Probably the most disturbing thing I read this week was that the owner of Zoobic Safari has offered to take Mali the elephant from Manila Zoo. In fact agreement has already taken place to temporarily house Mali there. As you are aware I am no fan of the Zoo but to send this animal to Zoobic would be a big big mistake. I have not seen any support for the offer as yet but no doubt it is not far away. It will come from that ignorant group of people who for some very odd reason think that 'safari' is better than 'zoo'. It isn't and in this case it most definitely isn't. Mali is better off staying in Manila and the proposed expansion of accommodation and then companions from Sri Lanka the icing on the cake.
Residence Inn Mini Zoo at Tagaytay
I have seen some truly awful collections and Zoobic Safari is one of these. So too is its sister collection at Tagaytay. Zoobic was described by one of my close zoo friends as the worst zoo she had ever visited.
I make no apologies but I know next to nothing about football and even less than that about American Football. I do know that the stars of the game do have a strong influence on their fans. It is therefore extremely sad that some star by the name of Darnell Dockett should have decided to buy himself a pet tiger. Apart from the stupidity of obtaining such an animal as a 'pet' it is probably more disturbing that some corrupt commercial half wit should sell him one (any ideas who?). You can almost guarantee that some of Darnell's fans are going to buy their own. It isn't cool Darnell. Do the animal a favour and hand it over to someone who can properly care for it. Have it neutered and support it till the end of its days.
Why is it that I have a strong gut feel that the idea of the Pinkanakorn Development Agency taking over the Chiang Mai Zoo is a very bad idea? My gut is rarely wrong in these matters. Just who are these people? I have tried to find out more but so far not come up with anything. When it comes to zoos and wildlife in Thailand there is a lot of corrupt members of an old boys club of which influential politicians are co members. It is commercial greed rather than animal welfare which is important to them. Not that there aren't good people on the zoo scene....there are, and some excellent people too....but hands are so often tied....money talks louder than caring.
Has Chris Draper from the Born Free Foundation any idea of what the good modern zoo is about?
Does he think statements like "It is very likely that the tigers born at Chester Zoo will spend
the rest of their lives in a zoo. I think it is extremely unlikely that they will ever be re-introduced into the wild," are a shock to us? We know that, we all know that. Why....because the wild is in a mess. Okay these tigers will not go back to the wild but their great grand cubs may. And the zoo more than anybody (good zoos) know about genetic diversity. We really care about it. In fact bringing in a few more tigers from the wild could ensure we strengthen it....but I am sure the Born Free Foundation would moan big time if that was suggested.
Returning once again to the 2-headed turtle in San Antonio Zoo. I mentioned a week or two ago that I believed the best move would be to euthanase the unfortunate little creature. Several people disagreed with me. My opinion has not changed. In fact it has strengthened now that the creature(s) has its own Facebook page with the two heads having conversations with each other. This, to me, is 'laughing at monkeys'...make fun of the little freak, and I really dislike that. It is wrong. Freaks have no place in the modern zoo. They are in the same category as Tigons, Ligers, White Tigers and their ilk. Why not start a freak zoo? I have seen two headed turtles in other collections....Dysfunctional Zoos I might add. I have included a link to a bunch of other sad little two headed animals.
Delighted to see that Pakistan is thinking of starting up a national zoo association to improve animal welfare. Lets hope they do and that minimum standards set and become compulsary throughout Pakistan. An association is not worth its salt unless it can demand its members to adhere to the rules.
I reckon just about everyone knows how much I am against The Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi Thailand.
Take a look at the video you will see further down the links and form your own point of view.
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Indonesia, India fingered as biggest shark catchers
Indonesia and India on Tuesday were named as the world's biggest catchers of sharks in an EU-backed probe into implementing a new pact to protect seven threatened species of sharks and rays.
Indonesia and India account for more than a fifth of global shark catches, according to the
wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.
They head the list of 20 countries that together account for nearly 80 percent of total shark catch reported between 2002 and 2011.
The others, in descending order, are Spain, Taiwan, Argentina, Mexico, the United States, Malaysia, Pakistan, Brazil, Japan, France, New Zealand, Thailand, Portugal, Nigeria, Iran, Sri Lanka, South Korea and Yemen.
COULD THE DETROIT ZOO GIRAFFE BE SOLD FOR $80,000?
The shock following the city of Detroit's bankruptcy announcement has settled, and now many are wondering what's the next step for the troubled metropolis. According to the Detroit Free Press, the city is contemplating selling some of their assets, including a female giraffe named Chardo from the Detroit Zoo.
