Friday, July 26, 2013

Zoo News Digest 21st - 26th July 2013 (ZooNews 868)

Zoo News Digest 21st - 26th July 2013 (ZooNews 868)

Dear Colleagues,

Don't forget International Tiger Day on the 29th July. Just a couple of days away now.

I don't like to especially pick on 'experts' especially when they believe they are making the right suggestion to improve a fairly serious situation but it has to be said. Problems in a zoo are not solved by adding more people to the top of the pile but by training and adding more to the lower rungs of the ladder. I have said it all in ZooKeepers so please 'Expert committee moots for added man power in capital zoo' give this some thought.

I had never heard of the 'Swamp Brothers' till I saw the link below and so did a bit of video viewing. They want to open a zoo!! There is absolutely no way that I would allow it. I do hope that the authorities do not allow it. They are foolish if they do.

But then there are a lot of foolish organisations around and these include Discovery Channel 'Animal Planet' who really don't give a damn about anything other than money. If they did then they would do a bit of research, a little investigation. If 'Swamp Brothers' does not make my point then take a look at 'Gator Boys'.

A more familiar face to these wonderful educational programmes produced by the Discovery Channel is Craig Busch. They are promoting their 'The Lion Man: One World African Safari' with this blurb "He also creates a haven for rare, endangered cats such as white Bengal Tigers, Barbary Lions and White Lions at a reserve near Johannesburg. Craig a". What utter rubbish. I had half hoped that Craig may have actually learnt something over the past couple of years and come to his senses, but no, same lies being promoted to an all too gullible TV audience.

Right now Baghdad zoo is joyous over their "Bengali white tiger considered to be one of 200 Bengali tigers living in reserves and zoos around the world". Why joyous? Because they believe all the crap being spouted out by these lying documentaries.

Are all documentaries lies? Of course not and I am waiting to see 'Blackfish' myself before I form an opinion. I 'worked' with one Killer Whale in the past and was very nearly....that should be very very very nearly killed by him. This has not dampened my affection for him or killer whales in general, quite the opposite. But the Blackfish saga continues and I include further links below. I imagine that Seaworld attendance has actually risen since the documentary blurb started in the press. Such are our public.

Actually a fairly quiet week for real news and so the triplet white hedgehogs born in Moscow and the Zonkey born in Italy are getting a lot of press coverage....don't worry I have not included either story.

Earlier in the week I posted a photo on the Zoo News Digest Facebook Page of a number of white tigers on chains being led by scantily dressed 'models'. My comments were "So wrong in so many ways". Most people agreed with me which is fair enough. I never expect everybody to share my opinions. What did surprise me was that some people could see no wrong at all and some even spouted vulgar, and I should add, very uninformed comments. Sad really.

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Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research

Vol 1, No 1 (2013)

Intriguing Habitats, and Careful Discussions of Climate Change
Sitting on an artificial mangrove island in the middle of the ray and shark “touch tank,” Lindsay Jordan, a staff member at the New England Aquarium, explained the rays’ eating habits as children and their parents trailed fingers through the water. “Does anyone know how we touch these animals when we are not at the aquarium?” she asked.
The children’s faces turned up expectantly.
“The ocean absorbs one-third of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions,” Ms. Jordan said, explaining that it upsets the food chain. “When you turn on your car, it affects them.”
Downstairs, next to the jellyfish tanks, a rhyming video told how the jellyfish population was exploding in the wild because they thrive in warmer waters. In the main room, a staff member pointed to a rare blue lobster, saying that some lobsters have been scuttling out of Massachusetts and settling in cooler climes to the north.
With many zoos and aquariums now working with conservation organizations and financed by individuals who feel strongly about threatened habitats and species, managers have been wrestling with how aggressive to be in educating visitors on the perils of climate change.
Surveys show that American zoos and aquariums enjoy a high level of public trust and are ideally positioned to teach.
Yet many managers are fearful of alienating visitors — and denting ticket sales — with tours or wall labels that dwell bleakly on damaged coral reefs, melting ice caps or dying trees.
“You don’t want them walking away saying, ‘I paid to get in, I bought my kid a hot dog, I just want to show my kid a fish — and you are making me feel bad about climate change,’ ” said Paul Boyle, the senior vice president for conservation and education at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Some zoos and aquariums have therefore held back, relegating the theme to, say, a sign about Arctic melting in the polar bear exhibit. But many have headed in the other direction, putting climate change front and center in a way that they hope will inspire a young generation of zoogoers.
Working with cognitive scientists and experts in linguistics and anthropology, a coalition of aquariums set out in 2008 to develop a patter that would intrigue rather than daunt or depress the average visitor. After the group was pleased with the script, it secured a grant of about $1 million last year from the National Science Foundation to train staffs across the nation. This month, the foundation awarded the group an additional $5.5 million for a five-year education effort.
Dr. Boyle said that most of the association’s 224 members now have some sort of climate message.The form varies from subtle to pointed. The zoos in Cincinnati and Toledo, Ohio, for instance, have installed prominent solar arrays over their parking lots to power exhibits and set an example. The San Diego Zoo and the Brookfield Zoo near Chicago have made their exhibits of polar bears and other Arctic species more direct about the threats posed by global warming.
So far the feedback has largely been positive, officials at most zoos say.Ariella Camera, a counselor with a summer program run by Boston Rising, an antipoverty group, said some of her charges recently took part in a game at the New England Aquarium that taught them what emits carbon dioxide (many factories, most cars) and what absorbs it (trees and the ocean). They were then challenged to balance the two.
Afterward the students struck up a lively conversation about their carbon footprints, Ms. Camera said. “It was a very engaging presentation,” she said.
Such anecdotes gratify Howard Ris, the aquarium’s president. “We would like as many people, if not everyone, to leave encouraged to take action,” he said.
Others are dubious that it will work. “Zoos have been making claims about their educational value for 150 years,” said Jeffrey Hyson, a cultural historian and the director of the American studies program at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. The zoos “say a lot more about what they think they are doing than they can really demonstrate.”
Zoo managers acknowledge that they initially struggled with the challenge of delivering bad news.
In the 1980s and ’90s, Dr. Boyle noted, some zoos and aquariums made a big push to emphasize threats like the depletion of the earth’s ozone layer, the razing of rain forests by loggers and farmers and the overfishing of the Pacific. Electronic boards toted up the numbers of acres being cleared, and enlarged photographs depicted denuded landscapes.
Surveys of visitors showed a backlash. “For lots of reasons, the institutions tended to approach the issues by talking about the huge scale of the problems,” Dr. Boyle said. “They wanted to attract people’s attention, but what we saw happening over time was that everyday people were overwhelmed.” It did not help that a partisan split had opened in the United States over whether global warming was under way, and whether human activity was the leading cause.
At the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Brian Davis, the vice president for education and training, says to this day his institution ensures its guests will not hear the term global warming. 
Visitors are “very conservative,” he said. “When they hear certain terms, our guests shut down. We’ve seen it happen.”
Such hesitancy inspired the group of leading aquariums to develop, test and refine their model, which comes off as casual and chatty.
Word choices matter, research showed. The FrameWorks Institute, a nonprofit organization that studies how people process abstract concepts, found the phrase “greenhouse gas effect” perplexed people. “They think it is a nice place for plants to grow,” said FrameWorks’ president, Susan Bales. So her group advised substituting “heat-trapping blanket” to describe the accumulation of gases in the atmosphere.
Today’s guides also make a point of encouraging groups to focus first on the animals, leaving any unpleasant message for later.
At the New England Aquarium’s giant reef tank, visitors peered over the side and watched sand tiger sharks, sea turtles and tropical fish swim around a giant coral reef. As a diver entered the tank to feed the fish, a guide explained that the smaller ones tend to hide in coral for safety.
A few minutes passed before she told the crowd that corals around the world are bleaching and dying because of a pronounced rise in oce

