I am just back from
a short holiday in Thailand. It was a good one because I feel like I now need
another holiday to recover. I did have a number of zoo visits planned but
thunderstorms put paid to that idea and so the time was spent catching up with
various girlfriends instead. It wasn't time wasted. That said I am very happy to be back home.
Have you noticed the
number of zoos which are now gaining membership to zoo bodies outside of their
geographical region? We have Ocean Park, Hong Kong and Sentosa, Singapore who
have joined the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Several Middle East collections
are already members of EAZA. This has to be a good thing. Both EAZA and the AZA
have rigid realistic inspections before membership is granted. This is the way
forward. So often I see it quoted "International Zoo Standards" when
no such thing exists. The more collections that go with EAZA and AZA the closer
we will get to that goal. I just feel it a pity that the UK government
inspections could not be carried out to licence abroad because they are (in
spite of various critiques) some of the best in the world. There are other good
organisations out there but some are really about 'you scratch my back and I
will scratch yours' and have lost my respect…not that I suppose they give a
Did You Know?
ZooNews Digest has over 59,000 'Like's' on Facebook and has a weekly reach often exceeding over 350,000 people? That ZooNews Digest has subscribers in over 820 Zoos in 154+ 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.
ambitious plan to save native birds: Kill every rat, stoat and possum
New Zealand has set
itself an environmental goal so ambitious it's been compared to putting a man
on the moon: ridding the entire nation of every last rat, possum and stoat.
The idea is to give
a second chance to the distinctive birds that once ruled this South Pacific
nation. When New Zealand split away from the supercontinent Gondwanaland 85
million years ago, predatory mammals hadn't evolved. That allowed birds to
thrive. Some gave up flight altogether to strut about the forest floor.
Then humans arrived,
bringing predators with them. Rats stowed away on ships. Settlers introduced
brushtail possums — an Australian species unrelated to North American opossums
— for the fur trade and weasel-like stoats to control rabbits. The pests destroyed
forest habitats and feasted on the birds and their eggs. More than 40 species
of birds died out and many others remain threatened, including the iconic kiwi.
Nine rhinos found
massacred at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park
Nine fresh rhino
carcasses have been found massacred at the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South
Africa’s oldest game reserve and the cradle of global rhino conservation.
massacre confirms fears that the historical park has become the new ground zero
in the battle to save the species, rapidly matching casualties sustained by
Kruger National Park.
This is despite the
fact the domestic ban on rhino horn trade was effectively lifted when the
Constitutional Court, in April, rejected a government appeal to preserve a 2009
ban on the domestic trade
have warned that the lifting of the moratorium would spell a full-out onslaught
by illegal poaching syndicates, putting the country's already battered rhino
population at further huge risk.
poachers from Hazyview in Mpumalanga have recently been arrested, and a .375
calibre hunting rifle has been recovered. It is not immediately clear whether
the two were caught in the reserve, or out
Most people have
never heard of the Albany adder—a small, venomous snake native to South Africa
with a brilliantly patterned body and pointy eyebrows. The extremely rare
reptile hadn't been seen in almost a decade, and scientists feared it was
A team of
herpetologists recently announced the discovery of a lifetime—four Albany
adders, alive and well.
The expedition had
set out last November to find the long-lost snake, and after a week of scouring
bushes, lifting up rocks, and cau
www.zoolex.org in May 2017
~°v°~ ~°v°~ ~°v°~ ~°v°~ ~°v°~
Hello ZooLex Friend,
We have worked for your enjoyment!
NEW EXHIBIT PRESENTATION
The porcupines at Naturschutz-Tierpark Görlitz are a real visitor
attraction. Visitors can see the animals on eye-level and hand-feed
them. Participants of the International Zoo Design Conference who joined
the post-conference tour to Görlitz enjoyed the animal-visitor
interaction, but many cannot implement something like this at their zoos
for safety reasons.
