If I had thought about it I could have predicted it. PETA putting the boot in when people are grieving. They and other organisations like them do it every time. Do they really think that Duluth Zoo wanted their animals to drown? Do they think they don't care? Do they believe they are not hurting right now? They DO care. This was an act of 'God', a natural disaster. We are faced with global warming and changing weather patterns. WE cannot predict what is going to happen with the weather next. My Thai girlfriend lost her business and consequently our home because of the rain some months back. We did not expect it, we did not want it. We could not predict it. Yet PETA wade in through the waters of other peoples despair stabbing in their harpoons of vitriol. At the same time we CAN predict that if the Toronto Zoo Elephants if moved to the PETA sanctuary that there IS a high liklihood, a real possibility that they will catch tuberculosis. Do PETA care? Do they hell, they don't really care about anything that matters. They sit around waiting for someone new to hate. They don't just have their fingers up their backsides but their whole arms as far as their elbows. If PETA and others like them, like the Born Free Organisation really cared about suffering then they would be using their mountains of money to do something about the Fantasyland Zoo in Riyadh (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvV2_9r7BiU&feature=player_embedded )
Still no news from GIZA zoo. Just what are they doing besides nothing?
So Adelaide Zoo is looking for a replacement for chief executive Professor Chris West. Good luck to them. Why have they not approached Zoo News Digest to place an advert? Zoo News Digest and Zoo Jobs reaches more zoo employees, at every level, in more zoos, more often and in more countries than any other publication. The zoo aware subscribe to zoo news digest.
Have you booked in for the International ZooKeepers Congress in Singapore yet?
Leave it to the end of the month and it will cost you more. If you are planing to go then best act now. See you there, I hope. Personally I believe that every zoo that is worthwhile should be paying for at least one of their staff to attend this meeting. It could be done by drawing names from a hat which would create a diverse mix of ages and experiences or by seniority or whatever. Important is that the staff attend as representatives.
I remain committed to the work of GOOD zoos, not DYSFUNCTIONAL zoos.
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PETA demands Duluth zoo be prosecuted for animals' flood deaths
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals say that the Lake Superior Zoo was negligent in allowing 13 or 14 animals to die during the flood Wednesday, calling on Duluth City Attorney Gunnar Johnson to bring cruelty charges against the zoo.
However, Johnson said Thursday, his "very preliminary review" of the matter doesn't indicate that charges are warranted.
"Anytime someone makes allegations of cruelty to animals we take those allegations seriously," Johnson said. "We saw things in the infrastructure fail throughout the city. It's an act of God. A water structure (culvert) didn't work and it failed and that failure caused a series of events that led to the loss of these animals. That appears to be what happened."
PETA says the animals shouldn't
Why are the Elephants Still at the Toronto Zoo? (Part I)
The casino that may or may not be coming to Toronto is going to be the focus of much debate at City Hall over the next few months. As it should; it’s a big decision that will affect the city’s budget and landscape for years to come.
The state of Toronto’s finances was a major concern for the better part of last year, and then suddenly, at the end of April, we found out we were going to have a budget surplus in the hundreds of millions. Surprise!
However, when Toronto City Council voted to send the Toronto Zoo’s three aging elephants to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in Galt, California, way back in October, it was still recovering from 24-hour budget negotiations to slash spending; absolutely everything was on the block. So, when Councillor Michelle Berardinetti (Ward 35, Scarborough Southwest) presented Council, in a suprise motion, the option of getting the elephants off the books as soon as possible, it was a shrewd move. The annual maintenance cost of the elephants is $618,533, and the sooner they go, the sooner the Toronto Zoo, and the city, stops paying for them. The motion passed easily (31-4). And, yet, it’s now June, some eight months after the motion passed, and the three elephants – Toka, Thika, and Iringa – still call Toronto home. This blog post attempts to answer my favourite questions of all time: Why?
Before we get there, though, there are some things you should know about elephants, so you can truly understand the conflict. (And I think it’s safe to say that what has happened at the zoo over the moving
Elephants as Political Football (Part II)
As we all know, winters in Toronto are nothing like they are in Africa (this past winter excluded), and while the outdoor space for Toronto’s three aging African elephants is adequate, the indoor space leaves much to be desired. After going through the infrastructure review, and examining the costs of updating the elephant exhibit, it was decided that the Toronto Zoo could no longer adequately house the elephants without sinking many millions of dollars into a new facility. Money the zoo just doesn’t have.
