Thursday, June 13, 2013

Zoo News Digest 10th - 13th June 2013 (ZooNews 857)

Zoo News Digest 10th - 13th  June 2013 (ZooNews 857)

Because the article "Bites From Venomous Snakes Can Have Costly Consequences " interesting though it is, amused me. Not the only spelling error. I know I make mistakes as well but.  

Dear Colleagues,

I include the article on the state of German zoos not because I am a supporter of the Born Free Foundation but because the report makes an interesting read. There are some awful Dysfunctional Zoos included. These are the collections that get the rest of us, the 'Good Zoos' a bad name. If I was a ' Joe Public' visitor to one of these places and was asked afterwards if I liked zoos...I would answer "No". I may never visit another zoo as a result. I may become anti-zoo as a result. Happily this is not the way I do things or my mind works. I visit the bad and the good zoos. I condemn the bad and those which are losing direction. This includes those which insist on hand rearing at every opportunity or exhibiting genetic freaks.

Returning to the Born Free Foundation for a moment. I recollect when this organisation first set up. It was then called 'Zoo Check'. This was pre-internet and they produced a regular newsletter. I, on behalf of the zoo keepers at the Welsh Mountain Zoo joined so that we could read just what the 'enemy' were up to. I recollect they had a list of aims and aspirations. There was not one of us which did not agree with all of these....except one....the closure of all zoos. I still feel that way. We need more zoos, not less.....but we need good zoos and not bad Dysfunctional Zoos. So on the whole I support the Born Free Foundation in the way that they point out what is wrong in our zoo world. Someone needs to do it because our zoo  umbrella organisations appear to be turning a blind eye in many cases. That is wrong, very wrong. One has to ask the question why? Money? Friends? Pandering to the influential? Believing the hype rather than reality? I just don't know. I do know its wrong though.

Striking Zoo Keepers? I don't hold with it but in this case I understand. These are the so called 'Daily Wage Workers'...zoo keepers who work for years for a pittance but without any form of contract. Any one of them can be dismissed tomorrow without any reason. The lowest of the low. They are looked upon as no more than shit shovellers. Is it any wonder that some Indian zoos are in the state they are? Look now at Chhatbir Zoo where at this moment staff have not been paid for two months and they cannot even feed the animals. Something very wrong here too.

Thank you Brunei. Lets just hope the rest of the world will follow your lead.

Vienna’s Schönbrunn zoo the best in Europe? I don't know. I have never visited. Just one mans opinion but then he may well be right.

VERY IMPORTANT (I will repeat this several times over coming weeks as I know some people do not read every issue)- After several years my postal address has changed. It is now:

Peter Dickinson
Suite 201,
Westminster Chambers
7 Hunter Street

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


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The EU Zoo Inquiry identifies that German zoos are failing to meet EU standards

Brussels 5th June 2013: A report launched today at the European Parliament (Brussels) by leading animal welfare NGOs (including Born Free), has confirmed that many zoos in Germany fail to meet European requirements in species conservation, public education and animal care. 

The comprehensive report reveals the inconsistent application and enforcement of the EC Zoos Directive, the national zoo law (BNatSchG) and the German Animal Protection law (TierSchG)  by Federal State Competent Authorities causing substandard conditions and unnecessary animal suffering. 

Torsten Schmidt, representing NGO, Bund gegen Missbrauch der Tiere e.V., explained “In Germany, zoos are regulated through the Federal Nature Conservation Act, which, together with the Animal Protection Law, has adopted the requirements of the EC Zoos Directive. The Federal State Competent Authorities are required to regulate the zoos through licensing and regular inspection. One of the EU Zoo Inquiry’s most worrying findings is that there are no centralised records identifying how many zoos there are in Germany, which raises the question as to whether or not all German  zoos are, in fact, licensed.”

The EC Zoos Directive (1999/22), enacted in 2002, requires all zoos to be licensed and undergo regular inspection by the designated Competent Authority to ensure the legal requirements are met. These requirements include: active measures to conserve biodiversity through species conservation programmes; the exchange of information and the delivery of public education about the species displayed and

Yemen zoo "death trap" a popular local attraction
For just 100 riyals ($0.46), visitors of the Sana’a Zoo in Yemen’s capital can peruse a bizarre collection of animals that showcases pigeons over monkeys and alligators – and that hosts Arabian Leopards sixteen times as rare as the Giant Panda.

The animals are unhealthy, the cages are small, and the care is rudimentary at best. But the zoo’s low but quirky standards are not enough to deter pleasure-seeking Yemenis from enjoying the wildlife.

As one of the few green spaces among the city’s urban sprawl, the zoo is a weekend and holiday destination for Yemenis looking for an afternoon of entertainment amid the grinding poverty and rising insecurity that have come to characterize the country in recent years. 

