The biggest zoo news
this week….it has been everywhere. Somebody has named a cockroach 'Tom
Brady'….who? Exactly. I haven't a clue who Tom Brady is and whereas it would
take me less than a minute to find out I won't bother because I am not remotely
interested. Actually I tell a lie…I am interested…but not in Tom Brady but in
the type of story which tickles the fancy of the press. Well done Zoo Atlanta, but
sorry I haven't carried the cockroach story.
story today is the armed takeover of Ocean Adventure in Subic. I have been
following and posting zoo related stories for many years now. I cannot recall
anything similar happening anywhere before. Okay the documents I have posted
are a little bit difficult to read….but you can do it. Like my earlier exposes
on Phú Quốc Safari in Vietnam there is nothing in the press yet. As I know many news agencies follow Zoo News Digest perhaps someone will follow up.
Did You Know?
ZooNews Digest has over 52,000 'Like's' on Facebook and has a weekly reach often exceeding over 350,000 people? That ZooNews Digest has subscribers in over 800 Zoos in 153+ countries? That the subscriber list for the mail out reads like a 'Zoos Who's Who?'
If you are a subscriber to the email version then you probably knew this already. You would also know that ZooNews Digest pre-dates any of the others. It was there before FaceBook. It was there shortly after the internet became popular and was a 'Blog' before the word had been invented. ZooNews Digest reaches zoo people.
I remain committed to the work of GOOD zoos,
not DYSFUNCTIONAL zoos.
Armed Takeover of
Dormouse might be
first tree-climbing mammal shown to echolocate
A rare rodent isn’t
just blind as a bat: it may navigate like one too. The tree-climbing Vietnamese
pygmy dormouse seems to make ultrasonic calls to guide its motion. If that’s
confirmed, it would be the first arboreal mammal known to use echolocation.
Apart from bats,
dolphins, whales, rats and shrews – which use calls in the audible range – few
mammals echolocate as vision is usually more efficient. But Aleksandra
Panyutina at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow and her team thought the
dormouse was a good candidate. They had access to two of these seldom-studied,
mainly nocturnal rodents at the Moscow zoo, where keepers had noticed that they
were able to climb with remarkable agility despite poor eyesight. They also
have big, bat-like ears. “We suspected that they use echolocation,” says
To find out, the
team first confirmed the rodent’s poor vision by analys
Rewriting The History Of Wolves In America For Public Consumption
I’ve been in this
game long enough that I’m always shocked when someone comes to me with a story
of animal exploitation that I’ve never heard of. And yet, it happens, far more
often I’d like. There is, apparently, an inexhaustible number of people eagerly
awaiting their chance to “teach” the public about the animals they’re
exploiting. Which brings me to the Great American Frontier Show: Wolves of the
World. I had never heard of the show, which was founded by a man named Michael
Sandlofer, a number of years ago. Mr. Sandlofer passed away in 2016, so I will
be as respectful as possible in the writing of this article. The article will,
however, be honest, and forthright.
The Sandlofers have
owned and trained captive wild animals for entertainment purposes for decades.
They even had performing bison at one point. From as early as 1979, they’ve had
animal shows performing for audiences, at a price, while claiming the animals
were all “resc
DOE Warns Saei Park
Over Zoo Conditions
Saei Park management
has been warned to raise the standards of its zoo facilities and apply for a
permit or risk prosecution.
Speaking to ISNA,
Mohammad Reza Bazgir, the head of Tehran’s office of the Department of
Environment, said of the three unlicensed zoos in the Iranian capital, only one
has failed to heed the DOE’s warnings.
“The management of
Mellat and Chitgar parks have taken steps to raise their standards and are in
the process of acquiring permits to operate their animal facilities, but Saei
Park has not taken a single step,” Bazgir was quoted as saying by the news agency.
“If they don’t
bolster their standards and apply for a permit, we’ll have no choice but to
list Saei Park as an illegal zoo and deal with them through legal channels.”
has 12 wildlife centers.
DOE has instructed
all animal reserves to adhere to standards pertaining to the animals’ nutrition
and care, in addition to their cage condition.
Wildlife facilities must submit regular reports about the species, numbers,
addition and remova
For These Monkeys,
It's a Fight for Survival
On their Indonesian
island, crested black macaques are hunted for meat, kept as pets, and
threatened by a shrinking habitat. Can they be saved?
If it weren’t for a
cheeky monkey named Naruto, who, as the story goes, stole a photographer’s
camera in an Indonesian park and snapped a selfie, crested black macaques might
still be languishing in obscurity.
