On with links:
Month-old liger riddled with genetic defects
A one-month-old liger -- a hybrid of a tiger and lion -- being cared for at a protected wildlife shelter in the southern Taiwan county of Pingtung has genetic defects that jeopardize its survival, the shelter's manager said Tuesday.
The cub, the only survivor of three that were born Aug. 15 to a tigress that was illegally mated with a lion at a privately run leisure farm in Tainan County, is currently in stable condition but has suffered from a variety of symptoms, including fever and breathing difficulties, over the course of its short life, according to Pei Jai-chyi.
The animal, a male, was ill when it was taken to the shelter run by National Pingtung University of Science and Technology one day after its birth, but later began to grow well, thanks to round-the-clock care by veterinarians at the shelter, Pei noted.
However, the cub, which now weighs 3 kg, displays obvious physical
Report: 32 blackbuck antelope die in Indian zoo, 2 rhinos critical after drinking sewage water
Thirty-two blackbuck antelopes have died and two rhinos are in critical condition after drinking sewage water that flowed into their enclosures at New Delhi's main zoo, a news report said Thursday.
The antelopes died over the past week after a sewage pipe became blocked following heavy monsoon rains and dirty water overflowed into their enclosure, Press Trust of India news agency reported. Officials at New Delhi's National Zoological Park said autopsies revealed intestinal infections, which had been caused by drinking contaminated water.
Sewage water also entered the moat surrounding the rhino pen and two rhinos drank sewage-tainted water and fell critically ill, the news report said.
Efforts were ongoing to check the pipes and ensure sewage water does not flow back into the zoo, Jairam Ramesh, federal environment minister, said Wednesday.
Kartick Satyanarayan, a wildlife expert, said another wallowing pool was created for the rhinos so they did not have to drink water
10 blackbucks die at zoo after drinking contaminated water
Ten blackbucks, also known as Krishna Mrigam, died at the Delhi Zoo over this weekend after drinking contaminated water as a result of the backflow from the flooded Yamuna into a zoo drain near the enclosure of the protected species.
According to zoo director A K Agnihotri, the deaths were caused by the combined result of a blocked drain and Yamuna water that flowed into the zoo, bringing back the sewerage that was supposed to flow into the river. “Four blackbucks died on Saturday, while six more died on Sunday. The postmortem report put the cause of death to an infection in the intestines,” he said.
Agnihotri added that steps have been taken to prevent other animals from falling sick. “Lime has been mixed in the water inside the zoo and sick animals are being given
Ramesh blames DJB, NDMC for blackbuck deaths
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday said “failure” on the part of the Delhi Jal Board and the NDMC to repair the sewer line and ensure supply of clean water to the Delhi Zoo led to the death of the 10 blackbucks. “I had visited the zoo two weeks back and inspected the sewage system, which was in a bad shape. “Despite my instructions to NDMC and DJB officials to repair the sewer line that was pumping sewage water in some of the enclosures, nothing was done in this direction. The death of animals is very unfortunate,” Ramesh said. The blackbucks died after drinking contaminated water
San Diego Zoo Bids Farwell to Two Giant Panda Sisters
The San Diego Zoo said goodbye to two giant pandas this weekend, but not before collecting valuable scientific data about the panda's ability to hear.
Early Saturday morning, 5-year-old Su Lin and her 3-year-old sister, Zhen Zhen, were accompanied by San Diego Zoo animal care and veterinary staff members on a plane trip to their new home at the Wolong Nature Reserve Giant Panda Bi Feng Xia Base in the People's Republic of China. The pandas will join an important conservation program where they will contribute to the preservation of this endangered species.
Since the birth of these two pandas at the San Diego Zoo, scientists have been gathering facts about panda biology. As Su Lin and Zhen Zhen got older they became the backbone of cutting-edge research that is giving scientists insight into what a panda can hear and how man-made noises can affect the species' ability to communicate and reproduce.
"Having Su Lin and Zhen Zhen at the San Diego Zoo was a great learning experience for us," said Megan Owen, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research conservation program specialist. "Su Lin was the first giant panda we were able to collect comprehensive hearing data on. We also learned a lot from Zhen Zhen on what a young bear can hear."
Asking a giant panda to notify its zookeeper when it hears a tone isn't as simple as raising a finger at the doctor's office. Zookeepers go through several steps to train the bears to first be comfortable in a sound-dampened enclosure, sit still to listen for the sound and then touch a target with its nose when the bear hears the tone played.