Some come for a picnic, a large number go to chew qat (a mildly narcotic plant popular in Yemen), and others have relented to endless demands from their children.

According to the recently appointed director, Azhar al-Nofali, the Sana’a Zoo sees hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. In part, he says, because “it is considered an outlet inside the capital.”

“I visit this zoo because my daughter and my son [like] to see the animals and the birds,” said Fawzi Sarhan, an engineer who comes periodically.

Families indeed dominate the landscape here. But groups of young Yemeni men are also a common sight. Yemen is a conservative society, so the zoo sometimes acts as a meeting place for members of the opposite sex. The combination of rich, poor, young, and old zoo patrons makes it among the more livel

White lion breeding at UK wildlife parks linked to 'canned hunting'
Two parks have been accused of unethical breeding practices, as white lions are inbred and suffer from severe health issues
They are a rare and beautiful variant of an ordinary lion, a big cat with a recessive gene that gives it striking white fur. But two British wildlife parks have been accused of unethical practices for breeding white lions taken from a farm linked to "canned hunting" in South Africa and allowing cubs to be petted for £250 a time.

Despite zoo associations in Europe and America ordering zoos not to breed white lions because they are already inbred and suffer severe health problems, Paradise wildlife park in Hertfordshire and its sister zoo, the Wildlife Heritage Foundation in Kent produced five white cubs in 2013. Paradise wildlife park initially charged £999 to cuddle its latest cub before amending its offer to £250.

"It is a scandal," said Pieter Kat, founder of LionAid. "It is an unethical process from so many different angles. They are bringing these animals from someone associated with canned lion hunting. They continue to inbreed them and they allow petting which is unethical." The European Association of Zoos & Aquariums is currently investigating the matter.

Lynn Whitnall, director of Paradise wildlife park and a member of the family that own both parks, said: "The white lions are extremely well looked after." She added: "They are good as ambassadors. They are good for education. They are good for raising funds, not just for our business but to do the conservation work we do."

White lions were first spotted on a game reserve near the Kruger national park in South Africa. Since 1995, the captive population has exploded from just 10 to around 500, driven by a number of South African breeders. Most of these animals are sold for up to £60,000 to trophy hunters, who shoot them in fenced areas – the controversial but currently legal practice called canned hunting.

White lions have a rare recessive gene and the only way to guarantee a white cub is to breed two white lions, producing extremely inbred animals that suffer from deformities and high mortality. A scientific study found 17 of 19 white lion cubs born in an Italian zoo were stillborn or died within a month of birth. Another was euthanised after six months because it could not bite its food and the sole survivor at 30 months was malformed.

The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), of which Paradise Wildlife Park and the Wildlife Heritage Foundation are members, has ruled there is no conservation value in keeping white lions. "Inbreeding practices as necessary to produce white lions impair the ability to develop and maintain sustainable captive populations and to deliver the appropriate animal welfare and conservation educational messages," it said in recently published guidelines. The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) and the American Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) have also both instructed their members not to deliberately breed white lions.

In 2006, Paradise wildlife park obtained two white lion cubs from Wiets Botes, a South African lion breeder who also offers trophy hunts where captive-bred lions can be shot. The Wildlife Heritage Foundation acquired two more white lions from Botes in 2012.

"The lions we've taken from there have a very good home," said Whitnall. She said her park was not aware that Botes also offered to arrange canned hunting. Paradise wildlife park and the Wildlife Heritage Foundation help fund projects to conserve endangered big cats such as Amur leopards and tigers in Russia and Bangladesh.

Marita du Plessis, manager of Wiets Safaris, confirmed that Botes could arrange lion hunting but said they never conducted the hunts on their own land or with the animals they bred. According to du Plessis, Botes only sold his white lions to zoos and not for canned hunting.

Petting lion cubs was condemned by the Captive Animals Protection Society (Caps) for causing unnecessary stress when the youngster was separated from its mother. "We're very concerned about the lion cubs' welfare," said Liz Tyson, director of Caps. "We are also concerned about the message – if you pay enough money you can come and cuddle these animals. That's completely against zoos' supposed purpose to educate people about wild animals. "

But Whitnall defended the zoos' "meet the cub" sessions saying the white lion cub sessions were only held for a short period this spring when the cubs had routine health checks a

Escaped monkey causes Louisiana zoo shutdown
Monkey business shut down the Alexandria Zoological Park for a few hours Friday.

A 20-pound Colobus monkey escaped from its handler and caused an evacuation and temporary closure.

David Gill, Alexandria's director of public works, says zoo employees were moving three of six monkeys from their enclosure when one escaped.

Gill says one animal ran through a crack in the door of the enclosure before climbing a tree. The monkey never left the zoo property.

