Friday, April 26, 2013

Elephant and Rhino Conservation and Research Symposium

Presented by the International Elephant Foundation and the International Rhino Foundation.  Hosted by the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium
August 26 - 30, 2013

Please email for more information.

Thursday, April 11, 2013



An outlook for Latin America and the World
August 21- 23, 2013 

Keynote Speaker:
Jon Coe
Jon Charles Coe, AILA, FASLA, ZAA. Australia
Master of Landscape Architecture with Honors, 1966. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Bachelor of Landscape Architecture with Honors 1964. University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
Founding Principal, 2004. Jon Coe Design, Pty. Ltd., Healesville, Victoria, Australia
Founding Principal, 1985-2003. CLRdesign, inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Principal, 1979-1983. Jones & Jones, Seattle, Washington, USA
Project Experience
Over one hundred and sixty planning and design projects for over eighty-two zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, theme parks and national parks in thirteen nations.
Has participated in several Lectures and Design Workshops internationally.

Keynote Speaker:
David Hancocks
Architect and zoo director for thirty years, is passionately opposed to the poor standards that have prevailed and still exist in many zoos.
Expert in preparing and supervising master plans for zoos, natural history museums, botanic gardens, nature centers.
Author, "Animals and Architecture (1971); "A Different Nature" (2001); Co-author and editor, "An Elephant in the Room: The Science and Well-Being of Elephants in Captivity" (2009); Invited chapters in "Wild Mammals in Captivity: Principles and Techniques" (1996)"; "Ethics on the Ark: Zoos, Animal Welfare and Wildlife Conservation" (1995); "Elephants and Ethics: Toward a Morality of Coexistence" (2008); among many others
Has offer lectures internationally about zoos and its future

Keynote Speaker:
Michael Noonan, PhD
Canisius College
Buffalo, NY. E.U.A
Animal Behavior Professor, Department of Biology, Canisius College.
Founder and Chair of the Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation undergraduate major.
Founder and Director of the Anthrozoology Master's Degree program.
Founder and Director of the Institute for the Study of Human-Animal Relations.
Founder and Director of the Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation.
Organizer of “THE FUTURE OF ZOOS”. A Special Symposium co-hosted by The Canisius College Institute for the Study of Human-Animal Relations and The Buffalo Zoological Gardens, February/2012.

Addressed To:

Zoo directors, curators, managers, designers, architects, veterinarians, biologists, zoo educators, zookeepers and any person interested in the development of zoos, aquariums, nature parks, and wildlife of Mexico and Latin-America.

Together with our keynote speakers, professionals from zoos and universities of various Latin-American countries will join in the discussions, and will bring their perspective to the topic.

COST: $150.00 USD

INCLUDES: 3 days of conferences, boards of discussion, and workshops, simultaneous translation (english-spanish-english), proceedings, coffee breaks, transport and visit to the Guadalajara Zoo.

São Paulo 2334, Providencia, 44630 Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
(+52)01-33-3648-9500 E-mail:
Symposium rates: $1,100.00 MXN single or double room + taxes

More information and registration:
(+52)01 33 3674 4488

(Apologies for any errors in moving this document here - Peter)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Zoo News Digest 1st - 6th April 2013 (ZooNews 847)

Zoo News Digest 1st - 6th April 2013 (ZooNews 847)

Panda Poo

Dear Colleagues,

Sometimes it is perhaps better to say nothing at all....but are you true to yourself when you don't? Over the years of pulling Zoo News Digest together and editing I have made a lot of friends...but enemies too. There are those out there who believe I should not cover stories where they apply to their collection when they appear in a negative light. I have been threatened and been offered bribes. I look at hundreds of stories every week, working late nights and early mornings. I don't include them all. I base my selection on my own wide zoo related interest along with the stories which I know will be discussed in staffrooms the world over. I am providing a service to the whole zoo/aquarium community. At least that is how I see it. Do you disagree?

I liked the item about Panda Poo for power generation. That was something definitely different. Whether the Pandas can produce enough Poo to make a difference is anybodys guess. I recollect a year or so back someone marketing the worlds most expensive tea because the bushes were fertilised with Panda dung. France is probably not the best place for a tea plantation but pehaps Leeks, Potatoes or Onions may present an opportunity. Fascinating stuff. You might like to learn a bit more about Zoo Faeces:

Lion Dung

A Psoriasis Cure You May Rather Not Know About
Elephant Aphrodisiac

So the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has had a change of thought. This time is is a good change. Now elephants can stay in Indian Zoos providing care and conditions are right. What really puzzles me is that having made their first daft decision back in 2009 (see Zoo News Digest 6th - 12th November 2009 (Zoo News 629) and  Indian Zoo Elephants Out Of Sight Out Of Mind ) that now, more than three years later have they decided to change it? Judging by the numbers of elephants still in Indian zoos then not a whole lot of people followed their orders. Good on them. At the same time the CZA really does need to sharpen its teeth and make sure that elephant care goes up a notch or three.

