Zoo News Digest 21st August 2017 (ZooNews 968)
So the online Rhino
Horn Auction gets approval to take place. This is a domestic auction as
international trade remains illegal. So just what sort of South African is
going to purchase a big chunk of keratin? That's just what it is and we all
know that. Regardless of the price paid for it it is effectively valueless
sitting as a paperweight on somebody's desk in South Africa. Whoever makes a
purchase has other plans, of that I have no doubt. "The South African government insists that protections
are in place to prevent horns from leaking onto the black market". I would be very interested to
know exactly what these are….Is somebody going to check on the purchases, every
week, every month? There are so many loopholes in this auction that it is
inevitable that horn will sneak out the back door to Vietnam.
I found the article
by Wayne Pacelle of interest. He has not quite convinced me he is not one of
the bad guys but it has opened my mind enough to accept him as a speaker at the
AZA conference. I try to be open on all matters and opinionated as I am on so
many things I am always prepared to change my mind (even on Rhino Horn sales)
if a convincing argument is put forward.
There are a lot of
interesting links below. They all need a look. This said I would ask you to
spend some time this week listening to the talks given at International Animal
Welfare Congress 2017. There is much of interest there to people working in
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I remain committed to the work of GOOD zoos,
not DYSFUNCTIONAL zoos.
It's Now Legal to
Sell Rhino Horn in South Africa. The World's Top Breeder Makes His Move.
About 1,500 rhinos
roam John Hume’s ranch in South Africa’s Klerksdorp, located a hundred miles
from Johannesburg. Every 20 months or so Hume, who breeds more rhinos than
anyone in the world, tranquilizes the animals and dehorns them. He does this to
ward off poachers and for the potential to one day cash in on his more than
That day has finally
come. On Monday, Hume plans to hold an online auction to sell 264 rhino horns
to South African residents.
A moratorium on
buying and selling rhino horn within South Africa has been in place since 2009,
but in 2015 Hume and another rhino horn breeder filed suit to overturn it. A
final court ruling in April opened the way for the domestic trade to begin
again, though the ban on the international trade, established in 19
S. Africa opposes online rhino horn auction
South Africa on Friday moved to halt an online auction of rhino horn starting next week, as outraged conservationists said the sale would undermine the global ban on rhino trade.
The three-day auction by South African John Hume, who runs the world's biggest rhino farm, comes after a ban on domestic trade in the country was lifted three months ago.
Hume's lawyer Izak du Toit claimed the permits had already been approved—but not issued.
The High Court in Pretoria started hearing the case on an urgent basis on Friday.
The court is expected to make a decision on Sunday, shortly before to the auction is scheduled to open at midday (1000 GMT) on Monday, officials said.
"The Minister of Environmental Affairs is opposing the application," the government said in a statement on Friday, declining to comment further.
Hume and some other campaigners say poaching can only be halted by meeting the huge demand from Asia through legally "harvesting" horn from anaesthetised live rhinos.
He has stockpiles of six tonnes of horns and wants to place 500 kilogrammes or 264 horns, under the hammer.
South Africa is home to around 20,000 rhinos, some 80 percent
WAYNE PACELLE SPEAKS
Zoos and animal
Zoos and animal
An effort to work
By WAYNE PACELLE
Special to the Democrat-Gazette
disappointment to read Randal Berry's scattershot attack on me and the Humane
Society of the United States that appeared in Perspective on Aug. 13. It was
sparked by the invitation I received to appear at the national conference of
the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the organization that maintains rigorous
standards for accreditation for its member institutions. Berry at one time
worked for the Little Rock Zoo as a keeper, and is apparently in touch with
professional operatives attacking HSUS on behalf of animal cruelty
perpetrators, since he repeated so many of their canards and caricatures
chapter and verse.
I've spoken at many
zoos around the country through the years, and gave a keynote at a conference
hosted by the Detroit Zoo that brought together animal welfare leaders, zoo
leaders, and scientists to talk about advancing animal welfare. At that
conference, I once again reiterated my support for AZA-accredited zoos.
