ZooNews Digest has
well over 20,000 likes on Facebook and has a weekly reach of 30,000
plus….sometimes a lot higher. The mail out version reaches a lot more people
and practically every country in the world. More likes each week but at the
same time there are always several who will unlike based on my comments. I
don't expect that this week will be any different. The point is, and always has
been to get out those news stories which would be a point of discussion among professional keepers during lunch an tea breaks. There will always be and should be debate and my comments are my opinion. Researching and Thinking before voicing an opinion is important.
Really what is the
point in the risky activities being carried out in Out of Africa wildlife park?
There isn't one…apart from pandering to a gullible public and massaging a
Tarzan complex. If, as they state the animals involved have all their teeth and
are not declawed then the activity is, without doubt, an accident waiting to
happen. This 'keeping the hunting instinct' alive is truly pointless.
The instinct never goes away, they are cats after all, and besides hacking back
is not that complicated. The same sort of argument is used by other
Dysfunctional Zoos across the world, zoos who feed live animals to their
carnivores. Be assured that none of these big cats will ever be returned to the
wild. Why? Because any competent government would refuse permission because it
flouted IUCN Guidelines. Then there is the fact that there is very little wild
left that these animals can go to…it is already occupied. Lastly (or perhaps
not because I can think of other reasons) these tigers are hybrids of unknown
parentage and do not appear in any officially sanctioned studbook and so are
conservation useless. These risky and stupid activities only take place to line
the pockets of the owners who promote them. What if someone was killed? Well
any zoo where such a tragedy has occurred will tell you that they can expect a
large intake of morbidly curious visitors which will last for months.
The longer the Good
Zoos allow this sort of activity to take place in the bad, be it with Tigers or
Crocodilians the more acceptable it becomes to 'Joe Public'. The more
newspapers like 'The Mail' promote it as something wonderful simply compounds
the idea in Joe's head. It is stupid, it is totally unnecessary and is wrong.
Reflecting back on
the unfortunate goat dumped into a Russian Tiger enclosure as live prey. This
story is still going the rounds. There has been a great numbers of opinions
voiced, the majority of which say that the goat will ultimately be killed and
eaten. So the sensible thing to do would be to split the two up or humanely slaughter the goat. But no, what
they have done is rigged up a live video feed so people can wait for the
inevitable to happen. Okay I appreciate a percentage of people will view just
how they can exclaim how cute the current arrangement is…but the others…the
sicker morbid half of society with whom we share our planet will wait for the 'natural' gore. The Coliseum was
closed a long time ago but if it were re-opened next week I don't doubt that
there would be standing room only. Good Zoos need to stand up and condemn live feeding wherever it is carried out. Like playing Tarzan with Tigers it is
I very much doubt
that The Black Jaguar-White Tiger Foundation does live feeding but what it does
do is pull the wool over a lot of people's eyes. This is yet another of these
facilities where you need to look at seriously. Take everything their website and
Facebook page says with a huge bucket of salt. This is yet another one of those
places which lures in supermodels and starlets with cubs which they claim to
have rescued….and yet they continue to breed and play Tarzan of course. It
would appear that they are either going to move from Mexico or set up a
satellite collection in Miami. They are not doing anything clever or noble and
as far as conservation goes it does not come into the picture at all.
Read THIS for a bit
I am saddened to see
that the shipment of Elephants to the US and the Chimpanzees to the UK have
been put on hold because of the ignorant and ill-informed interfering of animal
rights activists. These groups are made up of people who will sign any old petition
based on a single statement. They look no further than their noses. There is no
research at all. 90% of the problems we have on planet earth are caused by
people like them. Blinkered and unthinking.
The Lakeland Wildlife Oasis has suffered quite badly in the recent North of England Floods but seems now to be pulling itself out of the worst.
A petting zoo slaughtering wolves? Doesn't sit right with me. I am hoping we will learn more about this in the coming days.
My trip to Cairo was
short and fairly uneventful. I had the starting of some sort of bug when I went away. Worse when I got back. Most memorable was being eaten by mosquitoes whose
bites, even now, days later, are itching.
