Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Zoo News Digest 10th October 2017 (ZooNews 972)

Zoo News Digest 10th October 2017  (ZooNews 972)


Peter Dickinson



Dear Colleague,

So a 'keeper' was killed and partially eaten by two white tiger cubs in Bannerghatta Biological Park zoo.
There have been some rather unkind things said about this unfortunate man on social media so I thought I would dig as deep as I could in the online news stories to make sense of the incident. There are, as can be expected several contradictions.
It talks of 'tiger cubs' but these animals were 18 months old and so of considerable size and I doubt that any layman would describe them as cubs.
First and most obvious is that he wasn't a keeper at all. He had only been in the job for a week as a daily wage employee and was assisting the keeper. He was not alone.

Anji, 40, was killed late Saturday at Bannerghatta Biological Park on the outskirts of Bangalore when the two cubs attacked him as he herded them into their enclosure, park chief Santosh Kumar said.

“The victim was assisting the caretaker in pushing the cats into their enclosure for the night when they turned around and pounced on him as one of the four gates was not shut and latched by them,” Kumar said.

So he was in the enclosure with the animals….that makes an unlatched gate rather irrelevant.

He said a senior staffer was around at the time: "In fact, the tigers chased him too. But he was lucky to get to a safe place. We're conducting an inquiry."

Kumar said it appears that Anjaneya didn't operate the holding gates properly.

So Anjaneya is to blame?

Kumar said zoo rules only allow experienced staffers to work in the tiger enclosure.

Note the "in".

How many days does it take to become an "experienced staffer"? Remember this guy had only been there a week.

Lastly and really irrelevant to the story White Tigers are not rare or endangered. They are not a species or even a subspecies but a naturally occurring rare mutation. There are none in the wild and all of those in captivity are a result of deliberate inbreeding of father to daughter, brother to sister and so on. It does tigers in general no favours in producing them and is anti-conservation.

So Rest in Peace Anjaneya and I do hope your family are properly compensated. It really does not look like any of the blame rests with you.


It was my birthday last week. Over three days I was swamped with greetings which I really do appreciate. I tried to acknowledge every one and I think I managed. If I missed you, sorry and thank you.

Did You Know?
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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,

Guest Speaker: Ken Ramirez – The Butterfly Project
I’ve met Ken several times through IMATA. I first met him back in 2008 when I joined the first IMATA conference in my career. It has been quite a ride for me since. To mention that this year I will be serving as Vice President of IMATA. This gives me the honer to work right next to Ken Ramirez. As we al know he has done a lot for many of us if it has been the first steps in training or if it was the step what made you get there. As Ken mentioned to me in a conversation last year, one of his passions is conservation. He works with great people and conservationists to make projects happen but this doesn’t always come with flowers. See one of his stories about his latest project:

Navy dolphins arrive for vaquita capture
What might be the last stand in the fight to save the vaquita marina porpoise has begun with the arrival in the upper Gulf of California of four trained dolphins.

Andrea, Fathom, Katrina and Splash arrived yesterday in San Felipe, Baja California, where they’ll spend the next month helping a team of specialists locate vaquitas so they can be captured.

A team of scientists and veterinarians plans to transport the captured porpoises to a 46-square-meter pen at the new Vaquita Care Center, located in San Felipe, with the hope that they will breed and reverse the decline in numbers. It was estimated in November that only 30 re

Learning About Ourselves: A Conversation with Tim Morrow, CEO and Executive Director of the San Antonio Zoo
  The San Antonio Zoo is undergoing a renaissance as several improvements and capital projects have taken place over the past few years. Also, the zoo has dramatically improved its marketing to put a larger focus on saving species and inspiring visitors to be involved with conservation. The leader of this resurgence is Tim Morrow, the zoo’s CEO and Executive Director. He has led the San Antonio Zoo since late 2014 and has ambitious plans to make the zoo even better. Here is his story.

Dolphin killings rise in Peru due to Asia shark fin sales
Peru has dramatically increased its sales of shark fins to Asia, triggering the slaughter of about 15,000 dolphins a year used as bait, officials said Friday.
Shark fin is viewed by many Asians as a delicacy and is often served as a soup at expensive Chinese banquets.

