Thursday, October 11, 2012

Zoo News Digest 7th - 11th October 2012 (Zoo News 833)

Zoo News Digest 7th - 11th October 2012 (Zoo News 833)

Animals Asia - Read Story Below



Dear Colleagues,

Why Arignar Anna Zoological Park actually allows their white tiger to continue breeding actually defeats me particularly as it is stated that the problems "experts say it could be bad for her health to become pregnant every year. They also believe that it would add to inbreeding.". ADD to inbreeding? All white tigers are inbred anyway. Zoos which keep white tigers really need to look at keeping them with a fair and caring eye.

British zoos 'failing' on animal welfare standards, says report - This makes for an interesting read. No doubt zoos will learn from it. I do believe that the legislation surrounding British Zoos is the best in the world but it is not perfect. I would like to see it include a team of 'roving zoo inspectors' with instant access at any time to any zoo. This would catch out those who bend the rules. Such inspectors though would be from within the industry who know and understand the issues and problems and not from a group who lists the closure of zoos as one of their aims. I could ramble on about this subject but will finish with something my friend and colleague  John Dinely posted on Facebook:

"Conflict of Interest: Chris Draper (CD) is employed by the Born Free Foundation (BFF). BFF provided funding, study leave and logistical support for data collection to CD but had no part in the study design, analysis, interpretation and conclusions presented, which remain those of the authors."
I leave this to readers to make up their minds on how "objective" this research is :-)

That Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre is under threat of closure is a true tragedy. I do hope it doesn't happen. Follow the link. Voice your protest.

Swimming with tigers? Not a good idea in my book. Tigers should be reared by their mothers and not used in such a way.
Club you believe it? You decide. Whatever the truth endangered species are being eaten. This is bushmeat. Forgiveable when your family has nothing to eat. Not so when it is imported into European cities.

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


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British zoos 'failing' on animal welfare standards, says report
British zoos are failing to meet minimum animal welfare standards, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of Bristol examined reports by Government-appointed zoo inspectors and found that only a quarter of zoos met the criteria regarding welfare, conservation and education.
Since 1981, zoos in the UK have been licensed under the Zoo Licensing Act, which requires them to meet certain standards of care.
The study, which was funded by the Born Free Foundation, is the first to review animal welfare in British zoos since the Act came into force.
The researchers looked at 192 zoo inspection reports and found that only 47 (24 per cent) met all

The Assessment of Animal Welfare in British Zoos by Government-Appointed Inspectors
By Chris Draper and Stephen Harris
Simple Summary: Since 1984, British zoos have been required to meet the animal welfare standards set out under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981. Zoos are regularly assessed by government-appointed inspectors, who report on animal welfare standards in each zoo. This is the first analysis of those reports from a representative sample of British zoos. We highlight a number of concerns about the inspection process itself, and identify areas where changes would lead to improvements in both the inspection process and our ability to monitor animal welfare standards in zoos.
Abstract: We analysed the reports of government-appointed inspectors from 192 zoos between 2005–2008 to provide the first review of how animal welfare was assessed in British zoos since the enactment of the Zoo Licensing Act 1981. We examined the effects of whether or not a veterinarian was included in the inspection team, type of inspection, licence status of the zoo and membership of a zoo association on the inspectors’ assessments of animal welfare standards in five areas that approximate to the Five Freedoms. At least 11% of full licence inspections did not comply with the legal requirement for two inspectors. The inspectors’ reports were unclear as to how animal welfare was assessed, whether all animals or only a sub-sample had been inspected, and were based predominantly on welfare inputs rather than outcomes. Of 9,024 animal welfare assessments across the 192 zoos, 7,511 (83%) were graded as meeting the standards, 782 (9%) as substandard and the rest were not graded. Of the 192 zoos, 47 (24%) were assessed as meeting all the animal welfare standards. Membership of a zoo association was not associated with a higher overall assessment of animal welfare standards, and specialist collections such as Farm Parks and Other Bird collections performed least well. We recommend a number of changes to the inspection process that should lead to greater clarity in the assessment of animal welfare in British zoos.
Keywords: animal welfare; captive wild animals; government inspections; local authority; risk factors; Zoo Licensing Act

