The Zoo Jobs arm of Zoo News Digest is extremely popular. I am always interested to see how much interest the various posts get. Although there be a great number of hits on the Facebook Page these are no measure of how many people actually read the various advertisements. This week has proved to be something of a record. The 'Trainee Elephant Keeper' advertisement from Blackpool Zoo attracted an amazing amount of interest. In just three days 26,592 people have read that advert (and the numbers are rising still). If just a tenth of those actually apply someone is going to have their work cut out sorting the wheat from the chaff. At least they will be reasonably sure they will get the right candidates.
Back in February I made the following statement in:
"So SeaWorld is
coming to the UAE……We have heard this before and it never happened. Around a
year ago there was another story about it setting up in Saudi Arabia but I have
heard nothing since so perhaps that got shelved too. This time though there
have been several press reports about the plans for the UAE. All of them have
been in a similar vein and say something along the lines of "the first
dedicated marine life research, rescue, rehabilitation and return center in the
UAE, with world-class facilities and resources for the care and conservation of
local marine life." Noble intentions I'm sure and I greatly admire the
work that SeaWorld does in this area but such a statement suggests that the UAE
is in great need for such a center. If there is then this is news to me. The
UAE already more than adequately cares for turtles…. and whale and dolphin
strandings are as rare as hens teeth. Perhaps it is uncharitable of me but
would we suddenly see a sudden need to 'rescue' Dugongs? So rare in captivity…I
have only seen one and I believe the only two captive specimens on display are
being held in Australia. A Dugong exhibition would be impressive, special and
different…..but needed? Of course I could be totally wrong….but watch this
space. We already have dolphin shows in the UAE and at least three collections
holding them so there would be a need to come up with something to set
themselves apart especially as Orcas are out of the picture."
And then onto this week when I came across this statement in the Khaleej Times
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi
It is the first Seaworld marine park to be opened outside the US. Planned in Abu Dhab's Yas Island, the park is supposed to be the ideal ground for recreation as well as be a platform for awareness where people will be sensitized how endangered and rare species like dugong can be conserved and protected. Come 2022 and you will be able to soak in the exhilarating experience.
I said at the time "watch this space". Pure guesswork but does this indicate I was guessing correctly?
So the South Lakes Safari Zoo has been given a reprieve. I wish the new management team the very best of luck.
So the South Lakes Safari Zoo has been given a reprieve. I wish the new management team the very best of luck.
Did You Know?
ZooNews Digest has over 56,000 '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,
not DYSFUNCTIONAL zoos.
hell’ zoo displays dead snake, dazed bear and crocodile living with rubbish
Hainan zoo ordered
to clean up its act
A zoo in southern
China has been described as an animal hell by a visitor with one creature seen
dead in its box by a reporter and a pond for a crocodile piled with rubbish,
according to a news website report.
The Haikou Golden
Bull Ridge Zoo on Hainan island looked like the area had been abandoned on
Tuesday, according to the report by Hinews.cn.
Stem Cells for Zoos:
Conservation with Cellular Technologies
Stem cells are
recognized for their therapeutic promise in regenerative medicine. A
contributor looks at how they are also used to save endangered species.
Four hours north of
Nairobi, closely safeguarded by armed security, the last remaining northern
white rhinoceros are waiting for extinction. Only three animals are left, all
three of them living in a 700-acre enclosure within the Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Park: there is Sadu, a 43 year-old male, the 27-year-old female Najin and her
16-year-old daughter Fatu. Once roaming great parts of Eastern and Central
Africa, heavy poaching diminished their number to just a handful of
The last successful
birth of a northern white rhinoceros was in 2000, with all following
reproduction efforts in captivity staying unsuccessful. Natural reproduction is
sadly out of reach for the last three individuals, with Sadu having a low sperm
count, a difficult leg injury of Najin and a uterine disorder in Fatu that
prevents her from becoming pregnant.
The sad truth is
that many more species will share this dark prospect with the three rhinos.
With largely human-made threats ranging from excessive poaching, loss of
habitat, climate change and disease, many species are simply not capable of
adapting fast enough to endure the ever increasing environmental pressure they
are facing. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is providing detailed
information on the co
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi
It is the first
Seaworld marine park to be opened outside the US. Planned in Abu Dhab's Yas
Island, the park is supposed to be the ideal ground for recreation as well as
be a platform for awareness where people will be sensitized how endangered and
rare species like dugong can be conserved and protected. Come 2022 and you will
be able to soak in the exhilarating experience.
