Thursday, August 25, 2011

Zoo News Digest 20th - 25th August 2011 (Zoo News 781)

Zoo News Digest 20th - 25th August 2011 (Zoo News 781)

Painting by George Stubbs

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleague,

I was trying to avoid the story about the elephant and the stool. Why? Well it is a cute story but it is hardly news. It was when I saw "That eureka moment is the first evidence that pachyderms can run problem-solving scenarios in their heads, then mentally map out an effective solution, and finally, put the plan into action, researchers say." Rubbish "first evidence!" Go on researchers get out your little black books and go and speak to elephant keepers wherever they are. You will have all the "first evidence" you will ever need. I feel the same when I read 'firsts' for primate behaviour. Fot instance in the article "Chimpanzees Are Altruistic Animals" Elephant and Primate Keepers have known about these all along.

Much to my regret I will not be attending the SEAZA meeting in Pattaya next month. Nor will I be in Thailand. Pity... but no doubt a relief to some.
My thanks for the two recent donations. Much appreciated. Been a bit tied up this week but I will respond privately in the next day or so.

There are several people waiting for their Zoo Biology memberships to be approved. There is good reason for the delay. Read HERE for an explanation.

Please would someone who has visited Hanoi Zoo in the past twelve months please contact me privately. Thank You.


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Yowl! Madhya Pradesh to welcome 60 African cheetahs

Come December and the forests of Madhya Pradesh might just get resounding with the yowls of cheetahs. That's when the state government will bring in six of these slender felines - the first in a lot of 60 - from Africa.

Cheetahs are extinct in India, but now they will roam the Palpur-Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in Sheopur district.
"The Palpur-Kuno has been selected for Project Cheetah and in the first lot, six (both male and female) cheetahs would be brought from South Africa," Madhya Pradesh Forest Minister Sartaj Singh told IANS.
The cheetah, said to be the world's fastest animal, was once found in good numbers in India, but has been non-existent in the country since 1940. It is found in Africa and the Middle East.
The cheetah can run at speeds between 112 and 120 km per hour (70 and 75 metre per hour). With black stripes running from the eyes to the mouth, a long tale and a tawny gold spotted coat, the animal is a picture of grace, particularly when in motion.
The ancient history of India is filled with stories and pictures in which cheetahs have been shown in the company of goddesses and kings. The project to reintroduce it in India is in its final stages.
Soon there will be 60 of them in the state, said

How the humans benefit from having a zoo
EVERY month, some 18,000 visitors walk through the grounds of Dalton’s zoo.
And around 50 businesses in the South Cumbria area provide services or products to the attraction.
Looking at the figures, the zoo spends around £1m a year; filling its toilet roll holders, providing its herds with bales of hay, making meals for visitors and putting down dishes of dry food for its ever-growing animal population.
Food for the animals alone represents a huge spend, as the zoo’s Karen Brewer explained.
She said: “Our penguins, giant otters and birds eat their way through 40 kilos of fish a day – that’s 14,600 kilos a year. Our giant otters are fussy eaters and will only eat fresh water roach so our fish order has to be specific for them.
“Our carnivores – jaguars, lions, tigers and fennec foxes munch their way through 200 kilos of meat a week; that’s 10,400 kilos a year plus 45 chickens a week – 2,340 a year!
“We buy our snakes about six rats a month and our ever – growing herd of rhinos and giraffes munch their way through three quarters of a bale of hay a day – that’s 273 huge bales of hay a year.
"Our primates, with the help of local supermarkets – Asda, Morrisons and Tesco, eat their way through 25,000 tons of fresh fruit and vegetables every year.”
In total the animals go through 95,000kg of dry food every year, most of which comes from Broughton Supplies and requires careful delivery.
Karen said: “Our last hay delivery was for 55 bales and it took one trained forklift driver one-and-a-half hours to offload.”
A new disabled toilet and baby-changing facility provided business to a number of local firms. Karen said: “Our maintenance team has been working alongside Hecol to install new green energy-efficient heaters, the Plastic Man for all the windows and doors for the new building; Wareings supply us with the panels for the building; The Plumb Centre will supply the new toilets and City Electrical Factors are supplying us cable to upgrade our security cameras in the Lion house.”
Food supplies for the zoo’s café also represents a big spend.
Karen said: “On a busy day in the café we can go through 48 bags of chips, 150 baguettes, 100 burgers, buns and cheese slices

