Friday, September 11, 2015

Zoo News Digest 11th September 2015 (ZooNews 907)

Zoo News Digest 11th September 2015 (ZooNews 907)

Dear Colleagues,

I have just returned from the 3rd Annual Conference of the Arabian Zoo & Aquarium Conference held in Abu Dhabi.

It was extremely interesting and I would like to believe that we made some headway for the future. The hospitality could not have been bettered both in terms of accommodation and food. In fact I reckon I put on three kilos in weight over the three days. It was good too to meet up with people I have not seen in a while. I don't think I have seen Caroline Lees for fifteen years or more.  Abu Dhabi itself has changed a lot...incredibly so. I may live just an hour and a half away but it was ten years since I last came that way. Conference aside, Dennis Miranda and I did manage a bar crawl and discovered a place that I will definitely visit the next time I am in this neck of the woods, maybe I won't leave it so long.
My only regret was that attendance meant that I missed going to the International Congress of ZooKeepers in Leipzig. I had always intended going but you can't be in two places at once. Next month I should be attending the WAZA conference in Al Ain. An hour and a half in another direction. Looking forward to it.

I sometimes wonder where we have been going wrong. Back in the early 70's I bred hundreds of axolotls and now they are critically endangered. Practically every pet shop stocked them at the time. Good to see Edinburgh giving them space. Lets hope more zoos will concentrate on these interesting creatures.

There is always something of interest in Animal Keepers' Forum and the September edition is no exception. My attention was drawn to the article 'Not every Trainer is a Keeper, but every Keeper is a Trainer' because this a phrase that I frequently use myself though I usually add "whether they realise it or not" to the end. I then usually run off on a tangent with nothing good to say about that small but 'dedicated' group of 'Trainers' who would not know how to keep if they tried. They know who they are.

Sarah Love of Brookfield Zoo made a thoughtful reply to the subject of Euthanasia in Zoos in Animal Keepers' Forum (August edition) which I read with interest...I suggest you do too. My thoughts have not changed however and you can read those here:

The Good Zoo and Euthanasia

Zoos and Euthanasia

I got to thinking though. We are all different. I am a atheist and a carnivore so surely my views will be different to someone who is religious and a vegan? Does one lifestyle make us more or less right than another? I think not.


I remain committed to the work of GOOD zoos, not DYSFUNCTIONAL zoos.


Interesting Links

Pro-hunting group call for BBC’s Chris Packham to be sacked for his ‘slanted’ animal rights views
TV nature show star Chris Packham should be fired by the BBC for his ‘slanted’ views on conservation, a countryside pressure group has demanded.
Tim Bonner, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, accused top executives at the Beeb of letting Springwatch presenter Packham use the corporation to push his own views.
‘We call on the BBC to take action as Chris Packham uses it as a platform from which to promote an animal rights agenda,’ said Mr Bonner, whose group campaigns on behalf of the hunting, shooting and fishing fraternity.

Aquarium to Test World's First Automated Fish Health Monitor
England's Blue Planet Aquarium is going to allow its tanks to be testing sites for what could turn out be the world's first automated fish health monitoring system.

The system, developed by Lynne Sneddon, an expert on fish pain and the University of Liverpool's director of bioveterinary science, places in each tank two cameras linked to software that scans fish movements in three dimensions.

Behavior data for healthy fish -- already stored in the system -- is compared with the comings and goings of the live aquarium fish. If the program spots something about a fish's behavior that doesn't match up with good health, aquarium staff a

Woman loses arm in zoo tiger attack in central Vietnam
A 21-year-old woman is recovering after a tiger in a zoo in Nghe An Province bit off her left arm two weeks ago.
Le Thi Yen of Thua Thien Hue Province is still terrified when talking about the incident on August 23 at the Muong Thanh Eco-tourism Area.
“I was visiting the place with my husband. We did not have a tour guide and I wandered into the prohibited area behind the white tigers’ cage.”
Together with some visitors she climbed a short wall and clung to the cage to watch the resting tigers when an animal suddenly woke up, leaped and grabbed her arm.

Inspectors blame tourist for being attacked by tiger in central Vietnam zoo
Inspectors have concluded that a 21-year-old woman was to blame for being attacked by a tiger at a zoo in central Vietnam last month.
Tran Thi Yen should not have climbed up to take pictures of the tiger, which was resting inside its cage at Muong Thanh Company’s Trai Bo Eco-tourism Area, said Le The Hieu, a local official in Nghe An Province said.
Inspectors said the cage has high concrete walls, with safety iron bars on top.
They launched an investigation after local media published many reports on the incident.
Yen visited Trai Bo with her family on August 23.
She said she accidentally went to the area, without being aware that it is a restricted zone, because there was no tour guide.
She followed others to climb up the wall to watch the white tigers sleeping.
When she was about to jump off, a tiger suddenly leaped and grabbed her left arm.
Others used sticks to chase the tiger aw

Charity warns world is running out of snake anti-venom
The world is running out of the one most effective treatments for snakebites, according to medical experts, putting thousands of lives at risk.
The warning was issued by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which said 100,000 people died from snake venom every year.
Another 8000 needed amputations, said the charity as it raised the alarm over what it described as “one of the world’s

Meanwhile In The Future: Endangered Animals Live In Armoured Zoos
Many scientists believe that the Earth is approaching another mass extinction event. Between deforestation, pollution, hunting and general human encroachment, all sorts of species are at risk of going extinct. In this week’s future, humans give up on saving species where they live and instead put them in armoured zoos.

Scots and Iranians in effort to uncover rare cats' secrets
David Barclay, of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), has been in contact with a researcher in Iran since 2013.
In a new development, an abandoned Pallas's cat kitten could be radio-collared for the first time in Iran.
Efforts to capture images of the animals in Iran using camera traps have been unsuccessful so far.
Mr Barclay said putting a radio collar on a young cat and releasing it back into the wild could help uncover new information on the cats.
He said: "Should this happen we will be

Carnivores in captivity: a question of motive and ethics
In the aftermath of several – in some cases fatal – wildlife attacks, social and mainstream media have been alive with the debate about whether wild animals, especially large predators, should be kept in captivity.