There was nearly
unanimous agreement among participants about the value of AZA-accredited zoos
and mainstream animal welfare advocates uniting. HSUS values the important work
of the Little Rock Zoo and strongly supports its current leadership. The Little
Rock Zoo and HSUS have partnered on important legislation to protect wild and
exotic animals, and HSUS has long supported the Zoo's conservation education
Berry is apparently
unaware of the progress that zoos have made on the issue and is still carrying
an us-versus-them banner, even after he's been long gone as a reptile keeper at
the zoo. He trots out so many false claims about me and HSUS that it's hard to
know where to begin. He says we're against the slaughter of animals for food,
but I wonder how he squares that claim with the reality that HSUS has a
National Agriculture Advisory Council and 11 state agriculture councils, with
every member a working farmer or rancher and also a leader at HSUS. We have
farmers on our staff, including a fourth-generation cattle rancher from
Tennessee. If Berry is a serious-minded person, he has some fact-checking to
It was HSUS that
worked to pass the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act in the Congress in 1958, and
we've been committed to those issues ever since. In the last five years, we've
negotiated more than 300 agreements with the biggest food retailers--from McDonald's
to Wal-Mart to Cracker Barrel--to modify their purchasing practices to improve
the lives of animals.
Berry goes so far as
to suggest I don't love animals. That will be news to my rescue beagle, who
comes to the office with me every day and is my beloved sidekick just about
everywhere I go. And it will be news to my rescue cat, who often drapes herself
around my neck. I encourage Mr. Berry to read my New York Times best-selling
book on the deep connection that I and so many others feel for animals titled
The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them.
Yes, among some,
HSUS is controversial--among puppy millers, "kill buyers" in the
horse slaughter business, animal fighters, wildlife traffickers and whalers,
and other people and industries who are perpetrators of animal cruelty. As long
as I'm around the organization, it'll stay that way.
HSUS and its
affiliates are the largest provider of animal care in the world, touching in
2016 more than 300,000 animals through our animal rescue deployments, rural
veterinary programs, international street dog sterilization and vaccination
programs, wildlife response teams, and direct care sanctuaries and
rehabilitation centers. But we cannot rescue our way out of the problems of
animal cruelty. That's why in addition to setting the country on a trajectory
to end the extreme and intensive confinement of animals in agriculture, we've
also driven these other reforms:
We've made malicious
animal cruelty a felony and outlawed dogfighting and cockfighting in every
state. In the mid-1980s, only four U.S. states had felony penalties for
malicious acts of cruelty.
Our campaign against
Canada's commercial seal hunt has saved 1.4 million seals from being clubbed or
shot in the last decade, and we've fought alongside others in dramatically
reducing the global killing of whales.
We've helped to
drive down euthanasia rates by 90 percent since we launched our campaign in the
1960s to promote spay-or-neuter and adoption. Today, there are 1.5 million
adoptable cats and dogs euthanized in shelters every year, compared to more
than 15 million in 1970.
spearheaded the effort to crack down on the ivory trade and other forms of
wildlife trafficking, passing bills in more than a dozen key states and backing
federal rules on the topic.
We're proud to work
with law enforcement across the country and to work with retailers like
Wal-Mart. And we're pleased to have a strong working relationship with AZA and
other reputable groups on animal welfare. We work in all 50 st
Cooter: Turtle research in southeast NM
Eastern New Mexico
University professor and biologist Dr. Ivana Mali and her students were on the
hunt this summer for a small, yet precious species in the Black River in
Southeastern New Mexico.
The Rio Grande River
Cooter, a turtle of small size with "striking" markings, was drawn to
traps she baited with shrimp and sardines.
in Abu Dhabi mean new hope for endangered species
There is some
encouraging news on the conservation of wildlife in the 2017 Environment Agency
- Abu Dhabi report released on Sunday.
A yearlong project
to study the Arabian Sand Cat reported 27 sightings in the Baynouna area, while
a major census found 701 Humpback Dolphins, meaning that the world’s largest
single number of the species live in the waters around Abu Dhabi.
of the rare spotted eagle followed their migration path through the UAE,
showing that they rested here in Spring and Autumn on a journey of 19,000
A chance discovery
recorded extremely rare 10 Helleborine Orchids (Epipactis veratrifolia), the
only species of orchid native to the UAE.
