As more and more
zoos start to embrace new technology I wondered whether Zoo E-Guides going to
lead to the demise of Zoo Docents? I do hope not. You really cannot beat the
human touch. Visitors will often return to a zoo to catch up with a particular
keeper or docent. I cannot imagine anyone going back to a zoo to listen to an
E-Guide for a second time. It's not that I am against such things but the
personal approach is always best.
I would like to take
this opportunity to wish my friend and colleague Peter Dillingham all the very
best in his retirement. Keep busy Peter and enjoy your time.
I note that the South Lakes
Safari Zoo is getting it in the neck once again. This is one collection whose
past failings are not going to go away in a hurry.
I was trawling
through the PAWS website the other day and a surprising thing hit me. There was
no open condemnation of zoos per se…. Just "Roadside Zoos". Is this a
new approach I wonder? Or is it that the anti's are starting to do what Good Zoos
should be doing every day and condemning the bad and Dysfunctional Zoos. I must
be sounding like a record player needle stuck in a groove but if the Good Zoos
don't do something about the bad we will all be tarred with the same dirty
brush. The opposite approach of standing together with the Bad Dysfunctional
Zoos against the Animal Rights Anarchists is not the side I am on. I am
strictly Pro Good Zoo and without any intention of insult to anyone believe my
morality and ethics towards captivity are far higher than many. It is just such
an approach which has lost me consultancy work. Some people just do not want to
hear the truth.
Whereas I would not
trust Wayne Pacelle as far as I could throw him I did find myself agreeing with
some of what he had to say. I won't repeat it now because I covered it earlier
in my article "What Makes A Good Zoo, A Personal Journey" (It's a
The very best of luck to my team at IMATA in Mexico!
The first few links
of this edition of the Blog are all Zoo Politics but there are many other links
I am sure you will find of interest.
Did You Know?
ZooNews Digest has over 61,000 Followers on Facebook( and over 62,000 likes) and has a weekly reach often exceeding over 350,000 people? That ZooNews Digest has subscribers in over 823 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.
HSUS, top zoos can
together be a force for good
As if there isn’t
enough misunderstanding in the world nowadays, a few voices in the zoo
community have scolded the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) for inviting
me to give a keynote presentation at the opening session at the group’s annual
conference that kicked off today in Indianapolis – a gathering that attracted
about 2,500 people in the zoological profession. This effort to divide animal
advocates into warring camps comes at a time when there is a greater need than
ever for pro-animal organizations such as The HSUS and the AZA to unite to
fight cruelty and promote conservation.
Indeed, we have
common purposes and we need to listen to each other, learn from each other, and
work with each other. For the animals’ sake, we need more cooperation, not
less. We should seek more understanding, not more quarreling.
The AZA and The HSUS
can justly be described as the most important nonprofits in their respective
fields. One is the national face of America’s leading zoos and aquariums, and
the source of the nation’s most rigorous standards for accreditation of member
institutions. The other is the foremost voice for animal welfare in the United
Why would anyone
give much credence to the few critics in the ranks of the zoo world who recycle
false narratives about The HSUS from a Washington D.C. public relations company
hired to defend such cruelties as the extreme confinement of farm animals, the
misery of puppy mills, and the mistreatment of animals in many other settings?
I was glad to see those voices muted or marginalized at the AZA conference
What ought to be
clear to anyone is that when our two organizations are in alignment – and that
is the preponderance of the time — we are stronger standing together than
apart. It’s much more constructive to celebrate areas of agreement than to hunt
and try to find areas of division. The issues are too urgent for us to fall
prey to grievance collectors.
The HSUS understands
that accredited zoos and aquariums have been a force for good in celebrating
animals and fostering understanding of animal cognition, their social lives,
and their place in the matrix of life. The best among them provide broad benefits
to animals. We’ve worked with the Detroit Zoo in Michigan to fight the trophy
hunting of threatened wolves in the Great Lakes region, with the Wildlife
Conservation Society (including its Bronx Zoo) on federal policies to restrict
the ivory trade, with the Portland Zoo and Woodland Park Zoo to fight wildlife
trafficking in Oregon and Washington through ballot initiatives, with the
Lincoln Park Zoo to end the use of chimpanzees in invasive experiments, with
the Brookfield Zoo to ban the use of elephants in traveling acts, and with so
many other zoos on lifesaving projects. More broadly, the 230 or so accredited
zoos and aquariums in the United States welcomed nearly 200 million visitors
last year and enhanced the appreciation of animals in countless ways. Like any
set of organizations, it’s my hope that they’ll continue to refine their
educational programs and speak out on the important topics of the day when it
comes to animal cruelty and conservation.
The AZA is also the
best antidote to knockoff accreditation programs that put a stamp of approval
on substandard zoos and aquariums. In contrast to the AZA’s very meaningful
accreditation program, a group called the Zoological Association of America
(ZAA) “accredits” facilities that don’t meet the established group’s strict
standards. That latter group also works to block legislation to ban private
ownership of dangerous wild animals, and even to weaken the Endangered Species
Act. The group adopted the nomenclature of the AZA and re-sequenced the words
to sow confusion among members of the public. It would be like some group
calling itself the United States Humane Society giving its blessing to factory
farms or trophy hunting. People would scratch their heads and wonder what’s
going on, and w
ISOLATIONISM: HSUS’S PRESCRIPTION FOR BETTER ZOO ANIMAL WELFARE.
Over the past
summer, I wrote the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ media contact multiple
times about a concerning statement about AZA that I had noticed in a blog post
written by HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle. I never got a straight answer about if his
characterization of the relationship between the two organizations was correct
- the one response I did get completely avoided actually answering my question.
I searched every AZA statement and publication put out since then for any
information that could help me contextualize Pacelle’s words - and found nothing to allay my concerns. AZA,
to this day, has made no public statements about the degree of association
between the two organizations. So, Monday morning, I walked into his speech at
the opening of the national conference with these words echoing in my head:
It’s Still Not
Happening At the Zoo, Take 2: Does the AZA Really Have “Love and Concern for
We were surprised to
read Wayne Pacelle’s recent blog about the warm collaboration between the HSUS
and the AZA. He mentions his attendance at a meeting held last May at the
Detroit Zoo called Zoos and Aquariums as Welfare Centres: Ethical Dimensions
and Global Commitment on zoo animal welfare. We also were at this meeting, and
had a very different impression of what transpired.
Mr. Pacelle notes
“there was nearly unanimous agreement among participants about the value of
AZA-accredited zoos and mainstream animal welfare advocates standing together
on common-ground issues.” In fact, there wasn’t unanimity, with people from
different points of view standing shoulder-to-shoulder. There were serious
disagreements about a lot of issues (please see: It’s Still Not Happening at
the Zoo: Sharp Divisions Remain). The “animal people” (those trying to
represent the voices of animals held captive in zoos) and the “zoo people” came
from very different moral paradigms and while there was some collegiality at
the meeting, at times there was a distinctly uncomfortable atmosphere. This is
not to say the meeting wasn’t valuable, but there were some very sharp and
unresolved divisions among the participants.
Mr. Pacelle also
writes, “The basic, elemental matter that unites The HSUS and the AZA is a love
and concern for all animals.” He suggests that under AZA guidance, zoos are
ethical and humane institutions. They are not. According to Jenny Gray, CEO of
Zoos Victoria (Australia) and author of a recent book called Zoo Ethics: The
Challenges of Compassionate Conservation, “[T]he bulk of zoos in existence
today still fall short of meeting the requirements of ethical operations. At
best, 3% of zoos are striving to meet ethical standards, with perhaps only a
handful meeting all
HSUS’s Zoo Deception
Takes Center Stage
Any good con relies
on wooing the conned. It also relies on the sin of omission.
Wayne Pacelle gave a
speech yesterday at the annual meeting of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
(AZA). The “we can work together” fluff he said was not of note, nor was the
introductory 20-minute rambling defense of HSUS against criticism. What was noteworthy
was what Pacelle didn’t say.
Pacelle did not at
any point endorse captivity or captive breeding—two things fundamental to
zoological operations. Pacelle did not say anything that would limit his work
to restrict how zoos and aquariums, including AZA members, operate. He merely
spoke in broad strokes to sound like an ally, because he wants to enlist AZA in
his attacks on the Zoological Association of America (ZAA), another
accreditation group, and American Humane, an animal welfare group that
certifies zoos and aquariums.
Pacelle’s goal is to
reduce the number of zoos, and reduce the species of animals zoos are allowed
to have. He has said, “Certain animals should just not be kept in zoos.” Marine
mammals, bears, elephants, apes—the list of targets is long.
