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I remain committed to the work of GOOD zoos,
not DYSFUNCTIONAL zoos.
Using a Target All
The Time Gives You Less Focus
Im in love with
using targets. We are using them for everything and all the time for shaping a
various amount of behaviors. It’s the best tool after a bridge in my belief.
Targets come in all shape and sizes. Training animals for match to sample might
be as well just a different target point. A platform or scale might just be a
target point. Your hand or a physical target pole is just a different target
point. There are so many different ways to train behaviors but 9 out of 10
times there are targets involved but should we stop there? Often enough as
trainers we train the animal to the point where we have desensitised the
animals for scenarios and trained them for duration on the target. All criteria
leading towards the final goal. But…
A nail in the coffin
of the captive lion breeding industry?
There was an
overwhelming consensus for the need to bring an end to the controversial
captive lion breeding industry in South Africa at a two-day Parliamentary
Colloquium of the Portfolio Committee of Environmental Affairs.
However, in an
article in this morning’s Cape Times “SA’s lion conservation policies rooted in
science” is a carefully scripted piece by Minister Molewa trying to justify an
industry the majority of attendants at the colloquium agree has passed its
Mr MP Mapulane
(chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs) summed up the
sentiment around the room by saying “South Africa is allowing a practice that
everybody is turning their backs to, we need to find a solution as a country to
improve the situation”.
The consensus is
that the captive lion breeding industry has little to no conservation value,
raises serious animal welfare issues, and doing serious damage to Brand SA. As
Dr Ali Kaka (CIC Ambassador for Africa) says “the bad publicity has to be
noted” and “South Africa’s conservation success rightly or wrongly will be
questioned and smeared”.
This was confirmed
in a new report
CAN ZOOS BE
REDESIGNED FOR A MORE ETHICAL GENERATION?
n early June, when
animals were feared to have left Eifel Zoo in Germany after flooding breached
the zoo’s fencing, you could hear the cheers echo around the world. A week
later, a dream-like video emerged of an elephant walking through the small town
of Neuwied, in the east of the country, having escaped from a local circus.
Social media went wild. Public sentiment was defiantly on the side of these
defectors, applauding their righteous break for freedom.
Zoos, circuses and
safari parks are increasingly seen as places of kidnapping and imprisonment,
and public antipathy towards them is spreading beyond the likes of Peta. Within
the last few years Buenos Aires and Costa Rica have said that they will close their
zoos and release the animals, and while the outcome of both
Cebu Safari bids to
become PH's largest with Asia's longest zipline
The Cebu Safari, a
170-hectare development, is home to some 1,200 animals imported from Spain,
Australia, US, Africa, and other parts of the world, but the park's officials
refuse to call the facility a "zoo."
"We do not call
this a zoo because the zoo's concept is caged animals. Dito, ang concept is for
them to be in natural habitats," Cebu Safari operations manager Shirley
Vidaurrazaga told ABS-CBN News.
"We tell guests
that the animals are here for you to see, not to entertain you,"
Guests can either
ride safari trucks to see zebras, wildebeests and other animals grazing in a
savannah, or walk along terrains where black swans, pelicans, and other fowls
ambitious goal is to be a world-class safari, and a one-stop adventure
destination for foreign and local tourists. It is over an hour's drive from
"We have bred
orangutans, black-crested macaques, lions and tigers, and we are set to open an
animal hospital by the last
penguin chick born in India dies in Mumbai zoo
Humboldt penguin, born in Mumbai zoo last week, died here two days ago, an
official said here on Friday.
Hatched on August
15, the penguin died on August 22 (Wednesday), shocking the zoo authorities.
An autopsy was
performed by a three-member team of the Bombay Veterinary College, Parel, at
the zoo hospital.
report revealed that the chick suffered from "new-born anomalies like yolk
sac retention and liver dysfunction" resulting in its death.
The Veermata Jijabai
Bhonsale Udyan & Zoo authorities said that parents of the chick -- Mr. Molt
and Flipper -- took good care of it after it was hatched, but it failed to
However, it is not
clear why the development was kept under wraps by the BrihanMumbai Municipal
Corporation (BMC) for more than two days though the chick's birth had generated
Owner of troubled
zoo is accused of neglect by trainer as a trail of dead animals are found
including an emu and three ibises
Questions are being
raised at Britain's most troubled zoo over who is responsible after a trail of
dead animals have been found over the past eight months.
Borth Wild Animal
Kingdom, in Ceredigion, was the place where two lynx died within days of each
other, and now a slew of other animals have died- including an emu that escaped
close to the lion enclosure and perished after being 'strangled'.
As well as the emu,
three northern bald ibis died after getting tangled in some netting and Dana, a
squirrel monkey was found in her own blood in an allegedly filthy cage,
according to a previous keeper at the zoo.
Mark Anthony, an
animal trainer who was at the zoo, has claimed a number of animals have died
from neglect, according to The Times
conservation success of China and world’s zoos celebrated in Beijing exhibition
artwork and photographs are featured in the first exhibition devoted to what
its organisers call “panda culture”.
