Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Zoo News Digest 20th - 30th November 2011 (Zoo News 796)

Zoo News Digest 20th - 30th November 2011 (Zoo News 796)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleague,

This is late going out. I have had an awful and unpredictable internet connection this week. No logical explanation for it because I have had a really good signal. It has moved me from tears to profanity but I figure I must now post out as soon as possible before I lose the signal again. Not said all I wanted to say but then perhaps that is for the best.

Initially I was not so very bothered about the Toronto Elephants going to the PAWS 'Sanctuary' in California. The Zoo staff had already decided that the Elephants would be moving on. Whereas I had some reservations about PAWS I was prepared to look at both sides of the story. What really bothered me was the underhand, sneaky, backdoor way the Toronto councillors made their decision. This was wrong, this was dirty politics and a big slap in the face of the Toronto Zoo staff. I have since learned a lot more about PAWS and am convinced that the planned move there is the wrong decision.

'Zoo loses face, along with its elephants' the header says. Far from it. The zoo has not lost face at all. The Zoo staff have stood up against a bunch of tyrannical know nothings who are more concerned with money and famous friends.

Is Councillor Michelle Berardinetti stubborn? I am sure she must be. If she has bothered to read all the other side of the story she must surely realise the huge mistake she has made. So stubborn... or perhaps she is basking in the limelight she is currently in. She accuses the keepers of insubordination!!! Just who the hell does she think she is? Let the keepers have their say on the Toronto elephants. The Animal Rights bullies really do not care.

Is it really too late for common sense and justice?

The moment I read phrases like "But it’s worth remembering there has never been any successful reintroduction of pandas born in captivity back to the wild." I know that the person who said it has not the faintest idea about what the Good Zoo community is about. So who said it? ...Yvonne Taylor. Yvonne who? You must remember...the shy vegan girl who keeps taking her clothes off and spends time hob nobbing it with celebrities. She goes on to say “Let’s not think this is anything to do with protecting pandas. It’s a commercial money-making deal. Nothing more". She is right. It IS a commercial money making deal but as to the "Nothing more" well it is a lot more. Edinburgh zoo does a lot of work for conservation and the money they raise will be plowed back into doing even more. Not just for Pandas but for other species too. People who know me are aware I am not especially a Panda fan and especially with regards to the artificial insemination, hand rearing and Panda farming that takes place in China but I can see their value as a draw in the West. I wonder why it is that she feels the need to draw attention to the fact that she is a vegan as if that bestowed some special knowledge about animal care. It doesn't. It may mean she knows a little bit more about growing lettuce or carrots than the rest of us but about zoos, good zoos and conservation? No I am afraid not. There are vegans who do. They work in zoos. They prepare meat to feed to carnivores and BOP's. I am surprised that what this rather mixed up young lady thinks was actually given the column inches in the paper.

"It has been decided to construct an elephant conservation centre near". elephant conservation centre = elephants in captivity = zoo.

Blinkered and rabid. That's the best way to describe some of the sub-humans I meet on the internet, facebook in particular. They call themselves animal lovers and yet hate people and do their best to stir up trouble. Like flies around a piece of shit they congregate together trying to spread their dirt as far as they can. If you cannot love your family, if you cannot love people then I don't believe you really give a damn about the other creatures we share our planet.

'Zoos the good, the bad and the ugly' an interesting letter which states "In my experience, not many people oppose all zoos, but most people object to bad zoos." This is not my experience though. I find that most people do not know the difference between a good zoo and a bad zoo and care even less. This is why I believe so strongly that the good zoos need to point out the difference. Unfortunately there are a number of collections out there which actually think they are good whereas they are really bad dysfunctional zoos. Often the zoo staff themselves are good, with their hearts in the right place but are patently working within an illusion.

The seven day strike by the zoo keepers in Bursa Munda zoo scarcely got a mention anywhere, I wonder why? Okay they don't mention keepers as such but 'daily wage' workers but that is just what they are. The difference in keepers in the West and in some other parts of the world is truly Oceans apart.

'Orang utan island disappoints'...I have gone on about this place before. Read more here. This is just what is going to happen on the Malaysian mainland if certain people get their way.

Although I tend to be outspoken in my blog sometimes I know more about particular stories than it would be wise for me to speak out about (literally)...pity really. You will just have to figure out for yourself with links I am referring too.

The piece on Surabaya Zoo makes an interesting read but it does need to be looked at more deeply. Not all is as it seems. Check back over my comments for the past few months but for starters look HERE and HERE

Please don't believe a word I say. Be sceptical, be doubtful, do a bit of research. After all it is just my opinion arrived at as a result of the way my life and experiences has shaped me. And the same for every other persons thoughts and opinions too. The internet lets everyone have their say and some of what is said is absolute rubbish put forward by people who know nothing or have very little knowledge...but then that's just my opinion after all.

New Year tomorow, followed quickly by National Day. Time for all to celebrate. I know I will in spite of my already over complicated personal life becoming even moreso.


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Toronto Zoo commits to moving elephants to sanctuary
The Toronto Zoo will put its international accreditation on the line after re-confirming plans to move its three elephants to an animal sanctuary in California.
The zoo's board of directors decided on Thursday that it would move ahead and ship Toka, Thika and Iringa to the Paws animal sanctuary instead of another zoo in the U.S, despite threats from North America's zoo oversight groups.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums along with its Canadian counterpart, the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums, responded to an October decision to move the animals to the animal sanctuary by threatening to strip the Toronto Zoo of its own accreditation.
The AZA, which does not accredit the Paws sanctuary, called the decision to ship the three elephants to the park "troubling," adding that once ownership of the elephants was relinquished "the Zoo and the people of Toronto will have no say, ever again, in how its elephants are treated."
In a letter to the zoo board, CAZA said the decision "has raised serious questions to the accreditation standards maintained by the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Zoo board conducts 'final tug of war' over fate of elephants
Toronto councillors, zoo board members and other animal lovers were conducting a final tug of war - verbally, at least - over Toronto Zoo's three remaining elephants Thursday, Nov. 24.
Dozens signed up to speak at an afternoon zoo board meeting at city hall about the fate of the animals, and their deputations were continuing into Thursday evening.
Though popular with visitors, the zoo's elephant exhibit has been controversial, especially since Tara, another of the zoo's small herd, died in November 2009, the fourth of the group to die in three years.
Toronto Council voted Oct. 25 to send Iringa, Toka and Thika to the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in California, overturning the board's decision in May to send the aging animals to an accredited zoo.
Zoo officials had said this move could take up to two years due to the necessity of permits and training to acclimatize the elephants to travel, but last month estimated the earliest elephants could leave was next April.
Animal activists had argued PAWS would be a more spacious and human destination for the elephants than any zoo, but board members said the sanctuary was not an accredited member of AZA, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Since council overturned the board's decision, the zoo has reported receiving letters from AZA and the CAZA, a Canadian equivalent it helped to found, expressing concern and suggesting, a report by CEO John Tracogna says, "the zoo's accreditation could be in jeopardy."
The report notes, however, that PAWS could apply to the AZA for certification as a "related facility" and that three AZA zoos have transferred elephants to PAWS.
Zoo staff have also said the decision to send the trio of pachyderms to PAWS was premature.
A letter signed by seven of the zoo's elephant keepers called it "a possible injustice" to the animals, until a comparison of all facilities interested in the elephants, including PAWS, has been made.
That thorough assessment is something staff "who have cared for these girls for over 35 years have earned the right to do," argues the letter, which asks councillors to change last month's decision.
"We owe it to these elephants to take the time to find the home that is best for them."
Tracogna's report says at the time of council's decision the zoo

Zoo loses face, along with its elephants
Let’s hope the road ahead for Toka, Thika and Iringa won’t be as bumpy as the one their masters at the Toronto Zoo now face.
Not only must zoo officials try to figure out the logistics for getting the three aging female elephants safely to a sanctuary in California by the end of next April. They’ll also have to figure out how to repair damaged relations with the bodies that provide the zoo with its coveted accreditation.
On Thursday, after a raucous five-hour public meeting, the zoo board voted to go along with city council’s October decision to send the elephants to the un-accredited PAWS sanctuary near San Andreas, Calif.
The sanctuary is not accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Maryland-based organization that certifies hundreds of zoos in North America, including Toronto’s.
The AZA has threatened to withdraw Toronto’s accreditation in large part because it believes the “experts’’ — keepers and managers at the zoo — are best positioned to decide the fate of the animals, not city councillors. The Canadian

Why are politicians determining zoo elephants’ fate?
When my kids were small, we lived in southeast Scarborough, conveniently close to the Toronto Zoo, so we were frequent visitors.
Our favourite place was the elephant pen, where you could stand and watch the animals up close as long as you wanted.
And, if you were lucky, have a chat with their keepers who were almost always willing to tell you all about their charges — their quirks, their foibles, the intricacies of their care.
The depth of their knowledge and the strength of the bond they had with the pachyderms never failed to impress. We went back time after time.
So it comes as a shock to me that the elephant keepers are being ignored in the uproar over what is to become of the zoo’s three remaining elephants, now that it has become accepted wisdom they shouldn’t be kept in such an inhospitable climate.
Everyone seems to agree they have to go to a warmer facility down south but no one seems to agree on where.
Once the decision to retire them was made, the zoo board decided to send them to an Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited facility, rather than to the Performing Animal Welfare Society’s sanctuary in California, as retired The Price Is Right host and elephant rescue hobbyist Bob Barker suggested.
But then city council got into the act — for reasons that are not entirely clear — and voted to send the elephants to the PAWS sanctuary after all.
That caused an uproar with the zoo keepers and board which suggested the zoo could lose its AZA accreditation if the elephants go to PAWS instead of another AZA facility, one of which the zoo had been negotiating with.
Next thing you know, a petition was circulating to support the zoo keepers and both sides of the argument were slinging mud at each other.
Wait a minute. How did we ever get to this point? (On Thursday, the Zoo board agreed to send the elephants to the PAWS facility.)
But does anyone other than me find it strange that suddenly everyone’s an elephant expert and the word of a has-been television game show host apparently counts for more than that of the people who actually care for the animals?
But these are times in which the word of a celebrity is accepted regardless of what he might actually know about any given subject.
We let Paul McCartney lecture us on baby seals in the same way we allow Bob Barker to walk all over us for no good reason, other than having watched him on television forever.
And where does city council get off making decisions that properly belong in the hands of the zoo’s employees and board of directors? Since when do they know better than the elephant keepers?
If they’re so smart, why aren’t they out supervising road crews in pothole season?
Or telling the parks crews how to compost the flower beds?
Maybe they ought to be driving the snow ploughs this winter.
It amounts to the same thing. Clearly, the lunatics are running the asylum.
I’m willing to buy the idea that these giants from the tropics should not be expected to live in our cold country (although somehow, they’ve managed to survive here for way more than a century).
It only makes sense. But I’m not willing to accept anyone other than the elephants’ caregivers know what’s best for them.
The Toronto Zoo has always been a prime example of a local political football right back to the day it opened in 1974 — and even before that.
What this incident has demonstrated is that maybe, as was suggested earlier this year, it really is time for the zoo to be sold to private interests — if only to get it out

Elephant keepers at Toronto Zoo respond to city council’s decision to send beasts to PAWS in California
Q: What is the benefit to the elephants of sending them to a facility accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, as the keepers are demanding?

