Sunday, June 11, 2017

Zoo News Digest 11th June 2017 (ZooNews 958)

Zoo News Digest 11th June 2017  (ZooNews 958)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleague,

Although I don't imagine they have just arrived (it is too hot right now) the new Elebriddi Wildlife Protected Area in Al Dhaid, Sharjah, UAE have just given out a list of animals they have recently imported. These include 15 giraffe, 5 rhino, 16 gemsbok, 12 waterbuck, 12 eland, 8 black wildebeest, 24 blue wildebeest, 36 impala, 10 lechwe, 8 nyala, 26 kudu, 42 sprinbok, 8 reedbuck, 8 red hartebeest, 12 blesbuck, 6 klipspringer, 4 grey duiker.

The UAE, for it's size, must now have more wildlife collections than any country in the world. I have just updated my article on this. If anyone knows of collections I have missed out please contact me in confidence at my elvinhow email address.

I was so sorry to learn of the tragic death of Rosa King in Hamerton Zoo Park. My genuine and sincere condolences go out to her family and friends. She does appear to have been a very special young lady. Investigations are ongoing but it appears that it may be as late as September before we learn what exactly happened and there again we may never know. The press had a field day finger pointing. I don't think a single one of them knew the difference between a barrier a gate and a door.
My thoughts remain the same as in ZooNews Digest 3rd July 2016 when I wrote:
"Sadly yet another keeper has been killed by a tiger. It will probably be another of these situations where there are no definite conclusions made. I understand why, we all understand why findings are inconclusive. Everyone is sensitive to the feelings of friends, families and colleagues and nobody wants to point fingers at the deceased. Be it Tigers, Bears or Buffalo or whatever most all of these tragic accidents in zoos are down to keeper error. It is human nature to look for someone else to blame. Nobody likes to speak ill of the dead. But at the end of the day 'keeper error' is an accident. Accidents are accidents and they occur every single day in all walks of life. These things happen. Nobody wants them too. We need to accept this. At the end of the day keepers are responsible for their own safety."

Just when we thought it was safe to come out of the water than South Lakes Safari Zoo appears in the news again. David believes he was badly done to. Watch this space and see what happens next.

I was disgusted to learn of the live donkey being fed to the tigers in a Chinese Zoo. It was reported widely with credit for the misdeed being directed at different parties. Whoever the culprits were it was cruel and unnecessary. As can be expected the story was shared widely on social media and generated a mass of comments. I was these that disturbed me most (though they were not unexpected). There truly are a lot of sick and ignorant people out there. My thoughts on the issue remain the same: Live Feeding To Zoo Animals

Yet another expose on the Tiger Trade in Thailand and elsewhere. It is something I have personally written about often enough. Someone with the time and the money (and courage) really needs to do an in depth investigation of Sri Racha Tiger Zoo. I am convinced that they are a major linchpin in this whole disgusting trade. Only a little way behind is the ever popular Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai.

Delighted to see that the Toronto Zoo team are at last coming to some sort of an agreement with the City of Toronto.

Lots of interesting links follow.

Did You Know?
ZooNews Digest has over 60,000 Followers 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, 


Animals shipped from Africa to Sharjah wildlife park
Fifteen giraffe are among 288 animals that were brought from Africa to their new home at the Elebriddi wildlife sanctuary in Al Dhaid.

Five rhinos, 16 gemsbok, 12 eland oryx, eight black wildebeest, 24 blue wildebeests, 36 impala and several other species of antelope were also released into the wildlife park in Sharjah’s central region.

"Sharjah has a proven leading position in wildlife protection and environment efforts under the directives of Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah," said Hana Al Suwaidi, chairwoman of the ­Environment and Protected Areas Authority.

"The authority strives to protect endangered species and their habitats in an effort to maintain biodiversity. The ­addition of these animals to the protected area will greatly assist with our ongoing conservation efforts.

"Through our continued efforts, we are striving to conserve many species of animals and birds and create breeding areas in the protected habitats in accordance with UAE reg

Demand for elephant skin, trunk and penis drives rapid rise in poaching in Myanmar
Case files and laminated photos of poachers spill out of captain Than Naing’s folder. As the chief of police in Okekan township, one of Myanmar’s recent poaching hotspots, he is trying to track down the men who have killed at least three elephants in the area over the past year. So far, he has arrested 11 people suspected of having assisted the poachers. Meanwhile the poachers themselves remain at large.

“These are the two men who we believe killed one of the elephants,” he says, pointing to two photos. “They are still on the run.”

Reported cases of killed elephants in Myanmar have increased dramatically since 2010, with a total of 112 wild elephant deaths, most of them in the past few years. In 2015 alone, 36 wild elephants were killed, according to official figures from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The figures for 2016 are feared to be even worse.

Neighbouring China is the main destination for elephant products. Despite the ivory ban imposed by the Chinese government earlier this year, ivory is still the most valuable part of the elephant. But worryingly conservationists are now seeing a growing demand for other parts of the animal; trunks, feet, even the penis, to be used in traditional medicine. The hide or skin, which is believed to be a remedy for eczema, is particularly in demand.

Most elephants are killed in Pathein and Ngapudaw townships in Irrawaddy division – which is a major habitat for wild elephants – but recent killings have also been reported on both sides of the Bago mountain range in central Myanmar, as well as in Mandalay division.

In November, villagers in Okekan township discovered an elephant that had been skinned and mutilated, and alerted the authorities.

“It was found on the outskirts of Chaung Sauk village, drifting in a creek,” says Kyaw Hlaing Win, the village tract administrator, who believes there are a lot more elephants killed than what is reported.

Reality Bites
It's a fact of life that most people who share their lives with animals (professionally or as companions) will get bit by an animal.  As zookeepers, we spend a measurable portion of our guest interactions sharing this fact with people who appear to be surprised that the animals we care for bite...even in the case of top predators.

What baffles me about the question is that people get bit by their pets all the time.  But what isn't so surprising is that I think many of us kind of cover up this fact when it happens.  We are okay talking about the theoreticals (e.g. "Well any animal with a mouth can bite") but when it REALLY happens, especially to US, it feels like The Worst Thing Ever.    

Edited by Dr Kees Rookmaaker

The Rhino Resource Center is a repository of all publications about all species of the rhinoceros. This is a service to everybody working on the rhinoceros in zoos, museums, media in aid of research, education and conservation.
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Please share your articles on rhinos, pictures of rhinos. Reply to this email with any information.Thank you to all contributors.
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Finding new homes won't help Emperor penguins cope with climate change
If projections for melting Antarctic sea ice through 2100 are correct, the vanishing landscape will strip Emperor penguins of their breeding and feeding grounds and put populations at risk. But like other species that migrate to escape the wrath of climate change, can these iconic animals be spared simply by moving to new locations?

