Thursday, July 28, 2011

Zoo News Digest 28th July 2011 (Zoo News 772)

Zoo News Digest 28th July 2011 (Zoo News 772)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleague,

Wouldn't it be a sad old boring world if we all agreed with each other? Yes, yes, yes. There would be no conversation and no discussion. I don't expect everyone to agree with my opinions in the same way people should not expect me to agree with theirs. We can all learn from each other and if we remain open minded we can actually change our point of view. I know I have on a wide range of subjects. We are never too old to learn new things.

Happily my health continues to improve. 90% today. Hopefully fully recovered by tomorrow.

Delighted to learn that Iain Valentine will be returning to Edinburgh Zoo on the 1st August. That is really good news that I know is shared by many.

Surprised to see that the saga of the Tortoise sanctuary is still rumbling on. Nothing new there. Yes they do need a zoo licence. Exceptions cannot be made as they would have to do the same for every other place which decided to move into exotics. It may have noble aspirations but it really is not the point. Likely many will disagree with me there.

And what about the prospect of Craig Busch returning to Zion? As I said, differing points of view.

There are people, good friends of mine, people I love with whom I disagree on practically everything. This includes politics, money, religion, the Middle East and much more. Yet friendship endures. Yes, it could be such a sad and boring world and yet it isn't.

I was pleased to learn today from Sybelle Foxcroft that Cathay Pacific are going to "remove that particular travel tip as soon as possible" with connection to the Tiger Temple. My only problem here is if you refer to the actual link is that it was not so much a 'tip' as a joint promotional package....see here:

"The airline, which operates three flights a week has organized a special package (Tiger Temple and Death Railway- Real Bridge on River Kwai) which also provides a night in Felix River Kwai Resort, the only five-star resort in Kanchanaburi"

Lets see if this 'special package' is removed.

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Suspended zoo boss returns to work and prepares for pandas
THE senior manager behind the deal to bring two giant pandas to Edinburgh Zoo is to return to work after being suspended earlier this year, it has emerged.
Iain Valentine was removed from his post in April pending an investigation into what was described as "matters of a very serious nature".
Yesterday Hugh Roberts, chief executive of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), said that, following an internal investigation, Mr Valentine - who was director of animals, conservation and education - would be returning to the organisation next week but in a different role.
Mr Valentine's suspension came amid months of turmoil for the zoo, one of Scotland's leading tourist attractions, which included the suspension of another senior manager, the sacking of a third and the resignation of chairman Donald Emslie, after a vote of no confidence by RZSS members.
Mr Roberts, said: "The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has completed a disciplinary investigation into Iain Valentine and a full hearing has been held, the details of which are, and will remain, confidential.
"From 1 August, Iain Valentine will be working in a changed role in which he will focus on animal conservation and research.
"The board is implementing significant change across the organisation that allows staff to play to their individual strengths to deliver a strong future for the RZSS, Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park.
"While recent times have

Lion Man wants to buy back Zion park
Craig Busch, founder of the troubled Zion Wildlife Gardens north of Whangarei, wants to buy back control.
The world famous park was put in receivership this week with debts believed to be $2 million. The move raised questions about the future of the 37 big cats which include lions, tigers, servals, cheetahs and a leopard.
Mr Busch, known as the Lion Man after the television series shot at the park sold around the world, was in Africa and not available for comment but a spokeswoman said he had financial backing and wanted to regain control of the park.
The park was owned by a company called Country Developments of which Mr Busch was a major shareholder, said his spokeswoman, Jill Albrow.
She said in 2006 he signed over the voting rights to his mother Patricia Busch but now wanted to regain control.
"He has the shares but not