The 'I' of the Tiger
World Tiger Day proudly sits on Monday 29 July, a day to raise awareness of the plight of the tiger - in fact, 3,200 tigers, which is the grand total of those remaining in the wild. (An often stated fact is that there are more tigers in captivity in the USA than there are in the wild globally). But, what does World Tiger Day mean and how can it really help save the Tigers? And what is the 'I' of the Tiger?
Okay: which of these words should describe World Tiger Day: useful, pointless, or neutral? Who knows?
Certainly WTD can't hurt, but preaching to the converted is not the way. We need to reduce consumer demand for tiger 'parts', increase enforcement systems to protect them in the wild, manage habitats to avoid 'human-wildlife conflict', and just stop being so damn 'human' in our approach. Not everything has to have a price or has to come second to our needs. So, for World Tiger Day, let's quickly debunk some myths:
Fact: Drinking tiger wine does not make you more virulent. It makes you barbaric and senseless.
Fact: Having a tiger skin rug or trophy on your wall does not make you look or feel rich. It makes you look arrogant, ill-informed and uneducated.
Fact: Going to an attraction like Tiger Temple for a Facebook photo isn't a rite of passage, and any tiger that needs to be chained for ho
SeaWorld Trainer on Recent Controversy
Dolphin leaps outside its enclosure at SeaWorld
Video has surfaced of a dolphin stranded on concrete after jumping from its enclosure at a SeaWorld in Texas.
The video, posted on YouTube by animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
(PETA), shows the bloodied animal floundering on the ground just outside its tank at the San Antonio SeaWorld.
PETA says overnight guests at the water park on a tour before the park opens were feeding the animals when the dolphin stranded itself.
Eyewitnesses told PETA two dolphins were performing tricks for the guests when they crashed into each other and one landed outside the enclosure.
Guests were ushered away f
SeaWorld fights OSHA citations
Company hires attorney son of Supreme Court Justice
Calling themselves "the world leader" in the care of marine mammals, SeaWorld attorneys have filed a brief with an appeals court, hoping to get their animal trainers back in the water with the park's famous killer whales.
To prepare for the challenging legal battle, the company recently hired Washington D.C. attorney Eugene Scalia, a former Department of Labor solicitor who happens to be the son of Surpreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
After trainer Dawn Brancheau was drowned by a killer whale in 2010, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration issued safety citations against SeaWorld. Last year, an administrative law judge upheld OSHA's recommendation that trainers remain behind physical barriers or a safe distance away from the water when interacting with killer whales during
Mali going to Zoobic
Mali the elephant is finally leaving the Manila Zoo, but only temporarily, and not for a sanctuary in Thailand.
The elephant will stay in a park in Subic once the renovation of the Manila Zoo starts. Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada yesterday said he agreed to the request of Zoomanity Group (ZG) to allow the company to take care of Mali at least temporarily.
“It would be temporary because we will be constructing a world class Manila Zoo. While it’s being constructed we might give (Mali) to Subic... We will not let go of Mali,” he said.
ZG of the Yupangco Group of companies operates several farms and zoos including Zoocobia Fun Zoo at Clark Freeport, Zoobic Safari in Subic and the Paradizoo Theme Park in Cavite.
In a letter to Estrada, ZG said it could provide better care for t
2-headed turtle at Texas zoo gets Facebook page
The Facebook page on Sunday showed photos of the quirky reptile and imaginary conversations between the two heads
A two-headed turtle born last month at the San Antonio Zoo has become so popular that she has her own Facebook page.
Zoo officials say the Texas cooter, named Thelma and Louise for the female duo in the 1991 Oscar -winning movie, has been doing well.
Spokeswoman Debbie Rios-Vanskike (van SKYKE') says the turtle eats and swims, and added that the two heads — named Louise Left and Thelma Right — get along.
The Facebook page on Sunday showed photos of the quirky reptile and imaginary conversations between the two heads.
The turtle hatched June 18. The animal is o
Photos: Two-headed animals
Wildlife conservation: Formation of National Zoo Association advocated
The establishment of a national zoo association is crucial in order to improve animal welfare, their gene pool and conservation, World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan Biodiversity Director Uzma Khan said on Tuesday.
She was speaking at a workshop to highlight the importance of an organisation to enhance partnership among the zoos in the country.
“This workshop is a critical step towards the formation of a national zoo association,” she said, “Our zoos could then be represented at the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).”
The workshop was attended by officials from the Lahore Zoo, Lahore Zoo Safari, Karachi Zoo and the Lamar Wildlife Park (in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa). Several climate change and WWF officials attended the workshop as well.