Beautiful Bear Enclosure

Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre faces eviction and relocation
Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre faces eviction and relocation following an aggressive campaign against it by the director of Tam Dao National Park, Do Dinh Tien. On Friday 5 October, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) informed Animals Asia that the Ministry of Defence has issued an order to evict the sanctuary operation and its 104 rescued bears.
Animals Asia is a charity that is devoted to ending the barbaric practice of bear bile farming and improving the welfare of animals in China and Vietnam.
This follows Mr Tien lobbying the Ministry of Defence to declare the sanctuary to be an area of “national defence significance”. The park director has been pressuring Animals Asia to relinquish 6 hectares of land since April 2011. It is believed that he intends to hand the land over to the Truong Giang Tam Dao Joint Stock Company, in which his daughter has an investment. The company has submitted an application for development of an “eco-tourism park” and hotels.
The closure would see 104 bears that have been rescued from the bile industry evicted, 77 local Vietnamese staff made unemployed, and financial losses to Animals Asia of more than US $2 million. The local economy that depends on the centre would be severely impacted, and the Vietnamese government’s commitment to ending bear bile farming would be called into question.
The eviction is in direct violation of the Vietnam government’s 2005 agreement with Animals Asia to fund and develop a facility on 12 hectares of the park that would permanently rehabilitate and house 200 endangered bears rescued from the illegal bear bile industry. Based on this agreement, Animals Asia has invested more than US$2 million in building and infrastructure.
Animals Asia is calling on the public in Vietnam, and internationally, to write to the Prime Minister of Vietnam, and appeal for him to allow the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre that he previously approved and endorsed to be allowed to continue operations, and expand, in line with the government’s original agreement. Details can be found on Animals Asia’s website here: 
Currently 104 bears rescued from the bear bile industry are living on the site. The bears are being rehabilitated after years of trauma from being locked up in small cages and milked for their bile. These bears will be forced to return to cages to be relocated. This will have a major negative impact on their mental and physical well-being. It is likely to take at least two years to establish a new centre with outdoor enclosures. 
Mr Tien and the Truong Giang Tam Dao Joint Stock Company have been lobbying the Vietnam Administration of Forestry, within MARD, to approve the real estate development. Mr Tien’s daughter is one of four founding members of the Truong Giang Tam Dao Joint Stock Company and holds 10 percent of the company’s shares. Mr Tien has not publicly disclosed this information.
Following interventions by local embassies (including the British, US, Italian and Australian ambassadors), international organisations and European Ministers, as well as significant media attention, MARD intervened to issue a directive on 26 April 2012 ordering the park director to allocate the land to the bear rescue centre in line with the original agreement with Animals Asia.
Mr Tien then spread misinformation, in an attempt to block construction of the third outdoor bear enclosure, that waste pollution from the rescue centre was damaging the environment and health of the local community. He requested that the Ministry of Agriculture close down the rescue centre and relocate the bears. Following an exhaustive investigation by the Vinh Phuc environmental department, the bear centre was cleared of all allegations.
It was at this point that the park director began lobbying the Ministry of Defence to apply pressure on the Ministry of Agriculture to stop the rescue centre’s planned development. 
The claim that the land in question is an area of national defence significance is questionable, given that the centre has been in operation since 2005 and that the Chat Dau Valley, where it is located, has been used for tourism and other private purposes since the park opened in 1996.
It is believed that once the bear centre is forced to close, the land will be declared to no longer be of national defence significance, allowing the Truong Giang Joint Stock Company to take it over for private development.
The case will now go to the Prime Minister for a final decision. Due to the powerful status of the Ministry of Defence in Vietnam, it is feared that the Prime Minister will be forced to agree with the recommendation to close the centre.
Jill Robinson MBE, h.c, Founder and CEO of Animals Asia commented:
“We are desperate to ensure that the rescue centre is not closed down and relocated. The welfare of 104 bears, who have already suffered enough, would be seriously compromised, and the rescue centre and US$2 million in donations would be lost. We’re calling on the public, and the media, both in Vietnam and overseas to urgently appeal to the Prime Minister of Vietnam for justice, and to let him know their feelings on this terrible threat to the bears’ welfare.”
Tuan Bendixsen, Vietnam Director, Animals Asia commented:
“We hope the Prime Minister is made aware that the directive he issued in 2008 is being undermined by a park director and his undue influence over the Ministry of Defence. This is not a defence issue; it's an issue of profit.  We believe Mr Tien seeks to benefit from land that the Prime Minister promised for the bears that have suffered in Vietnam’s bile trade for too long.”
“This one man, whose daughter stands to directly profit from the relocation of the centre, should not be allowed this much power.”
Background to Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre
The mission of the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre is to rescue moon bears (Asiatic black bears) and sun bears from inhumane captivity and the illegal bear bile industry.  
The centre was authorised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2005 and given project approval in a directive from the Prime Minister of Vietnam in 2008. It has been a great example of cooperation between an international charity, the Vietnamese government, the Vietnamese people, as well as supporters and donors around the world.
The 2005 agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture and Animals Asia provides 12 hectares of land for the bear rescue centre in Chat Dau Valley, Tam Dao National Park.
Animals Asia has invested over US$2 million in funding to build the rescue centre through developing the first 6 hectares. This funding was donated by thousands of people from around the world who gave the money in good faith, hoping to help bears rescued from the bile industry. It is currently unclear whether Animals Asia will be compensated for the relocation and its losses, or would need to find the funds to start construction again at a new location.
There are over 10,000 bears – mainly moon bears but also others such as Malayan sun bears and brown bears – kept on bile farms in China, and around 2,400 in Vietnam. They’re “milked” regularly for their bile, which is stored in the gall bladder. The bile is used as a form of medicine, even though many herbal and synthetic alternatives are available. Starved, dehydrated and riddled with ailments, the bears suffer a living hell.
Animals Asia is working to end bear bile farming in China and Vietnam, where bears are kept in small cages for up to 30 years so their bile can be extracted through catheters, needles and open wounds.

