I was surprised to
see two articles about the Dubai Crocodile Park appear. It has been an age
since there was anything in the newspapers and I have heard no chatter so I
believed the idea had been shelved. If as stated it does all that it says it is
going to do then it will surely be a good thing. I have probably visited more
crocodile collections than most and have yet to be impressed except in one case
and that was the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust outside of Chennai in India. That
was excellent. The rest were mostly a bunch of exploitative rubbish and farms
under another guise. I have no problem with the farming as long as the animals
are cared for but I dislike them being abused in Crocodile shows by being
teased. There are too many of these teasing 'shows' around. People would not
get away with it if it were a mammal. Having worked with a few Crocodilians
over the years I know how clever they are and amenable to training. That said,
with a properly maintained enclosure it is rarely, if ever, necessary to enter
an exhibit. They are very low maintenance animals. Playing Tarzan for a paying
public is just plain stupid.
Probably the worst
Crocodile Farm I have visited was in Cambodia, The Siem Reap Crocodile Farm http://hubpages.com/_13rz0ikcd0g1v/animals/Siem-Reap-Crocodile-Farm , where only a few years before that the
Khmer Rouge had fed people to the occupants.
I'd like you to
spare a thought for the "outsourcing staff" of Nehru Zoological park
who went on strike the other day for 20 minutes. What exactly is an 'outsourced
staff'? Well they come under a variety of banners…'daily wage employees', 'non-permanent
staff' and others. Fair enough, it is all in a name except these employees,
many who work as Zoo Keepers do the job for five, ten, fifteen or even more
years. They ARE permanent except that they do not receive any of the perks or
protection that being 'on staff' gives. They can be dismissed at a moment's
notice with no reason given. These men and women have families to support and
so put up with intolerable working conditions and very low wages because they
are not in a position to argue.
I am delighted to
learn that the Khan Yunis Zoo in Gaza has closed and the animals have all gone
off to greener pastures. Full credit to all those who made it happen. There has
been a great deal in the press covering the story. Inevitably the stories talk
of 'rescue' and the zoo owner has stated 'donation'. I doubt that either was
really the truth of the matter. I am more inclined to believe the animals were
purchased, but nobody is going to admit that. This brings me to a question. How
much is a 'Heinz 57' tiger worth? As a life there can be no estimate as all
living creatures deserve a life (and a good one at that) but let's get real. To
a good zoo and to conservation such a tiger is valueless. To a bad zoo?….well Heinz 57 tigers are
common enough and the value has really got more to do with how stupid the
purchaser is. We don't have to like it but it is true. The really sad part of
it is that most tigers have more value when dead. Skin, claws, teeth and the body
stewed in wine.
So WAZA and TRAFFIC
have teamed up to fight the illegal trade in wildlife. That has to be good
news. This is going to need WAZA to come down hard on some of its members.
There are some powerful….and corrupt members (by association) of WAZA in S.E.
Asia. Let's hope this is discussed openly at the next SEAZA conference.
That was quick…the
Lanseria Lion Park has gone back to cub petting once again. I can quite
understand their reasoning as it is a bit like cutting off your nose to spite
your face if all similar facilities in the area are doing what you said you
wouldn't do. I wonder what will happen next though? You can only pet a cub for
so long then you need a smaller one. If as stated they have discontinued all
breeding then are they going to start again to fill the demand? Or are they
going to buy (or "rescue") cubs from elsewhere which is just as bad.
Did You Know?
ZooNews Digest has over 26,250 'Like's' on Facebook and has a weekly reach often exceeding over 350,000 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,
not DYSFUNCTIONAL zoos.
Dubai’s $5.9m crocodile park to open by 'end of 2016'
Crocodile Park is set to open by the end of the year.
Construction on the
$5.9 million project, to be built over an area of 20,000sq m, started last
Located near Mushrif
Park, close to the Dubai Safari project and the pet market, the project will
endeavour to create a habitat that is as natural as possible for the
crocodiles, according to Dubai Municipality.
Dubai Media Office
tweeted a picture of an artist’s impression of what the park will look like,
announcing that Dubai Municipality has said 75% of Dubai Crocodile Park, which
is set to open end of 2016, has been completed.
Crocodiles all set to move to new Dubai home
Get ready for
snapping neighbours, as crocodiles are expected to soon make Dubai their new
Construction on the
much-anticipated Crocodile Park is making headway, as Dubai Media Office have
confirmed that the coming attraction is set to open by the end of 2016.