Pacelle wants to influence the standards by which zoos operate. He attacks
farmers and ranchers the same way—by passing laws making it more costly to
raise animals, and by trying to monopolize the “certification” standards of
His definition of
what is “humane” is ideological, much like PETA’s—it is not a value he shares
with AZA. Pacelle has admitted, “If I had my personal view perhaps” a future
without pets “might take hold.” He is far outside of mainstream animal welfare.
Nothing Pacelle said
yesterday is a reversal of his and other HSUS past statements against zoos,
breeding, and captivity. He may focus on ZAA when speaking to AZA members, but
his designs are to restrict all zoos and aquariums.
It was strange
seeing AZA allowing Pacelle to address a group he would like to put out of
business. As Winston Churchill warned, “An appeaser is one who feeds a
crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”
Big Cats and Zoo
On March 30, 2017
the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 1818) was introduced into the U.S. House of
Representatives. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the primary
proponent of the measure, characterized the bill as a bi-partisan effort to “prohibit
private ownership of captive lions, tigers, and other big cats in the US.” —
ostensibly a bill to ban big cats as pets. However, most states already
prohibit the ownership of big cats as pets. South Carolina passed a law banning
big cats as pets in the 2017 legislative session. The primary impact of H.R.
1818 would not be on pet owners, but on zoos and sanctuaries that are not
ideologically aligned with the HSUS.
Recently, a dark
tide of suspicion and uncertainty washed over the zoo community, when news of
an alliance between an anti-zoo-animal-rights behemoth, HSUS, and the largest
zoological trade association in the country, AZA, was announced. The new
partnership was unveiled when Dan Ashe announced that his old friend Wayne
Pacelle, CEO of the HSUS, would be the keynote speaker at the AZA Annual
Conference 2017. Facebook blazed with
opposition posts, and an online petition to disinvite Pacelle from the
conference garnered more than 700 signatures.
CERTIFICATION TO THE ELEPHANT SANCTUARY IN TENNESSEE
The Association of
Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced that The Elephant Sanctuary in
Tennessee was granted certification by AZA’s independent Accreditation
“The Association of
Zoos and Aquariums certifies only aquariums and zoos that meet our demanding
accreditation standards, which are universally recognized as the
‘gold-standard’ in our profession,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “By
achieving AZA-certification, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee demonstrates
that it is committed to exemplary animal care and welfare, educational and
inspiring guest experiences, and AZA’s mission to conserve our world’s wild
animals and wild places.”
To be certified, The
Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee submitted a detailed application and underwent
a thorough investigation and on-site inspection by a team of AZA officials to
make certain it has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards, which include
animal care and welfare, veterinary programs, conservation, and safety. The
inspecting team observed all aspects of the institution’s operation and animal
care. Final approval of accreditation/certification was granted
Welfare of zoo
animals set to improve
Marwell Zoo, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and the School of Veterinary
Medicine at the University of Surrey, trialled a series of monitoring
strategies on primates and birds to help zookeepers ensure the health and
safety of animals in their care. The introduction of the practice over a period
of 13 weeks at two zoological collections in the South of England, clearly
demonstrated the level of physical and psychological wellbeing of the animals,
and the effect of certain interventions.
assessment grid requires daily monitoring of a range of factors, such as the
animals' physical condition, their psychological wellbeing and the quality of
the environment, as well as the daily procedures they experience. These factors
were not all previously part of the regular health checks that zookeepers were
required to assess when they were undertaking animal welfare audits. In each
area the primates and birds were scored, helping to monitor their progress and
highlight any potential problems.
protection of zoo animals is enshrined in both European and domestic
legislation, monitoring it comprehensively in zoos has proven difficult due to
the absence of clear and consistent guidance.
Professor of Animal Welfare at the University of Surrey, said: "Ensuring a
high standard of animal welfare is paramount for any zoo, but it has not alwa
“Conservation”: You Keep Using That Word but I Don't Think It Means What You
Think It Means
What exactly does
“doing conservation” or “incorporating conservation” into ocean science mean?
Although today it is often coupled with the sustainable use of natural
resources, by definition, conservation traditionally involves the preservation,
protection, or restoration of the natural environment or natural ecosystems
(Soulé and Wilcox, 1980). In other words, if the conservation intervention is
successful then the ecosystem should reflect a better (or perhaps, more
commonly, a “less worse”) state as a result. In this context, is simply
conducting science conservation? Are outreach and advocacy conservation—whether
through old school print and TV/radio broadcasts or through social media such
as blogs or building a Twitter following? The field of modern marine
conservation is an interdisciplinary one (e.g., van Dyke, 2008; Parsons and
MacPherson, 2016) with a landscape that is populated with individuals engaged
in science, education, social marketing, economics, resource management, and
But how are we
measuring our impact considering this diverse field? How do we know that the
ecosystems toward which we direct our conservation efforts are “better” or at
least “less worse” than they would be without them? Conservation needs to be
more than just “being busy” or “feeling” that we are having an impact. And
shouldn't we strive to ensure that conservation is not just conversation? How
do we connect our action
From feral camels to
‘cocaine hippos’, large animals are rewilding the world
humans have taken plants and animals with them as they travelled the world.
Those that survived the journey to establish populations in the diaspora have
found new opportunities as they integrate into new ecosystems.
populations have come to be regarded as “invaders” and “aliens” that threaten
pristine nature. But for many species, migration may just be a way to survive
the global extinction crisis.
In our recently
published study, we found that one of the Earth’s most imperilled group of
species is hanging on in part thanks to introduced populations.
plant-eating terrestrial mammals weighing more than 100kg - have established in
new and unexpected places. These “feral” populations are rewilding the world
with unique and fascinating ecological functions that had been lost for
thousands of years.
Today’s world of
giants is only a shadow of its former glory. Around 50,000 years ago, giant
kangaroos, rhino-like diprotodons, and other unimaginable animals were lost
bird under serious threat
Conservation Society has pooled its resources with Auckland Zoo, Samoa's
Ministry of Natural Resources, and a team from the UK to work together to save
Endemic to Samoa,
the manumea is a unique tooth-billed pigeon whose population is threatened by
deforestation, introduced predators like rats and cats, and human development
on its island home.
President of the
Samoa Conservation Society James Atherton said the international exposure had
helped by providing some funding towards its campaign.
don't have a huge amount of money to use for our work here in Samoa,
conservation is a poor cousin of many other thematic areas, we have to fight
for every dollar we get."
The Big Conservation
Lie exposes colonial dynamic at the heart of conservation policy
Dr Mordecai Ogada, a
professional conservationist, and John Mbaria, his fellow Kenyan and
journalist, present a powerful challenge to the prevailing conservation
narrative, argues LEWIS EVANS
Mordecai Ogada was
sitting in a luxury safari lodge, admiring the view of Kilimanjaro. He could
see many of Africa’s most iconic species -giraffe, water buffalo, even a few
elephants far in the distance.
As a professional
conservationist, with a PhD in carnivore ecology, the sight was both familiar
and pleasing. He was being treated like a tourist. Someone came in and offered
him a cocktail. Then, one of his white hosts and sponsors, the people whose largesse
he was enjoying, said: “We’re going to have to move that Maasai village. It’s
spoiling the view for tourists.”
For Dr. Ogada, this
was a decisive moment. “I was a qualified black face, put in place to smooth
over fifty years of exploitation.”
The Big Conservation
Lie is written by people who are actually from one of big conservation’s key
target countries. It dismantles many of the environmental movement’s most
troubling myths: the pristine wilderness “untouched by human hands” until
European arrival; the supposed lack of interest or expertise in wildlife among
native conservationists and co
Activists vs. people
who get eaten
Bhivji Harle is a
name that won’t be remembered. A poor, 55-year-old farmer and a resident of
Vadala Vardhpur village in Maharashtra’s Wardha district, Harle will become
another statistic, a collateral in the man-animal conflict, a forgotten
footnote in the grand narrative of tiger conservation.
On the evening of
September 19, a tigress known as T27C1 attacked and killed Harle on a field in
his village. He was the third person she had killed in five months. Harle’s
real killer, however, was not the tigress but the astonishing apathy of
self-proclaimed wildlife activists and conservationists, forest officers and
politicians, who should have known better than to release a conflict tiger into
Bor Tiger Reserve, around which are scattered dozens of villages.
T27C1, more commonly
known as the ‘Bramhapuri problem tigress’ began life in the Bramhapuri forest
division of Chandrapur district — home to the Tadoba Tiger Reserve and the
‘tiger capital’ of Maharashtra. Densely populated, humans and big cats live
Bornean orangutan dies at 62 at Tokyo zoo
Gypsy, the world's
oldest Bornean orangutan in captivity, has died at the age of 62 at a Tokyo zoo
due to acute heart failure, the zoo operator said Thursday.
orangutan, which was brought to the Tama Zoological Park in western Tokyo from
Borneo in 1958, has been treated since she was found bleeding from the mouth in
early August but died on Wednesday, according to the zoo operator.
