Sunday, August 14, 2016

Zoo News Digest 14th August 2016 (ZooNews 935)

Zoo News Digest 14th August 2016 
(ZooNews 935)

Orangutan Portrait is a piece of digital artwork by Larry Linton which was uploaded on July 15th, 2011

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleague,

This week I posted out a spoof link on the relationship between Orangutans and Red Haired people. It was amusing and as we are in the run up to 'World Orangutan Day' I thought it well worth posting and after all a little humor never goes amiss. It attracted a massive amount of views. I am happy that most people enjoyed it…..however some people actually believed the article was serious. Others declared it was a fake…of course it was! I don't know about you but I find this extremely disturbing.

As Taman Safari is hosting the next SEAZA Conference I along with others are wondering what they will do about the posing with Orangutans and Tigers? Will it be all swept under the carpet, hidden away, for the duration of the Conference? The real irony of the situation is that during the last SEAZA conference in Singapore the directors of Taman Safari were the adjudicators of the workshop I attended on this very subject.

I note that now the Indonesian Government are preparing guidelines for zoos with the help of the Indonesian Zoo Association. That's great news except I would question which of the zoos will have the strongest say. Sadly if they follow the lead of some the situation then the situation is not going to improve one iota. They need to embrace the guidelines of BIAZA and the AZA and build upon them. I note the article on the story states "obliges the zoos to recruit permanent veterinarians". I think this is a great idea as long as they are not going to follow the direction of some other Asian zoos by believing that 'hiring more vets' will solve their problems. It won't. It is trained, caring professional Zoo Keepers who keep zoos running efficiently.

Sadly we have yet another zookeeper badly injured by a big cat. Yet again this appears to be a case of 'keeper error'. I do hope that she makes a full recovery. We all make mistakes, and we learn from them. In my personal experience some of the very best keepers I know have made major mistakes and given that second chance have become better than the best. They know who they are.

I wonder about the Humboldt Penguins in Mumbai. Fish scarce in the market and so they have to eat " the penguins were being fed fish like smelt, Bombay Duck and eel till now". Most Penguins I know will turn up their beaks at anything out of the ordinary unless they are starving.

Learning of the Greenland Shark reaching 400 years of age I found extremely interesting and at the same time very worrying. I can imagine that an interest has already been stirred in soup from the species.
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I remain committed to the work of GOOD zoos, 


Myths surrounding Isle of Man’s wild wallabies
Throughout the duration of the wallaby project last year, I encountered some Manx myths surrounding the origin and impact of the wallabies. One of the most mysterious aspects of the wallaby story is their origin. When talking to some people about where the wallabies came from, they are firm in their belief that they originated from a private collection or from Glen Helen Zoo, rather than from the Wildlife Park. As part of my project, I spent a lot of time going through the newspaper archives at the Manx Museum and was unable to find any substantive source for these claims. Certainly, there was one wallaby at Glen Helen Zoo, named ‘Rufty Tufty’, but this wallaby was never reported as having escaped. There were numerous wallaby escapes reported from the Curraghs Wildlife Park, including ‘Wanda’ the wallaby who escaped shortly after the park opened and returned later that year. One of the most documented incidents occurred in 1989 when eight wallabies dug under their enclosure and escaped. Unfortunately, the story of the wallabies thins out from 1989. Both wallaby escapes and sightings were infrequently repo

The menu at Dublin Zoo includes rose petals imported from Holland with elephants eating the most
Dublin Zoo spent over €550,000 a year feeding the 400 animals at the zoo.

Dieticians carefully prepare all the food on the menu with some animals even given rose petals which are imported from Holland.

Asian Elephants in the zoo get through 200kg of food a day each.

Their diet takes up most of the yearly budget with €231,000, is spent on vegetation including branches, hay and straw.