Is the giant panda
worth saving? China’s big profits have the answer
It traces the giant
panda’s journey into Western consciousness, recalling how French priest and
zoologist Armand David, known as Père David, was the first foreigner to bring
them to the attention of the West. The French missionary described the body of
a white bear with black legs and ears in his journal in 1869 while stationed at
the Dengchi Valley Cathedral in Yaan, a city in Sichuan province.
exhibition, Yang Chao, director of the Department of Wildlife Conservation and
Nature Reserve Management of the National Forestry and Grassland
Administration, said the threat to giant panda populations had been reduced
through conservation work.
Whole lot of
biomechanics involved in movement of tigers
Just like an
automobile, the tiger too has an engine, torque, turning radius and ground
clearance. The feline has a success rate of 80 per cent in hunting.
Just like how so
many spare parts are involved in making an automobile run, there is a whole lot
of biomechanics involved in the functioning of a tiger.
In this week's Zoo
Tales series featuring Arignar Anna Zoological Park, popular called Vandalur
zoo, we will see about the hunting techniques and biomechanics of the tiger.
As it is popularly
known, tigers are solitary hunters. Cro
Beer, Drinking Water
And Fish: Tiny Plastic Is Everywhere
Plastic trash is
littering the land and fouling rivers and oceans. But what we can see is only a
small fraction of what's out there.
Since modern plastic
was first mass-produced, 8 billion tons have been manufactured. And when it's
thrown away, it doesn't just disappear. Much of it crumbles into small pieces.
Scientists call the
tiny pieces "microplastics" and define them as objects smaller than 5
millimeters — about the size of one of the letters on a computer keyboard.
Researchers started to pay serious attention to microplastics in the environment
about 15 years ago. They're in oceans, rivers and lakes. They're also in soil.
Recent research in Germany found that fertilizer made from
deaths raise alarm at former Buenos Aires zoo
Shaki was 18 when
she died - too young, given the life expectancy of a giraffe. Ruth the
rhinoceros was recovering from an infection until she fell, was stuck in thick
mud for hours while zoo staff tried to rescue her, and then died.
The recent deaths at
Buenos Aires Zoo have fuelled charges by conservationists that an attempt in
2016 by the city government to turn the zoo into a less intensive ecological
park and relocate most of its 1500 animals to sanctuaries has been a poorly planned
turtle farm shut down by police
illegal turtle and tortoise farm has been shut down on the Spanish island of
Majorca, police say.
Civil Guard officers
say they rescued 1,100 animals from a farm near Llucmajor in the south of the
island, many of them endangered.
species were reportedly kept in poor conditions on the site.
Two German men were
arrested on suspicion of running the farm, as well as a Spanish pet shop owner
The three suspects
face charges of money laundering and trafficking an endangered species.
Authorities said the
farm was set up to breed turtles on an industrial scale, while the pet shop
needed for Chinese pangolins
Pangolins should be
considered a top priority for conservation in China, with nature reserves set
up in key mountain habitats.
That's the message
of scientists studying the decline of the scaly mammals in eastern China.
Pangolins, or scaly
anteaters, are considered to be the world's most trafficked wild mammal.
numbers had dropped by more than 50% over three decades since the 1970s.
The animals are
poached in Asia and Africa for their meat and also for their scales, which are
sought after for use in traditional medicine.
Pangolins are now
mainly confined to the Wuyi Mountains in northern Fujian province, where many
rare and unusual animals are found.
Yang Li, Xiaofeng
Luan and Minhao Chen of Beijing Forestry University in China say pangolins
deserve more attention from scientists and local people.
been listed in the list
aquarium brings marine life to landlocked West Bank
A giant ship sits
staunchly in the city of al-Bireh, which lies next to Ramallah, the de-facto
Palestinian capital of the West Bank. The architecture looks out of place
against the block-built stone houses and apartments in the area.
But even more so, it
catches the eye as one drives past it, due to the West Bank being landlocked.
welcomes birth of white lion cub
Prigen Safari Park
zoo in Pasuruan, East Java, has just welcomed the birth of a white lion cub
named Aldovo--the fifth white lion in the zoo.
Aldovo, a male, was
born on July 27 to 3-year-old mother Meng Meng and 5-year-old father Kaka.
veterinarian, Dessy, said the other four white lions in the zoo were brought
from Chimelong Zoo in China in March, including the couple Meng Meng and Kaka.
“Meng Meng gave
birth to Aldovo in a cage during quarantine,” she said on Thursday.
However, Dessy added
that right after Meng Meng gave birth to Aldovo, she did not lick her cub like
most mammals usually do after the birth process.
“We are now trying
to get Me
sees connection between zoos, Borneo release center
conservator Jamartin Sihite looked into the eyes of a captive orangutan against
others’ advice some 10 years ago, and the result changed his life and career.
Sihite, then an
environmental scientist and ecology specialist working for organizations
including the World Wildlife Federation Indonesia and the Nature Conservancy,
found himself haunted by what he saw in the eyes of an adult orangutan confined
in a cage for some 25 years.
“They trapped me,”
he said. “Most people fall in love with a baby’s eyes. It looks like a human’s,
which is why some want them as pets. … When I looked in the (adult’s) eyes, I
saw a loss of hope, a loss of soul.”
Sihite could not
escape that look and vowed quietly, “I will work to make you free.”
While he was not
able to help that individual orangutan — adults kept captive cannot be returned
to the wild —
Evidence of 1,000-Year-Old Parrot-Breeding Operation in the American Southwest
DNA evidence appears
to have revealed an ancient parrot-breeding operation in the southwestern
United States, a new study reports.
