Saturday, February 17, 2018

Zoo News Digest 17th January 2018 (ZooNews 984)

Zoo News Digest 17th January 2018  (ZooNews 984)

 
Happy New Year


Peter Dickinson

elvinhow@gmail.com

 

Dear Colleague,


The other day there was yet another Peta petition posting for the removal of Maali the elephant from Manila Zoo. They had been quiet for quite some time and yet here they were again like a thorn in the foot which you can't quite remove completely. I am not a fan of Manila Zoo but there are much worse places in Manila and in the Philippines as a whole. As to 'Maali' though I was not concerned. This elephant, though she could benefit from a larger enriched enclosure and companion animals joining her there is better staying in Manila where she is much loved and cared for. Then just a few days after the Peta petition I learned that John Chua had died of cancer. John loved Maali and Maali loved John. For years he had been defending her and protecting her from the likes of Peta. He even left his hospital bed especially to visit her. Maali is going to miss him. So my surprise at the new Peta petition disappeared….these ignorant animal rights anarchists do not change their tactics…always putting the boot in when people are down and hurting. RIP John, you are much loved and missed by many.

White Tigers, White Lions. Why is it that some zoos cannot get it through their heads that they are not doing Tigers or Lions any sort of favour by keeping and breeding these anomalies. They are so inbred that they are anti-conservation. Although I can sort of see the point in exhibiting them they should not be bred. I have pointed this out to many zoos over the years which announce the arrival of these animals with great fanfare. Those zoos which deigned to reply have always said they had no intention of breeding them and yet every one of them has (accidentally). As to rarity….no they are not. Beautiful they may be they are as common as muck. A little over 10 years ago I was asked to manage a collection of 200 white tigers. Heaven knows how many there are now just in that one place.


Lots of interest follows. 


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Did You Know?
ZooNews Digest has over 73,000 Followers on Facebook( and over 73,000 likes) and has a weekly reach often exceeding over 350,000 people? That ZooNews Digest has subscribers in over 823 Zoos in 154+ 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,
not DYSFUNCTIONAL zoos.
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Conservation and Government Partnerships: A Conversation with Rich Block, CEO of the Santa Barbara Zoo
The Santa Barbara Zoo is one of the finest small zoos in the nation located on the Pacific Ocean. In the last decade, it has become renowned as a leader in the conservation of several California species including the Channel Island fox and the California condor.  Rich Block has served as the zoo’s CEO since 1998. Prior to coming to the Santa Barbara Zoo, Block worked at a number of other zoos, worked at the World Wildlife Fund for several years and served as Executive Director of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. Here is his story.





Facial attraction: Red-fronted lemurs recognize photos of their own species
Wild red-fronted lemurs (Eulemur rufrifrons) appear to be able to recognize individuals belonging to the same species (conspecifics) from photographs, a study published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology suggests.

Researchers at the German Primate Center found that red-fronted lemurs spent significantly more time looking at pictures of conspecifics than at pictures of other, closely related species (heterospecifics).

Dr Hanitriniaina Rakotonirina, the corresponding author said: "We were surprised to find that the animals appear to be able to differentiate among closely related sister species. For example, males of the rufous brown lemur (Eulemur rufus) and the red-fronted lemur (Eulemur rufifrons) are difficult to distinguish by the human eye. However, we found that lemurs seem to be able to do it."

The time lemurs spent looking at pictures correlated with genetic difference; the more genetically different individuals were (which corresponded to how different they looked), the less time lemurs would spend looking at their pictures. Females showed a more pronounced response than males. This may indicate that female red-fronted lemurs perceive and respond to differences in fur patterns and coloration to recognize viable mates from their own spec








In Defense of Biodiversity: Why Protecting Species from Extinction Matters
A few years ago, I helped lead a ship-based expedition along south Alaska during which several scientists and noted artists documented and made art from the voluminous plastic trash that washes ashore even there. At Katmai National Park, we packed off several tons of trash from as distant as South Asia. But what made Katmai most memorable was: huge brown bears. Mothers and cubs were out on the flats digging clams. Others were snoozing on dunes. Others were patrolling.

During a rest, several of us were sitting on an enormous drift-log, watching one mother who’d been clamming with three cubs. As the tide flooded the flat, we watched in disbelief as she brought her cubs up to where we were sitting — and stepped up on the log we were on. There was no aggression, no tension; she was relaxed. We gave her some room as she paused on the log, and then she took her cubs past us into a sedge meadow. Because she was so calm, I felt no fear. I felt the gift.

In this protected refuge, bears could affo





Chiang Mai zoo puts white tiger cubs on display
The Chiang Mai Night Safari on Tuesday introduced its new additions of three white tiger cubs ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations.

The three-month-old cubs were two males named Fufu, or wealth, and Facai, good luck, plus one female, Ping-an, peace, acting zoo director Netnapa Sutthithamdamrong said.





Barrow MP hails victory as new independent zoo inspectorate to be launched
BARROW MP and zoo campaigner John Woodcock hailed the introduction of a new zoo inspectorate as 'a huge victory for safer zoos'.

The Animal Welfare Plan, launched today by Cumbrian Labour MP and shadow Environment secretary Sue Hayman, would introduce a new independent zoo inspectorate to raise standards of animal welfare and improve the quality of licensing and inspections in zoos.

The announcement comes following catastrophes in zoos across the country, resulting in abuses of welfare and deaths of hundreds of animals in their care. One of the most stark examples was that of South Lakes Safari Zoo, whose failings were revealed when the data on the numbers and causes of fatalities and illnesses in that zoo were published, and the zoo’s lic





Russia’s Oldest Polar Bear in Captivity Dies at 38
Russia’s oldest polar bear has died at the age of 38, a zoo in Perm has announced.

Polar bear Amderma was captured in the Yamal-Nenets autonomous region in 1989 and her carers estimate she was born in 1980. After brief stays in zoos in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan, she finally found sanctuary in Perm.

The death occurred on Feb. 7, but was not reported by the zoo until this week. "She lived there happily for 21 years, giving birth to five healthy cubs," the zoo’s press service said in an online statement.





Dublin Zoo announces arrival of Baby elephant
Dublin Zoo is celebrating the birth of an Asian elephant calf.

