Sunday, July 3, 2016

Zoo News Digest 3rd July 2016 (ZooNews 928)

Zoo News Digest 3rd July 2016 
(ZooNews 928)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleague,

Sadly yet another keeper has been killed by a tiger. It will probably be another of these situations where there are no definite conclusions made. I understand why, we all understand why findings are inconclusive. Everyone is sensitive to the feelings of friends, families and colleagues and nobody wants to point fingers at the deceased. Be it Tigers, Bears or Buffalo or whatever most all of these tragic accidents in zoos are down to keeper error. It is human nature to look for someone else to blame. Nobody likes to speak ill of the dead. But at the end of the day 'keeper error' is an accident. Accidents are accidents and they occur every single day in all walks of life. These things happen. Nobody wants them too. We need to accept this. At the end of the day keepers are responsible for their own safety.

Buenos Aires Zoo is in the news a lot since it announced it is to close. The press like the story but as with the Mayor himself they really have not got a clue. This is borne out by headlines such as "Animals Head for Freedom as Argentina Closes Zoo". Do they really think these animals are going to be free? It is simply a case of moving from one cage or enclosure to a cage or enclosure in another facility…..another zoo regardless of whatever name you like to give the place. It may or may not be better or worse than the Buenos Aires Zoo. Perhaps the Mayor does genuinely care. I would like to think so but so often it is money or politics at the root as was the case when Costa Rica's Environment Minister, Rene Castro, announced plans to close the country's two public zoos (I'm none too sure how much progress has been made there). Money was/is certainly behind the repeated attacks on the Surabaya zoo…not that the place is without faults.

If some of the animals in the Buenos Aires Palermo Zoo are deemed suitable for release there is a lot more to it that opening a cage door. At its simplest the released animal may introducing a new pathogen into the existing population and/or there may not be room for it within that population. I do hope they study the guidelines carefully.

Did You Know?
ZooNews Digest has over 24,800 'Like's' on Facebook and has a weekly reach often exceeding over 250,000 people? That ZooNews Digest has subscribers in over 800 Zoos in 153+ countries? That the subscriber list reads like a 'Zoos Who's Who?'
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, 


Caretaker, 37, is mauled to death by Bengal tiger at Benidorm nature park
A 37-year-old woman has been mauled to death after being attacked by a Bengal tiger in a zoo in Benidorm.
The tragedy happened at about 5pm today when the victim, understood to be a worker at the Terra Natura de Benidorm nature park, was inside the animal's cage.
The pioneering Terra Natura describes itself as a 'new generation immersion park' where visitors, including thousands of Brits, can see wildlife in their enclosures through glass barriers.

Animals head for freedom as Argentina closes zoo
Animals by the hundreds are being set free as Buenos Aires closes its 140-year-old Palermo zoo.
Among the first to leave will be birds of prey like owls and chimangos, destined for a reserve along the shores of the Rio de la Plata south of the capital. They will be placed there in larger confines that will give them room to stretch and strengthen their winds before they're ready for the wild.
Others among the 1,500 animals at the zoo are destined for reserves in Argentina and abroad as their old home is transformed into a park.

The Hardest Topic For Animal Caretakers
I have a problem.  And I know that the first step towards a solution is to admit that I have a problem.

Okay.  Here it is:

I cannot, under any circumstance, walk into a book store without buying at least three books. 

Please tell me that many of you have this tendency.  Please tell me that many of you wince at the number on the register as you purchase 700lbs of Must Have reading material but it still doesn't stop you from buying them, even if that means you can't afford to buy groceries later and/or pay your electric bill on time.

Last week, I went to Barnes and Noble and bought a bunch of books on training, one on killer whales, and one that is totally sinking me into a pit of despair, but making me think

The Good Zoo and Euthanasia

The Antwerp and Planckendael zoos ban cigarettes
The Antwerp and Planckendael zoos are preparing to ban cigarettes from their premises in the next few weeks.
In Antwerp zoo, smoking will only be authorised in 6 distinct zones from mid-July. It will be authorised in 8 zones in Planckendael from August. The Gazet van Antwerpen and Het Nieusblad reported on this story on Saturday.

The parks promise the smoking zones will be pleasant, and they will not fine those who do not respect the rules. “We are convinced peo

Professional Development Grants (PDGs)
Professional Development Grants (PDGs) provide support for mid-career conservationists to pursue short-term, non-degree training to upgrade their knowledge and skills. These trainings can include short courses, certificate trainings, or conferences among other training opportunities. Mid-career conservation professionals from select WWF-US priority countries must meet all of the eligibility criteria to be considered for a grant.

Applicants may request up to $6,500 for the proposed training.