I remain committed to the work of GOOD zoos,
not DYSFUNCTIONAL zoos.
Can Extinct Giant Tortoises Be Brought Back to Life?
An 80-foot cable
dangled beneath a helicopter as it emerged from the mists and flew to an
anchored ship, where it gently deposited its living cargo. A century-old giant
tortoise lumbered out of a tangle of green netting and stretched its
mustard-yellow neck from its shell.
lava-strewn slopes, this male tortoise holds the hope for reviving a species
that’s been extinct since the 1850s. Known as H-2, he’s a hybrid bearing the
strong genetic stamp of tortoises once native to the Galápagos’ Floreana
Weighing in at 380
pounds, H-2 is one of 32 giant tortoises retrieved last month during a $500,000
expedition that could be key to resurrecting two extinct species, the Floreana
and the Pinta. The last known Pinta, a hundred-year-old, beloved tortoise dubbed
Chimpanzees heading to Canterbury animal park delayed
A group of primates
from America expecting to make a home at the Wingham Wildlife Park have been
delayed after a permit has been postponed.
The animal park
initially set a tentative arrival date for the group of eight chimpanzees for
This date was
initially deferred due to work being pushed back on the purpose-built enclosure
because of poor weather conditions.
Now the chimps'
arrival date has been further pushed back after an initial public comment
The U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service (USFWS) decided on December 2, 2015 to postpone issuing the
permit to the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in America, which would
allow the exportation of the eight chimpanzees to the park.
Explaining why the
application was delayed, Animal Collection Curator, Markus Wilder, said:
"The permit for exporting these animals needs to show that the move will
in some way benefit chimpanzees in the wild.
"We had put in
to place arrangements to support conservation projects but had to change this
during the original public comment period.
"The USFWS is
reopening the comment period so the public can comment on the revised
"As soon as the
USFWS reposts the information for public comment, we will let everyone know how
they can show their support for the eight chimpanzees being donated to our park
and given retirement in the beautiful Kent countryside."
The delay comes as a
blow to the park, who are add
The Dallas Zoo is arguing six elephants are better off
in Texas than in Africa
The Dallas Zoo wants
to transfer six elephants from Swaziland to its man-made savannah near the
city’s downtown, where it says they will have a better chance of surviving than
in their native Africa.
The Texas zoo, along
with zoos in Omaha, Nebraska, and Wichita, Kansas, have filed paperwork (pdf)
with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to import a combined 18 elephants,
representing close to half of the 40 elephants in two managed areas of
Swaziland, the Mkhaya Game Reserve and Hlane National Park.
The zoos say the
Swaziland herd has outgrown its current habitat, which is managed by private
nonprofit Big Game Parks. The elephants are feeding through forests and
crowding endangered rhinos, they add. Rampant poaching makes it unsafe to move
the animals elsewhere in Africa, they argue, and if the zoos don’t take them,
park managers will cull them.
But the idea is
generating an uproar among conservation activists and wildlife managers who say
zoos are no place for the highly intelligent and social pachyderms. “African
elephants belong in Africa,” one such group declares.
Reuben Abati: Who released, killed and ate our Lion?
“Did they send you
your own share of the bush meat?”
“The lion in the zoo
that became bush meat in Jos”
“What’s my own
inside? I don’t know any zoo worker in Jos and how could a lion that was
allowed out of its cage and got shot end up in my stomach. The kind of things
you say sometimes.”
“That means you have
not been following the story.”
“It is an animal
and delivered by animals in human skin, working in animal kingdom, telling us
animal tales. What surprises me is the fact that there has been no public
uproar, no outrage.”
“People are too busy
thinking of how to survive as human beings, how to fight the current nationwide
epidemic of empty pockets and stomachs, and survive the change in their lives.”
“But when a similar
incident occurred at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, there was serious
outrage all over the world. Dr. Palmer, the American who killed the lion was
the target of abuse and attacks. He even had to shut down his dental office.
