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.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Zoo News Digest 28th January - 4th February 2012 (Zoo News 803)
Zoo News Digest 28th January - 4th February 2012 (Zoo News 803)
Does the photograph upset you? Are you disturbed. I am and I am angry to. I would put the unfortunate creature out of its misery in an instant given half the chance. But I would still be angry because it is places like this which give zoos a bad name. It is not zoos...it is THIS zoo. It is not Chinese zoos...it is THIS Chinese zoo. It is not China...there are bad zoos, terrible zoos all over the world but there are a lot of good and caring zoos too.
Mrs Patricia Busch will have to remain the operator of Zion Wildlife Park unless they can find someone else to take over the role. There is no way as far as I can see that MAF would ever give a licence to Craig Busch. They would lose all credibility if they did. Give the place a new name 'Zion Wildlife Kingdom Ltd' is fair enough....but is this a front for the previous owner? I reckon most people would believe this to be the case. I am hoping that the future of the cats at Zion will be secure and that they can live out their natural lives in safety and comfort though they should never be allowed to breed. As I have stated previously it will do more harm than good and as the link about Orana Wildlife Park states
"Those cats aren't in a recognised breeding programme."
The fate of each cat would probably be decided individually.
"First [we] need to assess the health and the pedigree and the background of the animals. If the cheetah were of suitable bloodlines for the breeding programme they could potentially come here."
The white tigers had most likely been inbred to produce the recessive white gene and it was likely all the tigers were of mixed subspecies.
"So if these tigers are mixed [and] inbred they're no good for breeding. They're display animals only. That doesn't mean they couldn't go to a reputable wildlife sanctuary, though."
Anderson said Orana Park was willing to assist where possible."
I was delighted to read 'Al Ain Zoo becomes hub of conservation efforts'. Credit to them and long may it continue. My only wish is that all zoos in Abu Dhabi Emirate would start to think and act responsibly. It has come to my attention that another collection not so very far away is using a baby Orangutan illegally imported from the wild for photography sessions with the public.
Karaganda Zoo chief says it is "normal practice" in zoos to give monkeys red wine when it is cold. Whereas I can't see a little doing any harm it definitely is not normal practice in "It's normal practice. Zoos do this all over the world." because it is the first time I have heard of it. Strange how these "normal practice" rumours get round. Getting back to Zion Wildlife Park under Craig Busch it was stated my huge numbers of his groupies that declawing was normal practice when it patently never was. I really cannot see how so many normally intelligent people were taken in by this lie. Even today some of these are fighting for animal rights but fail to mention the wrongs by the abusers.
It would seem that at long last that British Zoos are strengthening the security surrounding their Rhinos. I have been expressing the need and strongly that action needed to be taken for quite some time so it is pleasing to see action is at last being taken. (other countries need to follow suit).
Perhaps that means that zoos keeping Tigers will warn people about visiting the Tiger Temple in Thailand. That is another thing I have requested zoos to do time and again and as far as I am aware not a single zoo has. If they really cared about tigers they would. That place needs to be hit very hard in the pocket.
Yes I know I owe you an email...Sorry I will get round to it asap.
I worked around 10 hours on this Digest only to lose everything in a second. Flashing blue screen and screeching and everything was gone. I'd saved it and it was auto saving so where did it all go I wonder? I need a drink.
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Skinny and bony, lion at Xiamen Haicang Zoo suspected to be maltreated
Xiamen Haicang Safari Park was recently under fire for suspectedly maltreating a lion at its park, reports Xiamen Evening News.
A photo attached to a microblog posted by a netizen on 18th January shows the male lion, thin and bony, is lying on the ground feebly and most fur on its lower body has lost. A female lion is sitting by its side and watching the tourists outside the cage helplessly. The cage in the photo is dirty and wet with yellow sewage on the ground.
A woman surnamed Feng reported this to Xiamen Evening News and said she once telephoned the Xiamen mayor special line and the forestry departments to draw their attention to help the lion. But Ms Feng said she did not receive any reply.
China SOS, a large non-profit public welfare relief organization in China, shared relevant postings on the official microblog of its Fujian sub-station. The message was forwarded several thousand times and many netizens call for saving the lion.
A reporter visited the zoo and was told by a staff that the lion was sick and they had sent it for medical treatment. Relevant person in charge Mr. Zhao said the lion belongs to the park performing group and they did not maltreat it.
Zhao said the lion had showed signs of diarrhea, loss of appetite and other symptoms in the end of December last year and they had sent it for treatment. Zhao said the lion is recovering now.
Mr. Liu Nonglin, a staff with the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens, said the animal must be maltreated, or how could the 'king of forest’ take
Noah's Ark Zoo Farm staff getting ready for 'Elephant Eden'
KEEPERS at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm are brushing up their skills ahead of work starting on a multi-million pound Elephant Eden at the site.
Head keeper at the Wraxall attraction, Chris Wilkinson, travelled to Germany to learn more about the giant beasts at the First European Elephant Management School in Hamburg.
Work on the Elephant Eden – which it is claimed will be Europe's biggest elephant sanctuary – is due to start later his year.
Under expert guidance from experienced elephant keepers and industry specialists, Mr Wilkinson was given intense tuition in elephant husbandry, working closely with elephants in real-life scenarios.
From theoretical study of elephant biology and behaviour, through to hands-on practical health-checks including foot care and cleaning, the Elephant Management School based at Hagenbeck's Tierpark provides a comprehensive training program for zoo keepers from across the globe.
Mr Wilkinson, who has more than 12 years experience managing the current collection at Noah's Ark, which includes rhinos, giraffes and lions, will work alongside a specialist new team of experienced elephant keepers to be employed at the zoo if the project is successful.
The Elephant Eden complex is set to give 20 acres of roaming territory for Asian elephants, who will benefit from a vast heated house, extensive sand yards and an indoor swimming pool.
Mr Wilkinson said: "The teaching at Hagenbeck was of an extremely high standard and has equipped me with a foundational knowledge of elephant welfare and husbandry which we hope will come in useful here at Noah's Ark in the future.
"Elephants are highly intelligent, specialist mammals.
"They require professional care when in captivity."
Noah's Ark is preparing to reopen for its new season on Saturday February 4 after its usual winter break.
Visitors can enjoy improved public http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/Zoo-farm-staff-getting-ready-Elephant-Eden/story-15077066-detail/story.html
British zoos put on alert over rising threat of rhino rustlers
Official security warning as animal's horn fetches more than gold on black market
British zoos have been warned their rhinos may be attacked by poachers because of the soaring value of their horns in the Asian medicine market.
After a rumour that it could cure cancer, the horn is now worth more than $40,000 a kilo, and gangs have been breaking into museums and auction rooms in Britain and Europe to steal trophy rhinoceros heads. The fear is zoos – and live rhinos – may be next.
In an unprecedented alert, all 15 British zoos and wildlife and safari parks which hold rhinos – they have 85 animals between them – have been warned by the National Wildlife Crime Unit to tighten security and report anything suspicious to the police at once.
"We have warned British zoos to be on their guard against the possibility of being targeted by criminals seeking rhino horn," said the head of the unit, Detective Inspector Brian Stuart.
Concern is growing that criminals will try to break into a British zoo at night, kill or tranquillise rhinos, and cut off the horns. The potential profits might be very tempting, as a single big horn could weigh more than 5kg and be worth more than $200,000.
In the past four years rhino poaching has exploded in Africa – South Africa especially – going from a total of 13 animals killed for their horn in South Africa in 2007 to 448 in 2011, the highest number ever recorded. Twelve have already been killed in South Africa this year.
The head of Biaza (the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariaums), Miranda Stevenson, said she was "horrified" at the threat, but that, while security made it difficult to get into zoos, "it isn't impossible. Rhinos are big animals and in good weather most zoos will leave them out at night."
A source from a big zoo in southern England said: "We are aware of the warning but our security is pretty tight. We have keepers living on site and they make night patrols."
