The internet is awash with well meaning but ignorant people. There is petition after petition to save this, that and the next. One that caught my eye recently was 'Save endangered White Tigers '. Can you believe it? You should. There are dozens of similar ones. These people mean well but through failure to do just a little bit of research compound the ignorance of others.
Then there are the intelligent ones like Marc Bekoff who, well meaning as he is appears unable to recognise that all zoos are not the same. Statements like "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." (See Zoo News Digest for 14th -18th June)
I would not argue that there are zoos which fit the profile but it does not apply to all zoos. I have heard Marc talk and read one of his books and there is no doubt in my mind he is a caring person but when it comes down to such a blinkered view he is no better than the first group.
So who is to blame here? We are. The zoos who do care. We need to do something real, something sincere about closing down every single little slum Dysfunctional Zoo there is. Not every Dysfunctional Zoo is 'small' or 'slum' though. Zoos need to recognise that there IS corruption at play and that an old boy/girl network does exist. It moves outside of zoos to people with power. Many will deny it but it IS there. Bigger does not necessarily mean better. Twenty million dollar enclosures do not necessarily mean caring or conservation. Awards can and are bought in through the back door. You know it is true.
So once again I will have upset a few and made more enemies. Sobeit.
I have only once had my palm read. I did not believe what I was told then and I filed it away with other junk like Horoscopes which I practically never look at. Except that is in Dentist waiting rooms when there is nothing else to read. The article 'Primatology Palm Reading' is a little different and something I am sure many will enjoy.
Had my first Rhino horn offered on Sunday via LinkedIn. No, I'm not going to give the contacts name away. Actually thinking about it, it was the second time, but that's another story.
Good luck Calgary Zoo.
7 Hunter Street
I remain committed to the work of GOOD zoos, not DYSFUNCTIONAL zoos.
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If not why not? You want people to attend, don't you? ZooNews Digest is read by more zoo people than any other similar publication. I will advertise up till the event.
There is more than books there.
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**Special Update to all Staff and Volunteers of the Calgary Zoo**
As I write these words, much of y...
As I write these words, much of your Calgary Zoo sits covered in water. To survey the island in a kayak this afternoon [Friday] was a surreal experience, one I thought I'd never have and hope never to repeat.
The Administration building, SCOW, ENMAX Conservatory and Kitamba Cafe all sit in several feet of water as they sit in some of the lowest areas on the island. Despite the damage to our infrastructure, I am very proud to report that our animals are secure and safe. For this, we must applaud the remarkable effort by so many dedicated employees, particularly those in Animal Care and Facilities, who worked together late into Thursday night to move as many animals as possible to higher ground within the zoo and to our Animal Health Centre.
Despite the many media reports, our big cats have not moved to the courthouse! With the exception of two pot-bellied pigs moved to the City's Animal Shelter and two zebras moved to the ranch, all our animals remain at the zoo. We are closely monitoring those animals that remain on the island -- I checked in on the camels, hippos, giraffes, elephants and gorillas myself today.
I know many employees want to come down to help but it simply isn't safe at this time. Only essential Animal Care staff remains onsite to care for our animals. From my tour today it is clear there is much work ahead. You can be sure that once the water has receded, you'll be hearing from your supervisor -- we will need the help of every employee and every volunteer.
It has also been inspiring to see the outpouring of encouragement and offers of support from people and organizations across our community and nation as well as from colleagues in the United States and overseas. I have no doubt we will need a lot of help to restore our zoo, so we are grateful that so many friends care and are ready to step up.
The Calgary Zoo will remain closed for the next two weeks. We are developing a plan to resume operations and begin the restoration. Employees can expect to hear directly from supervisors about how you can help, and everyone should continue to watch our Facebook and website for additional updates.
Please take care of yourself and your family. I look forward to working with you to rebuild our wonderful zoo.
Dr. Clément Lanthier is President & CEO of the Calgary Zoo
Penguins have a natural charisma that has helped them to capture the hearts and imaginations of people around the world. These flightless Southern Hemisphere seabirds spend their time primarily in the water, but they come ashore to breed and nest. That makes them ideal environmental sentinels, signaling changing conditions in the ocean and along the coasts that can harm them and other marine life.
