Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Zoo News Digest 14th - 18th June 2013 (ZooNews 858)

Zoo News Digest 14th - 18th  June 2013 (ZooNews 858)


Dear Colleagues,

Well done Wellington Zoo. You are are moving in the right direction. Let's hope more will follow.

Who is not familiar with the MGM Lion. Interesting to learn something of the history behind the beast(s).

Some of the vacancies posted on Zoo Jobs received phenomenal numbers of visitors this past week. Working in zoos remains an exciting prospect for some. Why do anything else? It remains the most interesting line of work there is.

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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Answer Man: MGM lions roar on
I just watched an MGM movie and it suddenly made me wonder: Has MGM used the same roaring lion from the beginning or have there been others? What's his/their name(s)? Why did they choose a lion? How did they teach the cat to speak those lines so well? -- D.L., of Belleville

For nearly a century now, MGM has been roaring about it movies and its beloved feline mascot.
Five beastly kings have shared the opening cinematic spotlight to help produce arguably one of the two most recognizable sound logos in the entertainment industry: the NBC chimes and that MGM roar.

It's a fascinating history that Ed Vigdor recently compiled for the studio (and I ain't lyin'), so let me try to cram in as much as I can:

School spirit: The lion was the brainstorm of Howard Dietz, a publicity executive for what was then Goldwyn Pictures Corp. A proud graduate of Columbia University, Dietz may have still been humming his old school's fight song, "Roar, Lion, Roar," when he decided to honor his alma mater by using Panthera leo as part of his company's new logo. And, to go along with the lion, Dietz is also credited with developing MGM's well-known motto, Ars Gratia Artis -- Latin for "Arts for Art's Sake."

Slats: It's probably not the name most people would use to kick off a grand tradition, but Slats became the first animal in the MGM menagerie.

Born at the Dublin Zoo, Slats was trained to roar on cue by Volney Phifer, Hollwood's premier animal trainer at the time. Slats greeted moviegoers for the first time in the 1917 Goldwyn flick "Polly of the Circus." He then survived Marcus Loew's merger of the Metro, Goldwyn and Mayer studios in 1924 to star for another four years. His first official MGM picture? "He Who Gets Slapped" -- featuring Lon Chaney Sr.

Slats finally retired in 1928 and lived his final eight years at a farm in Gillette, N.J., where Phifer boarded animals used on Broadway. A pine tree planted over his grave to "hold down the lion's spirit" reportedly still stands, but a granite marker is long gone.

Jackie: Picked to replace Slats because of his physical similarity, Jackie set a historic milestone on July 31, 1928, when his roar to open "White Shadow of the Seven Seas" became the first to be heard by an audience. (Remember, Slats worked during the silent era, and audiences had to imagine the sound when he opened his mouth.)

Born about 1915, Jackie was captured as a cub in the Nubian desert and starred in several jungle pictures before being chosen for the logo. Like Slats, he toured the world to promote MGM and was nicknamed "Leo the Lucky" as he survived two train wrecks, an earthquake, a boat sinking, a studio explosion and a plane crash.

Retiring to the Philadelphia Zoo in 1931, Jackie died four years later, but would continue to appear on all MGM black-and-white movies until 1956. You can still see him, too. His skin, made into a rug, is displayed at the McPherson (Kan.) Museum. And, of course, his roar is still part of "The Wizard of Oz."

Tanner: Often regarded as the angriest-looking beast of the bunch, Tanner started snarling his way into movie lover's hearts in 1934.

It was the year when MGM perfected its three-strip color process, and Tanner would be used on all MGM Technicolor films from 1934-1956 as well as countless cartoons from 1938-1967. His first feature film was the 1938 Nelson Eddy-Jeanette MacDonald classic "Sweethearts," MGM's first feature-length color movie.

George: In 1956, the heavily maned George became the main MGM lion for a couple of years, including in the "The Wings of Eagles" with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Just why George was introduced and flamed out so quickly is unknown.

Leo: Last but certainly not least, Leo has been the MGM standard bearer since 1957. Only the brief use of a stylized, medallion logo on three movies from 1966 to 1968 (including "2001: A Space Odyssey") has interrupted his 56-year reign.

When Leo was first introduced, MGM prepared two variations -- a three-roar, 14-second spot and a two-roar, eight-second intro. Leo also holds the distinction for providing the first roar in stereo (1982's "Poltergeist") and the first in 5.1-channel surround sound in 1995.

