Sunday, March 28, 1999

Zoo News Digest 22nd - 28th March 1999 (Zoo News 44)

Dear Colleagues,

The first day of Spring, an hour less in bed and so plenty of time to
catch up with myself,... I wish. Roz and I have been busy wallpapering
most of the day.

When there has been a moment to spare I have been busy
adding the large number of new Zoo News subscribers and answering mail.
Never a dull moment. Going to put some flooring down tonight.

My thoughts are with Olivia who is over in the Arran islands on an archaelogical dig.

Let the last three seals go this week. They were easily boxed but hesitant
to leave, swimming up and down the shore for quite some time. The rescue
unit is now empty and can be scrubbed down ready for the next occupants
towards the end of the year.

The Red Squirrels are chewing on their deer antler. Always a good sign at this time of year. I am keeping my fingers crossed for young.

 I would like to draw your attention to a couple of important points. The first relates to the enrichment guidelines for which Julie at Chester says there has been a huge demand, especially from the USA. These will need to be paid for in pounds sterling. See details in `Bits & Pieces`. If you have a problem with this, let me know.

The other item which needs your undivided attention is the letter from Sally Walker
which is in `Help Wanted`. Okay it is rather a long letter, but it is important. Please read it. There follows the news (nothing about the bombing here) :

Big Island going ape over orangutans
(Hilo Zoo/ Orangutan Foundation International)

LA Zoo tries to mend severed elephant trunk

Tip of LA Zoo elephant's trunk severed by barn door

National accreditation to help ZooMontana expansion plans

Flying squirrels debut Program part of zoo's educational outreach
(Zoo Montana)

Utah's Hogle Zoo is offering free admissions Wednesday,1249,75001265,00.html?

Town Lake stirs worries for wildlife
(Phoenix Zoo)

Bizarre experiment leaves animals deformed, threatened
(Marcos Zoo Island)

King penguins aquarium's 1st tenants
(Newport Aquarium)

Kermit, other frogs to get new home in Detroit Zoo

Inadequate Training
(Hogle Zoo)

Outback zoo gets strong community support

Official urges break with zoo group
(Greater Baton Rouge Zoo)

When a rhino has a rash. . .
(San Francisco Zoo)

MITZI PERDUE: Saving lions and tigers
(Smithsonian National Zoo),2107,30657-49318-363263-0,00.html

Zoo Projects Could be Delayed
(N.C. Zoo)

Tiger caught in oil palm estate
(Malacca Zoo)

(Marwell Zoo)

Birmingham Zoo loses accreditation

Male gorillas hang out with other bachelors at St. Louis Zoo
8625673C0 07C0637?OpenDocument

Nation's attempt to breed elephants stuck in a rut
(Ichihara Elephant Kingdom/ Ueno Zoo/ Chiba Prefecture/ Ichihara Zoo)

Cash-strapped zoo digs up innovative mole exhibit
(Tama Zoological Park)

Missing panda back from wild
(Belfast Zoo)

Obituary: Holly Shirer, Editor of zoo magazine and former teacher
(Pittsburgh Zoo)

Ah, springtime
(Kansas City Zoo),fyi/30dad5f0.318,.html

Shi Shi Won't Shine
(San Diego Zoo)

Pig virus fears halt zoo rides
(Singapore Zoo)

Zoo keepers discuss new direction
(Alice Springs Desert Park)

Manatees leave home on magical tour
(Miami Seaquarium),1136,11000000000056950,00.

New idea combines zoo with pet shop

Ornery emu puts wildlife-refuge visitors to flight,1249,75000642,00.html?

Monkeys Spread Reign Of Terror In Abkhazia

Comeback for dodo?
FO- DODO21.html

In a far away forest, the wild fossa rules
_wild_fossa_r ulesP.shtml

Alien Big Cats

Bit & Pieces

My congratulations to Peter Halliday on his appointment to Project Manager
at Gorilla Haven. Read about the move on ---------- Congratulations also to
Clare Lightfoot and Suzanne Thomas on their new posts in Chester Zoo.

PARROT DATA E-MAIL-CLUB which had been " in the air " for more than one
year. There is a fast increasing numbers of readers of the Parrot Data
E-Mail-Club Newsletter. Please do note hesitate to contact Parrot Data, if
you wanted to subcribe the free PARROT DATA E-MAIL-CLUB. The aim of the
free PARROT DATA E- MAIL-CLUB is to collect and report data and news about
the PARROTS - PSITTACULTURE in the wild as well as in the aviculture
protected environment. BUT please note: PARROT DATA E-MAIL-CLUB will not
deal with Pet Birds or Cage-birds. IMPORTANT : All mails will be send as
BCC ( blind copy holders ), to avoid spammers to get hold of the list
address. You are most welcome to send me news related to Parrots. But
please note : Please do not send large mails, pictures, sound-files or
attachements. Please do not sent HTML messages, but please only pure
reader friendly text format. Best wishes from Denmark, Peter Them
Parrot Data, Emmerich Alle 4, 2791 Dragoer, DK-Denmark e-mail: ----------- R.J. Rao, who sent me the information
on the death of the White Tiger a couple of weeks ago has written to say
he would be more than happy to supply further details to anyone who may be
interested in this , or in Wildlife in India. Contact Rao direct on : ---------------- Enrichment Links : I was digging
around for my own interest but thought others might be interested in what
I turned up. Several of these sites refer to yet other links, which I have
yet to investigate. Can you suggest other important enrichment sites??

