Pollutants taking toll on polar bears: researchers
Persistent organic pollutants used in industry are changing the genitals and bones of polar bears in East Greenland, says a Danish wildlife veterinarian and toxicologist.
"Shrinking balls and degraded bones," linked to the presence of pesticides and flame retardants in the Arctic, are likely to affect the animals' fertility and reproductive success, said Christian Sonne at last week's conference on Arctic climate change and pollution in Copenhagen.
These impacts are "not just" affecting polar bears, said Sonne who works at the National Environmental Research Institute of Denmark.
People, as well as other animals, in Canada's Arctic may also be at risk of similar effects from these pollutants, although the toxic "cocktail" becomes somewhat lower as you head west from Greenland across the Arctic region, he said.
Polar bears from East Greenland are among the most polluted species in the Arctic because their diet depends on contaminant-loaded blubber from ringed and bearded seals.
Add a warming climate to this mix, and the combined effect may be disastrous for the survival of the species.
Sonne's latest research shows East Greenland
Al Wafd News paper today 10 May 2011: HEADING: ORANGUTAN DIES IN GIZA ZOO AND YET THE MANAGEMENT STATES IT IS ALIVE
الوفد - مات إنسان الغابة في حديقة الحيوان و المسئولون مصممون على انه حي
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Calling your Fido your 'pet' may be politically incorrect
If you own a dog or a cat, or even iguana or a goldfish, you call them your pet, right? Well it turns out, you might be politically incorrect! We may want to start calling our furry, or scaley, friends, "animal companions."
Our pets, how we pamper them. But the Journal of Animal Ethics finds the word "pet" derogatory. They'd prefer animal companion.
Certainly for most dog owners they see their Fido's as something more than a pet. But it's not just domestic animal companions they'd like us to
Solar Panels Installed at Cincinnati Zoo
The Cincinnati Zoo has more than 6,000 new additions. They're not furry, but they are green. The zoo unveiled a canopy of solar panels this morning, and as Local 12 news reporter Angenette Levy tells us, it's setting the zoo apart from all of the others.
The Cincinnati Zoo is now the greenest zoo in the nation, thanks in large part to these 6,400 solar panels in the zoo's Vine Street parking lot. On a sunny day like today, when the A/C and the heat aren't running for the zoo's critters, the solar panels are producing all of the energy the zoo needs and then some. That extra energy is then returned to the grid.
Annually, the panels will produce about 20 percent of the zoo's energy. It's clean and reduces the zoo's carbon emissions. "In very green towns, like Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, they are green with envy of what we're pulling off in Cincinnati, by God, Ohio."
Solar panels aren't cheap. This is a $12 million project, but the zoo didn't pay for it. Melink, a company based in Milford, Oh., owns and built the canopy, and PNC Bank provided reasonable financing. Energy and tax credits also helped with the cost. The zoo buys the energy the panels produce. The cost doesn't fluctuate like other energy sources. Zoo Executive Director Thane Maynard says the zoo hopes to influence others to go green. "The problem
Worthington: Tennessee refuge right place for zoo's elephants (READ THE ARTICLE COMMENTS)
A weekend column by the inimitable Joe Warmington, scolded that “phony American activists” were seeking to “hijack” the elephants at Toronto Zoo and send them to an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee.
Joe’s heart is in the right place — but I think he is wrong.
One doesn’t have to be a “politically-correct wacko” (Joe’s term) to realize that the elephant exhibit at the zoo is haywire. There are three elephants, Thika, Toka and Iringa, confined to a 40-square metre pen in winter, and a paddock outside in summer.
A disquieting reality is that four elephants have died in the last five years, and seven since 1984. Most were under 40 years old.
Even zoo people acknowledge that Toronto’s climate is not conducive to elephants, especially as they grow older and become arthritic. Detroit’s zoo decided in 2004 to no longer exhibit elephants because of Michigan’s cold winters and the lack of “the appropriate physical and social environment” for captive elephants.
Three Toronto Zoo elephants died within 14 months — Tara, Tessa and Tequila. Each death was a traumatic shock for zoo staff who were attached to the animals, recognized their individual personalities, and regarded them as friends.
