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
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
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
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
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,
not DYSFUNCTIONAL 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.
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.
continued efforts, we are striving to conserve many species of animals and
birds and create breeding areas in the protected habitats in accordance with
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
“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.
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
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.
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.
RHINO RESOURCE CENTER – NEWSLETTER 47 – JUNE 2017
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.
The total number of references in the database and collection of the RRC now stands at 21,290.
Please share your articles on rhinos, pictures of rhinos. Reply to this email with any information.Thank you to all contributors.
Donations are welcome. The RRC thanks the sponsors: SOS Rhino, International Rhino Foundation, Save the Rhino International, Rhino Carhire as well as individuals who have found the RRC useful in their research.
TO DOWNLOAD THE NEWSLETTER, CLICK HERE
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
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
Tigers are fed a
LIVE donkey at Chinese zoo after the animal is thrown into a moat with no
This is the gory
moment Chinese zookeepers push a live donkey into the jaws of three hungry
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.
hopelessly in the water, the donkey is soon attacked by two nearby tigers.
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
The incident took
place on Monday afternoon at Yancheng city in Jiangsu province in front of
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
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
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.
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.
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
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?
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
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
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
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 ...
endangered species should be left to breed in the wild
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
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.
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.
breeding can reduce motivation and resources for conservation in the wild, with
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
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
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
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
that is where this will all go, this will eventually close your zoos."
Behaviour: 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
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.
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.
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
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.
"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.
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.
complete: Dozer the walrus leaving the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
(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
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
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
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
from enclosure at Perth Zoo
PART of Perth Zoo
was evacuated today after an Orangutan and her baby escaped from their
PerthNow reader Jess
McConnell said people were evacuated from the nocturnal house while keepers
attempted to get the animal back into the enclosure.
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.
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
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
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
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."
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.
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
investigating the death said it "is not believed to be suspicious".
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
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.”
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.
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.
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
“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.
inspection by the NSPCA last week Thursday found the male baboon‚ William‚ in a
state of paralysis‚ the animal welfare organisation said.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
found hidden und
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.
captive breeding of 21 Komodo hatchlings was a significant achievement for the
park after struggling with the program for around 30 years.
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
After the experience
in the Czech Republic, a countr
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Director's blog: Zoo
licensing and the BIAZA benchmark
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.
conflation of isolated incidents i
programme only hope for Sumatran rhino: WWF
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.
however, that organising a breeding programme would be difficult.
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.
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
Conservation VP Has a Lens on the World
Danté Fenolio spends
his days documenting and working to save creatures most people have never heard
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
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
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
with metal sticks as visitors pose with them for pictures - for some of these
tigers, this is the grim reality of everyday life.
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.
longtime zoo director John Walczak did little to stop the mistreatment.
Walczak declined to
comment about the case, citin
scientists release frogs wearing mini radio transmitters in Panama
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
have the perfect confluence of science, technology and expertise to confront
the animal kingdom’s conservation issues head on. Few, that is, unless you
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.
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
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."
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
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.
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