A team of
researchers from several U.S. universities analyzed ancient scarlet macaw DNA
to try to understand how so many scarlet macaw skeletons ended up outside their
native range of Central and South America. After reconstructing genomes from
bird bones, it appeared that some group of humans had bred the macaws.
“Our results suggest
that people at an undiscovered Pre-Hispanic settlement dating between 900 and
1200 CE managed a macaw breeding colony outside their endemic range and
distributed these symbolically important birds through the [Southwestern United
States],” the authors wrote in the paper published in the Pr
The battle for the
soul of biodiversity
An ideological clash
could undermine a crucial assessment of the world’s disappearing plant and
It’s a hot and humid
afternoon in the suburbs of Washington DC, and Bob Watson is looking worried.
The renowned atmospheric chemist sits back on a bench in his yard, hemmed in by
piles of paperwork. He speaks with his characteristic rapid-fire delivery as he
explains the tensions surrounding the international committee he helms. The
panel is supposed to provide scientific advice on one of the world’s most
intractable problems — the rapidly accelerating loss of plants and animals. But
a rift in the research community risks diminishing the whole effort. In a few
days’ time, Watson will fly to England to mark his seventieth birthday, but
right now he is not in a celebratory mood.
Watson is talking
about a conflict infecting the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), a younger sibling to the
Nobel-prizewinning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). B
Dusit Zoo closing
delayed until September 30
As a gift to
supporters of the Dusit Zoo the organisation behind the much-loved animal
enclosure will delay its permanent shuttering in central Bangkok until
September 30, the operation announced on Friday. The zoo was originally
scheduled to close on August 31.
After the closing
date was recently announced, visitors poured into the zoo to bid farewell to
the nation’s first and most popular zoo. That led the Zool
Fight to the death
at troubled Borth Wild Animal Kingdom
First there was the
unhappy episode that ended with two dead lynx.
Now the claws are
out at Britain’s most troubled zoo to find who is responsible for the trail of
dead animals at Borth Wild Animal Kingdom over the past eight months.
There’s the emu
“strangled” during a botched rescue attempt after it escaped dangerously close
to the lions. Three northern bald ibis, a critically endangered species on loan
from another zoo, died mysteriously after getting tangled in netting. They were
found to have glass and cable ties
Resources Authority says no to illegal Rabat zoo
The owners of the
zoo want to have four cages permitted, but the ERA says “retroactive
sanctioning” would be a reward for the abusive change from a cow-breeding farm
into an exotic animal farm
The Environment and
Resources Authority has described a proposal to regularize the
illegally-developed Serengeti Animal Park along Dingli road in Rabat as a
flagrant example of development carried out in the absence of any
“environmental considerations whatsoever” which has resulted in “illegal
commitments and excessive land-take at the expense of the countryside”.
The owners of the
zoo want to have four cages regularized: one cage is listed as being able to
hold eight tigers, another to hold three lions, another for three jaguars and
one for three leopards.
The ERA has insisted
that the applicant who has applied for a change-of-use from a cow-breeding fa
Dolphin, 46 penguins
left at shuttered aquarium in Chiba
A female bottlenose
dolphin named Honey and 46 Humboldt penguins remain at an aquarium here more
than six months after it was shut down, apparently because of stalled
negotiations for the animals' transfer to a new facility.
prefectural public health center says there is "no problem" in the
way the marine animals are being kept at the closed Inubosaki Marine Park
Aquarium, but the municipal government of Choshi east of Tokyo where the
facility is located, has been inundated with more than 800 emails and letters
urging that the animals be moved to a different aquarium.
Honey was captured
in the waters off the town of Taiji in the western prefecture of Wakayama in
2005, and became popular at the Choshi aquarium as she starred in dolphin
originally opened as a city-run facility in 1954 and w
Why there’s been a
boom in discovering new species despite a biodiversity crisis
Something of a boom
in the discovery of new species is taking place right now. It is so significant
that some say it is similar to the period of the 18th and 19th centuries when
European naturalists ventured into newly discovered lands and brought back an
astonishing number of exotic new plants and animals. But how can this be so
when species worldwide are disappearing at unprecedented rates?
This is the
dichotomy Earth finds itself in as it enters a new chapter in its history – the
Anthropocene Epoch, a time marked by the significant global impact that humans
are having on the planet’s ecosystems.
What is most
unexpected is that such discoveries are not limited to small cryptic organisms
(such as insects or parasites) but large animals such as giraffes, elephants,
dolphins and even orangutans. In fact, more than 400 species of mammals have
been discovered since 1993, and our own order – primates – rank third, with the
discovery of more than 50 new species worldwide. Some scientists are even
calling it the “new age of discoveries”.
But why are we
suddenly finding so many new species after more than a century of believing
that there was nothing exciting left to be discovered? People all over the
world are now aware that Earth’s biodiversity is in crisis and – for the first
time in geopolitical history – the United Nations has re
For many weeks, news
of a mother orca carrying her dead infant through the icy waters of the Salish
Sea captured the attention of many around the world. Keeping the infant afloat
as best she could, the orca, named Tahlequah, also known as J35 by scientists,
persisted for 17 days, before finally dropping the dead calf.