Everyone connected with the zoo knows something has to be done as the three remaining elephants are growing older. Estimates range from $15 to $30 million to build suitable facilities, and that sort of money simply isn’t available.
An alternative is to donate the elephants to an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee, where a couple of dozen “retired” circus and zoo elephants roam freely on 2,700
ZooMontana closes for week after insurance company drops zoo's liability policy
ZooMontana’s liability insurance policy was canceled on Monday, and the zoo will be closed for the rest of the week.
Zoo Board President Ian McDonald said the insurance agent, Taylor-Leavitt Insurance, called McDonald on Monday about the policy.
The policy is carried by Philadelphia Insurance, which dropped the zoo.
Taylor-Leavitt is working with the zoo to find a new insurance carrier.
“They said the payment was late, but it was made,” McDonald said. “Now they are sending the money back and canceling the policy.”
McDonald said he tried obtaining a blanket insurance policy for the week, but no such policy exists.
“It’s my goal to get a policy in place by the end of the week here,” McDonald said.
Accounts of what happened differed among the zoo board and staff.
Zoo Director Jackie Worstell, who submitted her resignation in February, but has since said she may stay, said the zoo did not have enough money to make payments this winter. Word of the zoo’s financial struggles became public in February.
“We are all paid up now, but the problem is the insurance company just right now doesn’t have faith in knowing we would be a good client,” Worstell said. “They’ve be
Dubai to clone Oryx and Arabian leopard
Project follows success of world’s first cloned camel
Dubai is on the verge of launching another landmark project to clone the endangered Oyrx and Arabian Leopard after succeeding in producing the world’s first cloned camel, a newspaper said on Saturday.
The camel breeding centre said the plan is part of a major project to restore ecological balance and increase the number of endangered animals in the region, including the Oryx, Arabian Leopard and Arabian Tiger, the Dubai-based Arabic language daily 'Emarat Al Youm' said.
“The centre is now preparing to receive 10 more cloned camels by the end of this year or early next year,” said Dr Nassar Ahmed Wani, project director at the centre, the world’s first breeding institution to clone a camel.
“After our success in cloning the world’s first camel, we are now planning to clone endangered animals including Oryx, Arabian Leopard and Arabian Tiger..,” he was quoted by the
Scientists in Dubai plan 'frozen zoo' for cloning
Scientists in Dubai are keeping a repository of frozen cells they hope can one day be used to create cloned animals that can repopulate species facing the threat of extinction.
Experts at the Camel Reproduction Centre, in al Aweer, are in the initial stages of putting together a "frozen zoo" of cells taken from endangered species.
It is hoped that those cells will bolster dwindling stocks of native species such as the Arabian leopard, the oryx and the tahr, or mountain goat.
"Cloning can help preserve species which are threatened with extinction," said Dr Nisar Wani, the head of the reproductive biology lab at the centre. "We can store millions and millions of cells here. So if tomorrow anything happens to those endangered animals and they become extinct, we can produce millions of embryos from those cells."
The team will next month celebrate the second birthday of the world's first cloned camel, named Injaz, meaning "success" in Arabic. Since then, there have been multiple births of cloned camels
Cloning key to saving UAE’s most endangered animals: scientist
DUBAI — The UAE’s most endangered species could be saved from extinction by a revolutionary new cloning technique being developed at a fertility lab in Dubai.
Dr Nisar Wani, the scientist behind the creation of the world’s first cloned camel, believes the technology exists to ensure the survival of threatened species such as the Arabian Oryx or the Arabian Leopard.
The technique, known as interspecies nuclear transfer, would for example, involve the cells of an Oryx being inserted into the womb of a goat for incubation.
“We have many endangered animals in the UAE,” Dr Wani told the Khaleej Times during an interview at the Camel Reproduction Centre in Dubai.
“We can use the cells of these animals and use another species, from the same family, as a surrogate mother.”