This study will continue once Su Lin and Zhen Zhen's parents, Bai Yun and Gao Gao are trained to follow the same procedures. Gathering additional information from the two adult bears may help determine if a younger bear's hearing is different from older bears. Incorporating the male Gao Gao will also provide insight into possible differences between panda males and females.
Giant pandas are on loan to the San Diego Zoo from the
'Pambassadors' get into caring for pandas
Twelve panda lovers from around the world are getting into their new jobs learning how to look after pandas at a world famous conservation centre in China's Sichuan province, before six will finally be chosen to become official 'Panda Ambassadors' - or 'Pambassadors'.
The twelve hopefuls got their hands dirty for the first time learning how to make nutritious cakes for the national treasures at the Chengdu Panda Research Centre where they are based, state-run China Central Television (CCTV) reported.
Perhaps not what they all had in mind when they came to learn about panda preservation, but Canadian candidate Annie-Danielle Grenier was already feeling at home.
"I love to cook for my family and friends, and it's not much different cooking for pandas. The ingredients are different but it's exactly the same, and I cook with love when I cook for my family and it's the same for the pandas," she told CCTV.
The twelve, who hail from countries including Japan, the United States, France and Sweden, were chosen from over 61,600 applicants from over
Abandoned cubs go to nursery
SHANGHAI Zoo has opened a "nursery" and "kindergarten" for eight South China tiger cubs and a jaguar cub, officials said yesterday.
The four cubs in the nursery - three tigers and a jaguar born this year - had been abandoned by their mothers, the zoo said.
Qing Qing, the tigers' mother, had four cubs on April 14, but refused to feed them. She had abandoned cubs twice before, so the zoo was fully prepared. Carers put the cubs into feeding boxes and fed them with milk. The weakest, however, died three days later.
The jaguar is about a month younger than the tigers and they bully him. "They could play together but could never eat together," said Liu Qunxiu, a carer with the zoo. "The baby tigers would rob the jaguar for his food, and the jaguar was not able to beat them.
"They can stay together for at most another one to two months," he added, "or they'll fight every day."
Carers said that in the nursery, the cubs will be expected to learn to eat by themselves. When they
Essex zoo bears saved from 'certain death' in Cambodia
A pair of sun bears rescued in Cambodia and brought to Essex have become the only animals of their kind at a zoo in England.
Colchester Zoo said the animals were saved from "certain death" in Cambodia and brought to the UK by the Rare Species Conservation Centre (RSCC).
Srey-Ya was found as a motherless cub suffering from pneumonia and Jo-Jo was being kept to amuse bar customers.
Both had earlier been confiscated from poachers, the zoo said.
Srey-Ya, which means girl, weighed just 10oz (300g) when she was discovered in the village of Ya Dow in central Cambodia.
She was so young she was still not fully covered in fur and had not yet opened her eyes, the zoo said.
World's smallest bear
Jo-Jo had been confiscated as a six-month-old by government anti-poaching patrols in Ratanakiri
Fossa Enrichment at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Captive Animal Enrichment
Animal enrichment is a term frequently used at zoos, aquariums and wildlife facilities. But what exactly does it mean? Heidi Hellmuth, Curator of Enrichment and Training at the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park, explains it to Nat Geo Inside WILD.
Animal enrichment strategies encourage mental and physical stimulation and exercise, and methods can vary significantly, depending on the individual creature or specific species.
"Enrichment includes much more than just objects, or 'toys'," explains Heidi. "Here at the Smithonsian's National Zoo, we describe enrichment by using six different categories: objects, dietary, sensory, exhibit design and furnishings, social and cognitive. Some enrichment strategies combine several categories, for example we might put a piece of shrimp inside of a plastic, twist-top jar for our octopus. This combines an object, dietary enrichment and a cognitive challenge for the octopus to get the food item out of the jar."
Each enrichment tool goes through an approval process before its introduction to the captive animal. Heidi shares that at the National Zoo "animal keepers fill out information on what animal or species the enrichment item is for, what the item is, what the goal of it is, where to get it, how much it costs, if it takes time or assistance from other departments to construct it, etc. There is also a safety section with a checklist of potential safety risks to consider, and a section to note any restrictions on use, such as allowed only when supervised, or only with adult animals, etc. Once the keeper completes the form, it is also reviewed by the enrichment/training curator, area curator, and when appropriate by animal health and/or nutrition. This way we have multiple people looking at the proposed enrichment item to make sure it is appropriate and considered as safe as possible for the animal involved."