The photo later went
viral, and Macaca nigra suddenly had millions of online fans just as the
International Union for Conservation of Nature, which sets the conservation
status of animals, was working toward listing the punk-haired, amber-eyed
species as among the world’s 25 most endangered primates.
In 2015 Naruto’s
selfie sparked a copyright lawsuit including the animal welfare group People fo
Treasures”: Lanzhou Zoo Sparks Controversy (Again) for Apparent Panda
photos of a mouth-foaming, lethargic-looking panda at Lanzhou Zoo has caused
outrage on Weibo. As the zoo’s conditions are called into question for the
umpteenth time, some say that China’s so-called ‘national treasures’ (国宝) are not
being treated equally. The controversy is especially noteworthy because China
maintains strict control over the pandas it sends abroad.
Sydney Zoo Submitted For Final Decision
A proposed privately
operated zoo in Western Sydney has been referred to the NSW Planning and
Assessment Commission for a final decision.
zoo, to be located within the Western Sydney Parklands at Bungarribee, 33
kilometres west of Sydney’s CBD, is masterplanned by Aspect Studios.
Sydney Zoo is a new
$36 million zoological park and is set to be an iconic tourist attraction
located in the Bungarribee Precinct, Western Sydney Parklands. The new Sydney
Zoo will work in collaboration with the Western Sydney Parklands Trust and
Blacktown Council to contribute to enhancing social and cultural infrastructure
in Western Sydney.
The site is located
approximately 33 kilometres west of Sydney’s CBD, and approximately 15
kilometres east of Penrith. It is in close proximity to the Great Western
Highway, M4 Western Motorway and Westlink M7, providing excellent access to
both the state and regional road network and surrounding parkland areas.
contribution to the NSW economy is estimated at $45 million per year and is
expected to boost employment with 160 jobs during construction and at least 120
jobs during its operation.
Tough early life
makes wild animals live longer
Scientists from the
University of Exeter found that male banded mongooses that experienced poor
conditions in their first year had longer lives.
However, there was
no difference in the number of offspring they fathered - suggesting those born
into poor conditions "live slow, die old" while those with an easier
first year "live fast, die young".
males that fathered the most pups were those that grew up when conditions were
highly variable. These males also lived long lives, like those born into poor
"Growing up in
a poor or unpredictable environment isn't necessarily bad - it can have
advantages," said lead author Dr Harry Marshall, of the Centre for Ecology
and Conservation of the University of Exeter's Penryn Campus.
"It's not clear
why variable early-life conditions were the best for male mongooses in terms of
longevity and reproduction. It might be that male mongooses that experience
different challenges in their first year are better prepared for those challenges
The researchers used
14 years of data on wild banded mongooses (Mungo
Act now before
entire species are lost to global warming, say scientists
The impact of
climate change on threatened and endangered wildlife has been dramatically
underreported, with scientists calling on policymakers to act urgently to slow
its effects before entire species are lost for good.
New analysis has
found that nearly half (47%) of the mammals and nearly a quarter (24.4%) of the
birds on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list
of threatened species are negatively impacted by climate change – a total of about
700 species. Previous assessments had said only 7% of listed mammals and 4% of
birds were impacted.
“Many experts have
got these climate assessments wrong – in some cases, massively so,” said Dr
James Watson of the University of Queensland and the Wildlife Conservation
Society, who co-authored the paper with scientists in the UK, Italy and the US.
IUCN updates 'red
list' of endangered species - in pictures
Published in the
Nature Climate Change journal, the analysis of 130 studies reported between
1990 and 2015 painted a grim picture of the impact of the changing climate on
birds and mammals already under threat.
tended to assess the impa
interactive enrichment and human-animal interaction
As orangutan (Pongo
spp.) and chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) populations decrease, captive
individuals play an important role in species’ conservation management making
information about their cognitive stimuli and enrichment essential.
There is a growing
empirical support demonstrating improved welfare in captive animals when they
can exert control over their environment.1 Research shows that great apes can
successfully interact with digital media devices2&3 and there can be behavioral
changes when presented with digital enrichments.4 However, to date, there have
been no studies that look at the effect of free-choice using digital
interactive mediums, and the implementation’s impact on human visitors’
Momentary Victory In
An Ongoing War
At the beginning of
2017, Ringling Bros. Barnum Bailey Circus announced that after 146 years of
entertainment with animals, it was closing its doors for good. “Big picture”
animal rights groups, who remained fixated on “sticking it to the man on behalf
of animals everywhere” instantly declared victory, announcing the vanquishment
of the #1 animal exploiter in the United States. Much of the public, and those
more capitalistically minded expressed confusion or horror, that there was
something wrong with the iconic establishment, or that “animal rights” should
be put above the needs and wants of human businessmen.