More trivia: Periodically, a rumor will rear its head that an MGM lion once killed its trainer. Don't worry, it's merely one of those silly urban legends ke

Caring for threatened species is not as simple as it seems
Al Bustan Zoological Centre uses selective breeding process for wildlife conservation
An endangered Manchurian crane sits undisturbed on her eggs on a green patch of land with shrubs and water systems that hardly looks like a typical animal enclosure. Around her, Al Bustan Zoological Centre staff cautiously work together to make sure she gets the best chances of breeding successfully.
The care given to the red-crowned crane is also given to the 855 other animals currently housed at the Al Bustan Zoological Centre, a 17-hectare wildlife reserve located on the road to Kalba.
Al Bustan started off as a small family farm by an Emirati businessman with private collections of cheetahs and birds in the 1980s and was later incorporated as a zoological centre in 1998.
A non-commercial zoo that is not open to the public, Al Bustan is a safe haven and breeding centre for threatened species, mo

Zoos not the places for elephants
Zoos and aquariums are notorious for treating animals as if they're insensitive beings, moving them here and there for money, as if the animals don't care if they're taken from family and friends or where they live.
Zoo administrators usually claim that this game of "animal shuffle" is for conservation purposes, but we know, based on available data, that this is a rather misleading claim. There's ample evidence that zoos do not contribute much if anything to education or conservation.
Just last week, it was announced that "Denver zoo-goers will soon have another pachyderm heartthrob" named Billy. Billy is quite the traveler, having been born in Dublin and now residing and being trained at the Antwerp Zoo in Belgium.
Billy was moved because "he wore out his welcome with his family unit," according to a June 6 story in The Denver Post.
Billy is being brought to Denver to be a breeding machine, that is, to make more Asian elephants who will surely live out their lives in captivity. He will be housed in the $50 million Toyota Elephant Passage with other elephant sperm donors.
The passage is really just a big cage that can't possibly meet the social and physical needs of its occupants, and was built despite the fact tha

Bat Health Critical To Human Health
 projected image of baby bats swaddled in blankets earned a collective "awww" from the audience. It apparently came as a welcome reprieve from videos that featured bats being butchered for food and defecating into a popular drink, and stories of how bats may spread lethal disease.

"Bats get a bad rap," said Dr. Jon Epstein, a wildlife veterinarian at EcoHealth Alliance, during the organization's event Wednesday night in Manhattan.

Many of us don't think of bats as cute. The creatures' dark and jagged silhouettes against the night sky may rather trigger gasps and dashes indoors. But as Epstein and his colleagues highlighted, human misconceptions of bats and neglect for the animal's health and habitats may be resulting in serious consequences for our own well-being -- from increased use of toxic pesticides to greater floods to rising risks of pandemic disease.

With more than 1,200 different species, bats make up about a quarter of all the Earth's mammals. Their numbers, however, are declining due to threats that include deforestation, disease and hunting. Meanwhile, many people are actually seeing more bats as changes in land use, agriculture, food industry practices, climate change and human population growth actually bring the remaining animals -- and their viruses -- closer to us.

"They live everywhere we do," said Epstein. "So we en

Local investment mogul Ernest Rady is making a $10 million challenge gift to the San Diego Zoo to kick off a fundraising campaign to revamp its Africa exhibit.

The zoo, which just opened a new koala habitat, is embarking on its largest expansion project to date — an 8-acre, $50 million Africa exhibit in the heart of the zoo.

Rady’s pledge was revealed at an announcement ceremony Friday ?at the zoo.

He is donating $1 for every $2 raised for the project by the zoo. To receive his full $10 million pledge, the zoo must bring in $20 million in matching funds by June 30, 2015. Zoo CEO Doug Myers and Chief Development Officer Mark Stuart already have made symbolic $1,000 gifts to start the campaign.

“I feel like crying,” Rady told employees and board members who had gathered for the surprise announcement. “I’m not sure if it’s because of the emotion and pride I feel in what you folks are creating, or if it’s that I’m parting with all this money.” He added that he remembers the great times he and his wife, Evelyn, their children and grandchildren have had at the San Diego Zoo.

The zoo will celebrate its 100th bir

Seaside property for sale for £600,000 - warning: comes with tenants which bite
Property for sale: seaside bungalow with 12 acres in quiet picturesque Welsh village. Beware: tenants come with a bite.