Craig Busch and Zion Wildlife Gardens

Black-bellied hamster given reprieve by European Court of Justice
Ruling demands that France offer better protection to nocturnal rodent regarded as a pest
These little nocturnal animals are so unobtrusive that very few people ever see them or even know they exist, let alone care about their survival. The European or black-bellied hamster (Cricetus cricetus) might very well have vanished from France unnoticed, had the European Court of Justice not taken up its case.
In a ruling last month, the court concluded that France had failed to take the necessary measures to protect the rodent and demanded that it remedy this situation promptly.
The court's findings were confirmed by the most recent survey of burrows in Alsace published this month by the Regional Environment Agency. It found 460 burrows spread over 22 localities, which was down from 480 and 25 respectively last year.
But why should we worry about black-bellied hamsters, long considered in Alsace – the only part of France where it ever managed to thrive – as a dangerous pest? Why has

Edinburgh Zoo official swims in pool with penguins
An Edinburgh Zoo official has been training for the London Triathlon in the attraction's penguin pool in a bid to get fit for the event.
Rob Thomas, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's conservation and research manager, has been donning a wetsuit to swim with the penguins.
He has been practicing for the 1,500 metre swim part of the Olympic distance triathlon ahead of Saturday's event.
Mr Thomas said the penguins had been "curious" about their guest.
He has also been training for the running and cycling part of the race on Corstorphine Hill where the zoo is based.
Mr Thomas said: "Corstorphine Hill has proven to be the perfect location for training for all three disciplines.
"As well as running and cycling around the area, taking a dip in the zoo's penguin pool