Here is the German original:
We would like to thank our intern Jonas Homburg for preparing this
REVIEW OF THE 2017 ZOO DESIGN CONFERENCE
This conference took place in Wroclaw, Poland, from 4th to 7th April
2017 and was a big success. 250 participants from 39 countries enjoyed
the programme with 42 presentations. The conference started with an ice
breaker at the Wroclaw Hydropolis Water Museum and ended with a farewell
party at the Zoo. Many participants also enjoyed the pre- and
post-conference tours to Jurapark, Opole Zoo and Görlitz Zoo.
Here is a review with photos, testimonials and the programme:
Presentations will be published as they become available.
We keep working on ZooLex ...
The ZooLex Zoo Design Organization is a non-profit organization
registered in Austria (ZVR-Zahl 933849053). ZooLex runs a professional
zoo design website and distributes this newsletter. More information and
Lahore Zoo's only
elephant, Suzi dies
The only elephant in
the Lahore Zoo, Suzi, died on Saturday morning.
Imported in 1988,
Suzi was a popular attraction at the zoo and had captivated generations of
audiences since its inception at the zoo.
Officials at the zoo
could not confirm a cause of death before the medical report was made
Speaking to Dawn,
the Director of the Lahore Zoo Mohammad Shafqat said, "We won't be
bringing a solo elephant, instead we'll bring a pair the next time."
Up until Saturday,
only Karachi and Lahore zoos had elephants.
Suzi had spent more
than 25 years of her life at the Lahore Zoo. The natural life span of elephants
according to Zoo officials is about 50 years.
experience an influx of visitors during the holidays as people throng
recreational spots, with zoos being po
A Life Devoted to
the Modern Conservation Zoo: A Conservation with Zoo Legend Rick Barongi
The year is 1990 and
Disney wants to build a fourth Florida theme park around animals and containing
a replicated African safari. However, there’s one problem: the Imagineers who
design the park know little about how to build naturalistic habitats for animals
and meet their needs. When Disney consulted legendary Bronx Zoo director Bill
Conway, he recommended contacting Rick Barongi then curator at the San Diego
Zoo. While others likely would have said a massive safari recreating Africa in
Central Florida couldn’t be done, Barongi took on the challenge and within a
few years was working full time as the designer of the animal habitats at
Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which opened in 1998. Luckily, I got to do a phone
interview with him about undertaking this challenge and his entire 40 year
career for Zoophoria.
The OLD Dolphins
There are definitely
many reasons why I consider myself lucky.
One of those reasons is that I've had the pleasure of knowing more than
my fair share of Old Lady Dolphins.
Considering today is Mother's Day in the U.S., I think today's topic is
pretty fitting. In fact, I'd like to go
even further and talk about a very special lady I got to know at my last job.
enclosure at Honolulu Zoo prompting evacuation scare
A chimpanzee at the
Honolulu Zoo caused a small scare for zoo visitors and staff Sunday.
Honolulu Zoo exhibit
to remain closed after chimpanzee escapes
Elvis the ape
escapes from zoo enclosure, injures volunteer
According to a city
spokesperson, a chimp scaled the wall of the exhibit around noon before jumping
off into the chimp holding area.
says the chimp never made it into a public space, but some zoo patrons were
cleared from the area.
It took zoo staff
ten minutes to get the animal back into his pen.
says all chimps will be kept in their holding pens until zoo staff can complete
assessment of the exhibit's wall.
This isn't the first
time the Honolulu Zoo has dealt with animals on the loose.
Almost two years
ago, a 15-year-old male chimpanzee named Pu'iwa jumped off a barrel to escape
from his cage.
A worker shot the
chimp with a tranquilizer gun after Pu'iwa was later found sitting on top of
the high wall outside the enclosure.
In the summer of
2012, Elvis the ape was able to leap over a moat from a wooden feeding platform
to grab on to the outside wall and climb out.
think he was capable of making the 12-foot leap. In a successful effort to get
Elvis back in to his cage, zookeepers used CO2 canniste
Zookeeping all in
the family for mom, daughter
Mother’s Day is usually a time when moms and their
children get together to reminisce over brunch and flowers or maybe a
long-distance phone call. But for mother-daughter zookeepers Jane Kennedy and
Katie Garagarza, every day is cause for celebration.