Elephant Nandi stuck in Sri Lanka
There's an elephant in the courtroom and Auckland Zoo's not saying a word.
Five-year-old Asian elephant Nandi should already be in her new home at the zoo after being gifted to Prime Minister John Key by Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena in February.
But legal action by more than a dozen community groups has delayed, and may even prevent, her from leaving her current home at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.
The Dharmavijaya Foundation is one of 18 groups who have petitioned the Sri Lankan Court of Appeal in an attempt to keep Nandi in the country.
Their petition reportedly states that Sri Lanka is one of few countries home to the rare and vulnerable elephas maximus species, and that exporting elephants like Nandi to be displayed for commercial purposes is ill-conceived.
A decision was expected this month, but the court has now ordered Nandi remain in Sri Lanka until at least after the next court appearance on September 27.
Local media have indicated the case may become a test case for discontinuing the practice of gifting Asian Elephants to foreign dignitaries and heads of state.
Auckland Zoo has revealed it does not know the details of the petition currently before the court, and will not comment on the case.
But zoo director Jonathan Wilcken spoke out to correct claims Nandi's gifting was for commercial purposes.
"Auckland Zoo does not make money from having elephants, but it is through our elephant programme that we can con

Lion confined after mauling Canadian zoo employee, staff in shock
An employee at the Canadian Granby Zoo located east of the city of Montreal suffered serious injuries as she was attacked by a female lion. The animal was confined, a zoo official said adding that the zoo staff is in a state of shock.
One of the zoo’s three lions assaulted a female worker Monday morning as she was preparing to feed the animals and entered the lions’ enclosure. The zoo was not yet open to the public at that time.

The animal backed off when another employee came to the worker’s rescue, using a fire hose. The woman suffered a cervical fracture and several cuts on her back. She was immediately hospitalized. Stephan Scalabrini, head of Granby's ambulance services, said the woman is now in stable condition and conscious.

Rare giant panda cub born at Vienna zoo - mother's fourth
Another giant panda cub has been born at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo - the fourth time that mother Yang Yang has conceived naturally.
Such an event is very rare - most panda breeding centres resort to artificial insemination.
The cub's sex is not known yet. The tiny pink creature - born at 05:05 local time (03:05 GMT) - is just 10cm (four inches) long and weighs 100g (3.5 ounces).
Yang Yang's other cubs are now in China, where an estimated 1,864 live in the wild.
The zoo's panda area has been closed to let Yang Yang rear her cub in peace and the father, Long Hui, is being kept away for the cub's safety.
Zoo director Dagmar Schratte

Putting the King of the Sea in Cages
PHRI Officials in North Bali Wants to Build Mid-Ocean Cages to Captivate Dolphins for Tourist Visits
The chairman of the Buleleng chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), Dewa Suardipa, is suggesting that middle ocean dolphin cages be built in offshore locations near Lovina in order “optimize” the attractiveness of dolphin tours promoted to North Bali tourist visitors.

Currently, hundreds of domestic and international tourists visiting Bali’s north coast pay local boatmen to take them out on early morning boat tours in search of the pods of dolphins that live in the area.

Suardipa has the view that local boats chasing after the wild dolphins cause stress on mammals and that would be remedied by turning wild dolphins into captive dolphin held in offshore cages. Continuing to describe his vision, Suardipa told Bali Post that the caged dolphins then could be summoned with whistles and pieces of fish t

Former aquarium temp worker: 'I didn't know' flipping switch was hurting fish
A switch that controls the life support systems for the Great Ocean Tank at the South Carolina Aquarium were turned off several times last month, and now police are looking into the issue.

Employees say it happened the week of July 9, after a temporary worker was hired onto the aquarium's janitorial service. Police report says the man was caught flipping the switches after aquarium officials set up a surveillance camera.

Employees noticed on July 10 that breakers had been switched off. Two alarms activated -- one signifying a sand filter was down, another showing one of the pumps was off.

According to the report, the electrician at the aquarium could not find any electrical issue, and was able to rule out all issues except "manual manipulation."

Three more alarms went off July 13.

