Sunday, August 7, 2016

Zoo News Digest 7th August 2016 (ZooNews 934)

Zoo News Digest 7th August 2016 
(ZooNews 934)

"Vermeer monkey" (2012), by Daniel Sueiras
(and yes...I know it is an ape)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleague,

The first thing I do in the morning when I turn on my computer is look at the Birthdays. There are usually around ten announced every day. Then I send each one this message "May the best of your past be the worst of your future…Enjoy your day!!!" It, to me, has more meaning than a simple 'Happy Birthday'. My problem is, I'm getting older and so are my friends and colleagues. People are dying and sadly their Facebook pages are not dying with them. When I remember I will post something along the lines of "I'm thinking of you today". I'm getting it wrong more often though and will get a flurry of messages saying 'Peter he/she died two months ago'. It looks like I will have to start deleting dead friends and colleagues but part of me doesn't want to do that.

Please see the ad for the latest International Zoo News below. Always a good and informative read. The Editorial especially so.

During the week I came across the following link which I duly posted on the ZooNews DigestFacebook Page.
Lion Whisperer Donna Wilson says close relationship is down to trust and ‘respectful fear
I posted it because it was something I so much dislike going out on social media and so I added the following comment "Completely unnecessary, not clever and sends out the wrong message.....this will only add to the problem of Tiger selfies and cub farming." I stand by what I said 100%.

Within an hour of posting I had been accused of slander on the one side and had people defending Donna or the activity on the other. None of this is going to change my mind. You could find reading the comments on the Page quite interesting. There is an appalling amount of ignorance there that is so very very difficult to break through. I have made my thoughts and beliefs quite clear in the following articles.

The Zoo Keepers Part in the Illegal Animal Trade

Playing With Lions

Somehow though writing and people reading is not enough. Even people I work with who are fully aware of the awful fate that awaits these animals seem to become blinded when the opportunity to pose with a tiger arises. They holiday in Thailand, have their tiger posing pictures taken and then post them on Facebook. Some years back I was visiting a Thai Zoo with a guy I met on the road. Sure enough there was a Tiger there to pose with. I spent ten minutes explaining to him the origins of the cub and what would ultimately happen to it. It made no difference…he had always wanted to and didn't want to miss the chance.

There is another side to posing which I don't suppose people give much thought to. There is a certain British Zoo Director who is presently out to obtain a group of animals. One of the main reasons he is facing difficulties getting them is that there is a collection of photos of him posing with Orangutans and playing with big cats. Such photographs can come back to haunt you.

I don't doubt (according to what my colleagues tell me) that Donna Wilson is "one of the good ones" and well-meaning and caring. However it sends out the wrong message big time and lumps her into that nasty little group along with Doc Antle, Craig Busch, Eduardo Serio and a host of others. I do hope Donna will see the light. Animals will die in cruel and horrible ways unless playing and posing with big cats on social media ceases.

Some colleagues recently returned from Sweden where they said that Ticks were being a problem. Oddly, in the same week there were two other remarks so I republished 'The riskfrom a tiny terror'  which was written by a Zoo Keeper who contracted Lyme's Disease. It make distressing reading. Then (see links below) it has now been found that Mosquitoes can carry it. I don't know about you but I find that a bit worrying. Mosquitoes love my blood and will travel from neighboring countries just to feed on me.

See the announcement for the next SEAZA conference. I would dearly like to go as I so much enjoyed the last one. I don't think I should though as the collection  I draw attention to each week is hosting the event so I don't believe I would be very welcome or popular. Plus I was outspoken on all this Tiger and Orangutan posing last year and as far as I can see nothing has changed at all.

Thinking about the financial worries of SeaWorld. This is a commercial operation with the shareholders at the top of the pile. They are concerned about profit. Whatever decisions are made and announced can be reversed. Just remember I said that.

