Saturday, October 8, 2011

Zoo News Digest 2nd - 8th October 2011 (Zoo News 789)

Zoo News Digest 2nd - 8th October 2011 (Zoo News 789)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleague,

Many Zoos need a little more space and such expansion plans regularily appear in the press. See the link about Buttonwood today because that keeps cropping up. This week we see 'Kaohsiung mulls relocation plan for Shou Shan Zoo'. Relocation is a different matter. I'm always suspicious when I read that. I may be wrong of course but it always smells of prime development land and somebody out to make big fast profits. Which brings me to think about Surabaya zoo in Indonesia once again. That story seems to have gone very quiet. I really do wonder what they are up to. Does anybody know?

I have said on several occassions that I strongly believe that the horns of Rhinoceros should be removed prior to their sale on the open market. Lets stop the sale of 'horn on the hoof'. I am less happy that some see the need to dehorn those in the bush to deter poachers. I can see the logic but don't think it is the answer. Are there plans to de-tusk elephants as well? Probably not.
The thing that bothers me even more is that the horns of these legally de-horned Rhinos "Once removed, the horns are recorded and stockpiled in bank vaults"....why? This suggests that someone intends to sell them at some point. They should be destroyed. Now! That really would make a point.

No-one would deny the important role that Phoenix Zoo played in the Arabian Oryx story so full credit to them. What is so often skipped over and ignored however is that the Oryx never disappeared from Arabia. Whilst the breeding programme was ticking away in the US there were large and small herds of Arabian Oryx in private collections and zoos in several locations in Arabia. If no Oryx had ever gone to Phoenix they would still be here in Arabia.

My birthday passed by quite quietly the other day but I made up for it last night. It will be long remembered.

Links You May Have Missed

Zookeepers deal with the deaths of zoo animals
In the wild animal kingdom, where prey and predator must outmaneuver each other for survival, death tolls are expected.
But in the tranquil and contained quarters of a zoo, the loss of a single animal life can be jolting. For officials and visitors at the Cameron Park Zoo, an animal death can tug hard at the heartstrings.
The zoo has lost two favorite animals in as many years. In July, it euthanized Julie, an 18-year-old reticulated giraffe, because a birth deformity in her right front ankle worsened this year, making it difficult for her to walk and stand.
In 2009, 38-year-old great white rhinoceros Wrinkles died from multiple organ failures.
If it seems a puzzling task what to do with a zoo animal's remains, especially a 2-ton rhino or 20-foot-tall giraffe, the simplest option is the answer. Both are buried on-site at the zoo in a designated burial ground for large mammals.
"It's always a very sad occasion," said Terri Cox, curator for programs and exhibits at the zoo. "We give the keepers that took care of the animals time to be with them and say goodbye, just like you would if someone in your family was dying. These are animals that we've taken care of and given heart and soul to for many, many years."
But the location of the burial ground is not disclosed or accessible to the public.
Cox said unscrupulous scavengers could attempt to dig up the remains and sell the parts of endangered animals, like a rhino horn, for money on the black market.
"You just don't want to open it up for somebody

Analysis: World divided on new plan to combat global warming
A new plan to curb global warming risks becoming a battleground between rich and poor nations and could struggle to get off the ground as negotiators battle over the fate of the ailing Kyoto climate pact.
The 1997 Kyoto Protocol covers only emissions from rich nations that produce less than a third of mankind's carbon pollution and its first phase is due to expire end-2012. Poorer nations want it extended, while many rich countries say a broader pact is needed to include all big polluters.
Australia and Norway have proposed negotiations on a new agreement, but say it is unrealistic to expect that to be ready by 2013. They have set a target date two years later, in 2015.
"This is the only way ahead. There is no other way than failure," said a senior climate negotiator from a developed country on the Australia-Norway proposal, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the talks.
Developing nations insist Kyoto be extended to commit rich countries to tougher carbon cuts and fiercely resist any attempts to side-line the world's

With Deaths of Forests, a Loss of Key Climate Protectors
The trees spanning many of the mountainsides of western Montana glow an earthy red, like a broadleaf forest at the beginning of autumn.
But these trees are not supposed to turn red. They are evergreens, falling victim to beetles that used to be controlled in part by bitterly cold winters. As the climate warms, scientists say, that control is no longer happening.
Across millions of acres, the pines of the northern and central Rockies are dying, just one among many types of forests that are showing signs of distress these days.
From the mountainous Southwest deep into Texas, wildfires raced across parched landscapes this summer, burning millions more acres. In Colorado, at least 15 percent of that state’s spectacular aspen forests have gone into decline

Celebrating Plants and the Planet:

Can our relationship with plants and Nature be considered mutualistic? That depends on whether both sides benefit, doesn't it? Let's see:

October's links at  (NEWS/Botanical News) examine our connection to green things:

· Global warming is increasing the incidence of disease in coffee plants, potentially threatening our morning cup. How connected do you feel now?

· The disposable chopsticks we get at Asian restaurants come at a cost: China's forests are being cut to create bamboo monoculture plantations, and biodiversity is disappearing there. So far, no mutual benefits I guess.

· Scientists have accepted that mutualism seeks the best for both species involved. But new thinking suggests that mutualistic relationships are purely about self-interest. Now there's a language we understand!

· A study of separated remnant populations of a rare plant suggest that pollinators are more successful finding the plants if what separates the patches is farmland or timber plantations rather than diverse forest. So in a way, we all benefit.

· Highly hyperactive children (diagnosed as ADHD) have milder symptoms if they play in outdoor open green spaces (i.e., fields and lawns). So, whether or not the plants benefit from us, clearly we benefit from them.

Enough big science questions! A more practical use for science might be this: "Thirty Vertebrate Common Names Useful As Insults."

Please share these stories with associates, staff, docents and -- most importantly -- visitors! Follow on Twitter:  -- a new story every day as well as hundreds of stories from the past few years.

Taiwan Unveils World's Longest Aquarium
An impressive 33-metre-long aquarium went on display in Taipei, Taiwan on Friday at the opening ceremony of an aquarium expo.
The aquarium is believed to be the longest in the world and was built to celebrate Taiwan's centennial this year. It features scenery and landmarks from around the island and 100 species of domestic cichlid fish.
The tank holds 28 tons of water and is made of tempered glass with an extra explosion-proof layer.
The aquarium has seven sections with nearly 30 modelled landmarks, including the Yehliu Geopark at the north coast, the landmark Taipei 101 building, Taiwan's highest Jade Mountain, the Taroko National Park, and the Eluanbi Lighthouse down south. Each of the tanks is connected with a curved tank displaying waterfalls.
Lai Yung-sheng, who has been an aquarium landscape artist for more than 20 years, said he used styrofoam, foamed concrete and natural rocks from Taiwan to complete the settings.
[Lai Yung-sheng, Aquarium Artist]:
"We tried to come up with ideas and looked up information on the landmarks that are the most familiar to people. That's how it was done."
The aquarium was designed at the beginning of the year, and twice tested before it officially appeared to the public. It took three months to build.
Hundreds of visitors attended on the first day of the