Detectives first became aware of the threat to zoos after a man was caught trying to smuggle a rhino horn out of Britain to Asia – which turned out to have come from an animal which had died of natural causes in Colchester Zoo.
Powdered rhino horn has long been used as an ingredient in traditional Asian medicine, where it is reputed to lessen fevers.
However, an urban myth about a senior Vietnamese politician who reputedly had his cancer cured by rhino horn swept across Asia in 2008, even though the politician has never been identified or come forward.
Andrew McVey, Species Programme Manager at WWF-UK, said, "A lot of effort is going into addressing the poaching, but we have not been as successful as we would like to be," he said.
The knock-on effects have involved almost 50 targeted burglaries of museums holding rhino heads in Britain and the Continent.
Last July, burglars broke into Ipswich Museum and sawed the 18in horn off Rosie, the head of an Indian rhino that had been there since 1907.
In February, the mounted head of a black rhino was taken from Sworders Fine Art A http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/british-zoos-put-on-alert-over-rising-threat-of-rhino-rustlers-6296572.html
Zoos tighten security as threat of animal poaching grows
The worldwide rise in rhino poaching is forcing zoos and safari parks in Britain to adopt costly security measures
Opening the door to the animal house, passing a rhino on the way and patting the giraffe inside, Sarah Forsyth points out small white boxes that dot the walls. "Everywhere you look there's a detector or a motion sensor," she says, chuckling in front of one that presented the security firm with a peculiarly zoo-specific problem. "These are the ones the giraffe were licking."
She can laugh about it now, but two months ago, when Colchester zoo decided to put in place the £300,000 alarm system, Forsyth's overriding emotions were panic and disbelief.
As curator of the resident rhinos – five southern whites – she is responsible for their care and protection. So when the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) warned all zoos and safari parks that poachers could be targeting the animals for their horn, she was understandably appalled.
"Just the thought of coming in one morning and finding that was more than we could bear to think about, let alone actually facing the reality," she says, as Flossie, Otto, Emily, Cynthia and Zamba kick up dust in the winter sunshine. "After all these years, how can things be getting worse rather than better?"
The NWCU's warning – described by its head, Detective Inspector Brian Stuart, as "appropriate and proportionate" given the intelligence – followed months of mounting concern worldwide over the rise in rhino poaching, fuelled by a rumour that horn could cure cancer. Not only were European museums and zoos being robbed of their horns, but live rhinos in Africa and south-east Asia were being killed or maimed at a dizzying rate.
In 2007, an estimated 13 rhinos were killed in South Africa. Last year, the toll was at least 443. Both the Javan rhino in Vietnam and the western black in West Africa were declared extinct.
According to the police, the threat has become so acute that even live animals in UK captivity are at risk of attack. The fear is that organised criminals could imitate their counterparts in Africa by shooting rhinos with a tranquilliser gun and chainsawing off their horns down to the skull – a bloody and brutal process that usually proves fatal.
"It just goes to show how crazy the demand is," says Neil D'Cruze, of the World Society for the Protection of Animals. "Natural resources have been depleted to the point where they're having to look elsewhere to obtain it." Despite having no proven medicinal properties, rhino horn is now being sold on the global black market for as much as $65,000 a kilogram (£41,000). It is, Stuart says, a "commodity with an ever-rising price".
Dominated by serious organised crime, the illegal trade in wildlife is an increasingly complex and sophisticated black market, says D'Cruze. Rhino horn is the must-have derivative for consumers in parts of Asia and beyond, but those who police the trade in Britain see everything from tortoises to tiger bone, birds of prey to bear bile, for sale.
"As far as the endangered species trade is concerned, most people know about it but they think it's something that happens in Africa or Asia," says Sergeant Ian Knox, of the Metropolitan police wildlife crime unit. "What they don't realise is that because it's a trade there's a supply end and a demand end."
Jewellery made from elephant ivory; birds of prey exchanging hands for £50,000; leopard bone sold as an ingredient in traditional medicine: all of these have been reported to police in the UK in recent years, and all are signs of a booming trade.
On the contrary, Stuart says, the anecdotal evidence from abroad would suggest a rise in reported crime – although that could be down to greater public awareness and more concerted law enforcement, he adds.
Despite its size, many feel the illegal trade is not getting the attention or resources it deserves. "I don't think it's given enough prominence," says Stephanie Sanderson, of Chester zoo. "I don't think the general public realise how important it is and what the consequences are."
Sanderson says the issue has led her and her colleagues to believe that "a number of our species" – not just rhinos – are under threat. A man once tried to smuggle out a parrot, she recalls.
The issue of resources came to a crunch in London last year when it emerged that cuts were threatening the Met's specialist unit, which had only three members of staff as it was.
Warning that the illegal trade could flourish in London without the wildlife crime unit, the World Society for the Protection of Animals stepped forward with a "significant" sum of money that enabled Knox to expand his unit.
D'Cruze says the predicament was symptomatic of the prevailing attitude towards wildlife crime police. "The fact is that at the moment – and this isn't to do a disservice to the unit; I think this applies to all [wildlife crime] enforcement agencies throughout the world – they're seen as the Mulder and Scully of the police department," he says.
Knox and Stuart vigorously reject this claim; the latter insists that the NWCU has "had nothing but support".
But Stuart agrees there remains a perception of "high profit, low risk". The maximum sentence for trying to export a rhino horn out of the UK is seven years under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979. "Balance that up," Stuart says, with a case reported this week of three rhino poachers sentenced to 25 years in jail in South Africa.
In the paddock at Colchester, rhino calf Zamba drinks alongside his mother, Cynthia. His existence is testament to the battle being fought to save the species. The two-year-old was born through artificial insemination in 2009, the http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/03/zoos-security-animal-poaching-threat?newsfeed=true
Colchester Zoo steps up security to protect rhinos from horn poachers
Colchester Zoo has spent thousands of pounds on security to protect the horns of its rhinos from poachers.
A big-money alarm system has been installed to deter poachers who might be planning to sneak in at night and saw off the animals’ horns.
Rhino horn has long been a sought-after commodity, but prices are currently almost $40,000 a kilo because it is reputed to be a cure for cancer.
The National Wildlife Crime Unit has warned all British zoos with rhinos poachers will stop at nothing to get hold of horns, even targeting animals in captivity.
Colchester Zoo, in Maldon http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/9503559.Colchester_Zoo_steps_up_security_to_protect_rhinos_from_horn_poachers/
Rebel hero who has 'betrayed' the last of Aceh's orang-utans
Governor has dismayed supporters by allowing the destruction of a Sumatran forest where the apes live
When the former rebel leader Irwandi Yusuf became governor of Indonesia's Aceh province, he proclaimed a "green vision" for the war-torn region. Aceh's lush forests – still relatively pristine despite decades of civil conflict – would not be sacrificed for short-term profit, he promised. True to his word, he even chased down illegal loggers in his own jeep.
But, five years on, Mr Irwandi has dismayed supporters by authorising the destruction of a peat swamp forest which is one of the last refuges of the critically endangered Sumatran orang-utan. The move breaches a presidential moratorium – part of an international deal to save Indonesia's forests – as well as legislation protecting a conservation area where the Tripa swamp is located.
Aceh lies at the north-western tip of Sumatra, where three-quarters of the Tripa forest has already been replaced by palm oil plantations. Conservationists warn the remainder – home to the densest population of Sumatran orang-utans – is crucial to the ape's survival.
Global demand for palm oil is blamed for widespread forest destruction by the two main producers, Indonesia and Malaysia. The lowland forests, on Sumatra and Borneo, shelter the last orang-utans on the planet. The granting of a new permit to one of Indonesia's biggest palm oil companies, PT Kallista Alam, threatens another 4,000 acres of Tripa peatland. Although the area is comparatively small, the move could set a dangerous precedent, according to Ian Singleton, who runs the Sumatran Orang-utan Conservation Programme. "If this goes ahead, no forest is safe," he said.
