Forget about the
home aquariums….I wonder just how many Public Aquariums will now suddenly start
displaying the Royal Blue Tang which never kept them before? Captive breeding
of the species is debatable so almost inevitably these will be especially wild
caught as are most marine fish. 'Oh it died…catch me another one'.
So the Buenos Aires
zoo is to close. Is it a Good Zoo? I have no idea, I have never visited and
have no recollection of anyone ever saying anything good about the place. Lots
of negative comments though related to their Polar Bears do however spring to mind. The
thing is, will the animals be better off somewhere else? I doubt it. It is all
very well throwing out statements along the lines that the animals will be
moved to a 'Sanctuary', 'Reserve' or remain in an 'Ecopark' they are STILL
animals in captivity. The real Sanctuaries are GOOD zoos and making an effort
to improve the Buenos Aires zoo makes far more sense than moving animals along
to out of sight, out of mind locations. All it serves to do is make the Mayor
Horacio Rodríguez Larreta out to be some sort of ecological hero when he is
nothing of the sort. In fact I don't believe the Mayor has got the remotest
clue about zoos. Money is behind the move…I would bet on it.
It makes bile rise
to the back of my throat when I read of certain people condemning 'Selfies' with
captive animals when I know they are the first ones to commit the act.
"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". For myself....I condemn it but then I am not posting pictures of myself on line at every possible opportunity.
I believe that
Zoobic Safari opening a Petting Zoo inside of the Harbor Point Ayala Mall is a
hugely bad idea. Zoobic Safari and its sister collection the Residence Inn MiniZoo at Tagaytay are amongst the worst zoos I have ever visited.
So I say the
worst....what was the worst? Well in terms of how animals were cared for it was
probably Baturraden Zoo in Indonesia. There are others though, nearly or
equally as bad. I hate to see animals cared for so badly but what really gets
my goat are the big glitzy commercial popular places who have not the faintest
ideas about conservation…or likely they do but don't give a damn. All they are
interested in is money.
A little knowledge
is a dangerous thing…in fact it is a very dangerous thing. Every week,
sometimes every day there are news stories quoting people who really should
keep their mouths tightly closed. One day they are going to trip over their own
tongues. In fact they are doing it already. See if you can spot them in the
sympathetic of the conditions that the
elephant in Maraghazar Zoo are being kept in and if Cher's millions can improve
his lot then I am all for it. But as far as I am aware Cher has no elephant
knowledge nor, as far as I can ascertain neither does her representative Mark
Cowne. Sending him to check up on the situation is rather like sending a miner
to assess a skyscraper.
All the way down the
line it is the Animal Rights and the likes of Peta people who are following up
on the activities in the bad zoos. It should not be that way. GOOD Zoos need to
take the lead. They need to criticise and condemn. It is their failure to do so
which gets us all dumped in the same shitty pot. We don't need to join hands
with the AR's or even agree with them but we do need to say something or we are
as bad as the bad zoos themselves.
"Legend has it
that at age 17 he hopped a fence at the Philadelphia Zoo to spray-paint
"Cornbread Lives" on the hind side of an elephant, a stunt to
"In April 1971,
the Inquirer reported: "One graffiti artist was caught red-handed at the
Philadelphia Zoo after spray painting an elephant bright red."
I hope this does not
start a new trend in idiocy
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If you are a subscriber to the email version then you probably knew this already. You would also know that ZooNews Digest pre-dates any of the others. It was there before FaceBook. It was there shortly after the internet became popular and was a 'Blog' before the word had been invented. ZooNews Digest reaches zoo people.
I remain committed to the work of GOOD zoos,
not DYSFUNCTIONAL zoos.
How Boise Might Help Save the 'Last Unicorn'
month—maybe next week, possibly the week after—someone will walk through the
gates of Zoo Boise and the organization will achieve a milestone.
"We'll hit the
$2 million mark," said Zoo Boise Director Steve Burns.