In May 2011, the zoo administration consulted Toronto’s Zoo Board of Management, and it was announced the exhibit would be closed as soon as a new and appropriate home for the elephants could be found.
Although the zoo has decommissioned exhibits before, it has never closed one this size. The next task was for the zoo administration to come up with a list of possible sites that would be appropriate for the three “ladies,” as they are oft referred, to be sent to. But they never got that far. On October 24, 2011, Toronto City Councillor Michelle Berardinetti put forward a surprise motion, seconded by Councillor Raymond Cho (Ward 42, Scarborough-Rouge River), proposing that city council vote that the elephants be sent to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), in Galt, California. And when council handily passed the motion, it did something it had never done before: It took a decision out of the hands of the trained professionals at the Toronto Zoo and the Toronto Zoo’s Board of Management, and made it a political one. And this is why the decommissioning of the elephant exhibit
Elephant Philosophy (Part III)
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums, or the AZA as it's otherwise known, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to "the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation." In order to become accredited with the AZA, a zoo or aquarium must go through a lengthy and vigorous screening process. Fewer than 10 per cent of the approximately 2,400 animal exhibitors licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture are AZA accredited. The AZA is aiming to be the gold standard by which one can judge a zoo. Two examples of AZA accredited exhibits include the San Diego Zoo, one of the most famous zoos in the world, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. However, the Toronto Zoo is not accredited by the AZA. That’s because it lost its accreditation earlier this year, over concerns about its governance. When Toronto City Council determined what should happen to the zoo’s elephants, instead of the professionals at the zoo who are hired for their expertise to make these decisions, the AZA lost confidence in the Toronto Zoo to run its affairs in keeping with the AZA’s best practices.
But it's not just a question of how the decision was made: AZA also sees animal welfare differently than the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), the California sanctuary where Toronto City Council has voted to send the elephants.
PAWS began advocating to move the Toronto Zoo elephants to its facility through Zoocheck Canada, an animal welfare advocacy group, back in 2009. Former American television show host Bob Barker, apparently a big supporter of PAWS, who also has a long history of advocating for the spaying and neutering of household pets, even offered to foot the bill for transporting the elephants to the sanctuary at considerable personal expense.
PAWS wildlife sanctuaries are defined on their website as:
A wildlife sanctuary is a place of refuge where abused, injured and abandoned captive wildlife may live in peace and dignity for the remainder of their lives.
True wildlife sanctuaries do not breed or exploit for commercial activites (including, but not limited to: use of animals for entertainment or sport, sale or trade of animals, their offspring or animal parts and by-products.)
A true sanctuary respects the integrity of individual animals, providing safe, healthy and secure refuge in enclosures specifically designed for the unique animal which it supports.
The PAWS sanctuary in Galt, California is not certified by the AZA. The underlying philosophy that drives PAWS is that animals should not exist in captivity. At all. And there underlies one of the many conflicts in the saga of Toronto’s three elephants.
Much of the staff at the Toronto Zoo believes that animals should be cared for by humans. The ones in zoos, anyway. And they want that care to continue even when the elephants have left the Toronto Zoo. To them, I’d venture to say, sending their elephants off to PAWS is like sending your kid off to an out-of-province college, one that you suspect isn’t very good.
To the people at PAWS, the Toronto elephants have spent their lives in captivity being stared at, poked, and prodded, and they feel that the elephants deserve some peace and quiet now.
Again, I’d venture to say that everyone has their heart in the right place here. The question becomes: Who should decide
Elephants in Limbo (Part IV)
Under normal circumstances, board members of the Toronto Zoo, advised by the zoo’s management, and not Toronto City Council, would decide the fate of Toka, Thika, and Iringa.
So why did Councillor Michelle Berardinetti put forward a last-minute motion to send the elephants to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in California?
I spoke to Councillor Berardinetti at some length, and what I took from the conversation is that she felt that the staff at Toronto Zoo were dragging their feet in finding a place for the elephants to go. I also spoke to Councillor Raymond Cho, who sits on the zoo’s board, and who is a councillor in Scarborough, where the zoo is located, and he corroborated that story. The zoo was simply taking too long to come come up with a potential list of viable locations to transfer the elephants to, so council stepped in.
