International Zoo News Vol. 49/5 (No. 318) July/August 2002


Exhibiting Orang-utans on a Natural Island in Malaysia Govindasamy Agoramoorthy
Hornbill Breeding Results for 2001 in Some European Countries Harro Strehlow
John Hagenbeck's Rhinoceros Kees Rookmaaker, Henri Carpentier and Herman Reichenbach
Renovating a Caribbean Wildlife Complex Roger G. Sweeney
A Young Zoologists' Kit – Encouraging Children to Observe Animals in Zoos Sue Dale Tunnicliffe
Book Reviews
Annual Reports
International Zoo News
Recent Articles

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While I was editing the report on Schwerin Zoo's lion exhibit (below, pp. 309–311), the thought occurred to me that lions feature relatively infrequently in the pages of I.Z.N. As a rough check on the accuracy of this subjective impression, I looked up the references to the big cats in my cumulative index. I was right – for the ten-year period 1992–2001, there were only 12 references listed under Panthera leo. Tigers, by contrast, had 38. (Leopards were equal to lions, and snow leopards only just behind with ten references.) It is, of course, up to me what goes into the magazine; but it seems likely that the proportion of space I allot to different species reflects to some extent the proportion I find in the material I receive from zoos. Lions, I would suggest, are relatively undervalued by the zoo community when compared to tigers. The International Zoo Yearbook breeding lists tell the same story; lions (with the exception of the Asiatic subspecies) are one of the few species for which the number bred is given only as a total, not broken down into the contributions made by individual zoos. This does not, of course, mean that zoos don't breed lions; in 1996 – the last year for which Yearbook statistics are available – 233 African lions are recorded as successfully reared, as against 156 tigers. What it does suggest, though, is that the birth and rearing of lions is viewed by zoo people as an event of fairly minor importance.

The reason is obvious – African lions have never been seen as endangered (their current Red Book status is `Vulnerable'), so their breeding in captivity is not regarded as a conservation priority. But a report in the latest issue of Cat News (No. 36, Spring 2002), the newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, may change this perception. The African Lion Database, the first continental overview of the species, presents a country-by-country estimate of lion populations. It suggests a total for the continent of from 18,000 to 27,000 animals. Various methods were employed in different areas, and a few countries – most notably Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo – were omitted, but the estimate provides a reliable enough figure to work with. `There are no valid earlier estimates on which to speculate on how great a decline in the population has occurred,' comments Cat News's editor Peter Jackson, `but it is clear that there were many, many more lions in Africa in the past than live there today.' (`Guesstimates' made only ten years ago ranged from 30,000 to 100,000.) And it is safe to assume that the number is continuing to fall. The African lion may not be endangered yet, but for how much longer?

The contrasting attitudes towards lions and tigers are nowhere more evident than in the treatment of their subspecies. Tigers have an international studbook in which all five subspecies are registered separately (despite the doubts about their validity expressed by many taxonomists). Zoos which still keep tigers of mixed or unknown ancestry tend to be apologetic about it, and there is growing pressure for such animals to be phased out of the captive stock (`managed to extinction', in the current jargon). The lions of sub-Saharan Africa also have five commonly recognised subspecies, but until very recently few zoos held lions of known subspecific purity. During the 1990s the North American lion SSP, following the discovery that its supposed Asiatic lions were hopelessly contaminated with African blood, started to concentrate instead on the southern African subspecies P. l. krugeri; in June 2002 ISIS records listed 75 lions of this subspecies in 28 zoos, mostly in North America. Other subspecies are much less well represented; and only one zoo holds a pair of the West African race P. l. senegalensis, which, according to the new database, is already down to less than a thousand individuals, making it more endangered than either the Indian or the Indo-Chinese tiger. An overwhelming majority (about 860 in 200 zoos) of the lions listed by ISIS – which, remember, only receives information from `good' zoos – are `generic' animals of hybrid or unknown subspecific status, and therefore of little or no value in conservation terms.

My use above of the term `sub-Saharan Africa' was deliberate; for there is one other subspecies of African lion which may already have pure representatives in zoos. The attempt to prove the continued existence of the `extinct' Barbary lion, P. l. leo, has been going on intermittently for about 30 years. It was in the early 1970s that Helmut Hemmer and Paul Leyhausen suggested, on grounds of provenance and morphology, that the lions in the King of Morocco's collection, then recently transferred to Rabat Zoo, might belong to this subspecies, which had been exterminated in the wild half a century earlier. A number of zoos were sufficiently convinced to breed from these animals, and today about 60 lions worldwide are exclusively descended from the royal Moroccan stock. A team at Oxford University's Department of Zoology has been collecting DNA samples from these animals, and from museum specimens of known geographic, including North African, origin. (There is a good survey of this project on the Wildlink International website at The research, which should be completed within the next few years, aims to discover (1) whether the historic Barbary population was or was not genetically distinct from lion populations elsewhere in Africa and Asia, and (2) if it was, whether the `royal' lions are indeed of Barbary origin. If both questions are answered in the affirmative, it is certain that an exponential growth in Barbary lion numbers will follow, with many zoos eager to get in on the act; their popularity could only be increased by the fact that these lions tend to be bigger, more lavishly maned in the males, and somehow more charismatic than those from other regions. Enthusiastic believers are already making plans for a reintroduction project in Morocco. But even if the answers prove negative, the research effort will not have been wasted. It will increase our knowledge of lion taxonomy in general, and may shed light on the validity or otherwise of the other African subspecies. And whatever the outcome, it may help to restore zoo professionals' regard for lions, not merely as one of the species most popular with visitors, but as animals of great interest and value in their own right.

Nicholas Gould

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The 10th Conference of the South-East Asian Zoological Parks Association was held in October 2001 at Bukit Merah resort, Perak State, Malaysia, and the theme for the conference was `Animal Welfare and Ethics: South East Asian Zoos in the 21st Century'. Ninety-eight zoo professionals from 29 countries participated, and most of them appreciated the visit to an island where orang-utans are displayed in a natural habitat. This project is being operated by the MK Land Holdings Group that has developed 668 ha of remote wasteland at Bukit Merah to create holiday homes, a water park, an ecopark and an orang-utan island. Despite being a land developer, the group tries to improve access to inexpensive housing for ordinary Malaysians; to increase employment and income generation to alleviate poverty in rural areas; and to promote sustainable use of natural resources in a healthy ecosystem.

Orang-utans are restricted to the islands of Borneo and Sumatra; they are listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals (2000) and also included in Appendix I of CITES. It has been estimated that suitable orang-utan habitats in Indonesia and Malaysia have declined by more than 80% in the last 20 years, and the wild populations have suffered a decline of 50% during the last decade mainly due to habitat loss (Kuznik, 1997). The principal threat to orang-utan populations is rainforest conversion for timber, plantations and agriculture (Galdikas, 1995), and an additional threat is the capture of infants for the pet trade that still continues to flourish (Agoramoorthy, 1998).

