Zoo News Digest is the longest established and most widely read listing of current 'zoo' related news on the internet. It notes 'real' events of interest to people working within the zoo industry. By a Zoo Professional for Zoo Professionals and other interested parties. The Digest includes comments and notification of courses and events.
I more or less 'fell into' zoo work back in 1968. I have never looked back. I love my work. Back in those early days however there was next to no talk about conservation, breeding programmes, education programmes, enrichment, animal management courses. Even the reputable zoos were all for exhibiting 'freaks' or rarities back then. Much more concern about making money than actually doing something good. Things have changed over the years, I know I have. I went through a school of hard knocks and am largely self taught. It has been good for me. I can clearly distinguish between right and wrong and damned wrong. The wool is not easily pulled over my eyes.
Some while back some of the stories which appeared in the press caused me a lot of thought and they continue to do so. I say I am pro good zoo and anti bad zoo and I believe I am but right now I am having a crisis of conscience coupled with despair. Just what the bejeebers is going on? I reported a few weeks back about the baby Orangutan and Silvery Gibbon being held by the Kids Park in Abu Dhabi. This is a WAZA and IZEA collection! You can guarantee that this will be the cause of further young primates being smuggled into the UAE. Next we have the authorities in Thailand give approval and praise to the awful Sri Racha Tiger Zoo whilst not a hundred miles away they are raiding and giving trouble to Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand . The stench of ignorance and corruption is overwhelming. It gets closer to home when we learn that Toronto Zoo has just imported White Lions! Why for heavens sake? Could they not get any blue or pink ones? This is not conservation. This is not what good zoos are about. This is not the message they should be promoting. It is wrong at every level. It is a return to the freak show. Montezuma would have loved it. Can you imagine the Hoo Ha if London Zoo were to move into breeding White Tigers?
Reputable Zoos need to lead by good example.
And what about the poor elephants? Two hundred killed in six weeks! Rhinos slaughtered practically every week and yet the horn is still being exported to China on living animals.
Good zoos, reputable zoos are increasing in importance every single day. And yet I am starting to wonder just what is a good zoo.
I am not alone in being dismayed that Craig Busch is back at Zion and feel genuine sympathy for his mother and sister. I do hope the cats have a long and happy life but are not allowed to breed. We really don't want more White Lions and White Tigers or Marmalade or Snow or whatever Tigers. Thinking on it it sort of lumps Zion and Toronto together...what a thought.
I wonder if my observations and condemnations are the reason for my email accounts being hacked into this week? I don't know as yet how much damage has been done. Gmail were kind enough to send me the names, locations and times of when this took place.
'New home for rare cats rescued from traffickers'. This sort of irresponsible breeding should be stopped. We should never be crossing wild with domestic just to pander to those wanting something different as a pet.
I wonder how many people I have upset this week?
On With The Links:
Mystery how Asian jungle 'cat' came to be living wild in north Cumbria
Looking somewhere between a cat and a racoon, this exotic creature would usually be living in the depths of Asia’s densest forests.
So exactly how the animal, which helps to produce the world’s most expensive coffee, came to be living in Cumbria as a regular visitor to the garden of Mandy and Dal Dawkins is a mystery.
The injured animal was first spotted by the couple, who live at Melkinthorpe, near Penrith, about a week ago.
With the help of staff at nearby Wetheriggs Animal Rescue and Conservation Centre, the couple were able to identify the black and white creature as a western palm civet.
The species is famous for the role it plays in producing the world’s most expensive coffee, Kopi Luwak, extracted from droppings after the beans have passed through its digestive system. The couple set about trying to catch the animal – which they nicknamed Cyril before discovering he was actually a she – and get it help for its injured tail.
They eventually succeeded and she is now recovering at the rescue centre while staff try to trace her owner. If nobody comes forward they hope to build a new enclosure and keep her at Wetheriggs.
Mandy said they initially thought their mysterious visitor – which they caught on CCTV – was a badger.
“I went outside one day to find the bin lid had been ripped off and their was food on top of the coal bunker. The next night we caught a glimpse of Cyril and thought it was a badger,” she said. It looked more like a racoon but we couldn’t think what else it could be. We put some cat food out the next night but it didn’t touch it. Then we tried banana and kiwi. It loved those and, I’m not joking, actually peeled the banana.”
