Vienna Zoo Breeds Endangered Batagur Turtle

The Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna said on Tuesday it has successfully bred one of the most endangered species of turtle, the Batagur baska, for the first time in captivity.Two baby Batagur turtles were hatched in the zoo’s reptile house at the beginning of May, the zoo said in a statement.

The Batagur baska — which is listed as “critically endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature — is a river terrapin that can grow to up to 60 centimetres (24 inches).At home in the rivers of Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, India and Bangaldesh, its meat and eggs were long considered a delicacy.
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Endangered Crocodiles Hatched In Cambodia

Cambodia – Conservationists in Cambodia are celebrating the hatching of a clutch of eggs from one of the world’s most critically endangered animals, the Siamese crocodile.Thirteen infants crawled out of their shells over the weekend in a remote part of the Cardamom Mountains in southwestern Cambodia, following a weekslong vigil by researchers who found them in the jungle.

Experts believe as few as 250 Siamese crocodiles are left in the wild, almost all of them in Cambodia but with a few spread between Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam and possibly Thailand.The operation to protect and hatch the eggs was mounted by United Kingdom-based Fauna and Flora International, for whom conservation of this once-abundant species is a key program.

“Every nest counts,” program manager Adam Starr told Associated Press Television News. “To be able to find a nest is a very big success story, to be able to hatch eggs properly is an even bigger success story.”The nest, with 22 eggs inside, was discovered in the isolated Areng Valley. Fauna and Flora International volunteers removed 15 of them to a safe site and incubated them in a compost heap to replicate the original nest. They left seven behind because they appeared to be unfertilized.
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Japan Sends Rare Turtles To Singapore For Release

Thirteen endangered sea turtles bred in captivity in Japan have been given to a Singapore aquarium to prepare them for release into a natural habitat later this year, scientists said Friday.The hawksbill turtles, listed as a highly endangered species, were brought to Singapore by their Japanese caretakers Tomomi Saito and Yoshihiko Kanou from the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium.

The five one-year-old turtles and eight three-year-olds were turned over on Thursday to the Underwater World Singapore, which is collaborating with the Nagoya aquarium to release the animals.They are the offspring of hawksbill turtles donated by the Underwater World Singapore to the Nagoya aquarium in 1997 and 2002.

As part of the preparations, staff from the Singapore aquarium will monitor and conduct checks on the turtles to determine their fitness for the release scheduled in September.”With the success of their breeding… we would want to have some of these captive-bred turtles return to the wild,” said Anthony Chang, curator of the Underwater World Singapore.
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Wildlife Death Toll From Oil Spill Still Uncertain

Federal officials say they don’t know whether a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico killed 189 sea turtles, birds and other animals found dead since it started.The total includes 154 sea turtles, primarily the endangered Kemp’s ridley variety, plus 12 dolphins and 23 birds.

But in a phone news conference Tuesday, officials said they don’t know if any of the animals were killed by oil or the chemicals being used to disperse it.

Barbara Schroeder of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries program says necropsies have not detected oil in the bodies of the sea turtles.
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Zimbabwe Plans To Sell Elephants, Jackals, Cats To North Korea

Zimbabwe plans to sell animals including elephants, jackals and wild cats to a zoo in North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, according to Vitalis Chadenga, director of the African nation’s parks authority.The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is also studying applications from Japan, Mozambique and three other unidentified nations to buy species, Chadenga said by phone today from the capital, Harare.

“We don’t just export wildlife without first ascertaining if the conditions they will be held in are safe and we consider that conditions in Pyongyang will be suitable,” he said. Under both domestic and international law, Zimbabwe is allowed to sell wildlife to foreign nations, Chadenga said.Among the animals being sent to North Korea, an impoverished, communist nation, are elephants, giraffes, zebras, jackals, hyenas and civet cats, none of which are endangered in Zimbabwe, Chadenga said.
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Rhinos In Kaziranga To Have Special Guards

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The Border Security Force (BSF) personnel have been deployed at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam to protect endangered rhinos from poachers.Famous for its one-horned rhinoceros, the park has become an easy target for the poachers, who navigate the Brahmaputra River surrounding the park to enter Kaziranga and kill the rhinos for their horns.Forest guards have welcomed the move for they say the BSF personnel have the advantage of being equipped with sophisticated weapons.

