Sunday, June 9, 2013

Zoo News Digest 7th - 9th June 2013 (ZooNews 856)

Zoo News Digest 7th - 9th  June 2013 (ZooNews 856)  

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to see an article drawing attention to the private zoos in Thailand. However the credibility of the journalism loses itself on line four...'kickboxing chimpanzees' WHAT kickboxing chimpanzees? Nonetheless I hope that this report stimulates some action....if it can just force its way through the rampant corruption which is at the root of the problem.

Congratulations Cincinnati Zoo! All good zoos preach conservation and this really should go into the restaurants too. Tasty sustainable food and a real opportunity to drive home the message that what we eat is affecting our planet. Palm Oil production is killing Orangutans as I write and immediately springs to mind.

My huge respect to Aalborg Zoo for having the courage to euthanase a baby chimpanzee rather than hand rear. If more zoos took this step then we would have much less heartache later on. This was the right move.

The 'monkey bites' story is covered in dozens of newspapers. One wonders when the first lawsuit will make an appearance. In some countries it would have happened a year ago. Happily the British are not, as yet, a 'sue' nation. I note they have banned pushchairs.....something I had to do many years back in a walk through aviary. The vulture there quickly became adept at removing pushchair wheels.

I have included a few rather disturbing videos in this edition. They are to draw attention to the fact that not all zoos are the same. There are Good Zoos and Dysfunctional Zoos. The Dysfunctional Zoos give the rest of us a bad name. They need to be We need to get legislation passed to ensure this happens. These places should not exist. Look into 'Dysfunctional' though because some there are some very smart places out their who pull the wool over visitors eyes....Safari World in Bangkok to name just one....the Tiger Temple too...tissues of lies.

Indian White Tigers in the press again. It really is time that the CZA pulled its finger out.

'Hero Mouse'....ridiculous. How do these stories get the attention?

Dog feeding Lion Cubs...Tiger Cubs...whatever. Repeated two or three times every year.

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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Unnatural selection: The plight of animals in private zoos 
Attractions that use exotic beasts to draw in the tourists are springing up across the country, amidst allegations of substandard conditions and illegal trafficking 
From the caged ape on the roof of Bangkok's Pata shopping mall to the kickboxing chimpanzees at Safari World in Chiang Mai, animal advocates have long been appalled by what takes place at Thailand's private zoos. 
These complaints have been amplified in recent years as wildlife-themed attractions filled with exotic beasts to draw in the tourists have multiplied across the country. Responsible authorities usually...

Relevant Links:

Cincinnati Zoo's restaurant greenest in United States
The Green Restaurant Association gave the zoo's Base Camp Cafe its highest ranking.
The Cincinnati Zoo, which calls itself the Greenest Zoo in America, now also has the greenest restaurant in the country.

The zoo's Base Camp Cafe has just been certified by the Green Restaurant Association with four stars, its highest rating. Only 15 restaurants in the nation have achieved that distinction, and none with as many points as Base Camp received.

"It demonstrates that the world's not going to be saved by some magic wand waved by a large organization; it will be saved by hundreds of million better decisions made every day," zoo Director Thane Maynard said Thursday.

Michael Oshman, CEO and founder of the Green Restaurant Association, called the distinction a "phenomenal" achievement. "They have set a new benchmark that will serve as a model and create a nice incentive for other restaurants to hit."

Base Camp opened for the 2013 season after a remodel and retrofit. Like the rest of the zoo, it gets a quarter of its power from the zoo's solar electricity array. Kitchen equipment includes a variable-power ventilating hood that's 60 percent more efficient than most.

"Restaurants are huge energy hogs," said Mark Fisher, the zoo's director of sustainability. "It's also where you can get your money back."

He estimates the zoo spent $2.5 million to i

First glimpse of rare Sumatran tiger cubs born at Chester Zoo

Monkeys Bite London Zoo Visitors 'At Least Once A Month' (PICTURES)
Monkeys at London zoo attack at least one visitor a month, it has been revealed.