Hippos Underwater: A
Conversation with Bill Dennler, Retired Director of the Toledo Zoo
During Bill Dennler’s twenty five years as
Director of the Toledo Zoo, it evolved from a rundown, dysfunctional city zoo
to a great zoo. It became the smallest market in the United States to have a
zoo with over one million visitors a year. Dennler and his staff built
transformational exhibits such a the Hippoquarium (the first filtrated hippo
habitat with underwater viewing), Arctic Encounter and Africa while maintaining
and upgrading the Zoo’s historic WPA buildings. He was very well-respected in
the zoo field and considered a leader at an important crossroads for zoos. Here
is his story.
defenders have been killed so far in 2017
Produced by Monica
Ulmanu, Alan Evans and Georgia Brown
This year, in collaboration with Global
Witness, the Guardian will attempt to record the deaths of all these people,
whether they be wildlife rangers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or
indigenous land rights activists in Brazil. At this current rate, chances are
that four environmental defenders will be killed this week somewhere on the
learn how to use tools without observing others
have lead researchers to believe that chimpanzees can use tools spontaneously
to solve a task, without needing to watch others first.
The evidence of
chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) spontaneously using sticks to scoop food from
water surfaces is published in the open-access journal PeerJ.
Researchers from the
University of Birmingham, UK, and University of Tübingen, Germany, looked for
the spontaneous re-occurrence of a tool-use behaviour practiced in wild
chimpanzees where sticks are used to 'scoop' algae from the top of water
Twycross Zoo, UK, were provided with a container of water with pieces of
floating food. The tested chimpanzees successfully used the sticks, and
moreover, spontaneously showed the same underlying action pattern (a scooping
action of the stick) as their wild cousins do.
challenge the accepted belief that chimpanzees need to learn from each other
how to use tools, and instead suggest that some (if not all) forms of tool-use
are instead within their pre-existing behavioural repertoire (what the authors
call "latent solutions").
should harness 'Hollywood effect' to help wildlife
How did Finding Nemo
affect clownfish? Was Jaws bad for sharks? Did the remake of the Jungle Book
Researchers from the
University of Exeter say conservation scientists could work with filmmakers to
harness the "Hollywood effect" to boost conservation.
and product placement are already commonplace in films, and the researchers say
similar methods could be used to raise awareness of endangered species and
other environmental issues.
The research -
inspired by a viewing of the Jungle Book (2016) - also warns of unintended
dangers such as mass tourism to the Thai island made famous by The Beach
(2000), and the so-called "Nemo effect" which has reportedly led to a
boom in clownfish captivity.
be used by conservationists to highlight issues of concern, much as product
placement is currently used for advertising," said Dr Matthew Silk, of the
Environment and Sustainability Institute on the University of Exeter's Penryn Campus
advisors are also common and - given the effect films can have on public
perceptions - conservation advisors could be used.
is needed to understand how the 'Hollywood effect' impacts on wildlife,
conservation and the environment.
inspire people to learn more about conservation and take action, but they might
also misinform people and portray a simplified, romantic version of
No detailed study
has been done on Hollywood's impact on co
Spring strike cost
Toronto Zoo $4M
The strike that
closed Toronto Zoo for five weeks last spring cost the city-owned attraction $4
million and 280,000 visitors.
figures are in a routine report on attendance and revenue going to the zoo’s
board of management Thursday.
“There is no doubt
the labour disruption had a significant impact on both revenues and
attendance,” Jennifer Tracey, the zoo’s senior marketing director, said in an
email to the Star on Wednesday. “The general attendance and school group
numbers were particularly impacted.”
Zoo workers walked
off the job May 11 saying they could not agree to weakened job security
demanded by management in a contract proposal.
research and display facility, with 5,000 animals including two giant pandas
and their Toronto-born offspring, remained off-limits to the public until June
14 after workers signed a new four-year contract.
The report states
the zoo had
San Diego Zoo
animals moved as part of modern-day ark project
Audubon Species Survival Center in New Orleans on Thursday welcomed the first
group of animals from San Diego Zoo as part of a partnership between the two
animal conservation leaders to bolster populations of threatened and endangered
The collaboration -
the Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife - is designed as a modern-day ark to
preserve species that are vulnerable in the wild and sustain populations in
The first arrivals
include reticulated giraffe, sable, bongo, okapi, common eland, and
The Alliance focuses
on animals that live in large herds or flocks, and these species by their very
nature need space for large populations, to be viable, sustainable breeding
The project echoes
the original purpose of the Species Survival Center, which opened in 1993 as an
off-site breeding and research facility.
is a one-of-a-kind resource for zoos and aquariums to rebuild animal
collections that are in danger of disappearing," said Ron Forman, Audubon
Nature Institute President and CEO.
effort, comes in part, from the ongoing efforts of the Association of Zoos and
Aquariums (AZA) to create and manage species through
Blackpool Zookeeper after 40 years
Zookeeper is finally retiring after four decades caring for animals.
Peter Dillingham, embarked on his dream career on his 16th birthday starting in
the bird section of Chessington Zoo on 14th May 1973. He joined Blackpool at
the age of 32 and will retire on on Friday 29th September 2017.
Peter’s job has seen
him work with an amazing array of species from polar bears to giant pandas and
gorillas to giraffes!
I received the
Mexican wolf update, as I do monthly, for August 2017. As is often the case,
there were disturbing items recorded therein. This is ill-foreboding for the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which recently offered its draft Mexican Wolf
Recovery Plan calling for a large population expansion.
Out of 22 current
Mexican wolf packs in Arizona and New Mexico, nine were the beneficiaries of a
“diversionary food cache” intended to keep wolves from killing cattle or to
help increase “survival of genetically valuable pups.” This open-air zoo
behavior by the interagency field team has been going on since individual
wolves were first released in 1998. No matter how careful interagency field
team biologists or their constantly changing team of volunteers might be, this
still results in re-introduced wolves associating humans with food, a
It also means that
humans will continue to be directly involved with trying to train or prop up
wolf packs from now until eternity (apparently the date w
Dear Jane Goodall,
sorry but you are full of crap and you jumped the shark
Ok well then lets
hear what you have to say about Gypsy, Thika and Toka being kept isolated and
alone at The Performing Animal Welfare Society. Why have you not spoken up
about this? Remember the Toronto Zoo elephants? You supported the inhumane 85hr
road transport of the three pachyderms to California. Within two months Thika
was segregated and then lived alone for 18 months. By all accounts she is still
living alone. Iringa died just 20 months after arriving at PAWS. Is an elephant
living isolated and alone at a sanctuary aware of some kind of difference
between its life at a zoo vs its life at a sanctuary? No, actually it is not.
Elephants don’t cry and they don’t make comparisons of that sort. “Oh Im alone
but I am at a sanctuary so its ok”, there are actually people who believe this
nonsense and you, a renowned scientist promote and perpetuate this kind of
ignorance and lack of logical and scientific thinking with your constant back
and forth on your support of good zoos and your flip flopping and increasingly
None of the Toronto
elephants have begun integration with PAWS existing African herd, and if you
don’t remember the reaso
artificially impregnates female polar bear
After the loss of
their male polar bear, The Maryland Zoo was looking for new ways to get their
female polar bear pregnant.
The zoo announced on
Wednesday they have teamed up with the Cincinnati Zoo's Conservation and
Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) to participate in reproductive research.
In an effort by both
zoo's, 21-year-old Anoki from the Maryland Zoo has been artificially
“Anoki and Magnet
were paired for many years before he died, but with no success. Last year, the
research group at CREW reached out to us about performing artificial
insemination (AI) with Anoki,” said Erin Cantwell, mammal collection and
conservation manager for the Zoo. “Since poor reproduction is one of the
biggest factors aff
Conservation Biology Institute Releases Birds to the Wild
Two female Guam
rails born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front
Royal, Va., were released to the wild in the Commonwealth of the Northern
Mariana Islands Sept. 18. The two birds were repatriated to Guam from SCBI in
March 2017, along with a third bird that will join the breeding program at the
Guam Department of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources (DAWR). In total, 49 of the
ground-dwelling birds were released on the island of Rota by DAWR, including
the two birds born at SCBI. This month’s release marks the first time since
1985 that there are more individuals in the wild than there are in human care.
There are 115 Guam rails in human care and approximately 200 in the wild.
school children from a local school in Rota were present at the release and
participated in releasing some of the birds. The local people refer to the Guam
rail by their Chamorro name which is ko’ko.’