Infant stress in monkeys has life-long consequences
Baby monkeys grew up anxious and anti-social after the stress of separation from their mothers, a study says.
It suggests changes to the brains of infant monkeys may be irreversible, and the study could be a model for humans.
An early shock to the system may leave the monkeys prone to a life of anxiety, poor social skills and depression.
But the work could point the way to better management and treatment of those who live with a legacy of "early adversity".
The report, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that rhesus monkey babies do not fully recover from the stress of being separated from their mothers at birth.
Some baby monkeys had to be cared for separately if they were at risk from an inexperienced mother


14th and 15th October 2011

Alexandra Palace, London

Navy releases 800 turtles for HM the Queen’s birthday
The Royal Thai Navy released 800 turtles and 80,000 fish into Sattahip Bay to honor HM Queen Sirikit as she celebrates the start of her 80th year.
Adm. Narong Thesvikaal, commander of the Royal Thai Fleet, presided over the release of the mostly juvenile green turtles at the Sea Turtle Conservation Center Aug. 11, a day before the queen’s 79th birthday. More than 2,500

Turtle Conservation in Thailand

Fearing a Planet Without Apes
VIEWERS of this summer’s Hollywood blockbuster “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” may be surprised to learn that before our earliest ancestors arrived on the scene roughly seven million years ago, apes really did rule the planet. As many as 40 kinds roamed Eurasia and Africa between 10 and 25 million years ago. Only five types remain. Two live in Asia, the gibbon and orangutan; another three, the chimpanzee, bonobo and gorilla, dwell in Africa. All five are endangered, several critically so. All may face extinction.
A decade ago, Congress stepped forward with a relatively cheap but vitally important effort to protect these apes through innovative conservation programs in Africa and Asia that combined taxpayer dollars with private money. But attempts to reauthorize the Great Apes Conservation Fund have gotten stuck in Congress and may become a victim of the larger debate over the national debt.
Hollywood’s depiction of apes as cunning — if not conniving — creatures comes close to reality. Fifty years ago, Jane Goodall’s observations of chimpanzees’ using tools and eating meat demonstrated just how similar apes are to humans. Subsequent fieldwork has underscored this point.
Gibbons, long thought to be monogamous, occasionally mate with individuals outside their group. Orangutans fashion tools to extract seeds that are otherwise difficult to obtain. Gorillas engage in conversational vocal exchanges. Bonobos appear to have sex not only to reproduce but also to relieve stress. Male chimpanzees form coalitions to kill their neighbors and take over their territory. If all of this seems human, there is a good reason: The apes are our closest living relatives, and in anatomy, genetics

Quarters For Conservation (Great Idea)

The Adelaide Zoo may change its name
ADELAIDE Zoo is considering breaking with a 128-year tradition by rebranding itself as "Conservation Ark" under a plan to ease its $24 million debt.
Zoos SA, which runs the beloved Adelaide institution along with Monarto Zoo and Warrawong Sanctuary, has used the potential new moniker for its conservation and research projects since 2008.
However, the Sunday Mail understands management has started consulting with key stakeholders, including tourism representatives and media partners, about the change predicted to take place early next year.
Zoos SA was asked several times by the Sunday Mail to confirm the rebranding plan, but on each occasion failed to provide a clear answer.
A spokeswoman for Zoos SA said it "is considering a number of changes but is unable to comment further".
"For a number of years there have been ongoing discussions about whether the organisation would benefit from a re-branding exercise," a statement

A Day with the Elephants at the Calgary Zoo

It seems more zoos have forgotten than have remembered
It costs nothing tp participate and yet can really make difference
What Is Your Zoo Doing? Anything? Really?

There is a list on the website of participating zoos. If you hold vultures and your zoo is not there you really have to question your raison d'etre

Home sought for last bear at shuttered NC zoo
The Faircloth Zoo in Brunswick County has been closed for years, but it still has a very large, and hairy reminder of its past.
Shadow, a black bear, is the zoo's last resident, and needs a new home.
The Star News of Wilmington reports ( that efforts to find a new lodging for the animal have so far been unsuccessful.
Pender County bear enthusiast Howard Loughlin has been calling zoos and other institutions, but hasn't had much luck.
Gary Evans of the Lynwood Park Zoo in Jacksonville says he'd like to bring Shadow there, but building an enclosure