That could be the advert for an unusual new investment opportunity – a zoo on coastal Ceredigion!

Because, for £600,000, home buyers searching for the good life could find themselves owning Borth Animalarium.

For more than a decade Jean Mumbray has run the small Zoo seven miles north of Aberystwyth with her husband Alan.

Now at the age of 74 she is looking to hand over the reigns.

“The time has come for me to retire,” Mrs Mumbray said.

The animalarium, which is mostly contained within two acres, surrounded with a 6ft security fence has a zoo licence and houses more than 150 species.

“Potential buyers don’t need any experience with animals, they don’t even have to be involved with the day-to-day running of the place,” Mrs Mumbray said.

“There is a highly trained and dedicated gr

BBC Natural World - One Million Snake Bites

The €16m Qawra aquarium has been featured on WebEcoist, a leading international website promoting environmental matters, green innovation and inspirational natural wonders, before work on the project has even been concluded.

Listed under WebEcoist’s ‘7 Wonders series’, Malta’s new attraction is listed among the world’s leading aquariums, such as the Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu, Hawaii – founded in 1904 – and the third oldest public aquarium in the United States, and Shanghai’s $55 million Ocean Aquarium which plays host to an enormous Oranda goldfish measuring over 17 inches from end to end.

WebEcoist is popular for the stunning nature photography it features along with in-depth articles covering many different topics: from art, design and technology to daily green living and environmental exploration. 

Work on the popular tourist area’s latest attraction, is due to be finished sometime next month, and the aquarium will soon be home to an 

San Diego Zoo scientists have discovered that elephants talk to each other in a secret language. In soon-to-be-published findings, they learned that the giant mammals can communicate using a frequency too low to be heard by humans or their natural predators. So, maybe “Horton Hears a Who!” isn’t fiction, after all …

While trumpeting is a familiar sound, it has long been known that elephants communicate with low growling or “rumbling” noises. People can only hear the top third of the register; two-thirds occurs at too low a frequency for humans.

New research shows that elephants manipulate this rumbling to impart different messages, said Matt Anderson, associate director of behavioral biology at the zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research.

For instance, females broadcast to distant males that they are ready to mate. The low frequency sound, made possible because of the gigantic size of elephants’ lungs and vo

Ragunan Zoo Management is Incompetent, Basuki Says
The constant poor condition of Ragunan Zoo (TMR), South Jakarta, infuriates Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki T Purnama. The number two person in Jakarta Provincial Government called the management of Ragunan Zoo to be bad at their job.

It is reasonable if Basuki is angry, because Jakarta Provincial Government has funneled fund as much as Rp 40 billion for Ragunan Zoo. However, the zoo’s management is still bad.

“We think the Ragunan Zoo is being managed by an incompetent management. We subsidize them Rp 40 billion for nothing,” stated Basuki to the journalists at the City Hall, Thursday (6/13).

Therefore, this former parliament member is planning to work together with Ancol to turn Ragunan Zoo to be similar to Taman Safari. “We’re thinking to cooperate with Ancol for safari, or with Taman Safari,” he told.

In addition, Basuki will also do several things to fix t

Indonesia's Hybrid Theme Parks
Maintaining amusement, constructing dominant beliefs

The emergence of the growing Asian middle classes has seen an increase in theme parks. Indonesia is no exception. New lifestyles marked by patterns of consumption have made the proliferating amusement venues profitable and attractive as recreation goals with attendance hitting 108.7 million people in 2012. 

Indonesia's theme parks tend to be hybrids, combinations of themes and attractions. These can be bewildering mixtures of animal enclosures and educational exhibits with a sudden rollercoaster or water slides appearing. Some even have hotels attached like the big Western models.

These hybrid parks are common in Indonesia and across Southeast Asia. The Singapore Zoo for example, includes a Kidsworld amusement park within the zoo.

These impressive modern parks have endless variety; Park Jatim 1 in Batu East Java, is a museum/ zoo/ theme park/ amusement park. Park Jatim 2, also in Batu, is an educational museum/ waterpark/ theme park. Another Batu offering, the Eco Park, is a museum/ bird zoo/ amusement park. Even the famous Taman Safari near to Surabaya combines attractions as a zoo safari/ theme park/ amusement park.