The monkey was tranquilized after zoo employees couldn't

Pedang gets the holistic approach - but would you give a Sumatran tiger acupuncture?
Pedang, a male Sumatran tiger, who is 14-years old and  suffering from chronic ear infections, was given acupuncture treatment at the Ramat Gan Safari, an open-air zoo near Tel Aviv.

An alternative medicine specialist, Mor Mosinzon, treated Pedang. Anaesthetised twice in the past to treat his ailment, the big cat underwent acupuncture for the first time in the hope of solving the problem, the zoo said in a statement. After Pedang was anaesthetised, the veterinarians cleaned his ears, took blood and skin samples, and g

Bites From Venomous Snakes Can Have Costly Consequences
The warn weather means sharing the great outdoors with assorted wildlife. That includes venomous snakes.

"Wear boots and not necessarily walking around in sandals or bear feet," said Benjamin Daum, Zookeeper Herpetology Department Cameron Park Zoo. "Especially through parks."

The main snake bites victims seen in the local emergency room are male, age 17 to 24, have been drinking and choose to antagonize the snake.

"Copperheads you will find everywhere, which is why they are the most prevalent ones around here in parks, trails, people's backyards," said Daum. "The rattlesnakes, not so much. You will find them more in the rural areas. Cotton mouths are found in slow moving streams, swampy kind of areas."

One of the biggest myths is sucking the venom out which is a bad thing to do," said Daum.

"Because if you have a sore in your mouth or something like that you are just going to get it into your body quicker. cutting open a wound is a bad thing to do, because that will give it another access point into your body."

The best thing to do is grab your keys and cell phone and get the patient to the hospital.

"Don't cause 12 wrecks trying to get here," said Dr. T.R. Jones, Emergency Physician McLane Children's Hospital.

"Just take your time and bring them to the hospital. It doesn't work that fast. Its not like we have, some of those seven second vipers or whatever that are out there. If a snake bites you, it takes a while to take affect. If it takes them an hour to get here, that is fine. We can still deal with that."

There are three different types of venom found in

Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas

Jim Ottaviani returns with an action-packed account of the three greatest primatologists of the last century: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas. These three ground-breaking researchers were all students of the great Louis Leakey, and each made profound contributions to primatology—and to our own understanding of ourselves.
Tackling Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas in turn, and covering the highlights of their respective careers, Primates is an accessible, entertaining, and informative look at the field of primatology and at the lives of three of the most remarkable women scientists of the twentieth century. Thanks to the charming and inviting illustrations by Maris Wicks, this is a nonfiction graphic novel with broad appeal.

To Learn more or to order this book, click

Zoo workers threaten strike for better wages
For the last one week, the animal keepers and safari drivers have been tying a black ribbon on their uniforms to register their participation in the protest and animal keepers are planning a day-long strike demanding justice, starting next week. 

The animal keepers allege that they work with wild animals in captivity, but no insurance claims are provided by the Park. Many of the animal keepers have been working in BBP for the last two decades, but their jobs still have not been permanent.

“Our demand is that BBP should consider animal keepers permanent workers under the Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK). The government has successively considered us daily wage workers although our job is different from that of any other daily workers attached to government departments. We went on a strike two years ago, after which the government had promised to consider our demand, but they haven’t. That’s why we have decided to call for a strike in the coming week,” said an animal keeper at the BBP.

The animal keepers say that despite working in adverse conditions, such as working closely with carnivores like lions, tigers and leopards, there is no insurance cover for the zoo workers.

“If there is any kind of accident, Park officials pay us Rs 50,000 and allow the injured keeper to be admitted in one of the hospitals listed in the insurance claim. How can one look for the list of hospitals during an emergency?” questioned another animal keeper.

As if this wasn't enough, the animal keepers, who are planning to go on strike, have been summoned by the Park heads seeking an explanation. The Executive Director of the

Fast Freddy's Zookeeping Tips

Rajasthan's Rs 13-crore plan to save Great Indian Bustard
The Rajasthan Government has decided to spend `13 crore to save the habitat of the nearly-extinct Great Indian Bustards (GIBs).  Of the 200 such birds left in the country, 120 are in Rajasthan. It is also the state bird of Rajasthan.

Rajasthan Forest Minister Bina Kak announced recently that `4.45 crore would be provided this year for the project, which involved habitat conservation and creation of water resources and an anti-poaching force among others.

“We have been pushing for the project for long. We have campaigned in many states to create awareness and to get the governments to start the project.... It is hard to tell how many Rajasthanis have seen their state bird,” said an advocacy officer with the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).

The BNHS proposal to the state government to conserve the species has been approved.