Baby rhino born in Alabama zoo makes history
Alabama's Montgomery Zoo recently welcomed the first rhinoceros produced through artificial insemination to be born and thrive in a U.S. zoo. Arriving on June 5, the Indian rhino calf weighed in at 90 pounds. He has already gained more than 12 pounds.
According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Dr. Monica Stoops, a reproductive physiologist from the Cincinnati Zoo's Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife, started the insemination process in February 2012. She's been working on artificial insemination in rhinos since 2004, and her previous two attempts failed. This time, she had success with a 12-year-old rhino named Jeta.
The father is a Montgomery Zoo rhino named Himal, whose sperm was collected in 2004 and stored at the Cincinnati Zoo's CryoBioBank. Even though both were living at the Montgomery Zoo, they were deemed too aggressive to mate naturally -- a common issue among rhinos.
The baby rhino is named "Ethan" in honor of Ethan Gilman, the Alabama kindergartner who was kidnapped from his school bus and held hostage for nearly a week in January.
Montgomery Zoo experts estimate that there are 60 Indian rhinos in captivity in North America and about 2,500 left in

Bristol Wild Place Project aims to boosts conservation
A wildlife park with animals from Madagascar, east Africa and the Congo has opened on the outskirts of Bristol.
The Wild Place Project is the first stage in the creation of a much bigger wildlife conservation park.
It is part of the Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society, which also includes the city's zoo.
Visitors will see much larger animals than those which can be housed at the small city zoo.When the park is finished it will also be home to S

Mali to stay in Manila Zoo, says vet
Mali is not going anywhere. She is here to stay.
As Manila Zoo marked its 54th anniversary Thursday, Mayor Joseph Estrada reiterated his earlier pronouncements that he would not allow its most popular resident to be transferred to an elephant sanctuary, a move that, according to a veterinarian, made the “old lady” happy.
The sentiment was reflected in the streamers, placards and letters that were displayed around the zoo as well of expressions of gratitude to Estrada for his decision to keep Mali and plans to upgrade the zoo’s facilities.
“I want to boost tourism in our city so I will not let Mali leave the place she grew up in,” 
Estrada said in a speech read by Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.
“Nothing can match the smiles and joy brought to us by animals like a lion, tiger, giraffe, deer and Mali, the famous elephant,” he said.
He added that Mali needed friends, saying: “We will give her companions so that she will not be sad.”
Estrada earlier announced that he was in talks with investors from Singapore who were planning to infuse about P2 billion to modernize Manila Zoo. He said that he had also requested the Sri Lankan government to give the zoo two more elephants once the renovation was completed.
The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and celebrities like Paul McCartney and Morrissey, have urged the Philippine government to transfer Mali to an elephant sanctuary in Thailand, saying she was sick and lonely.
Other animal activists, however, were not in favor of the PETA proposal. According to Ken Chua, a veterinarian with the Animal Welfare Coalition, the life span of an elephant in captivity is 42 years and at 39

