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Lion bones off to Asia
South Africa's lions are beginning to fall prey to the lucrative east Asian black market for wildlife products, with the government authorising the export of more than 200 carcasses to Laos.
Responses to DA MP Gareth Morgan's parliamentary questions by Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa show that permits for the export of 156 lion bones were granted in 2009, increasing to 1623 in 2010. North West dominates the trade, having exported 92 carcasses in 2009 and 235 in 2010.
Of these, 256 were exported to Laos, known to be the operating base of Xaysavang Trading Export-Import company, which has been linked, in media reports, to southeast Asian wildlife trafficking syndicate.
Last month The Times reported that two Thai men had been convicted of being in possession of 59 lion bones without a permit.
A week later, Chumlong Lemtongthai, the alleged kingpin of a rhino horn syndicate and director of Xaysavang, was arrested at the same home in Edenvale.
It has since emerged that Lemtongthai allegedly used Thai prostitutes to acquire permits for fake rhino hunts.
He is currently facing charges on 52 counts of contravening environmental and biodiversity laws.
His attempt to make a plea bargain with the state collapsed at the Kempton Park Regional Court on Friday.
Xaysavang has also been involved in shipping lion bones - which are used as a substitute for tiger bones, believed to have medicinal properties - to southeast Asia.
Yolan Friedmann, CEO of the Endangered Wildlife Trust, said that the market for lion bones was becoming bigger because tiger populations in southeast Asia are severely depleted and because of the recent recession.
"There's not a good enough market to come and shoot lions [in legal hunts], so game farmers are offering bones for sale," she said.
Friedmann said that provincial environment departments, which are responsible for issuing permits in relation to threatened and endangered species such as lion and rhino, were often under-staffed, corrupt and inefficient.
"By quietly supporting this ... the government is stimulating a grossly unethical trade in animal parts," she said.
Albi Modise, spokesman for the national Department of Environmental Affairs, yesterday referred questions about the issuing of permits to provincial departments.
Asked if any national investigation into the issuing of permits at a p
See more of this in 'Lion-bone wine latest threat to survival of Africa's big cats' a link in Zoo News Digest 3rd - 10th July 2010 (Zoo News 677)
Britain urges Asia to act over surging trade in rhinoceros horn
Belief it can cure cancer has led to a huge rise in poaching of endangered animals
Britain is to ask China, Vietnam and other Asian countries to tell their citizens that rhino horn has no medicinal value, in an attempt to halt a wave of rhino poaching that may drive the endangered animals to extinction.
Although long known as a powdered ingredient in traditional Asian medicine, a recent belief in its power to cure cancer has seen prices for rhino horn surge to £50,000 a kilogram – more than the price of gold or cocaine.
The sky-high price has sparked a spate of museum burglaries in Britain and Europe, with mounted rhino trophy heads being targeted for the value of the horn. More significantly, it has directly produced a substantial surge in rhino poaching in southern Africa.
Between 2000 and 2007, South Africa saw about 12 rhinos poached each year, but by 2010 it had reached 333. This year, more than 200 have already been killed and conservationists are increasingly alarmed about the future of the species, with most of its populations already classified as critically endangered.
Now Britain is putting forward a request on behalf of the European Union for Asian nations to mount "appropriately targeted" awareness-raising campaigns for their citizens, highlighting the lack of evidence in support of the horn's alleged medicinal properties. British officials will speak at a week-long meeting, beginning in Geneva today, of the committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).
"The demand for rhino horn in traditional Asian medicine is driving a new wave of poaching and the decline of rhino populations," Richard Benyon, the UK Wildlife minister, said. "The price is now very high. But rhino horn is basically keratin, which is the same stuff as our hair and fingernails, and it has no healing properties.
"The world community cannot sit back and just watch these species disappear, and we want to help debunk the myth of rhino horn's healing powers."
Mr Benyon denied the request would be seen as interfering in the internal affairs of countries such as China and Vietnam. "I don't think it is preachy – it's just asking these counties to recognise that there
READ RHINOCEROS FARMING IN CHINA
Zoo worker bitten by Tapir
Contract worker Venkatesh, who was bitten by Tapir in City Zoo yesterday, being treated at the hospital.