Most of Peru’s shark fin exports, which jumped 10 percent in recent years, go to Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and other Asian Nations, the Production Ministry said.

Lemurpalooza: Duke center aims to raise awareness for lemur care and conservation
The Duke Lemur Center hosted its semiannual event, Lemurpalooza, on Saturday.

The event allowed attendees to view the center's lemur habitats at their own pace and also featured activities for families to learn more about lemurs and the center's conservation projects.

Megan McGrath, education programs manager at the center, said the importance of the event cannot be overstated, because it gets people interested on a personal level.

“There’s a very different connection people get going on our Walking With Lemurs tours out here where they get to go into a forest with lemurs all around them, see them in their natural setting,” she said. 

Dade City's Wild Things uses "hundreds of thousands" in zoo donations for personal business, state alleges
The owners of Dade City's Wild Things have funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars from the nonprofit zoo into their personal business account, paying for their son's wedding and other private expenses with donations raised in the name of saving animals, according to a lawsuit filed by Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The civil suit alleges proceeds from ticket sales and animal encounters were collected under the guise of caring for animals and assisting conservation efforts but at least $212,000 was transferred to Kathy and Kenneth Stearns' turf business since March 2016.

The zoo money was then used to pay $10,000 in wedding expenses for son Randall Stearns and $24,143 in delinquent payments to Kathy Stearns' 2013 personal bankruptcy case, according to Chase Bank statements the state obtained through a subpoena.

In addition to transferring funds from the zoo to her for-profit business, the lawsuit alleges Kathy Stearns paid $8,000 in 2015 and $7,350 in 2016 to her personal bankruptcy case directly from zoo accounts.

The state is asking the court to fine the Stearns and bar them perm

Tiger cub attacks its keeper as it escapes its enclosure at a Chinese zoo before worker is forced to catch it by clinging on to its TAIL
A tiger cub reportedly escaped its enclosure yesterday at a Chinese zoo after attacking its keepers.
The cub broke out of its cage because it had missed its mother and was looking for its mother, according to Chinese media.
Workers at the zoo managed to catch the cub by grabbing its tail.

Establishing a conservation breeding programme to save the last saola
The saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis), a primitive wild cattle endemic to the Annamite mountain range in Vietnam and Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR), is in immediate danger of extinction. The primary threat to its survival is intensive commercial snaring to supply the thriving wild meat trade in Indochina. In order to save the saola, it is essential to establish a conservation breeding programme. In a letter published in Science, a group of conservationists and conservation scientists, including members of the IUCN Saola Working Group and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research Berlin, have voiced their concern about the future of the species and stressed the importance of urgent ex situ management.

A Santa Rosa wildlife preserve is trying to evacuate its animals
Santa Rosa wildlife preserve Safari West posted on its Facebook page Monday morning that "for the moment, it looks like our preserve and our animals are ok."

“While the situation remains dynamic and very dangerous, we have received word that the Safari West Wildlife Preserve appears to have weathered the worst of this firestorm."

Two white tigers kill Bengaluru zoo keeper...
Two white tigers in Bannerghatta National Park here on Saturday mauled a keeper to death when he en...

White Tiger Cubs Kill Caretaker At Bengaluru's Bannerghatta Biological Park
A few days into his new job at the Bannerghatta Biological Park near Bengaluru, an animal keeper was killed by two white tiger cubs. Anji, 41, was recruited about a week ago. He had gone to place meat inside the enclosure for the animals without noticing it was open on the other side where the cubs were resting, sources said.

He tried to escape, but the cubs of tigress Sowbhagya chased and killed him, they said. The police have registered a case of unnatural death based on a complaint by the park authorities. The park's executive director Santosh Kumar confirmed Anji's death, but said, "Since a police investigation is on, it is not fair on my part to give any reason behind Anji's death."

Two years ago, another animal keeper

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund benefits 1,677 projects to conserve endangered species
The total value of grants provided by the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, MBZ Fund, has reached AED58,852,000, benefitting 1,677 projects in efforts to protect 1,133 endangered species, according to its published statistics.

Over 150 countries from around the world have benefitted from the grants provided by the MBZ Fund since its establishment in October 2008, reflecting the UAE's role in protecting the environment and wildlife and in conserving rare species.