After noticing five more breakers were switched off on July 14, employees decided to place a camera in the room. Within an hour, according to the report, a temporary employee was observed turning off one of the panel breakers as he walked through the room. As of the publication of this article, the 25-year-old temporary em

Lion Bites Worker In Canadian Zoo And Is Put In Isolation
A lion bit a Canadian zoo worker in the back on Monday as it was being prepared for exhibition and has been put in isolation until the zoo decides what to do with it, an official said.

The worker at the Granby Zoo east of Montreal had a fracture, but was conscious and in stable condition in hospital, director general Paul Gosselin told reporters.

Gosselin said the zookeeper was bitten in the back.

"At this point we don't have the exact diagnosis," he said.

It was not immediately clear how the attack occurred, though Gosselin said the employee had been preparing the female lion for exhibition before the incident. The zoo worker is in her 20s and has been with the organisation since 2011, Gosselin said.

He said the zoo would be contacting experts in the United States before making a decision about what to do with the lion, which is one of three kept by the zoo. All three lions had been isolated and were made unavailable for public viewing after the attack.

When asked whether the zoo considered killing the lion during the incident, Gosselin said that was not necessary as another empl

Zoo releases last summer batch of threatened butterflies
The Oregon Zoo has released the last batch of its zoo-raised Oregon silverspot butterflies into the wild as it winds up a summer program aimed at boosting the numbers of the once-common yellow-and-black butterfly in coastal habitats.

The zoo has transported nearly 450 butterfly pupae to four sites along the Oregon Coast in the past month. There, the butterflies finish their metamorphosis in “pupae pockets” inside protective mesh, the zoo said in a statement Monday. They flit away when they emerge.

“It was the perfect time of year to be out there, right in the middle of the flight season,” said zoo conservation research associate Karen Lewis.

The silverspot was once common in coastal grasslands from northern California to Canada. It is now listed as threatened due und

SD Zoo Global Awards Australian Zoos for Wildlife Conservation
San Diego Zoo Global (SDZG) honors two major Australia zoos for their work on wildlife conservation on the global scale.

On Monday, Aug. 8., the San Diego Zoo Global staff presented representatives from Zoos Victoria in Melbourne and the Taronga Conservation Society Australia in Sydney with the San Diego Zoo Global 2016 Conservation Partners Medal.

At the awards ceremony, SDZG praised Zoos Victoria’s incredible contributions to wildlife conservations and its intense focus on saving species. Zoos Victoria is actually an organization of zoos comprised of the Melbourne Zoo, the Healesville Sanctuary and the Werribee Open Range Zoo.

According to SDZG, one remarkable program from Z

Religious month affecting fish diet for penguins in Mumbai zoo reveals poor planning
Shraavana is the fifth month of the Hindu calendar which begins in late July and continues till the third week of August. For many Hindus, it is the month of fasting. Many people also avoid non-vegetarian food during Shraavana.
In Mumbai, this year's Shraavana would have been like any other if eight Humboldt penguins were not involved.
Eight Humboldt penguins were brought to the Byculla zoo. News18Eight Humboldt penguins were brought to the Byculla zoo. News18
In July, eight Humboldt penguins had been brought to the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan — better known as the Byculla Zoo.
Penguins almost exclusively live in the Antarctic. They are also carnivores. Although their main diet is fish, they also eat krill and squid. They are also found on every continent in the southern hemisphere, abundant on many temperate and sub-antarctic island.
According to this report in The Times of India, the variety of fish in the market has become limited due to the month of Shraavana.
The report also said that the penguins were being fed fish like smelt, Bombay Duck and eel till now, adding that the appetite of the penguins had increased since they had been brought to the Byculla z

Zoos forced to register after Big Cat fight
Two zoos at the center of a government crackdown on illegal trade in big cats in Lebanon have taken the first steps to legitimize their status, but activists warned that there was still a ways to go to safeguard the welfare of exotic animals in the country. “They have started to collaborate with us,” Dr. Ali Romih, acting head of the Veterinary Health Service at the Agriculture Ministry, told The Daily Star Wednesday. “It’s a good sign.”