A contract worker of the City Zoo was admitted to Shantaveri Gopalagowda hospital after being bitten by a Tapir yesterday.
Contract worker Venkatesh, 36, was cutting grass in the Tapir enclosure, when the animal which suddenly advanced towards him from behind, bit him on his chest and thighs, following which he was rushed to the hospital where he was administered anti-rabies vaccine.
Zoo Deputy Director Vijaykumar, who spoke to Star of Mysore, said Venkatesh is out of danger. His injuries are of minor nature for which he has been appropriately treated.
Venkatesh was a replacement to Tapir caretaker Srinivas who was on leave, he explained.
It may be recalled here that another Zoo worker Shiva-shankar had to lose one of his fingers recently after being bitten by a snake when he attempted to save tiger cubs fr
Food Festival Serves Whale Meat in Iceland
Tens of thousands descended on Dalvik, a small fishing town of about 1,500 people in northern Iceland, last weekend for a two-day festival of free food. It was all courtesy of the community’s four seafood processors.
Ulfar Eysteinsson, who is the head chef overseeing preparations in Dalvik, is credited with coining the name, fiskidagur mikli, the Great Fish Day, when it began 11 years ago.
“We are cooking for about 30,000-plus. The last three years we’ve had up to 40,000,” he said.
At quarter past eight, pairs of candles began appearing in the front of Dalvik homes, to signal that the soup was ready – a thick, aromatic fish stew made with cream and seasoned with curry. Visitors paraded through homes and gardens where the soup was served.
Valdis Gudbrandsdottir welcomed people enthusiastically into her home.
“This is so fun, this is so giving,” she said. “We are giving other people food and they are happy and we are happy. We have been doing this maybe 10 years
Philippines: Uproar over Sorry State of Manila Zoo (VERY DISTURNING PHOTO!!!)
The sorry state of Manila Zoo caused a stir among Filipino netizens after photos were posted online, resulting in the rise of the keywords “Manila Zoo” as a popular trending topic on Twitter last month.
It all began last July 12 when Nix de Pano posted circa 2008-2010 photos of sickly animals and poorly kept pens of Manila Zoo in her Livejournal blog. The next day, de Pano’s friend Karen Ang reposted some of the pictures in The Pro-Pinoy Project site:
Soon enough, the issue spread worldwide on Twitter. The keywords “Manila Zoo” became a popular trending topic while the photo post gained over a thousand retweets and reposts. It also caught the attention of some celebrities and mainstream media.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has also initiated an online petition calling on Manila City Mayor Alfredo Lim to stop plans to
In Vitro Fertilization May Help Older Cheetahs Reproduce
Good news for the dwindling cheetah population; despite aging, the eggs of cheetahs older than 8 years appear to remain in good condition, scientists have found.
"Those of us who work with cheetahs have anecdotally noted that it's hard to reproduce older cheetahs, but this is the first time anyone has documented how aging affects the physiology of reproduction in this species," said Adrienne Crosier, study author and cheetah biologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Va.
The researchers analyzed hormones, eggs and the uteri of 34 cheetahs at eight institutions, finding that cheetahs over age 8 develop abnormal cell growth, infections and cysts in their uterine tracts. These complications
As age takes its toll, zoo animals need some of the same extra care required by human seniors
The 13 oldest animals at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, with current ages and possible life expectancy. The median life expectancy of many animals hasn’t been determined; estimates can vary depending on gender.
• Bubba, an Aldabra tortoise, 64 (up to 100)
• Colo, a gorilla, above, 55 (30 to 35)
• Pongi, a gorilla, 48 (30 to 35)
• Mumbah, a gorilla, 46 (30 to 35)
The Manifesto for Zoos
Are police trying to bury the deer case?
Even though case of secret burial of a deer and emu that rocked the historic Maharajbagh Zoo completes one year on August 13, the Sitabuldi police are yet to file a formal chargesheet in the matter.
The People For Animals (PFA) had exposed the case on the night of August 13, 2010, when a deer and an exotic bird emu were buried by then zoo officer-incharge and now zoo veterinarian Dr AB Motghare and suspended associate dean Vandan Mohod.