That said, the change of plan... it doesn't really surprise me. I wonder if they will revise their other ill advised decision. See Central Zoo Authority Loses The Plot On White Tigers

"Rare White Tigers Cubs Wow at Japanese Zoo".....a lie being perpetuated.

VERY IMPORTANT (I will repeat this several times over coming weeks as I know some people do not read every issue)- After several years my postal address has changed. It is now:

Peter Dickinson
Suite 201,
Westminster Chambers
7 Hunter Street

I remain committed to the work of GOOD zoos, not DYSFUNCTIONAL zoos.


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Zoo to build power plant that uses panda poop to produce electricity
Not content with housing a pair of celebrity pandas that attract hordes of avid onlookers, a zoo in France has decided to put their droppings to good use by recycling them into gas and electricity.

Yuan Zi and Huan Huan — “Chubby” and “Happy” in Chinese — arrived at Beauval zoo in central France in January last year, on loan from China for 10 years at a cost of around a million dollars a year.

The zoo announced Friday it would build a facility that would process the dung of the two pandas and of other animals, as well as plant matter, to produce biogas that will

Why are these lions starving in a Buenos Aires zoo?
What's going on in the Colon Zoo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that could explain why these lions are apparently starving? We don't know — especially when just down the road there is a dangerous animal petting zoo where the caretakers claim the animals are mellow because they are so full — but these big cats sure look like they could use a good meal. Badly. A campaign is growing in Argentina to "feed or free the animals in the Colon
Using animals as gifts has a long history in diplomacy
With the arrival in Toronto of Er Shun and Da Mao on their very own Panda FedEx Express last week, almost all Canada stopped to welcome the darling bears to what will be their new home for the next decade.

Although not quite a gift, as the pandas are only here for 10 years and then must return,
hopefully with a third little panda in tow, it has been crafted as a show of generosity and friendship by the Chinese people to the Canadian people.

Animals, especially exotic ones, have a long history of being used in diplomatic gestures. Pandas in particular have been great ambassadors for China, helped by their intense cuteness factor. The practice even has its own particular term as these arrangements are referred to as “panda diplomacy.”

One of the more famous was the gift of two pandas to the U.S. in 1972 after president Richard Nixon’s landmark trip to China. Not to be

Land for Zoo Negara
Selangor approved 33.7 acres of state land for Zoo Negara to set up an animal training and research centre last month, said executive councillor Elizabeth Wong.
“We hope this will help in their conservation and fundraising effort,” Wong told Selangor Times yesterday.
Wong said the land approval was given on the condition that the society cannot sell the land for commercial purpose.
“If they attempt to sell, the land title will be reverted back to the state,” she said.
The Malaysian Zoological Society, which has managed the national zoo since it was opened in 1963, has waited for half a century to secure land titles

Brigitte Bardot's elephants to retire to Monaco
Fate has smiled on two sick elephants in France, who are to move from death row to a retirement fit for a king as guests of Princess Stephanie of Monaco, thanks to Brigitte Bardot.
Highland Wildlife Park denies camel distress claim
BOSSES at a Scots safari have denied accusations by animal rights campaigners of exploiting a rare camel and causing it “distress” by making him chase off a Land Rover.

• Only male camel at the Highland Wildlife Park has become protective of female companions during mating season
• The camel, Karanli, has been chasing passing vehicles to ‘display his ownership’
• Park has denied claims by Captive Animals Protection Society (Caps) that they are exploiting the camel Karanli, the only male Bacterian camel at the Highland Wildlife Park, has become protective of his two female companions during the mating season.
So much so, any passing vehicle which drives through the open zoo now becomes “open competition” and he “displays his ownership” by chasing them away.
Staff invited photographers to witness the “completely natural show of territorial activity”, but were condemned by the Captive Animals Protection Society (Caps).
Caps director Liz Tyson, said: “The idea that a zoo would deliberately create a stressful situation for one of the animals in its care in order to facilitate a cheap publicity stunt is repugnant.
“To suggest that there is no problem because the camel ‘enjoys’ being goaded by having