Personally, I try to steer well clear of the emotionally charged, and generally not evidence-based, social media feeds and instead focus on the bare facts of the issue. So, what is at play when we start to talk about the merits and problems of keeping wild animals, particularly ones with large teeth and sharp claws, in captive or even semi-captive situations?

On the one hand, animal rights activists argue that no wild animal should be kept in captivity because it is cruel and unethical.

On the other, captive facilities offer a slightly more convoluted argument. Some operations argue that the experience of seeing and sometimes touching an animal in captivity provides people with an important link to nature th

P135-million zoo, theme park to rise in Pampanga
If all goes according to plan, a zoo and theme park – to be built at a cost of P135 million ($2.89 million) – will rise inside the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga by next year.

Th development comes as firms map out the expansion of their operations in the freeport, and government implements infrastructure projects to boost Clark as the Silicon Valley of the Philippines.

State-run Clark Development Corporation (CDC) said on Tuesday, September 1, that it recently

Animal-rights activists closely monitoring P135-million Clark zoo
Animal-rights activists are keeping a close watch on the P135-million zoo that will soon be established in this former US Air Force base.

Last week the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) has signed a lease agreement with Global Zoo and Theme Park Alliance Inc. (GZTPAI) President Romeo Siccion that would pave the way for the establishment of a zoo in this free port.

The CDC said the total leased land is 20 hectares and the project will employ about 140 workers in the next five years.

But animal-rights activists said that, what is labelled as a tourism-related project could very well be another venue to exploit animals.

According to the People for the Ethical T

Orangutan shot dead while trying to flee German zoo
Animal rights activists have reacted angrily to the killing of an orangutan who tried to escape from a zoo in western Germany.
The endangered ape managed to slip out of his enclosure at Duisburg Zoo on Monday and tried to flee over the outer perimeter fence.
Keepers shot the male orangutan dead before he could escape, saying a sedative would have taken too long to take effect.
The German Animal Protection Association

RZSS Edinburgh Zoo welcomes
critically endangered axolotls
 Credit Katie Paton/RZSS
RZSS Edinburgh Zoo has recently become home to two rather unusual looking creatures – the critically endangered axolotl. Also known as a Mexican salamander or a Mexican walking fish, this happy-looking amphibian, with feathery external gills on its head, is facing the threat of extinction with recent data suggesting it might even be extinct in the wild.

The pair of axolotl arrived at the Zoo in July where they first spent some time off-show to allow them to settle in.  They can now be seen in the aquariums by the Brilliant Birds Enclosure. The species was listed as critically endangered on the IUCN RED List in 2010, but a four month search in 2013 failed to find any surviving individuals in the wild.

Gareth Bennett, Senior Presenter at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, says: “Axolotl populations are diminishing at an alarming rate due to a number of factors, including increased urbanisation of Mexico which in turn leads to an increase in water pollution and the draining of their natural habitat. These fascinating creatures have also been used extensively in scientific research because of their ability to regenerate limbs. They are probably one of the most scientifically studied salamanders in the world.”

“It is wonderful to be able to have axolotls at the Zoo. We have successfully bred this exceptional species previously and hope to do so again in the future as it is incredibly important to maintain healthy captive populations to ensure they do not become completely extinct. I am particularly fond of them because, as well as being an incredibly intelligent species, they always look as if they are smiling!”

Found only in the lake of Xochimilco, near Mexico City, the axolotl is unusual amongst amphibians because they reach adulthood without metamorphosing. Instead of metamorphosing like other amphibians and taking to land, this rare species remains gilled and prefers to live its whole life in water; this is known as neoteny. One of the axolotl’s most defining characteristics is the branch-like gills which protrude from the neck on either side of the head. The gills are covered in feathery filaments which increase the surface area for gas exchange, this in spite of the fact that they also develop lungs, which are very rudimentary.

The name “axolotl” is thought to have originated from the Aztec word “atl”, meaning water, and “xolotl”, meaning monster. And whilst they might not look very appetising, axolotls formed a staple part of the Aztec’s diet. 

RIP Masyanya bear: Animals die in flooded zoo in Russia's Far East, locals say (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Several animals, including a lion and a bear, have drowned in their cages in the Russian city of Ussuriysk after it was flooded by heavy rains, locals say. With more rainfall expected in the region, animal activists have raised the alarm to save animals still left in flooded cages.

A tough call: Zoo animals fate hangs in balance; officials fear backlash
Fairy, the 16-year-old lioness at the Lahore Zoo, drags her hind legs while attempting to walk. “She was paralyzed in 2009. She made a partial recovery in 2009 after extensive treatment but her hind legs remain imbalanced,” Lahore Zoo Director Shafqat Ali told The Express Tribune on Friday.

“She is in a lot of pain,” he said adding that chances of her recovering from the condition were remote. Ali said euthanasia was the only option for animals in such a state. “It is neither good for the animal nor the herd to keep them alive,” he said.

Ali said five animals at the zoo including the lioness, a houbara bustard, some peafowl and select pheasants had

Johor prince carries out spot check on zoo
The Johor Zoo that has invited harsh criticism from the public and animal NGOs for its neglect of the animals under its care had a visit from Tunku Temenggong Johor Tunku Idris Iskandar yesterday when he headed there to conduct a spot check on the place.
Taking to Instagram, Tunku Idris, the third child of the Sultan of Johor, said, “Spot check. Lots of improvement needed.”
The prince was there after the zoo came under intense criticism for its obvious neglect of an 18-year old lion, whose claws had become so overgrown it had dug into the frail animal’s paw pads causing him injuries so bad, he was unable to walk without limping or dragging his feet.
However, the prince in response to the complaints said it was time to fix the situation by actually doing something concrete about it.
In a shot posted on Instagram of the prince and a

Polar bear’s death at Berlin zoo finally solved
Knut, a polar bear that became a global celebrity then mysteriously drowned at age 4 in his Berlin Zoo pen, died of a rare autoimmune disease, a scientist revealed Thursday.

The finding solves a mystery that has lingered since Knut’s sudden death in 2011. Knut, who had been rejected by his mother and hand-reared by a zookeeper, was the global face of 2007 with his fluffy fur and toddler antics.