Well, that's quite remarkable, isn't it?" he said.
The $2 million isn't
earmarked for the zoo or its exhibits, although Zoo Boise has significant
needs, and its plans for growth are considerable. Instead, the $2 million will
leave Boise to fund conservation efforts across the planet in an effort to save
the very species zoo attendees love to visit.
"We have to do
it. Society is changing and has higher expectations," said Burns.
"People ask, 'Why do we have animals at the zoo in the 21st century?' It's
a good question. For us, the answer is because these animals help us generate
hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to help us protect their wild
counterparts and, now, we've reached $2 million. That's our mission now."
It wasn't and isn't
always the case. Many American zoos and aquariums don't collect or send funds
outside their gates to help with global conservation efforts. What's more, Zoo
Boise has taken the lead in what started as a controversial economic model but
has resulted in a major success story. Its roots can be traced directly to
"I don't know
if many people really know what a global force of nature Steve Burns is,"
said renowned animal biologist Dr. William Robichaud. "I've seen him speak
before global organizations of zoos, and he's the guy saying, 'We need to be,
foremost, conservation organizations—not just amusement parks with
conservation efforts began about 10 years ago when Burns was thinking about
leaving the zoo. He had applied for a job with a well known conservation
nonprofit and when Clay Gill, then-board chairman of Frie
Can This Man Save SeaWorld San Antonio?
Carl Lum stands near
the bottom of Shamu Stadium, close to the pool, and looks out at the arena.
He has a commanding
presence—tall with broad shoulders—but with his unassuming polo shirt and khaki
slacks he looks like any other employee. In a relaxed tone of voice, he talks
through the changes that are coming. He points to the large, oval-shaped pool,
long used for the killer whale shows. He gestures to the huge, multicolored fin
that decorates one side and the two large monitors. “That will all be gone,” he
says. “It’s just way too Hollywood.”
In the five months
Cher joins campaign for Pakistani elephant
The plight of a lonely elephant in a Pakistani zoo has
inspired help from pop icon Cher, who has sent a representative to oversee
improvements in his living conditions.
Cher first became
aware of 29-year-old Kavaan’s plight when pictures of the elephant in chains
with only a dilapidated shed for shelter and a small, dirty pond to play in
spread on social media.
Cher sent her
representative, Mark Cowne, to Islamabad to check up on Kavaan, who has been
kept chained for 27 of his 29 years at the Maraghazar Zoo in Islamabad.
“Mark got Kaavan
Water, Shade & Unchained. MARK IS TRYING EVERYTHING TO FREE HIM,” Cher
tweeted after Cowne visited the zoo.
Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper that Cher would soon launch an international campaign
to help elephants in captivity.
How do animals perceive their world in zoos and
According to critics
of marine parks, zoos and aquariums, captive animals (particularly dolphins,
whales, elephants and primates) are utterly miserable creatures. The primary
misery described by activists is that the animals are acutely self-aware, they miss
the wild and their families, hate performing, feel like they are enslaved by
humans, and hate being in cages and pools. They dream of freedom.
JAMA: No plan to pull elephant-cancer risk paper after
JAMA has decided not
to retract an article about cancer risk in elephants after receiving a request
to do so from an animal rights group.
People for the
Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently protested the 2015 paper, which
found that higher levels of a tumor suppressor gene could explain why elephants
have a lower risk of cancer. According to PETA, the paper contained inaccurate
information that could be used to justify inhumane treatment of elephants. At
the time, the journal told us it considers all calls for retraction.
In an email sent to
a representative of PETA over the weekend, Howard Bauchner, Editor in Chief at
JAMA and The JAMA Network, wrote:
There is no evidence
of scientific miscon
Taronga Zoo program helps corroboree frog back from
brink of extinction
LET out a yell in
the right place at the right time in the Snowy Mountains, and a corroboree frog
is likely to answer your call.
