Thursday, September 17, 2020




The first edition of the International Zoo Yearbook rolled off the press in 1960. The current edition which is still at the printers will, very sadly, be the last one.

It will be a sad loss to Zoo Professionals the world over though happily today there are several other publications which serve the purpose of disseminating information.

I recall when I started my zoo career back in 1967 that there were very few publications dedicated to the care and welfare of zoo animals. Happily I had access to those first few editions of the Yearbook which I read cover to cover several times.

I then used to purchase each annual edition as it was published until I could no longer afford to do so.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Pont-Scorff Zoo in Trouble


Pont-Scorff Zoo in Trouble

You are reminded that Pont-Scorff Zoo is the collection that was purchased my Animal Rights Activists as a showpiece.


"It's calumny": the Pont-Scorff zoo defends itself after accusations of negligence


A report from the Department of Population Protection points to several anomalies in the administration of the zoo, bought 8 months ago by the Rewild association. She wants to file a complaint for "slanderous denunciation".


Following a visit on June 29, the Morbihan Directorate for the Protection of Populations (DDPP) points out in a report several alleged negligence on the part of the Rewild association, which has been managing the Pont-Scorff zoo for 8 months. She wants to transform this former zoo open to the public into a rehabilitation center for wild species.


A lack of qualified personnel?


First, it says in the report that the zoo is lacking in "capability" for all wildlife. These are people who can take care of different animals. This is a false problem, retorts the association. According to her, there is no longer any need for these capacities because the establishment is no longer open to the public. Likewise, the zoo ensures that it has been in contact for 2 months with a very qualified capacity worker to solve the problem. Because, it is the height, explains Rewild, there has not been any more this kind of people for several years in Pont-Scorff, well before its takeover . Similarly, according to the manager of the zoo, Jérome Pensu, some of his employees are quite "capable" for many species.


Veterinary registers in question

Jean-Michel Chappron, director of the DDPP, also notes the absence of an up-to-date veterinary register . " There has simply never been, " retorts the manager of Pont-Scorff, " only a multitude of papers signed by various and varied veterinarians, more than 10. There are prescriptions, medical prescriptions. We have passed months to sort everything, species by species. We are in the process of reconstituting this register ". For him, the job was never done by the previous owners.


2,500 kilos of corpses at the knacker

Among the unclear points of the DDPP report, there are also these almost 2,500 kilos of animal corpses sent to the renderer . The services of the Prefecture do not know where they come from. " When we arrived, the fridges were full of corpses. We had to get rid of them and do the job that was not done, " says Jérome Pensu, the manager. This is without counting the death of Jakob, a rhino weighing 1,300 kilos who died a week after Rewild arrived at the site.


Criminal proceedings

Following this report, a formal notice was sent to the zoo via a prefectural decree dated September 2. He invites the establishment to regularize its situation on October 10, under penalty of criminal prosecution and legal consequences. " It's pure slander. We're going deep into the dirt, " Rewild defends. The association wrote an 80-page audit to describe the situation the zoo was in when it arrived, which it sent to court. At the same time, she intends to request an appeal to extend the deadlines. A complaint will be filed for "slanderous denunciation".


Please see original article in French:



Thursday, April 30, 2020

Mystery Surrounding The Export of Chimpanzees to China

Chimpanzees | WWF

Mystery Surrounding The Export of Chimpanzees to China

In July 2019 18 Chimpanzees were exported to China. They had CITES documentation but these show significant non-compliances with CITES and with the South African CITES Regulations, 2010.

 Perhaps somebody from PAAZA can answer the question.

This export has strong similarities to the Taiping Four case but less questions are being asked. Probably because it is Chimpanzees and not Gorillas,

The exporter was Hartbeespoort Snake and Zoo Park in North West Province, but it appears that Ms. Christa Saayman from Mystic Monkeys and Feathers Wildlife Park in Limpopo Province, acted as the export agent.

The importer was Beijing Green Landscape Zoo, also known as Beijing Wildlife Park (BWP). 18 chimpanzees arrived in China but it is understood that BWP only has 15. It is unclear where the remaining 3 are. There is no evidence that they were returned to South Africa, but there is some information that they may possibly have been taken to Jinan Zoo.

Chimpanzees are listed on Annex 1 of CITES. In terms of the “fundamental principles” of the Convention, Annex 1 species are those “threatened with extinction which are or may be affected by trade. Trade in specimens of these species must be subject to particularly strict regulation in order not to endanger 2 further their survival and must only be authorized in exceptional circumstances.”

It is understood that some of these Chimpanzees were pregnant at the time of export.

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Chimelong Marine Science Park

Chimelong Marine Science Park

Chimelong Marine Science Park was supposedly to open on the 1st May but because of the Covid -19 pandemic I can assume there will be some delays.
See renderings of construction HERE

Currently 103 cetaceans are maintained at the Zhuhai Chimelong Ocean Kingdom. These are:

22 bottlenose Dolphins, 43 Beluga Whales, 1 False Killer Whale, 5 Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, 9 Killer Whales, 10 Pacific white-sided dolphin and 7 Pantropical spotted dolphin.

The new breeding center aims to “help cultivate the public’s awareness of whale protection, develop related studies, and progress toward killer-whale breeding.”

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

UK’s only koala joey is a girl!

UK’s only koala joey is a girl!

credit RZSS/Sian Addison

The UK’s only koala joey has had her first health check at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s (RZSS) Edinburgh Zoo.

Staff at the wildlife conservation charity have confirmed that the youngster, born in July last year, is a girl and currently weighs 759g.