Zoo boss hits out at council decision
David Gill, owner of the South Lakes Wild Animal Park, has reacted to a council committee's decision to reject his plans for an expansion.
Mr Gill, who is currently in Wyoming, learned of the news this morning and has released a lengthy statement in reaction to Barrow Borough Council's planning committee' decision to reject plans to extend the park by nine hectares.
He said: "I received the news of the planning committee rejection of our expansion from Karen Brewer who is the Project Manager for the near £4m project this morning. I am living in the USA for most of the summer where I have had a home now for nearly 18 months.
"The decision to reject the plans by the elected council members against the professional advice of the very officers they pay high salaries to carefully assess and scrutinise planning applications using the applicable rules, regulations and law is not a shock nor surprise to me.
"It is however a gross disappointment once again to see the very people who the electorate vote for doing the exact opposite of the majority view. A clear failure of democratic values, because it is obvious that the support from the local population for this expansion is huge and overwhelmingly in favour of it.
"It seems that six or eight people on Melton Terrace have managed to hijack the opinions of councillors against the wishes of around 600 to 800 residents who would have benefitted directly and dramatically from the changes proposed and the whole community of Furness who have the benefit of a flagship national attraction in their midst.
"Since I had 100 per cent support from the then Conservative council to develop the zoo on a green field site back in 1993 I have had to suffer the personal views of councillors taking precedent over factual evidence and planning rules. The park and its 60 employees has had to fight for everything it has ever achieved through official channels to get to the huge success that it is bringing in with approximately £6m of consumer spend each year into the Furness economy directly.
"Seventeen years of negative, destructive actions by elected representatives towards the top tourist attraction in the Lake district and the business and charities that continue to grow despite the recession ( and the council) has not stopped us being one of the very few businesses looking to expand and employ more local people in this down turn.
"The full cost of the development is being provided by myself and with no public money whatsoever being received.
"It seems the whole argument has centred around the “safety” of using the old A590 up Melton Brow which was 17 years ago the only trunk road through there.
"I will state that we have been researching and making plans for the expansion and new car parks for four full years. The amount invested by the park in these plans is over £100,000 before this meeting to ascertain the safest, most practical and the best overall option for an new entrance and new facilities.
"The Highways Agency have been directly involved in all aspects of consultation, planning and safety. Years of visitor data, speed traps, number counting, computer modelling and outside consulting have taken place before this meeting on Tuesday. It is accepted by all professionals involved that the existing car parking is highly dangerous and over the years the risks to the public rise with volumes.
"We do not have any where near enough car parking spaces to accommodate the number of visitors both in the Summer as now and in winter months also. It is a fact that on many days in the year over 2,000 adults and children are asked to cross a busy 60mph limit narrow road with a blind crest. They cross to and from making 4,000 crossings a day and 28,000 potentially a week in summer. The chances of a serious accident increase every day this is going on, our need is to remove ALL danger from visitors by providing car parking on site for every visitor and make it disabled and family friendly in every way, the other need is also to provide direct links with public transport via the buses and trains .
"The very action of the councillors has stopped any improvement in safety for the up to 800 residents that have these visitors by their front doors every day and to encourage as many people as possible onto new bus services and trains. I and all professional opinion see clearly our plans for the new junction would conform to the Highways Standards and be changed to support the volume of traffic proposed.
"Accidents happen when drivers are not paying attention to speed etc no road or junction is able to avoid that. there are numerous accidents and frustrations now with the existing set up through the very narrow parked streets of Dalton. I have been asked why we dont use the roundabout? Simply I dont have access to the land at that point , secondly from a Highways perspective the chances of accidents off the roundabout would be far higher and not acceptable to them.
"I had no idea when I built the park in 1993 that we would have more than 10,000 people a year but the reality is we have well over 300,000 now and it is still slowly growing. where do the councillors expect people to park? How do they think we can stop the road being blocked by cars parking on the road? we had this same personal illogical approach to our last main car park application, we won on appeal and the car park has been a huge success and is not visible from anywhere.
"I have no doubt whatsoever that with the weight of positive professional expertise that has supported the project within the rules, regulations and laws that the government Inspector will over rule the Councillors and allow this to go ahead for the sake of thousands of children who need this facility and because it fulfils every criteria set out by Government for development. sadly the tax payer will then be forced to pay our costs for the appeal and waste not just time but local peoples money.
"I am not doing this for myself, it is for my young children, my dedicated and highly motivated staff and for the millions of people who have loved and benefitted from the park in the past 17 years. the park either grows or will disappear because it cannot stay as it is. I am confident that the educated and reasoned inspectorate will see the merits of our case.
"Another aspect is the animals of course who were all going to benefit with new facilities , bigger enclosures and many new facilities, because of the very nature of zoos and animals we have been expecting planning anytime within the last year and many animals are now in the zoo expecting new enclosures, these further delays are not helping them either. Over 100 local people were proposed to be contracted to work on the site in the next 2 years of construction and another 15 were expected for full time positions afterwards. Their aspirations and ability to feed their families ruined by this extremely short sighted decision.
"Personally , I would not stay in this area at all if it were not for the zoo and my loyalty to the supportive local people, my staff and my family, I made the decision a while ago to reside in another country and invest in new business away from Furness simply because Barrow has little to offer in 2011.
"We are all at the park determined with the over whelming support of the community at large to make this expansion happen , to grow the business and charities , employ more people and provide education to our children and to do it despite the actions of

Orangutan Rocky Horror Show
On a follow up visit recently, investigators were at first pleased to observe that an attempt at some improvements to the orangutan enclosure had been made since their last visit when the adult orangutan ‘Shirley’ was observed smoking cigarettes.
Upon closer inspection all was not well. There are two adult orangutans at Johor Zoo, ‘Shirley’ and ‘Abu’. ‘Shirley’ had been given black plastic trash-bin liners to play with. These bags are easily torn and even one small piece ingested by an orangutan could prove fatal.
Orangutans do need plenty of enrichment – things to keep them occupied with, but not plastic bags. Perhilitan was recently shown examples of suitable enrichment for orangutans.
Sean Whyte, chief executive of Nature Alert said: “Providing orangutans with enough enrichment on a daily basis is neither difficult or costly. Our offers of free expertise to Perhilitan were rejected, so it’s still a case of the blind leading the blind. If they won’t accept our advice, they should make the short trip to Singapore Zoo and learn from them.”
What kind of educational or conservation message does watching orangutans surrounded with black bags give to visitors, especially children? Are children going to grow up thinking orangutans move around the forests carrying black plastic bags to keep the rain off them?