From raising gibbons to chasing escaped penguins ...
Welsh Mountain Zoo founder's son shares his fifty-four years of animal magic
When Nick Jackson
first arrived at the Welsh Mountain Zoo in his early teens, he had no choice
but to muck in.
His father Robert,
an avid wildlife enthusiast, had moved the family from Cheshire to pursue his
dream of working with animals, setting up the Welsh Mountain Zoo in 1962.
Despite the early
days presenting plenty of challenges, the attraction went from strength to
strength, recently welcoming its eight millionth visitor.
And Nick is still
closely involved, fifty-four years since he first set foot there.
to the Daily Post, he recalled some of his treasured memories, from rearing
gibbons, to the night five penguins escaped from their enclosure and wandered
down to a bus stop to be found by a lorry driver.
Nick said: “It was
always my dad’s dream to work with animals.
“After World War Two
he set up a touring tropi
Orangutans Can Predict Their Cocktail Preferences,
Just Like Humans
Humans love to
believe that we’re unique. Yet every year, it seems like a host of abilities
once thought to be possessed solely by people are found in other species. Take
the very important ability to predict what a cocktail might taste like, for
By providing an
orangutan named Naong with his own personal (non-alcoholic) cocktail bar at
Furuvik Zoo in Sweden, researchers discovered that he possessed a type of
predictive thought once believed to be exclusive to humans. Naong was given
apple cider vinegar and three different kinds of fruit juices: cherry, rhubarb,
He was quickly able
to learn and remember the distinct flavor of each beverage. What was most
surprising however, is that Naong could also predict whether he would like the
taste of combinations he hadn’t already tried.
In other words,
Naong appeared to be capable of “affective forecasting,” or the ability to
predict the outcome of never-before-experienced situations by recombining parts
of past situations. It was previously believed that animals were only capable
of predicting the outcome of events they had already directly experienced.
After trying each of
the four beverages alone, Naong was able to predict which mixtures he would
prefer before he had tried them, the researchers discovered. A personal
bartender mixed the four beverages together for him while he watched, and he
knew which combinations he would prefer before he ever tasted them.
He was just as good
at predicting his preferences as 10 human control subjects, according to
Gabriela-Alina Sauciuc, one of the scientists who worked on the study.
Naong picked his
Smithsonian Sends Extinct Antelope Back to Africa
oryx has been resurrected from the dead. It's been 30 years since the antelope
was declared extinct, and now, thanks to the Smithsonian National Zoo, it's
headed back to the Sahelian grasslands of Chad where it once roamed.
spent decades resurrecting the species, which had gone extinct in the wild and
was kept in existence by a few animals in captivity. Now, the oryx is headed
back to the wilds of Africa, and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
(SCBI) and Zoological Society of London are "leading post-release
satellite-tracking efforts that will result in the collection of one of the
most comprehensive datasets for any wildlife species returned to its native
habitat," according to a Smithsonian statement.
Steve Monfort, the
John and Adrienne Mars director of SCBI, called it an "epic
homecoming" for the species in the statement.
was designed to ultimately give scimitar-horned oryx that chance, while also
helping restore this grasslands ecosystem and to ins
Reintroducing the Black-fronted Piping-guan in Brazil
A routine check-up
in 2010 revealed that only one Black-fronted Piping-guan was left in the
mountain range of Sierra do Mar, São Paulo. Wasting no time, the team of SAVE
Brasil built huge enclosures camouflaged in the Atlantic Forest to breed the
species and start a reintroduction programme. Five years later, the situation
is being reverted: the birds are adapting and the locals are making sure their
homes stay intact.
Expert offers suggestions on improving zoos, aquariums
make clear that the zoos of the future will look different from those of today.
To help us think about how, we asked experts on zoos from various fields to
write about where zoos are headed - or should head.
comes from David Grazian, an associate professor of sociology at the University
of Pennsylvania and author of "American Zoo: A Sociological Safari."
He lives in New York City.
four years volunteering at two major zoos and visiting countless others in
preparation for my book, I have had the opportunity to see the very best and
worst that American zoos have to offer. Captive zoo animals often live in
cramped conditions, with some suffering from psychological stress or
depression. Even the most endearing animal exhibits often fail to inspire
visitors to care about wildlife and habitat preservation, biodiversity loss,
species extinction, global warming and other ecological issues.