I was so sad to learn of the passing of 'Lady' the Gorilla in Al Ain Zoo. When she first arrived in the zoo she spent part of her days and all of her nights in my house with me and my wife (yes there are photos somewhere....but you won't see them on social media). She lived as part of the family and was much loved. It is as a family member that I will miss and remember her.
Did You Know?
ZooNews Digest has over 25,700 '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, 


Could the Pill save the polar bear?
Conservationists tend to spend their time worrying about protecting forests, catching poachers or keeping carbon out of the atmosphere. But all these things (and more) are driven by humans. Given that it’s easier and cheaper to reduce the human birth rate than it is to address these other issues, why aren’t conservationists more concerned about keeping our population down?

After all, it is estimated that more than three-quarters of the world’s ice-free land has been modified by people. We are already overstepping the planet’s boundaries and our actions are causing climate change and the sixth mass extinction.

By 2050 human population growth alone will threaten a further 14% of the planet’s species; this is on top of the 52% decline in numbers of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish over the past four decades.

Only 13 years ago, we were 6 billion; just seven years later, we hit 7 billion and by 2100 we could be as many as 12.3 billion people. Shockingly, with each child a woman has, her carbon emissions legacy is increased six-fold. It cannot be denied that our size, density and growth rate all increase wildlife extinctions.

But all is not lost. Fertility rates decline the longer a girl spends in school. By simply providing better female education, th

Orangutan trading syndicates uncovered
Demand for protected species, including orangutans, on the black market has remained high despite the authorities’ continued campaign for their preservation.

Syndicates illegally trading in orangutans originating from Mount Leuser National Park (TNGL) have been uncovered following the recent seizure of five orangutans ready to be traded in Jakarta and Medan, North Sumatra.

Daniek Hendarto, the coordinator of the Center for Orangutan Protection (COP), said the seizure of the five orangutans within the last week indicated that the illegal trade in protected animals was still

“Just in a week, five orangutans were seized. This is a big number and proves that the orangutan trade is still there in the community,” Daniek told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

He said the five orangutans were seized from two separate places by a team from the National Police together with a number of non-governmental organizations, including COP.

Daniek said one of the orangutans was seized from Kampung Rambutan in Jakarta on Sunday. It was a one-year-old orangutan and was to be traded by suspect HN, 33, currently in police custody.

Two days later, he added, the same team seized

Feds taking fresh look at wildlife petting, photo-ops, 5 years after Zanesville animal disaster
Five years after a Zanesville animal keeper triggered panic by unleashing tigers, lions and bears in Ohio's countryside, the federal government is looking anew at restricting the public's ability to pet and pose for pictures with young, potentially dangerous animals.

The risk to humans from petting an adorable 5-week-old tiger cub at a roadside zoo is not so much the issue. But to make tiger and bear cubs available for cuddles, ooohs and aahhs, wild animal parks rely on a breeding-and-handling ecosystem that animal-rights activists say results in cruelty and abandonment.

If the government would eliminate your right to snuggle with a big cat while that cat is still little, the activists say, then the larger ecosystem -- the one that helped Terry Thompson acquire 56 wild, dangerous animals that he released from cages before killing himself in October 2011 -- could be quashed.

Some people say this is overkill.

The federal government, which in March began tamping down on public handling of baby lions and tigers, wants to hear more from the public about proposed restrictions.

What it's about:

The move to restrict handling of wild animals by anyone other than professionals in accredited zoos or wildlife sanctuaries grew heated after Thompson, deeply in debt and reportedly despised by some neighbors, released 56 animals from his 73-acre Muskingum County farm, th

40 years, and a lot to ‘croc’ about!
It has been 40 years since The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology opened its doors for the public. Started in 1976, the crocodile bank has grown from a place that had only a trickle of visitors, to one of the main attractions of tourists who come to Chennai. As the croc bank celebrates their eventful journey of 40 years, we join them on a trip down memory lane, and also get a low-down on their current activities.
Looking back...
The founder of the crocodile bank, Romulus Whitaker says that it all started with the increase in popularity of the Chennai Snake Park Trust after it was moved to Guindy from Rajakilpakkam near Tambaram. "The tremendous success of the snake park made a couple of us think about other reptiles and their con

Fears for big cats: Could tigers soon become EXTINCT thanks to BRITISH tourists?
Two reports to mark Global Tiger Day show how the animal's impending oblivion is being accelerated by tourism.