African penguins to race to help raise money for wild friends
"Betting” which African penguin will win a foot race won’t make the Vegas lines this month, but it will put smiles on the faces of children, parents and trainers.
Mystic Aquarium will celebrate African penguins this month with two events designed to raise awareness and provide assistance to the endangered species.
On Saturday, the aquarium will hold African Penguin Awareness Day where guests can meet a penguin trainer, see penguins paint, cheer the penguins as they race and participate in penguin-themed activities. The following week, on Oct. 15, humans and penguins will unite for the 5th annual Penguin Run/Walk.
“I know last year’s participation was around 1,000,” said Erin Merz, manager of media and public relations for the Sea Research Foundation. That would be 1,000 humans. The two-footed nonhumans participating this year will be down to 29 with the September death of Yellow Red, also known as String. String was a 19-year-old female who was hatched at Mystic Aquarium on Oct. 4, 1991.
An African penguin’s life expectancy is 18-20 years in the wild but they can live into their 30s in zoos and aquariums. The penguins making their home at Mystic Aquarium

Zoo keeper says goodbye to the animals
WORKING at Dudley Zoo for over four decades, head of reptiles, Graham Chilton, certainly has some tales to tell.
The 61-year-old has decided to say goodbye to his beloved animals and hang up his keepers uniform as he retires after 45 years at the Castle Hill site.
Since starting work as a trainee on September 29, 1966, aged just 16, Graham has worked with most of the zoo’s collection of animals from the big cats, primates and elephants to dolphins and killer

Zoo on self-sufficiency target
President of the Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago, Gupte Lutchmedial, reflecting on this year’s performance, was pleased at the progress of the organisation in its bid towards self-sufficiency.
In a statement on the generation of funds by the Society, he said, “We have surpassed the estimated income for the fiscal year 2010/2011.” He added, “This enabled us to reduce the dependence on the Government’s subvention and if this trend continues, in three years the society will become self-sufficient.”
Placing this in the context of the Society’s five-year strategic plan, of which this is just the second year, it is evident that the organisation is well on schedule with its projections. Lutchmedial pointed out that credit must be given to the new Phase of the Emperor Valley Zoo which opened in May 2011, with otters and flamingo exhibits which exceed the international standards as set out by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Visitors to the Zoo cannot help but be impressed with these exhibits and this should come as no surprise as they were designed by Patrick Janikowski, an architect with experience in designing several AZA accredited facilities.
In commenting on the future plans to bring the rest of the Zoo up to international standard, 1st vice-president of the Society, Benjamin De La Rosa elaborated, “This phase is only the first of the upgrade project and we are keeping our fingers crossed that the resumption of works will take place imminently.”
These developments taking place at the Zoo as well as the various conservation projects being undertaken by the Society have also peaked the interest of the international Zoo community. At the recent AZA convention/workshop held last month in Atlanta, USA, the delegation from the Society comprising Lutchmedial, De La,148268.html

Kaohsiung mulls relocation plan for Shou Shan Zoo
The Kaohsiung City government is considering moving the Shou Shan Zoo to a bigger site that can provide a better environment for its animals, with four options currently being investigated, zoo officials said Sunday.
After an initial investigation, the Fongshan, Neimen, Yanchao and Maolin districts have been listed as the four options under evaluation, according to the Zoo Management Center under the Kaohsiung Tourism Bureau.
The areas of the proposed sites are all larger than the 12.89- hectare Shou Shan Zoo, but there is no timetable for the relocation plan, according the center.
One of the four proposed sites, in Fongshan District located near Phoenix Mountain and the Republic of China Military Academy, covers an area of 102 hectares of national land, said Hu Chun-

Arabian Oryx, Root Of Unicorn Legend, Making Comeback
Growing up in the Middle East, Myyas Ahmed al-Quarqaz only knew the Arabian oryx from postage stamps.
The antelope made famous in Arabian poetry and by its associations with the unicorn legend had been hunted to near-extinction. But over the past three decades, it has staged a remarkable comeback through a program that got its start in the Arizona desert and has flourished under the united efforts of several Arabian Gulf countries.
Today the Arabian oryx can once again be seen in settings reminiscent of the Bible, grazing and cavorting in the deserts of the Middle East, showing off the thin, graceful horns that underlie the unicorn legend because from a certain angle they look like a single horn, or because they are fragile and sometimes one of them can break off.
Al-Quarqaz, a Jordanian, is a conservationist who has worked with the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency to reintroduce oryx into a remote region of sand dunes, gravel flats and dry lake beds along the border with Saudi Arabia and Oman. The first 100 came in 2007 and the numbers have risen to 155 with the goal of reaching 500. A much smaller reserve exists outside neighboring Dubai.
"The Arabian oryx is one of the most iconic species in this region. Wherever you go, people know the species and they love it," said al-Quarqaz, as he approached a feeding station in the Arabian Oryx Protected Area of Abu Dhabi.
The oryx program has already inspired efforts to revive populations of black-footed ferret and California condor in the U.S., golden lion tamerins in Brazil, scimitar-horned oryx in North Africa and Pere David deer in China.
"This was the first operation to restore a large mammal back to the wild and it has become a classic conservation success story," said David Mallon of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
His environmental umbrella group says about 1,000 Arabian oryx now live in the wild and up to 7,000 in captivity – enough for the organization to change the animal's status from critically endangered to vulnerable.
Over the centuries the oryx was integral to Middle East life. It could lead Bedouin nomads to watering holes, its facial skin upholstered rifle butts, its blood was used to treat snake bites and it yielded a soup that eased joint pains.
But hunting intensified, and by 1962 their number was down to 200, prompting the establishment of a "world herd" that included three caught in Yemen, four from private Saudi collections, one from the Kuwaiti ruling family and one from the London Zoo.
The following year they were flown to the Phoenix Zoo, chosen because Arizona's terrain resembled the oryx's natural habitat, according to Frank Turkowski, an American zoologist on the program. Over time, the population in Phoenix grew and 10 oryx were the first to be reintroduced into the wild at a sanctuary in Oman 1980. Saudi Arabia followed with its own reintroduction program in 1990. Today they are found, wild or semi-wild, in Bahrain, Israel, Jordan,

Phoenix Zoo takes the lead in reviving oryx
Fifty years after the start of Operation Oryx – an international mission to save the Arabian oryx, previously declared extinct in the wild – the species has come back from the brink of extinction thanks to the Phoenix Zoo.
This summer, the oryx, an antelope species native to the Arabian Peninsula, became the first species ever to improve three full categories on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.
The species is now classified as “vulnerable.”
Historically, Arab nations considered the oryx, with its white coat and long, straight horns, to be the embodiment of the unicorn legend. The animals had long been hunted for food and for the magic believed to exist in their horns, and hunting increased sharply after World War II, when powerful guns became more widely available.
The species was deemed extinct in the wild in 1972.
Phoenix had been selected as a starting point for breeding some of the few remaining oryx in 1962 because of its hot, dry climate, which mirrors that of the species’ native habitat.
In 1963, the zoo began breeding three wild oryx with a handful of oryx from other zoos and private collections.
Nearly 240 oryx have been born in Phoenix since.
“Had it not been for us getting involved, there wouldn’t have been a breeding program in place to potentially introduce

Elephant calf was soothing balm for nuked Japan
When bombing started over Japan during the Second World War, a public announcement was made - kill all the wild animals in the zoo, they could escape. This was plot of a musical organized by a bunch of kids at the inauguration of peace museum at K H Kalasoudha in Hanumanthnagar on Sunday.
The little ones as well as the elders were intrigued as the play progressed. Many faces were gloomy when the hunter started killing animals and when the nuclear bomb was dropped.
However, the smiles returned when in a part Jawaharlal Nehru is shown writing a letter to the children of Japan saying he was sending an elephant calf named Indira for them to play with.
"Our purpose to tell the children and even the adults is that war has done no good for them. Children tend to understand when it is told through a story of animals but eventually the message is of non-violence," said John Devaraj one of the organizers of the events.
The museum, which is in its initial stages, shows the history of the damages done to humanity by war. It will be developed over time. "We have a collection of photographs which shows what happened to Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the bombing. We want people