Goal-based strategy is an important element of captive animal enrichment. Animal keepers and curators often evaluate and determine what behaviors they want to encourage from the animal, or what the enrichment might facilitate. Heidi says that "this all starts with studying the natural history and behavior of the species, since the main goal of a good enrichment program is to offer the animals in ou
Residents face B10,000 fine for feeding elephants
People who feed roaming elephants on Bangkok streets now face a 10,000 baht fine.
City Hall has started a new drive to rid the city's streets of elephants begging for food.
Called the Chang Yim (Smiling Elephants) project, it was inspired by a poem written by school students about the suffering of elephants forced to roam the streets.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has issued an ordinance banning elephants from the city. Mahouts found with their elephants, begging for food in the city, can be jailed for six months and/or fined up to 10,000 baht.
Land owners who provide shelter to roaming elephants, and people who buy fruit from mahouts to feed the animals will also face a fine of up to 10,000 baht.
Officials who catch roaming elephants will receive a reward of 2,000 baht an elephant.
The ordinance to control elephants, approved by the City Council, went into effect on June 22.
But Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra delayed enforcing it until July 1 to make sure people are aware of it.
Inspired by a poem on the plight of elephants roaming the city's streets written by pupils from Concordian International School, MR Sukhumbhand launched the Chang Yim project to return the elephants to their home provinces.
Manit Techa-apichoke, director of the City Law
Bangkok's 'smiling elephant' law
Travellers in Thailand are being warned against feeding elephants in the capital city, Bangkok
A new law, known as the ‘Chang Yim’ or ‘Smiling elephant’ law has been passed to encourage the animals and their mahouts, to leave the city for good.
People caught feeding the animals may be fined up to 10,000 Baht (£207) and the mahouts could face a prison sentence of up to six months, if caught in the city.
Bangkok City Hall enforced the law as part of a new campaign to move the elephants to a safer, more natural environment. Animals that are seized or captured will be moved to provincial elephant conservation centres.
Tourists staying in the city should be careful not in interact with the elephants. If they want to do so, they should visit an official conservation park, in the elephant’s natural habitat; such
Zoo's DNA Lab Cracks Cases Like CSI
Shamana laps up the attention
LIONS and tigers and bears, oh my!
Darling Downs Zoo is now just shy of boasting a trio of ferociously famous animals after the arrival of Shamana the tiger this week.
Shamana, who travelled to the Downs from another zoo in Tasmania, has been cutting a spectacular figure as hundreds of school children pour through the gates at Pilton this week.
Zoo owner Stephanie Robinson swapped Shamana for a pair of rare Macaw birds after the nine-year-old tiger refused to get along with her half-sister or an arranged mate in Tasmania.
The last tiger to take up residence at Darling Downs Zoo was a 24-year-old male who died of old age about two years ago.
It was obvious Mrs Robinson was happy to have a replacement as she played with Shamana yesterday.
“She's just beautiful,” Mrs Robinson smiled.
The zoo also has four new Blackbuck, an Indian antelope species, which includes a baby that is currently being hand-r
Wild breeding for red panda
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park has decided to conduct the breeding of red pandas in the natural habitats to make the endangered species more adaptable in the wild before their release in forest.
A.K. Jha, director of the zoo, said: “We have already made a proposal to start breeding programmes at Tiger Hill in Darjeeling, Dow Hill in Kurseong and in the forest of Lava in Kalimpong. We will ensure minimum human interference for the animal’s breeding in natural surroundings.”
The move is aimed at honing the animal’s natural skills, which could be restricted when bred in closed enclosure as is being done currently at the Darjeeling zoo. Experts believe the new initiative will facilitate the release of the animal in the wild.
The hill zoo was the first in the country to release captive animals in the wild successfully. So far, the zoo has sent four red pandas to Singalila National Park.
Jha said 74 red pandas had been spotted in the Singalila forest. “But the number is in decline across the world. We have been told that the Centre will take up the issue of red panda conservation with authorities in Nepal and Bhutan,” said Jha.
The Indian government believes that it is necessary to take up the issue of conserving the red panda habitat in Nepal and Bhutan as human interference in its corridor is resulting in the animal’s inbreeding.