I must have got them all, no suugestions these past three weeks!! If I
don`t get others this week I will remove these so you better archive them
if interested. (one of my favourites)

Available now....

Guidelines For Enrichment
This A5 250 page looseleaf document by a variety of authors covers all
vertebrate groups from fish to Great Apes, providing detailed descriptions
of enrichment devices and ideas for each taxa. For every copy sold by
ABWAK an additional copy will be sent to a collection in a developing
country. Copies are £14.00 for the text and dividers or £15.00 for the
assembled guidelines in a ring binder. For more information or to place an
order, please contact : Andrew Bagnall at Chester Zoo, Tel : 01244 380280
or e-mail (Cheques payable to ABWAK) Apparantly
these are selling well. I recieved my copy a few weeks ago and read it
over two days. It is an excellent publication, and one which anyone
engaged in the management of captive animals, be it fish or elephants,
should/must read. It has definitely gone on to my list of books that every
keeper and every zoo should have. The fact that your purchase will ensure
that a copy will go to a zoo in a developing country is even more of a
reason why you should purchase. Think of the benefits to zoo animals
elsewhere! "ABWAK can only accept payment in sterling and all orders
should be sent by post to Andrew Bagnall at Chester Zoo enclosing a cheque
or money order for £14 payable to ABWAK. If a ring binder is required the
cost is £15 total and if the order is being posted overseas, please make
the total out for £17 to cover post and packing costs - any queries,
please e-mail Andrew or Julie at Chester"

And of course don`t forget the Enrichment Listserve. If you are even
remotely interested in improving the well being of the animals entrusted
to your care then you should sign up : To enrol on the list please Email If you don`t understand the working of a Listserve
you will find it very easy. Give it a try. Discussions over the past week
have centered around Ocelots. -------------

Situations Vacant
(please mention you saw the advertisement in Zoo News Digest should you
apply for any of these posts, many thanks)

Twycross Zoo is looking for experienced staff to work on the Ape Sections.
Accommodation is available. If interested please apply to Twycross Zoo,
Atherstone, Warks. CV9 9PX ---------- ASSISTANT ZOO NUTRITIONIST/ Wildlife
Conservation Society Requires MS in Animal Science (nutrition emphasis),
Nutrition, or Wildlife Ecology; PhD and /or demonstrated interest in
Comparative Nutrition preferred. Must have experience in diet formulation
or research with wildlife feeding management, and /or commissary
supervision in a zoological institution. Will assist with diet review,
foodstuff quality assessment, and economic evaluation of Nutrition
programs for all facilities served by the Zoo Nutrition Center of the
Wildlife Conservation Society. Expected to also conduct, advise,
publish, and present scientific papers on research topics involving
comparative animal nutrition. Salary commensurate with experience.
Housing subsidy possible. Position closes June 1st to begin July 15th.
Send resume and letter of intent to Wildlife Conservation Society, 2300
Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York 10460, Att: Ellen Dierenfeld.
----------- Cotswold Wildlife Park require a Reptile/Aquarium Keeper.
Applicants are expected to have a sincere interest and knowledge in the
field of reptile/amphibian husbandry as well as an interest in tropical
and marine aquaria. Some previous experience an advantage but full
training will be given. The successful applicant will be required to take
the City & Guilds Animal Management course if not already aquired.
Applicants should br enthusiastic, able to work as part of a team and able
to converse with visitors. Non-smoker preferred. Single accomodation is
provided on site (flat). Please apply in writing only to : The General
Manager, Cotwold Wildlife Park, Burford, Oxon. OX18 4JW All applications
to arrive by 31st March 1999 ------------- Chessington World of Adventures
requires an Experienced Animal Presenter. Working mainly with free-fling
birds, including birds of prey, but with some involvement with Californian
sea-lions and penguins. The animal presenter will be responsible for all
aspects of animal husbandry, together with training and presenting `shows`
to the public. In order to be considered for this exciting and unique
opportunity, the successful candidate must possess a sound knowledge of
animal husbandry, together with experience in training and public
presentation of mammals and birds. A working knowledge of water treatment
protocols for aquatic animal environments would be an advantage. Good
communications skills with the general public are vital, together with an
interest in the important role zoological facilities play in public
education. Working as part of a presentation `team`, the successful
candidate must possess the ability to liase, consult and co-operate with
fellow workers and other departments throughout the park. If you would
like an application form or more information please contact : The Human
Resources Department, Chessington World of Adventures, Leatherhead Road,
Chessington, Surrey, KT9 2NE. Telephone 01372 729560 Closing date for
applications is 26th March 1999 ---------- Experienced Falconer required
for new Bird Park in Greece in the Athens area. Must be highly motivated,
with a good general knowledge of all aspects of falconry. Willingness to
enter into a two year contract and take on a real challenge is essential.
Package will include accommodation. Please send CV and references to:
Practical Avian Consultants, Kookaburra House, Gravel Hill Road, Holt
Pound, Farnham, Surrey GU10 4LG ----------- For the most up to date links
to sites advertising Zoo work go to:


13th Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society
5 April 1999
Valencia, Spain
For more Information contact Vincent Ridoux on :, preferably before late January.(probably too late now,
but you never know)

Animal Record Keeping Workshops - a practical programme of training in
ISIS animal record keeping software. ARKS3 12th and 13th April 1999 SPARKS
14th and 15th April 1999 Department of Biological Sciences Manchester
Metropolitan University in association with the Federation of Zoological
Gardens of Great Britain and Ireland Tutors: ARKS3 - Elsbeth Chaplin,
Jane Kennedy and Pam Barker.
SPARKS - Sarah Christie, Duncan Bolton and Reese Lind.
Cost: £100.00 per day for Zoo Federation members and affiliates, and
£115.00 for non-Federation members.