The two Escondido
women have worked together at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park for 21 years, after
Garagarza decided to follow in her mother’s well-worn footsteps. Kennedy, 59,
is one of the park’s lead zookeepers and is known as the “Rhino lady” for her decades
of devotion to saving the critically endangered African species. Garagarza, who
at 37 is a senior zookeeper and has spent more than half her life working in
the San Pasqual Valley animal park, most recently with Australian mammals.
Besides the family
connection the women are also close friends, colleagues, animal experts and
has made our relationship much deeper than just a regular mother-daughter
thing,” Garagarza said. “We have so much more in common and we can bounce ideas
off each other.”
The two don’t work
in the same department, but they do cross paths every day and are frequently
together in their off hours spending time with Garagarza’s three children:
Sofia, 7, Tomas, 5, and Elena, who will soon turn 4.
“I’m very proud of
who she is, what she’s become and what she’s doing with her life,” Kennedy said
of Garagarza, who’s a single mom. “She’s a great mother and role model for her
children. And I’m impressed by her dedication to conservation of all these species
that are in such desperate need of our help.”
Another of the
park’s longtime employees, associate nutritionist Michele Gaffney, said she’s
enjoyed watching Garagarza grow from girlhood to motherhood at the park.
“I have spent a lot
of time with bot
How can we help the
living by looking at the dead?
In Zoos We Trust (In
A Post-Truth World)
relationships with traditional authorities has been evolving. Our distrust of
the media and obsession with ‘fake news’ is the strongest and most recent
illustration of this erosion that in actuality, has been occurring over the
runs up Rs 10 lakh power bill
The cost of
maintaining the seven Humboldt penguins at the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale (VJB)
Udyan and zoo in Byculla only seems to be increasing by the day.
The BMC will have to
shell out over Rs 1 crore every year only as the electricity bill of the
interpretation centre where the seven flightless birds are currently housed.
Zoo officials said they have been receiving an electricity bill of up to Rs 10
lakh every month for the interpretation centre since it wa
Abilene Zoo: Jaguar
‘wriggled' way out of enclosure to escape
An Abilene Zoo
investigation has determined “the most likely chain of events” that led to a
jaguar’s escape from its enclosure and ultimately resulted in the death of a
The escape occurred
“It has been
determined that the escape began when the animal (Estrella) scaled a
12-foot-tall artificial rock wall and forced her way under the cable and
netting top,” said Bill Gersonde, the zoo’s executive director.
“She gained access
to a crawl space between that rock wall and a cinderblock wall, scaled the
cinderblock wall and forced her way out of an approximate 8-inch gap between
that wall and the exhibit mesh top.”
included representatives of the zoo’s veterinary, animal care, and maintenance
departments. The team, according to the release, examined living quarters –
shared by sister jaguars Estrella and Luna – in a search for clues.
According to the
investigation, the fact that Estrella is 120 pounds and of “active age” as a
two-year-old cat “certainly contributed to her ability to wriggle out of the
The spider monkey,
after being attack
Plants enter our lives daily and in ways we may not even notice. May’s stories at www.zooplantman.com (NEWS/Botanical News) remind us of some of the contributions plants make to our human lives:
Girl dragged into
water by sea lion receives treatment for rare 'seal finger' disease
The young girl who
was pulled off a dock by a sea lion in Canada is being treated for a rare
bacterial infection sometimes called “seal finger,” ABC News reports.
The sea lion yanked
the girl into the Richmond, B.C. harbor on Saturday after some people on the
dock started feeding the animal breadcrumbs.
Video of the
incident quickly spread across the internet, showing the sea lion pop out of
the water, bite the girl’s dress, and drag her under water. A man then jumps in
to get the girl back to safety.