This has been one of
the most protracted displays of marine mammal grieving.
however, there remains a prejudice against the idea that animals feel “real”
grief or respond in complex ways to death. Following reports of the “grieving,”
zoologist Jules Howard, for example, wrote, “If you believe J35 was displaying evidence
FOSSILS REWRITE THE
STORY OF LEMUR ORIGINS
Discovered more than
half a century ago in Kenya and sitting in museum storage ever since, the
roughly 20-million-year-old fossil Propotto leakeyi was long classified as a
Now, it’s helping
researchers rethink the early evolution of lemurs, distant primate cousins of
humans that today are only found on the island of Madagascar, some 250 miles
off the eastern coast of Africa. The findings could rewrite the story of just
when and how they got to the island.
In a study published
August 21 in the journal Nature Communications, researchers have re-examined
Propotto’s fossilized remains and suggest that the strange creature wasn’t a
bat, but an ancient relative of the aye-aye, the bucktoothed nocturnal primate that
represents one of the earliest branches of the lemur family tree.
challenges a long-held view that today’s 100-some lemur species descended from
ancestors that made th
Malaysia makes record RM50 million rhino horn seizure
Malaysia has made a record seizure of 50 rhino horns worth an estimated $12 million at Kuala Lumpur airport as they were being flown to Vietnam, authorities said Monday.
found the parts in cardboard boxes on August 13 in the cargo terminal of the
capital’s airport, said Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim, head of Malaysia’s wildlife
The 50 rhino horns
weighed 116 kilograms (256 pounds) and are worth about 50 million ringgit ($12
million), he told AFP, adding that the seizure was “the biggest ever in
(Malaysia’s) history in terms of the number of horns and value”.
Vietnam is a hot
market for rhino horn, which is believed to have medicinal properties and is in
high demand amo
23-TO HOLD or NOT TO
differences between KOALA Parks in Australia
There is a
difference between true koala parks THROUGHOUT AUSTRALIA that generate their
income from the koala while allowing handling of koalas, versus the koala parks
that do not. You would be surprised at the differences between parks across
various states of Australia, and the reason for the differences will come as a
shock to many. For example, many of these differences stem from fear,
old-school culture and conservatism and sub-conscious behaviours and lack of
education. For me, it is not surprising that the private wildlife parks and zoo
are the ones that are willing to try something different and allow their guests
to enjoy new experiences such as handling koalas!
In general, zoos and
wildlife parks controlled by a government department, are the most conservative
throughout Australia. They still hold on tightly to old-school behaviours. I
think this started from conservationists of the past that created a culture of
this control and protectionism. Over time, this created a culture that said,
"hands off our koalas!" It started to emerge when hunters had total
control of the amount of koala pelts they could collect; they were ungoverned
at this time and it placed the koala on the brink of extinction. Australians
hunted koalas for their fur from the late 1800's right up until the
late-1920's. This practice was stopped because they were nearly wiped out. This
set the culture of protectionism right-up to this very day. Adding to this is
trade rife at the New Zealand border
the world over are being hammered by the global illegal wildlife trade.
Recently released data from the Department of Conservation show that New
Zealand is part of the problem, as wildlife seizures skyrocket.
internationally protected species have increased by a whopping 300% at our
border - from 2,268 seizures in 2011 to 9,078 seizures in 2017.Each seizure
included one or more item, occasionally over one hundred.Most of the seizures
occurred at airports, Auckland airport in particular.
Institute New Zealand (JGINZ) Ambassador and environmental policy analyst,
Fiona Gordon, says that New Zealand seizures include everything from crocodile
jerky, coral and shells to medicines containing American ginseng, pangolin,
tiger, leopard and the critically endangered Saiga antelope. "Then there’s
the particularly grisly items," she says, "the elephant feet, ivory
carvings, bears’ gall bladders, python belly skins, primate skulls and chopped
up sea horses."
Not to be blamed
solely on the sinister operation of criminal syndicates, the illegal wildlife
trade includes the innocent purchases of tourist trinkets, fashion statements,
herbal remedies and snack food. It’s all part of the global illegal wildlife
The 9,078 seizures
of illegal wildlife in New Zealand for 2017:
- Corals and shells
-over 5,500 seizures. Largely fr
Picking a bone with
captive predator breeding in South Africa
In July 2018,
without public consultation or scientific substantiation, South Africa’s
Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) raised its annual lion skeleton
export quota to 1,500, up from 800 the year before. These skeletons are
supplied by the predator breeding industry, which breeds lions in captivity for
multiple and sometimes overlapping purposes. This is the working paper of a
report in two parts.
The first is a
formal academic review of the scientific and ‘grey’ (reports and newspaper
articles) literature pertaining to the predator breeding industry. It
interrogates the most recent attempt to quantify the economic significance of
the industry and finds its conclusions questionable for a number of reasons.
One of its claims, for instance, is that the predator breeding industry
provides positive conservation value. The review examines this claim against
the available literature and finds it dubitable. Even if the conservation
impact was neutral, it is not clear that the genetic impairment and welfare
problems justify the continuation of the industry, even under the banner of
‘sustainable utilisation’ and the ‘wildlife economy’ doctrine. This is especially
important if the theoretical possibility of future
New perspective on
how lemurs got to Madagascar
The lemurs of
Madagascar are at the centre of a new mystery.
the story of how they arrived on the island is more complex than we thought.
After looking again
at the fossil evidence, they question the idea that lemurs have been evolving
in isolation on the island for 50 million years.