Ten (5.5) Bornean orang-utans, consisting of three adult males, five adult females and two juvenile males, rescued in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, are exhibited in a natural environment on an island located in the 2,835-ha freshwater lake at Bukit Merah Lake Town. The Orang-utan Island aims to promote eco-tourism and environmental education for visitors. Local school children use the facility to learn about wetland and rainforest ecosystems, including the importance of conserving the orang-utans that are native to their country. In this paper, I outline details on the Orang-utan Island.

The concept

The original idea of releasing primates on an island dates back to 1938, when rhesus macaques from India were released on a 15.2-ha island off the south-east coast of Puerto Rico (Carpenter, 1959). Among great apes, rehabilitated chimpanzees have been released onto natural islands in Africa (Agoramoorthy and Hsu, 1999). The Orang-utan Island at Bukit Merah Lake covers an area of approximately 14.2 ha of rainforest, and two ha has been set aside for the orang-utan exhibit at present. The main goals of the Orang-utan Island are conservation, education, tourism and research, and the project's ambition is to provide a distinctive professional model for captive orang-utan care, welfare and husbandry in a more natural setting. The tunnel concept, a unique means of viewing great apes in semi-wild conditions, is the first of its kind in the world, giving people a safe way to see orang-utans up close in their natural environment while the visitors are struck in a cage. The model certainly gives the captive apes an opportunity to exhibit more natural behaviour than is possible in most zoos and recreational parks around the world.

Exhibit design

The outdoor enclosure is built on two ha of rainforest on the waterfront and is divided into two sections. Exhibit 1 has more open ground space and not as many trees, since the orang-utans have destroyed much of the vegetation. The whole exhibit is 65 m wide and 40 m from front to back at the deepest point. There are three platforms located seven to ten m above the ground on large trees. Food puzzle boxes are fixed on the tree trunks near the platforms, and permanently fixed ladders enable the carers to reach the boxes daily to fill them with food items. The apes spend a lot of time retrieving food from the boxes.

Exhibit 2 is lusher with tall trees and dense vegetation, and provides more hiding places and shelter for the apes. There is a 200-m tunnel along the length of this area so that visitors can walk along and view the apes in the forest. Hot wires spread around the tunnel and also on the periphery of the exhibit restrict the movement of the orang-utans into and around the tunnel to safeguard both them and the visitors. There are two platforms about eight m high, one at the main feeding station and the other at the end of the tunnel. Seven horizontal ropes criss-cross above the tunnel to encourage the apes to brachiate in the canopy. Two vertical ropes hang from the middle of the horizontal ones by the main feeding post in the centre of the tunnel. In addition to using the natural trees and vines, the orang-utans use these ropes to move around the exhibit. A group of wild long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) also inhabit the island and they regularly interact with the orang-utans without apparent aggression.

There are eight dens (3 ´ 4 ´ 3 m) in the night quarters and five dens (3.5 ´ 4 ´ 4 m) in the day quarters; the night dens are each equipped with a gunny-sack hammock. The day dens have ropes and a resting platform 1.5 m up. The dens are covered by a bitumen-sealed roof, the floors are of concrete and the cages are made of stainless steel. Alongside the night dens there is a large daytime play area (8 ´ 8 ´ 10 m), which can easily house a group of ten orang-utans in a social setting. All the dens have sliding doors which allow for the movement of the apes from cage to cage and to the outdoor play area, as well as from day dens to night dens.

At the opposite side, across from the night dens, there is a small cage with a similar roof and floor to the day dens, used when an orang-utan needs to be isolated for veterinary treatment, etc. It has two sections (each 2 ´ 1.5 ´ 1.5 m) with a sliding door between, so that an animal can be held in one side while the other is being cleaned. Behind the night dens is a building that contains the kitchen, office, and a laboratory. Solar power and a diesel generator provide electricity for the building and to operate the hotwire system.

Diet and husbandry

Food items provided to the orang-utans and general hygiene meet acceptable standards. Fruit and vegetables are washed before being given and each animal also receives powdered milk, vitamins/minerals, egg, glucose and filtered water on a regular basis. Each evening, the orang-utans are brought into their sleeping dens where their food (fruits and vegetables) reward awaits them. They stay there until the next morning around 9.00 a.m. The carers thoroughly check the dens for faeces, urine and the general condition of the animals each morning before they are released into the exhibit. The dens are washed and sprayed with disinfectant daily, and fresh gunny sacks and branches put in place.

Behavioural and environmental enrichment

The orang-utans have access to a natural environment containing adequate play space and vegetation in the exhibit. They are in the company of their conspecifics, and wild long-tailed macaques who interact with them peacefully. Moreover, the carers treat them with respect. They are given food sacks during the day that contain seeds and nuts, and the apes must climb down the ropes in order to get them. When they have taken the sacks, they have to untie the knots to get at the food inside. Also the carers blow a whistle to let them know it is time to come and get miscellaneous food items. Fallen seeds, nuts and other food items are readily taken by the macaques. The orang-utans are given fresh coconuts and durians such as they would eat in the wild. They may not have to work hard to find them, but opening the fruit itself is a natural behaviour and it may stimulate their mental and physical activities.

Although the environment in which the orang-utans are kept in the exhibit is natural, there are added enrichments in the form of vertical and horizontal ropes as well as raised sitting platforms. They have the choice of getting some privacy at the back corner of the exhibit where the visitors cannot go, and the orang-utans often go there to rest during the middle of the day. The trees reach a height of above 20 m, and some have a rich canopy with which to build day nests. There are many natural vines on which they can climb or play. There is also cleared ground space along the pathway to the back if they feel they want to lie down or move along the ground. Most of the orang-utans spend the day right by the water and have the freedom to quench their thirst any time they choose.

Nest building and object manipulation

All the orang-utans build nests in the trees at a height of about 15 m from the ground. Most of the nests are located in V-shaped crooks between the branches or just midway out on the canopy. They start by breaking branches that surround them and pulling them up into the area where they are sitting, then work around themselves, weaving the branches. When they have a semi-firm outer rim, they start to pull branches in further, stand up and place branches directly below them. They also break off branches and bring them up into the nests for added comfort. They also reuse their nests and just add more fresh branches and leaves when they come back to them. They do of course damage the vegetation by this behaviour; they also often break branches and damage trees during locomotion and at times of aggressive interactions.

The orang-utans manipulate tools and use sticks as props to move the electric wires in an attempt to slip under the fence and escape. Honey, a young adult female, tries to escape like this at least six or eight times a day. The most practised way of manipulating the fence is to sit near it, pick up a stick at random and push up on the wire, and put the other end of the stick on the ground propping the wire high. This method does not usually work because the sticks are too short. The other method is to pick up longer thin, vine-like branches and wrap them around two or more of the wires, lifting them off the ground. This method seems to work better, but takes more dedication – a longer time and more sticks are needed.