Abandon Ship! Even The Palm Oil Industry Is Distancing Itself From Alan Oxley’s Lies
You might not believe it, but apparently there is a point beyond which even the palm oil industry isn’t willing to stretch the truth. And Alan Oxley just blew right past it.
Last November, Alan Oxley was called out by a dozen scientists from leading academic and research institutions around the world for promoting industrial logging and oil palm plantations at the expense of the truth. According to those scientists’ analysis, Mr. Oxley lacks credibility and treads “a thin line between reality and a significant distortion of facts.”
This month, he has entire countries banning his rhetoric.
Alan Oxley makes more money than you and your mama combined under the guise of a “non-profit organization” called the World Growth Institute, which supports palm oil industry groups like the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) and its new European lobby arm, the European Palm Oil Council (EPOC), in their mission to paint a bogus picture of reality in which palm oil plantations are somehow magically creating habitat for the species gravely endangered by their

Oldest Elephant In Any North American Zoo Dies In Tyler
The oldest African Bull elephant in a North American zoo died at Tyler's Caldwell Zoo Saturday, Executive Director Hayes Caldwell said today.
The elephant, named “Chico,” came to the zoo from the San Diego Zoo in 2003. He was 46.
The cause of the elephant’s death has not been determined yet, but it was not related to the heat or any specific illness, Caldwell

Organized crime is wiping out wildlife
A paper by noted WCS conservationist Elizabeth Bennett says that an immense, increasingly sophisticated illegal trade in wildlife parts conducted by organized crime, coupled with antiquated enforcement methods, are decimating the world's most beloved species including rhinos, tigers, and elephants on a scale never before seen.
The paper, published June 7 on the online issue of the journal Oryx, says that much of the trade is driven by wealthy East Asian markets that have a seemingly insatiable appetite for wildlife parts.
According to the paper, organized crime syndicates using sophisticated smuggling operations have penetrated even previously secure wildlife populations. Some of the elaborate methods include: hidden compartments in shipping containers; rapidly changing of smuggling routes; and the use of e-commerce whose locations are difficult to detect.
"We are failing to conserve some of the world's most beloved and charismatic species," said Bennett, who began her career in conservation more than 25 years ago in Asia. "We are rapidly losing big, spectacular animals to an entirely new type of trade driven by criminalized syndicates. It is deeply alarming, and the world is not yet taking it seriously. When these criminal networks wipe out wildlife, conservation loses, and local people lose the wildlife on which their livelihoods often depend."
For example, South Africa lost almost 230 rhinoceroses to poaching from January to October, 2010; and less than 3,500 tigers roam in the wild, occupying less than 7 percent of their historic range.
Bennett says an immediate short-term solution to stave off local extinction of wildlife is through enforcement of wildlife laws, and to bring to bear a variety of resources to supersede those of the criminal organizations involved. This would include everything from a sharp increase in the numbers of highly trained and well-equipped staff at all points of the trade chain, to sniffer dogs, DNA tests, and smart-phone apps with species identification programs.
"We have taken our eye off the ball," said Bennett. "Enforcement is critical: old fashioned in concept but needing increasingly advanced methods to challenge the ever-more sophisticated methods of smuggling. When enforcement is thorough, and with sufficient resources and personnel, it works."
On a larger scale, Bennett says that law enforcement agencies need to look at wildlife smuggling as a serious crime and its enforcement as part of their job. Encouragingly, Bennett points to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Asia, which has recently listed wildlife crime as one of their core focuses, and the potentially powerful International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime was signed into effect.
"Unless we start taking wildlife crime seriously and allocating the commitment

Malnourished monkey mistaken for alien
A hungry, hairless monkey sparked panic in the Chinese village of Guzhai, Yahoo News reports. Housewife Mao Ziping spotted the animal in her garden, at first thinking she was looking at a rabbit, before deciding it was actually extraterrestrial.
"At first I thought it was a rabbit, then I was shocked to see it had an alien face," Ziping explained. "My neighbours agreed it was like nothing we'd seen before."
Emergency services arrived on the scene with instructions to arrest the creature. However, it was soon discovered that the 'alien' was actually an emaciated monkey, who was so malnourished that its hair had fallen out.
The monkey - who since being discovered has

Did you ever read about the HARTLEPOOL MONKEY?