In April last year, the centre attracted international attention for being the first lab in the world to have cloned a camel. It was named ‘Injaz’, or ‘achievement’
New England Aquarium closed after crack is found in tank
The New England Aquarium has been closed so repairs can be made to a crack in its largest tank, officials said.
Officials said the crack was near the top of the giant ocean tank, which is located at the core of the aquarium, and the water level was being lowered so repairs could be made.
There is no danger to either animals or humans, said Jane Wolfson, vice president of marketing and communications at the aquarium.
The tank is made of triple-layered glass and the crack was found in only one of the layers, she said.
The tank contains 200,000 gallons of water. It is 23 feet deep, 40 feet wide, and is home to more than 600 denizens of the deep, including
Extinction Likely for World's Rarest Bear Subspecies
The May 3 death of a Marsican brown bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus) has put the world's rarest bear subspecies one step closer to extinction. Just 50 or so of the animals remain in two of Italy's national parks, a population so small that the bears are "below the threshold of survival," Giuseppe Rossi, head of the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio, and Molise, told The Christian Science Monitor.
The bear killed this week was likely struck by a car, an example of the increased bear-human conflict that has halved the population from 100 animals since the 1980s. In addition to traffic fatalities, poachers used poison to kill three bears in 2007, including a cub and his famous father named Bernardo, who was known for casually strolling around the streets of local villages. A female
Life after pandas leave
Ma Xujue has never been so unsure about the future before, even when most of his properties were destroyed when an 8.0-magnitude earthquake jolted his hometown of Wolong in southwest China three years ago.
The region, rich in vegetation and covering some 200,000 hectares in west Sichuan Province, is better known as the "hometown" of the endangered giant pandas, with 10 percent of the world's wild pandas, and more than 60 percent of the captive-bred panda population, living here.
But now, the 48-year-old farmer and his fellow villagers in Wolong Town will no longer enjoy the benefits and pride of being "panda neighbors", as the quake-hit China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas, based in the town, plans to move to a safer location with all of its caged pandas.
The new center, set in a flat mountainside area called Shenshuping, is about 22 kilometers northeast of its original location. In theory, it's still in the Wolong Natural Reserve, the first and largest of its kind in China for the protection of pandas. However, it is outside of the domain of Wolong Town in the neighboring township of Gengda.
Sponored by the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative
Edinburgh Zoo chief: I've been open and honest
EDINBURGH Zoo's suspended chief executive today broke his silence and vowed to return to work, but not as the top man.
In an exclusive interview with the Evening News, acting chief executive Gary Wilson said he had been "devastated" by a damning dossier of allegations that led him to be suspended in March. But he said he would not let the "malicious" allegations grind him down and pledged total commitment to the zoo.
He also said he wanted to "fix the problems at the zoo" and said the possible leasing of the attraction to Spanish company Parques Reunidos, as revealed in the Evening News last week, had "its pros and cons".
Asked if he would attend an emergency meeting at Murrayfield Stadium he said he would, if asked.
The chairman of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's (RZSS) executive board, Donald Emslie, has confirmed that robust internal and external investigations into ten years' worth of documents had proved every one of the allegations against Mr Wilson to be unfounded.
Mr Wilson said: "I remain fully committed to the organisation and understand what they had to do in relation to these allegations. The board is a voluntary board and the time taken to conduct this investigation has been extensive. I would have liked it to have been quicker as it has caused a lot of frustration and tension, but I understand.
"I'd like to sit down with Donald Emslie and have a discussion about where we go from here."
Mr Wilson said he believed he knew who had made the anonymous allegations, which included accusations he siphoned money from accounts relating to the £4.5 million Budongo Trail to pay for a £50,000 balcony at his home in Dunblane.
It was also claimed he had stolen building materials and a promotional Fiat Panda car the zoo had planned to auction off for charity.
He added: "When I found out the dossier had been handed in against me, I was devastated. I've had nothing to hide and I was very open with the board, shared with them everything they wanted and more. They didn't ask for my bank statements or documents relating to how I paid my mortgage, but I handed them over.
"There is nothing sinister going on with my house and the only reason my balcony looks like the Budongo Trail is because I designed both of them. I have strong suspicions, but only suspicious, about who did this to me. I can't prove it."