And that croaky
response is growing louder once again thanks to a conservation project aimed at
saving the species from a deadly frog fungus.
together with the state government and organisations, is leading a campaign to
breed the species in captivity to bolster the corroboree frog’s wild
population, estimated to have once dipped to as few as 50 adults.
New conservation project for threatened giraffe
launching a new effort to save one of the few remaining populations of Central
African giraffe left in the wild.
Experts from Bristol
Zoological Society are travelling to Cameroon this summer to begin a critical
research effort to map the location of some of the remaining Central African or
Kordofan giraffe using drone technology.
They hope to
establish whether there is a sustainable population of this highly threatened
giraffe subspecies that they can work to conserve and help save them from extinction.
Wild giraffe numbers
have dwindled from 140,000 to potentially 80,000 in just 15 years. There are
now fewer giraffe left in the wild than African elephants, with giraffe numbers
being around a fifth of those of African elephants. Population numbers of Kordofan
giraffe are critically low, estimated at fewer than 2,000, in several
fragmented populations throughout their range.
Society’s head of conservation science, Dr Grainne McCabe, said: “Kordofan gira
Inside the minds of zoo animals
Terry Maple, a
professor of comparative psychobiology at Florida Atlantic University, and the
former director of the Atlanta and Palm Beach zoos, has built a career on
trying to understand animals and improve their environments.
When he saw the
video of Harambe with a toddler at the Cincinnati Zoo, he says he thought he
could tell what Harambe might have been thinking.
“What I saw was the
gorilla was really grabbing at that kid very much like he was another gorilla,”
Maple says. “Male gorillas often steal the babies from the mothers briefly and,
you know, in a playful way. They don't hurt them and it didn't look to me like
he was going to hurt this kid. But we are so much weaker than gorillas."
"When a gorilla
grabs a person's arm, it could be a very, very tough interaction and it could
hurt you or it could kill you. As you saw in the video, if you're watching it,
he drug [the child] a bit through the water. And of course that's a concrete
floor and that could have been disastrous as well. So it was a very dangerous
situation — no human being needs to get in with a gorilla. It would be very
risky even for an adult and this was a small child.”
Maple says zoos have
changed a lot in the past decades, making them better environments for
architects began to work in zoos and, rather than build buildings for animals,
they started building landscapes,” Maple says. “That revolution start
14 animals that smell like snack foods
The animal kingdom
is full of appetizing smells. While most of the time animals smell perhaps a
bit on the musty or musky side, some animals produce scents that will make your
mouth water. Here is a collection of animals who emit smells that will make you
think you're in the kitchen rather than the great outdoors.
New Evidence Shows the Illegal Pet Trade Is Wiping Out
Indonesia has a long
history of keeping birds as pets, but now it’s driving many species to the
Indonesians on the
island of Java have an old saying: A man is considered to be a real man if he
has a house, a wife, a horse, a keris (dagger), and a bird.
The sprawling island
nation is home to more than 1,600 species of birds, more than almost any other
country in the world. It’s also home to the greatest number of species that are
threatened by the bird trade.
Now a new study
highlights just how severe a threat the pet trade is to Indonesia’s birds. The
study, released Wednesday, has identified 13 species and another 14 subspecies
that are at risk of extinction because of the pet trade.
“The number one
thing I want people to know is that the bird trade is an incredibly urgent
issue that needs addressing,” said Chris Shepherd, one of the study’s authors
and the Southeast Asian regional director for TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade
monitoring organization. “It is a conservation crisis that is being ignored.”
Among the species at
risk of extinction is Indonesia’s national bird, the Javan hawk-eagle, a
dark-brown raptor with a pointy crest of feathers extending from its head.