More trouble in Egypt
from smuggling falcons to Bahrain to selling monkeys to anyone who wants them

Tiger bites off toddler’s forearm at Bellary zoo
In a tragic incident here on Monday, a tiger at the Bellary zoo bit off the forearm of a toddler who was attempting to feed the animal chocolate.
According to an eyewitness, upon hearing the cries of the two-and-a-half-year-old child, Nikhil, visitors to the zoo and guards rushed to the animal’s cage and frightened the tiger into letting go of the child.
Nikhil was rushed to the Vijayanagar Institute of Medical Sciences, where he is undergoing treatment.
Enquiries revealed that Nikhil, son of Nagababu and Lakshmi, who work in Channapatna near Mysore, had come to his grandparents’ house for a visit.
His grandmother Balamani took Nikhil to the zoo and, after looking at the tiger, they went to the deer enclosure, which is adjacent. While Balamani was otherwise occupied, Nikhil went up to the tiger cage and put his hand inside to feed the tiger. The tiger, Bhima, grabbed hold of his hand and pulled him towards the cage.
Nikhil also sustained bruises on his forehead when he banged his head on the iron grill when the tiger pulled him.
The entire incident took place in a few seconds, catching everybody unawares.
A shocked Ms. Balamani was inconsolable.
The forest guards expressed shock over

Trunk Truths

Swraj Paul asks UK govt to provide appropriate funding for Zoos
British Government should provide appropriate funding for Zoological gardens, a location for family-building and reinforcement, as part of efforts to preserve life rather than destroy it, NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul has said.
Participating in a debate in the House of Lords on Monday evening on a motion to ask the "Government how they propose to promote the better running of zoos in the UK and the European Union," Lord Paul, 81, observed that "Zoos have become doors through which we can wander into worlds that we are losing."
"For a significant segment of our population, this is probably the only access and connection they will ever have to the other species with whom we share this planet," he said.
Yet zoos in the UK, "unlike museums, receive no direct government funding. Surely, this in itself, tells us something about the way we assign our public priorities. That is why I strongly urge the government to give appropriate consideration to renewing support for zoological gardens."
"We all understand that funding sources are scarce. But we can spare something to support activities that inspire us to treasure and preserve life rather than destroying it."
Lord Paul, who donated one million pounds to the London Zoo to prevent it from closure in 1992, said "well-managed zoos in particular increase our awareness of the natural world and illustrate that man does not, and should not, live by bread alone.
"I say this with a certain passion because of a particular personal experience," he said and recalled "nearly fifty years ago, I came to this country to give my little daughter Ambika some desperately needed medical treatment.
"Sadly, it could not save her. But in those few last months I saw and felt the extraordinary happiness that this small child in a terminal condition derived from frequent visits to the London Zoo.
"Somehow, this environment, where other children and

