Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Zoo News Digest 23rd - 31st July 2012 (Zoo News 825)

Zoo News Digest 23rd - 31st July 2012 (Zoo News 825)

The Castle in Dudley Zoo
Photo by

Dear Colleagues,

I thought I would let you know that the email you are expecting from me is now in the last 100 that 'I must' answer. There just never seems to be enough hours in the day now. As I get older I tend to value my social life even more and it tends to take priority more often than it should.
Even there I have tried to save on time and, very tactfully, have reduced my girlfriends by half (though we remain friends). My journal, 'The Itinerant Zookeeper' continues to be important too and after all these years I don't think I have missed more than two or three days.
That takes up around an hour or more on most much happening in life and in my head. Memories flood back and I write them down. Then there is this....Zoo News Digest.....two to four hours every day and more on my days off. Writing and researching. Getting very little time for my HubPages of late. I really should spend more time on HubPages as apparently the domain is ranked 307th in the world out of many millions.

I loved the editorial in the latest edition of International Zoo News as the editor goes in guns blazing on the issue of the 'whites'. Apart from all the other interesting articles this in itself is well worth a read. International Zoo News is a MUST. Every and any serious zoo should subscribe and all staff should read it

So a White Tiger was shot and killed as it was savaging a keeper. I would have taken the same action in the circumstances whilst at the same time thinking that it was certain people who deserved the bullet rather than the unfortunate cat. Sadly the stupid stupid stupid practice of going in with big cats to clean, walk or play with them is taking place in Dysfunctional Zoos the world over. It is always, always an accident waiting to happen. The stupid managers of these places know this to be true, they truly know it, but are more concerned about money than they are about the safety of their staff and, in many instances, their visitors too. Some of these collections are quite famous and as such believe themselves to be above criticism. They are not above the law however and the sooner a law comes in the better it will be for all, cats and humans. All of these cats have been hand reared, deliberately pulled from their mothers teats so they can be bottle fed. Others of course (tongue in cheek) had to be taken away because "the mother had no milk" or "the mother did not know what to do"....rubbish, if the management of these establishments, these Dysfunctional Zoos had an inkling of understanding of the proper management and housing of breeding big cats then this would not be the case.

Returning to the story of the White Tiger which was shot. There is a lot in the press about it. Inevitably there is mention of it being "Rare" and "White tigers are considered in danger of extinction". No it isn't, no they are not. White Tigers are five cents a dozen and not a single one of them anywhere is of any genetic importance. In fact keeping them and breeding them is positively harmful to serious conservation efforts to save the various tiger subspecies.

I am really looking forward to the International ZooKeeper Congress in Singapore in September. It is approaching fast. It has however been pointed out to me in two emails that I will not be a popular visitor in some quarters. Being outspoken on issues I believe in has made me quite a few enemies. So be it. Two thoughts, both of which were quotes posted on my Facebook Page "In Order For You To Insult Me I Would First Have To Value Your Opinion" and by Alvin Toffler “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

I get quite a lot of 'likes' for the items of interest I post on Facebook. Big surprise was that there was only one for National Orgasm Day. Perhaps I am luckier than most.

Hello Giza Zoo....any news on the new Orangutan house yet? What of the evacuated chimps? The zoo world watches as you drag your feet. So very sad. Just how long will it take?

Still not a whisper about the baby Orangutan and Gibbon from Abu Dhabi (see past Digests). As the recognised world organisations that the collection belonged to knew that they had these you would think they would be just a little concerned as to where they went. It doesn't smell right to me.

I remain committed to the work of GOOD zoos, not DYSFUNCTIONAL zoos.


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Tiger shot dead after attacking zoo employee in Chilean capital
Animal rights activists mourn loss of Pampa the white tiger. A male white tiger, “Pampa,” was shot dead when he attacked an employee at Santiago’s metropolitan zoo Sunday morning, prompting a tribute later that day by animal rights activists. Zoo authorities found Pampa with his mouth around the throat of José Silva, a zoo employee, Sunday morning. As of the time of publication, Silva, who was feeding the animal and cleaning its habitat at the time, was “stable without risk of death,” according to a statement by the Hospital del Trabajador in Santiago. Silva worked at the zoo for 25 years and had 14 years experience with felines. After the tragedy, rumors began to circulate that the tiger had been killed some time after the accident, which were quickly denied by Zoo Director Mauricio Fabry. “We are dismissing rumors that we put down the animal after the accident,” he told Radio Cooperativa. “The animal was on top of José, biting his neck.” Activists condemned the killing of the white tiger, whose species is currently in danger of extinction. They also condemned zoos, describing them as “jails for animals.” Pampa was one of three white tigers living at the zoo. “The only reason a firearm was used was because our colleague’s life was at risk,” Fabry said. “We acted according to protocol, which always tries to anesthetize the animal as a first action. However, a firearm will be used when there is a life in danger, which was the case with José.” During the tributes Sunday night, activists chanted demanding the resignation of those responsible for the death of Pampa and placed candles and posters by the entrance of the establishment. “Both the accident and the loss of Pampa have highly impacted all of us working at the zoo,” Fabry said, defending the zoo’s actions. “One would not like to end

Protests follow zoo shooting of rare tiger
Chilean activists protesting the shooting death of a rare male white tiger that attacked a zoo worker demanded the resignation of those responsible.
Officials at the zoo in Santiago said Pampa was shot Sunday morning when he was found with his mouth around the throat of longtime zoo employee Jose Silva, The Santiago Times reported.
Silva, who has worked at the zoo for 25 years, was feeding Pampa and cleaning its living area at the time of the attack. He was taken to a Santiago hospital, where his condition was described as "stable without risk of death" in a hospital statement.
Zoo Director Mauricio Fabry denied rumors that the tiger had been killed some time after the accident.
Activists held a tribute to Pampa Sunday night, placing candles and pictures of the tiger at the entrance of the zoo. They called for the resignation of those

