Friday, March 17, 2017

Zoo News Digest 17th March 2017 (ZooNews 949)

Zoo News Digest 17th March 2017  (ZooNews 949)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleague,

Yesterday I read an article about Ratel (Honey Badgers). I think perhaps it was that which conjured up a memory dream last night. This was when Myself and my Killer Whale Trainer girlfriend first visited Howletts. It wasn't an official zoo then but a private collection and not open to the public. Port Lympne was not even thought of. We visited the Tigers and the Gorillas….and yes the Ratel which were housed in a Squash Court. How things have changed. No Killer Whales in the UK for a long time now (and rightly so). And my girlfriend….I think of her often. Yes...things have changed.

I am told repeatedly that there are some really stupid comments being made on Facebook. I agree. At the same time there are some real gems of sensible ones. I hope that readers will learn something from both.

I have never banned or removed anybody for a comment made on the Facebook Group but that is not to say I wouldn't. I would remove anything that was way out of the interest sphere or was overly abusive. To me it is all about education. There are and always will be opposing point of views. In the same way that I post pro and anti-zoo articles I do so to be aware of what the Animal Rights Anarchists are up to and let others know. I want to know what they are saying and what they are up to….and I think you should to. On occasion I have been asked to remove a link or not post a link and even offered money to do so. It doesn't work. I cannot be corrupted. My interests are diverse and reading the various links expands my knowledge. I am more generalist than specialist with Zoo Biology being my main interest and it is this which leads to the choice of diverse links. I look for humour too because life can be just too serious.

Did You Know?
ZooNews Digest has over 53,000 '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 for the mail out 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, 



Twycross Transformed: the Making of a Modern Zoo
Twycross Zoo already enjoys a worldwide reputation for its specialist care of primates. Now, the registered charity has unveiled the blueprints of an ambitious 20-year Master Plan. This will transform the attraction in rural Leicestershire into one of the most impressive in the UK.

The £55 million capital investment programme aims to turn Twycross Zoo into a landmark tourist venue providing an immersive, entertaining and engaging visitor experience as well as consolidating its status as an internationally respected hub of animal conservation, research and education.

The Secret Life Of The Zoo Keeper
Asian elephants are under threat. It is likely that there will be more people attending your nearest Premier League football match this weekend than there are Asian elephants left in the wild. Less than 40,000 of the species remain. They are threatened by habitat loss, poaching, disease and direct conflict with humans. Experts from Chester Zoo are working in India to protect the species from human-wildlife conflict, while closer to home they are part of a breeding programme focused on sustaining the population in Europe.

As viewers of Channel 4’s The Secret Life of the Zoo TV series will know, Chester’s elephant herd are a close knit family. Scientific research has shown that social bonds between individual elephants has a big influence on cohesion in the whole group and consequently the health and wellbeing of the herd.

As elephant assistant team manager at C

Careless caretakers: over dozen animals, birds died in 2016 at Islamabad zoo
Over dozens of animals and birds worth millions of rupees have died in capital’s oldest MarghazarZoo in last one year due to the negligence of the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI).
Well-placed sources in the MCI revealed that the dead bodies, skins, skulls, bones and other precious parts of some animals and birds were allegedly sold out in the black market in the cover of their burial, Pakistan Today has learnt.
A zebra, hog deer, ostrich male, zebra foal, ostrich female, wolf, lion cub male, lion cub female, flamingo male, crane male, two common peafowl male, ring-necked pheasant female, and demoiselle crane have died in 2016. However, two Nilgai’s have died so far in 2017.
“We had many deer at the zoo and in green belt near Faisal Mosque numbering around 42, if someone paid 85-95 thousand rupees then the authority allowed him to take a pair of uncommon deer for any purpose t

Panic after two leopards escape Himachal zoo
Two leopards escaped the Gopalpur Zoo, about 20 km from here on Tuesday night, triggering panic among residents in the area.

The administration had sounded an alert in surrounding areas and parents have been asked not to sent their children alone to school. A control room had been set up at Gopalpur, officials said. The leo

‘Give the management of Karachi zoo to experts’
 Increasing concerns over the rights of captive animals have led to major changes at zoos around the world in the last few decades. While this process of transformation is continuing with more scientific data emerging on the complexity of animal life and the negative effects of captivity, there exists a strong opinion against the very concept of zoos.