According to new research led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), they cannot. Scientists report that dispersal may help sustain global Emperor penguin populations for a limited time, but, as sea ice conditions continue to deteriorate, the 54 colonies that exist today will face devastating declines by the end of this century. They say the Emperor penguin should be listed as an endangered species. The study was published in the June 6, 2017 edition of the journal Biological Conservation.
"We know from previous studies that sea ice is a key environmental driver of the life history of Emperor penguins, and that the fifty-percen

The Rich Men Who Drink Rhino Horns
As I turned down Lãn Ông street, two things struck me. The first was how quiet it is compared to the rest of Hanoi’s Old Quarter: The flow of motorbikes is less incessant, the lights a notch dimmer. The second was the smell: somewhat musty, sometimes sweet, and unmistakably herbal.

I was on Vietnam’s “traditional medicine street.” Shophouses all along the row were stacked with herbs and medicines. Dark-colored ointments filled glass bottles. Red ginseng and artichoke tea was packed in cardboard boxes. Plastic bags were stuffed with monk fruit, lotus seeds, and strips of bark. But I had come in search of something a bit more elusive: rhino horn.

Although banned in Vietnam, rhino horn is still available for purchase—if you know how to find it. The Southeast Asian nation is the largest consumer of rhino horns in the world, and the illicit trade is so strong that it’s fueling a poaching crisis in South Africa, where more than 1,000 rhinos have been killed in the past year alone. In one of the most recent arrests, police seized two frozen tigers cubs, four lion pelts, and nearly 80 pounds of rhino horns in raid

New South Carolina law will make private ownership of wild animals illegal
South Carolina will no longer allow lions, tigers and bears to be pets.

A new law, effective Jan. 1, makes it illegal to own a "large wild cat, non-native bear or great ape." That leaves just four states — Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina and Wisconsin — without rules against keeping dangerous wild animals as pets, according to the Humane Society.

It's unclear how many of the beasts are currently in someone's back yard because no one tracks it.

Tigers are fed a LIVE donkey at Chinese zoo after the animal is thrown into a moat with no escape
This is the gory moment Chinese zookeepers push a live donkey into the jaws of three hungry tigers.
The terrified animal can be seen clinging on for dear life as workers in raincoats push it down a ramp and off a steep ledge into a tiger compound.
After landing hopelessly in the water, the donkey is soon attacked by two nearby tigers.
The ferocious predators - believed to be kept at Changzhou zoo in eastern China - work together to deprive their prey of any hope of escape.

Live donkey fed to tigers in China zoo after dispute
A group of angry zoo investors have fed a live donkey to tigers at a Chinese zoo after a dispute with management.
The incident took place on Monday afternoon at Yancheng city in Jiangsu province in front of stunned visitors.
The zoo said the shareholders had tossed the donkey to the tigers "in a fit of rage", and apologised to the public for the incident.
Video clips and photos of the incident have gone viral on Chinese social media, triggering shocked reactions.
The donkey is seen being pushed out of a truck into a moat in the tigers' enclosure, where it is quickly set upon by the tigers. Zoo visitors can be heard exclaiming in the background.
Representatives at the Yancheng Safari Park declined to answer queries from the BBC.


Three giant pandas arrived in Chengdu from Japan
Three giant pandas born and raised at a zoo in western Japan arrived at Chengdu Airport in China today to participate in a breeding program at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

Animal Farms in Southeast Asia Fuel an Illegal Trade in Rare Wildlife

World's Oldest Known Sloth Dies of Old Age
After a long and slow life, Miss C, likely the world's oldest known sloth, died on June 2 at 43 years of age.

The Hoffman's two-toed sloth lived for twice as long as the typical sloth of the same species and was humanely euthanized after age-related issues had deteriorated her quality of life.

In a statement, Adelaide Zoo Curator of Conservation and Native Fauna Phil Ainsley lamented the loss of one of the zoo's most iconic animals.

Elephant calf arrives month early at Pittsburgh Zoo's conservation center
 It was an early arrival for the newest baby at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

Seeni, one of the elephants at the zoo’s International Conservation Center in Somerset County delivered a female calf one month early.

The calf was born May 31. She weighed 184 pounds and was 32 inches at her shoulder.

“To say that we were shocked when we walked into the barn that morning is understatement,” said Willie Theison, elephant manager at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium and International Conservation

Columbus Zoo’s polar bear cubs fight crime with their DNA
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium polar bear cubs aren’t just cute and cuddly.

They’re also helping the federal government fight crimes against their wild relatives in the Arctic, thanks to advancements in forensic science and DNA testing.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Forensic Laboratory in Oregon often relies on zoos to maintain its database of DNA samples from protected animal species. But when the Columbus Zoo sent DNA from its six polar bears to the lab in March, it came with payoffs for both parties — including a confirmation of whether the zoo’s three newest cubs are male or female.

The lab’s scientists analyze evidence during investigations of violations of federal wildlife protection laws, including poaching, illegal trading of animals, theft of rare plants and creating products from endangered species.

For example, the lab could use DNA to identify a decaying carcass as a protected animal or confirm that a business is selling items made w

Zoos Take a Step Backward in Pangolin Conservation
In mid-May, a group of 20 pangolin experts, scientists and conservation professionals gathered in Washington, D.C. to plan a way forward for further protecting pangolins—the most-trafficked wild mammal on earth. One of the points they agreed upon was that there is no conservation value in taking pangolins from the wild and bringing them to North American zoos, since they typically die very quickly in captivity. So why did a six U.S. zoos subsequently declare themselves leaders in pangolin conservation because they have acquired approximately 30 pangolins, probably wild-caught, to add to their captive collections?
By purchasing wild-caught animals, these six zoos in the U.S. are contributing to—and potentially further stimulating—the trade in pangolins, which is the leading threat to this highly endangered and unique species, found in Africa and Asia.

Wildlife hunting and poaching goes on Facebook
Poachers and hunters have now turned to Facebook as a platform to post their hunting spoils including photos of their "loot" before plating it up.

There are now groups on Facebook where hunters and poachers have been posting up their catch of the day, from the moment the animal is killed, to chopping it up and serving it hot.

These wild animals are butchered for their parts as well as their exotic meat.

Checks by theSun on one group, which appears to have most Facebook users in Sarawak, shows wild animals like the Malay weasel, Asiatic softshell turtles, macaque, clouded leopard, langurs, snakes, and pangolins, dead and some being cleaned to be eaten.