So, in some respects, this is an argument about due process, and what is and what isn’t a reasonable amount of time for a decision to be made. In May 2011, it was announced that the elephants needed a new home, and in October of the same year, Councillor Berardinetti felt that enough time had passed and it was her job to take action. Does five months to find an appropriate home for three, aging African elephants seem like an onerously long time to you?
And, here we are, it’s June 2012, and the elephants are still very much living at the Toronto Zoo. Why?
Because shipping three elephants thousands of miles away is not as easy as it sounds. The elephants need to be trained to stand in a crate, which takes time. The elephants also need to be healthy enough to make the long journey to California, and Iringa suffers from arthritis, so getting her to stand in a crate for hours at a time is already more challenging.
I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that having been cut out of the process of finding a new home for their beloved elephants, some of the staff at the Toronto Zoo were upset. Many people have accused the zoo keepers of dragging thier feet in having the elephants crate trained. I don't know if that's true or not, but I do know that the elephants, today, are indeed crate trained.
But there’s more: Since the PAWS sanctuary was not well known to some at the zoo, a group of volunteers took it upon themselves to do some digging, and they uncovered documented cases of elephant tuberculosis (TB) at PAWS. This was very distressing news, not only because TB can be fatal, but because this wasn’t initially disclosed to the zoo. The Toronto Zoo had requested health reports on the existing elephants at PAWS, as well as necropsy reports on the elephants that died at the sanctuary, and, just this past Wednesday, the lead veterinarian at the Toronto Zoo finally had a chance to look at those reports. Why did that take so long? Because relations between the zoo and the founders of PAWS have deteriorated to the point that they've only been speaking through lawyers. And this friction, I would say, is a direct consequense of taking a decision away from the people who are hired to make it and giving it to city hall.
To be completely fair, it's not unusual for elephants in captivity to develop TB, although they’re usually circus elephants, which tend to be of the Asian variety. The Asian and African elephants at the PAWS facility in California, which by all accounts is a beautiful and large facility, would not be housed together. But it’s the lack of transparency that has caused alarm bells to ring and is potentially why it appears we’re now at an impasse.
Will the Toronto Zoo administration bend to council's will and sign off on sending the elephants to a facility that has known cases of TB? Should they? I don't know the answer to that question. What do you think?
I do think it’s fair to say that the issue of relocating Toronto’s elephants has been a fiasco. Late last month, the Toronto Star reported that John Tracogna, Toronto Zoo’s CEO, was supposed to fly to California and visit the PAWS sanctuary, along with city councillors Giorgio Mammoliti and Michelle Berardinetti, but Pat Derby, the co-founder of PAWS, decided to kibosh the visit.
My takeaway from this whole elephant debacle? City hall should be more careful in the future when it decides to override the body it has set up to make certain decisions. Arms-length organizations are supposed to be just that, and unless it’s suspected that something shady is going down, it’s probably best to let people do what they’re
Britain's Got Talent, and Strange Bedfellows Too (More on PETA)
In recent decades the Circus community has been plagued by false accusations of animal abuse and mistreatment. Animal Rights organisations such as PETA, CAPS and Born Free, as well as allegedly more moderate Animal Welfare organisations such as the RSPCA have ganged up to vilify a whole industry and community. At the bottom of these brutal campaigns is the claim that “travelling circuses, by their very nature, cannot meet the welfare
Zoo’s elephants: Could another retirement option be Florida?
Officially the option is off the table, but proponents of the National Elephant Centre in Florida believe the Toronto Zoo’s trio of aging pachyderms would be better off going there than the California sanctuary they’re bound for.
The centre (called TNEC for short) is being built in an orange grove southeast of Orlando. Phase one of the estimated $12.5 million centre is slated to be completed at the end of this year, about 12 of the planned 91 hectares.
The centre hopes to accommodate 30 to 40 elephants once it’s built out in the coming years, though it will only house about seven or eight in its first year.
The non-profit won’t operate like a zoo, because it won’t always be open to the public, and when it is, customers will have to make reservations to get in.