"At the same
time, American zoos remain enormously popular, attracting 181 million visitors
annually. Despite their flaws, zoos are simply too important to fail. It seems
to me that American zoos could cure much of what ails them by rethinking how they
curate their animal collections and manage their exhibition spaces.
zoos seem to rely on the Noah's Ark theory of collecting, by exhibiting at
least two of every animal on Earth. Yet by shrinking their animal populations,
zoos could dedicate far more space and resources to a smaller number of highly
endangered animals. Exhibits would be smarter, with more focused messaging to
teach and inspire visitors. For example, while New York's Central Park Zoo sits
on only six-and-a-half acres in midtown Manhattan, the Wildlife Conservation
Society manages this postage stamp of a zoo by paring
Exploris aquarium reopens after £2m refurbishment
only aquarium has reopened after a £2m refurbishment, having been closed for
almost two years.
Exploris in the
County Down town of Portaferry was threatened with permanent closure in 2013.
But a rescue package
backed by the Northern Ireland Executive and Ards and North Down Borough
Council, which owns Exploris, secured
CHINESE BILLIONAIRE ACCUSED OF KILLING PANDAS TO MAKE
FUR COATS (SPOOF ARTICLE)
The Chinese real
estate mogul, Wáng Ming-húa, was arrested yesterday by officers of the People’s
Armed Police, for allegedly sponsoring the illegal killing of dozens of giant
More than three
hundred policemen took part in an extensive raid on Mr. Wáng’s luxurious
400-acre property, looking for proof of his illegal activities. The search led
to the arrest of nine people, including Mr. Wang himself, and also led to the
seizure of 39 coats made of giant panda fur, as well as lots of pelts
‘Trojan horse’ of Namibia’s rhino poaching crisis?
The ‘one chop’ chief
“My name is Vaino
Kalimpwe. Kalimpwe means ‘just one chop’,” said the elderly Ogandjera headman
with the red beret in fluent Afrikaans, his right hand cutting through the air
into his left hand with a loud smack to illustrate what he meant. “Net een kap (Just
one chop),” he repeated with a wolfish grin.
Behind him, the more
senior chief, Sakarias Shikongo of Okahao, took a cagey approach: no name was
given, as we were expected to know who he was – the official successor to the
current Ogandjera “king” – and someone accustomed to deference.
Chief Shikongo was
quite keen on the idea of elephant hunting, although “…we were told our
elephants here are a little too small still”, he informed us.
“It’s the chief’s
first time here at the lodge,” said the caretaker, who gave his name as
Fillemon. They said they were at the lodge to meet its owner, Vitor Azevedo,
later that night. As Azevedo’s trusted right-hand man of 26 years, Fillemon had
been based at the still-incomplete Sheya Uushona lodge for seven years, he told
us. As result, “The chief really listens to me, he trusts me.”
Which was odd: Chief
Shikongo was in fact a regular visitor to the Sheya Uushona lodge, we later
established. The Okahao tribal authority’s Sheya Uushona conservancy, so named
for a famous Ogandjera king, owns 50% of the still-closed lodge. Construction had
started in 2010.
A photographer and I
had tracked the chief’s car for three hours along a maze of unmarked, deep
sandy tracks snaking through the dense mopani flats of southern Omusati,
situated immediately north of the Etosha National Park, to this strange hunting
lodge called Sheya Uushona just outside the park’s fence.
It was clear from
the tracks that this vehicle regularly used this track, which was the shortest,
most direct route from Okahao to the lodge. For long stretches, the chief’s
were the only tyre tracks we found along this route in the four-hour drive from
Truth was, the chief
had in fact had been to the lodge many times before. It was just one of many
lies we were fed.
At the lodge we
pretended to be scouts for a fictitious safari company, driving a South
African-registered vehicle, and looking for
Australia’s rarest tortoises get new home to save them
from climate change
Australia’s rarest tortoises have been released outside their natural range
because climate change has dried out their remaining habitat.
The natural range of
the critically endangered western swamp tortoise, Pseudemydura umbrina, has
shrunk to two isolated wetlands in Perth’s ever-growing outer suburbs, and a
herpetological expert, Dr Gerald Kuchling, said reduced rainfall and a lowered
groundwater table made those areas increasingly untenable.
tortoises – between three and four years old – were released at Meerup, 360km
south of Perth, and int
www.zoolex.org in August 2016
~°v°~ ~°v°~ ~°v°~
Hello ZooLex Friend,
We have worked for
Dolphin Lagoon at
Zoo Nuremberg is a reconstruction of the dolphin
exhibit that was
opened in 1971. Additionally to the existing indoor
outdoor basins were built for the Bottlenose dolphins
and Californian sea
lions, two of which can be covered and heated during
Here is the German
We would like to
thank Dag Encke, the director of Zoo Nuremberg for
presentation to ZooLex.