The more popular posts in the group are of wild boar and seafood.

This is not the first time Facebook has become a platform for the buying and selling of wildlife.

Last year, Traffic, the wildlife trade monitoring network, published a report after monitoring some 14 Facebook groups that were facilitating online wildlife trafficking.

Traffic told theSun that hunting of protected wildlife and illegal online wildlife trade have become more obvious on social media.

"This isn't the first time the posting of hunted wildlife on Facebook has become an issue. This certainly isn't the only page or social media platform that showcases it and Sarawak isn't the only place where showing off protected wildlife kills on social media is a problem. We see this problem across the region," Elizabeth John, Traffic Southeast Asia senior communication officer, told theSun.

After checking the photos that appeared on the group, Elizabeth said the list of species paraded on this group is a real concern and Sarawak authorities should formulate a plan of action to deal with this.

Pangolins are a critically endangered species an

In this genre-blending novella, a small wildlife rehabilitation center in Oregon is the setting for seven connected short stories. Written by an award-winning fiction author who is also a former wildlife rehabilitator, these stories reveal the ways human and animal needs conflict and intertwine. The narrator is passionate about the orphaned and injured wildlife under his care, but his own heart needs mending as well. Screech owls and fawns, a weasel and a friendly crow–all have lessons for the people they ...

Critically endangered species should be left to breed in the wild
Captive breeding programmes offer a last resort to guard against extinction of critically endangered species such as Sumatran tigers and Arabian oryx.

But a new study published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology shows more should be done to prevent extinction in the wild.

Lead researcher Dr Paul Dolman, from UEA's School of Environmental Sciences, said: "Our research challenges the assumption that when a species is perilously close to extinction in the wild, it is always a good idea to set up a captive breeding population.

"Captive breeding can offer a last chance when species face imminent extinction, but ultimately depends on re-establishing a population in the wild. This has proved successful for some high-profile species, but in many cases it has not.

"Programmes can fail for many reasons, including delays in achieving successful breeding, failure to build up a self-sustaining population, domestication and loss of genetic diversity, and poor performance after releases into the wild.

"Captive breeding can reduce motivation and resources for conservation in the wild, with disastrous consequences.

"Our research reveals the importance of objectively weighing up potential outcomes of captive breeding and comparing them with efforts to support species in the wild."

The study, carried out in collaboration with BirdLife International, looks at the critically endangered Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps).

Once widespread in peninsular India, this majestic rare bird is now restricted to a few

David Gill announces he will seek judicial review of zoo licence refusal
CONTROVERSIAL zoo founder David Gill intends to seek a judicial review over the way his zoo licence applications have been handled by Barrow council bosses and government zoo inspectors in a bid to clear his name.

Mr Gill claims he received unfair treatment at the hands of Barrow Borough Council and Defra appointed experts while he was still in charge of South Lakes Safari Zoo in Dalton.

The 55-year-old, who was described as 'not fit' to run a zoo by government inspectors in January, has now said he will lodge an application to overturn his licence refusal through the courts.

In a statement to the Evening Mail, Mr Gill suggested Barrow Borough Council - the body that decides whether to award a zoo licence - has 'wasted' £500,000 of funds 'on activities intended to damage the standing, image and financial viability of the Zoo and its employees'.

He also alleges the authority used 'party political' influence to damage his reputation and employment.

Later in a broadcast interview, Mr Gill added: "Every zoo has issues to rectify, that's just the nature of the beast.

The Future of Zoo Conservation: An Interview with Dr. William Conway, Retired Director of the Bronx Zoo and Wildlife Conservation Society
Perhaps no one has had as much positive influence and impact on the modern conservation zoo as Dr. William Conway. He was the director of the Bronx Zoo in New York from 1962 to 1999 and president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, its parent group, from 1990 to 1999. Many have proclaimed Conway as being the greatest zoo director of all time and during his tenure he redefined what a zoo is and what role they should play in conservation. In New York he did this by creating groundbreaking immersive habitats recreating certain bioclimatic environments around the world and showing the importance of protecting the wildlife which live there. However, he claims his “biggest accomplishment was creating the international conservation program.” The Wildlife Conservation Society does hundreds of programs in 53 countries. “That’s where conservation takes place,” Conway remarked. “It’s great having gorillas in New York but you’ve not saving gorillas there.” Dr. Conway was very gracious and did a half hour interview with me about the future of zoo conservation.

Striking Toronto Zoo workers concerned about animal welfare, ready to resume negotiations
Striking workers at the Toronto Zoo say they're ready to return to the bargaining table due to concerns about the welfare of the zoo's 5,000 animals.

The unionized zoo workers have been on strike since May 11, but recently made an "unprecedented" decision to open the picket lines after the birth of two clouded leopard cubs at the zoo.

Scots ban on wild circus animals 'could close zoos'
However, he said a lack of clarity in the legislation about what constitutes a travelling circus and the definition of a wild animal, along with the emphasis on ethics, could have far-reaching consequences.
He said: "The economic impact on animal displays in shopping centres, on displays at outdoors shows of hawks and wild birds, on reindeer and Santa, and eventually zoos will be massive.
"Eventually that is where this will all go, this will eventually close your zoos."

Thoughts for Behaviour: Training Social Animals
Training Social Animals
You might agree with me that we as humans are very complicated animals. What could be easy, we make extraordinary difficult. Shouldn’t we just be eating, breeding and surviving? Sounds simple right? I do think it is that simple, but we as humans just do complicated things to survive I mean who grows its own vegetables sprays it with toxic stuff and then eats it and complains about the diseases they can get? Or who cuts trees down to make paper money to pay people planting new trees?

We are social animals like many other animals on this planet. I’ve been working with a huge amount of different social structures since I started my career, to tell you just some of them, Killer Whales, Dolphins, Chimpanzees, Takins, Bush dogs, Lions, Elephants etc. and not to forget humans. All of which have a completely different type of structure it seems like. Very interesting to look at.

I search for at a lot of training videos on social media, its very cool to see those videos so everybody keep up the good work and keep them coming. Although, I’m wondering if they had to do some separations or gating’s to get the animals on their own to be trained. This is what we  at Kolmardens Zoo try to focus on from the start what is sometimes easy but can be very challenging as well. For example, Bush Dogs are very calm animals. For everybody who do not know what they are. They are small dog type animals who live in the forest of Brazil. They live in groups and there for must have a social bond between them. When we ask them to come to use they are very relaxed and don’t really fight for the food each and one of them gets. What makes me wonder, did we or train it well or they are just like this. At the moment I’m reading a book “Are we smart enough to know how smart animals are” by Frans de Waal and in his book there are a couple cool researches explained. One of them is about the cooperation in feeding of chimpanzees. We all know Chimpanzees are very social towards each ot

Striking workers and Toronto Zoo reach tentative agreement
The nearly month-long strike at the Toronto Zoo may be coming to an end.

