The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Pressure is on the Girl Scouts about using Palm Oil in their cookies

About two months ago I received a phone call from my 6-year-old niece, asking me if I wanted to buy Girl Scout Cookies. Two words that have become associated with these popular cookies quickly came to mind: palm oil. But how could I resist? Not only would my niece not understand, but I do admit that I have been in love with Samoas since I sold Girl Scout Cookies. I caved and bought a few boxes.

It was after I received my cookies that I read an inspiring story about two young Girl Scouts who were determined to make a difference after they found out that their cookies contained unsustainable palm oil. As many know, palm oil production is the major cause of deforestation of rainforests. The shock came for young Madison Vorva and Rhiannon Tomtishen was when they found out that the clearing of rainforests threatens the survival of orangutans.

Now there are advocates out there who are major proponents of sustainable palm oil, such as McDonald’s, but there are also major companies such as Burger King and HSBC that have both made big strides in no longer supporting Indonesian producers. So why are the Girl Scouts and their baking company, Little Brownie Bakers, still including the ingredient in their cookies? Madison and Rhiannon set out to find out and make a difference.

In 2008, inspired by both their Girl Scout training and the work of Dr. Jane Goodall, the two 11-year-old girls had a conference call with Barry Horowitz, Vice President and General Manager of Girl Scout Merchandise. They requested a switch from palm oil to a truly sustainable alternative. Horowitz seemed as though the issue concerned him and promised that he’d be in touch with next steps after contacting the cookie manufacturers.

According to the Girl Scouts website, palm oil is used because the “licensed cookie bakers tell us it continues to be necessary to use palm oil in specific cookies to ensure their shelf life, quality, and to serve as a healthful alternative to trans-fats. Many top bakers have tried to stop using palm oil, but without it, their products do not meet quality and production standards.”

As time passed, Madison and Rhiannon decided they wanted to do something more. They organized Girl Scout troops across the country to generate pressure on Girl Scouts of the USA and convinced Union of Concerned Scientists, Center for Biological Diversity, Cultural Survival, Orangutan Foundation International, and Rainforest Action Network to send letters of concern on their behalf to the national Girl Scout headquarters in New York City.

Three years later, the young girls still haven’t given up and both take a strong stance on palm oil. Head on over to The Understory to read more about Madison and Rhiannon’s quest for a sustainable alternative.

The good news is the Girl Scouts website states “Effective in 2011, Little Brownie Bakers and its parent company, Kellogg, have committed to covering 100% of their global palm oil use through the purchase of GreenPalm certificates. Funds from GreenPalm certificates help growers invest in the transition to sustainable palm oil.”

Next year, the Girl Scouts will be celebrating 100 years of “building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.” We can only hope that perhaps it will be on this celebratory year that a major change will be made once and for all.

Shown in the photo above: Rhiannon (left) and Madison (right) campaigning to save orangutans in seventh grade. Photo via: The Understory.
Story Credit Here

Male aggression in the Bonobo Society is just simply not tolerated says Brian Hare

Humans share 98.7 percent of our DNA with chimpanzees, but we share one important similarity with one species of chimp, the common chimpanzee, that we don't share with the other, the bonobo. That similarity is violence. While humans and the common chimpanzee wage war and kill each other, bonobos do not. "There has never been a recorded case in captivity or in the wild of a bonobo killing another bonobo," notes anthropologist Brian Hare.

Hare is an assistant professor in evolutionary anthropology at Duke University. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), he and his wife and colleague, Vanessa Woods, studied bonobo behavior at Lola ya Bonobo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, an orphanage for young bonobos whose parents were killed for the bush meat trade. The war-torn Congo is the only place in the world where these endangered apes can be found.

"We go to this sanctuary and we play these fun problem-solving games with them to just try and get inside their heads and figure out exactly how they think," says Woods. "They're wonderful animals to be related to. It's a shame so few people have heard of them."

Woods is author of the book "Bonobo Handshake," a memoir about her experiences with these peaceful, playful primates, and some of the differences she noted between bonobos and common chimpanzees.

"Chimpanzees can be very empathetic, loving but they also have this darker side. They have war, they kill each other, they beat their females. Bonobos don't really have any of that," explains Woods. "They're different because they've managed to live in a society virtually without violence. How do they do that? Humans, for all of our intelligence and all our technology, we haven't managed to live without war, and so I think that's something very important that bonobos can teach us."

One way bonobos deal with conflict and tension is to have sex. Yes, they're the ultimate hippies--they make love, not war. "Whenever things get tense in the bonobo world, they'll usually have some kind of sociosexual activity and this seems to really help everybody get along. But another one of the ways that they sort of have this peaceful society is they're naturally more tolerant. They share more, and if one of them gets upset, it's not just sex but they can also hug and comfort one another."

In one study, Woods and Hare were surprised when a hungry bonobo opened a gate to share prized treats with another bonobo. "The idea that you would give something to someone else at a cost to yourself, we thought this was something only humans would do."

Bonobos' generous nature likely evolved because they live in an area of the Congo where food is plentiful. They never had to compete with gorillas or kill for a meal like common chimps do.

The females stick together, creating a matriarchal society, and when necessary will gang up on threatening males. "Females will work together to protect themselves from male aggression. So male aggression is just simply not tolerated," says Hare.

With chimps, the most aggressive males tend to team up to dominate females and weaker males. In bonobo society, Hare says it's the mother and son relationship that commands the most respect.

"Basically, bonobos are the ultimate 'mama's boys.' Essentially, it's more like a debutante society where mothers have to introduce their sons into polite society and it's through your mother, as a bonobo, that you will gain access to other females," explains Hare.

How did two such similar species, the bonobo and the common chimpanzee, evolve so differently? Hare says understanding that may shed light on human behavior, considering that we are a lot like both of them.
"Humans are probably the most generous species on the planet," notes Hare, which is very bonobo-like. But like chimps, Hare says, we have that dark side. "Bonobos don't have a darker side. So, although they can't fly to the moon, they don't kill each other. I think they challenge your normal notion of what intelligence is. I think we have a lot to learn from them."

(Video: Science Nation, Miles O'Brien/Science Nation Correspondent, Ann Kellan/Science Nation Producer)
Story and video credit here

NIH strikes again with research on a sick monkey

These people are so full of shit that they wouldn't know the truth if it smacked them in the face. Perhaps in their next life they can be a monkey at the NIH. Now there's a sweet thought! Why in the world do we need to test for the diseases they are tested them for? We don't live in Africa or any other country!!!! You people suck!!!!

The federal government has cited UC Davis for using a monkey in research studies despite evidence that it was in poor health.

The monkey had gastrointestinal problems, vomited frequently, was losing hair on its arms and legs and had a wound on its genitals.

After the monkey had been used in three studies, UC Davis veterinarians questioned whether it was well enough to be used for more research, the report states. The lab decided to place the monkey in a fourth study, the report says, "despite the progressive worsening of medical and behavior problems that lead to unnecessary discomfort, distress and pain to that animal."

The report also cites UC Davis for inadequately documenting the monkey's veterinary care. The monkey was euthanized in September 2008.

The report was made public last week after the federal government denied an appeal by UC Davis, which argued that the monkey was in good enough shape to be used in the studies.

"Our institution does not consider this combined research usage excessive for an animal that was (about) six years old," says the letter of appeal written by UC Davis veterinarian Victor Lukas.

The government's report is based on a November 2009 inspection of records at the California National Primate Research Center, a UC Davis lab that houses 6,000 monkeys used in research on malaria, HIV, asthma, allergies, Alzheimer's and autism.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture inspected records related to the monkey's care upon request by an animal rights organization that reviewed the monkey's death report.

"It was very clear that this animal had gone through what was a horrible life," said Michael Budkie, an Ohio activist who opposes the use of animals in scientific research.

UC Davis spokesman Andy Fell said the university is appealing the government's findings a second time.

"All animals at the primate center receive regular health checks and they receive excellent care," Fell said. "Animal research is well regulated by federal law. We think we do it humanely, and it produces useful insight into human and animal medicine."
Story Credit Here
Yeah right!!!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Four Captive Orangutans have been released into the Jalin Jantho Nature Reserve

Banda Aceh. Four formerly-captive orangutans have been given the chance to resume a normal life after they were released into the Jalin Jantho nature reserve in Aceh on Monday.

KisKis, a six-year-old male orangutan, was released into the Jalin Jantho forests of Aceh on Monday. (JG Photo/ Dedek Geumpang)

This brings to six the number of orangutans released into the forest by the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program since last week.

Dr. Ian Singleton, director of conservation at the Swiss-based PanEco Foundation, a partner of SOCP, said the four primates had previously been cared for — illegally — by local Acehnese people.