Realising it wasn’t a badger they contacted Wetheriggs, thinking it may have escaped from the centre.
Director Terry Bowes was certain it wasn’t one of their animals, but after listening to her description suggested it may be a palm civet – some of which are kept in private collections in the UK. Mandy checked the internet and knew at once that was Cyril. She was worried about her injured tail so Terry suggested she try and entice her into their garden shed with food and lock it in.
Last Thursday, when Dal’s nine-year-old daughter Paris was staying, Mandy thought she’d succeeded. But the distressed creature ran straight out again, hissing loudly at her before fleeing.
The couple thought they’d missed their chance, but just a few hours later she was back. The next night they tried the same trick, and this time Cyril was so busy eating her banana she didn’t notice the door close.
As palm civets are nocturnal, Terry suggested they leave her overnight then collect her in the morning when she would be sleeping. The plan worked perfectly and she was taken back to the refuge in a special carrier.
Terry, who thinks she had been living in farm buildings behind the Dawkins’ garden, said: “She is a western palm civet, a bit bigger than a cat and native to Asia.
“She is a definitely an adult female and I don’t think she’s wild. I strongly suspect she has been a pet somewhere down the line, possibly even hand-reared. It’s not easy to trace because it’s not classed http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/from-jungles-of-asia-to-a-shed-in-penrith-1.924962?referrerPath=news
Lion kills Jozi zoo employee
A Johannesburg zoo employee has died after being attacked by a lion at the zoo's lion farm, Rietkuil, in the Free State's Vredefort area, Beeld newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Joe Ramonetha (63), who had worked for the zoo for nearly 40 years, was taken to a Parys hospital, where he died on Monday.
Zoo spokesperson Louise Gordon told the newspaper that zoo employees were in mourning, as Ramonetha was a much-loved member of staff.
"We're very shocked, because he had decades of experience and training in various safety procedures. We don't know what could have happened."
Gordon said there were a number of gates to prevent lions from getting to employees while they were feeding the animals http://news.iafrica.com/sa/778395.html
'Human error' led to zoo attack
Human error led to the death of a Johannesburg zoo employee who was attacked by a lion at the Rietkuil conservation farm in Parys, officials said on Tuesday.
Monday's attack at the Free State farm apparently occurred after gates at the lion's den were left open, said spokesperson Letta Madlala.
"This was due to apparent human error," she said.
It's believed Joe Ramonetha (63) had been feeding the animals or cleaning the enclosure when the 11-year-old lioness attacked him.
"He was dedicated and much loved. The staff mourns the loss of a zoo family member and he will be missed," said Madlala.
Ramonetha had worked for the zoo for nearly 40 years.
Madlala said the lioness was detained in the night-room facility and later sedated.
"The animal showed http://news.iafrica.com/sa/778549.html
Celebrating Plants and the Planet:
Plants have been called into service by humanity for millennia, but never with the creative diversity of today's innovations. And apparently the smaller the plant, the larger the ideas.
February's links at www.zooplantman.com (NEWS/Botanical News) go beyond biomimicry to bio-ingenuity:
· What if even the most isolated farmer could use plant wastes to create solar panels and thus grow their own energy?
· Rats introduced to New Zealand have decimated native pollinator populations. Now the rats are taking over pollinator duties. Conservationists, understandably, have mixed emotions.
· Can a "killer" become a savior? The sticky surfaces of sundews have been the death of many a bug. Scientists are looking to the sundew "glue" for new wound treatments.
· Some students have found that they can store data on bacteria, opening the way to new plant-based computers.
· Researchers are looking at algae that can digest Strontium, planning methods to apply that skill to nuclear waste cleanup.
Please share these stories with associates, staff, docents and -- most importantly -- visitors! Follow on Twitter: http://twitter.com/PlantWorldNews - a new story every day as well as hundreds of stories from the past few years
Lion Man Craig Busch back at Zion dismays expert
Members of the Australasian zoo industry are surprised Lion Man Craig Busch is back working at Whangarei's lion park, an experienced consultant says.
Australasian zoo consultant Tim Husband said news that Mr Busch was involved in the purchase of the park - to be known as Zion Wildlife Kingdom - had been greeted as a "joke" by several zoo operators.