Nor will it be a sanctuary like the PAWS facility, at more than 930 hectares, or one in Tennessee, because elephant breeding will take place.
TNEC is billing itself as a centre for “conservation and management.’’
The decision to send Toronto’s elephants to PAWS has resulted in a drawn-out dispute over whether that was the right choice. Things have become so heated that former game show host Bob Barker recently insisted on an “ironclad guarantee” that his promised gift of $880,000 would be used to pay for a flight for the elephants to California.
It’s not on the radar now, but some zoo staff at several levels, along with an active group of citizens, are holding on to the hope — albeit remote — that TNEC will be where Toronto’s elephants end up.
When Toronto City Council stepped in late last year and voted to transfer the zoo’s three remaining elephants to PAWS (when, after five months of searching, the zoo failed to secure a host after deciding to phase out the exhibit), senior zoo staff revealed they were in “preliminary discussions’’ with TNEC.
But TNEC hadn’t even put a shovel in the ground at that point, so it wasn’t considered a viable option for our beasts.
In the meantime, Zoocheck Canada, the animal rights group assisting PAWS in the transfer process, said this week the new deadline for flying the elephants to California is early August. Top Toronto Zoo officials aren’t committing to that date, however, as the zoo continues its controversy-laden due-diligence review of the sanctuary.
Despite city council’s direction to ship the three aging female African elephants Toka, Iringa and Thika to PAWS, opponents point to reports of tuberculosis among some of the sanctuary’s pachyderms.
“It would be unethical to send elephants to a place that has TB,’’ says one expert source who has knowledge of the situation at PAWS.
Over the past week the Star carried stories about three “positive’’ cases of TB among elephants at PAWS within the last year and a half. Two are deceased — PAWS says they died of arthritis — and one has been in quarantine for more than three years.
But supporters of the sanctuary, such as Toronto councillors Michelle Berardinetti and Glenn De Baeremaeker, say they’re confident the facility, near San Andreas, Calif., has strict quarantine protocols in place that will keep Toronto’s trio safe from TB exposure.
De Baeremaeker adds there’s been far too much “fear-mongering’’ surrounding the TB issue at PAWS.
PAWS remains the destination for our elephants, Joe Torzsok, chair of the zoo’s board of directors, said this week.
“Council has given the zoo a clear direction where to send the city’s elephants — and that is PAWS. That is the direction the zoo is operating under,’’ he says.
A U.S. import permit has been obtained to ship the animals south.
Feelings run deep for and against the PAWS facility, where eight elephants currently live.
Opposition stems from the fact that the people in charge there are against the notion of capturing animals in the wild and breeding them in captivity, as zoos do.
Critics are also very uncomfortable with the strong ties PAWS has to the animal rights movement.
But supporters consider it a top-notch facility featuring elements such as a heated barn and Jacuzzi for the elephants.
On the other hand, phase one planning for TNEC calls for four interconnected pastures, each including ponds, mud wallows, dust bathing areas and other amenities. TNEC is receiving funding from 73 zoos as well as private donors, and the centre plans to seek accreditation from the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums, or AZA.
(The Toronto Zoo was an AZA member until recently, when the association revoked its accreditation over the city council decision to ship the elephants to non-AZA-certified PAWS. Toronto hopes to get its accreditation back next year.)
Noting the world elephant population is dropping drastically, Rick Barongi, chair of TNEC, says his centre will play a key role in breeding them.
Asian elephants are critically endangered, with only about 25,000 to 35,000 left in the wild, while African elephants, in the last 25 years, have dropped from an estimated 1.5 million to less than a half million.
Poaching and the ivory trade, habitat loss and disease are ravaging their populations.
The wild “isn’t safe’’ anymore for elephants, says Barongi, adding he finds that very depressing.
“We want to help elephants, and in the end do what’s best for (them) and (their) long-term future,” he says of his centre.
There are currently nearly 300 elephants in AZA-accredited facilities.
Barongi adds that bull hooks, instruments with sharp tips used to train and control elephants, will absolutely not be used at TNEC.
“Bull hooks are archaic,” says Barongi, who is also director at the Houston Zoo.
He says he’s well acquainted with the ongoing elephant controversy in Toronto and wishes to steer clear of it.