Before they were released into the Jalin Jantho forest, they underwent health checks at SOCP’s quarantine center in Sibolangit, North Sumatra.
Located some 80 kilometers east of Banda Aceh, the Jalin Jantho pine reserves are notorious for being the place where police raided a paramilitary training camp run by suspected terrorists in February last year.

“The Jantho forests are great for orangutans because they are rich and densely packed with trees,” Singleton said.

The four orangutans released on Monday were all aged between six and seven years of age; three were female and one male. The two others, released on March 23, consisted of a six-year-old male and an adult female, which was rescued injured from a palm oil plantation in Rawa Tripa, Nagan Raya district.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists Sumatran orangutans as critically endangered. An estimated 6,600 remain in the wild.

“The primary threat to orangutans is destruction of habitat caused by illegal logging concessions,” Singleton said, adding that the capture orangutans for the pet trade was also a major problem.

Wild populations of Sumatran orangutans are only found in the northern parts of Sumatra, with the largest numbers in the Leuser ecosystem of southeast Aceh, Singleton said.

“Leuser is the safest area for orangutans because of its higher altitude,” he said. “At lower levels their population is dwindling because of logging of the forest.”

Singleton said an additional 30 orangutans, which were seized from people keeping them illegally in Aceh, were being quarantined at SOCP’s centre in Sibolangit.

After completing their quarantine period and being granted a clean bill of health, they will also be released in Jalin Jantho, he said.
Story Credit Here

The Proboscis Monkey regurgitates and rechews its food.

The proboscis monkey, nicknamed the “long-nosed monkey” due to its huge, protruding nose, now has another claim to fame: it regularly regurgitates and rechews its food.

Ikki Matsuda

The proboscis monkey demonstrates the first naturally occurring, ongoing instances of this behavior in a primate, conclude the authors of the paper, published in the latest Royal Society Biology Letters.

Gorillas and humans will also sometimes upchuck, rechew, and swallow, but if done on even a semi-regular basis, the actions are considered to be pathological.

“The digestive tract of the proboscis monkey is drastically different from that of humans and great apes,” lead author Ikki Matsuda told Discovery News. “The proboscis monkey has a distinct sacculated (chambered) forestomach where bacterial digestion occurs prior to the glandular stomach.”

Matsuda, a scientist at Kyoto University’s Primate Research Institute, and his colleagues recorded the behaviors of proboscis monkeys living along a tributary of Kinabatangan River, Malaysia. The researchers collected their data from a boat on the river during early mornings and late afternoons from January 2000 to March 2001.

At least 23 different monkeys were videotaped regurgitating and rechewing. When this happened, the monkey’s abdomen would contract and the primate would stick its tongue outside its pursed mouth.

The regurgitated material stayed in the mouth, but could be seen at times on camera. The monkey then puffed out its cheeks as it rechewed and swallowed the food for the second time.

Matsuda said he and his colleagues “speculate that the behavior served to allow for an increased food intake under yet-to-be-specified conditions.”

He explained the behavior likely allows the monkey to digest larger particles of food faster. This, he theorized, “means the monkey can eat more sooner, because the bacteria do not need as long to digest the material.”

The proboscis monkey’s diet consists of various proportions of leaves and fruits. Some can be quite fibrous. The researchers, however, were not able to associate any particular type of food to the regurgitation/rechewing behavior.

Ruminants, such as cows, digest in a similar way all the time. They tear off plant materials and swallow them. After some processing, a contraction sends the cud material back up to the mouth where it is chewed for a long time before being swallowed again.

Peter Langer, a professor in the Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Justus-Liebig University, is one of the world’s leading experts on ruminants and their feeding processes. He is the author of the book “Mammalian Herbivore Stomach: Comparative Anatomy, Function and Evolution.”

Langer told Discovery news that it’s important to make it “clear that rumination in the Artiodactyla (cows and other hoofed animals) and regurgitation and remastication in other mammalian orders, including primates, are different physiological processes.”

Koalas, for example, are not ruminants, but like the proboscis monkey, they too have been observed regurgitating and rechewing their food. They are only believed to do this under certain circumstances, such as when their teeth wear out due to old age, or when lactating females need to consume more food.

Matsuda said that if he and his team had observed the behavior in the monkeys more regularly, “say 10 minutes after waking in the morning, we might have called it rumination.” He added that this study only focused on one population of the monkeys, so the behavior might even be a learned tradition.

He explained, “Traditions, especially related to feeding, have been reported in primates -- like the macaques that wash food and even season it with salt water. We simply cannot exclude such a tradition.”
Story Credit Here

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Company forced to suspend oil exploration plans in the Mountain Gorilla Haven

Firm's environmental impact assessment slated as premature and superficial

March 2011: A British company has been forced to suspend oil exploration plans in the mountain gorilla haven of Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo after the Congolese government condemned the firm's environmental impact assessment as premature and superficial.

Virunga is home to 200 mountain gorillas, as well as a small population of eastern lowland gorillas.
In an open letter to the worldwide conservation community, DPR's environment minister clarified his government's position on the published intentions of SOCO International at the World Heritage Site.

In his letter, the minister states that his department has taken ‘specific steps, which have led to the suspension of the given oil exploration activities.

'We have rejected the recommendations of an environmental impact assessment conducted by the oil company, SOCO, which we consider premature, superficial and which does not conform to the standards which we would expect.'

The Minister has also confirmed that the senior management for Soco Oil had assured him that they ‘will not attempt any prospection work in the park unless a positive consensus is achieved in their favour'.

'This is one of the most precious places on the planet'

Picture: WWF.
WWF has welcomed the minister's announcement. ‘The Environment Ministry did the right thing, and what we hope to see next is a firm declaration guaranteeing there would be no exploration in this iconic and fragile park now or in the future,' said Natalia Reiter, a spokesperson for WWF International.

A map showing the areas with oil concessions –
although Congolese law prevents oil exploration within the park itself .
‘It is outrageous to see the narrow interests of oil companies taking priority over the need to maintain one of the most precious places on this planet. Allowing oil exploration in this iconic park would set an extremely dangerous precedent that even the most precious places on earth are open for oil and gas development.'

Virunga National Park is Africa's oldest national park and home to 200 of the world's mountain gorillas and a small population of eastern lowland gorillas.

Covering 7,800 square kilometers, the park contains more species of mammals, reptiles and birds than any other protected area in Africa, and possibly in the world, and has an exceptional diversity of landscapes stretching from the glaciers of the Ruwenzori Mountains, at more than 17,000 ft, to impenetrable forests, savannas, rivers, Rwindi and Semiliki, and lake ecosystems.

Bloc V is an oil exploration concession assigned by contract to a consortium of three companies, Soco E&P (implementing partner), Dominion Petroleum and Cohydro. More than half pof the concession falls within Virunga National Park, although Congolese law prohibits oil exploration activities within the national park.
Story Credit Here

A virus that causes respiratory disease in humans has been linked to the deaths of wild Mountain Gorillas

For the first time, a virus that causes respiratory disease in humans has been linked to the deaths of wild mountain gorillas, reports a team of researchers in the United States and Africa.

The finding confirms that serious diseases can pass from people to these endangered animals.

The researchers are from the nonprofit Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project; the Wildlife Health Center at the University of California, Davis; the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University; and the Rwanda Development Board.

Their study, which reports the 2009 deaths of two mountain gorilla that were infected with a human virus, was published online today by the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Because there are fewer than 800 living mountain gorillas, each individual is critically important to the survival of their species,” said Mike Cranfield, executive director of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project and a UC Davis wildlife veterinarian. “But mountain gorillas are surrounded by people, and this discovery makes it clear that living in protected national parks is not a barrier to human diseases.”

Humans and gorillas share approximately 98 percent of their DNA. This close genetic relatedness has led to concerns that gorillas may be susceptible to many of the infectious diseases that affect people.

The potential for disease transmission between humans and mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) is of particular concern because over the past 100 years, mountain gorillas have come into increasing contact with humans. In fact, the national parks where the gorillas are protected in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are surrounded by the densest human populations in continental Africa.

Also, gorilla tourism — while helping the gorillas survive by funding the national parks that shelter them — brings thousands of people from local communities and around the world into contact with mountain gorillas annually.
The veterinarians of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, who monitor the health of the gorillas and treat individuals suffering from life-threatening or human-caused trauma and disease, have observed an increase in the frequency and severity of respiratory disease outbreaks in the mountain gorilla population in recent years.

