Sunday, June 10, 2018

Zoo News Digest 10th June 2018 (ZooNews 998)

Zoo News Digest 10th June 2018  (ZooNews 998)

Peter Dickinson


Dear Colleague,

Plastic!! More and more interest is being shown at long last. Many zoos, companies, cities and countries are implementing bans. The thing that gets me is the dates some of them are setting…2020 and beyond. If they have recognised that there is a problem then they need to take action a lot sooner than that. As to straws, really what was wrong with paper ones? They were all I ever saw in my youth. The frequent mention of thicker 'recyclable' straws seems to be a bit of a joke. It just means places offering thicker straws to customers…90% which will never be recycled. Look at the thicker re-useable plastic bags being offered by some supermarkets. I have yet to see a single person return with their bags to use them again. Nothing, but nothing was packed in plastic in my youth. I have spent some time mulling over the first time I saw a plastic bag. It was 1958. I survived up till then but we know plastic is killing our planet now.

The biggest zoo story of the past week has been "Zoo keeper sends lions scampering away in fear as he breaks up a fight in the pride using just his SLIPPER". Many papers covered the story making out the owner of the  Tagan safari park in the Crimea, Oleg Zubkov to be some sort of hero. Far from it. His behaviour was both stupid and irresponsible. All he was really doing was showing off to his guests and getting a publicity boost into the bargain. Perhaps next time he will get a Darwin award.

In the item "Exotic-animal park is fined for code violations" it was stated "The other change would broaden an exemption from the ban if there is a certification by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, or if an application for certification is awaiting approval." There are a few who read this who took exception. For myself I thought it an excellent idea to bring in people with real expertise to make a judgement. True enough there are other groups who could make and voice a view on management and husbandry but to my mind they could not beat the AZA on the ethics involved.

There is much more of interest in the links below.

 "good zoos will not gain credibility from their critics until they condemn the bad zoos wherever they are." Peter Dickinson


Did You Know?
ZooNews Digest has over 78,000 Followers on Facebook( and over 78,000 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,

Tiger selfies: Chinese, Indian tourists lead cruel social media trend that’s driving Thailand’s captive-wildlife industry
On the shabby outskirts of a seaside resort in Thailand, a Chinese couple in beachwear lean across the back of an adult tiger. The big cat yawns with weary insouciance as two handlers cajole it around its pen and prod it with bamboo sticks. In a smaller enclosure, another couple giggle as they dangle their infant son over a juvenile tiger. Nearby, a tourist in his 20s poses as if in mid roar over two dozing young tigers before – prompted by the handlers – grabbing their tails and putting them up to his mouth, as guffawing friends watch on.

This is the disturbing new face of wildlife tourism in Thailand, where tigers are hand-reared to provide social-media images for foreign visitors. Every day, busloads of tourists are whisked away from their sunloungers to spend an hour or so posing for pictures with u

The dog squad sniffing out the critically endangered Baw Baw frog
Rubble is a seven-year-old border collie — a classic working dog.

But the pooch has never herded a single sheep.

No offence to livestock, but Rubble has always had a higher calling — first as a search-and-rescue dog, and now as a conservation detection dog.

Rubble and brother Uda are employed to sniff out some of Australia's most elusive and endangered native animals.

Wild Animal Health Fund awards 13 grants for zoo animal, wildlife research
he Wild Animal Health Fund has awarded 13 grants for research on zoo animals and wildlife for 2018 totaling $105,407. The fund, in its seventh year, is a program of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

Much advancement has taken place in veterinary medicine for domestic animals over the past century, according to the AAZV. Sources for research funding have included governments, the food animal and fiber industries, veterinary schools and other animal-related institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and, to a lesser extent, the public. But research funding for zoo animals and wildlife has not been abundant. Until the AAZV founded the Wild Animal Health Fund, only one other major funder supported research for these animals.