CUPE Local 1600 and the Toronto Zoo say they have reached a tentative agreement, which, if ratified, could see the zoo open next week, management says.

The deal was made early Thursday morning after nearly 24 hours of continuous negotiations, according to CUPE.

More than 400 union workers had been on strike since May 11, citing concerns over job security.

Chimps don’t have same rights as people, appeals court rules
Two chimpanzees that were caged at a trailer lot and at a primate sanctuary don’t have the legal rights of people in New York, an appeals court said Thursday.

Nonhuman Rights Project attorney Steven Wise had argued to the appeals court in March that adult male chimps Tommy and Kiko should be granted a writ of habeas corpus, which for people relates to whether someone is being unlawfully detained or imprisoned and should be taken to see a judge.

Wise argued that the chimps, which were caged in a trailer lot in Gloversville, outside Albany, and at a primate sanctuary in Niagara Falls, should be moved to a large outdoor sanctuary in Florida.

Chimpanzees, which can walk upright and use sticks and stones as tools to help gather food, are considered to be the closest living relatives of humans. Some have been taught to speak simple human sign language.

But the appeals court, in a ruling tha

China’s tiger farms are a threat to the species
In 1986, in a thickly forested mountain valley in north-east China, eight tigers emerged from transport containers to find themselves in new and unfamiliar territory. Born in American zoos, these tigers had recently been shipped to China on the understanding that they would form the basis of a new captive breeding programme, to benefit the conservation of the species.

Instead, they were to become the founding population of China’s first commercial tiger farm. They had been brought together by the Ministry of Forestry at a fur farm in Heilongjiang Province to establish the Hengdaohezi Breeding Centre, a government-funded operation to breed tigers for profit, primarily to supply bones for medicinal use. The move marked the beginning of a cruel chapter in the history of their species, which was to have a devastating impact on tigers across the world.

Ambitious move to save world’s smallest porpoise, led by Hong Kong Ocean Park animal expert
A veteran Hong Kong animal care expert will help coordinate a daring project to capture and protect the world’s smallest cetacean – the vaquita, a porpoise indigenous to Mexico that is on the verge of extinction due to an illegal fisheries trade closely linked to the city.

Marwell Zoo placed on lockdown after monkey escapes from enclosure with visitors barricaded inside shops
A zoo has been placed on lockdown after all of its monkeys escaped.

Visitors at Marwell Zoo in Hampshire have reported being locked inside shops while keepers try to locate the animals, thought to be macaques.

One said: "Locked in the shop at Marwell zoo due to an incident. Don't know what is going on! Staff very efficient."

Pictures shared on shared on social media show one monkey on top of an enclosure at the wildlife park and keepers gathering at the site.

Mirror Online has approached the zoo for comment.

Zoo founder wants investigation into council conduct
THE founder of South Lakes Safari Zoo is seeking an investigation into the activities of a council that refused to grant him a licence.

David Gill, pictured, is applying to the courts for a judicial review into the actions of Barrow Borough Council and Government zoo inspectors over the last five years.

He claimed more than £500,000 of public funds had been spent on activities which he said had damaged the standing, image and financial viability of the zoo.

Mr Gill had been the licence holder of the Dalton attraction since it opened in 1994 until the council’s licensing committee refused an application. Alongside that refusal earlier this year, a closure order was made, casting the future of the attraction into major doubt.

Breeding assignment complete: Dozer the walrus leaving the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
A 3,100-pound (1400-kilogram) walrus named Dozer who enthralled visitors the last seven months at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Washington state is leaving at the end of this month.

Officials at the zoo in Tacoma say Dozer mated with three female walrus and is being sent to another zoo for the same duties as part of the Walrus Conservation Consortium's plan to aid the species in aquariums and the Arctic.

In Kashmir, animals too fall prey to 'enforced' disappearances
In the conflict-ridden Kashmir valley, it is not people alone who go missing. Animals too are now falling prey to ‘enforced’ disappearances and a case in hand is a Hangul, an endangered Kashmir red stag that had been tagged with a satellite collar by wildlife scientists in 2013.
The decision to fit satellite collars on a group of Hangul at Dachigam Park was taken to find out the causes of extinction of the species, but ironically, the lone sample for the research remains untraced. It is being widely speculated that the Hangul died due to strangulation or a possible infection in its neck because the collar had been fixed too tightly. The probable death of the Hangul has also spurred a controversy on the use of radio gadgets on animals. There are no traces of the Hangul and officials have been maintaining silence over the issue.

Over 20 tigers die in Indian zoos every year
 Over 20 tigers die every year in captivity in zoos across India, according to the Association of Indian Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians (AIZWV), which analysed raw data available with the Central Zoo Authority. In 2015-16, there were 245 tigers and 99 white tigers in captivity in the country. In the same year, 16 white tigers and 28 ordinary tigers died in zoos, according to AIZWV.
Ordinary tigers are housed in 60 zoos, including large, medium and small-sized zoos, while white Bengal tigers are present in 27 zoos spread across the country. AIZWV stated that the number of ordinary tigers in captivity has been continuously decreasing for the past four years. From 295 in 2011-12, it came down to 245 in 2015-16. However, the highest number of deaths of white Bengal tigers in the past 16 years was reported in 2015-16 with the death of 16 tigers.

The Chicago Chimps and Gorillas: A Conversation with Steve Ross, the Man Behind Lincoln Park Zoo's Regenstein Center for African Apes
Ever since the days of famed gorilla Bushman, the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago has had a rich history with great apes. The zoo has long had some of the largest groups of apes at any zoo in the world, more than fifty gorillas have been born here and the zoo has been a leader in their research and conservation for decades, largely inspired by the passions and interests of the zoo’s retired director Dr. Lester Fisher. While the Lester E. Fisher Great Ape House was state-of-the-art when it opened in 1976, it was considered outdated by the late 1990s and Lincoln Park Zoo wanted to build a facility deserving of the zoo’s legacy with gorillas and chimpanzees. This new facility would be carefully designed to allow exceptional husbandry and animal care and give the apes choices and opportunities to be challenged.  It would also serve as a proactive research facility and educate guests about the complexity of these primates as well as the threats they face. The zoo brought in primatologist Steve Ross to develop the Regenstein Center for African Apes, one of the finest of its kind and a groundbreaking habitat for gorillas and chimpanzees. He still works at the zoo as the Director of the Lester E. Fisher Study and Conservation of Apes.

