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I remain committed to the work of GOOD zoos,
not DYSFUNCTIONAL zoos.
From sharks to
chimps to moon bears: tales of a supervet
In 2012, the
conservation charity Free the Bears approached Romain Pizzi, one of the most
innovative wildlife surgeons in Europe, with an unusual patient. A specialist
in laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery – until recently rare in veterinary medicine
– Pizzi has operated on giraffes and tarantulas, penguins and baboons, giant
tortoises and at least one shark, and maintains a reputation for taking on
cases others won’t. If you’re in possession of a tiger with gallstones, or a
suspiciously sickly beaver, you call Pizzi. As Matt Hunt, CEO of Free the Bears
says, “We have other vets who are incredibly talented. But Romain is one of a
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.
Statement on the
Life and Legacy of Panthera Founder and Renowned Conservationist, Dr. Alan
The Board and staff
of Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization, mourn the loss of
our co-founder and one of the world’s most visionary and widely admired wild
cat scientists, Dr. Alan Robert Rabinowitz, who died today after a journey with
Panthera CEO and
President, Dr. Fred Launay, stated, “The conservation community has lost a
legend. Alan was a fearless and outspoken champion for the conservation of our
planet’s iconic wild cats and wild places. As a lifelong voice for the
voiceless, he changed the fate of tigers, jaguars and other at-risk species by
placing their protection on the agendas of world leaders from Asia to Latin
America for the very first time.”
“Inspiring a generation of young scientists, the boldness and passion with
which Alan approached conservation was captivating and contagious. While we are
devastated by his passing, we are comforted by the fact that his extraordinary
legacy of advocacy for the most v
What Does the World
Need to Understand About Wildlife Trafficking?
At first glance
rhinos, pangolins and jaguars don’t seem to have much in common.
But there are a few
things that link them. For one thing, they’re all targets of poachers and
smugglers, who traffic in their body parts and threaten the species with
For another, all
three species have benefitted from the hard work of Rhishja Cota, founder of
the wildlife advocacy organization Annamiticus (named after the extinct
Vietnamese Javan rhino).
In The Zoo And With Pets
From the start of my
career I have been exposed to shows with marine mammals with a lot of
excitement. It has been a big part in my life to train animals for “show”
behaviors. Lots of fun I have to say and learned so much on the way. From
vertical spins with sea lions to ventral bows with killer whales, in my career
the focus mostly has been for such high energy behaviors till I started to work
with Killer Whales. I started to learn more and more about the importance of
medical behaviors for better care of the animals. Over time I trained a deaf
killer whale to pee in a cup and tubing with a fur seal.
From My Elephant
After spending over
25 years in the corporate world, I thought I had received a pretty good
education on leadership. Over the years, I attended leadership classes, read
books, listened to lectures and most importantly learned by doing. If you had told me that some of the best
leadership lessons I would learn were from an elephant, I would have laughed
out loud. Recently, I took a trip to a place called Elephantstay in Thailand
where I bonded with a beautiful elephant called Rasamee, who was about to
become one of my greatest teachers!!!!
More than 100 Gold
Coast koalas killed as a result of government policy
Almost half the 260
koalas shifted to make way for a Gold Coast shopping centre between 2008 and
2014, along with half those that remained in the fragmented bushland around
Coomera Town Centre, are dead.
This was confirmed
in Queensland’s budget estimates hearings on Wednesday, when opposition
environment spokesman David Crisafulli questioned Environment Minister Leeanne
Enoch about koala deaths in what is described as Queensland’s largest-ever
koala translocation project.
in socially housed Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii)
resolution strategies have been identified as effective mechanisms for
minimising the potential costs of group life in many gregarious species,
especially in primates. The knowledge of conflict-management in orangutans,
though, is still extremely limited. Given their semi-solitary lives in the
wild, there seems to be barely a need for orangutans to apply conflict
management strategies other than avoidance. However, because of the rapid loss
of orangutan habitat due to deforestation, opportunities to prevent conflicts
by dispersion are shrinking. Additionally, more and more
Broken promises of
Buenos Aires Zoo after mysterious deaths of animals
When the mayor of
Buenos Aires announced in 2016 that the Argentinian capital’s 140-year-old zoo
was to be shut down and redeveloped as an ecopark, animal welfare campaigners
heaved a collective sigh of relief.
But after a string
of animal fatalities at the former zoo, there is growing consternation among
members of the public and activists that nothing has changed.
In the space of a
few days, an 18-year-old giraffe called Jackie and a rare white rhinoceros
called Ruth have died this month; activists – and the zoo’s former director
Claudio Bertonatti – believe both fatalities were caused by staff negligence.
Once one of the
city’s most popular tourist attractions, the zoo faced public scrutiny in its
later years on account of its small, antiquated enclosures, its proximity to a
noisy, congested road and well-documented fatalities – including that of Winner
the polar bear.