Infectious disease is the second most common cause of death in mountain gorillas (traumatic injury is the first). “The type of infection we see most frequently is respiratory, which can range from mild colds to severe pneumonia,” said co-author Linda Lowenstine, a veterinary pathologist with the UC Davis Mountain Gorilla One Health Program who has studied gorilla diseases for more than 25 years.

The two gorillas described in the new study were members of the Hirwa group living in Rwanda. In 2008 and 2009, this group experienced outbreaks of respiratory disease, with various amounts of coughing, eye and nose discharge, and lethargy. In the 2009 outbreak, the Hirwa group consisted of 12 animals: one adult male, six adult females, three juveniles and two infants. All but one were sick. Two died: an adult female and a newborn infant.

Tissue analyses showed the biochemical signature of an RNA virus called human metapneumovirus (HMPV) infecting both animals that had died. While the adult female gorilla ultimately died as a result of a secondary bacterial pneumonia infection, HMPV infection likely predisposed her to pneumonia. HMPV was also found in the infant gorilla, which was born to a female gorilla that showed symptoms of respiratory disease.

The study’s UC Davis authors are Cranfield, Lowenstine and Kirsten Gilardi, co-director of the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center’s Mountain Gorilla One Health Program. The lead author is Gustavo Palacios, a virologist at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University in New York. Other authors are from the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, Columbia University and the Rwanda Development Board.

The research was supported by; the U.S. National Institutes of Health; the Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT program of the U.S. Agency for International Development; and a grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

The study appeared today in the online version of the journal’s April print edition.

About mountain gorillas

With only about 786 individuals left in the world, mountain gorillas are a critically endangered species. Mountain gorillas live in central Africa, with about 480 animals living in the 173-square-mile Virunga Volcanoes Massif, which combines Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda. The remaining population lives within the boundaries of the 128-square-mile Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.

About the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project

The Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization, is dedicated to saving mountain gorilla lives. With so few animals left in the world today, the organization believes it is critical to ensure the health and well being of every individual possible. The organization’s international team of veterinarians, the Gorilla Doctors, is the only group providing wild mountain gorillas with direct, hands-on care. The Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project partners with the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center to advance “one-health” strategies for mountain gorilla conservation.

About the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center

The UC Davis Wildlife Health Center, home of the Mountain Gorilla One Health Program, a center of excellence within the School of Veterinary Medicine, is composed of 13 epidemiologists, disease ecologists and ecosystem health clinicians and their staff working at the cutting edge of pathogen emergence and disease tracking in ecosystems. It benefits from the expertise of 50 other participating UC Davis faculty members from many disciplines who are involved in the discovery and synthesis of information about emerging zoonotic diseases (those transmitted between people and animals) and ecosystem health. Its mission is to balance the needs of people, wildlife and the environment through research, education and service.

About UC Davis

For more than 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matter to California and transform the world. Located close to the state capital, UC Davis has more than 32,000 students, more than 2,500 faculty and more than 21,000 staff, an annual research budget that exceeds $678 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges — Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science. It also houses six professional schools — Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.
information found here

Sunday, March 27, 2011

2 girl scouts speak out about the palm oil used in their cookies

When Girl Scouts Madison Vorva and Rhiannon Tomtishen of Ann Arbor, Michigan were in the sixth grade, they decided that for their Bronze Award Girl Scout community service project, they would raise public awareness about the plight of endangered orangutans.

With a little research, the girls soon discovered that orangutans' fragile rainforest habitat in Indonesia is directly threatened by unsustainable industrial farming of palm oil. Demand for palm oil -- a trans-fat free alternative to unhealthy partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening -- has risen drastically over the past decade.

In response, industrial farm operations seeking to cash in on rising palm oil prices have been all too quick to slash and burn acres of rainforest in Indonesia to make room for unsustainable palm oil plantations, seriously threatening already endangered populations of these highly intelligent great apes.

Unsustainably harvested palm oil, Rhiannon and Madison discovered, is a major ingredient in Girl Scout cookies baked in the United States. In fact, it can be found in every flavor.

The girls decided they could not in good conscience continue to participate in the traditional Girl Scout cookie sale fundraiser while working to save the endangered orangutan. So they boycotted their organization's famous Samoas and Thin Mints, and opted to sell magazines to raise funds for their troop instead.
But Madison and Rhiannon didn't stop with a personal cookie sale boycott. These intrepid young women, both just eleven at the time, launched a public campaign to convince the Girl Scouts of the USA to take unsustainably farmed palm oil out of their cookies.

That was four years ago. So far, Rhiannon and Madison, now high schoolers, have traveled to speak with Girl Scout executives, scored famed primatologist and animal rights activist Jane Goodall's signature on one of their petitions, had their activism featured in The Frisky, The Seattle Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Grist, and have been interviewed by Public Radio International.

Most recently, the girls have forged a partnership with Rainforest Action Network and successfully convinced corporate food giant Kelloggs, which owns one of the bakers of Girl Scout cookies, to announce that it will both move toward using sustainably-produced palm oil and donate to rainforest preservation efforts to mitigate the environmental damage caused by palm oil currently used in the Girl Scout cookies made in its factories.

But what Madison and Rhiannon haven't yet managed to do is convince the Girl Scouts of the USA to ban unsustainably-farmed palm oil from its cookies. So they haven't given up the fight to protect endangered wildlife by changing the Girl Scout organization from within.
Watch the girls make their case in this Rainforest Action Network video here

Oklahoma City Zoo has problems keeping their Male Chimp in his enclosure!

This chimp has escaped his enclosure a few times already to end up in a dry moat. I always thought that moats were "suppose" to be filled with water! Chimpanzees really hate the water which would probably stop this dominant male from going in there. When chimps, either male or female are being attacked by another member of the troupe they get so frightened that a fence is NOT going to stop them. When will this zoo do something about this before he or another member actually gets out in the public? Where are their safety precautions?
Dispute sends Oklahoma City Zoo chimp into moat again

Mwami, the alpha male chimp at the Oklahoma City Zoo, spent about half an hour in the moat surrounding his habitat after a fight among the chimp troop.
A male chimpanzee at the Oklahoma City Zoo jumped over an electric fence and into the dry moat surrounding his habitat Friday afternoon.

Dispute sends Oklahoma City Zoo chimp into moat again Zoo officials issued a code red about 11:20 a.m. Friday, zoo spokeswoman Tara Henson said. A code red is issued when a dangerous animal is out or has the potential to be out of its exhibit.

Some zoo visitors were escorted indoors until officials determined Mwami could not escape the moat and therefore was not a threat, Henson said.

Mwami was allowed to use a cargo net to climb back into the chimp habitat.

The entire incident lasted about half an hour, she said.

Mwami went into the moat four other times between Aug. 30 and Oct. 8. He has never had the ability to escape, Henson said.

Each incident was preceded by fighting in the chimp troop.

Zookeepers have been monitoring the chimp troop even more closely since Mwami began going into the moat, said Jennifer Davis, supervisor of the zoo's Great EscApe. Officials have been rearranging the chimps into smaller groups to observe their interactions.

Mwami is the dominant male in the group, but breeding issues have sparked disagreements within the strict social hierarchy, Davis said.

Mwami is recommended to breed with two females in the troop: sisters Abby and Kito.

He prefers Kito, the younger of the sisters, Davis said. This angers dominant female Abby, who then lashes out at Mwami and sometimes enlists the help of other chimps.

Davis said she thinks Abby might be put on birth control to tame her anger and dull her desire to breed with Mwami.

The good news, Davis said, is that chimps are quick to forgive. The animals will reconcile and even hug after fights.

“They're quick to make up,” she said. “It's incredible to see.”
Story credit Here

Saturday, March 26, 2011

3 acres of land is NOT enough to be safe for monkeys at Frisky's wildlife & Primate Sanctuary

I have underlined the parts I agree with! Once again, I knew this woman personally and know that she had baby pet monkeys to start off with. You can read the rest of the articles and my knowledge by going under the category of Monkey owners. Colleen Layton should take some of the money that she has collected with donations and sell her home and move someplace where the monkeys are allowed. OR.... find a place for them all in a real sanctaury. I am even willing to help find placement for all of them.

Colleen Layton use to allow the children to pet the monkeys. That really has to make me wonder what else she is doing that is dangerous. That is soooo dangerous and not a sanctury at all! These are suppose to be sanctioned monkeys, which means no one is to bother them in any way except for the care of them.

Three acres of land in a residential area is the wrong place for monkeys, opponents of Frisky’s Wildlife and Primate Sanctuary in Woodstock said Thursday at the latest Board of Appeals hearing.

I think it’s the wrong place for the wrong activity,” said Bob Lucido, whose home at 1884 Woodstock Road borders Frisky’s property. “It’s problematic just being there in a residential neighborhood.”