Wild animal cafes in Seoul operate in a risky legal blindspot
Places where customers can pet and drink tea with exotic animals offer only poor conditions for animals, and danger of disease or injury for customers
The place was an animal cafe in downtown Seoul on Apr. 27. One of the animals on view was a male joey wallaby, a type of kangaroo. An arctic fox tried to bite the wallaby on the scruff of the neck, forcing a cafe employee to intervene.
“Zoos have to adjust their numbers of animals. We got the wallaby because we know someone at a zoo,” a cafe staff explained.
Inside the cafe, animals like raccoons and civet cats roam freely between the patrons’ feet in a space measuring around 230 square meters. A few of them constantly

Australian greyhounds forced to race cheetahs at Shanghai Wild Animal Park
At one stage in their lives, these Australian greyhounds were the toast of their owners and were earmarked as future kings and queens of the track.

But after the curtain fell on their fleeting careers, they were onsold to China, where today their twilight years pass by in slow motion, trapped in a animal tourist park in Shanghai.

Orangutan escapes from enclosure at Perth Zoo
PART of Perth Zoo was evacuated today after an Orangutan and her baby escaped from their enclosure.

PerthNow reader Jess McConnell said people were evacuated from the nocturnal house while keepers attempted to get the animal back into the enclosure.

"Keepers are quite panicked asking people to keep calm then to move quicker as it's an emergency situation," she said.

The enclosure was reportedly reopened after about 20 minutes.

Beaver’s genome mapped for our 150th
To biologists, the beaver is known as Castor canadensis. Its scientific name flaunts unabashed ties to Canada. Its common English name, however, is the “North American beaver.”

The animal attracted shiploads of Europeans to North America, where they reshaped the landscape — in much the same way beavers reshape wetland environments. However, Canada specifically acknowledged the role the large, smelly, flat-tailed rodent played (albeit reluctantly) in shaping European headgear and this country’s development. In 1937, the country made the beaver the go-to imprint on the nickel.

Another milestone in Canada’s claim to the beaver occurred this year, when Canadian researchers published the animal’s genome sequence.

The leader of the research team, University of Toronto molecular genetics professor Stephen Scherer, says he chose the beaver genome because of Canada’s 150th anniversary and to “mark our territory.”

After starting his work, Scherer

Nemo finds Jerusalem: a new aquarium in the capital
The first aquarium in Israel is set to open in the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem and will include sharks, sea turtles and thousands of fish and marine creatures. The new tank is made of 33 containers divided according to the three seas of Israel: the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Dead Sea.

Hunting Big Game: Why People Kill Animals for Fun
"The big beast stood like an uncouth statue, his hide black in the sunlight; he seemed what he was, a monster surviving over from the world's past, from the days when the beasts of the prime ran riot in their strength, before man grew so cunning of brain and hand as to master them."
Theodore Roosevelt, former U.S. president and renowned big-game hunter, waxed poetic about a massive bull rhinoceros in his 1910 book, "African Game Trails: An Account of the African Wanderings of an American Hunter-Naturalist," after glimpsing the rhino during a safari in British East Africa and the Belgian Congo earlier that year. [In Photos: A Museum Honors Teddy Roosevelt]
What happened next? Roosevelt shot the beast.
He fired with his gun's right barrel, "the bullet going through both lungs," and then with the left, "the bullet entering between the neck and shoulder and piercing his heart," Roosevelt wrote. A thir

Hamerton Zoo keeper dies in 'freak tiger accident'
A female zoo-keeper has died in a "freak accident" after a tiger entered an enclosure at a wildlife park.
The death happened at Hamerton Zoo Park, near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, at about 11:15 BST.
Cambridgeshire Police said: "A tiger had entered an enclosure with a keeper. Sadly the female zoo keeper died at the scene."
Visitors were led away from the zoo. At no time did the animal escape from the enclosure, said police.
Officers investigating the death said it "is not believed to be suspicious".

Rosa King: Cambridgeshire zookeeper killed by tiger is named
The zookeeper killed by a tiger at a Cambridgeshire animal park has been named as Rosa King, aged 33.

Officers said they attended a serious incident at Hamerton Zoo Park in Cambridgeshire on Monday morning and that the female zookeeper died at the scene. The tiger entered the enclosure King was working in, with zoo management describing it as a “freak accident”.

“At no time did the animal escape from the enclosure,” said a Cambridgeshire police station. “The incident is not believed to be suspicious.”

Visitors were evacuated from the zoo at Steeple Gidding, amid rumours that a tiger was on the loose. But a spokesman for the attraction told the Guardian the incident did not involve an escaped animal.

Police confirmed that was the case, adding that no members of the public were in danger. The air ambulance service also attended the inc

Why Toronto Zoo workers went on strike
No one wants to go on strike, no one wants to be on strike.

Unfortunately, that is where the remarkable group of zookeepers, horticulturalists, trades people, administrative and public relations staff, concession and ride operators, and many others who work for the Toronto Zoo have found ourselves these past 18 days.

May 11 will probably go down as one of the hardest days in any Toronto Zoo employees’ life. It was the day our employer forced us to walk away from the animals in our care, from our world-leading, species-saving research and conservation efforts, from an attraction that helps to captivate minds.

It was the day we took strike action.

We had no other choice. The Toronto Zoo and its owner, the City of Toronto, have demanded workers accept a collective agreement which calls into question their commitment to their own mission laid out in the zoo’s strategic plan, which reads:

“A living centre for education and science, committed to providing compelling guest experiences and inspiring passion to protect wildlife and habitats.”

Let’s be clear, this strike is happening because the zoo and its owner refuse to negotiate further. This is incredibly frustrating and disappointing — for the visitors from around the world who come to be inspired by the 5,000 magnificent “animal amb

The NSPCA has laid animal cruelty charges against employees of the East London Zoo after a male baboon was found in such poor condition it had to be put down.

An unannounced inspection by the NSPCA last week Thursday found the male baboon‚ William‚ in a state of paralysis‚ the animal welfare organisation said.

Inspector Cassandra McDonald said charges had been laid against zoo staff responsible for the cruelty‚ suffering‚ neglect and unacceptable conditions at the facility. The NSPCA had warned the zoo that a veterinarian had to examine the baboon.