Travellers' remarkable lack of understanding about Far East tiger farms is jeopardising the fragile future of an animal down to as few as 3,900 individuals left in the wild.

Although this figure is 700 more than the last count six years ago, it is dwarfed by the huge number of tigers languishing in captivity. As many as 8,000 of the animals are kept on Asia’s tiger farms.

The Emerging Role of Asia in Wildlife Conservation Practice
The practice of solving conservation problems for wildlife has presented more and varied challenges for researchers and practitioners in Asia, especially over the last quarter century. While human populations have grown, lands available for wildlife have steadily decreased and habitats have been degraded.

Yet as conservation practice has matured, researchers are striving to make their science relevant to the issues at hand and practitioners have better tools and information available to implement solutions.

Legalization of tiger product trade slammed by environmentalists
Friday marks the International Tiger Day, just days after two big cats at a Beijing safari park attacked two women, killing one.

China's newly amended law on wild animal protection, approved this year, has been controversial as it allows the limited commercial exploitation of tigers, which are sought after by the traditional Chinese medicine industry due to their supposed medicinal properties.

Beyond cruelty

On July 23, tigers at Beijing Badaling Safari Park attacked two passengers who got out of their car while driving through the tiger enclosure. This has sparked heated discussion online, with some criticizing them for breaking the rules and some accusing the park of lax management.

Park staff told Global Times on Wednesday that the incident is still under investigation and the two tigers were not "executed."

"Many of these safari parks in China should be banned because they train tigers in a cruel way to entertain visitors or sell tiger products," Mang Ping, a professor from the Central Institute of Socialism and a founder of the Zoo Watch animal protection NGO, told the Global Times.

But the treatment tigers face in captivity goes beyond just cruelty.

Xionglin Xionghu Villa of Guilin, a safari park and baijiu company based in Guilin, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region is allegedly the world's biggest breeding base for tigers.

On its website, there are various types of baijiu with "medicinal properties made from the bones of a rare species  animals" for sale. They do not say what animals are used.

Work to begin on Dhs 151m main building at Dubai Safari
Approval has been granted for work to begin on the smart main building of Dubai Safari at a total cost of Dhs 151m ($41m).

State news agency WAM quote Dubai Municipality deputy director general Essa Al Haj Al Maidoor as saying the building would include smart, secure and environmentally friendly services.

These include the use of treated water renewable energy, interactive software features for visitors, surveillance cameras, and free wi-fi.

The building, which is due to be completed at the end of the year, will also feature a theatre for hosting events to accommodate a thousand people, a clean energy production garden and an interactive garden for children.

The Dhs 1bn ($272.2m) Dubai Safari

Al Ain Zoo’s lowland gorilla Lady dies aged 41
She may have lived alone since her long-term partner died in 1998 but keepers caring for Lady the lowland gorilla, who passed away aged 41, insist she had plenty of friends at Al Ain Zoo.

When her male companion Maxi, also a lowland gorilla, passed away from natural causes, Lady found comfort from watching her favourite TV show - Barney and Friends, featuring tales from the purple dinosaur, and by mixing with other animals at the zoo.

Lady, who was the zoo’s oldest inhabitant and arrived in the country as a four year old, adopted a tan-coloure

Can we agree? An ongoing dialogue about where retired research chimpanzees should live
A couple of weeks ago we wrote about concerns for the health and wellbeing of chimpanzees moved from dedicated research facilities in the US to the only federally-supported sanctuary, Chimp Haven (“Do politics trump chimpanzee well-being?  Questions raised about deaths of US research chimpanzees at federally-funded sanctuary” 7/14/16). The impetus for this particular post was a compelling article written by Dr. Cindy Buckmaster (“Dr. Collins, please save our chimps! Lab Animal, Vol 45, No 7, July 2016). The article was about the deaths of 9 of 13 retired research chimpanzees who had recently been transferred to the federal sanctuary from the National Center for Chimpanzee Care (NCCC; University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Bas

Mexico City Zoo builds germplasm store to spare exposed species
In a laboratory in Mexico City’s Chapultepec Zoo, veterinaries have been working to extract and preserve “seeds” from 20 species of endangered animals, according to an official.