And he’s not about to disparage PAWS or those who run it, though he did say the zoo needs to get the best advice it can about the extent of TB at the sanctuary.
“PAWS is a good facility for certain elephants. I’ve known (PAWS co-founder) Pat Derby for some time. We may differ in some of our views, but I respect the lady. I won’t say we’re better this way or they’re better that way,’’ Barongi says.
TNEC officials say their centre will provide a necessity, as several North American zoos have phased out their elephant exhibits
Zoo and Aquarium Design http://zooandaquariumdesign.blogspot.com/
Climate change is simple: We do something or we’re screwed
Back in April, The Evergreen State College invited me to speak at a TEDx event called “Hello Climate Change: Rethinking the Unthinkable.” Videos from the event are now online.
My talk was called “Climate change is simple.” I’m proud to say that I used only 17 of my allotted 15 minutes.
I’ve put an annotated version of my slideshow beneath the video, linking to sources and adding thoughts. The only thing I’ll say about the video itself is that I’ve always thought these things would be better with a soundtrack. If anybody out there on the web wants to make a mashup with it, add some good beats, be my guest.
Dreamworld's Tiger Island loses original inhabitant with death of Mohan the white bengal tiger
ONE of Dreamworld's most famous stalwarts, Mohan the white bengal tiger, has passed away.
Mohan, 17, who came to the theme park's Tiger Island as young cub from the United States, passed away on Wednesday.
Known as the "King of Tiger Island", Mohan was one of the original tigers introduced to Dreamworld when Tiger Island opened in 1995.
As Mohan paced around his enclosure over the weekend, Tiger Island Manager Patrick Martin-Vegue - who raised him since he was young - said Mohan had been sick for some time.
Mr Martin-Vegue said Mohan had been off his food and had suspected renal failure.
Mohan, whose name meant "charming", was born on November 2, 1994.
When full-grown he weighed an average of 180kg and was white with light stripes.
Mohan was father to Rama, Sita, Sultan and Tai who were born at Tiger Island in 1998.
Thousands of visitors to Dreamworld viewed or met Mohan during his 17 years at the park.
A portion of proceeds from photos taken with Mohan, and other Tiger Island tigers, go towards Dreamworld's Wildlife Foundation's Tiger Island Conservation Fund, which directly supports tigers in the wild.
Dreamworld has donated $1.4 million to saving tigers in the wild since 2006, making the theme park the world's largest zoological contributor of funds to the 21st century tiger.
Funds raised help with anti-poaching measures, habitat restoration, education and monitoring in tiger populated countries.
Including Mohan, Dreamworld was home to 15
Elephant pregnancy mystery solved
The mystery of the elephant's long pregnancy has been unravelled by scientists.
A quirk of biology allows the unborn calf to develop in the womb for almost two years, giving it the brain power it needs to survive from birth.
The research, detailed in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, will help elephant breeding programmes in zoos.
It may also lead to the development of a contraceptive to control wild populations of elephants in Africa.
Dr Imke Lueders, of the Liebniz Institute of Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin, Germany, told BBC News: "It is very important to study the reproduction of elephants.
"The increased knowledge that we gained through this research can help in the future with elephant breeding management because we have an idea of how the pregnancy is maintained."
Elephants are highly sociable mammals with a high level of intelligence similar to that of great apes and dolphins.
They have the longest-known gestational period of any animal, lasting up to 680 days.
Elephants are born with an advanced level of brain development, which they use to recognise the complex social structure of the herd and to feed themselves with
Horror Zoo Abu Jarrah Riyadh Saudi-Arabia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvV2_9r7BiU&feature=player_embedded
SEE MORE HERE....expect to be shocked
Dead keeper's true identity a mystery
Thousands knew him as Dalu - the keeper killed by a tiger in Northland.
But he was also known by at least three other names.
Confusion around Dalu Mncube's identity has delayed an inquest into his May 2009 death, after police realised Dalu had used several names and came to New Zealand on a passport that was in his much-younger brother's name.
Dalu Mncube was also known as Clifford Mncube, Dalubuhle Ncube and Darlington Tembo a pre-inquest hearing into his identity was told yesterday.
Mr Mncube was mauled to death by a tiger while cleaning its cage in May 2009.