” Forest Department does not have sophisticated weapons so they cannot perform such strong duty and it becomes difficult at times to manage. Secondly, there are about 3-4 people in a camp here and our 0.15 and other rifles are not enough. So I believe with the deployment of BSF it would really be beneficial for us,” said Ranjit Baruaj, a forest official, Kaziranga Park.Poachers kill rhinos for their horns, which many believe contain aphrodisiac qualities, besides being used as medicines for curing fever, stomach ailments and other diseases. Rhino horn is also much fancied by buyers from the Middle East who turn them into handles of ornamental daggers.

The park is a sanctuary for more than half of the world’s one-horned rhinoceros population.


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70 Year Old Tortoise Entertains Zoo Visitors With Sexual Behaviour

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An amorous tortoise aged 70 has been entertaining visitors at a zoo thanks to his public displays of affection ‘Dirty Dirk’, the Galapagos tortoise, who weighs 31 stone, has been paying particular attention to Dolly, 14, and Dolores, 10.Sebastian Grant, Giant Tortoise keeper at London Zoo, said: “He’s called Dirk because he was so amorous from the moment he got here – literally minutes. “We named him after Dirk Diggler of Boogie Nights. He’s earned his name, and he’s quite willing to go as long as the girls will let him.”
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The Man With 24 Crocodiles Living At His Semi-Detached Home

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Shaun Foggett is Britain’s answer to Steve Irwin after assembling the largest collection of crocodiles in the country in his back garden. Shaun, 30, keeps 24 crocodiles and alligators in the semi-detached home in Oxford he shares with fiancée Lisa Green, 29, and children Billy, six, Louie, four, and eight-month-old Shania.Joiner Shaun has even erected a purpose-built enclosure for his unique pets which include endangered Black Caymans, Cuban crocodiles and a Chinese alligator to keep the reptiles at a constant 25 degrees.

Shaun has now raised £100,000 in just two years to create Britains first crocodile zoo so his house can be restored to normality.
Shaun is still hunting for a 5,000 sq ft location big enough to house all his prehistoric beasts but in the meantime, his family home retains a tropical feel.”They are amazing animals but not cheap to keep as pets. Just feeding them with rodents and fish costs £8,000 a year,” Shaun said.”I have been interested in crocodiles since I was a little kid and once I started reptiles at 17 it just snowballed.By the time I was 25 I had my dangerous animals licence and I was looking after crocodiles and alligators.

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India's Last "Dancing", Endangered Bear Set Free

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Raju the bear will never have to smoke cigarettes or dance on his hind legs under the hot sun again thanks to a multinational project to save an endangered species and end a cruel centuries-old tradition in India.Raju was the last endangered sloth bear that had to work for a living, but who now can roam free at the Bannerghatta bear sanctuary on the outskirts of the southern city of Bangalore.

The bear’s freedom is the outcome of lengthy efforts by animal rescue organisations and the government that have taken the “dancing” bears off India’s streets, where the animals were once as ubiquitous as snake charmers and their cobras.”This is the very last bear that has been rescued from the roads of India, the actual last one and that is the end of the trade,” Mary Hutton, Australia-based chairperson and founder of Free the Bears Fund, told Reuters Television.

Sloth bears are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, but they often entertained crowds by playing imaginary guitars, smoking cigarettes and dancing to the pounding of drums, providing an income for their handlers.
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India's Last "Dancing", Endangered Bear Set Free

ra1018054090

Raju the bear will never have to smoke cigarettes or dance on his hind legs under the hot sun again thanks to a multinational project to save an endangered species and end a cruel centuries-old tradition in India.Raju was the last endangered sloth bear that had to work for a living, but who now can roam free at the Bannerghatta bear sanctuary on the outskirts of the southern city of Bangalore.

The bear’s freedom is the outcome of lengthy efforts by animal rescue organisations and the government that have taken the “dancing” bears off India’s streets, where the animals were once as ubiquitous as snake charmers and their cobras.”This is the very last bear that has been rescued from the roads of India, the actual last one and that is the end of the trade,” Mary Hutton, Australia-based chairperson and founder of Free the Bears Fund, told Reuters Television.

Sloth bears are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, but they often entertained crowds by playing imaginary guitars, smoking cigarettes and dancing to the pounding of drums, providing an income for their handlers.
More

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