ZOOLEX AND ICZ
Congress of Zookeepers (ICZ) and the ZooLex Zoo Design
a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to undertake
and activities that improve professional animal care
and animal welfare,
as well as conservation projects and activities that
promote wildlife and
habitat preservation. The cooperation was made
exchanging links on both websites:
We keep working on
The ZooLex Zoo
Design Organization is a non-profit organization
Austria (ZVR-Zahl 933849053). ZooLex runs a professional
zoo design website
and distributes this newsletter. More information and
USDA penalizes Catskill zoo for animal welfare
deteriorating fences and sad chimpanzees. That's what Catskill resident Harry
Matthews said he saw when visited the Bailiwick Ranch and Animal Park.
"It was not a
happy sight to see," Matthews said. "The cages were really flimsy and
didn't look like they were being taken care of."
Visits to the
Catskill zoo by Times Union reporters found animals with open wounds and rusty
and feces-filled enclosures. Federal inspectors have put the heat on the
family-run zoo, which has enclosures an expert believes may lead to injury or
to an animal escaping.
In July, Bailiwick
was fined $1,350 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture after the zoo
"failed to maintain housing facilities in good repair to protect the
animals from injury and to contain them."
A USDA Animal and
Plant Health Inspection Service spokesman said the facility has been cited by
USDA inspectors numerous times since 2008 for repeated failure to maintain
proper enclosures and effectively contain animals.
To get to the
Bailiwick Ranch and Discovery Zoo's 300-acre property, visitors drive up the
winding hill road that for decades brought crowds to the Catskill Game Farm, a
zoo that ran for 73 years before closing in 2006.
A video recorded
June 30 at the zoo shows two keepers distracting a brown bear named Tallulah as
another worker enters the bear's cage to deliver food. According to animal
welfare and behav
Animal attraction: Life of a zookeeper and other tales
It was her day off,
but Ashley Richmond rushed to work filled with excitement and anxiety when she
got the Saturday evening call.
It was a day unlike
most others, but every day is a wild day for some local residents who recently
shared their experiences working at the Detroit Zoo.
For Richmond, the
call that came on Aug. 6 was to tell her the zoo’s 7-year-old giraffe, Kivuli,
was in labor. Just three and a half hours later, the Farmington Hills resident
who cares for Kivuli, as well as her mate Jabari, 8, and their nearly 2-year-old
son, Mpenzi, watched the birth of the newest giraffe family member, a 5-foot
tall, 166-pound girl named Zawadi.
“Just the people she
knows were there, we don’t want it to be stressful,” said Richmond, who was
also present for the birth of Mpenzi. “You wait 15 months and hope for
everything to go well, for mom and baby to be healthy. It was sort of an
out-of-body experience, I was in a daze watching… You want to videotape
everything, but at the same time be present in the moment. It was a bonus that
it ended up being a girl — that is what we were hoping for. I got teary-eyed,
there was relief on my part, I was just glad everything went well and the baby
was breathing and stood up after 20 minutes. I had a feeling she would be a
spit fire, she was very active inside of her mom.”
This year marks a
decade as a zookeeper for Richmond, who in the sixth grade foretold her destiny
in a letter to her mom in which she wrote that she wanted to go to Michigan
State University, get a degree in zoology, and work at the Detroit Zoo.
She walked that
path, although she acknowledges it hasn’t always been easy.
“I am 33, but some
days I feel 63,” laughs Richmond, who has cared for the giraffes and kangaroos
the majority of her career at the zoo, but also worked in various other areas.
EXCLUSIVE look inside Dubai Safari Park
Building work at
Dubai Safari Park is in its exciting final stages, and Time Out Dubai has been
given the pictures to prove it.