Proud mum, Anak, gave birth to the healthy male calf on Saturday, February 10 after a 22-month gestation period.

Yes, 22 months!

The new arrival is Anak’s second calf and the seventh elephant calf born at Dublin Zoo in less than four years.

“We are delighted to welcome our new arrival to Dublin Zoo and happy to report the calf is healthy, strong and was standing within minutes of his birth,” said Gerry Creighton, Operations Manager at Dublin Zoo.

“It is fascinating to watch the younger females interact with the calf, as they are working together to protect him. Witnessing the sights and sounds of an elephant birth, is important to inexperienced females in th




Pachyderms on the pitch
The 2018 King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is set to kick off from March 8 to 11 on the banks of Chao Phraya River, next to Anantara Riverside Bangkok, with a full range of fun elephant festivities for the whole family.

Now in its 16th edition, the festival has become one of the biggest charitable events in Southeast Asia with approximately US$1.5 million (Bt50 million) raised to date, which has gone to various charities that benefits the elephants of Thailand. These include housing for the mahouts and families, shelters for the elephants and a mobile blood centrifuge and elephant ambulance for the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC).Funds from this year’s event will be donated to various projects including the Zoological Parks Organisation of Thailand, which supports veterinary and educational projects to improve the year-round lives of elephants and mahouts in the Surin Province. The donations have also funded workshops for mahouts and vets on how to keep elephants happy as well as a conservation education tri





Exposed: Inside the Mind of a Lion Murderer
Why would anyone be interested in killing a lion? Even if it was for free, which it is not.  As a psychologist this is what I try to understand.

In 2014, after visiting South Africa, I wrote an article titled “Lion Canned Hunting, the person behind the ‘Hunter’”. This was before the infamous “Cecile the Lion” incident which sparked the world and exposed the brutal and pitiful practice of canned hunting. At the time, the psychopathic industry of canned hunting was unknown to most people. On the first of July 2015, Cecil the emblematic lion in Zimbabwe, is killed by an American dentist and exposed this barbaric kind of hunting to the world. Hearing of this industry for the first time, people were shocked and disgusted that this existed and was even legal. I decided to look back since my article was written and see how things have evolved and analyse the persona who indulges in such practices.





Creating A Guest-Friendly, Engaging Zoo: A Conversation with Randy Wisthoff, CEO/Executive Director of the Kansas City Zoo
 Randy Wisthoff has been a household name in the zoo business since he served as Associate Director at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo from 1987 to 2003. During this time, he served as right hand man to director Lee Simmons as he turned the zoo into a world-famous institution with many cutting edge exhibits that were best of its kind. In 2003, Wisthoff became CEO/Executive Director of the Kansas City Zoo, a large institution that had just been privatized in order to realize its potential and operate more efficiently. He has made the zoo much more guest friendly, added several popular animals and engaging experiences and led the zoo to having more than one million guests. Here is his story.





Unseen killers are wildlife's worst enemies
Unquestionably, construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta is the man of the moment. His name is on everyone's lips, after he and three of his entourage were arrested and charged with poaching in Unesco's...





First elephant born at Woburn Safari Park beats the odds to survive Ebola-like virus
A three-year-old Asian elephant at Woburn Safari Park has beaten the odds to recover from an aggressive disease which is fatal in 80% of recorded cases. Similar to the Ebola virus in humans, elephant endotheliotrophic herpes virus (EEHV) can seriously weaken the circulatory system in juvenile elephants leading to rapid deterioration.





Look to penguins to track Antarctic changes
Penguins preserve records of Antarctic environmental change. The birds’ feathers and eggshells contain the chemical fingerprints of variations in diet, food web structure and even climate, researchers reported February 12 at the American Geophysical Union’s 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting.

The Antarctic environment has changed dramatically in recent decades. Overfishing has led to a decline in krill, small swimming crustaceans that are a key food source for birds, whales, fish and penguins in the Southern Ocean. Climate change is altering wind directions, creating open water regions in the sea ice that become hot spots for life.

These changes have cascading effects on food webs and on the cycling of nutrients. “Penguins are excellent bioarchives of this change,” says Kelton McMahon, an oceanic ecogeochemist at the University of Rhode Island  in Kingston.

Penguins are at the heart of the Antarctic food web, and their tissues are known to capture details about what they’ve eaten. Different food sources contain different proportions of carbon and nitrogen isotopes, forms of the elements with different num




Six white lions introduced to Taman Safari on Imlek
Visitors of wildlife park Taman Safari Indonesia (TSI) in Bogor had the opportunity to observe six white lions brought in from Canada at the end of January.

The white lions were introduced for the first time to the public during an education program held during Chinese New Year, locally known as Imlek, at the park’s baby zoo on Friday.

Taman Safari Indonesia director Jansen Manansang said the six white lions – four females and two males – were brought to Indonesia from Canada on Jan. 28.

White lions were rare, he said, and it was predicted that there were only around 100 of them left in the world.

Jansen further said that the spe




White Lion Breeding Is Not Conservation

  



Association of Zoos and Aquariums and U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance Join Forces
Today, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (USWTA) announced their joining of forces in a united effort to fight the global epidemic in wildlife trafficking. Effective immediately, Sara Walker former Executive Director or the USWTA, will join the AZA staff in Silver Spring, Maryland and the USWTA is now a program of the AZA.

“Wildlife trafficking is a global epidemic, and is driving some of the world’s most beloved animals to the brink of extinction,” said Dan Ashe, President and CEO of AZA. “AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are world leaders in saving animals from extinction, and this strategic alignment with travel, media, and consumer products business leaders, as well as conservation NGOs, will create and sustain powerful momentum.”





Pioneer of pheromone studies Ratan Lal Brahmachary no more
Ratan Lal Brahmachary, distinguished biochemist and a pioneer of tiger pheromone studies in India, died in the wee hours this morning (13 February 2018) in a nursing home in Kolkata, India. He was 86.
Widely known for his research in pheromones, the biochemical messengers in living organisms, Brahmachary made significant contributions in tiger behavioural studies researching the animal for over 50 years.