Belize (Mesoamerican Reef)
Bolivia (Amazon)
Cameroon (Congo Basin)
Central African Republic (Congo Basin)
Colombia (Amazon, Eastern Pacific Ocean)
Dem. Republic of Congo (Congo Basin)
Ecuador (Amazon and Galapagos)
Fiji (Coral Triangle)
French Guiana (Amazon)
Gabon (Congo Basin)
Guatemala (Mesoamerican Reef, Eastern Pacific Ocean)
Guyana (Amazon)
Honduras (Mesoamerican Reef)
Kenya (Coastal East Africa)
Mozambique (Primeiras e Segundas marine area, Quirimbas, Lake Niassa Aquatic Reserve, Ruvuma Landscape)
Nepal (Terai Arc Landscape, Sacred Himalayan Landscape, Chitwan Annapurna Linkage)
Papua New Guinea (Coral Triangle)
Peru (Amazon, Eastern Pacific Ocean)
Republic of Congo (Congo Basin)
Solomon Islands (Coral Triangle)
Suriname (Amazon)

Last puma cub in Karachi zoo ‘mauled to death’
The city zoo suffered a major blow on Thursday when it lost its last surviving puma cub, sources told Dawn.

The cub, they said, was apparently mauled to death by adult pumas housed in the adjacent part of the enclosure, which was separated from the cub-mother area with an iron grille.

The tragic incident, sources said, happened the day when the cub, being hand-reared by the zoo staff, was to become a two-month-old.

“Initially, the staff couldn’t find the baby when they went to feed it in the morning in its enclosure that the cub shared with the mother.

“Later, its mauled body was spotted in the adjacent enclosure housing a pair of pumas,” said a zoo official on condition of anonymity.

The cub was brutally attacked; its back along with hind legs was eaten away while there were severe injuries on its throat.

“I am hugely disappointed. We were so sure that it will live and survive successfully,” said zoo director Fahim Khan, adding that the senior director culture, sports and recreation Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) had inspected the zoo enclosure after being informed about the incident.

He accused his staff of negligence and said, “I am not satisfied with their version of the incident. T

Some big cats from Tiger Temple in trouble
A tiger rescued from the notorious Tiger Temple has died and some of the other 147 big cats are struggling to adjust to their new surroundings and a diet very different from the cooked food they used to...

The Deep becomes UK's first attraction to display and breed rare Mexican snake
The Deep has become the first zoo or aquarium in the UK to display and successfully breed the rare Lake Zacapu Garter snake.
On 27 June the attraction welcomed the arrival of 7 hatchlings, 3 males and 4 females. The adults (1 male, 2 female) arrived at The Deep in February 2016 and have being living behind the scenes whilst their new home is built.

This new exhibit highlights fragile river habitats

Judge: Zoo owners don't have to pay fees for group that sued
The owners of a private Iowa zoo won't have to pay the legal fees of a national group that successfully sued to force the removal of endangered lemurs and tigers

Orangutan Goes On Loose In Florida Animal Park
Visitors had to be evacuated from part of an animal theme park when an orangutan escaped from its enclosure and climbed trees.

Video footage showed the large female sitting about 20ft above a large crowd at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

At one point, the orangutan drops to the floor and climbs on to a display board, prompting screams from some of those standing nearby.

A witness told Fox News: "It climbed up out of the habitat and towards the guest area, just near the Zambia Smokehouse, which is in Stanleyville."

Some of those in the park told how they were suddenly told to move.

Bianca Guzman told the Tampa Bay Times: "They didn't really share much of what was going on. They just to

African Safari offers $5K reward in vandalism incident
African Safari Wildlife officials are offering a $5,000 reward after the park was broken into and vandalized sometime after closing Tuesday evening.

Large limbs were cut off trees and trunks were slashed, according to a news release from the park. A large, valuable pine tree outside of the fenced enclosure was completely cut down.

The release said no animals were harmed in the incident.

Charlie Cunningham, of the Danbury Township Police Department, investigated the scene after the reported break-in.

The investigation found that a fence around the property had been pried away from its posts by the unknown perpetrators. Once inside, the trees along the park’s entrance road were found to be damaged.

African Safari Wildlife Park officials said Friday they do not know if the vandalized trees will be able to survive.

The total cost of the damage is estimated to be more than $50,000.

The owners of the park are offering a $5,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators.

Those responsible, as well as anyone complicit in the incident, could face charges of breaking and entering, vandalism and destruction of prope

 Report on South Lakes Safari Zoo

Wildlife parks refuse Tasmanian Devil vaccinations as Tasmanian government persist with trials
Some wildlife parks in Tasmania and New South Wales have been refusing to provide healthy Tasmanian devils to take part in a vaccination trial for a deadly facial cancer.

But despite that, the Tasmanian Government is pushing ahead with the program.

As Felicity Ogilvie reports.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease is one of the few contagious cancers in the world.

Professor Greg Woods from the Menzies Research Institute at the University of Tasmania is developing a vaccine to protect devils from the cancer.

His team is testing the vaccine by inoculating 32 animals and releasing them into the wild.

GREG WOOD: We know that in the devils that are immunised, they are producing an immune response, but we've got no idea whether that's going to be protective and the only way to determine that is to put it into a real situation, which is why we're releasing immunised devils into the wild.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Hundreds of healthy Tasmanian devils are in a breeding programs around the country.