Officials at the
Vancouver Aquarium tell ABC that the child is getting medical treatment because
of concerns that bacteria from
Polar bear project
at Doncaster's Yorkshire Wildlife Park wins top honour
The Gold Award was
presented by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA)
for the park’s Project Polar initiative which created a unique 10-acre reserve
which is home to four male polar bears. The award recognises the excellence of the
park’s work in establishing the large, naturalistic polar bear reserve with
dens, pools and rolling landscapes. The park’s enclosure, one of the largest in
the world, is home to Victor, Pixel, Nissan and Nobby. “It is fantastic to
receive the award for something we care passionately about and work hard at,”
said Simon Marsh, animal collections manager at the park, based at Branton,
near Doncaster. “We wanted to show that pola
Erik Meijaard: How
to Stop the Rot in Orangutan Protection
With some 10,000
orangutans having died a premature death in the past five years, there clearly
has been collective failure by governmental and non-governmental organizations
to implement effective conservation management for these species.
have been Critically Endangered for a while, indicating severe population
declines in the recent past and projecting similar declines in the near future.
were slightly better off, so we thought. But based on the first robust
population trend analysis, recently conducted for Sabah, Malaysian Borneo,
indicating a 25 percent decline in 10 years, this species is also likely to be
listed as Critically Endangered.
The facts speak for
themselves. Based on extensive community interviews, some 1,500-2,200
orangutans are killed in Kalimantan annually. We further estimate that we are
losing some 3,000-6,000 square kilometers of habitat every year on Borneo, and
this similarly translates in the loss of several thousand animals. These dead
orangutans are real, not the fiction of some science crackpots!
government officially concurs with the above findings and thus recognizes that
there has been little if any progress on its own goal of stabilizing all wild
orangutan populations by 2017. Last year's Laporan Kinerja of the Directorate
General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (PHKA), the Indonesian
conservation authority, indicates that in the nine sites where the government
is monitoring Bornean orangutans, there have been average population declines
of 26.5 percent and 28.2 percent in 2013 and 2014 respectively. If accurate,
this indicates the orangutans are miles away from population stability, and
rapidly heading towards extinction.
How is it possible
that after nearly five decades of hard conservation action we are still largely
failing to achieve results? Let me summarize a few reasons.
First, with more
than 75 percent of orangutans living outside protected areas where forest is
rapidly being converted to non-forest, orangutan conservation is obviously
Second, there is a
lack of funding. In a recent report I calculated that the total allocated
funding for orangutan conservation in Kalimantan was about $20 million. Half of
this was through government budgets for protected areas, provincial
conservation agencies, and national-level coordination, and the remain
Animals still in
cages a year after Buenos Aires zoo closure
he roars of lions,
snorts of rhinos and trumpets of elephants still blend with the cacophony of
honking buses and screeching cars passing nearby in one of the most heavily
congested areas of Argentina's capital.
A year after the
140-year-old Buenos Aires zoo closed its doors and was transformed into a park,
hundreds of animals remain behind bars and in a noisy limbo.
Developers last July
promised to relocate most of the zoo's 1,500 animals to sanctuaries in
Argentina and abroad, but they had made no firm arrangements to do so. And a
new master plan announced Tuesday still doesn't specify how they will
accomplish it. Many of the animals are so zoo-trained that experts fear they
would die if moved, even to wild animal preserves.
also complain that the remaining animals still live in antiquated enclosures
widely considered inhumane by modern standards — and say the city government's
new plan gives few specifics of how improvements will be made.
"It's gone from
bad to worse," said Claud
GUEST BLOG – DEREK
GOW: A STATEMENT TO THE NEXT GENERATION OF CONSERVATIONISTS
Today’s guest post
comes from Derek Gow. Derek is an ecologist, farmer and specialist in
reintroducing native species; he pioneered the captive breeding and
reintroduction of water voles almost 20 years ago, is a key player in the
return of beavers to Britain, and is currently working on projects to reinstate
white storks to our countryside.
I have been lucky to
work on Derek’s farm and field projects over the last few years, and recently
he wrote the below speech for a Wildlife Trusts event. Keen to spread the
message to a wider audience, I was happy to post it on his behalf.
Me and so many other
young people are at a crossroads as we seek to spend the rest of our lives in
nature conservation. How can we attempt to haul up the boat if it is already
sinking? What follows is a plea to do better, think better, and to never give in.