Yellow and black squirrel monkeys bit 15 people over the last year, according to figures obtained by the Camden New Journal.

Although none of the bites, which happened in the 'walk in enclosure’, were serious, their nasty nibbling has led to a ban on pushchairs in the enclosure.

The safety report said: "The squirrel monkeys in the walk-through enclosure are still undergoing additional negative enforcement due to some behavioural issues. These involve mainly grabbing of food from members of the public. There have been 15 bites over the past year, no

Zoo inspectors look into a gorilla’s sex life, how to catch a tiger and finger bites from cheeky squirrel monkeys 
WITH their cherubic little faces the acrobatic yellow and black squirrel monkeys jumping through the creepers at London Zoo look like they wouldn’t hurt a fly.

But a health and safety inspection has revealed those angelic looks may be a little deceiving with a file note reporting how visitors to the zoo in Regent’s Park have sustained monkey bites while watching them search for food.

Fifteen people were bitten by the squirrel monkeys over a 12-month period to November last year, more than one bite a month, according to the report released by Westminster Council to the West End Extra following a Freedom of Information request.

The monkeys “behavioural” problems led to a ban on pushchairs at their enclosure, it adds.

Inspectors from the council, which dispenses the zoo’s licence, made their last visit to the zoo late last year.

The report confirms the well-documented loss of life in the penguin pool after an outbreak of malaria last summer and the moving of a gorilla away from the Gorilla Kingdom breeding paddock after tests found he was “infertile”.

It also discusses how the zoo would deal with a tiger escaping from the grounds, adding: “the decision as to wh

Zoo visitor is encouraged to feed tiger with live chicken in China

Zoos continue to breed genetically flawed white tigers
 In the name of keeping visitors enthralled, zoos in India continue to breed the white tiger despite the wildlife community's strong warning that these animals have a genetic flaw and are prone to dying young.

Wildlife conservationists are unanimous in saying that the present crop of white tigers should not be allowed to proliferate, as it has increased susceptibility to illness and death, compared to normal yellow tigers.

"Inbred cubs help spread the recessive gene. White tiger breeding continues with vigour as zoos seek to cater to curiosity when they should also help cultivate empathy for animals among people," Dr MK Ranjit Singh, chairman of the Wildlife trust of India, told TOI.

Experts said that white tigers have higher mortality rates compared to normal tigers, develop crooked tails, weak limbs and spine.

Researchers explain that white tigers are the same specie as the normal yellow tiger (Panthera tigris tigris). They live for 16-18 years on average, but have a genetic mutation (a recessive gene) that causes skin pigmentation differences and albinism. The recession is very rare in nature and the small genetic diversity of the existing white tiger population has made them a highly vulnerable group, they say.

In the last one year, nine white tigers died. Unexplained deaths but attributable to the animals' genetic susceptibility were reported from Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh. A senior Andhra Pradesh forest official admitted that it was popular demand that was driving zoo

A Tour of Origin Zoo in Ikorodu, Lagos - Nigeria's First Privately run Zoo.

Very Sad place.....should be closed now.

Four tiger cubs born, 1 hoped to be white
The Mysore Zoo's experiment to create a new gene pool among tigers has yielded positive result with the birth of four tiger cubs. There could be a white cub among the four newborns.

While earlier when Brahma, who was shifted to the conservation centre after he was captured in Kodagu four years back, was paired with eight-year-old Manya, she gave birth to two cubs, leading to the creation of a new gene pool. But both didn't carry their mother's white genes. Now, of the four cubs one is believed to be a white tiger.

Manya is the only white tigress left in the zoo after the death of Smitha last year. Manya is the offspring of Smitha. The facility has eight tigers. This is the second litter for Manya, who was born in captivity at the zoo on April 10, 2005. Her two cubs Rama and Lakshmana are now two years.

She was paired with Brahma, who is believed to be eight years old and was captured from Brahmagiri wildlife sanctuary in Kodagu and shifted to the zoo. He was suspected to be attacking cattle on the border areas of Nagarahole leading to his capture. He was shifted to the zoo in 2008 and was kept in isolation for about two years. When he became a little docile, the zoo paired him with Manya hoping that they can generate a new bloodline. It clicked as Manya littered for the first time in May 2011. The new bloodline helped the conservation centre in breeding of healthier cubs.