The site in Al
Warqa, opposite Dragon Mart, is, every single day, looking more and more like a
miniature man-made version of South Africa’s Kruger National Park or Chobe in
Botswana. From the thatched terraces to the huge elephant and giraffe replicas,
it very much is Dubai meets Africa. And don’t worry, there will be real
The Dhs1 billion
project, which has been built on top of a landfill site in Al Warqa'a, has
provoked plenty of discussion since it was first announ
Gaza's 'worst zoo in the world' to close
a southern Gazan cage will soon make a
cross-continental journey from the Middle East to South Africa, as Four Paws,
an international animal rights organization, rushes to close the “worst zoo in
Along with the 16
other animals still residing at the Khan Yunis Zoo, “Laziz,” the tiger, is set
to leave his desolate home in the coming days, the Vienna-based Four Paws group
announced on Thursday. The operation follows a long series of negotiations with
the various relevant authorities, and will involve several veterinarians and a
logistical support team, the organization said.
Group that ran elephant center with Disney ties ceases
operations in Florida
Several months after
an elephant refuge with ties to Walt Disney World sent away its last pachyderm
residents, the group that operated it has ceased doing business in Florida.
Elephant Center this month filed a notice of withdrawal with the state's
Division of Corporations. "This corporation is no longer transacting
business or conducting affairs in the state of Florida," paperwork filed
with the state says.
Facebook page is also no longer active.
Board members could
not be reached for comment.
Kingdom helped found The National Elephant Center, which ran a refuge for
elephants in Fellsmere.
Three of five
elephants that went to The National Elephant Center since it opened in 2013
died. Two had come from Disney's Animal Kingdom, and one had come from the
Nashville Zoo. Late last year, the center sent back its remaining two
elephants, which had both come from Disney. One went back to Disney's Animal
Kingdom. The other went to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
At the time, the
center's board said it was trying to regroup and operations were on hiatus.
Kingdom and zoos from across the country founded the center. The idea was to
provide short-term and long-term
WAZA and TRAFFIC join forces to combat illegal
Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and TRAFFIC today signed a memorandum
of understanding (MoU) to intensify collaboration to combat illegal wildlife
trade by jointly supporting its prevention and enhancing public awareness of
wildlife-trade related conservation threats.
The MoU commits the
two organizations to share knowledge and expertise relating to the illegal
trade of species from the wild, with an emphasis on threatened species. This
includes information about allegedly captive bred specimens, illegally sourced
specimens, suspect animal and plant dealers, breeding and propagation
programmes or other relevant information. An important part of the
collaboration will be that zoos and aquariums will provide their visitors with
educational information on how to avoid purchasing illegal animal products and
report suspicions of illegally traded animals.
trade in species of conservation concern is monitored by CITES (the Convention
on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
According to TRAFFIC, between 2005 and 2009, EU enforcement authorities made
over 12,000 seizures of illegal wildlife products in the EU alone. The species
traded are often already highly threatened and in danger of extinction,
conditions under which wildlife is transported are often appalling, operators
are unscrupulous and do not care how they damage the environment. It is often
said that illegal wildlife trade is the fourth most valuable illicit commerce
behind narcotics, counterfeiting and human trafficking.
agreed to focus their work in South-East Asia, where illegal wildlife trade is
growing at an alarming rate. Species of particular concern include songbirds,
pangolins and freshwater turtles amongst others. Millions of specimens are illegally traded
each year, and the impact on wild populations is disastrous. The Critically
Endangered Ploughshare Tortoise of Madagas
car shows a clear
link to the illegal trade in South-East Asia and scientists fear that it might
become extinct in the wild in the very near future.
The MoU signed by
WAZA Executive Director, Gerald Dick, and Steven Broad Executive Director of
TRAFFIC, marks the first ever official collaboration between the two
organisations. The MoU comes at a time when illegal wildlife trade is at an
“We look forward to
working more closely with TRAFFIC to support the eradication of illegal
wildlife trade,” said Dr Gerald Dick, Executive Director at the World
Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
“WAZA members are
uniquely placed to help monitor the trade in wild species and ensure it is
carried out in a legal fashion and in the best conservation interests of the
species concerned: we look forward to a fruitful collaboration,” said Steven
Broad, Executive Director of TRAFFIC.
Two Komodo Dragons hatch from hidden eggs at Virginia
Two baby Komodo
Dragons hatched from eggs in a hidden nest at the Virginia Aquarium &
Marine Science Center, Thursday.
beloved Komodo Dragon, Jude, died last July. Jude mated with Teman, the male
Komodo Dragon, in the fall and produced these eggs. The staff was unaware of
the eggs since Jude buried them in the exhibit in secret.
thrilled that Jude and Teman bred successfully, and that Jude was able to lay
her eggs and bury them, in true Komodo form," said Rachel Metz, Director
of Live Exhibits. "Everyone on staff was heartbroken to lose Jude and this
is an emotional moment for all of us. The birth of these two Komodos gives us
back a little part of her."