Both are facing charges of violating Wildlife Protection Act (WPA) 1972, Recognition of Zoo Rules and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 for burying the animals without conducting a post-mortem. The duo has also been charged with negligence that led to death of two deer while relocating them to Navegaon National Park that day. No transit pass (TP), which is mandatory to shift the animals, was obtained from the forest department by the zoo officials.
Under the WPA 1972, illegal transport of Scheduled animals invites a punishment up to three years or a penalty of Rs 25,000 or both. Deer are listed under the Schedule III of the WPA. The Sitabuldi police had registered an FIR on August 14, 2010, against the
Zlín zoo second in Europe to breed Maguari stork
The Zlin zoo has become the second in Europe, after Berlin, to successfully breed a young Maguari stork, Pavel Shromazdil, from the zoo, told CTK Friday.
The young bird hatched on May 21 in an incubator where the breeders transferred the egg after the parent storks destroyed their nest and left it for unknown reasons.
The young stork is healthy and agile, Shromazdil said.
"The stork mother laid three eggs. They were the first eggs a Maguari stork ever laid in our zoo's history. The parents sat on the eggs assiduously, but after a fortnight they destroyed the nest," Shromazdil said.
Of the three eggs, only one was preserved.
The young bird, a male, that hatched from it in the incubator could not be returned to its parents who had done away with nesting meanwhile and
Release of bison into Alaska wilderness put on hold again
The re-introduction of wood bison in Alaska has been delayed for at least another year, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is paying for it.
The federal agency recently forked over $200,000 to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to maintain a captive herd of more than 100 wood bison for another year at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Girdwood south of Anchorage.
The hope is it will give federal and state agencies enough time to negotiate a special rule that will make the animals exempt from the Endangered Species Act when they are finally set loose in Alaska. The state has been holding the bison at the AWCC for more than three years as part of a plan to restore the shaggy beasts to the Alaska landscape. The Department of Fish and Game imported 53 bison from Elk Island National Park in Alberta, Canada, in June 2007 to complement a herd of 33 wood bison that were already being held at the AWCC.
The herd size has since grown to 103 with the addition of calves the past four years.
The Fish and Wildlife Service gave the state $200,000 to maintain the herd for another year “because we support the reintroduction and believe that
Mabira: Activists dare government
Conservationists yesterday vowed to take President Museveni head-on over his renewed plan to push through a proposal to give away part of Mabira Forest for sugar cane growing. Addressing district leaders and agriculturalists at Entebbe State House on Saturday, President Museveni said failure to give away the forest in 2007, is partly to blame for the current sugar crisis in the country.
However, in what might lead to a repeat of the 2007 protests against the proposed give-away in which three people were killed, activists and politicians have condemned the President’s latest move and vowed to fight
Six Talking Apes
In the new movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the leader of the ape revolution can talk. In the real world, apes can’t speak; they have thinner tongues and a higher larynx, or vocal box, than people, making it hard for them to pronounce vowel sounds. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have the capacity for language—sign language, after all, doesn’t require any vocalization.
Over the years, researchers have succeeded—and failed—in teaching apes to use language. Here’s a look at some of the more famous “talking” apes.
The one Ape the article forgot - Mr Moke the Talking Chimpanzee
Summer School for the National Zoo's Lion Cubs
OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop Brings Together Those Working to Save the Orangutan
The 2011 Orangutan Conservancy/Orangutan Veterinary Advisory Group (OC/OVAG) Workshop convened this year in the south central region of the island of Java. A sense of urgency was in the air as Indonesian rehabilitation centers have been given the time frame of 2015-2017 to release all captive orangutans back into the wild.
Whether this ambitious governmental mandate is feasible or practical remains to be seen, but the business at hand for the nearly 40 delegates in attendance at the workshop was how to best care for the orangutans in their facilities, while preparing those that can be released for what lies ahead in their wild future.