A: The TO Zoo would be able to retain ownership of Thika, Iringa and Toka and therefore be involved in any decisions relating to them, such as introductions to other elephants and possible relocation, if needed, for the entirety of their lives. It would also allow financial security and the possible opportunity for Thika, Iringa and Toka to be a part of a breeding herd, providing the much-needed social dynamic.

Q: The two councillors who visited PAWS describe it as “paradise” for elephants. What are your main concerns with the elephants going there?

A: The issue was never whether or not PAWS was or was not a “paradise.” The issue remains that all options were not explored and compared. An extensive list of criteria was compiled which included keepers’ input, to ensure that the best suitable home was established that met the elephants’ psychological and physical needs. However, this was not utilized in the decision when determining PAWS. The decision to relocate to PAWS was made without any input from zoo management and without any inspection or evaluation process

Q: What are non-sanctuary options for the elephants? Another zoo, or the AZA-accredited National Elephant Centre to open next year in Florida?

A: The keepers are unable to comment on what options were being discussed and prepared, but can assure you that information was gathered from these facilities to be able to answer and score them fairly using established criteria. In reference to the Florida facility, it certainly could have been a suitable home, but without being allowed to complete the comparison we will never know.

Q: What is your concern with the process of selecting PAWS? Some keepers have been quoted as saying they should have a say in the elephants’ new home. Is that true?

A: Yes, it is true that the keepers feel as though we offer a unique perspective and knowledge of our three elephants and therefore should be allowed the opportunity to voice this knowledge and aid in applying it in the selection process of finding them a new home.

Q: Some people feel that certain animals, including elephants, are not suited to zoos and can be adequately represented by educational multimedia displays. What is your response to that and are you concerned other Toronto

The death of an elephant
The death of Umoya, a 21-year-old mother elephant at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park this month, possibly after an altercation with a male elephant, has revived criticisms from animal rights activists.
Already there has been a call for a federal investigation. Criticisms likely to come will include that males and females should not be housed together, that not enough range is allowed at San Diego’s facilities in Balboa Park and San Pasqual Valley, and that elephants do not belong in captivity at all.
Credit the well-meaning activists with influencing public opinion in recent years. A dozen zoos have left the elephant business entirely. Others have opted to expand the size of elephant enclosures.
But let’s hold the rush to judgment about Umoya. It will be weeks before a necropsy tells the cause of death.
Nor are we comfortable with how some would frame this debate, assuming the institution was somehow at fault. The zoo, Safari Park and programs under the umbrella of San Diego Zoo Global have been a leader in protecting hundreds of endangered species – plants and animals. They have done the same for the elephant.
Elephants in captivity do present distinct challenges, particularly in range, exposure to cold weather and social groupings. But elephant populations worldwide are in severe decline, habitats are under pressure and climatic changes often put large numbers at risk. When pockets of overpopulation do develop, zoos are an alternative to a culling of the herd would mean death to Umoyas many times over.
In San Diego, at least, the parks are about more than putting animals on display. They conduct research into nutrition, elephant vocalization and foster breeding. (Seven elephants obtained in 2003 are now 18.) They provide money to improve Swaziland’s natural parks and lend veterinarians to serve other facilities.
Should a tragic death like that of Umoya mean that a zoo abandons its effort entirely? We don’t think that

Sponsor: zoo fed my piglets to the tiger
A man who adopted piglets at a Swedish zoo has reported it to the Consumer Agency after his charges were fed to the resident tigers without his consent.
Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna, eastern Sweden, has been running a scheme for the past 15 years whereby members of the public can sponsor individual animals.
“We see our sponsors as a very important part of this preservation project, and we’re very clear on our website that their money will go towards those animals,” Helena Olsson from the zoo told The Local. She stressed, however, that as the centre is a haven for endangered species, other more common animals are often sent to the slaughter.
“Our predators are carnivores, and we think it’s great if we can return the pigs, who’ve lived a heavenly life in the park, to the circle of life,” Ms Olsson explained to Expressen.
The unlucky swines were part of

Orang utan island disappoints
A FEW weeks ago, I went to Bukit Merah Laketown Resort with my family to visit Orang Utan Island.
I was very excited at first but left the island feeling disgusted and appalled by what I saw and heard.
I was stunned when I heard that all the orang utans were not born on the island but were actually on loan from other sanctuaries.
These sanctuaries are already involved in helping these apes return to the wild, why would the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (Perhilitan) allow the resort to bring in orang utans from the sanctuaries and give them a licence to call themselves “orang utan conservationists”?
As we were taken around the island by a staff member, we were shown babies behind a glass-partitioned clinic. I was told these babies were kept there, separated from their mothers for various health reasons.
This is not true. OUI removes babies to put on a show for the public, a terrible thing to do to their mothers.
And then there is the “Stage 2: The Enrichment Development Unit”.
One of these orang utan mothers is undergoing training in an island called ‘BJ Island’, next to OUI. What training?
Do they have to separate mother and child? Surely OUI know that separating baby orang utans is highly stressful for their mothers.
At night these babies in “Stage 2” are kept in a cage, which means they are locked up in this barren cage for up to 16 hours every day.
According to the newly enacted Wildlife Act 2010, OUI are guilty of causing suffering to the mother and baby orang utan and should be persecuted and the situation corrected.
In addition, an orang utan named Baboon, who had given birth to five orang utans here according to a staff, was separated from four of her young ones.
I wonder if the babies separated from their mother here have ever been reunited.
The OUI Foundation website claims “(OUI)...designed to resemble the orang utan’s natural rainforest habitat as much as possible”.
But orang utans don’t live in a glass clinic in their “natural rainforest habitat” and their mothers don’t put their babies in tanks for “training”.
OUI claims they are involved in orang utan research. Can Perhilitan tell me how has OUI’s research helped the ever dwindling orang utan population in Malaysian Borneo? And has OUI released any orang utans back into the wild?
I am completely dumbstruck as to how

WWF Launches Palm Oil Buyers' Scorecard at Taronga Zoo

Zoo boosts security after 'sickening' killing of wallabies
A children's petting zoo has called in private security guards after the slaughter of three wallabies.
Last month Bruce, one of the park's two Parma wallabies, was found beheaded in his pen at Brent Lodge Animal Centre in Hanwell. The perimeter fence had apparently been cut.
The small zoo brought in three replacements as company for Bruce's traumatised companion Rolph.
Less than 48 hours later, two of those were also found dead. One had its throat cut, apparently with a knife, while all that remained of the other was limbs scattered across the park.
Police "strongly believe" foxes are to blame but the park is taking no chances until the culprit - human or animal - has been caught.
Two private security guards patrol the park's riverside grounds at night and CCTV is being installed. Meanwhile Rolph, his sole remaining companion Rocky and many of the park's other animals are being kept in brick-built sheds overnight.
Bassam Mahfouz, Ealing council's cabinet member for environment, said: "When the first incident happened two weeks ago we were sickened. How could anyone do something like that to a harmless animal?
"We brought in the vets to check if it was an animal attack and they said it was more likely to be a human attack.
"I used to go there as a child, and I take my little boy there. It's absolutely sickening. The park is a real jewel and we want to keep it that way."
Park manager Jim Gregory said: "When I first came here over two years ago, the animals were spe

Sanctuary boss not allowed to see elephants
The co-founder of the California sanctuary that will be the new home for Toronto Zoo’s three elderly elephants made a quiet trip to Toronto with his veterinarian last week to meet Iringa, Toka and Thika.
But ongoing hard feelings among Toronto Zoo elephant keepers, furious that city council voted to send the pachyderms to a non-accredited facility, prevented them from seeing the animals, Ed Stewart said.
“I think (zoo chief executive John Tracogna) thought it wasn’t a good time for me or my vet to go visit the elephants because of the turmoil with the elephant keepers, so no, I did not see them,” Stewart said from the PAWS sanctuary in San Andreas, Calif.
Councillor Raymond Cho, who voted to send the elephants there rather than let the zoo board keep looking for a facility accredited with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, called the episode an embarrassment.
“Mr. Stewart flies all the way here on Thursday, is told he can’t go to the zoo until 4 p.m. Friday and then he gets there and Mr. Tracogna says he can’t see the elephants because it would upset the trainers to see him there,” said

Court to decide who owns Zion's big cats
The owner of the big cats at Whangarei's beleaguered Zion Wildlife Gardens will be decided by the High Court
Lion Man Craig Busch and his mother Patricia each argue the 37 big cats belong to them, but since the park went into receivership in August, the High Court has allowed her to look after the animals.
Mrs Busch's lawyer, Evgeny Orlov, said her argument was the animals could not be owned or sold by the park's receivers, PricewaterhouseCoopers, under the Wildlife Convention.
He said a High Court hearing in February would arguably be the first such case in the country where courts have been asked to decide on the ownership of wild animals.
"They [the receivers] have held the animals as security over the park but they can't sell them [under the convention], because they are wildlife animals,'' Mr Orlov said.
The case was called for a telephone case conference in the High Court at Whangarei on Monday, when

Piece of Great Barrier Reef put on ice in frozen zoo
A LITTLE bit of the Great Barrier Reef has come to Dubbo.
Frozen sperm and IVF embryonic cells from two species of coral that spawned in Queensland this month have been brought to NSW in an ambitious project to protect corals - that are threatened by pollution, warm water, and ocean acidification - from extinction.
They are the first coral species to be added to the ''frozen zoo'' at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, which is a bank of genetic material from endangered animals.
The zoo's manager of research and conservation programs, Rebecca Spindler, said vials containing trillions of coral sperm and enough embryonic cells to produce more than a million new corals will be stored for prosperity in liquid nitrogen. ''They can sit there for hundreds of years,'' Dr Spindler

7th European Zoo Nutrition Conference
January 27-30 2012

I’m delighted to share the draft programme of this meeting being hosted by Dr. Marcus Clauss and his colleagues at the University of Zurich . The programme is shaping up very well, with a strong emphasis on practical knowledge, demonstrations and plenty of opportunities for interaction. The schedule timings are to guide your travel planning and the list of presentation titles is based on submissions received.

There’s still space for more submissions though the final deadline for oral or poster presentations is 30 November 2011. Please use the General Presentation form below. Questions for Round Table Discussions or experiences with Diet Changes (good & bad!) are also actively encouraged and should be submitted using the Diet Change form or a PowerPoint file (including photos if relevant) by 31 December 2011. All enquiries and submissions should be directed to Marcus Clauss [  ].

All contributors will be contacted individually about their abstract submission(s) to confirm the content, whether it is will be as a poster or oral presentation, and timings for the latter.

The conference is part of the EAZA Nutrition Group’s on-going commitment to improving the way we understand and care for animals. The conference aims to provide a forum at which the broad community of scientists, veterinarians and others concerned with zoo animal nutrition can come together to share knowledge and practice, discuss advances and exchange views. In keeping with this aim, registration represents excellent value for money and covers all catering (including evening meals for the Conference), plus a public transport travel pass.