Zoo’s oldest white tiger about to be mother again
Nine-year-old Anu, a white tigress and the oldest of the big cats with the unusual coloration at Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur, has become pregnant for the fourth year in a row.
Zoo officials said they are closely monitoring Anu's health to prevent a miscarriage as has happened during the animal's previous pregnancies. "Veterinarians are conducting regular medical checks of her health," a zoo official said. She is given a special diet of meat and we are ensuring that she has adequate rest.
The zoo had been trying to pair two other female white tigresses, Namrata and Akansha, with a nine-year-old Royal Bengal Tiger Vijay, but to no avail. Both Namrata and Akansha are three years old and they were the first cubs born at Vandalur in April 2009

Old postcards give peek at zoo's history
A former director of Tokyo's Ueno Zoo will publish a book showing 163 postcards of animals that lived at the zoo last century, a collection that offers insights into the creatures and attractions that have enchanted visitors over the years.
Teruyuki Komiya found the postcards while combing through files kept at the zoo's library.
The oldest postcard, published in 1902, depicts geese reared in the water bird cage, which was in the center of the zoo. A 1938 postcard published for soldiers on the front lines includes a picture of a tiger--a symbol said to bring luck in battle.
Komiya, 64, also unearthed a postcard of a monkey "driving" a small train, which was a very popular attraction shortly after World War II. A monkey sat on a small seat at the front of the train, but the rides were eventually halted due to concerns about the animal's safety.
The last page of Komiya's book depicts postcards of Kan Kan and Ran Ran, pandas presented by China in 1972 to commemorate the normalization of diplomatic ties between Japan and China.
Most of the postcards were made as souvenirs for visitors or to mark animal displays from the Meiji era (1868-1912) through the Showa era (1926-1989), but had not been systematically researched

From Dina Zulfikar
who is lying? PAAZAB? Central Zoos Director of Egypt? or Animal Protection Advocates?Re: SOS from Cairo - Egypt - PAAZAB are ignoring emails, we have cirtical cases....
shame on PAAZAB - African Association of Zoos and Acuaria - shame shame shame - lying!!!!!!!!!!Prof. Clifford Nxomani, President of PAAZAB, opened the conference & welcomed the conference special guests Quinton Ceotzee, Steve Martin & Prof. Roy Ballantyne. The executive committee & the attendance admired the work achieved at Giza Zoo in such a short period specially the Orangutan House & the Zoological Museum.!!!!!! PAAZAB does not realize that up till today, 8 October 2012 the Orangutans , remaining 2, after the death of the third, have not been moved to the Orangutans enclosure they are admiring Giza Zoo for!!!!!!!!!!!!! shame on PAAZAB!!!!!!!!!

The comments section is open at the end of this Digest as it is on all. Abusive posts will not be added. Answers, explanations, observations will be.

Marineland: Ontario government to bring in regulations for marine animals
The provincial government plans to bring in regulations to protect captive marine mammals in Ontario, the Starhas learned.
The move comes after a Star series on Marineland, in which former trainers and supervisors blamed poor water quality and a lack of sufficient staff for ill health among animals at the Niagara Falls tourist attraction.
Community Safety Minister Madeleine Meilleur will announce Wednesday at Queen’s Park that her ministry will conduct an extensive consultation in order to formulate new regulations, according to sources.
The minister will work with marine mammal experts and other interested parties “to develop strong standards of care” for captive animals, the sources said. The consultation will also examine the best way to license zoos and aquariums across the province.
Licensing would include both marine mammals and land animals in captivity.
Currently, anyone in Ontario can own a tiger or beluga whale in their backyard, with no restrictions or government oversight.
The only rules protecting animals fall under the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, which doesn’t mention marine mammals and has been widely criticized for being weak.
The Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums has regulations for its paid members, but it’s an industry association that regulates itself and conditions are changed by mutual agreement, and not by law.
Former Marineland trainers described dolphins, sea lions and seals swimming with their eyes squeezed shut in sporadically unhealthy water. They said seals and sea lions sometimes had to be kept out of their pools for long periods in dry pens, with only a bucket of water. A baby beluga died last May, after being att