According to the study, 300 to 500 mature hawk-eagles remain, and the number
born each year is about equivalent to the number being taken from the wild for
the pet trade. When the bird was elevated to a national symbol in 1993, there
were fears that the special recognition would encourage demand rather than
stifle it. Those fears have b
NICE WORK CHESSINGTON! Zoo keepers have just released
hundreds of rare spiders into the wild… and some of them span THREE inches
The Fen Raft Spider
is the biggest species in the UK with a span of up to three inches
The Surrey zoo has
just released hundreds of the UK’S BIGGEST spiders into the wild.
The fen raft spider
has a massive span of THREE INCHES and is the largest of the UK’s 660 species
of eight-legged critters.
Now the boffins at
Chessington have released them into the wild as part of a conservation effort
for the endangered species.
Which is not good
news for arachnophobes.
The fen raft are a
protected species under
Japanese zoo and trust fund donate trucks to Sabah
The Sabah Wildlife
Department received three Daihatsu Hijet mini trucks donated by Asahiyama Zoo
and Borneo Conservation Trust Fund Japan to help ease the job of delivering
food for the animals. State Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister
Datuk Kamarlin Ombil said each truck would be stationed at the Lok Kawi
Wildlife Park here, the Borneo Elephant Sanctuary in Lower Kinabatangan and the
Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation centre in Sandakan. “Asahiyama Zoo director Dr
Gen Bandoh managed to acquire donations from the Daihatsu Motor Company Ltd to
get the vehicles after he explained the conflict between humans and elephants
at the said parks and centre in Sabah. “I would like to appeal to potential
donors from non-governmental organisations to emulate deed of the Asahiyama
Zoo, Borneo Conservation Trust and Daihatsu through their respective CSR
programs by contributing towards the conservation of threatened wildlife
species,” he said during the handover ceremony at the Lok Kawi wildlife park
this morning. Kamarlin said the conflicts between humans and wildlife, which
occur due to forest-clearing for farming activities
Alaska Zoo responds to claims of grizzly bear
A recent online
petition is claiming the Alaska Zoo has been negligent in the care of its
grizzly bear exhibit.
The petition accuses
the zoo of failing to provide a sufficient habitat, specifically, “No forest
for any comfort except for a couple of dead pine trees in their empty cage.”
Author of the
petition, Amy Smith, says she launched the effort after seeing the bears on a
SeaWorld addresses sanctuaries
Though it was a meeting aimed at investors, several
questions at Wednesday's SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. shareholder meeting were
focused on animals, rather than financial performance.
A couple of those
questions mentioned the National Aquarium in Baltimore's recently announced
plans to build a seaside sanctuary for its Atlantic bottlenose dolphins by
The aquarium says it
is scouting locations in Florida and the Caribbean and is soliciting donations.
One of its dolphins, Jade, was born at SeaWorld in 1999 and transported to the
National Aquarium in 2006.
"We have the
utmost respect for the National Aquarium," Chief Executive Officer Joel
Manby said. "We certainly know they're going to take into account what we
think are some health challenges of taking dolphins born and raised in an
aquarium and placing them in an unfamiliar ocean environment, but having said
that, we know they intend to pursue this experiment in a very mindful way and
to monitor the health of their d
New Zoo is planned for Sabah. Should we be Happy?
One of Malaysia’s
greatest natural assets is its world-renowned wildlife. That, though, is not
always immediately apparent from the way native animals are treated and
protected. The country boasts scores of national parks and protected forests,
large and small, but much more work is needed to provide truly sage and
permanent sanctuaries for threatened and endangered species.
But what of the
country’s “wildlife parks” – zoos, in other words? We are asking because the
Sabah government has floated the idea of setting up a new wildlife park in
Penampang to better showcase the state’s famous biodiversity to the public. The
plans are still in their initial stages, cautioned Masidi Manjun, minister of
Tourism, Culture and Environment, who have just announced them publicly.