The hearing was the sixth held since August in what has been a long-running battle over whether Frisky’s should be able to keep its monkeys. The next Board of Appeals hearing is scheduled for May 26.

Elkridge resident Dale Schumacher, who has followed the case for years, said he sees Frisky’s as “burdensome” to its neighbors, especially as new homes are built in the area.

“At the same time, I recognize that the wildlife and primate sanctuary serves a local good and some accommodation should be provided,” he said.

Schumacher suggested that the numerous Frisky’s supporters get together and help find the sanctuary a larger, more suitable site.

Lucido agreed that Frisky’s, which moved to Woodstock after he bought his property, belongs in a different location.

“I just wish that somebody would stand up and say, ‘We’re going to do the right thing,’ ” he said. “And I think the right thing is to relocate this sanctuary where it belongs, which is on 20 or 30 acres.”

A real estate agent, Lucido even offered to help Frisky’s find a new site, commission-free.

Like other opponents, Lucido is concerned that the monkeys at Frisky’s are dangerous. Unlike the other opponents, he said he feels that Frisky’s owner Colleen Layton “does an extraordinary job” and that he is only “mildly concerned” about his safety with her running the facility.

“There’s always the chance of an animal getting out,” he said. “I’m deathly concerned about when Colleen’s not there.”

Board of Appeals member Henry Eigles said he, too, was concerned about Frisky’s future if Layton were no longer there.

Eigles asked if he would be satisfied if the board approved Frisky’s operation only as long as Layton was in charge.

Lucido said he would be comfortable with that but questioned whether the board could do that, but Eigles said the board has authority to add limitations when it grants zoning exceptions.

Schumacher also talked about the chance of a monkey escaping, calling it a “black swan” event, which is “high impact, very rare (and) hard to predict.”

Board member James Howard said people can be subject to other rare and dangerous events, such as being struck by lightning, to Schumacher responded that unlike in the Frisky’s situation, those risks are uncontrollable.
“Why would an individual move there if they were going to subject themselves to that risk?” board member Maurice Simpkins then asked.

“I’m not sure why they would,” Schumacher said.

The only other opponent to testify at the nearly four-hour hearing was Julianne Tuttle, whose testimony will continue at the next hearing. Tuttle and her husband Richard Wyckoff, who live next door to Frisky’s and share a driveway with the sanctuary, are the primary opponents in the case.

“I’m bothered because the oversight is weak and also because of all the unknowns with exotic animals,” Tuttle said during her testimony.

It was easy for Frisky’s to get its U. S. Department of Agriculture license, she said, as the department’s regulations on exotic animals are “pretty narrow.”

“There’s nothing on public safety” in the regulations, Tuttle noted. “The USDA license is a rather low bar.”

She said she thinks Frisky’s needs to be accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, an organization that has specific standards for how animal sanctuaries should operate.

Accredited sanctuaries usually have group housing,” Tuttle gave as an example. “ Frisky’s has mostly single cages.”

Tuttle also talked about Frisky’s rule that visitors must stay at least two feet away from the monkeys at all times. She said the rule was not initiated until she and her husband disclosed evidence during proceedings on the case nine years ago that Frisky’s allowed kids to pet the monkeys.

“The two-foot rule is an excellent idea,” Tuttle said. “But it makes me wonder if there are other unsafe practices that we haven’t discovered and brought out into the public.”
Story Credit Here

Friday, March 25, 2011

Loggers tie up and beat 2yo Orangutan and ate her mother

God what is wrong with people. The people that did this should have the same thing done to them. My god how can anyone do this to a wonderful being? Just goes to show that they are the animals! I only wish a horrible life for those people that did this.

Although tragic Helen does pull through physically and is a healthy fat little Orangutan now.

HELEN the orphan orangutan escaped a horrific death after forestry police found her strung up from a pole in Indonesia.

The pitiful two-year-old ape had been beaten and starved after her mum was eaten by logging workers.
Story credit and photos of what Helen looked like when they rescued her and how she looks today.

Sally Anne Ryan paints Chimps to raise money to help Cheetah from a former bio-medical research lab

What a talented artist and a good heart.

PRIMATE PIC: Sally-Anne Ryan
Again, Save the Chimps is my favorite!

A MONMOUTHSHIRE animal artist is fundraising to transport chimps to safer environments.

Sally-Anne Ryan, 37, of St Maughans, is raising funds for Save The Chimps to transport a chimp named Cheetah from a former bio-medical research laboratory in New Mexico to the world’s largest chimpanzee sanctuary in Florida.

This is after Cheetah was rescued by the charity from the Coulston Foundation laboratory where he had undergone 400 liver biopsies leading to him having three full blood transfusions.

It is legal to carry out testing on chimps in the US.

When he was rescued, Cheetah was found trapped underground in a cell nicknamed the “dungeon” with hundreds of other chimps.
It costs around $2,500 to transport each chimp which Ms Ryan has raised through painting pictures of the chimps at the sanctuary and giving the charity free copyright to sell the paintings. She also competed in the Reading half marathon at the weekend.

Although she has now raised $2,500 to transport Cheetah, who was the first chimp Ms Ryan painted a portrait of, she is still continuing the fundraising.

This includes helping with a Wales ape and monkey sanctuary appeal to have a chimp named Bili transported from a zoo in Bulgaria back to the UK.

This will cost £5,000 and Ms Ryan is offering to paint five pet portraits to the value of £200 each to help with the fund.

Anyone interested can visit or e-mail
Story Credit here

Pet monkey owners monkey escapes for 3 days

What's wrong with this photo?
  • A private person owning monkeys
  • Monkeys outside with no lease or anything on can easily take off just as one did going to the vets office
  • Does this woman have a permit? Experience? Education on Primates?

Ok, this woman feels as though it's ok to have monkeys on her shoulder having no control over them OUTSIDE, but yet the cage is "opened" and the monkey escapes at the vets office. First off, monkeys should not be pets. Second, why would you put a monkey in a cage that you have not checked and double checked the lock on that cage. This monkey took off for 3 days once he/she escaped the cage then what makes this woman think that having them outside on her shoulder they won't do the same?
AMELIA, OH (FOX19) - A Clermont County woman is very relieved now that she knows her capuchin monkey named Figaro is safe after his three day adventure alone.

Alison Rost was unloading her 7-year-old monkey at the Clermont Animal Hospital Monday to be neutered when he became frightened and his cage opened and he took off for the trees.

She had had reports Wednesday that he was near Amelia High School, and made plans to look for him Thursday morning, which she did. Within hours, she found him and was able to take him back home.

Rost says the monkey never leaves her farm except to go to the vet, and says he is scared of people besides her, never having met many people.

The last sighting, before Figaro was found, was about a mile or mile and a half south of where he escaped.

She says Figaro is primarily a fruit-eating animal, but will dig under tree bark for insects or even catch animals as large as mice. She says capuchins are South American monkeys. She says the monkeys tend to stay 8-12 feet above the ground in trees, but they are happy to climb higher for food, or come down to the ground if they have someplace to go.
Story and Photo credit here

People, once again are taking the land from the monkeys

IN the name of progress, the greenery near rural areas is fast disappearing.

Wild trees and bushes are being cut down. One such area is Taman Tanjong, Port Dickson.

So much forest has been cleared that two different species of monkeys are forced to congregate on the trees close to the newly developed housing areas.

In the same meagre gelam trees one can see the common greay brown kera or macaques and a colony of leaf eating long-tailed grey monkeys, looking very much like Indian langurs.

Can Perhilitan catch them and send them to a forest reserve?
Story Credit here

Instead of catching the monkeys, catch the people and move them!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Charla Nash is holding hope for a new face

It could be tomorrow or it could be next year. But Charla Nash is holding out hope for a new face.

The 57-year-old Connecticut woman, who became the focus of the nation’s horror when she was viciously mauled by her friend’s pet chimpanzee in February 2009, is waiting for a generous family willing to sign away a loved one’s nose, lips, brow and chin — all the familiar things most of us take for granted in the mirror each morning.

For that to happen, the body of a 50-something female organ donor with Nash’s blood type and skin tone must become available, usually as a result of a terrible accident or some other untimely death. But because facial transplant surgery is so new, few people are even aware that faces can be donated.

“Yesterday’s news is good because more people now realize that becoming a face donor requires additional steps beyond checking off a box on your driver’s license,” said John Orr, a spokesman for Nash.

New England Organ Bank spokesman Sean Fitzpatrick said face donations are entirely different from liver, heart or lung donations. “The other organs are internal, and not outwardly representative of the donation itself,” he said. “The (donor) family will need to decide if this is something they want to participate in.”