Not to forget Thomas Doerflein

Knut keeper Thomas Doerflein is found dead after being banned from his bear cub 'son' (old news)
The zoo keeper who raised Knut the polar bear cub after he was rejected by his mother has been found dead.
There were rumours Thomas Doerflein committed suicide because bosses banned him from playing with his cuddly "son" when the animal got too big.
Police said the 44-year-old, who had been seriously ill, was discovered dead at his apartment.
Officers were last night waiting for the results of a postmortem.
Dad-of-three Doerflein made headlines around the world when he started hand-rearing Knut after the cub's mother snubbed him at birth in December 2006.
The move sparked controversy with animal rights groups demanding the bear be destroyed rather than raised by a human.
Doerflein lived, ate and slept with K

Last Sumatran rhino at Cincinnati Zoo going to Indonesia
As a rare rhino is readied for a new home in the next few weeks, the Cincinnati Zoo is acknowledging a bittersweet farewell.

Tigress nurses her own along with adopted Amur tiger cubs — RT In motion

A tiger’s day out in Hyderabad zoo
The weekend crowds in the Nehru zoological Park here had a harrowing experience after a tiger jumped off its enclosure to freedom, in the zoo premises though, on Saturday.

According to zoo officials, the tiger gained temporary freedom while being shifted to another enclosure. Fortunately, it walked into a prohibited zone near the snake park even as the panic-stricken visitors ran helter-skelter.  

The police and zoo officials got the zoo evacuated on a war-footing and tranquilised the big cat which was on the prowl.

Even though none was injured, the fact that the tig

USDA complaint alleges Dade City zoo offering 'Swim with Tigers' mistreated animals
A zoo in Pasco County has mishandled animals, carelessly forcing tiger cubs to swim in a pool and pose for cameras, according to an administrative complaint filed by inspectors with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Officials said in a filing against Dade City's Wild Things that the company "has not shown good faith," failing to get in line even after an official warning in 2012 detailed years of missteps. It alleges that zoo employees have painted young tigers' fur and forced them to endure stressful and harmful situations.

The zoo's director, reached Thursday, denied the claims.

"On principle I won't settle this," said Wild Things director Kathy Stearns. "I'm going to take it all the way because I know for a fact that I have not done these things."

The legal filing was publicized by the activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which says its members have complained about Wild Things to the USDA and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"For years, Dade City's Wild Things has forced young tigers to swim while the cubs have struggled, cried and fought to escape from the water and unwanted

Effort afoot to freeze animal reproductive cells at Yokohama zoo
From humboldt penguins to black jaguars, sperm and eggs from dozens of zoo animals are being frozen and stored at the Zoorasia Yokohama Zoological Gardens until they can be used for artificial insemination.

Placed in thin tubes, the reproductive cells taken from over 50 different species raised in three zoos — Kanazawa Zoo, Nogeyama Zoo and this one — in Yokohama are stored in tanks and frozen with minus-196 degrees Celsius liquid nitrogen.

“Theoretically speaking, the frozen sperm and eggs can be preserved semipermanently,” said Noriyoshi Ichikawa, director of the Yokohama-run Preservation and Research Center at the zoo that stores the cells.

“If we preserve these gametes now, they could be used in the future” if the species face extinction, he added.

Dubbed Frozen Zoo, the initiative is part of conservation efforts that Japanese zoos have pursued in recent years, hoping to help breed animals that may disappear from their facilities in the future, and possibly to save endangered species in the wild.

Apart from Yokohama zoo, Tama Zoological Park in Tokyo and Kobe University, which initially launched the research in the early 1990s, have frozen zoos.

And a new one is also slated to be created in Sendai Yagiyama Zoological Park in Miyagi Prefecture by the end of th


Save Vietnam’s Wildlife - August Newsletter



***** in August 2015

~°v°~  ~°v°~  ~°v°~  ~°v°~  ~°v°~

Hello ZooLex Friend,
We have worked for your enjoyment!



The Mink-Ferret Rotation Exhibit at Fasanerie Wiesbaden in Germany is a 
display for these two related species. The animal park cooperates with 
EuroNerz, an organization dedicated to the breeding and releasing of 
European minks. Fasanerie Wiesbaden receives a pregnant female from 
EuroNerz in spring and returns it and its off-spring in automn. During 
the summer, visitors enjoy the active young minks, while the ferrets 
that otherwise use this exhibit are kept off-exhibit. Another ferret 
family is permanently on display in a neighbouring exhibit.



We are pleased to introduce our new editors:

Corinne Bailey, biologist, conservationist and linguist from Wales who 
supported ZooLex as an intern in 2014 and

Stephen Butler, Curator of Horticulture at Dublin Zoo who will 
particularly check the horticulture information in ZooLex exhibit 

ZooLex editors comment on all newsletters, Gallery presentations and 
papers prior to publication and dissemination and thereby ensure the 
quality of ZooLex publications.



When you participate at one of the above conferences, you will find a 
ZooLex poster celebrating 15 Years ZooLex. ZooLex editor and 
correspondent Barbara Brem will present the poster at AZA. ZooLex 
founder and manager Monika Fiby will attend ICZ, EAZA and WAZA.

We are looking forward to meeting you there!


We keep working on ZooLex ...

The ZooLex Zoo Design Organization is a non-profit organization
registered in Austria (ZVR-Zahl 933849053). ZooLex runs a professional
zoo design website and distributes this newsletter. More information and


ZOO'S PRINT Magazine - August 2015


The International Journal on Conservation & Taxonomy




Zoo & Aquarium Video Archive

Top ten bird species surviving thanks to zoos
The African penguin, the Chinese Blue-crowned laughing thrush and the Ecuador Amazon parrot are among species staving off extinction thanks to the help of zoos, according to a new report co-ordinated by a conservation biologist at the University of York.

Ant colony protests to save the Amazon rainforest
Half a million ants take part in a ''protest'' at a German zoo calling for increased protection of the Amazon rainforest.

To Decode Elephant Conversation, You Must Feel The Jungle Rumble
The natural world is abuzz with the sound of animals communicating — crickets, birds, even grunting fish. But scientists learning to decode these sounds say the secret signals of African elephants — their deepest rumblings — are among the most intriguing calls any animal makes.