Mr Irwandi, 51, used to be idolised by many Acehnese. He was a leader of the rebel movement, which fought for independence from Indonesia http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/rebel-hero-who-has-betrayed-the-last-of-acehs-orangutans-6297297.html
Polar bear weighing helped by some tomato ketchup
It's not easy weighing a polar bear, but some tomato ketchup should do the trick...
Three-year-old Walker lives in Highland Wildlife Park in Scotland and is the only polar bear on public display in the UK.
It's important that the animals at the park get weighed, but Walker is more interested in going for swim instead.
So staff have to tempt him with a fishy treat of mackerel mixed with tomato ketchup - yum - to http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/16840937
Can hunting endangered animals save the species?
The scimitar horned oryx . . . the addax . . . the dama gazelle - three elegant desert antelope that you'd hope to see on a journey through Africa, except that their numbers are dwindling there. Which is why Lara Logan went to Texas -- yes, Texas. There, on large grassland ranches, some exotic species that are endangered in the wild have been brought back in large numbers. But there's a catch: a percentage of the herd is hunted every year by hunters who pay big money for a big catch. The ranchers say this limited "culling" gives them the money they need to care for the animals and conserve the species. But animal rights activists don't buy that argument, claiming the hunts are "canned" and that hunting is wholly inconsistent with conservancy.
Where can you find some of the best big game hunting in the world? It's a place that may surprise you. Tonight, we're going to take you on a journey into a world that many people don't even know exists.
To get the best view, we flew by helicopter over this vast terrain. From the air, we could see herds of African antelope and zebra charging across the wide open spaces. It looks remarkably like Africa, but it's not. This is Texas.
Here in the Lone Star State the iconic Texas longhorn now shares the range with more than a quarter million animals from Asia, Africa, Europe. Today, Texas has more exotic wildlife than any other place on earth.
Lara Logan: How many exotics do you have in Texas?
Charly Seale: I think our last count there's like 125 different species here in Texas.
Charly Seale is a fourth generation rancher and the executive director of the Exotic Wildlife Association based here in the heart of the Texas hill country. It's his job to represent the interests of some 5,000 exotic ranchers across North America.
Logan: So would you say Texas has the most non-native species of animals?
Seale: Oh, yes, absolutely.
Logan: It's amazing that you had this really dramatic change in the Texas landscape going on almost unnoticed by the rest of the country.
Seale: A lot of folks have noticed it. But it's been a well-kept secret.
It all began more than half a century ago with surplus animals from zoos. These images were filmed on Texas ranches back in 1975. The ranchers liked the novelty of these strange animals on their properties. But what started as a curiosity has evolved into a major achievement in wildlife conservation, by helping to bring back three African antelope from the brink of extinction, according to Charly Seale.
Seale: Our members own more numbers of rare and endangered species than any other association in the world. Three of our biggest successes have been the scimitar horned oryx, the addax and the dama gazelle. Our numbers have absolutely just skyrocketed in the last, last 15-20 years.
Logan: So, these animals are thriving in Texas while they're still endangered or extinct in their native lands?
Logan: So are they still endangered in your view?
Seale: Absolutely not, not in Texas.
How did thousands of Texas ranches become home to the largest population of exotic animals on earth?
It's thanks to trophy hunters like Paul, who come here in the thousands to hunt these animals every year, sold on the idea of an African hunting experience in Texas. It's open season on close to 100 species of exotic game all the time here because exotic animals are considered private property. Paul allowed us to come with him as he went on this hunt if we agreed to use only his first name.
[Paul: I've been looking forward to this hunt for several months now and I'm just pumped.]
Here, he and a guide are searching for a scimitar horned oryx for him to take home as a trophy. If they find one, it'll cost Paul $4,500. Other animals, like this dama gazelle, cost around $10,000. And the rarest, a cape buffalo, has a $50,000 price tag. Exotic wildlife has become a billion dollar industry in Texas supporting http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57368000/big-game-can-hunting-endangered-animals-save-the-species/
Orana 'not able' to rehome Zion's big cats
Christchurch's Orana Wildlife Park is unlikely to take any big cats from the troubled Zion Wildlife Gardens if it fails to sell.
The Whangarei park was placed in liquidation in August due to rising debts, believed to be up to $100,000.
The 36 cats, which included several white tigers and lions, were being cared for by Patricia Busch, who had been involved in a long-running legal battle over the park with her son Craig, who opened the facility in 2002.
Orana Park chief executive Lynn Anderson said it would not be possible for the animals to come to Christchurch.
It was important for the public – who were naturally concerned for the cats' welfare – to understand it was not a simple matter of picking the 36 animals up and moving them somewhere else, she said.
She estimated it would cost between $1 million and $1.5m to build new enclosures for the cats, and another $300,000 annually to feed and care for them.
Even if the cost issue was resolved, it was highly unlikely the Zion cats would be suitable to add to Australasia's breeding programme, she said.
"Those cats aren't in a recognised breeding programme."
The fate of each cat would probably be decided individually.
"First [we] need to assess the health and the pedigree and the background of the animals. If the cheetah were of suitable bloodlines for the breeding programme they could potentially come here."
The white tigers had most likely been inbred to produce the recessive white gene and it was likely all the tigers were of mixed subspecies.
"So if these tigers are mixed [and] inbred they're no good for breeding. They're display animals only. That doesn't mean they couldn't go to a reputable wildlife sanctuary, though."
Anderson said Orana Park was willing to assist where possible.
"Rather than the cats be put down, we would definitely assist through our networks to find the best option for them. The cats didn't ask to be in that position and we do care."
Nothing could happen with the cats until the park's legal issues were sorted out.
Colin McCloy, of PricewaterhouseCoopers, said the receivers were working towards the sale of the park.
"Under the sale arrangement, we expect the wildlife to remain at the park."
Christchurch-based animal welfare charity Save Animals From Exploitation (Safe) said it wanted independent animal behaviourists and wildlife experts to decide what was best for the cats.
"Both the current owners and the receivers have a financial interest in these big cats and can therefore not be trusted to act in their best interest," director http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6332665/Orana-not-able-to-rehome-Zions-big-cats
New Zion owners accused of 'dirty tactics'
The new owners of Zion Wildlife Park are being accused of using "dirty tactics" in their takeover of the wildlife sanctuary.
The park's receivers, Colin McCloy and David Bridgman of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, said earlier this afternoon the park had been sold to Zion Wildlife Kingdom Ltd and that former owner, 'Lion Man' Craig Busch had been "engaged" to help with the running of the park.
Today receivers, police and MAF staff arrived at the park to tell Craig's mother, Patricia Busch, that the park had been sold and she had to leave the property.
Patricia claims her phone was cut off and her daughter, Megan, arrested for trespassing, in action which their lawyer Evgeny Orlov described as "highly improper".
"It also transpired the business had been sold to people associated with Craig Busch, which is something the receivers did not tell the http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/lion-man-s-sister-arrested-after-zion-sold-4708317
Fears for Lion Man's mother after Zion sale
The lawyer acting for Lion Man Craig Busch's mother says he fears for her health now that her son has apparently returned to Zion Wildlife Park, and she has been locked out of the property.
Mr Busch has reportedly been spotted at the park north of Whangarei following yesterday's announcement the park had been sold.
Following the sale announcement, Mr Busch's mother Patricia was locked out of the park, which she had previously been legally entitled to manage.
Lawyer Evgeny Orlov said today he was unsurprised at Mrs Busch's eviction as he believed Mr Busch was involved in the purchase.
Mrs Busch had been fighting a long-running legal battle with the receivers and Mr Busch as to who had rights to the animals.
An accountant for Mr Busch was at the park yesterday trying to get Mrs Busch to sign documents preventing her speaking to the media, Mr Orlov said.
She went all day without food and when she finally left to get something to eat she was not allowed back in, he said. Police had issued her with a trespass notice.
A team of ''thuggish looking'' security guards were preventing her from returning to the grounds, he added.
''She is extremely stressed - I am worried for her health, she is deeply affected by this.''
Mr Orlov said the main issue was still the future of the 36 big cats on the property.
The park was uneconomical, and strict Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries guidelines had meant it would be too difficult to keep them. Mr Orlov said they would be removed and sold.
