Monday, May 14, 2012

Zoo News Digest 6th - 14th May 2012 (Zoo News 815)

Zoo News Digest 6th - 14th May 2012 (Zoo News 815)

Dear Colleague,

Come on...... "Morrissey Demands Zoo Closure". Just who does he think he is to demand anything? I am sure that he does so with the best of intentions but he really does not see the bigger picture, or at least I hope he doesn't. Such a demand means that he too is crawling into bed with corrupt development groups and commercial zoos.

The Truth About Surabaya Zoo

Dubai Zoo in the news once again. For the umpteenth time there are plans to replace the zoo with something else. I wonder if it really will get started this time. It will be something different, especially the 'Guerilla Exhibit". I hope the place does not end up as somewhere else for unwanted exotic pets to be 'donated'. The idea that a golf course should be attached is a bit of a puzzle. Have a golf course by all means but why lump it and the zoo together.

Meanwhile the Gibbon and Baby Orangutan are still missing from Emirates Park Zoo. Will they end up in Dubai I wonder? More baby chimpanzees and Orangutans continue to be brought into the UAE. Protected presently by a wall of silence.
I have heard it suggested that the two dolphins that died at Connyland Marine Park were deliberately poisoned by Animal Rights Activists. Horrible thought. Why is it though that I find the suggestion to be quite believeable? Maybe it has got something to do with having to check my car for booby trap bombs in years gone past. These people have no respect for life. Any life.

Computer back to making my life difficult. It has got to go. I can't fix it many more times. My health is on the mend. That's a relief.


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New wildlife park to replace Dubai Zoo
A new wildlife park is to be constructed on a 160-hectare piece of land in the middle of the desert in Al Warqa, Dubai.
Animals such as elephants, lions, tigers, monkeys, cheetahs and guerillas - sourced from different parts of the world - will be part of the experience at the park, which will be known as Dubai Safari.
Animals from the current Dubai Zoo in Jumeirah will be relocated to the Dubai Safari park and the current zoo will be closed

India's Supreme Court Halts Plans to Import African Cheetahs
India’s Supreme Court has suspended an ambitious project to import cheetahs from Africa to an Indian wildlife sanctuary and revive a species which became extinct in the South Asian country nearly a quarter of a century ago.
A popular target with hunters, the Asiatic cheetah disappeared from the forests of India in the 1950s.The last of the three cheetahs in the country are said to have been hunted down by a former king in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
The government drew up a plan to revive the species by shipping African cheetahs from Namibia and introducing them to a wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. Fifteen cheetahs were to be brought in during the first phase of the project.
But the Supreme Court this week put the $56 million plan on hold, after wildlife experts called it “totally misconceived.”
Court-appointed adviser P.S. Narasimha said the African cheetah is not native to India and completely different from its Asian counterpart. He said  introducing the African cheetah here goes against guidelines set by the International Union

Cheetahs which mauled British woman in South Africa had attacked another tourist A pair of supposedly tame cheetahs which mauled a British woman on her holiday in South Africa had previously attacked another tourist, it has been claimed.
Housewife Violet D'Mello, 60, from Aberdeen, was rushed to hospital last month after the two big cats leaped on her in a petting enclosure at a private game park.
Owners of the Kragga Kamma wildlife reserve claimed the male cheetahs Mark and Monty were tame and had never attacked humans before.
However an American tourist has since told a South African newspaper she was also injured when the pair lunged at her during a holiday three years ago.
Michelle Bodenheimer, from Portland, Oregon, told the Times people should not be allowed in the enclosure with the cheetahs.
She said: "I am heartbroken to see that Kragga Kamma did not learn from my unfortunate

Divorce Anyone? Woman Gets Mauled By Cheetahs While Husband Takes Pictures
Supposedly enjoying “a trip of a lifetime,” Violet D’Mello traveled with her husband, Archie (both pictured at bottom), to a South African wildlife park. Unfortunately for Violet, the excursion would turn nearly fatal while she was petting “tame animals,” according to RadarOnline

Crested ibis parents aced hunting tests
A pair of crested ibises that successfully hatched three eggs in April proved adept in a hunting and food-gathering test before their release into the wild, it has been learned.
To feed their chicks, the first born in 36 years under natural conditions, the pair need to catch 300 loaches a day. After seeing their outstanding test results in November 2010, the Sado Japanese Crested Ibis Conservation Center had no worries about their ability to feed newborns.
The center usually carries out such tests a few months prior to about 10 ibises being released into the wild. The birds are put in a cage together and must prove their abilities to gather food and adjust to a group-oriented environment.
According to the center, the ibis parents, a 3-year-old male and a 2-year-old female, were the first