Zoo goes into lockdown after baboon ESCAPES enclosure by breaking through electric fence
Visitors to the park in Kent were left out on safari trucks in the reserve due to the break out - while others were stuck in the gift shop and cafes

“Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty…”: Zoo Barrier Jumpers and Social Darwinism
Meet Josh Newell (on right), a 35 year old bartender that recently garnered attention by jumping the barriers at the Columbus Zoo so that he could videotape himself petting the cougars.  The hapless bartender then uploaded the video to YouTube to share with the world (and ultimately the police) his shining “Cougar Love” moment in the sun.  Congratulations, Josh!  This chain of inappropriate behaviors and complete inability to predict the consequences of your actions has earned you the crown of this week’s “Topic Queen” on Tales From The Wetsuit.

Joan Embery on Why Zoos are Good for Conservation
Keeping wildlife in captivity is bad. Animals being free to roam the wild is good. Right?
The issues surrounding animal rights can seem very black and white to armchair activists. But what happens when the habitats in which these animals live– their food sources, their safe havens– are destroyed? What happens when humans hunt and poach animals to the brink of extinction? How do we save these species for future generations?

Logistics giant UPS bans shark fin shipments amid pressure from conservationists
Global logistics giant United Parcel Service is banning shipments of shark fin amid worldwide pressure from conservationists.

The firm announced the move on Twitter, saying it had implemented the ban "following consultation with [green group] WWF".

In a separate statement, it said it had enacted the ban "due to concerns about the enforcement capabilities of the authorities and potential inaccuracy of visual inspection" under the global Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

It called the potential for misidentification an "unacceptable business condition".

The ban severely limits choice for shippers of shark fin products. At least 31 global airlines, including Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Lufthansa, have imposed a blanket ban on the

Topeka Zoo director denies PETA's request to discuss elephants' care
Animal-rights group contends pachyderms not getting enough social interaction
Topeka Zoo officials on Wednesday rebuffed claims by activists that the zoo’s two elderly elephants are struggling psychologically because of a shortage of social interaction.

On Aug. 7, a lawyer with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wrote to Topeka Zoo director Brendan Wiley requesting a meeting to discuss elephants Tembo and Sunda. Tembo is an African elephant, and Sunda is an Asian elephant.

Rachel Mathews, with PETA’s Captive Animals Law Enforcement unit, wrote about the “complex physical, social, and psychological needs” of elephants.

“Without complex social interaction, elephants are afflicted with loneliness, boredom, and depression,” Mathews said in the letter.

The zoo’s two elephants, M

Cub’s arrival creates excitement at Zoo Negara and around the globe
It may only be about the size of a palm, but it is fiercely protected by its mother, watched like a hawk by zoo authorities and is creating excitement around the world.

The unnamed newborn baby giant panda of Xing Xing and Liang Liang has not even opened its eyes but can be heard crying loudly, much to the delight of Zoo Negara staff.

Malaysian Zoological Society Giant Panda Conservation Centre and veterinary services director Dr Mat Naim Ramli said that it was a very thrilling time for the zoo.

“We can see the legs and some parts of the body but the mother, Liang Liang, is very protective and is keeping her baby well hidden,” he said.

When born, giant panda cubs are pink, blind and almost hairless. They typically begin to open their eyes around 40 days after birth and start developing the signature black and white pattern in a month.

Dr Mat Naim said it was also too early to determine the gender of the baby, adding that officials would be observing the family closely.

“We can hear it crying. It’s a loud sound and that’s

A New Option for Crocodile Birth Control
When they live in zoos, Mugger crocodiles happily mate and lay eggs. Maybe a little too happily: when they produce two clutches of 25 to 30 eggs each year, a zoo is quickly going be swamped by little croc babies. And rampant habitat loss means that there are fewer places to return them to the wild. What zoos need is reliable crocodile birth control.

One good reason? Keeping males and females in separate enclosures–the current method of population control–makes the crocs more aggressive than normal. If we were talking about a mammal, giving the males a simple vasectomy might be an option. But crocodilians keep their testes and their associated ducts deep inside their abdome

Spying on Animals: Moments from Zoo Surveillance Feeds
An orangutan appears to hit its own head with a swing. A panda huddles in the corner of a sparse, carpeted room. A leopard stands in an artificial cave, mouth ajar and eyes vacant, like a taxidermied museum exhibit.

These unsettling scenes come from the live surveillance video feeds of zoos in North America and Europe, frozen in time by photographer Arko Datto. Instead of using a camera, Datto made screenshots from the videos available online, revealing perspectives and moments of distress unseen during a typical zoo visit.

His series of images, titled CAPTIVECAM, is the t

Rare Sand Cat Startles Israeli Zoo With Unexpected Birth
It's just as well for the sand cat species that personal taste isn't a prerequisite for procreation, it seems. Rotem, the only surviving sand cat at the Ramat Gan Safari Park, lost her mate a year ago and seemed rather repulsed by Kalahari, his replacement, a sand cat imported from Sweden last September.
Maybe he put a bag on his furry head, because three weeks ago, to the astonishment of Rotem's keepers, she gave birth to three kittens, who have now started to totter on their tiny legs beyond the nest.
"We had been extremely worried," confessed Sigal Horowitz, spokeswoman of the Safari, which is officially called the Zoological Center of Tel Aviv. "Here we had gone

Drones Used for Wildlife Observation Cause Bears’ Hearts to Beat Significantly
The researchers came to know that the presence of drones was related to increased heart rates among bears by as much as 123 beats per minute.

Now, another group of researchers finds that despite the calm demeanor bears may display in the presence of airborne robots, drones make bear heart rates soar, a major sign of stress.

Drones are being used in South Africa with the goal of wildlife park rangers to look out for elephant or rhino poachers, but a correspondent observing the animals’ behavior has forwarded the information to Mark Ditmer that there is a psychological stress placed upon them due to the incessant buzzing of the device.

In the news release, researchers admit that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – better known as drones – have become valuable tools for wildlife researchers, giving them the means to observe animals that were once hard to reach because of long distances and inhospitable terrain.

