There have been two
Whistle-blower Stories recently. I don't know the full ins and outs about
either. What I do know is that it takes tremendous courage to waive anonymity
and come out and say what you truly believe is wrong. Some may argue that they
should not have gone to the media and should have gone down other avenues.
Maybe yes and maybe no. Perhaps they did. Speaking personally I have blown the
whistle once, a long time ago. I did not go to the press because even way back
then I distrusted them. I went directly but separately to the four highest
authorities. Did it make any difference? Not in the slightest. So perhaps I
should have gone to the press. The chances are though that my name would have
been dragged through the mud and I would never have worked in a zoo again. We
all fear that. That is why there is less whistleblowing than, and I am
convinced of this, than there should be. In the company I am working with now
you can blow the whistle any time and be guaranteed anonymity….but your matter
of concern will be investigated. The zoo community need something similar.
There are things wrong out there, bad things. People write to me about them
with increasing frequency (I am talking about worldwide here). But always there
is the "Please don't mention my name or I will lose my job". There is
very little I can do…but I try behind the scenes. Everyone knows everyone in
this game but nobody wants to muddy the waters.
More recently I have
moved away from avoiding the press. This with regards to the importation of
Great Apes into the Gulf. Totally illegal and yet it continues to take place.
What can you do? I have written letters to the newspapers explaining the tremendous
death toll that precedes a single animal arriving here. There is not a paper
that is brave enough to print my letters.
Disgusted to receive
the following from somebody on Linkedin "I
can see that you keep primates and I am glad to inform you that in Uganda we
have rear and endangered primates like mountain gorillas, pangolins, and
climbing lions would you also be interested in them." I don't keep
primates and it bothers me greatly that the same offer is being made to others
in the Gulf.
I note from
"Daytripper: Shenzhen Safari Park" that they have some new pigs. DNA
played around with so they remain mini pigs. Interesting yes but personally I
don't think they belong in a zoo….unless it is the sort of zoo which displays
two headed snakes, two headed turtles, Tigons, Ligers, White Tigers, White
Lions or the like. Good Zoos are not freak shows or funfairs, the two should
The hot news over
the past few days has been the ban in France of the breeding of Dolphins and
Killer Whales…..or has it? I include two links to the same story which differ
in interpretation. I suggest you read them both. Whatever the truth of the
matter the involvement of the Animal Rights Anarchists is obvious. I have never
visited any marine mammal facility in France but neither have I ever heard of
any specific criticism. If there is something amiss….and I keep saying this, it
is up to the good zoo community to come down on any malefactor like a ton of
bricks. We must police our own, we really must! We must not leave it to those
often well meaning groups who know nothing, nothing at all. They are
Did You Know?
ZooNews Digest has over 55,000 '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.
France bans captive
breeding of dolphins, killer whales
France on Saturday
banned the breeding in captivity of dolphins and killer whales under tighter
rules that campaigners hope will eventually herald the end of shows involving
Segolene Royal had on Wednesday signed a version of the legislation introducing
"tight controls on the reproduction of dolphins", her ministry said
in a statement.
But she has since
decided the rules need to be "more radical", her ministry told AFP on
Saturday, particularly after learning that "some animals were
drugged" in aquariums.
The new rules ban
the captivity of all whales, dolphins and porpoises, except for orcas and
bottlenose dolphins already held in authorised aquariums.
activists hailed the ban as a "historic French advance".
terms, this means the end of breeding, exchange and import programmes,"
five conservation groups including One Voice and Sea Shepherd said in a joint
possible replenishment, this quite simply means the scheduled en
for whales and dolphins set to improve
New decree imposes a
ban on whale breeding and guarantees larger basins for animals
An order to
"guarantee the welfare" of animals in France’s dolphinariums and
marine mammal parks – including banning whale breeding in capitivity - has been
signed off after almost two years of discussions.
The text, worked out
by the government, industry professionals, associations and the National Museum
of Natural History, repeals obsolete legislation dating back to 1981. It
imposes more draconian standards on parks containing whales and dolphins.
The decree was
signed on March 28 by ministers, but its publication had been blocked at the
last minute by Environment Minister Ségolène Royal to "reassess things
with NGOs" (non-government organisations).
According to several
sources, Mrs Royal was concerned about the negative publicity that animal
welfare associations, particularly One Voice and the Brigitte Bardot
Foundation, would create, and so wanted to amend elements of the text. These
organisations are fighting for a full ban on cetacean captivity.
On April 10, five
NGOs - led by C’est assez! and the Animal Rights, Ethics and Science Foundation
- wrote to the minister asking her to publish the order before the end of the
current government’s five-year term.