Zoo closes after endangered dogs crawl under fence
The Pittsburgh Zoo closed briefly Saturday morning when nine African painted dogs crawled under a fence, said zoo Director Barbara Baker.
The dogs got into a "backup yard" not visible to the public, but were never out of their exhibit. As soon as a keeper realized that the dogs were in another section of their yard, he alerted zoo staff. Zoo officials closed the zoo at about 9:20 a.m. to get the animals back into their regular yard. It re-opened at 10:30 a.m.
Dr. Baker said the zoo went on a "full code red" as a precaution. "What that means is we bring the public into buildings so there is no danger to public."
There were about 200 people on the grounds. "We just walked them into buildings and put the dogs back in main yard."
There are 11 dogs in the exhibit. Nine broke out, crawling through a hole in the fence that separates the 11/2-acre public area from a backup yard that is also about 11/2 acres, Dr. Baker said.
Dr. Baker, a veterinarian, keepers and curators went to the exhibit to move the dogs back. They made the hole in the fence larger, "then we

No, A Jaguar Did Not Escape From Elmwood Park Zoo
get a lot of questions from readers via Facebook and Twitter about the goings on in and around Norristown, but the question I got today from one reader was about the strangest I've ever seen. The reader asked, "Can you say if Elmwood Zoo jaguar got out yesterday?"
Apparently the internet was abuzz yesterday and still into this morning about reports of Elmwood Park Zoo's jaguar making a break for it and prowling the streets of Norristown.
"It's not true," said zoo employee John Brown. He's not sure how the rumor got started, but Brown confirmed that the jaguar is safe in his cage and hasn't taken any field trips. Brown also confrimed that they've been slammed with calls from the public asking about it.
The Norristown Police Department

TWO dolphins who suffered 'drawn out and painful' deaths at a zoo after it hosted a weekend rave were probably killed by a heroin substitute, a leaked toxicology report has claimed.
The animals died within five days of each other in November of last year after bosses had rented land near their training pool to organisers of a weekend rave party for thousands of clubbers.
Prosecutors said at the time that they believed that antibiotics given by zoo vets were to blame for the deaths of the two dolphins at the 'Connyland' zoo in Lipperswil, Switzerland, and they were considering negligence charges.
But now another toxicology report has been leaked to Swiss media that was carried out at the time by the forensics institute in St Gallen - which found the heroin substitute Buprenorphin was present in the animals urine.
Leading marine biologist and dolphin expert Cornelis van Elk said: "Opiates are extremely dangerous for underwater mammals and would never be used in any legitimate treatment.
"The reason is that dolphins are conscious breathers which means they actively decide when to come to the surface to breathe, for which they need to be awake.
"Even when sleeping – there is part of the brain that automatically

The dolphins that overdosed on heroin... at a rave
Drugged-out revellers. A party on the grounds of a Swiss zoo. Result: The death of two dolphins named Shadow and Chelmers. Here's the unsettling story
Last November, two dolphins at a Swiss zoo endured slow, painful deaths after the facility hosted a weekend rave. Initially, puzzled officials blamed the animals' fates on everything from blaring music to vet negligence. But new toxicology reports reveal that the mammals died of a drug overdose. Here, a brief guide to this tragic story:
What happened to the dolphins?
Shadow and Chelmers of the Connyland Marine Park in Switzerland died mysteriously, and within five days of each other, following a weekend-long rave. "Animal-rights activists originally blamed

AMMPA Standardized Information:
Bottlenose Dolphin
Longevity and Mortality
Current scientific data show that the average lifespan of bottlenose dolphins in Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums member facilities is longer than their counterparts in the wild. Calves born in AMMPA member zoological parks and aquariums have higher rates of survivability than those born in the wild. (See references below.)
Average Life Span in AMMPA Facilities
On average, a one-year old bottlenose dolphin in Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums member facilities is expected to live for more than 25 years (Willis 2007, unpublished data).
Average Life Span in the Wild
Research based on tooth extraction from 290 stranded dolphins, in cooperation with the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, produced data that show the average life expectancy from birth of animals off the coast of Texas is 11.73 years, and the average life expectancy from one year of age is 12.72. These numbers are also consistent with the results of other tooth-aging studies of stranded animals (Neuenhoff, 2009; Mattson et al., 2006; Stolen and Barlow, 2003; Hohn, 1980).

