Tuesday, May 31, 2016

New effort to save one of world’s rarest spiders

Photo Credit Emanuele Biggi

New effort to save one of world’s rarest spiders

One of the world’s rarest spiders has been brought into captivity at Bristol Zoo Gardens in an attempt to save it from extinction.

It is believed to be the first time the Desertas wolf spider has been held in a UK zoo and it is only found on the Desertas islands, near Madeira, Portugal.

These impressive-looking black and white spiders can grow up to 12cm in size, with a body size of 4cm alone. They are under threat from habitat loss due to invasive grass binding the soil where they burrow and blocking their natural shelters.

The spider has been classified as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species but is not protected by any specific legislation.

Bristol Zoo has now joined forces with Madeira Natural Park (MNP) and the IUCN to develop a conservation strategy to protect the species in an effort to prevent it becoming extinct.

Mark Bushell, Curator of Invertebrates at Bristol Zoo, has just returned from Desertas Grande with 25 juvenile Desertas wolf spiders which he now intends to breed at the Zoo with the aim of releasing some of the spiders back onto the island over the next few years.

He said: “Establishing the world’s first captive breeding programme for this species is a fantastic step towards protecting it for the future. It is a beautiful and impressive creature but its natural habitat is being altered by invasive plants. There are simply not enough rocky and sandy areas of habitat left for the spiders to burrow and hide in. The result is a deadly game of musical chairs, whereby the spiders are competing for fewer and fewer burrows.”

There is thought to be a single population of approximately 25,000 spiders left in one area of valley on Desertas Grande – an alarmingly small number for an entire invertebrate species.

Mark added: “In addition to the loss of habitat, one single catastrophic event could wipe out the species entirely. Now we hope to create a ‘safety net’ population here at Bristol Zoo but it will be a steep learning curve as many aspects of the biology of this remarkable species are unknown.”

In future it is hoped that Bristol Zoo’s team of horticulture experts can visit Desertas Grande to work with park rangers to eliminate the invasive grasses which are destroying the spiders’ habitats and help restore the original landscape.

In the absence of native terrestrial mammals, this spider is a top predator in its small habitat. Its main prey is other invertebrates, but it has also been seen preying on lizards.

Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work in the zoo, but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents.

For more information about visiting Bristol Zoo Gardens, visit the website at www.bristolzoo.org.uk or phone 0117 974 7300.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Zoo News Digest 29th May 2016 (ZooNews 921)

Zoo News Digest 29th May 2016 
(ZooNews 921)


Peter Dickinson


Dear Colleague,

So sad to learn of the tragedy in Cincinnati Zoo. My condolences to all concerned. I feel sure the right decision was made.... hard as it must have been.

I was delighted to see that the Federal National Council in Abu Dhabi are discussing the ownership of exotics. Some sort of legal framework has long been needed. I despair each time I hear of a new smuggled in great ape, primate or big cat. One wonders however who are the advisors behind this list because it includes Dangerous Dogs.  In that list there are German Shepherds, Dalmatians and Boxers!! As to the list of exotics itself well it looks like someone just grabbed a list from somewhere else and just plonked it in. Take a read and decide because they are likely to go ahead with it anyway….always remembering there are people who are beyond the law.

It is about thirty years ago that I last went to a workshop on Aspergillosis in Penguins. We have learnt such a lot since then so it is nice to see another being hosted by Paultons Park. The pity about it is the date….much of the worlds Penguin People will be away in South Africa for the conference there.

Vinpearl who recently opened the Safari Park on Phu Quoc Island are now proposing to build and operate the much delayed Saigon Safari Park project in Cu Chi District. Not forgetting that there is another Safari Park planned for Da Lat in Lam Dong Province in the Central Highlands.  

Following on from a comment I made in the last digest I had an email saying that keeper deaths should not be reported in the press. I still haven't got my head around their logic.....and I think a lot about these things.

