Sunday, June 30, 2013

Zoo News Digest 29th - 30th June 2013 (ZooNews 862)

Zoo News Digest 29th - 30th June 2013 (ZooNews 862)  

Dear Colleagues,

Pata Zoo in the press again. Will it change anything? I very much doubt it. The zoo has its place on a roundabout. Stories and condemnation.....then quiet for a few months and then back again. As long as there are corrupt and ignorant officials organising things nothing will change. They even give praise to the likes of Sri Racha Tiger Zoo and Bangkok Safari World.

I'm just waiting for the press to jump on the story about Reykjavik Zoo staff eating some surplus stock. Nothing wrong with it in my eyes. Waste not want not.

Mali is back in the news. Not what the AR's wanted to hear.

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The zoo where 200 animals are kept caged and made to perform tricks for visitors... on top of a department store
Welcome to the controversial zoo where gorillas, tigers and penguins are held in cages and forced to perform tricks on top of a department store.
The animals occupy the upper two floors of the Pata store in the bustling Bang Phlat area of Bangkok, Thailand.
An estimated 200 animals are kept here, with regular shows taking place in which monkeys are trained to fire-juggle, perform in drag and take part in mock fights with keepers. But on the floors beneath, shoppers snap up cheap T-shirts

‘Mali’ in pink of health, says elephant expert from Thailand
“Mali” the elephant appears to be in the pink of health—if a bit on the stout side—but it’s too early to tell if the most famous resident of the Manila Zoo should stay or go, a visiting Thai elephant expert said on Friday.
Amid the clamor from animal rights activists to ship her to a sanctuary in Thailand, Mali actually looks well cared for in her enclosure at the zoo, said Dr. Nikorn Thongtip of Kasetsart University’s Department of Large Animal and Wildlife Clinical Sciences.
“She looked healthy in every system. The color of the mouth is pink. It’s a good color. It means an elephant is healthy. And her skin is healthy, no wound. Just a little bit around the bone here, and that is good,” Thongtip told a briefing at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City.
But Thongtip had a suggestion for the 38-year-old 7-ton giant: She needs to slim down.
“Just a little bit of obesity. [She’s] too fat,” he said. The scientist added that contrary to some reports, Mali’s nails “do not look bad, compared to elephants of the same age.”
Mali was brought to the Philippines from Sri Lanka in 1977 as a gift to then First Lady Imelda Marcos. She was 3 years old then and has spent 35 years at the Manila Zoo.
Animal rights activists led by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have mounted a campaign to petition government to have Mali flown to an elephant sanctuary in Thailand, citing health problems and her apparent “loneliness” with no other elephants at the zoo for company.
Upon the request of the Department of Environment and Natural Resource’s Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau, Thongtip was sent to the Philippines by the Thai government to check on Mali’s condition and make recommendations as to whether or not she could be transferred abroad and if she was fit enough to do so.
But Thongtip said a more thorough examination was needed before a decision could be made about moving Mali, including checking for tuberculosis, a serious problem afflicting Thailand’s elephants.
“Not now,” he replied, when asked if Mali should be moved to a sanctuary a

Tiger shuns enclosure at zoo

The Nandankanan zoo officials are at a loss. The male wild tiger that had entered tiger safari after remaining elusive for three weeks, is showing no sign of entering its enclosure again. The tiger is apprehensive about its confinement in the enclosure, said zoo officials.
The zoo officials, expecting the tiger to enter its enclosure, have kept the passage connecting tiger safari with the enclosure open. "It has been over a week since the tiger returned and it is still roaming in the safari. We are keeping an eye on its moveme

Zoo CSI shows how panda may have escaped
Rusty the red panda caused a stir in Washington and on social media when he was reported missing from his enclosure at the National Zoo on Monday. His absence was noted just before 8 a.m., and he remained on the lam for hours until a Washingtonian tweeted a photo of him hiding out in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, nearly a mile from home.
Rusty was recovered by zoo officials about 2:30 p.m., no worse for the wear.
His intrepid escape initially baffled zoo officials, who said Rusty's enclosure previously had a strong track record. The exhibit has housed red pandas for several years without issue. And Rusty's companion, 5-year-old Shama, remained in the zoo habitat even as Rusty made his escape.
In the days since the escape, the zoo convened a "multidisciplinary team of zoo experts" to investigate the enclosure, recent photos and security footage in order to come to a tentative verdict:
According to zoo officials, "It is highly likely that Rusty left his enclosure ... through the tree canopy in his exhibit."
The canopy was made all the more accessible due to rain, the zoo officials conclude, lowering tree limbs to within reach of the edge of Rusty's enclosure. Additionally, perimeter bamboo may have sagged, creating a bridge. It appears that Rusty, who the zoo says possesses "climbing ability and agility," slipped out and didn't look back.
The zoo says no panda tracks were found, so his exact route will remain a mystery. But in the wake of Rusty's cell break, zoo officials say they plan to trim plants and create additional barriers to ensure another 30 inches of bamboo- and tree-free space.
As of Friday, Rusty, who is just shy of 1 year old, continues to do well. Zoo veterinarians have admin