Course details and booking forms may be obtained by contacting:

Dr Barry Stevens-Wood
Department of Biological Sciences
Manchester Metropolitan University
Chester Street, Manchester M1 5GD, UK.
Tel: 0161-247 1194, Fax: 1061-247 6325 and email:

Course information may also be obtained through the University's web site

Second Animal Trainer's Network Meeting
April 13-16, 1999
Pittsburgh Zoo
On November 13th, 1998 the Louisville Zoological Garden hosted an animal
trainer's network meeting. It was attended by over sixty representatives
from eleven institutions and was a great success. In the morning,
attendees exchanged information about different training taking place at
their institutions and shared videos and slides. The afternoon consisted
of demonstrations of different training going on at the Louisville
Zoological Garden. This was followed by a discussion about how to
continue to share information with fellow trainers. The people in
attendance decided to begin the process of establishing a trainer's
association encompassing all species.

The Second Animal Trainer's Network Meeting is being hosted by the
Pittsburgh Zoo. A small group of experienced individuals will meet in
closed sessions on Tuesday April 13 and Wednesday April 14 to organize the
association. The general meeting, open to all interested individuals,
will begin with an icebreaker on Wednesday night and will continue with
sessions on Thursday April 14 and Friday April 15. For more information
about this meeting, or membership in a new animal trainer's organization,
contact, attention Heidi.

Heidi Hellmuth
Loon Mountain Wildlife Theater
Lincoln, NH 03251

ABWAK 25th Celebration, Then, Now & the Future
April 17 - 18 1999
Marwell Zoological Park
for more details contact:
either Luke Gates at or Julie Croucher on

24th International Annual Meeting for the Study of Marine Mammals
(The Mexican Society for the Study of Marine Mammals (SOMEMMA) )
El Acuario de Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Northwestern Mexico
April 18-22 1999
More information is available from Rosy Espinosa / Ana Luisa
Figueroa at or from

The Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) will be having a
joint annual conference with the Canadian Museum Association from April 27
to May 1, 1999 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Sessions will include
topics of interest for zoo and aquarium staff, such as exhibitry,
retail, marketing, human resources, management, education, training
and revenue generations. Presentations are already planned on the
Toronto Zoo's African Savanna Project, Ecoeducation and Public
Outreach, and Endangered species: Habitat Conservation. A special day
at Toronto Zoo including workshops, behind the scene tours and an
evening social function is planned for May 1. For more information, or
to submit a paper, contact Program Chair William A.Rapley. Tel: 001
416 392 5963, Fax: 001 416 392 4979, E-mail:

30th Annual Conference and Workshop of the International Association of
Aquatic Animal Medicine 2 - 5 May 1999 Boston Massachusetts For further
information contact :

Pan African Association Of Zoological Gardens, Aquaria And Botanic
Gardens (PAAZAB).
Notice of forthcoming AGM and Conference.
5 - 7 May 1999
Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town, South Africa
For further information please contact MICHELLE MURPHY (PAAZAB
Secretariat) at
Details and registration forms are available now from this email address.

Symposium on the Dingo
8 May 1999, Hallstrom Theatre, The Australian Museum, Sydney, 9.30am to
5.00pm. Major Sponsor: The Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales.

The status of the dingo in parts of its Australian range has been the
subject of much recent conservation concern. Recent developments in New
South Wales have increased opportunities to maintain dingoes as pets, but
legislative changes make wild dogs potentially subject to control orders
that are binding on the Crown. This forum brings together experts
interested in the dingo to discuss questions of dingo status, identity,
impacts, functions, control and management. There will be some focus on
the dingo in NSW, but not to the exclusion of broadly-based issues.
Audience participation is invited in the final hour of the days
proceedings. There will be rapid publication of the presentations of
invited speakers. Registration is $50 (RZS members $20) and will include
refreshments and lunch on the day. Registration forms and further details
are available at or may
be obtained from Chris Dickman, School of Biological Sciences, University
of Sydney, NSW 2006; phone 9351 2318; fax 9351 4119, email

39th International Symposium on the Diseases of Zoo and Wild Animals
May 12 - 16, 1999
Vienna / Austria

Federation of Zoos Annual Conference
13-15 May 1999
Bristol Zoo Gardens
For further information contact:

Second Annual Parrot Symposium
May 21-23, 1999
Victoria, BC, Canada
Confirmed Speakers: Dr. Margaret Wissman, Joanne Abramson, Chris Davis,
Jos Hubers, Eric Peake, Gillian Willis and more... Registration: $200 Also
a continuing education program for veterinarians and technicians,
commercial booths, banquet, auction and more. Excess profits will be
donated to parrot research. Last year a donation was made to Dr. Branson
Ritchie for his research on PDD. If you need any further information,
please visit our web site (register on-line!) at:

7th World Conference on Breeding Endangered Species
May 22 - 26 1999
Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio, USA
for more details contact:
Grace Rettig (Fax 1-513-559-7791)

ECM 3rd European Congress of Mammalogy
May 30- June 4 1999
Jyvaskyla, Finland
For further details contact :