Oceans of plastic killing turtles as the Federal government pursues a carbon tax
WHILE the federal government champions itself as a saviour of the planet in its fight to introduce a carbon tax, another of its key environmental promises has been left blowing in the wind.
During the 2007 election campaign both Kevin Rudd and Peter Garrett vowed to ban non-degradable plastic bags. As prime minister and environment minister respectively they were bullish, warning they'd do so "with a legislative ban if necessary". But nothing happened.
Since their hollow words, about 18 billion plastic bags have ended up in landfill or have been scattered by the wind, littering the land and coastal waters, according to Jon Dee, founder of Do Something! and for a decade Australia's leading advocate of a non-degradable plastic bag ban.
Taronga Zoo sees the consequences on an almost weekly basis. Last week the zoo's hospital was forced to put down a hawksbill turtle which had eaten so many bags that it constantly excreted plastic globs from the moment it was brought

All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others” : an examination of identities
When I was in class three, I remember reading a story about Guru Nanak which spoke about his perplexity with the discrepancy between the rich and the poor, the haves and the have nots. The story narrated his bewilderment with the status quo of society and the inability of his father to explain inequality in society. Twenty five years down the line, the perception of differences in society as well as in the diversity of life continues to strike me as hard as it did during those formative years. And I, like many millions like me, see it manifested all over.
The overwhelming differences in the lifestyles of ‘high society and low society’ folks, the differences between those who speak in English in India and those who do not, the gaps between urban India and rural India, the chasm between those in power and R K Laxman’s common man, the discrimination between different races and a very strange unwillingness to accept Darwinian principles that has led to a very damaging relationship between man and animals based on perceived notions of superiority and inferiority.
I start from the last one since I have a special interest in the topic. It is a matter of regret that most of us would rather seek to believe than know when it comes to evolution and even today, in the world’s“all-animals-are-equal-but-some-animals-are-more-equal-than-others-an-examination-of-identities/

Zion Wildlife park's coffers empty
Failed lion park Zion Wildlife Gardens Ltd appears to have no assets and creditors are unlikely to get any money back, says the liquidator's first report.
The company went into receivership on July 26 and liquidation on August 22 on the applications of Rabobank and the Inland Revenue Department respectively.
The sole director of Zion Wildlife Gardens Ltd is Patricia Busch, who is locked in a bitter dispute with her son Craig over the future of the big cats. He in turn has applied to have her declared bankrupt.
Mrs Busch owns the land and buildings of the park through her company Country Developments Ltd, also in receivership.
She will contest her son's bankruptcy application in Whangarei Court on October 18.
The case relating to the future of the animals will be heard in the same court next February.
Auckland accountancy firm PWC is handling both the receivership and the liquidation (under receivership a company can continue trading, under management by the receiver, but in liquidation a company will ultimately be dismantled and all the assets sold with proceeds shared by creditors).
PWC's first liquidation report says the Zion Wildlife Gardens owes $568,771 to four unsecured creditors and that there was "currently no expectation of a dividend being paid to unsecured creditors".
Mrs Busch appears twice on the list of four unsecured

South African Park De-horns Rhinos to Deter Poachers
Another African rhino dies for its horn.
This animal was killed by poachers earlier this month - one of more than 300 already slaughtered in South Africa this year alone.
Poaching has reached such epidemic proportions that game park owners are turning to the de-horning their rhinos in a desperate attempt to save them.
Vet Martine van Zijll Langhout, has been involved in the practice for three years and says it takes just minutes.
[Martine Van Zijll Langhout, Veterinary Surgeon]:
"It takes around 16 to 17 minutes from darting to fully awake and this animal can just run off into the bush and feel exactly as before the procedure."
The horn is a fibrous material that is not connected to the skull - similar to a human finger nail or horses hoof.
[Martine Van Zijll Langhout, Veterinary Surgeon]:
"It is exactly the same as when you clip your own nails, because we don't go into the tissue."
Once removed, the horns are recorded and stockpiled in bank vaults. Jeff York is the Mauricedale Ranch Manager.
[Jeff York, Mauricedale Ranch Manager]:
"We had three rhinos poached in 2007, and we decided that the only

Nation's elephants under threat
With the death of a large number of tame elephants recently concerns have risen regarding the threat of extinction in the absence of measures to safeguard the animals.
Dan Nang Long, an elephant keeper from Central Highland Dak Lak Province, had one of his elephants killed and three others injured in a poaching attack.
Long said that while he had reported the incident to local police, very little existed in terms of concrete evidence in confirming the crime.
"I believe my elephant was killed," he said, "but the police have not been able to apprehend the perpetrators."
During the incident, three of the four animals almost had their tails severed in the belief that elephant hair brought luck to those who wear it as jewellery, particularly as rings.
Determined, Long has subsequently been successful in helping detect and bring to justice a ring of poachers specialising in elephant tails.
According to historian Duong Trung Quoc, Viet Nam had over 500 wild elephants in 1985, but the numbers have since dropped to only 52.
Long expressed his concern regarding extinction due to the animals having little opportunity to reproduce while the taming of wild elephants has been prohibited.
The breeder, alongside Quoc, recently attended a workshop held in Ha Noi where participants shared their views on preserving Viet Nam's remaining elephants.
Journalist Do Doan Hoang said that elephant poachers were usually only sentenced as minor thieves while local breeders were solely respo

Meet the species hunters
Picking his way slowly through the dense tangle of forest undergrowth, Dr Andy Marshall almost missed the venomous snake ahead of him. If he had, he might have lost out on one of the most exciting discoveries of his career. As he searched for a rare species of monkey in the jungles of Tanzania, the young biologist’s eyes were fixed on the trees above him rather than the shrubs around waist height. Until, that is, the green and brown twig snake, coiled around a branch, suddenly moved, spitting something on to the ground in front of him. It was a pale, four-inch long lizard.
At that moment, Dr Marshall, a conservationist at York University, had discovered a new species. The lizard that had so nearly become dinner for the twig snake turned out to be an unknown species of chameleon. “Twig snakes are not easily frightened,” he explains. “Perhaps because this one had something in its mouth it felt vulnerable, and fled.
“It had been in the process of eating the chameleon and had almost all of it in its mouth when it spat it out. I knew it was something I hadn’t seen before, so I took a photograph and later showed it to a herpetologist. He said right away it was something special.”
Dr Marshall has since named his new species Kinyongia magomberae, which means the chameleon from Magombera, the forest where it was found.
While not the most conventional

Penguins get the chop
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has axed plans for a penguin pavilion at Moscow Zoo.
“The construction of a penguin pavilion has been cancelled due to the extreme cost of the project – 1.5 billion rubles,” a source in the Mayor’s Office said. The pavilion was originally planned under the previous city administration back in 2004. Since that time, some 30 millions rubles have been spent on the project’s designs.
“The zoo’s management proposed to not