Scientists May Be
‘Vastly’ Underestimating The Extinction Risk Facing Some Species
The IUCN Red List
paints a grim picture of the biodiversity loss we are facing as a planet. In
2016, tens of thousands of mammals, birds, insects, plants and other organisms
were found to be under threat from extinction, according to the list. Of that
number, more than 5,000 were considered critically endangered, including iconic
species like the leatherback turtle, the Antarctic blue whale, and both
subspecies of orangutan — all creatures right at the precipice of vanishing
But as staggering as
those numbers may sound, they may still be vast underestimates, according to a
recent study out of Columbia University that challenged the accuracy of methods
used by the International Union for Conservation of Nature to determine the
status of species.
researchers concluded that the IUCN has been “systematically overestimating”
the size of the habitat in which species can thrive ― errors that have possibly
led to an underestimation of the number of organisms under threat of extinction
A Gene Mystery: How
Are Rats With No Y Chromosome Born Male?
Zoo Knoxville finds
'toxic agent' likely killed 34 reptiles in March
Leaders at Zoo
Knoxville believe a "toxic agent" caused the deaths of 34 reptiles in
one of its reptile buildings in March.
No animals have been
kept in that building since then, and the zoo said Friday the building will no
longer be used to house animals.
Originally, the zoo
said 33 reptiles died overnight in late March. Zoo Knoxville President and CEO
Lisa New now connect 34 reptile deaths to the possible toxic agent, including a
hatchling that died a week later.
The reptiles died
sometime between the hours of 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, and 8 a.m. Wednesday,
March 22, the zoo said.
Veterinarians at the
University of Tennessee College of Vet Medicine determined that the necropsy
results, which showed swollen blood vessels and changes in the liver and the
heart, were most consistent with a toxic agent.
However, the zoo
added, substances like carbon mono
panda was artificially inseminated two months ago, zoo reveals
EDINBURGH Zoo panda
Tian Tian has been artificially inseminated after coming into season at the
earliest time since arriving in Scotland.
As a result, zoo
chiefs are now more confident than ever that the giant panda will produce a cub
– the UK’s first – this summer.
The decision to go
ahead with artificial insemination came after the zoo decided there was now no
prospect of Tian Tian and Yang Guang mating naturally.
Panda experts at
Edinburgh Zoo began monitoring her hormone levels in December and artificially
inseminated Tian Tian mid March when she hit peak oestrus levels.
PANDA BREEDING FURY
Edinburgh Zoo bosses blasted after revealing fifth attempt to get giant panda
Watch: Inside South
Lakeland Safari Park
As the new team in
charge of South Lakeland Safari Park formally take over, ITV Border goes behind
the scenes at the zoo to see what's on the new owner's agenda.
Cumbria Zoo Company
Limited was granted the new licence on Tuesday, to run the troubled zoo where
hundreds of animals and a zoo keeper died.
The Chief Executive
told Hannah McNulty animal welfare is their top priority.
depressed during park closure in wake of Thunder River Rapids tragedy
stars suffered extraordinary depths of depression in the wake of last year’s
Thunder River Rapids tragedy — and joy at the park’s reopening — research has
More than six months
on from the disaster which claimed four lives, Dreamworld life sciences manager
Al Mucci has told a Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia conference that
mood levels of animals in the park plummeted during the two-month closure, but
quickly rebounded when visitors returned.
Taking samples from
the droppings of Dreamworld’s tigers and koalas, biologists from the University
of Queensland were able to measure levels of cortisol, a hormone which varies
depending on triggers such as stress, fear or anxiety.
typically spike after visits from the Dreamworld vet for injections or
following periods of construction in the park.
after the park closure in
song to save a place for whales hits some wrong notes
president John Nightingale raised some eyebrows this week as he defended the
need to keep rescuing and capturing cetaceans.
As the debate about
cetaceans in captivity enters a new round of debate, Nightingale's level of
rhetoric and his revisionist history of the charged issue rose.
the Aquarium didn't deliberately use whales for entertainment —"we never
did shows" — and described displays as feeding and training sessions with
He said a ban on
cetaceans would mean many more of them would die and that he was
"flabbergasted" that politicians would even suggest such a thing.
The Role of
Architectural Design in Promoting the Social Objectives of Zoos
A Study of Zoo
Exhibit Design with Reference to Selected Exhibits in Singapore Zoological
Identity Is Unlocked By A Vocal Password
Cowbirds have a big
problem: because they are raised by foster parents of different species, they
are faced with an identity crisis. But they deal with this by relying on a
vocal password to unlock their inner secret identity and to trigger learning of
who they really are
Battling to save the
Ethiopian wolf – Africa’s rarest carnivore
Most members of the
Canidae family, such as wolves, dogs and foxes, are versatile and opportunistic
animals, thriving in many habitats and some even living in urban and suburban
settings. In contrast, Ethiopian wolves are highly specialised to life in the
Ethiopian highlands. Also called the “Roof of Africa”, it encompasses 80% of
Africa’s land above 3,000m.