“We will only
proceed if all legal and cultural issues can be trashed out. We fully
understand that native reserve has cultural significance to the natives in
Sugud. We don’t want to be seen to be taking over native rights and that is the
reason why the proposal needs to be discussed exhaustively,” he said but did
allow that the new park, if established, would be considerably larger than the
existing Lok Kawi Wildlife Park in Sabah. He has also floated the idea of
relocating the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park to the new site. The latter wildlife park
was set up in 2007 with both a botanical and zoological section to it.
Should we be excited
about the prospect of a new zoo in Sabah? Not if we go by the nature of things
in Lok Kawi. The zoo has come in for plenty of flak from animal lovers and
conservationists over its treatment of captive animals. “[A] visit to this zoo offers
a chance to see Sa
“Tigers from Cages to Black Market” 90% of Thailand’s
Zoos and Tiger Farms Involved in Black Market
Mr Edwin Wiek,
founder of Wildlife Friends Foundation-Thailand, during a seminar on “Tigers:
From Cages to Black Market” said on Monday that about 90 percent of tiger farms
and private zoos in Thailand are suspected to be involved in illegal trade in
Referring to the
recent raid of the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi and the eventual relocation of
137 tigers from the temple to a breeding station in Ratchaburi province, Wiek
said that the number of tigers seized constituted
The June 2016 issue of ZOO’S PRINT Magazine (Vol. 31, No. 6) is online at <www.zoosprint.org> in a format that permits you to turn pages like a regular magazine.
If you wish to download the full magazine or certain articles click on <www.zoosprint.org/showMagazine.asp>
NMMU STUDENT’S YEAR-LONG STUDY REVEALS NEW PENGUIN
King penguins off
the sub-Antarctic Marion Island make epic trips to find food for their young,
some swimming 2000km away from the island, crossing from the Indian Ocean into
the Atlantic, and lasting for as long as four weeks.
This was among the
findings of a year’s research at the sub-Antarctic Marion Island for Nelson
Mandela Metropolitan University zoology master’s graduate Tegan
Carpenter-Kling, who returned to South Africa last month on board the country’s
newest research vessel, the Agulhas II.
conducted by Carpenter-Kling forms part of a large-scale project under the
South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP), of which NMMU’s Dr Pierre
Pistorius is the principle investigator. The data she collected, which will
form part of her upcoming doctoral studies, is unique in that she studied the
foraging behaviour of12 of Marion Island’s top-predator surface-breeding
species (which includes seabirds and seals), rather than just a single species,
as most researchers have done in the past.
“I was trying to
simultaneously track all 12 species to be able to identify areas of ecological
or biological importance,” she said.
the epic journey King penguins make, which has not been documented before,
Carpenter-Kling also discovered new foraging behaviour for Gentoo penguins – in
that they alternate between short foraging trips, to feed themselves, and much longer
ones, to find food for their young. She also recorded the deepest dive yet for
a Gentoo penguin, which was over 200m.
The broader project,
which is a collaboration between NMMU, the Department of Environmental Affairs,
and the universities of Cape Town and Pretoria, involves mapping areas of
conservation importance around the island, while also monitoring the impact of
Mishaps at the Atascadero Zoo
surprise, wild animals and humans don’t mix.
That was the
fascination with lion tamers in the ring with wild cats. Everyone knew all the
lion wanted to do was eat the man with the whip and a chair — I never quite
understood the chair in that act.
It was with interest that I followed the
incident where the 4-year old boy fell into the enclosure that held a 400-pound
gorilla. I don’t think those in charge at the Cincinnati Zoo had any choice but
to shoot the 17-year old gorilla. Think of the angry folks who’d be out there
if they didn’t kill the gorilla and the
In defence of captivity
Back to back
human-wildlife encounters shocked the world in the past two weeks. Regrettably,
these animals, like many others in the past, paid the ultimate price: their
the reason these interactions made international headlines was not because they
occurred deep in the wilderness or at the edges of human and wildlife
cohabitation, but because they took place in the apparent safety of zoo
In the Santiago Zoo,
Chile, two African lions mauled a suicidal man who tried to feed himself to
them. Only about a week later, a Western lowland mountain gorilla named Harambe
handled a young boy who fell into its enclosure in the Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio.
incidents were caused by human error: the former by a mentally unstable person;
the latter, lackadaisical parenting or poor enclosure design. Yet at the end of
the day, members fr
Is Being Color Blind Actually an Advantage?