Hartlepool Monkey Hanging Legend

Orangutans enjoy fruits of labour GREAT PHOTOS!
THERE was no monkeying around when these orangutans spotted a bunch of juicy blackberries they couldn't reach.
Living up to the title of king of the swingers, the inventive animals made a makeshift zipwire to get them closer to their target.
Armed with an old rag they had found in

Apes From the Future, Holding a Mirror to Today
THE evolution of species takes place over millenniums. Pop-culture franchises just don’t have that kind of time. Rupert Wyatt’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” opening Aug. 5, is the seventh film about the peculiarly advanced simians invented by Pierre Boulle in his 1963 novel “Planet of the Apes” and the first in 10 years. The last “Apes” picture, directed by Tim Burton, was a remake of Franklin J. Schaffner’s original 1968 adaptation of the Boulle novel; the first film generated four sequels, a couple of TV series (one live action, one animated), a line of comic books and a jungleful of merchandise before the brand began to peter out, ceding its dominance to other, stronger market beasts like “Star Wars” and “Batman.” The apes had a nice run, but

WHAT'S WORKING: Zoo's solar project gaining national attention
The brutal heat is cooling off the energy bill this summer at the Cincinnati Zoo
"A year ago on a day like today, I was sweating it big time because of my electricity bill," said Mark Fisher, Senior Director of Facilities, Planning and Sustainability at the Cincinnati Zoo. "But the same day this year, I'm saying bring on the sun!"
That's because Fisher said their new solar panels generate at least 20-percent of their power.
Zoo managers installed 6,400 solar panels in the parking lot in April. They produce enough energy to keep all of the lights on in the Zoo's 70+ buildings within the Zoo's 70-acre campus.
"On a day like today, we're off the grid right now," said Fisher. "From 10 to four, we're literally producing more power than we're using."
All that green is saving the zoo green.
The Zoo can't store the energy produced so it's sent back to Duke Energy. Instead of owing money for the bill, the Zoo

Live Penguin Cams and more
California Academy of Sciences

Famous grizzly mother and daughter swap a cub
Little-seen adoption an example of animal altruism, expert says.
Two famous grizzly bear mothers have swapped a cub in Grand Teton National Park in what might best be described as an example of animal altruism, biologists said this week.
The roadside family drama of grizzly mothers 399 and 610 and their total of five cubs-of-the-year unfolded in front of thrilled crowds near Willow Flats last week.
Grizzly 399 and her daughter from 2006, grizzly 610, have previously been seen with three cubs and two cubs, respectively.
“People started observing a bear with yellow ear tags with three cubs,” said Steve Cain, Grand Teton senior wildlife biologist. “The folks observing immediately jumped to the conclusion that we had captured 399 and put yellow ear tags in her.”
But, the bear with yellow ear tags was actually 610. The grizzly appears to have adopted an additional cub.
“Very shortly after that, independently, 399 was observed with only two cubs,” Cain said.
The cub swap likely occurred sometime between July 16 and July 20, local wildlife photographer Tom Mangelsen said.
On July 16, Mangelsen shot pictures of 610 with her two cubs. Four days later, Mangelsen photographed what he thought was 399 and her three cubs chasing elk in some willows on July 20. When