"The male baboon appeared lethargic… He moved by dragging his lower body. In the light of his severely limited movement and his general bodily condition which was considered to be shocking‚ the NSPCA inspectors issued a warning… requiring the baboon to be examined by a veterinarian by close of business and the report to be forwarded to them‚" McDonald' st

Peter Giljam, Standing Strong…
As our world starts to question what is best for our own sake without valuing scientists reasoning anymore, we tend to find it more important to push our own opinions through if they matter or not. I know plenty of people who are trying their hardest to educate people from out the science perspective but for some reason it is harder than ever. Social media has a big part in this.

Lions of Kandahar give pride back to Kabul zoo
For years, the lions enclosure in Kabul Zoo has remained largely empty.

Nestled between green hills, the zoo was once home to Marjan, the famous one-eyed lion of Kabul – who survived nearly three decades of war, mujaheddin attacks and several regimes, only to die in his sleep in 2002 as the zoo was finally being restored to a semblance of its former glory.

Except for brief periods when it hosted a couple of older lions, the zoo has not been able to fill the enclosure despite numerous requests to various donor nations over the past decade.

But last month, its director Abdul Aziz Saqib saw reports on social media that some rare white lions had been rescued in Spin Boldak, a town on the border with Pakistan in the war-prone Kandahar province.

"The border police in Kandahar had captured an animal trafficker attempting to smuggle six young white African lions out of the country," Mr Saqib told The National.

He said the lions – three male and three female – were about two years old.

"They were found hidden und

Taman Safari Indonesia makes great strides komodo conservation
Decades of hard work has finally paid off for the Taman Safari Indonesia conservation park in Bogor, West Java, with the recent birth of 21 Komodo lizards.

The park, which is located in a cool mountainous area south of Jakarta, saw in early March the hatching of 26 Komodo eggs, the results of mating between a male Komodo lizard named Rangga and a female, Rinca.

Both Rangga and Rinca arrived at the park in 1998 from their national habitat, the Komodo National Park in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).

In mid-March, 21 of the hatched eggs produced healthy baby Komodo lizards, while four shrunk because of liquid deficiency and the remaining one disintegrated.

The successful captive breeding of 21 Komodo hatchlings was a significant achievement for the park after struggling with the program for around 30 years.

The achievement cannot be separated from Taman Safari Indonesia director Jansen Manansang’s ambition on his return several years ago from the Czech Republic.

In 2004, the Prague Zoo received a pair of Komodo dragons from Taman Safari Indonesia as part of a wildlife exchange program with the archipelago. The pair then laid three eggs and seven more in 2007 and 2009, respectively. All of those eggs successfully hatched.

After the experience in the Czech Republic, a countr

Understanding how slow predators catch faster prey could improve drone tactics
Since a gazelle can run faster than a lion, how do lions ever catch gazelles? A new model of predator-prey interaction shows how groups of predators use collective chasing strategies, such as cornering and circling, to pursue and capture faster prey. Without this tactical collaboration, the predators would have no chance of catching these prey.

What if breeding tigers were banned?
I’m usually happy when authorities tighten up zoo legislations around the world. For all of us zoos it’s better to be on an equivalent level when it comes to animal welfare. For the first time I have seen authorities creating laws in order to lower the animal welfare with the intention to close the parks. These laws are being used as a tool to get rid of certain species in captivity and to undermine the purpose of zoos in general.

It is of great importance to see the breeding ban on dolphins as a large threat to not only the marine parks but to the zoo community as a whole. Not convinced? Here is why.

Zoo board responds to union's claims
As the chair of the board of management of the Toronto Zoo, I take great pride in the accomplishments of the Zoo and its employees and volunteers. The work they do contributes to the zoo’s status as a centre of excellence for conservation, education and scientific research.

The Toronto Zoo is a not-for-profit charitable organization that remains committed to providing our valued, unionized staff with a fair agreement. On May 19, the union stated publicly and in a letter to the zoo’s board of management, that both sides were 95 per cent of the way to a settlement with job security being the only outstanding item.

In response to this, on May 20, the zoo presented a comprehensive “offer to settle” package to the union’s negotiating team. This offer addressed the very job security issues raised by the union and should have provided that last 5 per cent. The offer presented was a fair and reasonable compromise, which was reached with the assistance of the provincially appointed mediator.

The zoo offered the return of the “150 clause,” which guarantees the continued employment of at least 150 permanent zoo employees, regardless of the circumst

Exclusive: Tiger death zoo warned about 'ageing barriers' and escape procedures four years ago
The owners of a zoo where a keeper was mauled to death in a “freak accident” were previously criticised for their inadequate escape procedures, it can be revealed.

Hamerton Zoo, where Rosa King was killed on Monday after a tiger entered the enclosure where she was working, was heavily criticised by officials following an inspection in 2013.

Chimps that burned to death, a jaguar that chewed off its paw and the snake that tried to choke a keeper: The shameful failings of Britain's cruel, decrepit and dangerous zoos are laid bare by inspectors' shocking reports
Appalling conditions in zoos across Britain can today be laid bare by the Mail.
Just two days after a keeper was mauled to death by a tiger at a wildlife park in Cambridgeshire, a damning investigation reveals serious failings over safety, security and animal welfare.
Using Freedom of Information laws, we were able to obtain almost 170 zoo inspection reports from local authorities across England and Wales.
At least 24 attractions appeared to have serious issues, while at least a further 17 were told they could only continue operating if they adhered to lengthy lists of conditions.

Director's blog: Zoo licensing and the BIAZA benchmark
Following recent events, The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) is aware of a number of news items about British zoos and how they are licensed. As the National Association that represents the best and most progressive zoos and aquariums across the UK and Ireland we are committed to ensuring that our members have the highest standards of welfare. BIAZA is the benchmark for zoos and aquariums with regards to animal care and our members are recognised as leaders in their field in terms of conservation, education and research.

In accordance with the zoo licensing system, all of our members are subject to regular inspections. As such, the isolated cases that have recently been reported in the media have been rightly identified by the inspection process and addressed accordingly by each institution. Identifying improvements at any organisation, not just zoos, is essential for continuous development, something which our members are fully committed to.

The recent conflation of isolated incidents i

Dedicated breeding programme only hope for Sumatran rhino: WWF
An animal conservation programme dedicated to breeding Sumatran rhinos is crucial to prevent the critically-endangered species from going extinct.

World Wildlife Fund for Nature-Malaysia (WWF) executive director and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma said while the species is extinct in the wild in Malaysia, there is still hope for the rhino in Indonesia.

He concedes, however, that organising a breeding programme would be difficult.