Many of the designs seen in Indonesia are partly modelled on European or western styles, which are not immune to expressions of ideology within both the architecture and exhibits, particularly in museum or educational components. 

In the Indonesian context, the architecture often funnels visitors along an inescapable circuit, with usually an educational element that transfers dominant ideologies to shared public spaces.

Jawa Timur Park 1 in Batu East Java includes a science centre with pictures of the most groundbreaking scientists lining the walls. All the scientists between the years 781- 1288 are Muslim, with several more included in the lead-up to the 20th century.

Apart from framing science's earliest and ongoing achievements profoundly within the domain of Islam, and obscuring the problem that science conflicts with religion in fundamental areas like evolution, the act of recognizing historical figures outside of a western sphere of consciousness and narrating the triumphs of an exemplary Islamic past is not unsurprising . Their merits, however, are. 

Abu Uthman ibn Bahr al Kinami al Fuqaimi in CE781-869 was "The first Muslim scientist who coined the theory of evolution, the foundation stone of the science of zoology, and the biologist first to note changes in bird life through migration".

It is hard not to see a rivalry between western and eastern thought being ingrained in visiting children and students with the following scientific and historical fact that another Muslim scientist in the 13th century- 1213-1288- was the first to discover the human circulatory system "far before Harvey in 1628".

In the cultural area, where the diversity of Indonesia is represented through still life displays defined vis-a-vis regional identities, Indonesian ethnic groups with dazzling traditional costumes and impressive artefacts stand in contrast to Papuans who are nearly naked and squatting by primitive huts and fires.

Indonesian theme parks predominantly cater to domestic visitors and tourists, and just as the west represents its multiculturalism and other political ideologies, Indonesian parks are also predisposed to transfer dominant cultural and political subjectivities via educational exhibits and attractions.

School curricula and textbooks can be heavy on ideology such as nationalism or dominant religious views, similarly impressed upon educational areas of theme parks where typically Indonesian subjectivities come through.

Bizarrely, the Eco Park in Batu, which across other eco-themed exhibits cultivates respect for life and interest in the protection of th

Bob Barker’s Elephant Rescue on Hold Until Fall
For months now, activists have been working to relocate three elephants from the Toronto Zoo, and despite an apparent victory last December, things aren’t going smoothly for the pachyderms.

Last year, under pressure from PETA and Zoocheck Canada, the Toronto city council voted to relocate the elephants from the Toronto Zoo to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in California. Super activist Bob Barker even stepped in and offered to pay for the transportation.

According to Barker, PAWS is an ideal location for the animals. “They have a mud hole; elephants love to play in the mud. They have a pool; some of them stay underwater practically the whole summer. And there are elephants for them to socialize with. Elephants come in that have been mistreated and been lonely and depressed, and they just blossom. It’s wonderful to behold.”

However, the zoo protested the move, because PAWS isn’t accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and because the zoo questioned the way PAWS treated elephants afflicted with tuberculosis.

Nevertheless, the transport was suppose

“Test tube” sharks born in Lisbon
Sharks often have a fearsome reputation, thanks to highly publicised but rare attacks – and of course, Hollywood. But these creatures are an essential part of the ocean and their populations are declining every year.

As part of an image revamp for this beautiful predator, the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco is putting on a sensory exhibition.

Robert Calcagno is the CEO of the Oceanographic Institute Foundatiion and told euronews just how close up and personal the exhibition was: “In the exhibition you are going to be able to see sharks, you will be able in fact to touch sharks, to caress, to cuddle them.”

Brave souls can slip a hand into the water to stroke a pyjama shark, leopard shark or starry smooth hound. The compliance of the sharks surprises many and helps them to overcome their -often lifelong – prejudices. It’s an often overlooked fact that hundreds of millions of these creatures are killed by man each year.

Over at Portugal’s Lisbon Oceanarium, two sharks have recently been born “in vitro”. The oceanarium has two males and two females that have lived together for thirteen years, but never reproduced despite the sharks reaching sexual maturity. So scientists decided to collect the eggs, for “in vitro” fertilisation and then monitored the development of the embryos.

Ana Jarego is a biologist at the oceanarium and described the process: “The eggs have this screw-like shape. What happens in the wild is that females drop th

The GW Zoo - Baby Tigers in the yard - Hand Reared Mutations - WRONG!

The above does NOTHING for conservation!