Federation of Zoological Gardens of Great Britain and Ireland Research
Group One Day Symposium on Zoo Research 10th June 1999 Paignton Zoo
Environmental Park Paignton, Devon This symposium aims to bring together
researchers working within zoological gardens. Most such researchers are
students and it is hoped that they, in particular, will offer to give
presentations and that we can generate a supportive and encouraging
atmosphere for them. However, presentations by more experienced scientists
are also very welcome. There is no restriction on the scientific
discipline discussed but presentations must include recent results of
research conducted wholly or mostly within zoos. The registration fee is
£10 including tea/coffee and lunch. The symposium will start at 9.30am at
the earliest and papers will be approximately 20 minutes each. If there is
enough interest, we will be happy to arrange tours of Paignton Zoo with
members of our Science Department on the afternoon of 9th June. If you
would like to present a paper or poster please submit a title as soon as
possible using the enclosed registration form and a 300 word abstract (by
email if possible) before the 30th April 1999. All details can be obtained
either via Paignton Zoo on email or the
Federation office on email

Fig-Parrot Captive Husbandry Workshop
At Currumbin Sanctuary, Queensland, Australia
22-23rd June 1999
Currumbin Sanctuary will be hosting a workshop on the captive husbandry of
Fig-Parrots 22- 23rd June 1999. This will be following the "Birds 99"
convention being held in Brisbane 18- 21st June 1999. The aim of the
workshop is to have as many breeders of Fig-Parrots and other interested
people together as possible. At the workshop it is envisaged that in
working groups a comprehensive Husbandry Manual will be compiled. The
husbandry manual will cover all aspects of housing, breeding, feeding and
health. The two day workshop will be held at Currumbin Sanctuary at a cost
of $50.00 per person which covers morning and afternoon tea and lunch on
both days as well as a copy of the husbandry manual. Currumbin Sanctuary
is located on the Gold Coast one hour's drive south from Brisbane.
Accommodation is readily available in the area and Coolangatta Airport is
only five minutes away. People unable to attend but who may be able to
offer information are encouraged to supply their information and in return
they will receive a copy of the workshop results. Following the workshop
there is a post workshop trip to North Queensland with world renown parrot
expert Joe Forshaw. The trip will include 2 full days in Cairns/Kuranda
followed by 5 days in Iron Range on Cape York. This trip of a lifetime
will afford those participants a wonderful time looking at wild
Fig-Parrots (Macleay's & Marshall's), Palm Cockatoos, Red- cheeked Parrots
and Eclectus Parrots to name just a small selection. Spaces are limited to
15 people so if interested please contact Liz Romer ASAP. For information
on both the workshop and post workshop tour please contact Liz Romer
Currumbin Sanctuary 28 Tomewin St Currumbin Qld Australia 4223 Fax +61 7
5534 7427 Phone +61 7 5525 0197 Email
For information on Birds 99 contact The Registrar, Birds 99, PO Box 600,
Nundah Qld 4012 Australia. Fax +61 7 5498 9914.

2nd International Wildlife Management Congress
28 June - 2 July 1999
Godollo, Hungary
For further details contact :

PR & Marketing in Zoos »Marketing Zoos beyond 2000: Amsterdam«
The second conference on PR & Marketing, 3 rd. June thru 6th June 1999, is
now taking shape. The conference committee have now finalized the draft
for the conference, and you may obtain a sneeky preview by contacting one
of the organizers at and have the program sent as
Corell WordPerfect 6/7/8-file or MS Word 6/7-file (please state which
system you use). Program will be in the mail by mid-April for those who
have received the first call, and by then all the names of the speakers
will be confirmed. In the mail will also be yet another registration form,
should the first have gone astray. If you require further information at
this time please contact Henning Julin, Director of Aalborg Zoo on :

The 1999 meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists (ASM)
University of Washington, Seattle
June 20-24 1999
This will include spoken and poster sessions on marine mammals. The ASM
Marine Mammal
Committee has also organised a symposium at the event entitled 'Marine
Mammals: The Next Century'. For more information, contact : Paul Anderson,
Chair, ASM Marine Mammal Committee at

10th Arctic Ungulate Conference
August 9 - 12 1999
University of Tromso, Norway
For further information contact :

American Federation of Aviculture 25th Annual Convention
August 12 - 15, 1999
Adams-Mark Hotel
Further details available in January,1999
Info on web site early 1999:

V111th European Bat Research Symposium
August 23 - 27 1999
Cracow Poland
Chiropterology Information Centre
30- 016 Krakow Poland
ph +4812/422-64-10

Fourth International Enrichment Conference
29th August - 3rd September 1999
Edinburgh, Scotland.
Details are now available from the Shape of Enrichment website:
The Shape of Enrichment, Inc is pleased to announce a grant of $1,000 U.S.
to be used towards expenses to attend The Fourth International Conference
on Environmental Enrichment. The winning paper will be presented during
the conference. More details of this from the enrichment site.