Pictures and a video
were recently published on the Focusing on Wildlife website of some of the
calves that are at the Hangzhou Safari Park. They were shown being kept behind
bars and walking on concrete floors. The images were obtained by an animal welfare
advocate named Chunmei Hu, the former general secretary of the Chinese Green
Development and Endangered Species Fund. The video has since been reviewed by
elephant experts, including co-founder of the Kenya-based Elephant Voices,
Joyce Poole, who concluded that “their housing is totally unstimulating. They
look like sad, locked-up little kids.”
government and ZimParks are not very keen on revealing how many baby elephants
have so far been exported to China, conservationists who have been vigilantly
following the developments believe 17 of the calves ended up at Shanghai Wild
Animal Park, 15 at the Beijing Wildlife Park and six at Hangzhou Safari Park.
A 2016 report on
elephants in Asia said a tot
An Open Letter to
Vancouver Park Board Members
Dear Park Board
I know you've gotten
a lot of feedback over your recent decision about Vancouver Aquarium. As
someone who lives on the opposite end of the continent, who am I to pitch in
another voice? Well, I had a very successful career as a marine mammal trainer
for the past 12 years, and just recently left to pursue another passion. However, I am still very connected to the
marine mammal community.
There is something
really, really special about that place.
I've only been once, but it is - in my opinion - one of the best
aquariums in all aspects: research, animal wellness, habitat design,
conservation messaging, insanely advanced and open-minded veterinary care,
rescue/rehabilitation...and it doesn't hurt that it's in one of the most
beautiful places on the planet. Please
believe me when I tell you that Vancouver Aquarium lives its conservation
The Truth About the
Deadly Cat Trade
There’s a missing
link in South Africa, not the one between homosapiens and modern humans.It’s a
link between cub petting and the fast growing trade in exploiting and killing
lions, and it’s one to which tourists seem extraordinarily blind.
lion cubs, volunteering to feed and care for adorable young cats or walking
with them may seem like a once in a lifetime opportunity. But what visitors
don’t see is that for these big cats, this seemingly innocent start in life
leads to canned hunting of lions for the overseas trophy trade, to lion farming
in cruel conditions, or to the slaughter of these kingly creatures in order to
meet the demand for their bone in the Far East.
conservation: Partners making a difference
Loretta Lynch once
said, “We all have a responsibility to protect endangered species, both for
their sake and for the sake of our own future generations.” Conservation of
these species is an ongoing challenge that requires the help of many people
working toward a common goal.
“We are a brand that
stands for conservation,” says Carrie Kuball, Mazuri® Sales and Technical
Support Manager. “Whether they are someone’s pets or an endangered species in
the wild, we want to help make exotic animals’ lives better no matter where
they are in the world.”
One of the ways
Mazuri® supports endangered species conservation is through sponsored
partnerships of organizations with similar goals.
information serving conservation
Species360 is an
international non-profit organization that maintains the ZIMS online
knowledgebase of wildlife in human care.
“Our database helps
more than 1,050 institutions in 90 countries give the best care possible to
their unique animals,” explains Peter Donl
Fight against deadly
fungus wins Paignton Zoo a top award
How a Tiny Worm is
Irritating the Most Majestic of Giraffes
What is a fly to a
It’s difficult to
imagine a single insect even coming to the attention of these peculiar animals,
which weigh in at thousands of pounds and routinely stretch their necks to
heights of more than 14 feet. In Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park,
however, Michael B. Brown, a wildlife conservation researcher, has noticed
something that might be harder to ignore: Whole clouds of insects swarming
around the necks of these quadrupedal giants.