Mike, an adult male, likes to manipulate a different type of fence. The removable fence at the back of the exhibit is a 4.5 m long pole with 1.5 m wires hanging down from it. Mike generally uses a number of sticks of different sizes to lift the wires and places them so that they are resting on top of the pole. He clears an area of wires large enough to fit his body under the fence and crawl through avoiding an electric shock.

The persistent manipulator is Baboon, an adult female, who diligently concentrates on one area for several days; she eventually escapes from the exhibit and roams throughout the island. Usually she is left alone for a few days, but she returns to the exhibit when the carers offer her food. No attempt is made to chemically immobilize the `escapees', and usually they return after a few days of roaming the island by themselves.

Semi-wild birth

Penggal, an adult female, is the only individual in the group who has never returned to the night den to sleep ever since she was released into the exhibit about a year ago. Instead, she stays out of doors all the time and builds a nest in trees every evening to sleep. She mated outside, and delivered an infant on the evening of 12 November 2001; she covered herself and her newborn infant with a gunny sack throughout the first night after the infant was born. She bit through the umbilical cord right after the birth without any veterinary assistance. For the first week, the mother was very protective of the infant, not wanting the carers to approach her. She eats a variety of natural food items available on the island, and in addition gets enough food – fruits and vegetables, milk, egg, vitamins and minerals – daily from the caretakers. The infant is suckling regularly with no signs of weakness, and is well cared for by the mother (as of March 2002). In order to minimize stress, the carers do not attempt to capture her, and it appears that she prefers to be left alone in the exhibit.

Importance of conservation education

Asia and the Pacific have 23% of the world's land area, but 58% of its people. Patterns of unsustainable resource use, deforestation and conflicting policies are already causing continued loss of biodiversity in Asia. Between 1991 and 1995, the world lost an average of 11.3 million ha of forest area annually, an area roughly the size of Cuba. Just seven countries – Bolivia, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Venezuela and Zaire – together accounted for 50% of the tropical forest loss within those five years (FAO, 1997). Being the only great ape in Asia, the orang-utan as a `flagship' species needs to be promoted actively to attract public attention and to generate protection for habitats that otherwise may go unnoticed. Thus, using the Orang-utan Island to educate the public on the importance of conservation of orang-utans is not only important but also absolutely necessary.

Future release of orang-utans on the island

Although the ten orang-utans are confined in a small area on the island, the natural exhibit is larger than most zoo exhibits. Visitors to the island return with the satisfaction of viewing orang-utans at close range in naturalistic rainforest habitat. However, the island's carers have a lot to worry about. The apes tend to destroy much of the natural vegetation. It is easy to see how the orang-utans denuded the trees in exhibit 1 within a year. As a consequence, the group has to be moved to a new area at least once in two years.

In order to reduce damage to the vegetation, the project managers plan to release the orang-utans to range freely over the entire island in the near future, following the model previously developed for releasing rehabilitated chimpanzees onto uninhabited islands in Africa (Agoramoorthy and Hsu, 1999). Similarly, rehabilitated orang-utans are known to free-range in natural forest areas in Borneo where tourists view them at close quarters (Agoramoorthy and Hsu, 2001). Permanent feeding stations can be established on the edge of the island where the animals can come and get their supplemental feeding once or twice during the day. Visitors will be able to view them at the feeding areas and also while cruising around the island on a boat. Food items can be provided at dusk near the night dens in order to encourage those animals that still want to use their sleeping facilities at night. Trained carers will walk on the island to monitor the orang-utans' behaviour, health, feeding, ranging patterns and habitat use. Ideally, this could be used as a model showing how to display orang-utans in the future. Groups like this, in semi-captive/semi-wild environments on large natural islands, could play a part locally, regionally and globally in promoting conservation and education, and above all, in giving the maximum possible freedom to one of our closest relatives.


I thank Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal (Chairman) and K. Mohanachandran (Chief Operating Officer) for their generous hospitality, and for their keen interest in the conservation and care of orang-utans in Malaysia.


Agoramoorthy, G. (1998): Status of orang-utans Pongo pygmaeus ssp in Taiwan. International Zoo Yearbook 36: 118–122.

Agoramoorthy, G., and Hsu, M.J. (1999): Rehabilitation and release of chimpanzees on a natural island. Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation 22: 3–7.

Agoramoorthy, G., and Hsu, M.J. (2001): Rehabilitation and rescue center. In Encyclopedia of the World's Zoos (ed. C. Bell), pp. 1052–1053. Fitzroy Dearborn, Chicago.

Carpenter, C.R. (1959): History of the monkey colony of Cayo Santiago. Transcript of lecture given at the University of Puerto Rico Medical School, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

FAO (1997): State of the World's Forests 1997. FAO Publications, Rome.

Galdikas, B.M.F. (1995): Reflections of Eden: My Years with the Orangutans of Borneo. Little, Brown and Co., Boston.

IUCN (2000): IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Kuznik, F. (1997). How to be an orang-utan. International Wildlife (Jan.–Feb.), 40–44.

Dr G. Agoramoorthy, Sun Yat-sen University, P.O. Box 59-157, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan (E-mail:

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Hornbills are fascinating birds which need the special attention of zoos and private breeders, as many species are threatened by the destruction of their living space, especially in the tropical rainforests of South-east Asia. However, the future of hornbills in captivity seems uncertain, for although most species are long-lived, breeding is very poor and despite the international and regional studbooks and cooperative breeding programmes we are far from achieving self-sustaining captive populations. In this paper I will give a review of the development of hornbill-keeping in some European countries in 2001. The review is not exhaustive, as I did not receive information from all keepers of hornbills, but it does record some highlights and most notable breeding results.

As reported earlier (Strehlow, 2001), some African hornbill species have been imported into Europe during recent years which had not previously been exhibited for a long time. Black-casqued wattled hornbills (Ceratogymna atrata), yellow-casqued wattled hornbills (C. elata) and long-tailed hornbills (Tockus a. albocristatus) arrived in greater numbers and are shown in some collections. As far as I know none of these species had bred by the end of 2001. In the mean time, moreover, some of the birds had died, which shows the difficulties holders have with such species, whose management is not known in detail and who are stressed by capture and transport. Some pairs of these interesting species still survive, however, so maybe we will see some breeding results during 2002. At Berlin Zoo the long-tailed hornbills were kept in the large African aviary together with lesser flamingo, hammerkop, Abdim's stork, green wood hoopoe and some other species. It was a marvellous sight to see the long-tailed hornbills flying around in this large aviary; but unfortunately the female died at the end of 2001. A new pair is being kept in a small aviary where oriental pied hornbills (Anthracoceros a. albirostris) bred some years ago. This pair showed some breeding activity in March 2002, with mutual feeding and the male visiting the nest hole, but nothing had happened by the time of writing (mid-April).

Ground hornbills

I have not heard of any ground hornbills breeding in 2001. Only one pair of northern ground hornbills (Bucorvus abyssinicus) was sexually active. This pair, at Schönbrunn Zoo, Austria, which fledged two males in 2000, started mating again at the end of the year with the result of a chick hatching on 24 January 2002 (R. Pfistermüller, pers. comm.).