Further details, including information about accommodation and how to register can be found on the EAZA website:

We look forward to meeting you in Zurich !

Dr. Andrea L. Fidgett
Chair, EAZA Nutrition Group
Vice-Chair, EAZA Research Committee
North of England Zoological Society
Chester Zoo, Upton , Chester , CH2 1LH , UK
Tel +44 (0)1244 650295 / Fax +44 (0)1244 381352 /

Chester Zoo is a registered conservation and education charity. Our Vision is - A diverse, thriving and sustainable natural world. Our Mission is - To be a major force in conserving biodiversity worldwide.

A Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in England No. 287902. Registered Office: North of England Zoological Society, Chester Zoo, Upton-by-Chester, Chester, CH2-1LH. Registered Charity No. 306077. VAT No. 595 7286 79. Switchboard: 01244 380 280.

Interview: Darren McGarry, head of animals at Edinburgh Zoo
EASTER Drylaw, sometime in the 1970s. “Dear Jim,” wrote the boy. “Can you fix it for me to bath a hippo?” The letter was duly sealed up and sent off to the late eccentric DJ Jimmy Savile, whose hit TV show of the time, Jim’ll Fix It, made the wishes of such youngsters come true. But not on this occasion.
“He never replied to me,” laughs Darren McGarry. “But it was years later and I was showering a hippo down, here at the zoo, and I suddenly thought, ‘Today I’m doing it’. It was really weird.”
perhaps serendipitous would be a better word. Because, while fond of animals, as a 16-year-old keen oboe player, he was about to embark on his Highers with an eye to working in music when his careers office sent him along to Edinburgh Zoo for an interview for a Youth Training Scheme.
“I didn’t really know if I wanted it or not but by the time I got home from the interview, they’d offered it to me. Even then I decided I was just going to go for the first week because it was the school holidays and then I’d go back to study for my Highers.”
Twenty five years on and Darren is now head of animals at the zoo, responsible for managing all the head zoo keepers – now called animal team leaders – and all aspects of its creatures’ care, as well as having a say in the future direction of the zoo. And, of course, gearing up for the arrival of two giant pandas from China.
The zoo he cares for today is a very different place to the one he entered as a green teenager a quarter of a century ago. Floors and walls are no longer tiled

African Penguin Colony at the Edge of Extinction
A colony of African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) living and breeding on a small island off the southern tip of Africa is fighting an increasingly desperate battle for survival. Their numbers are declining drastically despite the care of conservation organizations which have banded together to give them help, even by providing them with nesting homes to shelter them from the sun and to hide their eggs and chicks from sea gulls.
Their plight is typical of the increasingly precarious situation of the species as a whole which last year shifted from Vulnerable to Endangered on the IUCN (World Conservation Union) Red List of Threatened Species.
Responding to the change of status, BirdLife International at the time noted that when the first full census of the species was conducted in 1956, 150,000 pairs were counted. These, it said, were what remained after “more than a century of sustained persecution, principally from egg collecting and guano scraping”.
In 2009, BirdLife said, only 26,000 pairs were counted, representing a loss of more than 80 percent, coming to around 90 birds dying

Endangered Species Act Protection Sought for Emperor Penguins

Melting Sea Ice Threatens Penguins; Reality Echoes Happy Feet Two Plot

SAN FRANCISCO— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a legal petition today seeking Endangered Species Act protection for emperor penguins threatened by global warming. Emperors are the most ice-dependent of all penguin species, threatened by the loss of their sea-ice habitat as well as declining food availability wrought by the warming ocean off Antarctica. Their populations are declining because of global warming; some colonies have entirely disappeared.

“The sea-ice habitat that emperor penguins need to survive is melting beneath their feet,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director at the Center. “It’s great to see movies like Happy Feet Two bringing the plight of emperor penguins to people around the world. But in reality, there’s no happy Hollywood ending for these penguins unless we take real action to address the global climate crisis.”

Emperor penguins need sea ice for breeding and foraging. Today’s petition highlights the serious problems of melting sea ice and other warming-driven changes in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Areas of Antarctica are experiencing dramatic warming, leading to loss of sea ice as well as the collapse of ice sheets.

In 2006, the Center filed a petition to list 12 penguin species as threatened or endangered. The Interior Department conducted status reviews for 10 of those species. After delays and ultimately a court order, the agency protected seven species but denied protection for the remaining ones, including the emperor. Today’s petition presents new scientific information demonstrating that emperor penguins are imperiled.

“Emperor penguins are icons of wild Antarctica,” said Sakashita. “And protecting them under the Endangered Species Act is essential to their survival.”

Listing under the Endangered Species Act would provide broad protection to these penguins, including a requirement that federal agencies ensure that any action carried out, authorized or funded by the U.S. government will not “jeopardize the continued existence” of the penguin species. For example, if penguins are listed, future approval of fishing permits for U.S.-flagged vessels operating on the high seas would require analysis and minimization of impacts on the listed penguins. The Act also has an important role to play in reducing greenhouse gas pollution by compelling federal agencies to look at the impact of the emissions generated by their activities on listed species.

Emperor penguins are the world’s largest penguin species, capable of growing nearly four feet tall. They range throughout coastal Antarctica and travel each spring to inland breeding sites. Near the beginning of summer, adult penguins and their chicks return to the sea and spend the rest of the summer feeding there.

For more information on penguins and a link to the federal petition, please see:

Human Zoos: Exhibition recounts stories of 'savages' put on show at circuses and theatres
THE story of men, women and children plucked from their homes and exhibited like zoo animals is the focus of a major show that opened this week at Paris' tribal arts museum.
The invention of the savage, at the Quai Branly museum, shows how up until the mid-20th century, labelling indigenous peoples of Africa, Asia, Oceania and America "savages" helped to justify the brutality of colonial rule.
Former football star Lilian Thuram, who was born on the French Caribbean island Guadeloupe, is chief curator of the show. He told AFP he was stunned by a visit to Hamburg zoo in Germany.
"At the entrance there are animal sculptures, but also ones of Indians and Africans - letting visitors know they are going to see not just animals but human beings as well," he said.
"They are still there today."
In 1931, the grandparents of another French footballer, Christian Karembeu, were put on display at the Jardin d'Acclimation in Paris, then in Germany, along with about 100 other New Caledonian Kanaks, cast as "cannibals".
From the Indians brought back to Spain by Christopher Columbus after 1492, until the end of the 18th century, the first wave of shows involved indigenous people seen as exotic

Zoo website crashes as panda fever grips Scots
THOUSANDS of people are expected to pass through the gates of Edinburgh Zoo when pandas from China first go on view to the public next month.
Scotland’s first pair of breeding giant pandas will arrive on Sunday. They will then acclimatise before meeting their public on December 16.
It is thought as many as a million visitors will view the pandas in their first year,

To save a mockingbird
Conservationists are attempting to reintroduce the mockingbird that inspired Darwin to the island of Floreana in the Galápagos
"We have to change into a new set of clean clothes before we can go ashore," says my companion. Within five minutes of dropping anchor, we are both down to our boxer shorts. The shirts and trousers we put on have already been thoroughly checked for seeds, spiders and insect eggs.
An email I received earlier in the week had also warned: "Please refrain from eating any seedy vegetables such as tomatoes, passionfruit and guava two days prior to arriving as the seeds can be dispersed through our digestive system."
There can be no doubt the small island we are about to step onto is a fragile ecosystem that needs careful protection. No people, no paths, nowhere to moor a boat. Accidentally introducing any foreign organisms here would interfere with what is thought to be

Zebras escape petting zoo, roam neighborhood
It's one thing to see dogs, cats and squirrels around neighborhoods.
But imagine the surprise when Loudoun County, Va., homeowners spotted zebras roaming their streets.
That's exactly what happened Monday in Leesburg near Route 15.
One woman snapped pictures of the exotic animals in front of her yard. Investigators say the animals escaped from the Leesburg Animal Park Petting Zoo nearby.

New ferret-badger species found in central Vietnam
A species of ferret-badger hitherto not known to western science has been found in a national park in the central Vietnamese province of Ninh Binh.
Tuoi Tre newspaper Wednesday quoted the non-profit organization PanNature as saying that the animal, Melogale cucphuongensis sp.nov, belongs to the genus Melogale, which has four species - together known as weasels -- and is mainly found in Indochina , Java, Bali, and parts of Borneo.
It has different characteristics from the other four -- a dark brown head and body with a black and white stripe running from neck to shoulders.
Newswire Dan Tri said the new species, locally known as chon bac ma (silver-cheeked fox) had first been discovered by the Cuc Phuong National Park’s Endangered Primate Rescue Center in January 2006 when it attempted to rescue an injured ferret-badger.
However, its study was interrupted because

Why there are so few Ferret Badgers??...See below.

Changbai Mountain Badger Fat
2010-1-28 11:16:43

Changbai Mountain Badger Fat
The company produces seed oil or badger badger oil. Medicinal oil that is badger badger fat oil. Badger oil can be dissolved in the decoction taken orally, can be external application may be required.
Indications of gas shortage, uterine prolapse, hemoptysis, hemorrhoids, scabies, and alopecia areata, burns, frostbite embolism, proprietary Chinese medicines for external use is to use badger badger oil seed oil made by adding borneol preparation for the burn, scald , skin swelling, pain, steeped ulceration, pain is more than embolism, its soothing myogenic, swelling the efficacy of pain significantly.
【】 Badger oil governance scabies coated surface of the skin, use of micro-roasted, twice a day. Governing the use of fire heating oil badger alopecia areata, the temperature is appropriate, application may be affected area, 3 to 4 times a day at the same time, with 15 grams medlar Jiantang the same clothes, day one.