Parks breach animal performance ban
Beijing animal parks flaunted regulations by staging performances involving animals during the eight-day Golden Week national holiday that concluded Sunday, an investigation by a Beijing-based animal welfare NGO has found.
Volunteers from Zoo Watch found three parks in the capital - the Beijing Wildlife Park in Daxing district, Beijing Badaling Safari World in Yanqing county and Beijing World Park in Fengtai district - held such shows involving bears, crocodiles, elephants and monkeys during the holidays to cash in on the influx of tourists.
Zhang Ya'nan, a volunteer at the NGO, told the Global Times Tuesday that she visited the Beijing Wildlife Park and Beijing World Park on October 2.
"Three tuskless elephants and one with its tusks filed down halfway were used to lift children with their trunks," Zhang said of the Beijing World Park.
"A man at the park responsible for taking group photos of visitors said the elephants' tusks were cut and filed to prevent inflicting any possible injuries."
She also said that during intervals between performances the elephants were kept in cramped cages without room to move.
In a separate performance involving a crocodile, a trainer lured the reptile out of the water by grabbing its tail and then pried opened its mouth to insert his head as part of the show.
"The crocodile was unable to close its mouth even after the half-hour performance finished," Zhang said.
Both the Beijing Wildlife Park and Beijing World Park confirmed to the Global Times such performances had taken place.
A male staff member from the Beijing World Park said that the venue staged six performances daily during the Golden Week holiday involving elephants and crocodiles.
A female employee from the Beijing Wildlife Park said that they held six half-hour performances daily that included bears walking on stilts and monkeys riding b

Deadly malaria kills six penguins at London Zoo
Six penguins at London Zoo died after contracting avian-malaria from mosquito bites, a spokeswoman confirmed.
The outbreak has been blamed on the "unusually high" number of mosquitoes in the Capital over the summer due to the wet and muggy weather.
“ZSL London Zoo routinely treats its colony of penguins against a strain of avian-malaria which is endemic to the UK wild bird population.
Due to the exceptionally wet and muggy weather this summer, mosquito numbers were unusually high and ZSL’s keepers and vets decided to increase the penguins’ preventative anti-malarial medicine.
Sadly, earlier this summer six penguins died of avian-malaria - a different strain to the one that affects humans. Avian-malaria is contracted directly from a mosquito bite and cannot be passed between birds.
London Zoo said its keepers and vets continue to keep a close eye on the rest of the colony and the penguins all appear to be healthy and well.
It added that there is no risk to the public and the zoo remains open for business as usual.
Ongoing preventative measures include a daily anti-malarial medicine administered in the penguins’

BIAZA Volunteer Coordinators Forum
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo (14th November) and ZSL London Zoo (15th November)

Please follow the link for more information and booking form.,events/

If you have any questions please contact Andy Moore on 

The 49th issue of the Journal of Threatened Taxa is published online at In keeping with JoTT's policy of minimizing lag time for publication after final acceptance, this supplementary issue is on Eastern Himalaya. The regular October issue will be published on the 26th as per schedule. We thank all the subject editors, reviewers, language editors and authors for their contributions in producing this issue.

