaches children and families about endangered wolves—would live on an eight-acre sliver of nearly 400 acres of protected woodlands about 50 miles north of Manhattan.
The Westchester Land Trust, a nonprofit formed to protect swaths of the county from development, says fencing off those
THE ZOO NEXT DOOR - Part 1
THE ZOO NEXT DOOR - Part 2
Ex-Kiev Zoo chief probed for embezzlement
Ukrainian prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation against the former head of the Kiev Zoo, where hundreds of animals have died or gone mysteriously missing in recent years.
Prosecutors said Wednesday that Svitlana Berzina is suspected of embezzling some $47,000 (euro32,000) from the zoo by commissioning projects that weren't fully carried out, if at all.
Berzina was fired last year after nearly one-half of the zoo's animals either died or disappeared. Rights groups claimed the deaths were caused by mistreatment, with rare animals illegally sold off to private collectors.
Berzina, who has been put in charge of another animal welfare agency, declined to comment on the probe.
International animal welfare groups have
Fresh endangered species push for koalas
Conservationists from around the country have launched a fresh effort to have the koala declared an endangered species.
Experts from tourist parks have joined researchers from universities and community groups in making submissions to a Senate inquiry into koala management.
But while even developers agree numbers are falling, there is no agreement on how best to deal with the issue.
Submissions to the Senate inquiry came from all levels of government and a who's who of koala experts.
Australia Zoo research scientist Jo Loader wrote in her Senate submission that levels of disease in some koalas are unprecedented compared to other species and higher than previously thought.
Dr Bill Ellis, from the University of Queensland, says koala numbers have fallen dramatically.
"At study sites where we would expect to find between 30 and 50 koalas in a day we might be able to find three or four," he said.
Dr Ellis says this seems to be the case everywhere.
"What we're doing
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING A VOLUNTEER
Royal beasts brought to life at Tower of London
IT’S hard to imagine now, but for more than 600 years the Tower of London was home to a wild and wonderful array of animals from almost every corner of the globe.
Known as the Royal Menagerie, the tower housed everything from elephants to tigers, ostriches to kangaroos.
Now the fascinating history of this medieval ‘zoo’ will be bought back to life as part of new exhibition, Royal Beasts.
From Saturday May 28 to Sunday July 24 you’ll be able to step back in time as the Tower of London is overtaken with animal sculptures and interactive displays.
The newly restored north wall walk and the never before opened Brick Tower will host the displays and offer visitors a special insight into the sights, sounds and even smells of the royal menagerie.
Youngsters will also be able to discover the history of the menagerie with special activities over the May half-term.
From Saturday May 28 to Sun June 5, children can take part in animal badge, mask and puppet-making sessions, enjoy puppet shows and test their skills on a treasure hunt through the tower.
The first ever record of wild animals at the Tower of London was in 1210, under the reign of King John.
Under King James I, the bloody sport of baiting became popular and a platform was built over the dens so that royalty and their couriers could watch lions, bears and dogs fight each other to the death.
The Menagerie finally closed after the animals
Monsanto Insectarium At The St. Louis Zoo
The Insectarium has an amazing array of insects, from the commonplace cockroach to the exotic Peruvian fire sticks! Plus, stroll through the domed Mary Ann Lee Butterfly Wing, where you will marvel at all manner of winged invertebrates including moths, dragonflies, ladybugs and, of course,
Plan approved for prehistoric wildlife on Bodmin moor lake park
FEARSOME predators including wolves and bears will roam Bodmin Moor once again after plans were approved for a prehistoric wildlife park.
The Colliford Lake Park, near St Neot, will reopen in April 2012 as a major tourist attraction complete with predators, raptors and a wild forest exhibit spread across a 30-acre site.
Owner Eve Sebastian, 48, who runs the Corbenic LLP partnership with her husband Nigel Giddings, 47, and their son Daniel, 25, said: "We purchased Colliford Lake Park last year with the intention of closing it down and totally redeveloping it.
"We've been planning it for a couple of years and intend to open it as a themed travel back in time exhibition full of the animals that would have lived on the moor following the last Ice Age."
The family-run park is due to open its first stage with research camps and four initial areas housing eleven species native to the moor.
The Tundra Plains exhibit will boast European bison, Exmoor ponies and red deer, while Raptor Outlook will consist of three aviaries with golden eagles, peregrine falcons and Eurasian eagle owls.
Predators on the Edge will see wolverines back on the moor, as well as Eurasian lynx and otters.
The Wild Forest will complete the first tranche, housing red squirrels and wild boar.
Ms Sebastian continued: "Professor Arcturus will help children learn about the animals and we hope to expand and develop over the next five years to cover all the species which were alive then and still available, including wolves and brown bears."
Around 12,000 years ago, open tundra and forests formed the
The GPS Location N„v„v 23.06.68 & E69.18.22 of this area is. Particular this location we saw near about 450 vultures earler Dt,JUN 2005 but presently its decline."
The King Cobra Sanctuary
The weekend just gone we had our first weekend open now we have a zoo licence. So technically we are now a zoo for king cobras, of course we have other rare reptiles as side projects, such as the Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis), The Banded Water Cobra (Boulengerina annulata annulata) and the very rare 1.3 Papuan Blacksnake (Pseudechis papuanus) plus our breeding trio of Banded Gila Monsters (Heloderma suspectum cinctum). We also have a captive breeding colony of the British Adder (Vipera berus) so we are working for our own venomous species as well. Keeping an 'ark' popuIation which maybe we can re introduce one day to restored heathland in conjunction with the various wildlife trusts here in the UK.
Also we have just had our first clutch of Ophiophagus eggs this year, 18 fertile with two more nesting females ready to lay at any minute. These are exciting times.