This debate on whether to have or not to have a zoo is very much relevant to Pakistan, a country where animal abuse is rampant, laws on captive animals hardly exist, and living conditions in facilities like the Karachi Zoological Garden are extremely deplorable, to say the least.

Faiza Ilyas recently discussed this subject with Rab Nawaz, senior director programmes at the World Wi

Pictures Show the Strange Lives of Captive Polar Bears
During a particularly brutal Chicago winter in 2014, photographer Sheng Wen Lo remembers reading that it was too cold for polar bears housed in the city’s Lincoln Park Zoo to go outside. It sounded like the lead-up to a bad joke, but it was true. Captive polar bears aren’t as tough as wild ones. Their skin is thinner and they can’t withstand extreme cold.

The news was particularly striking to Lo. For three years, he has been photographing captive polar bears in 25 zoos and other enclosures in Europe and China. The series, called White Bear, exposes the welfare of animals within artificial habitats by observing their behavior.

It’s tempting to look at Lo’s images as a pointed argument against keeping polar bears in zoos. And in many ways, polar bears are unique: They’re charismatic zoo animals well-known to tourists, they represent a unique and remote ecosystem, and they are highly sensitive to environmental change. Yet Lo intends the series—and the bears—to provoke larger questions about which animals are suited for captivity, and which might not be.

Lo approaches animal captivity the same way he approaches computer science, in which he has a master’s degree. Before even taking the first picture, Lo consulted a veterinarian about how to read the actions of polar bears (i.e. is pacing always a sign of distress?) Then, while developing the series, he invited zoology experts to view th

Flamingo kicked to death in Czech zoo by three children after they stoned it
A trio of schoolboys aged between five and eight-years-old reportedly kicked a flamingo to death after pelting it with stones at a zoo in the Czech Republic.

The youngsters reportedly climbed over the fence of the Jihlava Zoo before launching their attack on the flock of American flamingos.

“First, they pelted them with stones," zoologist Jan Vašák told the Prague Morning news site, adding that one of them started to kick one of the birds.

Zoo death statistics can be misleading - we care deeply for all of our animals
There is absolutely no room in this world for zoos with substandard practices and poor consideration for animal wellness. Poorly managed zoos do not contribute to the genuine conservation effort and tarnish the reputation of all zoos. Nobody criticises or condemns them more strongly than those of us who are part of the zoo community.

Tiger cub used as photo prop attacks and injures kindergartener in East Java zoo
A tiger cub used as a photo prop at Jatim Park zoo in the city of Batu, East Java attacked a 4-year-old kindergartener just before a photo session, severely injuring her.

The incident reportedly occurred on Tuesday afternoon. The victim, identified by her initials TAP, was on a school field trip at the popular East Java zoo when the 6-month-old tiger cub attacked her.

“At the time the area was crowded. There were many screaming kids around. The tiger cub got startled and suddenly lunged at the victim, hugging her. During that hug, the tiger cub also clawed at the kid,” an unnamed witness told Tribun on Tuesday evening.

TAP was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Reports say that she suffered a deep wound on her chest, as well as injuries on her neck and back. The hospital’s staff said TAP received surgery yesterday.

The zoo management confirmed that the attack on TAP happened but have put it down as an accident. According to them, a zoo staff member brought the cub out of its enclosure to a public area for a photo session with visitors. Just like the witness testimony above, they believe that the cub was startled by the presence of noisy children before it attacked TAP.

The zoo pledged to cover all of TAP’s medical costs.

The Batu City Police said they are conducting an investigation into the incident.

Predatory animals being used as photo props are

Russian zoo sues advertising firm for 'traumatising' rented raccoon in erotic photo shoot
A Moscow zoo is suing an advertising firm that used one of its animals in an erotic photo shoot.

Tomas the racoon was left “traumatised” and came back with an unhealthy attraction to women’s breasts after the shoot with Moscow studio Art-Msk last year, his owners have said.

Animals Aren’t Toys, a privately run “contact zoo” that allows visitors to handle its animals, is now suing the company not only for Tomas’ ordeal, but damage to the reputation of an entire species.  