One-ton croc has its first meal
The largest recorded saltwater crocodile in the Philippines has eaten its first meal in captivity, nearly one month after he was captured, a local official said on Tuesday.
The 6.4m reptile ate seven kilos of raw pork on Monday evening in a wildlife park in Bunawan town in Agusan del Sur province, 840km south of Manila, according to Welinda Asis-Elorde, a local government spokeswoman.
The one-ton croc, nicknamed Lolong, had been refusing to eat since he was caught in a marsh in Bunawan on September 3.
Animal rights groups had expressed concern that Lolong's refusal to eat could be an indication that he was traumatised by the capture.
Asis-Elorde said workers at the wildlife park would again try to feed Lolong on Tuesday evening.
“Maybe he's not yet full,” she said. “We will feed him dressed chicken tonight.”
Lolong was captured after he was suspected

Aging and Ill Animals Increasingly Bring Tough Choices to Zoos (Long Article)
Maggie retired from the petting zoo at the Brevard Zoo shortly after her 16th birthday. A fallow deer with familiar white dapples on her back, Maggie had lived at the Florida zoo since 1994, where staff and guests alike knew her for her calm, sweet nature and attraction to men wearing strong cologne.
"Many times we would be sitting in the yard and she would put her head against our legs or in our laps if we were sitting down, and she just wanted us to be there and to pet her," said Brandi-Ann Pagano, a lead animal keeper who cared for Maggie. "A few people, either zoo guests or volunteers that Maggie came to recognize, she would actually walk up to those people to greet them if she remembered them."
At 16, she was edging past the life span expected for a fallow deer, and struggling with change.The zoo had just opened up a children's petting area, and it included a new herd of rowdy young goats that nibbled at her coat, which the deer apparently hated.
Because she didn't feel at ease with this new herd, she became more uncomfortable around people, according to Pagano. The keepers noticed Maggie pacing and saw that she was losing hair, and, about a year and a half ago, a decision was made to retire her to her own yard.
A familiar problem
Animals in zoos do not face the stresses and dangers of the wild: Food is guaranteed, there is no risk of being eaten, and ailments are treated. And many zoos offer enrichment, or activities intended to keep an animal occupied. As a result, zoo animals, like modern humans, can live into old age, and they, too, face the physical decline and illness of old age. Aging animals develop problems rare among wild populations, such as cancerous tumors, as well as more standard problems associated with aging, such as arthritis, according to Trevor Zachariah, director of veterinary services at Brevard Zoo.
As a result, zoos must treat geriatric animals and, sometimes, make difficult decisions.
"The whole keeping of animals in zoos has just evolved dramatically over the years, and as that science evolves, I think more and more we are looking more specifically to the needs of the individual animals as opposed to the needs of the whole population of animals or the needs of the zoo," said Michael Loomis, chief veterinarian at the North Carolina Zoo. "For instance, if there was a genetically valuable animal in the past the zoo would try to keep the animal going at any cost in order to get another offspring, whereas in this day and age, this animal is looked at

Zoos and Euthanasia

The Good Zoo and Euthanasia

Registration is now open for the 7th European Zoo Nutrition Conference at Zurich in January 27-30 2012.
In these tough economic times, the emphasis is on practical topics and value for money; fees below include all catering (including evening meals for the Conference), plus a public transport travel pass. The early bird deadline has been extended by 2 weeks until 14 October for you to take advantage of the lower registration costs. The abstract submission deadline is also extended, until 7 November.

Specific topics covered include:

- Diet imprinting and diet changes

- Feeding of primates

- Feeding of amphibians

- Feeding of bears

- Feeding of elephants

... and free topics

In addition to oral presentations mentioned above, there is:

- question-and-answer sessions where any participant can enter questions about special cases or general understanding in zoo nutrition

- the opportunity to present and hear case reports on experiences with diet changes or diet problems

- practical demonstrations of nutrition-related topics (Zurich Zoo’s animal kitchen, weights & body condition scoring, feed intake studies, digestive anatomy etc.)

Participants can also register for an additional, separate 1-day forage evaluation workshop.

The early bird registration fee deadlines is extended until 14 October to take advantage of the lower cost. Register now at  and also find details of accommodation, abstract and diet change submissions. The outline of the workshop and conference schedule is given below - don't miss this

Nicaraguan Zoo Pleads for Money to Feed Animals at Rescue Center
Nicaragua National Zoo director Marina Argüello has asked the private sector for support in the care and feeding of 1,250 animals of 75 species that it shelters at its rescue center.
The zoo works with an annual budget from the government of 4 million cordobas (about $176,289) but needs at least 10 million cordobas (about $440,722) to adequately maintain the center, Argüello told Efe.
Significant sponsorship from the private sector is therefore needed by the National Zoo, which has a rescue center that nurtures species seized from outlaw animal traffickers, the zoo director said.
The National Zoo, located 16 kilometers (10 miles) southeast of Managua, receives a yearly average of 1,000 creatures of different classifications including birds, mammals and reptiles.
The rescue center looks after some 1,250 animals in captivity made up of about 750 birds, 250 reptiles and 150 mammals.
Among the species are lions, lizards, Bengal tiger

Louisville Zoo plans World's Largest Halloween Party
Ghosts and goblins will be taking over the Louisville Zoo on weekends throughout October.
More than 80,000 people are expected to attend what is billed as the World’s Largest Halloween Party.
Starting Friday and running through Sunday and also on Oct. 13-16, 20-23 and 27-30, Meijer will present activities that will include not-so-scary fun for children and families.
There will be costumed characters to greet guests as well as storybook scenes throughout the zoo and trick-or-treating for children 11 and under.|newswell|text|Home|p

Zoo awash in conservation work
Exhibits’ facelift saves energy, drains penguins’ ‘bathtub’
When it comes to sustainability improvements, it’s all happening at the zoo.
The Oregon Zoo, that is, not the Central Park Zoo that Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel sang about in their 1967 tune.
Thanks to voter approval of a $125 million bond measure in the thick of the nation’s financial crisis in November 2008, the Oregon Zoo is trying to make good on its goal of becoming the greenest zoo in the country.
“If you’re talking about conserving the wildlife and the environment, the best way is conserving your resources,” says Kim Smith, zoo director. “We wanted to walk our walk.”
As the zoo modernizes the animal exhibits that opened a half-century ago, it’s installing a litany of green building and renewable energy features — many of which will ultimately save the zoo money on operating costs.
A couple weeks ago, the zoo installed a 30,000-gallon cistern to collect rain water next to its nearly finished Veterinary Medical Center, among the first of nine projects funded by the bond measure. Rainwater collected for free, courtesy

Hopes penguin might be Isle of Wight’s stolen bird
HIS disappearance nearly five years ago caused an international outcry.
Now, a rare Jackass penguin spotted swimming in The Solent has raised hopes that Toga, which was stolen from Amazon World, Newchurch, could be alive and well.
An eagle-eyed holidaymaker shot film of what looks like a Jackass penguin swimming just yards off a beach at Portsmouth.
The rare bird, which is normally seen in South Africa, was also spotted waddling around the harbour during last weekend’s heatwave.
Experts are studying the footage to see if is an endangered Jackass.
One theory is that it was separated from its group and followed a food trail through