16th EAZA/EEP Annual Conference
Basel Zoo, Switzerland
September 8 - 12 1999
For further information contact :
EAZA offices

26th National Conference of the American Association of Zoo Keepers, Inc.
September 12 - 16 1999 Portland, Oregon Hosted by the Portland AAZK
Chapter and The Oregon Zoo. For information contact: Jan McCoy, The
Oregon Zoo, 4001 S.W. Canyon Rd., Portland, OR 97221. Fax: (503) 226-6836

European Zoo Educators (EZE) Conference
Safari Beekse Bergen; Hilvarenbeek, The Netherlands
16 - 20 September 1999
For further details contact: Chris Peters; IZE-Regional Representative for
Europe/Middle-East e-mail:

Veterinary conference on Australian Wildlife
Western Plains Zoo, Australia
September 13 - 17, 1999.
Topics include zoonoses, medicine and surgery of
macropods, reptiles, bats, native birds and amphibia as well as pest
control and assisted reproduction. Interested parties can contact :
David Blyde on

VI International Symposium on the Preservation of the Przewalski Horse 5 -
7 October 1999 Kyiv, Askania-Nova For further details contact :

CBSG Annual Meeting
15 - 17 October 1999
Pretoria, South Africa
For further details contact :

World Zoo Organisation Annual Conference
18 - 21 October 1999
Pretoria, South Africa
For further details contact :
Sarita Cronje, National Zoo, P.O.Box 754, Pretoria 0001, South Africa.
(Fax 27-12-323-4540)

Research and Captive Propagation in Birds
Antwerp Zoo
October 21-23 1999
For Further info :

29th North American Symposium on Bat Research
October 27-30 1999
Maddison Wisconsin USA
Tom Griffiths
Dept of Biology, Illinois Weslean University, Bloomington IL 61702
Ph 309-536-3230
fax 309-536-3411

British and Irish Zoo Educators Conference (BIZE)
Fota Wildlife Park, Co. Cork, Ireland
18-21 November 1999
The conference organiser is Lynda McSweeney
tel 00353 21 812 678 or fax 00353 21 812 744

The 13th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, organised
by the Society for Marine Mammalogy, will be held from 29 November to 3
December 1999 in Kihei, Hawaiian Islands. The deadline for abstracts is 1
June and for workshop proposals 1 March. For further information contact
Gene Nitta, Conference Chair, at
or Paul Nachtigall, Scientific Program Chair, at , or visit .

Third International Asian Hornbill Workshop
The Third International Asian Hornbill Workshop will be held in April/May
2000 in Singapore, with a post-workshop excursion to the Budo & Hala-Bala
Research Site, south Thailand. If you are interested in attending, please
write to either: Ms Ng Bee Choo, c/o Nature's Niche, Bukit Timah Nature
Reserve Visitor Centre, 177 Hindhede Drive, Singapore 589333. Tel, +65
4636571, fax +65 4636572, e.mail or Dr Pilai
Poonswad, Hornbill Project Thailand, c/o Department of Microbiology,
Faculty of Science, Mahidol Unversity, Rama 6 Road, Bangkok 10400,
Thailand. Fax +66 26445411, e.mail

“The Apes: Challenges for the 21st Century”
May 10 -14 2000
Hilton, Lisle/Naperville
Hosted by The Chicago Zoological Society, (Brookfield Zoo)
A unique conference focusing on the apes of the world. It is hoped to
bring together researchers, zoo personnel and field biologists from all
over the world. Keynote speakers include Dr. David Chivers for lesser
apes, Dr. Carel van Schaik for Orangutans, Dr. Gay Reinartz for Bonobos,
Dr. Claudia Olejniczak for Gorillas and Dr. Toshisada Nishida for
Chimpanzees. Additional information and details regarding conference
registration will be announced in mid May.

Fourth International Penguin Conference
Coquimbo, Chile
September 4 - 8 2000
For Further info :

Help Wanted

Dear Colleagues and Friends :
An animal welfare organisation with the acronym IPAN was working in India
at Mudaimalai, a nearby wildlife sanctuary doing all kinds of useful
things -- until recently. A wild elephant which had become a menace,
having killed a dozen or so villagers in the area and having become a
habitual crop raider, was captured by the forest department of the state
and sustained a bad wound on the leg in the process which became infected.
Apparently IPAN felt they should have been allowed to treat the elephant
exclusively and when they were not, they started a vilification campaign
against the department, the elephant researchers of the area (including
Dr. R. Sukumar who is in every way excellent (dedicated, focused, highly
intelligent, competent, etc.), the veterinarian who was called from
retirement to treat the elephant (Dr. K, the well-known elephant
specialist), etc. IPAN wrote letters to the US Congress, Indian
government, and put up their version on the internet. Now, after Dr.
Sukumar has answered them with a factual account of what happened, their
campaign has gone beyond the incident which alleged cruelty to an
elephant) the incident to make allegations of a conspiracy to destroy the
entire Western ghats, importing African elephants with herpes virus to
release in the forest and purchasing property which conflicts with the
elephant corridor. I am distressed because Dr. Sukumar and Dr. K. are
people I have known for 15 years or more. I know them well personally and
they work speaks for itself. I am pained that another animal organisation
would go to these lengths to vilify such people. It is also distressing
because IPAN is made up of Americans. They are making a big mess here,
breaking all the principles of correct behaviour as a guest by vilifying
the government agencies, etc. I am now being affected simply by being
another American in the field. I feel constrained to make what I believe
to be the correct account of what happened available so that if anyone in
the zoo community hears about this, they take time to become familiar with
another side of the story. I have copied below a letter written by Dr.
Sukumar and an Editorial I wrote for ZOOS' PRINT about this incident.
Just don't believe everything you hear. And if you know Sukumar and Dr.
K., send them an email or fax of support. Sukumar's numbers are at the end
of his letter and mine are at the end of this message. YOu can send Dr.
K. messages either through Sukumar's number or through mine. Sorry to
ask you to read such a big message , but it has happened to me and I know
how it feels. It could happen to any of us or our institution. As you
would like people to give you the benefit of doubt, please give the same
to Dr. Sukumar, Dr. K. and the Forest Department of Tamil Nadu. Thanks.