Bear shot dead at German zoo after escaping from cage
A bear that broke out of its cage at a zoo in northern Germany was shot dead by a zookeeper while visitors were evacuated, police have said.

After the bear escaped through a hole in its cage, the staff at the zoo in Osnabrueck took visitors into the monkey house to shelter, German media reported.

The zookeeper shot the bear dead before the police arrived at the scene, the head of the zoo Andrea

100-hectare Safari to open by 4th quarter
THE long wait is over. Cebuano pawnshop tycoon Michel Lhuillier on Thursday announced he is set to open the 100-hectare safari in Carmen in the last quarter of this year. Lhuillier disclosed the safari’s opening schedule to correct reports circulating online that it is due to open this summer. “I never said (we will open by) April. I’d like to correct that. We are aiming to open by October or November this year. Please be patient, as we are doing our best to make this attraction the best,” he said. Lhuillier, who holds several other businesses in Cebu, said the safari is one of his biggest investments. It will feature entertainment, animal interactions, shows, eight adventure rides, and an accommodation facility, among others. “I tell you this will be a different world. You will really be entertained,” he said. Seventy percent of the animals will arrive in Cebu this month; these were bought by Lhuillier from Texas, (south of) France, and Dubai. The safari will also house 60 species of birds and feature the family’s collection of orchids and other flower varieties. “You will get to interact with the animals. We will have shows where you can feed them,” said Lhuillier, adding that they hired

Cebu’s own safari to open before the year ends
A FEW more months of waiting and Cebuano pawnshop tycoon Michel J. Lhuillier will be opening the country’s biggest zoo in the upland area of
Carmen town, 41.7 kilometers north of Cebu City.
With everyone’s excitement building up as photos of the 100-hectare development of the Lhuillier have been posted on social media sites, Michel asked everyone to be patient and wait for October or November this year for the opening of Cebu’s own safari.
“I’m hoping to open by October or November. Let’s be patient. I will do my best to make it the best in the world. You no longer have to travel around the world or go to Safari because I’m bringing the world here,” said Michel.

172,200 people to make way for pandas
SOUTHWEST China’s Sichuan Province, home to most of China’s giant pandas, is planning to relocate 172,200 people to build a panda national park, the provincial forestry department said yesterday.

The 27,134-square-kilometer park that covers parts of Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces, was approved by central government this year.

The area in Sichuan will cover around 20,000 square kilometers, 74 percent of the park. Seven cities and prefectures, and 19 counties are involved.

About 32,300 workers and retired people in more than 1,900 mines and forests in the area would be affec

Elephant kills trainer with trunk at Wakayama zoo
An elephant whacked a trainer with its trunk and killed him at a Japanese zoo on Sunday, police said.

Wichai Madee from Thailand was washing an 3.5-ton Indian elephant with a colleague at Adventure World in the western prefecture of Wakayama when the giant animal swung its trunk and hit him.

“The animal might have somehow become angry. It swung its trunk and the trunk hit the person who was working in front of the elephant,” a police spokesman told AFP.

“The person apparently was pushed hard and hit either the cage or the ground and hit his head.”

Other zoo staff called the police saying “an employee was attacked by an elephant”, according to private broadcaster TBS.

The 37-year-old trainer was taken to hospital but later

Over 100 animals die in Dublin Zoo in two years (including some critically endangered ones)
MORE THAN 100 animals died at Dublin Zoo during a two-year period between 2014 and 2016, it has been revealed.
The dead animals include a significant number of critically endangered species that are extinct or nearly extinct in the wild.
Among the 109 animals to die at the Zoo during the 24-month period were a southern white rhinoceros, two Rothschild giraffes, three grey wolves, and a red panda.
The 68 that died in 2015 included seven that were temporarily on loan from other zoos.
Details of the animal deaths at one of the State’s most popular visitor attractions are contained in inventory records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
Documents submitted by Dublin Zoo to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) as part of its licence application show