Jilin Province Shanjian Special Local Products Co., Ltd.
Tel: 04,398,978,256 13,644,495,009
Web site:
Badger Oil potency
Badger Oil
( "Checklist Supplements")
【Synonym】 badger seed oil ( "Heilongjiang Traditional Chinese Medicine").
【Source】 In order to ferret badger animal fat oils section. Animal patterns are set, "badger meat" article.
【Collection】 winter to catch, this time the thickest fat. After the killing, whichever is the subcutaneous fat and intestinal omentum fat, kneaded into a wok in the yellowish fat, filtered diesel Serve.
【Indications】 governance function in the gas shortage, uterine prolapse, hemoptysis, hemorrhoids, rickets sores, scabies, white bald, scald, frostbite.
① "Checklist Supplements": "rule only white bald head."
② "Shandong Traditional Chinese Medicine": "topical administration soup burns."
③ "Heilongjiang Traditional Chinese Medicine": "oral administration may Buzhongyiqi, insecticidal Runchang, cough blood, chest abdominal distension; external governance of internal and external hemorrhoids, fire Shui Tang, infantile malnutrition sores."
【Usage and Dosage】 Oral: melt into the decoction. External: erasure.
【】 ① governing party election uterine prolapse: badger seed oil 3 money, eggs 7. After opening the oil boil add appropriate amount of water into the eggs, still hot dose, once daily, continuous take.
② rule hemiplegia: badger oil catty, tofu 10. The son of deep-fried tofu cooked with the badger, food intake limited to, serving two to three times a day.
③ rule consisted in inflicting burns, chilblains: badger seed oil coated surface of the skin.
④ rule scabies: badger seed oil coated surface of the skin’s micro-roasted, twice daily. (① party following a "Jilin Chinese herbal medicine")
⑤ Governance White Bald: badger oil, roasted, wiping three or four times. Such as the long years who did not fear germinal to medlar Jiantang drink. ( "Annual inspection recipe for the Greek Yao collection")
Compilation of the National Chinese Herbal Medicine ": badger oil
【Name】 Huān Yóu Pinyin
【Source】 ferret badger Meles meles L. Branch animal fat through the processed. Autumn and winter to capture.
【】 To take the meat cooked oil, wash, chop, set pot refining, to slag, released after cooling by adding appropriate amount of borneol (Badger Oil borneol 5 with a catty money), stirring evenly divided loaded.
【】 Gan of taste, sour, flat.
【Indication】 myogenic pain. Used for burns, alcohol Zha nose (rosacea).
【Usage consumption】 External appropriate, Tu lesion, 1 to 2 times a day.
Extract】 【 "National Herbal Compendium"

"* Dictionary": badger oil
【Source】 "outline Supplements"
【Name】 Huān Yóu Pinyin
【Alias】 badger seed oil ( "Heilongjiang Traditional Chinese Medicine").
【Source】 In order to ferret badger animal fat oils section. Winter capture, this time the thickest fat. After the killing, whichever is the subcutaneous fat and intestinal omentum fat, kneaded into a wok in the yellowish fat, filtered diesel Serve.
Governance in the gas shortage, uterine prolapse, hemoptysis, hemorrhoids, rickets sores, scabies, white bald, scald, frostbite.
① "Checklist Supplements": "rule only white bald head."
② "Shandong Traditional Chinese Medicine": "topical administration soup burns."
③ "Heilongjiang Traditional Chinese Medicine": "oral administration may Buzhongyiqi, insecticidal Runchang, cough blood, chest abdominal distension; external governance of internal and external hemorrhoids, fire Shui Tang, infantile malnutrition sores."
【Usage consumption】 Oral: melt into the decoction. External: erasure.
Fang】 【attached
① rule uterine prolapse: badger seed oil 3 money, eggs 7. After opening the oil boil add appropriate amount of water into the eggs, still hot dose, once daily, continuous take.
② rule hemiplegia: badger oil catty, tofu 10. The son of deep-fried tofu cooked with the badger, food intake limited to, serving two to three times a day.
③ rule consisted in inflicting burns, chilblains: badger seed oil coated surface of the skin.
④ rule scabies: badger seed oil coated surface of the skin’s micro-roasted, twice daily. (① party following a "Jilin Chinese herbal medicine")
⑤ Governance White Bald: badger oil, roasted, wiping three or four times. Such as the long years who did not fear germinal to medlar Jiantang drink. ( "Annual inspection recipe for the Greek Yao collection")
Extract】 【 "* Dictionary"

"Chinese Materia Medica": badger oil
【Source】 From "Supplement to Compendium of Materia Medica"
【Name】 Huān Yóu Pinyin
【English name】 Badger Fat
【Alias】 badger seed oil
Medicine-based Source: Bureau of ferret badger animal fat oils.
Latin names of plants animals, minerals: Meles meles Linnaeus
Harvesting and storage: Winter capture, slaughter, after peeling, Cesarean section, whichever is subcutaneous fat on the intestinal omentum fat, oil refining.
【】 Badger original form, is a larger species of ferret class, body length 45-55cm, weight 10-12kg. Hypertrophy of the neck chunky body. Nose tip, nose pad and on the Chunjian coat. Ears short eye small, four liver chunky, front and rear toes with claws, tail shorter. Head hair is short, there are three white vertical stripes, in which the compartment with two dark brown pattern. Dark brown, hard of hearing, ear margin of white. Lower jaw, throat dark brown. Dorsal needles are long, thick hair, the back color is dark brown and white mixed; Lateral mostly white hair; ventral limbs dark brown, claws dark brown. End of the yellow-white.
Distribution】 【habitat
Eco-environment: habitat in the forests, hillside shrubs, fields and lakes, rivers, next to the. Cave habitat, nocturnal, omnivorous.
Resource Distribution: distributed in the Northeast, North China and Shaanxi, Qinghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangxi and other places.
【Properties】 character identification, the product pale yellow oil solidified paste, slight odor.
【】 Prefer the cooked ingredients to remove impurities, boiling cauldrons of home heating, of open, filtering, Liang Liang.
Sweet taste】 【sex; sex-ping
【】 Spleen meridian; Large Intestine Meridian
【Indication】 Buzhongyiqi; moisturizing myogenic; detoxification swelling. Master of gas is inadequate; uterine prolapse; anemia; gastric ulcer; hemiplegia; joint pain; skin and chapped; hemorrhoids; rickets sores; recover from illness ringworm; white bald; burns; frostbite
【Usage consumption】 Oral: melting into the decoction ,5-15g. External: moderate, eraser.
【Note】 Spleen dampness or damp-heat intrinsic; loss of appetite, thick moss stick by careful service.
【】 ① rule attached to side uterine prolapse: badger seed oil 3 money, eggs 7. After opening the oil boil add appropriate amount of water into the eggs, still hot dose, once daily, continuous take. ② rule hemiplegia: badger oil catty, tofu 10, will badger seed oil used to make tofu cooked, appetite not limited to, serving two to three times a day. ③ rule consisted in inflicting burns, chilblains: badger seed oil coated surface of the skin. ④ rule scabies: badger seed oil coated surface of the skin’s micro-roasted, twice

Chimps gone wild
A sanctuary in SA gives abused chimpanzees a second chance to live happy lives. Claire Keeton reports
Cozy couldn't climb - he seemed to have a fear of heights - nor communicate with fellow chimps. He was emaciated and pale because he had not seen the sun for three of the six years he had been locked in a trailer. His lower body was squeezed into a pair of tiny shorts and deformed, like that of a three-year-old.
His upper body resembled that of an eight-year-old juvenile after confinement in a cage, even though he was about 10 years old. He had scars on his head and brain damage.
Then Cozy was rescued from captivity in Ancona, Italy, by Eugene Cussons and taken to the chimpanzee sanctuary near Nelspruit that he had opened in collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute in 2006.
Back then, the sanctuary, JGI Chimpanzee Eden SA, had three chimps. Now they have 33 and all, like Cozy, have been abused, neglected or orphaned.
When we meet 15-year-old Cozy at Chimp Eden he is strong and feisty, greeting Cussons by rolling spitballs and charging up to the photographer in a display of dominance

Circus company fined $270,000
The company that owns the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus just got slapped with an elephant-sized fine.
The United States Department of Agriculture just fined the company $270,000.
As you may know, Ringling owns an elephant conservation center in Polk County. The USDA says the elephants' food there was not being properly stored. It also found housing problems.
Ringling was also faulted for other things that happened while the circus was on the road.
The USDA says a sick elephant was forced to perform, and a tiger was injured while it

Group accuses Aceh leader of peatland destruction
An Acehnese civil society group says it has reported Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf to the National Police for issuing a business licence to a company to convert 1,605 hectares in Tripa Swamp, Aceh, into a palm oil plantation.
Koalisi Masyarakat Peduli Tripa (Community Coalition for Tripa Swamp) said it had also reported six other officials allegedly involved in the business license issuance, including the Nagan Raya regent and the heads of Aceh’s forestry and plantation agency, land agency (BPN) and integrated permit service agency (BP2T).
Tripa Swamp is part of the Leuser Ecosystem Area (KEL), located along the west coast of Aceh, which comprises vast swaths of peatlands rich in biodiversity, including the world’s largest orangutan population.
Irawandi imposed a moratorium on forest conversion in the area in 2007.
“The governor announced the forest moratorium in 2007, but he broke his promise by issuing the permit licence for the company,” Kamaruddin, the

Chinese panda loan kept top secret
As world leaders held frenzied talks to try to save the crisis-hit eurozone in the south of France earlier this month, the fate of two giant pandas destined for a French zoo hung in the balance.
Negotiations had been conducted at the highest level of government in Beijing and Paris, and the deal was to have been announced at the G20 summit in the French resort of Cannes, before it was delayed by more pressing matters.
Details of the deal -- including the identity and age of the two pandas -- will remain a secret until Chinese President Hu Jintao gives his approval, an indication of how seriously China takes its famous panda diplomacy.
For now, the two fluffy bears at the heart of the high-level political drama are happily crunching on bamboo at a breeding centre in the southwestern city of Chengdu, where they will be kept in isolation for three months.
There, they will spend their days munching through 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of bamboo -- collected from nearby mountains every

Killer whale Morgan arrives at new home in Spanish zoo after being flown from Netherlands
A young killer whale at the center of a legal battle waged by Dutch conservationists has arrived at its new home on the Canary Islands, a spokeswoman for a Spanish zoo said Wednesday.
The 1,400-kilogram (3,085-pound) female orca named Morgan arrived at Loro Parque on the island of Tenerife late Tuesday after being flown from the Netherlands, Patricia del Ponte

First gorilla born and raised in Prague zoo relocated to Spain
Just two weeks after a newborn gorilla was transported from Prague to Stuttgart following repeated failed attempts to reunite it with its mother, Prague zoo has bid farewell to another gorilla, Moja, the first low-land gorilla born and raised in captivity in the Czech Republic. The animal has reached sexual maturity and her minders decided to move her away to prevent in-breeding in the pack. Her new home is the Cabárceno National Park in northern Spain where Moja

Zoo to tighten board rules
ZOOS SA will embark on a major overhaul of governance arrangements in the wake of its financial collapse.
It aims to ensure senior managers can be assessed on their performance, members have been told.
At its annual general meeting on Tuesday night, Zoos SA president Kevin McGuinness told members that the Society would heed the lessons of the past 12 to 18 months, which resulted in the zoo seeking a financial bail-out from the Government and Westpac.
The zoo had its debt cut from $25 million to about $7.5 million, and has also taken on a $2.6 million loan from Government, with the interest payments on both loans being covered by Government grants.
Mr McGuinness told members that the zoo was looking to tighten the rules for board management and staff to improve its financial management