They are remarkable
rodent hunters, with long muzzles and slender legs. Their tight social bonds
help them protect their precious family territories from competitors. For a
canid of their size (about 14-20kg - the weight of a medium-sized dog),
Ethiopian wolves are unique at surviving on small prey (most highland rodent
species weigh less than 100g) and are solitary foragers. With their striking
red coats and black and white markings, they appear physically distant from
their closest relative, the grey wolf.
These qualities made
them successful colonisers of an expanding ecosystem as the African glaciers
retreated during the end of the last ice age, but paradoxically have
contributed to their demise.
Due to a warming
continent, in the last 100,000 years the tree line has gone up by 1,000m
encroaching on open Afroalpine grasslands and meadows. Due to the pressure of
humans, livestock and domestic dogs, the wolves are now restricted to tiny
inside fish eyeball controls its behaviour
A common parasite
that lives in fish eyeballs seems to be a driver behind the fish’s behaviour,
pulling the strings from inside its eyes.
When the parasite is
young, it helps its host stay safe from predators. But once the parasite
matures, it does everything it can to get that fish eaten by a bird and so
continue its life cycle.
The eye fluke
Diplostomum pseudospathaceum has a life cycle that takes place in three
different types of animal. First, parasites mate in a bird’s digestive tract,
shedding their eggs in its faeces. The eggs hatch in the water into larvae that
seek out freshwater snails to infect. They grow and multiply inside the snails
before being released into the water, ready to track down their next host,
fish. The parasites then penetrate the skin of fish, and travel to the lens of
the eye to hide out and grow. The fish then get eaten by a bird – and the
sub-species of snow leopard discovered
A recent research
paper in the Journal of Heredity reveals that there are three sub-species of
snow leopard. Until now, researchers had assumed this species, Panthera uncia,
leopard scat from wildlife trails and marking sites revealed three primary
genetic clusters, differentiated by geographical location: the Northern group,
Panthera uncia irbis, found in the Altai region, the Central group, Panthera
uncia uncioides, found in the core Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau, and the
Western group, Panthera uncia uncia, found in the Tian Shan, Pamir, and
trans-Himalaya regions. This is the first range-wide genetic analysis of wild
snow leopard populations.
The snow leopard is
considered the world's most elusive large big cat and inhabits a vast area of
around 1.6 million km2 across 12 countries in Asia. It is a high-altitude
specialist that primarily occupies mountains above 3,000m in elevation, a
habitat characterized by low oxygen levels, low productivity, temperature
extremes, aridity, and harsh climactic conditions. The snow leopard is the
largest carnivore in its high-altitude habitat in many areas and is under
substantial threat throughout its range.
The snow leopard
remains the last of the five big cats to be the subject of a comprehensive
subspecies assessment. This gap in research is a direct result of three
challenges: the snow leopard inhabits remote regions that are often politically
unstable and therefore harder to access, opportunities for radio or GPS
tracking are limited because snow leopards are difficult to obser
Sexual dimorphism in
African elephant social rumbles
This study used the
source and filter theory approach to analyse sex differences in the acoustic
features of African elephant (Loxodonta africana) low-frequency rumbles
produced in social contexts (‘social rumbles’). Permuted discriminant function
analysis revealed that rumbles contain sufficient acoustic information to
predict the sex of a vocalizing individual. Features primarily related to the
vocalizer’s size, i.e. fundamental frequency variables and vocal tract resonant
frequencies, differed significantly between the sexes. Yet, controlling for age
and size effects, our results indicate that the pronounced sexual size
dimorphism in African elephants is partly, but not exclusively, responsible for
sexual differences in social rumbles. This provides a scientific foundation for
future work investigating the perceptual and functional relevance of specific
acoustic characteristics in African elephant vocal sexual communication.
Seoul Zoo eager to
restore Korean leopards
Seoul Zoo said
Thursday it is pushing to introduce Amur leopards in an effort to restore
Korean leopards, which died out in the region during Japanese colonial rule in
the early 20th century.
To that end, the zoo
will hold a seminar on the conservation of Amur leopards by inviting renowned
zoologist Jo Cook, the head of the London-based Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance
on Friday, Seoul Zoo head Lee Ki-seop said. Cook is also the chief manager of a
program to breed and manage Amur leopards at the World Association of Zoos and
"We plan to
intensively introduce our preparations, including a leopard pen, as Jo Cook's
judgment is crucial in introducing Amur leopards," he said.
While in Seoul, the
ALTA leader is scheduled to discuss the zoo's introduction of Amur leopards
from Russia or Europe after inspecting their breeding facilities, Lee said.
According to the
zoo, extinct Korean leopards are genetically identical to Amur leopards, which
are currently found only in the Russian Far East and northeastern China. The
Korean Peninsula was their major habitat in the past.