Did You Know?
ZooNews Digest has over 24,000 'Like's' on Facebook and has a weekly reach often exceeding over 250,000 people? That ZooNews Digest has subscribers in over 800 Zoos in 153+ countries? That the subscriber list reads like a 'Zoos Who's Who?'
If you are a subscriber to the email version then you probably knew this already. You would also know that ZooNews Digest pre-dates any of the others. It was there before FaceBook. It was there shortly after the internet became popular and was a 'Blog' before the word had been invented. ZooNews Digest reaches zoo people.

I remain committed to the work of GOOD zoos, 


So sorry

Gorilla killed after 4-year-old falls into zoo enclosure
A holiday weekend outing at Cincinnati's zoo turned doubly tragic Saturday when a 4-year-old boy was hospitalized after falling into a gorilla enclosure - and zoo workers had to kill the rare gorilla to protect the boy.

Cincinnati police and emergency crews responded to a report of a child falling into the exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden at about 4 p.m. Saturday. Police confirmed the child was taken to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center near the zoo, and was treated for serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

Cincinnati Zoo President Thane Maynard said the boy crawled through a barrier and fell an estimated 10 to 12 feet into the moat surrounding the habitat. He said the boy was not seriously injured by the fall.

The Cincinnati Fire Department reported in a press release that first responders "witnessed a gorilla who was violently dragging and throwing the child."

Maynard said the zoo's 17-year-old male western lowland gorilla, Harambe, grabbed the boy and dragged him around. Two female gorillas were also in the enclosure.

The boy was with the 400-pound animal for about 10 minutes before the zoo's Dangerous Animal Response Team deemed the situation "life-threatening," Maynard said.

"The choice was made to put down, or shoot, Harambe, so he's gone," Maynard said. "We've never had a situation like this at the Cincinnati Zoo where a dangerous animal needed to be dispatched in an emergency situation."

The fire department release said  the boy was in between the gorilla's legs at the time of the shot.

Maynard said the Dangerous Animal Response Team followed procedures, which they practice in drills. He said in the 38-year history of the zoo's gorilla exhibit that they've never had anyone get into the enclosure.

After the gorilla was shot, zoo employees unlock

Snack attack: Some zoo visitors don't understand why cages exist
A lot of things can happen when you put human beings and wild animals together in the same spot at the same time — and most of them aren’t very pretty to watch.

Still, every year, a handful of confused zoo visitors, for reasons known only to themselves, climb into enclosures where they come face to face with lions, tigers, bears and other captive critters with pointy teeth.

Last weekend, for example, one of two men who broke into a zoo in Minot, N.D., had his hand bitten by a brown bear after sticking his arm through the bars of the animal’s enclosure.

Police said the two men were (Surprise!) under the influence of alcohol at the time and are facing felony trespassing charges.

"I think people sometimes think that just because they are in captivity, they are somehow not a wild animal, but they are wild animals," zoo director Becky Dewitz said.

In Santiago, Chile, two lions had to be shot dead last Saturday after they mauled a man who stripped naked and entered their enclosure in an apparent suicide attempt. At last report, the man was in grave condition in hospital.

In Hyderabad, India, meanwhile, a 35-year-old "drunken man" jumped into a lion enclosure at Nehru Zoological Park Monday, reportedly to "shake hands with a lion," but was rescued unhurt by the animal’s alert keeper.

You’d like to think such stupidity was rare, but, tragically, these

Report concludes BREC Zoo not at fault in death of giraffes
Inspectors from the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums have concluded that BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo was not at fault in the death of a pair of elderly giraffes earlier this year.

The full results of the site inspection report, requested by the Zoo, were released on Thursday.

The site survey included a formal review of the circumstances surrounding the death of two of the Zoo’s elderly giraffes in April.

The reports conclusion includes the following statement:

“After careful review of a number of cascading circumstances that resulted in the death of two adult female giraffes, it is my professional opinion that the Baton Rouge Zoo staff responded as an experienced and knowledgeable team faced with a challenging circumstance for the Baton Rouge Zoo’s giraffe herd of four animals. I commend the Baton Rouge Zoo for the long-term care of these individual animals that resulted in their longevity. Their difficult decision to humanely alleviate the suffering of Mopani and Hope was a sound professional decision, in line with standard animal welfare practice. In my investigation, I found no fault with the difficult decisions that were made under a set of unfortunate circumstances that resulted in the death of two geriatric female giraffes.”