But some wildlife park owners are worried about a request from the Tasmanian Government to hand over some of their animals for the vaccine trial.

Tasmanian Wildlife Park owner Androo Kelly is holding back.

ANDROO KELLY: It's the actual concept at this stage of releasing healthy animals that have been, you k

Foto finds Sun bears in a ‘19th century zoo’
Investigators from Friends of the Orangutans Malaysia (Foto) are livid at the conditions animals are forced to live in at the Miri Crocodile Farm (MCF).

In a press statement issued Thursday, its director Upreshpal Singh revealed that their investigators had recently gone to the farm after receiving numerous complaints of cruelty and exploitation of wildlife from concerned members of the public.

“At MCF, we found three Sun bears forced to live in appalling conditions. These Sun bears are visibly stressed and are suffering from zoochosis as a result of living in a concrete tomb without enrichment.”

“No readily available, clean drinking water was seen. These are conditions which resemble a 19th-century zoo. Sun bears are a protected species in Sarawak and with many bear experts calling for urgent action to prevent their extinction in the wild. These bears and other animals at the farm urgently need help.”

Foto also learnt that the management of MCF offered farm visitors opportunities to take photos with a Sun bear cub.

“According to a staff, this cub is taken (away from its mother) from an enclosure and returned to it at the end of the day. Although no evidence of this practice could be determined by our investigators, it seems far more likely that the bear permanently resides in a barren metal cage next to the photo session area. Needless to say if this is true, it is extremely cruel to take this cub away from its mother so farm visitors can have their photographs taken with it.”

“It seems obvious that it is also extremely dangerous for both the bear and the public as the cub could at anytime, without warning, maul a farm visitor with its very large claws and when this happens would this just be the fault of the irresponsible and abusive MCF management or also the failing of the wildlife authorities in Sarawak who have allowed this practice to continue for almost 20 years despite repeated complaints from the public and media? Sun bears are extremely strong

Whipsnade Zoo rhino accident: Gates 'should be pinned'
A zoo has been urged to make safety improvements to sliding gates after a senior keeper was injured by a rhino.
The recommendation from Central Bedfordshire Council follows an accident at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in 2014.
The incident left a senior zookeeper, in his 50s, with injuries to the chest, abdomen and pelvis.
However, the zoo said it deemed the recommendation "unnecessary", adding that no improvement measures or statuto

Correcting the Myth of the Amercian Jaguar
No evidence of Jaguar Breeding Populations in New Mexico or Arizona, after the Pleistocene Era

 I Hope the Zoos will be well represented....and not the 'declawed' ones...if you know who I mean.

Centre red-flags tiger safari project in Corbett reserve
The Centre has red flagged a proposed tiger safari project in Uttarakhand's Corbett National Park and asked the state government to first comply with wildlife norms.
It cited the central government's recent decision to stop tiger safari project in Madhya Pradesh's Pench National Park citing alleged violation of rules.
The Uttarakhand forest department had in August last year sought permission of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, to start a tiger safari inside the famous national park.
The NTCA has asked the Uttarakhand government to take prior permission from Central Zoo Authority (CZA).
It may also be looked into that if the proposal is in conformity with and as per tiger conservation plan prepared for Corbett reserve, said a letter by the NTCA to the state, a copy of which was received in reply to an RTI query filed by wildlife activist Ajay Dubey.
On the issue of the safari in the Pench National Park, the NTCA had said that it exposes tigers to poaching. The Madhya Pradesh forest department had failed to take prior approval from the CZA before construction of tiger safari there, it said.
The tiger population in the country was estim

China bans consuming of state-protected wild animals
The amended law which will take effect on January 1 next year bans the production and sale of food made from state-protected wild animals and products derived from them.

Bird wings from Age of Dinosaurs found trapped in amber
Hummingbird-sized baby Enantiornithes birds lived 99 million years ago
Ninety-nine million years ago, two baby birds met an unfortunate end and their severed wings became encased in amber.

Now those beautifully preserved wings, complete with different kinds of feathers of different colours still attached to the skin, are revealing new insights about the evolution of birds.

The amber samples containing the wings were found by Lida Xing, a paleontologist at the China University of Geosciences in Beijing who previously worked and studied in Canada, at an amber market in the Kachin province of Burma, also known a

‘Devastated’: scientists too late to captive breed mammal lost to climate change
Australian conservationists spent five months obtaining permissions and planning for a captive breeding programme for the Bramble Cay melomys. But when they arrived on the rodent’s tiny, low-lying island, they discovered they were too late.

Transnational conservation in Turkey could save six threatened bird species
In a great example of nature conservation knowing no national boundaries, Doğa Derneği (BirdLife in Turkey), with the support of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB, BirdLife in Bulgaria), MME (BirdLife in Hungary) and the Ornithological Society of the Middle East (OSME), have launched a new protection programme for six globally Threatened bird species breeding in Turkey’s steppes.