At the time of its
closure, Buenos Aires mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta acknowledged that the
situation in the zoo was “degrading for the animals”. He announced that the
site would graduall
HOW CAN WE CHANGE TOURISTS’
You study the
tourism leaflets in the hotel lobby. Tomorrow is the last day of your holiday
in Thailand, and you promised to take your kids to see some animals. Two
adverts catch your eye. One is for an attraction called “Tiger Territory”, with
a glossy picture of a tourist, her arms around a tiger. Beneath are smaller
photos of children bottle-feeding cubs with a caption reading: “the perfect
combination of tourism and wildlife preservation”. The other leaflet is for
“Elephant Valley Park”, which promises visitors a walk with rescued elephants
in their reserve, and a chance to watch their natural herd behavior.
You hesitate –
something about the tiger attraction makes you uneasy, but while the kids like
elephants, you know they’d really love to see a tiger. So, you decide on Tiger
Territory. After all, it’s doing conservation. A win-win, right?
How captive breeding
can help save endangered species
Since 2012, the
Toronto Zoo has functioned as a kind of turtle daycare. That’s when it
introduced a new program for the Blanding’s turtle, a species that’s classified
as threatened in Ontario.
Turtles born there
stay for two years — they’re released when they reach the size of a baked
potato. The zoo released its first batch of turtles in 2014: this year it
harvested and incubated 130 eggs.
The practice is
known as captive breeding, and it can play a key role in preventing species
from going extinct.
“Ultimately, why we
do it is to get them to grow bigger in a safe, protected environment so that
when we release them they're at a bigger size,” says Katherine Wright,
coordinator of the Toronto Zoo’s Adopt-a-Pond program.
The Ministry of
Natural Resources collects eggs from areas where the adult population is doing
well but young hatchlings stand little chance of surviving — on the shoulder of
a road or in a farmer’s field, for example. The zoo relies on eggs harvested from
the Brantford area, which is home to a self-sustaining population.
Every turtle is
outfitted with a locator backpack, allowing researchers to track their survival
— as the program is still new, it’s difficult to assess its impact.
But there are clear
suggestions that captive breeding can make an important difference. In the case
of the endangered loggerhead shrike, for instance, it bought researchers
valuable time to try to help the species survive. The tiny songbird,
aquarium is coming to Folsom. Here’s why some residents aren’t happy.
If SeaQuest Folsom,
an interactive aquarium, opens as scheduled this November, visitors will be
able to explore tide pools, pet bamboo sharks, and feed lorikeets in the
Palladio at Broadstone mall.
But some community
members say the company’s history of legal troubles, alleged animal safety
issues and emphasis on entertainment need more scrutiny before it’s welcomed
into the Sacramento area.
found out in April that SeaQuest was planning to open a location in Folsom, her
childhood home. She said she was initially suspicious of its
entertainment-focused mission, but hoped researching the compa
Al Ain Zoo continues
Arabian sand cat conservation
The Zoo collaborated
with the Cincinnati Zoo in the US and its Centre for Research of Endangered
Wildlife, CREW, to facilitate the one-of-a-kind procedure.
began studying the reproductive biology of sand cats in 2003 and, in 2010, the
first attempts at in-vitro fertilisation and embryo transfer were made at Al
Ain Zoo. This led to the first-ever birth of sand cat kittens produced using
assisted reproduction. At the same time, sperm samples from Al Ain Zoo's male
sand cats were collected, frozen and taken to CREW's research laboratories in
Cincinnati. Since then, scientists at CREW have been attempting to produce sand
cats using artificial insemination, which removes the need to extract ova from
female sand cats. Using sperm from one of Al Ain Zoo's males, success was
finally earned in 2018 when three healthy kittens were born.
complications during birth meant that they did not survive.
Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Al Ain Zoo, said,
"Despite their death, the birth of the three cats is considered a great
success. Careful research and planning by CREW scientists overcame several
challenges with artificial insemination that had previously hindered success.
We congratulate CREW and hope for more successful results in the future."
He added, "With
the largest captive population of sand cats in the world, with 40 cats, Al Ain
Zoo is making continuous efforts in the field of conservation and research of
the sand cat. In collaboration with world-leading partners, our efforts have
led to strategies for conserving the Arabian sand cat and in developing
programmes and plans that protect the species. We carry out research to study
the sand cat’s numbers and habitat in addition to carryin
Penchant for the
A restaurant in
Lokhandwala, Mumbai has a large cage bearing two pygmy monkeys. When I sent a
member of the State Animal Welfare Board to arrest the owners, we were told by
the forest department that there was no law to confiscate foreign monkeys or
arrest the owners. These smugglers will continue to display these severely
endangered monkeys till I find a way to shut them down.