Zion faces further mauling as access is cut
A bid to bankrupt Zion Wildlife Gardens operator Patricia Busch has been scheduled to be heard in the Whangarei High Court tomorrow.
A court spokesman confirmed a hearing had been set down for 10am. The spokesman would not reveal who was taking the case against Busch or the sum sought.
But Sunday News understands the action has been brought by a former employee and involves a sum of about $20,000. The scheduled hearing comes as visitor access to the Northland big cat park has been restricted. Pre-booked guided tours of Zion were still taking place this week but casual visits were suspended.
An online posting says the park will make a "status update" tomorrow on whether the gates will be reopened to drive-by visitors, or if all tours will be cancelled while receivers consider the park's financial records.
PricewaterhouseCoopers were appointed as receivers last month by Rabobank. Busch had taken mortgages with the rural bank on properties she owned in a bid to save Zion. Meanwhile, Busch's lawyer Evgeny Orlov said he had approached the Government on her behalf in an attempt to save Zion and its big cats – lions, tigers, cheetahs and a leopard.
Orlov said he was aiming to set up a charitable trust, which would include a London-based "zoo specialist", plus members of the Busch family, including Patricia and probably her daughter Megan – who works at Zion.
But he said no invitation would be extended to his

ABWAK Annual Symposium 2012

Call for Presentations

ABWAK is holding its 2 day Annual Symposium at Bristol Zoological Gardens on the 03rd and 04th March 2012. The theme of the symposium is professional development and showcasing the work of zoo keepers in big and small collections.

This is an opportunity for animal keepers to share their knowledge with other keepers in a friendly environment. We are inviting oral presentations on subjects ranging from husbandry techniques, enclosure design, innovative environmental enrichment and new ideas in animal diets. Preference will be given to zoo keepers working in the UK and Ireland, but we also encourage students and other zoo professionals as well.

Presentations would normally be no longer than 20 minutes, with time for questions. A brief outline/abstract of your presentation should be submitted and you will be informed if your presentation has been accepted.

The outline/abstract should include:




A/V equipment required

Summary of presentation (no more than 300 words).

Deadline is 30th September 2011.

Please submit abstracts to Ross Snipp,

UK to lead international rhino horn clampdown
The UK has secured an international agreement to curb the illegal trade in rhino horn, which is now being sold for more than diamonds, gold and cocaine.
Britain will lead global talks to fight myths about the curative powers of the product, amid what conservationists have warned is a "poaching crisis".
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said the trade was "cruel and archaic".
The agreement was reached at the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Geneva.
There is so much demand for rhino horn that it is now worth £50,000 a kilo.
'Peddled myths'
As part of the agreement, policing techniques and awareness campaigns will be shared by countries and conservation groups.
Experts say myths that rhino horn can cure cancer or help remedy strokes are fuelling demand for it in Asia.
Ms Spelman said: "Criminals trading in rhino horn have lined their pockets while bringing this magnificent animal to the brink of extinction, but their days are now numbered.
"We will be leading global action to clamp down on this cruel and archaic trade, and to dispel the myths peddled to vulnerable people that drive demand for rhino products."
The UK will support a workshop in South Africa in September to help develop better co-operation between countries where rhinos are poached and countries where their horns are sold.
Last September, after the UK's Animal Health agency detected a rise in the number of rhino horn products being sold through auction houses in Britain, it issued a

Elephant Makes a Stool—First Known Aha Moment for Species
Eureka! Burst of insight may redefine elephant intelligence.
In an apparent flash of insight, a young Asian elephant in a zoo turned a plastic cube into a stool—and a tool—a new study says.
That eureka moment is the first evidence that pachyderms can run problem-solving scenarios in their heads, then mentally map out an effective solution

Chimpanzees Are Altruistic Animals, Study Finds
Chimpanzees have been found to be genuinely altruistic animals that care about the welfare of others -- denying previous claims characterizing them as self-regarding, according to a new study.
While humans have widely been known to demonstrate altruistic manners and generosity toward others, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) were previously known as "reluctant altruists," only sharing and looking out for others when pressured.
Studies conducted in the past confirming the selfish nature of chimpanzees contradicted field studies, since chimps are frequently observed in nature unselfishly sharing with others similar to humans.
"For the past decade we have lived through the curious situation -- frustrating for many chimpanzee fieldworkers and observers -- that chimps are well known for spontaneous acts of altruism, yet have not shown the same tendencies in well-controlled experiments," said lead author Frans de Waal, a primatologist at Emory University.
Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta decided to construct a simplified experiment to prove chimpanzees indeed have a prosocial