In the reproduction laboratory, gametes from national protected species such as the Mexican wolf, the California condor, the volcano rabbit, the Mexican salamander and the jaguar are being studied and preserved, Fernando Cortes Villavicencio, technical and research director at the General Directorate for Zoos and Wildlife in Mexico City, told Xinhua on Saturday.

The scientists are also working with specimens of exotic animals from other latitudes that live in zoos, like the snow leopard or some primates, said Cortes Villavicencio.

“We have at least preserved 20 different species which are

Ministry, zoos work on portal for animal exchange
The Environment and Forestry Ministry and the Indonesian Zoos Association (PKBSI) have agreed to set up an online portal to facilitate animal exchange among conservation institutions.

Animal exchanges are considered crucial for the preservation of genetic diversity of animals outside their original habitat.

The ministry’s director general of ecosystem and natural resource conservation, Tachrir Fathoni, said the portal would help stakeholders find the animals they needed for breeding and genetic improvement purposes.

So far, he said, for breeding purposes the conservation institutions could either borrow, exchange or obtain animals through grants. These three options, he added, would also be included in the portal.

“The point is that by using the online portal, unnecessary expenses will be eliminated,” Fathoni told a workshop on animal management guidelines in Jakarta recently.

Fathoni also said exchanges of animals were needed for research purposes and revival of particular species. An

A Homecoming for Hellbenders, the Biggest Salamanders in North America

German study finds Lyme in mosquitoes
Researchers have found the pathogens that cause Lyme disease in mosquitoes for the first time in central Europe.

Lyme disease or Lyme borreliosis is a vector-borne infectious disease caused by spirochetes of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex.

In the present study, adult as well as larval mosquitoes were collected at 42 different geographical locations throughout Germany.

This is the first study to analyze German mosquitoes for the presence of Borrelia spp.

The team found Borrelia DNA in ten Culicidae species of mosquito, comprising four distinct genera (Aedes, Culiseta, Culex, and Ochlerotat

Melbourne Zoo’s elephant calf dies after battling infection
Melbourne Zoo staff are mourning elephant calf Willow, who has succumbed to a deadly blood infection just seven weeks after she was born.

The zoo's head veterinarian Michael Lynch made the decision to euthanise the baby calf yesterday after a scan revealed the life-threatening infection had worsened.

"We took her for some specialised scanning down at Melbourne University vet school and that demonstrated quite clearly to us the damage to her joint, on her hind leg, was so severe that she would not have a normal life afterwards," Dr Lynch said.

Willow was taken back to the zoo to be with her mother Num-oi before being euthanised last night.

The zoo today released a touching

Nagoya zoo’s ‘hot guy’ gorilla featured in book to boost awareness of endangered species
A celebrity western lowland gorilla from Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Nagoya is involved in another promotional blitz — this time a picture book for children has been published to help raise public awareness of the need to protect endangered species.

Dubbed an ikemen, which means “hot guy,” due to his well-defined facial features, Shabani the gorilla at Higashiyama Zoo is attracting throngs of visitors. A photo book featuring him has already been published.

The new picture book, titled “Shabani Daisuki” (“Big Love for Shabani”), is a story in which the gorilla invites a boy and a girl to his home and play together.

Author Shingo Okada said he hopes children will learn more about the endangered species through the picture book and think about what we can do to protect them.