New row erupts over Dalton zoo’s expansion plans
THE ROW over a planned zoo expansion has been reignited.
South Lakes Wild Animal Park manager Karen Brewer registered a complaint with Barrow Borough Council last month over the behaviour of two councillors who were dealing with plans for the zoo to be extended.
Miss Brewer was unhappy about the conduct of Councillors Ann Thomson and Gordon Murray at the planning meeting where councillors issued a minded to refuse decision in response to the proposals. She registered a complaint with the council following the meeting.
Both councillors were cleared by the council’s standards committee on November 15. But now Miss Brewer has now called for an independent investigation.
She told the Evening Mail she didn’t feel her complaints had been answered by the council.
She said: “I had confidence that as part of council procedures it would be dealt with properly. However, now I feel the investigation falls far short of answering the complaint, in fact I would go as far as to say it more or less ignores the actual issues and was a whitewash.
“I felt the actions were in breach of the standards and urged they should be visited in a proper manner.
“I have now responded (to the council) in that I would like to further my complaint as I have as of yet had no satisfactory response to either the initial complaint or following letters. I would like the matter to be heard by a full standards committee from outside the area.
“At no time during these decisions have my complaints been addressed and the whole matter now as both an applicant and an electorate causes me even greater concern.
"I was confident initially the borough would have protocols to follow and the matter would be resolved in a proper manner, but do feel the whole matter has been whitewashed.”
Chief executive of Barrow Borough Council Tom Campbell said the complaint had been handled by an independent inspector, and the council had carried out its normal procedure for dealing with a complaint.
He said: “Miss Brewer’s complaint was referred to an independent inspector who reported to the committee and they acted on his recommendation.
“I’m afraid as far as we are concerned that is the end of the process.”
Miss Brewer would have to apply to the Local Government Ombudsmen to take the matter further.
l The decision on the zoo’s planning application is to be made by the Planning Inspectorate as Mr Gill appealed due to the delay in a decision over the proposed extension.
At the July meeting, the planning committee members refused the plans due

St. Louis Zoo breeds endangered salamander in captivity - a first
The St. Louis Zoo announced today it has bred 63 critically endangered Ozark hellbenders in captivity -- a scientific first.
The hellbender is an ancient and ugly salamander whose numbers have plummeted by 80 percent in the past three decades. Scientists blame pollution for its decline.
"We have a 15- to 20-year window to reverse this decline," added Missouri Department of Conservation Herpetologist Jeff Briggler. "We don't want the animal disappearing on our watch."
The zoo created a 32-foot simulated stream to promote breeding in the basement of its Herpetarium as well as two 40-foot outdoor streams. The first hellbender hatched on Nov. 15, another 120 eggs are expected to hatch within the next week. The zoo ultimately hopes to release hellbenders back into the wild. Male hellbenders

Believed extinct frog discovered in Israel
It's not surprising to hear about an animal being taken off the endangered species list, but an Israeli frog is now getting removed from the extinct list.
The hula painted frog, native to Hula Valley, Israel, was thought to have died out more than half a century ago, but a Hula Valley Natural Resort ranger managed to find and capture the rare frog after recognizing its unique jumping technique.
The frog sports a dark belly with small white spots, along with hues of ochre and rust. Only five of these rare species have ever been collected.
Parts of the area's wetlands had been turned into a nature reserve years ago


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Black Eye
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals provides aid and comfort for the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). The two groups are responsible for more than 600 crimes since 1996, causing (by a very conservative FBI estimate) more than $43 million in damage. ALF’s “press office” brags that in 2002, the two groups committed “100 illegal direct actions” -- like blowing up SUVs, destroying the brakes on seafood delivery trucks, and planting firebombs in restaurants.
The FBI calls ALF and ELF the nation’s “most serious domestic terrorism threat.” Bruce Friedrich, PETA’s “vegan campaign director” and third-in-command, didn’t seem to care when he addressed the Animal Rights 2001 convention in Virginia, telling a crowd of over 1,000 activists that “blowing stuff up and smashing windows” is “a great way to bring about animal liberation.”
“It would be great,” he added, “if all the fast-food outlets, slaughterhouses, these laboratories and the banks who fund them exploded tomorrow.”
PETA’s connections to ALF and ELF are indisputable. “We did it, we did it. We gave $1,500 to the ELF for a specific program,” PETA’s Lisa Lange admitted on the Fox News Channel. PETA has offered no fewer than eight different explanations of what the “specific program” was, but law enforcement leaders have noted that since the Earth Liberation Front is a criminal enterprise, it has absolutely no legal “programs” of any kind.
For instance, in 2003, ELF set fire to an unfinished, 200 unit condominium complex near San Diego. The arson caused $50 million in damage, and according to a San Diego Fire Captain: “It could have killed someone.” ELF left its calling card in the form of a twelve foot sign that read: “If you build it -- we will burn it -- the ELF’s are mad.”
PETA also has given $2,000 to David Wilson, then a national ALF “spokesperson.” The group paid $27,000 for the legal defense of Roger Troen, who was arrested for taking part in an October 1986 burglary and arson at the University of Oregon. It gave $7,500 to Fran Stephanie Trutt, who tried to murder the president of a medical laboratory. It gave $5,000 to Josh Harper, who attacked Native Americans on a whale hunt by throwing smoke bombs, shooting flares, and spraying their faces with chemical fire extinguishers. All of these monies were paid out of tax-exempt funds, the same pot of money constantly enlarged by donations from an unsuspecting general public.
PETA president Ingrid Newkirk is also an acknowledged financial supporter of a publication called No Compromise. This periodical operates on behalf of the radicals of ALF, and often publishes underground “communiqués” and calls to arms from ALF leaders.
Most ominously, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk was involved in the multi-million-dollar arson at Michigan State University that resulted in a 57-month prison term for Animal Liberation Front bomber Rodney Coronado. At Coronado’s sentencing hearing, U.S. Attorney Michael Dettmer said that PETA’s Ingrid Newkirk arranged ahead of time to have Coronado send her a pair of FedEx packages from Michigan -- one on the day before he burned the lab down, and the other shortly afterward.
The first FedEx, according to the Sentencing Memorandum, was delivered to a woman named Maria Blanton, “a longtime PETA member who had agreed to accept the first Federal Express package from Coronado after being asked to do so by Ingrid Newkirk.” The FBI intercepted the second package, which had been sent to the same address. It contained documents that Coronado stole before lighting his firebombs, as well as “a videotape of the perpetrator of the MSU crime, disguised in a ski mask.” Since Coronado was convicted of the arson, we now know that he himself was that masked man. “Significantly,” wrote U.S. Attorney Dettmer, “Newkirk had arranged to have the package[s] delivered to her days before the MSU arson occurred.” (emphasis in the original)
A search warrant executed at Blanton’s home turned up evidence that PETA’s other co-founder, Alex Pacheco, had also been planning burglaries and break-ins along with Rodney Coronado. The feds seized “surveillance logs; code names for Coronado, Pacheco, and others; burglary tools; two-way radios; night vision goggles; [and] phony identification for Coronado and Pacheco.”
Shortly after Coronado’s arrest, PETA gave $45,200 to his “support committee” and “loaned” $25,000 to his father (the loan was never repaid and PETA hasn’t complained). Now free from jail, with an expired parole, and with the benefit of an expired Statute of Limitations on his many earlier arsons (to which he readily confesses in his standard stump speech), Coronado stood before a crowd of hundreds of young people at American University in January 2003 and demonstrated how to turn a milk jug into a bomb. A few days later, ALF criminals tried to burn down a McDonald’s restaurant in Chico, California, using a firebomb that matched Coronado’s recipe.
The following month, Ingrid Newkirk told ABC News that Rodney Coronado is “a fine young man.”
Newkirk wrote a book called Free the Animals! The

Corals can sense what's coming
Australian scientists have thrown new light on the mechanism behind the mass death of corals worldwide as the Earth's climate warms.
Coral bleaching, one of the most devastating events affecting coral reefs around the planet, is triggered by rising water temperatures. It occurs when the corals and their symbiotic algae become heat-stressed, and the algae which feed the corals either die or are expelled by the coral.
There have been seven major bleaching events globally in the past 30 years, the most recent being in 2010 across the Indian Ocean and Coral Triangle. Australia's Great Barrier Reef has suffered eight events since 1980, the worst being in 2002 when 55% of the total reef area was affected. The frequency of these events appears to be increasing.
Now a team of scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University has shown that a complex cascade of molecular signals leading up to the self-inflicted death of corals and their symbiotic algae is triggered as sea water begins to warm.
Working with Acropora corals from the reef at Heron Island, the researchers found the cascade begins at ocean temperatures as much as 3 degrees lower than those normally associated with coral bleaching.
And the process culminates in 'apoptosis' or programmed cell-death – a situation in which living organisms (including corals and humans

GEO FIR- ZOO Scandal- 21st Nov 2011 (I don't understand more than two dozen words of Urdu but others might...interesting footage of Karachi Zoo though)

India: Last of the tigers (Video)
Conservationists are in a desperate and uphill battle to save India's tigers from extinction.
A century ago, 45,000 tigers lived wild in India’s forests. When hunting was banned in 1972, their numbers had fallen to 2,000. Today, the Indian government claims that there are 1,706, but few experts believe it, saying perhaps only 1,000 remain.
Poaching is largely to blame, with a lucrative demand for tiger skin and parts from neighbouring China.
There is also the continued destruction of tiger habitats as human communities expand, leading to growing conflict between man and tiger.
On this edition of 101 East, we look at the battle to save India’s tigers from extinction.

Moves to control human-elephant conflict
Practical measures have been introduced to control the human-elephant conflict which intensified during the recent past in Mahiyangana and Sorabora Wewa areas, said Wildlife and Agrarian Services Minister S M Chandrasena.
It has been decided to construct an elephant conservation centre near the Mahiyangana Pradeshiya Sabha to take care of wild elephants which destroy village property.
The Minister said that electrified fences will be constructed to prevent elephants encroaching villages. He observed that a seven kilometre electrified fence has already been completed in this area.
The minister made these comments during an inspection tour of the Mahiyanganaya Sorabora wewa area to look into the problems faced by people due to the human-elephant conflict.
He noted that compensation has been paid for the house and property damages incurred due to the human-elephant conflict. Chandrasena said that regional wildlife officers have been informed

Ian Redmond Message to Durban

UAE brings together international conservation experts to discuss veterinary management of Arabian oryx
The General Secretariat for the Conservation of the Arabian Oryx, in cooperation with the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi and the Zoo and Aquarium Public Institution in Al Ain, recently organised a two-day workshop to establish regional disease control and management guidelines for the Arabian oryx.
Representatives from the countries where Arabian oryx used to historically roam (otherwise known as range states) discussed conducting studies to determine the relationship between genetics and various diseases, and how they can work together to effectively respond to disease outbreaks.
The 'Regional Workshop on Veterinary Management of the Arabian oryx in the Range States' was held in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and was attended by 38 veterinarians and biologists from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Jordan and Iraq.
Currently, an inter-governmental body The Coordinating Committee for the Conservation of the Arabian Oryx (CCCAO) oversees the coordination of conservation efforts for this species within the Arabian Peninsula.
The CCCAO is chaired by H.E Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), and comprises of a number of member Arab governments, including: Bahrain, Jordan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
The committee members have committed to unifying and intensifying efforts to conserve this species, which once roamed freely across an area stretching from the south of Syria to the Omani and Yemeni borders with Saudi Arabia.
The General Secretariat for the Conservation of the Arabian oryx held the workshop in Al Ain to identify the different aspects of veterinary care that need to be considered when transferring or reintroducing the Arabian oryx in the range states, and to begin work on an annual statistics bulletin to monitor the diseases that afflict herds in the range states.
It was agreed to prepare a booklet defining the various diseases affecting the Arabian oryx, which will focus on preventive veterinary