Interestingly, he was an astrophysicist by training and a student of eminent Indian theoretical physicist Satyendra Nath Bose. Brahmachary shifted streams to study pheromones at the Indian Statistical Institute under its founder Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis. He studied many species of wildlife, notably big cats, and undertook research trips to his favourite continent Africa fourteen times.

An ardent admirer of entomologist Gopal Chandra Bhattacharya, Brahmachary studied ethology in the Amazon basin in South Americ





Tributes paid following death of Zoo’s ex-birdkeeper Shep Mallet
Shep Mallet, whose real name was John, was a former curator of birds at the wildlife park, where he worked for around 35 years.

He was a colourful character in the history of the Zoo and was known for his jokes and pranks – and for always wearing his wellies.

Dr Lee Durrell, honorary director of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, paid tribute to Mr Mallett, who was born in Southampton to Jersey parents. He died on 9 February.

Dr Durrell said: ‘Shep was a great character in the annals of the Zoo and Trust, perhaps most famously for working with Gerry on a breeding programme for the rare white-eared pheasant in the 1960s, before most zoos were doing such things.

‘He was also known for his jokes and pranks, which everyone fell for. With his white hair and beard in later years, visitors often mistook Shep for Gerry, and he would lead them around the Zoo, chatting gaily about this and that animal, as if he were Gerry. Everyone went away happy.’

Writing on Facebook, former colleague Chris Haines said: ‘Shep was very enjoyable to work with. He was a great fount





Expressions of interest - Operation, Management and Development of Belfast Zoo
Closing date: 12 noon on Friday 16 March 2018.

To obtain a copy of the prospectus and questionnaire email market.engagement@V4services.com





#MeToo
Our world and our nation are undergoing rapid social change, which I believe is at the root of our current, unsettling and disruptive politics. Think how our collective societal views have changed, and continue changing, on things like gay marriage, LGBTQ equality, marijuana legalization, and in our professional orbit, animal rights, protection, and welfare. Change is disruptive, and that is reflected in today’s social dialogue and politics—coarse, angry, and sometimes a bit scary.

The comforting news is that our overall course of change is positive.





Nearly 150,000 Bornean Orangutans Lost Since 1999, Cutting Population By Half
Earlier this month, an orangutan was found brutally shot to death in Borneo. In January, one was found decapitated and floating in a river. In 2017, oil plantation workers were accused of killing and eating one of the island's orangutans.

These stories are examples of small, incremental intentional killings of the island's endangered species. But according to a new study, published in the journal Cell Biology, such losses are adding up—contributing to the overall, long-term decline of a fragile species.

The comprehensive study pulled from data collected by 38 different research organizations. When Maria Voigt, the study's lead co-author and a researcher from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research, crunched the numbers, she found just under 150,000 Borneo orangutans were lost between 1999 and 2015—roughly half the population.

While many experienced habitat loss, the study found the primates were disappearing largely from forested areas, l





Wildlife crime: Pangolin trade still flourishing despite ban
Pangolins are small mammals that only move around at night. Hardly a zoo has been able to keep one alive. And yet, they sit above the elephant and rhino as the most illegally trafficked animal in the world.

Pangolins are amazing: With shiny scales and pointy heads, they look like miniature dinosaurs; baby pangolins ride around on their mothers’ tails; they slurp ants with 25cm-long tongues; and they can curl up into an armoured ball that foxes any predator – except humans. Being so elusive, not much more is known about them.

Pangolin researchers meeting in January 2017 in Singapore concluded that increased demand from China for pangolins has led to "great declines" in populations across Cambodia, Viet Nam, and Laos.

“Pangolins have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, but growing human populations and greater wealth across China have increased demand,” says the Worldwatch Institute. “Pangolin fetuses, sca





The Paradox Of The Platypus
Ever since I was a young child I have been fascinated by the animal kingdom, especially its more exotic members. When people asked me what I wanted to do when I grow up, I always replied I wanted to have a zoo. The response would be laughter; having a zoo is no job for a nice Jewish boy. Then I decided to become a rabbi, which was met with even greater disapproval; being a rabbi, I was told, is certainly no job for a nice Jewish boy.

But then I started to look into what the Torah says about the animal kingdom. To my delight, I discovered a wealth of fascinating material, and for the next twenty years I studied, wrote, and taught about it. In addition to rabbinic ordination, I co

  


 The Living Museum: A Conversation with Dave Zucconi, Retired Director of the Tulsa Zoo
 During his 27-year tenure as Director of the Tulsa Zoo, Dave Zucconi transformed the institution into not just a modern zoo but also an accredited museum. He came up with the vision for the LaFortune North American Living Museum, a groundbreaking exhibit that incorporated animal habitats with museum-quality interpretation. Zucconi served as President of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and as Chair of its Accreditation Commission. He wrapped up his career in zoos by serving as Director of the El Paso Zoo for three years. Here is his story.





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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


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About me
After more than 49 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 http://zoonewsdigest.blogspot.com/


Peter earns his living as an independent international 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, an introvert, 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
Independent International Zoo Consultant
+971 50 4787 122 | elvinhow@gmail.com | Skype: peter.dickinson48


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Zoo News Digest 11th February 2018 (ZooNews 983)

Zoo News Digest 11th February 2018  (ZooNews 983)

 
Woodcut - 1844



Peter Dickinson

elvinhow@gmail.com

 

Dear Colleague,


I note the damned Tiger Zoo is opening up again under a new name. It will be the same old thing, posing with tigers for photographs. Just about any 'zoo' in Thailand carries out the same exploitation. Mass producing cubs so that poseurs can pose. Perhaps the saddest thing about all this is that zookeepers visiting Thailand carry out the same activity in spite of knowing full well the harm it does. Worse still some of the so called vociferous animal activists do it too. I would like to think that the fact that both the WAZA and SEAZA Conferences are being held in Thailand in 2018 (with luck and money I will attend) would make a difference....but I don't think so.