The grants have also supported research and individual projects to rescue many endangered species in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, including amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds, fungi, fish, plants and other living organisms.

The largest portion of these grants, totallin


One dead in shooting at Wynnewood zoo
 The husband of Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate Joseph "Joe Exotic" Maldonado is dead after a shooting at Greater Wynnewood Animal Park.

Joseph Maldonado said in a Facebook post that his husband, Travis Maldonado, died after accidentally shooting himself at the zoo on Friday.

In the Facebook post, Joseph Maldonado said the shooting was a "terrible accident."

Calls to the zoo were unanswered Friday.

The Garvin County Sheriff's Office and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner were on the scene Friday investigating the incident.

The sheriff's office responded to a report of a gun discharge at

Cotswold Wildlife Park keeper needed hospital treatment after lemur incident
A keeper at Cotswold Wildlife Park had to get hospital treatment for a broken nose after a 'head-on' collision with a lemur.

The animal specialist said they were left with splintered bones after the tiny animal 'came flying out of the hatch' of its enclosure.

The encounter was one of ten accidents at the West Oxfordshire park reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the 2016/17 financial year.

The other nine injuries affected members of

10 things a penguin can do better than a human
African penguins are amazing animals with unique adaptations that make them true masters of their environment. Here are 10 ways that African penguins are better at doing things than humans - we hope that after reading this you will appreciate these awesome endangered, endemic birds a bit more on this African Penguin Awareness Day.

'Leasing' rare animals flagged as a way to fund wildlife conservation programs
Australia should consider 'leasing' its rare and endangered wildlife as 'ambassadors for conservation' to raise cash for conservation programs, similar to what China already does with the giant panda.
That is the parting advice from Australia's Threatened Species commissioner, Gregory Andrews, who is leaving after three years in the job.

"Each panda bear that's overseas from China brings in at least $1 million a year on a novated lease," Mr Andrews told Radio National Breakfast.

"That's something that I've been encouraging … the same principle here in Australia, sharing some of our wildlife, of course with the utmost care and only with the most reputable zoos, but using that money to fund th

Joburg City Parks confirms outbreak of bird flu
Avian influenza has hit Johannesburg with 598 carcasses of birds having been recovered from the City of Joburg facilities at Westdene Dam, Emmarentia Dam, Zoo Lake and and Joburg Zoo.

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) has confirmed that some of its facilities have been affected by the outbreak that was first detected in Limpopo and which has been spread by the seasonal migration of birds.

JCPZ spokesperson Jenny Moodley said that from September 1 to date, the facility has recovered over 548 carcasses and “most have tested positive for the strain of Avian Influenza that is not contagious to humans.”

All the dead birds are being incinerated and ar

Jealous chimp named Romeo BEATS UP zookeeper because he thought he was flirting with a female chimp named Juliet
A JEALOUS chimp called Romeo beat up a zookeeper and chewed off his ear because he thought the man was flirting with his partner Juliet.

Romeo flew into a rage when his female mate tried to kiss zookeeper Sergey through a glass window in their cage at the Feldman Eco Park zoo in Lisne, Ukraine.

Port Lympne gorilla brothers heading to Congo in Back to the Wild initiative
A family of gorillas will be swapping Kent for the Congo as they embark on an epic journey into the wild.

The four western lowland gorillas are park favourites at Port Lympne but the brothers are heading to Africa later this month.

The reserve near Hythe has now set up a campaign - Congo Calling, which is backed by the Congolese government - asking for the public to support the primates returning to the wild.

In La., a modern-day ark for vulnerable species
Audubon Nature Institute curator Michelle Hatwood stepped off the back of a flatbed trailer, rattling a bright red bucket of carrots and yams as three bongos watched skeptically from beyond the edge of the nearby tree line.

The African antelopes weren’t wary of Hatwood or her Audubon colleagues. They’ve grown quite accustomed to them since arriving in Algiers this spring. It was more likely the gaggle of news reporters and photographers Hatwood had in tow, there to get a first look at the newest initiative at the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center.

“Hey, honey!” Hatwood beckoned as Betty Jean, a 7-year-old female, finally approached, her head bobbing slightly from side to side.