Sumatran Rhino Harapan Returns - Cincinnati Zoo

Sumatran Rhino Returns
“Harapan,” a six-year-old male Sumatran rhino born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2007 and later moved to the White Oak Conservation Center in Florida and then on to the Los Angeles Zoo, returned home in July in an effort to help save his rapidly disappearing species from extinction.   With no more than 100 Sumatran rhinos left on the planet and only two on this continent (Harapan and his sister, nine-year-old “Suci”), this move demonstrates just how desperate the effort to save this species has become.
Harapan is one of three Sumatran rhinos successfully born at the Cincinnati Zoo since 2001.  Scientists at the Zoo’s Lindner Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) are hoping they can work their magic once again with Harapan and Suci. Although the tenet at CREW is to maximize genetic diversity and avoid inbreeding, in this case scientists are forced to make an exception or watch the species disappear altogether.
       “No one wants to breed siblings, it is something we strive to avoid, but when a species drops below 100 individuals, producing more offspring as quickly as possible trumps concerns about genetic diversity.” said Dr. Terri Roth, Vice President of Conservation and Science and Director of CREW at the Cincinnati Zoo. “We are down to the last male and female Sumatran rhino on the continent, and I am not willing to sit idle and watch the last of a species go extinct.”
In April 2013, a Sumatran Rhino Crisis Summit was held in Singapore with over 100 participants from across the globe.  At that conference, the most recent extremely low population estimate for this species was revealed and the news that there are approximately 100 individual animals remaining in the world was a devastating blow to an audience that has spent much of their professional career working to save the charismatic species.  The wild Sumatran rhino population has decreased by >50% in the past decade and participants realized there were now more summit participants than there are Sumatran rhinos. 
"What does it say about humanity and what will we save if we cannot find a way to share the earth with such an ancient, peaceful, non-threatening species like the Sumatran rhino," said Roth. “The Sumatran rhino is a forest dwelling species and therefore also plays an integral role in maintaining the forest ecosystem.  As a browser, it eats small saplings and brush allowing other young trees more room to grow and maintain the forest canopy.  It acts as a seed disperser that stimulates new growth in cleared areas and helps maintain the diversity of indigenous species throughout the forest.  Together, these activities all help in maintaining a healthy forest which we know plays a significant role in absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere and reducing the impact of climate change.  So, if for no other reason, this is why the Midwestern American farmer who is tired of droughts and tornadoes and who is worried about how next year's crops will do and how the bills will get paid, should care about saving the Sumatran rhino.”In addition to their direct effort to produce more Sumatran rhino calves in captivity, the Cincinnati and Los Angeles Zoos are partnering with many international conservation organizations including the International Rhino Foundation, the Indonesian Rhino Foundation, SOS Rhino and World Wildlife Fund to help protect remaining wild populations.  The Sumatran rhino is recognized as one of, if not the most endangered large mammal on the planet, and due to the recent surge in illegal poaching, encroachment which is causing population fragmentation, roads being built through habitats, and deforestation due to the palm oil industry, humans are decimating them (and many other species, including tigers and orangutans) faster than scientists and conservationists can make incremental progress towards saving them. 
Currently, there is resistance at the government level in Indonesia to both capturing additional rhinos that are so desperately needed to enhance the gene pool and exchanging rhinos for breeding so that inbreeding can be avoided.  Furthermore, the permit process put in place to protect endangered species can be slow and cumbersome, often stalling out efforts among global partners to exchange gametes for assisted reproduction attempts.  Finally, even though most conservationists now agree that captive breeding must be a part of the Sumatran rhino recovery effort, financial support for the program is exceedingly difficult to obtain.  Most US federal dollars for conservation are restricted and will not even be considered for captive breeding efforts.  That being said, the cost of maintaining Sumatran rhinos is significant because their diet is complex, much like that of the giant panda’s, but donors flock to the popular giant panda and remain relatively unaware of this unique rhino’s critical situation.
  “The captive breeding program in the US has been the most significant contributor to the survival of the Sumatran rhino in recent years and in particular the progress that the Cincinnati Zoo has made in determining the reproductive strategy of this species,” says Jeff Holland, Mammal Curator, at the Los Angeles Zoo.   “Without the work of the Cincinnati Zoo we would not have had the success that we have seen. This is one reason why it is vitally important to maintain a captive population of Sumatran rhinos in the US and secondly to avoid having all the rhinos in one place where they are at risk of disease, poaching and/or natural disaster that could potentially wipe out the entire captive population in a single stroke. The idea of two captive populations lessens the risk of something like this happening.”
Recently, the NGO SOS Rhino reached out to U.S. politicians in Washington D.C. In response, Senator Sherrod Brown, Senator Rob Portman and Congressman Steve Chabot contacted key officials in Indonesia and the United States, including the Indonesian Ambassador to the United States and Secretary of State John Kerry.  Congressman Chabot, as Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, also sent a letter to the Indonesian President that was signed by most of the other Subcommittee members.  All of the global partners are now requesting that national government officials step up. 
“There needs to be serious and immediate action that addresses excessive deforestation and poaching that is wiping out so many species in Southeast Asia, especially rhinos and tigers,” said Dr. Roth.  “First and foremost, we have to secure the few surviving wild populations.  
However, the captive breeding program could also benefit if governments acknowledge the crisis and act accordingly.”
After years of research, CREW scientists at the Cincinnati Zoo unraveled the mysteries of Sumatran rhino reproduction and produced the first captive bred calf in 112 years on September 13, 2001.  After that historic birth of the male calf “Andalas”, CREW scientists quickly repeated their success twice more, producing the female calf “Suci” and the male calf “Harapan” before the breeding pair passed away.  For 11 years, the Cincinnati Zoo held the distinction as the only place successfully breeding this endangered species until the summer of 2012 when the Cincinnati and Los Angeles Zoo’s Indonesian partner, the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park, Indonesia, produced its first calf.  The calf was sired by Andalas, who had been sent by the Los Angeles Zoo and International Rhino Foundation (IRF) to Sumatra in 2007. Cincinnati Zoo staff members have been working with the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary staff for over a decade exchanging information and transferring the technology developed at the zoo that proved key to the successful breeding effort.    The birth of Andalas’ first calf was a monumental global achievement resulting from collaboration among the Cincinnati Zoo, Los Angeles Zoo, IRF and the Indonesian Rhino Foundation, wherein all parties acted in the best interest of the species. 
“There is no way the Cincinnati and Los Angeles Zoos can save this species alone, but we can (and already have) contribute significantly and tangibly to the global effort,” says Dr. Roth.  “It is critical that in-country programs succeed, which is why we support them financially, donate our services and send them rhinos produced at our zoos when it is essential to their success. But in return, the U.S. captive breeding program needs new genetic diversity to ensure it continues to flourish, before it’s too late.”

Did a killer whale doc just kill an industry?
Seaworld might be about to take a giant hit.
Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s documentary Blackfish is a clear successor to 2009’s The Cove: a documentary that, through condemnation of Japanese dolphin hunting, lodged within the public consciousness a deep unease at the relationship between people and cetaceans.
The film, which premiered at the Sundance festival in April and is on general UK release from 25th July, tells the story of 12,000lb bull orca Tilikum, who has lived in captivity for 30 years.  In this time he has been linked with the murky deaths of 3 people, most recently SeaWorld Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010.
The film’s clear message is that a lifetime of boredom, claustrophobia and bullying from other whales conspired to build an abyssal psychosis in this highly emotional – and frighteningly alien – creature.
The film lays a solid case against SeaWorld, accusing the group (which is a heavyweight opponent indeed at a market cap of €3.5bn) of covering up facts surrounding the deaths and propagating misinformation among visitors about the welfare of whales in captivity.
SeaWorld itself is conspicuous by its absence in the film; while a small army of former trainers assemble on camera to express their shame and regret over their part in Tilikum’s story, SeaWorld repeatedly refused to be interviewed or issue a statement to Cowperthwaite.
Only now, in the wake of unexpectedly intense media buzz surrounding Blackfish, has the group released a limp press release stating:
"To promote its bias that killer whales should not be maintained in a zoological setting, the film paints a distorted picture that withholds from viewers key facts about SeaWorld – among them, that SeaWorld is one of the world's most respected zoological institutions, that SeaWorld rescues, rehabilitates and returns to the wild hundreds of wild animals every year, and that SeaWorld commits millions of dollars annually to conservation and scientific research."
Note the unquantifiable boast of being one of the “most respected” institutions around, and the casual mention of “millions” of dollars funnelled into research and conservation.  
For anyone who has sat through Blackfish’s harrowing cuts between footage of whales in extreme distress and squeaky clean SeaWorld adverts, this glib defence of the company’s public image rings hollow indeed.
Of course it’s one thing for the movie to stir up the emotions of reviewers, and another entirely for it to make a quantifiable impact on SeaWorld policy. Certainly, it’s being given a huge bite at the cherry: press surrounding Blackfish has already been way in advance of what one would expect from a documentary, and reviewers are showering it with near-perfect scores (it’s currently scoring 97 per cent on with 38 reviews).
Whether the American public could care less still remains to be seen, but they are going to be as aware of the problem as one filmmaker could hope to make them.
And if they do change their minds and start boycotting SeaWorld, what’s at stake? On paper, the
future prospects for the 45 killer whales currently being held in captivity around the world (not all of them by SeaWorld parks).
But beyond that, a vast sea change in the marine park industry.
Zoos housing terrestrial animals have undergone huge changes in recent decades – in the UK at least, a zoo can expect public outcry over any perceived cramping and lack of stimulation in enclosure design, and the Zoo’s public image has become characterised by piety; it exists for conservation and as a place for people to view animals on the animals’ own terms.
The thought of the chimp’s tea party is absurd in the 21st centur