Mr Husband is a zoo consultant who was hired by Zion Wildlife Gardens operator Patricia Busch in June 2009 to iron out safety concerns and get the park re-opened for customers.
Mr Husband said he discovered several things that made him uncomfortable during his time at Zion, saying big cats had not only been declawed, but had their toes amputated at the joint, so claws and toe were gone. He also questioned the breeding of what were supposed to be rare Barbary lions, claiming they were not recorded in a stud book and were not part of a breeding programme.
Mr Husband's concerns were put to Mr Busch, who responded through his lawyer, Noel King, saying it was unfortunate Mr Husband chose the present time for his comments.
"His [Mr Husband] primary concern should be the cats and where they'll stay in future," Mr King said.
Beth McVerry and Ian Stevenson of Tauranga last week announced they were the new owners of Zion, with Mr Busch back at the park with his big cats.
Park operator Patricia Busch, Mr Busch's http://www.northernadvocate.co.nz/news/change-dismays-expert/1269528/
Six Things Zookeepers Wish You Knew
Being a zookeeper is a very public job. Even though a lot of our work takes place behind the scenes, a zoo is a business that owes it's livelihood to the people who come to visit every day. And people love to talk to zoo keepers and watch us do our job. Most of the time, keepers are happy to speak with visitors and share our knowledge of the animals and our passion for conservation. But there are always those zoo visitors who seem to ask asinine questions just to annoy keepers, and comedians who think the old "That's a funny-looking monkey/bird/tiger!" joke is an original. If you'd like to avoid being "that guy", here's a list of things zookeepers with you knew.
Those animal identification signs aren't just for decoration.
The whole purpose of going to the zoo is to learn about strange and exotic creatures. Knowing that our zoo guests aren't going to be familiar with many of the animals at the zoo, the graphics or education department has thoughtfully labeled every exhibit with colorful, informative signs. The answer to the question "What is that?" can be found on those signs. This is especially important in a mixed-species exhibit, where there will be more than one kind of animal. Please take a minute to actually read the exhibit sign. If it still doesn't answer your question, then the keeper will be happy to!
If the keeper is in the exhibit, usually the animal is not.
No, we don't go in with our tigers/bears/orangutans. At least, not if we would like to make it home for dinner. Zoo animals are trained to "shift" to an off-exhibit holding area while their main exhibit is serviced. Even animals that would not be considered dangerous are generally moved off exhibit to make it easier for keepers to move around without worrying if the animal is underfoot or trying to get out of the exhibit. It's also a great way to get a good look at the animal to check for general health and do training. When you see a keeper in the exhibit, the animal is elsewhere. Come back later!
Just because I'm carrying a bucket doesn't mean I'm going to go feed something.
Zoo staff understand that the ubiquitous vision of a keeper involves a bucket, usually full of tasty food for the animals. In reality, we use buckets for all kinds of things; sand, water, even garbage. I once had a visitor ask me "What are you going to feed?" while I was carrying a paint can! If you're really curious, go ahead and ask the http://voices.yahoo.com/six-things-zookeepers-wish-knew-8558275.html
GREECE: COMPLETE BAN OF PERFORMING ANIMALS
On 31 January 2012 and after some months of stand-by, the Commission for Production and Commerce of the Greek Parliament passed a law banning the use of all animal species in any form of show business, thus also and above all in the circus.
So far, this is a unique measure in Europe, which bans the keeping of animals if the purpose is to make them participate in any form of entertainment in front of an audience.
Obviously, the regulation concerns all forms – also minimal ones – of a show with animals in front of an audience. Zoos, aquariums, pet shops etc., however, are allowed on condition they do not provide any performance in front of spectators.
The law appears even more unusual if you take into consideration that Greece has no national circus of its own but that so far only companies from abroad have performed in this http://www.europeancircus.info/ECA/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=206&Itemid=73
Animal advocates wary of Calgary-bound pandas
Officials at the Calgary Zoo may be anxiously awaiting the 2018 arrival of a pair of giant pandas on loan from China, but some animal advocate groups are sounding a cautionary note.