Because they come into contact with human activity such as fishing and beachfront development during their travels, they are among the most endangered seabirds. About two-thirds of penguin species are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of threatened species.
Man takes care of sick elephant; slams animal rights groups
An animal lover here yesterday rued the manner in which some prominent animal rights groups were suddenly concerned by the plight of an ailing elephant named Bijlee, and using her to garner publicity.
“I request them not to shed crocodile tears for Bijlee, who is in our care and improving with each day of medication, proper diet and lots of love,” Animals Matter To Me (AMTM) chief Ganesh Nayak told IANS.
Nayak claimed that 11 days ago, when Bijlee had collapsed on the road, he had called up several
of prominent animal organisations for help, but got no response.
“My organisation is mainly concerned with rescuing cats, dogs and other smaller animals. For us, lifting an elephant was truly a mammoth task, but we did it, and now she is recovering well,” Nayak said.
Irked by the manner in which some well known larger organisations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) chose to wake up after so many days to express concern for Bijlee, Nayak alleged that they are “now trying to encash on our good work, claim credit and sideline AMTM.”
“We don’t need film stars who strip for them to make money but do not help where it is genuinely required; we need just one Amitabh Bachchan who promptly sent out appeals for us through his blog and Twitter,” Nayak said.
Elaborating, he said that since the past 11 days, Bijlee, 54, was being kept strapped on a crane as she cannot stand or sit due to weak hind leg bones. Among other things,
White elephants: A shade of distinction in royal Thai tradition
In the morning mist behind a small village in Tak's Umphang National Park, a 30-year-old elephant
emerged and walked towards a group of people eager to see if it was actually a white elephant as
As it approached, ML Phiphatanachatr Diskul, a veterinarian attached to the Royal Household
Bureau, instructed the mahout sitting on the elephant's neck to command it to kneel down. He then
Upgrading the Zoo
When was the last time you went to the zoo?
Unless you’re a primary school pupil on a school outing, chances are it’s been a while.
If you take some time to visit, though, you might be impressed. Over the last few years, the Emperor Valley Zoo has been undergoing extensive renovations, and is bringing in more animal exhibits to thrill and educate its guests.
The animals on display are not just for show either — the zoo has, and plans to expand, a prolific breeding programme.
“It is a thing of the past where zoos try to get animals from the wild. Wild populations are so small. Most zoos are getting better at breeding their exhibits to exchange and even reintroduce back into the wild,” zoo curator Nirmal Bipta told the Sunday Express on Wednesday.
In 2011, Phase One of the Zoo Enhancement Project was completed, including a world-class otter exhibit and flamingo enclosure, ideally to create new life.
And hopefully this will pay off soon. A few months ago seven-year-old Susie the otter, the lone occupant of the enclosure when it was unveiled, was joined by two-year-old Khatuma, and while otters are naturally playful creatures, Bipta says the two have become quite attached and affectionate with each other.
“They are at their prime breeding age. We are hoping they will breed; a litter usually comprises one to four offspring. We have built a nice shelter for mother and young away from the public; we have been told this is one of the best giant river otter enclosures in the world,” Bipta said.
The zoo’s West Indian flamingos are also getting ready to procreate—the beautiful neon pink birds
were building nests out of mud when the Sunday Express visited. In total there are 12 males and
nine females—so far, but Bipta was confident of some new arrivals.
ENDANGERED INDIAN RHINOCEROS CALF CONCEIVED BY ARTIFICAL INSEMINATION BORN AT THE MONTGOMERY ZOO
The Montgomery Zoo and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Center for Conservation & Research
of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) are excited to announce the birth of a male Indian rhino calf produced by artificial insemination (AI). This is the first known calf, of any rhino species in the U.S., to be produced by AI and be born and thrive in captivity.