In 1984, 21 Guam
rails were captured in Guam to start a breeding and recovery program in human
care. The invasive brown tree snake has since extirpated them from the island
along with eight other native bird species. The snake remains a challenging
predator in Guam. Rota is free of brown tree snakes. Guam rails have been
officially classified as “extinct in the wild” by the International Union for
Conservation of Nature since 1994, but small populations have been released on
Rota and on Cocos Island since 1989.
SCBI received the
first Guam rails to be transferr
Aquarium mistreats white tigers, lawsuit says
On the heels of a
defamation suit and year-old legal spat, a national animal rights group has
joined forces with a Montgomery County grandmother Tuesday formally charging
the owners of Houston's Downtown Aquarium with animal cruelty and claiming
their treatment of four white tigers on display for visitors violates the
Endangered Species Act.
The federal lawsuit
brought by Cheryl Conley, who runs Backyard Radio, a radio station in Magnolia
and has served on local wildlife group boards, and backed by the Animal Legal
Defense Fund in California's Sonoma Valley, blasts the aquarium and Landry's Inc.
for confining four tigers, named Nero, Marina, Coral and Reef, to a concrete
indoor exhibit area with metal cages, a practice they say the zoo comm
dingoes, killed the thylacine on mainland Australia
The study, published
in the Journal of Biogeography, could have implications for the fight to save
the endangered Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), says geneticist and
research team leader Jeremy Austin of the University of Adelaide.
relatively low genetic diversity that potentially has placed them at greater
risk of extinction due to genetic effects,” he says.
”On top of that,
devil facial tumour disease has had a major impact on population size across
most of Tasmania.”
His message to
conservation biologists is “don’t give up”.
president helping feds in ‘Blackfish’ investigation
The former president
of SeaWorld Orlando in Florida, Terry Prather, is helping the feds by giving
evidence in their probe into the company for matters related to CNN’s
The company has said
it’s the subject of probes by the Justice Department and the Securities and
looking into “disclosures and public statements” made by company execs in 2014
or earlier “regarding the impact of the ‘Blackfish’ documentary” on SeaWorld’s
stock, according to a filing.
A source says the
feds are investigating whether there was a coverup at SeaWorld about the
negative effect of the documentary as Blackstone took the company public in
In the months before
the IPO, “Blackfish” debuted at Sundance, was acqui
Do animals have
Our personality has
a lot to say about how we think and perceive the world around us, and thus how
we live our lives.
Just think of your
nosy next-door neighbour or an impulsive colleague who’s always busting into
your office to tell you about The Next Big Thing.
But what about a shy
dog? Or an aloof cat? Many pet owners think they recognize personality traits
in their animals. Are they right?
Animals do have
The answer is,
well…yes, according to Anne Gabriela Hertel, a PhD candidate at the Norwegian
University of Life Sciences.
see stable differences between individuals," she says.
Hertel tells us that
researchers in recent years have become more interested in an animal's specific
personality. Some biologists have developed a system to describe an animal’s
personality based on five main characteristics: courage, aggression, curiosity,
sociability, and activity.
For example, Trond
Amundsen, a biology professo
TO ZOO OR NOT TO ZOO
In the light of
various interviews and documentaries about the validity of zoos, I thought it
an opportune time to put a penny in the pouch and hopefully help you to make a
heartfelt and head led decision on the question.
So here goes…
Maybe you have
walked through a zoo and saw a beautiful Green Tree Iguana lying on a heated
floor instead of somewhere in Brazil in a tropical forest and you thought…
“This is not right. The poor guy is on exhibition thousands of miles from home.
He should be roaming free in some tropical forest!” And I would agree with you.
The Iguana should be in Brazil in a tropical forest, eating fresh leaves in
soft sunlight. But, here is the reality of its life:
At some point,
someone wanted an Iguana as a pet. Let’s call him JD. So JD went to the local
pet shop to make inquiries. The pet shop owner would have told him that Iguanas
need a high level of care otherwise they don’t do very well as pets and
recommended a dog. But JD persisted and found someone on the internet who can
find an Iguana if he’d like. So he contacts this nice lady who promptly gets
back to him with pictures of various Iguanas to choose from. He picks a small
one, makes a payment and is now the proud owner of an exotic Green Tre
Dubai Safari is all
but confirmed to open its gates before National Day
It looks like things
are on track for a late-November soft opening…
setbacks and missing its initial opening date back in January, it appears that
the hugely anticipated opening of Dubai Safari may finally be upon us in a few
Speaking to Gulf
News, Hussain Nasser Lootah, director general of Dubai Municipality, confirmed
that work is in full swing for
video captures gastronomic close encounters of the gelatinous kind
penguin-mounted mini video recorders shows four species of penguin eating
jellyfish and other gelatinous animals of the open ocean, a food source
penguins were not previously believed to partake of, scientists report this
month in the Ecological Society of America's peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in
Ecology and the Environment. The article, part of the October issue of the
journal, is available online ahead of print.
www.zoolex.org in October 2017
~°v°~ ~°v°~ ~°v°~ ~°v°~ ~°v°~
Hello ZooLex Friend,
We have worked for your enjoyment!
NEW EXHIBIT PRESENTATION
PenguinPool at Krefeld Zoo in Germany is an aviary for Humboldt
penguins, ringed teal, cinnamon teal and Inca tern. In addition to
walking through the aviary, visitors have an unterwater view from
outside the aviary. The exhibit showcases the zoo's conservation efforts
through participating in the European conservation breeding programs for
Humboldt penguin and Inca tern and supporting the non-profit
organization Sphenisco - Save the Humboldt penguin.
The German original is here:
LANDSCSCAPE VERSUS CULTURAL IMMERSION
We are looking for evidence! Please let us know when you plan to do or
find scientifically reliable studies on the topic.
At the 2017 international zoo design conference, Monika Fiby gave a
presentation on the evolution and succession of zoo design and mentioned
the developments of landscape and cultural immersion:
Landscape immersion aims at recreating the natural habitat of the animal
while cultural immersion recreates a human environment. In both cases,
the consistency of animal and visitor space is meant to create an
We wonder how the education impact of the two design approaches on
visitors may differ. So far, no research was done on this topic.
The closest approach was a laboratory tests with slides showing 8 animal
species each in the wild, in naturalistic exhibits and in cages.
Basically, the study found that the context strongly influenced
attitudes, with confined animals being perceived as tame.
FINLAY T., LAWRENCE R.J., MAPLE T.L. (1988) People's perceptions of
animals: The influence of zoo environment. Environment and Behavior,
vol. 20, no. 4. Sage Publications. Newbury Park, California.
Another study found that the most important reason for aesthetic
appreciation of an exhibit appeared to be its naturalness.
KELLERT S., DUNLAP J. (1989) Informal Learning at the Zoo: A Study of
Attitude and Knowledge Impacts. A Report to the Zoological Societa of
Philadelphia of a Study funded by the G.R. Dodge Foundation.
We keep working on ZooLex ...
The ZooLex Zoo Design Organization is a non-profit organization
registered in Austria (ZVR-Zahl 933849053). ZooLex runs a professional
zoo design website and distributes this newsletter. More information and
Soon, all of Hong
Kong's dolphins will be dead
Mundy -- who would
go on to help introduce tea to the UK, forever changing British drinking habits
and imperial priorities -- wrote in his diary, "the Porpoises here are as
white as Milke, some of them Ruddy withall."
It was one of the
first recorded mentions of the Chinese white dolphin, but would go largely
unnoticed until another European, Swedish missionary and naturalist Pehr Osbeck
wrote of "snow-white dolphins (which) tumbled about the ship" and
suggested a scientific name for them: "delphinus chinensis."
Now officially the
Sousa chinensis (to reflect their relation to the wider Sousa, or humpback
dolphin, genus), the animals are more commonly known as pink dolphins due to
their pink bubblegum-like coloring in adulthood.
Why Tearing Down
Dams Could Help Save Endangered Killer Whales
WRITING IN 1916,
conservationist John Muir noted that “there is not a ‘fragment’ in all nature,
for every relative fragment of one thing is a full harmonious unit in itself.”
A century later, in the Pacific Northwest, land managers, tribal leaders, environmental
stewards, lawmakers and business interests are locked in a fight over which
harmonious units and relative fragments can be rearranged to satisfy all
But while they
grapple over the details of regulations and policy changes, and the various
perceived and demonstrated economic effects any such legislation may have,
whales continue to miscarry at an unprecedented rate.
In the salty waters
off the coast of Se
Longtime employee to
lead troubled Honolulu Zoo
Zoo curator Linda Santos was named the troubled facility’s new director by the
Santos has been
assistant zoo director since July 2015, according to her LinkedIn page. Before
becoming assistant director, Santos had been the zoo’s general curator since
August 2012, the page said.