Sources said Manya, who gave birth to the four cubs on June 4, is taking care of them, which has cheered the zoo officials given that it had witnessed death of three tiger cubs within days after their birth as their mother abandoned them. In mid-August 2012, Kaveri gave birth to three cubs which died as the newborns were not taken care of by their mother. Like Brahma, she too came to zoo from the wild after her capture at Kodagu district in 2008

Please Tease The Animals, A Small Town Japnese Zoo

The $20,000 pet lion that lives on a Kabul rooftop
For Kabul’s wealthy elite some things are de rigueur: armed guards, a marble-clad mansion, a blacked-out SUV. But one man has taken the flamboyant lifestyle a step further and bought a lion.
Mohammad Shafiq, a 42-year-old businessman, is very proud of his growling pet, which spends its days prowling a roof terrace at his sprawling home in a posh residential area of central Kabul.
“A friend said he had a lion in Kandahar and wanted to sell it to me,” Shafiq, who runs a construction company, told AFP. “He knew I loved dogs and birds, but this was more than what I was expecting.
“I had seen lions on television and in the zoo, but never this close. So without any hesitation, I said I will buy it. To me, lions are brave and I

Mara the elephant slowly gets back on her feet
Treatment for Mara, a baby female elephant with fractures in both of her front legs, continues at the Toyohashi Zoo and Botanical Park in Aichi Prefecture.

Japan doesn’t have prior experience dealing with bone fractures afflicting an Asian elephant. More than four months have passed since Mara was diagnosed, and under 24/7 supervision by her keepers she has finally recovered enough for her leg braces to be removed.

Residents of Toyohashi have shown great support for the baby elephant.

The next phase in Mara’s rehabilitation will involve getting her into a pool so she can practice walking with the aid of her natural buoyancy.

“How are you feeling today, Mara?” her caretakers greet her as they enter her cage at 11 a.m. every day and continue the rehabilitation process.

Mara weighs 500 kg and it takes 10 people to raise her to a standing position. They wrap a sling aroun

And Again......

Zoo feeds African wild dogs with live goat to attract tourists

Hero mouse wins freedom after attacking snake that killed his friend
A mouse at Hangzhou Zoo in China has been give its freedom after zookeepers witnessed it attack a venomous snake to save its friend. "We always give the snakes live food, and we put the two mice into the snake enclosure. But instead of trying to hide like they usually do, one of the mice attacked the snake when it saw it trying to eat the other mouse. I have never seen anything like that before," keeper Wen Shao said. Sadly, the mouse's buddy died, but our hero can r

De-extinction critics at Scientific American have missed the point
Resurrection biology could bring back extinct birds and even mammoths. Naysayers say it would take cash away from conserving existing species, but don't backup their claim
The woolly mammoth has been having a terrible time of it. Not only did this fantastically furry beast go extinct some 4,000 years ago, but now increasing numbers of influential people are saying that we should not try to bring it – and other extinct species – back to life, as scientists and an assortment of tech-savvy dreamers have recently proposed to do.

I'm talking about resurrection biology, aka de-extinction, the idea that scientists could use new genetic technologies like cloning to resurrect extinct animals using DNA extracted from museum specimens, frozen tissue samples or even (in the case of the mammoth) from carcasses preserved under the Arctic tundra.

The latest censure of resurrection biology comes from the usually sober Scientific American. Last week's editorial argues that "with limited intellectual bandwidth and financial resources to go around, de-extinction threatens to divert attention from the modern biodiversity crisis." The IUCN Red List categorises more than 20,000 species as threatened with extinction, Sci Am reminds us, and with a looming mass extinction of this size, "conservationists face difficult choices about which species and ecosystems to try to save, since they cannot hope to rescue them all."