It was ultimately
the intervention of Allain Bougrain-Dubourg, president of bird charity LPO
which prompted Mrs Royal to go ahead. "The associations asked me to be
their ambassador,” said Mr Bougrain-Dubourg. “I spoke with the Brigitte Bardot
Foundation and Robin des Bois [an environmental NGO], who admitted it was a
first step. This reassured the minister."
About a week ago it
was reported MARINELAND Antibes would stop the breeding of orcas. A
representative of the zoo was quoted, that the four orcas in their care would
be the last generation.
If this is right,
the Marineland is violating the EU Zoos Directive and the EAZA guidelines in
Article 3 of COUNCIL
DIRECTIVE 1999/22/EC relating to the keeping of wild animals in zoos says, that
facilities like Marineland has to kepp 'their animals under conditions which
aim to satisfy the biological and conservation requirements of the individual
species'. A breeding ban prevents the biological requirements of the species
like Orcinus orca.
In the wild orca
pods normally constist of adult animals and juvenile animals or calves.
Reproduction is part of their social life and important for the social
structure. Preventing this natural behaviour has nothing to do with modern
animal husbandry and is, in our opinion illegal and violationg the EU Zoos
The EAZA Code of
Ethics say: 'All members of EAZA
must [...] Ensure an
ethical approach when undertaking any marketing and PR work and to ensure that
animals are not put at risk of physical or mental injury, and are used in an
appropriate manner so that a positive and respectful image of the animal(s) is
Moreover and more
important the EAZA Standards and for the Acommodation and Care of Animals in
Zoos and Aquaria say:
for keeping animals shall allow maintaining a social unit that refects the live
history of given species in the wild'.
1.5.1. 'Animals kept
in EAZA collections should be encouraged to perform as much of their natural
behaviour repertoire as possible and acceptable.'
is an integral part of the quality of life and natural behaviour of each living
animal.' In the whole capter (3. Population Management) the EAZA doen't allow a
general breeding ban on species.
To summarize these
points: a breeding ban is not in accordance with EAZA guidelines from our point
of view, because only breeding management is allow and a breeding ban violates
1.5.1. and 1.4.1. as much as it is against the Code of Ethics.
We really hope th
quotation of the responsible person was simply wrong and this is all a big
misunderstanding, because of wrong reports and/or wrong translation. If
Marineland really would implement a breeding ban on orcas, it wouldn't be no
modern dolphinarium any more, because it's not in accordance of the Zoos
Directive and EAZA guidelines. We really hope Marineland Antibes will soon
confirm their plans to continue breeding as they said after SeaWorld published
their wrong decion to stop breeding and start decreasing the welfare of their
orcas because of this.
We all should
remember: There's no way to implement a breeding ban without irresponsible
risks for the welfare of dolphins. It's unnatural, far to dangerous and not in
the animals' interests. Furthermore there's no way to legitimize such a
breeding ban scientifically or ethically. We hope the Marineland keeps this in
mind and what was publsihed by media was just a huge misunderstanding.
Dalton Zoo whistleblower claims he had to 'beg' for kitchen scraps to give animals fresh food
A WHISTLEBLOWING Dalton zoo worker claims he was regularly forced to beg for kitchen scraps in order to provide healthy food for animals kept on site.
In an explosive letter to council bosses, South Lakes Safari Zoo employee James Potter states he was chastised for throwing away mouldy bread meant for some exhibits before he eventually resorted to buying reduced price fruit and vegetables from a Barrow supermarket in order to keep them fed.
And while Mr Potter has informed licencing officials within Barrow Borough Council that the poor feeding practices went on under zoo founder David Gill's regime, he alleges they have become WORSE since the attraction was taken over by Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd, led by chief executive Karen Brewer, in January.
EXCLUSIVE: ZOOKEEPER CONCERNED ABOUT EUTHANASIA
DECISIONS AT SF ZOO
A zookeeper is at
odds with zoo management over a recent animal euthanasia decision at the San
Francisco Zoo. Last month, the zoo euthanized a sick baby monkey but his
caregiver says it didn't happen soon enough.
That zookeeper spoke
exclusively to ABC7 News.
The animal keeper,
Dayna Sherwood, loves her job and all the animals she cares for at the zoo. But
she's worried publicity concerns factored into the end of life decision instead
of just the health and well-being of the animal.
She also disagrees
with zoo management about when the monkey's euthanasia was scheduled.
breathing through his mouth because his nose was pushed to the other side of
his face." Sherwood describes the rare cancerous tumor that suddenly
appeared on a young patas monkey's face, shocking San Francisco
TREE KANGAROO CONSERVATION PROGRAMME
Plans underway to
rebuild endangered golden bandicoot population
They are more
valuable than diamonds and smaller than an Aussie Rules football, but they are
The golden bandicoot
used to roam across much of the country, but now you can only find them in
small patches across Western Australia.
grandparents would remember them fondly," Australia's threatened species
commissioner Gregory Andrews said.