Finding out more
about lemurs' ancient history could help conservation efforts.
A recent study found
that almost all species of lemur face extinction.
"It deepens the
mystery," Erik Seiffert of the University of Southern California, Los
Angeles, told BBC News.
"It makes it
even more import
Two koalas die in a
month at Belgian zoo
Two of the three
koalas at a top Belgian zoo have died in the space of a month, officials said
Tuesday while rejecting fears of an "epidemic" among the Australian
One female named
Zelda died from a stomach problem earlier this month at Pairi Daiza zoo, about
60 kilometres (40 miles) southwest of Brussels, the zoo said.
The second female,
called Carina, passed away on Monday after suffering from koala retrovirus,
which the animals are particularly prone to.
"It's a sad
coincidence but the two deaths had very different causes, there is no
epidemic," Aleksandra Vidanovski, a spokeswoman for Pairi Daiza, told AFP.
Efforts are now
under way to show the surviving koala, Coco, "all the love" she would
have received f
Zoo or death cell:
Giraffe latest exotic animal to die at Peshawar Zoo
A giraffe has become
the latest in a long list of animals to have perished at the Peshawar Zoo,
which only opened its doors earlier this year.
A zoo official told
The Express Tribune that two giraffes had died inside the zoo. The official
added that it was up to the contractor to compensate the zoo for the death of
the animals, caused by a sudden change of climate for the animals.
“At least one animal
died during the offloading process inside the zoo while the other died soon
after,” the official said, adding that that the animal killed in off-loading
Guwahati Zoo in grip
of deadly canine distemper virus
Eight jackals died
of canine distemper disease at the Assam State Zoo, widely known as Guwahati
Zoo, sending officials into a tizzy.
occurring over the past two weeks following the spread of canine distemper
virus, prompted the authorities to put in place precautionary measures. Canine
distemper is a viral disease and it could affect domestic as well as wild
“We suspect canine
distemper virus had caused the deaths of eight of the 18 jackals that we had in
the zoo. There have been instances of the virus spreading to other animals,
including tigers and lions, in other zoos. So, we are not taking any chances. We
have put in place all precautionary measures to prevent it from spreading
further,” divisional forest officer Tejas
New life for former
On a sunny Tuesday
in May, 11-year-old Hercules made a brave move and ventured outside alone. He
moved slowly at first, looking at the ground and shaking his head before
walking across 2 acres of forest to observe the sights and sounds around him.
Not far behind him was Leo, also 11, who ran forward before stopping, sitting
down and staring up at the sky.
Hercules and Leo are
former research chimpanzees, and it was the first time in their lives they had
ever been outside.
Some participants of
the recently-concluded Southeast Asian Bat Conference held in Bacolod City
visited this small island in Sagay City in northern Negros Occidental.
The main purpose of
the visit was to see the bat colony that is present in the area, which is only
about 30 to 45 minutes boat ride from the city proper of Sagay. A good number
of flying foxes, including large flying foxes and island flying foxes, are roosting
in the mangrove forest, now popularly known as the Suyac Island Mangrove Eco
The mangrove forest,
estimated at 10 hectares, in the island is purely natural and comprises of
numerous old trees. According to several old folks in Suyac, some of these
mangrove trees are most likely century-old already.
The city government
of Sagay had constructed a watchtower so that visitors would be able to see the
flying foxes and water birds in the island. This is one of the added and unique
attractions in the mangrove park, because wildlife protecti
Keeping Ethics at
the Center of Animal Research
For Melanie Graham,
MPH, Ph.D., making scientific progress while also respecting animals’ inherent
value as living beings isn’t just possible—it’s essential.
“What interests me
is care and compassion for humans and animals,” said Graham, associate
professor of surgery in the University of Minnesota’s Medical School. “I
believe there is a balance that is capable of promoting animal welfare and
making biomedical progress in ways that will change lives.”
Nearly every medical
treatment, medical device, and diagnostic tool available today was developed
with the help of animals in research, from heart transplants to chemotherapy.
Future treatments and cures for some of today’s most debilitating illnesses, like
multiple sclerosis, brain cancer, and depression, will likely also rely on
progress made through animal research.
Mumbai’s Byculla zoo
officials plan to preserve penguin eggshells for research, display
After welcoming its
newest inhabitant, a baby Humboldt penguin, on August 15, the Veermata Jijabai Udyan (Byculla Zoo) has now
decided to preserve the egg shell and CCTV footage for documentation and
research. Sanjay Tripathi, veterinary doctor and zoo in-charge, said, “The egg
shell fragments have been kept in the zoo centre and will be preserved. We also
plan to put the shell on public display. The matter is pending discussion.”
footage from the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in the aquarium,
which have recorded every movement of the penguins will be documented and used
for research. Tripathi said, “Right now, the doctors, including me, are busy
with the baby penguin, checking its health regularly. The CCTV video will
definitely be used for study purposes as it is the first-ever penguin to be
born in India and in Mumbai’s zoo.”
A 75-gram penguin
was born at night on Independence Day. The new-born is greyish in colour and it
will be two years before the characteristic white stretch manifests. Mr Molt,
the youngest, and Flipper, the oldest, are the proud parents of the newborn penguin.