Zoo deaths: 'In the wild, gorillas don't eat their own vomit and pull out their hair in frustration'
ZOOS BEGAN AS menageries where the rich could see the living exotic “spoils” of wars in foreign lands. Now they’re simply animal prisons.
The justification many zoos give for their existence in the 21st century is that they protect animals and conserve endangered species.
But the recent reports that more than 100 animals have died at Dublin Zoo in a two-year period should serve as an urgent wake-up call and prompt us to re-evaluate the role these institutions play in today’s society.
Among the 109 animals to die at the zoo during the 24-month period were three scimitar-horned oryxes, three Humboldt penguins, a pair of red-tipped mangabeys, two Rothschild’s giraffes, two wild African hunting dogs, an African spurred tortoise, a southern white rhinoceros, and a red panda, all of whom were

How do animals perceive their world in zoos and aquariums?
Time and Memory Processing in Animals

According to critics of marine parks, zoos and aquariums, captive animals (particularly dolphins, whales, elephants and primates) are utterly miserable creatures. The primary misery described by activists is that the animals are acutely self-aware, they miss the wild and their families, hate performing, feel like they are enslaved by humans, and hate being in cages and pools. They dream of freedom.

 The various anti-zoo/aquarium groups make statements such as:

On captivity “…It is animal slavery…” 1

On animals performing: “…As you work, you are watched by hundreds of spectators. You are provided food as a reward for positive behavior, but if you behave against the guards’ wishes, you could possibly suffer the consequences of missing a meal. Your survival depends on care given by your prison guards. You don’t speak the same language as these guards, so you can’t tell them you don’t belong there…” 2

On living in an aquarium “…In nature, dolphins swim vast distances every day with their extended families, exploring new places and seeking out adventures and pursuits…” 3

Dolphins, whales, elephants and great apes in particular are targeted by critics and activists as being uniquely special in the animal world. Projects on intelligence, self-awareness and emotions in these animals receive extensive popular press and has led to the public opinion that they are unusually smart. So smart that they shouldn’t be kept in zoos and aquariums.

It is true that dolphins, killer

Zoo boss speaks out to allay fears over escaped wolves in Dalton
THE new boss of the South Lakes Safari Zoo has moved to reassure residents of Dalton amid rumours two wolves have escaped from the attraction.

Karen Brewer, chief executive of the newly formed Cumbria zoo management company said there was no truth on the rumours which are being heavily circulated on social media.

Mrs Brewer said: "I was at t

Armed officers in Dalton 'for incident' - not escaped animals
Police in Dalton have responded to rumours on social media that armed officers were called out to deal with two escaped wolves.

Barrow Police say no animals have escaped from South Lakes Safari Zoo, instead telling a local newspaper they'd responded to a call reporting a sighting of someone with a gun.

After several hours of searching

Twycross Zoo CEO reflects on 'a difficult few weeks' for zoos

It has been a difficult few weeks for anyone who works in zoos as they have made headlines in the UK and Europe and not for the right reasons.

Questions are inevitably being asked about whether there is still a need to keep animals in captivity for the public's entertainment.

Capital zoo seeks to raise awareness and role of sea lions
 Prior to welcoming back the sea lions at the private zoo in Abu Dhabi, Emirates Park Zoo and Resort is inviting guests to the property for an educational presentation about sea mammals starting March, Emirates Park Zoo announced Saturday.

The presentation aims to inform audiences for a better understanding on the ecology of sea lions, and the role humans play in conserving the species whose existence has recently come under threat.

The audience will learn all about sea lions, its method of adaptation

Belgian zoo shortens rhinos' horns after French killing
A Belgian zoo said Saturday it will shorten its rhinos' horns as an anti-poaching measure following the grisly killing of a white rhino in France this week.