Captive chimps to get endangered status
The US Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday announced it is considering giving captive chimpanzees the same endangered status that currently protects chimps living in the wild.

"While wild chimpanzees have long been recognised as endangered, existing regulations deprive captive chimpanzees in the US of protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)" the USFWS said in a statement.

The US government agency said that it decided to consider the move after assessing a petition from The Humane Society, which has lobbied hard for the change.

"Our closest living relatives are declining in number and they are in trouble," Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society, said.

"It's critical that the US take forceful action to protect chimps in the wild and in captivity, in order to assure the survival of future generations of chimp

Researchers release endangered frogs back to the wild
For the first time, scientists have released about 100 captive-bred endangered mountain yellow-legged frogs into a stream in the San Jacinto Mountains where their ancestors once lived.
It is the latest attempt to reintroduce the amphibians to their historic range since native populations shrunk to fewer than 200 adults in 2003. Their numbers have been reduced by habitat loss, human activity, environmental factors and chiytrid fungus in the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains.
This week’s endeavor is a partnership among at least eight public agencies and zoological organizations.
The efforts in the San Jacinto Mountains date to 2006. Previous attempts to nurture egg masses or tadpoles in key San Jacinto Mountain streams have not produced frogs that scientists have found, said Frank Santana, a research coordinator for the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research, based in Escondido.
Santana, who developed a fascination for amphibians as a child that grew into graduate-level research on the yellow-legged frogs, had the honor on Wednesday, June 12, of releasing lab-raised juvenile froglet

Woman struck by lightning at Plumpton Park Zoo in Cecil County
wo staff members of a Cecil County, Md., zoo are being credited tonight with saving the life of an intern struck today by lightning.

In the region’s only injury reported in today’s storms, the 19-year-old – whose name and hometown have not been disclosed – reportedly remains hospitalized tonight, her condition not released.

The Plumpton Park Zoo, a small center in the 1400 block of Telegraph Road between Rising Sun and Calvert, issued a statement tonight, saying, “two staff members trained in CPR undertook life saving measures” after she was struck by lightning and lost consciousness shortly after 9 a.m. as the storm approached.

“An additional staff member stayed on the phone relaying her condition to emergency personnel as CPR was administered…,” the zoo owners said.

Paramedics arrived and trans

Fla. company selling illegally caught nurse sharks faces felony charges
The operators of a Pompano Beach aquarium supply company face federal felony charges for selling juvenile nurse sharks that had been illegally caught in the Florida Keys reported Sun Sentinnel on June 14.
Aquatic Trading Co., Inc. was fined $3,000 and required to surrender all its permits and licenses for selling nurse sharks and angelfish that had been illegally caught.

Walter Bloecker, director of Aquatic Trading Co. Inc., and his wife Lila, an employee of the company, conspired to sell 10 sharks to a buyer in Michigan for $2,500. The sharks had been caught by divers operating without a license in the Florida Keys, but Bloecker forged documents claiming the sharks had been legally imported from Nicaragua. He also did not have the required license to sell sharks.

Blocker and his wife had previously pleaded guilty and had bee

Cobra killed by lions in Jamshedpur zoo
A cobra was killed by lions, two of which also suffered snake bite, when the serpent entered their enclosure at the Tata Zoo in Jamshedpur. 
Observing the snake consuming a toad, lioness Salia pounced on it and caught its neck, while another lion Jumbo grabbed the snake's tail and the animals cut the snake into two pieces, a press release by the zoo authorities said. 

"Salia was bitten by 

Scientists use drones to hunt for rabbit habitat in Idaho
Scientists in Idaho will be flying military-style drone aircraft over the sagebrush, not in a bid to find terrorists but to locate the best habitat for one of West's smallest mammals, the pygmy rabbit.
The flights, overseen by University of Idaho, Boise State University and University of Florida scientists, are meant to help determine whether aerial shots from small, unmanned planes can effectively locate the best areas to reintroduce captive-bred pygmy rabbits into the wild.
So far, a pygmy rabbit population in Washington state has been declared endangered under federal law, though groups have sought broader protections elsewhere through lawsuits.
With these flights, scientists from the universities will be taking high-resolution digital shots, in color and infrared, over Bureau of Land Management property in Idaho's Lemh

Aquarium Sued By Man Claiming He Was Bitten By River Otter
The Tennessee Aquarium is being sued by a man who claims a river otter jumped up and bit his finger.