“Experts have estimated that the current population in Indonesia is likely to be less than 100 individuals scattered in small, isolated groups in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

“The population is so thinly spread out that breeding is believed to be minimal, which means that this species could go extinct within the next ten years, if not sooner,” he said in a statement

He added that the case of Puntung, one of the last rhinos in Sabah, which is awaiting euthanasia due to terminal skin cancer, is a wake-up call.

Dionysius called upon the governments of Malaysia and Indonesia, and all Sumatran rhinoceros conservation organisations, to work together as a dedicated team.

He added that the focus of Sumatran rhinoceros conservation should be on rescuing all remaining wild individuals for management in advanced facilities; increasing the number of births; and facilitating the movement of individuals and gametes among facilities as a population management tool.

The application of advanced reprod

SA Zoo's Conservation VP Has a Lens on the World
Danté Fenolio spends his days documenting and working to save creatures most people have never heard of.

Waterfall climbing loaches, Günther’s Boatfish and candirú may not be star attractions at the San Antonio Zoo, where Fenolio serves as vice president of conservation and research, but he says that’s precisely why they require the most attention.

“There’s no shortage of zoos and nonprofits working to preserve pandas and lions and tigers and elephants and eagles,” he says. “The vast majority of wildlife that are in danger are these little nondescript things that nobody pays attention to. My department pays attention to them.”

Growing up in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains, Fenolio couldn’t imagine a career that didn’t focus on wildlife. His father ran a business where he imported tropical fish from around the world and as clients learned that the younger Fenolio had a love of amphibians, they also b

UK vets help perk up pachyderms
Lecturer in zoo and wildlife medicine Lisa Yon has developed a workshop in collaboration with Valerie Hare and Deb Ng from the non-profit organisation Shape of Enrichment, which trains people in developing environmental enrichment for animals living in captivity.

New workshop
Along with Gail Laule from the Singapore Zoo – an expert in animal training methods – they are working with the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF) in Chiang Rai, Thailand, to de

The TRUTH behind the tiger selfie: Undercover tourists capture footage of big cats being jabbed with metal sticks to make them roar for photos
Endlessly jabbed with metal sticks as visitors pose with them for pictures - for some of these tigers, this is the grim reality of everyday life.
Undercover tourists have secretly filmed two controversial parks in Thailand for a new BBC documentary that lifts the lid on animal exploitation abroad.
With hidden cameras, two Brits captured tiger cubs in minute cages at the Sriracha Tiger Zoo, and adults chained up and being forced to roar for photos with tourists at the Million Years Stone Park, both close to Bangkok.

This Va. roadside zoo is unaccredited. Its owner says that’s what makes it humane.
The first thing to know about Mark Kilby, aside from the fact that he owns the Luray Zoo, is that he thinks dogs make terrible pets. “Dogs are the worst thing on the planet. They’re dirty, they’re dangerous, they’re annoying,” he says. “They’re also socially acceptable.” He shrugs. “I think people are brainwashed.”

Kilby explains that he much prefers reptiles. According to its website, his small zoo boasts “one of the largest venomous snake collections on the east coast.” There are also monkeys, a tiger, lemurs, a coati and even a kookaburra — all in all, some 220 animals living on three acres just outside Luray, Va. The zoo’s front door is situated in a giant faux crocodile mouth that is propped open with a wooden beam. Atop the fence that surrounds the zoo, a large wooden sign painted like a tiger proclaims, “Trespassers will be eaten.”

When they are not cleaning enclosures or feeding a

Suit alleges 'toxic' culture of sexual harassment, intimidation at Louisville Zoo
The first woman to work as a maintenance supervisor at the Louisville Zoo alleges in a federal lawsuit that she was sexually harassed and intimidated for years by male co-workers and that the zoo’s director covered up the allegations.

Racheal Butrum, who still works at the zoo, alleges in a lawsuit filed this week that she was subjected to unwelcome sexual advances by a former supervisor who bragged about his penis size and that another worker mocked her by fashioning a semi-nude mannequin in her likeness. She also alleges that a subordinate was verbally abusive and threatened physical violence on numerous occasions.

Butrum claims longtime zoo director John Walczak did little to stop the mistreatment.

Walczak declined to comment about the case, citin

Smithsonian scientists release frogs wearing mini radio transmitters in Panama
Ninety Limosa harlequin frogs (Atelopus limosus) bred in human care are braving the elements of the wild after Smithsonian scientists sent them out into the Panamanian rainforest as part of their first-ever release trial in May. The study, led by the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project, aims to determine the factors that influence not only whether frogs survive the transition from human care to the wild, but whether they persist and go on to breed.

"Only by understanding the trials and tribulations of a frog's transition from human care to the wild will we have the information we need to someday develop and implement successful reintroduction programs," said Brian Gratwicke, international program coordinator for the rescue project and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) amphibian conservation biologist. "Although we are not sure whether any of these individual frogs will make it out there, this release trial will give us the knowledge we need to tip the balance in favor of the frogs."

The Limosa harlequin frogs, which were released at the Mamoní Valley Preserve, have small numbered tags inserted under their skin so researchers can tell individuals apart. The scientific team also gave each frog an elastomer toe marking that glows under UV light to easily tell this cohort of frogs apart from any f

In zoo strike, both sides dig in, shutting out thousands of visitors
With the Toronto Zoo strike in a bitter fourth week, both sides appear dug in for a closure into peak season when thousands of visitors normally stream daily through fare gates to see pandas and more.

Representatives of CUPE Local 1600, representing more than 400 striking zoo staff, and managers of the city-owned facility in Scarborough have not met since contract negotiations halted May 20.

In interviews and statements Thursday, they disagreed on who left the table, the nature of the sole sticking point, whether breeding programs continue normally, and who initiated a union member going inside the shuttered zoo to help save the lives of ailing newborn clouded leopards.

“I honestly can’t predict how long the strike will last,” Christine McKenzie, a zookeeper who heads the union local, told the Star. She said her team is prepared to resume talks quickly, but not on a management proposal that new hires be protected from layoff, caused by contracting o

Pangolin conservation won’t be achieved in American zoos
While it is great to see pangolins getting more public attention, I am shocked to hear that American zoos have acquired live pangolins under the guise of conservation. If they had talked to almost anyone involved on the ground in pangolin conservation, they would have gotten a very different opinion. As a matter of fact, a group of 20 pangolin experts, scientists and representatives of conservation groups gathered recently in Washington, D.C., and agreed that there is no conservation value to be gained from taking pangolins from the wild and bringing them to North American zoos.