Wolf howl identification technology excites experts
Earlier this year debating experts showed enthusiasm for the idea of re-introducing bears in Scotland at an event in Lochinver in Sutherland. Wolves, bears and lynx once roamed the UK as top predators, and the concept of "rewilding" the countryside with these carnivores has been much-discussed in recent years.
In May, the Telegraph reported a group of experts wanted to apply for a licence to reintroduce lynx into an area of forest in west Scotland.
Sea eagles and beavers have already been reintroduced in the UK but such programmes are complex and met with controversy.
For some people bringing back large predators should be the obvious next step, but others argue we no longer have suitable habitat for these large carnivores and that wolves and bears would kill precious livestock.
BBC Nature asked a panel of specialists: "Would you have

Zoo to breed wild dogs in captivity
The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP), or Vizag Zoo will soon have the country’s exclusive wild dog breeding centre. It will help conserve a special breed of the fast dwindling population of wild dogs known as Dholes besides propagating them for various international animal exchange programmes, according to officials.
In fact, Vizag Zoo or IGZP is India’s only zoo that’s been successful in breeding of wild dogs for the fourth time. It had been selected by the Central Zoo Authority for conservation of endangered wild dogs.
While the IGZP will have a breeding centre for wild dogs the CZA has chosen Vandalur Zoological Park in Chennai, Tamil Nadu as the associate zoo.
According to IGZP curator G Ramalingam, wild dog population has witnessed massive increase within the protected area from just two to 19. Out of these, seven are female wild dogs, five adult males, four male and three female puppies.
Director of Zoological Parks in Andhra Pradesh, P. Mallikarjuna Rao also confirmed that Vizag zoo has witnessed a substantial increase in wild dog population. Dholes, according to him, are in demand in most of the zoos in Asia owing to the animal’s excellent eyesight and hearing capacity.
The dholes have been classified as the endangered wild dog species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature owing to their habitat loss, depletion of its prey base, according to Rao. 
“If this experiments turn out success the IGZP will be more popular in the country as far as captive breeding of wild dogs and their conservation is concerned”, he added.
According to Vizag zoo veterinary surgeon V Srinivas, wild do

Marghazar Zoo: ‘Shut it down if you can’t fix it’
When entering the capital city, huge billboards stating “Islamabad the Beautiful” are justified by clean roads and trimmed grass on the green belts. But even things of beauty have some imperfections, and for Islamabad, the glaring imperfection is Marghazar Zoo.
When compared to the rest of the large parks in the capital, the zoo seems to be the shabbiest. 
As one enters the quiet zoo, most animals seem to be hiding in shaded corners and are irresponsive to visitors. Despite the presence of garbage cans placed at regular intervals across the zoo; most of the enclosures are surrounded with filth and wrappers.
Zoo Director Irfan Niazi told The Express Tribune that there are currently 30 gardeners, 17 attendants and 12 sweepers employed. However, there has never been a budget specially allocated for the maintenance of the zoo. It is covered in the pay and allowance for these employees.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, CDA Environment Member Ahsan Ali Mangi said maintaining a zoo is a very expensive enterprise and governments all over the world find different means to generate money to ru

The US should learn from India and stop using dolphins as entertainment
In March 1998, four dolphins made their way from a park in Bulgaria to Dolphin City, an amusement park on ECR Road, 45 km off Chennai. By September the same year, all four of them were dead.
Losing no hope, in mid-2000, the Rs 13 crore dolphinarium petitioned the Ministry of Environment and Forests seeking permission to import dolphins again as a source of entertainment, reasoning that it had improved veterinary conditions at the park. But sustained protests by animals rights groups ensured that the government said no.
In recent years, the MoEF has received proposals from government organisations as well as businesses to set up dolphin parks in cities such as Mumbai, Cochin and

Cincinnati zoo seek to mate rare Sumatran rhino with her brother
Scientists say inbreeding carries risks but is necessary in effort to save species down to 100 in the wild
With the survival of a species on the line, scientists at Cincinnati zoo are hoping to mate their lone female Sumatran rhino with her little brother.
The desperate effort follows a meeting in Singapore among conservationists that concluded there might be as few as 100 of the two-horned, hairy rhinos remaining in their native south-east Asia.
Species numbers have dropped sharply as development takes away habitat and poachers hunt them for their prized horns.
The Cincinnati zoo has been a pioneer in captive breeding of the rhino species. It recently brought the male back to his birthplace from the Los Angeles zoo and soon will try to have him mate with its lone female.
Scientist Terri Roth said inbreeding carried ris

Horrifying moment small boy on trip to Indian zoo is attacked and seriously hurt by furious monkey
The boy was assaulted by a macaque at a zoo in Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh
His father and a zookeeper fought to tear monkey off the child's back
An irate monkey attacked a small boy during a trip to a zoo while the child's father and a 
zookeeper fought to prise them apart.
The boy - named locally as Raghav - was seriously hurt at an animal centre in Ratlam, Madhya 
Pradesh, India.
Pictures taken by a bystander show the child pinned to the floor by the primat