''It's just a matter of time. We have lost a collection of cats, you have to ask who is that good for?''
Receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers yesterday announced the business and assets of the park, including the 36 big cats, had been sold to a company which had engaged Mr Busch to help with its operation. The company would hire new staff.
Receiver Colin McCloy said the purchaser was a company called Zion Wildlife Kingdom Ltd. The director of the company is listed as Tracey Beth McVerry, from Tauranga.
Ms McVerry helped organise the Small Block Expo at the Waikato Events Centre. In 2006, Mr Busch was invited to participate in the event with some of his big cats. Visitors to the expo were among the first to witness two new white tiger cubs, which were part of the display.
Ms McVerry could not be reached for comment today.
Receivers went to the gardens site yesterday morning to advise staff of the sale. Staff were given notice and stood down from work on full pay.
Mrs Busch's daughter, Megan, was trespassed and arrested by police as receivers handed the keys to the park's new owners.
Mr Orlov has said he planned to launch wide-ranging injunctions against the purchase, including filing an official complaint against Whangerei police for unlawful search and seizure and assault.
Barriers to the sale had been removed at the High Court at Auckland last week, when representatives for both mother and son, as well as a legal counsel for PricewaterhouseCoopers, appeared.
At that time, Mr Orlov said PricewaterhouseCoopers was no longer challenging Mrs Busch's right over the animals.
The park was placed into liquidation in August last year after the High Court in Whangarei ruled that it could not pay its debts, believed http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/6349699/Fears-for-Lion-Mans-mother-after-Zion-sale
Lion Man's mother still the approved operator of Zion park
The mother of Lion Man Craig Busch is still the approved operator of Northland's troubled Zion Wildlife Gardens, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry confirmed today.
The receivers for the park confirmed this week that the wildlife park had been sold to Zion Wildlife Kingdom, and Mr Busch would be helping run it.
The sale follows a long-running feud between Patricia and Craig Busch.
The park was placed into liquidation in August last year when it was unable to pay debts said to be over $100,000, sparking a fight over ownership of the park's 36 cats between Mr Busch and his mother.
The park was bought by Mr Busch in 2002, but Ms Busch has been running the park since 2006.
Since Mr Busch was dismissed in 2008, the warring http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10783230&ref=rss&utm_campaign=DTN+New+Zealand:&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
Left behind at Zion Wildlife Park (Video)
If there's anything constant at Zion Wildlife Gardens, it's change.
Yesterday new owners took control of the wildlife park, and existing operator Patricia Busch found she couldn't leave the park without running the risk that she wouldn't be let back in.
With the threat of eviction hanging over the operator's head, reporters kept vigil outside the gate while cars came and went.
Ms Busch’s daughter Megan had spent seven hours in Whangarei cells yesterday after being trespassed from her home at Zion.
The locks have since been changed at the head keeper's house, and she isn't allowed back - or even on the road leading to the park.
Patricia Busch has been given a list of conditions, and she must comply or face eviction. One condition is that she cannot instruct the new landlord’s staff.
She asked security to let her lawyer in - but they refused.
So what will become of Patricia http://www.3news.co.nz/Left-behind-at-Zion-Wildlife-Park/tabid/817/articleID/241510/Default.aspx
Wildlife Experts Debate Possible Legalization of Rhino Horn Trade
South Africa grapples with strategies to end rampant poaching
As the killing by poachers of South Africa’s endangered rhinos continues unabated, conservationists are debating possible strategies to ease the crisis.
According to the country’s environmental department, criminals have slaughtered more than 1,000 of the animals in the past five years. In 2011 alone, they killed more than 400.
Only about 20,000 survive in South Africa, mostly in state and private wildlife reserves.
Organizations trying to save them say criminal syndicates are behind the poaching. Rhino horn fetches high prices on the black market. Some people in Asia, most notably in Vietnam, believe that, when ground and ingested, it cures cancer.
Poachers either kill the rhinos with high caliber rifles, or they dart them with veterinary drugs to sedate them. They then use chainsaws to remove the animals’ horns, leaving them to bleed to death.
Ranchers call for legalization
Many ranchers who’ve lost rhinos to poachers are calling for international trade in horns to be legalized, so that it can be controlled by the relevant authorities. If this happens, they argue, the crime syndicates’ black market will be shut down and poaching will cease.
“Because the demand seems to be so huge, legalizing the trade of rhino horn is looking almost the obvious choice to make,” said wildlife park owner Iain Stewart.
Another rhino owner, Angus Sholto-Douglas, echoed Stewart and added that South Africa should be allowed to sell its existing stock of horns. He said the state authorities and others are storing an “enormous” number of horns taken from animals that died naturally.
“We should do a formal audit of that stock then possibly look at selling 10 to 15 percent of that into the market, to get an idea of how quickly that is sold,” said Sholto-Douglas. “Then we’ll have an idea of how big the demand is, and that will allow us to make an informed decision about whether or not to press ahead http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Wildlife-Experts-Debate-Possible-Legalization-of-Rhino-Horn-Trade-137825839.html
Karachi Zoo Under Repair
Good news for Karachiites, renovation of Karachi zoological garden is under progress for making it, country's well standard and beautiful zoological garden.
The administrator of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation recently told media that more animals and birds were being brought to zoo and within a month people would see them here.
Authorities claimed that installation of five new electric water coolers for public underway in the zoo.
The inner roundabout and roads in zoo redesigned.
While, work on the restoration of old fountain, coloring and painting work on animal's cages, corridors and tree trunks underway speedily.
Karachi zoological garden is one of Karachi's top attractions and is the country's oldest zoo founded about 118 years ago.
Its interesting background also plays a part to make it one of the tourist attracted historical place of the country.
British government of India in 1843 had decided to construct a vegetable and dairy farm for the facility of its citizens in a land situated at present near Nishter Road and Sir Agha Khan Road (third) Karachi.
The work was completed under the supervision of Major Blenching during the period of Sir Charles Napier.
Municipal committee took the charge of this land in 1861 and converted it into a public garden.
In 1878, the municipality placed the zoo under a trust to be developed out of public contribution.
Later, in 1881 the zoo once again opened to public.
Before independence, it was known as Mahatma Gandhi Park.
According to sources, in 1953, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation introduced a zoo curator and a qualified veterinary doctor.
In 1992, the Japanese Princess inaugurated the remodelled Natural History Museum.
Currently, total strength of Karachi Zoo is about 240 staff members.
Despite of many shortcomings, this historical place is a source of fun, recreation and education for people of all ages.
Located at the center of the city, the zoo is home http://www.brecorder.com/weekend-magazine/single/654/0/1147906/
Slow and Steady
A Manhattan night-life baron’s race to save an ancient species.