Two weeks after Mr Wilson was suspended, another director, Iain Valentine, who was in charge of animals, research and conservation, was also suspended following allegations of financial impropriety.
On the same day, Anthony McReavy, director of development, was sacked for "bringing the society into disrep
Zoo leads effort to map genes of 10,000 animals
After 13 years in the San Diego Zoo, the echidna (pronounced ih-KID-na) succumbed to an unknown illness at the age of 27, far short of his expected 50-year life span.
Now, researchers are making sure the animal’s death wasn’t in vain.
At the world’s largest genetic testing facility in Beijing, Eddie’s preserved cells are being used to create the first map of an echidna’s biological source code, which could help save the endangered species from extinction.
DNA from a San Diego Zoo echidna, like this one named Victor, is being mapped by a Chinese genetic sequencing center as part of the 10K Genome Projects. The Australian natives are one of only two mammals that lay eggs. At 57, Victor is the oldest living mammal at the zoo.
The work is part of the 10K Genome Project, an ambitious global effort to sequence the genes of 10,000 different kinds of vertebrae — mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes — by 2015.
10K Genome Project participants with San Diego County ties Swazi, the matriarch of the elephant herd at the zoo’s Safari Park, was chosen for the 10K Genome project partly because she was specially trained to offer her ear to trainers to give blood samples. She arrived at the park in 2003 from a national park in the southern Africa country of Swaziland.
San Diego-based Illumina, the leading maker of genetic sequencing devices, is part of a group that will sequence this endangered miniature version of its much larger and better known cousin. About 3,000 animals remain in the wild, mostly in the West Africa nation of Liberia, according to the World Conservation Union.
Researchers in Beijing are mapping the DNA of this strange Australian creature with cells from an echidna that died at the San Diego Zoo in 1995. The marsupial’s tissue was preserved in a “frozen” zoo. Shown in the photo is Victor, a 57-year-old echidna that holds the distinction of being the oldest mammal at the zoo.
Working separately last year, two teams involving researchers from Illumina and the J. Craig Venter Institute in Torrey Pines sequenced several Tasmanian devils as part of an effort to save the marsupials from a contagious cancer that has already wiped out three-quarters of the animal’s wild population.
The Venter Institute is working on the sequence of these common Asian monkeys that have been used for decades in medical and biological testing.
In addition to the zoo, San Diego sequencing device maker Illumina and the J. Craig Venter Institute in Torrey Pines are contributing to the genomic mapping effort.
All of the data gathered by participants will be made available on the Internet, so researchers
Bird missing from zoo's rain forest
Topeka Zoo director Brendan Wiley, in a news release issued Sunday, said a gray-necked Wood Rail bird appears to be missing from the rain forest of the zoo.
The bird, whose name is Ty, hatched in the rain forest this past summer. Ty was soon pulled from the exhibit and hand-raised by zoo staff members, so it is comfortable around people, Wiley said.
Wiley said a search of the rain forest, zoo grounds and surrounding areas have revealed no sign of the bird. Zoo staff members would
Shagged By A Rare Parrot
Russ Smith, zoo co-founder, dies at 69
Even after 30-plus years of nonstop giving, Russell Smith never got tired of volunteering at Binder Park Zoo.
"Any busy weekend, you could find Russ out in Africa talking to guests, or he loved standing at the Red Panda exhibit," said Jenny Barnett, zoo director of wildlife conservation.
Smith, 69, died at home Friday, according to information released by Shaw Funeral Home. Services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday.
Battle Creek police said they were called to the home at638 E. Minges Road at 1:18 p.m. Friday. Police said Smith had been cutting a tree in the front yard when a portion of the trunk fell and struck him.
Paramedics from Lifecare Ambulance attempted for 30 minutes to revive him, police said, but were unsuccessful.
"We're going to miss him a lot," Barnett said. "It's still a shock to me. It's going to be weird going to the zoo next week and not seeing Russ."
Smith, whom long-time friend and Binder Park Zoo President Greg Geise characterized as one of the zoo's founders, was heavily involved in the zoo's creation, operation, fundraising and promotion for decades.