Julie Woodyer, campaign director for the national animal protection charity Zoocheck Canada, said her organization has reservations about the $1-million per year lending fee that both the Calgary and Toronto zoos will have to cough up as a result of the Chinese deal.
Woodyer said zoos should be concentrating on improving their existing facilities rather than investing massive amounts of money in one star attraction.
“The fact is many facilities around the world that have brought in pandas have lost significant amounts of money,” Woodyer said. “There’s this belief that there’s going to be http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/calgary/Zoocheck+dubs+Calgary+bound+pandas+diplomatic+pawns/6147209/story.html#ixzz1mLWN0J7i
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Dubai Zoo to move to a new location
A leopard growls angrily and chases away two of his companions, marking his territory inside a dingy, tiny cage at the Dubai Zoo.
The leopards, along with about 125 other species at the zoo, have been surviving in close quarters and harsh temperatures for more than four decades. But they may soon have more room to stretch their legs.
The municipality announced yesterday that it had commissioned a study to shift the two-hectare, government-run zoo from Jumeirah to new, world-class premises.
Within two months a consultancy and action team is to come up with the final concept, proposing a new location and required area, and recommending the allocation of space for each species according to international standards, said Hussain Lootah, the director general of the municipality.
When the Dubai Zoo was built in 1967 it had several dozen animals, but that number has greatly increased. Many animals have been donated privately or given to the zoo after Dubai Customs discovered them being smuggled into the UAE.
As a result, they are forced to share cages and jostle for room, and not always with their own kind.
The lack of space and poor living conditions at the public park have been under fire from visitors and activists for several years.
“The current zoo should be improved as it is very old and small after the huge development around it, and increasing number of animals and visitors,” Mr Lootah said.
The consultants had given the municipality the option of keeping animals in a “safari”, an open-air environment or enclosures.
“We are going to adopt the cages system, considering the area constraints in the emirate,” Mr Lootah said. “The cages will be arranged and distributed in accordance with each category and type of animals, birds and other species in a comfortable way.”
He said cages were common at zoos in most countries.
The park will have a team of specialists, veterinarians and curators, officials said.
Yesterday, activists were cautiously optimistic about the decision, as there have been several zoo relocation proposals in the past.
“I am sceptical whether or not the move will come through,” said Ashley Fruno, a Hong Kong activist from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta).
Ms Fruno was among those who staged a protest in 2010 outside the zoo, dressed in monkey outfits and carrying signs that read, “Zoos: cruel animal prisons”.
“The Dubai Zoo is one of the worst zoos because of the sheer small size and because of the severe heat,” she said. “Each type of animal or species has to be assessed individually. Many require different cooling systems.”
Ms Fruno said she was disappointed authorities had decided to keep the animals locked up.
“A safari type of environment would be better so animals wouldn’t have been restrained,” she said.
Visitors at the park said the zoo management must emphasise the welfare of the animals.
“It is a real pity to see them like this,” said Yashwinder Pal, who was with his family at the zoo yesterday. “They look so unhappy and lonely. I have been on safaris and they are great. Here, I am very upset seeing them in congested conditions.”
Another visitor welcomed the planned venue change.
“We need a cleaner, more organised zoo,” said Naji Thbat, a Dubai resident. “Smaller countries have better zoos. We have to take care of the animals and ensure the environment is cleaner.”
Despite the space constraint, Dubai Zoo officials have maintained that the animals are treated with great care.
“A bigger place is better,” said an animal keeper at the zoo, who asked not to be identified. “But we take good care of the animals.
“In summer, we put ice http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/dubai-zoo-to-move-to-a-new-location
Darwin the giant tortoise arrives in Gloucestershire
A giant tortoise called Darwin will this month be donated to the Cotswold Wildlife Park by the government of the Seychelles.
The new arrival is part of an exciting conservation project between the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens and Cotswold Wildlife Park.
The project aims to enhance the conservation of these amazing reptiles and their birthplace in the Seychelles.
Georgia Dunlop, who was heavily involved in the project as the Seychelles’ Tourism Ambassador in the UK, said that the project was a “dream come true”. She hopes it will start a partnership between the countries which will last many years.
These particular tortoises originate from the Aldabra lagoon in the Indian Ocean and are listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITIES).