Many Korean leopards
were found on the peninsula even until the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Their
population rapidly declined due to indiscriminate poaching during the Japanese
colonial rule (1910-45). Moreover, their habita
French marine park
challenges ban on breeding killer whales and dolphins
A French marine park
plans to fight a newly introduced ban on breeding killer whales and dolphins in
captivity, saying that putting it into practice could be cruel.
The ban was
announced last week as part of government attempts to improve the living
conditions of captive marine mammals in marine parks.
It mirrors a move in
California to outlaw breeding of killer whales and which was aimed at bringing
an end to the practice of holding the creatures in tanks for human
Wildlife Director at Antibes' Marineland in southern France, told Reuters TV
that the new law communicated by the environment ministry on Saturday could
hurt the animals.
"To impose this
law, and I am talking about imposing, on the animals, we will have to put them
under stress. We will separate them. We will give them chemical treatments for
fear of them reproducing. I am sure that this will have an effect on the animals'
life expectancy, so it's not normal, it's not logical to establish on the one
hand a decree made for protecting animals, and on the other hand harming them
like that. I don't understand," he said.
He said he intended
to fight against implementation of the law, first by establishing what legal
action can be taken and by launching petitions.
Caroline Camus of 'Sans Voix PACA,' an organisation in the Provence, Alpes Cote
d'Azur (PACA) region whose name trans
Not a lizard nor a
dinosaur, tuatara is the sole survivor of a once-widespread reptile group
Have you ever heard
of the tuatara? It’s a reptile that decapitates birds with its saw-like jaws,
lives to about 100 years old, and can remain active in near-freezing
It’s also the sole
survivor of a lineage as old as the first dinosaurs.
May 2017 marks 150
years since the tuatara was first recognised not to be a lizard.
Most tuatara exist
on windswept offshore New Zealand islands, where they spend their days in
burrows or basking lazily in the sun.
In the evening they
are more active, and use their large eyes to spot a variety of prey such as
beetles, spiders and snails. They also occasionally eat lizards, frogs, baby
tuatara and birds – the headless bodies of birds are not infrequently reported
from their island homes.
Although capable of
bursts of speed, tuatara have a reputation for slowness. They grow slowly, they
reproduce slowly and they live for a long time.
they are most active at cool temperatures (5-18℃) that would put
many other reptiles out of action. New Zealand lizards have similar traits,
suggesting that these characteristics are relatively recent adaptations to
The tuatara is often
referred to as having a third eye because of a light-sensitive organ on the top
of its head, similar to the ones found
Why India is going
bananas over birth control for monkeys
On a typical afternoon in a posh neighborhood
here, a troop of rhesus macaque monkeys climb the wall of an apartment building
to the rooftop water tanks with a specific goal.
Swinging like circus
performers until one of the water pipes snaps off, the monkeys rush to drink
the spraying water.
to turtle concerns
defended the decision to relocate turtles from the Great Sound during the
America’s Cup after questions were raised by Greenrock.
In a statement this
afternoon, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of the Environment said: “It is well
known in the sea turtle conservation community that where there are turtles and
boats, there will be collisions.
noticeably during boating season, the BAMZ Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre sees
turtle injuries resulting from strikes from marine craft.
the options, it was decided that the risks to the turtles resulting from
collision outweighs the risks associated with a temporary holding period until
there is a reduction in boating traffic.”
The plan was
initially announced on Sunday, with a statement saying that turtles would be
caught in the Great Sound and transported to a purpose-built ocean enclosure
near the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo this month and next.
executive director of Greenrock, responded that while the charity understood
the reasoning for the action, it had concerns about the impact of the
relocation on the turtles and the wider environment.
Among the specific
issues raised by the charity were the risk of the turtles harming each other,
spreading illnesses and disruption of the animal’s eating habits.
In their latest
statement, government responded to many of the questions, saying that efforts
were being made to minimise any impact on the turtles.
currently captured and released annually via netting procedures as part of
local research and conservation efforts,” the statement said. “Bermuda has
established procedures with experienced personnel. This effort will build on
“The turtles will be
released inside a purpose-built enclosure. The enclos
Rescue plan could
stress out turtles
A plan to relocate
sea turtles in advance of the America’s Cup has sparked concerns from
environmentalists about the impact on the animals’ health.
The plan is intended
to protect turtles from the heavy marine traffic anticipated in the Great
executive director Jonathan Starling said confining the turtles could lead to
illness and stress while failing to prevent other turtles from entering the
“We recognise the
reasoning behind the action,” Mr Starling said.
“We are hopeful that
this action will, indeed, reduce the potential for sea turtles to be injured or
killed during the heightened marine activity of the America’s Cup. If it even
saves one turtle that otherwise would have been killed, that’s great.
“Despite this, there
are questions that need to be asked.”
The Ministry of the
Environment announced on Sunday that it would be temporarily relocating sea
turtles from the Great Sound to a “purpose-built ocean enclosure” near the
Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo until the end of the event.