Fears of koala
wipeout as hundreds face lethal injection
HUNDREDS of koalas
are being sentenced to death by lethal injection as Queensland’s wildlife
Most injured koalas
taken to the RSPCA wildlife hospital at Oxley in Brisbane do not make it out
alive and there are new fears the cuddly Australia marsupials may be heading
Of the 323 koalas
taken to the hospital in the past 12 months only 80 were returned to the wild,
RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said.
“They died of their
injuries or had to be euthanised,” he said.
“It is very
Love beckons for
recovering chimp in Brazil refuge
Marcelino is calling
to her, but Cecilia cannot be with him. Not yet. He may be handsome, but she
has suffered a lot and isn't ready for a relationship.
This is not a soap
opera. It is just the way things go in a Brazilian refuge for abused and
Cecilia, 20, sits on
a rooftop and gazes wistfully around—perhaps remembering her childhood spent in
a cramped zoo, or her two friends who died there.
Luckily she is now
in the best place to have her depression treated: the Sorocaba Great Primates
She is alone in her
enclosure, but with toys and plenty of space, it beats being in a zoo. And her
carers say she is slowly getting better.
Cecilia came to
Sorocaba four months ago from Mendoza in Argentina, after making legal history
in a case brought by animal rights' groups.
The judge ruled that
Cecilia was being held in unsuitable conditions at the Mendoz
Zoo gorilla dies of
cancer, days after constipation surgery
lowland gorilla at the Topeka Zoo in Kansas died Sunday after tests revealed
she had late-stage ovarian cancer that had spread, four days after undergoing
surgery for constipation.
The zoo said in a
statement that after Tiffany failed to improve since her surgery Wednesday to
clear "a significant amount of stool" from her colon, the gorilla was
taken Sunday for scans that revealed two abdominal masses later identified as tumors
linked to stage-four ovarian cancer.
During a surgery
later Sunday, the zoo said, "it
Ignore the headlines
about wildlife conservation – we don't need to resort to warzone tactics to
protect endangered species
interest in wildlife conservation in Africa seems to wax and wane in line with
outraged or triumphant news headlines. Whether gnashing its teeth over Cecil
the Lion's son, or cheering on last week's public destruction of two tonnes of
ivory in Central Park, the international community is having all the wrong
debates. Should we tackle poaching by targeting demand? Do we need more armed
soldiers? But these do not need to be the only options when it comes to
protecting endangered species.
Contrary to the
recent increase in stories around militarisation of conservation, wildlife
parks are not war zones and citizens should not have to be in a “battle” with
animals to gain access to land. The word “engagement” is often thrown around
like a panacea. But it really does work. For example, at the M
rangers losing the battle to poaching and housing estates
Hamed Al Marzooki
lifted an Arabian gazelle calf from the seat of his four-wheel drive and placed
it in an enclosure at the back of his house. The calf had an injured leg. Not
only that, but it was alone and defenceless after its mother was shot by poachers.
As a ranger with
Oman's Environmental Office for the Preservation of Protected Animals, it has
fallen to Mr Al Marzooki, 48, to nurse the calf back to health and then release
it into the government’s protected Al Kamil Wal Wafi park in the eastern region.
220-square-kilometre park is home not only to gazelles, but also to red foxes,
wildcats, oryx, eagles and wild goats. Oman has five more of these protected
parks around the country but it is losing the battle to protect wild animals
because of poaching and now the development of housing estates for low income
citizens close to parkland.
“Every year these
animals go down in number. Poaching
ethical care of sharks, skates, rays and chimeras
The Elasmobranch Husbandry Manual details the
hands-on ethical care of sharks, rays, skates and chimeras. The Manual is
intended to assist in the development of new exhibits, aid the training of
husbandry personnel, prepare scientists for hands field work and answer
specific questions about the care of this important taxonomic group.
Welfare Congress 2017
A collection of more
than 20 videos which will be well worth spending some time watching and
I wanna be like
you-hoo-hoo: How chimps like to imitate humans by pouting, swaying and bobbing
Just as King Louie
sang in the film The Jungle Book, scientists say chimps at the zoo really do
want to be like you . . .
noticed how zoo visitors liked to imitate chimpanzees, with clapping,
head-slapping and armpit-scratching among the more common gestures by humans.