1930s, they were a common species."
Mr Andrews has a
target to see the number of golden bandicoots start increasing by 2020.
bandicoots are a stunning little animal.
Virus: Find Out Why The Disease Endangers Young Elephants
virus is described to have different types. The virus might cause an infection
leading to deaths of young elephants.
According to Phys
Org, the carriers of elephant herpes virus types 1, 4 and 5 were commonly
mentioned to be Asian elephants. On the other hand, types 2, 3 and 6 of the
virus was noted to be carried by African elephants. The first carrier Asian
elephants were considered more dangerous than the latter due to its virus
inflicting animals in wildlife and zoos worldwide.
Daytripper is a
regular column that aims to help people get the most out of their PRD
experience by proposing fun excursions that can be made in a single day to
explore the local culture and nature of the region.
They were a media
Though small, and
identically dappled, the arrival of the black-and-white pigs at Shenzhen Safari
Park was covered by CCTV, the Shenzhen Television Station and Hong Kong's South
China Morning Post. Why?
Their DNA has been
adjusted, rendering them pet-sized for life.
A short jaunt in
Shenzhen Safari Park – which we can safely call a ‘zoo’ – leads to a concrete
paddock, where the pigs are asleep in all their genetically modified glory.
Though not snatching
Slaughter ban will
reduce cow to a zoo animal; RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat should take note
RSS chief Mohan
Bhagwat wants a ban on cow slaughter across the country. It does not surprise
given that it has always been the pet demand of the Sangh Parivar. But coming
from him at a juncture when cow vigilantism is on the rise, it is certain to
make the debate over the issue more intense. Now, will the debate address the
big question: Will such a ban be actually beneficial for the cause of the
Let’s be clear on a
few things about the cow debate in the country. It’s not about cruelty to
animals. If that was the case, the advocates of cow protection would be
sympathetic to buffaloes and other animals being killed for food and other
human uses. It is not about vegetarianism. In that case the demand would be for
a wholesale ban on meat. It is not for the well-being of the entire cattle
population either. The m
Be prepared to pay
20 times more to enter Byculla zoo in Mumbai
You may soon have to
pay 20 times more to visit Veermata Jijabhai Bhosale Udyan, also known as
Byculla zoo. The proposal to increase the entry fee from Rs5 to Rs100 likely to
be approved by the market and garden committee on Monday.
Political parties in
the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), barring the Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP) and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), have already given their nod
to the proposal last month. The move comes after members of Save Rani Bagh Botanical
Garden Foundation, along with former civic chiefs Sharad Kale and DM
Sukhtankar, met BMC chief Ajoy Mehta last month and asked him not to increase
the entry fee for the botanical garden — one of the largest open spaces in the
The proposal, if
approved by the markets and garden committee will be tabled before the standing
committee, where Shiv Sena, which holds majorit
Madravenspeak: Despite extinction crisis, hunters push to kill wolves and
As humanity hurtles
toward catastrophe, our legislators turn a blind eye to reality and continue to
pander to forces of destruction and death. Instead of caring for the fragile
life of this earth, legislators like state Sen. Tom Tiffany and U.S. Sens. Tammy
Baldwin and Ron Johnson continue to ignore the science of the Endangered
Species Act, pushing to kill our endangered wolves.
And the hunters want
to kill cranes. They apparently are bored with killing other wildlife. Maybe
they want a wolf with a crane in his mouth to hang on their walls.
It is not that
difficult to connect the dots between the status quo and certain trajectory
toward an unlivable and desolate home planet. The skies are emptying, as are
woods and oceans — not through any natural force, but only by the violence of
man. Chris Hedges writes in his recent “Reign of Idiots”: “Europeans and
Americans have spent five centuries conquering, plundering, exploiting and
polluting the earth in the name of human progress. ... They believed that this
orgy of blood and gold would never end, and they still believe it.”