Robert Rouse is asking for $9,500 in damages in the Circuit Court complaint.

He said the incident happened June 11, 2012, at the otter exhibit.

The suit, filed by attorney Marvin Berke, says the Aquarium "was guilty of negligence in that it failed to properly protect patrons from otters leaping and grabbing parts of their body, it failed to keep a protection barrier so that 

Tigers Dying: CDV Expert Offers Help
Calling all animal lovers!! There is little time to waste. Tigers all over the world are getting sick and dying–I even got an email today that is it now happening in Texas. The tigers need our help…

How can we help the Tigers?  It is not as difficult as you’d imagine…
he protocols of genius vet Dr. Alson Sears, to kill canine distemper–both systemically and neurologically–are being used all over the world. He invented a treatment, using same-species serum, transferred from a “well” animal to a sick animal (after a minimally invasive treatment less than 12 hours prior), that kills the CDV virus in less than 24 hours.

Antibiotics, fluids and others medications may be needed to sustain the animal until it is well from the side-effects of having HAD the canine distemper virus or CDV–but the virus is dead and more than 90 percent of systemically affected dogs live.

Demand The Dismissal Of N.S.P.C.A Executive Director Marcella Meredith
The over looking of blatant animal abuse at East London SPCA. Which has now resulted in charges being laid of animal cruelty against "paid" SPCA officials.

The cruel and completely avoidable death of captive raised elephant Thandora by releasing her into the "wild" to fend for herself after 24 years of reliance on humans to provide for her.

Knowsley Safari Park baboon shot dead after escape
A baboon was shot dead after it escaped from its safari park enclosure.

The animal was killed after it managed to climb over the perimeter fence at Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside at 10:15 BST.

The adult male had been chased out of its enclosure two hours before by a group of 20 males as it tried to protect its mate.

The safari park said it resolved the situation "quickly, safely and humanely".

'Very sad'
In a statement, the park said: "The baboon tried to protect his only female from being abducted by antagonist males - a common occurrence in baboon society.

"Cornered, he saw the outside of the enclosure as his safe way out and decided to face the electric fence to protect himself.

"The emergency procedures were immediately instigated, aiming to retrieve the baboon to a safe area.

"The baboon was located just outside the perimeter fence of the park. Sadly, in this situation, the safety measurement requires the animal to be shot.

"It's very sad when something like this happens, but the police, game keeper and animal manage

Dubai Safari set to be launched in 2014
Dubai Municipality unveiled a map detailing how the park would evolve when it is completed
The Dubai Municipality today unveiled a detailed map of the sprawling 400-hectare Dubai Safari in Al Warqa through its Facebook page.

The Municipality also featured a futuristic image of how the project would appear when it is completed in the end of 2014.

The project, which is estimated to cost Dh150 million, will provide a new home for animals in the Dubai zoo.

“Dubai Safari project is under construction in Al Warqa 5, Aweer Road in an area of 396 hectares,” detailed the Dubai municipality on the social media.

“It will include: Arabian Village, Asian Village, African Village to accommodate animals from different continents, in addition to open safari, butterfly park, golf courses, entertainment and recreational areas,” read the Facebook status message.

Dubai Safari, which is estimated to cover 60 hectares, is “aimed at establishing the best center for wildlife in the world, providing a variety of environments appropriate to different animals”.

As soon as the news of the new home for the animals had hit the stands last year, twitter was abuzz with messages 

SeaWorld Orca Dies in Spain
After demonstrating 'strange behaviors' in the days prior, a 10-month-old whale passes away.
An infant female orca by the name of Vicky has died at the Loro Parque amusement park in the Canary Islands, park officials announced today on their Facebook page.

Vicky, just 10 months old, had been rejected by her mother Kohana, a young orca who was ripped from her own mother’s side at just 19 months of age, and eventually shipped off to Tenerife.

“In contrast with joy with which Loro Parque announced the birth of the second baby orca in Spain, last August 3rd, today with enormous regret we inform you of the sad demise of Vicky, who with so much emotion and affection, the team of OrcaOcean cared for in her 10 months of life,” Loro Parque’s Facebook page says.

The death was sudden and the cause unknown, though Vicky had been showing unusual behaviors in recent days, according to the post. It was serious enough to fly in SeaWorld’s chief veterinarian 

A modern zoo with aquarium will entertain guests in Plovdiv
The biggest aquarium in Bulgaria will be constructed in Plovdiv, together with the expansion and improvement of the local zoo. The facility will be built in two phases.