Happy Feet's fate still a mystery
The fate of Happy Feet, an emperor penguin who washed up in New Zealand, 3 000 kilometres from his Antarctic home, remained a mystery despite persistent questioning in parliament on Thursday.
Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley could only tell the House of Representatives that it was "highly improbable" that he was caught in the nets of a trawler after being released into the Southern Ocean September 4.
The saga of Happy Feet has been followed by thousands around the world since he was nursed back to health after being found on a North Island beach eating sand under the impression it was snow.
Fans expressed alarm when the satellite transmitter glued to his feathers stopped sending signals eight days after he was freed from a boat into the near-freezing waters off New Zealand's Campbell Island.
There was immediate speculation that he had been eaten by a whale or some other monster of the deep, but Green member of parliament Gareth Hughes suspected he had been swept up in the nets of one of nine trawlers recorded around Happy Feet's last known location.
The boats, trawling for southern blue whiting, or blue cod, were 37 to 55 kilometres away from the penguin at the time of the last transmission.
"A southern blue whiting trawler can cover 93 kilometres in a day, and we are talking about an incredibly long net that is almost half a kilometre wide and 75 metres high," Hughes said.
"How can the minister claim that it is very unlikely that Happy Feet was possibly trawled?" he asked.
As the speaker tried to keep order amid the festive noise of the last day of parliament before next month's general election, Heatley reminded parliament that the closest vessel was 32 kilometres away when the transmissions fell silent.
"Its fishing lines are not 32 kilometres long," he said. "That would have meant that the vessel raced the transponder's emission, which went probably

Elephants are topic of conference at Rochester's Seneca Park Zoo
The Seneca Park Zoo hosting the 2011 Elephant Manager’s Association (EMA) Conference through this Sunday, Oct. 9. The conference is being attended by elephant handlers, veterinarians, field researchers from Africa and Asia, aand elephant enthusiasts from across the globe.
“We are delighted to host this group of knowledgeable and talented professionals and are incredibly proud to be leading the discussion about the importance of elephant care in our very own Zoo and across the world,” said Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks. “Genny C. and Lilac, the Zoo’s two African elephants, are beloved members of our community and we are thrilled to showcase them, our facility and our wonderful staff during this unique conference.”
The EMA is an international non-profit organization of elephant professionals and is dedicated to the welfare of the world’s elephants through improved conservation, husbandry, research, education and communication. The EMA was formed in 1988 and has held annual conferences since its inception.
“Seneca Park Zoo is honored to host this international conference,” said Larry Sorel, County Zoo Director. “The one thing everyone at this conference has in common is that we love elephants. Each institution has slightly different styles when it comes to elephant management. This conference gives us the opportunity to show off our small, but great, Zoo, and the magnificent elephants in our care.”
The conference unofficially kicked-off today, Wednesday, Oct. 5, with a pre-trip to African Lion Safari in Ontario, Canada. The conference officially begins tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 6.
On Friday, professionals will give presentations in the morning and will travel

Chester Zoo raises British spiders for release in Cheshire
HUNDREDS of endangered spiders are being reared at Chester Zoo ahead of their release later this year, as part of a conservation programme aimed at stemming their decline in the UK.
Lead keeper Karen Entwistle is hand-rearing 400 baby fen raft spiders in a purpose-built, bio-secure pod at the zoo.
Ms Entwistle said: “The spiders are all kept in separate test tubes so they do not attack each other.
“I have to individually hand feed them

The Wilds southern white rhino family has added another new member. On Oct. 2, a female named Zenzele gave birth to her second calf who appears to be strong and healthy alongside mom at the conservation center in southeast Ohio. The birth of the calf is particularly significant as it is the second fourth-generation southern white rhino born at the Wilds. “It is fascinating to watch the interaction between the mother and the rest of the herd in pasture. said Dan Beetem,” Director of Animal Management. “The wide open spaces at the Wilds allow us to manage our animals in a more natural social grouping. We think this environment is one of the key factors in the success of our program.” The dam, Zenzele, was the very first rhino born at the Wilds in 2004.The sire, 9-year old Fireball, came to the Wilds in 2008 as part of the Southern white rhinoceros Species Survival Plan (SSP). In 2009 the first fourth-generation white rhino born in human care was born at the Wilds. Three Indian rhinos have also been born there.There are currently ten southern white rhinoceros and six Indian rhinos at the Wilds. Southern white rhinos were almost extinct in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Effective conservation efforts in the 1950s led to the exportation of individual wild white rhinos to zoos in North America and Europe. The current wild population is estimated to be about17,500 animals however rhino poaching in Africa reached a 15-year high in 2009. Calves are born after a gestation of 16 months. White rhinos can grow to be For more information, visit

Forest Ranger Killed By Gorilla Poachers
A forest ranger has been killed and another seriously injured in a violent clash with gorilla poachers outside a national park in Cameroon, WWF has learned. The attack occurred on September 27 about 10 kilometres from Cameroon's border with Central African Republic.
The two rangers were on patrol near Lobéké National Park, where WWF provides critical support to forest rangers, when they discovered the carcasses of two critically endangered Western lowland gorillas in a forest camp, authorities say. Intending to take the perpetrators into custody, the rangers concealed themselves nearby while waiting for the poachers to return to the camp.
Detecting the rangers, a group of six or more men opened fire on the unarmed forest guards who both sustained multiple gunshot wounds. Ranger Jean Fils Mamendji, who was hit in the arm and shoulder, was able to escape.
Mamendji's partner Zomedel Pierre Achille, a 12-year veteran of the patrol, was hit in the chest and back. "I staggered with Achille some 300 metres but had to let go because the poachers were closing in on us and shooting simultaneously," Mamendji tearfully told WWF from his hospital bed.
A rescue mission was dispatched and searched through the night for Achille. His body, stripped naked, was located the following day having been tied to a tree by the assailants. Evidence suggests that the victim was also severely beaten about his head and body, possibly with a rifle, before his death. He may also have sustained stab wounds.
"This brutal attack was a deliberate attempt to intimidate the government," said David Greer, WWF's African Great Ape Coordinator. "Poaching gangs are waging a war for Cameroon's

Lion cub rescued from Beirut balcony
A lion cub being kept in Beirut was rescued last week and will soon be sent to a sanctuary in South Africa. The five week old cub, kept on a balcony, was smuggled into Lebanon before ending up as a private pet.
"The keeping of lions as pets has drastically increased in the last two years, and we regularly receive reports about new cubs," said Lana El-Khalil, President of Animals Lebanon. "Within the first couple months of life a lion becomes too large and strong to be kept in a house, only to end up locked in a backyard cage or sold to a private zoo."
This cub, unlike so many others Animals Lebanon receives pictures and emails about, is safe now and will soon have a new home in South Africa with other rescued lions who have come from similar conditions.
"Animals Lebanon has uncovered zoos in Syria offering new born lion cubs for $350 each, and workers offered to advise on how best to bring a lion to Lebanon," continued El-Khalil. "One zoo owner in Lebanon reported bringing in eight lions from Syria, and admitted that they all died within weeks as they were too young.
The Drakenstein Lion Park in