In response to the
news, Mr Starling posed a range of questions about the feasibility and
ecological impact of the plan, including what the impact would be on the
“There are welfare
considerations about keeping a concentrated number of turtles in a much smaller
enclosure to what they’re familiar with,” he said.
“There is a risk of
increased disease in such a situation — particularly fibropapillomatosis, a
form of highly contagious tumours. There is a risk of turtles hurting each
hammering South America’s rare river stingrays
river stingray can grow up to 1.5 meters long and weigh more than 200
kilograms. But its massive size is no protection against fishermen, who are
hunting freshwater stingrays at a worrisome pace, according to a new study.
Scientists have long known that saltwater rays, sharks, and other cartilaginous
fish face daunting challenges including overfishing and loss of coastal
habitat. But this is the first look at the population status of river
stingrays, which have evolved to live exclusively in freshwater. South America
boasts the greatest diversity, with 32 species in the Amazon and other rivers.
In the new study, researchers netted stingrays from six species in Argentina’s
Paraná River from 2005 to 2016 and used those numbers to estimate their
population. Their finding: Five species saw their numbers plummet up to 25% a
year, they report in the current issue of Biological Conservation. To find out
why, the team checked each stingray for a missing tail—a sure sign that a
fisherman had once caught it. When fishermen hook stingrays in Argentina, they
typically cut off the stingers to make them safer to handle before throwing
them back into the river. The researchers discovered a higher proportion of
healed tails in smaller populations, which suggests that fishing is taking a
10 selfish reasons
to save elephants
It sometimes feels
as if we are living in the elephant’s darkest hour. China may be closing down
its domestic ivory trade and the EU getting to grips with smuggling, yet the
poachers continue their bloody business. Meanwhile, forests are being
destroyed, herds’ migration routes are being blocked, and humans and elephants
are competing ever more fiercely for land, food and water.
So this is a good
time to point out that humans have plenty of selfish reasons to make space for
elephants. It’s not a question of giving them a free lunch: they can pay their
flamingos in the British Virgin Islands
There are few things
I enjoy more than waking up in the morning, looking up to the skies and seeing
a flamboyance of flamingos flying past. But until very recently, flamingos
didn’t exist in this part of the world.
I spend a lot of my
life working on animal conservation. One cause very close to my heart is trying
to reintroduce species that have previously disappeared from British Virgin
Islands. Many of you will know about our conservations efforts with lemurs on Necker
Island, which continue to thrive here in the BVI. But our efforts with
flamingos may be less well known.
owner at centre of RSPCA cruelty probe ‘made £300k by flogging a herd of
buffalo to a HUNTING ranch’
A ZOO owner at the
centre of a cruelty probe made £300,000 selling buffalo to be killed by
hunters, it is claimed.
David Gill is also
accused of flogging deer knowing they would be shot at a ranch.
They were among
almost 2,500 animals he is said to have sent to a ranch as he could not afford
to feed them.
returning to the Netherlands
Wildcats are making
a comeback in the Netherlands and their numbers are increasing, Trouw writes on
Wednesday. The occasional wildcat (Felis Silvestris) had already been spotted
in the southernmost tip of the country in the 1990s but according to research
carried out by nature organisation Ark Natuurontwikkeling in 2014 and 2015,
wildcats are crossing the border with Germany into Limburg more frequently and
in greater numbers. Wildcats are very difficult to distinguish from a normal
tabby and the only real way to identify them is to look at their dna which
usually happens when one is run over by a car, Trouw writes. ‘We knew drifters
came to South Limburg e
Breaking news: Zoo
licence granted by councillors after seven hour meeting
The future of a
controversial zoo has been secured for the next four years during a crucial
Cumbria Zoo company
ltd was granted a licence to operate south lakes safari zoo by members of
Barrow Borough Council's licencing regulatory committee.
But directors of the
new company, formed in January, have been told they must meet a long list of
conditions not risk breaching their licence.
Cumbria Zoo boss
Karen Brewer said it felt 'liberating' to finally be in control of the Dalton
"This is the
first time that I can sit before you and give you my own thoughts rather than
those of my former employer.
"It feels like
all the hard work of the last 17 weeks have finally paid off.
"It also feels
liberating to be in control of the destiny of the zoo," she added.
The decision was
made following a site visit to the zoo this morning and a tense six hour
meeting at Barrow Town Hall.
Written evidence was
read out from former zoo employee James Potter while a representative from the
Captive Animal Protection Society also urged councillors to reject the licence
But Cumbria Zoo
directors attempted to allay fears for the welfare of animals with the
introduction of the firm's new curator; Austrian zoo consultant Andreas
confirmed he had been offered a job at Dalton zoo last year but had turned it
down because he did not want to work under the leadership of its founder David
He said: "The
main difference now is that there are professionals in place who cooperate with
each other and know the value of expert veterinary advice.