Kiba, a 3-year-old male, opted to remain at a comfortable distance.

“Usually he’s all up in our faces and won’t leave us alone,” Hatwood said. “It’s nice he’s kind of relaxed.”

Betty Jean and Kiba are just two of 28 hoofed animals -- including giraffes, sable antelopes, common elands, okapis and yellow-backed duikers -- that arrived about two weeks ago from the San Diego Zoo at their new 425-acre home at Audubon’s West Bank campus in Lower Coast Algiers. Some arrived solo, w


Zoological facilities and sanctuaries in the United States tend to appear to the general public to be fairly similar enterprises, separated in their minds mainly by semantics and the origin of the animals in their collections; in reality, they're very distinct business types that appear to be superficially similar. As no standardized definition of the two types of businesses appears to be extant within the animal management field, WADTT offers these lists of defining characteristics as as starting point for discussion.

Why do we have such a close relationship with animals?
THE interaction between human and non-human animals fascinates everyone from anthropologists to the average pet owner. It even has a name – anthrozoology – as biologist John Bradshaw reminds us in the subtitle of his new book, The Animals Among Us.

As Bradshaw points out, for humans to consistently live with and nurture animals is a most unusual trait in nature. So a strong, fact-based discussion of how and why we do this and its effects should be eye-opening, engaging and thought-provoking.

Animals ticks some of those boxes, but by no means all. Bradshaw knows how to produce a well-written and accessible tome. A veteran of popular books about the lives and habits of cats and dogs, he focuses most on the ubiquity of people keeping animals, today and over the past few hundred years, and specifically on pets.

All zoos should be closed – other species have rights
hat does it take to close down a zoo? The death of nearly 500 of its captives in less than four years? The tragedy of South Lakes Safari Zoo in Cumbria is measured out in those losses – inconsequential or unlucky as they may be seen in the eyes of some, pathetic and terrible in the eyes of others. It is a tragedy that is both human and animal, one in which our emotional investment in, or disconnection from, the natural world plays out. It is the paradox with which we have to live, if we live with animals. And it is one in which there will, it seems, always be one set of losers – those who do not possess our language or our culture with which to protest at their treatment.

For the vast majority of us, a zoo is our first and perhaps only introduction to a living “wild” animal. The power of that communion is not to be understated. I asked a friend if he felt visits to a city zoo with his five-year-old daughter and four-year-old son were valuable – or even valid – as educational experiences, beyond the obvious moral questions that underlie them. “Yes,” he replied, without equivocation. “But we don’t have the right to see all animals. [They] not should expect to be able to see a tiger.”

We want our children to know that the world is full of beautiful animals, beyond the cartoons of Paw Patrol and social media clip

What a Zoo: Hellbenders
It's a conservation project that the Toledo Zoo has been part of for six years.

Newly-plucked hellbenders will spend the next three years here before they'll return home to the creeks of southern Ohio.

They've only been at the Toledo Zoo for a few months.

John Chastain, associate curator of herpetology with the Zoo explains, "Hellbender numbers in general have been greatly decreasing over the years. All of this is mainly due to habitat destruction, siltation of streams. So with a lot of land restoration and management techniques, the habitat's coming back."

Hellbenders are a type of salamander found in southern Ohio.

And for the past 6 years, the Toledo Zoo has been collecting eggs from the wild, and raising them for three years before sending them back to their habitats.

The hardest part, john says, has been getting them to hatch.

He says, "Unlike most amphibian eggs, which we usually just leave alone and they kind of do their thing, there are different issues with the hellbender eggs. In the wild, the males actually d

Czech zoo to lead campaign to save southeast Asian songbirds
The Czech Republic will head a European campaign for the protection of endangered songbirds in southeast Asia starting in October, Barbara Tesarova, spokeswoman for the Liberec Zoo in which the campaign's main office will be, has told CTK.

"We expect at least 200 European zoological gardens to join the campaign and 500,000 euros to be raised," she said.

"Trading in songbirds has become a very profitable business, which leads to an unchecked depletion of bird species," she said about the Silent Forest - Asian Songbird Crisis campaign organised by the The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA).