Parent-Raised Rare Birds are First in this Century
Two `alala (also known as Hawaiian crows) at the San Diego Zoo Global's Keauhou Bird Conservation Center represent the first chicks of this critically endangered species to be successfully raised by a parent in more than 25 years.
Hatched on 30th April and 1st May 2013 on the Big Island of Hawai`i, the chicks have passed an important survival marker  - fledging.  Newly feathered and beginning to fly, the birds represent a species that is extinct in the wild and is being managed through a collaborative effort as the Hawai`i Endangered Bird Conservation Program (HEBCP).
For just over six weeks, the chicks were cared for by their mother, enabling them to rapidly develop from small, naked, blind nestlings into fully-feathered youngsters, almost the size of an adult. On 13th June 2013, both chicks took the bold step of jumping out of their nest.
"It has been nerve-racking watching these chicks on camera. We had no idea whether Po Mahina would be a good mother. Fortunately her maternal instincts kicked in straight away and we are absolutely delighted that the chicks have successfully fledged," said Rosanna Leighton, Research Coordinator at KBCC. "We also have another female raising a chick a few weeks younger, still in the nest."
The last `alala were recorded in their Hawaiian forest natural habitat in 2002 where they were threatened by habitat destruction, introduced predators and avian disease.  The HEBCP has been working with the spec

The Keepers

State orders Byculla zoo to demolish wall built in 2010
In a bizarre move, the Maharashtra Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) has asked the Byculla Zoo authorities to demolish recently constructed compound walls. The reason: The zoo, which is run by the BMC, constructed the wall without seeking a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the MHCC. 
Zoo authorities have said the MHCC notice is uncalled for as the wall was constructed as per Central Zoo Authority (CZA) norms. According to the norms, it is mandatory for every zoo to have a boundary wall for the safety of animals. This wall also prevents encroachment. 
The boundary wall, which is two metres high, was constructed in 2010 when the CZA demanded a wall. "We constructed the wall around the zoo to ensure no encroachment takes place and the animals are safe. According to the CZA, all zoos are supposed to have a boundary wall. If the MHCC had problems, they should have raised it when the construction was taking place. It is a waste of public money if the wall is demolished and then rebuilt. Also, the animals will be disturbed if the wall is demolished," said a zoo official. 
The official added there have been instances of animals escaping zoos due to the absence of a boundary wall. There is no way the wall can be destroyed. "The zoo authorities had kept in mind the heritage value of the zoo and had not built the wall near the entrance plaza or the water fountain area," he said. 
When contacted, BS Bonal, Member-Secretary of the CZA said that the wall was constructed as per CZA norms. MHCC Chairman V Ranganathan confirmed that such a

HISTORY: Roarin' good fun at the zoo
LAKE Macquarie's Carey Bay Zoo is long gone, but it has never been forgotten.
It only existed for 14 years, being expanded by two separate owners until it closed in July 1958.
Yet it is still fondly remembered for the sheer magic it brought into the lives of lake residents in the drab, post World War II years.
In 1954, it was even believed to be Australia's largest private zoo.
There was seating for 600 visitors under cover and crammed into less than two hectares were kangaroos, koalas, wombats and emus. Also housed there were exotic animals like lions, monkeys, a seal and more than 2000 rare birds.
Officially called the Toronto Zoo, it was best known as Carey Bay Zoo during its short span from 1944 to 1958. And it was kept open sometimes only by willing volunteers.
At the height of summer in the mid to late 1950s, up to 3000 visitors each Sunday flocked to the zoo, many by ferry from Belmont.
Ask around today and older lake residents will happily recite their favourite memory of the zoo, once located on the corner of Ambrose Street and Excelsior Parade, Carey Bay, near Toronto.
People might tell you about Sammy, the walkabout wombat, the "houdini" of Ambrose Street, who kept tunnelling out to freedom, once making it as far as Awaba before being recaptured.
Maybe this was the same huge wombat "built like a bulldozer" who others remembered being taken for a walk on a lead, like a dog, just to keep an eye on his whereabouts. Or it might be someone's memory of the unnerving roar of Nero the lion across the mirror-smooth waters of Lake Macquarie at dusk. His bellow was heard as far away as Fennell Bay.
Equally unsettling often was the sudden, if distant, defiant roar in reply from a lion at rival Stony Creek Zoo.
Or it might be someone's memory of spying two morose-looking wedge-tail eagles in their zoo cages, or the sight of Tootsie, the 240-year-old African tortoise. Or perhaps, it might be seeing Jimmy the mischievous monkey, one of the zoo's most popular exhibits, dashing into the crowd taking a swag of earrings, and sometimes, necklaces, with him.
For children of all ages, the Carey Bay Zoo was a place of enchantment and excitement.
Then, just months after it closed, a caravan park opened on site, the first of its kind in western Lake Macquarie. It's still there today and called Paradise Palms, billing itself as an "absolute waterfront holiday village".
"The site's all changed from before," park resident and widow Gayle Stewart said earlier this week.
"There's nothing really left now, but I know the laundry, in the middle of the park here, was were the lion cages used to be," she said.
"One time, a zoo monkey [called Happy] escaped and interrupted a church sermon in Carey Bay after making the minister laugh, who saw him in the doorway.
"The whole zoo site was originally