The investigation was carried out last month by staff and veterinarians with the AZA. It included the review of staff incident reports, vet medical records and pathology reports.

“We were very pleased to hear our peers echo

Dolphin snot might play a crucial role in echolocation
You might think it's funny, but it's snot! Okay, sorry. I'm really sorry. Please don't leave.

Aaron Thode, a research scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, believes he's uncovered the key to the high-pitched "clicks" that make dolphin echolocation possible. And, well, it's snot.

It's thought that dolphins create their high-pitched sounds —  such as signature whistles used to communicate and clicks used to "see" the ocean via echolocation — by forcing air through nasal passages beneath their blowholes. Their nasal passages contain the dorsal bursae, lumps of tissue that smack together and vibrate to produce sound. But the exact mechanics behind the diverse set of chirps and whistles a dolphin can make remain murky.

[There’s something fishy about that viral image of what dolphins ‘see’]

"It’s kind of a mystery how you can make ultrasonic sound without metal, just using soft tissue," said Thode, who presented his as-yet-unpublished research this week at the 171st meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. He was noodling around with ideas for the artificial production of these noises when he came up with an idea for how to model the process.

Along with his father, retired physicist Lester Thode — who was recruited because "he was getting a little restless" — Thode adapted a simple co

Six months on, still no action on Montekristo zoo
No monkey business: big cats at the illegal zoo hurt two young children in the space of five months. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi
No monkey business: big cats at the illegal zoo hurt two young children in the space of five months. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi
No action has yet been taken against the owners of the Montekristo Animal Park, six months after the first violent incident involving big cats.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had publicly called for action to be taken and an inquiry to be launched into the park after a second incident, involving a young child, took place within a matter of months.
Dr Muscat had tweeted that it was “totally unacceptable that the illegal zoo was opened”, after it had been ordered to close its doors following the first incident there.
The contentious animal park, owned by construction magnate Charles Polidano, first closed its doors after a young girl was clawed by a tiger last year.
The big cat had been “let out for a walk” by its handlers during visiting hours, and the girl had to undergo surgical intervention after the tiger scratched her back and face.
The park was closed immediately by its owners due to “unforeseen circumstances” and remained so during a magisterial inquiry.
However, it was not long before a second incident occurred.
This time it was the hunters’ international fair, organised by the Hunters’ Federation last month, which set the scene for a big cat attack.
While the park was inexplicably opened, a child, this time a young boy, suffered scratches to his neck and back from another animal, a juvenile lioness. Details of the incident remain sketchy and investigations are yet to be concluded.
A spokesman for the Off

More tigers to be moved from temple on Monday
The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation intends to start relocating more tigers from the famous Tiger Temple on Monday despite the objections of temple officials. The date was...

Marineland's closure blow for sea life - critics
Marineland opened in 1965 and was a Napier icon for decades.

It housed several species of native marine wildlife, including the common dolphin, the New Zealand fur seal, California sea lions and otters.

Marineland has been closed to the public since 2008, but continued to look after rescued sea mammals such as sea lions and seals.

The final three residents - New Zealand fur seals Mr Bojangles, Molly, and Pania - left Marineland last night and are on their way to Australia, making way for the demolition of the facility later this year.

Mr Bojangles and Molly were heading to Gold Coast Seaworld, and Pania was going to Melbourne Zoo.

A group that tried to save the marine park, The Friends of Marineland, said many people did not understand that Marineland was not just about seeing dolphins perform tricks.

Secretary of the group, Sue MacDonald, said the facility also took care of injured or sick marine mammals.

"The work that it did in rehabilitating other sea creatures and releasing them was legendary. People knew if they found a marine creature, Marineland would be able to look after it.

"It means now if any marine animal comes up on the beach it is more than likely to be either euthanised or left to

PETA caught out in Australia Zoo cruelty claims
ONE of Australia’s key animal welfare groups has been caught out spreading misinformation about Australia Zoo’s care for its animals.

Officials from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have acknowledged they made a mistake when they claimed the zoo was putting the welfare of animals at risk by taking them to America last week.

But they have blamed the error on the zoo’s own publicity and have since failed to respond to questions a

Zoo permit for Tiger Temple merits our disgust, outrage
Wildlife trafficking at Wat Pa Luangta Maha Bua in Kanchaburi has now received an official seal of approval

The infamous Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi has been granted an official zoo permit by Thai authorities, signed by the director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP).

We at the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) are shocked and disgusted by this latest development of an ongoing sickening drama that has continued for so many years.

Since 2001, Wat Pa Luangta Maha Bua has faced numerous allegations of animal abuse and illegal wildlife trafficking, with substantial evidence presented on several occasions by both non-governmental organisations and former volunteers and staff at the temple. Last year authorities acting on information received conducted several raids on the temple and discovered evidence that illegal po

 Wildlife Crime Report

“We are very proud:” Racine Zoo’s white-handed gibbon reaches important milestone
The Racine Zoo is excited to announce that on Saturday, May 28, Yule, the white-handed gibbon and the oldest living gibbon in North America, turns 50 years old.

Racine Zoo’s white-handed gibbon reaches important milestoneWhite-handed gibbons typically live approximately 25 years in the wild and about 40 to 50 years under human care, according to a press release.

To celebrate this historical event, the Zoo is hosting an informal birthday party on Satur

The truth about volunteering with lions
I had been an animal lover – more specifically a cat lover – since I was little. So when I finished school, it seemed only logical to sign up for an animal-focused volunteering trip.

I found Real Gap, a company centred around sending students abroad. Amongst their top trips was the ‘Live with Lion Cubs’ experience at Ukutula – a fortnight in South Africa with hands-on experience helping to rehabilitate lions, all in the name of conservation. The two-week experience cost £1,118 (ZAR25,689 at current exchange rate) excluding flights, but it seemed like such a good cause that I didn’t mind putting all my savings towards it.

Prior to the trip I was not at all clued up about the canned hunting business. I knew all about poachers and trophy hunting, but that didn’t strike me as being related to what I was about to do. I posted a tweet expressing my excitement about the trip, and received a message from a girl urging me to avoid Ukutula and that the reserve was affiliated with canned hunting. I was distraught but managed to convince myself that it was an online troll. The idea played on my mind, however, and I sent a message to a representative at Real Gap querying the reserve, but their response was just what I needed to ease my mind – they were disgusted at the very idea of canned hunting and assured me that the trip was solely for the sake of conservation.

On arriving at the reserve in July 2014, I was more excited than I had ever been. The reserve itself was beautiful, located in Brits, just outside of Johannesburg. We were shown to our room, which was in the ‘Devils’ enclosure – a small hut surrounded by the 26 three to six-month-old lion cubs.

There were eight volunteers in my group, who had all booked through the same company, along with another 25 volunteers, some of which had been to Ukutula before. On the reserve at the time were four young cubs, which we cared for on cub duty. The environment seemed welcoming enough, but the staff were incredibly rude sometimes and any questions regard

Adelaide Zoo closes indefinitely after would-be thieves target gift shop ATM
Adelaide Zoo has been forced to close indefinitely after would-be thieves blew up an ATM at the gift shop.

Police said an alarm was activated at the ATM on Plane Tree Drive about 3:30am.

A security patrol responded and found the front of the machine had been badly damaged.

Police said the culprits fled empty handed.

Explosives experts from SA police will examine the machine and police are seeking anyone who may have seen or heard anything.

Students were staying at the zoo overnight but police said they did not hear the explosion.

Sergeant Phil Clague said the ATM, which is on the wall of the zoo's gift shop, withstood the blast despite the use of a substance which is normally used with hardened plastics.

"ATMs are basically a safe with a computer on the front so they are built to withstand a significant attempt to gain entry to them," he said.

"I've been told this is the first time that this

Tender, loving care for dolphins at RWS Dolphin Island
Long before the doors open daily at 10.30am at Dolphin Island at Resorts World Sentosa, 27 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins from the Solomon Islands are already splashing about in the 11 large interconnecting lagoons.

At the crack of dawn, a team of marine veterinarians, specialists and animal husbandry professionals, together with 35 trainers from more than 10 countries, gathe

Soaring With Condors (Part I): Shell Game
Did you know that the Los Angeles Zoo has been an integral part of California condor conservation efforts since the inception of the California Condor Recovery Program (CCRP) in 1982? Were you aware that the Zoo has housed this iconic species since 1967, when the legendary Topatopa (who went on to sire more than 20 chicks) was brought to the Zoo as a malnourished fledgling?

Though the Zoo does not exhibit California condors to the public—unless you are fortunate enough to be here on a day when Dolly, the first outreach ambassador for her species, is making an appearance—condor care at the Zoo takes place every day, 365 days a year. Seasonally, L.A. Zoo staff collaborate with other agencies in the CCRP to share data and provide veterinary care for the birds, as well as check on the health of eggs, chicks, and adult condors in the wild.

This blog takes you behind the scenes and out into the

Trainee Keeper Blog: Having my cake and wolfing it
I don’t really remember how it started, or where it really came from, but my fascination with wolves has grown into something of an obsession over the years. I had always dreamt I would work with them and my experiences at the UK Wolf Conservation Trust only fanned the flames.

I was thrilled to help Jasper, the Park’s Education Officer, with Wolf Awareness Week when I first started and I jumped at the chance to talk to people about these amazing animals and try to dispel some of the myths. To be honest, I take the chance to

Hanako the elephant died Thursday afternoon at the Inokashira Park Zoo
According to Tokyo officials, the aging elephant was found lying on the floor of her cage at around 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, and zoo workers tried to get her on her feet to prevent her from dying of suffocation. However, they were unsuccessful in saving Hanako, and she was pronounced dead at 3 p.m.
While the cause of her death was not immediately known, Kiyoshi Naga, the head of the zoo, said Hanako the elephant died peacefully and without suffering. Reportedly, an autopsy has been scheduled for Friday to attempt to find the cause of death.
“I wanted her to live a little longer. I really want to thank all the people who have loved Hanako all these years,” Nagai said.
However, while Hanako’s passing is sad, she apparently outlived the normal life expectations for Asian elephants. Reportedly, the pachyderms can live up to the age of 60 in the wil

Cambodia plans world-class aquarium to also act as fish farm
The Cambodian government has revealed plans for a US$23.5m (€30.7m, £23.5m) saltwater aquarium, which will begin construction in Sihanoukville in the southwest of the country later this year.

Norwegian company Vitamar is behind the project, which Ministry secretary of state, Nao Thouk, said was the first such investment from a foreign company into aquariums.

The aquarium will be unique in that it will operate both as a traditional tourist attraction and as a breeding ground, using the comparatively-mild Cambodian climate to rear ocean-faring fish such as red snapper, grouper, seabass and Pompano for consumption and export.

“[Vitamar] are now waiting for the approval, as they are already preparing everything such as a budget and human resources,” said Thouk, speaking to Cambodian paper Khmer Times. He added that the move

How Technology Can Support Wildlife Conservation and Help Protect the Future of Our Natural World
As global wildlife populations have declined by 52% in just 40 years, our planet needs all the help it can get in turning this terrible decline around and ensuring wildlife is conserved for generations to come.

The threats are serious, and many: habitat destruction, climate change, illegal wildlife trade, to name just a few. But advances in technology can give conservationists the edge, meaning the difference between survival and extinction of some of the world's most threatened species.

As an international conservation charity, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is working to develop technological tools that can enable us (and other conservationists around the world) to better understand animals, their habitats and the threats they face so we can protect our precious wildlife.

From satellite-enabled cameras, to new software for the reporting of illegal wildlife trade, technology can help protect th

FNC discusses draft law on banning exotic animal ownership
Abu Dhabi: The Federal National Council on Tuesday discussed a draft law which would stop individuals from owning wild and other domesticated but dangerous animals such as lions, tigers, apes and monkeys, as well as pit bulls, mastiffs and Japanese tosa dogs.

The law is designed to stop people from unlicensed dealing and ownership of all types of wild and other domesticated but dangerous animals, according to the draft law, which requires to be finally approved by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan before it takes effect.

The draft law includes penalties for offenders of up to life imprisonment and/or a Dh1 million fine.

Those who use an animal to attack people and the assault causes death will face life imprisonment. In the event the attack causes a disability, a prison term of up to seven years will be imposed. If other minor injuries are inflicted, a prison term of not more than a year and a fine of up to Dh10,000 will be give

Research course - Effects of Anthropogenic Noise on Marine Mammals

Threatened penguins bred through artificial insemination at Yamaguchi aquarium
An aquarium in Yamaguchi Prefecture has succeeded in breeding threatened Humboldt penguins using artificial insemination.

It is the second successful artificial insemination of any type of penguin worldwide, and the first for a penguin species under threat of extinction, officials at the Shimonoseki Marine Science Museum Kaikyokan said Tuesday.

The aquarium collected and froze sperm from an 11-year-old male penguin called Genki between 2014 and 2015, and used it to inseminate 8-year-old Happy on around 10 occasions over a nearly two-week period in February.

Happy then laid one egg on Feb. 28 and another on March 3. The eggs hatched on April 7 and 10, resulting in one male and one female chick.

The chicks represent the culmination of roughly four years of work, during which staff estimated when females would ovulate based on weight fluctuations and ultrasound testing, and developed a method to preserve males’ sperm at low temperatures.

Aquarium employee Teppei Kushimoto, 34,

South Africa Just Lifted Its Ban on the Rhino Horn Trade
With just three terse sentences, South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal has legalized rhino horn trade in South Africa again, rejecting an appeal by the government to keep a ban on domestic trade in place. The decision opens a door to criminal activity that some say is necessary to save a species—and others say will doom it.

International trade in rhino horn has been banned since 1977 among the now 182 member countries of the Convention on I

Stingrays Respond to Enrichment With Affection and Bonding, Phoenix Zoo Finds
Aquarists are given the rare opportunity to learn from a wide variety of animals on a daily basis. The ability to constantly learn from animals in our care provides valuable insight and advances in animal welfare. The Phoenix Zoo has recently been providing significant insight to the intelligence of the Southern cownose stingray. This insight is being used to assist other facilities in breeding and husbandry practices.

I began training stingrays at the Phoenix Zoo in the summer of 2014 after analyzing some interesting behaviors I captured on film. I placed an underwater camera in the enclosure when providing enrichment. I saw that one female stingray, Annie, was incredibly interested in a hula hoop. She would swim back to this hula hoop repeatedly and would move or bump it with her rostrum. On her final approach she picked up th

Zoos in Malaysia still breaking the law
Back in April 2012 the government made a big thing out of the launch of its new Wildlife Conservation Act first conceived in 2010.
In 2010 a new law was deemed necessary. It took two years of debate before the new Act became law – on paper.
Despite everyone in the Malaysian zoo industry knowing change was coming, despite most zoos still being decrepit and law-breaking, Perhilitan agreed to a six-month extension period to allow zoos to become compliant. The fact that many zoo animals were suffering from appalling neglect, no one in government cared.
Now, nearly four years later, what has change

Fugitive High Park Zoo capybaras duo elude search party after morning escape
Two dog-sized tropical rodents known as capybaras busted out of the High Park Zoo Tuesday morning, the latest in a line of daring critters that have made a mad dash for freedom over the years.

The great capybara escape of 2016 began around 7 a.m. The zoo was attempting to trade their male capybara, Chewy, for a breeding couple. But when a handler brought in the young female and male capybaras, they somehow slipped out of the pen, said Doug Bennet, a spokesperson for the Parks, Forestry and Recreation department.

There is no telling how Chewy felt after the couple abandoned him. “I can’t venture a guess on the mental state of a capybara,” he said, laughing.

About 30 staff members from diff

10 Secrets of Professional Animal People
1. Doing strenuous manual labor for years wreaks havoc on our bodies. Most of us have bad backs, bad joints, trick knees or worse by the time we hit 30.

2. Very little of what we do involves hanging out getting to play with the animals we have dedicated our lives to taking care of, but when we do have time for it, we definitely relish it!

3. It is probably the least glamorous, glamorous-sounding job. There is lots of poop scooping involved!

4. 90% of our wardrobe is work clothes. Maybe more.

5. There are very distinctive traits of people that choose to work with different groups of animals, and each group thinks the other is more crazy. Bird people, marine mammal people, big cat people, dog people... but truth is, we are all nuts!

6. We don't always have time to shower before we have to go out into public, and yes the smell can be noticeable, and yes, we are aware.

7. Working with animals isn't a job to us, we see it as a lifestyle. It becomes who we are, not just what we do.

8. We talk to our animals more than anyone else, what

Vinpearl named investor of safari park project in Ho Chi Minh City
Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have announced that Vinpearl JSC, a subsidiary of Vietnamese realty conglomerate Vingroup, are the chosen investor in the Saigon Safari Park project.
Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong has approved the proposal to award Vinpearl the Saigon Safari Park project in Cu Chi District.  
The company is required to establish plans and a schedule in accordance with regulations and submit reports on the project's progress to the committee.
Several alterations to the original design have been made by the investor, including reducing the area for golf courses and accommodation, expanding the scale of animal habitat, and opening additional entertainment, sports and outdoor activities, among others.
The People's Committee has asked Vinpearl to present more resolutions with detailed plans, which will all be discussed by relevant agencies.
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Planning and Architecture was in charge of inspecting the design and plans and is set to present the final conclusion to the committee by June.
Meanwhile, the municipal Department of Planning and Investment, in coordination with relevant agencies and units, shall assist the investor in the completion of necessary paperwork and procedures in order to begin the project.
As one of Ho Chi Minh City’s large-scale

Rescued elephant delivers calf at Dallas Zoo
An elephant rescued from the southern African nation of Swaziland has given birth to a baby at the Dallas Zoo.

The zoo issued a statement Tuesday announcing the May 14 birth of the male calf. The calf doesn't yet have a name. He weighs 175 pounds, stands about 3 feet tall and has a trunk just over a foot long.

"We're totally blown away by what happened," said Dallas Zoo president and CEO Gregg Hudson to CBS Dallas-Fort Wo

Guatemala zoo receives 6 chimpanzees from Sweden
Six chimpanzees shipped from Sweden were presented Tuesday at La Aurora Zoo in Guatemala City.

"This is the only project of its kind in Guatemala or in Central America, the only exhibition of a chimpanzee family in the area," the zoo's administrator, Claudia Salazar, said.

Now, for the first time in 20 years, this species can be seen at a zoo in this Central American country.

According to zoo officials, the enclosure was designed to reproduce the chimps' natural habitat and contains special shelters plus an area for socializing, and has been endorsed by the Latin American Zoo and Aquarium Association.

The family of primates was donated by the administration of the Kolmarden Zoo in Sweden, which was interested in moving the chimps to premises that adequately meet their needs and where they would raise awareness a

New Meetings and Conferences updated Here

If you have anything to add then please email me at elvinhow@gmail.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

About me
After more than 47 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 writes about these in his blog http://zoonewsdigest.blogspot.com/

Peter earns his living as an international independent 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, a people watcher, a lover, a thinker, a cosmopolitan, a writer, a hedonist, an explorer, a pantheist, a gastronome, sometime fool, a good friend to some and a pain in the butt to others.

"These are the best days of my life"

Peter Dickinson
Contact email - elvinhow@gmail.com
Dubai: ++ 971 (0)50 4787 122

Skype: peter.dickinson48

Mailing address: (not where I live...currently in Dubai)
2 Highgate
North Wales
LL22 8NP

United Kingdom