In her deposition to Whangarei coroner Brandt Shortland, police inquest officer Constable Andrea Magill said the true identity of Mr Mncube had not been confirmed and was unlikely to be.
Police inquiries after his death revealed he entered New Zealand on November 10, 2005, on a South African passport under the name of Clifford Mncube with a birth date
Toronto Zoo elephants’ move south delayed yet again
Another deadline for moving the Toronto Zoo’s three remaining elephants to a sanctuary in California will come and go, as the war of words continues amid growing concerns about tuberculosis at the U.S. facility.
Instead of the end of this month as originally hoped, a new date for the trio’s departure is now likely early August, according to the spokesperson for a Canadian animal rights group participating in the relocation process.
U.S. import permits have been obtained, says Julie Woodyer, a director with Zoocheck, the organization working on behalf of the PAWS sanctuary
But the zoo is not committing to that deadline, saying it’s still conducting a “due diligence’’ review of the PAWS sanctuary. City council has ordered that the animals be sent to the sanctuary.
Key stumbling blocks are reports that continue to filter out about tuberculosis at PAWS. The Star reported that a lab test last week showed an elephant at the U.S. facility tested positive for TB. That animal, Annie, has already been in quarantine for more than three years, PAWS co-owner Pat Derby said.
She forwarded the results to the zoo as soon as they came in.
But now the USDA is saying that two other elephants that died at PAWS in the last year and a half also tested “positive’’ for TB in necropsy
Tata Zoo only park in country to house African lion cubs
The Tata Zoological Park on Thursday became the only Indian zoo to house lions of pure African origin with the National Zoological Gardens (NSG) at Pretoria in South Africa sending it five one-year-old African cubs, two of whom are males and three females.
All the five lions arrived safely at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport Kolkata and were received by a four-member team of the zoological park. Later the cubs were taken to Jamshedpur in a truck.
The zoo authorities said the cubs would be kept in a special enclosure for 30 days after which they would be open to visitors.
The National Zoological Garden in Pretoria and the Zoological Society in Jamshedpur signed the pact for the cubs’ transfer as part of an exchange programme last year.”It is a long-term collaboration for exchanging surplus animals,”said Bipul Chakraborty, director, Tata Zoological Park.
He said this was a unique event as this was for the first time after India’s independence that pure African lions had arrived on Indian soil. None of the Indian zoos have pure African lions at present.
It may be mentioned that the Tata Zoo had approached the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa in 2010 for possible help in developing itself into an institution for conservation of endangered species, both of native as well as exotic varieties. The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa is one of the four top zoos in world and has achieved several milestones in conservation of wildlife in that country.
The proposal to provide five cubs was accepted by NZG after a team comprising Dr Abeeda Dawood, Conservation Manager and Mr Eugene Marais, General Curator of the Zoo, visited the Tata Zoological Park in October
TRAINING AND ENRICHMENT WORKSHOP FOR ZOO AND AQUARIUM ANIMALS
Presented by: Active Environments and Shape of Enrichment
Hosted by: Moody Gardens, Galveston, TX
Dates: December 3-7, 2012
Instructors: Gail Laule, Margaret Whittaker, and Valerie Hare
Active Environments and Shape of Enrichment are proud to present the sixth Training and Enrichment Workshop for Zoo and Aquarium Animals. The Workshop returns to its original host institution, Moody Gardens, which thanks to Hurricane Ike, is newly renovated and offers exciting opportunities for participants. This unique five-day Workshop is designed for keepers, aquarists, managers, supervisors, curators, and veterinarians working with all species of animals held in zoos, aquariums, rescue centers, and sanctuaries. The Workshop will present an array of topics relating to the behavioral management approach to caring for captive animals, with a focus on environmental enrichment, positive reinforcement training techniques, and the problem-solving process.
Workshop format includes lecture, discussion, small group projects, demonstrations, and hands-on training and enrichment opportunities with Moody Garden’s diverse collection. Skills taught are directly related to enhancing staff’s ability to manage animal behavior, improve animal welfare, and provide optimal care for captive animals. The Workshop format is designed to maximize the value for each participant and to address your specific situations, needs, problems, and objectives. Be prepared to interact, share, and participate to make the experience as useful and relevant to you as possible.