Last month a ‘pet
fair’ took place in Pune, with exotic birds, fish and pedigreed dogs. Though it
had no permissions, the police and the forest department took no action because
there is no law that protects foreign species in India. The new chairman of the
Animal Welfare Boarad had given the permission to hold the ‘exhibition’ as long
as they did not sell the animals. (They secretly sold the animals in black.)
In Bangalore three
months ago, a house was raided and three ball pythons were found. The forest
department refused to register a case and the man then absconded and released
the snakes in the o
Straight from the
Source: How zoos and aquariums fight to stem mass extinction
Chuck Knapp oversees Shedd Aquarium's
conservation research, with a goal of saving endangered animals and ecosystems.
He began volunteering at Shedd at age 18, earned a Ph.D. in wildlife ecology
and conservation, helped win expansion of the West Side National Park in the
Bahamas, and now oversees research ranging from sustainable fisheries and shark
biodiversity in the Bahamas to migratory and invasive species in the Great
Al Areen ‘protects
animals rescued from smugglers’
WILD animals under
protection at Bahrain’s most popular nature reserve have been rescued from
smugglers and not been bought to be showcased at the facility, according to an
Some of the animals,
which activists say are alien to the desert habitat, have been confiscated from
wildlife traffickers, said Al Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve mammals section
head Isa Al Awadhi.
The facility, spread
over an area of seven square kilometres in Sakhir, is home to lions,
chimpanzees, cheetahs, jaguars and hyenas where they are being protected and
well looked after, he added.
Brown bears cruelly
kept in captivity for 17 years in Japan now safe in UK park
His 17 years in
captivity were spent in a cruelly cramped cage measuring two by three metres.
Riku the bear had
been kept at a museum in Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s islands, as a
But after making a
5,400-mile journey this week, he finally tasted freedom as he bounded out of a
freight carton and into a new life at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
Within minutes, he
was slurping strawberry yoghurt from a syringe and was later joined by his
brother Kai in an adjoining bear house. In a heartwarming moment, the pair
vocalised to each other through a metal grid.
And those precious
“chuffing” noises signalled success for
My Team and I on my last day + Some of the Penguins.
Vast majority of species under threat
Almost every species
of lemur, wide-eyed primates unique to Madagascar, is under threat of
That is the
conclusion of an international group of conservationists, who carried out an
assessment of the animals' status.
Specialist Group" reviewed and compared the latest research into lemur
populations and the threats to their habitat and survival.
concluded, are the most endangered primates in the world.
is big in the UAE, here’s why
As the story goes,
it was on a tour of Al Ain’s early development projects decades ago that Sheikh
Zayed laid the groundwork for conservation in the UAE.
Glancing over the
plans for a new road, he noticed that there was a problem. It was an old tree,
and growing in the middle of the proposed new route, it was soon to become a
casualty. However, rather than allowing the tree to be chopped down, Sheikh
Zayed demanded that the road be rerouted.
In today’s world of
environmental crisis with our continual crimes against nature, the founding
father’s gesture might not seem that big. But it was nonetheless significant
for the then-collection of desert states on the cusp of nationhood.
It planted the seed
of a nationwide ideology for conservation that defined not only Sheikh Zayed’s
rule, but also the decades that followed.
NEW YORK MAN
SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR TRAFFICKING IN ENDANGERED LION AND TIGER PARTS
Malasukum, 42, a resident of Woodside, New York, was sentenced today by U.S.
District Judge Amos L. Mazzant, III, in Sherman, Texas, to nine months in
prison to be followed by one year of supervised release for illegally
trafficking parts from endangered African lions and tigers.
pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kimberly C. Priest Johnson to a one
count information charging him with wildlife trafficking in violation of the
In papers filed in
federal court, Malasukum admitted to meeting with undercover agents who were
working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and purchasing a tiger skull
from the agents. Malasukum also admitted to purchasing lion skulls from an
auction house in Texas through the undercover agents, who were acting as “straw
buyers” for Malasukum. Malasukum provided the undercover agents with cash and
directed them on which items to bid and ultimately win. After the purchases,
Malasukum shipped the tiger and lion skulls from Texas to his home in Woodside,
New York. From New York, Malasukum shipped the skulls to Thailand for sale to a
As part of his plea,
Malasukum admitted that between April 9, 2015 and June 29, 2016, he purchased
and exported from the United States to Thailand approximately 68 packages
containing skulls, claws, and parts from endangered and protected species, with
a total fair market value in excess of $150,000.
The sentence was
announced by Acting Assistant Attorney
hopping mad after Hong Kong politician calls for tadpole cull because ‘frogs
are too noisy’
A Hong Kong
politician has spawned a furore by calling for tadpoles in a public housing
estate pond to be exterminated before they become “noisy frogs”.
quick to point out Yuen Long district councillor Ma Shuk-yin was jumping to the
wrong conclusion in calling for a cull on the Tin Yiu Estate – as this could
result in an increase in mosquitoes.
with mosquito larvae for algae, so by removing them you’re likely to see an
increase in the number of mosquitoes,” says Sung Yik-hei, an assistant research
professor at the School of Biological Sciences with the University of Hong
funding to keep Jackson Zoo alive; director asked to leave
The Jackson City
Council approved $200,000 in immediate funding Thursday to cover the Jackson
Zoo's "depleted" budget.