"Against this backdrop, a costly and flamboyant project to resuscitate extinct flora and fauna in the name of conservation looks irresponsible: Should we resurrect the mammoth only to let elephants go under? Of course not."

The editors warn that "the revival of a single extinct beast in a lab does not mark the return of a species, and creating viable populations of extinct animals that could flourish in modern ecosystems is a far more difficult challenge", although they do concede that the de-extinction enterprise is not completely without merit. Its technologies, they say, could be used to help endangered species that have lost much of their genetic diversity "such as the black-footed ferret and the northern white rhino. Such investigations, however, should be conducted under the mantle of preserving modern biodiversity rather than conjuring extinct species from the grave."

In short, their argument is that de-extinction is too expensive and we should spend our brainpower and cash on extant species, not extinct ones. (And not be flamboyant if we can help it.)

I found it interesting that Scientific American mentioned the northern white rhinoceros, perhaps better called by an earlier name, Nile rhinoceros. It's ridiculously close to being extinct. In 1960 there were probably over 2,000 in northeast Africa. Today, thanks to relentless poaching and weak conservation efforts, there are none known to be left in the wild and a mere seven in captivity, of which only four, two males and two females, are still young enough to breed.

The Nile rhino is hanging on by the very tip of its insanely overpriced horn. Some biologists would

Complete News 'Frozen Zoo' for Thailand's vanishing breeds

Shedd Aquarium's positive reinforcement training can work on your pets
Dolphins, birds and beluga whales perform gravity-defying tricks before awe-struck crowds at Shedd Aquarium’s daily aquatic shows. But the same techniques trainers use to encourage the animals to wow crowds are good for a lot more than just showmanship.

The technique is called positive reinforcement training, and it can be used to encourage animals big or small to cooperate with vets, to ease off aggressive behavior or even to participate in scientific research – all while having fun. Playfulness, affection and treats of food are the two two most obvious reinforcement tools.

“When we go to the dentist it might be a big scary thing but, for them, it’s just another game they play,” said Maris Muzzy, trainer at Shedd Aquarium.

Positive reinforcement training is centered on encouraging positive behaviors instead of punishing negative behaviors, relied on in some training techniques. Much of the early research that trumpeted positive reinforcement training took place on smaller mammals, such as dogs, but early sea mammal trainers saw its benefits right away, accordi

Son seeks greater share of zoo bequest
The Adelaide Zoo has found itself in the middle of a legal dispute over a bequest of more than $600,000.

Michael Thomas Bade, 59, has launched Supreme Court action seeking a better share of his adoptive father's estate.

He and his wife were left a total of $14,000 in the will of Maurice John Bade after his death in November 2011.

Court documents reveal the remainder of the $650,000 estate was donated to the Royal Zoological Society which runs the Adelaide and Monarto Zoos.

In his claim, Michael Bade says he was a dutiful and loving son and has been left without adequate provision for his future.

In its defence, the Society says it is a worthy beneficiary, with bequests used to help save its 1800 animals and 300 species from extinction.

It says in 2010 and 2011 it was facing financial challenges and a debt of more than $20 million.

"At that time there was widespread negative publicity about the zoo's financial position. Visitations to the Zoo also dropped which in turn further
detrimentally affected the Zoo's financial situation," the Society said.

"State Government funding account for approxim

Denver Zoo sets travel plans for new bull elephant coming from Belgium
Denver zoo-goers will soon have another pachyderm heartthrob.
The new kid on the block, 5-year-old Billy, hails from Dublin, Ireland, but is currently training in Belgium. He'll arrive at the Denver Zoo within the next
several weeks — the first Asian elephant imported to the U.S. in more than 30 years.
"We've heard he's a very charismatic boy. Our guests will love him," the zoo's vice president for animal care Brian Aucone said.
And Billy, without any U.S. relations, will bring new blood and genes to the zoo as it continues its quest to become a leading house of bulls and key player
globally in Asian elephant breeding and conservation.
"It's been a long time in the making. He's brand-new genetic material, " said assistant curator Becca McCloskey. "Only a handful of U.S. zoos have the
capacity to house (several bull elephants)."
He'll have a transition period in Denver, and it likely will be late summer or early fall when Billy gets to meet his new public

Zoo looks for dogs to feed 5 lion cubs
Mother of rare cubs isn't producing enough milk
A nest of quintuplet lion cubs in Ya'an of Southwest China's Sichuan Province in urgent need of dog nannies due to their mother's insufficient supply of milk now has a mother substitute.