Massasauga rattlesnake bites Toronto Zoo worker
An employee at the Toronto Zoo was taken to hospital after she was bitten by a massasauga rattlesnake on Sunday morning.
The 45-year-old woman was in serious, but stable condition when she was transported, a Toronto EMS spokesperson told CBC News.
Amanda Chambers, a zoo spokesperson, sent an email to CBC News saying that the employee was expected to make a full recovery.
Chambers said the zoo’s confidentiality policies prevent it from releasing the name of the employee who was bitten.
The zoo's website says that

Edinburgh Zoo celebrates 100th anniversary
ONE of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions, Edinburgh Zoo, marks its 100th anniversary today with a series of celebration events – and a call from the chief executive for children to be given the chance to reconnect to the natural world.
First opened on 22 July 1913, the zoo has grown to become one of the most successful conservation centres in the world and the arrival of giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang has seen visitor numbers rocket.
Chief executive Chris West said the zoo’s founder, Thomas Gillespie, would have been proud of the recent changes and success.
“Gillespie’s original vision was to foster and develop an interest in and knowledge of animal life, which is not far off from our current aims today,” he said.
“In a world that is increasingly overpopulated with decreasing biodiversity and viable habitats, Edinburgh Zoo’s future is to play a crucial role in raising awareness amongst its visitors about the importance of securing a future for all species, including our own.
“The zoo will also continue to expand its work on groundbreaking conservation projects both within Scotland and on an international level.”
Writing in The Scotsman today, Mr West also said he hoped the zoo could address the growing problem of “nature deficit disorder”, where children living in cities are deprived of the chance to spend time in the wild.
As part of today’s events, a metre-high “100” sign will be placed in Penguins Rock, the new enclosure revamped for the centenary year. There will also be 100 toy pandas hidd

Fingerprints of zoo staff taken in theft case of red sand boas
The police are yet to solve the case of theft of four red sand boas from Chhatbir zoo. After the zoo officials found out the theft on July 18 midnight, a complaint was lodged the next morning.
The investigating officer, along with forensic experts, took fingerprints of all the zoo employees on Sunday morning, after the zoo officials said it appeared to be the handiwork of insiders.
The zoo had six such reptiles, four of which were stolen from a chamber of reptile house. The remaining two are sealed in the reptile house for security reasons.
These non-venomous snakes, often associated with a superstition of bringing luck, were kept in the custody of the zoo after they were seized from smugglers in Jalandhar.
The zoo director, Manish Kumar, said, "The snakes were court's property and were handed over to us by the district forest officers of Jalandhar and Patiala. The theft seems to be the work of a professional. The unbreakable glass in which these snakes were kept was lifted by a vacuum machine. At night, there were six security guards on duty. The locks of chamber were not broken, so the the

Iberian lynx will be extinct within 50 years, biologists warn
Within 50 years, climate change will probably wipe out the world’s most endangered feline, the Iberian lynx, even if the world meets its target for curbing carbon emissions, biologists said on Sunday.
The gloomy forecast, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, says that without a dramatic shift in conservative strategy, the charismatic little wildcat seems doomed.
The lynx — Latin name Lynx pardinus — grows to about a metre (3.25 feet) in length, weighs up to 15 kilos (33 pounds), and is characterised by its spotted beige fur, pale ye

Israel’s gift to Mysore zoo
Ramat Gan Safari Park at Tel Aviv in Israel will gift four zebras to the Mysore zoo.
The Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA), New Delhi, has given approval to procure the zebras from Israel, and the Mysore zoo is planning to seek the approval of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to complete the formalities.
Chief Conservator of Forests and zoo Executive Director B.P. Ravi told The Hindu that the zebra pair that the zoo had was old (the animals are around 23 years) and so the zoo wanted to introduce a new bloodline. “Therefore, we approached the Tel Aviv zoo which agreed to gift two male and two female zebras,” Mr. Ravi said.
The process Once the MoEF issues a no-objection certificate , the Mysore zoo will apply for permit from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade and clearance from the Deputy Director of Wildlife Preservation (Southern region), Chennai, under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
“It may take about two months to complete the formalities. We are pursuing the matter with the respective authorities,” a source said.
Meanwhile, the zoo has sought approval under CITES from the Deputy Director of Wildlife Preservation, Chennai, to bring in two male and on

Daroji bear sanctuary to make way for safari park
One more tract of forest land will be sacrificed to thoughtless planning. The decision to develop a zoo-cum-safari park within the buffer zone of the Daroji Bear Sanctuary in Bellary district has shocked naturalists. 
The project is the brainchild of the jailed former tourism minister Janardhan Reddy. The Atal Bihari Vajpayee Zoo-cum-Safari will come up on 350 acres of scrub forest rich in flora and fauna, bordering the Daroji Bear Sanctuary in Kamalapura in Bellary district. 
An impact assessment study by a team of city based ecologists revealed some shocking facts about the impact of the proposed safari park on the rich flora and fauna of the bear sanctuary. 
With over half-a-million tourists expected each year, heightened commercial activities, vehicle movement and increase in lights and sound etc will put a huge pressure on the already highly fragile ecosystem, the team said. The team comprised ecological experts Dr. M.B. Krishna, Mr K.S.Seshadri, Mr M. Sunil Kumar, Mr Seshadri Ramaswamy and Dr. Ganesh Babu.
“In addition, the presence of a zoo in such close proximity could possibly pass on diseases from the local and exotic animals to the wildlife in Daroji Sanctuary. At a conservative estimate, about 45,000 trees will have to be felled to accommodate this artificial zoo-cum-safari. Several species of fruit bearing Grewia trees, endemic to this area, are natural food of the sloth be