“The Great Indian Bustard is a large handsome bird of the short grass plains of the Indian subcontinent. Formerly it was widely distributed from Punjab and West Bengal in the north to Tamil Nadu in the south and from Sindh (in Pakistan) in the west to Odisha in the east. It was always found in the grassy plains, sometimes in those overgrazed by livestock or wild herbivores. It strictly avoided hilly and forest regions,” Dr Asad Rahmani of the BNHS said in his report on Project GIB.

With rapid urbanisation and vanishing grasslands, they are largely limited to Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

In the larger bustard family

Brunei bans the shark fin trade and the harvesting of sharks
he government of Brunei, in Southeast Asia through the Department of Fisheries and Ministry of Indrustry and Primary Resources will enforce the ban on harvesting of all shark species in Brunei waters, reported the Borneo Post Online on June 9.
The government will also now officially enforce the ban on the importation and trade of shark products which has been in place since August 2012.

The Minister of Industry and Primary Resources made the announcement during the ‘Celebrate the Sea Festival’ in-conjunction with the Worlds Oceans Day 2013 yesterday.

“These measures are, probably, the world’s first commitment by any country,” said the minister. The rationale are “Firstly; our concern on food security and secondly the environmental consideration.”

The minister said sharks are targeted for their fins only, whereas the rest of the body are discarded back to the sea , barely breathing – to die.

Bruinei in Southeast Asia bans the harvesting of sharks and the shark fin trade.
He reminded the audience that sharks occupy an important hierarchy in the marine food web as “higher predators” in the marine environment. “Any alternation of the level will inevitably result in the disturbance of the existing balance of natur

About Gorillas of the African Forest

Fourteen Rare Albino Lions Found In House Raid
Pet shop owner faces up to four years in jail after hundreds of animals were discovered at a home near Bangkok.
A pet shop owner has been arrested on suspicion of illegally possessing wildlife after the discovery of hundreds of protected species, including 14 rare albino lions.

A raid on Montri Boonprom-on's house near Bangkok found hundreds of birds, meerkats, tortoises, peafowls, monkeys and other species believed to be from overseas and Thailand.

Police and forestry officials also discovered a hornbill and a

OSHA fines SeaWorld $38,500 for safety violation
Fine comes 3 years after Dawn Brancheau killed by whale at Orlando park
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined SeaWorld Orlando $38,500 and labeled the park a repeat offender, saying the entertainment giant continues to operate a workplace that can "cause death or serious physical harm to employes."

The fine is the result of a follow-up inspection OSHA conducted at Shamu Stadium on December 11, 2012. 

In order to protect its employees, OSHA has recommended that SeaWorld take steps such as "prohibiting animal trainers from working with killer whales ... unless the trainers are protected through the use of physical barriers or the trainers are required to maintain a minimum safe distance.”
The fine, which was issued Friday, comes amid a three-year fight between OSHA and SeaWorld after trainer Dawn Brancheau was drowned in Orlando by a killer whale in 2010.

In April, attorneys representing OSHA said in court that SeaWorld's attempts to keep killer whale trainers safe is still not adequate.  SeaWorld insisted, however, that the company was in compliance with OSHA's mandate that trainers remain behind barriers or stay a safe distance away from killer whales during the park's famous Shamu show.

Last summer, an administrative law judge upheld a series of OSHA safety violations against SeaWorld and ordered the park to pay $12,000 in fines. In his order, the judge indicated that OSHA could require SeaWorld to "install physical barriers between its train

Hippos no longer hip and happening at zoos
Due to its huge size and shape with a diet to match, the hippo would burn a hole in every zoo.
What better way to explain the demand-supply theory than through the hippopotamus or the hippo, the large animal in shape, size and name. 

Gone are the days when the huge laid-back hip-hop hippo, lazing around with not a care in the world, used to be the hot favourite of every visitor to any and every zoo in the country. 

But, due to its reduction in numbers, the harmless animal gained in demand and popularity, which kept diminishing all these years. Blame the increase in the population of hippos or the high maintenance cost, today zoos are not too keen on housing hippos. 

“Not only has the demand come down. But many zoos keep the male hippo away from the female to keep a check on its population. However, this animal is not endangered,” said Dr RK Sahoo, superintendent of the Kankaria zoo. 

Though some of the zoos in Gujarat do not have hippos, they are not keen on having the animal either. Generally, when the authorities want to introduce a new animal in its zoo, it is done by exchanging animals with other zoos. During the exchange, no zoo places a demand for hippos and neither does it want hippos in exchange for any other animal. Of the eight hippos in the state, three are in the Kankaria zoo and the rest in Junagadh and Surat zoos. Incidentally, Kankaria zoo was the first to bring hippos to Gujarat. 

When the Kankaria zoo brought hippos in 1992, it became so popular that every zoo followed suit by placing a demand for a pair of hippos. Soon, the huge animal of African origin increased its population and became a burden for every zoo. 