The mother lion delivered on Friday the rare handful of cubs, a batch that usually maxes out at just a trio.

The mother lion was actually found to be pregnant when a 7-magnitude earthquake hit Ya’an City in April.

The lioness had been trapped for 29 days before being finally saved and transferred to Bifengxia Zoo.

According to the breeder, the zoo was previously feeding the cubs with cow's milk -- which can cause harm to the cubs in the long-term and even cause them to lose all their fur.

“Then, their survival rates drop dramatically, for the ingredients of cow's milk differ greatly from those of a lioness' milk. So we need the assistance of a dog and her milk, for a dog's milk is almost the same as a lioness,’” said Liu Jialiang, Bixiafeng Zoo’s deputy director of technology. “And based on the successful cases in zoos throughout the nation, cubs may have a high likelihood to survive when

Denmark zoo puts down baby chimp
A Denmark zoo said it put down a 2-month-old chimpanzee after two other male chimps in the group treated the animal violently.

"In the last few days we saw that the baby chimp had been treated very roughly by two of the younger males in the group, without the mother stepping in,"
Aalborg Zoo said. "Last night we sedated the baby and established that it was so weakened and injured that it would not survive."

The zoo told The Copenhagen Post that the baby's mother, Laura, had not displayed interest in defending her offspring.

Zoo representatives said the only other option was to remove the baby from the group and bottle feed it.

"If we'd done that we'd have wound up with a chimp that was influenced by humans and that could never be reintroduced to the group again,

Como Zoo opens $11 million home for 7 gorillas
The Como Park Zoo on Thursday opened a spacious new $11 million home for seven gorillas, including six that are new to Minnesota.

The new outdoor yard, which is covered by a giant mesh tent, is almost three times the size of the St. Paul zoo's old enclosure, which was home to just two gorillas.

Zoo officials hope it's an ideal place to raise a gorilla family, Minnesota Public Radio reported (

"Schroeder, one of our resident males, is now living with a group of three females," zookeeper Adam Nigon said. "So I'm assuming that is a good change for him. Hopefully, in a couple of years, we'll have little ones running around."

The new exhibit is more secure than the previous open-topped design. One gorilla, Casey, made a celebrated escape from the old exhibit in 1994.

The Gorilla Forest is the newest of a series of high-profile expansions for a zoo that started as a fenced pasture with three deer in 1897. Since 2006, Como Zoo has added a Tropical Encounters exhibit and a $5 million Polar Bear Odyssey.

Zoo Director Michele Furrer said people are

Rare Twice-Hatched Macaroni Penguin Meets Its Parents
The Detroit Zoo celebrated the birth of a macaroni penguin chick on May 25 – and celebrated its rebirth the next day. Using a rare and little-known technique
previously employed with success on other bird species at the Detroit Zoo, animal care staff placed the incubator-hatched penguin chick back in its egg to be “hatched” again by a set of foster parents.

Typically, penguin eggs are incubated and hatched and the chicks hand-reared by animal care staff off-exhibit at the Detroit Zoo’s Penguinarium to better ensure their survival. The youngsters join the mature penguin colon

Bermuda Skinks heading for a UK ‘lifeboat’
The fight to protect the critically endangered Bermuda Skink has found a new ally — the UK’s Chester Zoo.

A total of 12 skinks will soon be taken to the zoo in an effort to develop a captive breeding programme for the critically endangered species.

Mark Outerbridge, Wildlife Ecologist with the Department of Conservation Services, said it is estimated that around 2,500 skinks live on Bermuda and the smaller islands, but because the fragmentation of the population, a single storm or fire could devastate their numbers.