The funding will
cover basic expenses such as payroll and animal care for the months of August
and September, until the next fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
budget has been depleted. There's nothing left," Chief Administrative
Officer Robert Blaine said at a Thursday special meeting.
The money comes out
of this year's budget and is on top of the $980,000 the city allocated for the
zoo at the beginning of the year.
Blaine said the zoo
management "has created a practice of borrowing from debt coverage"
to make payroll and repaying th
over fake zebra in Egypt
A zoo keeper in
Egypt is to be questioned by a prosecutor after he allegedly painted a donkey
to look like a zebra.
have referred a zoo keeper in Cairo to a public prosecutor for interrogation
over allegedly painting stripes on a donkey to make it look like a zebra, an
Late last month, a
visitor to the government-owned International Garden municipal park in the
eastern Cairo district of Nasr City posted a picture on Facebook, showing a
donkey with smudges on its face.
The animal also had
long, pointed ears - unlike those of a zebra.
The picture soon
caused a massive stir on social media, drawing an initial denial from
Sultan, the head of Specialised Parks in Cairo, on Thursday accused the zoo
keeper of having painte
Scaring Animals Can
Help Save Them
The kangaroo rat is
a wildlife manager’s nightmare. It is a crucial species in southern
California—aerating soils and dispersing native plant seeds. And the adorable,
bouncing mouse is popular with the public. But it also has the same taste in
real estate as powerful developers, many of its subspecies are endangered and
the animals are nearly impossible to relocate. As with many declining critters
across the world, there is pressure to save them but not many strategies to
Throughout the 1990s
and 2000s experts tried four times to relocate populations of kangaroo rats
without success. In one effort researchers moved about 600 animals to a lake
area in the arid scrubland between Los Angeles and San Diego. Within a year
they were all dead. The habitat seemed right—deep, well-drai
SeaQuest Awash in
Complaints From Colorado Officials, Visitors
Despite failing two
inspections and receiving a cease-and-desist order from the Colorado Department
of Agriculture, the new SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium is still open in
Littleton. According to Christi Lightcap, the department’s director of
communications, SeaQuest had been operating without a license mandated by
Colorado's Pet Animal Care Facility Act since it opened on June 2. When
SeaQuest could not pass a licensing inspection, the department ordered it to
remove many of its birds.
On May 9, SeaQuest
had filed an application with the CDA for a PACFA license that would allow it
to house more than thirty birds, and also requested an exemption so that it
Becomes One of the Better Choices
Over time we all
develop our own training style. Seeing other trainers is enriching for me just
because you can learn so much about how and why people train their animals a
particular way. Nobody is perfect and especially in the training world, many
topics progress and chance all the time. Im nonstop thinking especially about
the training style I have developed over the years.
Cheetahs sell for
tens of thousands on 'gold mine' social media accounts across Middle East
portrayed on social media as the perfect pet or status symbol. Some are filmed
playing on the couch, others on expensive yachts – but all too many are
available to buy.
Two years on since
member governments of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered
Species of Wild Fauna and Flora agreed on measures to halt cheetah trafficking
in the GCC, little has changed.
Union for Conservation of Nature categorises the cheetah as a “vulnerable”
animal, just one step below “endangered”, in its red list of threatened
There are estimated
to be fewer than 7,000 cheetahs in existence in the wild across the globe.
Since 2016, 34 cheetahs have been offered for sale in the UAE on Instagram.
The most recent
advertisement reported b
Agriculture minister over Zoo problems
Magdi Malek submitted a motion Wednesday to the Parliament’s Speaker Ali Abdel
Aal to question the Minister of Agriculture over withdrawing the Giza Zoo from
the International Federation Classification.
“The zoo has been a
landmark for all Egyptians of the past 50 years, but due to the extreme
negligence of officials and those responsible, it has become unsustainable,”
Malek also told
Egypt Today that the government should call the officials responsible for the
zoo to identify the problems to resolve in order for the zoo to regain its
position in this classification and to keep it from collapsing.
A few days ago,
Egyptian student Mahmoud Sarhan, 18, was visiting the zoo and took photos of
the odd-looking zebra and shared them on Facebook, rendering them viral.
In a clear photo of
the animal, it app
‘Wolf’ kills five
deer in Marghazar Zoo’s F-8 enclosure
A wild animal killed
five deer and injured one in an enclosure looked after by the Margazhar Zoo
because of negligence on the part of zoo staff.
Sources said an
animal, likely to be a jackal or a wolf, attacked the deer in an exclusive deer
enclosure on a greenbelt between Faisal Avenue and a service road.