Wildlife Reserves Singapore's newest addition, River Safari opens
The $160 million river-themed wildlife park, River Safari - home to Pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia - opened on Wednesday morning
Waiting for the gates to open were groups of kindergarten and primary school children, tourists, as well as Singaporeans who took a day off work for the occasion.
One such person was Mr Albert Foo, 66, who arrived around 8.30am for the opening ceremony and was one of the first in line to enter. "I've always liked animals and plants," he said. He took a day's leave from his job as a hotel front desk assistant and woke up at 5.30am to make it in time to see the gates open.
The River Safari is the newest addition to the Wildlife Reserves Singapore's portfolio of parks, which

Semeru, Perth Zoo orangutan released into wild, killed by snakebite
PERTH Zoo's history-making orangutan Semeru, released into the Indonesian jungle, has died from a venomous snake bite.
Semeru, who would have turned eight in June, was the first male zoo-born orangutan to be released into the jungle back in 2011.
Perth Zoo Director of Animal Health and Research, Peter Mawson, said Indonesian trackers who monitored his movements each day had found Semeru’s body in a night nest that they had watched him build the previous afternoon.
It appeared he was bitten by the snake while he was settling the sleeping nest in a Kasai tree.
Dr Mawson said the vet in Sumatra who had examined Semeru’s body had found two puncture marks on his upper back.

World’s Most Dangerous Zoo, Lujan Zoo in Argentina, Allows Guests To Ride, Cuddle And Feed Lions, Bears [VIDEO]
The Lujan Zoo, outside Buenos Aires, removes the electric fences and plexiglass partitions to give visitors an up-close-and-personal experience with wild creatures, doing everything from posing with the freely roaming animals, to cuddling, feeding and even riding them.
The zoo, whose logo is a man squatting next to a feline, allows visitors to frolic with lions, bears and cheetahs for $130 Argentine pesos (about $25.30).
In a video from a guests' 2011 visit,
Zoos with poor facilities may lose elephants
Zoos that can’t provide enough space and proper facilities for the upkeep of elephants - one of the star attractions at the zoological parks - may not be able to retain them and will have to relocate them to other zoos or wildlife sanctuaries better equipped to handle their welfare.
The proposal was made at a meeting of the consultative committee of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) last week that assessed the condition of elephants in zoos across the country and found that wanting.

The final decision on the re-location will soon be taken by Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, a committee member told IANS.

“Elephants are kept chained for long hours in zoos due to lack of space for them to move. Some zoos don’t even have the required manpower to take care of them,” said the member, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“The condition of elephants is really bad in some zoos and the meeting was held in this context. All members unanimously agreed to shift elephants from zoos with poor facilities,” he added.

The member said a team of experts will identify such zoos and the jumbos will be shifted to other zoos that have enough space and staff for their upkeep.

“Another option that was proposed was to send them to elephant centres in wildlife sanctuaries across the country,” he added.

Twenty-three zoos across the country house over 80 Indian and African elephants.

In 2009, the CZA had issued a similar advisory stopping zoos from inducting more elephants and called for rehabilitating jumbos that needed looking after in rescue centres after it became known that their conditions were bad.

Although zoos have stopped inducting elephants, many still house them in poor conditions.

According to Brij Kishor Gupta, the CZA’s evaluation
State zoo parks allowed to keep elephants
In a move that comes as a relief for zoos in the state, the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has reversed its earlier decision to not allow them to keep elephants. It was in 2009 that the CZA had ordered that elephants should not be kept in captivity but instead be sent to dedicated camps in forest areas.

Even though zoo authorities in most states said that they were adequately equipped to take care of the pachyderms, nearly 40 of the 115 captive elephants across the country were moved to camps.
However, the zoos in Andhra Pradesh did not relocate the elephants as the facilities at the camp in Nanyal in Chittoor district were found to be inadequate. The facilities were enough for only two elephants, officials said.

The state zoo authorities then requested the CZA to reconsider its decision on the grounds that the animals may not be able to adapt to the new surroundings which lacked enough facilities. But the CZA constituted an expert committee to examine the matter in 2010. In the meantime, the state zoo also kept in abeyance its plans to improve infrastructure for elephant upkeep.

The expert committee proceeded to examine 19 facilities, including zoos in Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Tirupati, and submitted a detailed report. According to Nehru Zoo officials, the committee was satisfied with the facilities present at elephant enclosures in the state and made recommendations to expand existing facilities.

"We have been exempted from the ban, which comes as a relief as we were in a dilemma for the last few years. We could not take up any improvement works in the enclosure as we were not sure if we could retain the elephants. But now that the elephants are not going anywhere, we will expand the enclosure by three acre," said a senior forest official. At present, there are five elephants in the city zoo.