The first stage involves the expansion and improvement of the cells and the space of the existing facilities.
The second stage envisages the construction of a glass aquarium with sizes 22 to 10 meters. Preferences of the municipality are the aquarium, which is expected to be the largest in Bulgaria, will be inhabited by marine species, including sharks.
It is expected the new zoo, which price will be around 6 

Tracking device on more elephants
Five Bornean elephants near Danau Girang Field Centre, in Lot 5 of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary (LKWS) have been fitted with satellite collars.
The exercise, carried out between June 4 and 6, aimed to help the authorities to collect additional movement data on the elephants’ movement.
The move, was part of a collaborative project between the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD), the NGO HUTAN and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC), a joint press release from Sabah Wildlife Department and Danau Girang Field Centre said.
The project was funded by the Asian Elephant Conservation Fund from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, Elephant Family, Houston Zoo and Columbus Zoo.
The collaring operations were led by two young women, Malaysian PhD student Nurzhafarina Othman, who is registered at Cardiff University and attached to DGFC, and Mexican wildlife veterinarian Dr Diana Ramirez who is attached to SWD’s Wildlife Rescue Unit and DGFC.
Dr Diana Ramirez said in just three days, their team managed to collar four females and one male.
“We re-collared a female that was previously tagged in October 2011 and n

In South Africa, Chinese tigers claw their way back to life
Thousands of kilometres from his birthplace, the remains of a Chinese tiger are preserved in a freezer on a South African wildlife reserve, silent testimony to the risks of a controversial attempt to rescue one of the world’s most endangered animals from the brink of extinction.

The tiger, known as 327, was killed by another male tiger in a sudden and unexpected eruption of violence. Placed in a pen next to a wilderness-raised tiger, the zoo-reared 327 made the mistake of pushing past the electric fence – and was slaughtered by 

14 of the world’s most endangered animals thrive in UAE
The last of their kind in the world, these 14 endangered animals have made a home in the UAE’s Al Bustan Zoological Centre
There are 856 animals at the 17-hectare Al Bustan Zoological Centre. All of them are threatened in the wild as their habitat is being destroyed and they are hunted. Sixty staff members at the centre work tirelessly to ensure the animals enjoy the serenity of the wild in the hope that someday they will not be threatened

The Evolution of Zoos
How did we get to today’s modern zoo?  It all began thousands of years ago.  Ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt and China all obtained collections of wild animals.  Egypt’s first zoo was established in Thebes around 1490BC by Queen Hatshepsut.  Medieval Europe continued the tradition of maintaining collections of wild animals by some monarchs, monasteries and municipalities.  These were primarily private collections called menageries.  The evolution from menagerie to public institution marked the beginning of the current zoo concept.

The word zoology comes from the Greek words ‘zion’, meaning ‘animal’ and ‘logos’, meaning ‘knowledge’.  The abbreviation zoo didn’t appear until Britain used it in 1847 for the Clifton Zoo.  The term zoo didn’t come into use until the 19th century with the current zoo concept.  The oldest existing zoo is the Tiergarten Schönbrunn in Vienna, founded by the Habsburg monarchy in 1752.

Through the 1970’s a few zoos embarked on making conservation their chief role, with the discussion being led by Gerald Durrel of Jersey Zoo, George Rabb of Brookfield Zoo and William Conway of the Bronx Zoo.  Now zoological parks around the world are employed in captive breeding programs, conservation studies and 

Scientists work to save regional salamander
This is a heck of a bad time for the hellbender.
Also known as the snot otter, devil dog and Allegheny alligator, the hellbender is a slimy, mud-colored, salami-sized salamander that inspires folklore and misplaced fear.
The largest salamander in the Western Hemisphere, the hellbender has prospered in clean, cold Appalachian streams, including some in what is now Southwest Virginia, for eons, changing little since the age of dinosaurs.
And now hellbenders are dying. In Virginia and other states, scientists say, the animals have disappeared entirely from some stream stretches.
That worries scientists because hellbenders, which breathe through their skin and are sensitive to pollution, are good indicators of water quality.
"Hellbenders tell us that our streams are healthy," said Kimberly Terrell, a wildlife biologist with the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington. "If the hellbenders start disappearing, there is probably something wrong with our stream

20 pairs of endangered dormice to be let loose
NATURE lovers are celebrating as a near-extinct creature is set to return to Notts.
The hazel dormouse is to be returned to the wild in the county as 40 of the endangered critters are let loose next week.