Honolulu Zoo Behind the Scenes ホノルル動物園の舞台裏

Dutch court rules orca 'Morgan' can be sent to zoo
A Dutch court has ruled that a dolphin park that captured a young female orca named "Morgan" in 2010 can send the whale to a Spanish amusement park.
The ruling dashes the hopes of conservationists who wanted to reintroduce the animal into the wild in its native Norway.
In a written ruling Monday, judge M. de Rooij said chances of Morgan surviving in the wild were "too unsure."
A panel of experts assembled by the commercial dolphinarium in Harderwijk, Netherlands, where Morgan is currently living, had argued that releasing Morgan would be tantamount to a "death sentence" and she would be better off at Loro Parque on Tenerife.
Orca experts for the "Free Morgan Group" said they were dis

Rare female elephant with tusks reported from Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Wildlife authorities claim that they have observed a rare female elephant with tusks for the first time in recent history.
The animal is believed to be roaming in the southern regions of Wilpattu National Wildlife Park in the northwest part of the country.
The wildlife officials believe the spotted female tusker is around six years old.
The finding of a female elephant with tusks is believed to be the first such finding in Asia, according to wildlife officials.
Typically, only the male Asian elephants have large external tusks while females usually lacks visible tusks. They may have barely visible small tusks which can be seen only when they open the mouth.
A recent survey conducted in August

Zoo trip fuelled Yvonne Taylor’s bare determination to highlight animal cruelty
The day out to Edinburgh Zoo was supposed to be a special treat for little Yvonne Taylor. Through the gates she skipped, excited at the prospect of wandering around the vast park, thrilled to see the exotic creatures, the big cats – giant, more ferocious versions of her pets at home – and the cheeky monkeys up close.
Instead, what she saw left the little girl wondering what kind of hellish place she’d been brought to.
“I was little, probably only five-years old. I adored animals but I remember thinking the zoo was really quite a sad place,” she recalls.
“I remember seeing the polar bear, Mercedes, and feeling quite sorry for her. Then I went back years later – after her partner had died after choking on a plastic toy – and Mercedes was still there like she was when I was a kid, in the same

Pandas under pressure
Two giant panda bears are preparing to make the long journey from China to a new home in Scotland. It will be the first time in nearly 20 years that any zoo in the UK has had pandas, and is part of the programme to preserve this critically endangered species. I was given special access to Panda Conservation Centre near Ya'an in Sichuan, where experts are working to save the bears from extinction. Here's what I found:
High up in the mountains of Sichuan, Tian Tian the panda is lying on her side, her chin resting on one paw, lazily staring into the middle distance. With one foot she is idly scratching her leg, looking incredibly relaxed.
Tian Tian's keepers pass her long fronds of green bamboo. You can hear her crunching them in her teeth as she munches her way through the branches.
Her name is perhaps best translated as "Sweetie". Life, it has to be said, is pretty easy for Tian Tian.
Born in 2003 in captivity, her home is the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda on top of a mist-clad mountain at Bifengxia near Ya'an.
Tian Tian is one of the two pandas about to be shipped to Edinburgh Zoo. The hope is she will prove a big draw for the zoo when she gets there along with her

Pandas ‘won’t be seen this year’
THEIR state-of-the-art enclosure is ready and a generous supply of fresh bamboo has been procured, but the two giant pandas bound for Edinburgh Zoo are understood to have postponed their public debut.
It had been hoped that Tian Tian and Yang Guang – Sweet and Sunshine – would go on show before the end of the year, but The Scotsman has learned that unexplained delays in their travel plans mean the Chinese guests are unlikely to be seen by visitors until the new year.
The delay is a blow for the zoo, which had anticipated a boom in festive ticket sales.
The deal to bring the male and female bears to Scotland was sealed in January. The pandas had been expected to take up residence in their £300,000 enclosure next month and, after a settling-in period, make their first public appearance at Christmas.
The pandas, currently in quarantine in China, have already featured in UK-wide campaigns to promote Edinburgh’s festive attractions.
However, plans to use them in the city’s first television advertising campaign are now on hold until it becomes

Three tiger cubs die of starvation in Odisha zoo
Three of the five tiger cubs that died in Nandankan Zoological Park here fell victim to starvation while two others had intestinal infection. The cause of their death on Friday was mentioned in the interim post-mortem report submitted by the zoo authority, special secretary of Forest Department B P Singh said. Eleven-year-old Priyanka, which gave birth to five cubs including a white one on Wednesday, reportedly rejected them, the report said. "There was no food in the stomach of three cubs while intestinal pipes of two others had ruptured," the post-mortem report said. The Forest and Environment Department, however, asked the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (wildlife) to undertake a detailed probe into the incident and report on whether captive breeding had taken place according to the guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority. Deputy director of Nandankanan Zoo S N Mohapatra said cubs die mostly due to less secretion of milk from a first-time mother. It was almost after 11 years that a normal Royal Bengal Tiger couple had given birth to a white

Zoo houses maneater female leopard
The Kanpur Zoological Garden has become home to a female maneater leopard. The leopard has been brought to zoo from Katarniaghat wildlife sanctuary in Bahraich on Saturday and kept in the quarantine ward.
The animal would also be carefully observed. The bruises and cuts that the wildcat has received while being shifted in the cage would also be treated. The number of leopards had gone up to 13 in the zoo, which is a high.
The zoo authorities are finding it tough to accommodate due to space crunch. After sometime, this maneater leopard would be shifted to the enclosure. The zoo staff may face problem in accommodating it. Keeping it in mind, the zoo administration has decided

Debate about rhinos in Vietnam continues
While foreign and Vietnamese organizations still argue about whether one-horn rhino is extinct in Vietnam, scientists have called on to conduct further investigation to find out the truth.
On October 25, the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the International Rhino Foundation IRF released a statement, affirming that one-horn rhino is extinct in Vietnam. However, just several days after the statement was made, Vietnamese scientists said they believe other rhino individuals are still existing, emphasizing that the WWF’s report was made just based on the result of a survey and that it is necessary to conduct other investigations to find out if any other rhinos exist.
Saigon Tiep Thi’s reporters met the representatives

As SeaWorld safety hearing resumes, feds focus on killer-whale shows
In mid-September, just as lawyers for the federal government began making their case that animal trainers at SeaWorld Orlando should not be allowed to have unprotected contact with the park's killer whales, the presiding judge asked a seemingly innocuous question.
"Are you talking about only during shows?" Judge Ken Welsch asked John Black, a lawyer with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Yes, Black responded.
As soon as Black answered, the lead lawyer for SeaWorld turned to her team and smiled.
The exchange illustrates the tightrope OSHA is walking as it defends a potentially industry-altering citation leveled against SeaWorld last year following an investigation into the death of SeaWorld Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau, who was killed Feb. 24, 2010, by a 6-ton killer whale named Tilikum.
The federal workplace-safety agency has chosen to focus exclusively on the risks SeaWorld killer-whale trainers face during public performances. By doing so, OSHA limits the scope of its citation, making it harder for SeaWorld to defeat. But it could also put the agency in the awkward position of suggesting that the dangers trainers face are somehow greater simply becaus,0,311714.story

2011 Palm Oil Buyers' Scorecard

ZOO’s PRINT Magazine (Volume XXVI, Number 11)

Present distribution status and ecology of White-winged Wood Duck and Hornbills in Nameri National Park, considering the tropical forest disturbances of Assam

World Association of Zoos and Aquariums WAZA links with Wildlife Reserves Singapore and other zoos to cope with Thailand floodwaters

Note on Environmental Enrichment: Automated reconfiguration of primate zoo closures

COMMUNIQUÉ : WAZA and Decade on Biodiversity

Obituary: Alan Mootnick - a Man for many seasons

Kabul Zoo Activities Report and Opening Ceremony of ECO Project

Thanks to AArk (Amphibian Ark) CBSG and WAZA for ZOO’s amphibian conservation education materials for Wildlife Week

Presenting ... Dallas Zoos for Families and Children -- Featured in Zoo Lex News & Design for August 2011

Depression in Caged Animals: A Study at the National Zoo, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

When the “Cat Woman” is Away, the Mice Will Play. (Or How the Owl Saved the Mice.) -- A non-fiction incident from the travels of Malcolm Whitehead

Stranger that Fiction ... the Spy from Outer Space -- The Killer Instinct, Sally Walker, THE ILLUSTRATED WEEKLY OF INDIA, August 5,1990, Part III of III

Wildlife Week 2011-Education Reports

Mind of a Chimpanzee
The mind of the chimpanzee is far more complex than we once thought. Eddie Arruza tells us what researchers at the Lincoln Park Zoo are learning about our closest non-human relative, and why those findings just might save the endangered species in tonight's Scientific Chicago on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm.
Studying chimpanzees not only gives critical insight into chimps’ behavior and intelligence, but gives tantalizing clues as to our own origins, and emphasizes the need to protect these creatures and the habitats in which they live. That is the fundamental idea behind the book The Mind of the Chimpanzee: Ecological and Experimental Perspectives. The third in the renowned series Understanding Chimpanzees, the book features work by 30 of the world’s foremost chimpanzee researchers as they investigate and explain the latest discoveries, from tool use to chimpanzee

Rescued killer whale bound for amusement park following legal tussle
Morgan the orca is due to arrive today in Tenerife, but wildlife experts say the move contravenes European law
A 1,200kg rescued killer whale called Morgan the orca is expected to arrive at a Tenerife amusement park on Tuesday afternoon after being flown from the Netherlands.
Morgan's arrival follows a lengthy court case that concluded on Monday with a Dutch judge ruling against its release into the wild.
As well as dashing animal rights activists' hopes to have it released into its native waters off the coast of Norway, wildlife experts said the move could contravene European laws on endangered species.
The orca was rescued in June 2010 by a dolphinarium in Harderwijk, Netherlands, after being found exhausted and starving in shallow waters in the Waddenzee. She was estimated to be about two years old. She will now join five other orcas in a big tank on show at Loro Parque, a "natural paradise" with bars, restaurants and shops, which is owned by a German businessman.
But EU wildlife trade rules prohibit the use of orcas for commercial purposes, said the European Commission and Dietrich Jelden, the head of Germany's Cites management authority at the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation. The only exemptions are for primarily scientific, captive breeding

Councillor defends elephant decision
Councillor Michelle Berardinetti appealed to all city councillors Monday to stick to a decision to send the Toronto Zoo’s three elephants to a sanctuary in California.
Letters from both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the Canadian Zoo and Aquarium Association question council’s decision to overrule the Toronto Zoo board and send the elephants to the PAWS sanctuary rather than an AZA- accredited facility.
The AZA went further, warning the zoo’s accreditation is “in jeopardy” in the wake of council’s 31-4 vote.
In her letter to councillors sent out Monday, Berardinetti argued the zoo “should not be pinning their reputation on membership in these associations.”
“Perhaps, instead of relying on accreditation with these associations that may actually tarnish our reputation, the Toronto Zoo should focus on developing a world class facility that exceeds stringent animal care standards and provides legitimate education and conservation programs as well as the best possible visitor experience,” she wrote.
Berardinetti also fired back at criticisms from the zoo’s elephant keepers.
“Some zookeepers must accept the will of the people of Toronto through their democratically elected representatives and send the elephants to a better home where they can

Chinese dog refuses to leave dead owner's graveside


Conclusion of JAAN as reported by Femke den Haas, after second visit within one month to KBS in November 2011 :

1. JAAN supports the set up of a temporary team to handle the zoo, with Dephut, PKBSI and Pemkot running this together while improving the condition of the zoo and the livelihood of the animals.
The fact that the ‘Pemkot’ (local council) stepped out of this team shows a lack of professionalism and the fact that the ‘Pemkot’ wants to take over the zoo without involvement of Dephut and PKBSI is unprofessional and unacceptable. It is generally known that wildlife management is the responsibility of Dephut and standards for wildlife management are set up by PKBSI.