"The Wild Animal Health Fund is building a donor base of concerned citizens who are passionate about zoo animals and wildlife and understand the threats


Yellow Fever hits Golden Lion Tamarin population in Rio de Janeiro’s Atlantic Forest
Brazil’s Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado (AMLD; Golden Lion Tamarin Association), along with the Brazilian Ministry of Health and Ministry of the Environment reported that the first confirmed death of a Golden Lion Tamarin (GLT) to yellow fever occurred on 17 May 2018.  Until this report we did not know if GLTs were susceptible to the disease.  Our main concern is that this disease has the potential to reduce significantly an already small and fragmented GLT population. The continued existence of an assurance population of GLTs in captivity is an essential safeguard for species survival.

Yellow fever was unknown in our area during the four decades of our work. The current outbreak of yellow fever began in Minas Gerais state in December 2016, and quickly spread to Rio de Janeiro state.  The first human deaths in Rio de Janeiro state occurred in Casimiro de Abreu municipality, which is the center of the GLT geographic distribution.  In 2017, a few howler monkeys were reported to have died due to yellow fever in Macaé, Rio de Janeiro state, b

The Animal Welfare Institute, Big Cat Rescue, Born Free USA, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund are celebrating the introduction of the Big Cat Public Safety Act (BCPSA) in the US Senate. Championed by Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, the bill would ensure that unqualified individuals, including chronic animal abusers, are prohibited from obtaining and keeping dangerous big cats like tigers, lions, leopards and pumas.

By reintroducing the BCPSA, senators from six states across the nation are joining more than 130 bipartisan members of the US House of Representatives in calling for an end to the unregulated trade and nationwide abuse of captive big cats. Recent national headlines have documented public outrage at the inhumane display of a tiger at a high school p

PETA slams Auckland Zoo for euthanising lions
Auckland Zoo's decision to euthanise two elderly lions has been slammed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Kura, 19, and her daughter Amira, 17, were put to sleep on Wednesday in what staff described as the "best call" for the animals.

Fecal Condition Scoring Resource Center
Fecal condition scores and fecal color provide insight into how a diet is being digested by an animal and the state of gastrointestinal health. The following fecal condition scoring scales have been obtained from a variety of sources.  We have credited the authors where we can, and encourage you to submit additional scales or corrections to attributions.  More info is at the bottom of this page.

In male dolphin alliances, 'everybody knows your name'
It's not uncommon in dolphin society for males to form long-lasting alliances with other males, sometimes for decades. Now, after studying bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Australia, for more than 30 years, researchers find that these males retain individual vocal labels rather than sharing a common call with their cooperative partners.

Opinion: Africa is not Disneyland
Some imagery that comes to our screens can be tough to stomach, and every now and then Africa really tests one’s emotional make-up.

There is a primordial energy in the wilds of Africa, where ecosystems still function naturally, and wild animals are, well, wild. The following photos submitted to our Photographer of the Year competition reflect what goes on all day every day out there in the wild, where animals kill to survive and where individuals (weak and strong, old and young) often suffer horribly in the process.


Cincinnati Zoo just got a $50 million gift. But it's just the beginning of a big plan
It started with eight monkeys.

Three deer, six raccoons, a hyena and an alligator. A circus elephant – and over 400 birds.

That was most of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden collection when it opened its doors in 1875.

The cultural institution has certainly grown and evolved in the last century.

But Thursday morning marked the beginning of the the zoo's most expansive change yet.

Zoo officials announced a $50 million gift – the largest in its history – from Cincinnati philanthropists Harry and Linda Fath.

That donation is also the foundation of the zoo's $150 million capital campaign and new master plan, efforts that aim to transform a

You talking to me? Scientists try to unravel the mystery of 'animal conversations'
African elephants like to rumble, naked mole rats trade soft chirps, while fireflies alternate flashes in courtship dialogues.

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of 'animal conversations'.

An international team of academics undertook a large-scale review of research into turn-taking behaviour in animal communication, analysing hundreds of animal studies.

Turn-taking, the orderly exchange of communicative signals, is a hallmark of human conversation and has been shown to be largely universal across human cultures.

The review, a collaboration between the Universities of York and Sheffield, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands, reveals that this most human of abilities is actually remarkably widespread across the animal kingdom.

While research on turn-taking behaviour is abundant, beginning mor

First gorilla born in captivity in Europe dies in Basel Zoo
Goma, the first gorilla to be born in a European zoo, has died aged 58 in Basel.
Basel Zoo reported on Friday that the female ape had died of old age surrounded by her family.