The “new world”
monkeys of South and Central America range from large muriquis to tiny pygmy
marmosets. Some are cute and furry, others bald and bright red, and one even
has an extraordinary moustache. Yet, with the exception of owl and howler
monkeys, the 130 or so remaining species have one thing in common: A good chunk
of the females, and all of the males, are color blind.
This is quite
different from “old world” primates, including us Homo sapiens, who are
routinely able to see the world in what we humans imagine as full color. In
evolutionary terms, color blindness sounds like a disadvantage, one which
should really have been eliminated by natural selection long ago. So how can we
explain a continent of the color blind monkeys?
I have long wondered
what makes primates in the region color blind and visually diverse, and how
evolutionary forces are acting to maintain this variation. We don’t yet know
exactly what kept these seemingly disadvantaged monkeys alive and
flourishing—but what is becoming clear is that color blindness is an adaptation
not a defect.
The first thing to
understand is that what we humans consider “color” is only a small portion of
the spectrum. Our “trichromatic” vision is superior to most mammals, who
typically share the “dichromatic” vision of new world monkeys and color blind
humans, yet fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and even insects are able to see
a wider range, even into the UV spectrum. There is a whole world of color out
there that humans and our primate cousins are unaware
High flying technology helping conserve WA's
threatened black cockatoos
In a world first,
researchers at Murdoch University have teamed up with industry to track
endangered Carnaby's cockatoos in the southwest of Western Australia, using
state-of-the-art technology developed in the Netherlands that will provide
insight into threats to the endangered species.
Ouwehands Zoo Foundation donates 22,600 euros to
Back in 2002 Bonobo
Alive constructed a field station in Salonga National Park in Congo. Since then
100 km² of bonobo habitat is being protected. Local villagers remove snares and
make sure bush meat hunters are identified. At the same time a research project
started to monitor the bonobo population. Next to this the natural diet of this
threatened ape was analysed. So far all work was very successful. Considering
the fact that bonobo’s more and more move out of the protected area it is a
strong wish to enlarge it. Good for the bonobo’s, but in t
Rarest Cat in the World? Rescuing a critically
endangered felid from conservation obscurity
In the early 1970's,
the last tiger on the island of Java was seen alive in a tropical forest of the
remote countryside. For a decade or more
after, rumors of their survival persisted. Spectral vestiges of what they once
were, a wake of ambiguous evidence continued to surface, invoking both
certainty and incredulity much the way a haunting might. Found guilty of merely
existing, and of having nowhere else to go, the Javan tiger likely defied an
extinction sentence until the mid-1980’s when Indonesia’s exploding human
population, and the almost complete deforestation of the island, was more than
it could bear. To say I obsessed about this loss as a child would in fact be to
understate the matter. That the world lost the Javan tiger was a standalone
story of great tragedy. That it happened however on the heels of losing the
Bali tiger and Bali leopard, was the equivalent of a knockout heavyweight’s
uppercut after a disorienting right hook to the head. Worse I know that
SMITHSONIAN STUDY REVEALS DECLINE OF GENETIC DIVERSITY
IN WILD CHEETAHS
The planet’s last
stronghold of wild cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) is losing genetic diversity at
an alarming rate according to a new study from the Smithsonian Conservation
Biology Institute (SCBI) and partners published June 21 in the journal
Biological Conservation. This is in direct contrast with the population of
cheetahs in zoos, which is as genetically diverse as it was 30 years ago
because of cooperative and strategically managed breeding programs, including
the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Cheetah Species Survival Plan.