The writer travelled with Eric Goode, a fifty-three-year-old Manhattan hotel and restaurant owner, to the northwestern coast of Madagascar, where they met with smugglers to discuss buying one of the world’s rarest tortoises: Astrochelys yniphora, known locally as angonoka and in English as the plowshare tortoise. The plowshares’ last remaining habitat was ninety miles down the coast, in remote scrubland around Baly Bay. Poaching, possessing, and selling plowshares are all illegal under Madagascan law, and trading in them is banned by international treaty, which only increases their value on the global black market. Determined collectors in Europe and the U.S. are said to pay up to a hundred thousand dollars for an adult plowshare. Back at the Hotel Piscine, on the Mahajanga waterfront, a conference on Madagascar’s tortoises and turtles was in progress. Goode, one of the sponsors, had slipped out to conduct a survey of the local black market in plowshares. Goode operates in several worlds. He started out in New York, in the seventies, as an artist. In 1983, Goode and three partners opened Area, the art-house night club. He built and bought trendy hotels—the Maritime, the Bowery, the Jane, Lafayette House—and restaurants, including Time Café, the Bowery Bar, and the Waverly Inn. In a parallel life, he is a herpetophile of utmost seriousness. Most of his closest friends are scientists and other herpers. Chelonians—turtles and tortoises—are Goode’s grand passion, and he owns a five-acre compound in Ojai, California, called the Behler Chelonian Center, which is devoted to the care and breeding of endangered turtles and tortoises. It houses five hundred-plus animals of more than two dozen species, and its inhabitants are collectively worth millions on the rare-wildlife market. The Behler Center got eight plowshares, all confiscated animals, from Hong Kong last June, and two from Taiwan in 2010. Before he got his plowshares, Goode began investing in their protection in the wild in Madagascar. His main partner there was the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, a British charity. In 1998, the Durrell Trust helped create a national park in Baly Bay for plowshare protection, and it has reintroduced several dozen tortoises to the wild there. The writer and Goode visited the Baly Bay National Park. Mentions Miguel Pedrono and Lora Smith. Goode believes that at least a thousand plowshares have been smuggled out of Baly Bay in recent years. The poaching situation was so bad that Durrell had stopped reintroducing animals to the wild for two years. Describes a visit to the Durrell Trust’s Chelonian Captive Breeding Centre, in Ampijoroa. Olaf Pronk, a Dutch commercial animal trader who lives in Antananarivo, believes that there’s a commercial solution to the plowshare situation. “Make a legal market,” he said. “The best way to reduce illegal trade is to make a legal trade.” http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/01/23/120123fa_fact_finnegan
Hello ZooLex Friend,
We have worked for your enjoyment!
NEW EXHIBIT PRESENTATION
The Harpy Eagle Encounter at Zoo Miami offers visitors information on eagle biology and conservation by means of interpretive signs and interactive kiosks. Routine maintenance of the hardware in the kiosks as well as media and software updates associated with the exhibit guarantee a high standard of interpretation.
Fatal accidents due to glass and light are a serious threat for wild birds.
Bird silhouettes do not prevent birds from crushing into glass. They may however mislead visitors to your institution about their ineffectiveness.
Please take off bird silhouettes from glass panels and windows at your institution and look for effective methods to prevent bird from crushing into glass.
The American Bird Conservancy released very comprehensive and illustrative guidelines for bird-friendly building design such as the use of non-reflective glass, incorporating visual markers, muting reflections and other design-based strategies. Please spread the word about these guidelines and ask architects to follow them.
We would like to thank Christine Sheppard, Ph.D., Bird Collisions Campaign Manager for the American Bird Conservancy for the permission to link to this much needed and highly recommendable document:
The ZooLex Zoo Design Organization is a non-profit organization
registered in Austria (ZVR-Zahl 933849053). ZooLex runs a professional
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Cages of Shame - trailer
The bird man with a tail to tell
Gavin Harrison leapt at the chance to be cast away on a deserted tropical island – even though it was crawling with rats
AS CHOICES go, it shouldn’t have been too difficult. Gavin Harrison was being offered the opportunity to live on a tropical desert island. His home would be a white sand beach surrounded by clear blue waters; he would be lulled to sleep at night by the gentle lapping of waves on the shore.
It sounded like a dream job, but it came with a catch: along with various species of exotic birds, the senior bird keeper at Edinburgh Zoo would be sharing his tropical paradise with thousands of rats.
Their presence would have been enough to put most people off, but it was the need to eradicate the rodents from Henderson Island, a UK overseas territory in the South Pacific, which called for Harrison’s aviculture skills. Harrison was part of a small team charged with protecting the rail, a bird species unique to the island, while the rat eradication project was undertaken.
“There were rats everywhere,” he says. “Most nights we’d get them visiting the camp.” It meant Harrison and his five fellow team members had to be scrupulous about tidying up after themselves. Even items like soap and toothpaste had to be carefully stored to stop the rats from gnawing them.
Described by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds as an “ecological time-capsule”, Henderson Island is home to 55 species of endemic birds and plants and is a World Heritage Site thanks to its unique, pristine flora and fauna. Harrison’s work was part of a larger RSPB and Pitcairn Islands government operation to conserve rare seabirds by removing non-native Pacific rats. The rodents, who probably reached Henderson Island from visiting boats centuries ago, were destroying the island’s habitat, driving the endangered Henderson petrel to extinction, and significantly damaging the populations of other bird species, rare plants, insects and snails, all found nowhere else on earth.
Despite their long-tailed island mates, Harrison said: “Henderson Island is a unique, beautiful place. It is the only raised forested coral atoll island in the world.” It is also incredibly isolated. “All you can see is the ocean. It’s amazing just knowing how remote you are. We only saw one boat in the whole five months we were there and it was a yacht.”
“We pretty much missed out on everything that happened in the world for five months, apart from occasional updates on the cricket scores. It was nice to be out of the loop for a while, living a basic life and not having to think about the outside world or use money.”
Untouched by humans and more than 3,000 miles from the mainland, the location of Henderson Island made the project extremely difficult. Making the 18,000-mile journey from Edinburgh involved six flights and took a week by air and sea. The last leg of the journey, from Pitcairn, the nearest inhabited island, was a 24-hour sail in a boat appropriately named Braveheart during which everyone in the team except Harrison was violently seasick.
“It was rough but there was no time to feel ill or jet-lagged,” he says. Once they arrived, the team had to unload their equipment and supplies and build their camp at the edge of the 43 square kilometre island. Their home for the next five months would be a coconut grove, created generations earlier to provide shelter for anyone shipwrecked in the surrounding waters. The group had to take everything they needed for their stay, from tents, DVDs and books, to bottled water for drinking, cooking and washing, and tins of corned beef and tomatoes. They also took materials to build aviaries for the rails they hoped to save.
They typically rose at 6am with the sun and breakfasted on muesli with powdered milk before clambering 150 metres up a steep coral embankment, where they’d spend the day working. The solution to the rat problem was to drop rat poison pellets across the island from bait buckets hanging beneath helicopters. Because the flightless rail, a relative of the moorhen and coot, feeds at ground level, there was a danger it would eat the poison. To guard against this, Harrison and his team set about catching the rails – an adrenaline-filled task, which involved “lots of running around and falling over and whacking your hands off hard coral”. The birds were then housed in the aviaries which were covered while the poison was spread. “The island is very hard to get around past the white sanded beach areas – the plateau is extremely difficult to walk on with jagged coral spikes which make for a dangerous working environment,” says Harrison, who shredded half-a-dozen pairs of shoes during his stay because of the rough terrain.
Their hard work was rewarded with temperatures consistently in the high 20s Centigrade, regular sightings of humpback whales and stunning views with palm trees, clear blue skies and crystal clear waters stretching as far as the eye could see.
“We knew that if we had any medical emergencies we couldn’t get help quickly,” continues Harrison, who, along with the rest of his team, had undergone a First Aid course designed for people journeying to remote locations. Luckily they didn’t need to put what they had learned to the test.
The greatest challenge was coping with the isolation, though desert island life wasn’t a complete shock to the system for Harrison. He’d previously carried out projects on the Hebridean island of Canna, and on an uninhabited corner of the Falkland Islands, though eight weeks in isolation was the longest he’d endured before. “You have to be mentally strong and a good team player, and after three or four months I was certainly looking forward to getting back to civilisation.”
His only contact with the outside world came via irregular calls to his girlfriend, Rachel, in Edinburgh via satellite phone and Skype. The team used a petrol generator to charge their electrical devices. Crucial to keeping morale up on the long, dark nights were the movie evenings he and his fellow castaways enjoyed. “We watched a lot of comedies, it was important to keep it light. Being a tropical island it was getting dark by 6 or 7pm and the evenings would be very long without some form of entertainment.” Their viewing included The Expendables, the Sylvester Stallone film about a group of mercenaries called to a remote island to assassinate a merciless dictator, and the entire series of 24, Kiefer Sutherland’s hit American espionage drama. His other essential survival tool was his iPod, filled with music by Coldplay and Radiohead which, Harrison concedes, “perhaps wasn’t the cheeriest of music” to pass the time http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/arts-blog/the_bird_man_with_a_tail_to_tell_1_2084126
Pandas may return to Toronto Zoo: report
Toronto Zoo’s chief executive will provide an update about a special exhibit, which one report is saying will be a pair of pandas from China.