Apart from the usual signs of old age there was nothing wrong with her and until recently she was in robust health, the zoo said.

Loved by a generation of Basel residents, Goma was born in the city zoo in 1959 and was initially raised by the family of then zoo director Ernst Lang as it was feared her inexperienced mother would not care for her properly.

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. Announces Removal of All Single-Use Plastic Straws and Single-Use Plastic Shopping Bags from its 12 Theme Parks
As part of its mission to protect animals and habitats worldwide, and just in time for World Oceans Day, SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) today announced that all 12 of its theme parks have removed all single-use plastic drinking straws and single-use plastic shopping bags.

“This milestone environmental achievement is a testament to our mission to protect the environment, the ocean and the animals we share our planet with, which are currently threatened by unprecedented amounts of plastic pollution,” said John Reilly, interim chief executive officer for SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. “We see the harmful effects of plastic pollution in the animals we rescue and rehabilitate, and therefore, recognize the importance of doing our part to curb plastic pollution.” 

Recent news and studies have shown alarming consequences of the growing threat of plastics to our oceans and wildlife. The Ocean Conservancy, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group, estimates that eight million metric tons of plastics enter the ocean each year, on top of the estimated 150 million metric ton

7 of 11 missing animals from Santa Fe College zoo found
Seven of the 11 missing animals from the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo have been found, the college announced Monday night.

Three Florida box turtles, two red-foot tortoises, a skink and a squirrel monkey were found at an apartment near Santa Fe’s northwest campus, which is off of Northwest 39th Avenue. The animals were taken overnight between May 29 and 30, according to the college’s news release.

Two gopher tortoises and two box turtles, which were discovered missing May 24, have not been found.

Gopher tortoises are a protected species, and it is a third-degree felony to harm or tamper with them. The two missing tortoises were on medication to prevent a deadly virus.

Santa Fe said in the statement that the Santa Fe College Police Department was working with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. Law enforcement receiv

This Is Why The Animal Schools You Every Day
While I just came back from a travel to Jerusalem I started to think about why many of our training sessions end up in something we didn’t plan at all. Within the workshop I had to give together with a coworker we talked a lot about motivation strategies and communication. The planning of sessions and how important it is to have a “toolbox” full of techniques and strategies for you to respond to the behavior the animal shows you within your session. But  a toolbox isn’t build up easy.

Did you ever observe that the animal seems to “play” with us? Or is it even playing? Might it not just be us adding emotions into a situation we shouldn’t?

There are quite some thought about if the animal school you yes or no. Looking from the outside to a training session there is a lot going on for the trainer to respond to but that doesn’t mean we want to end up schooled by the animals we work with. Who trains who (Read another blog about this topic HERE) depends on the skillset and patience of the trainer. The success and teamwork reached with the animal depends o so m

Exotic-animal park is fined for code violations
New developments are affecting the status of a Walk on the Wild Side, a nonprofit locked in a dispute with Washington County over the keeping of exotic animals at a former horse farm north of Hillsboro.

A hearings officer decided Monday (June 4) that the nonprofit violated county code twice. One violation was its feeding and management of exotic animals on land zoned for farming, and the other was its failure to obtain county permits for structures to house the animals.

The maximum penalty of $10,000 — $5,000 for each violation — was imposed.

Steve Higgs and Cheryl Jones, the owners, can reduce that penalty by 50 percent if they remove the animals, show they are in compliance with state wildlife regulations, and either remove the structures or obtain the proper per…….The other change would broaden an exemption from the ban if there is a certification by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, or if an application for certification is awaiting approval. The proposed grace period is one year, after which the exemption would expire.

Dolphin Discovery Achieves American Humane Certification for Animal Welfare
Six Dolphin Discovery facilities in the Mexican Caribbean have achieved certification through the global American Humane Conservation program for the welfare and humane treatment of the animals under their care. Dolphin Discovery, located in Isla Mujeres, Dolphin Discovery Dreams in Puerto Aventuras, Dolphin Discovery Cozumel, Dolphin Discovery Playa del Carmen, Dolphin Discovery Riviera Maya in Puerto Aventuras, and Dolphin Discovery Tulum in Akumal passed rigorous third-party audits to earn the prestigious Humane Certified™ seal of approval, joining an elite group of less than four dozen institutions worldwide to achieve certification under the American Humane Conservation program.