Darwin is 25 years old - a youngster in terms of tortoise years. He will be the fourth Aldabra Giant Tortoise to make the Wildlife Park his home.
He was named after the famous scientist Charles Darwin, who was one of the first to encourage the protection of the Aldabra species.
Jamie Craig, Curator of the Cotswold Wildlife Park http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Darwin-giant-tortoise-arrives-Gloucestershire/story-15245839-detail/story.html
Call for review into Edinburgh Zoo financial controls
Edinburgh Zoo has been told to conduct a full review of its financial controls following an inquiry into complaints over how it has been run.
A report by The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) cleared the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland of any misconduct.
However, it found "areas of governance that could be improved".
It follows complaints from animal welfare charities over the viability of the 10-year lease of two giant pandas.
Last year the then acting zoo chief executive Gary Wilson and senior official Iain Valentine were suspended.
However they were later both reinstated after the zoo found they had been subjected to "a deeply unpleasant and malicious smear campaign by person or persons unknown".
The report found the zoo needs to tighten its practices and review its disciplinary procedures.
Royal Zoological Society of Scotland chairman Manus Fullerton said: "The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator has now concluded its inquiry into the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland following a number of complaints made in 2011 relating to the deployment of policy, procedure and practice.
"We are pleased to report that none of the complaints has been upheld and that OSCR is satisfied that trustees have acted with appropriate care and diligence and in the best interests of the society.
"OSCR has made a number of recommendations in relation to internal controls and governance.
"It acknowledges the trustees had already started work on implementing changes covered by their recommendations prior to the inquiry.
"Policies relating to financial procedures, procurement and contract management have been reviewed and significant steps taken to strengthen management controls."
The OSCR report said: "It is clear from the evidence presented during the course of our inquiries that there have been past weaknesses with respect to the level of overall control exerted by the charity trustees over the senior management team.
"A symptom of this was the lack of full and consistent deployment of key policies, procedures and good practice across the society which was manifested in an apparent lack of understanding and/or compliance with these across the organisation.
"However, the charity trustees have already undertaken considerable work to identify areas that need to be strengthened and are taking appropriate action to address the weaknesses."
John Robins, of Animal Concern said: "I still maintain that the extremely high costs involved in leasing and caring for two giant pandas (plus any possible offspring http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-17042795
Rhino horn poacher alert at Knowsley Safari Park
STAFF at Knowsley Safari Park have been keeping up a constant ‘poacher watch’ over their herd of seven rhinos after the price for the animals’ horns reached a staggering £25,000 a kilo.
After the soaring cost of rhino horn in the Far East, zoos and safari parks in the UK, including Knowsley, have been put on red alert over concerns they could be the target for ruthless poachers.
It follows a warning from the National Wildlife Crime Unit over increasing worries that the soaring prices could prove tempting for criminals.
However David Ross, general manager at Knowsley Safari Park, said he was confident that their security measures, which were already in place, are more than adequate.
He said: “Yes, we were given a warning. It’s unbelievable the price of this on the black market.
“It costs around $40,000 (£25,000) a kilo, and people are going to great lengths to get it.
“Poaching has gone up from a relatively low level to more than 400 animals last year.
“The demand dictates the price. These people kill the rhino and saw off the horn. Unfortunately everything has a price.
“Ours here are particularly secure. We have seven at the moment and they are breeding like mad.
“We have strict security, with several people living on site who constantly monitor them. We were already ahead before the warnings.”
He stressed that thefts of animals from some zoos is common, especially birds and in particular parrots.
He added: “But when people are willing to pay ridiculous http://www.sthelensstar.co.uk/news/9535772.Poacher_alert_at_safari_park/
New home for rare cats rescued from traffickers
A Cornish wildlife park has become the new home of two rare cats rescued from animal traffickers.
Brothers Willow and Timber have spent the last four years at an animal shelter at Amsterdam airport after they were seized by customs officials.
The pair had been found on a flight from the USA, but neither had any papers and as a result have been effectively living in captivity ever since.
Blood tests have shown the brothers are Savannah cats, a mix between wild African Serval cats and the Egyptian Mau, a domesticated breed.
They are now making a new home at Porfell Wildlife Park and Sanctuary near Liskeard, where they will have a large enclosure to run free.