Unless action is taken quickly, these species will die out, Tesarova said.

The campaign is to last two years and approximately 280 million people are to visit the European zoos participating in it during this time. The campaign aims

How did the dingo get to Australia?
Dogs and people have been traveling the world together for possibly 30,000 years, with one exception: Australia. Archaeological evidence, from bones to rock art paintings, suggests that Australia’s native dog, the dingo, didn’t arrive down under until at least 4000 years ago. So who brought them? Two archaeologists think they’ve now identified the likely suspects in the long-running mystery.

The question is not just a matter of curiosity about dingoes. “For some reason, we know relatively little about this time compared with other regions of the world,” says psychologist Bradley Smith, who specializes in canine behavior and cognition at Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, in Australia and who did not contribute to the study. That means that “understanding the origins of the dingo will shed light on human history in Southeast Asia, the process of dog domestication, and the prehistory of Australia,” adds Mathew Crowther, a wildlife biologist at the University of Sydney also not involved in the study.

There are several groups of people who could have brought the dingo to Australia. Among the front-runners are Indian mariners who may

Evolving Techniques with Birds of Prey
In our everyday life we grow in what we do, our thoughts become different and our actions are being considered more as we get older. When I was younger I used to do a lot more reckless things what I wouldn’t do today. Opinions have changed due to experiences and so does your character. Your acceptance and maybe your curiosity goes to another point in your life where you wonder about different subjects as you used to wonder about. I’m nonstop asking the “Why” questions to myself and I can’t get tired of it. Some answers are easy made but some answers reflect to me with but “why can’t it be different?”. With the Job I have today I try to put this in practice on a daily base. Quite a while ago I had a talk with somebody from another Zoo who asked me, Does Kolmården Zoo have the highest animal training standard in Sweden? My answer was that we all do the same but we come from a different corner and that’s the difference. So, No we are not the highest standard. We just make ourselves different with the actions and techniques we take for the best care of our animals. This could maybe be an outcome of the thought “Why can’t it be different?”

Care, Connect, Conserve, Coastal: A Conversation with Joe Fitting, Deputy Director of the San Francisco zoo
Sitting on 100 acres and home to over 1,000 animals, the San Francisco Zoo is a large zoo and features a great diversity of wildlife. Joe Fitting is the deputy director of the Zoo and has been there since 1979. “I’m kind of like the sheriff,” he said. “I constantly ask why we are doing things the way we do them. I help our director Tanya Peterson with specialized projects. I’ve been here a long time so I have institutional knowledge.” Here is his story.

Wellington Zoo contributes nearly $390K towards conservation
Conservation is the heart of Wellington Zoo and in the financial year ending 30 June, the Zoo is proud to have contributed staff time and commitment and nearly $390K towards local and global field conservation efforts. Recently appointed Conservation Manager Peter Fraser will help drive the Zoo’s ongoing mission to save animals in the wild.

“I’m really excited to be joining Wellington Zoo as part of a fantastic team of like-minded individuals who are all so passionate about animal conservation,” says Peter, who has previously worked as Auckland Zoo’s Conservation Fund Programme Coordinator, Zoo Keeper, and a founding Trustee for the Kea Conservation Trust, one of Wellington Zoo’s long standing conservation partners.

“Seeing this significant field conservation contribution just confirms that I’ve chosen to work for the right organisation, on

Leopards And Monkeys Burn To Death As Massive Fire Engulfs Maltese Zoo
Two leopards and several monkeys have reportedly burned to death after a massive fire broke out at the Mtahleb Wildlife Park this morning.

However, firefighters managed to rescue some tigers, lions, bears and a puma after they ran into a pool. These animals will be treated wth opium and transported to a secure location.

The fire has been completely extinguished now, but the damage to the zoo is said to be extensive - the entire park is destroyed, as is the nearby home of the family who owns it.

According to the Times of Malta, police investigators suspect the fire broke out after a gas cylinder expl

Merlin floated possible deal with SeaWorld
Merlin Entertainments, the operator of Legoland theme parks, has approached SeaWorld about a possible deal.

US-based SeaWorld, which operates marine theme parks, saw its shares jump as high as 8 per cent in after-hours trading on Wednesday before clawing back some of those gains to trade up more than 4 per cent. The approach was first reported by Bloomberg and confirmed to the FT by a source familiar with the matter.