Tockus species

Although most of these species from the dry savannahs of Africa seem to breed easily, the number of species and specimens bred in captivity each year is low. At Niendorf Bird Park, Timmendorfer Strand, Germany, two species bred in 2001. The African grey hornbills (Tockus nasutus) had the usual high number of young with five fledglings; as far as I know there was no second attempt at breeding during the year. African grey hornbills also bred at a private collection in Dodewaard, the Netherlands. Here the female was sealed in from 30 May until 21 August, and two young fledged (H. Bataille, pers. comm.). At Niendorf a pair of southern yellow-billed hornbills (T. leucomelas) arrived in 2001 and soon started breeding, resulting in three young. In Germany this species has only bred previously at Vogelpark Walsrode and Tierpark Berlin, once in each collection. It may be of interest to mention that the old male at Tierpark Berlin, who hatched in 1979 at San Diego Wild Animal Park (Strehlow, 2001), was still alive at the beginning of 2002 and extends the known longevity of this species. [He was alive at the end of June (B. Blaszkiewitz, pers. comm.) – Ed.]

Since 2000 Tierpark Berlin has kept a pair of the similar eastern yellow-billed hornbill (Tockus flavirostris). They live in the Alfred Brehm House in the aviary where the southern yellow-billed hornbills lived before. The pair started breeding in 2001 and were very successful, with two broods and altogether six offspring (Kaiser, 2002). The first two young hatched in May, and on 15 September the first chick of the second clutch left the breeding hole, followed two days later by a second and another two days later by a third chick. A fourth emerged after a further four days. This is the first successful breeding in a German zoo; only private breeders have been successful with this species before in Germany.

At Dodewaard the same species had two broods with altogether seven young. The female first sealed in on 17 May and left the cavity on 12 July. Then, interestingly, she sealed in again on 25 July, when the young birds were still in the nest hole. The young left the hole between 1 and 12 August. On 20 September the female emerged again, followed by three chicks between 16 and 24 October (H. Bataille, pers. comm.). With an incubation time of 68 days (Kemp, 1995), the first egg of the second clutch must have been laid when at least the youngest chick of the previous brood was still inside the nest hole.

Maybe the most important success with Tockus was the successful rearing of two African pied hornbills, a species which to my knowledge has not bred before in captivity. Vogelpark Heppenheim has owned a pair of Upper Guinea pied hornbills (Tockus fasciatus semifasciatus) for some years, since at least 1996. In 2001 for the first time two young hatched and were reared. Mr Teckentrup, the owner of the collection, will be publishing the results in a German paper, perhaps Die Gefiederte Welt.

Asian pied hornbills

All three species and subspecies which are kept in Germany and the Netherlands bred. Two species bred at Vogelpark Irgenöd at the small town of Ortenburg, with one species successful but the other only partially successful. Irgenöd has bred Sunda pied hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris convexus) for many years, and in 2001 again a chick fledged. The black hornbills (A. malayanus) also bred, but the two young died after 90 days (E. Schobesberger, pers. comm.). At Gettorf Zoo the female black hornbill sealed in, but she left the hole after a month (G. Thomas, pers. comm.). When I visited Gettorf in April 2002 the pair were showing some breeding activity, with the female sometimes sitting inside the nesting cavity and sealing the entrance a little, and some feeding from the male, but she left after a short time. At Tierpark Eberswalde the black hornbills bred again, as far as I know, but it was impossible to get any information about this continuing success. Also, at Dodewaard, two young were reared successfully. Here the female sealed in on 9 May and left the hole on 11 August together with the first chick. The second followed one day later. The second oriental pied hornbill subspecies, the Asian pied hornbill (Anthracoceros a. albirostris) was successfully reared at Vogelpark Heppenheim (R. Teckentrup, pers. comm.).

Buceros species

During 2000 two collections bred great hornbills (Buceros bicornis). One of them was Vogelpark Niendorf, and we hoped that this success would continue. In 2001 the female sealed in again, but she left the nest after three weeks in a very poor condition. Fortunately, after some weeks she recovered under the care of the park's director, Klaus Langfeldt, but no further breeding attempt followed. So we must wait and see what happens in 2002. In some other collections females started to seal in, but escaped from their voluntary prison without any signs of young or eggs.

Rhinoceros hornbills (Buceros rhinoceros) have not been very successful either. The European studbook keeper, Stephan Hübner, told me that he knows of only one chick, at Chleby Zoo (Czech Republic). I do not know this collection and they are not mentioned in the International Zoo Yearbook, but nevertheless they will be participating in the ESB for rhinoceros hornbills. At present we do not know which subspecies they have in Chleby (S. Hübner, pers. comm.). As the deadline for the ESB is 1 April, Mr Hübner has been hoping that some more collections would report breeding success – maybe Jardin d'Oiseaux Tropicaux (La Londe, France), which bred this species for many years.

The rhinoceros hornbills who were kept and bred at Ornis Mallorca (Strehlow, 2002, p. 85) have now been distributed to various European zoos. Two pairs are still kept in Germany, one at Walsrode and the other at Niendorf.

Some collections reported sealing-in of the females, but without success. At Berlin Zoo a pair live in a kind of `armistice', with very few interactions between the two.

Penelopides species

As far as I know no breeding took place in Europe. The status of most of the birds which belong to the former P. panini group is still unclear. Only very few birds are of wild origin, and it would be very desirable to bring them together. The most noteworthy event was the import of a pair of South Sulawesi tarictic hornbills (P. exarhatus sanfordi) from San Diego to Walsrode.

Aceros species

After many years Walsrode again bred white-crowned hornbills (Aceros comatus) (Anon., 2001). One young hatched but died later. This could be the beginning of new breeding of this attractive species, as Walsrode owns a second pair too.

More successful was the reproduction of Sulawesi wrinkled hornbills (A. cassidix). The established pair at Raritätenzoo Ebbs in Austria bred again, and a second pair there produced their first chick, so that the result for the year was two young (Bihler, 2001).

Sunda wrinkled hornbills (A. corrugatus) bred in at least two collections, at Burgers' Zoo, Arnhem, where the young died, and at Dodewaard. The female sealed in here on 30 July and left the nest on 6 November, followed by a single chick one day later (H. Bataille, pers. comm.). Heidelberg Zoo is hoping to pair this species by giving the birds the opportunity to select their own mates. This is not easy to arrange, as there is a shortage of males in Europe. So it was only during the last year that they got two males, both hatched at Birdpark Avifauna, Alphen, and could start with the pairings. Signs are good that the older male will select a mate (S. Reichler, pers. comm.).