Tiffany held yet
another wolf hate conference, in early April, that was completely skewed to
myth, lies, and fearmongering. He should be reminded that Richard Thiel,
retired DNR wolf biologist, said on Wisconsin Public Radio, “I have worked with
wolves in Wisconsin for 30 years. I have pushed them off of de
– grasping at straws or crowdfunding conservation icon?
human population is pushing more and more species towards the brink of
extinction. With over 600 endangered species, New Zealand is struggling to
prioritise ever decreasing funds from a stretched Department of Conservation
(Kirk, 2015). So, how are these tough decisions reached? Many empirical methods
have been used to assess whether a species is ‘worth’ conservation
intervention. Some are simple and straightforward equations, while some are
very convoluted involving many different variables. A novel term coming to the
forefront as we realise that not all species can be saved, is triage. Triage in
this sense, is the process of prioritising conservation activities; allocating
scant resources to achieve maximum conservation returns (Bottrill et al.,
Kakapo are an
example of a species that may be designated a ‘lost cause’ if the triage
approach were implemented by DOC. This nocturnal, flightless, extremely
vulnerable bird was decimated by the combined efforts of human and invasive
mammal predation, helped along by habitat loss. Now listed as ‘extinct in the
wild’ by the IUCN red list, the only known kakapo are managed on pest free
islands (Clout & Merton, 1998).
The history of
kakapo is a sad and altogether too familiar one. Once, you could supposedly,
“shake six from a single tutu bush” (Langton, 2000, p. 250). But follow
Cockatoo Conservation Centre to expand education program
Cockatoo Conservation Centre is “ecstatic” to have secured grant money to
bolster its education department.
organisation was awarded a $20,000 grant earlier this year that will
significantly boost the centre’s education program.
The facility acts as
a rehabilitation centre for injured black cockatoos before re-releasing them
into the wild.
All three species of
black cockatoo in Western Australia – Carnaby’s black cockatoo, Baudin’s
cockatoo and Forest red tailed black cockatoo – are all under threat of
co-ordinator Kathy Dewhurst said the grant was a “godsend” and would expand its
“It will enable us
to go out to the schools and speak to them about the plight of the cockatoos,”
“Funding the staff
is something we have trouble doing, but now (education officer) Julie Loxton
Monkey trio escapes
zoo enclosure, attacks two humans
individuals were injured over the weekend when a group of monkeys escaped from
their cage and caused a bit of havoc during their few hours of newfound
The incident took
place at the Yangon Zoo around 9am this past Sunday. A zoo employee wanted to
clean the monkey enclosure, and so temporarily moved the animals to another
cage. However, the door of the temporary cage was only ‘secured’ with a piece
of wire that one zoogoer thought would be funny to remove, consequently letting
out its inhabitants.
The three monkeys
were eventually caught, but not before they attacked two women, one local and
According to the
local woman’s son, his mother was bitten while trying to protect her
grandchildren and pregn
Behaviour: 3 Schedules to Motivate Your Animal
Do you know that us
people work on a fixed ratio schedule? Or that we have a fixed interval
schedule on a daily basis? That a lot of us in between what we do have a
variable interval schedule? You might wonder what does he mean? Im going to explain how those 3 schedules
work. Before I get there I want to talk about where the schedules of
reinforcement come from.
The psychologist who
invented Operant Conditioning, what was based on the theories of Thorndikes
“Law of Effect”, Yes, I’m talking about B.F. Skinner. He made a discovery about
how animals can learn in a faster rate by focusing on the consequence of the behavior
presented. One of his famous quotes what I use on a daily base is:
“The way positive
reinforcement is carried out is more important then the amount” B.F. Skinner
It’s a very
interesting thought process and definitely not new these days in animal
training. The skill within animal training I personally try to develop is to
see what else will motivate an animal by focussing on the consequence of the
behaviour that’s asked for. Schedules of reinforcement is the overall
explanation of the consequences we give our animals. But reinforcement goes way
further then just a piece of meat, a piece of fish or some tasteful fruit.
Reinforcement can be as well the excitement, energy and enthusiasm the trainer
brings with him. Remember the blog about the 3 E’s? Read it right here. I’m
very passionate about
paves way for repopulation plan
After three months
of rehabilitation, an orphaned baby pangolin rescued by Wildlife Reserves
Singapore (WRS) will go home to the wilderness in a few months.
But Sandshrew will
continue to be monitored after its release into the forests here, where wild
Sunda pangolins roam. Sandshrew was named for its resemblance to the character
in computer game Pokemon.
Its health and
movements will be tracked by scientists, researchers and veterinarians, who
hope that Sandshrew's rehabilitation could be a model for an eventual pangolin
We Asked the
Government Why Animal Welfare Records Disappeared. They Sent 1,700 Blacked-Out
In January, the USDA
deleted a public database that included inspection records from zoos, circuses,
and research labs. In the agency’s response to our FOIA request, it still
refuses to say why.
They exposed abuses
at roadside zoos, uncovered controversial government-funded animal experiments,
and revealed the mistreatment of circus elephants. They confirmed dog breeders
weren't running puppy mills and that horse trainers weren’t exploiting their
racers and jumpers. The records in U.S. Department of Agriculture’s online
animal welfare database allowed journalists, investigators, and the public to
look up inspection reports and violations of animal welfare laws.