Though 18 eggs were
produced, only two have hatched so far. Several of the eggs are showing
promising signs and are now being monitored in an incubator. The staff is
cautiously optimistic for the eggs future.
healthy," said Dr. Allyson McNaughton, Staff Veterinarian for the
Aquarium. "But this is an important transition time for these young
animals, so we will be monitoring them closely."
The baby dragons
have not been named yet. They will be kept behin
White tiger cubs ‘are Persian cats’, claims detained
A motorist has been
detained in eastern China for allegedly trafficking white tiger cubs, which he
claimed were a litter of Persian cat kittens, according to a news website
The three white
tiger cubs were discovered in a small van on Monday night at a highway services
area in Huzhou in Zhejiang province, Zjol.com.cn reported.
INTERNATIONAL CHARITY RESCUES ANIMALS FROM GAZA ZOO
charity is rescuing animals from Gaza Strip's main zoo that it has dubbed
"the worst in the world" and transferring them to better lives
Zoo owner Mohammad
Eweda said on Friday the animals are being "donated" because the zoo
doesn't "have the ability to give them anything."
In the past, his zoo
turned to taxidermy to keep its deceased animals on exhibit while another zoo
in the strip painted stripes on donkeys to try and make them look like zebras.
The Four Paws
charity said tortoises, an
The invention of the aquarium transformed the way
humans think about the ocean
For most of human
history, people knew very little about what was happening beneath the ocean’s
surface. Ancient myths and sailors’ yarns depicted the sea as both a source of
life and a foreboding world teeming with Krakens, hydras, and other monstrous creatures.
But with the
invention of the first diving helmets and suits in the early 19th century,
people finally had a chance to get a good look at underwater life. It wasn’t
long before naturalists and scientists came up with the idea of using aquariums
to allow the public to similarly observe animals up close–in the process
forever changing the way we think about marine life.
One of the first
aquariums was created by French marine biologist Jeannette Power de Villepreux.
Around 1830, she was conducting research on argonauts, also known as paper
nautiluses, in Messina, Sicily. Power had a special wooden box constructed in
which she kept the animals brought to her by fishermen. Her laboratory by the
sea used rubber hoses to pump salt water in
Girl bitten by camel at Virginia Safari Park to
receive $155K settlement
The family of a
10-year-old girl bitten by a camel at the Virginia Safari Park has reached a
$155,000 settlement with the drive-through zoo.
suffered serious injuries to her forearm during a May 30, 2015, visit to the
Rockbridge County attraction, according to a court settlement approved Monday.
Visitors to the
safari park drive their cars or ride on wagons through the 180-acre property,
where antelopes, camels, llamas, zebras and other animals often approach the
vehicles to be fed from buckets of grain provided by the park.
Holland, of Franklin
County, was on a wagon ride when the camel “went to obtain food and bit [her]
arm,” according to a settlement appr
You wouldn't believe how much we spend on bananas!
Digit the gorilla has lived with a French couple for 18 YEARS
When Pierre and
Eliane Thivillon adopted Digit the gorilla, she weighed just four pounds and
But you would
struggle to get her on to the scales now, with the huge primate eclipsing her
Despite her size,
Digit is still a softie and remarkably has lived with the couple nearly all of
OPERATIONS AT PARYS LION 'SANCTUARY' QUESTIONED AFTER
foundation Four Paws has questioned whether the Otavi Lion Sanctury near Parys
should still be allowed to operate after a child was mauled to death by a lion
says it’s confirmed the incident involving a farmworker’s child with
It is believed the
boy was killed when he entered a lion enclosure with one of the employees.
Referring to Otavi
as a ‘self-proclaimed’ sanctuary, Four Paws says the sanctuary’s Facebook page
indicates that they are a not for profit organisation.
The organisation has
expressed condolences to the family in a statement.
"A sanctuary is
defined as a facility that does not breed, trade or hunt wild animals. Otavi
openly offers captive bred lions for sale online. A true sanctuary will not
sell cubs, as all the animals should be sterilised to prevent breeding."