The Flipper laid an egg on July 5 and on August 15, exactly 40 days after
UVU research shows
penguins aren't as monogamous as widely believed
has maintained that penguins are monogamous creatures — two parents bonded for
life. Take Roto and Copper, and Coco and Gossamer, for example, two gentoo
penguin couples at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium.
Roto and Copper have
raised three chicks of their own, supposedly never straying, and biology
professionals have had no reason to believe otherwise — until recently.
"The staff that
watches over the penguins noticed that some of the penguins were displaying
behavior that suggested they might not be 100 percent faithful to their
mates," said Eric Domyan, a professor of biology at Utah Valley University
who led the research project.
New Ape Alliance
Report on Chimpanzees in Chinese Captive Wild Animal Facilities
The Ape Alliance has
published a detailed account of chimpanzees in Chinese captive wild animal
facilities. This important report is
compiled from several sources and the direct observations of Ape Allies in
China and Africa. It documents the discrepancies between the number of
chimpanzees (and other endangered species) reported to have been shipped to
China, the number declared to have been imported by China and the number
observed on public display in zoos, wildlife parks and shows all over China.
The figures don’t add up – which begs the question, where did these animals
In his Foreword, Ian
Redmond OBE, Chairman of the Ape Alliance, says, “The Chinese Government has
won plaudits from conservationists and caring members of the public all over
the world by closing its domestic ivory markets to reduce the incentive for poachers
to kill elephants. It is to be hoped that such decisive action can now be taken
to reduce the demand for chimpanzees and ot
Project Update August 2018
We thought you might
like the chance to see the kind of updates we get from our overseas projects.
Updates like these are the reason we're working so hard to raise funds to
continue our vital conservation work....
Update by Alice
- Field Coordinator
des Gorilles - Gabon
"In the last
couple of weeks we had the chance to see all the 5 groups of gorillas.
The Tongas are along
the Lewou river. The group is doing well; we were able to see only Tonga, a
couple of females and two juveniles, who were close enough for identification
(Tonga, Zora, Miyandza, Ntsege and Mpassi). There were more gorillas in the group,
but they were moving behind the bushes and never came close to us. The group is
getting shy and they start behaving more like wild gorillas.
APPLICATIONS FOR THE
WHITLEY AWARDS 2019 ARE NOW OPEN!
Iranian zoos to be
The Department of
Environment (DOE) will launch an online monitoring system in zoos across the
country, the Department of Environment’s director general for hunting and
fishing has said.
“Putting in place
the necessary infrastructure for this plan is underway; newly constructed zoos
are supposed to have an online monitoring system, and the old ones must launch
the system as soon as possible,” IRNA quoted Ali Teymouri as saying on Saturday.
Teymouri stated that
all provincial departments of environment must supervise the zoo online systems
to register all animal species entering or leaving the zoo, casualties and
infrastructure has been prepared to some extent in two zoos, and the rest of
the zoos will launch the in the near future gradually, he added.
There are about 80
zoos, animal rehabilitation centers and bird gardens in the country, he said,
adding that according to a memorandum of understanding signed between the DOE
and the Veterinary Organization, the organization is tasked with monitoring animal’s
health and diseases in all centers.
Referring to some 15
zoos active in the country, he stated that when the DOE decides to issue a
permit for the construction of a zoo or garden, the Veterinary O
The Lahore Zoo
entertains millions everyday. Improvements within it and more efforts to build
a popular understanding of animals may help it to serve a more useful purpose
in the years to come
As you walk through
the Lahore Zoo, spread over 250 acres of land and established in 1872, pairs of
eyes, some angry, some hopeless, some filled with pain and some glazed over
with boredom stare out at you from behind the narrow bars of the cages in which
the animals are kept, often for life. A number of them are held alone, an
especially unsuitable situation for those who naturally live in herds or large
groups. They also live completely aimless lives, with no partners, no company,
no structures, or toys in their cages which can keep them stimulated or
It seems few realise
that, like humans, animals too need something to ward off the boredom of the
hours, especially in a situation where they do not hunt, do not roam a
territory, and see no variety in scenery.
Tragically, even the
sole chimpanzee left alive at the zoo, Pinky, lives on her own. Her companions
have died one by one, leaving this highly intelligent and social animal with
nothing to entertain her. In their natural
release of excess deer, blue bulls in zoo
unavoidable delay on the part of some officers has held up release of excess 20
deer and four blue bulls from Maharajbag zoo in the wild in Melghat even after
18 months. The process began with Principal Chief Conservator of Forest
(Wildlife), Nagpur, writing a letter to the Maharashtra Zoo Authority (MZA) and
Field Director, Melghat Tiger Reserve, Amravati, on January 2, 2017 for
necessary steps for soft release of these wild animals in Melghat and asking
them to submit reports to him.
The MZA had said,
these animals are in excess to the enclosure capacity posing threat to their
health. It had suggested to release the animals after giving fitness
certificate or on the basis of Herd Register Copy regarding regular health
examination by the zoo.
The zoo has ten
male, ten female deer and four blue bulls extra and as per the norms of Central
Zoo Authority (CZA), they should be released in jungle. The total number of
spotted deer is 30 and of them 20 additional wild animals require to be shifted
The PCCF (Wildlife)
had asked the Field Directo
Are Cities Making
A mysterious wild
cat in Sri Lanka may hold a clue.