Singapore's Andover to build over 7 aquariums in India in 5 years
Singapore-based private equity firm Andover is planning to construct over seven large-sized public aquariums across India in association with Bhasin Group over the next five years.
Both companies have formed an equal joint venture and are gearing up to open one such aquarium by the end of this year in Greater Noida.
Bhasin Group Managing Director S S Bhasin said it will start exploring new cities for building aquariums once the first project is thrown open to public.
"We are investing $9 million with our partner in this aquarium in Greater Noida. This will be ready for public by the end of this year," he added.
"In a big country like India, strangely, there is not a single aquarium. We are planning to open such important tourist destination here. We could open two-three aquarium in every 18 months for the next five years," Andover Group President Sindu Zhang Huihan told reporters.
Andover, which has interests in real estate, manufacturing sector and leisure industry, will develop all these aquariums in association with its partner Bhasin Group.
Huihan, however, declined to share any investment amount that is likely to

Atlantis defends whale shark action
A top marine expert at Dubai’s Atlantis hotel has spoken openly about the fate of the rare whale shark that was kept at its aquarium and caused an international wave of protest from campaigners.
Speaking during a weekend of activities geared to educate the public about conservation of sharks, marine sciences vice president Steve Kaiser told 7DAYS: “I genuinely believe she did really, really, well.”
The 4m-long female shark was on view to visitors at the aquarium from August 2008 until March 2010. The Atlantis team was accused of “detaining” it by animal rights groups, including People for the Ethical Treatment

Weep, Weep!! Last episode of The Zoo. Thursday RTE One 7pm. Here's a sneak preview.

Kelly: For Med Center, ape not just any patient
Just outside the Nebraska Medical Center on Saturday, six people using a sturdy net lifted a 432-pound patient onto a gurney — a gorilla.
Motuba, a 28-year-old silverback known as “Tubby,” had suffered a fractured upper jaw Thursday evening at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. He apparently was pushed down by a 14-year-old, 460-pound gorilla named Tattoo, though no one saw it happen.
“Tubby used to be in charge,” said Dr. Julie Napier, the zoo's senior veterinarian. Tattoo, she said, is “a youngster feeling his oats.”
It's very unusual for a zoo animal to be transported to a regular hospital, she said, adding that it has happened only three times in Omaha in the past six years.
The gurney carrying the sedated Tubby was rolled inside, where the six handlers — on a count of “1, 2, 3” — shifted him onto a flat surface and slid him into place for a CT scan of his head.
Dr. William Lydiatt, a head and neck surgeon who volunteers with the zoo, left his son's track meet and arrived to help zoo vets assess the situation. Kneeling next to the gorilla, he used a flashlight to inspect the damage. With his fingers, he could feel bone fragments.
Lydiatt specializes in such things as head and neck cancers, salivary diseases and thyroid tumors. He has checked gorillas' thyroids before and operated on two monkeys, but this would be his first surgery on a gorilla.
The fracture on the upper right of the mouth was obvious, but the CT scan would determine if there was further damage to the sinus or eye orbit.
If this were a human, Lydiatt said, the jaw would be wired after surgery. A problem with the extremely powerful jaw muscles of a gorilla, he said, is that even with much thicker baling wire, the animal would tear it apart.
On a computer screen, the doc studied the scan with Dr. Anne Hubbard, a radiologist whose late parents' donations led to the naming of the zoo's Hubbard Gorilla Valley.
“It's a bit of an unusual break,” Lydiatt said. The fracture was upward, as if the gorilla was pushed from behind and fell forward, hitting the tip of his large canine tooth on a hard surface.
Said Napier: “I think he hit the concrete

Big Cat Attacks
Makes for an interesting read

Beauty trumps beast in conservation efforts
Human concepts of beauty are shaping conservation efforts, protecting good-looking plants and animals over ugly ones, a study suggests.
The report, "The new Noah's Ark: beautiful and useful species only,"has been published in the 2012 edition of the scientific journal, Biodiversity.
It describes how vulnerable species that overtly display characteristics human beings respect or find desirable -- such as beauty, strength, power or cuddliness -- are more likely to be the focus of concerted conservation programs than animals or plants that are less appealing to the eye.
"People have biases towards species that are glamorous," said Dr. Ernie Small, author of the study and taxonomist for Agriculture Canada.
"Animals that are beautiful, entertaining or that command respect due to their size or power are almost always given greater

Celebrating Plants and the Planet:

May flowers, Mother’s Day… what’s needed here are some botanical marvels to spice up conversations with Mom. Just in time: May’s links at (NEWS/Botanical News) provide new perspectives on bouquets, perfumes, gardening for love, and more:
·       Ever notice that nice green palm leaf tucked in among the bouquet of roses? It was harvested from the wild and we are plucking it into extinction. Anything for love.

