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Can I hire a monkey for cuddles? Weird requests to zoos
It's not unusual for zoos to receive requests for the use of their animals at various public events, from birthday parties to nativity scenes. But these ideas - as well-meaning as they often are - are almost always rejected out of concern for animal welfare, zoo officials say.
Sometimes the ideas that people come up with are very creative.
A German man, for example, asked whether he could buy his wife an hour of cuddle time with a chimpanzee for her birthday. People have asked to borrow a camel for a summer festival and the owner of a German castle once asked whether one of the zoo's hippopotamuses could be used to eat the algae that had overgrown the castle's moat.
'People don't think about the fact that the animals can be dangerous,' said Sabine Haas, a spokeswoman for a zoo in Gelsenkirchen in west-central Germany near Dortmund.
Haas said the zoo at Christmas receives requests for the use of sheep, donkeys and goats for use in live nativity scenes. Those are routine, but she said the request for the hour-long cuddle session with a monkey was extraordinary.
Ilona Zuehlke, a spokeswoman for a zoo in Muenster, said one of the more unusual requests she has received was for the use of an elephant for a summer festival. And it was her zoo that had to turn down the request from the owner of the castle with algae in his moat. Zoos usually reject such requests not only because of the negative effect it would have on the animal.
'It would mean a lot of stress for the animal,' said Zuehlke. 'That's why as a rule we don't grant such requests.'
The Muenster zoo, however, did make an exception when it came to Sandy, a penguin that lives at the zoo. That's because Sandy was allowed a visit to sick children - a public appearance that was broadcast on TV - as long as she was able to remain at the side of her
Facebook page to save Paloh the baby elephant after zoo cruelty sparks world outrage
Horrified Mirror readers led world outrage yesterday and a Facebook page was launched over the cruel treatment of baby zoo elephant Paloh.
Photographs showing her at a Malaysian zoo with her legs chained together so tightly she can’t lie down or move caused an outcry.
Facebook page Save Paloh the baby Elephant was set up and a letter was sent on behalf of Mirror readers to Malaysia PM Najib Razak by Nature Alert boss Sean Whyte. He said: “This zoo belongs in the Dark Ages. It must
Resorts World Sentosa heads into 2nd phase of development with Marine Life Park for 2012 and science education curriculum with National Geographic's JASON project
Sea Research Foundation, which oversees The JASON Project science programs in collaboration with the National Geographic Society, has entered into an agreement with Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) to jointly develop a marine environmental curriculum for students in Southeast Asia. Contents of the curriculum will be drawn from Sea Research Foundation’s Mystic Aquarium, distinguished for its marine animal research and husbandry expertise. As part of the three-year agreement, Sea Research Foundation, a global leader in marine research, deep-sea exploration and hands-on education, and the National Geographic Society will join forces with RWS’ new Marine Life Park (MLP) in Singapore
Brazil in line for new aquarium projects
New aquariums are to be constructed in Brazil and across South America as the result of an agreement between Terramare and Australia-based Advanced Aquarium Technologies (AAT).
Terramare has been operating within the aquarium industry for 15 years and has worked on the design, build and management of attractions, including the Ubatuba Aquarium.
The company has also worked on a range of other schemes in Brazil, while AAT has worked on rpojects throughout the work - including Ocean Aquarium in Shanghai, China.
The partnership is designed to bring together a knowledge of the Brazilian market and global expertise in the design and construction of aquariums.
Terramare executive director Hugo Gallo Neto said: "With an ever increasing demand for building bigger aquariums throughout the country and Brazil's advances in technology the time is ripe for
Zoo d'Abidjan - New Photos
Zion Wildlife Gardens $2m in debt
Whangarei's world famous Zion Wildlife Gardens is in receivership over unpaid debts, throwing the future of the park's 36 big cats in doubt.
The park is understood to be in the red by about $2 million and operator Patricia Busch will file an injunction in court to prevent receivers PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) from interfering with more than 36 animals housed at the facility.