There were calls for his prosecution.”
These adorable marsupials have nearly wiped themselves
out because they won't stop eating toads
quoll is a ridiculously cute marsupial that grows to roughly size of a cat. But
despite being one of the country's most iconic predators, it's now on the brink
of extinction in certain regions, all because it just won't stop eating highly
toxic cane toads.
The problem stems
from the fact that cane toads – an invasive pest species in Australia – look
similar to the native frogs that are part of the quolls' normal diet. So the
marsupials often eat cane toads by accident, and then die quickly as a result
of the toxicity. But a researcher from the Unive
Does your zoo keep Barbary Macaques?
If so click
Cranes, other endangered birds see numbers tick up
As the rare Sarus
Crane makes its annual return to Banteay Meanchey to nest for the dry season,
wildlife experts said yesterday that they have noticed a growing population of
these birds – along with more than a dozen other vulnerable species returning to
a sanctuary in the province.
Bird flocks in the
Ang Trapaeng Thmor conservation area – built atop a notorious Khmer Rouge
worksite – have grown by 20 per cent per species, including among populations
of the Greater Adjutant Stork and the Greater Spotted Eagle.
The Sarus Crane –
which is the tallest flying bird in the world, and currently listed as
“vulnerable” – has done even better. Some 850 cranes are now
Vultures are Revolting. Here’s Why We need to Save
AT SUNSET THE
WILDEBEEST SEEMS DOOMED: Sick or injured, it’s wandering miles from its herd on
the Serengeti Plain of Tanzania. By sunrise the loner is dead, draped in a
roiling scrum of vultures, 40 or so birds searching for a way to invade its
earthly remains. Some of the scavengers wait patiently, with a Nixonian hunch,
eyes on their prize. But most are engaged in gladiatorial battle. Talons
straining, they rear and rake, joust and feint. One pounces atop another, then
bronco rides its bucking and rearing victim. The crowd parts and surges in a
black-and-brown wave of undulating necks, stabbing beaks, and thrashing wings.
From overhead, a constant stream of new diners swoops in, heads low, bouncing
and tumbling in their haste to join the mob.
Why the fuss over a
carcass so large? Why the unseemly greed? Because the wildebeest is
tough-skinned and wasn’t killed by c
Wellington Zoo retains carboNZero certification
Wellington Zoo leads
the way for the planet by retaining carboNZero certification
Wellington Zoo is
thrilled to have again achieved carboNZero certification, after becoming the
first Zoo in the world to be carboNZero certified in May 2013.
certification for each financial year just goes to show that Wellington Zoo is
leading the way in sustainability,” said Karen Fifield, Wellington Zoo Chief
Executive and member of the Sustainable Business Council Advisory Board.
“Conservation is at
the heart of everything we do, and this achievement shows how very seriously we
take our commitment to minimising the Zoo’s environmental impact.”
“Our journey to
become the world’s first carboNZero certified zoo was a five-year undertaking,
and achieving certification again is a testament to the hard work and
commitment to sustainability of all Zoo staff – and a wonderful acknowledgment
of our passion for creating a better future for our precious animals,” said
“As a Council
Controlled Organisation we’re delighted to ha
Petting Zoo Accused Of Slaughtering Endangered Gray
Wolves For Fur
An animal advocacy
group is threatening to sue a Minnesota wildlife farm and petting zoo that it
claims is slaughtering gray wolves for their fur.
Fur-Ever Wild, in
the city of Lakeville, allows visitors to pet gray wolf pups. But the Animal
Legal Defense Fund alleges that the farm kills and skins the wolves to sell
their pelts. Gray wolves are protected under the Endangered Species Act, which
means it is illegal to kill them.
Cheetahs stationed on South African air base attack
Two cheetahs used
for animal control on a South African air base attacked an air force officer,
slightly injuring her.