Santos has been an
employee of the zoo since 1986, according to city officials.
Dream a Little
I think it's safe to
say that zookeepers probably have among the most colorful dreams of any
profession. And the anxiety dreams are
even weirder. Just when you think you're
safe at home, decompressing from your job and drifting into a delicious, deep
sleep....BOOM. Your brain suddenly
creates an elaborate story involving elements such as: flying animals (who do
not fly), bizarre accidents, and gates that just will not lock no matter what
You guys, I STILL
have dreams about my dolphin trainer days.
Not just like, tra la la la, here I am swimming with dolphins like I
used to, but full-blown "OH MY GOD I AM GOING TO GET FIRED AND I WILL
THINK THAT WAY UNTIL I WAKE UP" or "WHERE AM I EXACTLY" kind of dreams.
I'm sure many of you
have your own list of cycling zoo nightmares, but here are some of my usuals
that still happen to this day:
fight for the harpy eagle
"The pain was
intense, but during the fall, I was only thinking about the chick," says
Venezuelan vet Alexander Blanco of the time he plummeted from a treetop in the
Venezuelan rainforest with a harpy eagle chick in tow.
Mr Blanco runs the
national harpy monitoring programme Fundación Esfera in Venezuela.
He was tagging the
chick when his ropes loosened and he fell 35m (115ft) to the ground. Mr Blanco
ended up in hospital with a broken wrist and leg but the chick was unhurt.
It was not the first
time the vet had risked his life for harpy eagles.
An irate female bird
left him with a seven-centimetre-long (2.7in) laceration and a perforated
thorax when he tried to tag another chick high up in the canopy.
Ever since, he has
been wearing a stab-proof vest to carry out the task.
Stuff of legends
One of the world's
largest eagles, the harpy is surrounded by legends. It is known by indigenous
people in South America as the "god of the wind".
explorers named the huge birds after the harpies of Greek mythology, predatory
"frightful flying creatures with hooked beaks and claws".
Mr Blanco first came
across them over 20 ye
chlamydia and lemurs climbing into a pram - findings of latest unannounced zoo
Council is set to agree progress is being made at Dalton zoo despite a number
of worrying welfare findings and seven incidents involving animal contact with
the public during a 14-day period after a shock inspection.
licensing regulatory committee will meet next Thursday to consider whether
South Lakes Safari Zoo operating under new bosses is complying with its licence
Next week's meeting
follows an unannounced inspection on August 3 which also looked at the
management structure and finances of the new Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd.
Cumbria Zoo Company
Ltd, headed by Karen Brewer, was g
Fresh concerns over
Cumbrian zoo where 500 animals died
identified a number of welfare concerns at a Cumbrian zoo where nearly 500
animals died in less than four years.
The latest findings
on South Lakes Safari zoo, which include a lemur climbing into a baby’s pram,
squirrel monkeys jumping on to members of the public and prairie dogs digging
holes next to the fence, come as a council committee is due to meet to decide whether
it is complying with its licensing conditions.
‘You’d come in and
think, what’s dead or escaped?’: inside Britain's most controversial zoo
animal director, Andreas Kaufmann, earlier this week told the council there had
been a diagnosis of chlamydia among the zoo’s peacock population.
The attraction is in
the hands of new owners – Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd – after the zoo’s founder
David Gill was refused a licence to run the facility, in March.
The previous month,
a damning report said 486 animals died of causes including emaciation and
hypothermia between Decembe
New South Lakes
Safari Zoo management slammed over involvement in former failings
BARROW and Furness
MP John Woodcock has slammed bosses at South Lakes Safari Zoo and urged the
government to review its process following the latest inspection.
inspection last month recorded seven incidents of animals coming into contact
with seven members of the public.
criticised Cumbria Zoo Company Ltd and highlighted the tragic death of a
24-year-old zookeeper in May 2013.
He said: "The
fact that this inspection can take place at all shows the zoo licensing regime
in England is broken and must be urgently reviewed by the government and a fit
and proper person test created.
coconut-cracking giant rat discovered in Solomon Islands
Remember the movie
The Princess Bride, when the characters debate the existence of R.O.U.S.es
(Rodents of Unusual Size), only to be beset by enormous rats? That's kind of
what happened here.
Lavery heard rumors of a giant, possum-like rat that lived in trees and cracked
open coconuts with its teeth on his first trip to the Solomon Islands in 2010.
After years of searching and a race against deforestation destroying the rat's
would-be home, Lavery, along with John Vendi and Hikuna Judge, finally found
species, Uromys vika, is pretty spectacular -- it's a big, giant rat,"
said Lavery, a post-doctoral researc
Zoo ends sun bear
and orangutan performances after viral video
AN INDONESIAN zoo
has announced it will no longer force sun bears and orangutans to perform for
food after an international outcry.
The Lembah Hijau Zoo
in Lampung on the Indonesian island of Sumatra was shamed in a video posted by
local activist group the Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group of a sun bear
– clearly malnourished and slipping around on a tiled floor – being made to
perform tricks for pieces of food.
After the group
posted the video in August, Lembah Hijau reportedly found itself inundated with
complaints via email and social media, and moved to end performances by the
zoo’s sun bear and orangutan.
Eclosia Group to
build Odysséo aquarium, Mauritius
The Eclosia group
will build the Indian Ocean’s largest aquarium in Caudan, Mauritius – Odysséo –
on a seafront site which hosts Port Louis’ Marina.
The project will be
managed jointly with Clear Reef. It will develop the flora and fauna of the
Indian Ocean and create new jobs for local scientists.
begin in January 2018 at a cost of 500 million Mauritian rupees ($15 million
USD). It is expected to be completed at the beginning of 2020.
The aquarium will be
called Odysséo. The main structure will occupy a 5,000m² area and the whole
aquarium will cover 1.5ha.
There will be around
50 tanks containing two million litres of water, and about 10,000 species of
sharks, rays and groupers
$54m Cairns aquarium
Over 15,000 aquatic
animals, fish, plants, and other organisms are housed within 71 live exhibits
in the two-level facility, providing visitors with an immersive,
two-and-a-half-hour journey through 10 life-like and recreated habitats.
“When we visited the
Reef six years ago we were amazed by the colours and variety of fish and coral
but couldn’t help noticing the vast number of people who had made the journey,
but for one reason or another, did not go into the water or venture off the
islands while others were left wanting to see more,” said co-founder and
co-director Daniel Leipnik.
around-the-clock effort to save an endangered, orphaned bat
Early one Wednesday
morning in January, in an exhibit at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, a fruit bat
named Patty went into labor.
This should have
been good news. Patty belongs to a colony of critically endangered Rodrigues
bats, a species that almost went extinct in the 1970s. The bats exist in the
wild in only place — a small island in the Western Indian Ocean — and the
colonies at the Safari Park and more than a dozen other zoos around the world
form a kind of Noah’s Ark for the future.
Bats are creepy to a
lot of people, but they play important roles in ecosystems across the globe as
pollinators, seed-dispersers and mosquito-eaters. Take away bats and the world
would be a lot less lush and a lot more itchy.
So Patty’s pregnancy
represented another brick in the bridge of survival at a time when scientists
say the planet is experiencing a “sixth wave” of extinction, with dozens of
plant and animal species disappearing every day. Except Patty was in trouble.
A keeper found her
on the ground of the exhibit, writhing
From the jungle:
Fauquier’s connection to the National Zoo’s first gorillas
Kara Arundel has
worked as a journalist for two decades in Florida, Virginia and Washington,
D.C. And it just so happens that she is the daughter-in-law of the late Arthur
W. “Nick” Arundel, the former publisher of the Fauquier Times and numerous
other newspapers in the Virginia countryside.
It also happens that
in 1955, as young Marine, Arundel ventured into the Belgian Congo on a
month-long adventure safari to view Africa’s diverse wildlife. He boarded a
commercial airliner carrying a pair of baby gorillas in each arm. Their
destination was the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. It was the beginning of
dramatic changes for the gorillas and for the zoo that would be their forever
To research her
book, “Raising America’s Zoo” about the National Zoo and her father-in-law,
Kara reviewed thousands of pages of documents at the Smithsonia
Why do some people
still trophy hunt?
is one thing, but Justin Thomas questions the motives of those who kill animals
simply for fun
International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition is the region’s go-to event for
all things hunting and more. This annual event, which ran last week,
prominently features archery, equestrianism and falconry and, in this regard,
plays a role in promoting the UAE’s heritage. Falconry has a long tradition
among the Bedouin of Arabia, where hunting small prey with falcons was a means
of supplementing a sometimes meagre diet. Archery and equestrianism too, have a
rich regional heritage. Falconry is majestic, equestrianism is elegant, and
archery is graceful. Some aspects of modern-day hunting, however, are just
plain ugly, perhaps even pathological.