Publisher Sankeisha Co. is leadin

The orangutan trap
An orangutan steals crops from a poor farmer in Indonesia and is shot in retribution. Who is to blame?
When Ricko Jaya first laid eyes on the orangutan, it was crouched in a jackfruit tree and stinking of rot. Even from the ground below, Jaya, a veterinarian and the coordinator of the Human and Orangutan Conflict Response Unit (HOCRU) on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, could see the animal’s festering wounds. This was a large male with prominent cheek pads that indicate dominance. He’d been hanging around the orchard for at least a week, nursing his injuries, before one of Jaya’s field operatives caught wind and called headquarters.

Now rescue was here and the orangutan wasn’t going without a fight. He clung to a branch and glowered down at the humans below. Jaya shot him with a tranquiliser dart, and the orangutan – later nicknamed Raya – fell down onto an outstretched net. The injuries were bad, with gashes on shoulders and torso, abdominal bullet wounds, and a badly swollen face. Jaya and his colleague and wife, Yenny Jaya, loaded Raya into the back of their van, hooked him up to an intravenous drip and started the tedious 12-hour drive back to an orangutan rehabilitation compound on the outskirts of Medan, a swarming, sprawling port city on Sumatra.

There, in the centre’s specially designed clinic, they sedated Raya again and pulled out more than a dozen air-rifle bullets – which, to their horror, had been sharpened at the tip for maximum penetration. Raya had been beaten so badly that X-rays revealed a broken jaw and fractured skull. The Jayas had res

Summary of Wildlife Farming in Vietnam

IUCN Lion Report Raises Questions
Earlier this year, the IUCN published their “much awaited” (and about 2 years late) Red List report on the status of Africa’s lions.
Well, it was “much awaited” by some – including organizations like CITES, the EU, perhaps the USFWS, etc – but we should have known what was coming.

You can read the entire report here – it is not all that long. The report is about Indian and African lions – strange as the two populations face very different conservation requirements. I’ll focus only on the African lions.

Basically, the report on the status of Africa’s lions is based on 45 “relatively well monitored populations” and their trends from 1993 to 2014. From those numbers, the report mentions that lions in those sample populations DECLINED by 66% in western and central Africa (actually, not one single central African population was examined, something the IUCN seems to have overlooked), DECLINED by 59% in eastern Africa and INCREASED by 8% in southern Africa. Overall, lion populations were predicted to have declined by about 43% based on observed rates in sample populations – and that number is important.

You see, a 43% decline over three generations is not quite enough to list lions as “endangered” on the IUCN Red List. Of course, the 66% decline in the western (and central?) African lions certainly places them on the “endangered” list, and maybe the 57% decline in the eastern African lions will also confer an “endangered” listing, but overall, the African lions were saved by the increase in southern African lions and to some extent by the positive trend in the Indian lions.

Sighs of relief from the trophy hunters – they can still hunt in Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique, an activity of which the IUCN approves.

But let’s have a real close look at the IUCN report, shall we?

The first thing to look at is where the numbers they used came from. Don’t bother looking at the Bibliography – they ain’t there. It would appear that the IUCN relied heavily on a single publication by Craig Packer and dozens of other co-authors in a 2013 paper entitled “Conserving large carnivores: dollars and fence” (Ecology Letters 16(5): 635-641).

Packer began assembling the data for that paper long before it was published, and some of the information (mine for example) dates back at least ten years before the paper was published. Some data came from “personal communications” from researchers, meaning they did not have to justify their data in any scientific way. Also, the IUCN report uses data from 1993 as a comparison. Where did that data come from? I know for a fact that many of the populations listed as the 45 “relatively well monitored populations” were not being monitored in 1993.

So, no real data from 1993, and no real data for 2014. How can the IUCN justify the numbers?

The second thing to look at is the southern African data, where there was supposedly evidence of an increase of about 8%. However, of the 23 populations examined, 15 are fenced. Of those 15 fenced populations, all but two (Etosha NP in Namibia and Kruger NP in South Africa) are heavily man

Zoo claims oldest captive American alligator
In the Belgrade Zoo, special treatment is reserved for one elderly resident.