SeaWorld Is So Pissed Over the Blackfish Documentary
Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite recently told the New York Times that she approached her documentary Blackfish as a journalist with an open mind. The resulting film, which is about killer whales in captivity (specifically at SeaWorld and focusing on the 32-year-old orca Tilikum, who's killed three people), is nonetheless damning enough that it reads like animal liberation propaganda. We hear numerous testimonials from former SeaWorld trainers on the negative effects of keeping these giant, sensitive creatures penned. We see hidden-camera footage of SeaWorld guides feeding park guests incorrect information about orcas' lifespans and fins — the dorsal fins of captive killer routinely collapse, or flop to the side, which is rare in the 
wild. We see footage of brutal whale-on-human attacks. We hear nothing from SeaWorld itself.
(The corporation's general counsel told the Times that SeaWorld declined to be interviewed for the film "because they doubted the material would be used in good faith." SeaWorld also declined interviews for David Kirby's book Death at SeaWorld, which was released last year.)
The film is not all straightforward condemnation – it highlights the irony at the heart of the anti-captivity movement. If SeaWorld hadn't offered the general public an up-close look at these animals that were previously misunderstood as killing machines, killer whales wouldn't have captured the sympathy of so many humans. It was largely through orca captivity that humans learned just how harmful captivity can be. The film spends a lot of time on former trainers' accounts of bonding with these animals. Captivity may be widely denounced by scientists, and it may produce behavior that we just don't see in the wild. For example, there have been two recorded human attacks by killer whales in the wild; in 2006 ABC reported that there had been nearly two dozen in captivity. However, the human-whale shared experience is not without joy, and 
Blackfish reasonably documents that.
Last weekend, SeaWorld sent out an email blast to critics countering eight points raised in Blackfish. (Noticeably absent from their responses was the fact that SeaWorld employees lie about dorsal fin collapse to its visitors - in the film, we see hidden camera footage of a tour guide claiming that dorsal fin collapse occurs in "25 percent" of orcas. The figure for wild orcas is actually less than one percent, while almost all captive orcas exhibit it, particularly males. 
This is believed to occur as a result of their limited swim space and inability to work up to their natural speeds.) The filmmakers responded with counterarguments to SeaWorld's counterarguments. I wanted a sense of perspective from an expert, so I reached out to Debbie Giles, a research biologist who has studied orcas for about 20 years. Right now she is finishing her Ph.D. at the University of California-Davis. She's stationed at San Juan Island, off the coast of Washington.
Giles hadn't seen Blackfish when I spoke to her this week, and told me that she was just responding to my questions "with her gut." She is firmly anti-captivity and has protested at marine parks. She says that SeaWorld offered to fund her research, and that she turned them down, not wanting to be associated with the organization. I asked her generally why she is against killer whale captivity, and this was her

Zoo joins coalition calling for end to poaching
The groups seek beefed-up campaigns to halt the illegal killing of wildlife.
Blank Park Zoo has joined 40 other zoos and wildlife programs in 36 countries to call for a more aggressive fight against poaching worldwide.
The joint statement, announced Friday, resulted from the international Zoos and Aquariums Committing to Conservation Conference at the south Des Moines facility earlier this month.
The U.S. government recently announced it would spend $10 million on efforts in Africa to protect elephants, rhinos and other wildlife.
The conference delegates “urged all governments and international groups to launch sustained campaigns to stop the illegal killing of wildlife, including increased law enforcement with prompt and serious punishments for wildlife crime, more cooperation between governments to combat cross-border activity, and campaigns to raise awareness among consumers about the illegal wildlife trade.”
Jessie Lowry, Blank Park Zoo conservation coordinator, said Blank Park financially supports two rhino conservation groups and welcomes the new call to action.
“We’ve made many strides in the past few decades with conservation outreach, protected lands and education to help preserve the remaining wild animal populations and wild lands,” Lowry said. 
“The recent uptick in the illegal wildlife trade is alarming and cause for immediate action to stop this draining of our natural resources. If strong action is not taken, we stand to lose some of our most iconic species, including rhinos, tigers, elephants and many others.”
The conference delegates noted that big cats, great apes, sharks and rays, birds, turtles and reptiles are among the creatures that have suffered because poachers are selling them.
They say it’s an organized, mu

I fell for an ape
Meeting Pepper showed me humans are apes too -- and we have to do better at protecting our own
A few years ago I had a lovely bedtime ritual of pouring a large whisky and watching BBC nature 
programs in bed. I was well into the messy part of middle age, somewhat surprised that middle age had struck so soon. I saw footage of a female chimpanzee carrying her child across some shallow water, and of orangutans washing socks in the water at Camp Leakey, and I began to wonder less about the animals on the screen and more about the one in bed.
As a novelist I concerned myself with psychology, culture, history; rarely did I look at the human body and what we are as a species.
The excellent work of Frans de Waal, Roger Fouts, and other primatologists opened my eyes to the nature of great apes, the category that includes chimpanzees and humans. I wanted to write a novel that looked squarely at chimpanzee behavior, how it resembles and differs from our own.
And then I met Pepper.
Pepper was forty-something, just like me, and lived in a sanctuary for chimpanzees near Montreal called the Fauna Foundation. When I first visited Fauna the director of the sanctuary told me that Pepper was in the moody part of the month and suggested I might not enjoy her company. There was a metal grid between Pepper’s world and mine because Pepper was strong enough to rip my arms off and beat me with them.
She was actually in a great mood. She looked into my eyes, and despite the fact that she was nothing like my type I had an immediate crush on her. She sat across from me for a while and stretched a finger through the grid, making grooming noises. I have a tiny mole on my left hand and I realized she was trying to clean it – as if to say, let me get that dirt for you. Later I saw her hug another chimp, Sue Ellen, who was upset about a fight she’d had with someone else in the group.Before living in comfort at the sanctuary, Pepper had spent 27 years in various laboratories. I spent a month going through her medical files – hundreds of

The Last Tiger in the Zoo
Will Cramp is likely to be the last man standing to have fed a Tasmanian Tiger.
From seven years of age he spent his Sundays at the Beaumaris Zoo on Hobart's domain, helping to feed the animals and muck out their cages.
He describes the tiger's

Handler in surgery after alligator bites his arm
A 22-year-old alligator handler is undergoing one of several surgeries on his arm after a 1,000-pound alligator bit him during a demonstration at a Hollywood zoo and wildlife sanctuary. 
Will Nace, a volunteer handler, was bitten by the alligator Lunge while performing during a private party at Native Village on Saturday, said park co-owner Ian Tyson. 
The alligator grabbed Nace's arm and dragged him into a pond where the two spun around. Another trainer jumped into the gated pit and manage to set Nace's arm free.
Surge Achille, a party-planner at the park, said the frightening incident took less than a fe,0,5714134.story