But nearly three
months ago, the the USDA removed its database of animal abuse records from its
public website, with no explanation.
wanted to know why. We filed a Freedom of Information Act request in February
for records relating to the decision to take the database offline.
In bold disregard
for transparency, the department’s response Friday consisted of 1,771 pages of
conceal identity to survive
Young mongooses may
conceal their identity—even from their own parents—to survive.
Killing of pups is
common in mongoose social groups, and researchers from the University of Exeter
believe offspring may do best if they hide which adults they are related to.
reduces the risk of attack by less-related adults, the researchers say.
But it means mothers
may not be able to tell pups apart, and therefore cannot pay special attention
to their own young.
species we would expect mothers target care at their own offspring, but
mongooses seem unable to do this," said Dr Emma Vitikainen, of the Centre
for Ecology and Conservation on the University of Exeter's Penryn Campus in
"We think this
is because mothers synchronise birth to the same day, and pups may have evolved
to conceal their identity.
"In the banded
mongoose infanticide is common, and it might be too dangerous for the pups to
advertise which adults they are most closely related to, as this could expose
Long lost monitor
lizard 're-discovered' on Papua New Guinean island
recently found and re-described a monitor lizard species from the island of New
Ireland in northern Papua New Guinea. It is the only large-growing animal
endemic to the island that has survived until modern times. The lizard, Varanus
douarrha, was already discovered in the early 19th century, but the type
specimen never reached the museum where it was destined as it appears to have
been lost in a shipwreck.
The discovery is
particularly interesting as most of the endemic species to New Ireland
disappeared thousands of years ago as humans colonized the island.
The monitor was
discovered during fieldwork by Valter Weijola from the Biodiversity Unit of the
University of Turku, Finland, who spent several months surveying the monitor
lizards of the Bismarck Islands. It can grow to over 1.3 metres in length and,
according to current information, it is the only surviving large species
endemic to the island. Based on bone discoveries, scientists now know that at
least a large rat species and several flightless birds have lived in the area.
- In that way it can
Dubai officials tour
the safari project
A delegation of
officials from different local departments in Dubai visited the Dubai Safari
project and were briefed about the progress of the facility on Tuesday.
It may be recalled
that Dubai Municipality is all set to open the doors of this prestigious
project’s first phase, housing 3,500 animals, after the end of the summer
months this year.
included Hilal Al Merri, director-general, Department of Tourism and Commerce
Marketing (DTCM); Yousuf Lootah, executive director, Tourism and Investment
Development Department at DTCM; Khalifa Bin Dari, executive director, Dubai
Corporation for Ambulance Services; Abdullah Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi, deputy
director, General Department of Operations at Dubai Police; Brigadier Abdullah
Al Gaithi, director, General Department of Protective Security and Emergency at
Dubai Police; and Brigadier Rashid Khalifa Al Falasi, director, Office of the
Director General for Rescue and Firefighting at Civil Defence.
Mohammad Mubarak Al
Mutaiwe’e, assistant director-general of Dubai Municipality for Communications
New study defines
the environment as an influencer of immune system responses in dolphins
Two populations of
wild dolphins living off the coast of Florida and South Carolina are
experiencing more chronically activated immune systems than dolphins living in
controlled environments, raising concerns of researchers about overall ocean
health, and the long-term health of bottlenose dolphins. The research,
publishing May 3 in the scientific journal PLOS ONE is the first study of its
kind analyzing the role the environment plays in the overall health and immune
response of dolphins in the wild compared to those in human care.
Wild dolphins are
sicker than captive ones: US study
Wild dolphins are
exposed to more pollutants than their captive counterparts, which could explain
why they face higher rates of illness and disease, US researchers said
The study in the
journal PLOS ONE analyzed the health of two wild dolphin populations -- one
group in Florida and another in South Carolina.
They were compared
to two populations of captive dolphins in Georgia and California, which turned
out to be far healthier.
Fewer than half the
wild dolphins studied were "clinically normal," and many had
chronically activated immune systems, signaling they were fighting off disease.
"This is likely
a result of encountering pathogens, parasites and anthropogenic pollutants in
the ocean that do not exist in closely managed zoological habitats," said
lead author Patricia Fair, research professor at the Medical University of South
In humans, this kind
of chronic immune response has been linked to cancer, heart disease and
increased vulnerability to infectious disease.