A four-year-old southern white male was shot three times in the head at a French zoo in Thoiry outside Paris on Monday and had its horns cut off probably "with a chainsaw" police said.
The perpetrators, who have still not been found, stole only the main horn, which is estimated to be worth 30,000-40,000 euros ($32,000-$42,690).
The Pairi Daiza zoo, about 60 kilometres (40 miles) southwest of Brussels, has three adult rhinos and a baby white rhino born in March 2016 as part of its 5,000-animal complex.
Director Eric Domb wrote on the zoo's Facebook page that the French killing had prompted him to ask "our veterinarian to proceed on a temporary basis and as an additional measure to security procedures already in place at Pairi Daiza" to shorten their rhinos' horns.
"This heinous act is the first in Europe but it is part of a long line of rhino horn thefts from many European museums," Domb wrote.
With this measure, he said, he also wanted to not only protect the zoo's animals but its security personnel as well.
In the Thoiry incident, intruders forced the main gate of the

Animal deaths may be linked to transportation
Two wild dolphins between the ages of four and five were captured at Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture in Japan and imported to Korea on Feb. 9. But within five days at the Jangsaengpo Special Whale Culture Zone at Jaengsaengpo, Ulsan, one dolphin died. An autopsy revealed the cause of death was an accumulation of blood outside the lungs. Specialists hypothesized the dolphin suffered from an external impact resulting in chest trauma.

On Feb. 3, a Mt. Baekdu area Siberian tiger named Geumgangi collapsed and died at the Baekdu Mountain Range National Arboretum at Bonghwa, North Gyeongsang, nine days after being relocated from the O-World Zoo at Daejeon to Bonghwa County, North Gyeongsang. Vets confirmed the tiger died from poor blood flow to the liver resulting from severe fluid loss. The average lifespan of a captive tiger is 20 years, while wild dolphins generally live for 25 years. Considering this, why would an otherwise healthy wild dolphin and Siberian tiger suddenly expire?

The vibration isolating truck used for transporting the tiger traveled 60 to 80 kilometers (37 miles to 50 miles) per hour, and the trip lasted five hours. The dolphin was transported by boat and truck for 32 hours. The Nam D

The tortoise who saved his species
 Of all the giant tortoises on these islands, where the theory of evolution was born, only a few have received names that stuck.
There was Popeye, adopted by sailors at an Ecuadorean naval base. There was Lonesome George, last of his line, who spent years shunning the females with whom he shared a pen.
And there is Diego, an ancient male who is quite the opposite of George.
Diego has fathered hundreds of progeny — 350 by conservative counts, some 800 by more imaginative estimates. Whatever the figure, it is welcome news for his species, Chelonoidis hoodensis, which was stumbling toward the brink of extinction in the 1970s. Barely more than a dozen of his kin were left then, most of them female.
Then came Diego, returned to the Galápagos in 1977 from the San Diego Zoo.
“He’ll keep reproducing until death,” said Freddy Villalva, who watches over Diego and many of his descendants at a breeding center at this research facility, situated on a rocky volcanic shoreline. The tortoises typically live more than 100 years.
The tales of Diego and George demonstrate just how much the Galápagos, a province of Ecuador, have served as the world’s laboratory of evolution. So often here, the fate of an entire species, evolved over millions of years, can hinge on whether just one or two individual animals survive from one day to the next.
Diego, and his offspring, are part of one of the most high-profile efforts to keep Galápagos tortoise populations thriving. The tortoise, estimated to be perhaps a century old, is one of the main drivers of a remarkabl

Twycross Zoo elephant departure; 14 questions answered
Bosses at Twycross Zoo have responded to questions posed by visitors over the departure of the attraction's Asian elephant herd.

Announced at the beginning of this month , the decision shocked fans of the all-female herd.

A further statement by the zoo said: "Thank you for your feedback regarding our decision to find a new home for our all-female herd of Asian elephants.

"Please be assured that this decision was only taken after a comprehensive assessment of the issue over a lengthy period of time.

"We will be sad to see the elephants leave, but we believe that what we are planning is in the best interests of the elephants and ultimately that must guide our decision-making.

"Below we have provided further information

Zoos are prisons for animals – no one needs to see a depressed penguin in the flesh
That a zoo in Cumbria is having its licence revoked as a result of nearly 500 animals dying there over a two-year period comes as no shock – but it still slightly surprises me that anybody thinks that we should have zoos at all. The animals always look miserable in captivity. If you don’t believe me, visit a farm park. It’s as likely as not that you will see a goat, pleading with its eyes to be euthanised, while a sign on the enclosure says: “Gerry the goat is quite the character – he often plays a game in which he looks like he has been crying for many, many hours!”

