Saturday, December 12, 2015

Zoo News Digest 7th - 12th December 2015 (ZooNews 917)

Zoo News Digest 7th - 12th December 2015 
(ZooNews 917)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleague,

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 totally unnecessary!

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 more information.

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, 

Interesting Links

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.

Plucked from 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 Island.

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 Lonesom

Chimpanzees heading to Canterbury animal park delayed indefinitely
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 summer 2015.

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 period.
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 enhancement plans.

"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?”
“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 tale”
“Created, concocted 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
Australia's northern 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 Them
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.

“Regaining 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 Karen.
“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 officer
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 were gathered.
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 prosecutor’s accusations
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 said, adding


Edited by Dr Kees Rookmaaker
The total number of references in the database and collection of the RRC now stands at 19,850. All about rhinos, their history, biology and conservation. Many items can be viewed direct on the website.
Please send us your articles on rhinos, pictures of rhinos. Reply to this email, thank you.
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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 to hyenas.

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.

Although this 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.

"Lions are 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 Safari Park
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 friend Timur
"Following 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 Park.

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 the incubat

Can a zoo visitor/animal interaction ever be good for animal welfare?
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 interactions?

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 City
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 said.

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 dangerous creatures
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 and wolves.

"It's based on respect and mutual love," said Harwell. "It's a calculated risk."

"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."

"Firefighters 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.
Monique Alexander 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 tragedy.
Zookeeper Samantha Kudeweh, 43, was inside the enclosure of Sumatran tiger Oz, when she was mauled.

Oldest penguin in Britain dies aged 37 at zoo
Britain's oldest penguin has died aged 37 - following a battle with arthritis caused by years of waddling around.

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 sleep."

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.

Living Coast operations manager Cla

Heavy Metals, Snow Leopard DNA Found In Traditional Chinese Medicine Purchased In Australia
Some Chinese 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.

The research, 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 label.

“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 diplomatic relations,...

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.

This incident started what would become more than a two-year campaign to shut down Phan Huynh Anh Khoa, AKA the Bastard of the Internet.

Khoa deservedly 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.

During our 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. 

Missy was 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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Recent Zoo Vacancies

Zoo Jobs

Vacancies in Zoos and Aquariums and Wildlife/Conservation facilities around the World

About me
After more than 47 years working in private, commercial and National zoos in the capacity of keeper, head keeper and curator Peter Dickinson started to travel. He sold house and all his possessions and hit the road. He has traveled extensively in Turkey, Southern India and much of South East Asia before settling in Thailand. In his travels he has visited well over 200 zoos and writes about these in his blog

Peter earns his living as an international independent zoo consultant, critic and writer. Currently working as Curator of Penguins in Ski Dubai. United Arab Emirates. He describes himself as an itinerant zoo keeper, a dreamer, a traveller, a people watcher, a lover, a thinker, a cosmopolitan, a writer, a hedonist, an explorer, a pantheist, a gastronome, sometime fool, a good friend to some and a pain in the butt to others.

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Peter Dickinson
Contact email -
Dubai: ++ 971 (0)50 4787 122

Skype: peter.dickinson48

Mailing address: (not where I live...currently in Dubai)
2 Highgate
North Wales
LL22 8NP

United Kingdom

"These are the best days of my life"

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