The participants agreed that the association could play a significant role towards improving coordination between zoos and provide them opportunities to share expertise and adopt best management practices. The association could also monitor the setting up of zoos, their administration and the quality of care and safety of captive wild animals in the country.
Former WWF director general Abdul Azeem Chaudhry said, “It will be hard to formulate legislation regarding zoos at the federal level especially after the 18th Constitutional amendment.” He said that consultative workshops for veterinary doctors should be organised under the aegis of the National Zoo Association. Diagnostic labs could also be established at the bigger zoos.
WWF Senior Programme Director Ghulam Akbar said that management of zoos should be taught in universities as a separate subject. He said the formation of a national association could ensure conservation of wild animals.
WAZA Council Member Sally Walker shared her insights with zoo officials and workshop participants. She said that she hoped that the formation of a national zoo association would be possible in the near future.
WWF Senior Director Ejaz Ahmad thanked the zoo representatives for attending the workshop. He said that he hoped that such
More Room To Roam
A few of the biggest local celebrities are getting a new home as the Oregon Zoo elephant enclosure is set for expansion.
The zoo is in the midst of its most significant construction project since it opened at its current location in 1959. Projects scheduled over the coming years aim to upgrade outdated facilities and improve the zoo experience for visitors.
One project at the heart of the construction effort is the 6.25-acre Elephant Lands. Construction on the $53 million project started in early June and is scheduled to be completed by 2015.
“It was state of the art at the time, but we’ve learned so much since then,” said Hova Najarian, media and public relations officer.
While the Elephant Lands project is one of the largest changes in store, a series of additional improvements, using sustainable practices, are scheduled in the coming years. The projects are paid for by a $125 million bond measure passed by Portland Metro-area voters in 2008.
With an area more than four times the size of the current facility, Elephant Lands is expected to provide the
Mammoth mission to secure friends for lonely elephant
A mission to provide friends for a lonely elephant at Auckland Zoo has struck a hitch because of strict quarantine rules.
The zoo wants to import a pair of orphaned pachyderms as company for Burma, who has been on her own since the death of long-term partner Kashin four years ago.
"We are really keen for her to have a family at Auckland Zoo, this is her home, this is where she is most comfortable," said Kevin Buley, from Auckland Zoo.
How Old Is That Lion? A Guide to Aging Animals
Animals may not have birth certificates, but they do display telltale signs of aging.
It seems like every year, the world discovers a newest oldest animal.
Almost a decade ago, it was Ming, the 405-year-old clam. Then there was Jonathan, a giant tortoise who was touted as the world's oldest living creature—until questions later emerged about his identity. There are accounts of 150-year-old whales and 115-year-old reptiles. They make Lonesome George—the famous Galápagos tortoise who died last year at 100—seem relatively young in comparison.
Determining the ages of these particular animals was not overly difficult. Like all clams, Ming grew tree-like rings for every year it was alive. Jonathan and George—the tortoises—were well documented, having appeared in diaries and photographs over the years. The bowhead whale—called the longest-living mammal on Earth—was found with a century-old harpoon pin lodged inside of it.
But determining the age of other animals—particularly those born in the wild—is not such an easy task. Zoologists can take x-rays to look for growth markers in the skeletal structure. And they can easily find out how old an animal is after death, by examining certain biological markers on an autopsy.
Without x-rays or tissue samples, however, determining the age of an animal becomes a lot more difficult. Zoologists must rely on visual cues, with a little bit of guesswork thrown in. Below, a guide to what they look for in various species to determine age.
Orangutans Get Wrinkles Too
A lot of primate aging has to do with teeth, says Meredith Bastian, curator of primates and small mammals at the Philadelphia Zoo.
"If I look at teeth, I have a pretty accurate idea of how old an animal is," she says.Specifically, Bastian is looking at a primate's molars. Worn-down molars may indicate that a primate is older—or it may i
New rules for zoo animals
The Environmental Protection Authority has set new rules for keeping animals in zoos.
The change will mean a standard set of rules will apply to all animals approved for containment in zoos, where in the past there were different rules for different species and different situations.
The new rules are outcome based, which means the focus is on making sure zoos contain their animals properly, rather than providing prescriptive rules about how they contain them. They include requirements for facilities to have written documentation to show they are complying.
They will have to prove their management practices and finances are robust enough to care for their animals in the long term.
Every facility will have to document staff training, and ensure they have the right level containment for their animals.
The new controls have been set by the EPA's Hazardous Substances and New Organisms committee, following an application from the Zoo a