A lot of zoos play the conservation angle, which is a rationale that has been reverse engineered. That’s not really why zoos exist. Zoos exist so that we can wander round with our children and say: “No, don’t bang the glass, Timothy, he’s getting agitated,” before going home to post on Facebook about the educational day that we have had.

The argument that zoos have educational merit might have once seemed convincing, but there is less reason to see animals in captivity than ever before. David Attenborough’s Planet Earth shows you all the animals you could ask for in their natural habitat, with added drama and narrative arcs. We are surely only a few series away from filming inside the animals, with Attenborough using his dulcet tones to give the origin stor

Terrified families are forced to hide in the toilets after a CHEETAH escapes its enclosure and prowls a Kent wildlife park
Families hid in toilets yesterday after a cheetah escaped from its enclosure at a British zoo and prowled the park for nearly half an hour.
Visitors to Port Lympne wildlife park in Kent were told to head for safety after the big cat was separated from its mother and managed to break free.
Children were ushered indoors while keepers coaxed the animal back into its cage with extra food. They have since increased the strength of its fence.

The World Wildlife Fund, Trophy Hunters and Donald Trump Jr.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) presents itself as the savior of animals. At the same time, though infinitely more quietly, it actually thinks hunting them is vital for conservation. In its fight against “poaching,” WWF funds park guards who beat and sometimes kill people, including innocent victims. How can it reconcile these aspects of its work?

A recent brawl between its South African office and one of its trustees, Peter Flack, illuminates the close link between conservation and big game hunting. This may shock those who support the organization through its “adoption” program for elephants, lions, and so on, fundraising aimed at those who believe in animal rights.[1] It’s very hard to believe these WWF don

What Does The Zoo Mean To You?
‘Well-run zoos are an aid to animals and are not detrimental to their well-being’, ‘indeed, in many cases, zoos will turn out to be the last refuge of numerous species in a human-being-infested world’. For many, Gerald Durrell’s (1976) pioneering vision of zoos as a ‘stationary ark’ remains the most persuasive for the continuation of zoos. Who can really argue with the primary purpose of protecting critically endangered species, captive breeding programmes to increase declining populations, and the reintroduction of once captive animals to natural habitats. Few, however, appear to put this vision into practice.

With each news report, it becomes abundantly clear that however ‘well-run’ a zoo may appear to the public, the ‘well-being’ of the captive animals has become a secondary consideration for some. Within these institutions of nature, zoo animals have become lively commodities, a colle

Zoo-keeper facing police charges after deaths of almost 500 animals
A ZOO-keeper who left Australia after his animal park in Queensland was raided by authorities has lost his zoo licence in England and could face charges, after nearly 500 of his animals died in four years.

David Gill, 55, was this week refused a new council licence to run his safari park at Cumbria, in northern England, after a report found exotic animals had been eaten alive, electrocuted, frozen and starved to death.

Mr Gill retreated to the Cumbria zoo, which he has owned since 1994, after leaving Queensland in 2004 when his private zoo, the Mareeba Wild Animal Park, was raided by the Natural Resources Department and the police.

It later emerged that 300 of the animals from the Mareeba park, inland from Cairns, had been sold off to a hunting safari company in the Northern Territory – a fact that only came to light after a pig-hunter accidentally shot and killed a pygmy hippopotamus.

Poached: why international conservation efforts are failing to protect wildlife
Photographer and wildlife guide Paul Goldstein condemns inadequate international efforts to protect tigers, rhinos and other wildlife, and calls for tougher measures

Last week it was International Wildlife Day. Few people would have noticed. Even if the press had tried to paint this self-appointed occasion with a thinly optimistic brush, they would have failed. These recent weeks have been dreadful for wildlife, much of it close to home.

Just outside Paris a white rhino was butchered for its horn from a zoo’s enclosure. There was a shocking disclosure from another zoo, in Cumbria this time, about the death of a priceless Sumatran tiger cub, one of many fatalities there, via an insidious combination of neglect and hypothermia. In Kenya, one of only 30 massive tusker elephants, Satao ll, was killed by a poacher’s arrow. Every one of these harrowing exam

Precious wildlife heritage in Tehran
Koushki and Delbar considered are as the only two Asiatic Cheetahs in captivity all around the world. After facility outfit, Kushki had been transferred from Touran National Park, Semnan Province, and Delbar from Miandasht Wildlife Refuge, North Khorasan Province, to Asiatic Cheetah Research and Husbandry Headquarter in late 2014.