Letter from Dr. Sukumar : In recent days there have been several articles
in the Indian and foreign media (The Washington Post 5/6 March 1999; The
Hindu 8 March 1999; The Indian Express 13 March 1999. Outlook 15 March
1999) on the allegations of cruelty to an elephant in Tamilnadu, India.
The following is the text of a letter that we have addressed to
Congressman Sam Farr of the United States of America, and several
conservationists and NGOs, both in India and abroad.

Date : March 12, 1999
I am writing this letter with reference to the allegations of cruelty to a
tuskless male elephant ("makhna') in the state of Tamilnadu, India, made
by the India Project for Animals, represented by its Director Ms Deanna L.
Krantz, its consultant Dr. Michael W. Fox, and its U.S. Project
Coordinator Mr. John D. Griffith. While we appreciate the concern shown by
our friends in the United States for the welfare of elephants ("The
Washington Post" March 5/6, 1999, and the report by the IPAN consultant),
we would like to point out several half-truths and misinformation being
spread as part of the campaign launched by IPAN. Incidentally, the
elephant is not a "tusker" as headlined in the Washington Post, but a
"tuskless" bull, locally known as a "makhna". The problem with the
captured "makhna" as we see it is as follows. The "makhna" elephant was
not only a habitual crop-raider but had also killed at least a dozen
villagers in the states of Tamilnadu and Kerala. Dr. Fox, the IPAN
consultant, while mentioning that the elephant was a crop raider
conveniently leaves out the fact that this elephant had been a human
killer for several years, an example of the half-truth in the IPAN report.
The local villagers had petitioned the forest departments for action to
control the animal and threatened violence if their sufferings continued.
In possibly any country, but India, such an animal would have been
immediately shot ! The Indian wildlife laws also allow for the destruction
of a dangerous animal. However, for nearly two decades now the Indian
authorities have been experimenting, with reasonable success, in capturing
and taming such "rogue" elephants as opposed to killing them. It was with
this intention that the Tamilnadu forest department decided to capture the
"makhna" elephant. The elephant was captured outside the Mudumalai
Wildlife Sanctuary and it was injured badly in its legs when it was
chained for transportation to the sanctuary. It is evident that the haste
in which the animal was removed from the area was because of the duress
the officials were under during a potentially volatile situation locally.
This 4.5-ton, 40-year old bull elephant was also a very powerful animal,
capable of enormous destruction if it had escaped while capture, and
before it had been tamed (anyone who has seen mangled steel in western
zoos keeping bull elephants would certainly believe this). Anywhere in the
world, it is probably in only two Indian states, Karnataka and Tamilnadu,
that an attempt is made to capture and tame such large bull elephants;
anywhere else such an animal would be after it had been captured and has
been doing so purely in a voluntary capacity. He had been ailing from a
major heart surgery and, despite his health, never hesitated to travel
from Chennai (a distance of 300 miles) to inspect the animal when called
upon by the forest department. That alone testifies to his deep love for
elephants. The attack on him indicates utter insensitivity on the part of
IPAN staff. During the 30 years of his service in looking after captive
elephants in Tamilnadu, the elephants under his care represented a real
success story of elephant health care and breeding as seen from hard
scientific facts. These elephants witnessed a birth rate and longevity
record unsurpassed by any major elephant holding facility in the world
(see paper in the American journal Zoo Biology 16: 263-272, 1997)). Dr.
Krishnamurthy was responsible for the successful rearing of a number of
orphaned elephant calves, a feat earlier deemed impossible in most parts
of the world. His practical knowledge of elephants is legendary (Douglas
Chadwick's book "The Fate of the Elephant" provides a sensitive portrait
of Dr. Krishnamurthy). We request anyone to demonstrate a consistently
better record in any major elephant holding facility than that achieved by
Dr. Krishnamurthy. We have seen figures for captive elephant reproduction
and longevity from several populations across the globe, including North
America, Europe, and Asia. There is none to surpass the record of
Tamilnadu's captive elephants under Dr. Krishnamurthy's care. In addition,
he has assisted in the control of dozens of problematic, wild elephants
all over the country, providing indisputable relief to the hapless victims
of their depredations. It must also be noted that Dr. Krishnamurthy
introduced the most gentle methods of training elephants, involving only a
wooden stick, unlike the metal hook ("ankus") used in most other parts of
the world. The complete absence of metal in training a powerful animal
such as the elephant has been appreciated by many other elephant-holding
Since August 1998, when this issue of the makhna's welfare was brought to
my notice, I have
visited Mudumalai several times and seen the elephant. I also spoke
personally spoke to the Chief Wildlife Warden of Tamilnadu, and later have
been in regular touch with the Wildlife Warden of Mudumalai Sanctuary.
They have assured me that the elephant would receive the best treatment
possible. Dr. Krishnamurthy has made monthly visits to Mudumalai, spending
3-4 days each time, to advise the forest department on the treatment of
the elephant. In spite of the hysteria being raised of the elephant dying
at any moment, the bottom line is that it has survived and its injuries
healed substantially. The elephant was taken out of its kraal on February
6, 1999 and is now more or less following the routine of other elephants
in the camp. I will be visiting Mudumalai again during the third week of
March and will be happy to report back to you on the condition of the
elephant as well as send pictures of the elephant.
This issue raises the need for the international conservation community
and wildlife officials
to address the more substantive issue of wildlife conflict with people, in
particular elephant depredation of crops and manslaughter. This is a
complex issue, with loss of habitat being only part of the story. There
are numerous examples of elephants raiding agricultural fields on the
borders of intact and high-quality habitat. Male elephants, in particular,
often become habitual crop-raiders and it is not an easy task to deal with
this situation (see publication in the British journal Biological
Conservation 55: 93-102, 1991). Our scientific understanding of the issue
of crop depredation is still inadequate. We therefore call upon the world
conservation community to keep in mind the need for support to broader