And unlike other organs, Fitzpatrick said, “There’s not a national list of faces.”

A compatible donation could make Nash, who tops the list at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the nation’s first woman to receive a full face transplant.

“She’s very excited, and she’s really happy about how well things went for Dallas Wiens,” Orr said. Wiens, 25, of Texas, received the nation’s first full face transplant at Brigham and Women’s last week, after losing most of his facial features in a 2008 high-voltage accident.

Once a donor for Nash is found, she plans to share the experience, Orr said. She and her family have agreed to let NBC film her operation and recovery.
Story Credit Here

New bill aimed at restricting primates as pets- Yeah

A bill aimed at restricting the ownership of primates as pets in Arkansas is headed for a final reading in the state Senate today.

Sen. Percy Malone, D-Arkadelphia, said he agreed to sponsor the bill after being approached by a representative of the Little Rock Zoo. Malone said he was startled when his research revealed some of the diseases that can be transmitted from primates to humans, including influenza, herpes B and internal parasites.

“They can transmit hepatitis [A] and the Ebola virus,” he said. “That really got my attention. These are diseases that have no cure.

“Beyond the public health issue, which was the overriding issue for me, I have not seen or read of any reason that primates ...
You must go here to read the entire article

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Baby Sloth and Patas monkey born at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Syracuse, NY – The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of its 44th Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth. Ocabo (Oh-cob-oh) was born on February 9; he is the son of Bite Lip and Beauregard. The name, Ocabo, comes from a Latin American word meaning “head,” and was chosen because of the young sloth’s exceptionally large skull. After some initial supplementation from zoo staff, Ocabo is thriving and can be seen on exhibit with the other sloths.

Because the zoo maintains a hands off approach with primates, it was several weeks before officials were able to determine the gender of the baby patas monkey born on January 7. The long-awaited answer? It’s a girl! She has been named DJ in memory of a long time zoo employee who recently passed away.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park is among the top 10 percent of zoos in the country as an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is focused on conserving, exhibiting and interpreting a living animal collection in order to promote public recreation, understanding of the relationships between animals and people, and action to sustain the environment we share.

To view Rosamond Gifford Zoo's web page on Zoo and Aquarium Visitor, go to:

Committed to conservation, the zoo actively collaborates with Friends of the Zoo to save endangered Asian elephants, Amur tigers, golden lion tamarins and amphibians, which are facing a global crisis due to the Chytrid fungus. Other projects include studies on Chittenango ovate amber snails, Turkmenian markhors and Humboldt penguins.
Story Credit here

Monday, March 21, 2011

WSLS's made a huge mistake!!!!!!!

Gosh WSLS your suppose to know about information you are reporting on. Haven't you learned anything when it comes to helping exploit Primates? You people will do anything to draw attention to yourselves, regardless of the outcome of the victim (monkey) in this case. Just take a look at this blog and get some education! There's nothing at all cute about ripping a screaming baby off of it's mother and then being forced to wear clothes and diapers and being smoothered inside a womans bra. Thats just disgusting, to say the least.
Thank you viewer for taking the time to care about the primates. Kudos to you!

One viewer has a suggestion to improve our 7pm newscast, calling to say, “It is very annoying and it is really hard to understand what the newscasters are saying when they have that music going constantly in the background. You need to leave it because the newscast is fine without it.”

A baby Marmoset had a lot of us in the newsroom and you and home saying, “Ahhhhh.” But, Rob Wilson had a different take.
Wilson wrote, “I am writing to register my dismay with the ‘cute, little monkey’ story you aired. The little monkey is indeed cute -- but it should never be in that woman's bra in the first place. Baby monkeys belong with their marmoset mothers, preferably in the jungle. It is delusional thinking for a human to call herself a "monkey mother" because the baby never saw the inside of her uterus. Please, please exercise some journalistic integrity when you report this sort of story.”

WSLS responds: Thanks for the email. We aired this story because the woman was initially removed from a local courthouse for bringing the monkey into the building with her. That first story generated a lot of viewer interest and we followed up the next day with a human interest story on the monkey and its owner. That wasn't all we covered that day.
Story Credit Here

Longleat Safari park gives Monkeys a car to tear up

Monkeys at Longleat Safari Park have been given their own car to play with.

The Monkey Jungle drive-through at the Wiltshire attraction was closed to the public in 2008 after a macaque tested positive for a rare virus.

But last month the monkey enclosure was reopened, and for the first time in two years, cars were allowed back in.
They plainly haven't forgotten their fondness for cars”

Longleat's deputy head warden

"To get them back in training for the new season we decided to give them their very own car," said deputy head warden Ian Turner.

And it's clear to see from our test run, that monkey mischief is still very much front of mind and they plainly haven't forgotten their fondness for cars!"

The old Mercedes equipped with roof rack and suitcases filled with clothes and toys was left by staff in the monkey enclosure last week.

The troop of 100 Rhesus macaques "soon set about tearing it apart with gusto" and even "rifled through luggage" strapped to the top of the car and "tried on human clothes for size".

Mr Turner said the monkey were "one of the key attractions" at the safari park.
Story Credit and a must see video here

Friday, March 18, 2011

Frisky’s Wildlife and Primate Sanctuary in Woodstock, Md. has more than rescuing animals on its agenda. For the past 12 years, the non-profit organization has been working to save itself in the midst of an ongoing zoning conflict with neighbors.

Frisky’s, a non-profit that was created in 1970 and has operated from its current location on Old Frederick Road since 1993, takes in small indigenous wildlife that become injured or orphaned, domestic animals that can no longer be cared for by their owners and small primates. It is the primates that are the main point of contention for neighbors.

“I’ve been doing this 41 years — 22 of those included primates,” Frisky’s owner and founder Colleen Layton-Robbins said. “I never had a problem, no injuries or reports.”

Layton-Robbins, who runs Frisky’s out of her house, said the monkeys she cares for are well-secured and the chance of them escaping is highly unlikely.

“Our primates are not just in the building, they’re in an enclosure inside the building, and they’re in outside enclosures that are connected to them when they’re out for play,” she said. “Everything’s set in cement, the poles are the most heavy-duty, it’s the heaviest of chain links. I have a chain-link structure on the top, then there’s roofing on top of the heavy-duty chain links.”

However, her neighbors have their doubts. They testified for the first time at last week’s Howard County Board of Appeals hearing.

Attorney Thomas M. Meachum, who is representing a married couple and primary opponents of Frisky’s, said the protestors focused on the unpredictable and dangerous behavior of the exotic animals at Frisky’s.

According to staff notes of the hearing, neighbor Marlene Luciano Evans used Frisky’s newsletters as evidence that the monkeys should be removed. She focused a January 2011 interview with Layton-Robbins, in which she stated that “some of [the monkeys] really can and do become physical with me. They pull my hair and bite if given a chance.”

According to Meachum, Evans also argued that no matter what protective measures are taken, there is always room for people to make mistakes.

“Her point was that human error happens,” Meachum said. “If someone leaves the gate open or the door open, say a monkey gets out — that could pose a threat to her or her children.”

Meachum said that the neighbors did not expect the sanctuary to house wild and indigenous animals when it opened. Evans repeated these sentiments during her testimony.

“She’s very concerned about the diseases they can cause, she’s concerned if they get loose. She has children, other people on the street have children — what would that mean?”Meachum said.

Evans was the first and only neighbor who had a chance to speak. Six other neighbors were sworn in to confirm that they agree with all of her testimony.

Four of Frisky’s volunteers all testified in support of allowing Frisky’s to care for wild and exotic animals at the sanctuary. They spoke highly of the sanctuary’s environment, security and educational outreach program.

“If we’re so bad, why are schools approaching us saying we want our children to come and learn what you’re doing?” Layton-Robbins said. “We try to do everything right — we’re not the problem, we’re the solution.”

She said that Frisky’s comfortable environment is different than those of larger sanctuaries “where it’s survival of the fittest.” According to Layton-Robbins, the animals receive more individual attention and care at her sanctuary.

According to the Frisky’s website, the institution is funded by donations that go directly toward the care and welfare of the animals. The sanctuary is run on a volunteer basis.

“We try to be a blessing on every path that crosses our way and go out of our way to be good on purpose,” said Layton-Robbins, who is licensed as a certified master rehabilitator through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Service.

She said she routinely has inspections to make sure she is doing everything according to the law. So in 1999, when county officials cited her for operating a charitable and philanthropic institution without the required zoning exception, she was “mortified.”

“I made a mistake, I screwed up; I admit that,” Layton-Robbins said. “There was something that I needed to do that I was not aware of and had no clue that I needed to do it.”