Bossart, chief v
Inspectors back new
licence for zoo where nearly 500 animals died within 4 years
being recommended to grant a fresh licence application for a Cumbrian zoo where
almost 500 animals died within four years. David Gill, the owner and founder of
South Lakes Safari Zoo, was refused a renewal of his licence by Barrow Borough
Council in March but the tourist attraction stayed open as he lodged an appeal
against the decision. Since January the zoo h
Like the idea of
swimming with dolphins and cuddling tigers? Campaigners reveal the dark side of
the animal tourism industry
For any animal
lover, the chance to get up-close with the world's most exotic creatures sounds
like a dream come true.
Peer behind the
curtain, however, and according to campaign group Peta, you'll find it's
actually a living nightmare for the animals involved, such as dolphins, tigers
Travel speaks to the largest animal rights group in the world to reveal ten
holiday attractions you might want to think twice about visiting this
attacks tourist in Indonesia
A komodo dragon, one
of the world's largest lizards, attacked a tourist in Indonesia who was trying
to photograph the giant creatures feasting on a goat, police said Thursday.
Singaporean Loh Lee
Aik, 67, was rushed to hospital with leg injuries after being pounced on by the
Sudiyono, the head
of the Komodo National Park—islands in central Indonesia that form a protected
habitat for the lizards—said it was the first attack by one of the creatures on
a foreign tourist since 1974, when a visitor from abroad was killed.
Loh had been staying
at a village on Komodo island before setting off in search of the lizards
But he failed to
take a park ranger with him, something all visitors to the islands are advised
probably very excited taking pictures of the komodo, he didn't realise another
komodo was approaching him and then he was bitten," l
Endangered dholes to
run free in Eastern Ghats
population of wild dogs from Vizag zoo could establish itself in forest habitat
hard-to-spot dholes, or Indian wild dogs, will soon test their fortunes in the
Eastern Ghats. The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP), running a conservation
breeding centre for the species, plans to reintroduce a pack of 16 into the
A suitable site for
the “soft release” is under study, curator of IGZP B. Vijay Kumar said. “We are
looking at 10 to 15 acres around Narsipatnam and Chintapalle regions near
Visakhapatnam. A team will monitor the released animals and their progress for
a season. Before they enter the forest, we will radio collar them,” he said.
The Centre for
Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad will map the genetic variability of
the packs before they go into the wild. “The pack should be genetically strong
and have th
patterns are linked to sex, social status and reproductive season
Within a group of
meerkats, call patterns vary with factors including sex, rank and reproductive
season—but not with stress hormones, according to a study published May 3, 2017
in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jelena Mausbach from University of Zurich,
Switzerland; Marta Manser from University of Pretoria, South Africa; and
Super-shedders endanger young animals
infect only a few animal species. Elephants also have their own spectrum of
herpesviruses, which can cause infections that end in death. Asian elephants
are carriers of virus types1, 4 and 5, while African elephants carry types 2, 3
and 6. Type 1 is particularly dangerous for young Asian elephants and has led
to numerous deaths in the wild and in zoos worldwide. In Switzerland as well,
three animals have died of "Elephant Herpes" in the last 30 years.
How the elephants transmit the disease, however, and how they become infected,
has been largely unknown until now.
Toxic coral spores
suspected of poisoning seven people south of Adelaide
A family of seven
living just south of Adelaide is in hospital because of suspected poisoning
from spores released by coral from a household aquarium which was scrubbed with
a cleaning brush.
Ambulance crews were
called to the house on Sunday Parade at Aldinga Beach, about 2:30am, when the
residents fell ill.
They were taken to
Flinders Medical Centre and remain in a stable condition.
crews have worked at the home throughout the day.
The Country Fire
Service (CFS) and police were then called to the scene, which has been cordoned
The CFS said it
traced the problem to the aquarium because of what the family members had said
and the symptoms they were displ
Toronto Zoo workers
could be off the job next week
continue with Toronto Zoo’s management, but a strike or lockout could start by
May 11, according to a CUPE president.
About 500 unionized
staff at Toronto Zoo could soon be off the job, raising questions about whether
the animal-filled attraction would remain open to the public.
continue between CUPE Local 1600 and zoo management, but there is a possibility
of a lockout or strike as early as May 11, local president Christine McKenzie
told reporters Thursday at city hall.
“They want to
eliminate all of our job security (contract) language which would really
threaten the conservation and the education and the research work that we do .
. .” she said before a meeting of the zoo board.
staff positions to the private sector would threaten the integrity of
behind-the-scenes programs including the breeding of endangered Canadian
species and getting them back in the wild, McKenzie said. The u
Lion cubs born in
Chile after world first veterinary procedure
wo baby lion cubs
were presented to the public at a zoo in Chile on Thursday, born after a
pioneering veterinary procedure that involved a reversed vasectomy of their
The cubs' mother
"Masai" became pregnant after the father "Maucho" underwent
the procedure, which vets at Buin Zoo in the suburbs of Santiago said took
months of planning and a five-hour operation.