The enclosure is
part of the Marghazar Zoo and houses more than 30 deer. Its affairs are
supposed to be run by the zoo director and staff.
teach star elephant overcome disability
Undeterred by the
scorching morning heat late last month, an eager crowd encircled the leafy
elephant enclosure at Zhengzhou Zoo, in the capital of Henan province, craning
their necks and hoping to snap photos.
The lone star of the
scene was an aging Asian bull elephant named Babu. The average life span of
elephants is about 50 to 70 years, and Babu, age 40 and weighing 4 metric tons,
was about to eat brunch.
Unlike other Asian
elephants who are able to put fo
Man's Horncastle zoo
bid under threat from developer
A man's bid to turn
his private collection of wild animals, including lions and a tiger, into a zoo
is under threat.
Andrew Riddel has
amassed 235 animals on land near his home in Lincolnshire and wants to expand
His site borders
land owned by Allison Homes, which plans to build 80 homes there.
Mr Riddel dismissed
'Code Red' called at
Kansas City Zoo after rhino partially escapes
Kansas City Zoo
officials have given the all-clear after a rhino partially escaped its
enclosure Monday morning.
A zoo spokesperson
told 41 Action News zookeepers called a “code red” around 10:20 a.m. They were
working in a behind-the-scenes part of the rhino building when one of the
animals gained access to a zookeeper area.
Imara, a female
rhino, was able to walk out of her stall and into the hallway because a padlock
was not secured.
The zoo, out of an
abundance of cauti
There Might Be Shark
In Your Sunscreen
Millions of rare,
deep-sea sharks are killed each year to support a multimillion-dollar
industry—but which one might surprise you.
In remote regions
around the world, fishermen pull sharks out of the deep and harvest their
livers. Shark livers contain an oil, known as squalene, that’s widespread in
sunscreen, lipstick, foundation, lotion, and many other cosmetics.
Count Behaviours For
the Ultimate Learning Experience
As animal trainers
we have to think about so many subjects during our training sessions. I
remember this from when I started that its not just “good behaviour, just
reinforce” there is so much more to it. After 7 years of my career I learned a
strong and valuable lesson about training animals. It was in my killer whale
time where they explained me this and why it was so important. Working with
dangerous animals in semi protective contact is a very different ball game. You
have to think not only about when the animals behave well but also where you
are, what your exits are and who your spotter is. Lots to think about but this
is not all…
Motivation is one
the topic I’m very interested in. How can we have an effect on the motivation
of the animals? We can change reinforcement and understand premack principle
but there is so much more to just an apple or banana. I’ve learned that with
counting the behaviors you ask that your success rate and the motivation level
of your animal can change drastically.
Most likely when you
start your session you have planned what you would like to do, what your
behavioral goal is and what your reinforcement will be reaching your goal. In
the session itself many things can happen and it’s sometimes hard to figure out
why they do but what can help you is to count the behaviors that have a correct
response and behaviors that have an incorrect response. The reason is si
Study: The Lorax Was
a Forest Creature, Not an Eco-Cop
Ever since The
Lorax, by Dr. Seuss (the pen name of Theodor Geisel, Class of 1925), was first
published in August of 1971, it has captured the minds of countless young
readers. It’s been translated into 15 languages, and by 2010, more than 1.6
million copies were sold. The spunky, furry orange creature called the Lorax,
who “speaks for the trees,” is famous for his environmental ethics, as he
demands that the Once-ler stop cutting down the Truffula trees to make yarn for
In the book, as the
landscape becomes dotted with Truffula tree stumps, the Lorax explains:
“NOW … thanks to
your hacking my trees to the ground,
there’s not enough
Truffula Fruit to go ’round…”
But what exactly did
the Lorax mean by “my”? Did he consider himself the owner of the forest, as
some critics have claimed
with… Jane Goodall
As Jane Goodall
turns 80, Henry Nicholls talks to her about her remarkable career studying
chimpanzee behaviour, her animal welfare activism, and accusations of
plagiarism in her latest book.
In February 1935,
the year of King George V’s silver jubilee, a chimpanzee at London Zoo called
Boo-Boo gave birth to a baby daughter. A couple of months later, a little
blonde-haired girl was given a soft-toy replica of the zoo’s new arrival to
mark her first birthday. This was Jane Goodall’s first recorded encounter with
Goodall turns 80
this week. In the intervening years, her research on a community of chimpanzees
in Tanzania revolutionised our understanding of these primates, our closest
living relatives, and challenged deepset ideas of what it means to be human.
She then packed in her fieldwork to become an activist, campaigning tirelessly
for a more enlightened attitude towards animals and the environment. Along the
way she has received nearly 50 honorary degrees, and became a UN Messenger of
Peace in 2002 and Dame Jane in 2004.