Kaufman Calls on
North American Aquariums to Refocus on Conservation in the Wild
Les Kaufman, a
Professor of Biology and a Faculty Research Fellow at the Frederick S. Pardee
Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, recently took part in the
annual Regional Aquatic Workshop (RAW), hosted by the New England Aquarium
(NEAq). The week-long workshop featured representatives from many of North
America’s professional aquariums, in addition to vendors from industry and
technology who support these institutions.
organized a plenary panel, in collaboration with colleagues from NEAq’s
Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, to examine global priorities for aquatic
conservation. The panel illuminated pathways to more effective conservation of
aquatic habitats and species by drawing upon three case studies: sharks and
rays (Hap Fatzinger, Director, North Carolina Aquariums), coral reefs (Joe
Yaiullo, Long Island Aquarium), and tropical freshwaters (Mike O’Neill, NEAq,
and a member of Kaufman’s team studying fish biodiversity in Lake Victoria).
Prof. Kaufman framed and concluded the panel, while the other three speakers
gave accounts of conservation successes achieved through regional coop
Vancouver park board
worries whale fight could sour relations with aquarium
Vancouver Park Board
commissioners are worried their relationship with the Vancouver Aquarium could
suffer if their cetacean ban battle ends up in court.
“If it goes to
court, that’s going to make things tough. (The relationship) soured a bit in
2014 when they took legal action on our jurisdiction on a (cetacean) breeding
ban,” said park board chairman Michael Wiebe. “But we have a (lease) with them
until 2029 and they will continue to be a world leader in marine science.”
On Monday evening,
the park board voted six-to-one in favour of a ban on cetaceans at the
Vancouver Aquarium. Three resident cetaceans — false killer whale Chester,
Helen the white-sided dolphin, and Daisy the porpoise — will be allowed to live
out their lives at the aquarium.
Erin Shum — the lone
commissioner who opposed the ban — said the bylaw puts “millions of taxpayer
and resident dollars on the line” should the aquarium decide to fight back.
“The legal and
financial implications of this decision have not been adequately addressed,”
and CEO John Nightingale has not rule
Ligers and tigons:
activists aim to outlaw 'inhumane' breeding of frankencats
A coalition of US
conservation groups has launched an attempt to outlaw the breeding of so-called
frankencats, where big cats such as tigers and lions are crossed with each
other to create unusual and often unhealthy specimens.
A petition filed
with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Friday calls for an end to the
“inhumane” interbreeding of large felines, claiming that the practice clashes
with federal animal welfare laws because of the increased probability of
resulting health problems such as cancer, cleft palates, arthritis and
Pairing a male tiger
with a female lion creates a tigon, while a male lion and a female tiger
produces a liger. Some breeders, such as Oklahoma-based Joe Schreibvogel, who
also goes by the title Joe Exotic, have taken this a step further by breeding
liligers, the offspring of a male lion and a female liger, and tiligers, the
result of breeding a male tiger and a female liger.
Research has shown
this cross-breeding can heighten the risk of various ailments. Tigons can
experience dwarfism while gigantism is known to occur in ligers. Hercules, a
liger who resides at the Myrtle Beach Safari wildlife reserve in South
Carolina, was named the world’s largest living cat in 2014, weighing 922lb.
White tigers occur
when two Bengal tigers that carry a recessive gene that influences coat colour
are bred together. White Bengal tigers have also been crossed with Siberian
tigers in order to create a larger animal, which can be affected by even more
inherited health problems.
The offspring are
prone to becoming cross-eyed, as well as facing other maladies, due to their
genetic past. Scientists have found
Baby elephants to be
exported to Dubai zoo
A spokesman for the
Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) has confirmed that all CITES
requirements have been met for the issue of export permits, and that the United
Arab Emirates CITES Scientific Authority has issued the necessary permits for
importation of the elephants.
Eden Game Farm is a
private game farm and registered game dealer in the Grootfontein district, near
Etosha National Park. The farm is owned by a Swedish national.
The sale of baby
elephants from Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park to China in 2015 attracted heavy
criticism from wildlife experts and activists alike, after some elephants died
and others showed signs of malnutrition and neglect.
The MET spokesman
said he was not concerned about the same happening in this instance, as Eden
Game Farm had satisfied all the relevant compliance procedures. He said that
the baby elephants would be kept in isolation after capture, and inspected
animals that future generations will never see
Some of the world’s
most exotic animals could be extinct within months, conservationists have
warned, with future generations growing up in a world without many of the
species that are alive today.