The National Park Service has already dubbed drones unwelcome, banning their use withi

Tentacles that think
ALMOST all intelligent creatures, be they parrots, sharks or human beings, are vertebrates. This is inconvenient for anyone trying to understand the nature of intelligence because it means, by and large, that he can study only how it has developed down a single evolutionary path. But there is an important exception. Molluscs branched off to form their own lineage before any organism had a spine—and one particular class of them, the cephalopods, has since become smart enough to rival some vertebrates.

Modern cephalopods are octopuses, squid, cuttlefish and an unusual shelled creature called the nautilus. Octopuses, in particular, are rated as intelligent. Some carry coconut shells across the seabed to make shelters. Others have worked out that fishing boats offer easy pickings. There have even been cases of them climbing out of aquarium tanks to raid a neighbouring tank that contained a tasty morsel. Many researchers would like to know whether these behaviours have come about in a differe

Zoo director: We will have to abandon Grand if we fail to find an elephant by 2017
World Elephant Day dedicated to the preservation and protection of the world's elephants is marked today, on August 12. “Visit the zoo to congratulate Grand Junior the elephant!” the zoo’ officials said in a statement posted on Yerevan Zoo’s Facebook page.

What measures have zoo managers taken to make the day of Yerevan Zoo’s only elephant festive, what presents await Grand Junior? learned from Yerevan Zoo that no festive events are held on World Elephant Day, but the zoo workers providing care for animals assured us that they do their best to turn every day of Grand Junior into a holiday.

“The elephant that has lived Yerevan for over a year does not need any gifts at the moment,” the zoo officials said.
In the words of Yerevan zoo workers, the joy and pleasure that both children and adult visitors feel on seeing Grand Junior is the best present for the male elephant that has turned 8. The most important problem is to find a mate for Grand,

Mosquarium Opens in Russia
People in Moscow have been flocking to one of the Russian capital's newest attractions: A massive aquarium.

"Mosquarium" opened August 5th and is giving the residents of Moscow as well as tourists the chance to explore life under the sea.

The centre boasts as being unique, given its size and the variety of exhibits.

Marina Zhuravleva is the head of the oceanograph

Exotic and exploited? ‘Dangerous’ exotic animals can be pets in Wisconsin
When Bekah Weitz’ phone rings, she never knows what is waiting for her on the other end of the line.

During one of her shifts working animal control for the Eau Claire County Humane Association in 2005, a confused officer responding to a house fire in Dunn County called for backup after being tipped off that a shed attached to the burning house contained several pet cats -- big cats.

More specifically, tigers. And no one knew they were there prior to the fire.

Weitz advised the officer not to act until she and other animal control officers arrived on the scene. If the tigers were to escape, Weitz said, they should be considered extremely dangerous, and the officers should take action to defend themselves and those in the neighborhood if necessary.

While en route to the scene, Weitz received another phone call from the officer: The tigers had been found, but all of them had died from smoke inhalation.

Recalling the incident, Weitz -- now a humane investigator for Monroe County -- said th

Perceived dangers posed by selfie sticks prompt bans at some tourist venues
As selfie sticks become popular among young people and foreign visitors, more tourist facilities in the Chubu region are banning them over the apparent dangers they can pose.

While some facilities prohibit use of selfie sticks for the sake of visitor safety, others allow them, arguing that sharing such pictures on social networking services helps promote the venues.

Critically endangered species successfully reproduced using frozen sperm
Black-footed ferrets, a critically endangered species native to North America, have renewed hope for future survival thanks to successful efforts by a coalition of conservationists, including scientists at Lincoln Park Zoo, to reproduce genetically important offspring using frozen semen from a ferret who has been dead for approximately 20 years. The sire, "Scarface," as he is affectionately called by the team, was one of the last 18 black-footed ferrets to exist in the world in the 1980s. Eight kits, including offspring of Scarface, were born recently, significantly increasing the gene diversity of this endangered population that a dedicated team is working to recover in the wild.

Their work published Aug. 13 in the journal Animal Conservation "Recovery of Gene Diversity Using Long-Term Cryopreserved Spermatozoa and Artificial Insemination in the Endangered Black-Footed Ferret."

Partners working to save black-footed ferrets from extinction, and recover a healthy population back to the wild include Lincoln Park Zoo, The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisville Zoological Garden, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Phoenix Zoo and Toronto Zoo.

"Our study is the first to provide empirical evidence that artificial insemination with long-stored spermatozoa is not only possible but also beneficial to the genetic diversity of an endangered species," said David Wildt, lead autho

Shocking video shows young bear being savaged by group of tigers in Chinese zoo
A shocking video has emerged of a three-year-old bear being brutally killed by an ambush of tigers.

The young Formosan black bear is believed to have wandered into a tiger pen at Shanghai Wild Animal Park.

Xiao Heixiong, meaning 'little black bear, as he is known, stands on his hind legs as the tigers stalk towards him to try to scare them off.

But the little bear is no match for the tigers and they pounce.

Woman dies from tiger attack in China zoo
A female tourist died after being attacked by a tiger in a wildlife park in north China's Hebei Province on Wednesday, local authorities said.

The woman broke park rules by going out of her own car when touring the wildlife park in the city of Qinhuangdao and then got attacked by a tiger at 1:55 p.m., the city's publicity department said.

The woman was rushed to hospital but died there after treatment failed, it said.

Sea creature sends Oklahoma City zookeeper to hospital
A zoo keeper at the Oklahoma City Zoo was taken to a nearby hospital after an accident with an animal.

Zoo officials say an employee was clipping the barb of a cownose stingray Wednesday morning when she was stung.

“When you work with wild animals, things can happen, but we have professionals,” said Tara Henson, a spokeswoman for the zoo. “But we’ll be reviewing process to see if we need to do anything differently and better to ensure that she wouldn’t have gotten injured.”

The zoo keeper was taken to a nearby hospital but is expected to be okay.

“Any one of us could have some sort of reaction to something like that,” said Henson. “We err on the side of caution. She did not want to go to the hospital and we said, ‘well you’re going to.'”

Clipping an animal’s barbs is a routine procedure — similar to a human clipping his or her fingernails.