Lebanese zoos were given a deadline of Aug. 11 to register with the Agriculture Ministry as a key part of the “Last Chance for Big Cats” campaign launched by the NGO Animals Lebanon. The campaign aims to end the trafficking, sale, and mistreatment of lions, tigers, cheetahs, and other big cats in Lebanon.

According to the decree delivered to Animal City Lebanon and ZaZoo City zoos, registration requires that they present a list of their animals, along with their medical records, passports and a report from a veterinary office. The ministry confirmed that Animal City Lebanon had submitted the requested documents and ZaZoo City had been in contact to indicate they had begun the process.

Animal City Lebanon in Zikrit and ZaZoo City in south-east Beirut were the main targets of the directive. Both have allegedly sold lions to private owners according to Animals Lebanon, resulting in poor treatment and conditions, leading to suffering and even death. There are estimated to b

Expert visits Chandrapur for leopard safari plan
The Maharashtra State Zoo Authority (MSZA) took its first major initiative by working on a proposed leopard safari in Chandrapur district, hometown of forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar.
On Tuesday, MSZA managing director Anurag Choudhary and former chief wildlife warden of West Bengal and well-known zoo expert Dr Brij Raj Sharma visited the proposed leopard safari site on Chandrapur-Ballarpur Road.
Mungantiwar, in the last state budget, had announced setting up of two leopard safaris. One is to come up in Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGN

Shocking Plans Reveal Motivation in Push for Sea Pens – It Is Brilliant!

Woman attacked by lion at Granby Zoo should make full recovery: director
The head of a Quebec zoo says an employee who was attacked by a lion should make a full recovery.

Granby Zoo’s Paul Gosselin says the woman in her early 20s had surgery on Monday night after a “minor” neck fracture.

The 14-year-old female lion that attacked her will not be put down because it did not show any abnormal behaviour before or after the attack.

Gosselin says Kao felt threatened on its turf and acted consequently before a second employee sprayed the animal with water from a hose

400-year-old Greenland shark is the oldest vertebrate animal
She was born during the reign of James I, was a youngster when René Descartes set out his rules of thought and the great fire of London raged, saw out her adolescent years as George II ascended the throne, reached adulthood around the time that the American revolution kicked off, and lived through two world wars. Living to an estimated age of nearly 400 years, a female Greenland shark has set a new record for longevity, scientists have revealed.

The discovery places the lifespan of the Greenland shark far ahead of even the oldest elephant in captivity, Lin Wang, who died aged 86. It is also far longer than the official record for humans, held by 122-year-old Frenchwoman Jeanne Louise Calment.

“It kicks off the bowhead whale as the oldest vertebrate animal,” said Julius Nielsen, lead author of the research from the University of Copenhagen, pointing out that bowhead whales have been known to live for 211 years.

But the Greenland shark doesn’t scoop all the gongs – the title of the world’s longest-lived animal is held by Ming, an Icelandic clam known as an ocean quahog, that made it to 507 years before scientists bumped it off.

Grey, plump and growing to lengths of around five metres, the Greenland shark is one of the world’s largest carnivores. With a reported growth rate of less than one centimetre a year, they were already

Rare tarantulas hatch in ‘world first’ at Chester Zoo
Invertebrate keepers at the zoo are the first in the world to successfully breed the Montserrat tarantulas, marking a crucial step towards discovering more about the mysterious species.

Native to the Caribbean island of Montserrat, very little information is known about the tarantulas and how they live.

Human Ginger Gene Linked To Orangutan
ARE you a ginger? Do you or any of your family members have red hair? Well, if so, you may be related to one of the cleverest monkeys on the planet, the Orangutan.

Scientists taking part in a study of genetic make-up at Trinity College Dublin have proved this week that red haired people directly descended from Orangutans, who also have flowing, beautiful auburn hair.

Orca calf dies under the amateurish handling by Dr. Ingrid Visser
In their Facebook page, Delfinarien-Info has published a comment of an expert, which we wanted to share with the general public taking into account constant and ungrounded criticism by extremist animal groups, with the support and encouragement from Ingrid Visser, towards the orcas kept in Loro Parque.