The official added that Visakhapatnam zoo has benefitt
Thailand mulls combined legislation to protect elephants

Thailand's Elephant Bill, drafted several years ago, will be revised and submitted to Parliament to protect the diminishing pachyderm population in Thailand, according to a Natural Resources and Environment Ministry official.
Currently elephant affairs are dealt with by four separate laws. Theerapat Prayurasiddhi, deputy director general of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant
Conservation Department, said the bill is aimed at cracking down on the hunting, smuggling and illegal trade of elephants, and promoting elephants as the kingdom’s national animal.

The legislation will assign the department as the core agency in management of domesticated and wild elephants.

Elephants in Thailand have been under an enforcement net of four separate laws including the Transport Animal Law B.E. 2482 (1939) of the Local Administration Department of the Interior Ministry, the Animals’ Communicable Diseases Law under the Livestock Department, the Wild Animals Conservation and Protection Law B.E. 2535 (1992) under the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, and a law on trading of elephants tusks under the Commerce Ministry.

Mr Theerapat said the centralisation of elephant supervision concerns to a single ministry, or of as few agencies as possible, will contribute to a clear management and minimise

Rare White Tigers Cubs Wow at Japanese Zoo
White tigers are extremely rare species, with only 100 to 200 world-wide and about 30 kept in

 Scandalous inbreeding of white lions at Paradise Wildlife Park
Charities denounce inbred white lion programme at Paradise Wildlife Park.

Two leading animal protection charities, the Captive Animals’ Protection Society and LionAid, have criticised a major UK zoo for its continued programme of inbreeding big cats to create unusually-coloured animals. Spokespeople for the two organisations say that there are “serious animal welfare implications” for white lions bred at Hertfordshire-based Paradise Wildlife Park and that the animals “serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever in conservation terms”.

Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire is promoting a competition to name a new white lion cub born there recently and is using the competition as a fundraiser over the Easter period. In addition, the Park is earning considerable funds by allowing members of the public to “cuddle” the new cub for a fee of £999 for two people. Such intimate public interactions are highly controversial as the cub has to be separated from her mother, is likely stressful, has no benefit at all

The United Arab Emirates Enters The Canned Hunt Market
This week the the Mourouj Hotels and Resorts announced that it will open the Barari Hunting Resort, near Al Ain, in September.

Guests to the resort will be able to "hunt, cook and eat a variety of UAE wildlife".
Those unfamiliar with the wildlife of the UAE may well get the impression that it is a country teeming with game. It is not, and all wildlife is protected. The newspaper reports state that they "will offer people

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Friday, April 5, 2013

The United Arab Emirates Enters The Canned Hunt Market

The United Arab Emirates Enters The Canned Hunt Market

This week the the Mourouj Hotels and Resorts announced that it will open the Barari Hunting Resort, near Al Ain, in September.

Guests to the resort will be able to "hunt, cook and eat a variety of UAE wildlife".
Those unfamiliar with the wildlife of the UAE may well get the impression that it is a country teeming with game. It is not, and all wildlife is protected. The newspaper reports state that they "will offer people the chance to hunt oryx, gazelle and deer".

There are no deer amongst the fauna of the UAE and the habitat is entirely unsuitable for them outside of a zoo setting. The Arabian Oryx breeds well in captivity and there are some hundreds in private and public collections within the country. A few have been released into monitored space and protected areas in Sharjah and around Liwa Oasis. The two species of gazelle are both extremely rare and to actually see one in the wild would be a thrill in itself. They both do relatively well in captivity.

So, in short, this is no 'Hunting Resort' this is going to be a 'fish in a barrel' Canned Hunt.

It matters little that so called 'hunters' will be able to cook and eat what they have slaughtered. This is so wrong in so many ways.

Where are the animals going to come from? Private collections and zoos. Each zoo selling its soul and instantly becoming a Dysfunctional Zoo. In fact zoos of the UAE should now speak out and condemn this enterprise before it actually starts operation.

I am not against hunting 'per se'. I have hunted and killed for pest control and for the pot and I have used a gun for culling surplus stock. But the idea of a Canned Hunt turns my stomach. I really cannot get my head around people killing animals because they actually enjoy it.

The Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians 2013 Conference

The Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians

will be hosting their thirty-third Annual Conference September 5th-9th, 2013 at the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward, Alaska.

This is a great opportunity to interact with colleagues or learn what AZVT is all about while viewing the beautiful state of Alaska.