Wild intentions
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the parent brand for ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, has undergone a rebrand that it hopes will position it better as the global conservation charity that it is.
The new tagline, ‘Let’s Work for Wildlife’, is part of the new logo and presents a clear brand purpose that goes beyond the UK-based zoos.

ZSL’s previous logo featured typography filled with easily recognisable animal print, the new rendition stems from ZSL’s London Zoo brand, uniting the sub-brands with the overarching brand. The previous tagline, ‘Living Conservation’, has also been dropped for being too unclear in its proposition.

Rich Storton, marketing director at ZSL, says, “The time was right for us to consider how the ZSL brand reflected who we are and our role as a modern conservation charity. ‘Living Conservation’ no longer felt right or active enough to inspire the public. ‘Let’s Work For Wildlife’ is a strong proposition that works harder to raise our profile with the public, whose contributions are so vital to help us create a better future for wildlife.”

Previously, the ZSL brand was somewhat overshadowed by the popular London Zoo brand. The new identity should ensure that ZSL receives recognition for the work it does. Through science and conservation projects ZSL seeks to achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. The new brand

Zoo wolf’s death a senseless mistake
Rebel, the wolf from the Menominee Park Zoo, took one for the team. When I first heard the story, my heart ached. I couldn’t sleep that night. Subsequent nights all I could think about were the wolves left behind. One of the pack was missing.

It was all a senseless mistake. Someone wasn’t thinking. Someone wasn’t paying attention. Someone inadvertently left a restricted area gate open at the wolf exhibit. This didn’t mean the public was free to enter, but some people did. To further complicate the situation, a child was momentarily left unattended.

Of course the child was fascinated and naturally stuck his fingers through the fence. Naturally Rebel was curious and went to investigate. You can’t blame the wolf for checking out the outstretched fingers.

There was no serious injury, but the opportunity for the child to take rabies shots was declined. Rebel didn’t have the opportunity to decline the death penalty, which caused a great deal of pain for those who loved and cared for the wolf.

Too bad someone with awareness or a sense of civic responsibility didn’t report the unlocked gate to a staff member or even intervene in the dangerous circumstances the child had created.

There is shared responsibility for this unfortunate situation; the Parks Department, patrons who entered a restricted area and a child left unattended. According to the article by Nathaniel Shuda, published in The Northwestern July 29, the Parks Department implemented safety measure

Stolen Marmosets
Three pygmy marmosets - which measure less than 15 centimeters (six inches) - were taken by intruders from a zoo in Dortmund, Germany, between Sunday and Monday, zoo authorities said Wednesday.

"Small monkeys are the most irreplaceable for us," Anke Widow, a spokeswoman for the city of Dortmund, told the DPA news agency.

Two of the missing South American primates were being used for breeding and the zoo has since installed a 24-hour surveillance system, DPA reported.

In recent months there has been a spate of primate abductions from European zoos. A baby baboon was stolen Tuesday from a zoo in Skopje, Macedonia, this week by a 26-year-old woman, who had intended it as a gift for her deaf 7-year-old son, the "Dnev

Mother's love behind abduction of baby baboon
The mystery of a baby baboon abducted from Skopje's zoo had a bittersweet resolution: A mother says she stole it as a gift for her deaf son.

The 26-year-old woman told Dnevnik newspaper took that she lifted Luka, an 18-month-old crowd favorite, as a belated birthday present for her 7-year-old son. The woman said frequent visits to the zoo in Macedonia's capital had left her boy "in love with the monkey." She was not identified in line with Macedonian regulations concerning suspects.

Police said Luka was taken Tuesday by two people who cut nets at his enclosure. He was rescued about four hours later. Two people have been charged w

Baby Lear's Macaw Hatched In Brazil (PHOTOS)
The baby parrot is the first Lear's Macaw to hatch in captivity in Latin America.
Parents, Francisco and Maria Clara - both Lear's Macaws - had laid some eggs in the past but they were not successfully incubated and were just broken. The next time the couple laid an egg, zoo keepers made sure that it would hatch. They placed the egg on an incubator where temperature and humidity can be controlled.

Wallaby study hopes to determine Isle of Man population
Researchers in the Isle of Man are to study the island's wild wallaby population which is thought to be more than 100, according to the Manx Wildlife Trust.
The animals, which are native to Australia and Tasmania, have populated the Curraghs since a pair escaped from a wildlife park in the 1960s.
The project will use a series of hidden cameras and hopes to establish their populations and asses the impact on the environment.
Manx Wildlife Trust director Duncan Bridges said: "Their numbers are gradually increasing b

Parrot Feared Extinct For 100 Years Is Found
The night parrot, believed extinct since the last confirmed sighting in 1912, is found to be alive in arid desert in Queensland.

Belle Vue Zoo tigon goes on display at Manchester Museum after 65 years in storage
Maude, who was born in 1932 to a tiger father and lioness mother, has been in the storeroom of the University of Manchester's museum for more than six decades

No drop in orders for Taiji dolphins despite restriction
Orders for dolphins caught in drive hunts in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, this fiscal year are coming in at almost the same rate as before even though the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums has banned its members from buying animals caught via such methods.

A local fishermen’s union said Monday that the orders are mostly coming in from facilities that are not members of JAZA and dealers who may be exporting the dolphins.

Of the roughly 150 orders placed this year, the only applicant belonging to JAZA was the Taiji Whale Museum, according to sources close to the purchase.

Orders from members of the association generally accounted for 20 to 30 percent of applicants in previous years.

JAZA introduced punitive measures last month, including possible expulsion from the body, for members acquiring dolphins captured in drive hunts, in line with the hard-line stance adopted by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).

The world body had threatened to expel the Japanese body if its members continue to buy such dolphins, criticizing the practice as cruel.

The practice of herding dolphins into coves has long been used in Taiji.

It attracted controversy after the 2009

Filmmaker tries to rebut documentary on Japan dolphin hunt
A Japanese film is being offered as a rebuttal to the Oscar-winning documentary, "The Cove," which graphically depicted dolphins being slaughtered in the tiny town of Taiji.