Blyth's hornbills (A. plicatus) have bred in Great Britain again, and for the first time reared their young successfully at Paignton Zoo. An interesting report on this has been published in the Avicultural Magazine (Gregson, 2001)

As well as some good results, wreathed hornbills (A. undulatus) have had some setbacks recently. In at least two collections, Rotterdam and Gettorf, they bred and reared single chicks. At Rotterdam a second chick died. The worst setback took place at Gettorf. During 2001 the female showed some aggression against the male, but the pair mated and a chick hatched. However, the male did not feed his sealed-in family and the keeper had to do the job for him. Nevertheless, the chick fledged. In 2002 the female showed the same aggression, and once became so agitated that she fought fiercely against the male. The keepers tried to save him, but after some weeks he died (G. Thomas, pers. comm.). Gettorf now owns the breeding female and some offspring. They are trying to exchange the young birds for unrelated ones, but by April 2002 they had not succeeded. The male at Berlin Zoo also died this year, leaving a lone female.

A surprising development was the establishment of an EEP for the Mindanao writhed hornbill (Aceros leucocephalus). As far as I know this species is very rare in Europe and has never bred, at least in Central Europe. Maybe with a cooperative programme established European zoos will keep and breed this attractive species in larger numbers, especially as the forests in Mindanao are vanishing.

Ceratogymna species

Of the three Ceratogymna species which have bred in captivity, only trumpeter hornbills (C. bucinator) were successful during 2001. In two collections three birds hatched and fledged. The physiological research on trumpeter hornbills at Frankfurt University (Strehlow, 2001, p. 82) is nearly finished and the birds will go to other collections. The results will be published and a meeting on hornbill biology is planned by Stephan Hübner during December 2002. The piping hornbill (C. fistulator) seems to be the rarest in European collections. I was unable to find out whether it is still kept at Guinate Tropical Park, Lanzarote, which acquired a pair in 1996. I only know of a private breeder in Germany who has a pair of this species. Because many zoos prefer to exhibit Asian hornbills, it is difficult to find new keepers for some Ceratogymna species. We know that most species of Asian hornbills are in danger of extinction. The status of most African species is not known, but there too logging and deforestation are destroying the habitats of hornbills.


This review gives only a partial picture of the breeding of hornbills in Europe. Maybe some more information will arrive during the year. But it shows that despite some breeding success – with a possible `world first' – the populations of the different species are far from self-sufficient. Much more research in zoos and in the birds' homelands needs to be done to understand the biology of hornbills and to learn how to manage them in the long term, not to speak about reintroductions. Our knowledge is still insufficient even to develop management guidelines which can help us to fulfil this task.


I want to thank all who supported my interest in hornbills by giving me information from their collections.


Anon. (2001): Neues aus dem Vogelpark Walsrode. Gefiederte Welt 125: 323.

Bihler, G. (2001): Notizen zur Helmhornvogelzucht. Gefiederte Welt 125: 424–425.

Gregson, J.: Breeding the Papuan wreathed hornbill Aceros plicatus at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, England. Avicultural Magazine 107 (4), 165–166.

Kaiser, M. (2002): Kinderreiche Familie im Tierpark Berlin. Gefiederte Welt 126: 32.

Kemp, A. (1995): The Hornbills: Bucerotiformes. Oxford University Press.

Strehlow, H. (2001): Hornbills in zoos – a review. Int. Zoo News 48 (2): 78-103.

Strehlow, H. (2002): A visit to the island of Mallorca. Int. Zoo News 49 (2): 82-85.

Dr. Harro Strehlow, Meierottostrasse 5, 10719 Berlin, Germany (E-mail:

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When S.S. Flower visited the zoological garden of Madras in 1913, he saw a female Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) which had been in the collection for the past 14 years (Flower, 1914). No other traces of this animal have been found until now – hardly surprisingly, because the history of Indian animal collections still has many lacunae, only slowly being filled (Walker, 2001). Formed as the nucleus of the People's Park in Madras in 1855, the zoo in that large south Indian city (now officially known as Chennai) must have been thriving and popular for a while, rich enough to show a rhinoceros as well as an orang-utan. Further evidence about the rhinoceros has turned up in another unexpected source through the development by one of the present authors (H.C.) of a database devoted to rhinos called CARINO. It was found in a book about the life of John Hagenbeck written by Wilhelm Munnecke, which is one of a number of popular stories about the people who went to exotic places to catch animals for the firm of Hagenbeck in Hamburg. These books, rarely consulted by zoo historians, were listed and studied by Nigel Rothfels (1994). Munnecke's book of 1931 reads easily, but unfortunately it is tantalizingly devoid of detail.

John Hagenbeck (1866–1940) was the half-brother of the famous Carl Hagenbeck. John (pronounced `yone') was just 20 years old when he first visited Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1886, and he settled there in 1891. He started to catch animals and soon was able not only to expand the business, but also to buy a number of tea plantations. In the First World War all his property was repossessed and he had to flee to Germany, returning to Colombo a few years later. In the late 1920s he founded what are now the National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka. Like his younger brother Gustav, John was also among the most successful of European entrepreneurs staging ethnographic shows featuring exotic `natives' from South and South-East Asia during the first three decades of the last century (Dittrich and Rieke-Müller, 1998). He died in an internment camp shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War.

John Hagenbeck was active in the animal trade in Ceylon and India, and for some years he had a more or less permanent station on Sumatra. Munnecke writes about this only in very general terms, but apparently Hagenbeck's compound was located in the vicinity of Padang on Sumatra's west coast. In his book Kreuz und quer durch die indische Welt (`Here and there through the world of the Indies'), first published in 1922, Hagenbeck states that he has worked in Sumatra for the past 25 years, i.e. from 1898 onwards. Munnecke (1931: 70–73), without indications of time or place, tells how John Hagenbeck came across tracks of a rhinoceros in the jungle. He followed the animal with his local helpers and discovered that it was a mother with a young calf. In an unguarded moment the mother was shot, and Achmed, a local helper, immediately ran to it to secure the valuable horn (there is no mention of a second horn). First, however, the calf had to be retrieved, and a few hours later she was found standing next to the mother's carcass. She was kept in Hagenbeck's camp, and after three months he sold her, well nourished and perfectly tame, to the Zoological Gardens of Madras for a considerable sum of money (Munnecke, 1931: 73). The date of her arrival in Madras, calculated from Flower's remark as 1899 (cf. Rookmaaker, 1998), is not substantiated in this account, but it is within the possible range.

It is often difficult from available written evidence to state with certainty if a rhinoceros caught or seen in South-East Asian forests belonged to the Sumatran or the Javan species, because historically their ranges overlapped. The animals cannot be confused when they are observed carefully, but most people lucky enough ever to see a rhinoceros in the wild in those regions only catch glimpses lasting a minute or less. The presence or absence of the posterior horn in written accounts is generally inconclusive, because in the Sumatran rhinoceros this horn is often too small to be observed easily. Munnecke mentioned one horn only, so the animal could have been a Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus). There is no photograph in his book, nor any comment on the species question by Hagenbeck himself. We assume that Flower correctly identified the animal in the Madras Zoo and that it was in fact the same specimen. To avoid speculation without further evidence, we suggest that the Sumatran rhinoceros seen by Flower in 1913 in the zoological garden of Madras was caught by John Hagenbeck in the jungles near Padang on Sumatra in 1899, when it was less than one year old.