"Now, there is
nobody ignorant or non-edu
Dan Fumano: Will
rocky relationship between park board, aquarium end up in court?
The head of the
Vancouver Aquarium said he’s not ruling out the possibility of taking the Park
Board to court over the future of whales and dolphins in Stanley Park, with
tensions between the two sides at an all-time high.
On Tuesday, members
of the public — as well as aquarium management — will get their first look at
details of proposed bylaw amendments to ban the import and display of live
cetaceans in Vancouver parks.
A staff report,
including the proposed amendments, will be available online Tuesday, and the
park board will then vote on the proposal at a meeting next Monday evening (May
15). If the board votes to enact the amendments, the change would take effect
“Until we see the
exact wording of the bylaw, nobody is quite sure what the park board is
intending to do,” said Aquarium CEO and president John Nightingale. Asked if a
legal challenge could be a possible response, Nightingale replied: “All options
Nightingale, who has
worked at the aquarium for 24 years, said the relationship between his
organization and the park board, right now, is “as tense as it’s ever been.”
And as the two sides
have exchanged increasingly pointed barbs in public over recent months, it
becomes tougher to imagine how the relationship can be salvaged.
There’s a recent
precedent for a legal skirmish between the two sides, but there was never a
resolution. In July 2014, the park board passed a
Malaysia seizes $2m
Malaysia has seized
more than $2 million worth of scales from pangolins, the world's most poached
animal, at Kuala Lumpur airport in the largest haul seen in the country,
officials said on Monday.
acting on a tip-off discovered 712kg of scales at the airport's cargo
warehouse, where they had been shipped in 18 sacks using false documents,
Customs Department assistant director-general Paddy Abdul Halim said.
National Parks Department deputy director of enforcement Rozidan Md Yasin said
an estimated 1,400 pangolins had been killed to produce the amount of scales
previously been singled out by wildlife conservationists as a transit point for
the illegal trafficking of endangered species to other Asian countries.
near-sighted, pangolins only venture out from the safety of their burrows or
tree-top homes at night to scour for insects. When startled, they curl up into
a ball -- a technique that is futile against the cable snares set by hunters.
All eight of the
world's species of pangolin, which range from 30cm to 100cm length, are
threatened with extinction.
The scales were
shipped from Africa in two se
Vietnam works to end
bear bile farming
Agriculture and Rural Development statistics from 2015 revealed that only about
1,200 bears are kept on bile farms across the country. A record of 4,300 bears
bred in Vietnam was reported in 2005.
Vietnamese Government, organisations and community must make greater efforts to
close bear bile farms forever.
According to the
Education for Nature-Vietnam, the Republic of Korea sterilised all captive bile
bears to prevent the expansion of the population of bears that are exploited
for their bile. About 660 sterilised bears on 36 farms will be the last to
suffer for their bile.
Gilbert Sape, head
of Bears and Traditional Medicine at the World Animal Protection (WAP), said
the sterilisation programme is a landmark step towards phasing out the bear
bile industry in the country.
programme, funded by the Korean Government with the support of the WAP and
Green Korea United (GKU), aims to prevent new bears from entering the industry,
It sends out a clear
message that it is unacceptable for g
Taiwan seizes 3
'world's most expensive' tortoises at airport
A Malaysian tourist was caught on Sunday at
Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport for trying to smuggle into Taiwan three
angonoka tortoises, which are listed as critically endangered species by
international wildlife conservation organizations and reputed to be the most
expensive tortoise on earth - worth about NT$1 million (US$33,150) each.
The Malaysian man
arrived at Taiwan's main international airport via Malaysia Airlines at around
3:30 p.m. and three tortoises were found in his luggage, Taipei Customs said.
The three animals
were identified as angonoka tortoises (Astrochelys yniphora), a critically
endangered land tortoise species endemic to Madagascar that has been included
in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of
Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and is listed as one of the world's three most
threatened turtles in the Worl
Czech Zoo First in
Europe to Help Save Endangered Crocodile
The Crocodile Zoo in
Protivín made a world record last week, as it succeeded in being the first
country outside of tropical lands to rear one of the most endangered species of
crocodile – the Indian gavials (Gavialis gangeticus).
On May 4, 2017, a
total of 14 small and healthy Indian gavils hatched at the Protivín zoo, after
the zoo had spent six years of working with gavials from India.
rebounding due to UAE efforts
Once on the brink of
disappearing in the UAE and beyond, migratory Houbara bustard populations have
rebounded, thanks to the introduction of 250,000 birds bred in captivity and
released into the wild by Abu-Dhabi-based International Fund for Houbara Conservation
numbers of the birds flock from Asian countries to the UAE to winter in warmer
climes and this is a testament to decades of work to bring back the Houbara,
said Ali Mubarak Al Shamsi, acting head of Communications and Public Relations
It’s one of many
success stories being celebrated on May 10, World Migratory Bird Day, held
every year to recognise efforts to protect bird species, their resting sites
and habitats along the many wintering routes.