The goldfish were
the first to vanish. Every so often, a few would go missing overnight from the
office’s tiny outdoor pond. But goldfish were cheap, so no one in the
building—an environmental nonprofit in the bustling, sweaty center of Colombo,
Sri Lanka—bothered investigating.
Then the dragon koi
began to disappear. Lustrous and ethereal, each of these whiskered Japanese
carp cost around 10,000 Sri Lankan rupees, or $65. In a fit of extravagance,
the building’s landlord had bought 10. Soon, he had seven. Then three.
landlord installed four security cameras to catch the thief. The pond rested at
the end of a narrow driveway surrounded by tall concrete walls, so whoever was
swiping the carp had either a key or the superhuman ability to bound up nearby
roofs and drop in undetected. The landlord couldn’t imagine what kind of person
would steal a fish, but he was eager to find out.
A couple of days
after the cameras went up, Anya Ratnayaka woke to a string of text messages
bursting with exclamation points. Ratnayaka, an obsessive young
conservationist, worked a desk job at the nonprofit at the time. She’d paid
little attention to the mystery of the dwindling
elephant recovering well
An endangered Borneo
pygmy elephant rescued from Sabah's east coast is recovering from the injury
sustained when its foot was caught in a snare trap.
Culture and Environment minister Christina Liew said the animal was responding
well to preliminary treatment, but it had to be taken to the Borneo Elephant
Sanctuary (BES) in Kinabatangan for better care.
Liew said wildlife
rangers were having trouble approaching the elephant, which could become
aggressive when afraid or stressed.
Japan’s bears are
widely vilified and little understood
On Aug. 6, the BBC
aired a story about four Ussuri brown bears being successfully transported from
a museum in Hokkaido to a wildlife park in England. In the story, a British
organization called Wild Welfare said it had become “concerned” about the animals’
living situation at the Ainu Museum, where they had been kept in old, cramped
cages for most of their lives, which one member said is “sadly reflective of
the conditions that many captive bears in Japan are in.”
The BBC treated the
story as breaking news, but in Japan few news organizations covered it. Jiji
Press, which reported the story from the United Kingdom, mentioned that Ussuri
bears are “endangered,” and explained that the museum was incapable of caring properly
for them. The Hokkaido Shimbun reported that foreign visitors to the facility
had complained about the small enclosures for the bears, and that the museum
decided to give them to the wildlife park because it has a “better
environment.” The newspaper also mentioned that the museum was closed in March
for long-term renovations, and NHK said the bear
conservationist: Q&A with orangutan ecologist June Mary Rubis
For more than a
decade, June Mary Rubis has worked on orangutan conservation in Borneo. The
critically endangered apes face a bleak future there, hammered by habitat loss
to plantations and mines, poached for the illegal pet trade, and exterminated
While working for an
international NGO in Borneo, Rubis was involved in orangutan education programs
for indigenous peoples. She interacted with the communities and studied their
dynamic relationship with the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). And as her
understanding of the connection between indigenous peoples and orangutans
deepened, she came to realize that most of the orangutan conservation work
being done failed to accommodate the complexity of this relationship.
Rubis also concluded
that most conservationists unfairly blamed indigenous peoples for orangutan
deaths. The communities thus felt discouraged from getting involved in efforts
to protect the animal, she said.
A New View of
Evolution That Can’t Be Represented by a Tree
In 1837, Charles
Darwin sketched a spindly tree of life in one of his notebooks. Its
stick-figure trunk sprouted into four sets of branches. The drawing illustrated
his radical idea that, over time, organisms change to give rise to new species.
“I think,” Darwin
scrawled, suggestively, above his humble tree.
worked since then to fill in the details of that tree. While all beings are
related, Darwin intimated, it should be possible to classify all living things
into distinct lineages of more closely related species — branches — based on
their shared evolutionary histories.
Darwin and others
used physical similarities and differences between organisms to add ever more
details to his basic tree. Then, after the discovery of DNA’s structure in
1953, scientists began tracing the evolutionary history of life through its
shared genetic code.
How Do You Tell the
Difference Between a Male and Female Leopard?
his may sound like a
simple one, but it’s not always as clear-cut as one would think. Ok if you have
a clear view of the leopard’s nether regions, or a male and female are next to
each other, then the difference is glaring, but in certain situations, it can
be mighty hard to distinguish between the sexes.
A young male can
easily be confused with a female, and after dark with only the beam of the
spotlight to go on, it’s hard to properly gauge the size of a leopard.
I’ve starred in a
number of embarrassing incidents in which I’ve too quickly pronounced on the
sex of a spotted cat, only to hastily be made to retract my statement,
muttering some excuse as to why I botched what should surely be a simply matter
of differentiation. “The grass was too long” or, “It can be really hard to
tell” are two of my go-to lines.
When I first came to
the bush, the thrill of seeing a leopard in the flesh was so overwhelming that
I didn’t really worry about whether or not it was a female or male or what age
it was (mainly because I was completely unable to tell), but after more and
more leopard sightings, sexing them started to become much e
Iran, UNDP prepare
draft for Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah
Iran’s Department of
Environment (DOE) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have jointly
drawn up the draft of the Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah Project (CACP) phase
deputy environment chief for DOE’s natural environment and biodiversity
directorate said on Saturday that the project will go into effect by the end of
According to UNDP,
the cheetah project is about reversing the drastic decline of the endangered
Asiatic cheetah and conserving it from extinction. It is now estimated that
fewer than 50 Asiatic cheetahs are living in the wild in Iran.