Iberian lynx 'not doomed' by low genetic diversity
One of the world's most endangered cats, the Iberian lynx, may not be doomed by its tiny population size.
About 250 are thought to exist in the wild, putting the species at risk of low genetic diversity and inbreeding.
But new research suggests that the lynx has had little genetic variability over the last 50,000 years, and this has not hampered its long-term survival.
The study is published in the journal Molecular Ecology.
The authors say that the findings should offer hope to conservationists who are trying to pull this critically endangered cat back from the brink of extinction.
Love Dalen, from the Swedish Museum of Natural History, said: "This indicates that some species

Veteran conservationist J C Daniel dead
Veteran conservationist and Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) Vice-President J C Daniel died today at a hospital in Mahim here. He was 84.
He was recently diagnosed with cancer and died at 10 PM, BNHS sources told PTI.
This is another loss to the conservation movement in India after the demise of BNHS President B G Deshmukh on August 7.
Daniel was associated with BNHS as a researcher since the 1950s. He had worked as the director of the Society and later as head of various sub-committees.
He was the mentor at BNHS in many ways and had worked on various projects involving conservation at various levels including for elephants and the big cats.
He has authored various books such as 'The Book of Indian Reptiles and Amphibians', 'Cassandra of Conservation', 'Petronia', 'A

Zoo considers chimp breeding plan
A zoo is hoping to start a new chimpanzee breeding programme 23 years after its last arrivals.
Chippy and his half-sister Rosie, both 23-years-old, have had blood samples taken to find out if they are part of a rare group.
They were anaesthetised for the procedure at Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park in Stirlingshire and their blood will be sent to Denmark for DNA analysis.
Park manager Gary Gilmour said hair samples were taken from the chimps last year to check their DNA but it did not give an accurate reading.
He said: "It did indicate that our chimps could be a sub species of western chimpanzees - pan troglodytes verus. They are quite rare, with not many in zoos in Europe."
Mr Gilmour said the tests were being undertaken because the park wanted to bring in a female to breed with Chippy after the

Smithsonian closes museums, zoo after earthquake
All of the Smithsonian Institution museums on the National Mall have been closed in the wake of an earthquake centered in Virginia that shook the nation's capital.
Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough said Tuesday that staffers are examining the buildings for damage, and no injuries were reported.
Clough, who is an earthquake engineer, said a main concern is the Smithsonian Castle, the red, gothic-style building that was constructed in 1857.
He said he was meeting with his

Zoo mystery: How did apes and birds know quake was coming?
Her name is Iris, and with her straight, elegant, red-orange hair she is beyond dispute the prettiest orangutan at the National Zoo. She’s calm, quiet, unflappable. “Iris lives the life of a queen,” says great-ape keeper Amanda Bania.
On Tuesday afternoon, the queen lost her cool.
It happened a little before 2 p.m. Primate keeper K.C. Braesch was standing just a few feet away when Iris emitted a loud, guttural cry, known to scientists as belch-vocalizing

AQUARAMA (Interesting read)

No junk inside those trunks
The Elephant Orchestra is back, delivering some unique sounds
The Thai Elephant Orchestra, resident at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang, has returned to the studio for their third and, allegedly, final album. Handel may have beaten them to the title, but the music the elephant ensemble offer here has less to do with the River Thames than with our seasonal rains, at least if we go by the titles of the individual pieces on the programme (were the elephants consulted about these?).
As in the two previous releases, the ensemble is more a chamber group than an orchestra. The packaging lists 14 elephant performers, but although the individual players are not listed for each track, I get the impression that it is only rarely, if ever, that all of them play at once. The elephants perform primarily on percussion instruments, some built especially for them, although the reedy sound of a harmonica-like instrument sometimes shines through the drumming and chiming.
This third programme is, in a way, the purest of the three because human participation is at a minimum, with almost all of the music-making left to the elephants themselves. But one exception, and a beautiful one, can be heard in the opening pieces, Invocation, when mahout Boonyang Boonthiam intones a healing riak khwan chant, after an introduction of ringing percussion sounds. The accompaniment gradually diversifies to include wood sonorities and weighty thuds.
Six minutes into the track the chant ends, and the elephants are one their own. The texture quickly thickens to included tam-tam like crashes and sizzling cymbal-like interjections. At times the animals become so exuberant that they join in with chirps, roars and barks, and at the end the instruments drop away completely in favour of the elephant vocals. Humans are heard again playing rainsticks in the second and third pieces on the programme (Rainsticks proved unsuitable for the elephant trunk, a note on the disc's packaging explains.).
Each of the tracks has a different sound and mood