But after three
weeks of secret observation, scientists found the chimps were also aping the
humans outside their enclosure — by pouting, swaying their bodies and bobbing
Death by 50m camera
clicks: As THREE SeaWorld killer whales die in a year, a former trainer says
when the show is over, the gentle giant's lives are a 'disgrace to humanity'
A thousand tourists
hold their breath as a giant killer whale leaps skyward, the sun gleaming off
its smooth back.
As if auditioning
for a Disney movie, the two-and-a-half ton leviathan performs an elegant
backflip before landing with a thunderous splash.
It's a Thursday
afternoon, but SeaWorld in San Diego, California, is packed with visitors, many
of them British, all drawn by the undisputed star attractions: ten huge killer
whales performing two shows daily.
SeaWorld and the Truth About John Hargrove
In his book Beneath
The Surface and in his public statements, author and former SeaWorld trainer
John Hargrove tries to have it both ways.
On one side, John
Hargrove is espousing animal activist dogma. On the other side, John Hargrove
is praising his experience in the marine park industry, praising SeaWorld and
trying to help a celebrity buy killer whales.
The only thing that
is clear, John Hargrove has a book to sell you.
The Real John
Hargrove loves SeaWorld and his time as a trainer. From his interviews with a
young intern who was looking to become a marine mammal trainer, to his
engagement with people on social media about his love of killer whales, or
touting off the sound care the animals receive at SeaWord – the Real John
Hargrove espouses the benefit and joy of working with captive killer whales and
his employer, SeaWorld.
Now Book John
Hargrove needs you to buy his
2 bears, not 1,
killed Swedish wildlife park employee
Swedish public radio
says two bears — not one — killed an employee at one of Europe's largest
wildlife parks earlier this month.
Jonasson told SR on Friday that the bears dug their way under a fence and
mauled to death an 18-year-old man who was cleaning an enclosure at the Orsa
Rovdjurspark in northern Sweden.
Jonasson declined to
say why only one of the bears was euthanized after the attack. The
investigation into what happened on Aug. 4 is not yet complete.
employee died at a hospital.
Rovdjurspark, 330 kilometers (205
Highland Council say
no serious issues have been found at Black Isle animal park
More than 125,000
people have backed a petition calling for the visitor attraction to be closed
amid accusations of poor animal welfare.
Highland Council and
the Scottish SPCA have been criticised by Animal Concern Advice Line (ACAL) for
not taking more stringent action against the park.
The petition against
Black Isle Wildlife Park, now renamed Noah’s Ark Animal Park, attracted 125,394
online backers, of which 25,384 were from the UK. It has been sent to the
council and the SSPCA.
But Highland Council
said it had investigated all complaints in conjunction with Animal and Plant
Health Agency appointed veterinary inspectors and the SSPCA, and found no
"serious" animal welfare or neglect problems.
A spokeswoman added:
"A number of visits to the park have been conducted by officers both
unannounced and scheduled as part of these investigation in order to carry out
a thorough inspection of the park, the condition of the animals and the welfare
"The park also
has their own appointed veterinary practice and our e
Oman wildlife rangers losing the battle to poaching and housing estates
Inside the Chinese
'animal sanctuary' where endangered Siberian tigers are trained to perform in
circus and pose for pictures with tourists
A safari park is
usually a place where visitors go to watch animals roam around in vast open
spaces under the knowledge that they are treated well.
But this sanctuary
in Harbin, China has been branded a large-scale breeding farm where the
Siberian Tigers are kept in unnatural conditions and are made to perform for
Visitors to the park
are able to pay extra money to throw live animals into the enclosure and watch
the tigers 'hunt'.
Vulture Awareness Day
Grown-up chimps are
less likely to help distressed friends
There, there! Adult
chimpanzees are less likely than younger ones to console their companions in
times of distress. The finding raises questions about how the capacity for
empathy changes with age in our closest relatives – and us.
When a chimpanzee
gets upset, perhaps after losing a fight, companions will often sit with them
and provide reassurance by kissing, grooming or embracing them.
The same is true of
young children. By age 2, children typically respond to a family member crying
by consoling them in a similar way.
We know chimpanzees
have personalities: individual differences in their behaviour that are
consistent over time. But it was unclear whether their empathetic tendencies
are part of their personality, and whether they
When collecting bird
sperm, method matters
Different methods of
collecting bird sperm produce different sperm lengths, potentially affecting
the conclusions of fertility studies.