“The red panda area in India is contiguous with Nepal and Bhutan. The animals will not mingle if there is human interference in its corridor, leading to poor genetic strain of the species,” said Jha on the sidelines of a workshop on the red panda in Darjeeling last week.
The Darjeeling zoo is currently classified as a co-ordinating zoo for the breeding of red pandas and other animals like Tibetan wolf, Satyr Tragopan, grey peacock pheasant, snow
Auckland Zoo in panda swap with India
Auckland Zoo is sending one of its female red pandas, Khosuva, to India in exchange for a male red panda at Darjeeling Zoo in India.
Ten-year-old Sagar is expected to arrive in Auckland early next month and spend a month in quarantine before the public gets to see him.
Khosuva flies out tomorrow, leaving behind her mother Maya and sister Amber. She will be used in a re-designed captive breeding programme at the Darjeeling zoo. She has not yet been mated.
"Given successful breeding, Khosuva's offspring will be released into the wild - which will be an historic first for Auckland
New digs for zoo veterinarian
From puny frogs the weight of a nickel to a 4,000-kilogram elephant, city zoo staff can treat patients of all sizes with their new hospital.
The $1-million building will help staff provide medical and dental care right at the Edmonton Valley Zoo — even equipment to polish the sharp fangs of wolves.
“Tuna toothpaste, there’s nothing like it,” said Dr. Milton Ness, the zoo’s veterinarian.
A long list of patients — including wolves, squirrel monkeys and lemurs — will soon be in the dental chair for cleanings and root canals.
Gucci the skunk was one of the first patients treated at the new medical centre. The docile critter, who visits kids at schools, had a tooth pulled.
But not all patients, like Lucy the elephant, can fit in the hospital. So, mobile equipment — such as a portable X-ray machine — is wheeled into her enclosure.
The clinic is loaded with a state-of-the-art medical lab, operating room and exam area just for the critters.
The lab can provide test results quickly on-site, while before samples were sent away and could take months to receive analysis.
Sterile surgery, such as abdominal operations, can also be done right in the operating room at the zoo. The sterile area is outfitted with a heated table, IV machine, heart monitor, anesthesia equipment and overhead lights.
“This place is set up like an O.R. for a human being,” said
Safety in the lion den at the NEW Zoo
Tropical Zoo wins year's eviction reprieve
THE Duke of Northumberland has allowed to let the much-loved Tropical Zoo stay for another year as they continue to raise money for their relocation.
Syon Estate this week announced that an agreement has been reached with Waldorf Astoria Hotels whereby the the zoo will be able to remain at Syon Park for a further 12 months after their lease expired on Thursday.
After having nearly eight years notice to leave Syon Park by this September, The Tropical Zoo has found it very difficult to find a suitable alternative site. However owner Tony Purdy has now been offered a council-owned site adjacent to the Hounslow Urban Farm.
A formal planning application is due to be submitted this month and assuming that they are given consent, they will be able to complete its move in the next 12 months.
Tony said: "This extra year allows us to build our new visitor centre, which will provide better homes for our rescued animals. It also allows us to continue our important education and conservation work with local schools and families, who we would like to thanks for their continued support over the last 20 years.
"We understand there can be no extension beyond September 2011 and there is a great deal of work to be done to ensure a successful move before that date."
It is hoped that planning permission for the new premises will be granted well before Christmas so that work can start on the site before the new year.
The zoo is due to leave Syon Park as part of the hotel development and restoration of the Grade I listed parkland for which planning consent was granted in March 2004. Once the Tropical Zoo has vacated, the building it occupies will be demolished and the area restored back to parkland.
The Duke of Northumberland, whose family have owned Syon Park for over 400 years said: "I am very pleased to have been able to work with developers, The
Zoo gets trunk of petitions
PETA pushes for relocation of pachyderms
There will be three elephants in the room when the Toronto Zoo board meets this week.
The future of Toka, Iringa, and Thika, the zoo’s three surviving elephants, could be up for debate on Thursday when members of the zoo board receive a petition demanding the elephants be sent to an animal sanctuary.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ youth branch started the petition online and had boasted about sending thousands of signatures to Mayor David Miller. The zoo board will receive submissions from around 1,518 people, referred to them after Councillor Shelley Carroll presented the petitions to Toronto city council.
Toronto Zoo board member Giorgio Mammoliti said PETA is using the elephants to attack zoos.