763 koalas hurt in a year
BLAIR is the luckiest – or unluckiest – koala in Australia, depending on how you look at it.
The furry-eared little fellow is one of a huge influx of koalas being treated at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.
This is the fourth time Blair has needed the help of vets.
He was once mauled by a dog, twice hit by a car and is now fighting off cystitis, a urinary tract infection.
Wildlife vet Dr Amber Gillett said koalas were in the middle of their breeding season and there was a worrying number needing hospital treatment.
Blair is one of more than 763 koalas admitted in the past 12 months, making up a massive chunk of the 3300 wildlife patients

We're on the trail of the big cats of Banffshire
THERE is a great fascination with big cats. They're mysterious, rarely photographed, but tall tales are often told of a fleeting glimpse in the countryside or in the glare of car headlights at night on a rural road.
Last week the Banffshire Journal reported on a Whitehills family who believe they spotted a big cat in woods at Fochabers. According to Jane and Steven Watt, it was very large, with a long black tail, and was lying over a tree branch about 100 feet off the ground.
It was an impressively detailed account, with a photo, albeit from fairly far off, to back up their comments.
The latest in a long line of sightings over the years - speculating on panthers, pumas, lynxes and jaguars - it follows on from a recent spate in Moray, which is causing a delegation from the Big Cats in Britain organisation to plan a fact-finding visit next month. No doubt they will be keen to follow the trail into Banffshire.
This week we carry the remarkable story of a crofter near Cornhill who is compiling a fascinating dossier on what he believes is a wildcat and her cub. There may be

Man-elephant conflict now a concern for Bodoland too
The man-elephant conflict is no longer restricted to upper Assam. Felling of trees and clearing of woods in the Manas Tiger Reserve has led the problem to spread to Bodoland as well.
People at a Khoir and Shishu tree plantation site near Saragaon village in Kokrajhar have been living in terror as a wild elephant has strayed into the area on Sunday night.
The pachyderm entered the village after midnight while grazing on maize fields. No destruction of property has been reported yet. The animal then entered the plantation area spread across over 450 bighas on the banks of Saralbhanga. Estranged from its herd, the aminal has been roaming around in the area for the last three days.
About 31 families from the Saragaon village have formed an NGO - Rwdwmshri - with one member from each family in 2001, and started the plantation on the banks

Inside a tiger farm: 'Vanguard' Dispatches from the Field
In this dispatch from the field, correspondent Adam Yamaguchi tapes his own raw reaction to seeing first-hand a massive tiger farm in China where over 1,500 animals are being held -- likely until they die, when their parts are far more valuable.
For the episode "Tiger Farms," Yamaguchi goes undercover to investigate China's lucrative black market for tigers and tiger parts, including the business of Asian zoos and breeding centers.
"Tiger Farms" premieres Tuesday, July 26 at 9/8c on Current TV. For

The Terrible Truth About Tiger Farms

Tiger Farming Exposed

If Tiger Farms Were To Close

Editorial: Reforms Needed For Heavy-Handed Touching Exhibits At Public Aquariums
When's the last time you visited an aquarium that had a touching exhibit? Touching exhibits let guests to use their own hands to touch sharks, sting rays, starfish, and many other small aquatic animals and bring knowledge about the importance of all animals in an ecosystem, not just our pets at home. But are these aquatic animals being treated fairly and safely by the guests who visit these touching exhibits? If not, we can all do something to make this issue better.
Touching exhibits, such as the one in Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey, have delicate and fragile aquatic species being mishandled, grabbed out of the water, and poked at. All of these issues can cause serious harm to the aquatic animals in the exhibit and to the visitors themselves that do these kinds of things. These aquatic animals are not our pets but wild animals that cannot be tamed or handled excessively by h

Tortoise sanctuary reclassified as a zoo by health and safety officials faces closure after it can't shell out for expensive licence
Britain's only dedicated tortoise sanctuary has been served with a 35 day closure notice - after council officials reclassified it as a zoo.
The Tortoise Garden in the rural village of Sticker, Cornwall caters for around 400 unwanted, abandoned or poorly tortoises, many of which would die without help.
They are cared for by owner Joy Bloor, 68, who set up the facility in her back garden around 12 years ago