Though I have only
18th pygmy elephant
killed in northern Borneo in four months
pygmy elephant was
shot dead in Malaysia after it destroyed villagers' crops, making it the third
dead elephant to be found in the last eight days in the northern Borneo
The male elephant,
believed to be about 4 years old, was found Monday by the side of a road in the
state of Sabah, on the Malaysian part of Borneo, local wildlife department
director Augustine Tuuga told AFP.
He said the
"merciless" killing was carried out near a remote settlement, and
authorities were investigating who was responsible.
was killed out of revenge for destroying crops," he said, adding the crops
included palm oil trees.
He said the
creature's tusks remained intact, indicating the elephant was not killed by
poachers seeking to sell its ivory on the black market.
Siti Nur'Ain Ampuan Acheh said in a statement: "From the position of the
Declining revenue to
blame for across-the-board pay cuts at Jackson Zoo
The board overseeing
the Jackson Zoo, in a fight for its survival, has approved pay cuts to its
entire staff, Jackson Zoological Society Executive Director Beth Poff said.
The board slashed
the pay of its hourly and salaried staff at meeting last week as revenue
continues to drop and questions over the future of the zoo remain in limbo.
The cuts for hourly
employees, whose pay ranges from $7 to $15 an hour, will now drop to about $8
an hour. Salaried employees will see their monthly paycheck drop by half.
affect everyone. Hourly and salaried employees. We're in a dire
situation," Poff said.
Poff said the zoo is
already operating on a "depleted" staff of 32 employees and would
need closer to 45 employees to fully staff the zoo's needs.
Hourly zoo employees
begrudgingly accepted th
Black Vulture from
Riga Zoo Travels to Bulgaria for Release into Wild
A young black
vulture born and bred at Riga Zoo has been sent this week to Bulgaria where it
will be released into the wild as part of a reintroduction program, the zoo
informed on Wednesday.
Riga Zoo, which
prides itself on successfully breeding black vultures since 2014, is
contributing two young birds that hatched this spring to the European
Endangered Species Program for the black vulture.
Riga Zoo said that the first nestling was flown by plane to Bulgaria on July
24, to prepare for its first independent flight over Balkan mountaintops. The
other bird is scheduled to travel from Riga to Bulgaria in August.
On the same day, two
other birds of this species, which has gone extinct as a nestling species in
Bulgaria, were sent by Zoo Ostrava (Czech Republic).
The vulture from
Latvia was named Riga after the zoo.
Upon their arrival
in Bulgaria, the birds from Latvia and the Czech Republic were equipped with
GPS tracking devices and taken to
Zoo staff praised
for their bravery after helping firefighters tackle wildfire
Staff at Drusilla's
Zoo near Alfriston in East Sussex are being praised for their bravery after
helping firefighters tackle a major wildfire.
More than 1,500
visitors had to be evacuated from the site after the blaze broke out at Berwick
Court Farm on Wednesday.
Relief for baboon
left chained and caged in a zoo
activists have come to the rescue of a baboon shown in an online video chained
and pacing restlessly in a cage in a Bahrain zoo.
Directorate officials and members of the Bahrain Society for Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA) visited Tasneem Zoo in Shakura on Wednesday after
the video went viral on social media.
“Along with the
responsible government officials we visited the zoo after reading reports of
the baboon in chains,” BSPCA president Mahmood Faraj told the GDN.
“The owner was very
understanding and agreed to sort out the issue within two weeks.
“The BSPCA suggested
that the animal (baboon) be unchained and given a larger cage where it can move
The video was part
of an online petition launched on change.org by visiting Harvard University
scholar Colleen Hegarty demanding an improvement in conditions at Bahrain’s
zoos, including Al Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve and Arman Zoo in Jasra.
Ms Hegarty is in
Bahrain on a grant to study animal rights here, as part of her Master’s in
Middle Eastern Studies.
Her petition, ‘Stop
Relief for baboon
left chained and caged in a zoo
Cheetah cub petting
is simply a selfie opportunity
At least 600 cheetahs are kept in captivity in
South African tourism facilities, offering interactions and cub petting in the
name of conservation and education. Do these facilities truly promote the
survival of free-ranging cheetahs or is this just an easy revenue stream?
One or two of the
about 80 captive cheetah facilities make genuine efforts to conserve the wild
cheetah population by attempting reintroduction programmes. Others support
breeding programmes of Anatolian shepherd dogs, that are used to address
human-wildlife conflict with
cheetah and leopard.
Cheetah Outreach in
Somerset West fits in the latter category and have been supporting Anatolian
shepherd dog projects for many years. As such, they have gained respect within
the tourism industry. It was therefore even more shocking to find not only 12 adult
cheetahs, but also two five months old cheetah cubs, and several serval,
caracal, black-backed jackal, bat-eared foxes and meerkats at their facility.