"Behind The Cove" has interviews with Japanese whaling officials and footage of a whaling festival and Hiroshima atomic bomb victims to counter what director Keiko Yagi thinks is an unfair dosage of "Japan-bashing."

Her film argues that whale meat provided food in the lean years after Japan's defeat in World War II and was frequently served in school lunches. The practice has been phased out, and most Japanese these days though have never eaten whale or dolphin meat, no more than Westerners have.

"Unless we can respect each other's food culture, war will be a never-ending story," Yagi told reporters after a screening Friday in Tokyo.

She filmed retired whalers reminiscing about the old days, but not today's dolphin hunters or the people engaged in the lucrative business of selling dolphins to overseas aquariums and marine shows.

"The Cove" was named best documentary at the 2009 Academy Awards. It referred amply to the aquarium industry and contained surreptitiously obtained footage of Taiji fishermen in small boats, herding a pod of dolphins into the cove,

Aquarium locked in legal battle over denied bid for Russian beluga whales
The Georgia Aquarium is locked in a legal battle with a federal agency over the denial of its request to bring 18 beluga whales from Russia for display in aquariums in the US.

The aquarium argues introducing new belugas into the captive population in the US would diversify the gene pool, make the population more stable and broaden the database of research on belugas’ needs and capabilities.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), said the aquarium’s application for an import permit failed to meet some requirements of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

The aquarium filed the application in June 2012, and NOAA Fisheries denied it in August 2013. The aquarium then filed a lawsuit in September 2013 asking a federal judge to overturn the denial, and both sides are set to present oral arguments in court this week.

The two sides have asked the judge to make a decision on the merits of the case, based on court filings and oral arguments, without holding a trial.

The 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits the capture of marine mammals in US waters and by US citizens elsewhere and also doesn’t allow the import of marine mammals and marine mammal p

Nearly entire caribou herd at St-Félicien zoo mysteriously dies
The deaths of 19 of the St-Félicien Zoo's 21 caribou in a two-week span have got zoo biologists scratching their heads.

"We found one animal dead and another one the next day, and two others the next day... it was too much. We knew something was going on," said biologist Christine Gagnon.

Now just two caribou remain after nearly the entire herd died in July.

"It's still a mystery for us," Gagnon said. "We are still waiting for the final report."

Initial tests seem to point to a blood parasite, but Canadian and American labs are working to definitively identify the cause of the deaths.

Caribou have lived at the zoo and animal conservatory for more than 50 years.

This is the first time so many caribou have died all at once, Gagnon said.

"It's the first time that we hea

Challenge to St. Louis Zoo's weapons ban fuels Missouri gun debate
Gun rights advocate Jeffry Smith says he won’t be packing heat as he originally planned when he heads to the St. Louis Zoo on Saturday.

Smith, 56, of the Cincinnati area, says he believes the zoo has failed to prove its ban on guns and other weapons is legal, but he will not defy a city judge’s order barring him from entering the zoo with a firearm. He had planned to go armed with a holstered .45-caliber handgun Saturday afternoon — and invited other armed zoo-goers to join him— to test the zoo’s policy, a move that has put the St. Louis Zoo in the crosshairs of the gun rights debate in Missouri.

After Smith announced his protest, the zoo sought a restraining order blocking Smith from entering the zoo with a gun or weapon. St. Louis Circuit Judge Joan Moriarty granted the restraining order Friday. The order also applies to anyone working “in concert” with Smith and is in effect until a hearing set for 1:30 p.m. on June 22.

Smith’s zoo challenge comes as the city reviews some of its gun ordinances after voters last yea


Contents Pp. 7189-7308
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Download full issue of 26 May 2015 - - Pp. 7189-7308
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Artificial deepening of seasonal waterholes in eastern Cambodia: impact on water retention and use by large ungulates and waterbirds
--Thomas N.E. Gray, William J. McShea, Arnulf Koehncke, Prum Sovanna & Mark Wright,  Pp.7189-7195
Abstract    HTML    PDF (7710Kb)
Documenting the fauna of a small temporary pond from Pune, Maharashtra, India
--Mihir R. Kulkarni, Sameer Padhye, Avinash Isaac Vanjare, Shriraj S. Jakhalekar, Yugandhar S. Shinde, Shruti V. Paripatyadar, Sayali D. Sheth, Siddharth Kulkarni, Samadhan K. Phuge, Kalyani Bhakare, Aboli S. Kulkarni, Kalpana Pai & Hemant V. Ghate,  Pp.7196-7210
Abstract    HTML    PDF (7609Kb)
Sexual dimorphism in the Kudremukh Bush Frog (Anura: Rhacophoridae: Raorchestes tuberohumerus) of the Western Ghats, India, with a note on its distribution and conservation status
--Anand D. Padhye, Anushree Jadhav, Shauri Sulakhe & Neelesh Dahanukar,  Pp.7211-7222
Abstract    HTML    PDF (2914Kb)
Reproductive biology of Garra regressus and Garra tana (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae) from Lake Tana, Ethiopia
--Akewake Geremew, Abebe Getahun & Eshete Dejen,  Pp.7223-7233
Abstract    HTML    PDF (4421Kb)
Physiological validation of enzyme immunoassay of fecal glucocorticoid metabolite levels and diurnal variation measured in captive Black-tufted Marmoset Callithrix penicillata (Mammalia: Primates: Callitrichidae)
--Cristiane Schilbach Pizzutto, Manuela Gonçalves Fraga Geronymo Sgai, Cláudia Pereda Francischini, Priscila Viau, Cláudio Alvarenga de Oliveira & Marcelo Alcindo de Barros Vaz Guimarães,  Pp.7234-7242
Abstract    HTML    PDF (1764Kb)
On the present status of distribution and threats of high value medicinal plants in the higher altitude forests of the Indian eastern Himalaya
--P.R. Gajurel, Kh. Ronald, R. Buragohain, P. Rethy, B. Singh & S. Potsangbam,  Pp.7243-7252
Abstract    HTML    PDF (3438Kb)
On the molluscan fauna of Lakshadweep included in various schedules of Wildlife (Protection) Act of India
--A. Bijukumar, R. Ravinesh, A.R. Arathi & K.K. Idreesbabu,  Pp.7253-7268
Abstract    HTML    PDF (12034Kb)
A note on the behaviour of Four-horned Antelope Tetracerus quadricornis de Blainville, 1816 (Mammalia: Cetartiodactyla: Bovidae) in lowland Nepal
--Krishna Prasad Pokharel,  Pp.7269-7273
Abstract    HTML    PDF (1744Kb)
A pilot survey of the avifauna of Rangdum Valley, Kargil, Ladakh (Indian Trans-Himalaya)
--Tanveer Ahmed, Afifullah Khan & Pankaj Chandan,  Pp.7274-7281
Abstract    HTML    PDF (4710Kb)
Combat and acoustics of the endangered Little Tree Frog (Amphibia: Rhacophoridae: Rhacophorus lateralis) from the Western Ghats, India
--Sunil Sachi & K.P. Dinesh,  Pp.7282-7286
Abstract    HTML    PDF (3846Kb)
A brief account of Orchidaceae in Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai, India
--Sweedle Cerejo-Shivkar & Rajendra D. Shinde,  Pp.7287-7295
Abstract    HTML    PDF (3858Kb)
Harvesting the guano of insectivorous bats: is it sustainable?
--Thet Thet & Khin Mya Mya,  Pp.7296-7297
Abstract    HTML    PDF (475Kb)
On the breeding of the Slaty-legged Crake (Aves: Rallidae: Rallina eurizonoides) in Nilambur, Kerala, southern India
--M. Divin Murukesh & Peroth Balakrishnan,  Pp.7298-7301
Abstract    HTML    PDF (7685Kb)
A new range record of Comostola hauensteini Smetacek, 2004 (Lepidoptera: Geometridae: Geometrinae) from Bhutan
--Irungbam Jatishwor Singh,  Pp.7302-7304
Abstract    HTML    PDF (1486Kb)
Eulophia epidendraea (J. Koenig ex Retz.) C.E.C. Fisch. and Thelasis pygmaea (Griff.) Lindl. (Orchidaceae) - new additions to the flora of Karnataka, India
--A.N. Sringeswara & Sahana Vishwanath,  Pp.7305-7308
Abstract    HTML    PDF (3731Kb)