Smith was a member of the Jaycees, a group which, in 1971, hatched the idea for a children's zoo in Battle
Region's first wild whale shark tagged off Qatari oil rig
Female whale shark is first to be tagged in the Arabian Gulf, marine biologist says
Scientists tagged the region's first wild whale shark off a Qatari oil rig last month in the hope of tracking the movements of whale sharks in the Arabian Gulf.
David Robinson, a Dubai-based marine biologist tagged the 8m long, female whale shark, named Amna on April 23. She is the first wild whale shark to be tagged in the Arabian Gulf.
Her movements will not be known for six months though, when the tag will dislodge automatically and once it pops to the surface will emit the information back to Robinson.
"This was the first whale shark we had attempted to tag for the study and luckily we were successful -and, with an 8m long female so we are delighted," Robinson told Gulf News.
Amna was tagged 90km offshore from mainland Qatar. As the founder of SharkWatch Arabia, Robinson is collecting
Knoxville Zoo's herpetology director, bog turtle advocate dies
Bern Tryon, the Knoxville Zoo director of herpetology and a champion for East Tennessee's endangered bog turtles, died Friday after a battle with cancer.
Tryon, 64, was Tennessee's best authority on bog turtles, which he studied and helped to save for 25 years. His dedication to the animals included developing a zoo program that hatches and later releases the turtles in native East Tennessee habitats. The conservation awards he earned for his work included one from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"Bog turtle conservation in Tennessee is without a doubt his legacy. I don't know if it would be at all without him," said zoo Curator of Herpetology Phil Colclough.
A biology graduate of Gardner-Webb University, Tryon began his zoo career in 1971. He worked in herpetology departments at zoos in Atlanta, Fort Worth, Texas, and Houston before coming to Knoxville in 1984.
Some of Tryon's ashes will be scattered at a bog turtle
Zoo pros learn about crocs at Alligator Farm
Molly Ebersold announced to Historic City News this morning that, for the eleventh year in a row, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is hosting a renowned professional development course for herpetologists and zoo professionals around the country.
Commonly referred to as “Croc School”, the Crocodilian Biology and Captive Management Course is offered annually by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
The St. Augustine Alligator Farm is the logical choice for the course because it is the only place in the world in which students can study every existing species of crocodilian.
Courses will be presented by fourteen instructors. There will be twenty
Zoo cruelty: Embas must quit, says senator
A senator has asked Natural Resources and Environment Minister Douglas Uggah Embas to resign over the alleged mistreatment of animals in some zoos in the country.
Referring to recent news reports that zoo animals were kept in distressing conditions, DAP’s S Ramakrishnan said the minister had failed to act on the matter.
“He should resign if he really cares about animal welfare to make way for others who can do the job,” he said in a press statement.
He also suggested that the government change the management of Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) to allow animal conservationists to run it.
Last week, a private zookeeper in Senai invited NGOs and animal rights activists to spend time at his facility, saying he wanted to show that their accusations were baseless. However, he drew more flak when the Star published an interview with him on May 5.
Activists jumped on his admission that he held public exhibitions featuring his tigers. Perhilitan
Pueblo Zoo quietly settles lawsuit
The Pueblo Zoo is unwilling to disclose the terms on which it resolved a lawsuit in which two former employees alleged they were sexually harassed by a male groundskeeper.
A filing last week in the U.S. District Court case shows that the zoo and the ex-employees, Sandra Davis and Stephanie Pyles, recently resolved last year's lawsuit.
Pueblo Zoological Society Executive Director Jonnie McFarland said the nonprofit zoo has no comment.
Davis and Pyles alleged the male employee, who was not a defendant, improperly touched or kissed them and four other women on several
Pet monkey attacks owner in bed
Officers say man startled sleeping animal
Sammy, a 7-year-old, 30 pound male java macaque monkey paces in his cage. Occasionally he stops to pull on the bars or rattle the floorboards. Sammy is now in the care of Debbie Jeter, director of Bear Path Acres in Southampton County after attacking his owner two weeks ago.