Scientists who are
studying fertility in birds often use sperm length as an indicator of
reproductive success. In birds, sperm length is a measure of how well the sperm
can swim, and therefore their chance of success.
collecting sperm, researchers often use a combination of different methods.
Now, scientists at Imperial College London, the Max Planck Institute for
Ornithology, Germany and the University of Linköping, Sweden have found
different methods preferentially produce different lengths of house sparrow
potentially affect the outcomes of fertility studies. The results are published
today in PLOS ONE.
The research team at
Imperial College London, led by Dr Julia Schroeder, studies both a captive
population of house sparrows and wild sparrows
Wild otter filmed
alive in first Japan sighting since 1979
A wild otter was
caught on film on Nagasaki Prefecture’s Tsushima Island in February, marking
the first sighting of the mammal in Japan in 38 years, a University of the
Ryukyus team said Thursday.
It is not known
whether the observed otter was a Japanese river otter — which was once found
across Japan but is believed to have gone extinct — according to the team of
researchers. A river otter was last spotted in 1979 in the city of Susaki,
Hunting for otter
fur and pollution in river habitats had caused a sharp decline in the animal’s
Ministry said an analysis of excrement samples collected on Tsushima Island in
July suggested the presence of two Eurasian otters. One is believed to have
come from South Korea or Russia’s Sakhalin island, but the origin of the other
animal remained unknown.
The team said a
camera set up for an ecological survey of the Tsushima leopard cat captured the
otter. In the footage, the otter is of adult size and appears to be in good
health and nutritional status, the researchers told a news conference at the
The team said the
animal could either be a Japanese river otter that has survived, a Eurasian
otter that has crossed the sea from South Korea about 50 km away, or a species
that has been brought by humans.
There are more than
10 species of otter in
Venezuela zoo animals to eat them, say police
authorities are investigating the theft of animals from a zoo in western state
of Zulia that were likely snatched to be eaten, a further sign of hunger in a
country struggling with chronic food shortages.
A police official
said two collared peccaries, which are similar in appearance to boars, were
stolen over the weekend from the Zulia Metropolitan Zoological Park in the
sweltering city of Maracaibo near the Colombian border.
“What we presume is
that they (were taken) with the intention of eating them,” Luis Morales, an
official for the Zulia division of the National Police, told reporters on
The chaotic collapse
of the country’s socialist economic model has created chronic food shortages
that have fuelled malnutrition and left millions seeking food anywhere they can
find it, including in trash cans and dumpsters.
Maduro blames food shortages
Drunk man jumps into
zoo enclosure to feed bear condensed milk but animal bites his hand off in
A drunk man had his
hand bitten off by a bear after he jumped into the animal's zoo enclosure to
feed it condensed milk.
bloody attack was caught on CCTV as he ignored warning signs to climb over a
fence in Irkutsk, Russia.
vultures: The unsung heroes of the ecosystem
Vultures get a bad
rap, but they actually play a crucial role in the ecosystem. They’re also super
The San Diego Zoo
Safari Park brought 9-year-old black vulture Duke to the News 8 Morning Extra
Set to show off his feathers in front of the equally beautiful Heather Myers.
becoming endangered and the zoo is celebrating the species with International
Vulture Awareness Day at the park from September 2-4.
On that day, the zoo
will feature the bird in various educa
Oct 16 - Oct 18 ·
Biodiversity Management Bureau · Quezon City, Philippines
9 Actual Animal
Issues More Important than Killer Whales at SeaWorld (and How to Get Off Your
Ass and Actually Start Making a Difference)
The country seems to
be obsessed with the 22 killer whales living at SeaWorld. I applaud people’s
passion on wanting these animals to have the best lives possible. However,
don’t be distracted by what the media is telling you is important. There are
actual animal issues occurring today – but nobody is talking about them…let
alone taking action.
Here are 9 actual
animal issues more important than Killer Whales living at SeaWorld.