Members of the zoo board are meeting Thursday morning, and one of the items on the agenda is an update by CEO John Tracogna on “a future special exhibit.” But no further details were provided, and officials weren’t immediately available for comment.
Citing sources, the Globe and Mail reported Thursday that the panda announcement will be made next week during Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s five-day visit to China.
The zoo has been trying for years to bring a pair of pandas to Toronto, and even struck a Giant Panda Acquisition Task Force comprised of board and external members in its effort to raise funds and acquire the animals.
In an August 2010 letter, Tracogna said “The Zoo’s goal is to introduce the new giant panda cooperation and research project in conjunction with the 2015 PanAm http://www.citytv.com/toronto/citynews/news/local/article/184693--pandas-may-return-to-toronto-zoo-report
Snowy owls soar south from Arctic in rare mass migration
Bird enthusiasts are reporting rising numbers of snowy owls from the Arctic winging into the lower 48 states this winter in a mass southern migration that a leading owl researcher called "unbelievable."
Thousands of the snow-white birds, which stand 2 feet tall with 5-foot wingspans, have been spotted from coast to coast, feeding in farmlands in Idaho, roosting on rooftops in Montana, gliding over golf courses in Missouri and soaring over shorelines in Massachusetts.
A certain number of the iconic owls fly south from their Arctic breeding grounds each winter but rarely do so many venture so far away even amid large-scale, periodic southern migrations known as irruptions.
"What we're seeing now -- it's unbelievable," said Denver Holt, head of the Owl Research Institute in Montana.
"This is the most significant wildlife event in decades," added Holt, who has studied snowy owls in their Arctic tundra ecosystem for two decades.
Holt and other owl experts say the phenomenon is likely linked to lemmings, a rodent that accounts for 90 percent of the diet of snowy owls during breeding months that stretch from May into September. The largely nocturnal birds also prey on a host of other animals, from voles to geese.
An especially plentiful supply of lemmings last season likely led to a population boom among owls that resulted in each breeding pair hatching as many as seven offspring. That compares to a typical clutch size of no more than two, Holt said.
Greater competition this year for food in the Far North by the booming bird population may have then driven mostly younger, male owls much farther south than normal.
Research on the animals is scarce because of the remoteness and extreme conditions of the terrain the owls occupy, including northern Russia and Scandinavia, he said.
The surge in snowy owl sightings has brought birders flocking from Texas, Arizona and Utah to the Northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest, pouring tourist dollars into local economies and crowding parks and wildlife areas. The irruption has triggered widespread public fascination that appears to span ages and interests.
"For the last couple months, every other visitor asks if we've seen a snowy owl today," said Frances Tanaka, a volunteer for the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Olympia, Washington.
But accounts of emaciated owls at some sites -- including a food-starved bird that dropped dead in a farmer's field in Wisconsin -- suggest the migration has a darker side. And Holt said an owl that landed at an airport in Hawaii in November was shot and killed to avoid collisions with planes.
He said snowy owl populations are believed to be in an overall decline, possibly because a changing climate has lessened the abundance of vegetation like grasses that lemmings rely on.
This winter's snowy owl outbreak, with multiple http://news.yahoo.com/snowy-owls-soar-south-arctic-rare-mass-migration-175336821.html
How China is driving the grim rise in illegal ivory
Demand from Asia is driving the killing of Africa's elephants for their tusks, with seizures hitting a record high in 2011 following a ban in 1989
Last year was the worst year for ivory seizures in Africa since an international ivory ban went into effect in 1989. During 2011, authorities seized more than 23 tons of ivory, which represented about 2,500 individual elephants killed.
At the forefront of efforts to track this grim data is Tom Milliken, the elephant expert for TRAFFIC, the group that monitors the international trade in wildlife under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). In that role, the U.S.-born Milliken tracks and analyzes data related to the ivory trade and attempts to raise awareness of the importance of preserving one of Africa's most iconic species.
Milliken, who has lived in Africa since 1991, attributes the latest spike in ivory seizures to a seemingly insatiable demand for ivory in Asia and the increasingly sophisticated network of criminal gangs that are feeding the market.
In an interview with Yale Environment 360 contributor Christina Russo, Milliken talked about the factors leading to the continued slaughter of elephants and about the lack of strong law-enforcement against ivory traffickers. "The fact that nobody is ever arrested, and there are no prison sentences," he said of cases where ivory is seized, "just sends them right back into the bush to accumulate more ivory faster because they want to make up for what they just lost."
Yale Environment 360: Last year was arguably the worst for large-scale elephant seizures since the ivory ban in 1989, with the seizure of more than 23 tons of elephant tusks. Did you see this crisis coming?
Tom Milliken: In one sense, yes. I've been running a database, the Elephant Trade Information System [ETIS] for CITES, as the monitoring system for illegal trade. And in every analysis that we've done since 2004, illegal trade in ivory has been escalating. The last time we did a major assessment, in 2009, it was escalating at a rate faster and greater than we had seen previously... http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jan/23/china-rise-illegal-ivory?newsfeed=true
Orangutan Rescue and Release 17-27 Jan 2012
Two orangutans (mother and child) were rescued on January 22, 2012 and released on January 25, 2012 in Kehje Sewen Forest, in the Regency of East Kutai, East Kalimantan. Kehje Sewen is a forest ecosystem restoration concession (HPH-RE). The right to manage this area has been awarded to PT RHOI.
Jakarta, February 2, 2012. After nearly a week combing several oil palm plantations in the regency of Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan, the Rescue and Release Operation which began on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 finally paid off. On Sunday, January 22, 2012, the Rescue Team, which was a joint-team of staff from PT Restorasi Habitat Orangutan Indonesia (RHOI), Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF), and The Office of Conservation and Natural Resources of East Kalimantan (BKSDA http://www.orangutans.com.au/Orangutans-Survival-Information/Orangutan-Rescue-and-Release-Operation-17-27-Jan-2012.aspx
Exotic animals: Leopard seized from Ohio home zoo is euthanized
A spotted leopard that survived a wildlife massacre at a ramshackle home zoo in Ohio has been euthanized after an accident at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, where it was being held in quarantine.
The leopard was being moved between two enclosures about 11 a.m. Sunday when it was struck in the back of the neck by a heavy security door that was being lowered at the time. The change in enclosures appears to have been part of the zoo's normal cleaning and feeding routine.
"The leopard moved through the opening but then unexpectedly darted back as the door was being lowered, striking it on the neck," according to a statement released by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, which was overs http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2012/01/leopard-siezed-at-ohio-home-zoo-euthanized-after-neck-injury-.html
Zoo owl is eaten by lions
FAMILIES visiting a zoo were left in tears after lions ate an owl which had flown into their enclosure.
Ash the barn owl was taking part in a display with his handler when a lioness in the enclosure clubbed him out of the air.
Watching children screamed as a male lion then pounced and devoured the bird. Keepers rushed into the lion enclosure at Colchester Zoo, Essex, but could not save Ash.
The crowd was quickly moved on and the area closed to the public. Gavin Duthie, from Colchester, had been enjoying the owl display with his two-year-old son, Daniel. He said: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4100514/Zoo-owl-is-eaten-by-lions.html
Tracking the Elusive Orangutan
CAS prof studies links between nutrition, reproduction
Crashing through undergrowth, splashing through creeks, Cheryl Knott races to keep up with the 100-pound ape adroitly clambering through the lush canopy overhead. She’s following the wild orangutan, whom she calls Beth, through the Indonesian rain forest, documenting the animal’s daily search for fruit to feed herself and the newborn infant clinging to her reddish fur.
The scene typifies Knott’s many research expeditions to Gunung Palung National Park in an Indonesian province on the island of Borneo, where the College of Arts & Sciences associate professor of anthropology has been studying orangutans since 1992. In addition to observing and documenting the behavior of the endangered species, Knott and her field team of Western and Indonesian researchers gather samples of the orangutans’ food, which she’ll later analyze for calorie and nutrient content, and of their urine, which she’ll test to measure the animals’ hormone levels. Her not-so-glamorous role as an “orangutan pee collector” earned Knott a place in Popular Science’s 2005 list of the worst jobs in science. “Have I been pissed on? Yes,” she told the magazine.