References and sources

Dittrich, L., and Rieke-Müller, A. (1998): Carl Hagenbeck (1844–1913) – Tierhandel und Schaustellungen im Deutschen Kaiserreich. Peter Lang, Frankfurt (Main).

Flower, S.S. (1914): Report on a Zoological Mission to India in 1913. Government of Egypt, Public Works Department, Cairo.

Hagenbeck, J. (1917): John Hagenbecks abenteuerliche Flucht aus Ceylon. Dresden.

Hagenbeck, J., and Ottmann, V. (1922): Fünfundzwanzig Jahre Ceylon: Erlebnisse und Abenteuer im Tropenparadis. Dresden.

Hagenbeck, J., and Ottmann, V. (1922): Kreuz und quer durch die indische Welt: Erlebnisse und Abenteuer in Vorder- und Hinterindien, Sumatra, Java und auf den Andamanen. Dresden.

Hagenbeck, J., and Ottmann, V. (1924): Südasiatische Fährten und Abenteuer: Erlebnisse in Britisch- und Holländisch-Indien, im Himalaya und Siam. Dresden.

Munnecke, W. (1931): Mit Hagenbeck im Dschungel. August Scherl, Berlin.

Rookmaaker, L.C. (1998): The Rhinoceros in Captivity. SPB Academic Publishing, The Hague.

Rothfels, N.T. (1994): `Bring 'em back alive: Carl Hagenbeck and exotic animal and people trades in Germany, 1848–1914'. Thesis, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Walker, S. (2001): Zoological gardens of India. In Zoo and Aquarium History: Ancient Animal Collections to Zoological Gardens (ed. V.N. Kisling, Jr.), pp. 251–294. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.

Please direct all correspondence to Kees Rookmaaker, Encyclopedia of the Rhinoceros, Chapelgate, St Neots Road, Dry Drayton, Cambridge CB3 8BE, U.K. (E-mail:

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The Calvin Nicholls Wildlife Complex is situated in the national botanical gardens in Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines, West Indies. The facility is managed by the Forestry Department to maintain a captive population of the St Vincent amazon parrot. The wildlife complex was named after Calvin Nicholls, a former director of the department who played a major role in developing forestry in St Vincent. It was originally built with funding support from several agencies including WWF, RARE Center for Tropical Conservation (Philadelphia), and Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust (now Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust). But in the 16 years that the complex has been in operation, no major maintenance work has been carried out (Richards, 2001).

The St Vincent amazon parrot (Amazona guildingii) is a very impressive aviary bird, measuring up to 41 cm in length. Although no subspecies are recognised, general plumage coloration is extremely variable with three distinct colour phases recognised – `green', `bronze-brown' and `orange'. The parrot is endemic to St Vincent and the current wild population is considered by the forestry department to number approximately 600 individuals (Fitzgerald Providence, pers. comm.). The Calvin Nicholls Wildlife Complex has been fairly successful in managing a captive population of the birds, and for several years now some breeding success has been achieved each year with at least one pair of adults successfully parent-rearing an offspring.

The complex plays a significant role in St Vincent, not only through the captive management of the country's national bird but also as a focal point for environmental and conservation education programmes. As part of a joint conservation programme initiated between the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in Barbados (Sweeney, 2001) and the Forestry Department in St Vincent to assess how the conservation management of the parrot and other endemic wildlife could be enhanced, the lack of maintenance and need for repair work at the complex facilities was highlighted as being of serious concern. The forestry department produced a project proposal in 2001 for structural renovations to be carried out; this was considered a priority, as structural problems were making the birds' housing damp and difficult to effectively clean and maintain.

Once the necessary renovation works had been detailed (Richards, 2001), funding for the project was provided by two organizations. The total budget was estimated in Eastern Caribbean dollars to be EC$28,423.20 (approximately US$10,000.00). Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary provided a total of US$7,000 and the Zoologische Gesellschaft für Arten- und Populationsschutz (ZGAP) in Munich provided a total of US$3,000 from the Fund for Endangered Parrots, which is administered by ZGAP. With funding identified and an itemized description of the work agreed, the forestry department obtained a series of estimates from several local contractors. Aviary repairs were started in March 2002 and took just over four weeks to complete.

The first and most pressing renovation work to be undertaken was structural repairs to the roofs of all the aviary buildings. The wooden supports of the old roofing had become rotten after 16 years without maintenance and so most of it needed to be replaced. So new rafters, galvanised roofing sheets and fascia boards were installed throughout.

The next clear priority was to renovate the floors and provide better drainage to prevent the aviaries from being continually damp through the annual rainy season. The old aviary floors had over the years become cracked and damaged, compounded by the fact that they did not drain effectively. This led to problems including dampness, algal discoloration and the potential danger of concrete fragments being ingested by the parrots. Now, all the aviary floors have been resurfaced and given a stronger incline towards the drains. This has not only improved the visual appearance of the aviaries, but should also allow improved drainage and less dampness after rainfall or daily cleaning. The only aviaries not yet completed are the four breeding aviaries where a parrot chick is currently being reared. Work on these aviaries will be completed once the breeding season has finished. The exterior drains that carry water away from the aviaries were also in poor condition. These have therefore also been renovated by resurfacing and by sinking them to create a more effective flow. Damp-proofing of retaining walls was also carried out where necessary.

While the main structure of the aviaries had stood up to wear and tear well over the past 16 years, the doors, being made of wood and covered with wire mesh to prevent chewing damage, were in need of replacement. New metal-frame doors have been fitted, which should better withstand close attention from the parrots. In the food preparation room, the external window frames that had become rotten were replaced. Also two large sink units were installed to improve the available cleaning and sterilization facilities.

The final renovation work in the current project will be the replacement of the old stand-off barrier fence that separates visitors from the aviaries. The old fence is in poor condition and will soon be replaced by a new strengthened fence.

The Calvin Nicholls Wildlife Complex has immense importance to the local community in St Vincent. As well as playing an important conservation role for the future of the national bird, it has a much wider significance. Being situated in the national botanical gardens, it provides both local residents and tourists to see St Vincent parrots up close. The birds stand as a symbol of the island's independence and unique biodiversity. The wildlife complex and botanical gardens are already frequently used as an outdoor classroom facility for groups of local school children, and there is enormous scope for the science education potential of the facility to be enhanced.

As a conservation resource the complex acts as a wildlife rehabilitation centre when required, as well as managing the captive population of the St Vincent parrot. While there are populations of the species existing outside its home country, there must be some concern that any possible future attempt to reinforce the wild population from zoo-bred stock carries with it the potential risk of introducing disease to the island and the wild population. The captive population at the wildlife complex is isolated from the many highly contagious diseases that exist in North American and European captive parrot populations, and so must be regarded as a much more important conservation resource. In addition, the fact that a captive population is managed within its endemic natural range has many advantages, including perfect adaptation to the local climate, synchronised breeding seasonality, and availability of wild food plants to be included in the diet of captive parrots being considered for release.