What Surabaya Zoo desperately needs is a professional management team for all the animals and animal species living within the immensely substandard, dirty, confined and overcrowded spaces, and small plots of land. It is a big scandal that so many animals are treated inhumanely and as invaluable due to mismanagement and power entanglements.

The death of a Komodo dragon, the severely ill and malnourished bears, lions and other animals, the continuous (in) breeding of animals should be a major embarrassment to the Indonesian government. These animals are symbols of Indonesia’s immensely valuable wildlife population and should be something to be proud of, instead of being treated the way they are. The animals should NOT be the victims of the power games of the parties involved, and grave mismanagement of the zoo. This goes for every zoo in Indonesia.

2. The staff working within the zoo need clear job descriptions, they need to follow the Standard Operational Procedures and be held accountable for the health of the animals they are responsible for. During my visit to the zoo the staff was smoking amongst the animals, drying clothes etc. It looks messy. A zoo should follow a strict hygiene code and should be clean and tidy. Therefore the staff working at the zoo should be evaluated and contracts renewed with clear regulations to be followed.

One important part of the staff’s responsibilities and a major function of a zoo is educating visitors about animal welfare and the value of wildlife to Indonesia and the rest of the world. And the importance of wildlife protection, the protection of habitats and nature in general The staff should not let the visitors feed the animals, play with or pet the animals. Staff should be supporting the purpose and goals of the zoo and proper welfare standards should be implemented. Currently, the zoo is far from being the educational institution. Quite the contrary, the staff does not seem to care about the animals at all.

The only thing that staff brought up regularly was how ‘successful’ the zoo is in breeding animals. That is nothing to be proud of and in fact it should be forbidden to continue breeding any animal within this zoo! It’s a disaster for the welfare and genetics (inbreeding) of the animals!

3. The zoo is clearly overpopulated and animals should be relocated and breeding should be ended immediately. Professional zoos only allow breeding with animals when they have a clear future program of exhibit for the animals, which is clearly not the case in KBS. To see a new siamang and orangutan born in the zoo within my month absence is a shocking and sad fact.

The zoo is dealing with so many surplus animals already, suffering in small cages with nowhere to go. These animals should either be relocated to other zoos or conservation centers (if that will improve their welfare) or euthanized. The quarantine areas as well as all other facilities are in a sad state and need to be improved. The cages are outdated dark, and damp.

The quarantine areas are used to ‘store’ the surplus of animals. Quarantine is an area where animals should be treated before a next move (socialization, exhibition for example). At present the quarantine is a center of miserable unhappy animals. This is unacceptable!

The brown bear for example is left to suffer. The bear is a victim of the conflict within management. Luckily it has attracted the attention of the US embassy staff.
The whole issue concerning KBS in general has become an international issue now. Tourists are spreading the word too and so have large international media groups.

JAAN requests the ‘Pemkot’ urgently to allow the zoo to take these steps for the best interest of the animals, the zoo and Surabaya city and Indonesia in general and let professional institutions handle the management for the animals. Let people that actually care for their welfare come in and save them, before they all die of politicking and human error.



Dear Sir or Madam:

The Surabaya Zoo has been in a crisis for too long. The animals within are suffering and I urgently request you to take action. The zoo is in need of Standard Operating Procedures, professional & caring management and accountability. The zoo is caring for too many animals in a very small area. The animals are sick and dying. The Indonesian government should be embarrassed to let their national symbols suffer the way they do. Stop these ridiculous power games for the sake of the animals and the country’s image abroad. Please help to improve this very sad situation.

Kepada Ketua DPRD
Jl. Yos Sudarso no: 18 – 22, Surabaya
telp : 031-5463551
fax : 031-5463547
website :
Untuk alamat email aku belum dapat,tapi keluhan masyarakat bisa disampaikan lewat website resmi.

Jl. Jimerto 25-27 Lt.V, Surabaya
telp : (031) 5450082,5460900,5463770,5463435
fax : 031-5450154
website :

JAAN = Jakarta Animal Aid Network

PKBSI = Indonesian Zoological Parks' Association

Chairman of PKBSI Dr. H. Rahmat Shah
Hopefully in the future, each district/city has a zoo, and the regent/mayor must encourage the existence of the zoo in his/her region. "Just don't make the permits to build a zoo more difficult. Because operating the zoo couldn't be profitable as many people thought, "he said. No wonder that many people consider building a zoo is only done by a 'madman'. That will surely sacrifice of time, thought, and funding. "If well managed, capital will definitely return. But still, in business calculations, building and operating a zoo didn't make any senses, "he said. Rahmat Shah also assume the existence of Gembira Loka Zoo is multipurpose, as well as revive the economy of small communities that sell products/services around the zoo.

Journal of Threatened Taxa
November 2011 | Vol. 3 | No. 11 | Pages 2153-2228
Date of Publication 26 November 2011 (online & print)

Calgary Zoo hosting breeding program to revive mountain park caribou populations
When parks staff couldn’t track any activity on the radio collars of the only five Southern Mountain woodland caribou left in Banff two years ago, they knew something was wrong.
Their fears were soon confirmed — Banff’s last remaining herd had been wiped out, buried by an avalanche about 10 kilometres north of Lake Louise.
In other mountain regions, populations of the species were dwindling, with overall mountain national park numbers dropping from 800 to less than 250 in 25 years.
But Parks Canada, the British Columbia government and the Calgary Zoo are hoping to bring the population back to sustainable levels, announcing on Friday plans for a new woodland caribou captive breeding program.
Over the years, changes to populations in deer, elk and moose, winter trails leading predators to caribou, roads disturbing caribou habitat, habitat loss and threats to small herds have seen their population drop.
The captive breeding program involves moving wild herds from B.C. to the zoo’s Devonian Wildlife Conservation Centre south of the city, where the animals will be bred and kept in

Biogas plant planned at Mysore zoo
Mysore zoo will soon be a model for other zoos in the country, thanks to its eco-friendly initiative. It will set up a biogas plant to convert animal waste into gaseous fuel to be used for cooking.
The work on the project is underway and is expected to be complete in three months.
This will help the zoo authorities cut down on operational cost. Presently, the zoo is consuming a large quantity of LPG every month.
Zoo executive director B P Ravi said they have signed a tripartite agreement with Mysore City Corporation (MCC) and National Institute of Engineering-Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (NIE-CREST) for the plant planned near vermin-compost unit.
The technology is developed by Babha Atomic Research Centre.Everyday, zoo generates nearly 1.5 tonnes of waste from kitchen and animals, including 700-800 k

Angelique Todd, the gorillas' friend
Angelique Todd left Tunbridge Wells for the central African rainforest to study western lowland gorillas. Now she is on speaking terms with a male called Makumba
Angelique Todd, a 43-year-old mother from Tunbridge Wells, has been called the 'gorilla whisperer' for the effect she has on Makumba. This is misleading because when she sees Makumba she doesn't actually whisper, she makes a soothing sighing noise, accompanied by clucking. It's like an invisible barrier between her and the gorilla. He may come close – really close – but Todd stays calm, no matter what. And Makumba, 400lb of alpha male, turns away.
We are deep in the African rainforest, in the Central African Republic (CAR) near the border with Congo-Brazzaville. The air is thick with sweat bees. Makumba is a few yards from where we are standing, eating termites, popping them in like snacks, and I am close enough to see some escape down his chin. A hundred feet above our heads, in the tangled vines up a tree, is another gorilla.
The thing about being so close to wild gorillas is that you must not run if they come at you. You are supposed to stand still and look at the sky. I ask Todd if Makumba has ever charged her. 'Oh yes, many times,' she replies. 'All silverbacks have different ways of being scary. Makumba charges really close to you, and then he jumps even closer. It's rather shocking.'
Todd has achieved something remarkable. As the head of the Primate Habituation Programme (PHP) in the Dzanga-Sangha Forest Reserve in the CAR, she has accomplished what had eluded scientists for decades –habituated western lowland gorillas for both tourism and research. Habituation means gaining the trust of wild gorillas so they don't run away. And this is significant because although western lowland gorillas are the sort most commonly found in zoos, little is known about them in the wild.
Todd is not the first to win the trust of this subspecies, but few have matched her success (or can claim, as she does, to manage a staff of 46 BaAka pygmies). Her achievement derives partly from persistence. To say it took her a long time is an understatement. She joined the World Wildlife Fund's gorilla habituation programme in the CAR as a young research assistant in 2000. She first spotted Makumba and his family later that year – he has three 'wives' and 10 children. His initial response was to disappear; for two years she hardly saw him at all. Every day she trekked for hours into the forest and only saw 'fleeing backsides'. By the time the job was finally done in 2007, Todd was 38, had been promoted to head of the programme – and Makumba had become her life.
The next day I meet Todd in her office near Bayanga, a dusty village. The capital, Bangui, is a 10-hour drive away. Outside in the trees, monkeys squawk. Inside, exposed wires hang from the plaster above my head. Todd, a girlish woman with round cheeks and wide blue eyes, is drinking tea from a plastic cup with a lid to keep the bugs out and smoking a cigarette. She likes to do both, very regularly, throughout the day.
She is tough: her job combines sweaty treks – she spends about three days a week in the field with the gorillas – with three days doing admin in the office (Sunday is her day off). She has had malaria 25 times, dengue fever and a bot fly infestation. 'They burrow into your skin. They were all over my body, just hundreds.' Almost every day she is bitten or scratched by something – driver ants, thorny vines, leeches. Her forearms and ankles are covered in scars and scabs. 'We've had researchers who have always wanted to study gorillas and they come here and walk straight back out again. They can't cope.'
Home for her and her partner Nestor and their daughter Poppy, nearly two, is a house near Bayanga which is equipped with In the Night Garden DVDs, Sainsbury's Gold Leaf tea and the music from Fiddler on the Roof – reminding you that she is a creature as much of Tunbridge Wells as of the African rainforest. 'My mum is very concerned about ballet lessons for Poppy,' she says.
This is a woman who, aged 25, had her thumb, a finger and a large part of her right forearm bitten off by a chimpanzee when she was working as a keeper in Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, Kent. She was standing outside the chimp's cage when it grabbed her arm, pulling it through the bars. Now the arm is fully functioning but badly scarred.
This proved the making of her. 'It made me more determined to come to Africa and do