Trophy hunting (the
recreational killing of wild animals) for example, widely elicits a societal
gag reflex. In 2015, photographs of a dentist, who allegedly paid $50,000 for
the pleasure of killing a lion named Cecil, went viral. The backlash was huge: social
media pulled its collective “shame on you” face and vigorously wagged the
global finger of public outrage for a few days.
Whoa, you guys. Mother Nature has been real active. So much so, that I feel like a giant blobby
blob. She's out there twirling around at
83598mph, pulling up trees from their roots, flattening houses, and I'm sitting
here slumped in my chair wondering where my next cheese fix is going to come
I don't mean to make
light of the really scary hurricanes we've seen hit so many places over the
past few weeks. They destroyed lives and
livelihoods. They caused a tremendous amount
of damage, especially in places like Houston, Puerto Rico, Haiti and
There are literally
ten zillion (plus or minus) things we could focus on when it comes to penning a
blog on hurricanes. But I want to focus
on zoos. And I want to focus on the positives. You know why? Because I think we have to sort
through some of the dark stuff in order to feel like what we (or rather, those
of you who weathered the storms) are doing is important and recognized.
Here are some of the
amazing things that I thought came out of the last two hurricane hits from a
Off to the wild for
50 animals bred in captivity
Conservation Bureau will on Wednesday release 50 animals of four species from a
wildlife breeding station into Mae Wong National Park in Nakhon Sawan.
The bureau said on
its Facebook page (facebook.com/DNP.Wildlife/) that the “Songsat Kheunwana
Peuapasomboon” project (Returning wildlife to the fertile forest) will see 30
brow-antlered deer (Eld’s deer), 10 slow lorises, three white-handed gibbons
and seven small-clawed otters released. It said an artificial salt lick would
be set up in the park the same day for the deer and other animals to use.
Professional Zookeeper Qualification Framework Promo
Zoo Saves 1,500 Sea
Turtles Displaced by Hurricanes Irma and Jose
A batch of freshly
hatched sea turtles displaced by hurricanes Irma and Jose have been given a new
lease on life as a Florida zoo ensured their safe release back into the wild.
Brevard Zoo, Barrier Island Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service and Sea Turtle Preservation Society delivered nearly 1,500
hatchlings and washbacks — young turtles literally washed back after swimming offshore
— to the zoo’s Sea Turtle Center on Monday.
Staff and volunteers
tirelessly cared for and watched over the green and loggerhead sea turtles as
they recovered from the ordeal.
turtles that we've received the last three days have been healthy, fairly new
off the beach, a week, maybe two weeks old,” said Melanie Stadler, the Brevard
Sea lion dies after
being tied to a tree in someone's garden
A sea lion has died
after being tied to a tree in someone's garden. Police in Ecuador have launched
an investigation into the shocking display of animal cruelty.
Officials in Daule
region, near the Pacific coast, rescued the adult male on Wednesday (13
September) after members of the public alerted them to it.
Images of the
tortured creature showed it tied very tightly across the upper body to a tree
in a private garden.
Vets from Pantanal
Zoo took him to to safety but tragically he died on 15 September, according to
Ecuadorian news site El Universo.
Police are now
investigating how the animal came to be tied up to the tree. The offence could
be punishable with up to three years in prison.
The Ministry of
Environment had hoped to return the abused water mammal to his natural habitat.
Sadly, that day wil
Zoo Miami may be
closed up to 2 months after Irma
MIAMI-DADE, Florida - Hurricane Irma did not devastate Zoo Miami as Andrew did
back in 1992, but the park may still be closed for up to two months to clear
debris left behind.
Zoo spokesperson Ron
Magill said all the park's mammals survived the storm, although a few birds
died of stress.
The exact length of
time the zoo will remain closed depends on being able to contract help to clear
debris and repair fences.
"There are tons
of debris that needs to be cleared and lots of trees that need to be up
righted," said Magill.
Overall, the zoo
feels lucky that it made it through Irma relatively intact, unlike 25 years ago
when Andrew decimated the park, forcing it to be almost completely rebuilt.
The plan to
reintroduce a big cat that might never have existed
“THIS is another
animal from the distant wilds of the interior, whose skins the savages bring to
the borders to barter with the Chinese.” With these words, published in 1862,
Robert Swinhoe introduced the Formosan clouded leopard to the Western world. Europe’s
consular representative to Taiwan, he had seen only a few flattened skins on
the island, but this was enough for him to distinguish it as a species new to
science. Unlike its relatives elsewhere in Asia, wrote Swinhoe, the Formosan
clouded leopard had a short tail.
It was declared
extinct in 2013, but this is no ordinary story about a large cat being wiped
off the planet. There’s a catch. Plans are afoot to bring the svelte feline’s
closest relative back to Taiwan – despite lingering questions over whether the
clouded leopard ever existed at all.
Today, Asia is home
to two species of clouded leopard. Neofelis nebulosa is found across the
mainland from the Malay peninsula to the Himalayan foothills of Nepal. The
Sunda clouded leopard, Neofelis diardi, is only found on the islands of Borneo
and Sumatra. Both are at risk of extinction and rarely glimpsed in the wild
even by those who study them.
Their broad paws and
flexible ankle joints make the
Kenya uses wildlife
as barter for UN seat
For a country to negotiate a place on the
United Nations Security Council by using gnus and zebras as negotiating chips
is a bold and unusual idea.
But that is exactly
what the Kenyan government has seen fit to do.
In the next few
weeks, 175 wild animals including hippopotami, giraffes and warthogs will be
sent on the 7 000km journey to Southeast Asia.
"We would be
very grateful if Thailand supported our efforts to obtain a seat on the UN
Security Council, Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki told the group of delegates
from Thailand who had arrived here to close the deal.
Rare camel arrives
at Woburn Safari Park
endangered camel has arrived at Woburn Safari Park.
Six-year-old Khan, a
male Bactrian camel, arrived from Blackpool Zoo.
Khan is the first
male camel to move to Woburn in 15 years and his arrival marks an important
step for the conservation of the species.
Chris Smart, Head of
Section for Reserves, said: “The arrival of Khan is very exciting for everyone
at the Park, and we hope that we will see a new baby in the future.
camels are critically endangere
of mouse deer released into wild
For the first time
in the State, animal conservationists and forest department officials have
re-introduced the endangered species of mouse deer into the wild. On Tuesday,
forest officials released eight mouse deer, two male and six females, in the
forests of Nallamalla, Amrabad.
For the next two
months, field biologists and forest staff will closely monitor the adaptability
and behaviour of the mouse deer, which are also known as Spotted Chevrotain, in
their natural setting.
Once the mouse deer
are found to be feeding on wild vegetation and have managed to adapt, those
remaining in Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad will also be released into the
The forest officials
have created a protected enclosure of 2.14 hectares of natural forest area in
the Mannanur range of Amrabad Tiger Reserve (ATR).
“The enclosure is
completely protected by providing solar fence, watering facility through solar
powered bore and CCTV cameras. Biologists and field staff will monitor mouse
deer and their adaptability to wild vegetation,” officials said.
Mouse deer (Jarini
Pandi in Telugu) are nocturnal and because of their small size they are
smallest ungulates (large mammals) in the world. Though they are found
throughout India, but due to destruction o
It's Like An
'Electric-Fence Sensation,' Says Scientist Who Let An Eel Shock His Arm
sometimes leap out of the water to increase the power of their jolt — and one
scientist has been trying to understand this behavior more fully by letting a
small eel repeatedly shock his arm.
Ken Catania, a
Vanderbilt University neurobiologist who has been studying electric eels in his
lab, recently noticed something strange whenever he tried to fish them out with
a net that had a metal rim and handle. The eels would leap out of the water to attack
in my experience, had never done something like that where they come out of the
water, and they did it in a very directed way," he recalls.
What's more, he had
electrodes in the water so he could listen to their electrical output through a
speaker. "So I knew that when they were attacking the net in this way,
they were simultaneously giving off a high voltage discharge," Catania says.
"That clue led me to think, 'Well, maybe this is sort of a defensive
He knew that these
eels tend to interpre
This one is a keeper
Every morning, as
some of us switch on their computers or open their shops. Ko San Win Naing
feeds the Rhinos.
He goes inside the
enclosure and calls for Pon Pon, the female rhino of the Yangon zoo. Her ears
rotate, she moves her head, slowly. Confidently, she walks towards him. The two
seem visibly happy to be reunited. They have their routine. He pats her on the
back, she snorts out of pleasure. You’ve sent your first email or greeted your
first customer, Ko San Win Naing has checked on his Rhino. The day can start.