The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and the Fund for Endangered Parrots (administered by ZGAP) have gained great pleasure from being able to assist in the renovation of the aviaries at the wildlife complex, and feel that the improved management of the captive population there has a significant role to play in the overall conservation of the St Vincent parrot. Further improvements are already being planned and include improved educational graphics and husbandry equipment.


Richards, C. (2001): Calvin Nicholls Wildlife Complex Renovation: Project Estimate. Forestry Department, Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries, St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Sweeney, R.G. (2001): Development of a management plan for a captive population of St Vincent amazon parrots in Barbados. International Zoo News 48 (7): 430–436.

Roger G. Sweeney, Associate Director, Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, Worthing, Christ Church, Barbados.

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Ever since collections of animals were first opened for the public to enter, the zoo has been a place to which children are taken; and for many years now, growing numbers of zoos have become places to which groups of primary school children are taken for an educational out-of-school outing. The first zoo education department in the world was opened at the Bronx Zoo, New York, in 1929, and the first major European zoos to follow suit were London in 1958 and Frankfurt in 1960 (Schwammer, 2001). Increasingly, school visits have had defined educational foci. In practice, however, many of them resemble a family visit in terms of what observations are made and what is discussed.

My research comparing what primary school groups and family groups talked about at zoo animal exhibits showed that the content of the conversations was remarkably similar. Furthermore `science talk' was not happening amongst school parties, although aspects of science study are most often cited as the curriculum focus (Tunnicliffe, 1994). Both groups of visitors, primary school parties and families, do not look at the animals without bringing their own previous knowledge and experiences to the encounter. Moreover, the groups view each animal in isolation as a `one off', not relating it to other animals seen in the zoo, although they occasionally relate what they see to the mental model of an animal from home, such as their pet cat, or an exotic animal seen on holiday. For example, the following comment was made at a chameleon exhibit by one father to his friend as they took their small sons around: `That's a lizard, that there, do you remember the one that lived on the wall in Cyprus?'

Relating the structure and behaviour of other animals to humans is heard quite often; the more human-like the animal, the more likely such comments are to be heard. However, conversations are used to establish social relationships, and in the case of school groups may be used to share something in a `bonding dialogue' from which others not in the group are excluded.

Providing a task as a focus for looking at animals

The adults on a school visit, be they teachers, other helpers or parents, are expected to provide educational opportunities for children because the visit has educational objectives, although these are often forgotten as the groups look at the animals and make comments as families do. Also, in my experience, parents or other adults who take children to zoos welcome something which provides a focus on the animals. Labels may to some extent provide this focus, and many adults scan the label, then repeat the information to their charges. However, having something, a `tool' of some kind, to use which helps to find the animals or focus on some part of them encourages dialogue between visitors, making them talk more about what they see. I will illustrate the enhanced conversations by using what an extended family group – two three-year-old boys and two six-year-old girls, the mother of two of them and an adult friend – talked about when they visited London Zoo and used the `young zoologists' kits' which they had made in advance. They had the following conversation at a tamarin enclosure. (A similar group without the tools merely looked at the label, remarked that they could not see any animals, and moved on.)

Boy: `They're not in here.'

Adult friend: `Can't you see them in here?'

Mother: `They've been away. Use your tube!'

Girl [using her `zoo-tube' (see below)]: `I see a monkey! I see a monkey!'

Mother: `Really?'

Girl: `I see one.'

Adult friend: `Where?'

Girl: `In the bushes.'

Elementary school groups and families look at the animal and comment on obvious anatomical features such as the shape, colour and size (Tunnicliffe, 1995). However, their comments can be enhanced and extended through the use of observation tools, artefacts which assist observations. In the following dialogue coloured cards heightened the children's awareness of aspects of the animals:

Boy: `Look at that one!'

Girl: `Purple and pink!'

Girl 2: `Blue. That's my favourite colour!'

They may focus on the number of animals present, their legs, tails and faces, and the type of body covering, especially fluffy-looking fur. At a catfish:

Boy: `Look at that one!'

Mother: `Is it like any of your cards?'

Girl 1: `Look, there's a funny fish, there's black on white.'

Girl 2: `It's gone away, look at that one!'

Boy: `It looks like it's got legs on its mouth.'

At some reef fish:

Girl 1: `Look! I can see red and white fish and there's a red spot.'

Girl 2: `I can see a yellow fish and a white dust. There are quite a lot of the colours, aren't there?'

Girl 1: `Yes, they are many.'

Girl 2: `There's a little fish come on!'

Girl 1: `That's not orange, that's pink.'

Girl 2: `Yes, that's orange, the orange fish!'

Without cues for observation, elementary school groups and families do not make as many observations as did, for example, the girls in the above exchange. Visitors notice behaviour which occurs in front of them, but they neither seek particular structures in different animals, such as feet, head shape, ear-flaps or ear-drums, and thus establish patterns of occurrence, nor do they often look for different animals to find out how each of them, e.g., feeds or moves. Such structured, organised looking brings in an educational element instead of the everyday commentary which is all that occurs in the main. When I was at the Zoological Society of London, the everyday nature of the comments of these groups of visitors was apparent to me, but could we do anything?

The Young Zoologists' Kits

When I worked in zoos I designed a series of interactive activities which the children carried with them. Alongside the activities we wrote cue cards for the accompanying adults, so that they could initiate and participate knowledgeably in dialogue about the animals observed. The topics which we chose also provided effectively a tour or trial for the visitors, so that they walked around with a purpose rather than in a random meander depending on which way they happened to turn, or being drawn because there were a lot of people at an exhibit and they wanted to find out what was going on. The target audience is mainstream pupils between three and seven years old. High attainers will need less support if they learn how to observe, lower attainers need the support of artefacts for longer. Older pupils need to use and make their own identification keys to hone their skills of observation. Such cards and activities have been used very successfully in summer schools for teachers seeking re-accreditation in the U.S.A. but wanting courses which were different and applicable to their work with children.

Children will spontaneously observe the colour, pattern, shape and size of animals (Tunnicliffe, 1995), so we focused on these characteristics as well as developing their knowledge of animal kinds and associated language skills. One set of artefacts for observations is needed for about every four children, although having one set for each child can be advantageous.

The conversations reported in this article were made by Josephine and Frederick and their group. They went to the zoo with their mother and her friend and two other children of similar ages to them (six and three), and brought with them their young zoologists' kits, which they had made at home (with a little finishing-off by adults).