The registration fee is $950 for a shared room or $1340 for a single and includes the following:
· 6 nights stay in the Moody Gardens Resort Hotel (double occupancy)
· All workshop materials
· All breakfasts, lunches and snacks during the workshop
· Icebreaker, dinner, and closing banquet (3 dinners)
· Commemorative Workshop t-shirt
For those within driving distance the cost is $600
For more information contact:
Active Environments, Inc.
Or Moody Gardens contact, Diane Olsen, email@example.com
Also, see Shape of Enrichment Website: www.enrichment.org
Assistant Curator/Behavioral Management Coordinator
Pelecaniformes TAG Chair
One Hope Boulevard
Galveston, Texas 77554
Wildlife park funds vet mission
THE Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster has helped to fly two specialist vets to Zimbabwe to try to save one of Africa’s most endangered large carnivores from extinction.
The Branton attraction raised over £3,000 towards the cost of sending a veterinary task force to carry out vital work to save the endangered painted dog breed.
YWP, which has three of the rare dogs, joined forces with Wildlife Vets International and the Painted Dog Conservation to launch the appeal for the SOS Painted Dog Campaign last summer.
Visitors were asked to donate money while posters and collection boxes were put up in vets and businesses across Yorkshire.
Director Cheryl Williams said: “We were delighted that the task force has been able to fly out to Africa. We had a brilliant response to the SOS Painted Dog
Emperor Penguin May Disappear By 2100
The bare fact is: the Antarctic sea ice is retreating due to global warming. But we are just learning what the consequences of this will be. The Economist devotes this week’s front page and special report to the issue, and researchers keep providing us with alarming data; the latest news: that one of most iconic Antarctic figures, the Emperor penguin, which became famous thanks to the documentary ‘March of the Penguins’ and the animation film ‘Happy Feet’, may soon be extinct.
This is the conclusion of an international team of researchers who just published their study in Global Change Biology. They made a population projection for the emperor penguin in Adélie Land, Antarctica, based on data from different sources.
‘The median of these simulations predicts a decline of the Terre Adelie emperor penguin population of 81% by the year 2100,’ they write in their study. ‘We find a 43% chance of an even greater decline, of 90% or more.’
The main problem for the emperor penguin is that they breed their children on the ice, so the retreat of sea ice affects them more than other sea birds. Also, they eat animals that feed on microorganisms growing under the ice. If this disappears, so it does the penguin’s food source.
‘As it is, there’s a huge mortality rate just at the breeding stages, because only 50 percent of chicks survive to the end of the breeding season,’ says Stephanie Jenouvrier, of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and lead researcher
India seeks $30m World Bank loan for wildlife
The environment ministry’s bid to seek US $ 30 million from the World Bank to checking poaching in around 600 national parks and sanctuaries could mean making India’s wildlife laws compliant with the bank’s norms.
The Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) for the proposed project circulated by the ministry speaks about the need to review relevant environmental and land acquisition legislation comply with World Bank’s environmental and social safeguard policies.
“Adhering to the principles and procedures and using the checklist of potential environmental and social issues laid out in this ESMF will help the implementing agencies to ensure compliance with the World Bank’s environmental and social safeguard
Rhino horn gangs can ‘forfeit’ bail
Rhino poaching syndicates had so much money they could afford to forfeit any amount of bail set by courts when their members were arrested, a policeman told a court on Tuesday.
Warrant Officer Jean Pierre Roux also testified that a Zululand man was the link between rhino poachers in KwaZulu-Natal and Chinese buyers who allegedly export the horns to the Far East.
Roux opposed bail for Vusi Mashaba, 40, of Zululand, and four foreigners who were arrested recently for dealing in rhino horn.
Mashaba appeared in the Germiston Magistrate’s Court, along with three Chinese nationals – Ke Sum, 29, his wife, Xiaju Chen, also 29, and Liu Zihou, 34 – as well as Malawian Harrison Noah, 26.
The bail application was adjourned to next week for an interpreter.
In his affidavit, Roux said the accused were arrested in Bedfordview and were found in possession of two rhino horns, weighing 10kg, five large elephant tusks and two leopard skins – all from animals on South Africa’s list of threatened or protected species.