Inside the Chinese 'animal sanctuary' where endangered Siberian tigers are trained to perform in circus and pose for pictures with tourists
Chinese Firm to
Build US $40 Million Elephant Conservation, Breeding Center in Laos
state-owned enterprise said on Saturday that it will build a U.S. $40 million
elephant conservation and breeding center in northwestern Laos’ Sayaboury
province and develop it into a for-profit tourist attraction by the end of the
At a celebration of
the first World Elephant Day in the province on Aug. 12, the Sino-Lao Tourism
Investment and Development Company Ltd., announced its plans to build the
center in Sayaboury city for a species that has become increasingly scarce in
the Southeast Asian country.
Company manager Mu
Yian Yu told attendees through an interpreter that the company will invest $40
million in building the conservation center during the upcoming dry weather
season which begins after October.
Tourism Investment and Development Company will develop the center this year,”
he said, adding that provincial officials have granted the firm a 50-year land
concession for the center.
“In two years we
will have boats, hot air balloons, and elephant shows,” he said.
official, who requested anonymity, said the Chinese firm is building the
elephant center as a tourist attraction.
“They are developing
a tourist attraction in Sayab
this place on a wing and a prayer": celebrating 30 years since Monkey
IT’S 30 years since
a zookeeper from New York showed up in Dorset with a single-minded
determination to build a rescue centre for apes.
Today, a decade
after Jim Cronin’s untimely death, Monkey World has followers around the world.
His widow Alison,
who met Jim in 1993, says locals in the 1980s must have found it hard to
imagine what Jim had in mind.
“Mostly local people
were rather bemused that there was this strangely accented American in the area
who claimed he was going to rescue monkeys and live on the edge of Wareham
Forest. That was all conside
Gabrielle Harris – Who Are We?
Gabrielle Harris is
a great person I had the privilege to meet at on of the IMATA conferences I
attended. She has a perspective on animal training what I like very much. Very
thoughtful presentations are presented by her such as this one: Awareness of Control
as Primary Reinforcer
She wrote a book
called Touching Animals Souls and will be translated at the end of this month
to German. Her second book is on the way as well and will be available in
English and Czech.
She is a great
writer and in this guest blog she proves this once again.
Education for Nature – Vietnam's Wildlife
All work, no pay:
the plight of young conservationists
Nika Levikov swore
she would never work as a waitress again. But, today — with a master’s degree
in conservation science from Imperial College London — she’s taking orders,
delivering drinks, and cleaning tables to support herself.
After two years of
looking for paid work as a conservationist around Europe and four months doing
unpaid work in East Africa, Levikov moved to the island of Malta to work at
Greenhouse Malta. Levikov, who owes over $100,000 (£77,644) in student loans,
described her work at the small environment NGO as “casual” and “freelancing” —
some hours are paid, others are volunteer — while the group looks to secure
“The reality many of
us face is that we will have to babysit, clean toilets, and serve drinks as we
try to gain the experience we need in conservation to finally get that dream
job,” said Levikov, a former intern at Mongabay, who just turned 30.
“I’m not blaming
anyone for my current situation in which I am utterly broke and still crossing
my fingers that in the near future my career will finally take off,” she told
Mongabay. “Indeed I was wrong in thinking that all my hard, unpaid work would
lead to something or that having a degree fro
Zoo Keeper jailed
for 10 years for supporting IS
A Zoo Keeper was jailed a total of 10 years
for supporting the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group via the Telegram
application and for possessing IS related paraphernalia.
In sentencing, High
Court judge Datuk Indera Mohd Sofian Tan Sri Abd Razak said the guilty plea is
not a must for an accused to be given privilege.
The judge sentenced
Mohd Sharullizam Ramli, 31, to a ten-year jail term for supporting the IS.
The offence was
committed at Batu 11, Gombak, between March 25, 2016 and June 29, 2016,
He was also
sentenced to a 3-year jail term for having in his possession a flag, a headband
and a car sticker with the IS logo.
The offence was
committed at 1.20pm on July 19, 2016.
However, the accused
will only serve a ten-year jail term, as the judge ordered for both sentences
to run concurrently, from the date of his arrest, on July 19, 2016.
In mitigating for a
lenient sentence, defence counsel N.Sivanesan said his client works at Zoo
Negara and earns a salary of RM1,300.
He also told the
court that Mohd Sharullizam's
Killer Whale Kasatka; Matriarch Had Lung Disease
Six weeks after
being rumored near death, killer whale matriarch Kasatka has died at SeaWorld
San Diego, the park announced late Tuesday night.