conservation issues, in addition to the care of an individual animal.
Volatile issues such as problem-animal control (whether it be grizzly
bears in North America, lions in Africa or elephants in Asia), if not
handled sensitively and pragmatically, could lead to unstable situations
greatly hampering future conservation efforts. We urge that a more
serious and mature dialogue is taken up as to how to deal with the broader
issues of conservation of species and their habitats. Prof. Raman
Sukumar Hon. Director, Asian Elephant Research & Conservation Centre
Chairman, IUCN/SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group Professor, Centre for
Ecological Sciences Indian Institute of Science Bangalore-560012 India
Phone: +91-80-3343382 (Direct) +91-80-3092786 (Asian Elephant
Conservation Centre) Fax: +91-80-3311280 (Direct) +91-80-3315428
(Centre for Ecological Sciences)e-mail: Rush to Judgement or No good deed goes unpunished
Sally Walker A colleague in Delhi informed me about a makhna elephant in
Tamil Nadu and the amazing international controvery which had been created
around his alleged mistreatment. On my return to Coimbatore I began
getting phone calls, faxes and emails from individuals, embassies and
organisations inquiring about this animal and the mistreatment being meted
out by foresters and veterinary doctors in Tamil Nadu. Dr. R. Sukumar
who, as Chairman of the Asian Elephant Specialist Group and having a
research station of his institute in the area, was right in the middle of
it and told me the background. He has since issued a comprehensive
statement about the issue which reached too late and is too long to
include. I have summarised the story adding my own two bits. It is
aggravating that what should be a non-issue has been blown out of
proportion to this extent. I can think of so many other issues of which
senators, congressmen, parliamentarians embassies, Indian and foreign NGOs
and media should take note. The sad fact is that with modern media being
so very available, fast and effective, it is very easy for misinformed and
biased persons to create such an international hysteria with only their
limited point of view to back them. The story goes : An elephant, a
Makhna or tuskless elephant, had been raiding crops and killing villagers
for some years. More than one dozen villagers had been killed by the
elephant. Villagers had demanded action from the forest department and
threatened violence if nothing was done. Under Indian law it is
permissible to destroy a dangerous animal, but in India wildlife
authorities have attempted (mostly successfully) with capturing and
training "rogue" elephants rather than shooting them. Ascapturing and
training such an elephant is a time-consuming, expensive and difficult
job, it is obviously with a view to the philosophy of ahimsa and charity
towards public religious sentiment that this has been done. The forest
department really doesn't need tourist elephants so badly as to take on
this task. It was decided to capture this elephant. During the capture,
the elephant was injured during transportation to the sanctuary. Some
hundreds of people had gathered and the situation was so volatile that
perhaps undue haste was taken in bringing the elephant under captivity and
into an area where both man and animal could be safe. The elephant was
cared for but lost weight due to change in diet from unlimited cultivated
crops to recommended captive diet. The elephant was placed in a small
wooden kraal which was designed so that the animal could not work up
momentum to crash through the walls and escape; a very sturdy wall could
also result in injury to the elephant if it ran against it. The wound
has taken time to heal but has been treated by none other than Dr. V.
Krishnamurthy who most of us know as perhaps the best elephant doctor in
the country and possibly the world. Those of us who know Dr. K. also know
that in addition to his expertise, he is full of compassion and love for
animals -- particularly elephants, his special animal. A situation which
would have been resolved by shooting the animal in almost any other
country and has involved a department and individual which have a superior
track record with regard to the care of elephants has been taken up by
some individuals and institutions in the animal welfare community who have
not bothered to relay background or correct facts. Dr. Krishnamurthy has
been vilified as a "butcher" and the Tamil Nadu Forest Department as an
incompetent, corrupt, insensitive department. Dr. K, the "butcher", is
still recovering from open heart surgery yet travels 300 miles from his
home to inspect Loki and treat him. Dr. K has so many achievements to his
credit it would take a book of encyclopaedia size to cover them all. Dr.
K. introduced the softest methods of training elephants which have been
appreciated all over Asia and the world. So once again the aphorism "No
good deed goes unpunished" has been proved to be true ! The elephant,
according to Dr. Sukumar who has visited the holding facility several
times, is alive and its injuries healed substantially. "The elephant was
taken out of its kraal on February 6, 1999 and is now more or less
following the routine of other elephants in the camp." Sukumar has
called on the world conservation community to bear in mind the need for
support for broader conservation issues and urged that a serious and
mature dialogue is taken up as to how to deal with the problems of
conservation of species and their habitats. For more information contact
him at the Asian Elephant Research and Conservation Centre, Centre for
Ecological Sciences, IIS, Bangalore 560 012, INDIA. Phone: 91-80-3343382,
092786; Fax: 91-80- 3311280, 3315428. E-mail:, For myself, I would like to call on our
conservation colleagues to take some time and seriously try to engage the
animal welfare community in productive discussions. It seems that the
majority of animal welfare groups tend to "rush to judgement" (although I
am sorry to say that many "conservationists" did also with regard to this
issue) without understanding either the background, the facts or the
technical aspects of a case. We at Z.O.O. are associated with some
excellent welfare organisations which take a positive and constructive
approach and focus on science rather than sentiment, so we know it is
possible. Zoo Outreach Organisation itself was founded on such
principles. Irresponsible and uninformed criticism is so very
destructive. It not only unjustifiable embarasses innocent people but it
also consumes valuable time and energy of the community in attending and
answering such claims. Finally, if the welfare community goes on crying
"wolf" at every incident, who will believe them in the end. It is for
their own good and their ability to do good that the lunatic fringe of the
animal welfare community needs to take some personal inventory and clean
up their act.
With my very best wishes Sally Walker