Journal of Threatened Taxa
ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print)

October 2012 | Vol. 4 | No. 12 | Pages 3085–3160
Date of Publication 10 October 2012 (online & print)


Lowland forest butterflies of the Sankosh River catchment, Bhutan
-- Arun P. Singh, Pp. 3085–3102

Mammals of Kalimpong Hills, Darjeeling District, West Bengal, India
-- Jayanta Kumar Mallick, Pp. 3103–3136

Butterflies (Lepidoptera) of Dibang Valley, Mishmi Hills, Arunachal Pradesh, India
-- Monsoon Jyoti Gogoi, Pp. 3137–3160

Florida Private Zoo Now Offers Tiger Pool Parties Because We’ve Lost All Respect for Nature
Florida, the land of completely fucked up happenings and, just to even things out, Key Lime Pie, is now not only home to the you-only-live-once-so-stop-being-such-a-coward gator pool party, but also, thanks to some enterprising animal handlers at Dade City's private zoo Wild Things, the tiger cub pool, featuring a real Siberian tiger cub named Tony. For the low, low price of $200 and your signature on a release form absolving Tony's handlers from responsibility should Tony high-five your child in the jugular, your kid can spend an awkward 30 minutes in a pool trying to hug an adorably confounded eight pound tiger. For an extra $400 and a vow of silence, I've heard that the trainers will fill up a pool with milk and let Tony swim around in it, and, yes, that may be a baseless rumor, but would it really surprise you if it turned out to be true?
It wouldn't surprise you, of course, because Florida is a stalactite of weirdness dripping off the continental United States. Asked whether or not swimming with a squeaky mini-predator is dangerous or not, Wild Things' truth-teller Randy Stearns said, in so many words, pretty much, yeah, but it's strictly no big deal in the land where people have bug eating deathmatches

During 27-30 September 2012 in Kryvyi Rih in Ukraine the 6th Conference on the Birds of Prey and Owls of North Eurasia was held. More than 90 raptor biologists from many countries participated in this well-organized conference. Before the conference two books were published in Russian with English summaries: Proceedings of the conference on 616 pages and a special collection of papers on four species of buzzards of North Eurasia on 272 pages. The table of contents of both books in English is pasted below. Both books will be uploaded in a certain time at the web-site of Ukrainian Centre of Birds of Prey:

Stop Club Morsico: Eating Endangered Animals

Zoo vet Helen Schofield honoured
Zookeeper recognised posthumously at awards
There is no doubt that Helen Schofield dedicated her life to helping animals, and now a posthumous award in her honour has recognised the passion and love she had for them.
Schofield, 42, was killed on April 25 when Mila the elephant, formerly known as Jumbo, crushed her to death at Franklin Zoo and Wildlife Sanctuary, just south of Auckland.
Schofield was honoured last night, at an awards ceremony in Wellington, with a posthumous Assisi Award from the New Zealand Companion Animal Council, an umbrella organisation which incorporates animal welfare bodies, veterinarians and academic researchers.
NZCAC spokesman and SPCA executive director Bob Kerridge said the awards honoured people who had made a "very real difference" in the lives of animals.
"Helen cared passionately about animals from her childhood onwards and was, above all, dedicated to saving exotic animals, including those, like Mila, who had been rescued from circuses," Kerridge said.
"Having qualified as a veterinarian, Helen invested in Franklin Zoo, which she was transforming into a sanctuary, where such animals could spend their last few years in dignity and safety. Her untimely death is a great loss to all New Zealanders who care about animals and to the creatures she looked after."
At her funeral in May Schofield was described as a hero. Friends

Jumbo problem at Byculla Zoo
Laxmi and Anarkali may have to wait a little longer as the civic body’s desperate attempts to find an alternate accommodation for two ageing elephants at the Byculla Zoo are proving futile. For the past two years, the BMC had been approaching several sanctuaries and tiger reserves across the country. However, the efforts to shift the jumbos to bigger enclosures have elicited no response.
This was in keeping with the directive of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) in November 2010, which banned elephants from zoos and asked them to be rehabilitated to national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and tiger reserves maintained by the state forest departments (SFDs).
The order was issued owing to concerns over the animals’ health due to poor housekeeping, inadequate space for free movement, breeding

‘Eden’ plan for Colwyn Bay zoo is on ice
ZOO bosses say a £5m “Eden Project” expansion has been put on ice due to a lack of cash.
But officials at the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Upper Colwyn Bay hope the development will still go ahead if money is available in two years’ time.
The plans include a Space for Life centre, with a “live animal and natural history experience” with “dragon-skin” walls, touch screens and solar panels. It could see a 30% boost in visitors.
Zoo director Nick Jackson said: “We were eligible, had put forward our expression of interest and were about to bid when it was announced the funds available

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