Organisers of the
Migratory Bird Day said they laud efforts such as the IFHC to protect birds on
often perilous journeys to their wintering grounds.
“Migration is a
perilous journey and exposes the animals to a wide range of threats, often
caused by human activities. As migratory birds depend on a range of sites
throughout their journey along their flyway, the loss of wintering and stop
stories get people to care about nature?
Nature doesn't make
the news often these days. When it does, the story usually revolves around
wildlife on the brink, record-setting climate extremes or ruined landscapes.
However, that is not the whole story. There is also good news, but it often
receives little attention.
Five cool animals we wrongly believed extinct
Will Bill Laurance
and his team find Tasmanian tigers lurking in Australia’s remote Cape York
peninsula? Numerous animals that were thought to be extinct have recently been
rediscovered. Here are our top five species that came back from the dead – and
two more that might also have been written off too soon.
Guest Speaker: Grey
Stafford – Observations From an Ageing Zoo Guy
I had the privilege
to meet Dr. G. Stafford several times. We had some great talks over time what
gave me more inspiration to make sure our community goes forward in what we are
good at. Dr. Stafford is one of the advocates that fights for the animals we
care for. I can honestly say that he would be one of the guys who I’m looking
up to. The first time I came in contact with him was actually not in person nor
by email. Dr. G.Stafford wrote a book called Zoomility. The Book is a great
asset in my assortment and I keep on telling others to read it as well. The
book is simple to read and gives you flashbacks to your own animal training
experiences, definitely one to suggest for the trainers out there. The book
gave me the first contact with Grey.
Armed men occupy
Subic's Ocean Adventure: official
Around 70 armed men
have taken over the Ocean Adventure theme park in Subic Bay, the chair of the
government agency overseeing the free port said Thursday.
It was not
immediately clear why the suspects occupied Ocean Adventure since Feb. 13 and
barred employees from entering, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA)
chairman Martin Diño told DZMM.
kasi supposed to be, dapat hindi nakapasok ang mga iyan," Diño told radio
(It saddens me
because they should not have been allowed to enter in the first place.)
coordination na kami ngayon sa kapulisan at lahat ng authority para ma-takeover
kasi that's a continuing threat, 'yang nangyayari d'yan."
(We are coordinating
with the police and the authorities to take over, because what's happening
there is a continuing threat)
“THUGGERY” IN OCEAN
IN WHAT employees
and guests initially thought was a terrorist attack on Valentine’s eve, a group
claiming to be majority shareholders of the company over-powered security
personnel to take control of Ocean Adventure, a marine theme park in this
former US Naval Base, some 79 km. northwest of Manila.
“We have come under
attack by nearly 70 armed mercenaries, who came in the night,” Robert C. Braun,
chairman of the Board of Directors of Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium, Inc.
(SBMEI) which runs Ocean Adventure, said in a statement, “first abusing and evicting
the women from the staff dormitory, displacing security… they broke down doors,
forced open a vault and coerced scared staff to attend to their demands…
nothing about this is other than thuggery.”
the physical take-over, the intruding group convened a “majority shareholders”
meeting and appointed Scott N. Sharpe, said to be one of the founding owners of
the company, as Chairman, vice Braun, and also President and Chief Executive Officer
(CEO), vice Arthur D. Tai.
Tai and Sharpe’s
group are locked in a dispute over the company’s ownership that has reached
Olongapo City’s Regional Trial Court, which recently dismissed the case for
lack of jurisdiction.
group apparently took the dismissal as a go ahead to take-over the company,
making their move on Valentine’s eve sans a court order nor decision on the
question of ownership.
Sharpe’s group is
identified with SBMEI’s former President and CEO Timothy J. Desmond, now
temporarily free on a P3M bail bond after going into hiding to evade two
warrants for his arrest issued by an Olongapo City Court for allegedly gypping
businesswoman Virginia Dio of over $2M intended as investment at the theme park
but which he allegedly used for his personal benefit, instead.
“This is an
intra-corporate dispute that needs to be resolved between (the contending)
parties,” SBMA Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said, “SBMA is not a party to (the)
However, Eisma said
she is not supporting the take-over of Ocean Adventure by Sharpe et al.
“No one can just
claim to own something and simply take it away by force,” Eisma said, ““we have
laws and procedures that must be obeyed and respected.”
“Until such time
that they are able to obtain a decision by a competent court declaring them to
be the rightful owners, we will continue to recognize only company officers
whose names appear on current legal documents,” Eisma added.
She said SBMA’s
Regulatory and Legal teams have been mobilized “to look on what actions can we
take on their failure to coordinate with SBMA.”