Surprisingly, the diet of hippos is also what burns a hole in the pockets of many zoos. Requesting anonymity, a zoo superintendent said a hippo consumes ar

Cetacean advocates look to make Europe a dolphinarium-free zone
On June 28, in the European Union's de facto capital, cetacean advocates are planning a demonstration to request the complete ban of all dolphin shows in the EU. In attendance will be former dolphin trainer -- turned activist, Ric O'Barry.
The event in Brussels, which will be co-hosted by Belgian natives Yvon Godefroid and Annelies Mullens, will urge the EU to apply the law as stated in the Council Directive and through its national law, for the betterment of cetaceans.
According to Directive 1999/22/EC of the Council of Europe, the keeping of wild animals in zoos requires that animals must be kept in conditions that meet their biological and conservation requirements. It is a requisite not possible for captive cetaceans the duo says.
So Godefroid, a seasoned dolphin activist, has teamed up with newcomer Mullens to sanction European Authorities to enforce their own law and ban any breeding program or importation of cetaceans into the EU.
Godefroid, who lives in Brussels, explained that his love for non-humans was evident at an early age. At 16 years old, he read Robert Merle's, Un animal doué de raison (1967) -- published in the US as The Day of the Dolphin (1967). It set the youth soundly on the path of activism. A subsequent interaction with two dolphins at An

Save the white lion: Author on a quest to re-wild rare kitties
WE DO NOT EAT THE KITTIES. I mean, some people do/would be excited to do so, given the meat-lust stirred up by the recent appearance of lion meat skewers on the menu at a Burlingame restaurant. But not us, not meow, not ever. 

Let's instead focus on the arrival in the Bay Area of a woman famed for her work rescuing the technically-extinct white lion. Linda Tucker, take the bad taste out of our bewhiskered mouths, will you?

Tucker's in town to read to us from her new journal Saving the White Lions: One Woman’s Battle for Africa’s Most Sacred Animal, which is a rundown of her efforts to preseve the white cats for future generations. The quest led her to start the Global White Lion Protection Trust, and she'll be appearing today Mon/10 at Modern Times Bookstore Collective, and on Wed/12 at Book Passage in the Ferry Building to talk about her organization's crusade.

The white lion is a relatively recent discovery in the Western world -- Europeans didn't first spot them until the early 1940s in the Greater Timbavati and southern Kruger Park region of South Africa. The white people promptly started hunting the white kitties, breeding babies for eventual slaughter as trophies, and installing them in zoos far afield from the Savannahs where they like to stay. The last white lion in the wild was seen in 1994. 

Tucker's organization is attempting to establish the white lion genotype as a subspecies of Pantera leo, which would allow the cats to be officially classified as endangered and help stop hunting in their geographic area and the sale of their body parts, as well as those captive breeding practices which stress their gene pool. The group also works on re-introducing the cats into the wild -- which Tucker says it's successfully accomplished for thre

Talking To Dolphins: Could Humans Ever Communicate With Marine Mammals?
If humans ever hope to talk to animals, dolphins might represent our best bet. They're highly intelligent, and they have a sophisticated form of communication amongst themselves. But despite decades of research, scientists have not been able to find a cetacean Rosetta Stone.

Neuroscientist John Lilly conducted some dubious experiments in the 1960s to crack the code of dolphin speak at the Communication Research Institute on St. Thomas. In some cases, he gave the animals LSD, and in an especially notorious experiment, his assistant Margaret Howe moved in with a randy dolphin named Peter in a specially constructed flooded house for two and half months, trying to teach it spoken English. Attracting more attention than their findings were Howe's notes about Peter's alleged, disruptive erections and apparent sexual dissatisfaction with her — she apparently would massage the dolphin until he reached orgasm.

For the past 28 years, researcher Denise Herzing of Florida Atlantic University has lived alongside dolphins in their natural habitat in a less intimate way. Herzing and her team, as part of their Wild Dolphin Project, spend five months each summer studying a pod of Atlantic spotted dolphins in the Bahamas — recording their "signature whistles" used to address eac

San Antonio Zoo defends euthanizing 23 federally protected baby egrets
San Antonio Zoo officials said they had no other choice but to euthanize close to two-dozen cattle egret chicks after a tree limb crushed part of their habitat Sunday.

The species is protected by both the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code.

Dr. Rob Coke said he and his staff euthanized 23 egret chicks after moving them to the zoo's health center and examining them for injuries.

Coke confirmed the zoo did not reach out to Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, which has a field office just a few miles from the zoo.

Coke added the group was unable to help when the zoo attempted to turn over egret chicks rescued a few months ago.

"They expressed some concern; they wouldn't be able to take very many birds because they were already pretty full," Dr. Coke said.