“This is a species that has been documented as declining. It’s a critically endangered species. It’s listed as level one on the endangered species act and we would like to try everything we can to ensure that it doesn’t go extinct,” he said.

“Chester Zoo, and Gerado Garcia in particular, have a huge amount of experience working with other reptiles and some high profile species internationally, and they are very kindly volunteering their organisation and their expertise to find out what we need to do to save this species.

“They are going to be taking 12 skinks back to Chester, and they are going to basically develop the blueprint for captive br

Mysore zoo turns away rescued crocodile hatchling
Mysore Zoo, an animal conservation centre, on Friday allegedly refused to accept a crocodile hatchling rescued by a group of youths from stray dogs at Balamuri water falls near Mysore. However, zoo officials have denied the charge.

The crocodile hatchling was later released in Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary. The hatchling was noticed by young professional Sunil Kumar S and his friends at the water falls around 10am. The group had gone to the falls for swimming. They found two young crocodiles being attacked by dogs. They drove the dogs away, but managed to rescue only one and while another was taken away by a dog.

The group brought the rescued hatchling in a bucket and called Mysore Zoo officials to take it. However, zoo officials allegedly refused to accept it, Sunil said. "They said we cannot accept and our veterinarian is not in station. They asked us to take it to somewhere else," he told TOI.

Later, the group with the help of a local journalist took the hatc

Topeka Zoo Says Elephant Updates Progressing
Topeka Zoo officials say they are making progress in upgrading their elephant program.

The elephants have been a point of controversy for several years, with animal advocacy groups claiming the zoo isn't providing a proper environment or proper care. They lobbied for the city to move the two animals to a sanctuary. The City Council ultimately voted in October 2012 to support the zoo staff's decisions in keeping the elephants.

Zoo officials developed a list of strategies for improving the program, including installing surveillance cameras to better monitor the animals' patterns and
interactions and adding various enrichment options for the animals.

Friday, as part of the City Manager's weekly report, the city released an updated on the process of implementing those strategies. It follows in its entirety.

City of Topeka Update on the Topeka Zoo's Elephant Program

New Program Strategies
1. Installation of a 24 hour surveillance system both inside and outside of the facility. This will help us understand how the elephants use their time, such as sleep patterns, and how they interact with each other. We will have better indicators to monitor their health.

•May 2013 Update: The surveillance system was purchased and installed. Currently, two cameras are located inside the barn and three outside. Cameras are equipped with motion detection and night vision.

2. Separation of husbandry space from habitat space

•May 2013 Update: Zones have been designated in the inside space for husbandry (the daily training and animal care space) and habitat space (areas designated for play, enrichment or exploration like sand piles, hanging browse and food or manipulative feeders. An ear door for blood collection and foot links were installed in the husbandry space. Special engineered anchors were installed in the habitat space to suspend feeding devices, manipulative objects and browse.

3. Develop resting, sleeping and climbing places in the outside habitat through the addition of substrates such as sand mounds, rocks or logs.

•May 2013 Update: 102 tons of sand and 27 yards o

When A Wolf Dies
Do individual animals matter?
After four decades on the federal endangered species list, the gray wolves’ population has officially recovered, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. This month, the agency proposed turning over management of the wolves to the states’ wildlife departments—even those states where the canids have yet to show up. The decision is based solely on numbers, and so it misses what is increasingly evident to wildlife biologists and conservationists: the importance of individual animals.

          I learned this firsthand during a visit to Yellowstone National Park last winter, where wolf-watchers pointed out to me through their spotting scopes the forlorn figure of a male wolf known to park biologists as755M. He was curled up tightly on a snowy hillside, and lay so still he looked more like a stone or downed log. Most unlike a wolf, he

Almost 400 rhino poached this year, 257 in Kruger
The number of rhino poached since the beginning of the year has risen to 394, environmental affairs said on Friday.

The total poached up to the end of last month was 367.

Spokesman Albi Modise said the Kruger National Park (KNP) remained the hardest hit, with 257 rhino killed in the park since January 1 this year.