The conference will cover a wide variety of topics including Field Studies of Eurasion Black Vulture Conservation and Using iSTAT in the Field for South American Fur Seals. Clinical pathology topics will include CBC's in Southern Stingrays, a case study Monitoring Estradiol and Testosterone Levels in Gray Seals, Developing a Quality Accuracy Program in a Lab with Multiple Technicians and a Fecal Flotation Comparison Study. Clinical section will cover Invasive BP monitoring in Exotics, Study of Body Temps in Lorikeets, Cardiovascular Irregularities in Anesthesia, Wound Care in an African Crested Porcupine, Physiological Changes in Cold Stunned Sea Turtles and Treatment of Spinal Abscess in Amur Tiger cub.
There will also be a parasitology wet lab.
Students qualify for a discounted registration
 If you would like more information please visit or the AZVT facebook page.
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First European Elephant Management School in Hamburg

First European Elephant Management School in Hamburg
11th-19th November 2013

For the past eleven years (founded Nov. 2003) Elephant Business (Escondido, USA) and Hagenbecks Tierpark (Hamburg, Germany) offer annually a unique comprehensive course on elephant management.

The curriculum covers the majority aspects of elephant management and elephant care, from husbandry and health care, to transport, training, reproduction and conservation. Due to the large interest we have decided to offer this course again in November 2013. This is the eleventh year of the school and each year it has been highly successful, attracting many elephant professionals from all walks of life.

The First European Elephant Management School is the first one of its kind and the lectures are international experts in their field.
The First European Elephant Management School is a practical orientated course on different elephant management tactics.

Protected contact as well as free contact management techniques and procedures will be trained. Hagenbecks Tierpark currently houses ten Asian elephants of all age groups and with a high training standard.
Important elephant management procedures will be taught on and with the animal (e.g. foot trimming, health care, transport, management techniques).
The School is held in a nine days session. The course is recommended for all people responsible for elephants in a zoo environment. i.e.:
keepers, zoo curator, veterinarians, and other professionals with an interest in elephant care, conservation and management. However, a basic knowledge on elephant management is required.

Please note, that the number of participants is limited to 15 students!
We have already received a couple of registrations for this year, so don't leave it too late. Detailed information on the school, its topics and its lecturers are available
under: Please take a look at our web site and judge for yourself if it would be appropriate for your institution to attend.

The course is a non profit course, however, the fee is based to cover all flights and accommodation costs of the participating lecturers which will come to Hamburg from all over the world (United States, England, Germany, India, Sri Lanka and South Africa).

Date: 11th - 19th of November 2013
Location: Tierpark Hagenbeck Hamburg, Germany (practical
courses) and Lindners Parkhotel Hagenbeck Hamburg, Germany (theoretical
Language: English (on special request we are also able to offer the course in other languages)

Please forward this letter to the elephant keepers, elephant curators, veterinarians and zoological directors of your institution.

For further inquiries please do not hesitate to contact my assistant,
Dr. Adriane Prahl ( or me directly. Thank you for
your interest. We look forward to receive your registration and to
welcome you in Hamburg this oncoming November.
Yours sincerely,

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A Dictionary of Zoo Biology and Animal Management

 A Dictionary of Zoo Biology and Animal Management

This dictionary is intended as a guide to the terminology used in a wide range of animal-related programmes of study including agriculture, animal care, animal management, animal production, animal welfare, veterinary nursing, wildlife conservation and zoo biology. In total it contains over 5,300 entries. It contains a wide range of terms used in the fields of veterinary science, physiology and zoology, as students whose primary interests are animal welfare or zoo biology also need to have some understanding of disease, how animal bodies function and how animals are classified. It also contains some legal terms, and reference to some legal cases, to help students understand how the protection, use and conservation of animals is regulated by the law. Some people, famous animals, literature and films have influenced the way we think about, and behave towards, animals. For this reason, the book includes references to important books about animals, famous animals who have starred in films or been the subject of scientific studies, along with short biographies of famous scientists and others who have studied animals or established conservation or animal welfare organisations.

To learn more or to order this book please click

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Zoo Animal Welfare

Zoo Animal Welfare

Zoo Animal Welfare thoroughly reviews the scientific literature on the welfare of zoo and aquarium animals. Maple and Perdue draw from the senior author’s 24 years of experience as a zoo executive and international leader in the field of zoo biology. The authors’ academic training in the interdisciplinary field of psychobiology provides a unique perspective for evaluating the ethics, practices, and standards of modern zoos and aquariums. The book offers a blueprint for the implementation of welfare measures and an objective rationale for their widespread use. Recognizing the great potential of zoos, the authors have written an inspirational book to guide the strategic vision of superior, welfare-oriented institutions. The authors speak directly to caretakers working on the front lines of zoo management, and to the decision-makers responsible for elevating the priority of animal welfare in their respective zoo. In great detail, Maple and Perdue demonstrate how zoos and aquariums can be designed to achieve optimal standards of welfare and wellness.
To learn more or order this book please click

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For Your Further Information