At this third annual event, information, strategies and research statistics were shared and compared. An international array of professionals including veterinarians, vet school instructors, healthcare workers, researchers, a parasitologist and a nutrition expert tackled an impressive number of subjects during the 5-day symposium. And that is the exact reason for this and previous workshops that OC has organized: bring together those doing the good
Three lion cubs found dead at zoo, one still missing
Three of the four cubs born to a pair of lions just five days back at the zoo were found dead inside their cage while the fourth one went missing in mysterious circumstances on Friday morning.
The news came as a rude shock to animal lovers who were delighted by their birth — the first lion cubs to be born at the zoological gardens in 30 years — on Sunday.
The bodies of only three cubs, one of them reportedly soaked, could be recovered from the cage where they were said to be living with their mother. The fourth one was eaten up by the lioness, according to zoo officials.
They, however, couldn’t come up with a plausible explanation about what led to the deaths of the other three. While the bodies were shifted to the zoo clinic, no post-mortem examination was carried out till late afternoon.
The pair of lions, Sarah and Alfred, ‘imported’ along with another pair of the same species, was seized by the customs authorities at the
‘Lion cubs died due to neglect’
Although District Officer (DO) Karachi Zoological Garden Mansoor Qazi has been suspended following the death of four lion cubs at the zoo, there remain many questions unanswered on the part of the zoo administration.
Minister for Local Bodies Agha Siraj Durrani suspended DO Zoo Mansoor Qazi on Saturday and constituted a committee to probe the matter under the supervision of Special Secretary Local Bodies Shazia Rizvi and submit a report in seven days. It is the second such committee that has been formed to probe the death of four cubs.
On Friday, Administrator Karachi Fazlur Rehman had appointed Executive District Officer (EDO) Revenue Ghanor Leghari as inquiry officer to conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit a report in 15 days.
Four cubs were born to a pair of African origin lions on August 7 and three of them were found dead in mysterious circumstances on August 12, while the cause of the disappearance of the fourth one was not known.
A press release issued by the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) on Friday claimed that these cubs were kept under full care and treatment. However, three of them expired and one of them was eaten up by the lioness due to its cannibalism nature.
Sources in the CDGK, however, told this scribe that these cubs died due to extreme negligence on the part of the zoo administration. It was learnt that they were kept under open sky and the last rainfall in the metropolis caused their death. They had been soaking in rainwater but the zoo administration did not take any step for their safety, as the sources said that these cubs apparently died due to pneumonia.
According to the sources, the zoo administration should have the knowledge that the lioness might
The case of the missing lion cub
The post-mortem report of the three lion cubs who died mysteriously within four days of their arrival at the Karachi Zoological Garden is expected within a week. The fate of the fourth cub, whose disappearance led to the discovery of the three deaths, is anyone’s guess.
Meanwhile, the zoo’s district officer, Mansoor Qazi, has been suspended for negligence towards the lions and Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani appointed Special Secretary Shazia Rizvi to head an inquiry into the matter.
The bodies have been put on ice, with a special generator in place in case of load-shedding. Their organs are to go to the Dow University of Health Sciences. The investigation team began its probe under the supervision of Revenue EDO Ghanwar Leghari on Saturday evening.
“The conditions that the babies were kept in were not at all hygienic and a team of experts are looking into it,” Leghari told The Express Tribune. “Everything will be clear after the post-mortem.”
The zoo is trying to pass the missing cub and the deaths of its siblings off on some form of ‘survival of the fittest’, claiming that the cubs’ mother, Sara, had tried to eat them. “The fourth missing cub is something we have to look into after the autopsy as our experts claim that the mother is captive and would not eat its own breed.”
Sindh Chief Chemical Examiner Dr Fazal Elahi Memon and the wildlife and animal husbandry team is examining the bodies.
On the other hand, the lions’ owner, Irfan Ahmed, expressed his reservations about the investigation to The Express Tribune. “The zoo has no proper preservation mechanism and by the time the post-mortem is conducted, all evidence
HC seeks report on zoo agitation
A sitting judge of the Calcutta high court has taken note of the mess caused by a prolonged trade union agitation at Alipore zoo and written to Chief Justice J N Patel, requesting him to take judicial notice of the issue. The Chief Justice has treated the letter as a PIL. The high court has asked the state zoological authority and forest department to file a report.