Muja, an American alligator, is the oldest animal in the Serbian capital’s small zoo. Moreover, the zoo boasts that he is the world’s oldest American alligator in captivity.

Aleksandar Rakocevic, who takes care of Muja, said Friday that information available from other zoos and animal rights groups support the claim that the alligator is the oldest of his kind in captivity.

At least 80 years old, Muja arrived fully grown from Germany in 1937 — one year after the zoo opened. He has become one of

Microchip all big cats in captivity, experts say, after hunt for escaped lynx takes three weeks and fears of lion on loose
All big cats held in captivity in Britain should be microchipped, experts have urged after an escaped lynx spent three weeks on the run and amid rumours of a lion on the loose in Cornwall.

The British Big Cats Society is calling for all large and exotic cats held under licence to be fitted with the trackable GPS devices.

It said that the lynx that went missing from Dartmoor Zoo in Devon on July 6 would probably have been caught in less than 24 hours if it had one of the implants.

Missing wild cat Flaviu was finally caught

Elusive Arabian sand cat spotted after 10 years’ disappearance
Blink and you’ll miss it. The sand cat is a shy and secretive animal only seen in the desert at night.

It’s a nocturnal hunter perfectly adapted to its desert home. It doesn’t need to drink water as it can get all it needs from the small birds, reptiles and mammals that are its prey. Special hairs in its ears and on its paws keep the sand out.

Despite its wide distribution across the deserts of North Africa, Arabia and Central Asia, little is known about this elusive species.

“There’s an absence of scientists working on sand cats and very few assessments are being made to assess the behaviour, population and status of the species,” says John Newby of the Sahara Conservation Fund.

Lack of records and difficulty in spotting it mean

7 Lessons We Really Should Be Learning From Zoos

Why Some Male Lions Don't Have Manes
Like a cheetah’s spots or a zebra’s stripes, a male lion’s mane is perhaps the animal's most iconic feature. But there is actually a significant amount of variation in the king of the jungle's 'do, from voluminous golden locks to none at all.

For years, scientists identified different lion species and subspecies, in part, by the length of their locks. They believed that mane length was a genetic characteristic, passed down from generation to generation.

But a study by Bruce Patterson, the curator of mammals at the Field Museum in Chicago, reveals that the length can largely be attributed to climate. According to The Field Museum, the temperature of the zoo li

Malaysia goes to battle for Godzilla-like lizard
A bizarre-looking monitor lizard found only on the island of Borneo is in urgent need of international protection from the black-market trade in wildlife involving Japan and other countries, according to documents submitted by Malaysia ahead of a major conference on wildlife trade.

Malaysia’s proposal to totally ban commercial trade in the Bornean earless monitor, by listing it on Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or Cites, is set to be taken up in late September when delegates from the convention’s 182 parties meet in South Africa.

The species, described as a “holy grail” for reptile collectors because of its rarity, uniqueness and Godzilla-like appearance, is in a “precarious” situation in the wild and there is “strong justification” to totally ban international trade in it, the supporting document says.

“The impact of trade is inferred to be great,” it says, noting that earless monitors are increasingly turning up for sale in countries like Japan and Germany, which are among the most lucrative markets for exotic pets and illegally obtained wildlife.

In Japan, where a pair once sold for ¥3 million (S$39,558), the lizards became popular several years after being featured on

An English mining company is keeping an entire species from extinction in Mexico
Conservationists go to great lengths to save a species from extinction, and in the case of a small Mexican fish, to great depths as well.
For the past 12 years, London Zoo has been breeding a rare fish with crucial help from a large commercial manufacturer. British Gypsum supplies the zoo with gypsum, a mineral it mines in Brightling, southeast England. Gypsum is normally used as a fertilizer and in building products, but in this case it’s the only way of keep the mineral balance of the water just right for the peculiar needs of the checkered pupfish.
London Zoo runs conservation programs in more than 50 countries that are crucial to the survival of several thousand species, but the checkered pupfish has been particularly tricky. It only exists in one Mexican state, San Luis Potosí, and mostly in a single lake called Media Luna. The fish’s environment is being threatened by agriculture, tourism, and invasive species. And Mexico has no government-led conservation program to protect it.