Asiatic Cheetah Research and Husbandry Headquarter (ACRHH) is located in Pardisan Park, Tehran Province, and it is the utmost importance site for proper cheetah management and health care. Having too many consults leads to electing Pardisan Park over other options such as Kavir National Park, Khojir National Park or even other existing sites. The basic facility design of this site includes 6 separated spaces for maintenance of these two cheetahs and also any other Asiatic Cheetahs that perhaps lost the chance of living in its natural habitat. Threats such as habitat destruction considered as the main problem in which natural habitat is rendered unable to su

Thoughts for Behaviour: Training a Group for Individual Reach, How?
Over the years in my career I had the privilege to learn many new ways of training. My killer whale path took me to different views while going back to pinnipeds gave me completely new thoughts about training those animals. I also learned working animals in groups what is not new the marine mammal world. Sea lions have been trained for stations so we can manage them in a group scenario a lot easier when we are only with 1 trainer present and so are dolphins.

When I worked In Ouwehands Zoo the Netherlands we had a system where we could separate 8 individuals with just 2 trainers. We would give a signal what made 5 females go to one exhibit sitting on their station, the big male would sit on stage and 2 older females would go outside to wait for us. The only thing we had to do is close gates and reinforce the animals. This was done very quickly what helped us in the

Some good news.....Now lets have all of the others stop exploiting Orangutans as photo props.
Hurrah!!! Photo Prop with Orangutan in Kandi Zoo Finally Ended (March 13, 2017)
With prior intensive communication with the Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group, the management of Kandi Zoo in West Sumatra has finally decided to cease photo prop with orangutan in the zoo. The zoo management confirmed to Scorpion on Monday (13 March 2017) that decision of ending the photo prop was made by the zoo management.

South West charities launch global zoo science project
Two local zoological organisations have joined forces with one of the most prestigious names in academia to work on a huge conservation project evaluating the scientific evidence for zoo animal management.

The Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust - the charity that runs Paignton Zoo, Living Coasts in Torquay and Newquay Zoo in Cornwall – worked with Dartmoor Zoological Park and the Conservation Evidence project at the University of Cambridge.

Evidence-based practice has become a hot topic in many fields, as practitioners see the benefits of basing their decisions on good strong science. This new work represents a global first for zoo husbandry practices. Conservation Evidence has already compiled evidence for many aspects of conservation work, including birds, bats and amphibians and habitats such as forests ( ). It’s hoped that extending the remit to captive animal management will benefit everyone from fieldworkers studying and conserving animals in the wild to keepers, vets and researchers working in zoos, aquariums and captive breeding centres.

Much of the early work of analysing scientific papers relating to the first zoo subject - primate feeding in captivity - has been completed by Coral Jonas. Coral studied for a Masters degree in Zoo Conservation Biology at the University of Plymouth in conjunction with the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, and now works as Education Manager at Dartmoor Zoo.

Dr Andrew Bowkett, Field Conservation & Research Programmes Manager at the WWCT, supervised Coral’s Masters project and has a long-standing interest in evidence-based conservation. The work has been co-authored with Rebecca Smith, a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge, who manages Conservation Evidence.

Andrew: “The aim is to help anyone who has to make decisions about how best to manage wild animals in zoological collections for the purposes of conservation. Zoo keepers make dozens of husbandry interventions every day whenever they decide to change any aspect of their animals’ care. Zoos and aquariums have a long tradition of record keeping and information sharing. However, many pra

The contribution of zoos and aquaria to Aichi Biodiversity Target 12: A case study of Canadian zoos
The purpose of Aichi Biodiversity Target 12 is to prevent extinction of known threaten species, and improve the decline of the world’s most imperiled species. Governments and NGOs around the world are actively working toward this goal. This article examines the role of zoos and aquaria in the conservation of species at risk through an in-depth examination of four accredited Canadian zoos and aquaria. Through site visits, interviews with staff, and research into the programs at each institution, this paper demonstrates that captive breeding, reintroductions, and headstarting projects are each a large component of conservation efforts. Interviews with zoo staff reveal strong consensus that zoo offer two critical components for species at risk conservation: space and expertise. Overall, this article calls for greater attention to the types of conservation actives occurring and the ways in which zoos are working together to protect and recover global biodiversity.

