Monday, December 17, 2018



On Monday 17 December 2018, renowned professional magazine Journal of Fish Biology publishes a scientific article that makes a world first

Arnhem, Monday 17 December 2018 – Biologist Max Janse and veterinarian Henk Luten of Royal Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem have, for the first time in the world, successfully applied contraception to a fish species. On Monday 17 December 2018, the renowned scientific Journal of Fish Biology will publish an article about the remarkable feat that has ground-breaking consequences for the international breeding programmes of fish species.

A unique situation in Arnhem
International breeding programmes for shark and ray species aim to maintain genetically healthy aquarium populations so that no more animals need to be taken from the wild. As far as protected species are concerned, animals may be released into the wild in the future. The zoo in Arnhem had a unique situation with their spotted eagle rays from the Aetobatus ocellatus species, of which Burgers’ Ocean is the largest breeder in the world. The genetic material of two of their hugely successful breeding females threatened to dominate the European population of eagle rays.

Contraception for fish
One of the adult females was successfully moved to another European public aquarium with eagle rays in their collection. The other female had a birth control implant successfully inserted in her left pectoral fin. Scientific literature shows that there has been only one earlier—unsuccessful—attempt to insert a birth control implant in two female river stingrays of the Potamotrygon falkneri. One of the females continues to produce young after the birth control implant was inserted.

Ground-breaking work
In many mammalian species, contraception using birth control implants has been successfully used for many years. In fish species, this is the first time that this method has been successful. This breakthrough has far-reaching consequences for the European breeding programmes of various fish species. With this extra method of population management, the programmes can be managed in an even more targeted way.

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant
+971 50 4787 122 | | Skype: peter.dickinson48

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Gorillas Arrive in Al Ain Zoo

Gorillas Arrive in Al Ain Zoo

A bachelor group of four Western Lowland Gorillas recently arrived in Al Ain Zoo from Apenhleul Primate Park in the Netherlands. Here they will be part of the captive management breeding programme amongst good zoos. This group consists of ‘Jambo’ and his three sons and so will not actually be breeding but be an extremely important backup bachelor group.

These will be the first Gorillas in Al Ain since the death of the much loved “Lady” at 41 years of age in August 2016.

The new Gorillas are not yet on show to the public as they spend time settling in to their especially built enclosure.

There are two other Gorillas in the UAE in Dubai. There are rumors of four others in private hands but ZooNews Digest has been unable to find further information on these.