Animal Management and Welfare in Natural Disasters

Elephant Riding: The Facts

The Asian Elephant in Thailand is a critically endangered species, facing a very high risk of extinction. For the Thai Asian Elephant, the primary cause of this is habitat loss. The forests and grasslands needed to support a population of elephants have been disseminated by human activity and simply no longer exist. Domesticated elephants are the answer to creating a sustainable future for Thai elephants but providing a supportive environment for elephants in an elephant village or camp/centre requires money. For the Royal Elephant Kraal Village (the Kraal), like other such dedicated, protective centres, tourism is an important source of income. Providing an ethical and humane riding experience for visitors is critical if their programs are to be continued in the long term.

Recently claims have been circulating on the internet and media, maintaining that this practice is damaging for the elephants, even cruel. The Royal Elephant Kraal strongly disputes this assertion and this article sets out some of the facts, and the maths, to demonstrate that elephants are well able to easily carry the weight of humans on their backs. The Kraal has gone to great lengths to ensure that the elephants in its care are well-treated, that their participation in the riding program is beneficial and that the equipment used for rides is well designed and comfortable for the elephant. The emotive claims against the practice liken the experience of carrying people on the elephant’s back to a human carrying a 50 pound backpack for nine hours a day and purport that it will lead to permanent spinal injuries (FN 1). Instead of making exaggerated comparisons between the human experience and that of animals in order to appeal to people’s emotions, always a risky exercise, let’s look at the facts.

The article referenced above states that an elephant giving rides is equivalent to a human carrying around 50 pounds (approximately 22.9 kg) for 9 hours a day. In this instance, the ratio of weight of the backpack being carried to an average human body weight of 75kg would be 30.5%. Note that, to the elephant’s advantage, this is not an equal comparison, as humans are bipedal and elephants are quadrupeds, making the dispersion of the extra weight more stable and balanced for the elephant.

So, if the weight of a human is 75kg and the weight of a male elephant is 5000kg, then the weight of the human on top of the elephant would be equal to 1.5% of the elephant’s body weight. The elephant is actually only carrying what would be for a human the equivalent of 1.12kg on his back, a lot less than the 22.9kg backpack.

With regard to the weight of a female elephant, averaging 2700kg, the human weight of 75kg would be equal to 2.8% of the female elephant’s weight. The elephant is actually only carrying what would be for a human the equivalent of 2.1kg on her back. Hardly strenuous considering that the average weight of a woman’s handbag is between 2.35 and 10kg!

An elephant can carry up to 25% (FN 2) of its body weight without causing any discomfort or pressure to its body or spine.

Instead of unverified assertions, let’s look at the facts regarding the weight that an elephant at Elephantstay and the weight that an elephant at the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace/Wang Chang (the Royal Elephant Kraal’s tourist centre) carries as a comparison of its body weight. Table 1.1 below sets out the weight of some of the elephants at Elephantstay, the average weight of the mahout and the average weight of Elephantstay participants and shows the weight percentage to the elephant’s body weight.

However, at Wang Chang, in addition to the mahout and the tourist(s), the elephant is also carrying a yang (chair/howdah) and blankets/padding. Table 1.2 below provides the combined weight of the following: a yang, blankets/padding, mahout, and two male tourists (allowing a few extra kilograms to the average weight of humans).

Now, let’s look at Rumruay, as one of the lightest elephants in weight at the Kraal, as an example. Her weight equals 2081kg and 25% of her body weight is 520.25kg. The 285kg combined weight that she would be carrying during a typical ride is considerably less than the 25% of her body weight that she is capable of carrying without discomfort or pressure on her body or spine. Table 1.3 below makes the same comparison for the other elephants at the Kraal showing that they carry a fraction of the amount that they are physically capable of carrying.