South Lakes Safari Zoo continues to have some prominence in the news. I am none too sure that a documentary was a good idea. I really do feel for the animal staff. They continue to do their very best. It would be so easy to walk away from what would appear to be a sinking ship....but that is not what good animal people do. They stick it out because they care about the animals in their care. It is the same in zoos around the world both in good zoos and bad zoos. Keepers stay because of a sense of duty to their animals. Some zoos exploit this sadly.
I learned just recently that it is forty years since the formation of the Emirates Natural History Group. Forty years….how time flies. I recall myself and two friends starting the group after discussions around a kitchen table. I hope it lasts another forty years...I won't of course.


Coincidentally I also just learned that I have just missed the Sharjah International Conservation Forum for Arabian Biodiversity. I have attended each year bar one since 2011. Okay, I never get there for more than one day because of work commitments but I do like the opportunity to catch up with a group of likeminded people. Arabian Fauna was previously a specialism but I am adjustable. Carnivores, elephants, tortoises, reptiles, otters, red squirrels and more. Right now it is Penguins and who knows what it will be next.

Lots of interest follows. 


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Did You Know?
ZooNews Digest has over 73,000 Followers on Facebook( and over 73,000 likes) and has a weekly reach often exceeding over 350,000 people? That ZooNews Digest has subscribers in over 823 Zoos in 154+ 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,
not DYSFUNCTIONAL zoos.
********
*****
***
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Zoo design – The Idea (or need), the Dream, The concept – and Making it Come alive!!
I have had the fortune to work on a number of projects over the last few years, and have seen a wide range of successful and unsuccessful designs being built from new build or as rebuilds. The striking reality is that the planned concept that is in the mind of the Zoo Directors, Zoo staff, creators, architects, management, and designers often falls short of their expectations. Many of course are successful and tick all the boxes for animals, staff and visitors, but many go through a change during the process.

Change can take many forms, it can be a mixture of modifications to enhance the experience of the animals, or a greater visitor immersive experience, or a more practical application to assist the Keepers in managing the animals.

The great challenge is to manage a project and manage the change, with the overall aim of delivering the end product to everyone’s satisfaction, with of course the end user getting the Exhibit, holdings etc. they desired in the beginning.

The key factors that change these designs, from the obvious like concept design, funding, location, time, management, communication, staff feedback, change in direction/animal choice, animals, landscaping, Weather, contractor experience and quality of work, material choice and onsite observations. Health & Safety, Publicity/Visitor feedback and more!!

The truth is - The design has to wo





THE MORAL AND WELFARE ISSUES OF EUTHANASIA
Euthanasia is the act of deliberately ending an animal’s life to end their suffering. Its use has often been widely mis-understood, but ultimately is aimed at minimising suffering and mitigating poor animal welfare where no other realistic options are available. Despite this, it remains a contentious subject for many zoos and aquariums. Here we ask Dave Morgan our Field Director, about his thoughts on the subject.

1.Why do zoos euthanise their animals and what precautions should they take when considering euthanasia? 
Broadly–speaking, euthanasia of zoo animals is thought to be  permissible under the following circumstances:

when recommended by a veterinarian;
when irresolvable stress or conflict prevails and where changes in social structure result in distress, and where there is no option of relocation;
when the zoo is unable to ensure acceptable facilities and conditions for animals and where there is no option of relocation;
when an animal poses a danger and unavoidable threat to human safety;
where no other suitable accommodation can be found for the animal;
in cases of old age or severe injury; and
where no other suitable option exists
Except in the situation where an animal poses a threat to human life where a kill decision might need to be made very quickly, the other instances listed above usually have something of a lead-in time, allowing for appropriate consideration of the circumstances that indicate euthanasia. Such consideration ideally should be weighed by the zoo’s own in-house ethics committee. Unfortunately, not all zoos have such committees, so at the very least, when euthanasia is being considered, the zoo should only do so in terms of prevailing legislation and acceptable practices. Not all countries allow zoos to practice  euthanasia under any circumstances, aside from threat to human life.

Notwithstanding; ideally, all zoos along with their own in-house ethics committees, should have a written policy describing standard operating procedures for euthanizing animals. These policies and procedures should cover all information and guidance relating to euthanasia including emergency methods proscribed by a veterinarian. Indeed, there should be appropriate facilities and equipment suitable and serviceable for euthanizing all the species kept in the collection, including casualties under  emergency conditions; and finally, competent trained personnel with acces





CHEETAH OUTREACH: DOES THE END JUSTIFY THE MEANS?
As I reported in a recent blog, the captive bred cheetah population is reaching epic proportions in South Africa with more than 600 cheetahs kept in about 80 facilities, like Cheetah Outreach, around the country and their conservation value is highly questionable.

Some of these captive facilities make genuine efforts to conserve the wild cheetah population with successful reintroduction programmes. Others support breeding programmes of Anatolian shepherd dogs, that are used to address human-wildlife conflict threatening predators like cheetah and leopard, by guarding livestock.




 www.zoolex.org in February 2018

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Hello ZooLex Friend,
We have worked for your enjoyment!

              ~°v°~

NEW EXHIBIT PRESENTATION

O Caminho da Serpente is the result of adapting an existing building for 
the exhibition of snakes at Sao Paulo Zoo in Brazil. Interpretation was 
developed based on research on visitors' knowledge, feelings and 
interests about snakes with the main goal of improving visitors' 
perception of snakes.


We would like to thank Rachel Venturini from Sao Paulo Zoo for preparing 
this presentation.

              ~°v°~

SPANISH TRANSLATION

Thanks to Eduardo Díaz García we are able to offer the Spanish 
translation of the previously published presentation of the "Recovery 
Centre for North American Terrapins" at Lyon Zoo in France.


              ~°v°~

We keep working on ZooLex ...

The ZooLex Zoo Design Organization is a non-profit organization
registered in Austria (ZVR-Zahl 933849053). ZooLex runs a professional
zoo design website and distributes this newsletter. More information and




Vancouver park board lacked authority to ban whales, dolphins at aquarium: Court
A British Columbia court has ruled that Vancouver’s park board didn’t have the authority to ban whales, dolphins and porpoises at the city’s aquarium.

The decision follows Vancouver Aquarium’s announcement last month that it will end the practice of displaying cetaceans in captivity.