Knott began studying orangutans as a graduate student at Harvard in the early 1990s. “I was interested in a general sense in reproduction because evolution operates through reproductive success,” she says. While her initial interest was in human reproduction, she “started to realize that we actually http://www.bu.edu/today/2012/tracking-the-elusive-orangutan/
Zoo wants to ban Super Bowl ad featuring chimps
The CareerBuilder.com ad campaign featuring chimps has been a popular one.
Last year's Super Bowl ad ranked No. 6 on the USA TODAY ad meter.
Now officials from Lincoln Park Zoo are trying to ban the ads because they believe it harms conservation and makes people believe that chimps can be pets.
"If people see them that way they are less likely to try and conserve them," Dr. Steve Ross, assistant director of the zoo's Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes told Don Babwin of the Associated Press. "Individual chimps are being harmed and wild populations are being harmed by this frivolous use of an endangered species."
Ross says the company has been ignoring his letters since 2005 and does expect them http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gameon/post/2012/02/zoo-wants-to-ban-super-bowl-ad-featuring-chimps/1
SweetART for your Sweetheart!
Knoxville Zoo’s animal artists have been hard at work creating original pieces of art for your SWEETHEART! Get ready to make a bid on one-of-a-kind works of art created WITH LOVE by the animals with fingers, paws, noses, trunks, tails, fur and brushes too. From elephants to rabbits, these unique pieces - with a romantic flair - will provide just the right accent for a home or office. And with Valentine's Day right around the corner they make the perfect gift for that special animal lover in your life. http://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/AuctionHome.action?auctionIdfirstname.lastname@example.org&ctmid=147485632
Pandas raise zoo visitor numbers
Visitor numbers at Edinburgh Zoo are up 200% thanks to the recent arrival of giant pandas.
Around 70,000 people have seen Tian Tian and Yang Guang since they went on public display in December, more than three times the number who visited the zoo in the same period of 2010.
Around 1,000 cuddly panda toys, some costing as much as £40, have been bought from the zoo shop each week since the animals went on display.
Edinburgh Zoo chief executive Hugh Roberts said: "We've been fully booked almost every day so far and expect the popularity of Tian Tian and Yang Guang to continue. Visitors' faces have been amazing, both young and old. For the vast majority of people this is the first chance they've had in their lifetime to cast their eyes on a giant panda."
Visitors are not charged extra to enter the panda enclosure but time slots need to be reserved due to the high demand.
Around 200 spaces are available for each half-hourly interval and this scheme has been extended to March to ensure as many people as possible can see the bears each day.
Mr Roberts added: "As well as being incredibly endangered and rarely seen http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/pandas-raise-zoo-visitor-numbers-6297878.html
Fewer zoos may have elephants under new standard
Fewer U.S. zoos of the future may have elephants but those that do would have happier animals under a new policy requiring American zoos with two elephants to add space for a third in case one dies.
Starting in 2016, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums will require room for three elephants if a zoo wants to retain the AZA's coveted accreditation.
"Elephants are social creatures, they require other elephants," said AZA spokesman Steve Feldman.
There are 20 or so two-elephant zoos in the United States, such as the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas, where African elephants Cinda and Stephanie have been together for 40 years. Unless the zoo is expanded, they would have to move, possibly getting split up.
"They are like sisters, they came here when they were five feet tall and grew up together," said Mike Quick, curator of mammals at the Sedgwick County Zoo.
What would happen if one died?
"It would be traumatic," Quick said. "That's why it's important to have other elephants so you don't go through that experience."
Quick supports the AZA three-elephant standard, even though he is not sure how his zoo will deal with it four years from now. The cost of making room for three elephants would be about $1 million, Quick said, and then the zoo would need to find a third elephant.
About 70 of the 225 zoos accredited by the AZA have at least two elephants and none have only one elephant, Feldman said. But there are lone elephants at some of the 6,000 non-accredited, though licensed, wildlife exhibits in the country, he said.
The AZA rule requiring space for a third elephant will allow for a shifting population, he said.
"Some zoos will work to get more elephants and some may decide they will not have elephants in the future," Feldman said. The AZA wants to have a minimum of three elephants at every zoo through breeding programs and population transfers.
The Sedgwick County Zoo has a $16 million "dream plan" for a new elephant habitat and breeding program, but the money isn't there, Quick said. He said the zoo's board is looking at options to keep the elephants.
Stephanie and Cinda are among the most popular animals at the zoo, especially during their weekly Tuesday morning exercises, Quick said.
The Topeka Zoological Park in Kansas also has two elephants, females Tembo and Sunda. But the zoo expanded in 2007 to make room for up to four elephants, said zoo director Brendan Wiley.
The challenge for zoos such as Topeka's will be to find http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/01/us-usa-zoos-elephants-idUSTRE8101SQ20120201
RHINO RESOURCE CENTER – NEWSLETTER 26 – FEBRUARY 2012
All about rhinoceros conservation, research, education – in all languages – on all subjects.
In this issue:
Capture of Puntung in Sabah
Rhino horn thefts
The Rhinoceros in Mammals of the World
Bibliography of Fossil Rhinocerotidae
Pachyderm 50 is near
RRC Website Report 2011
Douwe Mout and rhino Clara
Rhinos in Modern Art
Rhino literature in the 21st century
New additions to the RRC on African, Asian and Fossil Rhinos
The total number of references in the database and collection of the RRC now stands at 16,219.
There are over 14,795 references available as PDF on the RRC website. http://www.rhinoresourcecenter.com/index.php?s=1&act=refs&CODE=ref_detail&id=1328049671
The zoo visitors who saw a lion kill an owl can count themselves lucky
We've had some unexpected animal run-ins at Dartmoor zoo – it can be an unforgettable educational experience
When I heard that Colchester zoo had lost one of its owls to one of its lions, my first thought was: "That could have been us, or any other zoo in the country." Although our falcon display takes place a good distance from the bears, wolves, lions and tigers, the birds do sometimes become distracted and make forays into areas they shouldn't.
Fortunately, so far, they have always – eventually – returned to the capable gauntlet of David our falconer. Being on the edge of Dartmoor, where big buzzards and falcons are not uncommon other wild birds often fly nearby. I once watched one of our falcons become a speck in the sky a mile away while it checked out a potential mate or rival, and my greatest concern then was actually for our two meerkats, who are the natural prey of such birds – luckily they never forget it, constantly checking the sky and darting into their burrows even when a plane flies past.
From that distance looking down at the park, these two bite-sized mammals would have looked pretty appetizing to a large bird of prey flying in. It would have been a dramatic climax for David's display, though not the outcome we'd want, if the crowd had witnessed the falcon swoop down and carry off Timone or Sue in their talons, squeaking plaintively "I knew this would happen."
And we have had some unexpected animal run-ins ourselves. Our Siberian lynx, Karuna, caught three peacocks while she was in quarantine here, waiting to go into her enclosure. Because the quarantine is usually empty, the peacocks got used to roosting there, and took a while to adapt to the idea that there was suddenly a large, well equipped jumping predator living there, who specialises in taking birds in flight.
Karuna's success with the peacocks may have actually tainted her relationship with her mate, Les. When they were first introduced, he gallantly caught a mouse and passed it through the fence for her. But she turned her nose up and walked away unimpressed, as if to say: "Bring me an emu and maybe we can talk." She's been remained pretty unimpressed with Les ever since.
The most spectacular catch I wish I'd seen was when Josie, our lioness, caught a wild heron in flight, more than 10 feet off the ground. The heron was scouting for scraps from the lions' food, and thinking it was far enough up to be safe. Which, in normal circumstances it would be. But not above a lion enclosure. Several people saw her http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/02/zoo-visitors-lion-owl-kill
Conservationists Are Howling Over Liam Neeson’s Latest Movie ‘The Grey’
Local conservationists are taking on the number one movie in the nation. “The Grey” shows actor Liam Neeson struggling for survival against a pack of wolves.