It also insists that
a sanctuary would also not allow any interaction between the animals and their
workers or the general public, and have safety measures in place.
"It is a sad
fact that there are around 250 fa
New video showcases footage of 50-strong otter
population in Singapore
If you can't get
enough of adorable otters, a new YouTube video to commemorate National Day has
provided a further glimpse into Singapore's wild otter population in their
Produced by otter
watcher Jeffery Teo, 45, the five-minute clip combines footage taken by fellow
enthusiasts over the past year.
The video opens with
Bishan's now-famous otter family - fondly named the Bishan 10 - swimming and
gambolling about at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.
Feng Limin follows
the lives of China's scarcest wild cats like a soap opera fan. He has never
encountered one, but thanks to a network of motion-sensing cameras in the
forests along China's borders with Russia and North Korea, the biologist has
glimpsed a total of 27 Siberian tigers and 42 Amur leopards as they breed and
prey on deer and wild boar. The spying has paid off for the big cats. What Feng
and his colleagues at Beijing Normal University (BNU) have learned has helped
convince the central government to create a 15,000-squarekilo-meter national
park—60% larger than Yellowstone—that could s
Common cold viruses originated in camels -- just like
There are four
globally endemic human coronaviruses which, together with the better known
rhinoviruses, are responsible for causing common colds. Usually, infections
with these viruses are harmless to humans. DZIF Professor Christian Drosten,
Institute of Virology at the University Hospital of Bonn, and his research team
have now found the source of "HCoV-229E", one of the four common cold
coronaviruses--it also originates from camels, just like the dreaded MERS
The Middle East
respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus was identified in humans for the first
time in 2012. It causes severe respiratory tract infections that are often
fatal. Dromedaries were confirmed to be its animal source some time ago.
"In our MERS
investigations we examined about 1,000 camels for coronaviruses and were
surprised to find pathogens that are related to 'HCoV-229E', the human common
cold virus, in almost six percent of the cases," says Drosten. Further
comparative molecular genetic analysis of common cold viruses in bats,
Chinese trial over snow leopard deaths
Five people have
stood trial in a northern China court for the illegal poaching, killing and
sale of rare snow leopards.
A zoo in Qinghai
province offered 30,000 yuan ($A5855) for three cubs allegedly captured by the
suspects in neighbouring Gansu province in July 2014, the Xinhua news agency
The cubs died of
suffocation en route to the zoo in December, Xinhua said.
The court would
announce its ruling at a later date, the state-run agency reported.
The Qinghai zoo was
not named in the report and there was no indication if the buyer was also being
The alleged poachers
face fines and a ma
We need to stop sanitizing everything and let bacteria
back in our lives
Pets in the
household alter microbiomes even further, for both better and worse — although
studies have shown that dogs, who come with their own set of
allergy-suppressing microbes, are the most beneficial to a household’s
microbial health, helping to strengthen the immune systems of its children.
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.
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.
reprimanded the management," Tach
New Dubai zoo chief no Dr Do-little
Tim Husband, the
director of the upcoming Dubai Safari park, is not afraid to get his hands
dirty. Like all zookeepers, he started at the very bottom of the ladder –
shovelling dung in a big cat pit.
His career has been
marked by the hands-on realities of working in a modern zoo. This includes the
highs of chasing escaped lions and giving a baby lion cub a life-saving
Heimlich manoeuvre as it choked on meat.
He’s also had low
points, including witnessing a keeper being killed by a tiger in New Zealand.
Along the way, he says he’s witnessed natural habitat destroyed
Haldwani to get country’s first ‘carbon neutral’ zoo
In a major step towards ecological
conservation, a zoo being planned in Haldwani will be the country's first
carbon neutral zoo. The 400 acre complex will be run using renewable resources
such as sun, wind and water. The zoo is likely to be ready within two years,
said officials, adding that animals will be 'immersion exhibits', where the
environment will resemble the animals' natural surroundings as closely as
will be an independent one, unlike the earlier decision to make it a satellite
of GB Pant High Altitude Zoo in Nainital town. The zoo will have 19 segments,
including a botanical garden and biodiversity park, according to officials. Moreover,
construction materials will include wood and other 'green' components, with
less use of bricks and other subs
Stupid Stuff *I'VE* Said…To A Guest
I'm sure we've all
got great stories of silly/ridiculous/obnoxious things guests have said to us
as animal caretakers.
But what about the
ridiculous stuff we say to them?