Chester Zoo staff to help build orangutan bridges
We all know orangutans like to swing, but did you know they can't swim?
A team from Chester Zoo is travelling to Malaysian Borneo, south-east Asia, to build special orangutan bridges.
The forests where the primates live are becoming smaller and smaller due to deforestation, so it's becoming harder for them to get about.
By building the bridges, it's hoped the orangutans will be able to cross rivers that used to keep them trapped in one area.
Chester Zoo's Nick Davis said: "The worry is that the forest out there has been so fragmented that the orangutans can't move

Finally, cops file charge sheet in zoo case after 370 days
Finally, the beleaguered Sitabuldi police have filed a formal charge sheet in the case of the secret burial of a deer and an emu in the Maharajbagh zoo last year, after 370 days.
TOI had consistently pursued the matter about how police was going slow and not filing a charge sheet despite the fact that it had all the relevant papers ready. On August 16, 25 volunteers of People for Animals (PFA), working for animal welfare, had also protested in front of the police station against cops' inaction. PFA had exposed the case on August 13, 2010.
TOI had consistently pursued the matter about how police was going slow and not filing a charge sheet despite the fact that it had all the relevant papers ready. On August 16, 25 volunteers of People for Animals (PFA), working for animal welfare, had also protested

ZOO’s PRINT Magazine
August 2011 | Vol. XXVI | No. 8 | Date of Publication 21 August 2011

Aquarium opens full-scale animal medical facility
A hospital equipment company with a location in Charleston has donated an operating suite to the S.C. Aquarium for its recently finished full-scale animal medical facility.
“South Carolina Aquarium staff work around-the-clock caring for our exhibit animals, including fish, sharks, sea turtles, birds, reptiles and even invertebrates,” the aquarium said in a news release. The aquarium said the medical facility is designed to help the staff handle the diversity of patients.
The nearly 800-square-foot treatment area, which is within the aquarium building, includes an operating suite donated by Berchtold Corp., a treatment and necropsy area, a pharmacy, a radiology room and the staff veterinarian’s office.
The S.C. Aquarium is one of few in the country to have a medical facility, the news release said. The facility was made possible through a gift from an anonymous donor, a gift by H. Dell Shutte Jr. and family and the donation by Berchtold Corp., the aquarium said.
“Caring for animals is at the heart of the aquarium’s mission,” Kevin Mills, aquarium president and CEO, said. “This generous contribution from Berchtold will help us provide state-of-the-art medical care for the 7,000 animals in our collection, not to mention the sick and injured sea turtles that undergo rehabilitation and recovery at the aquarium.
Berchtold offered technical assistance and support

Zion Wildlife Gardens in liquidation
Zion Wildlife Gardens has been placed into liquidation after the High Court at Whangarei today ruled the struggling business cannot pay its debts.
The park is said to owe more than $100,000, according to lawyer Phil Smith who made the application for liquidation on behalf of the Inland Revenue Department.
An official assignee will be appointed to work with receivers PriceWaterhouse Coopers.
The receivers were appointed two weeks ago after it was revealed that Zion was failing to bring in enough money to be able to continue to operate.
The issue is the latest in a long line for the park. In 2009 a handler was mauled to death by one of the park's big cats.
Access to the wildlife park has already been restricted. Pre-booked guides were still taking place last week but casual visits had been

The bloody products from the house of Unilever

Dear friends of the rainforest,

Unilever has a problem: For many of its products, the company buys palm oil from one of the most ruthless producers in Indonesia, Wilmar International. The world’s largest multinational palm oil company is notorious for illegal logging and severe human rights violations. Now, one of its subsidiaries has once again resorted to violence on the Indonesian island of Sumatra: The Brimob, a special operations force unit, was hired to destroy a whole village and shoot at the indigenous people. The reason: A man had wanted to sell palm oil fruit which the company claims to own.

The methods of its suppliers have been long known to Unilever. We want to remind the company of its responsibility, and we demand the palm oil in its products to be consistently replaced with native fats.

Please sign our letter of protest to Unilever:

One more request: The residents of the affected village are left with nothing, five of them still remain in prison. We collect donations which will be used to pay for the rebuilding of their homes, for legal fees, for the victims’ medical care and to support the protest campaigns in the provincial capital of Jambi, Sumatra.

Thank you for your support.