The Ocean Wise Conservation Association, the non-profit society that runs the aquarium, filed an application for judicial review last year challenging a bylaw amendment passed by





Thai seizure of a dozen captive tigers resurrects farming threat
A recent discovery of a dozen Tigers at a property in eastern Thailand serves as a reminder that Tiger farming is still a threat to Southeast Asia’s wild Tigers and an enforcement challenge for the region’s authorities.

On 2 February, authorities inspecting a premise in Khlong Kiu in Chon Buri province found a large pig farm where several species of protected wildlife were kept, including the 12 Tigers.

The checks were jointly carried out by the Wild Hawk Unit and Special Unit 1326 of the Forest Protection and Fire Control Office, both units under the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), and the Protected Areas Regional Office 2 in Sri Racha.

Thai media reported that two local men claiming to be the property owners produced faulty papers whose authenticity could not be verified. The documents were said to be issued by a government department that was no longer in operation, making it impossible to verify their legitimacy.

The Wild Hawk Unit told press that some of the Tigers were juveniles, raising suspicions





Why Snakes Have Two Penises and Alligators Are Always Erect
From spiky penises to an extra clitoris, reptile reproductive parts don’t lack for variety.





A Chimp was Shot dead at a Zoo in Langkawi, activists tell Clean Malaysia
There they languished, the three chimps, within dingy little enclosures at Bukit Gambang Safari Park in Pahang. The three apes (16-year-old Botan, 18-year-old Sumomo, and 29-year-old Gonbei) spent their time being cooped up in small 3m-by-4m cages without much of a chance to move around at will outdoors, according to animal rights activists, who raised the alarm about the animals’ plight.

They posted a video on YouTube showing the chimps becoming agitated within their small and filthy separate enclosures. They are banging on iron doors and throwing their metal plates around in despondent anger.

That was in early December last year.​ Then the chimps were transferred ​to a brand-new zoo called Langkawi Nature Park, which was opened to public in January.

A spot of good luck for the long-suffering apes? Hardly.

Presently, Sumomo, one of the three, was report





Sapporo zoo turns to AI in bid to improve animal welfare
An artificial intelligence system with features including image recognition is being developed to analyze behavior and better control the health of animals in a joint study aimed at modernizing municipal Maruyama Zoo here.

Zoos in Japan have seldom turned to AI systems in keeping their animals, said officials at the zoo, which is collaborating with outside parties, including Hokkaido University, in the study.

Parties involved said they hope to develop and commercialize similar control systems for prospective use by dairy farmers and hospitals as part of a new business model to be developed for the zoo.

Maruyama Zoo last had a major overhaul of the way it operates in 2007, including setting a target of 1 million visitors. It edged close to that milestone in fiscal 2015, when 980,000 people passed through its gates.

Now zoo officials are planning to work out a new business model to adapt to the changing purpose of zoos. They say the new missions include a pursuit of animal welfare, through breeding in environments that are close to wildlife conditions and the preservation of ecosystems.

“It is essential, for starters, to gather data separately by animal species and by individual animal,” said Osamu Kato, director of Maruyama Zoo. “That said, we hope to find out how far we could go, from a technical viewpoint, in ens





Essential Oils Can Be Very Dangerous to Cats !
While essential oils have been known to help us humans with various ailment and make our house smell great, some oils can be incredibly dangerous for your cat.  Many essential oils (especially tea tree) are seriously toxic to cats and the diffuser spreads the oils through the air that your cat breathes.

Essential oils are found in aromatherapies and even insecticieds

Essential oils are utilized in a variety of ways: as insecticides, in aromatherapies, personal care products (e.g., antibacterials), flavorings, herbal remedies and liquid potpourri.

Cats lack an enzyme in the liver making the oils very toxic to them

Essential oils are rapidly absorbed both orally and across the skin, and are then metabolized in the liver. Cats lack an essential enzyme in their liver and have difficulty metabolizing and eliminating certain toxins like essential oils. Cats are also very sensitive to phenols and phenolic compounds, which can be found in some essential oils. The higher the concentration of the essential oil (i.e. 100%), the greater the risk to the cat.

Toxicity in cats can occur very quickly, through an internal or external application, or over a longer period of time, through repeated or continuous inhalation of essential oils, but either way, it can lead to serious liver damage or even death.

Below are just some of the essential oils that can be dangerous to cats:

Peppermint





The story of how a leopard escaped from Cornwall private zoo revealed as locals raised their fears to owner Todd Dalton
Villagers who felt in danger after a leopard escaped from a private zoo collection in Cornwall have voiced their concerns over 'negligence' and 'secrecy' during a meeting.

A dozen residents of Great Treverran met with Cornwall Councillor for Lostwithiel Colin Martin, the police and licence officers this morning in Chy Trevail, Countil Hall's office in Bodmin.


They expressed their anxiety over an incident on Boxing Day which saw a clouded leopard escape from its enclosure, disappear for six days and attack sheep. One of them was killed and others had to be put down because of their injuries.

But villagers were only notified about the evasion when a farmer trapped the wild cat one mile further.





Extremely endangered frog has online dating profile created by scientists in effort to save species
Romeo, “the world’s loneliest frog”, has had an online dating profile set up by scientists in an effort to save his species from extinction.

The lovesick amphibian is the only known Sehuencas water frog in the world, and he has been calling for a mate ever since researchers collected him from the wild a decade ago.

Now they have launched him into the world of online dating in an effort to raise awareness and funds for the rejuvenation of his species.

Romeo was found on an expedition to the Bolivian cloud forests led by biologist Arturo Muñoz 10 years ago.




Optimal Animal Care: A Conversation with Hollie Colahan, Vice President of Animal Care at the Denver Zoo
Hollie Colahan serves as Vice President of Animal Care at the Denver Zoo, one of the nation's premier zoos. She is responsible for supervising the entire animal care staff and keeping the institution at the forefront of animal wellness and husbandry. Additionally, Colahan is coordinator the African Lion Species Survival Plan (SSP) and is currently chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium's Professional Development Committee. Here is her story.




Hong Kong’s struggling Ocean Park expects launch of Marriott resort hotel to provide lifeline




Borth zoo to reopen ahead of schedule
BORTH Wild Animal Kingdom, which has been embroiled in a licence battle with the county council following the death of two lynx, is to reopen on Saturday ahead of schedule.