In 2004, the Howard County Board of Appeals ruled that Frisky's could remain in operation but had to get rid of its monkeys because they violate a county ban on exotic animals. According to Layton-Robbins, the county law soon changed to exempt any animal sanctuary that meets all federal and state licensing requirements from the ban; Frisky’s meets all of the requirements.

Both the Howard County Circuit Court and the Maryland Court of Special Appeals upheld that the monkeys needed to leave because the law could not be applied retroactively.

In 2007, the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that each zoning case is unique, and laws should be applied retroactively to court proceedings in progress. It remanded the case back to the Board of Appeals.

Last week’s hearing was the fifth in the legal battle. The next, at which other neighbors will testify, is set for March 24.
Story Credit Here

Iran plans to put a monkey in a capsule and send it into orbit

MY GOD what has happened to humans? Where is the compassion? With all of the technology we have today (just think about how far we have come in 20 years), they can't design a robot instead of using live animals? This makes me SICK!!!!!

Iran announced today (March 17) that it has launched a new rocket and space capsule designed to carry a monkey into orbit, according to the country's state-run news agency.

According to Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency, the country launched the capsule on a Kavoshgar-4 ("Explorer" in Farsi) rocket Tuesday (March 15). The IRNA report stated that "data and images" from the capsule were expected to be sent from orbit 120 kilometers (75 miles) above the Earth, Reuters reported.

The launch marks a major step forward for Iran's fledgling space program, and a worrying sign for foreign nations fearing that Iran's space goals are aimed at developing space weapons. [Top 10 Space Weapons]
Leading the world with an energy conversion efficiency of 35.8% sharp-solar.comDanica Patrick Honda FilmWatch now to discover the upside of failure through Danica Patrick.

Although the new space capsule is designed to carry living creatures, there were no animals onboard this test launch, IRNA and other news agencies reported.

Iran has launched a rat, two turtles and a worm on its Kavoshgar-3 rocket in February 2010, the nation said. In 2009, the Iranian space agency launched a telecommunications satellite onboard its Safir-2 rocket.

The new space capsule and the Kavoshgar-4 rocket were both unveiled by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in early February, the Agence-France Presse reported.

Ultimately, Iran has said it aims to launch a human into space by 2020, and to put an astronaut on the moon by 2025. The Islamic republic denies military motives for its space program, but Western nations fear that Iran is moving toward developing a ballistic missile capable of deploying a nuclear warhead.

Last year's launch of the Kavoshgar-3 rocket prompted the United States to call it a "provocative act."

Analysts say Iran's space goals are probably both scientific and militaristic, and the program allows the nation to build prestige among friends and enemies alike.

"They will clearly use dual-use technology for a military buildup, and as long as they at least dabble in human spaceflight, they get advantageous press coverage on that as well," Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor of National Security Studies at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., told in November.

Before its recent series of successful launches, Iran reportedly had several rockets fail, including the first launch attempt of the Safir ("Ambassador") booster in August 2008.
Story Credit Here

Research Labs are NOT where Chimpanzees belong- NIH

Dr. Hope Ferdowsian is director of the Research Policy Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine:

Rosie was chemically immobilized 99 times by laboratory workers. The 29-year-old chimpanzee was finally granted a reprieve from testing in 2001, but the government recently moved her and 13 others back into laboratory cages. As a physician, I am concerned about the millions of dollars spent on decades of experiments using chimpanzees, which inflict untold pain and suffering upon these highly intelligent animals and have generally turned out to be a poor method of studying human diseases.

A few months after the 14 were transferred from Alamogordo, NIH granted 186 chimpanzees remaining at the New Mexico nonresearch facility a reprieve from further experimentation while the Institute of Medicine conducts an in-depth analysis of chimpanzee experimentation. But Rosie and her 13 companions remain at Texas Biomed, a controversial laboratory with a poor animal care record, where they have already been subjected to multiple liver biopsies and other procedures that require chemical immobilization.

The United States is the only industrialized nation still using chimpanzees for invasive experiments. I hope NIH will focus on modern methods that offer the most hope for human health —a nd allow these chimpanzees to live out their remaining years in the peace of a sanctuary.
Story Credit Here

Chimpanzee Study Sheds Light on Natural History of HIV

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 16, 2011) -- A University at Albany scientist's research in African chimpanzee populations may provide new insights into the natural history of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVcpz), and the origins of HIV-AIDS.

In the cover article of the March 22nd issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, research by UAlbany biologist Mary Katherine Gonder and colleagues examines genetic data from one of the largest samples of chimpanzees to date. The sample originated from the west African nation of Cameroon, home to two chimpanzee subspecies: the central African chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) and the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (P. t. ellioti) which occupies the Gulf of Guinea biodiversity hotspot in Nigeria and Cameroon.

The study showed that the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee constitutes a population exhibiting reproductive and genetic distinctiveness that clearly separates it from other chimpanzee subspecies.

Cameroon, said Gonder, is important in understanding the natural history of HIV-AIDS. Simian immunodeficiency virus found in central African chimpanzees from southern Cameroon is the likely progenitor of HIV-1 groups M and N. However, SIVcpz does not appear to occur naturally in the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee, although the current sample of chimpanzees from this region tested to date remains small. The reasons the Nigeria-Cameron chimpanzee is not naturally infected with SIVcpz remain unclear, but could be explained by a lack of breeding between Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees and central African chimpanzees, extinctions of local chimpanzee communities from a simian AIDS-like syndrome associated with SIVcpz infection, natural resistance to SIVcpz infection, or combinations of these factors.

The research has broad implications for many branches of science and conservation practice. The research found that central and east Africa chimpanzees share most of their genetic history, despite having been thought by scientists, for nearly 100 years, to be very different from each other. According to the research, central and east African chimpanzees have stopped exchanging genes only relatively recently.

"What is revealing," said Gonder, "is how different the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee is from all other chimpanzees. This forced us to reexamine and to reinterpret how chimpanzee populations are structured in other regions of Africa. Overall, our study provides a new model for interpreting chimpanzee population structure, which may have implications for understanding why SIVcpz occurs at a high prevalence in chimpanzees across equatorial Africa but is absent in Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees."
Gonder's research is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
Story Credit Here

Haloko the 44 year old Gorilla Dies at the National Zoo- So sad!

The National Zoo's western lowland gorilla, Haloko, died today. She was 44.
Haloko, the western lowland gorilla.
Haloko was the zoo's oldest gorilla, and the only one born in the wild, the zoo said in a news release. She was euthanized because of declining health that compromised her quality of life.

She had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure after a routine physical exam on Dec. 1. That condition means the heart can no longer pump enough blood through the body, and is common in western lowland gorillas, the zoo said.

"Over the past two days, the keepers noted that Haloko's condition deteriorated significantly, and Zoo veterinarians along with curatorial staff made the difficult decision to euthanize her," the news release said.
The zoo provided the following background:
Haloko came to the Zoo in December 1989 on loan from the Philadelphia Zoo after having lived at the Bronx Zoo. In 1992, she gave birth to the Zoo's only silverback, Baraka, although a different female, Mandara, in the family group raised him. Haloko's cargivers considered her to be a very complex character who was self-sufficient, patient and very tolerant of the antics of the juveniles in the group.

(Photo: National Zoo)
The Zoo's western lowland gorillas live in one group at the Great Ape House. The Zoo currently has three males and three females on exhibit, including a female baby born Jan. 10, 2009. Western lowland gorillas, which are native to tropical forests of West and Central Africa, are listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, primarily due to habitat loss and fragmentation and poaching. In captivity, gorillas can live up to 56 years of age; median life expectancy is closer to 30 years of age.
Story and Photo Credit Here

Jack Hanna the Director at the Columbus Zoo has baby gorilla die

CAN YOU SAY EXPLOITATION? When entertainers as what I use to do do something like Jack Hanna does PETA and other animal welfare groups are all over us, though a director at a zoo can do it. CAN YOU SAY HYPOCRITE? I CAN BIG TIME!!!!!!!

John Bushnell "Jack" Hanna (born January 2, 1947) is an American zookeeper who is the Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. He was Director of the zoo from 1978 to 1993, and is viewed as largely responsible for elevating its quality and reputation. His media appearances have made him one of the most notable animal experts in the United States. Hanna, nicknamed “Jungle Jack,” is known for his khaki safari outfit, deep tan, and Southern accent.

 Life and career Hanna was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. He grew up on his father's farm outside Knoxville, and volunteered for a veterinarian when he was 11. He attended The Kiski School, an all-boys boarding school in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, for high school, graduating in 1965. He majored in business and political science at Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, where he got in trouble for keeping ducks in his dorm room and a donkey in a shed behind his fraternity house (The M.A.C.E. Club).