Of Mali, Erap, and Paul McCartney
Lately, there is something in the news that caught my attention and reminded me of what Albert Einstein once said:  there are two things that are infinite---the universe and human stupidity. 
It is something quite unsettling, if not, behaviorally demented.  It is about the response of the City of Manila regarding the move to transfer its lone and sickly elephant Mali to a sanctuary in Thailand. 
The newly elected mayor of Manila, Joseph “Erap” Estrada is rejecting the petition of celebrities like Paul McCartney because for him the move to transfer Mali imposes a humiliation for the country that cannot take care of one animal. 
 I would like to ask the good mayor about humiliation and patriotism.  What is humiliating about putting an end to the neglect of Mali?  How does it assault one’s sense of love of country when all you do is show a concern for the physical as well as psychological well being of Mali? Besides Mali does not care about your version of humiliation or patriotism.  Mali is old, injured, and neglected.  The best thing you can do is to help her relocate to a sanctuary where she will be taken cared of.    
Sill, the lack of good sense seems unstoppable.  And now I hear talks of bringing two more elephants from Sri Lanka and turning Manila Zoo into a world-class facility.  Rather than dealing with this issue with a sense of urgency, why come up with a new proposal? 
I am stupefied!  I don’t know what the mayor is talking about.  And it doesn’t make sense to me for now to talk about this plan when you have righ

Conservationists slam aquarium's manner of release of whale shark
The National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium was criticized yesterday by an animal protection organization for the manner of its release of a whale shark on July 10 that could have killed the shark.
The Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST) said that the staff of the aquarium chose a location that was too close to the shore to release the shark, so the shark was stranded twice before finally being able to go out to sea.
“The whale shark suffered from multiple injuries from the first two attempts of release,” EAST Chief Executive Officer Chu Tseng-hung said.
“What the aquarium did was not release the whale shark,” Chu said, “the aquarium actually abandoned the shark.”
“The aquarium did not train the shark on how to live in the sea before releasing it, since the shark had been living in the aquarium for eight years,” said Chu.Chu said the aquarium waited so long to release the whale shark because it had been waiting for a new baby whale shark to arrive. The aquarium finally decided to free the shark after not being able to keep the shark anymore.
“Since the aquarium did not put a GPS tracker on the shark,” Chu said, “no one knows if the shark returned back to the sea safely and survived.”
“The aquarium did not have any back-up plans when the whale shark was stranded on the shore,” Chu said, “and from the video documenting the release process, the staff even attempted to move the whale shark, which weighed 3,600 kilograms, with their hands.”
“Staff ignored the injuries the whale shark suffered from th

10 Reasons Why Dolphins Are A$$holes
Treehugger recently posted 10 Reasons Why Dolphins Are Undeniably Awesome.  This is all nice and 
well but this does overlook some key aspects of dolphins that should be recognized.  Good luck 
trying to sleep tonight when you start thinking about dolphins.

Pair of the world's largest flying birds make Farnham their home
There is a very special arrival at Birdworld in Farnham today.
A pair of Great Bustards are making the attraction their new home.
Curator Duncan Bolton tells Eagle: "The best description would be a large turkey, much more attractive than a turkey, but that sort of style.
"This is a bird which went extinct in the UK circa 1850's, through hunting and persecution."They're the world’s largest flying birds.”
Birdworld is working with the Great Bustard Project, to re-introduce them to the English countryside.
And Duncan says the plan is this pair will have lots of chicks:
"Hatching will be the exciting time, and the plan is when the birds hatch, we'll have them at Birdworld.
"But when they're young chicks we'll send them to Salisbury Plain to be reared at the site that they wi

Expert committee moots for added man power in capital zoo
The nine member expert committee constituted by the state government to look into the recurring deaths in capital zoo has called for immediate recruitement of manpower. In the meeting held on Monday, the committee opined that there should be at least two vet surgeons in the zoo. Besides a lab technician and surgical assistant have to be recruited. 
A cabinet note on this regard has already been directed to the concerned departments. The committee members also called for bio-security measures like foot-dip and tyre-dip to regulate the spread of pathogens in the zoo. Special training for zoo keepers, periodic cleaning of enclosures and control of horse flies were also put forward in the meeting. The committee has handed over a list of 27 measures which need to be implemented in the zoo

Oakland Zoo Volunteer Bit by Rabid Bat
Vector Control staff canvassed the Oakland Zoo and surrounding neighborhood Tuesday to distribute rabies information
Health officials are warning an Oakland neighborhood to be cautious of rabid animals in the area after a volunteer at the Oakland Zoo was bit by a bat that tested positive for rabies.
The incident occurred over the weekend, according to the Alameda County Vector Control.
A spokeswoman at the zoo said the victim was a teenage girl.
Authorities said a patron at the zoo noticed a bat on a ledge trying to crawl up the glass outside the otter exhibit and notified the volunteer. The animal bit her when she went to go pick it up.
This all happened Saturday, but because Vector Control is closed on the weekend, the test of the animal couldn't take place until Monday.
The test came back positive, and the volunteer is already getting

Devon and Cornwall Police in the UK are looking into an incident where up to 25 small vessels reportedly harassed a pod of bottlenose dolphins in Camel Estuary on Saturday, 20th July.
It is believed one of the dolphins may have been hit by a boat and killed as a result.
Harassing dolphins in this way may seem harmless but it can disrupt feeding and hunting patterns, the nursing of young, and can result in injury or death if they are struck by a vessel . Boats should approach any whale or dolphin with great care, keep their distance, and limit speed and time spent near these creatures.  Harassment is a criminal offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and anyone

President Obama and FBI: Arrest Ingrid Newkirk and have PETA shut down
For over 30 years People for the Ethnical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has labeled itself as an animal rights group, with their leader Ingrid Newkirk, which now has over 2 million members. 
However, unknowingly to the public is a few dirty little secrets, pit bull genocide, domestic terrorism, sexism, pet euthanasia, and hypocrisy.
What people really don't know about PETA is that if they got their way, not only would they ban meat, milk, eggs, honey, leather, or fur. There would also be no more silk, wool, down feathers, fishing, circuses that use any kind of animals even domesticated, horse back riding, live animal shows, aquariums, zoos *even if they're AZA approved*, hunting, service animals for disabled people, even pets. They are also against the use of experimenting on animals to help save human and other animal lives but their ex senior VP Mary Beth Sweetland uses insulin that was tested on animals to stay alive. Another side to PETA people don't know is that is that PETA is the US' most dangerous domestic terrorist organization. In 2001 they were given this label by the FBI and again in 2009 by the USDA. There's even data revealed that they endorse and hve ties to the ALF and the ELF, both groups are serious terrorist threats to the US. Also, thanks to asking PETA a 
question they have confirmed they support the Breed Specific Legislation because they feel that all pit bull owners will make their dogs fight. Want proof? Their answer to my question on BSL support was, "We hope that our support of such laws will stop people from bringing more of these animals into the world to be hurt and exploited." However, according to and Nathan Winogrand PETA's real dirty secret is that they kill almost every animal they rescue. In 2009 and 2011 they had a 97% kill rate of hundreds of perfectly healthy dogs and cats. They claim that the reason why they do this is because they don't have enough money, but according to Charity Navigator only 1% of their 33 million dollars actually goes to helping animals while the rest goes to sexist ads and protests, it's no surprise that they only have one star. In most of their adve