When reached for comment on Monday afternoon, an official with Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation called the zoo's decision to euthanize the chicks "deeply troubling," She explained that her group would never deny a request to take in a native bird.

The official said her group helped rescue more than 200 egret chicks from the zoo and nearby Brackenridge Park two years ago.

"Unfortunately it's never a good thing to euthanize animals, but sometimes we have to humanely," ad

Asiatic lionness stuck in transit to Moscow Zoo
An Asiatic lionness to be paired with her mate in the Moscow Zoo has landed in "lion limbo" in Switzerland due to local transportation laws, Moscow Zoo president Vladimir Spitsin said on Tuesday.
It was earlier reported that the lionness would arrive to the Moscow Zoo from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in order to create a pair with an Asiatic lion that arrived at the end of March from Zurich.
"[The law in Switzerland] doesn't allow us to pay directly for transportation," Spitsin said, adding: "We have to call for a tender or find a sponsor w

Australia's largest female tiger arrives at Dreamworld
Dreamworld is excited to announce a new member to the Tiger Island family with the arrival of a 200kg female Tiger, who will go on record as Australia’s largest female tiger as part of an international breeding initiative.

The tiger, who is yet to be named, has travelled all the way from Poland’s Krakow Zoo to her new home at Tiger Island with the hope that she will meet a handsome ‘Aussie’ big cat with whom to breed. She weighs just 10 kilograms less than Australia’s largest male tiger, Sultan, who also lives at Tiger Island.

The same breeding initiative recently saw one of Dreamworld’s resident tigers, Sali transferred to Hamilton Zoo in New Zealand in August last year.

Dreamworld’s new tiger is completely unrelated to all other tigers in Australia and hence is an important addition to the Tiger Island group of big cats which is having a significant impact on the conservation of tigers and their habitats all around the world through the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation.

Sarah Christie, international tiger conservation expert at the Zoological Society of London offered her support of the move saying; "The Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation is a very significant contributor to tiger conservation."

"Not only do they raise a great deal of money to help save tigers in the wild - and inspire many thousands of people to care about tigers - with their Tiger Island big cats; they also breed the critically endangered Sumatran tiger as part of the Sumatran tiger ‘Global Species Management Plan’, which I coordinate. Few zoos are able to contribute at this level in all these different ways," said Sarah. Since 2006 the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation has raised more than $1.5 million for tiger conservation, making it the world’s largest zoological contributor of funds to 21st Century Tiger with funds being directed to anti-poaching measures, education, habitat restoration and monitoring in tiger populated regions. The park’s daily tiger shows continue to amaze hundreds of people each day and bring awareness to the plight of the remaining tiger species which are listed as endangered. In addition, tiger guest activities which include Tiger Photos, Tiger Walk and Tiger Feed Experiences all contribute towards the funds that are raised.

Dreamworld’s Tiger Island exhibit is world renowned for its success in hand-raising cubs as captive insurance populations, and has now bred one litter of Bengal t

SC Aquarium now uses laser therapy for sea turtles
The high-tech therapies at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston now include a new laser to treat injured sea turtles and other creatures.

The new laser is being used for the first time at the aquarium on Tuesday on an injured sea turtle.

The laser helps animals recover more quickly from trauma.

Aquarium veterinarian Dr. Shane Boylan says laser therapy stimulates production of a chemical called ATP in wildlife. That's the chemical that help their bodies repair injuries and ease the pain from such injuries.

The new $24,000 laser is a gift to the aqu

Lions rescued from Romanian zoo released into South African sanctuary - video
Patrick Barkham witnesses a family of lions that was rescued from a Romanian zoo being released into Lions Rock, an animal sanctuary in South Africa's eastern province of Free State. The charity Four Paws rescued the lions from Onesti zoo, where they suffered malnutrition and were forced to share a small cage, with no grass and lit

Smithsonian Conservatory Rescuing Exotic Animals From Extinction
When you see African cheetahs, Chinese red pandas, Micronesian kingfishers and hooded cranes, you might think you’re in the wilds of Africa or Asia.
But in rural northern Virginia, little more than an hour from Washington, D.C., you can find all of those animals at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
It is home to some of the most endangered animals in the world, including clouded leopards, originally from Indonesia.
The institute currently has two clouded leopard cubs, a male and a female, that are a little more than 100 days old.
The population of clouded leopards has been decimated by hunters and poachers who sell their furs. The Smithsonian has bred 80 of the magnificent cats.
“When it comes to all these animals, the one common denominator is loss of habitat,” said Paul Marinari, the biology institute’s senior curator.
Many of the animals at the institute enjoy a level of freedom that is rare in captivity. They are kept in large, open spaces spilling over 3,000 acres. It is a refuge in rural Virginia where some of the world’s most endangered animals are being brought back from the brink of extinction.
Most of the animals come from zoos. Smithsonian researchers study to learn how to breed and rear them in captivity. Some are sent back to zoos but many animals are returned to nature.
The black-footed ferret, one of the most endangered species in North America, had been all but wiped out before a ranch dog found 18 in Wyoming.