John Palmer, owner of Porfell, said he would be using the animals as a case to demonstrate to visitors why it was wrong to encourage cross breeding between wild and domestic animals.
"These poor animals are breed purely for selfish financial gain without concern for the animal which belongs neither in the wild or the home," he said.
"By buying these animals, it is encouraging large-scale business in breeding and supplying the pet trade with an unnatural animal which will almost certainly be kept in unnatural environments and become http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/New-home-rare-cats-rescued-traffickers/story-15255206-detail/story.html
Poachers kill 200 elephants in Cameroon killing spree
Poachers have killed more than 200 elephants in Cameroon in just six weeks, in a "massacre" fuelled by Asian demand for ivory.
A local government official said heavily armed poachers from Chad and Sudan had decimated the elephant population of Bouba Ndjida National Park in Cameroon's far north in a dry season killing spree.
"We are talking about a very serious case of trans-frontier poaching, involving well-armed poachers with modern weapons from Sudan and Chad who are decimating this wildlife species to make quick money from the international ivory trade," said Gambo Haman, governor of Cameroon's North region.
Speaking on local radio, Haman said some of the poachers were on horseback and operated in cahoots with the local population, who were given free elephant meat and were glad to be rid of animals that damage their crops.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said cross-border poaching was common during the dry season but the scale of the killings so far this year was unprecedented.
"This latest massacre is massive and has no comparison to those of the preceding years," the group said in a http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE81G06720120217
Monkeying around with a crocodile at Al Ain Zoo
Playful little vervet monkeys have a new toy in their zoo enclosure – a 10ft Nile crocodile
In search of fun, the monkeys swing down from their ropes and tweak the croc’s tail, before an almost imperceptible movement sends them scurrying away.
If one of the monkeys were to get close enough to the reptile’s powerful jaws, it would be in a position to observe that they contain about 65 large and very sharp teeth.
The monkey might also discover that, while it is more agile at seeking out its prey in water, even on dry land the croc can reach a surprisingly nifty 14kph in pursuit of dinner.
But by that time, of course, it could be too late.
Do the monkeys know they’re dicing with death? Oh yes, says Dr Arshad Toosy, acting director of conservation and development at Al Ain Zoo.
“They know by instinct that he is a dangerous animal, but that doesn’t mean they’re not playful.”
The five-year-old crocodile is fed a chicken once every three days, but Dr Toosy said it would attack a monkey if left hungry. So far, no close calls have been reported.
It is not unusual for the zoo to introduce a mixed-species exhibit, but this is the first time it has brought together primates and crocodiles.
The enclosure, which they share with more than a dozen turtles, replicates a real wildlife habitat, recreating what would be a common scene in eastern Africa.
It was specially http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/monkeying-around-with-a-crocodile-at-al-ain-zoo?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=hmp&utm_campaign=sm
Toronto Zoo officials refuse to confirm arrival of white lions for new exhibit
A trio of rare white lions will soon be on display at the Toronto Zoo, but that’s about all we can tell you about the city’s newest exotic animals.
One male and two female white lion cubs landed in Toronto on Thursday and are now in quarantine at the zoo, a senior official told the Star.
The lions are expected to be the big summer draw for the struggling zoo, which has seen two straight years of declining attendance.
But much about the animals — their names or how long they will stay — remains a mystery. We do know they’re from South Africa and that the zoo paid $45,000 for them, out of existing budget funds.
In keeping with a recent trend of perplexing secrecy, the zoo’s public relations department refused to confirm the arrival of the lions or answer any questions about them.
Staff instead sent a cryptic email response to the Star’s inquires.
“Our plans are in development for 2012 so there is no information to share at this time,” said Shanna Young, the zoo’s director of marketing and communications. “We will continue to provide updates on activities at the zoo when ap http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1133495--toronto-zoo-officials-refuse-to-confirm-arrival-of-white-lions-for-new-exhibit?bn=1
Popular Petting Zoo Under Investigation For Alleged Animal Cruelty, Drug Violations
The Reston Zoo is a popular petting zoo for families and also hosts birthday parties for children. It houses a variety of animals, such as goats and camels and chickens and emus. And, until recently, a Wallaby, which looks like a small kangaroo.