The project – which aims to protect the Sociable Lapwing, Egyptian Vulture, Steppe Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Great Bustard and White-headed Duck – will be implemented in collaboration with locals living near the species’ habitats.

The Critically Endangered Sociable Lapwing occurs in the East Anatolian steppes solely during migration, while the other five species have significant breeding populations across the region. Turkey is particularly important for the Endangered Egyptian Vulture: approximately 20 percent of the world’s population and at least one third of the European population breeds in Turkey.

In the coming weeks and months, Doğa’s bird experts and social studies teams will be traveling across the Central Anatolian steppes to meet locals to generate awareness and develop local conservation plans where these species breed in significant numbers. Most of main breeding grounds of these species lie within private land and community pastures, which are highly affected by farming and grazing. Doğa, BSPB and MME form networks and alliances with locals to secure the best possible land use and habitat management for the Egyptian Vulture, Eastern Imperial Eagle and the Steppe Eagle, building on international best practices, while OSME is supporting Doğa in protecting the White-headed Duck.

“Grasslands and the primary steppes of Anatolia play a huge role in the conservation of globally threatened steppic species in Eurasia,” said Doğa’s Conservation Manager Itri Levent Erkol. “Conservation action on these species was so far mostly in the form of legal protection. However, this has proven to be insufficient to sa

Bonobos lie about sex to keep the peace
Bonobos (pictured) are known as the peaceful ape. They’re less aggressive than their chimpanzee cousins, and when they have disagreements they’re more likely to make love, not war. Now, a new study reveals one way females keep the peace. In most primate societies, female genitals swell to advertise that they’re ready to mate, leading to fighting among males as they jostle for a partner. But in bonobos, the swellings only indicate fertility half the time, according to a study in the wild published this week in BMC Evolutionary Biology. The findings confirm what scientists have observed in captivity. The researchers behind the new study hypothesize females may have evolved the behavior to gain the upper hand in mati

Two young female pandas complete ‘survival training’ ahead of release into the wild
Two young giant pandas at a conservation centre in southwest China will be released into the wild early next month, official media reports.
The China Research and Conservation Centre for the Giant Panda in Yaan city in Sichuan province said the two female pandas – three-year-old Huayan and two-year-old Zhangmeng – had completed their two-year wilderness training programme at a facility in Wolong where they acquired the necessary survival skills for the wild, according to the China News Service.
They will be released into the Liziping Nature Reserve in Shimian county early next month, the report sa

Minister visits controversial zoo, promises decree on exotic imports
Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis said on Thursday he was looking into the possibility of preparing a decree for the regulation of imports of exotic animals to Cyprus.

The move comes after strong reactions to the reported poor conditions of animals at the Melios zoo in Nicosia, namely one of the two lions that arrived last year along with two Siberian tigers. Photos show one of the lions, a female, with a severe eye infection.

The Animal Party has also raised an issue on the recent import of three Eurasian lynxes to the zoo, which said the animals arrived on Wednesday.   On Thursday Kouyialis went to the zoo along with two veterinary officials.

“My visit was to make sure that there are no safety issues for visitors and no issues as regards animal welfare,” Kouyialis told the Cyprus Mail. He added that it appears that there was nothing amiss but the state vet services would continue monitoring the facilities.

As regards the lion, Kouyialis said, it was being monitored by a private vet and also by the state vet services. He added that it would be given treatment.

The owner of the zoo, Melios Menelaou, told the Cyprus Mail that the problem with the lion was known to the vet services ever since it arrived on the island a year ago.

“It is a condition that was created due to its age. It is 16-years-old,” Menelaou said.

He added that the problem lay in the fact that even though he had informed the state vet services when he brought the lions and the tigers a year ago, that he needed a tra

Are petting zoos cruel to animals?
Do close interactions with the animal world make us feel more passionately about them? Do they make us want to save them or make us more proactive about their protection? On a recent trip across Australia, I was struck by how many wildlife parks and zoos offered kids and adults the experience of hugging a koala, feeding a wallaby or clicking a selfie with a kangaroo. The latest rage right now across the Aussie continent is a selfie with this delightful looking marsupial called the quokka.

While the experience of getting up close with wild animals at a zoo may leave indelible memories of your holiday with your children and make for great Facebook posts, what is it like for the animal? The question gains prominence in the light of the recent shutting down of the Tiger Temple in Thailand, where you could walk a tiger cub, click selfies with it and cuddle it.

Around the world, zoos offer experiences with animals that bring you close to them. In China, you can cuddle a giant panda, in Adelaide, Australia you could hand-feed a giraffe, in Denver, US you can waddle beside penguins on their evening walks within the con

 The Plot Against Wild Animals
In 1900, John Elfreth Watkins Jr. wrote an essay for Ladies’ Home Journal in which he laid out a series of predictions for the next 100 years. He got some things remarkably right, coming close to the mark on things like air conditioning and the ubiquity of telephones. But, as invariably happens when even the brightest soothsayers predict in bulk, he got some things really, really wrong.