“I really believe that’s the case, we’ve got a movement of people who have smelled blood, so to speak, and are moving in to see if they can shut down zoos completely,” he said. “We obviously
Behind the scenes tiger training
3 appear on rhino charges
Three men accused of poaching rhinos in the Kruger Park appeared in the White River Magistrate's Court yesterday on charges of poaching, trespassing and illegal possession of firearms.
However, their case was postponed until tomorrow and will be moved to the Skukuza Magistrate's Court.
Leonard Mashego, Sifiso Sithole and Michael Sithole were arrested by rangers on patrol early on Sunday morning after a shoot-out in which Mashego was shot in an arm.
He was taken to hospital and is still there under police guard.
Warrant Officer Oubaas Coetzer said: "They were found in possession of illegal firearms, which were taken in for forensic tests.
"The tests will determine whethe
Chimpanzee groom Yangyang, left, holding hand with his bride Wanxing walks on a red carpet while attending their symbolic wedding at Hefei Wildlife Park in Hefei in central China's Anhui province, on Tuesday. Four-year-old Yangyang from Guinea was brought in last year to mate with six-year-old Wanxing by the park, according to a local news
Zoo must await trial before getting elephants
Opponents of the elephant exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo celebrated a minor victory Wednesday as a judge issued a temporary hold on acquiring any additional elephants until a civil trial on the matter is completed.
A 2007 lawsuit alleged that the zoo inadequately cared for elephants and that their enclosure was too small. It also claimed a new exhibit
Waikiki Aquarium reports $1,500 theft of moi
Someone stole 15 of the 21 adult moi from an outdoor display tank at the Waikiki Aquarium this past weekend, the aquarium reported today. The fish were valued at an estimated $1,500.
It appears the theft happened after hours on Friday, the aquarium said. Someone cut the netting that covered the top of the tank.
Moi, also known as Pacific
Plight of the pangolin
IN the ordinary pictorial dictionary of what constitutes an endangered species, the tiger, that beautiful and fierce creature which adorns our national coat of arms, and the orang utan, the familiar face of the rainforest, make popular posters for wildlife conservation. Pangolins, unfortunately, not only do not rise to such lofty status but also do not come to mind for immediate concern. After all, what is the pangolin known for? It is shy, scaly and sometimes smelly, and has a long tongue with which to lick up ants, curling into a ball if threatened. It may not be the most endearing of totally protected species.
But for all that, pangolins are hunted and traded by the tonne. From 2000 to 2007, Malaysia made at least 34 pangolin seizures, totalling 6,000 specimens. On June 5, Chinese Customs authorities seized 7.8 tonnes of frozen pangolin parts and 1,800kg of pangolin scales from a fishing vessel. Although found in tropical Asia and Africa, the pangolin is specially Malaysian, its name derived from the Malay guling or to roll over. An adult pangolin weighs 5 to 8kg and is slow and easy to catch.
The scales of a pangolin are valuable for use in traditional Chinese medicine and its meat is said to cure asthma -- though there is no scientific proof of this. In the wild, pangolins perform a great pest-control service: a 3kg pangolin can eat up to 300 to 400g of termites per feeding. No one knows what the pangolin population is like, but anecdotal evidence suggests it is declining. They are slow to reproduce and hard to keep or breed in captivity. Deputy regional director for Traffic Southeast Asia Chris Shepherd has said that illegal trade was pushing unique species like the pangolin "close to the abyss of extinction. At current rates of harvest and trade, it is only a matter of time before pangolins pass a point of no return".
Malaysia has all the laws in place to protect pangolins. The new Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 increased the penalty for possession of more than 20 pangolins to a 10-fold minimum fine with the option of jail or both. Regionwide, there is a complete ban on the trade of pangolins. But these laws must be rigorously enforced to have any impact on the fate of the pangolin, and a bigger
And my own article Pangolins in Peril written in July 2009. Remembering that now the situation more than a year on is far worse than before.
Taiwan creates breeding fluorescent fish
The most recently created fluorescent fish are angelfish - the biggest and brightest transgenic glowing fish in the world so far.
Taiwan's largest exporter of ornamental fish, the Jy Lin Company, says it has successfully inserted a fluorescent protein gene into the reproductive organs of the fish. It allows them to produce glowing offspring.
The company says its new breed of fish took more than three years and approximately 10 million Taiwan dollars to develop because the reproductive cycles of medium-sized fish are harder to control than their small-sized counterparts.
The angelfish are members of the biological family Cichlidae.