The remainder of us
within the conservation community, those who understood the depths of such an
announcement, began poring over press releases and articles, attempting to suss
out the long-term plans for the captive wild animals which have long been a staple
for Ringling Bros.. We knew, unlike the public–who widely and ignorantly
cheered for the “retirement” of elephants from Ringling Bros. Barnum Bailey
Circus–that a circus who ceases to use animals in their show, or who otherwise
closes its doors, is
park joins British and Irish zoos
The Alameda Wildlife
Conservation Park (AWCP), Gibraltar’s only zoo, was recently awarded
provisional Membership of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and
The AWCP is now
officially one of the smallest zoos in BIAZA and is mentored by the smallest
member: Shaldon Zoo in Devon.
This comes after
years of development and twelve months of hard work that began with an initial
inspection in January 2016 by BIAZA’s Nic Dunn Director of Shaldon Wildlife
Trust, who also assisted throughout the initial application and will continue
to mentor the AWCP during the provisional period.
Director of Living Collections, Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, also
assessed the park and made recommendations.
The Kusuma Trust
funded their visits.
Coupled with the
BIAZA milestone is the AWCP’s ‘Stategic Plan 2016-2021, Building on Success’.
www.zoolex.org in February 2017
~°v°~ ~°v°~ ~°v°~
Hello ZooLex Friend,
We have worked for
The "Heart of
Africa" at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a themed area that
features lions and
many other species of savannah animals. With the
exception of hidden
moats, the lion exhibit is at the same approximate
elevation as the
adjacent savanna. Therefore, the lions and the guests
have an unobstructed
view of foraging hoofstock.
presentations and two discussion panels, a dense programme is
participants of the first international zoo design
2004. The first day is dedicated to "zoo design trends
developments" including a discussion on "zoo strategies and design
theme of the second day is "enrichment for welfare" with
speakers from around
the globe. The third day is about "technical
aspects of zoo
design" and will end with a discussion on "working with
experts" before a visit to Wroclaw Zoo in the afternoon.
ZooLex together with
Wroclaw Zoo organizes this international zoo design
conference will take place in Wroclaw, Poland, from 4th
to 7th April 2017.
Please use this link
for information and registration:
Exhibitors will be
accomodated in the order of registration. Please
check out your
opportunities and contact MCC Consulting Ltd. for booking
We keep working on
The ZooLex Zoo
Design Organization is a non-profit organization
Austria (ZVR-Zahl 933849053). ZooLex runs a professional
zoo design website
and distributes this newsletter. More information and
Behaviour: Who is Training Who?
Did you guys meet my
brother yet? Ok, he is a man that means a lot to me and gives me quite some
inspiration. In the beginning of December we had a trip after almost a year not
seeing each other. Together we planned to go to Kiruna (The most northern city
of Sweden) to see the northern lights through a sled dog trip in the forest. It
was magical and I want to tell you all please do this once in your life. It
took us quite a while but that meant as well that we had a long time to talk
together about everything and anything. Real bonding on such a trip.
My brother is a
salesman for for T-mobile. He only has this job for maybe 8 months now I would
say if not less but h
What Packy taught us
This past week has
been an especially sad one for the Oregon Zoo. On Thursday, we said goodbye to
Asian elephant Packy, one of the zoo's oldest residents, and one of the
best-known, most beloved animals in the world.
As a young
conservation biologist attending grad school at Syracuse in the early 1980s --
long before I returned to Portland to be zoo director -- I traveled across the
country one summer, visiting family in the Northwest but also intent on seeing
Portland's zoo and meeting the legendary elephant. He was majestic, standing
10-foot-6 at the shoulder with a bearing I can only describe as regal. The
intelligence in his eyes was startling. I had never seen anything like him.
Nearly everyone in
the Portland area knows Packy, of course -- he inspired books, songs, and
parade floats. For years, a giant mural of his profile graced the old Skidmore
Fountain Building at the west end of the Burnside Bridge. And, with his
likeness embellishing our logo, Packy was literally the face of the Oregon Zoo.
But apart from his celebrity, or perhaps because of it, Packy's most important
legacy stretches far beyond our region.
When the zoo moved
to its current Washington Park location in the late 1950s, Dr. Matthew Maberry,
our first veterinarian, helped design facilities that gave elephants much more
freedom than was common for zoos of that time. That change encouraged normal
social interactions and natural breeding among the elephants, which led to
something of a modern miracle: Packy, the first elephant born in North America
The birth was so
unprecedented that until Packy hit the ground (shortly before 6 a.m. on April
14, 1962), no one knew that an Asian elephant's gestation period is 20 to 22
months. That was the first thing Packy taught us -- and each year brought more