In February 2012, CREW’s Reproductive Physiologist, Dr. Monica Stoops worked in partnership with
Montgomery Zoo’s staff to perform a standing sedation AI procedure, inseminating Jeta, the Montgomery Zoo’s 12-year-old female, who is on an extended breeding loan from the San Diego Wild Animal Park, with frozen-thawed semen from the resident male rhino, Himal. Dr. Stoops collected Himal’s sperm in 2004 and stored it at -320°F in CREW’s CryoBioBank in Cincinnati for eight years before it was brought to Alabama, thawed, and used in the AI procedure. The Montgomery Zoo staff monitored Jeta’s pregnancy over the 15-16 month gestation period and on June 5, 2013 she gave birth to a healthy calf. This is the second calf born to Jeta at the Montgomery Zoo and it weighs approximately 90 pounds.
This is a significant birth and scientific achievement for the Montgomery Zoo, CREW and the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) since the Indian rhino is an endange
Panda Gives Birth To Twins At China's Conservation And Research Center; First This Year
A giant panda has given birth to twins, the first pair of the endangered species born in the world this year, according to a wildlife center in southwest China.
The China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Sichuan province said the panda named Haizi gave birth to the two cubs 10 minutes apart on Saturday.
Staffers at the center, which is part of the Wolong Nature Reserve, say one cub is a female and weighs 79.2 grams (2.79 ounces). Haizi has yet to release the other cub from her embrace.
Giant pandas have difficulty breeding, with females fertile for only two or three days a year.
Pandas number about 1,600 in the wild
Foxes are scared of lions’ urine.
Cats, squirrels, rabbits and foxes are just a few of the uninvited visitors who can gorge on your plants and ruin your crops. Hannah Stephenson looks at ways to keep them at bay
The other day, I wandered up the garden to find that some of my favourite emerging phlox had been razed to the ground, devoured by something which left just the stems at ground level.
Rabbits? Could be. But no, the next day the culprit returned for second helpings - a large black cat with a penchant for perennials, so now I’m keeping a powerful water pistol by my patio door to scare off any such intruders.
CATS: There are a number of battery-operated deterrents on the market which, when switched on, pick up movement with an infra-red detector and then emit ultrasonic, high-pitched frequencies that reputedly scare off the culprits. They are not audible to humans and the usual range is about 10m (33ft) over an arc of 70 degrees.
Another solution is to put down citrus peelings or lemon scent where the cats are causing the damage, or prickly prunings around their favourite plants.
They are less likely to use your garden as a litter tray if they have no access to bare soil - especially dry, loose soil. If you have a gravelled area, try replacing it with larger stone chippings or pebbles.
Unwanted CDs can be threaded on twine with knots in between to keep them apart. String these acro
When Li Ling was growing up in Beijing in the 1980s, it was not uncommon for old men to bring chained monkeys onto the street to perform. Crowds would gather to watch and reward the animal's antics by throwing money.
A couple of months ago, Li took a trip to Tanzania, where she saw dolphins in their natural environment, leaping out of the sea in front of the boat. Deeply moved, she vowed to never take her 2-year-old son to see captive animals performing.
"We could swim with them. The dolphins were crazily happy and danced all around us," she said. "We then decided we would not go see animal shows again. They should live in their natural habitat."
She posted her photos of the dolphins on Sina Weibo, China's most popular microblogging service, and called upon the public to stop attending exploitative animal performances.
In recent years, more and more people in Beijing are becoming conscious that animal rights extend to freedom from abusive training and handling practices for performance animals. In 2010, the State Forestry Administration requested that all wild animal shows in China be stopped because of their abusive nature.
Still, the shows continue. At the Wenlin Zoo in Taizhou, Zhejiang Province, a chained tiger was forced to pose for photos with tourists. In March of this year, handlers at the wild animal zoo in Hefei, Anhui province forced a sea lion to perform ballet, chase balls and stand on its head.
According to a 2011 report by China Zoo Observatory, 50 percent of city zoos and 89 percent of aquariums feature circus-style animal performances, many involving potentially dangerous acts such as walking on a wire and boxing.
Mang Ping, an organizer of a Weibo ca