Yours sincerely,

Christiane Zander
Rettet den Regenwald e. V.
Hamburg, Germany
+49 40 4103804

Manila Zoo keeps endangered species
The City of Manila Monday ordered the turnover of endangered species to the Manila Zoo following their seizure during a raid on Tayuman in Tondo late evening of Wednesday.
The confiscated items which include 21 turtles, 69 talking mynahs and a serpent eagle will be brought to the Manila Zoo for safekeeping after being rescued during a raid, where the species were supposed to be sold at the Aranque market.
Traders who were caught with the alleged illegal commodities during the raid were identified as Luz Estacio, James Perolino and Jake Vargas.
Based on information, the three allegedly sold the talking mynah bird for P2,000 each while the rare serpent eagle was amounting to at least P5,000. The price of the turtle ranges from P30 to P50 pesos depending on the size.
The city government of Manila be informed the public that the trade and export of endangered species of animal is against the law. The species reportedly came from Palawan.
Estacio, Perolino and Vargas were charged with violation Republic Act 9147 at the Manila Prosecutors

Oklahoma City Zoo doesn't advocate human-ape contact
Oklahoma City Zoo officials warn the public not to have primates as pets. Their hand-feeding of a struggling chimp baby is an exception to their normal, hands-off approach to animals.
Zoo doesn't promote human-ape contact
Oklahoma City Zoo officials have now hand-raised two chimpanzees in the past few years, but they said this week that human-primate contact should always be limited.
Zookeepers have had to raise the chimps because one's mother died during child birth and the other's mother couldn't produce enough healthy milk, zoo veterinarian Dr. Jennifer D'Agostino said.
These are unusual circumstances, D'Agostino said. Zookeepers spent many days holding Siri because that's what chimp mothers do in the wild, D'Agostino said.
“We don't advocate any primates as pets,” she said. “Normally we take a very hands-off approach with their care.”
Ape supervisor Jennifer Davis said both chimps were returned to

Monkeying around in Belgian zoos brings girls out on top
A female bonobo has been named "the world's smartest ape" after beating chimpanzees distracted by male rivalry in a contest between two Belgian zoos, whose results took scientists by surprise.
The chimps, generally a more aggressive, male-dominated species than bonobos, were expected to take the title.
But the winner turned out to be a non-dominant female named Djanoa who showed proof of uncommon patience and perseverance, said Jeroen Stevens, a primatologist with the Royal Society of Zoology of Antwerp.
Or, maybe she just liked nuts more than the others, he added.
"Now the real research begins" on personality and social order and .. snack food preference in the monkey world, he said.
The match this summer was organised "above all as a game", said Stevens.
It pit the bonobo team at Planckendael Zoo in Mechelen against the chimp

Help free 10 orangutans from Malaysia’s Alcatraz prison for Orangutans?
The A’Famosa tourist park is primarily a golf resort situated about 70 miles south of Kuala Lumpur.
The ten or so (we can’t be sure if any babies have been born in the last 12 months) orangutans have been kept in cramped, dark, indoor quarters for over a year.
The government has a long history of protecting the resort from prosecution for handling illegally obtained orangutans.
The A’Famosa resort should never be allowed to keep these orangutans.
We would greatly appreciate your support in the form of signing this petition which will automatically trigger sixteen emails being sent to key government

New regulations could end all elephant rides
New rules recently adopted by the nation's animal facility oversight agency may mean the end of Six Flags Discovery Kingdom's popular elephant encounter attraction.
The new policy, approved Monday, prohibits "free contact" handling of elephants in favor of the so-called "protected-contact" elephant management method, according to information from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) website.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Director Delcianna Winders said her group's members are delighted. Officials of animal rights groups like PETA and In Defense of Animals have long objected to housing elephants at the park.
Winders said the Maryland-based association ruling appears to give Discovery Kingdom two choices: Comply with the ruling or lose its Association of Zoos & Aquariums accreditation. Complying with the ruling would almost certainly mean discontinuing the park's interactive elephant encounter program as it now exists. The elephant encounters include handlers sharing a space with the animals, allowing audience members

The Most Painful Sting in the World
What's the most painful sting in the insect world?
In the jungles of Panama Steve faced his fear and handled a mind blowingly painful stinger–the bullet ant.
A sting from most ants is nothing more than a painful nip, often with a bit of formic acid thrown in. But not the bullet ant. As its name suggests, a sting from one of these is like being shot!
In 1984, a man named Justin Schmidt published a paper in the journal Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology. He subjected himself to the stings of 78 different insects which resulted in the Schmidt Pain Index with stings rated from 0 (no effect) to a maximum of 4 (most painful). Here


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