Zoo director defends condition of elephant
Lesions on the feet of Topeka Zoo elephant Sunda might appear to a lay person like they are getting worse, but they are actually healing, Topeka Zoo officials told the city council Tuesday evening.
Zoo director Brendan Wiley and veterinarian Shirley Yeo Llizo appeared before the council at its weekly meeting to address concerns expressed at last week’s council meeting by Judy Carman, of Animal Outreach of Kansas.
Carman showed council members photographs of what she described as “cavities” in the toenails of Sunda, a 52-year-old female Asian elephant at the zoo. AOK is asking the city to send Sunda and the zoo’s other pachyderm, an aging female Asian elephant named Tembo, to a Tennessee elephant sanctuary.
Wiley told council members Tuesday the elephants are in good health for their ages, and that about 50 percent of elephants in captivity develop some sort of nail crack.
He used an overhead projector to show council members photos of lesions beneath cracks in toenails on Sunda’s right rear and left front feet.
Councilman John Alcala noted that the cavity for at least one of the lesions appeared to be getting wider. Llizo said that was because the zoo cut into that cavity as part of the process of treating the lesion.
Wiley told council members black and green colorings in the areas of the lesions were due to medication the zoo has been using to treat them.
He said Sunda has showed no signs she is experiencing any pain as a result of the lesions.
Wiley encouraged council members to come to the zoo to examine Sunda’s feet, saying she likes the attention.
He said it is safe to say that

Namibia begins trapping wildlife to send to Cuban zoo
Elephants, large carnivores, small predators, antelope and vultures are on the list of wild animals the Namibian government is removing from the wild to be “incarcerated for the rest of their lives,” according to an animal protection group in neighboring South Africa.
The National Council of the Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) told Animal Issues Reporter that Namibia has begun taking some 150 animals of a variety of species from the wild and transport them across the Atlantic to El Parque Zoológico Nacional de Cuba, the Cuban national zoo.
“Plans are to relocate the first animals to Cuba by air by October 2012,” said NSPCA, which is highly critical of the project known as Noah’s Ark II.
“The cheetah will be part of the package going to Cuba,” Namibian Minister of Environment and Tourism Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah announced in reference to one of the animal species to be exported. During a speech given at the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s Gala Dinner she added, “That will enable our comrades in Cuba to appreciate the elegance of the Namibian cheetah first-hand while recognizing the great wealth of wildlife that exist in Namibia.”
Patricia Tricorache, assistant director of international programs for Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) told Animal Issues Reporter, “From a conservation education perspective we believe that zoos play a very important role in educating people about the importance of wildlife for the health of ecosystems. We are certain that the National Zoological Park of Cuba is no exception and are happy that Namibia’s incredible natural wealth will be shared with the Cuban people.”
However she added, “We are recommending that the governments take cheetahs that live in captivity already so as not to take them

Walking with lions: why there is no role for captive-origin lions Panthera leo in species restoration
Despite formidable challenges and few successes in reintroducing large cats from captivity to the wild, the release of captives has widespread support from the general public and local governments, and continues to occur ad hoc. Commercial so-called lion Panthera leo encounter operations in Africa exemplify the issue, in which the captive breeding of the lion is linked to claims of reintroduction and broader conservation outcomes. In this article we assess the capacity of such programmes to contribute to in situ lion conservation. By highlighting the availability of wild founders, the unsuitability of captive lions for release and the evidence-based success of wild–wild lion translocations, we show that captive-origin lions have no role in species restoration. We also argue that approaches to reintroduction exemplified by the lion encounter industry do not address the reasons for the decline of lions in situ, nor do they represent a model that can be widely applied to restoration of threatened felids elsewhere.

Adorable giant panda baby born at San Diego Zoo breaking record for number of cubs delivered outside China (but we won't know its sex for two months)
An adorable giant panda cub has been born at the San Diego Zoo, setting a new breeding record. The newborn panda is the sixth cub born at the zoo to 20-year-old giant panda, Bai Yun, the most at any breeding facility outside of China. Zookeepers and researchers watched the birth on Sunday afternoon via a closed circuit camera mounted inside the birthing

Special Report: Thailand aims to increase tiger population by 50%
On the occasion of Global Tiger Day on July 29th, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) is trying to raise awareness about the reducing number of tigers in Thailand, saying it wants to increase the tiger population by 50% by 2022. The Wildlife Conservation Office under the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) recently held a seminar to hear the progress of tiger conservation projects. DNP Deputy Director-General Theerapat Prayurasiddhi said at the meeting that the number of tigers has dropped dramatically. It is estimated that there are only 200-250 wild tigers in Thailand. The department is aiming to see 125 more tigers

Dejection at the Karachi Zoo
Founded 118 years ago, Pakistan’s second oldest zoo in Karachi houses around 450 species of birds, 180 mammals and nearly 200 reptiles. Known before independence as the “Mahatma Gandhi Garden”, the zoo also has a Reptile House, with species such as the Cobra Snake, Python, and the Sand Boa, as well as an aquarium, and a Natural History Museum, comprising stuffed animal bodies and various other items.However, from pumas acquired from blacklisted suppliers to a string of recent animal deaths, the Karachi Zoo has developed quite the negative reputation. After an announcement last December that the Zoo would be cleaned and renovated, I decided to see if the KMC has stayed true to their word. The meagre entrance fee of just Rs.10 makes the zoo a lot more accessible to the general public, but on the other hand, if the zoo intends to make any improvements, funds may be difficult to come by. Upon entering the premises, the first thing one notices are the leafy trees planted in abundance by the paths. Since the zoo is situated in the heart of Karachi, in the midst of heavy