The zoo has been closed voluntarily since October after an escaped lynx was shot dead and the death of a second lynx following a handling error.

Zoo owners Tracy and Dean Tweedy had planned to reopen the zoo in time for the February half-term holidays but they have just announced





Kashmir to get its first zoo at tourist resort Pahalgam
After a long delay, J&K government has cleared a proposal to set up first zoo in the Kashmir Valley at famed hill resort of Pahalgam.
After receiving nod from central zoo authority of India and the state wildlife protection board headed by chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, the J&K wildlife department has written to state forest department for acquiring 31 hectares of forest land. 





Unique procedure at Erie Zoo, if successful, will be the first of its kind around the world
The Erie Zoo attempting a procedure that may be the first successful one of its kind.  It's all to attempt to help save an endangered species.  We're talking today about the Amur Leopard.  They are one of the rarest cats in the world and actually considered critically endangered. 

The Amur Leopard is an exotic animal with beautiful, distinct fur.  In the wild, they can only be found along the Russian/Chinese border as they favor a cold climate.  With fewer than 60 left in the wild, experts fear extinction.

Scott Mitchell, President of the Erie Zoo, tells us, "When there's so few of them, sometimes it's even difficult for them to come across each other, even to meet."

The Erie Zoo is fortunate enough to have both a male Amur Leopard named Rowdy and a female called Nia.  They're attempting a cutting-edge artificial insemination procedure.  "It's a pretty complex process," Mitchell tells us, "it's laparoscopically done."





Zoo of horrors exposed . . . but why is no one taking the blame? CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night's TV
Rarely has a documentary left me angrier than Trouble At The Zoo (BBC2) — not only for the incompetence and negligence it revealed, but for the easy ride given to all involved.

This hour-long look at the South Lakes Safari Zoo in Cumbria made no effort to hold anyone to account for the catalogue of cruel neglect at the park, where nearly 500 animals have died in the past four years — a figure dismissed by the zoo’s director.

‘The number doesn’t mean anything,’ said Andreas, and this film was too lily-livered even to tell us his last name.

We learned at the start that the zoo had lost its licen





Call for RSPCA to re-open criminal investigation into animal deaths at Dalton zoo following documentary
BARROW and Furness MP John Woodcock has called on the RSPCA to launch a new criminal investigation into animal deaths at South Lakes Safari Zoo.

Mr Woodcock has referred the death of Nero the lion to the RSPCA in the hope the organisation will consider mounting a new criminal investigation following the airing of the BBC2 documentary Trouble at the Zoo.

The hard-hitting programme, filmed after zoo bosses invited the BBC to the park, showed how Nero the lion died after being fed meat contaminated with barbiturates.

Last April RSPCA officers, along with Barrow Borough Council, launched an investigation after an autopsy list emerged charting the cause of death for hund





Zoo boss speaks out about BBC documentary and reveals reason they invited film crew to Dalton
THE chief executive of South Lakes Safari Zoo has revealed the reason she invited the BBC to do a documentary about the Dalton attraction.

Last night's Trouble at the Zoo, which aired on BBC2 at 9pm, gave a 'warts and all' account of the day-to-day running of the attraction.

Viewers saw heartbreaking scenes w





‘Trouble at the Zoo’ Documentary Shows it’s Time to Close This Chaotic Safari Park
Medium
I’m not a big fan of zoos. I’ll tolerate them if they demonstrate a genuine conservation role, but those institutions are few and far between in my experience. Many tick a few of the virtue signalling boxes, but in general I think wild animals are better off in the wild.

I certainly have no time for institutions that serve up animals to be gawped at by the paying public just to make money for the zoo operators, and after watching the BBC 2 documentary ‘Trouble at the Zoo’ on Thursday night, it would seem the South Lakes Safari Zoo might fit into that category.




Zoos can save wildlife
HARIMAU Malaya, or Malayan tiger, has been a national icon for over half a century.

Malaysia’s Coat of Arms feature two Malayan tigers. The name of the national football team is Harimau Malaya while the national hockey team is called the Speedy Tigers.

In theory, Malaysians hold the Malayan tiger in high esteem. However, when it comes to the protection and conservation of the species, how well do they hold up?

Sadly, there might be as few as 250 Malayan tigers left in Peninsular Malaysia, according to WWF-Malaysia (World W





Urban Ocean Conservation: A Conversation with John Racanelli, CEO of the National Aquarium
Since opening in 1981, the National Aquarium in Baltimore has been one of the most iconic aquatic institutions in the world. Its popularity and role in revitalizing the Inner Harbor of Baltimore inspired many other cities to build modern aquariums. Many of the National Aquarium’s exhibits have won awards from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and its conservation and cleanup efforts have received great acclaim. The aquarium’s CEO is John Racanelli and he is determined to keep the institution at the cutting edge of saving aquatic life locally and globally. Here is his story.


  


Odense Zoo and Knuthenborg Safari Park select Mobaro Park safety and maintenance solution
Denmark’s Odense Zoo and Knuthenborg Safari Park are the latest zoos to ditch paper checklists and opt for the Mobaro Park safety and maintenance solution.
Mobaro Park’s turnkey Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS) solution is already trusted by attractions such as Chester Zoo to streamline their safety operations.

“We are pleased to welcome these two Danish attractions, and to take yet another leap into the Zoo segment,” confirms Jens Holm-Møller, Co-Founder and Director at Mobaro Park.

“There are many parallels in values and how you work across the various segments of the attractions industry, so it makes perfect sense for us to make Mobaro flexible to fit the needs of these segments, whether it is Amusement




Going Down the Brazos River: A Conversation with Jim Fleshman, Director of the Cameron Park Zoo
Opened in 1993, the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas is one of the youngest zoos in the nation. It has ben led by Jim Fleshman for most of its existence.  He has expanded the zoo by leaps and bounds. Among Fleshman’s accomplishments include bringing orangutans to the zoo and opening Brazos River Country, an immersive exhibit complex taking visitors on a journey up the Brazos River, from the Gulf of Mexico into the Texas Panhandle. Here is his story.





Why Do Birds Get Divorced?
Humans are not the only animals that endure divorce; some birds go through it as well. A recent study reveals why members of one such species, the Eurasian blue tit, sometimes break their bond.