Cichlids make up the majority of fish seen in most aquariums.
"With the medium-sized cichlid fish, its biological cycle cannot be controlled by artificial lightings. Plus the low number of fertilized eggs makes the collection of fertilised eggs a challenge - it will take a very long time with the micro-injection method,” said Lin Yu-ho, the developer.
“For species like these, we deployed the method of reproductive organ electroporation. We inject fluorescent genes into the reproductive organs and leave the male and female fish to reproduce on their own, and then they could give birth to fluorescent babies."
Electroporation is a process whereby an electrical pulse is used to create passages through cell walls for the transplantation of foreign molecules - in this case the fluorescent protein gene.
Lin said he chose angelfish because
National Aquarium mourns death of 31-year-old dolphin
Shiloh made history as mother to first calf born at Baltimore attraction
The gentle bottlenose dolphin that was the mother of the first dolphin calf to be born at the National Aquarium in Baltimore in 1992 died over the weekend after doctors and technicians worked for about a year to nurse her through an array of illnesses. Aquarium officials estimated that the dolphin, named Shiloh, was 31 years old.
"It's an incredibly difficult time" for members of the aquarium staff who care for the dolphins, said Brent Whitaker, deputy director of biological programs at the aquarium. "These animals become their families. … Anybody who has an animal or a pet knows what we're talking about."
He said Shiloh, who measured 9 feet long and about 400 pounds, was not responding to treatments and had stopped eating before doctors made the decision to have her euthanized. She died in the medical pool late Sunday
Centre says no to night safari in Bangalore biological park
The proposed night safari in Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) which has sowed seeds of discord in the BS Yeddyurappa ministry, has raised the hackles of the Centre as well.
A day after tourism minister G Janardhana Reddy went public with his opposition to forest minister CH Vijayashankar’s decision to spike the night safari proposal, Union minister of state for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday categorically said that the Centre was also against such an idea.
Stating that he was against any safari in forest areas after 7 pm, Ramesh said on the sidelines of a lecture that several states had been trying in vain to get the central clearance for night safari. The states’ explanation that most professionals did not get time to visit safari during day time had failed to make the Centre change its stand, he added.
Ramesh said he would take up the issue with the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) officials. He doubted whether the Karnataka government had obtained the clearance from either the CZA or the Centre for the night safari.
The Karnataka high court is hearing a petition against the Bannerghatta night safari. However, Janardhana
Animal park officials unveil new logo for renamed attraction
Safari Park visitors won't see its new name on-site until next year
Officials at the former San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park have unveiled a bright-orange logo with a pawprint as part of a plan to acclimate the public to the attraction's new name ---- San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
Spread over 1,800 acres just east of Escondido, the 38-year-old park is operated by the Zoological Society of San Diego, which also runs the San Diego Zoo.
Zoological Society directors voted in June to change the park's name, saying the new moniker makes it clearer to visitors that the park offers a different experience from the zoo. Directors said they're hoping the new name will result in increased park attendance, which has leveled off at about 1.5 million annual visitors over the last few years.
The new logo ---- on the park's website and in this month's edition of the Zoological Society's monthly Zoonooz magazine ---- is the first tangible evidence of the new name.
Similar to a new, green logo for the San Diego Zoo, the logo features the zoo's name in small print above the words "Safari Park" spelled out in larger, rounded lettering.
Ted Moulter, marketing director for the zoo and the park, said Friday that Safari Park visitors can expect to see the new name showing up inside the park and on park vehicles and merchandise by the end of next May.
Those changes will coincide with the installation of new directional
Former whale trainers criticize SeaWorld safety proposal
A group of former SeaWorld killer-whale trainers is urging federal regulators to oppose a new safety feature that SeaWorld is developing in hopes of clearing the way for its trainers to re-enter the water during orca performances.
The concept calls for small oxygen supplies — often dubbed "spare air" — that could be embedded in SeaWorld trainers' wetsuits and serve as an emergency source of air if a trainer is pulled underwater by a killer whale.
SeaWorld is researching spare-air systems as part of an exhaustive trainer-safety review the company launched after the Feb. 24 death of SeaWorld Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau, killed by a 6-ton orca named Tilikum. The company has said it will not reinstitute "water work" between its trainers and killer whales until it finalizes its review and makes procedural and equipment changes, though it remains uncertain when that will happen.