The cheetahs, reared
by humans and housed on the base to keep other animals off the runway, are part
of a natural security program. Exploring their new environment, the two males
on Tuesday entered a hangar on the Makhado Air Force Base, where a few officers
The animals were
shooed away, but as they stalked off, a warrant officer tried to take their
picture. They began to growl. As the warrant officer turned to flee, they
pounced. The woman was treated for minor injuries on her shoulders and the back
of her head.
The cheetahs, who
were deployed two weeks ago, will keep their home on the base, and the
Owner to close Crimea zoos as protest against
The owner of two
Crimean zoos on Thursday announced plans to close them in protest against a
local prosecutor’s accusations that he caused the deaths of two white tiger
cubs. "We’ve decided to close the Taigan safari park and Skazka zoo as a
protest. I will demand the resignation of the Crimean prosecutor," Oleg
Zubkov said. "I am ready to consider relocating the zoos to another
Russian region or another country." Prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya said
earlier that Zubkov was responsible for the two cubs' deaths at the Skazka zoo
in the resort city of Yalta. She also said he was standing trial for attacking
a zoo keeper and may face up to three years in jail if convicted. Commenting on
Zubkov’s plans to close the zoos, Poklonskaya said the decision might be linked
to his failure to keep the animals properly. "He is most likely closing
them as he cannot provide normal conditions to keep the animals," she
RHINO RESOURCE CENTER – NEWSLETTER 41 – DECEMBER 2015
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Nigeria: Animal Rights Activists Fume Over Feeding of
Lion to Hyenas
The Jos Wildlife
Park fed the carcass of the lion killed after it escaped confinement last week
The park's personnel
told Daily Trust at the weekend that they were directed by their General
Manager, John Doy, to feed the carcass to hyenas after its head, claws and skin
were removed for preservation.
disclosure helped to douse rumours that the dead lion was given to locals who
butchered it for food, it set the stage for a fresh battle as animal rights
activists argue that the management should have preserved the bones and not
feed them to hyenas.
endangered species of wildlife, and their bones are scarce. For the park
management to invite troops to kill an endangered animal without justifiable
reason is enough embarrassment to us. To feed the carcass to hyenas when the
bones would have been preserved for studies in a tertiary institution is
unforgiving," an activist told Daily Trust yesterday.
Dr. Shase-et Spak,
the chairman of Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) in Plateau
State, said fellow animal rights activists across the world had been c
Illegal Montekristo zoo hosted 36 state school visits
in five years
The illegal zoo at
the Montekristo estate has hosted 36 state school visits since 2011, the
education ministry confirmed.
In reply to
MaltaToday’s questions, the ministry said that so far this year no outings have
been organised at the zoo, which was recently closed down after a child was
pawed and badly injured by a tiger.
In the 2013/14
scholastic year pupils from 24 state schools visited the zoo, part of a complex
described by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) as “Malta’s
largest illegal development”. Last year the number of visits went down to five.
In 2011/12 four
schools orgainsed a visit at Montekristo and another three visits took place in
the following scholastic year.
Last month the
unlicensed zoo was closed down by the owners, the Polidano group, after a tiger
being walked by its keepers grievously injured a three-year
First Zoo Hospital of Pakistan completed at Lahore
Wildlife and Parks
Punjab - Director General - Khalid Ayaz Khan has said that the first zoo
hospital in the history of the country has been completed at Lahore Safari Zoo
Park with a cost of Rs. 4 crore. The hospital will be made operational after
provision of necessary staff, equipment and medicines.
He was presiding
over a meeting to review the pace of ongoing schemes at his office today.
Director Lahore Zoo, Deputy Director Lahore Safari Zoo Park and officers
concerned were present. Khalid Ayaz Khan said that the first zoo hospital set
up over two acres land will help in the treatment of ill and injured animals
and birds of zoos, breeding centers and wildlife parks.