“The suspects had received the horns from Mashaba and were in the process of sawing the horns into smaller pieces when arrested,” he said in the affidavit. “Mashaba was involved with the transporting and delivering of the rhino horns to the three Chinese suspects. He was involved with various other transactions regarding rhino horn. He is the middleman between the rhino poachers in KwaZulu-Natal and the Chinese buyers who export the horns to the East.”
Roux said if released on bail, there was a likelihood the accused would commit the same offence again, would attempt to evade trial, intimidate witnesses or try to conceal or destroy evidence.
The accused were part of a group involved in the illegal dealing of protected and specially protected game, he said.
According to statistics, Roux said that to date, 220 rhino had been poached this year compared to 83 in 2008 and 122 in 2009.
He said syndicates from the Far East were working with locals and foreigners to poach rhinos and export horns to Vietnam and China.
“These syndicates make a huge profit from the illegal sale of the horns. The two horns in question could be sold for about R5 million.”
Roux said the syndicates also had the money to pay the bail and legal fees.
“The syndicates, who usually pay the bail, fines and legal costs of their members, make a huge profit and can afford to forfeit any amount of bail the court may determine.”
He said there was still a lot of work outstanding in the investigation, including DNA and forensic results on the seized goods.
Two other foreigners, Chu Duc Gu Lit, 22, and Nauyen Dang Khahn, 24, of Vietnam, who were arrested during a second sting operation at the Midrand Golfing Estate, are still in custody.
They were found in possession
Next zoo boss faces a jungle of debt
THE world search for a new Adelaide Zoo head is continuing after former chief executive Professor Chris West officially stepped down yesterday.
Prof West ended a six-year stint as head of Zoos South Australia, returning to the UK to take the reins of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.
He welcomed Wang Wang and Funi to the panda enclosure at the Adelaide Zoo in November 2009, but also endured the recent low of unmanageable debt.
Prof West, above, was unavailable for comment yesterday, but a zoo spokeswoman said the person given the task of leading the zoo out of financial ruin had not been chosen.
"The recruitment isn't about filling a void, it's about finding the right person for the job which, as previously stated, could take anywhere between three to six
To save rare animals, let people profit off them
Dr. Grey Stafford, Director of Conservation at the World Wildlife Zoo in Phoenix, Arizona, e-mailed me that he is upset because “lawyers and extremists” use government to change the way he runs his zoo. He says that bad training and conservation methods are “imposed on us by some outside party whose agenda is not in the best interest of conservation, animals or zoos.”
I’m not surprised. Liberal activists always think central planners make life better. My reporting has taught me: No They Can’t!
While we’re talking conservation, consider the Scimitar Oryx. It used to roam most of Northern Africa. Today, the Oryx is extinct in the wild.
But not in Texas. In Texas, it thrives.
That’s because Texas allows people to keep endangered species as private property. Some Texas ranchers converted their cattle lands into exotic wildlife habitats. Individuals pay to see the animals, and some pay to hunt. It’s a billion dollar industry
Endangered Sumatran rhino gives birth in Indonesia
A critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros was born Saturday at an Indonesian sanctuary, only the fourth birth in captivity in more than a century, boosting survival hopes for the species, say conservationists.
"Ratu gave birth to a male baby at 00:45 (1745 GMT Friday) on Saturday. Both the mother and the baby are all very well," conservationist Widodo Ramono, who works at a sanctuary on the southern tip of Sumatra island, told AFP.
The last three in-captivity births for Sumatran rhinos took place in the United States at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio. The father of the new born, Andalas, was himself the first Sumatran rhino delivered in captivity in 112 years. He was born in September 2001, according to the zoo.
Andalas was brought to Indonesia to mate with Ratu, a female who grew up in the wild but wandered out of the forest and now lives at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park.
Sumatran rhinos have suffered a 50 percent drop in population numbers over the past 20 years, largely due to poaching and loss of tropical habitat.
There are now believed to be fewer than 200 alive. Most reside in isolated pockets in Southeast Asia.
"Thank God, we are very grateful that all the delivery process went smoothly and naturally. We actually made some emergency preparation in case that Ratu need(ed) a surgery in delivering the baby," Indonesia forestry ministry's spokesman Masyhud said.
"It's really a big present for the Sumatran