INTERNATIONAL ZOO NEWS Vol. 59/4 (No. 395) July/August 2012



The Future for Zoos, Part 2 David Hancocks

Analyzing the differences between the pugmarks of two South American felids, Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and Margay (Leopardus wiedii) Karen Carrigy

Secretary bird breeding at Dvůr Králové ZOO
Michal Podhrazský, Kamil Čihák, Miroslav Máslo, Zlatuše Jarošová, Petra Líbalová
Obituary: Shiro Nakagawa 1930 - 2012

Zoo animals held in India 2011 Brij K. Gupta, B. S. Bonal, V. Prakash and V. Goel

Rearing of the Hydromedusa Koji Matsuzaki

International Zoo News is published six times a year; the approximate publication dates are mid-February, mid-April, mid-June, mid-August, mid-October, and mid-December.
Annual Subscriptions 2012 U.K.: £45.00 Overseas, Surface Mail: £48.00, €75,00 or US$80.00 Airmail: £53.00, €80,00 or US$90.00 Subscription cheques (Sterling only) should be sent to the IZN office above and made payable to ‘International Zoo News’ or ‘IZN’. All subscriptions (free of charges) may be paid to IZN’s bankers: HSBC, 2 Walton Road, Aylesbury HP21 7SS, U.K. Account number: 02032570; Bank sort code: 40–08–39; IBAN: GB05MIDL40083902032570; BIC: MIDLGB2102C. Euro payments may be made to IZN at Commerzbank, Neue Straße, 26136 Varel, Germany; Account: 310630901; BLZ: 29040090; IBAN: DE92290400900310630901; BIC: COBADEFF. Non-sterling payments may be made through PayPal (also for all credit cards or direct transfer) plus 4% handling fee to our account:

We regret we cannot accept Dollar cheques without $10 extra for bank charges Published by Quantum Conservation e.V., Am Stadtrand 49 b, D-26127 Oldenburg, Germany. Editor; Richard Perron IZN Office: 6 Winchester House, Bishops Walk, Aylesbury HP21 7LD, U.K. Tel.: ++44(0)121 288 7915 E-mail: Website:

Yet more bad press for failing M’sian zoos
Photos taken recently of the living conditions for Sun bears at three Malaysian zoos persist in alerting the world to the fact that captive animals in many facilities in Malaysia are still being deprived of even the most basic, necessary requirements to keep them active, stimulated and in good mental health.
Pictures taken at A’Famosa, Johor and, of course, Melaka zoo, show these nocturnal bears stuck in small iron cages at night when in  the wild they would be out searching for food (Melaka), or trapped in an enclosure with no evidence of either natural enrichment such as rocks, trees and areas to forage in or even any man-made substitutes like tyres, climbing frames and water pools (A’Famosa) or imprisoned in a high-walled, concrete ‘graveyard’ with low wooden structures inadequate for their climbing needs and skills (Johor).
It is widely accepted that captive animals need surroundings that closely replicate their habitats in the wild. Sun bears at all these facilities, therefore, must have their surroundings vastly improved immediately.
The NRE has been informed for a year now about the zero welfare standards at Melaka zoo, but little has changed and all three establishments


Malayan gaur to be released back into the wild
After years of being bred in captivity, preparations are finally under way to release the Malayan gaur back into the wild.
The Malayan gaur, also known as seladang, are thriving at the Jenderak Selatan Wildlife Conservation Centre in Pahang, a seladang sanctuary located east of the Krau Forest Reserve.
Centre head Siti Masitah Abd Mutalib said the centre currently housed 35 seladang, a species that is listed as totally protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.
It is one of the most endangered mammals in the world and is highly prized by poachers for its meat, skull and magnificent horns.
Siti Masitah said the centre was embarking on its next phase of preparing to release the animals back into their natural forest habitat.
“We are still in the conditioning process. Instead of giving them food pellets and grass, we place shoots at the edges of their paddocks for them to forage for,” she said in a recent interview at the sanctuary.
She said the conditioning was a long process that had begun in 2010.
She said two seladang, a male and female, had initially been released into the reserve land but had found their way

The July 2012 issue of ZOO’s PRINT Magazine (Vol. XXVII, No. 7) 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)

July 2012 | Vol. XXVII | No. 7 | Date of Publication 23 July 2012


Editorial: More on Dhaka Zoo...some History...and a plea to return to better days
-- Sally Walker, Pp. 1-4

A Frog Fit For a Prince: Naming a new amphibian species in honor of Charles, Prince of Wales
Pp. 5-8

Die hard: Asian Elephant life in south India
-- N. Krishnankutty and S. Chandrasekaran, Pp. 9-13

Amphibian and reptile workshop at MCBT
-- Samir Kumar Sinha, P. 14

Discover Bats – A Bat Awareness Programme at Sundarvan, Ahemdebad, Gujarat, India
-- S. Sivakumar, P. 15

ZOO Lex - Zoo Miami Giant River Otters
Pp. 16-18

Technical articles
Clinico – Therapeutic Aspects of Babesiosis in a White Tigress (Panthera tigris tigris)
-- Nighot N.K., C. S. Mote, R.V. Jadhav, B. K. More, Natasha Bansal and Chirantana Mathkari, Pp. 19-20

Infection of Capillaria contoarta in peafowl
-- K. Sujatha, R. Venu, Ch. Srilatha and P. Amaravathi, P. 21

Checklist of birds at Bhatye estuary and adjacent areas, Maharashtra
-- Shital S. Taware, Vishwajeet M. Lagade, Deepak V. Muley and Kashinath B. Koli, Pp. 22-26

World Crocodile Conference - Sri Lanka - 22nd Working Meeting of the IUCN - SSC, Crocodile Specialist Group
P. 27

Reptile and Amphibian workshop at Croc Bank and Agumbe Rainforest…
P. 28

Education Report
Pp. 29-32

Animal welfare Conference and Selection of Animal Welfare Heroes Chinny Kirshna, Chair, FIAPO
(Cover Page)


‘Coimbatore zoo is a sad joke’
It’s estimated that close to 10 lakh people visited the Coimbatore Zoo last year. From a head count of 450+ animals ranging from birds to reptiles, the zoo added some more felines with the help of enthusiasts from outside, raising the total to 600 animals.
Sadly, the plight of the animals at the zoo and its overall shoddy state go unnoticed. We spoke to a zoo official, who shared with us the dire lack of facilities inside the Coimbatore zoo on the condition of anonymity.
In just over six months, close to 1 lakh students have visited the zoo. Many of them travelling from places like Dindigul, Madurai and even further, just to visit the animals at the corporation run zoo here in Coimbatore.
Yet no effort has been made to increase the entry fee of `5 per head or provide additional amenities inside. Oursource says, “With an average of 500 people walking in‘coimbatore-zoo-sad-joke’-110

Artificial Jellyfish, 'Medusoid,' Made From Rat Heart Cells
If you watch the mesmerizing pulses of a jellyfish in water, it might occur to you that they sometimes resemble the pulses of the human heart. A jellyfish doesn't swim so much as it beats, pushing its way forward.
Kevin Kit Parker, a professor at Harvard University, had that thought on a visit to the New England Aquarium, and teamed up with John Dabiri and Janna Nawroth of the California Institute of Technology. They all work in the nascent field of bioengineering, and they and their team might have started something.
They created a sort of artificial jellyfish -- it looks like one, and swims like one but doesn't have a single cell of jellyfish tissue in its body.
Instead, they grew their jellyfish from

17 bears TB infected, doctors say no cure
Veterinary doctors treating the tuberculosis (TB) affected sloth bears in Bannerghatta Zoo say there is no cure for the disease. The disease cannot even be detected early because there are no TB detection kits for sloth bears available in India. Vets screen the bears using TB kits used for elephants.
The tally of bears diagnosed with TB symptoms so far is 17. They have been separated from the other sloth bears in the rehabilitation centre. The big worry for the vets now is that the infected sloth bears have stopped eating the food that is mixed with TB medicine. Dr Arun A. Sha, wildlife veterinary officer with Wildlife SOS, said that there are no injecting drugs to treat TB in sloth bears.
“There are four types of tablets that we feed the bears inside egg, fruits or mixed with honey. But the bears are refusing to eat the food with the medicine and are becoming weaker. Hence we are giving them alternative therapy, using antibiotics and supportive therapy,” says Dr Sha. The sloth bear rehabilitation and safari is run by Wildlife SOS under the supervision of Bannerghatta

Frozen Sperm Offer a Lifeline for Coral
Just before sunset, on the campus of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, Mary Hagedorn waited for her mushroom corals to spawn.
As corals go, Fungia is fairly reliable, usually releasing its sperm and eggs two days after the full moon. Today was Day 3. “Sometimes we get skunked,” she fretted.
The recalcitrant corals sat outdoors in water-filled glass dishes, arranged in rows on a steel lab table. Each was about the size and shape of a portobello mushroom cap, with a sunburst of brown ribs radiating from a pink, tightly sealed mouth.
As Dr. Hagedorn and her assistant watched, one coral tightened its mouth and seemed to exhale, propelling a cloud of sperm into its bath with surprising vigor. The water bubbled like hot oatmeal.
A reproductive physiologist with the Smithsonian Institution, Dr. Hagedorn, 57, is building what is essentially a sperm bank for the world’s corals. She hopes her collection — gathered in recent years from corals in Hawaii, the Caribbean and Australia — will someday be used to restore and even rebuild damaged reefs.
She estimates that she has frozen one trillion coral sperm, enough to fertilize 500 million to one billion eggs. In addition, there are three billion frozen embryonic cells; some have characteristics of stem cells, meaning they may have the potential to grow into adult corals.
Relative to the number of corals in the ocean, Dr. Hagedorn’s collection — stored in her laboratory and several zoo repositories — is tiny. But so far, it is the only one of its kind.
While corals can reproduce asexually — that is, fragments of coral can grow into clones of their parents — Dr. Hagedorn points out that only sexual reproduction maintains genetic diversity within populations, and with it a species’ capacity to survive and adapt to change

Worst for Wildlife: Vietnam
Rhinos, tigers, and elephants don't fare so well in Vietnam: The Asian country is the worst when it comes to wildlife crime, says the WWF in its first report on the matter. Rhinos are in danger there because citizens believe the horns have medicinal value; legalized tiger farms also helped push the country to the top of the list. China, which has a huge market for illegal wildlife products, ranked a close second, followed by Laos in third.
The illegal wildlife trade in Southeast Asia has been estimated to be worth as much as $10 billion per year, the AP notes. Many of the products are desired for their supposed medicinal value, though doctors say there is none; rhino horn goes for as much there as cocaine does