It turns out that in reality Mrs. Visser, who has recently undertaken to give care to the stranded orca calf, has committed unthinkable number of blunders, including not having performed a post-mortem study of the animal, which could have been a very important opportunity to obtain vital data to help other orcas and whales in the future.

What happened in New Zealand has caused a lot of commotion in recent days. However, I have not given my opinion about it because we are not like those who hate dolfinariums hysterically, nor are we activists for animal rights. Secondly, I use this report to demonstrate to this completely unprofessional and radical woman how a true scientist works: you wait for the results before you publish anything.

The addressee of my criticism is Ingrid Visser, a cetacean researcher. This person tried to spread a touching story about an orca baby and its rescue. Why tried? Well, because the little orca has died in the process. Ingrid Visser has no better to do other than to spy on dolphinariums led by the approved scientists and to discredit their professional and successful rescue programs. Such is the example of Morgan, the young female orca that was rescued on the Dutch coast by experts of Dolphinarium Harderwijk. Again, successfully.

Ingrid Visser criticizes the captivity of dolphins and orcas. This is the reason why she insisted that New Zealand orca, named Bob, upon its rescue, should upon recovery, under any circumstance, be returned to the wild. Any whale rescue expert would tell her n

Animal activists urge Wingham Wildlife Park to halt import of lab chimps despite blessing of expert Jane Goodall
Animal welfare campaigners are urging a wildlife park to halt its efforts to bring seven laboratory chimpanzees from America to a new home near Canterbury.

Wingham Wildlife Park has already built a £1 million enclosure for the apes and say they are confident the chimps will be happy in their new home.

It will be a huge change for the animals, which have spent years at the Emory University’s Yerkes National Primate Research Centre in Atlanta.

Asia’s Darkest Secret: Impending Elephant Extinction
The magnificent elephants are revered in Asian culture and seen as the embodiment of Lord Ganesha himself. Yet right now in the name of religious festivities that also serve as lucrative tourist attractions, elephants are separated from their families, beaten, shackled and enslaved in order to tame and control this powerful, intelligent animal.

Director Sangita Iyer created the documentary film God in Shackles as an expose of the dark side of treatment of elephants for festivals and temples in Kerala, South India. It reveals the pain and torture the elephants go through under the guise of culture and festivities that generate money from unwitting tourists.

Elephants should live as long as 70 years but in captivity they often die much earlier, either from cruelty or exhaustion. Figures obtained from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reveal the numbers of elephants left in Asia is estimated to be a mere 40,000.

The majority of the Asian elephant population remaining today is situated in India and Sri Lanka at around 30,000 and the rest scattered acro

What a wacky safari: On the lookout for cheetahs, giraffes and endangered oryxes... in the middle of the Arabian desert
What the Sheik desires, the Sheik will have — the tallest skyscraper in the world? No problem. A Louvre-like gallery in the desert? The architects and auction houses will do the rest.
Just over 100 miles south-west of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is an island retreat that demonstrates a different kind of ambition; one that even by the standards set in this part of the world is a little barmy.
Sir Bani Yas recreates the African safari experience in th

Gov`t Formulating Standard Zoo Guideline
The Environment and Forestry Ministry is preparing a standard zoo guideline for zoos in Indonesia.

"We are working with PKBSI (the Indonesian Zoo Association)," said Director General of Conservation of Natural Resources and Ecosystems of the Ministry Tachrir Fathoni in Jakarta, Sunday (14/8).

Tachrir added that the guideline includes several aspects, including the management of cages, zoo area, number of animals that populate the zoo, zoo management, human resources, food, and animal welfare.

The guideline is still in the process of completion, he added.

Tachrir also acknowledged some zoos in Indonesia still have poor management.

The management of ten zoos under the supervisory of regional government, he said, is still not optimal, for example Bandung zoo.

"We've reprimanded the management," Tach

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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 independent international 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

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