Keeping species alive is a comple

Sometimes, when you visit a zoo, there’s seemly random stuff in the exhibits for animals to interact with: huge plastic balls in with the tigers, hanging wire baskets stuffed with leaves for the giraffes, sometimes even silly pinatas or cardboard boxes painted like cake if an animal is having a birthday. Something a lot of guests don’t know is that these “toys” given to the animals aren’t random - they’re part of a carefully structured facility-wide behavioral enrichment program that is geared towards keeping animals active and engaged with their surroundings. Enrichment is omnipresent in modern zoological facilities, but sometimes it’s sneaky or implemented behind the scenes. Knowing how to spot enrichment and figure out what it’s used for - or knowing what questions to ask a staff member to learn more about their enrichment program - will enhance the quality of your visit to a zoo or aquarium and help you form a more educated interpretation of the quality of care a facility provides.

Eating wild animals: Commonplace, cultural, complicated
No matter where you live, it’s likely that if you try hard enough (and are willing to pay the price), you can get your hands on some monkey meat.

Bushmeat markets are most prominent in Africa, Asia and Central and South America, but globalization has spread the (often illegal) sale of wild animal meat across borders and into major cities on every continent.

Due to high extraction rates, the hunting of bushmeat has been termed unsustainable in most of the places around the world where it is practiced. This overharvesting of animals is becoming a growing issue not just for conservationists, but also for the people who rely on forests for their food. In Central Africa, the supply of wild meat is expected to drop 81 percent by 2050 due to overhunting.

However, the consumption of bushmeat — and the trade that makes it possible — takes place amid complex economic, geographic, political and cultural realities that make it incredibly difficult to regulate

Meet the Rare Swimming Wolves That Eat Seafood
They move like ghosts along the shorelines of Canada's Vancouver Island, so elusive that people rarely see them lurking in the mossy forests.

British filmmaker Bertie Gregory was one of the lucky ones: He saw coastal wolves—also known as sea wolves—in 2011.

"There is something about being in the presence of a coastal wolf—they just have this magic and aura around them," he says.

That experience inspired him to return and document the animals for National Geographic’s first YouTube series, wild_life with bertie gregory, which launches August 3.

“Coastal wolves are such a unique predator, and they are hunting in this absolutely epic landscape,” says Gregory. Roughly the size of Maryland, the island and its remote western fringes are still a wild frontier in the Pacific Northwest. (Read "In Search of the Elus

People Keep Dying At This Wildlife Park
A woman visiting a wildlife park in Beijing, China, was killed over the weekend after she tried to save her daughter from a tiger attack. Her daughter sustained severe injuries from the incident.

Badaling Wildlife World is a park that lets people drive through its Siberian tiger exhibit to view the captive animals.

And this isn't the first time human blood has been spilled on the park's premises. One employee was killed by an elephant in March, a security guard was killed by a tiger in 2014 and a hiker was killed by a tiger in 2009 whe

SeaWorld blames ongoing attendance drop on flailing Latin American economies
SeaWorld Entertainment may need a decade to recover from the image problem caused by the documentary “Blackfish,” a top theme park consultant told The Post on Thursday.

Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services, said that while SeaWorld executives blame poor second quarter attendance on a drop in tourism in Florida, where it runs five of its 11 parks, it is likely it is also still feeling the impact from the 2013 documentary.

“The imagery issues have not had enough time to go away,” Speigel said. “This is a ten-year turnaround.”

Speigel made his comments hours after SeaWorld reported attendance was off 7.6 percent in the quarter, to 5.98 million, resulting in a 5.2 percent drop in revenue.

Please stop this Ark Avilon isn't clever
How it Should be...see below!
See Here

** ***
** **

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 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

No comments:

Post a Comment