·       Perfume is often a guaranteed hit for gift giving. New research looks at how maize uses “perfumes” to attract beneficial microbes. And all yours does is smell nice?

·       Bowerbirds not only build “boudoirs.” They also cultivate attractive garden plants around them. What other species gardens just to impress others?

·       Look closely at the petals of those flowers. Sure they’re colorful, but there’s more going on than pigment and that extra something matters to pollinators. When you give flowers this season, don’t forget the electron microscope.

·       “Do I look fat in this outfit?” Not to worry: black pepper can help with that fat.

I’m looking forward to two exhibit openings this month: Tembo Trail at the Toledo Zoo is making some elephants very happy. Congratulations Toledo Zoo and The Portico Group.  And the new Visitor Center at Brooklyn Botanic Garden includes ground-breaking interactive exhibits on how botanical nomenclature is useful, fun and interesting: challenging visitors to experience landscapes in new ways by seeing them through the eyes of a biologist, a gardener, a botanist and a landscape designer as well as videos on the Garden’s amazing first century and more. Congratulations to BBG and ThincDesign. I loved working on these projects.

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


Swedish teenage girl hurt in freak wolf attack
A fifteen–year-old girl who was visiting Sweden’s Kolmården Safari park a few weeks ago had to be rushed to hospital after one of the wolves suddenly attacked her and bit into her thigh.
“She panicked and it showed, and then one of the wolves bit her,” said Mats Höggren, zoological head of the park to local paper Norrköpings tidningar (NT).
When the attack occurred, the girl was visiting the park out of opening hours with some family members, accompanied by an employee at the park who is a friend of the family.
According to Höggren, the girl’s panicked reaction to seeing the animals was unanticipated as none of the others had realized she was actually scared of the wolves.
“Somehow they weren’t aware of the girl’s fears,” said Höggren to NT.
When she acted frightened, the animal’s natural reaction was to pounce, explained Höggren.
According to daily Aftonbladet, this is not the first time that visitors to Kolmården have been injured when entering the wolf compound.
In 2010, a 21-year-old woman sustained a bite in the arm after entering the wolf area of the park and in 2007, Swedish TV-profile Arne Weise was knocked over by

Zoo Chimp Makes Elaborate Plots to Attack Humans
"Santino," a male chimpanzee at a Swedish zoo, appears to enjoy his surprise attacks on humans.
"Santino," a male chimpanzee at Furuvik Zoo in Sweden, is devising increasingly complex attacks against zoo visitors.
At first Santino was famous for throwing rocks and other projectiles at visitors who annoyed him. Now he has improved his technique, which requires spontaneous innovation for future deception. Researcher Mathias Osvath, lead author of a paper about Santino in PLoS ONE, explained

Claws out at zoo
Union says moving jobs bites into city employees’ rights
Don Monroe, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 37, said complaints have been filed to the Alberta Labour Relations Board after learning existing positions at the city attraction are being moved from city jurisdiction to the Calgary Zoological Society, meaning unionized positions are set to be lost forever.
The society manages the zoo and hires its own employees, but a number of city employees augment the staff.
Monroe said the employees of the society are non-union and they earn lower wages than their members.
Sixteen on-call city employees were told recently their positions would no longer be available at the zoo, but the society is offering them permanent part-time positions at 25 hours a week, said the union boss.
“But even if they are successful applicants, they lose wages, seniority and pension benefits,” he said.
“The zoo society has decided that they’re going to get rid of the union there, basically.”
Laurie Skene, Calgary Zoo spokeswoman, said it’s not accurate to say that unions are being driven out, since the society recently signed an agreement with city plumbers and pipefitters.
But she said management has decided to fill up future vacancies from unionized city workers who retire or resign with employees of the society.
The union said 71 city employees currently work for the zoo, while the zoo claims that number is actually 50.
Skene said under the lease and

Dear Colleagues,
The April 2012 issue of ZOO’s PRINT Magazine (Vol. XXVII, No. 4) is online at in a format that permits you to turn pages like a regular magazine.
If you wish to download the full magazine or certain articles click on

ISSN 0973-2543 (online)

April 2012 | Vol. XXVII | No. 4 | Date of Publication 26 April 2012


Special ZOO’S PRINT Feature - Short Book / Long Article JHARKHAND’S LAST ‘HUNTING-LEOPARDS’
-- by Raza Kazmi, Pp. 1-36