Zoo Outreach Organisation/Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, CBSG,
India Asian Regional Network of International Zoo Educators Box 1683,
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641 004 India

Phones 91 422 563 159; 561 087 Fax 91 422 563 269

Our Websites are all "in process" but you may like to check them out
anyway: 1. CBSG, India : CAMP PHVA Results -- 2. ZOO, ZOOS' PRINT, ZOO ZEN -- 3. History of Zoos and Nat
Hist in India 4. About Sally Walker
personally and the Asian Regional Network of International Zoo Educators Walker ----------- Susanne Baeumler,
Elephant Keeper at Twycross Zoo is interested to learn of other female
elephant keepers in Europe (the USA seem to have plenty). If you are aware
of collections with female elephant keepers or zoos which have a specific
policy not to hire them she would be keen to hear from you. Please Email : ----------- Lahore Zoo, Pakistan is the largest
zoo of the country. Covering an area of some 24 acres it maintains 119
different species. The zoo currently requires some animals to make up
pairs. It will appreciated if animals could be donated, otherwise the
exchange of animals can be done. Please check the list of animals/birds
required by us: Southern White Rhinoceros Breeding age male Olive Baboon
Breeding age female Mandrill - do- Hamadryas Baboon -do- Leopard
Breeding age male Cassowary Adult female Ostrich -do-
Giraffe a young pair Hippopotamus
Breeding age female

Contact Dr. Toosy , Director Lahore Zoo, Pakistan
Fax #: 0092-42-6304683
Ph #: 0092-42-6314684
I had a request from a colleague looking for personal pages of zoo staff
(NOT Zoo pages)...curators, keepers, vets etc. I had a look out there and
there does not seem to be a lot that my magic search engines can find. I
thought I would produce a list, similiar to enrichment one above. Please
send me your suggestions to : ------------
Don`t forget ZooChat, it has its moments! Curators, Keepers, Vets,
Researchers letting their hair down at the end of the day. Very
lighthearted most of the time. Serious some of the time. Useful for making
contacts and generally having fun. THE BOARD is a useful place for posting
your interests.
------------ Zoo Biology To subscribe send an e-mail to: For those of you unfamiliar with Email
groups they work like this. You subscribe. You can then pose questions,
answer questions, make observations, inform or just read the Email. This
will arrive with some regularity (depending on the flow of information).
By Zoo Biology I mean anything relating to zoo management. Hediger
described this as “the science which embraced everything which was
biologically relevant to the management of the zoological garden.” The
more that join up the more effective a management tool it will become. Go
on, give it a try, and subscribe. Remember no-one will pressurize you to
contribute....but you may want to help. ------------ Sites worth checking
out Have you got a suggestion? Let me check it out.

On lineGuidelines & Husbandry manuals (have you any others to add to the
1. AZA Bear TAG
2. AZA Felid TAG
3. AZA Canid TAG 4.
AZA Antelope TAG 5.
Golden lion tamarin 6. Red panda 7. AZA Avian
Interest Grp 8. Tigers 9. Marine mammals 10. European mink 11. Palm Cockatoo 12. Cotton-top tamarin 13. Red
Squirrel 14. Pond Turtle
---------- Most e-mail packages will allow you to point and click on the
site address (hyperlink). This should launch your web browser and send you
directly to the site. If your package will not do this you will have to
use cut and paste. Cutting from this e-mail and pasting in your browsers
address column...then press return and away you go! The other problem you
may have is that the site address is longer than the page width. You will
have to cut and paste twice, taking care that you marry to the two halves
exactly. Some of these links are quite short lived, but I have checked
them all today and they all work.. If you have a problem, do let me know.

Zoo News Digest is sent out to a large number of interested parties
worldwide each week. I haven`t done a count lately but last time I did
over 300 different Zoos were represented. If you know of anyone who you
think would like to be included please e-mail me or get them to mail me
directly. I would appreciate just a line or two letting me know something
of work area and interests. If you would like to include notification of
any items of interest i.e. Meetings, seminars, job vacancies please
contact me. I would also appreciate any short, breaking, news items you
may pen yourself. Many thanks.

For those of you who have not received the News previously, you have been
included because someone has suggested you might be interested. If this is
not the case please email me and I shall remove your name.

Kind Regards,

Wishing you a wonderful week,

Peter Dickinson