One thing he didn’t expect: The way mankind and wild animals would continue to coexist. Watkins Jr. assumed that if we kept up our prospecting, we’d end up conquering the whole planet in pretty short order and the natural world would be brought to heel or, barring that, a zoo.

This didn’t come to pass. Wild animals

Calgary Zoo Giraffe Delivers Stillborn Calf While Being Transported
A giraffe that was travelling from the San Diego Zoo to the Calgary Zoo prematurely delivered a "non-viable" calf on Monday.

“This is very difficult news to share with our community,” said Jamie Dorgan, director of animal care at the Calgary Zoo, in a release.

“Transporting animals is a delicate process and we take every precaution necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of the animals during their journey.”

The zoo says the mother, a five-year-old Masai giraffe, was

Columbus zoo briefly locked down after bear cub gets loose
Zoo officials confirmed the zoo was placed on lock down after a seven-month-old female black bear cub breached her enclosure Saturday.

The zoo says the cub got out around 11:15am and was sedated with a dart at 11:30am. She was taken to her sleeping quarters.

The cub is one of two orphaned wild cubs that were brought to the zoo just a few months ago.

The main zoo lockdown was lifted just before noon, but the North America region remained on lockdown until zoo staff could secure the second cub and take it into the bear building.

The black bear habitat will remain closed for the rest of the day.

No human or animal injuries have been reported.

Modernisation of zoo parks on the cards
The governing body of Zoos and Parks Authority of Telangana (ZAPAT), headed by Minister for Forests and Environment Jogu Ramanna, on Saturday decided to take up modernisation of zoo parks in the State by improving facilities for visitors and increasing enclosures of fauna.

After adopting the annual plan for 2016-17, the meeting reviewed the conditions of zoos and parks in the State and decided to increase security by installing high security fencing and continuous surveillance with closed circuit television cameras.

The Nehru Zoo P

Snow leopard forced to live in captivity in Gilgit-Baltistan
A majestic beast has been stripped of its right to live in the wild and has been forced to live in a cage in Gilgit-Baltistan for nearly four years.

“King of mountains,” as the snow leopard is called, usually lives at an altitude of 12,000 to 18,000 feet and walks around an area of around 250 kilometres. This particular cat called Lovely, was deprived of this and lost its independence in December 2012 when it was hardly six months old.

Its mother apparently deserted the injured cub after it failed to cross a river in Khunjerab National Park, one of world’s highest parks in Hunza Valley of G-B.

A field team of the wildlife department spotted it and shifted it to a rehabilitation centre, followin

Tiger and goat friendship was 'all a PR stunt', says safari park insider
The friendship between tiger Amur and goat Timur, intended as the big cat's lunch, was a fake, said former Primorsky Safari Park Evgenia Patanovskaya.

The odd couple were shown around the world after they forged their apparent bond.

The ex-PR said that said that initially when Timur was taken to the Siberian tiger, it was a 'mistake' because the predator was already well fed.

'Amur the tiger just did not eat the goat Timur, because he was not hungry,' she wrote. 'Since he did not eat it, I asked the staff of the park to feed Amur, so he would not eat Timur. That's how we held out for two months.

'They called it 'friendship' of the tiger and a goa

Israel zoo team arrives
A three-member expert team comprising a wildlife ranger, head keeper and a supervisor from Tisch Zoo, Israel arrived here on Sunday to examine the three chimpanzees that were gifted by Israel to the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park.
The Israel Nature Parks Authority (INPA) team will also conduct an awareness workshop on ‘enrichment and upgrading skills of animal keepers’ at

A crazed big-cat lover was thwarted by protective netting when he tried to jump into the Bronx Zoo’s snow-leopard exhibit, police said Saturday.
The feline fanatic was prowling around the snow-leopard and red-panda enclosures when he made a wild leap for the exotic cats a little after 7:30 p.m. Friday, law-enforcement sources told The Post.
Zookeepers and a police officer assigned to the zoo acted fast when the man cleared the first barrier that separates visitors from the cats.
They grabbed him before he got past the protective netting into the leopards’ enclosure, sources said.
The unidentified man ha

Lions and Tigers Don’t Belong in Zoos. But Some Animals Do.
Black-footed ferrets once thrived on the North American prairie, with an estimated 5 million animals occupying some 100 million acres of land from Montana to New Mexico. In the 19th century, though, America’s expansion west devastated the species. Prairie was converted into farmland and settlements. Prairie dogs, which the ferrets relied on for both food and shelter (using the dogs’ burrows for dens), were eradicated to keep them from competing with livestock for grass. Squeezed out of their habitat and deprived of their main food source, the ferrets declined and then disappeared. In 1979, the last captive ferret died, and the species was presumed extinct.
Then, two years later, a Wyoming rancher’s dog brought home a dead ferret to its master, leading to the discovery of a small remnant population100 or so ferrets that had, against all odds, survived—near the town of Meeteetse. When disease threatened this group and their numbers started to decline, various stakeholders came together to decide that the remaining 18 animals should be brought into captivity and placed in the care of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They were housed by several zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which today include the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, the Louisville Zoological Garden, the Toronto Zoo, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and the Phoenix Zoo. The organizations invo