"In North West, 46 rhino have been poached, while 35 have been killed in KwaZulu-Natal, 28 in Limpopo, 25 in Mpumalanga, two in the Eastern Cape, and one in Gauteng."

Modise said three suspected rhino poachers were arrested on Thursday, bringing the number of rhino poaching-related arrests this year to 117.

The three were arrested in the Tshokwane region of the KNP in possession of firearms and axes.

Of the 117 arrested, Modise said 53 were suspected poachers arrested in the park, and five were alleged couriers.

He said Letaba section ranger Andre

Animal rights: No water for animals at Bahawalpur Zoo
The canal water supply for animals at the Bahawalpur Zoo has been stopped for almost two months now, a Zoo official seeking anonymity told The Express Tribune.
There is a severe shortage of water for animals at the zoo, he said. Ponds built for birds and animals, to keep cool in the scorching summer heat, are mostly dry.
There is load shedding for up to 18 hours a day and the zoo gets canal water for only 72 hours per week, said the official. Many birds and animals have gotten ill and could die.
The canal water reaches the zoo through Dring Stadium, he said. However, the stadium’s administration has been directing the water, meant for the zoo, to the stadium grounds, he alleged.
Divisional Sports Officer Muhammad Maqsood said that the canal water supply had been disrupted due to the construction of houses near the canal.
Nadeem Qureshi, appointed curator on May 28, said the canal lining had been damaged due to some construction projects near it.
He said the lining was being repaired and f

Back From The Brink Of Extinction, This Little Warrior Is the Size of Your Thumb
Researchers at the San Diego Zoo may have just successfully bred the dimunitive 'pocket mouse.'
The first critically endangered pocket mouse bred in captivity should be giving birth within the next week at the San Diego Zoo’s Pocket Mouse Breeding Facility.

In an in-field interview this morning, pocket mouse researcher Debra Shier, Ph.D. told TakePart that the mouse, named Female #13, mated with another captured pocket mouse, Male #25, back on May 29. On her blog from that day, Shier wrote:

“I was crossing my fingers anticipating the first interaction. Female #13 came out of her tube first and started sand bathing. Male #25 emerged about a minute later. They approached each other a couple of times and then immediately began following

Aquarium Sculptors Create Coral For Conservation Awareness
Most aquarium visitors are there to see sharks, sea turtles, fish and other marine life. But at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, there's another star attraction: Coral.
The Aquarium's Blacktip Reef exhibit will open later this summer, and give visitors a look at an Indo-Pacific coral reef. But curators can't just carve a chunk out of a wild reef to put in the vast tank, that would destroy the very ecosystem for which they hope to raise conservation awareness. And corals take hundreds of years to develop into a reef, so the aquarium can't grow its own in-house.

Which leaves only one option: Somebody has to make a fake reef, one that is realistic enough to convince visitors and marine life. At the National Aquarium, that task falls to Paul Valiquette, director of Fabrication in the Exhibits and Design Department, and his team of sculptors and scientists working out of a

A Jaws-dropping experience: We take the plunge at the new Sea Life aquarium

Reporter Charlotte Cox goes swimming with sharks (and giant sea turtles, sting rays and tropical fish) at the new Sea Life aquarium at the Trafford Centre
Du-duh. Du-duh. Duduhdududuhduh ...

Stepping into a giant fish tank which is home to black tip and reef sharks, the Jaws theme is bound toloom into your head.

This is SeaTrek, part of the new Sea Life aquarium, based at the Trafford Centre’s Barton Square and the first of its kind in Europe. Filled with 480,000 litres of water and home to 1,092 creatures, John Williams’ signature soundtrack for the Spielberg classic seems fitting – even if you are at a shopping centre.

The experience is unique because you don’t need to know how to dive or travel very far to get to the artificial seabed.

And as you climb down the ladder into an underwater world filled with 35 species from the deep, other film references may well float to mind.

In my case, Deep Blue Sea, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and, incomprehensibly, Jurassic Park.

But, kitted out in dive suits and astronaut


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