He said that the
facility of blood test, X-ray, surgery, ultrasound and dispensary will also be
available at the zoo hospital. Khalid Ayaz Khan s
Zoo webcams to live stream tiger Amur and his goat
insistent requests from the website visitors, the Far Eastern Safari Park has
decided to install webcams so that anyone can watch online if Timur is still
alive," said the park’s director Dmitry Mezentsev. The tiger and goat are
playing together more often than just walking around the enclosure or eating,
he said. "On December 9, Timur invited Amur to try their strength,"
he said. The goat "pointed his horns at the tiger that met the challenge
by pressing his forehead to the goat’s horns. They were butting for five seco
Channel 4 commissions The Secret Life of Chester Zoo
Channel 4 has
revealed some of its 2016 highlights. This includes the fourth and final series
of Fresh Meat and a “major new” documentary based at Chester Zoo.
The Secret Life of
the Zoo (working title) takes a look behind the scenes of Britain’s most
popular zoo. Using a range of filming techniques, including micro-rigs to
capture close up animal behaviour, it will explore what the animals get up to,
as well as their relationships with the keepers.
Vulture breeding may get fillip
If it hatches, this
egg could break the jinx of the vulture breeding centre at the Nehru Zoological
An egg laid by a
vulture last month in a crucial incubation stage and its progress is being
keenly monitored by the staff here. And if it hatches successfully, it would be
the first major success for the centre which, in six years of its inception,
has had no positive results to boost of.
The vulture breeding
centre at the zoo so far had only two instances of the birds laying eggs, but
both ended up as doomed episodes. In one case, the egg slipped from the nest
and got wasted while in the other case, the egg did hatch but the chick emerged
with congenital problems and died within a few days.
A zoo official put
Can a zoo visitor/animal interaction ever be good for
The other day I was
talking about interactions between visitors and animals in zoos and
aquariums. Many sub-standard (and some
modern zoos) hold controversial activities that allow for close interactions
with wild animals. Petting and photo
opportunities, animal shows and animal rides are amongst just some of the
opportunities on offer, and any of them are likely to have a negative impact on
an animal’s welfare. One colleague asked
whether my perception of interactions included walkthrough enclosures, such as
the very popular lemur or bat enclosures found at a number of zoos. This is a good point as this is of course an
interaction of some form. It’s in a
contained environment that is shared by both the visitor and animal and where
an animal may not have the ability to remove itself from this environment, it
often results in close and sometimes direct contact. But does this close proximity necessarily
translate into a negative welfare state for the animals? Or can we learn from these types of
interactions to positively make a change to other more obviously detrimental
To find out more, I
asked my colleague Dr Jake Veasey, who has significant experience in
master-planning and zoo development, having designed a number of award winning
facilities. Jake focuses on the important aspect of ensuring an an
Another PH eaglet successfully hatched by PEF in Davao
The Philippine Eagle
Foundation (PEF) based here has successfully hatched another eagle, the 26th
chick it managed to produce since the start of its breeding program in 1992.
Anna Mae Sumaya, PEF
curator, said the eaglet was the result of the natural pairing of male eagle
“MVP Eagle” and female bird, “Go Phoenix.”
The chick was the
first fertile egg and also the first offspring of the pair since they became
partners in 2013. It hatched on December 7 after 56 days of incubation, Sumaya
Zoos could become 'conservation powerhouses'
What do the golden
lion tamarin, Przewalski’s horse, the Puerto Rican parrot and the kihansi spray
toad all have in common? Well, for one thing they’ve all been on the very brink
of extinction; for another, they very likely wouldn’t survive today if not for
the work of zoos. Over the past century, zoos have played a crucial role in
saving dozens, maybe hundreds, of species from extinction. Most often this work
has stemmed from breeding captive animals inside zoo walls, but today more and
more zoos are funding conservation in the field or even starting their own
programmes. Now a new report by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
(WAZA) has called on these institutions to raise their ambitions by spending at
least 3% of their operational budgets on conservation.
“The idea is to make
it very clear that the ultimate purpose of zoological institutions is
conservation,” said WAZA Executive Director, Gerald Dick. “This can be achieved
in various ways, and spending money is one important one.”
WAZA, based in
Switzerland, is the top global organisation for the world’s zoos and aquariums.