Philand Security and
engaged the services of Philand Security Agency, Inc. despite its lack of
accredition with the SBMA, and therefore, should not have been able to operate,
moreso, cause their guards to brandish firearms in the Freeport as they are
presently doing as security personnel at Ocean Adventure.
personnel of the Philippine National Police – Special Action Force (PNP-SAF),
at the behest of Sharpe’s group, were also present during the “intrusion”
despite their lack of jurisdiction and non-coordination with SBMA authorities.
Like Eisma, the SBMA
Law Enforcement Department (LED) was kept in the dark by Sharpe’s group and was
alerted only by calls and messages from terrified employees who were allegedly
being detained against their will inside the park’s premises.
Olongapo Mayor Rolen
C. Paulino, upon learning of the stand-off by frantic messages he received from
employees and relatives residing in the city, also rushed to Ocean Adventure.
Paulino and Eisma
were able to enter the premises and talked to the employees, some of whom were
relieved to be escorted out while some chose to remain to attend to the guests.
“I commend the
employees who chose to stay despite the adversity because they worry about the
service of their guests,” she said, “these are dedicated workers with the work
ethics of the Olongapeño and I am very proud of them.”
Sharpe and company
may have taken over Ocean Adventure physically and the dispute may now be
oblivious to the guests as operations appear to have normalized but hostilities
may yet flare-up at any given moment, keeping Eisma and the rest of the SBMA
leadership on their toes, up until when, there is no telling at this time. -30-
Name sought for rare
albino orangutan rescued in Indonesia
A conservation group
is asking the public to name a rare albino orangutan that was rescued from
villagers on Borneo island last month, hoping it will become a symbol of
efforts to save the critically endangered species.
female great ape is being kept in a dimly lit quarantine enclosure with
round-the-clock veterinarian care after being rescued in the Indonesian part of
the island on April 29, Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation spokesman Nico
Hermanu said Wednesday. She's the first albino orangutan to be encountered by
the foundation in its 25 years of conservation work.
The foundation said
in a statement that the orangutan has become an ambassador for her species and
it wants a "meaningful" name for her that will reflect the
significant conservation challenges that orangutans face in the wild.
It said she is
sensitive to sunlight due to a complete absence of pigmentation and physically
fragile, which is com
looming for Toronto Zoo workers
The Toronto Zoo and
the union representing its workers will be back at the bargaining table on
Wednesday, ahead of a midnight strike deadline.
CUPE Local 1600 said
while some of the issues have been resolved, other issues the union considers
critical remain outstanding.
Job security is a
key part of the talks. The union said it is concerned the zoo could contract
“We haven’t made
enough progress and I am concerned about our ability to conclude negotiations
before the deadline,” Christine McKenzie, president of CUPE 1600, said in a
McKenzie said if
they are close to reaching an agreement, the union is prepared to negotiate
past the strike deadline.
decision will hinge on what level of commitment to achieving a settlement we
see from the zoo throughout the day,” she said.
The union represents
Staff at Canada's
largest zoo walk off the job in contract dispute
More than 400
employees at the Toronto Zoo have walked off the job to back their contract
CUPE Local 1600 says
the walkout began at midnight Wednesday at Canada's largest zoo after the two
sides failed to come to terms on the key issue of job security.
incredibly disappointed to have to take strike action, but the Toronto Zoo's
refusal to move on job security left us with no alternative," said local
president Christine McKenzie in a statement.
Chester Zoo duped
into handing over £1.2m to fraudsters in email scam
Chester Zoo was
tricked into paying a £1.26million invoice into the bank account of a gang of
fraudsters who claimed to have built them a new "safari experience",
a court heard.
The attraction fell
victim to a scam after receiving an email that purported to be from a
contractor informing them their bank details had changed.
But the letter was a
forgery and the new account related to a closed tapas restaurant owned by
40-year-old Ashad Ali.
Beaver Water World
speaks out over death of Colin the caiman and apologises for misleading public
Beaver Water World
has "sincerely" apologised after admitting to misleading people over
the death of one of the zoo's most beloved animals, which Tandridge District
Council is investigating.
Colin the caiman – a
reptile from the same family as alligators and crocodiles but typically smaller
– was found dead at the Tatsfield zoo and charity on April 9 having been let
into an outdoor enclosure where it was colder.
Despite this, a sign
on the glass of Colin's former enclosure had been displayed for several weeks
afterwards stating that he had been rehomed.
Royal Turtles Hatch in Koh Kong Province
After being guarded
for three months, nine royal turtles—an endangered species found only in
Cambodia—hatched in Koh Kong province this week and were taken to a nearby
conservation center, an NGO said on Wednesday.
There are fewer than
10 royal turtles left in the wild, but the new hatchlings are among 216 being
protected at the Koh Kong Reptile Conservation Center, said Eng Mengey, a
communications officer for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), in an email