The WWF claims that
some animals, such as the vaquita porpoise, could be wiped out in the next few
Some would now be
extinct had zoos not provided a ‘Noahs Ark’ from which to reestablish
Scientists to probe
dolphin intelligence using an interactive touchpad
technology specifically developed for this project, dolphins at the National
Aquarium in Baltimore, MD, are at the center of research from an
interdisciplinary team from Hunter College and Rockefeller University. The
system involves an underwater computer touchscreen through which dolphins are
able to interact and make choices. The system, the first of its kind, will be
used to investigate dolphin intelligence and communication by providing them
choice and control over a number of activities. Researchers believe this
technology will help extend the high-throughput revolution in biology that has
brought us whole genome sequencing and the BRAIN project, into the field of
Rescued – only to
die of poor care
protected animals seized by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks
(Perhilitan) have died in the hands of the authority in the past year due to
These animals, many
of which are endangered species and exotic, were being smuggled or kept
illegally by local pet owners when they were seized.
A source said the
lack of expertise and knowledge to handle these animals in captivity led to
Among the animals
that died in Perhilitan custody were 1,000 Indian Star tortoises and 10
juvenile and baby langurs.
These two species
were seized from illegal dealers in mid-2016 and March 27 respectively.
Other animals that
have died in the Perhilitan rescue centres include Asian Leopard Cats, small
primates including endangered gibbons, and exotic white-rumped Shamas (murai
The source said
these animals were among many other seized species kept at the department’s
National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Sungkai, Perak, and at Sungai Tengi,
husbandries are Perhilitan’s main holding cen
‘You’d come in and
think, what’s dead or escaped?’: inside Britain's most controversial zoo
It’s 2pm at South
Lakes Safari zoo. “Free entry!” reads the cheerful banner tacked on to the
rustic wooden entrance gate. “Hand feed a baby giraffe!” But these enticements
seem to have missed their mark today: I’m the only visitor. The enormous gift
shop filled mostly with stuffed animals is empty of humans. The £20 family meal
deals at the “Maki” zoo restaurant remain untouched. I trudge up the long,
circular path, past sodden vultures hunched behind coiled barbed wire, pacing
big cats and many upbeat, brightly coloured signs telling me the names all the
animals have been given. The zoo’s miniature train is not in operation today,
due to a lack of passengers.
Why is no one here?
Perhaps because it’s a rainy, grey Wednesday in March. More likely, though,
it’s the unsettling reports that have been appearing since last June.
When the zoo’s
licence came up for renewal last summer, government inspectors revealed that
486 animals had died between December 2013 and September 2016, many of them in
cruel circumstances. The zoo had already been in the headlines because, on 24
May 2013, a 23-year-
Learning from zoos –
how our environment can influence our health
We are told that we
are a nation of couch potatoes, lacking the will and the strength to turn
around the obesity tanker. We all need a little help in our quest for a
healthier life and design can play a crucial part. If we designed our towns,
cities, homes and workplaces more like animal experts design zoos, we could be
one step nearer to reaching our fitness goals – as long as we can have some fun
along the way.
It is reported that
British people will be the fattest in Europe by 2025 and that if we want to
reverse this we should have a healthier lifestyle by exercising more and eating
less. But we are often made to feel guilty for not sticking to theses healthy lifestyle
plans. I would suggest that before we start blaming people for adopting
sedentary lifestyles, we should be taking a step back to look at the design of
the environments, towns and cities in which we live.
Chimpanzee drowns at
Fleeing from the
group, a male chimpanzee fell into the moat and couldn’t swim
20-year-old chimpanzee who came to Odense in 2015 from a French zoo as part of
a breeding program, drowned in the moat of the chimpanzee enclosure at Odense
Zoo earlier today.
The animal died
after trying to escape from the others in the group – the consequence of a long
period of escalating tensions between them.
How Tory U-turn on
the antique ivory trade will threaten elephants in the wild
Back in January I
wrote an article for The Conversation applauding China’s announcement to close
its ivory trade and processing activities by the end of 2017. A shocked but
delighted conservation lobby hailed the move as a potential turning point in
the protection of wild elephants.