Jeju opens Asia's largest aquarium 
[Slideshow] Hanwha Aqua Planet Jeju may be pricey, but it's got 'wow' for the whole family
Opening its doors on July 14 after almost five years of preparation, Hanhwa Aqua Planet Jeju has already become a hot spot for Jeju tourists and locals. Located on the east side of the island in Seongsan, Seogwipo City, this beautiful new aquarium features marine life from around the globe just a short hike from Jeju Island’s iconic Seongsan Sunrise Peak.
Now Asia’s largest aquarium, with a floor space of 25,600m2 and 10,800 tons of water collectively, showcases about 48,000 aquatic animals in 500 different species within a state of the art facility that has a hip and modern feel and plenty of space for pedestrian traffic. The facility is divided into three sections: the aquarium, a performance hall, and a special education center for children. The children’s center requires an additional ticket for the modest amount of 1,500 won for kids and 1,700 won for adults. A colorful tank replicating the sea around Munseom, a small islet in Seogwipo City, greets guests as they enter the aquarium from the lobby.
Visitors to the aquarium first meet tanks featuring marine life from the five oceans of the world: the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Antarctic Ocean. I was surprised to see that an Antarctic Ocean exists, but after some brief Internet research I discovered that there’s an ongoing debate in the scientific community as to whether there are four oceans or five. Aqua Planet has designed its world oceans exhibit to feature each of the oceans’ marine life in slanted tanks that give visitors a closer look at each regions’ aquatic animals.
Fish highlighted in this section include the buffalo sculpin, kelp greenling, cod, rose starfish, lookdown fish, blue lined snapper, Picasso fish, blotcheye soldierfish, oriental sweetlips, longfin bannerfish, naso tang, yellow tang, emperor angelfish, dog face puffer, red toothed triggerfish, red lionfish, kelp crab, red starfish, smooth lumpsucker and sailfin sculpin. My personal favorites were the Picasso fish and the oriental sweetlip fish, not only because they have fun names but because they are vibrantly colored in an interesting way.
The section following is dedicated to harbor seals, or, as the Aqua Planet workers refer to them as, the “dancing” harbor seals. These seals have a lot of natural lighting, a characteristic of this aquarium that is unique, according to the aquarium’s assistant manager of public relations and marking, Kang Eun Young. The seals’ swimming space amounts to multiple stories and several aqua tunnels for the animals’ swimming and dancing pleasure. In fact, it’s possible to see the same seals swimming on both the first and second floors and first floors of the aquarium.
The aquarium walk continued on to the penguin section where both African penguins and Humboldt penguins harmoniously resided. While these two penguins do not live together in the wild, it’s possible to put them together here because they come from similar climates. Spectators can get up close and personal with these penguins by ducking down and crawling into a space with peep holes that look into the penguins’ habitat. Later on, visitors get to walk through an aquarium tunnel where little penguins dart in all directions above and around Aqua Planet goers, and this ended up being my favorite photo opportunity.
There are several special exhibits in the aquarium, including an area with Oedolgae-inspired pillars dedicated to the fish of Jeju like the giant mottled eel, Japanese eel, Ayu sweet fish, stone moroki, and more. Following is an aqua safari highlighting fresh water animals like the Asian small-clawed otters and fish specific to some of the world’s most famous rivers: the Yangze River, Han River, Mekong River, Mississippi River, and the Amazon River.
One of my favorite tanks in the Living Ocean section is the one with the moray eels. I’m very familiar with these animals, but it was apparent that Koreans are not because they were squealing with horror and delight, and that was entertaining. One of the most interesting animals in this section for me was the garden eel, a worm-like eel with bright yellow eyes, and is poised and ready for… I don’t know what. Other crowd pleasers include the clownfish and the Japanese spider crabs. With crabs that big, it’s possible to get a good look at their faces, making me wonder how I ever ate something so terrifying.
The aquarium’s grand finale is a tank that is 23 meters wide by 8.5 meters high, and showcases Jeju Island’s ecosystem. With a super-sized acrylic glass at a thickness of 60 centimeters, this tank was custom made, costing 10 billion won, and it took two weeks to fill it with 6,000 tons of water.
Fifty species of fish reside here including the impressive whale shark with its frightening appearance but gentle character. The whale shark’s roommates include the mantra ray, the eagle ray, and more. Local Jeju women divers also perform in the tank five times daily from July to October to show spectators the work of Jeju’s iconic haenyeo.
The aquarium wraps up with a petting pool for children where they have the chance to pet fish. From there visitors are lead to a performance hall with a 1,500 person capacity where walrus, sea lion, dolphin, and synchronized swimming performances are held four times daily. The third and final section of Aqua Planet is an ocean Exploratorium for children (primarily in Korean) with various scientific exhibits pertaining to ocean tides, tsunamis, and more.
Hanhwa Hotel and Resort, Korea’s leading aquarium business is the mastermind behind this beautiful new facility. They’ve also built a sister aquarium in Yeosu that opened in May 2012 for the World Expo, and they anticipate opening a third in Ilsan in December 20

Judge: L.A. Zoo elephants 'not happy, healthy, thriving'
Offering harsh criticism of the Los Angeles Zoo's treatment of elephants, a judge has ordered keepers to exercise the animals, till their soil and not use bullhooks or electric prods.
But Superior Court Judge John L. Segal stopped short of ordering the $42 million elephant exhibit shut down, as called for in a lawsuit by the late actor Robert Culp and real estate agent Aaron Leider.
In a 56-page decision that followed a six-day trial in June, Segal on Monday said "all is not well at the Elephants of Asia exhibit."
"Contrary to what the zoo's representatives may have told the Los Angeles City Council in order to get construction of the $42 million exhibit approved and funded, the elephants are not healthy, happy, and thriving," Segal wrote.
But, he added, "evidence is inconclusive on the issue of how much space an elephant needs (or three elephants need) ..."
Leider and Culp sued Zoo Director John Lewis and the city five years ago for an injunction to shut down the city's new exhibit on grounds it was too small to humanely house elephants.
The lawsuit alleged the zoo was guilty of animal abuse.
It also asserted government waste and injury to public property, including the deaths