"He should have had fangs removed, that's what makes him so dangerous is those fangs," said Jeter.
Surry County Animal Control officers said Sammy's owner was sleeping in a bed with the monkey when he accidentally rolled over onto it. Startled, Sammy bit the owner on his nose and arm. Now too afraid to keep him, Sammy spent 10 days in quarantine before coming to Bear Path Acres. The owners also relinquished a female macaque named Tara.
"They were loved, they were given
Will boy George become a 'man'?
The plan of the guardians at the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park was more than sound: in order to increase the size of the wolf family at the park, get an adult wolf and put the zoo’s females in close proximity. After that, let their instincts take over.
The park’s management then got George, the wolf to impregnate the two she-wolves, Lucy and Rani, straight from the jungle — more specifically a centre run by social activist Prakash Amte in Hemalkasa. They had procured him two months back.
However, there is just one problem: George has never seen a she-wolf ever and the authorities are not sure how this ‘virgin boy’ would react. Actually, this great hope of captive breeding at the zoo is ten years old, a mature wolf who is probably set in his ways and is likely to resist new ideas, which may even include mating.
However, Navnath Nighot, the veterinary officer at the zoo is keeping his fingers crossed as in the case of animals instincts always seem to win the day, though George grew up eating vegetarian food like chappatis besides meat while in Amte’s care.
In any case, the story till now has been in George’s favour. For one, the two-month mandatory quarantine to ensure that he was healthy and would not pass on any ailment to Lucy and Rani and also get acquainted with the new environment, passed without any untoward incident.
The authorities at the park are happy that George made it through the quarantine period with flying colours and that he is the one. They have cleared him officially and have signed him on
I’m an Italian Wildlife Vet with a strong commitment in Wildlife Medicine and Biodiversity Protection.
I have been working as a free lance veterinarian for 8 years and, for 6 of them, I have been providing veterinary support in Wildlife Management and in Conservation projects, while working in Pet Veterinary Hospital with night and holiday shifts.
Particularly, I worked for 3,5 years in a full-time vet position, with an Italian non-profit wildlife hospital that take care about over 1,000 injured and orphaned wildlife patients each year (95% wild birds).
Recently I came back from the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle, after 1 year and half of veterinary service in “AmaZOOnico”, a Wildlife Rescue Centre for all Amazonian animals, more than ever non-human primates and birds, where I’ve learned to function in remote and adverse climate conditions and with basic equipment.
In these positions, my responsibilities have included design and implementation of preventative veterinary care programs; evaluation of animal health; diagnosis and medical/surgical treatment of illness and injury; capture and restraint of animals; euthanasia and necropsy; assessment and design of nutrition programs; sample collection, testing, database management and data analyses; problem analysis and resolution responsibilities; supervision and training of volunteers and the public about rehabilitation medicine and environmental and human health issues; development and maintenance of professional contacts with a variety of clients and partners involved in wildlife management; work with a wide variety of people; ability to organize, manage time and set priorities while meeting deadlines; ability to be flexible and shift priorities to meet departmental requirements.
Besides this, because I was always working for poor No-Profit Organization, I’m used to work in a multitasking environment (from cleaning cages to the development and maintenance of professional contacts) and this fits well with my flexibility and has allowed me to gain abilities also as wildlife rehabilitator and veterinary nurse, for example, and, as natural resource manager.
I’m looking for a job, as freelance or full contracted, that allows me to continue my career in the field of the Biodiversity Protection.
The Northern Hemisphere’s animals are my first preference but I know that it’s quite hard to find the perfect job and, by the way, it would be just wonderful even if I could continue to work in the field of the Biodiversity Conservation, no mattering the species of the animals and in which place of the world!
What I can offer, is high flexibility, willingness to travel, ability to work in a multi-cultural environment, full and continuous training, ability to work in the field as well as willingness to gain experience in endoscopy and echography as needs. Italian mother tongue and working knowledge of Spanish and English.
Dr Sonja Ciccaglione
For further details, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and consult my Linkedin’s page http://www.linkedin.com/in/sonjavet