Mrs Busch took over the park from her son Craig Busch - who shot to international stardom in the hit TV programme The Lion Man - after he got into financial difficulty in 2006.
Her lawyer, Evgeny Orlov, said problems arose after Rabo Bank called in the receivers who tried to take over the park yesterday but were told not to touch the animals.
Mr Orlov said the short-term plan was to file an injunction in court and in the long-term, he would write to the Government and local authorities in Northland to help put the big cats in a trust.
Receivers Colin McCloy and David Bridgman of PwC were working closely with an independent zoo expert, who was not related to any prior operator, to ensure the welfare and containment standards were maintained.
Mrs Busch, 70, said she put everything on the line
Craig Busch and Zion Wildlife Gardens
Wildlife: Safari park, breeding centres planned
The government encourages the establishment of safari parks and zoos and the import of birds, animals and breeding of wildlife in private sector, Shah Nawaz Badar the Forest, Fisheries and Wildlife secretary, said on Tuesday.
Badar said that the government will launch an ambitious plan where private sector will be allowed to set up safari parks, zoos and breeding centres for the promotion and conversation of wildlife in the Punjab.
He said that the chief minister had shown personal interest in establishing international standard parks for the citizens. International experts will be invited to design the safari park, he said.
The secretary stressed for creating awareness among the people about the importance of conservation of wildlife. He said that the chief minister had allocated funds for promotion and protection of wildlife in the province.
Badar said that the officials had been directed to take strict actions against poachers. Raiding teams have been deployed at important focal points to monitor poachers,
Burundi court jails Frenchman 25 years for rape
The above link may appear have nothing to do with zoos and animals but if you read who it is and then do a google search "Patrice Faye + animal dealer".
Marmosets die in Alipore zoo
The fate of marmosets at Alipore Zoo seems to be inextricably linked with that of director Subir Chaudhuri. In August 2009, Chaudhuri had been removed from the zoo's director post after eight marmosets were stolen. Now, when Chaudhuri has been reinstated, two of the endangered species died at the zoo hospital.
While the cause of death is yet to be ascertained, employees have not ruled out the possibility of foul play. A post-mortem was conducted on Saturday, a day after the week-old marmosets died.
"It's ironic that the marmosets' died at a time when Chaudhuri is making a comeback. He, of course, had nothing to do with it but it remains to be seen if the deaths happened due to negligence," said a union leader at the zoo.
Alipore Zoo now has 16 of the endangered Brazilian monkeys who have been inmates since 1991. Three were born on July 19. Soon, the new-born were taken ill and
Hogle Zoo's male orangutan undergoes 2nd surgery for breast cancer
After having two cancerous masses removed from his chest in May, 21-year-old Eli underwent more surgery Tuesday to remove all traces of potentially cancerous tissue from his body.
The procedure reportedly went well, and though Eli may still be a little weak from the anesthesia, he should be back in his cage in no time.
Eli is a 200-pound orangutan who lives at Utah's Hogle Zoo.
Lindsay Sine, the community relations coordinator for the zoo, said that in the staff's research preparing for the surgery, they could not find a single documented case of breast cancer in a male orangutan.
"In his case it was super rare," Sine said. "Breast cancer in human males alone is rare so imagine how rare it was in a great ape."
Eli is already recovering quickly, Sine said. Procedures like the one he underwent
Manila gov’t to acquire more animals for the city zoo
The Manila Zoo’s here to stay, according to Mayor Alfredo Lim.
In a statement issued in line with the Manila Zoo’s 52nd anniversary on Monday, Lim said he would not close the zoo despite an online petition from animal rights groups and added he would even acquire more animals for the zoo.
“While I am mayor of Manila, I will not have the Manila zoo closed,” Lim said in a statement.
“I have already written to eight South East Asian ambassadors asking them to donate to us if they have some animals in their countries,” he added, in Filipino.
A petition recently launched by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and local animal protection groups criticized Manila zoo as being in “miserable conditions” where “animals…are housed in cramped, barren cages that can’t compare to their natural habitats.”