West Kalimantan to Become Hornbill Conservation Center
West Kalimantan Province will become Hornbill conservation center and captivity.
“We have allocated funds to prepare for it,” Deputy Chairman, the House’s Commission IV Daniel Johan told Antaranews in Pontianak on Monday, June 27, 2016.
The captivity and conservation area will be located in Paloh Sub-district, Sambas District. “But Paloh is not the only [choice of] location. The alternative is Sintang District,” he said.
The conservation area and captivity is needed as the bird is an endangered species. Hornbill hunting is prevalent for their beak.
“The budget for it has been included in the re

EXCLUSIVE-U.S. charity loophole enabled trading of 1,300 endangered animals
Last year, after a Minnesota dentist sparked an uproar by killing a popular lion named Cecil while on safari in Zimbabwe, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service placed similar African lions on the endangered species list, making it illegal to import them as trophies to the United States.
But for African lions and other threatened and endangered species, there's an exception to this rule: Hunters, circuses, zoos, breeders and theme parks can get permits to import, export or sell endangered animals if they can demonstrate that the transactions will "enhance the survival" of the species.
Often, records show, this requirement is met in part by making a cash contribution to charity - usually a few thousand dollars. The practice has angered both animal-rights activists who say it exploits wildlife and exhibitors who describe the process as unfair and arbitrary.
In the last five years, the vast majority of the estimated 1,375 endangered species permits granted by the Fish & Wildlife Service involved financial pledges to charity, according to agency documents reviewed by Reuters.
For a $2,000 pledge, the Fish & Wildlife Service permitted two threatened leopard cubs to be sent from a roadside zoo to a small animal park. After a $5,000 pledge, the agency approved the transfer of 10 endangered South African penguins to a Florida theme

Four orangutans escape from Chester Zoo enclosure
Part of Chester Zoo had to be closed off this morning after four orangutans escaped from their enclosure while the Duke of Westminster was visiting.
Two female Sumatran orangutans and two of their young offspring made their way out of their enclosed area today (Tuesday, June 28) just after 10am.
A zoo spokesperson confirmed that Subis and her infants Tuti and Siska, as well as fellow female Indah, stayed safely within the zoo’s Monsoon Forest building while primate keepers quickly ushered them back into their enclosure.

Melbourne Zoo’s baby elephant deteriorating after feeding woes
THE condition of Melbourne Zoo’s baby elephant continues to deteriorate as keepers say they are struggling to bottle feed the calf.
The young Asian elephant, born almost two weeks ago with a rare congenital condition which prevents her from standing, is currently being fed a mixture of artificial elephant milk formula and her mother’s milk.
But the zoo’s head vet, Dr Michael Lynch said the young female was not bottle feeding well and was only taking about half of what she needed.
“Trying to keep up her nutrition is our challenge, and we are relying heavily on an intravenous drip to provide both fluid

Anti-zoo zealots not helping the animals
Another zoo is going to close thanks to misinformed dupes and money hungry organizations out for cash with no regard for the animals concerned.
The whole idea of captive breeding zoos is to assist endangered animals from being destroyed in their own habitat.
When all forms of animals start to become extinct, start blaming these protest groups that have made jobs for themselves and offer no after-care for the animals.
They get money for nothing, and they are against the idea of keeping a species alive in the world that would become poached for bush meat in their own land.
These groups have no idea of what will happen to the animals after these zoos are closed. Will most animals be put down and the blood lines will end forever? No doubt.
Groups against zoos are basically just looking for funds to support themselves, not the animals. They move on after another animal’s home is wrecked by them and the survival zoo has been destroyed by a bleeding heart cult doctrine that uses mindless zombies and dupes to assist in helping end the life of these animals.
One can help the animals now by taking a trip to any zoo or wildlife park to actually help the animals by being the animal’s friend. And tell big corpor

Starved lion's heartbreaking 'cry for help' after being trapped in war zone zoo for months

This heartbreaking video has captured the moment an emaciated lion roars in pain from his blood-soaked cage after getting trapped in a warzone zoo.
The once magnificent creature is now under-nourished and trapped in a urine and blood-soaked cage.
Staring from behind rusted bars in the enclosure, which is barely a few feet wide, this king of the jungle almost seems to be crying for help trapped at Taiz Zoo , in war-torn Yemen.
The Middle-Eastern country has been in the middle of a bloody civil war since March last year and the human cost has already been sickening.
But in the middle of air raids and tank shells one man and a small group of volunteers cross the front line every day to go

How Zoos Lost Their Bars

In the weeks after Harambe, the lowland gorilla, was shot when a 3-year-old boy fell into his enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, I began to notice peculiar news stories that otherwise wouldn’t have attracted my attention. A leopard in a Utah zoo slipped through the mesh that separated it from the public, forcing visitors to huddle in the gift shop until it was caught. A black bear cub briefly escaped its handlers while being moved between enclosures at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio (it was eventually sedated and returned). Georgian police killed a tiger that had, in its own turn, killed a man after escaping its enclosure. Just last week in Brazil, a jaguar exhibited in the Olympic torch ceremony broke free from its chains, moving freely until it too was shot after attacking a soldier. When animals and humans are close enough to one another, mishaps happen in both directions—humans get in, and animals get out. Invariably, both suffer.