Zoo to use 20-year-old sperm
A Canterbury zoo is planning to use sperm that has been stored for 20 years in an attempt to continue the preservation of a highly endangered species of antelope.
Orana Wildlife Park will today use sperm that has been held in Canadian cold storage for decades to artificially inseminate Bon, a female scimitar-horned oryx.
Rob Hall, the park's zoological manager, says the species are extinct in the wild.
"At 16 years of age Bon is too old to be transferred to Australia to be paired with another male, hence the reason we are bringing the s

Ecology: Conservation in captivity
Barbara Durrant heard about San Diego Zoo's reproductive-research department while she was pursuing her doctorate in reproductive physiology in the late 1970s. “I wrote to the founder and got a wonderful letter back saying, 'Yes, we're starting this new research effort here. When you finish your PhD, get back in touch with me,'” recalls Durrant. In 1979, she began a two-year postdoc at the zoo in California.

Looking for a second project towards the end of her stint, Durrant began collecting viable eggs, sperm and embryos from animals that had died, and storing them in the facility's Frozen Zoo, one of the world's first major collections of cryopreserved cells from zoo animals. In 1980, she initiated the Germplasm Repository — a collection of frozen reproductive cells from endangered species that capture genetic diversity, allowing it to be reintroduced into gene pools. In so doing, she helped to launch the field of gamete research. After her postdoc ended later that year, the zoo offered Durrant a permanent research position. Now director of reproductive physiology at San Diego Zoo Global, the conservation organization that runs the zoo, Durrant heads a team that designs reproductive-research programmes for rare and endangered species including giant pandas, rhinoceroses and Przewalski's horses. “The greater scientific community is coming to understand the importance of genetic diversity,” says Durrant. “And zoos harbour

Delhi: After deaths, zoo for cross-bred tigers
After the death of eight tigers in six months, the Delhi zoo plans to cross-breed white tigers with Royal Bengal Tigers. The deaths included the zoo’s last Royal Bengal Tiger. 
Of the eight deaths, three were still-born cubs over the past two days - two on Monday and one on Tuesday - causing septicemia threat to their mother, a white tigress.
Explaining the painful episode of losing three cubs, zoo curator (education) Riaz Khan said: “After the two cubs were born dead, the tigress showed signs of distress. She turned non-cooperative and finally after hours of struggle, the third cub, which had died inside her womb, was taken out.”
The zoo lost a Royal Bengal tigress on June 5 (21 years), a Royal Bengal tiger on May 27 (20 years), two infant white tiger cubs in February and a Royal Bengal tiger in December 2012 (20 years).
Now, just three female Royal Bengal tigresses along with two male and five female white tigers remain. Incidentally, the Delhi zoo is one of the tiger conservation centres of the Central Zoo Authority.
The adult tigers that died during these months were all mature cats. The general life span of tigers is between 18 and 20 years.
“With no male Royal Bengal tiger left, we now plan to cross-breed the female of this species with white tigers. We have already started preparing new enclosur

Zoo Hosts Hellbender Symposium
he Chattanooga Zoo will partner with Lee University and the Nashville Zoo to host the 6th Biennial Hellbender Symposium.  The four-day conference will take place from June 24 – June 27th at the Chattanooga Zoo.  

Over 85 researchers, zoologists, scientists, biologists and conservationists worldwide will gather together to share data, network and collaborate in hopes of preventing the extinction of the Hellbender Salamander.    

For two days conference attendees will attend brea

Punjab’s financial crisis puts zoo animals on starvation diet
A financial crisis in Punjab government has begun to affect the wildlife population in the state’s zoological parks where it has become exceedingly difficult to provide adequate food diet to the inmates. 

The state forest and wildlife department has failed to get even a single penny from the government for the last two-and-a-half months. This, in turn, has forced the staff to put the animals on starvation diet. The whole situation has been brought to the notice of minister for forests and wildlife Surjeet Kumar Jiyani, who has so far failed to secure any funds from the finance department. 

The worst affected is Punjab’s biggest zoo at Chhatbir, which has more than 1000 wild animals and birds, where the staff has been pleading and cajoling the meat contractors to somehow maintain the supply line on the promise of payments in the near future. Somewhat similar situation prevails at Bathinda zoo which has a population of 400 animals, Neelon (Ludhiana) with 150 inhabitants, Patiala with 400 inmates and Tiger Safari at Ludhiana with 150 wild beasts and birds. At present, the situation is so dire that local NGOs are being roped in to try and stop the animals from perishing due to starvation. 