When ornithologists refer to “divorce,” they mean that both members of a breeding pair survive to the following breeding season but end up pairing with new partners rather than reuniting. Great blue herons divorce after every breeding season, and emperor penguins split up around 85 percent of the time. In contrast, just 9 percent of mallard duck pairs call it quits, and albatrosses almost never break up. Many researchers have focused on understanding how these separations affect reproductive success, but until now few have focused on the process itself.

Behavioral ecologist Carol Gilsenan of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany and her colleagues monitored hundreds of Eurasian blue tits for eight years, using artificial nest boxes in a protected forest in southern Germany. In their findings, published in Animal Behaviour, 64 percent of breed





Tapping Into Animal Behavior
Technology created at Lincoln Park Zoo is fostering a deeper understanding of animal welfare and health here and around the globe.

A Lincoln Park Zoo volunteer is holding an iPad and taking notes as she stares intently at Howie, a stout pygmy hippopotamus shimmering in the water at Regenstein African Journey. Just a moment earlier, she says, Howie wandered across the exhibit to chomp on a piece of lettuce that fell from a feeder above. From the volunteer’s voice, you can tell she’s excited at the activity, and for good reason: the iPad app she’s using, called ZooMonitor, collected the data that led to the installation of that very feeder. By observing Howie’s activity, this volunteer is part of a larger team helping the zoo better understand animal behavior and improve their care.

“ZooMonitor promotes data-driven decision making,” says Jason Wark, Ph.D., a Research Scientist with Lincoln Park Zoo who manages the volunteer-driven monitoring program, analyzes the data, and introduces the technology to other animal-care professionals around the world.

Designed at Lincoln Park Zoo, ZooMonitor launched in 2016, and the app is now a global tool freely used by more than 200 institutions, including zoos, aquariums, sanctuaries, universities, and other facilities in more than two dozen countries.

Lincoln Park Zoo volunteers spend 10 minutes per animal conducting observation sessions. In the case of Howie, for example, every 60 seconds the iPad beeps




An aquarium accident may have given this crayfish the DNA to take over the world
It sounds like a bad monster movie plot: A 10-legged mutant creature that reproduces asexually, escapes from confinement in Germany, and quietly begins a global invasion. Within 2 decades, clones of the voracious animal spread through Europe and Africa, bringing devastation to ecosystems and threatening native species.

That appears to be the strange-but-true story of the marbled crayfish, an invasive freshwater species suspected to have been created through a reproductive accident in an aquarium around 1995. A new analysis of the crustacean’s genome supports this unlikely origin and may help explain how the animal has subsequently spread and adapted to so many new environments.

The crayfish’s unusual evolution could also suggest a strategy to tackle a more infamous clonal monster: cancer. “In many ways, the invasive expansion of [the marbled crayfish] is analogous to a cancerous lineage spreading asexually at the expense of its host,” says Jean-François Flot, an evolutionary genomicist at the Free University of Br





The Smiling Axolotl Hides a Secret: A Giant Genome
The Mexican salamander has largest genome ever sequenced, which may account for its unique regenerative abilities





What medieval artists teach us about animal sex
The prevailing view is that animals mainly have sex to reproduce. Until recently, therefore, scientists assumed that animals were relentlessly heterosexual. This is the message conveyed by countless zoos, wildlife documentaries, books and films. Think March of the Penguins or 2014's controversial Noah. Such representations perpetuate the belief that animals are best seen through the lens of human "norms" of gender, sex and family.
The presumed "heterosexuality" of animals has also traditionally provided a backhanded justification for regulating human sexual activity. Acts of homoeroticism or gender bending get cast as "unnatural" insofar as such things aren't perceived as being clearly observable in other species.

But arguing against these viewpoints, biologists such as Bruce Bagemihl and Joan Roughgarden have begun putting forward evidence that animal sexuality comprises an array of behaviours, gender expressions and body types. In fact, reproduction is marginal to many species. Scientists impose human categories on animals at their peril. And increasingly, popular culture is also getting behind these moves. The web is inundated with articles and blog posts on such topics as The 25 Gayest Animals or Our Transsexual Pets. A search on YouTube turns up a wealth of related footage.

Yet a historical perspective on these issues is often lacking. Categories such as "gay" or "trans" are not ageless absolutes, after all. The word "heterosexuality" itself only began being used around 1900, initially in medical circles: a 1923 dictionary defines it as a "morbid" sexual passion for the opposite sex.

And what seems on the surface to be a relatively recent development





That Time Parisians Ate the Zoo
For four months from September 19, 1870 to January 28, 1871, the Prussian Army laid siege to the city of Paris, as part of the Franco-Prussian War. Prior to having all supply lines cut off, the French Ministry of Agriculture furiously worked to gather as much food and fuel as it could, and at the beginning, “livestock blanket[ed] the Bois de Boulogne park on the edge of Paris.”

Apparently insufficient, within less than a month, the Parisians began butchering the horses, with the meat used as you would expect and even the blood collected “for the purposes of making puddings.” By the end of the siege, approximately 65,000 horses were killed and eaten.

Within another month, by November 12, 1870, butchered dogs and cats began to appear for sale at the market alongside trays full of dead rats and pigeons. The former pets sold for between 20 and 40 cents per pound, while a nice, fat rat could go for 50.

As Christmas approached, most of Paris’ restaurants and…





Caretaker of lion recounts near death experience
The caretaker of a lion attacked at a zoo in Kaduna, Mustapha Adam on Monday recounted his ordeal saying, ‘I thought I was dead’.
Speaking to Daily Trust at the emergency unit of the Barau Dikko Specialist hospital Kaduna where he is presently receiving treatment, Mustapha said he went to feed the lion at 12noon on Saturday when he was attacked.

He said, “I have been feeding the lion for the past eight months even though the lion has been in the zoo for three years after the zoo was commissioned by the Yero administration.
“The accident was as a result of my carelessness, I thought that since I had been feeding it for over eight months the animal had gotten used to me, so on that faithful day when I came to feed it, I did not close the inner cage that I usually close when I come to feed it and before I knew what was happening, the loin grabbed a hold of my neck.
“It took the intervention of the Sarkin Pawa of the Zango abattoir where I work who was there when the incident occurred and other park officers who threw a chunk of meat into the cage and the lion let go of me and charged for the meat.