Letters: The L.A. zoo's elephants
As an educator and a docent at the Los Angeles Zoo who spent seven years observing its elephants, I was stunned and saddened by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John L. Segal's harsh words on the zoo's elephant exhibit.
I know the zoo's elephants, especially Billy, the 27-year-old Asian bull. I also know that the zoo is devoted to the elephants' well-being. And I know that, had the judge accessed the multi-year, ongoing research of the elephants' behavior at the zoo that volunteers like me document, he would have written a different opinion.
Seeing an elephant up close and in person has more impact on would-be conservationists than any textbook or video can. Elephants in zoos serve as ambassadors, raising awareness of their endangered plights, particularly in India — a place that most residents of,0,3575641.story

9 Coolest Drive-Thru Animal Parks in America
Going on a safari is a once-in-a-lifetime activity that few of us will ever get to experience. But that doesn’t mean we can’t experience something just as good without traveling halfway around the world. At drive-thru animal parks, animals roam just as they would in the wild and you are in the middle of everything. Drive-thru parks bring the adventure of a safari closer to home and hopefully your home is somewhere near these nine.

Prague zoo gorilla hangs himself
A gorilla accidentally hanged himself at Prague zoo.
Tatu died in the morning while playing on a rope structure in the gorilla wing, the zoo director said.
The young male gorilla, aged five, was the emblematic animal of Prague Zoo, since 2007, birth year.
Indeed, the birth of Tatu was one of the rarest births in captivity and was broadcasted on live on the Internet.
"This is the most tragic event that has happened at the Prague zoo since a flood damaged a large section in August 2002," director Miroslav Bobek said

Conservationists allege Vietnam's tiger farms are fronts for illegal trade in poached wildlife
Vietnam's tiger farms are called trafficking hubs
Nineteen tigers prowl outdoor cages the size of dormitory rooms, nibbling frayed wire fences and roaring at a caretaker who taunts them with his sandal.
It looks like a zoo, but it's closed to the public. The facility breeds tigers, but has never supplied a conservation program with any animals nor sold any to zoos.
Conservationists allege that Vietnam's 11 registered tiger farms, including this one, are fronts for a thriving illegal market in tiger parts, highly prized for purported _ if unproven _ medicinal qualities.
Nonsense, says manager Luong Thien Dan. He says the farm in southern Binh Duong province was created simply because its management has??a "soft spot" for the big cats, and that it's funded privately by a beer company.
"At first we just kept them as pets, but when they started to breed, we got excited and wanted to expand their population," Dan said during a tour of the farm, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Ho Chi Minh City.
The illegal wildlife trade is worth an estimated $8 billion to $10 billion per year in Southeast Asia alone and includes tigers, rhinos and other lesser-known animals.
The conservationists say the loosely regulated farms are used to "launder" illegally caught wild tigers, which they say are mixed in with stocks of legitimately bred animals, and that??products from their carcasses are later sold on the black market.
The conservation group WWF this week ranked Vietnam as the worst country for wildlife crime in its first such survey of how well 23 countries in Asia and Africa protect rhinos, tigers and elephants.?? The Switzerland-based group focused its report released Monday on countries where the threatened animals live in the wild or are traded or consumed. Vietnam's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a written request for comment on the WWF report.
However, the government has commented on the tiger farms, saying in a 2009 report that they are aimed at breeding tigers for "future reintroduction programs." No captive tiger has been successfully introduced to a wild population anywhere in the world.
Some proponents of wildlife farms argue that they can ease the pressure on wild populations by lessening the demand for poached animals.
But in Asia, such farms are largely unregulated and create "an avenue for trade in something that you shouldn't be trading in," said Vincent Nijman, a wildlife

Inspectors visit Fairhope elephant sanctuary
An inspection team toured the International Conservation Center near Fairhope on Thursday, looking at everything — down to the flowers.
Dr. Barbara Baker, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, which owns the center, said the primary emphasis is on the quality of care of the animals. But the four inspectors, who are with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, also look at finance, marketing, education and visitors' experience.
"Once every five years, the zoo and the ICC go through an accreditation inspection," Baker said. "It's like the Good Housekeeping seal of approval for the over 200 zoos in the country. Every aspect of the zoo affects the others — if marketing is not doing its job, we aren't getting visitors and then we aren't raising money. They spend a lot of time on animal care. At the Pittsburgh Zoo, we approach this as our chance to shine and showcase all the great work we are doing at the zoo and the ICC."
Ed Asper, chairman of the accreditation team, said he could not comment on specifics about the inspections. The zoo's inspection was earlier in the week. At the end of the inspection, if the inspectors have any concerns, they let the zoo know. The zoo then has the opportunity to address each concern. A written report is sent to the 15-member Accreditation Commission, which reviews the report and the zoo's response during a hearing that the zoo president attends. The Pittsburgh Zoo and ICC's hearing will be Sept. 10 in Phoenix.
"The AZA office chooses the teams that are specific to sites," Asper said. "There is someone who is an expert in administration, a veterinarian and a territorial expert, in this case someone who is an expert in elephants."
The territorial expert looks at the animals' living conditions. The team has three choices: to grant accreditation; to deny accreditation; or to table a decision for a year to give the zoo time to improve. Asper could not recall the last time a zoo was denied accreditation. Baker said the Pittsburgh zoo has always received it since the process began in 1986.
"We want to improve all aspects of the zoo," Baker said. "Every time the standards are changed, we improve to meet the standards. We want to exceed the visiting team's expectations."
The center has five elephants: Jackson, the bull from Pittsburgh; and four females: Bette, from the Philadelphia Zoo; and Seeni, Sukiri and Thandi, all rescued in Botswana, Africa. African painted dogs and springboks — a gazelle-like animal — will be brought from the zoo to the center sometime in the fall. Fencing is in place, Baker said, but a building is needed to hous,0,7749179.story