Highland zoo ordered to close over animal welfare
A Highland zoo has
been ordered to close over serious concerns about animal welfare.
The decision was
made after complaints from visitors led to a special inspection of the Black
Isle Wildlife Park.
A government vet
called in by Highland Council found "serious deficiencies" at the
North Kessock zoo.
The council will
help rehome the park's animals, which include zebras, wildcats, llamas,
meerkats, goats and emus.
The local authority
issued a zoo closure notice to its owners on Wednesday, which they have 28 days
The council said:
"Findings of the special inspection and the specialist vet's report
indicated that the zoo was found to be seriously below the standards required
for operators to be in possession of a zoo licence, and was non-compliant
Zoobic opens petting zoo
A petting zoo was
recently opened by the Zoobic Safari inside the Harbor Point Ayala Mall to
introduce animals to the public.
According to Zoobic
Park owner Robert Yupangco, the petting zoo will give little kids an
introduction on how to take care of animals.
Dubbed as the Play
Forest, the petting zoo will let children interact with the animals, showing
them that they can be part of a bigger role in taking care of these animals.
Animal trainers educate the children on how to properly feed, pet and clean
“It’s a place where
kids can feed and interact with our very huggable and friendly animals such as
bunnies, parakeets (love birds) and goat kids and sheep lambs,” he
India’s captive leopards: a life sentence behind bars
When an escaped
leopard tackled a man at a poolside on a school campus in the southern Indian
city of Bangalore early this year, the video went viral. The victim was one of
the wildlife managers trying to recapture the animal. His colleagues finally
managed to tranquilize it late that night and return it to a nearby zoo that
was serving as a rescue center for a population of 16 wild-caught leopards. A
week later, the leopard squeezed between the bars of another cage and escaped
again, this time for good.
All the news and
social media attention focused on the attack – and none on the underlying
dynamic. But that dynamic affects much of India. Even as leopards have vanished
in recent decades from vast swaths of Africa and Asia, the leopard population
appears to be increasing in this nation of 1.2 billion people. The leopards are
adept at living unnoticed even amid astonishingly high human population
densities. But conflicts inevitably occur. Enraged farmers sometimes kill the
leopards. Trapping is a standard response, but religious and animal rights
objections have made euthanasia for unwanted animals unthinkable.
Thus anywhere from
100 to several hundred wild-caught leopards nationwide have ended up being
trapped and locked away for life, in facilities that often cannot provide
proper security, space, veterinary care, or feeding.
In the Bangalore
incident, the attack victim, leopard biologist Sanjay Gubbi, managed to fight
off the leopard and
2,000 animals at Tiger Temple 'starving'
2,000 animals remain
at the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi with little, if any, food after authorities
moved its tigers.
The recent Tiger
removal has reportedly left the temple without any means for raising money to
pay for animal food.
So, the Tiger Temple
is now asking for food donations to feed the remaining animals.
NO VISITORS AFTER
MUCH-PUBLICISED TIGER RELOCATION
Staff at the Tiger
Temple said there have been no visitors at all to the temple after the
relocation of 147 tigers to several breeding centres in other provinces between
May 30 and June 4.
The relocation was
carried out by the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department
under a court order.
The temple, once
famous among tourists for its Bengal tigers from 2004 to last month, was
accused of involvement in illegal wildlife trafficking.
Nathawut Phokaew, a
temple boy (a layman serving monks at a temple in exchange for shelter and
food), said on Wednesday after the tigers were removed, the temple had been
Zoos are the problem, not the solution to animal
In the past month
the deaths of animals in captivity have highlighted continuing concerns around
conservation. Zoos are entertainment, and while they contribute to conservation
they don’t provide any real solution. Wildlife can only be saved by empowering
their protection in their own natural habitats—and that means we have to work
with local communities and not against them.