Come on, admit it.
You've slipped up every now and then.
You've flubbed a line on mic during a narration, you've accidentally
said "What the hell" instead of "Golly gee willickers",
you've said "pool" instead of "habitat". It happens, because we're human.
And most of the time, your guests don't care about your mistake. Golly gee willickers, they probably don't
even realize what you've said.
Cub petting and the Lion Park controversy
The old and the new
are like chalk and cheese. The old Lion
Park near Lanseria was a run-down private
zoo. The new Lion Park is a world class facility which is more a zoo
The lions no longer
hang around by gates in utter boredom. They have natural big camps where they
can hide from the vehicles if they so choose. There are no self-drives anymore
due to the safety concerns.
The property is
enormous and very picturesque, with a rich cultural history. Management are
busy reintroducing species that were endemic there hundreds of years ago.
There are genuine
research projects on the go. Not the bogus lion ones we know so well, but
important ones. Two, for instance, are
on Leguaans and Black Backed Jackals. They are also involved with Vulpro and
There is a community
outreach programme which is removing snares from the surrounding areas (a very
big problem due to bush meat trade) and turning them into snare art.
The new facility has
come under attack in social media for resuming cub petting after a short period
Kathmandu's Leopard Catcher
When Radha Krishna
Gharti, a senior veterinarian at Nepal’s Central Zoo, is in his office, the
adrenaline level in his blood stream can easily go from ‘zero to sixty’ in a
matter of few seconds. Saturday, May 17, 2014 was one such day. The vet, who is
one of the handful of doctors in Kathmandu, who can sedate a leopard, got a
call early morning. A leopard had been seen at a home in Kapan in north-eastern
Kathmandu, where cases of leopard sightings have been on the rise for the last
few years. Gharti and a vet from the zoo rushed to the scene on the zoo’s
pick-up truck, used to rescu
Zoo staff strike for 20 minutes yesterday for
demanding pay hike
outsourcing staff of Nehru Zoological park when on strike yesterday and stopped
the work for 20 minutes. They say that they are not getting leave and their
working conditions are not satisfactory. They were demanding pay hike.
Animal keepers, Gardeners and Drivers protested in front of administrative
office yesterday. The visitors had to wait for 20 minutes for getting admission
Curator of the zoo,
Ms. Shivani Durga told that the issue has been resolved. The outsourcing
employees complained that they have been for the past five years or more but
they have not been made permanent for an area of 380 acre, the staff of 180
members is insufficient. They told that Zoo spends Rs. 25 la
We went to Longleat, but even paying £83 could not
make the lions appear
bought three tickets
(total cost £83.55) for my family, including my 10-year-old grand-daughter, to
see the lions of Longleat in July. The website promised a drive-through safari
tour “wilder, furrier and growlier than you ever dared imagine”. Her father
drove slowly but they saw nothing beyond a couple of monkeys that jumped on the
car. There were no lions walking free when they went through and the only
sighting was the very top of three lions’ heads quite a distance away. I
contacted Longleat to ask for a refund and received a short email saying that
animals follow their natural instincts and might have been lying down and/or
But when I said
£83.55 was a high price to see nothing, I was directed to its website which
said it was redeveloping its carnivore section, “that may result in animals
being off show or in their smaller paddocks”. So not so much a natural instinct
as a redevelopment.
Reinforcement in boxes!
Imagine this, you
have animals who we know like certain types of food but you can’t give this to
them or animals who seem to be ”happy” when they get a particular fruit.Hmm…
I do think we all
agree on the fact that training will go faster and easier with reinforcement
the animals seem to like. I mean first strategy we all try or I guess most of
us is to find out what food reinforcer the animals motivate so we can train
them. It’s a topic never really addressed;
Nutrition in animal
When we are in
school to become a zookeeper or any other animal care taker we get a certain
degree of animal nutrition, what is very important for the health of the
animal. I mean trying to make a giraffe eat meat might not work very well.
While this works perfectly fine for vultures. I do have to say I didn’t pay to
much attention in these classes now they were boring to me but back then “you
know when you are young”. In Kolmårdens Djurpark we have our own nutrition
specialist what is great to have because to be honest its very important to
understand what different type of foods the animals should eat what reflects to
their health. The welfare of the animals is effected by their food intake as
well. This is the moment I thought I should’ve paid more attention in class.
As mentioned before
we can give giraffes bananas if they like it or give rhinos vegetation tha