The sources told the FT that Merlin had approached with an interest in parts of SeaWorld, but that SeaWorld had been reluctant to break itself into pieces instead of selling itself as a whole.

Merlin and SeaWorld both declined to comment.

SeaWorld, which has a market cap of $1.22bn, recently replaced the longtime chairman of its board of directors amid falling attendance and revenues in the wake of criticism over its treatme

Captured in 1974, Shimoda aquarium dolphin Nana sets record breeding duration of nearly 43 years
An aquarium in the city of Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture, said Wednesday that it marked Japan’s longest breeding record of bottlenose dolphin, with 15,666 days, or 42 years and 10 months.

Shimoda Aquarium said the dolphin Nana, whose age is estimated 45 to 47, has been bred there since it was captured in the sea off the city of Ito in Shizuoka in November 1974.

By 1994, she had given birth to eight dolphins. Nana still has a big appetite and likes to eat mackerel.

Bottlenose dolphins normally live for 10 to 15 years.

The aquarium held a ceremony for Nana Wednesday, where Shimoda Mayor Yusuke Fukui handed a special residence certificate to the dolphin.

Nana swam and jumped with other dolphins that are as young as her great-grandchildren on Wednesday.

“Because we breed her in a natural bay, she may not have a lot of stress. I hope she will stay healthy and live a l

New animal director threatened to quit post over 'misunderstandings and disagreements' with zoo boss
SOUTH Lakes Safari Zoo is complying with the conditions of its licence - despite the man tasked with changing its fortunes threatening to resign.

Andreas Kaufmann was officially appointed animal director in August as part of the conditions of Cumbria Zoo Company Limited's licence awarded by Barrow Borough Council.

Yet he handed in his resignation amid a series of "misunderstandings and disagreements" with zoo boss Karen Brewer, including the animals’ diets.

Mr Kaufmann said: "Everything worked really well for about a month until I felt there were issues. I did resign because I couldn't work at the pace I was used to.

"It wasn't a spontaneous decision. There was a few different things and a few of them were just misunderstandings and disagreements and different approaches.
"English isn't my first language and there are also differences in culture. I'm quite straightforward and that's sometimes too much for some.

"Many things came together and we've sorted things and we're now back to a good process."

Under the terms of the licence, awarded to CZCL on May 11, an animal director must be employed on a permanent and full-time basis before July 31.
Councillors expressed concerns about Mr Kaufmann's dedication to the zoo and its operations in his absence.

While he has a number of pre-existing national and international commitments, CZCL has also employed an animal manager to deputise for Mr Kaufmann during his time away from the zoo.
Dr Matthew Brash, one of three inspectors to visit the zoo unannounced on August 3, said: "It is a completely understandable concern. By the letter of the law he has a contract now and he has signed it.

"He is there and has put in place a number two to run the zoo when he can't.

Stewart Lambert, chairman of the board at the zoo, said: "Because of our current reputation we recognised that we were unlikely to get anyone else of equal stature at this time, and he's one of the world's best."

Despite councillors' concerns, Barrow Borough Council's licensing regulatory committee found that, while Mr Kaufmann's position was not fully agreed until August 4, CZCL is complying with this requirement.

Council hears of animal injuries

THE inspection detailed during today’s (October 5) meeting also noted that CZCL was following an order to eliminate as many bites and injuries as possible, despite a number of incidents observed during the inspection.

A number of the incidents surrounded the public feeding of lemurs and squirrel monkeys in open areas.

The inspection found considerable contact between the animals and the public, including one instance of a lemur climbing onto a pram.

In his report, Dr Brash said: "Lemur feeding by the public has historically been of concern. The large number of lemurs and people involved in these public feeding sessions has the potential for them to come into contact with these primates and the potential for them to be bitten.

"The inspectors observed a feeding session and noted the keepers do a good job instructing the public about safety and requesting they stay approximately one metre back from the rail. It's educational and informative and the public obviously hugely enjoyed the experience."

Mr Kaufmann confirmed changes had been put in place during his short time as animal director.

He said: "Some changes have already been put in place regarding interactions between animals and the public.