His senior year, Hanna married Suzi, a cheerleader at Muskingum, and graduated in 1969. Though unable to secure zoning as a zoo for his father's farm, the two opened a pet shop and petting zoo. In 1973, a three-year-old boy was mauled by a lion at Hanna's farm and lost his arm. Hanna settled the subsequent lawsuit out of court, shut down the petting zoo, and moved his family to Florida[citation needed]. He then worked for a wildlife adventure company and directed the small Sanford Zoo and Central Florida Zoo from 1973 to 1975. When he was offered the position at the Columbus Zoo in 1978, one of the reasons he accepted was because he believed the Children's Hospital in Columbus had the best treatment available for his daughter Julie's leukemia. She recovered by the age of six, though she needed to have a brain tumor removed later in life.

At the time he became the zoo's director, the grounds of the zoo were unkempt and the facilities run down. Hanna initially struck many as a "zealous" zoo director, often traveling around the zoo grounds after closing to personally pick up trash. He also realized the importance of increasing the profile of the Columbus Zoo in central Ohio to get more public support and funding, and the "everyman"-seeming Hanna proved to be very well-suited to public relations for the zoo. From 1981 until 1983, Hanna hosted a television show called "Hanna's Ark" that aired on the local CBS affiliate in Columbus, WBNS. Hanna's live animal demonstrations on Good Morning America and both of David Letterman's talk show incarnations brought national attention to the Columbus Zoo as well as to Hanna himself. Over the course of Hanna's tenure as director, the zoo made the transition from cage-like enclosures to habitat environments, and the grounds were significantly expanded. The annual attendance of the Columbus Zoo increased by over 400% during this time.

Jack Hanna poses for a photo with Skulls Unlimited International's Michelle Hayer.Hanna has published an autobiography, Monkeys on the Interstate in 1989, as well as many other books for children. He has been the host of the syndicated television show "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures" since 1993. Hanna also occasionally contributes commentary as an animal expert on various local and national news programs, and has done guest spots on other shows such as Larry King Live, Nancy Grace, Maury, and Hollywood Squares. He was also named one of the "50 Most Beautiful People" by People magazine in 1996,,20122069,00.html. Hanna also appeared in Neal McCoy's 2005 music video for "Billy's Got His Beer Goggles On" with a Hyacinth Macaw, a sloth and an albino burmese python. Hanna, along with Emmy-award winning musician Mark Frye, released an album through Virgin Records in 1996 entitled Jack Hanna's World.

Hanna and his wife, Suzi, have three daughters: Kathaleen, Suzanne, and Julie. He spends much of his time at his home in Montana, where he expects to retire soon. Hanna has been granted honorary Ph.D.s from Muskingum College, Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, and Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.
Facts found here
Article about the baby Gorilla that died at his zoo

Baby Gorilla dies at the Columbus Zoo-Jack Hanna

This is the zoo that the great and mighty Jack Hanna works. As you can tell I don't care for him too much. First off if any one's ever watched him on David Letterman and he is asked questions, some of the time he either doesn't know the answer or it's incorrect. He pays people like I use to be to meet him places with their animals so he can show off and make money for their appearances. Notice how he always has baby animals. Why aren't those animals with their mothers? I know because entertainers live off of the money these people will pay to see them for ratings for their shows. Alan Green wrote a book that tells in detail all about Jack Hanna

Now, about this baby gorilla. First off I don't understand why the Louisville Zoo couldn't make accommodations for this little gorilla and her mother! Instead they take her away from her mother, send her to the Columbus Zoo with no mommy and not knowing anyone. That in itself is so sad. Then  she gets sick with "flu like symptoms " on March 3rd, now 14 days later she dies!????? I don't understand why some of these zoos wait sooooooo long when they see an Ape sick to get the vet in there. The vet should be called immediately and should be out there the next day. For god sake this is 2 for them this year so far and it's only March. Maybe someone should be checking up on this Zoo and their vet and care staff!
Just look at her sweet face. What a shame a real shame!

Here's just one bad thing about Jack Hanna and you can certainly find more on the net. What does this tell us about the quality of the zoo employees, caretakers and upper management. If you really want to know the truth about animals in the entertainment and zoos, you really should read the book Animal Underworld. I found some of the information in there that I had actually seen in person, and have met some of the people mentioned in his book.
Jack Hanna here

Misha, the baby gorilla who was brought to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for special care after she lost a leg, died this morning.

Zoo veterinarians and "people" doctors operated on the year-old gorilla yesterday. She became ill with flu-like symptoms March 3, and condition worsened, said zoo spokeswoman Patty Peters.

Surgeons found and repaired a perforated bowel but Misha died several hours later.

Peters said a necropsy -- animal autopsy -- will be performed, but doctors said an intestinal infection likely caused the bowel perforations.

Misha was born Feb. 6, 2010 at the Louisville Zoo and lost part of her left leg during an interaction with other zoo gorillas there. She moved to Columbus in May, and in August she was placed with Pongi, a female gorilla who became her surrogate mother.

Misha's hip was injured a week later when she became stuck in a climbing structure. When that healed in October, she returned to live with Pongi and a group of gorillas.

Misha is the second Columbus Zoo gorilla to die this year. In January, Lulu died at the age of 46 after she began having seizures.
The zoo now has 15 gorillas.
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Two baby Gorillas Born

Rugendo baby born to Lubutu and Bukima bring the family members to six.

Virunga National Park rangers discovered two baby gorillas born into the Rugendo and Humba gorilla families. This is the first baby to survive for mother Lubutu and father Bukima in the Rugendo family, bringing the small group to six members. The new Humba baby makes 15 for the family.

Lubutu is the only female in the Rugendo family. Her last baby died after only two days. We have worked hard to protect all of our gorillas, and are especially happy to see a new baby in this family. We feel like celebrating.

Mother Lubutu was originally part of the Humba family, but chose to switch to the Rugendo family in 2008. Her first baby died in 2009 after only two days. Although we are not certain of the cause, we believe it was killed due to fighting among the adult males in the group.

The Rugendo family is best known for the massacre in 2007 when Senkwekwe and five other members of the family were killed. Silverback Rugendo and an infant also died at the hands of humans in earlier incidents. Rangers and the wardens are encouraged by the survival and growth of this family.

Mother Gashangi from the Humba family holds tightly to her newborn baby.
The Humba mother, Gashangi, is very protective of her baby and nervous around humans. She grudgingly follows her family when they exit the forest, as they often do.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

African Sanctuaries take in an average of 56 baby Chimpanzees a year!!!!

Every year throughout Africa, primate rescue centers are flooded with chimpanzee orphans, primarily victims of the bushmeat trade. When adults are killed for meat the surviving infants are often offered for sale as pets, and those that get confiscated by law enforcement are taken to sanctuaries for care.

A new study, published in the International Journal of Primatology, examines 11 Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) member facilities, predicting their carrying capacity for chimpanzees and provides a roadmap for long term resource, infrastructure and financial planning.

Lead author Lisa Faust, PhD a research biologist with Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo said, "The most sobering part of this study is realizing that most of these institutions already report being at capacity or close to capacity, and yet on average the group of sanctuaries are collectively faced with accepting 56 new chimpanzee arrivals every year, most of them under the age of two to three years old. Because chimpanzees are long-lived, this means that most of the sanctuaries will need to sustain or increase their current size, because they will continue to accept new arrivals as part of their commitment to chimpanzee welfare and law enforcement."

Chimpanzees are an endangered species, and while poaching is illegal it remains a major problem threatening their continued survival.

"PASA sanctuaries play a vital role in helping rescue and rehabilitate chimpanzees and other endangered primates, and that is our main objective," said Doug Cress, executive director of PASA. "But it's easy to get caught up in the day to day fight for survival and lose perspective. This study is so important because it allows us to step back and see where we'll be in the coming years and decades and to plan accordingly. Population modeling on this level is a wonderful tool."

A chimpanzee that survives the physical and emotional trauma of capture can take years to recover. But PASA member sanctuaries accept that long-term commitment, even if the only possible alternative to lifetime care -- reintroduction, the physical return of the chimpanzees back to the forest -- is a difficult and relatively new endeavor.

Chimpanzee reintroduction projects currently underway at PASA sanctuaries in Congo and Guinea have put more than 50 chimpanzees back into the wild, and three Cameroon sanctuaries are preparing to double that number through reintroduction programs in the next few years. But the cost, which can easily double a sanctuary's budget, is just one of the many obstacles to more widespread reintroduction.