It asked readers to join the call “in asking Mayor [Alfredo] Lim to halt plans to acquire more animals for the Manila Zoo. Instead, ask him to improve the lives of the animals already there or, better yet, to close the zoo altogether.”
Lim, and Parks and Recreation chief and zoo director
Enrichment programmes for captive animals
To prevent captive animals from losing their natural behaviours, zoos are instituting enrichment programmes.
CAPTIVE animals in zoos and related institutions exist in an environment controlled by people. There are no zebras for lions to pounce on, no trees for elephants to wrestle with, and no rats scurrying through the undergrowth for our slithery friends to surprise.
In the captive environment, any opportunity to run, jump, pounce, climb, burrow, hunt and basically do what comes naturally to the animals, is afforded by humans. These are what zoo keepers call “enrichment programmes”.
Enrichment is all about making sure animals have the opportunities to remain stimulated, both mentally and physically. It can be as simple as filling the exhibit area with a variety of
Disturbing Connection Between Antique Rhino Horn 'Activity' and Rhino Killings in South Africa
Although antique rhino horn has been starring in recent headlines, the tragedy behind the spotlight remains woefully underreported.
Antique rhino horn is now commanding record prices at auctions and appraising for exceedingly high values. Specimens are also being stolen from museums and castles.
Unfortunately, there does not seem to be much focus on “why” this is happening.
A blatant example was yesterday’s media buzz over a set of antique rhinoceros horn cups – a buzz which failed to mention that rhinos are still being killed today because of the perceived monetary value of rhino horn.
In fact, over 200 rhinos have been killed in South Africa this year, and 333 were killed last year.
According to data compiled by the European Union (EU) for CITES, there is a direct link between the “growing affluence in many traditional consumer States”, the escalating prices in antique rhino horn – and the rising death toll of rhinos
Genetic testing finds new mini frog
Researchers have discovered a new miniature frog species in Western Australia's remote Pilbara region.
The Pilbara toadlet is thought to have gone unnoticed for a million years and has adapted to the harsh desert conditions.
The finding was made by researchers from the University of Western Australia, the West Australian Museum and the Australian National University.
ANU PhD student Renee Catullo says the two centimetre toadlet is unique.
"It has big glands and it has brown spots all over it, it also has a different call from all the other species," she
Dalton zoo expansion plan rejected
PLANS to expand South Lakes Wild Animal Park have been rejected.
Zoo boss David Gill had submitted a planning application to Barrow Borough Council to build a new road entrance and a mega car park at the Dalton animal park.
But members of the planning committee today refused the application on the grounds of overdevelopment
London Zoo strikes promotional deal with Lovefilm
London Zoo has launched an online hub on Lovefilm to raise awareness for its new Penguin Beach attraction
The deal sees the movie-subscription service host a campaign site, which offers subscribers a selection penguin films, prizes and gifts, as part of London Zoo’s push to boost traffic to its own site.
Visitors can also win a range of competition prizes such as DVD credits to redeem against over 70,000 films, including a number of penguin films, as well as free tickets to the zoo’s new animal enclosure.
The site will be used to siphon traffic back to London Zoo’s site, by encouraging visitors to book tickets or adopt a Rockhopper penguin from it.
Jo Underhill, head of European sales at Lovefilm said, “By teaming up with ZSL London Zoo on this new campaign we have created a nationwide promotional platform that will reach our 1.6 million subscribers and drive significant traffic to the ZSL website.”
The campaign was brokered
Judge denies restraining order to halt zoo expansion
An Alameda County Superior Court judge today denied the request to issue a temporary restraining order to halt the Oakland Zoo's expansion project. The request, filed jointly by Friends of Knowland Park and the California Native Plants Society (CNPS), called for a three-week suspension of the zoo's project, which the groups say will damage the natural habitat for endangered native species living in the city-owned Knowland Park.
The zoo's expansion plan, approved unanimously by the Oakland City Council last month, has been on the drawing board since the mid-1990s and gone through multiple rounds of environmental reviews before it broke ground earlier this month. However, the groups opposing the project argue that the development plan has been significantly changed since its initial