Horror zoo says chaining elephants is for training purposes
THE zoo at the centre of a cruelty storm last night claimed it chained up baby elephant Paloh as part of her training.
Horrific pictures of the two-year-old with her front feet chained tightly together have shocked animal lovers around the world and led to calls for the ­Malaysian zoo to be shut down.
The protests of thousands of Mirror readers have been sent on to officials at Johor zoo.
But, as messages poured in to the London embassy as well as ­government officials in Malaysia, Paloh’s zookeepers claimed she was being restrained to stop her injuring keepers.
They said: “The elephant is currently undergoing training to prevent it from becoming ­aggressive. This is to enable the keepers to handle it accordingly, especially during feeding and routine ­veterinary inspection.”
They also claimed: “The baby elephant is allowed to roam freely between training sessions.”
But the excuses have been rejected by Sean Whyte, of charity Nature Alert, which has fought to bring the cruel ­treatment of animals at the zoo – including chain-smoking orangutan Shirley – to world ­attention. He said: “Our investigators ­monitored the elephant. What we r

Johor Zoo

previous news:

Johor Zoo Offers Animals For Sale

What is the truth about Johor Zoo?

Zoo inmates facing pollution threat
Forest Department personnel assigned for maintenance and protection of several species of animals in Manipur Zoological Garden, Iroisemba are reportedly working round the clock to ensure safety and wellbeing of the animals as flood water which have invaded the complex are posing threat to the animals. ruling out possibility of welcoming visitors at least for some days if not weeks, some personnel of Manipur Zoological Garden said all the birds and animals are safe inside the zoo premises even though the only approach road and low lying areas inside the complex are still under flood water.
Pointing out that absence of an effective mechanism to drain excess water from Lamphelpat is the chief factor for Manipur Zoological Garden frequently facing problem of flooding during monsoon, they said insecticides such as spraying of bleaching power and Phenyl are being undertaken to prevent outbreak of water-borne diseases.
They also emphasised

State monitor for zoos
The state government has decided to set up a regional zoo authority to monitor the state-run and private zoos in Bengal.
“All the zoos will soon be brought under the control of the West Bengal State Zoo Authority. The new body will comprise eight government officials and five representatives of the civil society, who will co-ordinate between different departments,” said forest minister Hiten Burman.
“The private zoos will not directly be under this authority. But if they violate the guidelines of the central zoo authority, the body will have the power to act against them,” the minister added.
The previous Left Front government had also planned to set up a body to oversee management of the zoos following the theft of marmosets from Alipore zoo in August 2009.
There are 11 government-run zoos across the state, including Alipore Zoological Gardens and Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in Darjeeling. Of the five privately controlled zoos, two are snake parks.
Burman also said the 771 vacant forest guard posts

Wolves: now at our door
Canis lupus is on the march through Europe. Will Britain's home counties echo to howls of outrage?
For centuries a war against wolves was fought across Europe and beyond, to rid the land of what was characterised as a vicious killer of livestock – and a creature that emerged from the wilderness to attack people. But now wolves are making a comeback in western Europe.
They have returned to France, and, according to shepherds, have moved into Albania from Greece. From Sweden they have sought new territories to bolster Norway's small population. Animals from eastern Europe have arrived in Germany. And Spanish and Italian packs are spreading. A Dutch businessman has bought land in Scotland and announced plans to re-introduce wolves to a country where none have been seen since for centuries. And they migrate: one day wolves instead of foxes could be rifling through the bins of Surrey or Kent.
These returns and the "right" of return are a contentious and emotional issue. For some it is an indication of a re-wilding of European landscapes that should be celebrated. Others express anger that a "ruthless killer" is being allowed to return to places that have long been safe from its predations.
In the popular imagination no other wild animal threatened humans in the ways that wolves did – illustrated by


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