Most of these
ambassador species are available for petting and of course for the compulsory
photo opportunity. Some of the adult cheetahs can even be hired for special
off-site functions, such as corporate events, fashion shoots, and even
Lynx death zoo
animal ban reversed by Ceredigion council
A zoo which saw two
of its lynx die within days of each other has been allowed to keep dangerous
Borth Wild Animal
Kingdom in Ceredigion had been banned from keeping certain animals including
wild cats after the deaths in October.
But after an
inspection of the zoo, Ceredigion council said it had decided to reverse the
ban on the condition that a qualified and experienced keeper was employed.
The zoo has been
asked to comment.
The ban was enforced
after a Eurasian lynx called Lilleth was shot dead by a marksman days after its
escape from the animal kingdom.
A second lynx,
Nilly, later died following a "ha
evolution: A long, strange trip
history of the unisexual, ladies-only salamander species is full of
In a new study, a
team of researchers at The Ohio State University traced the animals' genetic
history back 3.4 million years and found some head-scratching details—primarily
that they seem to have gone for millions of years without any DNA contributions
from male salamanders and still have managed to persist. The research appears
in the journal Evolution.
First, a bit about
the unisexual Ambystoma salamander: They're female, and they reproduce mainly
through cloning and the occasional theft of another salamander species' sperm,
which the males of sexual species deposit on leaves and twigs and the like. When
this happens, it stimulates egg production and the borrowed species' genetic
information is sometimes incorporated into the genome of the unisexual
salamanders, a process called kleptogenesis.
Scientists who study
these amphibians and their relatives, which are also called mole salamanders,
have theorized that the theft of sperm is part of what has kept th
If you’re applauding
Thomas Cook for dropping SeaWorld and Loro Parque, you haven’t seen the other
side of the two headed dragon
Loro Parque from its
ticket and package sales services.
And if you’re a
touchy, feely, save the animals type, you must be giddy with joy that Thomas
Cook recognizes what you know to be the pain and suffering of captive animals.
Which could only
mean one thing….
….You don’t know
You see, Thomas Cook
is 12% (up from an initial 5%) own
Tiger Trade Fed by ‘Tiger Farms,’ New Evidence Reveals
IN THE LIVING room
of a house at the end of a narrow country road in central Vietnam, a little way
off the main highway, the skeleton of a tiger was laid out on the floor—the
only complete one they had for sale, the man told the pair of visitors.
It was an attractive
offer for someone looking to make tiger bone wine, a coveted brew made from
bones soaked in rice wine, but what the visitors were interested in were the
discussion, they were taken to a nearby house. Whoever owned the it clearly had
some money. It was nicely painted, with a large cement front yard, plenty of
trees, and several expensive SUVs out front. It was guarded by a high steel
NGOs Call for Closure of “Tiger Farms”
In observance of
Global Tiger Day on July 29, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), World
Wildlife Fund (WWF), World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and the
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) are reiterating a joint commitment to
ending tiger farms that threaten the future of these endangered cats. The
organizations today released a joint statement urging countries with tiger
farms to immediately ban all trade in tiger parts, end tiger breeding for
commercial purposes and phase out tiger farms.
An Asian elephant,
Babu, struggles to eat in China
Undeterred by the
scorching heat, an eager crowd outside the guardrail encircling the leafy
elephant enclosure cranes their necks, hoping to snap photos at the Zhengzhou
Zoo in China's Henan province. The lone occupant is a 40-year-old male Asian
tonnes, Babu is about to eat brunch. Unlike other elephants who are able to put
food in their mouth by merely wielding their trunk, Babu has to begin by
bending both its forelegs slightly forward, placing food between its bizarrely
short trunk and right foreleg, and then slowly lifting the food up high by
gently curling its trunk before putting the food into his mouth, reports Xinhua
"A part of the
elephant's trunk is missing!" exclaimed a kid.
After living in
Zhengzhou for 30 years, Babu has become a superstar.
Babu injured his
trunk, 22 years ago, when he was trying to impress his female neighbour by
fiddling with the iron fence. The accident resulted in more than 40 centimetres
of his trunk being
Watch How a Glucose
Monitor is Helping a Diabetic Koala
is not just for humans. Quincy, a diabetic koala at the San Diego Zoo, is
sporting Dexcom’s new G6 continuous glucose monitor (CGM). To make his life
more bearable and to avoid multiple daily skin pricks to test his blood glucose
levels, the CGM’s sensor and transmitter applied to Quincy send such data in
real time to a smart device monitored by his caretakers.
The G6 continuously
measures glucose and can take measurements up to 288 times a day and can sense
trends, either up and down and how fast, and transmit customizable alarms and
Zoo staff hope the
new sensor will allow them to get more detail about the in
Home Shark Tanks Are
In. Just One Problem: Sharks Make Terrible Pets
After buying a
palatial home outside Los Angeles, Elise Ingram and her husband debated what to
do with a “very 70s” built-in circular seating area in the living room. They
considered turning it into a wine cellar.