"Squirrel monkeys are no longer allowed in public contact areas and they never will be again.

"Some changes have already been made to lemur feedings such as less attractive food items and organisational and constructional ones are on the way.

"However, we are aiming to replace the current lemur interactions with more attractive experiences involving zero risk."

The changes included feeding the animals multiple times each day to reduce hunger at public feedings, while there are plans to limit the number of people at feedings to three or four.

Safe transfer of animals to resume

A NUMBER of lemurs at the zoo have been placed on the surplus list, as bosses attempt to safely reduce the number of animals on site.

The zoo had lost its government-approved BALAI status, which prevented the sale of animals to other sites around the country.

Mr Kaufmann said: "We will move a number of animals to other zoos. This is a great place but one of the areas we have to work on is the number of animals for our capabilities.

"We are doing a good job of finding good homes for them. We're looking at other institutions and we make sure they are in a position to care for them appropriately.

"We do not euthanise our animals."

A number of male kangaroos were also placed on the list following an injury to a kangaroo found during the inspection.

The kangaroo was observed with a damaged area of skin over the left pouch following a mating session.

Mr Kaufmann said: "If you're a parent and your child is sick it doesn't make you a bad parent.

"When you care for animals in a zoo they will get sick and you need to provide the care to make them better."

MP writes to secretary of state following zoo 'scandal'

FOLLOWING the decision from Barrow Borough Council, the area's MP John Woodcock has written to secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs, Michael Gove.

Mr Woodcock has previously criticised the zoo management for their failings under David Gill's leadership.

In his letter to Mr Gove, he said: "I am writing to you to request a meeting to discuss animals at risk at South Lakes Safari Zoo in my constituency and seek to persuade you to act to overhaul the country’s wholly inadequate zoo licensing framework.

"I congratulate you on your decision to increase the criminal penalty to those found guilty of cruelty to pets. I understand this would also apply to zoo animals, can you confirm that this is the case please? Would the new guidelines you are drawing up encapsulate neglect such as that witnessed in South Lakes Safari Zoo?

"As you will be aware, earlier this year there was the shocking discovery of large-scale neglect of animals, over 500 animals died some in horrific circumstances.

"This finding came a few years after the tragic death of my constituent, zookeeper Sarah McClay, who was killed by a tiger in 2013. Barrow Borough Council is meeting today to discuss the findings of a new inspection of the zoo which is now nominally under new management.

"Whatever the council’s decision, it is essential that the government now commits to root and branch reform of the wider zoo licensing regime which is simply not fit for purpose and is leaving many zoo animals across the country at risk of cruelty and neglect.

"In South Lakes Zoo, a fresh licence to operate was granted to a new company made up of many members of the regime that was stripped of its license following the inspection.

"As it stands, any council charged with making a decision on zoo licenses has no legal authority to take into account issues such as this. They are forced to rely solely on a snapshot provided by inspectors who are not full time professionals, and often riven with conflicts of interest.

"Surely, in the wake of the South Lakes scandal the government should act to establish a fit and proper person’s test that would bar those who have been in positions of responsibility under a previous failed regime. It should also consult on how the regulatory system for zoos can be professionalised so it replicates the standards seen in other professions where welfare and safety are at risk.

"I would really welcome the chance to put this case to you in person and discuss your views on how to improve this inadequate, out-of-date system that has demonstrably failed in its basic purpose.

"Given the high level of interest in this matter, I am making this letter publicly available."

Zoo Interviews
Solving the Jigsaw Puzzles of the Natural World: A Conversation with Dr. David Jones, Retired Director of the North Carolina Zoo
  With over 500 developed acres, the North Carolina Zoo is the largest walkthrough zoo in the United States of America. Focused exclusively on recreating the habitats of Africa and North America, it is known for its enormous animal spaces, beautiful landscape and abundance of artwork. It is truly one of the best zoos in the world. From 1993 to 2015, the zoo was lead by Dr. David Jones, who formerly directed the Zoological Society of London. He oversaw much progress and growth at the zoo including significant expansions and renovations of habitats for African elephants, polar bears and chimpanzees. Here is his story.