As well as providing an exciting experience for the human passengers, the elephants benefit from the practice of elephant rides. Riding provides socialisation, stimulation and exercise. The Kraal’s pregnant elephants give rides and have produced 69 successful births which is also a testament to the benefits of riding. Wang Chang has been designed as a model for how to provide ethical elephant tourist rides. Elephants at the centre are not giving rides all day but sporadically throughout the working day. The elephants that give rides work on a rotational basis which ensures that they can rest in between each ride. Rides are between 10 to 30 minutes in duration and on flat ground with running water available along the walk for the elephants to refresh themselves. They are provided with shelter, food and water for drinking and showering throughout the day. Misters are used in the elephant rest area, to create a cool and comfortable environment. All elephants are given rostered days off from working at Wang Chang providing rides.

The Kraal’s yangs have been specifically designed to be as light as possible for the elephants. The thickness of the blankets/padding provides a cushion to ensure that the yang is not rubbing on the elephant’s skin or causing friction and irritation to the elephant. The yang’s frame sits on either side of the elephant’s back to ensure there is no direct pressure on the elephant’s spine, a practice followed by many other kraals in Thailand. The Royal Elephant Kraal and Wang Chang work closely with the Tourism Authority of Thailand in relation to their promotional videos as they want to promote elephants that are healthy, humanely treated and have an excellent standard of care. This high standard of care and treatment (and also safety) is widely recognised. The Thai Royal Palace frequently sends VIP visitors, including visiting royalty from other countries, to Wang Chang to view, interact with and ride the elephants.

The Kraal’s elephants come from many different backgrounds and have many different histories, most we know of and some we don’t. There is nothing we can do about their pasts, but we can provide them with a safe haven of love, care, food, exercise, and stimulation and a future that is far better than their past. Not all elephants in Thailand have been put through the “crush” or “breaking of their spirit” in order to be able to let humans ride them. A UN report on “crush” and other training techniques, quoted from Gone Astray, states that, “An elephant born in captivity is brought up amongst human beings and its training is humane from the day it begins; but a wild beast parted from the herd and its mother must suffer agonies before its will is broken.” (FN 3) The breeding program at the Kraal allows for human/elephant interaction from the moment they are born. They learn to trust and bond with humans and relationships form and grow. Positive reinforcement and food is used with all training techniques, including training to be ridden.

Before jumping to conclusions about the effect of the elephant riding program on the elephants, consider the facts and make an informed decision regarding your participation. Facts and mathematics indicate that the practice of providing elephant rides is neither strenuous for the elephant nor damaging to the elephant’s back and/or spine. Additionally, our experience and anecdotal evidence suggests that the elephants benefit in many ways from giving rides.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the following for their assistance with the preparation of this article: Narelle McGlusky, Ewa Narkiewicz, Michelle Reedy and Jonathan Phipps.

Prepared by Belynda Zolotto

Elephantstay, Royal Elephant Kraal Village, Ayutthaya, Thailand

The Link Between Elephants and Human Trafficking
One of the most beloved activities for tourists traveling in Thailand is to ride on elephants. The camps offer fun interactions like watching elephants paint, feeding bananas to baby elephants, and mini treks through the jungle. People are likely familiar with the criticisms environmental and animal-friendly folk level toward these camps for the maltreatment of elephants—but what these critics almost always miss is the elephants’ most trusted companion: their caretakers, the mahouts.

Mahouts used to hold a much more revered and well-paid position in society, due to the degree of expertise, experience, and physical strength it takes to work so closely with such large, intelligent, sensitive—and dangerous—animals. In the best scenarios, the mahout and elephant develop a lifelong bond of love and trust through which they can work together. However, the increasing demand for cheap tourist attractions drives prices down and caretakers are forced to take work well below the minimum wage.


Global reintroduction perspectives : 2018
This sixth edition of the Global Reintroduction Perspectives provides 59 case studies covering invertebrates, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and plants. We hope the information presented in this book will provide a broad global perspective on challenges facing reintroduction projects trying to restore biodiversity.

Santa Barbara Zoo becomes Certified Autism Center
The Santa Barbara Zoo is the first zoo on the West Coast to become a Certified Autism Center.