Since the agitation started on May 27, administrative and maintenance routines have been disrupted, animals have often gone hungry, and the zoo's renovation has almost come to a standstill. TOI highlighted the sorry state of affairs at the city's tourist hot spot in a series of articles from August 3 to 7. The high court judge
Are crawfish really lobster?
The New York media is all aflame over a shocking discovery at local institution Zabar’s. Zabar’s, an Upper West Side gourmet grocery store is justly famed for its amazing coffee, cheese, and baked goods (the chocolate babka is especially glorious). But for the last 15 years, the lobster salad has been made with freshwater crawfish – it contained no actual lobster at all.
In the New York Times story on the scandalous news, Saul Zabar, the 83-year-old president and co-owner of Zabar’s, defended this unusual labeling scheme:
Is China opening the door to the tiger and leopard skin trade?
Beijing refuses to respond to conservationists' concerns about possible re-opening of trade in tiger and leopard skins
Has China quietly reopened the trade in tiger pelts? The question was posed very publicly on Thursday by the Environmental Investigation Agency, which fears that Beijing may be backtracking on an international pledge to save this critically endangered animal.
In a press release, the conservation group accused the Chinese government of opening up a loophole in the tiger trade ban by allowing commercial breeding centres to register and sell skins.
This is a contentious claim on a crucial subject. China won international kudos for prohibiting the trade in 1993, but it remains the main source of demand for illegal tiger products and is under pressure from commercial breeders to relax controls.
The government has repeatedly re-iterated its commitment to protect the animal and curb illegal sales, most recently at last year's Tiger Summit in St Petersberg.
But it has been far from forthcoming about its efforts to enforce the ban, verify the legality of tiger products and deal with the huge stockpiles of bones and hides that are accumulating in the country's massive tiger farms.
Along with the lack of transparency is a problem of trust and either an unwillingness or an inability to communicate with the outside world, as I learned today when I tried to get the government's response to the Environmental Investigation Agency's
Elephant calf sacrificed for President’s ‘Prana Pooja’
An elephant calf has died in Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage on the 9th. The calf had been born on 16th January to the she elephant called ‘Lasanda.’ However, this elephant mother had been separated from its calf on a request by the President and was offered to Vishnu Temple at Devinuwara.
The calf, saddened by the separation from its mother, had refused to consume milk given to it instead of its mother’s milk. As a result the calf developed diarrhea
Hope for tragopan brood
The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in Darjeeling has decided to start the captive breeding of satyr and Temminck tragopans.
The zoo has received two female satyr tragopans, three female and one male temmincks about a week back from London.
Although the Paradise Wildlife Park in London had sent 10 tragopans, for birds — two male satyrs and two male temmincks — died during transit at the Singapore airport.
“The birds were kept in the sun and died from the heat. We have, however, requested the World Pheasant Association to send at least one more male satyr tragopan from the Paradise Wildlife Park in London,” said A.K. Jha, the director of the zoo.
The transfer of the pheasants was facilitated by the association. Until and unless a male reaches the Darjeeling zoo, the breeding of satyr cannot
Lion Man looks to move feline stars elsewhere
LION Man Craig Busch is proposing to take all big cats at Zion Wildlife Gardens to another location if he does not regain control of the park.
A day after receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers gained entry into the park, Mr Busch said he was keen to resolve the financial and operational problems at Zion to save the animals.
He said he had put forward three proposals to the receivers but his mother and park operator Patricia Busch said the receivers told her on Thursday they had not heard from him.
A spokeswoman for Mr Busch, Jill Albrow, said the Lion Man had made a negotiable unconditional cash offer to the receivers.
"If they do not wish to sell to Craig, he has put a proposal to take all 37 cats to another location," Ms Albrow said.
"Craig has also offered to lease the park from the receivers immediately, to be at the park and pay for the care and welfare of the cats while these issues can be settled."
Ms Albrow said the receivers did not dispute that they had no legal right to possession of the cats.
Mr Busch understood the receivers had a legal duty to perform
Lion Man's Zion bid
Lion Man Craig Busch wants to open talks with receivers to regain control of the big cats at Zion Wildlife Gardens.