As an African working in Africa on pangolin conservation, I believe it is irresponsible of zoos to claim to be furthering pangolin conservation in order to condone importing live pangolins. First, with very few exceptions, pangolins die quickly in captivity. Second, we know for every pangolin that is successfully shipped from Africa or Asia to the U.S., many others will have died during capture or on the long journey. And since pangolins have, with very few exceptions, never been successfully bred in captivity, I assume that all these are wild-caught pangolins from Togo, thereby contributing to the trade that is wiping out the species.

There are legitimate conservationists right now in Africa and Asia working hard under duress rehabilita

Meet This Newly Discovered Flying Squirrel
A new species of flying squirrel has been found in the Pacific Northwest. It’s been dubbed Humboldt’s flying squirrel, in honor of the great naturalist Alexander von Humboldt.

The discovery means that three—not two—species of the furred gliders live in North America, and it changes our understanding of how these squirrels evolved and spread across the continent, scientists report today in the Journal of Mammalogy.

The new species, Earth’s 45th known flying squirrel, also adds to the ongoing tally of our planet’s biodiversity—an increasingly urgent matter, given the high rate of extinctions.

Researchers will want to take a closer look at the role these gliders play in their ecosystem. And they’ll want to assess how well they’re doing, especially because they’re found in areas with threatened spotted owls, which often dine on flying squirr

Lincoln Park Zoo Responds to U.S. Withdrawal from Paris Agreement
As an organization dedicated to science, conservation, education, and the highest standards of animal care, we were disheartened to hear yesterday’s announcement that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Agreement. But we are also hopeful. Over the last 24 hours, we’ve watched world and local leaders, including Chicago’s own Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and businesses pledge to conform to the agreement and do more to reduce our carbon output. This pledge can have an enormous impact.

Here at Lincoln Park Zoo, our scientists and staff understand that climate change is one of the biggest threats to the wildlife populations we study and care for, as well as the people who share ecosystems with those species. Our Green Team is working hard to identify ways we can shrink our carbon footprint and other environmental impacts. We are looking ahead to determine new ways for humans and wildlife to share the planet in our rapidly urbanizing world.

With both local and global efforts, Lincoln Park Zoo will continue to work for conservation and biodiversity every day – here are just a few of the ways that we do so:

Lincoln Park Zoo hosts the Population Management Center (PMC) in partnership with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. This center conducts demographic and genetic analyses and prepares breeding plans for Species Survival Plan species. In other words, the PMC supports a nationwide network of zoos and aquariums fighting to save species from e

Zoos must reach beyond their fences to aid animal conservation: Guest commentary
Few institutions have the perfect confluence of science, technology and expertise to confront the animal kingdom’s conservation issues head on. Few, that is, unless you consider zoos.

The local zoo is perfectly primed to tackle the challenges facing animals throughout the world.
In this new era of climate change and human population growth, it is every zoo’s ethical responsibility to reach beyond their walls and apply their resources and expertise to conserving animals outside the zoo, in their natural habitats.

Communities may think of their local zoo as a great destination to spend a Saturday and to discover the wonders of nature. Many may even appreciate how zoos are often cultural touchstones of the city they serve.

Zoos have nurtured and cared for animals of all types, and many have done so for generations. The Los Angeles Zoo, as an example, has served the L.A. community since 1966, and before that, Griffith Park Zoo since 1912. In all of that time, we have strived to be a beacon of the community we serve and a place where the many animals we’ve cared for can thrive.

But has our scope been too limited? Have

Life After Zookeeping, Part 1
Last week, I went to the Maryland Zoo.  That was a significant trip for a few reasons:
1.  It was my first time to the zoo since I moved here over a year ago
2.  It was the first time my daughter could actually identify the animals and gave s*** about them
3.  It was the first time I've been to a zoo or aquarium since I left the field in October

It's the last point I want to make this week's blog about.

I remember long before I got into the field, I read the book Lads Before The Wind by Karen Pryor.  It quickly became one of my favorites, but there was one part that really bothered me.  It's when she talks about returning to Sea Life Park after she left, seeing the animals she spent so much time wit

China hails Mexico for care, conservation of giant pandas
The Chapultepec Park Zoo in Mexico City Saturday received a special award from China for its conservation and care of pandas.
"The pandas are magnificent ambassadors of friendship that have joined our countries for over 40 years," said Qiu Xiaoqi, Chinese ambassador to Mexico, at the award ceremony at the pandas' enclosure in Chapultepec Park.
He said this event showed bilateral relations were better than ever and that Mexico was a strategic partner with excellent political ties with China.
At the ceremony, Mexico City's Secretary of Environment Tanya Muller said the city views "biodiversity and conservation as very important."
The pandas' enclosure now is home to Shuan Shuan, daughter of Pe Pe and Ying Ying, who will turn 30 on June 15, and Xin Xin, daughter of Tohui, who will turn 27 on July 1.
Pe Pe and Ying Ying were one of the most prolific breeding panda pairs in captivity, having given birth to seven cubs. Among them, Tohui became the most emblematic panda in Mexico before passing away in 1983.
The average life span of pandas in the wild is 15 years, while those

After their deaths, zoo animals can yield information vital to the living
Like a kidney donation from a car accident victim or the brain of a football player given for concussion research, death sometimes has a silver lining.

The same is true at the zoo.

When animals die at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, some begin a legacy after life. Animal remains can help paleontologists confirm the bones of a newly discovered species and they can help scientists battle diseases in wild populations.

Zoo veterinarians and zookeepers can learn how to provide better care to a breed’s surviving zoo family. And educators can use skeletons and hides to inspire a love and understanding of animals.

“It’s one thing for people to see a tiger and talk about tigers, but if they can touch a pelt, that’s going to add to their emotional response and hopefully their connection to that species,” said Dr. Doug Armstrong, the zoo’s director


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About me
After more than 49 years working in private, commercial and National zoos in the capacity of keeper, head keeper and curator Peter Dickinson started to travel. He sold house and all his possessions and hit the road. He has traveled extensively in Turkey, Southern India and much of South East Asia before settling in Thailand. In his travels he has visited well over 200 zoos and many more before 'hitting the road' and writes about these in his blog

Peter earns his living as an independent international zoo consultant, critic and writer. Currently working as Curator of Penguins in Ski Dubai. United Arab Emirates. He describes himself as an itinerant zoo keeper, one time zoo inspector, a dreamer, a traveler, an introvert, a people watcher, a lover, a thinker, a cosmopolitan, a writer, a hedonist, an explorer, a pantheist, a gastronome, sometime fool, a good friend to some and a pain in the butt to others.

"These are the best days of my life"

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

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