Zoo's camel 'speared' to death
Abraham the Camel, one of Kimberely's most beloved animals, was speared to death on Tuesday morning by poachers who are believed to have wanted the meat.
According to the Diamond Fields Advertiser, workers at the 8Myl Animal Farm, a petting zoo that rehabilitates and cares for animals, were alerted to the attack by barking dogs early on Tuesday morning.
When they found Abraham, he already had numerous stab wounds and two of the spears used in the attack were still piercing his body. Although the workers chased the three suspects, the suspects managed to escape. The poachers left behind several plastic grain bags that are typically used by poachers to transport meat, the newspaper reported.
The police we

Rare tiger born in Al Zawra Zoo, Iraq
Baghdad Mayoralty announced on Sunday, July 21 that one of the world’s rarest tigers was born in Al Zawra zoo, stressing that the newborn tiger is healthy and is supervised by a team of medical specialists.
“Al Zawra Park and Zoo welcomed today a newborn Bengali white tiger considered to be one of 200 Bengali tigers living in reserves and zoos around the world”, said the Mayoralty in a press release issued on Sunday, July 21; of which Alsumaria got a copy. It revealed that “the baby tiger is one of the rarest tigers in the world”.
“The birth of the tiger was a result of genetic differences”, added the Mayoralty, stressing that “the baby tiger is healthy and is supervised by a team of medical specialists”.
“Visitors will soon be able to see the newborn tiger”, it clarified; pointing out that “It gives great importance to developing Al Zawra Zoo such as importing birds, allowing

Terrifying moment crocodile snaps its jaws shut with trainer's head inside at Thai tourist attraction
Scenes caught on camera at Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm in Bangkok
Screams of watching tourists audible as reptile clamps jaws around trainer
Man, 27, escaped with only head wounds, according to local reports

"Swamp Brothers" want to bring zoo to Clermont
Robbie Keszey, who along with his brother Stephen Keszey, stars in the reality show “Swamp Brothers,” has always had a passion for animals and for teaching others about them.
Their knowledge and interests cover the entire animal kingdom to the other, but in their hearts there is a special place for reptiles and amphibians.
As part owners of Glade Herp Farms in Bushnell, they bring in reptiles from around the world for sale and show. Now, they want to expand on that idea and build an interactive zoo in Clermont.
On Wednesday, they discussed the Animal Crossings Interactive Zoo with a room full of people who could help turn their dream into reality.
“Ever since I was a little kid, it’s always been a dream of mine to build a zoo. I have so many great ideas,” Robbie Keszey said in a video played for attendees at the meeting.
“I’m not about danger, danger danger. I’m about the learning aspect of every animal’s world and what they can teach us. It’s exciting for me to see it happening right in front of me and it’s something I want whole families to experience at my zoo.”
“Swamp Brothers,” which had a run on the Discovery Channel, has also brought the Keszeys into the living rooms of watchers from all the world. Just recently, the Keszeys hooked up with a brand new production company – Wild Gate Entertainment — and are negotiating with Animal Planet, The History Channel, A&E and the Discovery Cha

Europe’s Oldest Hippo Dies in Kaliningrad Zoo
A zoo in the western Russian city of Kaliningrad is mourning the death of Mary, Europe’s oldest hippopotamus, who has died at the age of 56, a zoo spokesman said Wednesday.
“Mary, the zoo’s oldest resident, has died of natural causes,” the spokesman said, adding that Mary was the mother of 25 calves.
Mary moved to the Kaliningrad zoo from Hamburg in June 1969 and was the zoo’s mascot for 44 years.
Hippopotamuses have been popular zoo animals si

Did teacher see a big cat just yards from playing children?
THE MYSTERY big cat said to be roaming the Tamworth area has been spotted again, this time by a teacher who says she saw it on the area known as ‘the Bumpy’ between Glascote and Stonydelph, just yards from where children played.
Jenna Brindley (28), an English teacher at Tamworth Enterprise College (formerly Belgrave School), was walking her dog on Wednesday July 17 between 6pm and 7pm when she spott

The Lion Man: One World African Safari
Brand new ‘The Lion Man: One World African Safari' features Kiwi farm boy Craig Busch, an experienced self-taught "wild cat trainer", helping to track down poachers and fight devastating bushfires. He also creates a haven for rare, endangered cats such as white Bengal Tigers, Barbary Lions and White Lions at a reserve near Johannesburg. Craig and a passionate band of animal-loving supporters search for missing cheetahs, heal desperately ill tigers, and track do

Rhino faces extinction, says zoo
RHINOS will face the same fate of dinosaurs if the current rate of poaching the species continues in the country.
This was according to Joburg Zoo spokesman Letta Madlala who told The Citizen that the extinction of the rhino species could be a possibility in the near future.
This after the department of environmental affairs confirmed yesterday that at least 515 rhinos had been killed in the country so far this year, compared to 668 rhinos killed by the end of last year.
"Rhinos take very long to breed, and they don't produce many offspring," said Madlala."Government intervention and more contribution by the community are required to prevent more rhinos from being poached."
She added that the zoo had no plans to house any rhinos for protection purposes.
"There's no space at the zoo and rhinos require a lot of space which is why many are kept at the Kruger National Park," said Madlala.
The department said that the Kruger National Park remained the hardest hit by poachers, with 321 rhinos having been killed since January. Additionally, 54 rhinos were killed for their horns in Limpopo, 53 in North West and 43 in KwaZulu-Natal; while a total of 143 alleged poachers had been arrested this year.
Kwazulu-Natal Wildlands Conservation Fund spokesman Kevin M


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