Both parents had
been rescued from circuses.
"This is the
first successful reversal of a lion vasectomy reported in the world," said
Marcelo Marconi, a urology
Researchers one step
closer to understanding deadly facial tumor in Tasmanian devils
New findings in
research funded by Morris Animal Foundation offer valuable insight on how to
fight devil facial tumor disease (DFTD) that has resulted in a catastrophic
decline in wild Tasmanian devils. Researchers have shed light on how the tumors
successfully evade the immune system, which may offer possible strategies to
protect the endangered devils from this devastating disease.
Denmark gets its
first wild wolf pack in 200 years
A wolf pack is
roaming wild in Denmark for the first time in more than 200 years after a young
female wolf journeyed 500km from Germany.
Male wolves have
been seen in Denmark since 2012 and the new female could produce cubs this
spring in farmland in west Jutland after two wolves were filmed together last
It is further
evidence that the wolf is returning to well-peopled landscapes after centuries
of persecution, with wolf packs also re-establishing themselves in France and
Germany and individuals sighted in Holland and even Luxembourg. Before the new
population, Denmark’s last wolf was killed in 1813.
“We expect that they
will have cubs this year or the next,” said Peter Sunde, a senior researcher at
“People were very
surprised when wolves first appeared in Denmark but they are highly mobile and
are just as adaptable to cultural landscapes as foxes are. The only problem
historically is that we killed them.”
DNA from two faeces
Dubai Safari Park
will offer Dubai Zoo animals a better quality of life
caught a deer munching on a human carcass for the first time ever
have to do a lot of weird things in order to solve crimes and identify bodies.
Sometimes that involves leaving corpses outside to rot, to better understand
what happens during and after decomposition. In fact, there are entire facilities
devoted to studying the decay of donated human remains, like the 26-acre
Forensic Anthropology Research Facility (FARF) in San Marcos, Texas.
In July 2014,
researchers left a body in a wooded part of FARF. They wanted to learn about
how different scavengers leave their marks on human remains, so they set up a
motion-sensitive camera to see who would stop by. In this part of Texas, it’s
not unusual to see foxes, turkey vultures, raccoons, coyotes, and other
carrion-gobblers picking at a corpse. Bu
Slovak lynx Cyril
released in Germany
The biggest forested
area in Germany became the new home for a Eurasian lynx from Muránska planina.
Environmentalists from Zoo Bojnice released Cyril the lynx in the Palatinate
forest. It’s the fourth lynx from the Slovak wilds to be released in this area.
“When saving animal
populations that have almost disappeared from a large part of Europe,
international cooperation is very important. Lynxes from Slovakia are helping
to repopulate this predator in Germany,” said Rastislav Rybanič, the head of
the Environment Protection, Biodiversity and Landscape Department of the
Environment Ministry, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
He added that Slovak
lynxes released in Germany in 1970s settled down, but a small gene pool was a
The project of
saving the lynx in Germany is organized under the supervision of experts for
saving felines from IUC
Exotic pet cafes in
Thailand cause delight and concern
It is a Sunday
afternoon and a sunlit cafe on Bangkok's outskirts is buzzing with patrons. The
air smells of french fries and disinfectant. Kittens and corgis are darting
around between the legs of customers, who are trying to poke at two parakeets
shuffling warily along the edge of a wooden shelf.
ripple through the crowd as a waitress announces that the playpen is ready for
the next round of customers. One by one, the patrons squirt disinfectant on
their palms and enter a glass-walled room to cuddle a squad of meerkats.
Asia may have seen
its share of pet cafes, but none quite with the menagerie offered in Thailand.
Aided by relaxed laws and a thriving wildlife market, at least four exotic pet
cafes have sprung up recently around the capital.
Okay, last week got
heavy. But thanks to all of you who
responded! I got a lot of great, supportive feedback :)
This week though, I
think I owe you guys not JUST a light-hearted entry, but one where I make
myself look like a complete and utter moron.
They are using the
highest-resolution satellite images available to gauge the numbers of Northern
animal nests almost exclusively on some rocky sea-stacks close to New Zealand’s
The audit, led by
experts at the British Antarctic Survey, represents the first time any species
on Earth has had its entire global population assessed from orbit.
report the satellite technique in Ibis, a journal of the British
Hope, love prevail
in conserving endangered Philippine cockatoo
51, wakes up early in the morning to go to the coconut-fringed shoreline facing
the Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary – the stronghold of the critically
endangered Philippine cockatoo, locally known as the katala.
She has been doing
this for nearly 17 years now, bringing with her a logbook and a pen to monitor
the number of katala moving off the island to forage for food.