Rhino horns worth $5m seized in Thailand off flight from Ethiopia
Twenty-one rhino horns worth an estimated $5m have been seized in Thailand after being found in luggage sent from Ethiopia in the biggest such haul in years.

The seizure comes days after 300kg of elephant ivory was also impounded in the country.

Thailand is seen as a transit point for the illegal trafficking of wildlife.

Several species of rhino are at critical risk of extinction, conservationists say.

The horns arrived at Bangkok's international airport where two Thai women who had travelled from Vietnam and Cambodia came to collect them.

Wolf cubs arrive in Devon from Sweden as part of rewilding plan
Six wolf cubs have arrived in East Devon from Sweden, heralding the beginning of a campaign and research project that could eventually lead to the species being reintroduced to the wild in the UK. The pack is settling into its new surroundings at Wildwood Escot in Ottery St Mary and is currently in quarantine.

The Wildwood Trust said the arrival of the wolves has been highly anticipated by visitors and marks a significant moment for the Trust in its newly acquired Devon location. The Trust is working to protect and conserve Britain's most endangered wildlife and reintroduce animals to where they once lived. If wolves are reintroduced to the wild in the UK, it is likely to be in Northern Scotland and it may not happen for several years.

For many centuries, the European grey wolf has been a much maligned animal, persecuted due to fear, hate and misunderstanding. It is thought that

Beloved circus elephant Jumbo dies at San Diego Zoo
Jumbo the beloved African elephant who toured New Zealand with the travelling circus has died at San Diego Zoo.

Former keeper and retired owner of the Whirling Bros circus Tony Ratcliffe said he received a call this morning from the zoo to tell him the news.

"They contacted me this morning and told me she passed away in the early hours of the morning," he said.

It's not yet clear why Jumbo, also known as Mila, died, and there will be an autopsy.

"It was quite a shock to me because last I heard they had had a big veterinary inspection . . . Jumbo had passed with flying colours."

Jumbo is the same elephant that killed a vet at Franklin Zoo in Tuakau in 2012.

Dr Helen Schofield died in April 2012 w

Royal elephant at Swedish zoo has deadly herpes virus
A Swedish elephant calf with a royal background has been struck down by herpes and is in critical condition.
Namsai, a three-year-old Asian elephant calf at the Kolmården zoo in central Sweden has contracted the EEHV elephant herpes virus and is seriously ill, the park announced on Tuesday.

"There is no cure for EEHV, however treatment can suppress an outbreak and the elephant can survive if the disease is caught early and treatment begins quickly. Among the elephants that have been treated a few have survived," the park said on its website.

Most elephants carry the herpes virus latently in their body without it breaking out.

Namsai's mother, Bua, came to Kolmår

Decoding an Elephant’s History to Save Its Future
With a FONZ Conservation Grant, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute scientists are able to understand the family trees of elephants at zoos around the country, as well as answer questions about animal health.
Sometimes the best way to manage an animal’s health in the present is to look into the past. With the help of a FONZ Conservation Grant — funded by the Round Up for Conservation Program — that’s what Natalia Prado and her team of Smithsonian scientists are planning to do with Asian and African elephants at zoos across the country, including those at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

The family history of every animal is unique and leads to its distinct genomic makeup. With the funds from the FONZ Conservation Grant, Prado and her team will work to generate the genomic tools needed to decode elephants’ genetic histories across the United States, to address fundamental questions about individual and population health. With the information they receive, the team will develop the tools necessary to learn about each elephant’s family tree. This information could lead to a better understanding of numerous conditions that elephants exhibit in human care, including infertility, foot and joint problems, and susceptibility to diseases such as elephant endothelial herpes virus (EEHV) and tuberculosis.

Over the next year, the scientists will map the entire g


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About me
After more than 49 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 many more before 'hitting the road' 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, an introvert, 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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