But the wolf keepers at the Westchester Wolf Conservation Center told CBS2′s Lou Young that they’re upset about the way the animals are being portrayed in “The Grey”.
“This movie does exploit an irrational fear, and it’s going to keep growing,” said Spencer Wilhelm. “They used wolves in making that film. Behaviorally, wolves are not going to do things like that.”
The conservationists at the center raise and care for endangered wolves before releasing them into the wild out west, and in the south to improve ecological balance.
In the wild the wolves face an already http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/02/01/conservationists-are-howling-over-liam-neesons-latest-movie-the-grey/
Trumpets of outrage in the outback
An Australian biology professor is causing a rumble in the academic jungle by suggesting that his country should import elephants and other foreign species into its wild interior.
Rhinos and even giant Komodo dragon lizards could be imported, David Bowman suggests in an article in Nature.
He says Australia is just not managing its most pressing ecological problems, and something radical is needed.
But some fellow scientists say it is just a bad and dangerous idea.
Others, however, are supportive, seeing potential for helping beleaguered Aboriginal communities and reducing the risk of forest fires, as repairing some damaged ecology.
The problems Prof Bowman proposes solving with his radical zoological armoury stem from the huge changes wrought by the two waves of human arrival - the first by forebears of the Aborigines about 50,000 years ago, and the second by European settlers a few hundred years ago.
The first initiated the slow demise of the spectacular megafauna that once bestrode the giant continent.
They included the marsupial lion, a metre and a half long and a powerful predator; the diprotodon, a wombat bigger than a cow; giant birds such as the Dromornidae family that once boasted Stirton's Thunder Bird, three metres high; and crocodiles, lizards and turtles bigger than any still walking this Earth.
Take so many big species out of an ecosystem, and there are bound to be changes all the way down to its bottom.
If you throw in land clearance across enormous swathes of the continent and the subsequent introduction of rabbits, camels, cane toads, rats, pigs and everything else that came with the European settlers, you have an ecology in profound turmoil.
Attempts have been made to control rabbits, pigs, buffalo and lots of other alien species; but they haven't really worked.
"We have a very unbalanced ecology and it's all just spiralling into a trajectory," lamented Prof Bowman when I spoke to him earlier in the week.
"We're not managing actively, we're just managing bits of the problem - so it's a big mess."
So the root of his idea is that if you can't restore the animals themselves, bring in something http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16843096
Moving closer to world-class zoos
The new zoo regulations, which among others stipulate a minimum cage size for animals, come into effect today.
The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry said in a statement yesterday that 42 zoos nationwide will be given a six-month grace period to comply with the regulations -- which are a part of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 -- or risk having their permits cancelled.
Those who operate zoos illegally can be fined a maximum of RM70,000 or jailed up to three years, or both.
Apart from a minimum cage size, the new regulations also require zoos to set up a quarantine area for wildlife; employ a full-time or permanent consultant veterinarian; provide wildlife with nutritious and sufficient quantities of food as prescribed by a veterinarian; provide a veterinary clinic and hospital in the zoo premises; maintain an animal record keeping and healthcare; ensure the cleanliness of the zoo; ensure that vaccination of zoo animals be done by a veterinarian or anyone under his supervision; conduct euthanasia whenever necessary; and conduct wildlife shows that involves an animal's natural behaviour only.
Zoos would also be required to renew their permits annually.
"The criteria set under these regulations are intended to ensure that the welfare, health and safety of wildlife in captivity are well taken care of by the zoo operators.
"These regulations will ensure the best management practices in Malaysian zoos to make them world-class zoos," the statement said.
Individuals who do not abide by the regulations http://www.nst.com.my/local/general/moving-closer-to-world-class-zoos-1.40040#ixzz1l7Gy5bR0
Al Ain Zoo becomes hub of conservation efforts
Development projects, climate change and human encroachment into animal habitats are trampling on several species and putting them at risk of extinction. Protection of wildlife may be on the backburner during an economic downturn, but Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort, or simply the Al Ain Zoo, hopes some talking points will put the spotlight back on endangered animals across the world.
Last week, the zoo hosted the third annual workshop of the International Union for Conservation and Nature’s (IUCN) Species Survival Commission Task Force which will present its revised guidelines later this year at a conference in South Korea.
“The focus of this meeting was climate change, pollution and its impact on habitats, and funding for wildlife projects,’’ said Dr Arshad Toosy, acting chief of Life Science and Conservation Development at the zoo. He said it was the ideal platform for international experts to share ideas, discuss current issues and develop solutions to climate change and urbanisation which affect wildlife.
Speaking on the new conservation guidelines which will be released in September to 6,000 delegates this year, Dr Mark Stanley Price, Al Ain Zoo Conservation Fellow and Senior Research Fellow at the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, University of Oxford, said: “The main driver for updating the guidelines is the increasing realisation that the world’s wildlife faces http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2012/January/theuae_January735.xml§ion=theuae
Al Ain Zoo praises new Veterinary progamme
AL AIN - Director General of Al Ain Zoo Ghanim Mubarak Al Hajeri hailed the new Veterinary studies programme established by Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) for UAE Nationals.
The Ministry of Presidential Affairs and the HCT had signed recently an agreement to develop a Diploma in Veterinary Medicine, which will start in September 2013. The course will include all aspects of study of Veterinary Medicine that focus on the health and welfare of animals as well as their benefit to the community.
“We are actively involved in raising awareness on the importance of the welfare of wildlife and species conservation and as such believe that knowledge of our environment and biological sciences is vital for the next young generation of Emiratis.
We commend both the Ministry of Presidential http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2012/January/theuae_January751.xml§ion=theuae&col=
We meet Dubai's penguins
His beady eye is trained on me suspiciously, his beak tense, his yellow chest proudly puffed up. Slowly I edge my hand towards a flipper – I’m certain the flipper makes a small movement towards my hand. I grab the foreign, leathery thing empathetically; I’ve just become one of a minority of people in the world who can claim to have shaken hands with a penguin.
Looking up from my triumph, I watch as a dozen other penguins waddle, frolic and make friends on the powdery snow beneath my feet. Only this isn’t natural snow. In fact, we couldn’t be farther from the penguins’ native South Pole – I’m actually in Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates. If it wasn’t fantastical enough to host an artificial ski slope inside an air-conditioned shopping mall in the middle of the desert, someone decided they needed to take it one step further. That step was flying in 20 perky little penguins to make the mall their permanent home, to be introduced to the Dubai public during the first days of February. Time Out was lucky enough to get an exclusive first meeting with the new arrivals in mid-January, so I suspect I won’t be in the hand- http://www.timeoutdubai.com/aroundtown/features/29848-we-meet-dubais-penguins
Kazakhstan zoo monkeys given wine 'to ward off flu'
A zoo in central Kazakhstan, where overnight temperatures have dipped to nearly -40C, is giving monkeys a wine concoction as a remedy against flu.
Karaganda Zoo chief animal specialist Svetlana Pilyuk told local media it was not a matter of making the animals drunk but of "relaxing" them.
The red wine is diluted with hot water and mixed with sugar and fruit.
Ms Pilyuk said it was "normal practice" in zoos but London Zoo told the BBC this was "absolutely not" the case.
Karaganda is one of the oldest zoos in Kazakhstan, an ex-Soviet republic with extreme winters.
Despite the current freezing weather, the temperature in the monkey enclosure is kept at 27C, Ms Pilyuk said.
'Just like people'
In video released by local newspaper Novy Vestnik, a member of staff at Karaganda Zoo was shown mixing the drink in a kettle.
It consisted of wine, lemon, apple, sugar and "a little" hot water.
Monkeys were then filmed drinking the "grog" from the spout of the kettle, as a keeper coaxed them, saying "Drink, drink, drink".
The keeper told the paper that the norm per animal was between 50 and 100 grams.
Pregnant monkeys and babies are not allowed to have the http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16871325
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