It has a membership of 28
Out of Africa handlers romp with beautiful yet
Ask Jeff Harwell of
Out of Africa Wildlife Park if he ever feels fear while working and he'll
answer, "All the time."
Harwell, a Texas
transplant, has been a large carnivore handler here for nine years. As part of
his job, he enters exhibits inhabited by roaming tigers, lions, leopards, bears
"It's based on
respect and mutual love," said Harwell. "It's a calculated
"We have lot of
people apply and then get here and say, 'I don't actually like this. The risk
is not worth it,'" Harwell said. "For me, it's worth it."
get burned and football players break collar bones. We get bitten and
scratched," he said.
A typical work day
for Harwell may include swim
Tangling with tigers and running with wolves: Daredevil wildlife workers teach predators to HUNT - with only trust to keep them safe
These daredevil wildlife trainers dice with death every day - by teaching wolves and tigers to hunt.
Workers at the Out of Africa wildlife park in Camp Verde, Arizona, wear no protective gear as they run around with the vicious predators and train them to attack.
The only thing saving them from being attacked by their charges is the bond of trust that stops them being transformed into a quick meal.
Zoo swap opponent meets with first lady
The donor who funded
the enclosure at Kampot’s Teuk Chhou Zoo for Kiri and Seila, two elephants
slated to be sent to Japan in a controversial animal swap, reportedly met with
first lady Bun Rany and the prime minister’s secretary last weekend to request the
swap be halted.
After learning of
the planned trade for two white tigers and two zebras, zoo donor Fiona Hardie
met the premier’s wife and then visited the elephants last weekend, according
to an email from Louise Rogerson, founder of the elephant conservation group
EARS, which was barred from the Teuk Chhou Zoo in late September
Hamilton Zoo death: Staff get bravery awards
Two female Hamilton
Zoo staff who tried unsuccessfully to save the life of their fellow keeper have
received bravery awards.
and Sarah Jones were presented with District Commander's Commendations at a
ceremony in Hamilton today for their role in trying to prevent the September
Kudeweh, 43, was inside the enclosure of Sumatran tiger Oz, when she was
Oldest penguin in Britain dies aged 37 at zoo
penguin has died aged 37 - following a battle with arthritis caused by years of
Pat the penguin -
thought to be the second oldest penguin in Europe - was put down by zoo vets
due to her advanced condition and pain.
Phil Knowling, a
spokesman for Living Coasts in Torquay, Devon, said she had lived a good life.
He said: '"Pat
had terrific innings thanks to good husbandry, good vet care, good food and
freedom from predators.
"Her quality of
life had declined because of arthritis - the only thing to do was put her to
An African penguin,
Pat hatched at Paignton Zoo in 1978 but moved to Living Coasts zoo in 2003.
Her toy-boy partner
Eddie hatched in April 2001 - making him 14.
operations manager Cla
Heavy Metals, Snow Leopard DNA Found In Traditional
Chinese Medicine Purchased In Australia
medicines have been found to contain toxic heavy metals, undisclosed
prescription medications, and the DNA of snow leopards, cats, and dogs, new
research has found.
published by a group of researchers from Curtin University, Murdoch University
and the University of Adelaide in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, finds
nine out of 10 Chinese medicines has a substance in it that’s not declared on
“The most concerning
finding was snow leopard DNA (snow leopards are an endangered species), which
was detected in one medicine,” study co-authors Dr Ian Musgrave and Professor
Michael Bunce wrote on The Conversation.
“DNA from pit viper,
frog, rat, cat and dog was also detected in several medicines.”
The number of
traditional Chinese medicines which included undeclared substances was
extremely high, a fact the researchers said was concerning.
“Nearly nine in ten
of these medicines had some f
Hublot And Haute Living Host Charity Brunch For Black
Jaguar White Tiger Organization In Miami
The two companies
hosted a charity brunch celebration to benefit the Black Jaguar White
Tiger organization at Tamarina in
Miami. Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe
announced a new partnership with the foundation by unveiling a massive Mr.