Mysore Zoo seeks additional three veterinarians
Some time in January when one of the green anacondas died at the Mysore Zoo, there were apprehensions about the survival of remaining four large, non-venomous snakes. It subjected them to ultrasonographic tests. It has procured a sonography to help its veterinarians to diagnose the inmates better.
The conservation centre is equipped itself to take care of its inmates: It has a laboratory, drug store, portable radiographic machine, pneumatic tranquilizing equipments, squeeze cage for physical restraining of animals, holding rooms to quarantine animals and an artificial egg incubator. While there are infrastructure to attend to the needs of the injured or diseased animals, it has three vets to take care of 1,700 animals.
The series of deaths at the zoo within six weeks has shifted the focus on the veterinary section, which is short staffed. The zoo has petitioned the Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK), the apex body governing the conservation centre, to appoint three vets in addition. Sources told The Times of India that there is requirement of additional vets. Ideally one vet each should look after mammals, reptiles and birds. Zoos abroad have vets to take care of each species. When we were getting anacondas from Sri Lanka, we found out that a vet was assigned to take care of the anacondas alone. It makes work a lot easier, they stated.
When contacted, the ZAK chairman M Nanjundaswamy agreed that there is need to increase the number of vets at the Mysore Zoo. It should be based on the animal population, he said, adding the ZAK has approached the government seeking allotment of 12 vets to the authority. "At present we've seven vets-three each serving in Mysore facility and at Bannerghatta National Park and one is attached to Shimoga zoo. We want 12 more vets, who will be allocated based on the animal population." The ZAK is managing eight zoos.
Meanwhile, chief vet at the Mysore zoo Dr Suresh Kumar said they have advanced facilities to take care of the animals. On a regular basis we will subject the animals to various tests to keep track of their health. "We've got most of the things we need," he stated adding that the zoo is advanced when it comes to infrastructure. Some of the big zoos don't have scanning machines, he stated.
The authorities said they monitor the animals on a daily basis and the animal keepers update about the animal behavior daily. Some time back a barn owl was found to have conjunctivitis by the animal keeper. It was physically restrained

Modern zoos could be creating a new kind of animal: wild by nature, shaped by captivity
The giant Pacific octopus at the National Zoo was spending time, as she occasionally does, draped in a dim corner of her tank like a wad of dishrags. The octopus, Pandora, has tentacles several feet long and is the size of a Thanksgiving turkey, and she often hangs out at the front of her tank, unscrolling around the glass. But she is an expert at camouflage, and against the rocks at the rear she can be only faintly visible. It was 3 o’clock on a recent afternoon, her feeding time, and a crowd was straining for a glimpse of her. “Where’s the octopus?” a boy asked, pressing his brow against the tank, his eyes a few inches from hers. Suddenly, a zoo volunteer rose above the back of the tank, backlit, holding a long feeding stick, and lowered a piece of shrimp into the water. In a flash, Pandora shot from her perch and flung herself upon the shrimp; she flushed a bright red, inflated and rippling in the water, like a predatory prom dress. From the rear of the crowd, a keeper deftly narrated the action: “That’s the jet hop, the ballooning behavior right there. You see those very subtle color changes, the texture change — they can voluntarily change the color and texture of their skin. ...” a monologue drowned out at intervals by the gasps of the crowd.
Pandora is, in many ways, what the zoo considers a good exhibit animal. In the vast category of invertebrates — the majority of which are tiny, creepy or immobile — she is intelligent and visually arresting, even when just noodling around. A solitary cave-dweller by nature, she can live without too much trouble in a space the size of a hot tub, and, unusual for an octopus, prefers the display side of her tank. Yet as a wild animal

Rita Miljo, Baboon Rescuer, Dead From Fire That Ravaged South African Sanctuary She Built
Conservationist Rita Miljo, who cared for and reintroduced packs of baboons back into the wilds of South Africa, died in a fire that destroyed much of the headquarters of the sanctuary she built, a sanctuary official said Saturday. She was 81.
Miljo died Friday in the small apartment she kept above the clinic of the Centre for Animal Rehabilitation & Education in the bush of Limpopo province, said Karl Pierce, a director with the sanctuary. With her at her death was Bobby, the first battered Chacma baboon she ever rescued and nursed back to health in 1980 after spiriting her away from a national park without a permit. Bobby also died in the fire, along with two other older baboons that stayed in her apartment, Pierce said.
The fire broke out around 8 p.m. Friday after volunteers and workers left the center for the evening, Pierce said. No one else was injured in the blaze, which consumed the clinic, offices and a house on the property, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) northeast of Johannesburg. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
While Miljo no longer ran day-to-day operations of the center, which cares for more than 400 baboons, she remained a constant presence and a figurehead for the organization she founded in 1989.
"Everybody's still in shock about this," Pierce said.
Born in Germany in 1931, Miljo came to South Africa in the 1950s. In a 2008 article about her in The Washington Post Magazine, Miljo said helping baboons taught her "why people behave the way they do."
"Chimpanzees can be deceitful, just like humans, whereas baboons haven't learned that yet," she said at the time. "So what