In addition, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which investigated the death and last month fined SeaWorld $75,000, mentioned oxygen-supply systems as a mechanism SeaWorld could use to reduce the risks involved in swimming with killer whales.
But four former SeaWorld trainers — who worked for the company in the late 1980s and early 1990s — have recently reached out to OSHA criticizing the effectiveness of spare air, according to written statements obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.
In the statements, and in subsequent interviews with the newspaper, the trainers said an oxygen-supply system would present new hazards for trainers. More importantly, they
Pollution takes toll on zoo, rhinos too at risk
With two more blackbucks dying on Wednesday and the lives of several other inmates at continued risk, the pitiable sanitation condition in and around the National Zoological Park here has come into sharp focus. The zoo’s proximity to railway tracks, sewage drains and main arterial roads is endangering the lives of animals in this decades-old habitat.
The latest in the series of animals affected by the accumulated sewage water, which has already claimed the lives of 12 blackbucks in the past week, are two rhinos. Though dirty and polluted water has entered their moat, the zoo authorities claimed that the rhinos were not in danger. “Since they already live in water, there is not much threat to their lives,” Delhi zoo officials said.
Fearing risk to the lives of the zoo inmates, Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has asked wildlife expert Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of NGO Wildlife SOS, to work out a plan for ensuring that the rhinos did not get too close to the moats and consume the sewage water. “It is a must that they (the rhinos) are kept away from the dirty water. Meanwhile, I have also asked the zoo authorities to prepare a revised plan for repairing the sewer drain to ensure that the dirty water does not flow back into the premises,” Ramesh said after a visit to the zoo on Wednesday. He had gone
Lemur from East Sussex zoo escape is recaptured
A red-bellied lemur that escaped from an East Sussex zoo has been recaptured.
The lemur - called Kirioka - leapt over an electric fence in its walk-through enclosure at Drusillas Park in Alfriston on 22 September.
Firefighters joined police officers and zoo staff in the search for the animal in nearby woodland.
But Mark Kenward, the head zoo keeper, said the animal was lured into a box filled with food at 1830 BST on Tuesday.
He said: "He is safe and well and back with all his friends.
"If an animal does escape, and I must emphasise it does not happen very often, we do
Where Have All the Turtles Gone?
Sea turtles, some of the most majestic, gentle creatures in the oceans, are having a rough time of it. Though not typically targeted by fishermen, the animals often become entangled in nets or hooked on long lines, and end up as bycatch that is either eaten or tossed like trash back into the sea.
Measuring how many turtles die this way every year is a crucial task; in some places turtle populations are being devastated by the effects of bycatch. It isn't easy; fishing practices around the world are chronically under-reported. But in an attempt to shine light on the situation, researchers, led by Bryan Wallace of Conservation International, have compiled the first global map of sea turtle bycatch.
Published in a recent issue of the journal Conservation Letters, the map breaks down incidents of turtle bycatch by the type of fishing gear used:
In all, the records indicate about 85,000 turtles per year were accidentally caught worldwide between 1990 and 2008 (each dot represents a study with data on bycatch rates). That may not sound like much, but the team estimates that only about one percent of all fishing activity is reported, meaning a more likely estimate for the number of turtles that die annually is at least 100 times that figure, or around 8.5 million turtles.
"Bycatch is the most serious and acute threat to sea turtles globally," Wallace told Discovery News. "It's an extremely pervasive pressure on sea turtle populations. In some cases it is a main driver for significant population declines and even
Only Watch If You Have A Sense of Humour
The 31st Annual Elephant Manager’s Association Conference hosted by the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, could very well be one of the most important to date. In today’s internet age, elephant management is now a global effort, and this conference will feature presentations on elephant conservation and management partnerships and collaborations in the US and worldwide. Accomplishments and developments in breeding, husbandry and research, as well as challenges on many fronts, have laid the groundwork for interactive and information-rich sessions. The conference will commence on Thursday, Sept. 30, with an icebreaker at the hotel, and conclude on Sunday evening, Oct. 3, with the “elephant olympics”, and a savory barbecue and bonfire at the zoo’s 724-acre International Conservation Center. More details will follow in the EMA newsletter and web site, Connect, on Facebook, and via email. Contact Terry Deluliis at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, 412-365-2500, with questions. Visit http://www.internationalconservationcenter.org/ for more information and to register.
Now accepting papers
Please write to: Orga-Team ZooKunft, Office@zookunft.info
By 15 October 2010.