The Seahorse Trust - Latest Newsletter - Winter 2011 Winter 2011.pdf

Turkey: aquarium works start, second largest in Europe
The aquarium due to be built in Antalya, Turkey, will become the second largest in Europe and the fifth largest in the world, according to Turkish agency Anadolu. The Agncy also reported that works will start on Tuesday, November 29th. The aquarium in the Turkish sea resort on the Mediterranean will have more than 5 million litres of water in its main pool, the agency specified quoting a report by the Antalya Municipality. "The longest tunnel-aquarium in Europe" will be 131-mt. long, on an area covering over 12,000 square metres.
The agency did not specify which aquarium is the largest in Europe; however, it can be assumed that the Antalya aquarium would compete especially with the Valencia and Genoa aquaria, which are known for their large size. The agency specified that there will be a special area for sharks in Antalya and 36 thematic areas on Turkey's and the world's seas and on rivers, lakes, poisonous species and jellyfish. Visitors can touch the fish and swim with the manta ray and sharks if they wish. The structure will include a diving school, a cinema, a children's area and exhibit rooms. Bars and restaurants will be built in an area where artificial snow falls will take place: visitors

Kanpur zoo gets full-time veterinarian
The demand of the zoo administration of one more full-time veterinarian was accepted by the state government at a meeting held in Lucknow. Zoo director K Praveen Rao, principal chief conservator of forests B K Pattnaik and principal secretary, animal husbandry department Har Sharan Das took part in it.
The appointment of one more veterinarian would complete the quorum of doctors in the zoo. The Kanpur Zoological Park was in need of one more full-time veterinarian. The only veterinary doctor had been working on contractual basis. The zoo administration had sent a proposal to the state government in this regard recently.
"Rakesh Kumar Singh from the animal husbandry department will join Kanpur zoo on deputation for a period of three years," Rao said while talking to TOI.
Rao said that he was hopeful that more efforts would be made in conserving the wildlife in the Zoo.
Meanwhile, if the guidelines of Central Zoo Authority (CZA) are taken into consideration, every large zoo in the country should have two veterinarians and two compounders. The Kanpur zoo, which is categorized as large, had only one full-time veterinarian.
The death of two tiger cubs within a span of 42 days brought Kanpur zoo into focus. Till now, the burden of analyzing the health of 1,300 zoo inmates had been resting on the shoulders on one veterinarian. With the posting of one more veterinarian, the burden will be shared.
Rao said that five years back, Rajeev Tripathi, who was in Kanpur zoo on deputation from animal husbandry department and UC

Zoos the good, the bad and the ugly
THE question of whether zoos are needed in this day and age “Staying Relevant” (The Star, Nov 22) is a good one to pose, not least because almost all zoos in Malaysia are antiquated and out of touch with the needs of the animals they incarcerate, and the expectations of the public.
In my experience, not many people oppose all zoos, but most people object to bad zoos.
I have often asked myself why it is our neighbour Singapore has such an amazing zoo run to the highest professional standards while we in Malaysia don’t. It can’t be a question of money, so it must be a case of zoos in Malaysia working to the lowest possible

The theme park tiger economy
Apart from the breakfast of barbecued chicken’s feet, it could have been Disney World.
It was mealtime at Chimelong, the vast pleasure park in southern China where I had taken my tween-aged children for half term, and no one was bothering about the buffet. Every head in the 1,000-seat breakfast room was turned toward the majestic trio of live white tigers pacing the glassed-in courtyard at the centre of the restaurant.
The middle class enjoys itself in similar ways around the world, but this was a “weekend break” with Chinese characteristics. Apart from the tigers at breakfast, there were also tigers at check-in: a family of entirely white “snow tigers” that lives just outside the hotel lobby. I have been to a lot of zoos in my time, and tigers without stripes were a first for me; but I was reliably assured by the staff that, though the Chimelong

Birsa Munda zoo workers end strike
The seven-day strike of daily wage earners at the Birsa Munda Biological Park was called off late on Wednesday evening after long rounds of persuasion by officials.
The striking employees agreed to return to work after assurances given by chief conservator of forest A K Gupta and zoo director P K Verma. While some of the demands were met, the officials agreed to persuade the major demand of the daily wage earners on the appointment against 24 vacancies with the ministry.
Verma said identity cards would be issued to the employees and the matter of enlisting them for employees provident fund scheme would be discussed with the law department to find out some ways. "To my knowledge, the zoo workers are not classified in the schedule that allows inclusion in employees provident fund scheme still the law department can suggest some provision in the matter," he said.
During the seven-day strike, hundreds of inmates of Birsa Munda Biological Park at Oremanjhi block of the district were anxiously looking up to the babus in Jharkhand government for their survival.
More than 60 daily wage earners resorted to strike, in the park, 15 km from here, and the animals had to languish in filth, stink and sometimes craving for food. Along with the suffering animals, the striking employees seem to be anxious, if the government is really concerned about the situation in the zoo.
The impasse began after repeated delays in appointment of caretakers in the zoo and notice related to vacancy of 24 posts being announced by the department. The wage earners are demanding direct appointment against these posts, whereas the government is still to come up with a recruitment policy.
While dirt and filth spread all over the zoo is evident to the visitors, sharp decline in the footfall of people stands testimony to the falling standards. According to official figures available with the zoo authorities, income from the sale of daily tickets came down to around Rs 12,000 from the average income of Rs 20,000 in a week.
Acknowledging that the officials at the park are striving hard to cope up with the situation, Verma said some outside labourers were engaged to arrange food for the animals and carry out mandatory cleaning. "There is no denial of the fact that things are not good as per standard," he said. "The appointment is the prerogative of the government in which the zoo directorate has hardly any role to play"
The principal chief conservator of forest forwarded a proposal for appointment of caretakers to the government. Forest department principal secretary A K Sircar, who received the proposal, said the government was mulling over adopting a norm for recruitment. "After receiving the proposal, we have discussed over it and are preparing to send a draft to the minister concerned," he said adding that whether the draft would be approved at the department level or by the cabinet depends upon the council

Connect with colleagues from the zoo and aquarium community at the 2012 Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Mid-Year Meeting, March 24-30, in Palm Springs, California, hosted by The Living Desert
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Gorilla baby death mystery: Accident or gorilla infanticide?
Zookeepers don't believe the death of a nine-day-old western lowland gorilla infant at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo was intentional, but mystery still surrounds gorilla behavior both in zoos and in the wild.
The death of a nine-day-old rare western lowland gorilla infant from head trauma at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo highlights the mysterious dynamics of child rearing in gorilla tribes, where only two out of three infants survive.
Zoo authorities say the unnamed baby, who had already become a big hit with visitors, was observed being carried, lifeless, by its 16-year-old first-time mom, Bana, in the zoo's gorilla enclosure on Friday morning. Authorities believe the mother may have accidentally sat on the baby, but admit they don't fully understand what happened.
"There are no bite marks or cuts and no sign of aggression, but it is possible she may have been dropped or even sat on," Zoo spokeswoman Sharon Dewar told the Daily Mail. "It happened at night and it was too dark to be captured by the cameras in the exhibit."
Last year, a baby gorilla lost part of its leg after a family scuffle in an enclosure at the Louisville Zoo, in Kentucky. Several years ago, a gorilla infant at Zoo Atlanta, which has the largest population of lowland gorillas in the US, was hurt, perhaps accidentally, by the dominant male silverback in the group. Earlier this year, a gorilla infant named Tiny at the London Zoo was killed during a group squabble after a new

The Tiger’s Eye
White tiger Zena has life-changing surgery
This has been a nerve-wracking fortnight for the Isle of Wight Zoo, as staff prepared for white tiger Zena to have life-changing surgery.
Zena has had eye problems throughout her life, an issue which is common in white tigers. In 2006 she had to have her right eye removed due to glaucoma. Although it was initially managed with eye drops, the disease developed and caused her so much pain that removal was the best option for her.
Zena has coped well with having only one eye, but for many years it has had a cataract. This increased until it was seriously obscuring her vision, and when eye specialist Rob Lowe examined her in October he broke the bad news that she was almost blind in daylight.
Surgery is never without risks, especially considering Zena’s age – she is fifteen years old, which would be elderly if she was living in the wild. However, her carers knew that her quality of life would be drastically improved. Zena may live into her twenties at the Isle of Wight Zoo, so restoring her sight would have an impact for many years to come.
Fortunately, the type of cataract Zena had meant that it could be treated with a minimally invasive technique. On Monday 21st November Surgeon Rob Lowe used a microscope to work with extreme precision to suck out the cataract – after warning everyone against jogging the table! Rob has performed this operation on horses and dogs, but this was the first time on a tiger.
The operation was a success, and Zena’s eyesight is now dramatically improved. She rejoined her sister Zia in their enclosure on Thursday 24th, and staff were thrilled to see her moving around with much more confidence, navigating by sight rather than feeling her way. She is currently receiving eye-drops four times a day, which are crucial to ensuring her complete recovery.
White tigers are not a separate species or subspecies of tiger, but are usually Indian hybrids. Unfortunately, inbreeding has often occurred, when humans have deliberately bred them to be white. This has left them prone to a number of health problems and sadly Zena’s story is not unique. Zena has never been part of a breeding programme; instead she acts as an ambassador for tiger conservation.

UAE's natural historyAs National Day approaches, Stacey Pinto looks at conservation progress in the UAE
The rapid growth of the UAE since its foundation nearly 40 years ago has taken its toll on the country’s wildlife.
However, there are a number of organisations working hard across the country to ensure that native species such as the Arabian leopard, houbara bustard and the sand cat survive.
One of the largest and most successful projects to date has been the fight to preserve the Arabian oryx. Al Ain Zoo, which was established in 1968 by the UAE’s founding father, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, has been one of the key players in the programme.
During the 1960s, when most zoos were operating for entertainment purposes, Sheikh Zayed founded Al Ain Zoo as a centre for the conservation of endangered species. “The late Sheikh Zayed had great foresight when it came to protecting wildlife,” said Lisa Banfield, conservation officer at the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort, which now incorporates the zoo.
“After he asked for all the oryx to be brought in from the wild and conserved, they not only became an endangered species, but would have died out completely had it not been for the efforts of the UAE and other countries, such as the United States, to protect these animals.”
Since then, many successful conservation projects have been undertaken, including the breeding of desert antelopes and gazelles. “We work in unison with other zoos and environmental groups such as the Environ­mental Agency, Abu Dhabi (EAD), and they help us with our reintroduction programme. This is basically a process of reintroducing animals - newly bred, orphaned or just taken into our captive - back into the wild,” Banfield says.
The process can take a long time, with a constant care needed of the animals after they have been reintroduced to see if they cope. The zoo has undergone major expansion since it was founded, being transformed into Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort, dedicated to exhibiting and conserving wildlife of the desert world.
Banfield said: “With the rapid development of the UAE since the 1960s and 1970s, the country’s flora and fauna has changed extensively. And it is only natural that the rapidity has caused damage.
“But keeping Sheikh Zayed’s vision in mind of conser­vation through wildlife reserves, work is under way with governments and NGOs, to restore what has been damaged.” And Al Ain Zoo is not alone in this work.
During the 1990s, HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah, also recognised the need to protect the environment. So Sharjah’s govern­ment ordered the construction of the Sharjah Desert Park, which includes the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife.
The centre opened in 1998 and is responsible for captive breeding and researc


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