"Reintroducing primates is not simple," Cress explained. "Deforestation and poaching make many areas unsuitable for reintroduction, and human encroachment has resulted in communities living in many of the national parks and protected areas. Also, it can be difficult to build a social group of chimpanzees that is physically and emotionally strong enough to survive a reintroduction. That's why the number of released animals remains relatively small compared to the number of orphans in need of care. Lifetime care in sanctuaries is the most frequent option for orphaned primates."

Chimpanzees can live up to 50 -- 60 years, so the commitment for lifetime care is substantial.

The study analyzed historic demographic patterns and projected future population dynamics of these select sanctuaries which housed (at that time) 760 chimpanzees. The median age was 9 years old, with 76 percent of the population being less than 15 years.

Lincoln Park Zoo chimpanzee behavioral researcher Steve Ross, PhD, co-author on the research, explained that as chimpanzees age and reach sexual maturity, group dynamics shift, making social structure an important component for future management plans for PASA sanctuaries.

"Older chimpanzees can be subject to aggression and social disharmony, especially in large groups," he explained. "This could be further exacerbated by the influx of adolescents, so managing group sizes and dynamics will be crucial for these sanctuaries."

"We found there to be an exponential relationship between population size and resource need because groups sizes cannot grow indefinitely," explained Faust. "Our goal with this research is to provide PASA with a road map for the potential future management challenges they may face. It should help long-term planning and increase their ability to be stewards for the apes they take in and advocates for those they work to protect in the wild."

The Great Ape Trust in Iowa also contributed to this study.
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HSUS Wants NIRC to halt potential government contract fraud

By: Humane Society of the United States

WASHINGTON (March 15, 2011) – The Humane Society of the United States has filed legal petitions with the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services Tuesday requesting investigations and legal actions to halt potential government contract fraud at the New Iberia Research Center, a primate laboratory located in New Iberia, La. and part of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

As outlined in the petitions, The HSUS has amassed public records suggesting that NIRC may be breeding federally-owned chimpanzees for use in invasive research in violation of the terms of a multi-million dollar grant agreement between NIRC and a division of the National Institutes of Health called the National Center for Research Resources. NIRC has received the grant annually since 2000, to the tune of more than $10 million.

"This appears to be an open and shut case of government fraud under the federal False Claims Act," said Jonathan Lovvorn, vice president and chief counsel for animal protection litigation at The HSUS. "The Attorney General should investigate this matter, terminate illegal breeding at NIRC, and take legal action to recover any taxpayer monies squandered by this facility."

Documents obtained by The HSUS demonstrate that during the past 10 years, NIRC has produced at least 123 infant chimpanzees, some of whom were prematurely and cruelly torn away from their mothers. The documents also show that an additional 14 infants died as a result of trauma by adult chimpanzees possibly due to negligent management practices and overcrowding at the NIRC facility. The surviving 123 chimpanzees may languish for the next 50 years or more in laboratories that are totally insufficient to meet their basic needs, while NIRC stands to profit from its breeding program by leasing the young chimpanzees for invasive research.

Evidence presented in the petition shows that by alleging extensive chimpanzee birth control practices and withholding information about young chimpanzees born at its facility, among other things, NIRC may have misrepresented its breeding program to the NCRR in grant progress reports and application materials. These misrepresentations could be violations of the federal False Claims Act, which could entitle the NCRR to recoup up to $30 million in damages due to the law's trebling, or tripling provision.

The HSUS is asking the Department of Justice to take enforcement action against the laboratory for fraudulent use of federal money, and is requesting that the Department of Health and Human Services cease funding the laboratory. The HSUS is also requesting that the Department of Health and Human Services immediately send all federally-owned chimpanzees residing at NIRC to permanent sanctuary with appropriate funding.

The full text of The HSUS's legal petition to the Department of Justice can be downloaded here. The full text of The HSUS's legal petition to the Department of Health and Human Services can be downloaded here. The necropsy reports of the 14 infants who died of traumatic injuries can be found here. B-roll is available to the media upon request.

* There are approximately 1,000 chimpanzees in six laboratories in the United States; approximately 500 of these chimpanzees are owned by the federal government.

* Under the False Claims Act, the government can collect treble damages for fraud by government contractors, which means that NIRC could be required to pay $30 million for repeatedly violating its grant agreement with NCRR while certifying compliance with the breeding moratorium.

* The contract between NIRC and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, titled "Leasing of Chimpanzees for the Conduct of Research," is for a total of $7.8 million and is scheduled to end in September of next year, but is up for renewal this coming September.

* Each chimpanzee born into a laboratory can live 60 years and cost the federal government as much as $1 million during his or her lifetime. Seven of the 123 chimpanzees born at NIRC are now owned by, and are the responsibility of, the federal government.

* The HSUS revealed the results of an undercover investigation conducted at NIRC in 2009, including distress caused by lack of enrichment and socialization, severe psychological distress, and inadequate veterinary care.

* The National Institutes of Health has announced that the National Academy of Sciences will be conducting a review to the use of chimpanzees for research purposes, further strengthening the argument to immediately stop the flow of new chimpanzees into the laboratory system.

To learn more about chimps in research, visit
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Say YES to putting Palm Oil on Labels

I believe that every industry that puts Palm Oil in their products should be legally responsible for putting that ingredient on their labels! This way for those of us that are aware that Palm Oil hurts the Wild Orangutans' habitats can decline in buying that product. For the products I know that have Palm Oil in it I have long stopped using them.

Do you have the right to know whether the chocolate bar you're munching on includes palm oil, which is blamed for vast deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia? How about that frozen pizza? According to a coalition of environmental and conservation groups it's time for food manufacturers to add palm oil to the label in Europe, instead of currently being listed as simply, and erroneously (palm kernels are fruits), 'vegetable oil'.

"Clearer labels will ensure that the consumer can be confident that they aren’t buying a product that is responsible for clearing globally important forest areas and the biodiversity contained therein," said Ashley Leiman, Director of the Orangutan Foundation, in a press released. While orangutans have become the de-facto symbol of palm oil critics, deforestation in the region also threatens Javan and Sumatran rhinos, Asian elephants, sun bears, clouded leopards, Sumatran tigers, and thousands of little-known species.

Oil palm plantation in the foreground with rainforest-covered hills in the back on the island of Sumatra.

The Orangutan Foundation is being joined by the Sumatran Orangutan Society, Elephant Family, Save the Rhino, The Jane Goodall Institute—UK, and Ape Alliance in a campaign to amend a recent food bill, known as the Sommer Report, in the European Parliament to require that palm oil is listed on labels.

While palm oil is the world's most productive oil seed (far outstripping soy, which has been linked to deforestation in the Amazon), it is responsible for a significant percentage of deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia. For example, a study in Conservation Letters found that 55-59 percent of palm oil plantations in Malaysia built between 1990 and 2009 occurred on forested land. Such aggressive deforestation has contributed to an environmental crisis in the region: biodiversity loss in some of the world richest habitats, conflict with indigenous groups who depend on the forests for their livelihood, and substantial greenhouse gas emissions. Given such statistics, the coalition is urging the public to write to MEPs on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Parliamentary Committee and ask for clear palm oil labeling.

However, industry players want the European public to know that not all palm oil is created equal in environmental destruction.

"Any initiative to empower customers to make better buying decisions would be welcomed by any responsible company, " Puvan Jegaraj Selvanathan, palm oil giant Sime Darby's Chief Sustainability Officer, told "Certainly if a label has to be applied at all for palm oil then it should clearly differentiate for [Certified Sustainable Palm Oil]. However, palm oil is only one of many ingredients found in many products on supermarket shelves. Any labeling seeking to promote ethical buying in a meaningful way should assure consumers that all the ingredients in the product […] are responsibly produced, not just the palm oil."

The campaign agrees that supporting sustainable palm oil is a part of the solution.

"We do not advocate a boycott of products containing palm oil. We are supporting this campaign because we believe this new legislation could be a crucial tool in helping us to drive the demand from Europe for certified sustainable palm oil," says Helen Buckland, UK Director of the Sumatran Orangutan Society.

The pressure campaign on the palm oil industry has recently pushed one of the most heavily criticized companies to promise change. Golden Agri-Resources Limited, which owns PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology (SMART), has promised to ban development on carbon-rich peatlands and in high conservation value (HCV) forests. Their newly announced policy also targets social problems linked to palm oil expansion, such as establishing free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) for indigenous and local communities and complying with Indonesian laws and RSPO Principles and Criteria.

While environmentalists wait for government to act, some retailers, including Cole Supermarkets in Australia, have already started to voluntarily label palm oil as an ingredient on their private products. Other companies, including McDonalds, Walmart, Nestle, and Unilever have pledged to use only palm oil from certified sustainable sources by 2015.
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