Ko San Win Naing’s
job is not a sinecure. Zoo keepers are always at the mercy of all sorts of
dangers – these animals aren’t called wild for nothing. A distracted keeper can
be bitten by a poisonous snake, a hidden tiger can pounce on a keeper cleaning
his cage. Less heroic, but equally admirable, keepers have to cope with the
pungent smells of the animals.
Ko San Win Naing has
been working as a keeper for 20 years at Yangon Zoological Garden. He first
looked after the monkeys, then tigers and then the bears – perhaps the usual career trajectory
for a keeper . Seven years ago, he wasn assigned to look after the rhinoceroses
“My father worked as
a keeper at the zoo for thirty years. His devotion to the animals was touching.
He inspired me,” says Ko San Win Naing. Many keepers have worked in the
decades ago, a Javan tiger may have just been photographed in Java’s Ujung
Kulon National Park
The species panthera
tigris sondaica, better known as the Javan tiger, has been considered extinct
for decades as there have been no confirmed sightings of the big cat that once
stalked the jungles of Indonesia’s biggest island since the 1980s. But based on
photographic evidence from Java’s Ujung Kulon National Park in West Java, the
Javan tiger may be making a comeback.
photographic evidence of the Javan tiger’s continued existence was captured
late last month but was only revealed to the media recently. It was taken by a
park ranger while doing an inventory of banteng (a species of wild Javan
cattle) on August 25. At the time, he saw a dead banteng being eaten by a big
cat unlike any species known to reside in the park.
“My fellow ranger
saw a large cat, but with stripes a bit different from the leopards usually
found in Ujung Kulon. Finally, he photographed it, and we suspect it is either
a type of
and the Planet:
During the annual
AZA conference last week many colleagues told me that they look forward to
these emails and the referenced stories. Plants are cool and learning about
them can inspire a deep love of nature. Much of the information here can be
used in our education programs and exhibit signage. September’s stories at www.zooplantman.com (NEWS/Botanical News)
are a small sampling of some of the eye-opening work of field biologists and a
bit of a discussion on just what constitutes a practical approach to
· It has become well known that
chimpanzees and other animals seek out plants to self-medicate. Now scientists
are following the chimpanzees to learn what they use so that their knowledge
might be applied to human pharmacology.
· It is also well known that plants
produce nectar to attract pollinators. What is less well known is that the best
quality, richest nectar is actually used to attract ants that will defend
plants from predators.
· Plants have many defenses but insects
can be among the most formidable. So some plants create chemicals to turn
predator insects into cannibals. Who can you trust these days?
· The monarch butterfly has become every
North American’s favorite conservation story. Why, everyone can and SHOULD
plant milkweed and save the monarchs. But does all that milkweed planting
really do the monarchs much good? Are we answering the wrong question just to
· Twenty percent of the Earth’s plant
species are threatened with extinction. Resources for conservation are sadly
limited. Is every plant species equally valuable and worth an all-out effort?
Today the annual
conference of the Association of Zoological Horticulture (AZH.org) was to open
in Naples, Florida. Hurricane Irma has changed that. I had planned to give a
session titled “Frienemies: Working With Landscape Designers.” I still hope to
Please share these
stories with associates, staff, docents and – most importantly – visitors!
Follow on Twitter,
Facebook Or visit www.plantworldnews.com
– new stories every day as well as
hundreds of stories from the past few years.
Dian Fossey Gorilla
Fund Wins Conservation Award from Zoo Association
In recognition of
its work in the protection and study of gorillas in Africa, the Dian Fossey
Gorilla Fund has been awarded the prestigious International Conservation Award
from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Announced at the annual AZA
convention in Indianapolis on Sept. 12, the award recognizes exceptional
efforts in habitat preservation, species restoration and support of
biodiversity in the wild.
The Fossey Fund is
now in its 50th year of gorilla protection, with more than 150 staff in Rwanda
and eastern Congo, working to save the critically endangered mountain gorilla
and Grauer’s gorilla. The organization’s approach to conservation focuses on daily
gorilla protection, scientific research, training future conservation leaders
in Africa along with local children and adults through extensive education
programs, and helping impoverished communities that live near the gorillas.
“We are so proud to
have reached this milestone of 50 years—it is a significant achievement for any
organization. However, this is not a role that we could have played without
numerous partnerships, supporters from around the world, and the help of other
organizations,” says Dr. Tara Stoinski, Fossey Fund President and CEO/Chief
Scientific Officer. “The Fossey Fund works in close conjunction with the
national park authorities of Rwanda and Congo, with scientists and other
experts from around the world, and with an incredible team of support
Edinburgh Zoo to
review panda breeding programme
Edinburgh Zoo is
reviewing the last five years of its giant panda breeding programme following
another failed pregnancy.
Earlier this week
zoo officials announced its female Tian Tian would not give birth to cubs this
It is the sixth time
Tian Tian has failed to produce a cub after moving to Edinburgh Zoo in 2011.
Zoo officials said
they would now "be working closely with our Chinese partners" to
review all the data.
'Life in captivity'
An Edinburgh Zoo
spokeswoman said: "We always base our decision of whether or not and how
to breed our giant pandas on the independently verified evidence of the
"Over the next
few weeks, we will be working closely with our Chinese partners to review not
only this year's breeding season but all the scientific data from the past five
years, to help us better understand the complex breeding process.
process is currently being undertaken and we can't comment on future breeding
activity until it is completed."
campaigner of animal rights group OneKind, said: "We hope that Edinburgh
Zoo's review into its giant panda breeding programme will conclude that Tian
Tian should not be subjected to another round of artificial insemination, which
is an invasive procedure for both animals.
"After years of
Danang park zoo
According to the
company, the 20-hectare zoo has been located at the park in Thanh Khe District
for over the past 30 years.
Currently, it is
home to 24 animals of five species, comprising 13 deer, eight monkeys, one
crocodile, 1 python and one civet.
Nguyen Thi Quynh
Diem, deputy director of the company, said the zoo area is too small for the
animals to live well. For many years, no new animals have been added; while
most of the current ones are now old.
Meanwhile, the zoo
also sees the shortage of operating
Beaver Water World
owner gives update on when its hundreds of animals will be moved – and where
the new site is
The owners of Beaver
Water World have revealed that they are in the “final stages” of securing a new
permanent site – and confirmed that it will be staying in the Tandridge
Hundreds of animals
have faced an uncertain future for months after the zoo was served an eviction
notice last September.
Branch Enterprises initially told the charity it needed to leave the site on
Waylands Farm, in Tatsfield, by mid-December 2016 before extending the
agreement until the end of March 2017, putting all the creatures in danger of
being put down if they could not be re-homed.
The attraction is
due to stay open at the site it has been at for 36 years until November 5, with
the managing director revealing she is in the “final stages” of securing a
lease for a new location in the same district.
managing director at the zoo, said: “We are still in limbo for now, but we are
in the process of finalising the terms for the new site sub
Think! Vol. 1
All the achievements
humans have reached is done with Teamwork. From discoveries to inventions, you
name it somewhere there was a team involved. We know that most of the time
problem solving is easier when we are with a team. Beside the Teamwork that we need
we have a particular satisfaction when there are more people in the room than
just ourselves. If this is an intrinsic cause yes or no people need the social
behavior to survive on this planet. At the end of the line Teamwork is the way
to go. People cooperate with each other by helping each other succeed. We are
social beings and need this for our survival.
abandoned captive orca and dolphins before fierce hurricane
LOLITA, a captive
orca at the Miami Seaquarium, has called the park home since the 1970s.
Despite this, the
six-metre killer whale was abandoned in her uncovered tank, alongside several
dolphins, as Hurricane Irma bore down on the Florida coastline.
The category four
hurricane tore through America’s Sunshine State, ripping roofs of homes,
flooding the streets, cutting power and inciting an evacuation of 5.6 million
people. The death toll in the US currently stands at 22, and is expected to
The aquarium was
deemed particularly vulnerable due to it’s location on Virginia Key, a barrier
island off the coast of Miami.
The Silent Forest:
It’s a small, weird,
solitary, nocturnal, armour-plated, ant- eating mammal.
It’s the most
trafficked animal on earth.
It’s highly prized
for it’s poor-quality meat, which will cost you $350US a kilo in a Hanoi
restaurant, and the powdered residue of it’s roasted scales (that armour
Cage-free zoo set to
open at Blacktown in Sydney's west
Lions, elephants and
marsupials will roam free at a new zoo at Blacktown in Sydney's west after it
was approved by the New South Wales Planning Assessment Commission.
The Bungarribee zoo
won't cage its animals with the aim to attract Sydney families to the zoo which
will have large open spaces.