Rare baby turtle hatches at Chester Zoo
First of rare breed ever to be bred in the UK
A rare baby turtle has hatched at Chester Zoo. 

It is first spiny turtle to ever be bred in the UK. Spiny turtles, which are native to southeast Asia and Indonesia, are faced with extinction in the wild because of habitat loss, hunting and the international pet trade. 
But the new arrival in Chester has given conservationists fresh hope in the fight to haul the species back from the brink.Chester Zoo keeper Ruth Smith said: "There have only ever been a handful of successful breeding efforts documented, anywhere in the world, so we’re absolutely ecstatic with our new arrival - it’s breaking new ground for us." 

Spiny turtles, which are native to southeast Asia and Indonesia, are faced with extinction in the wild because of habitat loss, hunting and the international pet trade. 

But the new arrival in Chester has given conservationists fresh hope in the fight to haul the species back from the brink.

Ruth added: “Breeding these rare tur

Life remains a struggle for the Arabian oryx
Providing the Arabian oryx with a safe haven in the UAE isn't enough to ensure that the vulnerable species will thrive, according to a research project that assessed herds of the reintroduced species in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.
After being declared extinct in the wild, an Arabian oryx wandering free in the deserts of the UAE is a remarkable enough sight.
But a team of researchers who tracked down a quarter of the 400 oryx estimated to be in the Emirates were looking beyond the mere presence of the vulnerable species.
They found that reintroducing the oryx into the safe haven of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve has not been enough to ensure their revitalisation and most of the 98 animals they saw were suffering from malnutrition.
The females were in worse condition than the males, which augured poorly for the species' prospects and prompted the management at the reserve to increase its supplemental feeding programme.
The observations were made by a team of international volunteers enlisted by Biosphere Expeditions, a non-profit organisation that arranges for amateur naturalists to conduct scientific surveys around the world.
Biosphere Expeditions' executive director, Matthias Hammer, said the volunteers br

World first certification for Wellington Zoo great news
The announcement by Wellington Zoo that it is the first zoo in the world to achieve carboNZero certification is great news, Standards New Zealand Chief Executive Debbie Chin said today.

‘Achieving certification to an international standard is an achievement to be proud of and I would like to offer my congratulations to everyone at Wellington Zoo who has worked towards this worthwhile goal.

‘The Standard – ISO 14064-1:2006 – is one of the ISO 14000 Environmental Management series of Standards. This set of Standards will help any company or organisation that is looking to identify and control their environmental impact, and improve their environmental performance.

‘Another world first is a New Zealand business that we have talked to as part of a series of case studies to demonstrate the benefits of Standards to business. J. Friend and Co. NZ Artisan’s honey is the first honey in the world to achieve carboNZero certification.’

Debbie Chin said that environmental sustainability was becoming

Folly Farm Opens Its New £500,000 Penguin Enclosure
Wildlife fans from across Wales descended upon Folly Farm as the adventure park and zoo opened its £500,000 penguin enclosure.

The special area, entitled Penguin Coast, features 24 Peruvian Humboldt penguins and is the only natural saltwater enclosure of its kind in Wales. It was formally opened to the public by Edwina Hart, the Government Minister for Economy, Science and Transport alongside children from Ysgol y Frenni in Crymych as well as Tavern Spite Primary School.

Set over two acres, the attraction cost £500,000 to build over a course of six months and is able to home 40 penguins. It contains a nursery for the birds, a beach area, a 100m3 saltwater pool that replicates their natural surroundings and a play area with specialised plants and rocks.

With many penguin enclosures in Wales and across the UK still using freshwater pools with chlorine, there are still question marks on the long-term health effects of penguins living near the chemical and Folly Farm is the first of its kind in Wales that uses a more natural saltwater pool. What’s more, the zoo’s nesting site is also twice the recommended size for penguins – giving them more time and space to dry off after a dip in the water and minimising the risk of developing harmful fungi.

Tim Morphew, who is the Zoo Manager at Folly Farm, said: “It was fantastic opening to the public. The excitement has been building since we first announced that the penguins were coming six months ago. Since then, we’ve seen Penguin Coast develop from a desig


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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