As conservation educators we must often simplify stories of complex ecological relationships, but even we don’t realize how complex -- and amazing -- those relationships really are. June’s stories at (NEWS/Botanical News) show that science marches on:
·         How do so many animals share the great African savannas without eating them into oblivion? Is it really so simple as “grazers and browsers”? Of course not. Researchers analyzed DNA in feces to reveal a hidden more complex model.
·         Debates over invasive plants are more often emotional, even nationalistic, than reasoned. Now complicating the mix: endangered Galapagos tortoises depend on introduced plants to survive.
·         In a uniquely infertile ecosystem in Australia scientists expected all plants to evolve the same efficient root strategy to survive. The scientists were mistaken.
·         Giant Pandas depend on healthy stands of bamboo to survive, but they also require old growth forests that have never been logged. Why? Excellent question.
·         Bamboo species each flower at the same time, on the same schedule and then die.   To understand why requires a mathematician.

Artistic appreciation of nature can take any form. Here are balloon sculptures you won’t see at the local children’s’ birthday party

Please share these stories with associates, staff, docents and – most importantly – visitors!
Follow on TwitterFacebook Or visit –  new stories every day as well as hundreds of stories from the past few years.

Use the Search feature to find the stories you need. Pandas and forests? Bears and trees? Australian ecosystems? Just ask.

Research Articles

  1. Impacts of visitor number on Kangaroos housed in free-range exhibits (pages 287–295)
    Sally L. Sherwen, Paul H. Hemsworth, Kym L. Butler, Kerry V. Fanson and Michael J.L. Magrath
    Article first published online: 2 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/zoo.21226
  2. Validating a human biotelemetry system for use in captive blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) (pages 321–327)
    Liesel L. Laubscher, Louwrens C. Hoffman, Neville I. Pitts and Jacobus P. Raath
    Article first published online: 17 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/zoo.21222
  3. Reproductive behavior of the great hornbill (Buceros bicornis) (pages 328–334)
    Corinne P. Kozlowski, Karen L. Bauman and Cheryl S. Asa
    Article first published online: 20 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/zoo.21221
  4. Cryopreservation of Sambar deer semen in Thailand (pages 335–344)
    Thevin Vongpralub, Wittaya Chinchiyanond, Pornchai Hongkuntod, Pitcharat Sanchaisuriya, Sanan Liangpaiboon, Areeya Thongprayoon and Noppadon Somphol
    Article first published online: 23 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/zoo.21214
  5. Digestive physiology of the plains viscacha (Lagostomus maximus): A large herbivorous hystricomorph rodent (pages 345–359)
    Katharina B. Hagen, Dorothea Besselmann, Ulrike Cyrus-Eulenberger, Catharina Vendl, Sylvia Ortmann, Robert Zingg, Ellen Kienzle, Michael Kreuzer, Jean-Michel Hatt and Marcus Clauss
    Article first published online: 24 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/zoo.21216
  6. Aquarium microbiome response to ninety-percent system water change: Clues to microbiome management (pages 360–367)
    William Van Bonn, Allen LaPointe, Sean M. Gibbons, Angel Frazier, Jarrad Hampton-Marcell and Jack Gilbert
    Article first published online: 28 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/zoo.21220
  7. Seasonal acclimatization determined by non-invasive measurements of coat insulation (pages 368–373)
    Vaughan A. Langman, Sarah L. Langman and Nancy Ellifrit
    Article first published online: 18 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/zoo.21219
  8. Chromosomal variation and perinatal mortality in San Diego zoo Soemmerring's gazelles (pages 374–384)
    Cynthia C. Steiner, Suellen J. Charter, Natalie Goddard, Heidi Davis, Margot Brandt, Marlys L. Houck and Oliver A. Ryder
    Article first published online: 25 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/zoo.21223
  9. Global climate change attitudes and perceptions among south American zoo visitors (pages 393–393 )
    Jerry F. Luebke, Susan Clayton, Lisa-Anne DeGregoria Kelly and Alejandro Grajal
    Article first published online: 28 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/zoo.21224


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