Lion devours zookeeper in Kaduna
A zookeeper, Mustapha Adam, has been mauled by a lion which escaped from the Gamji Gate amusement park in Kaduna. He died early Wednesday, February 7, 2018, following an injury sustained in the neck.
The big cat has been lured back to its cage after a break-out according to many reports.

BBC Africa confirmed that a similar occurrence happened at Ibadan, Oyo State, in September 2017. A lion reportedly killed its caregiver while being fed.

Much earlier, another lion escape from its confinement located in the central city of Jos but residents came to no harm





Michael Miller’s New Book “Through a Keeper's Eye” Significantly Focuses On The Importance Of Zoological Institutions To The Survival Of Fauna Across The Globe
Michael Miller, a wildlife preservation enthusiast, zookeeper, and photographer inspired by Steve Irwin, has completed his new book “Through a Keeper's Eye”: a riveting publication about the author’s life-changing perspective while caring for the animals, and how this shaped his resolve to be an ambassador for institutions that protect wildlife for future generations.

Author Miller fills in the untold facts regarding zoological facilities and their goal of conserving animal species: “It is easy to forget that we share the world with some of the most miraculous creatures besides ourselves. Zoological institutions across the globe present people with a unique opportunity: being alongside these astounding animals who are an essential part of our world. Ever since I became a zookeeper, I have realized how crucial it is to preserve the tradition of zoos for future generations. Being present in many facilities on both sides of the fence as an employee and guest, I have seen the importance, beauty, and benefit that each
possesses.”

Published by New York City-based Page Publishing, Michael Miller’s essential book features the author’s original photos that capture the core of nature, letting the readers view the soulful aura of a diverse wildlife that deserves so much care and attention, due to the reality that these species may one day cease to exist sooner than expected.

Readers who wish to experience this thought-pr





Restrictions on movement of animals after TB death at Paignton Zoo
TB restrictions on movement have forced staff at Paignton Zoo to control breeding in some animals. Vets are using contraceptive implants to stop animals producing babies as the strict rules prevent any animal movement until the TB conditions are lifted.

It follows a single case of bovine TB discovered at the Zoo last year. One antelope died in May 2017 and the rest of the herd had to be put down. The 10 Kafue Flats lechwe - two male and eight female – were culled on advice from the Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA) in September.





Croc on: 42 years later, Madras Crocodile Bank is an ocean of cool reptiles
Ten steps into the Madras Crocodile Bank and you are greeted by an enclosure filled with mugger crocodiles (Indian Marsh Crocodiles). At first sight, with their jaws wide open, some lying one on top of the other, the crocodiles look like statues, and I had to wait for a full five minutes for one of them to show any sign of life.

“Crocodiles are very chilled out like that. They don’t move very often, like us humans. They look like they’re on an eternal vacation,” laughs Arul, the zoo instructor.

I also learn that they keep their jaws open to thermoregulate their body temperatures and that muggers are the most social ones among the species, most of which are very territorial. “So it’s alright for us to put them together in enclosures like this,” he explains.





Animal rights group PETA bought stock in Thomas Cook so it could lobby the firm to cut ties with SeaWorld
Animal rights group PETA has purchased stock in travel company Thomas Cook to gain entry to its AGM and lobby executives in person to stop selling tickets to SeaWorld.

PETA has long been protesting against the Florida marine park for its treatment of whales, which it says is cruel and inhumane. It also targets businesses that deal with SeaWorld, like Thomas Cook, which offers tours to the park.

The group told Business Insider that it has bought a single share in the company, valued at around £1.20 ($1.66), because it grants it entry to the annual general meeting, being held in London this Thursday.

Yvonne Taylor, a PETA campaigner, told Business Insider that she and a colleague plan to use this right to go inside the AGM in east London and ask executives directly to end ticket sales to SeaWorld, and to lobby shareholders.

Meanwhile, protesters outside are going





Finalists Announced for World's Leading Animal Conservation Award
 Officials from the Indianapolis Prize today named six Finalists for the world's leading award for animal conservation. The Finalists, who have achieved major victories in saving species such as Magellanic penguins and snow leopards, will vie for the prestigious title of 2018 Indianapolis Prize Winner and an unrestricted, $250,000 award.





‘TIGER TEMPLE’ TO REOPEN AS TIGER ZOO
Thailand’s most infamous tiger petting zoo may not have used up its nine lives when it was raided and shut down following gruesome discoveries two years ago.

Though closure of the so-called Tiger Temple was hailed as a victory for wildlife protection, national park officials and the head of an animal welfare organization confirmed it will reopen this month – with 24 new tigers.

After the temple was raided in June 2016, the park has continued operating, albeit housing only a 100-or-so underfed animals. But this month, the temple will import more tigers for their attractions – this time, in a zoo.

“The zoo they’re opening won’t be inside the temple, but on a 20-rai plot next to it,” Adisorn Noochdamrong of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation said by phone. “It will be legal, because o





The bird flu is killing the Queen's swans
Bird flu has killed at least 30 swans from Queen Elizabeth's flock, with more expected to succumb to the disease, UK officials say.

"We are currently at the river recovering bodies of the dead swans," said David Barber, the official responsible for the Queen's swans. "This is the first time in my 24 years as Swan Marker that bird flu has hit the Thames -- naturally, we are all very upset about the situation."
An alert was initially sent to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) by Swan Support, a rehabilitation center, after they noticed several of the animals near the Queen's residence at Windsor Castle, west of London, appeared to be ill.
"We found a few dead swans, but we find dead swans all year round," Wendy Hurmon, director of operations at Swan Support, told CNN. "But then we noticed that some of the other swans did not look very well and we thought 'something is not right here.'"



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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.


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*****
About me
After more than 49 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 http://zoonewsdigest.blogspot.com/


Peter earns his living as an independent international 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, an introvert, 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
Independent International Zoo Consultant
+971 50 4787 122 | elvinhow@gmail.com | Skype: peter.dickinson48