But now the UK
Conservative party has quietly dropped a manifesto commitment to ban the ivory
trade. I am as concerned today as I was happy back in January.
followed a major global conference in September 2016. CITES, the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora – imagine a
sort-of UN for the illegal wildlife trade – recommended that its 183 member states
“close their domestic markets for commercial trade in raw and worked ivory as a
matter of urgency”.
In line with the
Conservatives’ 2015 manifesto promise “to press for a total ban on ivory
sales”, the government also responded positively by announcing plans for a ban
on sales of modern day ivory. Britain’s rules would be among the world’s most
There are more than
2,000,000 pieces of ivory in Britain’s h
world’s second-largest shark fin trader
moves here in recent years, such as hotels removing shark’s fin from their
restaurant menus, for example, Singapore has moved up the ranks to become the
world’s second-biggest trader of the product, a report has found.
wildlife-trade monitoring network, and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF),
which published the report, noted that an in-depth analysis of the trade in
Singapore was hampered by a lack of detail in the Singapore Customs’ import and
export data, TODAY reported on Friday.
They urged the
government department to begin recording data on the trade using the
internationally recognised harmonised system (HS) codes developed by the World
Customs Organisation, and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore
(AVA) has told them that this was under way. The use of HS codes to classify
goods, including shark commodities, was introduced in 1967, Singapore Customs
The report indicated
that Singapore should “immediately scrutinise” its practices including its HS
codes, which do not distinguish the different types of shark products or
provide for all protected species.
The analysis of
Singapore’s role in the shark and ray trade found that, on the export front,
the country placed second after Hong Kong, with trade valued at US$40 million
(S$55 million) between 2012 and 2013.
This was 11.1% lower
than Hong Kong’s US$45 million. Singapore is also the second-largest importer
of shark’s fin after H
to Outstanding Professional: Alumna Rachel Emory's Role in the Care of
Elephants in Captivity
In 2014, Rachel
Emory won the Outstanding Undergraduate Academic and Promise in Zoology award.
She was recognized at Michigan State for her performance aRachel standing next
to an elephant in Indias an undergraduate inside and outside the classroom. She
worked at the MSU museum in the care of vertebrate collections, participated in
undergraduate research, had two internships in her field, and built a network
of staff, advisors, and peers who supported her and learned from her during her
time at state. Two weeks after graduation, Rachel moved to Oklahoma to take on
her dream position as Elephant Keeper at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Since then she
has traveled to India to work with rescued elephants and been promoted to Lead
Elephant Caretaker. She is a member of a team that has built an incredibly
successful platform of commitment to the health and care of elephants in
captivity. I reached out to her to learn more about her role at the zoo and
elephant care internationally, as well as her transition from being a student
in the Zoology program at MSU to being a professional in the zoological field;
here is what she had to say:
When animal rights
extremism exposes the worst of humanity
It's hard to feel
sorry for a man with a gun who hunts elephants for sport. But that's one of the
many problems with animal rights extremists. In their religious zeal to place
the world's beasts on an equal footing with people, they always manage to snatch
defeat when an emphatic victory is handed to them. How ironic, really, that
attempting to save animals sometimes exposes the worst of human traits.
But irony has been a
word bandied about way too often in the past week. It's why I've come to feel
such sorrow over the events following the death of Theunis Botha. Amid all the
carnage inflicted on the world over the past seven days, you may have missed
the news about the passing of this 51-year-old fo
the beef! Our zoos hit hardest
There's a change of
menu for the carnivores in all zoos across the state. Come Saturday and the big
cats like the tigers, lions and leopards will be fed sheep and goat meat as the
Union government has banned cattle slaughter
The move is expected
to dig a deep hole in the zoos' pockets as
mutton is much costlier. The
worst hit could be the century-old Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Park or the
Mysuru Zoo, the Bannerghatta National Park and Shivamogga Zoo which have fed
their carnivores, beef for years.
With the ban in
place, they will have to give up buying cow and buffalo meat for their animals
as cattle covers all bovin