A Public Statement from Lone Droscher-Nielsen
Due to recent speculation and untrue statements regarding my continued involvement in orangutan conservation I have decided to release this public statement.
I remain employed both by BOS Foundation and Red Orangutangen (Save the Orangutan). I am presently on sick leave due to severe exhaustion but will return to Indonesia when my doctors permit me to do so.
In the meantime I continue to raise funds for Nyaru Menteng and am presently the main funder of activities at Nyaru Menteng , through the organisation I founded in Denmark in 2003 (now named Red Orangutangen) covering all the operational costs.
Over the last ten years, I have accumulated a fantastic team of wonderful, dedicated people at Nyaru Menteng and I have 100% confidence in them managing the project and caring for the orang-utans to the highest international standards put in place throughout the years; while I continue to scrutinise all financial matters and important decisions made at the project.
The over 600 orangutans currently in our care, as well as all the wild orangutans which we have rescued and relocated (over 400) have all been rescued or confiscated by the dedicated team at Nyaru Menteng, only in co-operation with the local forestry police (BKSDA). On a few occasions COP (Center for Orangutan Protection) was involved in confiscations and rescues from south-west Kalimantan. I do not recall any other individual being involved in these confiscations or rescues, other than on very few occasions (usually film-makers).
I am very concerned about all this mud-slinging and untrue statements on public domains. It only results in the public losing trust in all orangutan conservation organisations and therefore decreased funding overall for the conservation efforts.
Untrue statements and stories about me and the BOS Foundation (and other organisations supporting BOS Foundation) have unfortunately resulted in loss of confidence from supporters and therefore loss of essential funding. I still have hopes that all orangutan conservation groups can co-exist in harmony and work together for our common goal. However recent events give me grave concerns that this may not be possible.
Nyaru Menteng at the moment has over 600 orangutans in its care and we are only just managing to raise funds for the daily operational costs. We were hoping to release the very first of the rehabilitated orangutans towards the end of this year, but as we keep on losing trust and thereby lifesaving funding, due to the untrue stories being put out publicly (sometimes causing rerouting of funds to other causes), we will most likely have to postpone these releases yet again.
I would like to end this statement by saying a huge thank you to those of you who have trusted and supported Nyaru Menteng for so many years; we truly could not have done it without you. And I hope you will continue to put your trust in us in the future, simply put, because we need you now more than ever.
I think Darwin had it all backwards. There is no way that something as beautiful and innocent as an orangutan, could ever have evolved into man.
Kindest Regards,
Lone Droscher-Nielsen!/notes/michelle-desilets/a-public-statement-from-lone-droscher-nielsen/10150312707950885

And more on Orangutans....Important you read this as it gives some history of the current situation:

JAAN’s involvement with the Sintang Orangutan Center (SOC)
By Femke den Haas
Founding Director, JAAN
August 2011
I worked for Willie Smits at his Wanariset Orangutan Center in East Kalimantan in 1996. I was only seventeen years old, and it allowed me to have an unforgettable experience with orangutans. I worked with a group of juvenile orangutans that were getting ready to be released from the rehabilitation center where they were being caged in small groups. I joined the release team in the Sungai Wain forest and stayed there for another five months afterwards to observe the orangutans adapting back to life in the wild.
Once you get to know orangutans, there is no way you'll ever forget them. They stay in your heart and mind forever. After this experience I was determined to return to Indonesia to be able to do more for the orangutans. So a few years later when Willie asked me to come back and work at one of his new rescue stations for confiscated wildlife, I gladly accepted his offer.
Willie had been given an endowment by Mrs. Puck Schmutzer and he was building a network of wildlife rescue centers in Indonesia. I had met her when I was in Jakarta in 1996 and again in the Netherlands in 1998 when she was very ill and she asked me to visit her in the hospital. She was an incredible woman who made a lasting impression on me. Her dedication to helping animals was endless and her biggest wish was to help the animals of Indonesia. I was happy and excited to be involved with these new projects.
Willie and the Gibbon Foundation built rescue centers in more than a dozen different locations in Indonesia. It was a great plan on paper but unfortunately the implementation was not good. Many things went wrong at the centers, and in 2006, two years before the original end date of the MOU (collaboration agreement) between the forestry department and the Gibbon Foundation, Willie and the Gibbon Foundation suddenly ran out of money. This came as a complete surprise as all centers thought we were safe on funding for at least another two years. The centers felt the effects immediately. Thousands of animals had been taken in at the centers and all of a sudden there was not enough funding to care for them. This was the main reason why we would found JAAN. We needed to continue to help Indonesian wildlife-- and especially those animals already under our care couldn't just be abandoned.
The last center built by the Gibbon Foundation was in Sintang, in the beginning of 2006, on the property of the Pastor Jacques Maessen, who I had put in contact with Willie years earlier, in 2002 when I had received an email from a Dutch friend who told me that in the remote West Kalimantan town of Sintang there was a Dutch Pastor who was illegally keeping a baby orangutan. Willie contacted him and they soon became friends.
In Sintang, some of the animals died while others were relocated to unknown destinations. Our friends at the Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP) had gone there to investigate the situation and discovered two orangutans being kept in filthy surroundings in the yard of the Pastor's assistant, a woman named Dwi Astuti. The orangutans did not even have clean water to drink. One of the orangutans died. The other was sent to be cared for at a small transit center in the city of Ketapang, which had also been started with money from the Gibbon Foundation only to be abandoned. It would soon be taken over by the organization International Animal Rescue.
In 2008 I founded the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) with several friends and colleagues who I had worked with in several of the centers built by the Gibbon Foundation. The initial reason for founding JAAN was to find support for the rehabilitation centers that had been left without funding when abandoned by the Gibbon Foundation. It had not been easy and many animals suffered. No one even knows how many animals died.
JAAN works to protect and rescue all animals, both domestic and wild. We have not had many opportunities to deal with orangutans, except for a few special cases involving confiscations of illegal pets in Jakarta. I was far from the orangutans in their forest home, but I always did what I could from where I was by rescuing them from illegal captivity and helping to try to relocate them to the appropriate rehabilitation centers in Kalimantan and Sumatra.
All this changed in May 2010, when I was asked to join the O-Team and help out on an orangutan rescue mission in West Kalimantan. Several of my friends and colleagues from COP and Orangutan Outreach were on the mission, which was led by Willie Smits.
There are many orangutans being kept in captivity in this remote Indonesian province and they are in desperate need of rescue. International Animal Rescue had begun rescuing orangutans and bringing them to safety at the temporary transit center it had taken over in Ketapang, but there were many more orangutans that needed help. Ironically, it was Willie Smits himself who had set up Ketapang, but it too had been abandoned when the Gibbon Foundation ran out of money.
Willie now wanted to set up a new rescue center in Sintang with his old friend Pastor Maessen. I accepted the offer with some trepidation—knowing full well the tragic history of the Pastor with orangutans. But the orangutans needed help so I couldn’t say no.
We were soon on a plane heading from Jakarta to Pontianak, the capital of West Kalimantan and then on the Missionary Cessna to Sintang. We spent three days rescuing orangutans from horrific conditions in Sintang. I have to say I was shocked to see that there were still so many orangutans being treated so badly. It woke me up from a misconception that I had had for some years-- that with so many active orangutan conservation organizations on the ground that the problems were being resolved and the orangutans were not in such dire straits. It really hit me hard to see the innocent orangutans caged, chained and being treated so badly.
The orangutans we rescued were brought to the new Sintang Orangutan Center (SOC)-- which we named together. Our plan was to apply for a legal status for the center as soon as possible and in the meantime strive to find proper release and rehabilitation sites for the orangutans. We all agreed that the cages and facilities at SOC were completely inadequate for long-term care-- especially considering the past experiences with Pastor Maessen and his assistant Dwi. The truth is none of us were comfortable leaving the orangutans with these people given their history, so we agreed to have trained staff members from JAAN and COP stay behind and take care of them while we arranged for professional vets to come over to help. Orangutan Outreach helped with the costs.
A few months later, Rosalie Dench, our first volunteer vet arrived from the UK. Things were not easy for her or any of our colleagues. The truth is that the local management there was in fact a group of people that had a religious organization and worked to safeguard the culture of the Dayak people. This is a beautiful mission-- but they had absolutely no understanding of orangutan care and wildlife management. This is precisely why we all knew that we had to keep our staff there. Nobody was pretending otherwise.
Things unfortunately got more difficult with each passing day. It was extremely hard for anyone to work with the people there, but Willie insisted that they were in charge. This management, under Pastor Maessen and Dwi, wasn’t open to any input or suggestions and would not listen to what any foreign, experienced veterinarian volunteers had to say. They simply were not open to 'foreign input'. I know this sounds strange, but it was the way it was. What made it even worse was the fact that the local vet, hired by Willie and the Pastor, had absolutely no experience with orangutans. His expertise was in shrimp farming. It would almost be funny if it weren’t true...
From the very beginning we offered to assist the SOC with obtaining a legal status as an orangutan rescue center. We also provided an orangutan husbandry protocol that is used by many other centers. Volunteer veterinarians even worked hard to make a veterinary protocol. But if the management did not want to listen, what were we supposed to do? The situation was out of our hands-- and it was the orangutans who were suffering the consequences. We all knew that changes needed to be made, but the management just would not listen!
The volunteers and professional staff were treated very unkindly from the very beginning. Food for volunteers was hardly provided. The living conditions were totally unacceptable. These were volunteers with years of primate experience who came to share their knowledge with the locals, but they were simply pushed out by that woman Dwi. I felt ashamed for these volunteers who I had personally asked to come and help. I had asked them in the beginning because I saw that we needed good, professional people. But when they arrived, Dwi actually made them pay money to stay and treated them so badly! One volunteer, Josha Rijlaarsdam, caught malaria and was ignored by the management when she needed to be hospitalized. She could have died! I had to help her get to Jakarta. The way she was treated by the management at the SOC was totally unacceptable. Another volunteer, Kim ten Damme, a Dutch veterinarian with many years of experience with great apes, caught malaria, yet she was not assisted with any medical help by the Pastor and Dwi. They just left her there alone. Fortunately Kim is a strong person that managed by herself to gain her strength back and stayed there for the sake of the orangutans until she couldn’t take the situation anymore too and left in March 2011.
It's only because of their dedication to help orangutans that these volunteers managed to stay for a few short months at the SOC despite the horrible mistreatment and abuse suffered at the hands of Dwi. They had planned to stay for much longer but just couldn't cope with the conditions. They had even arranged for free medical supplies and equipment to be brought in from Europe, worth thousands of euros. And this was the thanks they got from the Sintang management?
By the end of 2010, JAAN made it clear that we weren't going to accept this any longer. COP also had the same feeling. The management just didn’t seem to care about orangutans. Orangutan Outreach was outraged, and we all knew that if things continued there would be a tragic ending to the center. But no matter how much we complained Willie Smits refused to act. He kept telling us everything was under control, but it wasn't. It was totally out of control and Dwi was the reason. He also kept insisting it was legal, but it wasn't. And everybody knew it.
We only wanted to do what was best for the orangutans and we all knew that what was happening at Sintang was terrible by any measure. By spring 2011, nearly a full year after forming the center, and despite what Willie insisted, the status was still not legal. All orangutans in the center were kept under what is called "surat titipan sementara" (temporary holding permit; which is to say no formal rescue / rehabilitation status).
It was then that tragedy struck. In April we got a shocking message from Orangutan Outreach Director Richard Zimmerman. Willie had just told him that Luna, one of the baby orangutans at Sintang, had gotten 'lost' in the forest next to Kobus and had 'disappeared'. When we heard about this, we decided to send people there with our colleagues at COP to look for Luna and assess the situation. Orangutan Outreach, the main fundraiser for the SOC, supported us in this decision. We all knew that something was not right. But nobody was saying anything.
When they arrived our team wasn't welcomed in the SOC center. The local staff was actually instructed by Dwi not to talk to us or tell us anything. Our teams were there for one reason only-- to help find missing baby Luna. And to be treated like this was not right. We had set this center up and we had every right to come and look for Luna. We were assisted on the ground by local scouts to help search the forests, even using hunting dogs, putting up posters, visiting houses, etc. Months later, no one knows what happened to Luna. And the worst thing of all is that no one ever questioned Dwi.
It was then that we at JAAN, COP and Orangutan Outreach all said "Enough is enough!" and we requested that the Ministry of Forestry please step in and relocate the remaining orangutans to another rescue center for their own safety. Fortunately International Animal Rescue (IAR) was able to receive them in their center in Ketapang-- even though they already had their hands full with several dozen displaced and orphaned orangutans in need.
The center in Ketapang is the exact opposite of the Sintang center. First of all it is legal. Second, there is a professional team of orangutan veterinarians there. Sintang did not even have a professional orangutan vet for months! And third, Ketapang has a good relationship with the Ministry of Forestry.
Now that the orangutans have been safely relocated to the IAR rehabilitation center we finally have some peaceful nights of sleep, but we still are confused about the mentality of the management at SOC along with that of Willie Smits, who continue to make up stories about what a great place it was, because it wasn't.
I am very happy that I was able to help rescue Pingky from the chain growing in her neck and Pungky from the tiny cage but I am sad and disappointed how things have developed. Luna is in my mind all the time. It is simply not believable that a baby orangutan can just 'disappear' like that. If there had been a proper, professional management in place, and if the people there would have been open for suggestions and input from others, this would never have happened. Luna would be safe with her friends. She was supposed to be safe at the Sintang Rescue Center, but she was not.
Orangutans need our help, and instead people are just working against each other and making it hard to reach out and help the orangutans that need us the most! It's so sad to think that there are still many orangutans out there in the upper part of West Kalimantan who need help. If only SOC would have developed into a professional rehabilitation center, then so many orangutans could have benefited from it. But this did not happen...
I feel extremely bad for the handful of professional people in Sintang who were serious about rescuing and helping orangutans-- many of whom traveled to Indonesia at their own expense. They suffered so badly under the terrible management at the Sintang Orangutan Center, and then had to return back home earlier than they had been planning... full of questions and doubts about this sad, horrible situation, traumatized from everything that had happened.
I hope there will be a change soon for the sake of the orangutans. I am extremely upset to learn that now the organizations involved with the rescue of the orangutans are being accused of doing this for fundraising reasons. Nothing could be further from the truth. All organizations involved-- JAAN, COP, Orangutan Outreach-- had been requesting for changes and discussions about the management in the center from very early on, but Willie just ignored all our requests.
Willie still claims the center was legal, but if the status was legal, then the forestry department would never have undertaken the action of moving the orangutans to Ketapang. If anyone questions this, they can simply go and ask the forestry department (KKH).
There were many good people who wanted to make the Sintang center a professional place to bring orangutans in need! The accusations by Pastor Maessen, Dwi and Willie Smits that these people were 'arrogant foreigners' is just not right. It is completely untrue. All people working there collaborated well with the animal caretakers-- all local people-- sharing knowledge and spending so much time together and still remain friends. It was the management at Sintang that was the problem. They never cared about the orangutans, and this showed in their actions. And this attitude and behavior ultimately resulted in the loss of Luna.
What I will never accept is how Willie told me that I shouldn't look at the few individual orangutans, but instead at the bigger picture. That's not true. I couldn't disagree more. Every orangutan that we rescue is a BIG responsibility and we need to fulfill everything needed to make sure that individual is allowed to live a life free of pain and fear and in good health. There are no exceptions.
Again, I have to say that I am confused and saddened to learn abou

Mark White's Tweets are not helping at all. What's he trying to do?