British Water Testing Company Helping London Zoo Keep its Aquatic Inhabitants Safe

ZSL London Zoo has one of the largest collections of aquatic life in the UK, including some of the rarest species of fish and amphibians. This diversity creates unique water quality demands as each species often requires very specific water conditions to survive, with a slight change in conditions being potentially life-threatening. Regular, highly accurate water testing is therefore a critical part of managing the aquatic collections. To help ensure optimum water quality for all aquatic species, the Zoo has opted for water testing equipment from British company Palintest. The aquarium team utilises the Photometer 7100 for monitoring chlorine, alkalinity, phosphate, ammonia, nitrite, potassium and pH. The herpetology (amphibian) team also uses the Photometer 7100, but in addition uses electrochemical testing products, including Palintest’s Micro 600 pH meter and a Micro 800 dissolved oxygen (DO) meter as part of their water quality monitoring protocol. The feedwater for both the aquarium and herpetology se

Fresh hope for the endangered ptarmigan as 4 chicks hatched
Four ptarmigan chicks have hatched at Ueno Zoological Gardens in Tokyo, marking a second consecutive year of successful artificial incubation of the endangered species’ eggs.
Ueno Zoo in Taito Ward announced on June 27 that the four chicks hatched from eggs in succession between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on June 26. They each weighed between approximately 19 and 20 grams.
The four eggs were collected from nests in Mount Norikura

Elusive capybara captured after escape from Toronto zoo
The adventures of two furry fugitives that broke out of a Toronto zoo came to an end on Tuesday, when the second of two elusive capybaras was trapped.
The tale of the two large rodents has captivated the city ever since the animals, which resemble a heavy, tailless beaver with short legs, broke out of the High Park Zoo in late May.
The search for the pair inspired the hashtag "CapybaraWatch" online, sparked parody Twitter accounts posting from the rodents' perspectives and turned the male and female creatures into social media celebrities of so

Why People Keep Taking Deadly Selfies With Animals
The photos, or the stories behind them, are horrifying.
Last week a group of lifeguards and tourists in the Dominican Republic pulled a shark from the water and posed for photos with it until it died.
It was just the latest in a disturbing new trend of people trying to take selfies with a wide variety of wildlife, ranging from seals and swans to elk and even lions.
Sometimes, as in the case of the shark, the animals die as a result of these interactions. Other times people put themselves at risk. Last month a Chinese man died while trying to take a selfie with a walrus at a zoo. A year ago—long before the infamous case where tourists put a bison calf in their car—a visitor to Yellowstone National Park was gored and tossed into the air by an adult bison while she tried to pose for a photo just six yards away from the massive animal.
What drives this risky behavior?
Part of it, it seems, is just human na

15-year-old boy savaged by a wild hyena while sleeping in a tent in South Africa’s Kruger National Park
A TEENAGE boy had his bones “crushed like a packet of crisps” after being attacked by a hyena as he slept in a tent on a family camping trip.
According to The Sun, Erco Janse van Rensburg described the sound of his own bones being crunched by the predator after it launched the pre-dawn attack on him in South Africa’s Kruger National Park in the early hours of Sunday morning.
It’s believed the savage assault only came to an end when the 15-year-old’s uncle was woken by the sound of the boy being “dragged like a blanket” past his own tent.
The boy’s uncle chased the animal away.
The teenager is recovering in hospital in Johannesburg after undergoing multiple surgeries to reconstruct his face.
Rangers at the world-famous safari park are now hunting the hyena, which squeezed through a hole in the fence that w

What It's Really Like to Work With Animals at SeaWorld
Growing up in the Midwest, thousands of miles away from the ocean, Jody Westberg dreamed of working with sea animals. A family vacation to San Diego at 12 solidified her goal: get a job at SeaWorld some day. She studied biology, spent her summers working with the farm animals in her 900-person town in South Dakota, and transferred to Cal State San Bernardino in Southern California her last year of college to be closer to SeaWorld.
More than 20 years into her career, Westberg is the stranded animal coordinator at SeaWorld San Diego, overseeing its animal rescue and rehabilitation program. The program — an integral part of SeaWorld's 10 parks — has rescued more than 28,000 distressed animals since 1964.
I'll never forget the first time I kneeled down with my bucket of fish to start hand-feeding penguins. It was an area with 300 to 400 penguins, and they all started to move toward me. One fat penguin full of personality named King Tut walked right up to me and stared at me like, "Who is this new girl?" I gave him a fish and he instantly became one of my favorites. Penguins all have distinct personalities, almost like dogs. They're curious, and they're loyal. They are monogamous and mate with the same penguin every year. But sometimes you will have male penguins that leave their nest to check out [the female penguin] at their neighbor's nest. During the breeding season, it can become a lot like a soap opera.
My first job at SeaWorld was as an assistant in the accounting department. After a year, a job opened up with the aviculture team [the group of keepers and scientists that cares for all the park's birds]. Even though most animal teams hire for entry-level positions from within the park, I had to go through several interviews. For the first six mont