SA zoo’s Tweeting Honey Badger a world first
Looking for an ingenious way to build its digital presence the Johannesburg Zoo has handed over its social media account to ‘someone’ who knows the Zoo inside out. BG, a honey badger residing in the Zoo (and its mascot) has taken on the responsibility.
How is this possible?
Well, it’s largely due to his high-tech enclosure, cleverly devised by award-winning digital agency in the Draftfcb group, Hellocomputer, and constructed by tech wizard at BinarySpace, Tom van den Bon.
Selected because he is active during the day and at night, has a definite personality and loves being with people, BG began tweeting on June 14 this year thanks to a bespoke system devised by the agency. Hellocomputer creatives who worked on the communication elements of the project included Candice Hellens, Moira-Gene Seph

Entire school banned from Chester Zoo for two years after pupils moon the monkey enclosure
Chester Zoo is one of the most popular visitor attractions in the country, attracting 1.4million visitors every year. Top attractions include the elephant, lion and Realm of the Red Ape enclosures.
However, teenagers from Radclyffe School in Oldham were kicked out of  the zoo last week for giving visitors an eyeful - by mooning at the monkey enclosure. 
A total of 300 GCSE pupils from year 10 were on the trip, but as a result of the monkey business of just a handful they all had to get on the buses and go home.
The school is now banned from trips to Chester Zoo until September 2015.
The zoo explained that 29 pupils were involved, but headmaster Hardial Hayer denied this claim, saying that only 24 children took part.
It is alleged that there was also food thrown and damage to property.
A spokesman for Chester Zoo said: "We have spoken and written to the head teacher and, due to the severity of the disruptive behaviour, regrettably we have had to take the step of banning the school from visiting until September 2015."
He added: 'We welcome schools to the zoo on the understanding that the students behave in such a way that does not cause problems for their fellow pupils, other visitors, the animals or staff. Fortunatel

Bijli shows no improvement, experts suggest euthanasia
Even as scores of animal lovers from all over the country pray for the gentle giant Bijli—the recently rescued 58-yearold pachyderm—she is showing no signs of recovery. In fact, she has not responded to treatment in the last two days, and the veterinarians treating her are now of the opinion that euthanasia will be in her best interest. Meanwhile, her treatment is still on. 
Bijli, who was suffering from obesity, had collapsed on June 11 after her hind limbs could not bear her weight. For years, she had been fed everything, from ghee-laced paranthas to vada pav, by her owner. 
She has been kept at Car Kraft compound at Raja industrial estate in Mulund (W) and is being treated by veterinarians led by Dr Yaduraj from animal rescue and conservation organisation Wildlife SOS. Members of NGOs Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare (RAWW), Animals Matter To Me (AMTM) and Swabhimaan are also contributing towards her treatment. 
"It has been almost 18 days since her condition became critical and a crane was used to help her support her weight. Initially, she was responding well to the treatment. But she started stumbling and falling two days ago. She was simply unable to stand on Friday and kept lying throughout the day. We discussed the issue and suggested it to the locals and NGOs that

With shark fin ban, a slice of Asian culture ends in California
Chinese Americans are divided over the state's ban on sale or possession of the delicacy. The cruel practice of shark finning has decimated populations worldwide.
An ancient Asian dining tradition comes to an end in California on Monday, and grocer Emily Gian is none too happy.
Gian has slashed prices on shark fins, the astoundingly expensive ingredient of a coveted and ceremonial soup, in hopes she will sell out before a California ban on sale or possession of the delicacy takes effect Monday.
"The law is unfair," said Gian, whose store in Los Angeles' Chinatown sells shark fins for $599 a pound. "Why single out Chinese people in California when shark fins are legal in many other states?"
Across town, retired science teacher Judy Ki offers an answer.
Ki grew up in a wealthy Hong Kong family that served steaming bowls of shark fin soup to honor guests at birthdays, banquets and weddings. These days, she sees the delicacy in historical context.
Shark fin soup dates to the Ming Dynasty, when it was reserved for emperors as a symbol of status and power over the most dangerous predators. "Back when it was quite a physical feat for a fisherman to land a shark, it was the ultimate symbol of yang, or male energy," said Ki, a spokeswoman for the Asian Pacific American Ocean Harmony Alliance.
It certainly wasn't prized for its flavor, which is almost nonexistent. Its chief culinary merit is an ethereal, gelatinous texture, achieved through careful drying, precise trimming and a complex preparation me,0,7176667.story


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