Employees of the department have also not received their salaries for the past two months. There has also been a decline in staff strength by around 35 per cent. It may be mentioned here that the annual budget for the department for 2012-13 was about Rs

Denmark to produce a Tasmanian devils first
TWO Tasmanian devils which joined Princess Mary in Denmark have become the first to breed successfully in the northern hemisphere.

The Copenhagen Zoo says that at least five joeys are being carried in the pouches of their two females.

The young devils, about the size of a walnut, were found when the females were pouch-checked by zoo staff last week.

Curator Flemming Nielsen said three were spotted in one female and another two in the other.

"This is the first ever full recorded breeding of Tasmanian devils in the northern hemisphere," Mr Nielsen said.

"Some will say that there has been breeding in other places in Europe or North America during time, but all have been associated with female devils being imported with tiny pouch young.

"And the breeding has never been

BI wants to deport 12 Chinese poachers
The Philippine government plans to let 12 suspected Chinese poachers arrested at Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in April with a cargo of endangered pangolins leave the country despite facing criminal charges.
The Inquirer has learned that the Bureau of Immigration (BI), in a memorandum to the Provincial Prosecution Office of Palawan, asked that the suspected poachers detained in the provincial jail here be turned over to the agency to face deportation proceedings.
The Chinese are expected to be allowed to post bail following their arraignment on charges of poaching, illegal possession of endangered wildlife and attempted bribery.
Provincial Prosecutor Allen Ross Rodriguez confirmed the Inquirer’s inform

Celebrating Plants and the Planet:
We may pride ourselves on being shapers of our environment but we have had collaborators. Humans and plants go way back together. They have reshaped who we are. We have reshaped them.  June’s links at (NEWS/Botanical News) offer a few examples:
·        3.5million years ago, our ancestors came out of the trees, leaving the other leaf and fruit eating apes to join the animals on the savanna who ate grains. From that step, “we” developed larger brains and came to walk upright. How a change in diet changed everything.

·        How much of the support for terrorists in the Sahel is the result of desertification? A new anti-terrorism initiative is all about planting trees.

·        Researchers in Asian and African forests are seeing changes in tree composition as hunters eradicate animals. This forced “re-forestation” threatens even forests protected from de-forestation.

·        Guam’s forests are losing the small seed-dispersers, birds, to introduced brown treesnakes. Holes have appeared in the fabric of the forest.

·        Over 1,200 species depend on wild figs. Each fig species itself depends on a specific wasp species for pollination. Global warming has endangered the wasps. What happens once we’ve cooked the wasps?

Human also celebrate nature in our art. Look at amazing works in sight and sound when artists collaborate with trees: also

Congratulations to the Como Zoo on the opening of “Gorilla Forest.”  Any day we make gorillas happy is a good day.

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


Viennas Schönbrunn zoo is the best in Europe
Vienna’s Schönbrunn zoo has been declared best zoo in Europe by the British zoology-expert Anthony Sheridan.

The zoo expert Anthony Sheridan investigated 93 scientifically-lead zoos in 23 European zoos with questionnaires, business reports, interviews with the zoo directors and comprehensive zoo visits.

The quality of the zoos is marked following 97 criteria ranging from the keeping of animals to the protection of species and marketing.

Sheridan said: "The Schönbrunn zoo is the only one to achieve high marks in all categories. Moreover, it has a special feel to it which is appreciated by millions of visitors each year and noticed internationally."

The zoos in Leipzig (Germany) and Zurich (Switzerland) are just below Schönbrunn on the ranking list. The zoo expert said: "Good zoos are important to society because they allow people to see the variety of animals; they communicate the importance of the protection of endangered species and moreover represent an exciting leisure activity."

Schönbrunn zoo director Dagmar Schratter said: "Not only the two million visitors each year, but also more importantly the repeated distinctions as "best zoo in Europe" confirm that the zoo is on the right track.

"We want to get our visitors enthusiastic about the world of animals and to encourage their awareness for the protection of nature and animals. If the visitors see that the animals are happy here, we can win their support for our cause."

However, Anthony Sheridan stressed that considerable investment was going to be needed for the leading zoos. Since the opening of the zoo, the Austrian government has invested 83 million Euros in public works and believe that investment transformed a zoo that threatened to close down into the best zoo in Europe.

Today, the zoo in Vienna is a key attraction in the capital and a motor in Austrian tourism. The economy and family minister Reinhold Mitterlehner said: "Tourists from abroad are an important factor in earnings. Last y


The Zoo Biology Group is concerned with all disciplines involved in the running of a Zoological Garden. Captive breeding, husbandry,cage design and construction, diets, enrichment, man management,record keeping, etc etc


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