USDA Issues Report Into Hovatter's Wildlife Zoo; Owner Responds
Hovatter's Wildlife Zoo is under fire once again. The USDA issued a report on the business, claiming the zoo let visitors handle tiger cubs that were too large. 

This all comes after the zoo was called into question in July about the care of the cubs, but the owner said this is all a misunderstanding and everything is under control.

"All this inspection that was here is me and my inspector both agreeing that we will just stop the photos for the season," said Hovatter. 

That's what owner Bryan Hovatter had to say after the USDA's annual inspection into the business. The report claims that the business was allowing the public to come into contact with tiger cubs that were too large, too strong, and too aggressive. But Hovattter said that's not the case. 

"There's a window of working tigers. There's really not something sketched in law that we can start a cat out at this age and you have to stop him at this age. That's not in the law books, whatsoever. We work our tigers as w

The Role Of Zoos In An Ever-Changing World
Every day, Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)-accredited zoos open their doors to the public, inviting people to witness the animals in their care. Many of the people visiting will be attending with the goal or hope of being entertained. They’d like to spend a fun day outside of their homes. They’d like to tempt their children away from screens and media. They’d like to see unusual sights — creatures they could never hope to see in their own backyards, even if, once upon a time, their backyards would have been the roaming grounds for those very animals.

It’s possible that some of these visitors will think of the zoo as a place built solely for the purpose of their entertainment. They will go into their visit expecting to be distracted from the world in the same way a movie or a theme park or a bowling alley is meant to distract them. It’s not a terrible thing, to want to be entertained. It’s not a terrible thing to be fascinated by animals, or to hope to see them closer. It’s just that those wants and needs are not the sole reason for the existence of the modern, AZA-accredited zoo, and they haven’t been for some time.

Believing you’re visiting a theme park where animals are on display purely for your entertainment does not make it so. Even if you do come away from the visit entertained. In fact, a three-year, nationwide study found that: “Visitors arrive at zoos and aquariums with specific identity-related motivations, and these motivations directly impa

China reports H5N1 avian influenza in two African lions at Hubei Zoo
Officials with the Hubei Provincial People’s Government, in a Monday news release (computer translated), reported on two African lions at the Hubei Zoo that were infected with H5N1 avian influenza
Two African lions (1 male, 1 female) at the city zoo that demonstrated high fever and other abnormalities. They were taken to isolation to identify the cause of the illness and to get treatment. The male African lion’s condition suddenly deteriorated and he died soon afterwards. The female African lion was treated by the Changchun military Medical veterinary hospital, Huazhong Agricultural University and other emergency experts and since been recovered.
It doesn’t appear that other zoo animals were affected.
Samples were taken at thee autopsy on the male lion. The Conservancy Military Medical Veterinary Hospital detected H5N1 influenza virus that matched 99 percent to the strain of virus that that was isolated from a white tiger in 2

Four Tons of ‘Plastic’ Discovered to Be Smuggled Pangolin Scales
Hong Kong officials made one of the largest ever seizures of African pangolin scales on Thursday after discovering 4.4 tons (4,000 kilograms) of scales hidden in cargo labeled “sliced plastics” from Cameroon, according to a press release from the government.

The haul is estimated to represent between 1,100 and 6,600 pangolins and be worth $1.25 million (HK$9.8 million), according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an international conservation organization.

Pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, are nocturnal mammals found in Africa and Asia whose populations have plummeted in recent years. They gained recognition a few years ago when wildlife experts gave them the unhappy distinction of being the most trafficked mammal in the world. More than a million pangolins have been illegally plucked from the wild during the past decade to satisfy d

FIVE important elements of animal training plans. .
In this podcast episode I re-connect with Debbie Marrin, Director of training and behavioral husbandry at San Francisco Zoo, California, USA. You can learn more about Debbie in a previous podcast episode we did together by clicking HERE. In this episode we discuss some important elements involved in writing animal training plans. We cover 5 main areas, these are as follows (See below podcast);

New Meetings and Conferences updated Here

If you have anything to add then please email me at
I will include it when I get a minute. You know it makes sense.

Recent Zoo Vacancies

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, one time zoo inspector, a dreamer, a traveler, 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.

"These are the best days of my life"

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

No comments:

Post a Comment