Receivers Pricewaterhouse-Coopers were allowed into the Whangarei park this week after being kept at bay by Craig's mother Patricia, who has had control after an acrimonious split with her son.
A spokeswoman for Craig Busch, Jill Albrow, said his lawyer Noel King, of Auckland, had contacted the receivers with three proposals, including a negotiable unconditional cash offer for the park.
"If they do not wish to sell to Craig, he has put a proposal to take all 37 cats to another location," Albrow said.
"Craig has also offered to lease the park from the receivers immediately, to be at the park and pay for the care and welfare of the cats while these issues can be settled."
The receivers have refused to discuss
Ownership key in fate of big cats
The big cats at the financially stricken Zion Wildlife Park will most likely be sold by the receivers if they secure their ownership through the High Court, a specialist Whangarei liquidator says.
The park, understood to be in the red by $2 million, went into receivership two weeks ago but operator Patricia Busch has been allowed by the High Court to look after the animals.
Whangarei liquidator Steve Bennett, however, doubted a local market existed for the animals whose unknown health could also pose problems during the sale process.
He said a major obstacle would be to identify the owners of the big cats.
Former Lion Man and park operator Craig Busch claim the cats belong to him and has a court injunction that says the animals cannot be disposed off without a judge's consent.
But his mother, Patricia Busch, said the court had yet to decide on their ownership.
Mr Bennett said once the receivers proved ownership of the animals, they would then have to apply to the High Court for the injunction to be lifted before potential buyers were approached.
"They'll [the big cats] probably be sold but it's not something for which you bring a stock agent and say 'I've got five tigers for sale' so that will pose some problems," Mr Bennett said.
"The receivers may sell off land, building and the business as one package or may also include the animals but it's quite difficult."
Mr Bennett said if he was the receiver, he would approach someone who had the licence to sell wildlife animals and recoup some money.
As for Mr Busch's desire to buy back the park, Mr Bennett said the only trap was if there was a restrictive clause in the origin
Environmental Enrichment for Captive Tigers (Panthera Tigris)
Royal bengel tiger is the National animal of India having a conservation status (schedule I animal under wildlife protection act of india, 1973 and endengered under IUCN). The wild population is declining day by day and the current existing population in the wild in india is only 1114. Zoos play a role in consevation by promoting programmes like captive briding. But for a successful conservation programme behavioural diversity of endangered genetic diversity in captivity should also be conserved which will helpful for reiintroduction in to there natural wild habitat.
Zoo food quiz
Can you match the zoo animals with the food they eat?
Breastfeeding at the zoo: Taboo?
A woman says she was breastfeeding at the Houston Zoo when she was told to feed her baby in private, but moms who breastfeed in public are protected by state law.
The zoo is now apologizing for one of its employees who may have acted out of her own passion.
It's a sensitive topic, and everyone has an opinion.
"If you got to do it, you got to do it. I mean, just keep it covered," mother Jessica Millirons said.
"You can't be offended. That's natural. That's part of the world," father Dennis Garner said.
But one out-of-town mother who was visiting the Houston Zoo on Friday says she was offended by a zoo employee.
"One of the ladies that works there came up and said that they didn't like moms to do that in public," Michelle Page explained.
Page says she was embarrassed when the zoo employee asked her to move her breastfeeding session into
Please follow proper zoo etiquette
Did you know that over 135 million people visit zoos in the United States and Canada?
When you think about it, that's a lot of people for the staff of each zoo, including the Magnetic Hill Zoo, to look after and assure they are adhering to the "rules" of the zoo.
Now, you're probably wondering, "Zoos have rules?"
The answer is yes, they do.
It's not as if these rules have been written down in a book that sits in the main entrance building and every zoo patron is required to read through it and follow each one, but there are a considerable number of unwritten rules in every zoo that are in place to help protect both visitors and the animals.
First, tapping on the glass of an animal exhibit at zoos and aquariums has become a major problem. Those who enjoy visiting the zoo should know that the animals that reside there are there to show us their natural instincts. That means that if an animal is sleeping when you get around to their exhibit, it's because that's what it would be doing in its natural habitat. Tapping on the glass, or rattling the fence to wake up a sleeping animal will probably only frustrate them. Think of it this way, if you were fast asleep, comfortable in you bed, and someone started tapping on your
Zoo mortalities common, often hushed up
It is not only the four lion cubs that fell victim to the utter negligence of the zoo staff in recent times, mortalities especially of newborns are common at the zoo and are often hushed up, inquiries by Dawn reveal.