On 28th May 2016,
for example, Harambe, a captive born gorilla, was shot dead after a young boy
fell into his enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo in the United States. One week
earlier, two lions were destroyed at Santiago’s Metropolitan Zoo in Chile, and
a week before that a Sumatran elephant called Yani died in the notorious
Surabaya Zoo in Indonesia. An online discussion has exploded about each of
these sad cases, but by and large it’s a debate that excludes the views of
those most important for success.
Opponents of zoos
such as Marc Bekoff, a behavioural ecologist and professor emeritus at the
University of Colorado, argue that an animal’s life in captivity is a shadow of
their experience in the wild. Proponents of zoos such as the World Association
of Zoos and Aquariums counter that the conservation benefits zoos provide
outweigh the isolated (albeit tragic) costs paid by the animals involved.
On social media zoo
supporters say that captive animals serve as conservation ‘ambassadors’ for
their wild counterparts, and that zoos are a ‘Noah’s Ark’ that provides a
buffer against the decline of endangered species. In truth, this is a script
that even the zoo industry has quietly abandoned.
While some species
such as oryx, wolves and condors have benefited from captive breeding
programmes, there is precious little evidence that zoo bred genetics are being
used to strengthen wild populations of gorillas, elephants and dolphins. Zoos
recognise that they have insufficient space to engage in successful breeding
programmes for lar
Tiger Temple raid opens door to positive changes
Sybelle Foxcroft is
the founder of Conservation and Environmental Education 4 Life (Cee4life), an
Australia-based non-profit whose investigative report on Kanchanaburi’s “Tiger
Temple” led to the recent raid.
presented the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation
(DNP) in Thailand with two reports documenting overwhelming evidence that the
temple was trading in tiger body parts.
Edwin Wiek, founder
of the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, had attempted to discredit
Foxcroft before eventually relenting and focusing his energy on tiger
conservation. The focus now must be on the tigers and the continuation of what
Foxcroft has devoted her heart and life to for the past decade.
Why did she have to
waste precious energy defending her report against a small group of people who
had missed the point - the report was what convinced the police and the DNP to
finally take action. The Tiger Temple has finally been irrevocably exposed for
the hellish, corrupt, abusive and disgusting place that many of us knew was
hiding behind the monk's protective robes.
This story has huge
repercussions for wildlife facilities and corrupt temples throughout Thailand.
Tiger Kingdom, another tourist attraction, should also be closed. Sriracha Zoo
is under scrutiny. It takes immense courage to expose these crimes and vision
to find a solution that helps protect both the tigers and their environment.
parts of the Similan Island
Do wild animals that attack people need to die?
A marathon runner
who was mauled by a bear in New Mexico on Saturday thought quickly, played dead
and escaped injured, but alive. The female bear, which wildlife officials said
was with her cubs when she was surprised by the runner, was captured and put to
New Mexico officials
said they were confident they had the right bear, which wore a radio collar,
and noted with regret that state law requires them to euthanize and test for
rabies any wild animal that attacks or bites a person, no matter the circumstances.
The bear’s death was
decried by some observers as an unjust sentence for an animal that may have
been acting defensively. And it was the latest such killing to highlight the
common reaction to most of the very rare attacks by wild animals on people in
the United States: Capital punishment for the animal, and sometimes even for
uninvolved animals nearby.
After a mountain
lion pounced on a child in his Colorado yard last weekend, officials captured
and killed two lions, saying it it is their policy to kill wild animals that
may have been involved in an attack on humans. Last week, after an alligator
dragged a toddler into a lagoon in Orlando, Fla., wildlife authorities trapped
and killed at least six of the reptiles. Leaving them at tourist-filled Disney
World certainly wouldn’t make sense, and Florida says it typically doesn’t
relocate “nuisance alligators” – large ones “believed to pose a threat” to
people, pets or property – because there are so many that killing individuals
doesn’t affect the species’ population.
The justice system
for wild animal attackers varies across jurisdictions, and sometimes by
species. But there’s no Innocence Project
Inside the minds of zoo animals