Thanking you

Sally Walker
Editor, ZOO’s PRINT
Zoo Outreach Organization
96, Kumudham Nagar, Vilankurichi Road, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641 035, India
Ph: +91 422 2665298, 2665450, Fx: +91 422 2665472

Manila Zoo rejects UK rocker’s plea to retire Mali, the elephant, in US
Mali is happy in her Philippine home. Why remove her from the Manila Zoo—where she has lived for more than three decades—and take her to a strange new sanctuary in the United States?
That was the reply of Manila City government officials to an appeal from British rock icon Morrissey, who had written President Benigno Aquino III asking that Mali—now 36 years old and weighing 7 tons (14,000 pounds)—be freed from captivity, sent into retirement and allowed to live in a US sanctuary for aging elephants.
“She is used to this kind of environment,” Deogracias Manimbo, head of Manila’s Public Recreation and Parks Bureau, which oversees the Manila Zoo, told the Inquirer. “She might not withstand a different environment from what she has gotten used to.”
Under study
“She (also) might not survive in the wild,” Manimbo said, adding: “The fact that she has exceeded her life expectancy of 35 years while at the Manila Zoo means that she is happy there.”
Mali has been at the zoo for 32 years, or since she was orphaned at 4 years old, and may no longer adapt well in the wild, Manimbo also said.
Mali, now 10 feet tall, was donated by the Sri Lankan government in 1980 to then first lady Imelda Marcos and came from one of the elephant orphanages in that country, according

British Singer Morrissey Urges Closure of Indonesian Zoo
British singer Morrissey called on the Indonesian government on Tuesday to immediately shut down a notorious zoo in eastern Java where hundreds of animals have died or disappeared.
The former frontman of seminal indie band The Smiths, whose 1985 album is entitled “Meat is Murder,” made the request in a letter to Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan before a solo performance in Jakarta on Thursday.
“Your ministry called for a change at the Surabaya Zoo, but no improvements have been made,” the vegetarian and animal rights activist wrote in the letter, made available to AFP by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
“There can be no justification for seemingly endless debates and delays while animals continue to suffer and die. Please take immediate action to close the Surabaya Zoo and transfer its animals to more suitable environments.”
The official Antara news agency said last year that the zoo — Indonesia’s largest — had turned into a “place of horror” and “death camp” for animals, while a zoo spokesman said in March some 500 animals died there in 2010 and 2011.
In March, the zoo’s last remaining giraffe was found dead with a 20-kilogram ball of plastic in its stomach, believed to have formed from years of visitors throwing food wrappers into the pen.
Before that, a critically endangered Sumatran tiger died at the zoo and three baby Komodo dragons that disappeared were believed to have been stolen and sold on the black market.
But the forestry ministry, which took over the zoo’s management in 2010, told AFP on Tuesday that the problems at the zoo had been overblown, and there were no plans to close it down.
“We have been trying to improve the welfare of the animals by setting up an independent team involving experts,” the forestry ministry’s biodiversity conservation director Bambang Novianto told AFP.
“It’s true that there have been some animal deaths at the Surabaya Zoo caused by overcapacity and a lack of proper facilities, but

Toronto Zoo elephants halted from traveling to California sanctuary
Toronto Zoo's CEO John Tracogna isn't ready to pack up the trunks of three aging zoo elephants Iringa, Toka, and Thika yet. The elephants were supposed to be heading to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in the warm California sunshine this month, but what has been referred to as "an impasse" is leaving tempers flaring and elephants staying behind.
The Toronto Council voted last year to send the elephants to a warmer climate because of their health issues and the extreme cold of the Toronto climate.
City Councillor Michelle Berardinetti who spearheaded the campaign to send the elephants to PAWS according to The Star, stated the zoo's veterinarian Graham Crawshaw's directive for PAWS to supply all TB medical records of all animals at the sanctuary for the last five years is a riduculous request. PAWS has agreed to supply the zoo access to records of all the elephants at the sanctuary. Tracogna says he won't move the elephants until all the records of all animals are released including necropsy reports of stray cats and deer stating the need to "establish diseas

Elephants need to move before it's too late
What seems to be missing in the hullabaloo over the three remaining elephants in the Toronto Zoo is what’s best for the animals themselves.
Beyond dispute is that Toronto is not an environment conducive to maintaining contented elephants. Perhaps it’s even lethal.
Seven elephants have died at the zoo since 1984. The remaining three elephants — Toka, Thika and Iringa

Is it not correct that 6 animals have died at PAWS in the past four years?


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