Brainwash mural in the Brickell neighborhood of Miami. Hublot is also
commemorating the new partnership with a special edition Hublot timepiece due
to arrive in 2016.
There is No ‘But’ In the Word Conservation
In an earlier post
titled ‘Why The End Will Never Justify The Means When It Comes To Conservation’
(which you can read here) ICARUS wordsmith Artemis Grey focused on the issue of
‘hands off’ conservation, particularly citing the world famous ‘Lion Whisperer’
who insists that his main focus is animal advocacy and conservation, even while
he, himself, interacts with the lions under his care, and engages in the exact
activities that he condemns as animal exploitation in other situations. As
expected, we received a great deal of defensive response from fans and
supporters of the Lion Whisperer, every one of which contained some version of
the statement ‘He does those things, but…’
But he raises
awareness. But the animals are well cared for. But he does more good than bad.
But he has a special bond. But the only reason you’re attacking him is because
secretly, you’re jealous of him. But you can’t compare what he does to ‘real’
cub-petting. But he didn’t breed his lions
Calls grow to move Hanako from Tokyo zoo
Thai elephant lovers
and animal welfare activists are calling on Japanese authorities to relocate
Hanako, a 68-year-old female Thai elephant living alone at a zoo in Tokyo, to
another zoo where she will...
Friends of the Asean
Elephant made the call, joining similar concerns expressed by Japanese people,
after learning that Hanako, which was sent to Japan in 1949 to help strengthen
Fighting Wildlife Crime in Vietnam: The Downfall of
the Bastard of the Internet
The case file reads
like a book: Nearly 25 pages of documentation detailing Education for
Nature-Vietnam’s efforts to take down a wildlife trader who is referred to
internally within ENV as the “Bastard of the Internet”.
The story starts on
August 16, 2013 when ENV received a call on our Wildlife Crime Hotline from a
member of the public reporting a macaque advertised for sale on the internet. A
phone number leads us to a shop in Tan Binh district of Ho Chi Minh City where
an assortment of wildlife including macaques and ferret badgers are observed.
However, it was four days later before police inspected the shop and of course,
the wildlife had disappeared.
started what would become more than a two-year campaign to shut down Phan Huynh
Anh Khoa, AKA the Bastard of the Internet.
earned his name over the course of our investigation campaign by advertising a
wide assortment of endangered and protected species including douc langurs,
leopard cats, pangolins, marine turtles, otters, and lorises on his personal
Facebook account and on websites and forums. His evolving list of live animals
for sale goes on and on, reading like the inventory of a small zoo, and
includes both native and exotic wildlife.
investigations, we actively sought his arrest and worked with police to
organize more than 25 inspections of his shop, where he openly sold wildlife.
However, only a handful of squirrels and exotic chickens were confiscated.
Moreover, Khoa mocked authorities and ENV on his Facebook account, promising
that he would never be caught and cursing ENV a
The Middle Flipper Is...(Part 15)
...a penguin who
plays your emotions like a glorious fiddle.
Missy is an African
penguin who was hatched at my place of employment. You might look at her and think about how
cute she is. You might look at her and
think she looks like an ordinary penguin who launches poo out of her body at
speeds only documented in outer space.
But there is nothing ordinary about this bird.
hand-raised by humans. So the first faces Missy ever saw were that of us, the
great naked apes. And while I've read
only one paper discussing African penguin chick imprinting before fledgling,
Missy had a very unusual "hatch" story.
Basically, Missy is
a miracle bird. When trainers went to
candle the egg she was in to see if it was viable, they found nothing. Always the eternal optimists, they placed
the egg back and figured they'd check on it later, knowing that they'd find out
it was a dud.
But on Thanksgiving
day that year, a trainer heard the egg chirping. That night, it was really cold (too cold for
African penguins), so all the birds had to be moved inside, which meant the
parents couldn't sit on the egg. The
trainers got a brooder from a local zoo, took the brooder and baby Egg-Missy
home, and hatched early the next morning.
Panicked, because they
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