Keepers will now choose an Aboriginal inspired name for the young joey, as they did with her sister who was born in 2018 and named Kalari, meaning ‘daughter’.

Lorna Hughes, team leader for koalas at Edinburgh Zoo, said, “We are thrilled our youngster is doing well after her first health check.

“Like all young koala joeys, she spends most of her time clinging to her mum, so we gave her a soft toy to hold on to while she was being weighed.

“At nearly eight months old, she’s now almost too big to fit inside mum Alinga’s pouch and has started to venture outside and onto Alinga's back more regularly.”

As well as being part of the international breeding programme for Queensland koalas, RZSS supports conservation projects for the species in Australia. In January keepers at the zoo held a fundraiser for Science for Wildlife who worked to rescue koalas in the Blue Mountains region following wildfires that swept the country earlier this year. The campaign raised £1,790 and gave those who donated the chance to win one of three original framed paw prints from the zoo’s koalas.

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

Friday, March 13, 2020

Glenmorangie forges a global conservation partnership to help save the giraffe

Image result for Glenmorangie giraffe

Glenmorangie forges a global conservation partnership to help save the giraffe

 --- Whisky recognises the serious threat its symbol faces in the wild ---

Glenmorangie has long celebrated the giraffe as a symbol of its distillery. With its extraordinary height, the animal perfectly illustrates the stature of the single malt whisky’s towering stills. Today, the Highland Distillery demonstrates its commitment to this endangered animal by forging a global conservation partnership to help safeguard its future.

 Glenmorangie’s affinity with the giraffe begins with its towering copper stills in which it creates its lighter spirit, with more space for taste and aroma. The tallest in Scotland, these stills have necks the same height as an adult male giraffe. But although the giraffe’s silhouette is known and loved at Glenmorangie, as it is across the world, few are aware of the threat it faces in the wild. Numbers have fallen by 30% in 30 years, with some types of giraffe now critically endangered. With the giraffe’s decline going largely unnoticed, a BBC/PBS documentary on the work of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) and its partners, narrated by Sir David Attenborough has warned of a “silent extinction”.

 In a concerted effort to aid the giraffe, Glenmorangie is pioneering a three-year partnership with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS). This two-pronged approach will support efforts to protect giraffes in the wild in Africa and provide a habitat for the animal at Edinburgh Zoo, which will play a vital role in their conservation.
Under the partnership Glenmorangie will:

Enable GCF’s work in Africa, with a focus on Uganda. GCF is the world’s only organisation concentrating solely on the conservation and management of giraffes in the wild throughout Africa. They are committed to securing a future for all giraffe populations in the wild.
Support RZSS in creating a giraffe habitat at Edinburgh Zoo. Opening in the summer of 2020, this specially-designed habitat will help aid conservation in the wild through genetic research to support GCF’s translocation efforts, and raise visitors’ awareness of the threats facing the species.

Thomas Moradpour, President and Chief Executive of The Glenmorangie Company, said: “For 175 years we have created whisky, in stills as high as an adult giraffe, the tallest in Scotland. Over time, this majestic animal has become a beloved symbol our brand. It seems only right that we should channel our passion for this animal into our new global conservation partnership with GCF and RZSS. Together, we will work to protect giraffes in the wild and shine a light on their predicament before it’s too late.”

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant



The Future For Nature Foundation supports young, inspiring natural leaders that fight uphill battles for the conservation of species in Venezuela, Nigeria and Bolivia with €50.000.

Arnhem, 12 March 2020. Out of one hundred and twenty-four candidates from all over the world three inspiring natural leaders in nature conservation were chosen to be this year’s winners of the Future For Nature Award. On Friday, May 8th 2020, María Fernanda Puerto-Carrillo (Venezuela), Iroro Tanshi (Nigeria), and Tjalle Boorsma (the Netherlands / Bolivia) will receive this prestigious nature conservation prize and 50,000 euros each during the Future For Nature Award Event at Royal Burgers’ Zoo. In the past this internationally renowned prize was presented by icons such as Sir David Attenborough and Dr. Jane Goodall.

Talented Nature Conservationists From Venezuela, Nigeria and the Netherlands
The current crisis in Venezuela has made conservation work hard and often dangerous. María Fernanda Puerto-Carrillo (33 years old) is one of the last ones standing and even more passionate and determined to protect the jaguar and its habitat than before.
The Nigerian Iroro Tanshi (35 years old) rediscovered a population of the Short-tailed Roundleaf bat in Nigeria (last seen 45 years ago) and is on a mission to protect the last known roost that is under threat of fruit bat hunting and wildfires. Her ‘Zero Wildfire Campaign’ already resulted in zero wildfire reports in 2019 during the dry season.

The Dutch Tjalle Boorsma (35 years old) left his homeland to stop the decline of Bolivia’s most threatened birds, the Blue-throated Macaw. He discovered their previously unknown nesting sites and gained crucial information for designing a conservation programme for these amazing birds. 

These three nature conservation heroes will receive the Future For Nature Award on May 8th 2020 in Royal Burgers’ Zoo, the Netherlands.

International Celebrities Support the Work of Future For Nature
The Future For Nature Awards will be presented at Royal Burgers’ Zoo for the thirteenth consecutive year in 2020. The internationally recognised nature conservation prize was presented in the past by Sir David Attenborough, Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Frans de Waal and Doutzen Kroes. During the tenth edition, His Royal Highness King Willem-Alexander was the Guest of Honour. 

The event will be livestreamed on the Future For Nature Facebook page and YouTube channel, so save the date!

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant