Monday, June 10, 2019

Zoo News Digest 10th June 2019 (ZooNews 1031)

Zoo News Digest 10th June 2019  (ZooNews 1031)

Photography by @nerdbirder


Dear Colleague,

It's a bit like a red rag to a bull when someone reports one of my ZooNews Digests posts to Facebook and has it removed for checking. Why? Who? And what are they trying to hide? I asked Facebook to review it but that can take forever so I posted it out again. The second time it wasn't stopped.
It isn't the first time this has happened. Before Facebook came along I had, on several occasions, emails from certain people asking me, even offering me money, not to post out certain articles. I did not and do not accept bribes. At the other end of the scale I had people offering me money to promote certain posts. Again not accepted. I make the choice as to whether it is of interest. Nobody else. At the same time I am more than happy to accept a small financial reward for promoting products which I could see would be of value to the world zoo community... it hasn't happened yet, in spite of the huge international zoo readership. The same companies though have offered me money for my email database. Always turned down and always will be.

Almost weekly I will have messages or emails from a small clique of self proclaimed zoo experts (trolls) telling me what I should not have posted because they disagreed with the article. Well so what? I post out a ton of stuff that I don't agree with but that's not the point. They should read though some do and still disagree with that. Actually I am getting sick and tired of some of the personal attacks on ZooNews Digest that for the first time in, what is it 30 years? I am going to start deleting mischief making ignorant comments. No apologies necessary.

There has been a lot of discussion on some of the links on the ZooNews Digest Facebook page these past few days. One of the statements in the comments was this "the AR people will come for you and yours next. It's a matter of time. Nobody will be exempt. We need to protect our own,"
You will see the same statement worded in different ways time and time again. It is one that I completely disagree with. We should NOT protect our own. We need to condemn the BAD. We need to close them down. BAD zoos do not deserve our protection. GOOD zoos need to stick together and get rid of the bad because it is they who are causing us the greatest harm and not the Animal Rights Anarchists.

I was delighted to read $20 million deal signed to save Arabian leopard population I just hope that some of this money goes towards The Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife. They have done more work for and with the Arabian Leopard and yet very rarely ever get credit or mention.

Was I surprised to see Chimpanzee meat being eaten in UK as border force urged to bring in DNA testing ? well actually not at all. I am surprised that no other newspapers have followed up on the story so far. It is though not actually new news and has been going on for years. Bushmeat has become a delicacy to the rich. I have no problems with bushmeat being caught by a poor peasant farmer to feed a hungry family but when it is for a lucrative export market it becomes very wrong.

As to queries about my health. I had a stroke. A quite unexpected and unpleasant experience. I reckon I was quite lucky as friends and colleagues of mine have had far worse. All the same it is making life really quite difficult right now. It is a bit of a surprise to me to find how much I used my left arm to tackle various things. Now I am having to teach it to do those same things. It is not easy when you live alone but most bar girls I know have hearts of gold.

"good zoos will not gain the credibility of their critics until they condemn the bad zoos wherever they are." Peter Dickinson

Lots of interest follows


Did You Know?
ZooNews Digest has over 110,400+ Followers on Facebook( and over 110,500 likes) and has a monthly reach often exceeding over 1000,000 people? That ZooNews Digest has subscribers in over 900 Zoos in 155+ countries? That the subscriber list for the mail out 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,

Coffee culture that cares for our environment
Coffee culture that cares for our environment – we’ll drink to that!

Auckland Zoo is delighted to be introducing the innovative Again Again zero waste to landfill coffee cup lending scheme to its coffee, tea and hot chocolate loving visitors – a move that will eliminate the use of 160,000 single-use compostable cups a year!

 Misleading Information About SeaWorld In ‘Whistleblower’
On June 7, 2019, CBS aired an episode of the show Whistleblower focusing on SeaWorld’s treatment of the killer whales in its care. The production centers on the experience of John Hargrove and two other former SeaWorld trainers. Over his career, Hargrove worked as a killer whale trainer at SeaWorld San Antonio, SeaWorld San Diego, and Marineland Antibes in France. The other SeaWorld employees worked at SeaWorld San Diego. One was another orca trainer, and the other worked with walruses.

The episode “makes the case” against orca captivity. It argues that killer whales are unfit for life in human care and are, in fact, suffering at SeaWorld. While the stories told by the former trainers are emotionally unsettling, many of the claims made are inaccurate and misleading.

The Revered Crocodiles of This Island Nation Have Suddenly Started Killing People
The two scientists, crammed in the back of a sweltering car, had come a long way hoping to encounter what most people try to avoid: man-eating crocodiles.

Yusuke Fukuda and Sam Banks, biologists from Australia, traveled in March to East Timor, one of the world’s least developed countries, to investigate what has become a national mystery: Why are so many Timorese being killed by crocodiles?

Crocodile attacks here have increased 20-fold in the past decade, numbering at least one death a month in a country of 1.2 million people.

“We became concerned after many people were

Baby elephant born in Pairi Daiza
Animal park Pairi Daiza in Brugelette in Hainaut province this weekend welcomed a new arrival, with the birth of a baby elephant on Friday night-Saturday morning.

The baby is the fourth to be born in the park, and the fourth offspring of 16-year-old mother Farina, whose first two calves were born while she was at Hannover Zoo in Germany.

PR firm withdraws after lifting of elephant ban in Botswana splits opinion
When Botswana, home to about one-third of the world’s African elephants, lifted its hunting ban in May, leaders knew they were courting controversy. The government even hired a public relations firm specialising in Hollywood celebrities to spin public opinion to its side.

For President Mokgweetsi Masisi, the need to end the ban was obvious. Rural farmers have borne the brunt of the near-tripling of the elephant population since 1991, to 130,000. As many as 50 Botswanans have been killed by elephants since the ban was implemented in 2014 and hundreds of reports of property damage have been filed. Botswana is also facing in October its most competitive election since independence in 1966 and Masisi needs rural support.

Zoos Cause Animals Far More Harm Than Good
While zoos masquerade as prime exemplars of wildlife conservation efforts, when closely examined they cause the captive animals in modern zoos significantly more suffering and deprivation than well-being and life enrichment.

Dilemmas for Natural Living Concepts of Zoo Animal Welfare
his ethical discourse specifically deals with dilemmas encountered within zoological institutions, namely for the concept of natural living, and a new term—wilding. Wilding refers to extrapolation of the natural living concept to treating an animal as wild, residing in a wild habitat. The problems associated with wilding are detailed. Complexities of natural living versus natural aesthetics as judged by humans, as well as the possibility of innate preference for naturalness within animals are examined. It is argued that unintended and unavoidable genetic and epigenetic drift favouring adaptations for life in a captive environment may still occur, despite zoos best efforts to prevent this from occurring. This article further discusses the blurred lines between natural and unnatural behaviours, and the overlaps with more important highly-motivated behaviours, which may be better predictors of positive a

Sudden death of orangutan upsets zoo during the traditional Chinese Dragon Boat Festival
Hongshan Forest Zoo released the obituary the day following Leshen's death. The orangutan escaped from its cage and jumped around between trees and buildings. The zookeepers kept using food to attract the uncontrolled animal and calling him back to his place, but Leshen continued to run away until he reached the pathway.

17-18 July

Why Condemning SeaWorld Is A Really Bad Idea
Keyboard warriors and animal activists alike have been jumping on the SeaWorld bandwagon for a while now and attempting to convert ordinary people to support their cause with as little validated, balanced information as possible.

In some cases, this has been successful, especially when said activists conceal their true radical agenda within the guise of “progressive animal welfare.”

Behind the closed doors of Manila Zoo
When I was a kid, I would always tell my mom that I wanted to adopt a dog. She would only always respond with a dismissive tsk!

When I grew up and started earning my own money, I did the next best thing: I volunteered for an animal welfare organization. I was happy to be surrounded by people who share the same passion that I have for animals. But more than that, I felt so fulfilled being able to finally do something I really love – taking care of animals.

Bereaved penguin parents embark on killer rampage: Pair of birds kill two adults and two chicks at German zoo after their own egg failed to hatch and is taken away by staff

Attention-Grabbing Apes: Studying Gorilla and Orangutan Gestures
We are experiencing a very unique moment in time at the Great Ape House. When our western lowland gorilla Moke was born in April 2018 to mother, Calaya, it marked the first birth of this species at the Zoo since January 2009, when Kibibi was born. On the orangutan side of the building, Redd’s birth in September 2016 was also a special occasion. Prior to his arrival, the last orangutan birth at the Zoo was 25 years ago.


Kamo's big cat sanctuary takes a leap toward compliance
There could be a roar of delight from prospective visitors if a flurry of activity at the Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary means the former troubled big cat zoo could reopen soon.

Or, it could just mean Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has given the wildlife park's owners a hurry-up in meeting long laid down codes of compliance concerns.

Major rehabilitation of the park and its enclosures has been under way — at varying pace — since 2014 when it was ordered to stay closed by Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) because it didn't comply with regulations.

Cincinnati Zoo Wins Transfer Order, Federal Judge Sets Return Date For Gorilla Ndume
A federal judge in California is granting the Cincinnati Zoo's request to transfer a gorilla named "Ndume" to Cincinnati on June 13, despite objections from The Gorilla Foundation where he's been living since 1991.

Judge Richard Seeborg didn't go into details in his decision, writing only, "This matter having come before the Court on Plaintiff [Cincinnati Zoo's] Request for Enforcement of Transfer Order, it is hereby ordered that Plaintiff's request for relief is granted. This Court hereby orders [The Gorilla Foundation] to cooperate in good faith and in all respects to effectuate the transfer of Ndume from California to Ohio on June 13, 2019."

The Gorilla Foundation had opposed the Cincinnati Zoo's Thursday request that the judge set a June 13 transfer date, filing its opposition mid-day Friday.

No one knows how many bears are left in Taiwan
In the foothills leading to Dasyueshan National Park in eastern Taiwan, Mei-Hsiu Hwang points to the pear, tea and betel nut plantations patchworking the slopes.

"All this used to be bear habitat," she says. In particular, the Formosan black bear, a large omnivore n

$20 million deal signed to save Arabian leopard population
A $20 million deal to save Arabian leopards has been signed between the Royal Commission for Al-Ula (RCU) and Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization.
The Arabian leopard population is critically endangered, meaning it faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild, according to the definition provided by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Panthera President Dr. Fred Launay said the Arabian leopard subspecies was estimated to number fewer than 200 in the wild, with its population driven down in recent years due to loss of habitat and prey, followed by persecution in livestock areas.

India heatwave: Desperation for water thought to have made 15 monkeys kill each other
A “rare and strange” fight over water may be the reason behind the deaths of more than a dozen monkeys in India, forest officials have said.

A boy from a village in Madhya Pradesh, a state in central India, earlier this week found a number of monkey corpses in a forest near Punjapura.

A forest department team sent to investigate the scene on Thursday said they found 15 carcasses inside and outside caves in the forest, which has been baking under temperatures of up to 45C in recent days.

Elephant rides to stop at Cambodia’s biggest attraction
Cruel elephant rides at a famous temple in Cambodia are now coming to an end.

The overworked group of 14 elephants will no longer be forced to work at Angkor Wat, where over 2.5 million international tourists visit each year.

They will be transferred to a conservation and breeding centre by early 2020, the The Angkor Elephant Group Committee confirmed.

In 2016, an elephant collapsed and died while ferrying two tourists to the monument, sparking international outrage at the practice.

‘Illegal trade in bear parts posing threat to animal’
Widespread illegal trade in bear bile and gall bladder for traditional medicine across Malaysia is potentially a serious threat to wild bears, says TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network.

Traffic South-East Asia senior communications officer Elizabeth John said a 2015 survey of 365 traditional medicine shops across Malaysia, found 48% claimed to sell bear gall bladders and medicinal products containing bear bile.

Chimpanzee meat being eaten in UK as border force urged to bring in DNA testing
Chimpanzee meat is being served as a delicacy at British weddings and sold as 'bush meat' on market stalls, it has emerged.

The border force is under pressure to introduce DNA testing to identify the meat at customs and has said it would be investing in new technology to tackle the rising issue.

Of Whales and Man: The Story of Whale Trainer John J.Hargrove
John. J Hargrove is a killer whale trainer at SeaWorld San Antonio who I first met in August 2010 during a camp that I attended at the time. There, John shared with us his story of how he got started in working with killer whales before going on to share some stories about his experience working with these large marine mammals. He has been working with killer whales at SeaWorld parks in California and Texas, and Marine Land in France for the past eighteen years. His intellect and life story is a very interesting case of how one person’s passion for animals and the sea can sometime

Southern Indiana zoo confirms hyena bit employee; PETA demands action
Hyenas have jaws strong enough to break bone, and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said one recently attacked a worker at a southern Indiana roadside zoo.

PETA made details of the reported attack public Friday. The incident happened at Wildlife In Need, a hands-on zoo that's attracted plenty of criticism from animal rights advocates like PETA.


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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' and writes about these in his blog
Peter earns his living as an independent international zoo consultant, critic and writer. Until recently 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"

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

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