Now do a bit of serious thinking. Forget about personalities and what the papers say.

Zoo issued with health warning
HEALTH watchdogs banned a zoo from allowing the public contact with animals after its lack of hand-washing facilities posed a potential risk to the public.
South Lakes Wild Animal Park was served with a prohibition notice under the Health and Safety at Work Act after failing an inspection carried out by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and Barrow Borough Council’s environmental health on August 18.
The inspection was carried out after the HPA was informed of a case of a child in Lancashire who was found to have contracted the E Coli o157 bug after visiting the Dalton zoo in the summer.
There has been no evidence that the visit was the direct cause.
But inspectors found the zoo had failed to comply with new hygiene guidelines issued.
Prohibition notices can only be served when an inspector believes activities on at a premises involve or will involve a risk of serious personal injury.
The tourist attraction was ordered to stop letting people have contact with its animals until it had cleaned areas of the park and could provide hand washing facilities.
The council said the park has since been inspected and has been found to be complying with the notice, but it will be closely monitored to ensure hygiene standards do not drop.
Zoo owner David Gill said he had taken immediate action after the notice was issued by installing 30 new hand-washing areas.
Gary Ormondroyd, chief environmental health officer for Barrow Borough Council, said: “Because we had been asking Mr Gill to carry out work prior to the inspection, we had agreed with him that we would be going in with the HPA, so we notified him in advance we were going to inspect the park.
“They have cleaned the soiled areas and put in adequate washing facilities and signage to ensure members of the public wash their hands after petting the animals so they are complying with the notice at present.”
Mr Gill said: “Around three to six weeks earlier, new guidelines were issued. We carried out a risk assessment and felt we were doing

Zoo to reply to appeal, still seeks winter room for Lucy
The City of Edmonton is considering ways to winterize the Valley Zoo home of Lucy the elephant before the new year, as PETA continues its fight to have her transferred to a U.S. sanctuary.
Lucy’s enclosure meets all necessary standards, the city says, but she could use more room to exercise when it’s too cold to go outside. The Edmonton Humane Society recommended finding that extra space before Dec. 31.
“Right now what we’re doing is exploring options for meeting the recommendations of a report of a third party specialist who examined Lucy,” said Mary Lou Reeleder, communications business

Cage fighters: Inmates flee Kiev zoo hell
A Ukrainian zoo, already notorious for being beyond horrible, has more to it than meets the eye. More animals have chosen to break free from their tiny living spaces at Kiev’s troubled zoo opting for freedom, natural surroundings and…love stories.
­An African crowned crane was the first to make an escape bid. He flew out from his small cage only to land in the center of the city and immediately be recaptured.
Seven rare marmots, eight porcupines and a fox shortly followed suit. The porcupines and the fox were quickly intercepted near the zoo’s ticket office. The marmots, however, dug a tunnel so deep that the zookeepers still cannot reach them.
The next effort came from a common crane. The bird attempted to run, as its wings were docked, up his aviary wall, clambering up hanging nets. But the poor bird fell into wolves’ claws and was eaten. The zoo employees later recalled the crane has been rehearsing the escape, practicing running up and down the nets.
Next in line was a badger. The poor creature ran not for freedom, but for romance, heading straight into a cage of a neighboring marten. In a surge of passion, the badger demonstrated incredible skills – it disentangled the metal mesh of his cage to get through to the neighboring one

Persian Leopard Enrichment at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Call for papers - ZooKunft 2012
Für die ZooKunft 2012 am 18. Februar 2011 in Innsbruck, Österreich,
mit dem übergreifenden Thema 'Gestaltung von natürlichen und Anlegen
von künstlichen Hügel- und Felslandschaften im Zoo' können wir nun
Referate annehmen.
Auch für das Zweit-Leitthema 'Bedrohte Biodiversität - was können die
Zoos tun? ' sind wir an Vorträgen interessiert
Bitte schreiben Sie an:
Orga-Team ZooKunft
Bis zum 1. November 2011.

GOOD NEWS FROM EGYPT Re: Giza Zoo Statement June 2011

Dear Mr. David Morgan, David Field, Jones, David, NIck Lindsay, Michael Maunder, Gerald Dick, Peter Dickinson

We have good news from Egypt. Thanks to you and to Dave Morgan and Mike Maunder for making this dream come true.

All 10 chimps of Governmental Zoos of Egypt are integrated, NO MORE SOLITARY CONFINEMENT.

I have summarized all the happenings in one link.

Everybody is so happy now, chimps are happy, we are happy. Soon, the Orangutans will enjoy the new enclosure and very soon the elephants will enjoy better conditions.

We thank the Chairperson of the General Organization of Veterinary Services, Military General Osama Selim, without him this could not have happened. We thank Central Zoos Director Dr. Fatma Tammam for facilitating the mission, and Dr. Eiman the director of Alexandria Zoo. We thank the great keepers of both Giza and Alexandria Zoo, staff, and management who cooperated and gave time to make this happen.

Animal People of the world are so grateful to ALL those who contribute to lift or metigate the suffering of animals..

Dina Zulfikar

SeaWorld Orlando quietly working on 'major' expansion
SeaWorld Orlando has quietly launched a "major redevelopment" that will add several new attractions to the marine park in 2012 and 2013.
The plans, according to government filings and interviews with people familiar with various elements, include transforming a 24-year-old penguin exhibit into a new, possibly Antarctica-themed ride; adding a sea-turtle movie attraction to an existing manatee display; and building a rainforest-themed trail in Discovery Cove, SeaWorld's limited-admission boutique park, that would include a freshwater pool and habitats for primates and otters.
SeaWorld would not discuss details of its plans this week, though it confirmed that it has multiple new attractions in the works.
"We do have plans for incredible new attractions at SeaWorld Orlando, and we're committed to finding amazing new ways to immerse our guests and fans in the mysteries of the sea," SeaWorld spokesman Nick Gollattscheck said. "It's too early to talk,0,5746603.story

Lang: Grand zoo plan 'dead on arrival'
Mayor Scott W. Lang is proposing a Buttonwood Park Zoo easterly expansion of a little less than 2 acres and says the now defunct park greenhouse should fall under the auspices of the zoo and be developed into a butterfly exhibit.
Lang, speaking at his weekly press briefing Friday, said he also backs the idea of reserving wetlands to the south of the zoo for nature trails.
Lang said he is going to present his formal recommendations to both the city's Park Board and City Council next week.
Lang did not hang any dollar signs on his plan, which he said would be "inexpensive."
He did say funding for any exhibits would have to be a "private-public partnership."
"It would have to be very, very close to a zero net (cost) for the taxpayers of the city," he said.
He said the greenhouse could serve as the future home of a butterfly exhibit. The greenhouse will not be included in the "zoo proper," he said, but a walkway would lead to the structure.
The expansion will include new sidewalks, Lang said. He also wants the zoo to become "an all-weather facility" and spoke of fostering a more substantial "indoor component."
"The expansion itself will be very minimal," he said.
He did not get into specifics


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