Sources said four newborns of a fallow deer and a male baboon had also died in captivity over a month ago.
Though no official account was available on these deaths, the source said the death of newborns due to navel infections was a common occurrence at the zoo while animals were vulnerable to eating plastic bags and wrappers thrown into their cages by visitors.
Earlier this year, a complete herd of mouflons (two male and four female), a male fallow deer, a male ostrich and a female crocodile also reportedly died at the zoo. The herd of mouflons, reportedly sick, vanished in 11 days.
Zoo officials, as usual, didn’t respond to repeated calls made to inquire about the deaths.After the loss of these animals, the number of ostriches and crocodiles fell to three (two females and a male) and 18 (kept in the same enclosure), respectively.
There are, however, more than 30 fallow deer in the zoo.
According to zoo sources, ostriches have been at the zoo for over six years. And though the birds have been laying eggs, no one has ever seen a chick around. The zoo also never witnessed a growing big cats’ cub for at least three decades despite the fact that it once had a good collection of big cats that included a pair of lions, pumas and tigers and leopards.
The zoo lost them one by one, and right now it is left with only three male lions and Bengal tiger and leopard. On Friday, three lion cubs, barely five days old, born to a pair of lions whose custody is currently being contested in court, were found dead at
the zoo on Friday. One cub, according to zoo officials, was eaten up by its mother.
Non-friendly conditions for animals at the zoo and frequent mortalities point to the fact that the facility for captive animals lacks competent, trained staff as well as adequate funds required for animal upkeep, said experts.
‘Good management is key’
Giving specific information in the context of recent lion cubs’ death, Dr Masood-ul-Haq, who served as the director of the Bahawalpur zoo for over two decades and now works as a consultant for a number of parks
Releasing Captive Cetaceans Back Into The Wild: A Potential Death Sentence!
In 1991, the UK-based Animal Rights group Born Free Foundation, and it’s two group partners, the Switzerland-based Bellerive Foundation , and the US-based World Society for Animal Protection, began running a “return-to-the-wild” campaign called “Into the Blue”. This campaign focused on rehabilitating long-term captive dolphins for release into the wild. The campaign involved the use of three bottlenose dolphins from British aquariums. One dolphin named Rocky, was collected from the Florida panhandle in 1971. The other dolphin named Missie, was collected off the coast of Texas in 1969. And the last dolphin, named Silver, was collected off the coast of Taiwan in 1978. The three animals were moved to a sea-pen in the Turks and Caicos in February and March of 1991. There, their “rehabilitation” began. Over a six month period, the animals were simply “taught” how to eat live fish. On September 10th, 1991, all three dolphins were released after being freeze-branded. Although the three animals were seen the day after their release, Missie and Rocky would never again be seen project staff members. Since then, all sightings have been made by fishermen and tourists who were unfamiliar with the dolphins.
About less than two weeks after being released, Pacific bottlenose dolphin Silver, was sighted by project staff members. However, when he was sighted, he had already lost some weight and had a series of health problems, including an infection on his rostrum. Silver was also given both sixty pounds of food, and antibiotics by the project staff in the wild. At the same time, he had also began to associate with a “wild-friendly” dolphin named Jojo. Still, Silver was only seen from September 16th, to September 29th of 1991 and has not been sighted since then. Meanwhile, a photographic competition to produce photographic evidence of the animals continuing to survive. Therefore, the fate of the three UK aquarium dolphins Rocky, Missie and Silver remain unknown.
The release of Free Willy star Keiko is well documented. In the late 1990′s three marine animal rights groups lobbied and attempted to release Keiko back into the wild. This release project coast $20 million in tax-free donations and produced several TV documentaries. Although it’s been documented that Keiko swam all the way from Iceland to Norway, the scientific reports made by both Greenland and US officials concluded that the release of Keiko was NOT successful. About only a few weeks after being on his own, Keiko began to