Marcelo serves as a
volunteer for Sagip Katala Movement (SKM), a community-based organization
formed under the Philippine Cockatoo Conservation Program (PCCP). SKM is mostly
composed of women who devote time to look after the threatened bird species
that visits the coastal barangay of Panacan every day.
count the katala I see flying over and perching on the coconut trees,"
says Marcelo. "I don’t find it mundane. When you’re used to doing this
task and truly fall in love with it, your day won’t be complete without
attending to it."
Rasa Island is one
kilometer off the coast of Barangay Panacan in Narra, a first-class town in
southern Palawan. From the mainland, you will be stunned by its verdant
mangroves set against the azure sky and cerulean sea.
wardens from the indigenous group Tagbanua a
into long-lost territory may save them from extinction
Saving the Spanish
imperial eagle was never going to be easy. This enormous bird, which once
dominated the skies above Spain, Portugal, and northern Morocco, saw its
numbers drop to just 380 breeding pairs in 2014, thanks to habitat loss,
poaching, poisoning from farmers and hunters, and electrocution from power
lines. Now, a new study highlights a potential way of restoring eagle
populations to their former glory: dropping them into long-abandoned habitat.
One common approach
for bringing threatened species back from the brink is to reintroduce them to
the places they were last known to live. For example, the sea eagle in
Scotland—which was hunted to extinction on the Isle of Skye in 1916—was
successfully reintroduced in 1975 to Rùm Island near its last known breeding
ground. But not all such efforts bear fruit: When scientists tried to release
the same bird to its former range in western Ireland in 2007, the newcomers
fell victim to the same poisoning that had done them in 107 years earlier.
“The tendency is to
think that the last place that an animal was present is the best place for the
species, but this isn't always the case,” says Virgini
consultant for China’s mammoth-scale Taihu Longemont Animal Paradise
Leading zoo and
aquarium consultancy, The zoOceanarium Group, is providing consultancy services
to the Taihu Longemont Animal Paradise in Huzhou, China.
Believed to be the
biggest project of its kind in the world, the attraction encompasses three
animal theme park attractions and occupies over 7 square kilometres.
relates to the design and review of the three parks: a 12-km Drive-through
Safari, a Zoological Park and a Marine Life Park.
Once complete, the
mammoth-scale facility is planning to exhibit 11,500 animals, representing 425
The project aims to
deepen the visitor experience with wildlife exhibits and interactive
experiences. It will also be a centre for scientific research and conservation
Animal Paradise is part of a vast, $2.9 billion leisure complex situated to the
south of Taihu Lake.
Aside from the
animal attractions, the development will incorporate a theme park, an ancient
Chinese town and an international circus. Further amenities include hotels,
theatres, a convention centre, a bonsai garden and a wetland.
Back in March,
zoOceanarium announced its decision to become a corporate sponsor of zoological
organisation, Species360. The non-profit maintains a database of all the
animals and species in the care of its 1,054 members around the world.
GUEST COLUMN: Common
ground exists on issue of mistreatment
The guest column the
Northwest Florida Daily News ran by the fringe group with the misleading name
“Center for Consumer Freedom” could not have been more off-base. This group is
a constant apologist for various animal-use industries like puppy mills and factory
farms, so it is not surprising to hear them say they are saddened to see the
doors shuttered on an era of elephants and other wild animals being carted
across the country for days on end, coercively trained, and living in near
constant confinement or tethered to chains.
Having worked to end
the mistreatment of elephants and other wild animals in circuses and travelling
shows for nearly two decades, I cannot express to readers enough just how
terrible the long suffering of these animals is. As is usually the case with any
organization Will Coggin and the Center for Consumer Freedom attack (and the
list of groups include not only The Humane Society of the United States, but
Mothers Against Drunk Driving, th
Mum of Scots
zookeeper mauled to death by tiger hits out over 'atrocious' wildlife park's
new licence application
Fiona McClay, whose
24-year-old daughter Sarah was killed at South Lakes Safari Zoo in Cumbria in
2013, said there were issues about how the park was being run after almost 500
animals died in four years.
The mother of a
zookeeper who was mauled to death by a tiger says the wildlife park should be
refused an operating licence, despite it being given backing from government
daughter Sarah, 24, from Glasgow , was killed at South Lakes Safari Zoo,
formerly known as South Lakes Animal Park, in Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria, four
She says it should
not receive any official sanction as there continue to be concerns about how it
is being run.
In March, then owner
David Gill's claim for a licence to run the zoo was unanimously refused by
Barrow councillors after they heard there were 486 animal deaths at the zoo
between January 2013 and September 2016.