Endangered frog in breeding success
Rare frogs airlifted from a Caribbean island to save them from a rapidly spreading fatal disease have bred for the first time at London Zoo.
The critically endangered mountain chicken frogs were rescued from Montserrat to preserve and develop a healthy population of the amphibian, which was facing extinction from the chytrid fungus.
Frogs have been housed in a bio-secure, temperature-controlled breeding unit at the zoo, where two females have produced 76 young.
The mothers laid eggs in a self-made foam nest and guarded them as they developed into tadpoles, which they then fed every three to five days with unfertilised eggs.
The offspring will be released back into a protected and disease-free area of the wild when they are fully grown.
Zoological Society of London (ZSL) curator of herpetology, Dr Ian Stephen, said: "To say we're delighted by this accomplishment is an understatement to say the least.
"These frogs are one of the most endangered

Zoo becomes a death trap
The Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) is one of the largest zoos in the State in terms of variety and number of animals.
It houses over 1,435 animals of 76 species, including mammals and reptiles. However, the medical facility at the zoo is not up to the mark and there is a dearth of veterinary doctors. Result: Death of many inmates.
Sharath, a safari tiger aged about two, was suffering from acute intestinal infection. But the wildlife veterinarian at the Park could not diagnose it. The tiger endured the pain for three months and also suffered from diarrhoea and kidney-related problems. Despite being administered a combination of antibiotics, it never recovered.
The wildlife vets had to depend on a private hospital to conduct an ultrasound scan on Sharath. Though initially private doctors were reluctant to share their expensive scanning machines meant for humans, the vets managed to bring it to the park and conducted the scan. Despite efforts, the tiger died on July 20, exposing the severe lack of facilities at the park.
In September 2010, BBP was again in the news following the death of safari tigers due to salmonella infection. The park lost three tigers - Divya, Minchu (both four years old) and a three-month-old cub to the infection. They suffered from diarrhoea and vomiting, after they were fed infected chicken. Eighteen other tigers were also infected with the same bacteria.
BBP came under severe criticism for inaction and veterinarians from other zoos were called in to help treat the animals. Sources in the park admitted that lack of facilities and late realisation of the outbreak of the infection were the reasons for losing the tigers.
Initially, the authorities did not realise the gravity of the situation, and later delayed treatment, they added.
At present, there are 48 lions and two tigers at the Rescue Centre. The safari has 41 tigers, seven white tigers and 28 lions.
After the tigers, it is now the turn of sloth bears. Housed at the Bear Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (BRRC), the bears have been diagnosed with suspected tuberculosis, apparently contracted from humans.
About 10 out of the 100-odd bears are down with the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), which is mainly found among humans infected with TB.  Since 2010, BRRC has lost nine bears. Recently, it lost two more to MTB. BRRC, managed by an NGO - Wildlife SOS - is unable to d

Decrease in number of visitors to zoo
The Kuwait Zoo is still operating during the holy month of Ramadan from 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm every day, with Sunday being a holiday. According to a member of the management, the zoo closes at sunset so the animals will rest, and this is an international practice or tradition.
The entrance fee is 500 Fils and there are two parts to the zoo. Visitors may choose to only view the garden and not the zoo by purchasing a ticket for 250 Fils.  The garden is open till 8 pm daily.
Though the weather has been hot, there are visitors coming to the zoo. The employee noted that primarily people arrive after 3pm, though there are rarely 100 visitors per day. Thus, during the weekends (on Fridays and Saturdays) about 200 visitors come. The number of visitors are now fewer because there are no school trips and people are fasting. Also, the hot weather is affecting the number.
Currently, there are no facilities offering food or beverages inside the zoo. The employee stressed that the cafeteria, baqala, and the juice shop will be ready for Eid Alfiret. Although the majority of visitors are usually expats, during Ramadan most visitors, if not all, are Kuwaitis.
The zoo has some problems during the year. According to the employee, the greatest problem is caused by uncivilized visitors teasing animals. They throw stones or other objects and hurt the animals. Also, some animals become scared from this throwing and hurt themselves.
There are security guards inside the zoo, though there are not enough, and visitors do not always respect them since they are Arab Nationals. The employee said that during each shift

Egypt zoos starve, torture and abuse animals
Animal rights activists have launched a campaign online to demand that Egypt improve the conditions of animals at zoos across the country. The petition, now circulating on The Petition Site, said that zoos in the country are “starving, torturing, abusing poor defenseless animals.”
The call for action singled out zoos in Giza, Alexandria, Fayoum, Kafr el-Sheikh and al-Arish as places that need immediate attention.
At the Kafr el-Sheikh facility in the Nile Delta, the campaign said the animals are often mistreated and abused by the guards. The petition reported that one of the lions, Antar, faces massive abuse and “his mate (Abla) keeps looking after him and tries best to soothe him,” after the guards continue to terrify him.
At the same facility, they pointed to a female tiger, Samar, who “is malnourished and looks distraught, she is skin and bone.” The activists said guards feed her “with a metal rod, which has a little piece of meat on the end of it only when the guard is paid to feed her. This is complete brutality.”
The petition links to a Facebook page showing images of the inhumane treatment facing animals in Egypt.
Egypt has long struggled to find peace and justice for its captive animals. At the Lion’s Village an hour and a half hours north of Cairo, animals are kept in cages no larger than one meter squared. With the debilitating summer heat in the country, they face dehydration, lack of food and potential death.
The activists are calling for both the local and international communities to intervene and force President Mohamed Morsi and his infant regime to stand up for the animals and boost the facilities allotted for them across Egypt.
The group continued to detail other zoos in the country, where the situation facing animals is little better than in Kafr el-Sheikh. In Fayoum, about an hour south of Cairo, there are 6 wolves.
“These wolves brought to the zoo by people to keep control of reproduction are confined to a tiny space. They attack each other constantly causing severe injuries. They have open, gaping wounds,” the petition continued.
Animal rights activists have over the past few years have repeatedly told that more action is needed in order to assist animals in captivity in the country. They have routinely said the international animal trade organization CITES has done little to intervene or sanction the country

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