Giant stick insects found on Lord Howe Island a genetic match for 'extinct' phasmids
Scientists have confirmed that giant insects found on a rocky outcrop off Lord Howe Island are a genetic match for the island’s stick insects that were believed to have gone extinct almost 100 years earlier.

The species were assumed to be one and the same. However significant morphological differences between the Lord Howe Island stick insects collected in the early 1900s and stored in museum collections, and the phasmids discovered in 2001 on Ball’s Pyramid (a remnant volcano about 23km off the main island), created a suspicion the latter could be a related species – rather than the original back from the dead.

That suspicion prompted scientists to map the genome from descendants of the Ball’s Pyramid phasmids, which were bred in captivity at Melbourne zoo. They compared it to DNA extracted from museum specimens held by the CSIRO.

Flying Foxes Play Important Role in Pollination of Durian
Large fruit bats of the genus Pteropus are severely threatened by hunting and deforestation.

They are often sold and eaten as exotic meat due to an unsubstantiated belief that consuming them can help cure asthma and other respiratory problems.

They are also persecuted and killed as agricultural pests, as some people claim that the bats cause damage and economic loss by feeding on cultivated fruits.

A new study published in the Journal of Ecology and Evolution shows that these bats play important roles as seed dispersers and pollinators in rainforests, especially on islands.

“Previously it was known that the smaller, nectar-feeding bats are pollinators for durian — but many people believed that flying foxes were too large and destructive to play such a role,

Devon zoo is world's first in keeping three breeding pairs of slow loris
Slow loris are the only venomous primate in the world and Shaldon Zoo staff are among a determined group of conservationists trying to preserve this unusual nocturnal primate from becoming extinct.

There are nine species of slow loris and two slender loris. Shaldon work with three of these species; the most in any zoological centre in the world.

Lahore zoo ignores WAZA guidelines in a bid to procure single elephant
At a time when Islamabad administration is thinking about shifting Kaavan, the depressed lone male elephant in Islamabad Margazhar zoo, to an elephant sanctuary abroad for rehabilitation, the Lahore zoo authorities are once again all set to procure one female elephant against the recommendation of World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
On the international level, animal experts have been extremely vocal about banning elephants in zoos since the large creature requires expansive space to exercise its muscles, while it is also a social animal that likes to move long distances with a herd. The unavailability of potential mates

Malta SPCA says islands’ zoos cannot give good quality of life to wild animals
The MSPCA said it is concerned with the growing reports of wild animals in so called private collections.  “MSPCA urges the authorities to monitor this and other operations to prevent further deterioration in Malta as wild animals, even in private collections, have made the news before for all the wrong reasons.”
Wildlife Park Malta, a licensed zoo, was hit by a fire on Tuesday early morning, which claimed the lives of many of their animals.
The MSPCA said it was saddened by the unnecessary death of the animals killed in the blaze, while animal lovers all over social media are expressing their anger that this happened.
“Several animals have had to be displaced as their enclosures are no longer safe or secure, while two leopards, three parrots, two lemurs, two monkeys and a squirrel monkey were less fortunate and died in the fire. While this nightmare unfolds MSPCA hopes that these animals are not further stressed by being kept in

Hurricane mauled PR's renowned Monkey Island research center
As thousands of troops and government workers struggle to restore normal life to Puerto Rico, a small group of scientists is racing to save more than 1,000 monkeys whose brains may contain clues to mysteries of the human mind.

One of the first places Hurricane Maria hit in the U.S. territory Sept. 20 was Cayo Santiago, known as Monkey Island, a 40-acre outcropping off the east coast that is one of the world's most important sites for research into how primates think, socialize and evolve.
The storm destroyed virtually everything on the island, stripping it of vegetation, wrecking the monkeys' metal drinking troughs and crushing the piers that University of Puerto Rico workers use to bring in bags of monkey chow—brown pellets of processed food that complete the primates' natural vegetation diet.
"All of our tools were destroyed," said Angelina Ruiz Lambides, the director of the Cayo Santiago facility. "Does FEMA cover this? Does the university's insurance cover this? I don't kno


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

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

"These are the best days of my life"

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant
+971 50 4787 122 | elvinhow@gmail.com | Skype: peter.dickinson48

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