It's a certification near and dear to the heart of Santa Barbara Zoo School Director J.J. McLeod, a mother of three kids under the age of six.

McLeod says her 5-year-old son is on the autism spectrum, so she knows what parents face when they plan a busy day out at a high sensory place like a zoo.

Patna zoo to ban plastic from June 5
he Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, better known as Patna zoo, will ban plastic with less than 50 microns of thickness from June 5.
The zoo, which is spread in 152.95 acre area, is home to nearly 800 animals and trees of around 300 species. “The major theme this year will be to discourage the use of plastic and make the visitors aware about the harmful effects of plastic. Plastic with less than 50 microns of thickness will be prohibited on the premises. A notice has been issued by Union ministry of environment and forests to make all zoos, national parks and sanctuaries free from plastic litter by the World Environment Day, which is celebrated on June 5,” a zoo official told this newspaper on Sunday.
“Plastic materials have turned into one of

Pygmy hog conservation receives a shot in the arm
In a boost to pygmy hog conservation, Barnadi Wildlife Sanctuary located in Udalguri and Baksa districts near the Assam-Bhutan border received six more critically-endangered pygmy hogs on Saturday, taking the total of such releases into the sanctuary to 22. The release was carried out as part of the ongoing Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme (PHCP), which is an attempt to save the species and its habitat as part of a collaborative project of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, IUCN/SSC Wild Pig Specialist Group, Assam Forest Department and the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change with EcoSystems-India and Aaranyak as local partners.
“Before their release into the wild, the hogs were taught to survive independently at a pre-release facility at Potasali in Nameri Tiger Reserve. The released hogs are monitored by using field signs (nests, forage marks, footprints and droppings) and sometimes, camera traps,” an Aaranyak spokesperson sa

A sense of disgust in bonobos?
These primates, known for their liberal attitudes toward sex, are also generally open-minded when it comes to new foods -- as long as the grub is clean.

Researchers from Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute have now found that a bonobo's curiosity transforms into caution when food is presented with or near feces, soil, or bad smells. Their study was published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

In nature, parasites and pathogens are everywhere, and many enter our bodies by riding along with food. We therefore need a way to detect these hitchhikers with the help of our various senses.

"Current studies suggest that animals evolved a system to protect against such threats, now known as the adaptive system of disgust," explains Cecile Sarabian, lead author of the study. "For example, bodily fluids are universal disgust elicitors in humans, and recently, we published evidence that the same reaction exists in our primate cousins."

In a series of experiments, bo

Zoo keeper sends lions scampering away in fear as he breaks up a fight in the pride using just his SLIPPER
A zoo keeper sent a dominant male lion scampering away in fear - using just his slipper.

In the highly amusing video, owner Oleg Zubkov breaks up a scrap between the pride of lions at his park in Ukraine.

In the footage, filmed at Tagan safari park in the Crimea, the big cats are seen picking on one of the group's smaller females.

The Power of Partnerships: Zoos Joining Forces with Animal Welfare Organizations
A snippet of my quite controversial post over at about my naively optimistic wish of eliminating the US vs THEM mentality that has invaded every aspect of our world:

“But my real wish, my dream, is of, “what an amazing world this would be’ if we could all join forces. We could unite over a common cause: working to protect the remaining non-captive animal populations from extinction. Let’s join together the very best characteristics from both sides of the aisle. Join the mega audience of zoos and aquariums, (with an attendance greater than all professional sports combined), with the marketing, messaging and PR skills of the animal rights groups, whos


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About me
After more than 50 years working in private, commercial and National zoos in the capacity of keeper, head keeper and curator Peter Dickinson started to travel. He sold house and all his possessions and hit the road. He has traveled extensively in Turkey, Southern India and much of South East Asia before settling in Thailand. In his travels he has visited well over 200 zoos and many more before 'hitting the road' and writes about these in his blog

Peter earns his living as an independent international zoo consultant, critic and writer. Currently working as Curator of Penguins in Ski Dubai. United Arab Emirates. He describes himself as an itinerant zoo keeper, one time zoo inspector, a dreamer, a traveler, an introvert, a storyteller, 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 | | Skype: peter.dickinson48

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