Instead, they opted
to fill it with sharks.
The couple installed
a 500-gallon aquarium, where they put a leopard shark and a houndshark, both
about two feet long, three sting rays and a few yellow tangs.
It didn’t go
swimmingly. The houndshark immediately began “frantically trying to get out of
the tank,” Ms. Ingram said. She called the aquarium company to remove it. “He
was messing with the vibe of the tank.”
One of the other
fish in the tank fared even worse. It was chomped during a shark feeding frenzy
and left “twitching in the corner.”
For some reason,
sharks have become a new must-have accessory for luxury homes.
developers and high-en
breeding breeds suffering. Thailand must enforce a ban
and particularly in Thailand, are being bred to fuel the cruel wildlife
tourism and traditional medicine industries.
At wildlife tourist
attractions in Thailand, tigers are often used as photo props for tourist
Tigers are also
suffering on a staggering scale to meet the demand for traditional medicine.
There are long-standing beliefs that tiger body parts can cure everything from
cancer to virility issues, when the reality is that scientifically-proven,
cruelty-free alternatives are readily available.
The two trades are
connected, with ongoing investigations suggesting that many tigers in tourism
end up being killed for use in traditional medicine.
We’re urging Thai
authorities to enforce a ban on captive breeding by 2020. Without captive
WAZA Statement on
Recent Thomas Cook Decision
regarding Thomas Cook's decision to ban trips to Loro Parque and SeaWorld
Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) believes the Thomas Cook travel agency
failed to consider the significant global conservation impact of SeaWorld and
Loro Parque, as well as their continued dedication to high levels of welfare
for animals in their care, when it announced this week that it would no longer
include the marine parks in its travel packages.
officials said in a statement that the company will no longer include
institutions that keep orcas in captivity in their tours.
SeaWorld, based in
the United States, has rescued over 31,000 animals in the past five decades
through its SeaWorld Cares programme, including pilot whales, dolphins and
manatees, among others. The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund has
also provided more than $14 million to animal and habitat conservation projects
around the world.
Parque, meanwhile, recently launched a €2 million, four-year programme in
collaboration with the government of the Canary Islands to study the effects of
climate change in the sea, focusing on species such as algae, angel sharks and
sea turtles. Loro Parque ha
video shows trio stealing shark by disguising it as a baby
Leon Valley police
say a well-trained trio took Shark Week too far, stealing a horn shark from the
San Antonio Aquarium Saturday afternoon.
According to Leon
Valley police Chief Joseph Salvaggio, the group stole the shark from an open
pool where visitors are allowed to reach in and pet the various species in the
tank. Two men and a woman are wanted in connection with the theft.
Accused shark thief:
I was trying to save the shark
Over the weekend,
Anthony Shannon was caught on surveillance camera grabbing "Miss
Helen," a 16-inch-long horn shark, from the San Antonio Aquarium and
taking off with her in a baby stroller. He spoke with CBS San Antonio affiliate
KENS-TV about the incident.
everything happened, I told [the police] everything," the 38 year old
said. "I was honest with them straight."
took a shark, which was wrong, but it needed help," he said.
Shannon was one of
three people who took off with the animal. Leon Valley police say Shannon
eventually confessed and was charged with felony theft.
"It was wrong
to just take him like that. But, at that p
Study Find First
Evidence That Leopard Geckos Can Make New Brain Cells
University of Guelph
researchers have discovered the type of stem cell allowing geckos to create new
brain cells, providing evidence that the lizards may also be able to regenerate
parts of the brain after injury.
This finding could
help in replacing human brain cells lost or damaged due to injury, aging or
“The brain is a
complex organ and there are so few good treatments for brain injury, so this is
a very exciting area of research,” said Prof. Matthew Vickaryous in the
Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC).
indicate that gecko brains are constantly renewing brain cells, something that
humans are notoriously bad at doing,” he said.
Scientific Reports, this study is the first
An Animal Welfare
Risk Assessment Process for Zoos
To retain social
license to operate, achieving and maintaining high standards of animal welfare
need to be institutional priorities for zoos. In order to be confident in the
delivery of high standards of animal welfare, a holistic evidence-based
approach to welfare assessment is required. This should include a combination
of institutional-level assessments, individual animal monitoring tools, and
applied research targeted at advancing our understanding of species needs and
preferences in zoos. Progress has certainly been made in the zoo sector in
development of research programs and individual animal welfare monitoring
tools. Comparatively less focus has been applied to institutional-level
assessment processes. This paper aims to fill this gap and presents an outline
of a welfare risk assessment process developed and trialed at three zoos over a
three year period and discussion of the potential value it offers, as well as
the limitations of its use.
New Meetings and Conferences updated Here
If you have anything to add then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 | email@example.com | Skype: peter.dickinson48
Independent International Zoo Consultant
+971 50 4787 122 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Skype: peter.dickinson48