Sydney Zoo will
build the $36 million park featuring over 30 exhibits including elevated board
walks and glassed observation areas.
announces 32 nominees for prestigious Indianapolis Prize
conservationists from across the globe have been nominated for the prestigious
Regarded as the
world’s leading honor for animal conservation, the Indianapolis Prize is
awarded biennially by the Indianapolis Zoo. The winner will receive an
unrestricted $250,000 cash award while five finalists will receive $10,000
each. The winner will also receive the Lilly Medal to commemorate the occasion.
president and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoo, said the nominees represent many of
the “most significant and accomplished wildlife conservationists in the field
“They are protecting
species and creating successful conservation methods that ensure future
generations will live in a flourishing and su
Terengganu resort in
trouble over viral video of endangered sea turtle devouring hatchling
A video of a turtle devouring hatchlings in a
pool has gone viral and will likely land the operator of a resort near Pulau
Kapas in hot water.
This is because the
resort does not have a permit to keep sea turtles, much less declare the
containment area as a sanctuary pool.
In the video, the
turtle, believed to be of the green turtle species, is seen swimming in a pool
with hundreds of hatchlings. In one scene, the turtle is seen crushing a
hatchling’s head and devouring it.
The netizen who
uploaded the video and picture on his Facebook account said the scene was
captured at a 'Turtle Conservation Sanctuary Pool' at a resort near Pulau
Jihia Koh, the
netizen who posted the video on Facbook, claimed that he witnessed the turtle
eating a hatchling until its eyes popped out. The carcass also drew other
hatchlings to eat the remains.
He said he had
informed the staff there but was told that this was “normal”. When asked why,
the staff allegedly replied that there was "not enough food".
“I think this is
seriously crazy. Hatchlings have a very low chance of survival in the wild, but
it has no chance to survive here and this place is called
Lament of the apes:
Chimpanzee sparks panic at Taiwanese zoo after escaping… only to look inside
its enclosure through the window and head back in to get away from humans
A chimpanzee sparked
panic at a Taiwanese zoo after escaping only to look inside its enclosure and
head back in to get away from the human visitors.
Sally, aged 35,
escaped her display area and stunned tourists in the African Animal Area of the
Visitors who tried
to keep their distance from the chimp said the drama reminded them of the
popular sci-fi series 'Planet of the Apes' - in which primates revolt and
ultimately overthrow mankind.
learned what Przewalski's horse ate more than a century ago
A scientist from the
Lomonosov Moscow State University's Faculty of Biology together with her
colleagues has explained the changes in modern Przewalski's horses' food
reserve (diet) that have occurred since the end of the 19th century. The
results were published in the Scientific Reports journal.
is a species of wild horses, which had inhabited the Dzungarian part of the
Gobi Desert until the middle of the 20th century, but went extinct by human's
fault. Several individuals survived in zoos and became the ancestors of every
Przewalski's horse living nowadays. Until the 90s they only were kept in zoos
and breeding-grounds, but with their number growing, it was decided to try and
reintroduce the species to nature. Now free Przewalski's horses can be seen in
Mongolia and China. It is a rare example of man rectifying his mistakes.
Since the end of the
20th century in different countries which Przewalski's horses had historically
inhabited (Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan and, since 2015, Russia) several
projects of reintroduction (resettlement) of the horses to nature have been
implemented. Dzungarian Gobi was the last region where they lived, and the wild
horses had been exterminated too fast by humans, so there was no clear
understanding of whether they prefer desert or steppe communities. Thus,
different natural zones were chosen for the reintroduction. However, more than
20-year existence of the horses in the nature of Mongolia has shown that in
Dzungarian Gobi (with desert and near-desert conditions) the reproduction of
animals was significantly slower, than in the steppe part of the cou
expansion to Yorkshire Wildlife Park could be a 'game changer' for town
"SIGNIFICANT" expansion of one of Yorkshire's biggest tourist
attractions could be a "game changer" for Doncaster, it has been
claimed. A 150-acre expansion of Yorkshire Wildlife Park would create more than
300 jobs and give a £50m boost to the local economy, the Park has said, as it
submitted plans for the ambitious project to Don
Experts to help
streamline safety set-up at Bannerghatta
Authorities at the
Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) plan to consult experts on better management
of its safari.
This follows a
ferocious fight between Royal Bengal tigers and white tigers at the park
Following a security
breach during safari on September 16, two white tigers sneaked through the
gates separating the enclosures of Royal Bengal tigers and white tigers.
The BBP management
will discuss the matter with officials from Zoo Authority of Karnataka during
their two-day visit to BBP this week. It is the only zoo in the state which has
Santosh Kumar, BBP
Executive Director, admitted that the incident occurred because of callousness
of the staffers.
The condition of the
injured white tiger Amar is improving. He had injured his jaw and paw. He also
suffered injuries near his spine.
“Though the staff
has been directed not to entertain tourists, there have been instances where
accidents have happened when animal-keepers try to please tourists for tips. We
serve notices to such staffers, but it has little impact. There have been insta
SHOULD WE KILL
ANIMALS TO SAVE THEM?
The elephants left
snapped branches and warm scat in their wake. When they caught our scent, our
sweat mixing with the sun-scorched grasses, they broke into a trumpeting jog
and were gone.
materialized on the horizon, in the shade of the camel thorn trees, shades
themselves. For such enormous creatures, they were nearly invisible but to the
sharpest eyes. And those eyes belonged now to Dam, a short, compact man, a
tracker from the local San people who stood in the back of the Land Cruiser.
cried, leaning hard over the right side of the vehicle, picking out tracks in
the sand. He tapped on the door, and we came to a whiplashing halt. Dam jumped
down, checking a footprint, its edges corrugated and etched inside with smaller
bubbles. He motioned, and Felix Marnewecke, the professional hunter and guide
on this expedition, popped out of the driver’s side door. Strapping, ruddy, and
blond, in his 40s, he seemed straight from central casting, wearing a
Zoo forced to cull
antelope after bovine TB outbreak
Ten antelope at
Paignton Zoo have been put down after contracting bovine TB – possibly from
The 10 Kafue Flats
lechwe – two males and eight females – were put down after zoo staff took
advice from the Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA), the government agency
working alongside DEFRA.
Auckland Zoo buries
dead animals at undisclosed location
Even in death
Auckland Zoo's high profile animals continue to help animal conservation.
In August the Zoo
put down Sumatran tiger Jaka after vets found a large inoperable tumour in his
intestine. In April elderly giraffe Zabulu, father to 15 giraffe calves, died
after falling ill and last year mother and son hippos Faith and Fudge passed away.
While the lives of
zoo animals are open to the public, what happens after death isn't common
knowledge. Stuff.co.nz requested behind the scenes information.
arrives in Harbin from Africa for date with mate
A new member from
far afield Africa was welcomed by Harbin Northern Forest Zoo on Wednesday.
Bella, an 8-year-old
female African elephant, was selected to have a blind date with a male elephant
Doudou in the zoo.
About one month ago,
the zoo took out ad for Doudou, a 9-year-old single African male.
However, the zoo
found it difficult to find any perfect match in domestic zoos, especially an
age-appropriate and healthy female one.
After failing to get
a suitable candidate at home, the zoo expanded the target range to the
Thanks to zoo's
efforts, Bella was finally discovered in Zimbabwe.
After she arrived at
Shanghai, Bella was taken to Harb
Nicki Boyd –
Behavior husbandry manager at San Diego Zoo “I have the best job in the zoo”
Nicki Boyd and is
the Behavior Husbandry Manager at the San Diego Zoo. Her educational background includes
graduating from Moorpark College’s Exotic Animal Training and Management
Program, Masa College’s Animal Health Technician Program, with an Associate in
Science Degree, and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University
Nicki has worked at
the San Diego Zoo for 25 years in various departments such as zookeeper at the
Children’s Zoo and Veterinary Hospital, animal handler in the Behavior
Department, senior keeper, Team Area Lead, Animal Care Supervisor, Animal Care
Manager, Personnel Manager, and now currently as the Behavior Husbandry
Manager. Nicki is currently the president of the Red Panda Network which is a
non-profit organization dedicated to saving habitat for wild red pandas. And
she is also the Past President of the Animal Behavior Management Alliance (ABM
New Meetings and Conferences updated Here
If you have anything to add then please email me at email@example.com
I will include it when I get a minute. You know it makes sense.
Recent Zoo Vacancies
Vacancies in Zoos and Aquariums and Wildlife/Conservation facilities around the World
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/
or on Hubpages http://hubpages.com/profile/Peter+Dickinson
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"
Independent International Zoo Consultant
+971 50 4787 122 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Skype: peter.dickinson48
Independent International Zoo Consultant
+971 50 4787 122 | email@example.com | Skype: peter.dickinson48