The Asiatic cheetah
mainly inhabits the desert areas around Dasht-e Kavir in the eastern half of
Iran, including parts of the Kerman, Khorasan, Semnan, Yazd, Tehran, and
Markazi provinces. Most live in five protected areas, Kavir National Park,
Touran National Park, Bafq Protected Area, Dar-e Anjir Wildlife Refuge, and
Naybandan Wildlife Reserve. The cheetah has been listed as critically
endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red
List since 1996.
cheetah/livestock interactions and the presence of human beings and guard dogs
in cheetah’s habitats, road accidents and habitat fragmentation are of the main
threats making the cheetah’s future uncertain.
Phase I of the CACP
was co-funded by the Global Environment Facility between 2001 and 2008.
implementation commenced in 2009. It
To Visit Or Not To
Visit A Zoo Or Aquarium? The Future Of Wildlife Could Depend On Your Answer
Last week, as a
Southern Resident killer whale (SRKW) mother was photographed off the
Washington state coast pushing her deceased newborn toward San Juan Island, a
heartbreaking glimpse into the plight of this endangered killer whale
population in the wild, a British travel company made a ham-fisted announcement
that somehow in the name of “animal welfare” it will no longer sell tickets to
zoological parks that display killer whales.
Couple who gave up
jobs to run wildlife park end up £350,000 in debt, as they admit 'we didn't
have any idea what we were doing'
A novice zoo keeper
couple who gave up their jobs to run a wildlife park in Wales have ended up
hundreds of thousands of pounds in debt after the death of two lynxes, as they
admit “we didn’t have any idea what we were doing”.
Dean, 50, and Tracy,
47, Tweedy relocated 200 miles from Kent with their three young children and
left careers as a street artist and psychotherapist to run Borth Wild Animal
Kingdom near Aberystwyth in 2017.
But, after just 15
months the couple reportedly owe creditors around £350,000 after the zoo was
temporarily closed and threatened with a ban on keeping lions and leopards as
the couple were blamed for the death of two lynxes.
The couple had
planned to use the zoo as a sanctuary for animals and to provide therapy
sessions for adults, and the zoo was featured in a three part report on BBC’s
The One Show.
The couple had
already amassed 40 pets at their previous home in Kent and were originally
Bouncing back! Tree
kangaroo thought to have gone extinct is captured on film for the first time in
90 YEARS by an amateur photographer
Scurrying through the branches, it was the
blur of brown fur that caught the eye of an intrepid Briton thousands of miles
Michael Smith was on a two-week trip to the Indonesian province of West Papua
searching for orchids when, deep in the rainforest, he spotted movement 90ft
above his head, and started taking pictures.
Having visited the
same location last year, he was aware of stories about the elusive Wondiwoi
tree kangaroo of Indonesia, a rare species of marsupial that had last been seen
in 1928 and was feared to be extinct.
Now the photographs
taken by Mr Smith have a caused a sensation and experts are convinced that he
may have captured the first pictu
Sea World is turning
into a homeless shelter for sea cows during Florida's deadly red tide
The normally clear
waves on Florida's Gulf coast are a stinky, muddy, brown-red mess this year.
A persistent red
tide that came in October continues to plague the waters of the eastern Gulf of
Mexico, killing off sea creatures big and small. It's even dangerous for people
to breathe the contaminated air.
The tide is caused
by toxic levels of a sea algae called karenia brevis. Massive blooms of the
algae, which occurs naturally at low levels in the ocean, have washed ashore up
and down the coast of southwestern Florida. The blooms feed on nutrients like fertilizers
that wash into coastal seawater, and thrive in water that is a little bit warm,
but not too hot.
The dangerous algae
harbors a deadly brevetoxin, which is why red tides are animal killers.
Scientists at the
Mote Marine Laboratory say this is the worst red tide they've seen in over a
decade. Last week, Florida Governor Rick Scott issued a state of emergency for
seven Gulf coast counties.
In addition to fish
that suffocate due to the brevetoxin, manatees suffer when they nibble on
seagrass that's been contaminated with the chemical. This red tide has already
killed an estimated 92 of them since January, according to Florida's Fish and
'Fritz' — Europe's
oldest gorilla — dies in German zoo
A gorilla named
Fritz, the oldest of his kind living in a European zoo, was euthanized on
Monday in southern Germany.
Nuremberg Zoo said the 55-year-old's health had deteriorated steadily over the
weekend — to the point where he could hardly move at all.
Not even his
favorite snack of raspberry jam with quark — a kind of German curd cheese — was
enough to lift his spirits, the zoo said.
attacked by bear in central Romania city zoo
A bear attacked two
zookeepers at the Brasov Zoo on Monday morning, August 20, while they were
cleaning the bears’ cage. The two men, aged 60 and 47, suffered multiple
injuries and one of them is in serious condition, local Mediafax reported.
According to Roger
Rois, the head of the Animal Care and Environmental Protection Service at the
Zoo Brasov, the two zookeepers failed to respect the working procedure and
didn’t make sure that the animals were no longer in the cage when they entered
to clean the place. One of the bears was still inside, behind a door, and
attacked the first zookeeper who entered the cage. The
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 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' (many more before that) 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 storyteller, 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