Nearly 42 years old,
Kasatka was euthanized around 8:15 p.m. at Orca Encounter after a long bout
with bacterial respiratory infection, or lung disease, officials said.
“Despite their best
efforts, her health and appetite significantly declined over the past several
days despite continually tailored treatments,” SeaWorld said. “Kasatka’s
veterinarians and caretakers made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize
her to prevent compromising her quality of life.”
Kasatka — the mother
of four, grandmother of six and great grandmother of two orcas — “passed away
surrounded by members of her pod, as well as the veterinarians and caretakers
who loved her,” SeaWorld said.
The park said
Kasatka’s behaviorists shared a special bond with the killer whale and were
deeply saddened by her passing.
The loss leaves 10
orcas in San Diego — five females and five males, who appear to be doing well,
monitoring and watching for any changes in their behavior,” said a statement.
“While the loss of Kasatka is heart
The court case
against Marineland might be over, but we can still consider this saga a 'win'
Despite years of bad
press and seemingly credible allegations of animal abuse, it comes as little
surprise that cruelty charges laid against Marineland by the Ontario Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) were withdrawn last week. The Crown
said there was no reasonable chance of conviction.
convictions are notoriously rare in Canada. But though the law may not
recognize it, the very nature of Marineland — to confine animals to unnatural
environments for entertainment and profit —
This case shows that
the struggle to shut down these zoos using the power of the courts is still
very much ongoing. Nevertheless, it can and should be considered a win: the
case succeeded in keeping years-old investigations into Marineland's treatment
of animals in the news, and catalyzed all sorts of valuable discussions about
the purpose these facilities serve in the 21st century.
Turning a profit
Under the guise of
education and conservation, marine parks and zoos exploit captive animals to
entertain humans and to turn a profit. Make no mistake, Marineland, like
SeaWorld, like the Bowmanville Zoo, like the Ringling Bros. Circus, is a
business. Its product: animals captured from the wild or bred in captivity,
sentenced to life in small, unnatural environments where they are forever
denied the ability to engage in natural behaviours, some even forcefully
trained to perform.
Animal welfare can
never be the top priority when profit is at stake because the condition of the
animals will always come second to the bottom line. As a result, captive
EAD releases further
54 Scimitar horned Oryx into wild in Chad
Agency – Abu Dhabi, EAD, have just released a further 54 Scimitar horned Oryx
into the wild in Chad. This latest release is a significant milestone for
progress of the initiative, which seeks to reintroduce this extinct-in-the-wild
reintroduction yet brings the number of animals in the wild to 89. The
reintroduction efforts of the last year have seen the population grow with 16
calves now recorded in the wild.
EAD, along with
their project partners, the Chadian Ministry of Wildlife and Fisheries and the
Sahara Conservation Fund, aims to achieve a wild free-ranging, self-sustaining
population of 500 animals in the Ouadi Rime Ouadi Achim game reserve in Chad.
It is believed that the last Scimitar horned Oryx disappeared from Chad in the
late 1980’s and the species was officially declared "Extinct in the
Wild" globally by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature,
IUCN, in 2000.
The animals selected
for the reintroduction come from the ‘world herd’ that EAD has been curating at
its breeding facility in Delaija, Abu Dhabi. Many of the animals that make up
the world herd were generously donated to EAD from the collection of the late
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The genetic diversity of the blood-stock has
been increased with the addition of animals that have been kindly donated from
a number of zoos and private collectors across the globe.
A very careful
selection process takes
How llamas conquered
Llamas recently have
become a relatively common sight around the world. Whether you live in England
or New South Wales, Canada, or New Zealand, you don’t have to go too far to
find a llama. Indeed thousands of llamas are registered in the UK, where the species
has emerged as a popular (if seemingly unlikely) choice for many aspiring
livestock owners and is winning new admirers by the day.
While the llama is
currently on the up, its history has not always been so rosy. Reared
intensively by the Incas, llamas suffered severely at the hands of the Spanish
conquistadors and still lack the genetic diversity they enjoyed in
Pre-Columbian times. But over the past few decades, llamas have flourished as a
global commodity, fulfilling novel roles and gaining an international profile.
So how has the llama
gone from near extincti
into the UK’s largest public aquarium chain