But Thursday morning, Fairfax County Police executed a search warrant after an employee at the zoo said the zoo director had drowned a sick Wallaby as a means of euthanasia. In The search warrant, the employee told the officer he'd put the Wallaby in a crate, and later observed the empty crate next to a water spigot with a five gallon bucket of water.
The warrant says the employee jumped into a dumpster and found a trash bag containing the deceased wallaby which was profusely wet.
The officer wrote that the director said she euthanized the Wallaby by injection with a drug called Beauthanasia. But, the officer found no blood at the supposed injection site and noted http://wusa9.com/news/article/191414/373/Reston-Zoo-Under-Investigation-For-Alleged-Animal-Cruelty-And-Controlled-Drug-Violations
Zoo Atlanta Euthanizes Sick Frog
The male Rabb's fringe-limbed tree frog was believed to be one of two left in the world.
Zoo Atlanta said Friday it had to euthanize an ill frog — believed to be one of two of its kind left in the world — whose species was only discovered in 2005.
The decision to euthanize the male Rabb's fringe-limbed tree frog followed serious decline in his health, Zoo Atlanta said.
Zoo officials also wanted to prevent further suffering and preserve its genetic material.
“Amphibians decompose much more rapidly than do many other classes of animals. Had the frog passed away overnight when no staff members were present, we would have lost any opportunity to preserve precious genetic material,” Joseph Mendelson, Zoo Atlanta’s curator of herpetology said in a statement.
“To lose that chance would have made this extinction an even greater tragedy in terms of conservation, education and biology.”
Herpetologists don't believe there are any Rabb's fringe-limbed tree frogs left in the wild following a fungus that has decimated their populations.
The only other of its kind is another male at the http://eastatlanta.patch.com/articles/zoo-atlanta-euthanizes-sick-frog
Ringling Brothers Bullhook Use Will Not Be Blocked In Atlanta Despite Local Ban
The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be allowed to use bullhooks on elephants during its performances in Atlanta this week despite a countywide ban on the devices.
Bullhooks are tools with long handles and a sharp hook at one end that allows trainers to apply varying degrees of pressure to sensitive spots on an elephant’s body. Circuses say the tools are necessary for the safe handling of elephants, but critics say bullhooks are harmful to the animals.
In June, Fulton County commissioners voted for a ban on the controversial devices, becoming the first Georgia jurisdiction to do so, but on Tuesday, Feb. 14, a Fulton County Superior Court Judge issued an order that temporarily overrode the ban.
In his order, Fulton County Superior Court Judge John Goger said the city of Atlanta had not adopted an elephant ordinance of its own. He also said there is no intergovernmental agreement between the county and the city for animal control services, which enforces the ban.
However, Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts says the city has been paying for and using those county services. "It says to me even in the absence of a signed document there is an implied agreement and therefore we have the right to enforce this provision http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/17/ringling-brothers-bullhooks-atlanta-ban_n_1285214.html?ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#sb=850673,b=facebook
Zoo keeper loves his job
The day ahead of him is hectic and includes preparing animal diets, cleaning, maintaining and repairing enclosures. But each step of the way he has help.
“I love being a zoo keeper,” he says simply. “It offers me an opportunity to work with wild animals directly and at the same time interact with the general public. I would not change for anything in the world.”
Shirinda, who has a degree in nature conservation from the University of South Africa, has been at the zoo for a decade, caring for all sorts of animals. He speaks briefly about his passion for wildlife, and admits that he has a soft spot for the African hippo.
“I know is a destructive animal and feared by many people. But I am fascinated by how fast it moves despite its heavy weight.” Feeding
Much of the cleaning and feeding is done before 9am, when the zoo opens for visitors. “There is a lot of work to be done in the zoo before visitors come in. The foods that have been prepared from the kitchen to feed the animals are collected.”
After slipping into his khaki uniform and thick shoes, the day begins with a meeting.
Here, the zookeepers skim through the daily reports from the previous day to see if there are any issues with the animals which have to be taken into account.
The meeting breaks up, and Shirinda http://www.joburg.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7745&catid=88&Itemid=266
The Zoo Biology Group is concerned with all disciplines involved in the running of a Zoological Garden. Captive breeding, husbandry,cage design and construction, diets, enrichment, man management,record keeping, etc etc