The kit

The tools for the kit (Tunnicliffe, 1991) are:

A cardboard tube – an `observer-scope' or `zoo-tube';

A magnifying sheet or hand lens (optional – Frederick and Josephine did not include these on this occasion);

A set of colour cards;

A set of pattern cards;

A toy farm animal;

A toy zoo animal;

A `touch and feel' card (this has samples of skins – furry, hairy and scaly – to provide first-hand experience of how these coverings feel); and

A map of the zoo.

Whilst groups could plan their own route, it is useful if the education department lists some of the animals relevant to the young zoologists' kit, such as: flamingos, lions, tigers, penguins, elephants, Children's Farm animals, reptiles and fish, zebras, camels and giraffes. It is also, in my experience, helpful to suggest that visitors might like to plan a route which visits these animals. Indeed, if you can provide a map with their locations marked, it is very useful for adults. Given to children, it is excellent for practice at map reading and wayfinding.

Talk before you visit

An introduction to the topic is important before children make their visits, and an ideal way to involve them is in making their own young zoologists' observation kits, which can incorporate designing and making skills, particularly if you challenge them to make their own container for their kit. Sometimes adults do end up finishing them off – as revealed in the following conversation:

Mother: `Show what you have in your kits.'

Boy: `I've got a hedgehog and an elephant.'

Girl: `I've got a monkey.'

Adult friend: `Do you know what to do with them?'

Mother: `Come on!'

Adult friend: `They are very nice. Who painted them?'

Mother: `Our friend!'

Adult friend: `She did say that when I phoned up.'

Topics for focus

The zoo visit is very much a language and literacy experience. So, before the visit, it is valuable to develop the relevant vocabulary for colour, pattern, shape and size. The elephants were observed by three-year-old Frederick. Elephants were his favourite animal. Frederick had his toy elephant in his hand. He announced, after looking at the real animals, that `They are the same.' Then the following dialogue took place:

Adult friend: `They are the same, are they?'

Frederick: `Yes!'

Adult friend: `What is the same?'

Frederick: `They are grey.'

Adult friend: `What does your toy feel like?'

Frederick: `Hard, rough.'

Adult friend: `What do you think the elephant would feel like? What has it got on its skin? Look at the top of its head.'

Frederick: `Hair.'

Adult friend: `What would that feel like – what have you got on your cards, any whiskers?'

Frederick: `Well, fur. Yes!'

Adult friend: `So that's right, isn't it, but what colour is it? Which card?'

Frederick: `Yes, that's a white one, that one.'



Children should know the names of colours and patterns – black, white, grey, brown, red, green, blue, yellow, pink, striped, spotted, rings, plain, patterned – so that they can use these words in their voiced observations, as in the following conversation:

Girl: `I can see something in his eyes!'

Adult friend: `Was the octopus the same colour when we first saw it?'

Girl: `Yes!'

Mother: `It's going to blue, can you see blue in the octopus? He's changing colour, can you see that?'

Girl: `He's going up.'

Adult friend: `What colour is it?'

Girl: `Brown.'


Develop the vocabulary for textures – hard, soft, dull, shiny, warm, cold, rough, smooth, soft, hairy, furry:

Girl: `They are pigs, they are both pigs!'

Frederick: `I want to go and touch animals.'

Girl: `They are bigger than my pig.'

Adult friend: `What about the surface of those pigs and yours?'

Girl: `This toy is so smooth.'

Adult friend: `What have they got on them?'

Girl: `Hair, they are not the same.'


Learn the words for different shapes and have shape cards. Match the shapes to those found in animals:

Adult friend: `What colours have we there?'

Girl 1: `White and brown and orange.'

Adult friend: `What shape is it?'

Girl 1: `Oval.'

Girl 2: `It's called a dragon fish.'

The two boys, both aged three, noticed the octopus and a starfish and talked about their shape in the following dialogue:

Boy 1: `Octopussy!'

Boy 2: `Starfish and an octopus.'

Boy 1: `Octopus.'

Adult friend: `What shape is the starfish?'

Boy 2 [looking at shapes]: `Star – this shape.'

Adult friend: `That's right.'

Pre-visit practice

Practise describing plain and patterned things in the classroom or at home, using colour words. Practise describing familiar items in the classroom or at home using these descriptive words. Introduce the children to the shapes and names of some of the animals they will see during their visit, especially the ones noted on the suggested route. Use toy animals, templates, jigsaws and books, as well as slides and videos, to introduce the animals.

Use pictures or toy models to refer to at exhibits when looking at real animals. The following exchange took place at the spider monkeys:

Adult friend: `How is it like your monkey and how it is different?'

Girl: `Colour.'

Adult friend: `What, the same?'

Girl: `No, black.' [The monkey model was light brown.]

Adult friend: `What about its tail?'

Girl: `About the same.'

Adult friend: `What do you think? Look at it.'

Girl: `That one is using it to wrap around the branch.'

Adult friend: `Is your monkey bigger than that one or smaller?'

Girl: `Smaller.'

Adult friend: `What about its hands and the ones of your monkey toy?'

Girl: `Smaller but the same – they look like our hands!'

Adult friend: `What about that face?'

Girl: `It looks the same, but that monkey is all black and I don't know the colour of its eyes. Ah, brown.'

Use the animal images in the kit to develop comparative language and hone the children's observation skills. E.g. at the diana monkeys:

Adult friend: `How is this one like your monkey?'

Girl: `It's bigger.'

Adult friend: `Is it the same colour?'

Girl: `No.'

Observation games

Try playing `I-spy' in the classroom – I-spy colours, I-spy shapes, I-spy patterns. Use your hand-clap as a time measure. `How many circles can you find between my hand-claps?' Play matching words to patterns, words to shapes. Practice with the children using a hand lens or magnifying sheet so that they know what it does. Look at print as a practice. They will look at their own skin as part of the zoo activity.

Time for active learning

Learning is an active process and requires effort on the part of the learner. The ideas encountered need consolidating and refining, and incorporating with those already held. Talking about the visit and what was seen is very important for both school groups and family groups. Children may notice and remark on something whilst at the zoo, but have forgotten all about it after a day or so unless they think and talk about it and build that information into their existing ideas about animals, for example by painting the patterns and shapes which they saw.

Observing animals needs time. Using the kits makes that time. The two girls were very intrigued watching the camels, in particular, once focused upon them through using their colour cards. The cards introduce children to the animals – they provide `permission', a rationale, to stand and look, in contrast to normal visitors who, if they stop, tend to have a pattern of `finding – naming – commenting on a feature or a behaviour – moving on'.

After the visit

Once back home or at school, make models of the animals which the children saw. Talk about the animal they liked best and ask them why. Which animal did they like least? Write an animal poem inside the outline shape of a particular animal, e.g. snake or elephant. Make a zoo collage. Plan and construct a model of the zoo. Make an animals touch tray with everyday things which feel like the touch and feel card.

The use of the kits brought about far more conversational content than would have been likely to occur otherwise. (I base this comment on my experience listening to many families at the same exhibits.) The children's mother also verified this observation. They are inveterate zoo-goers, but she agreed that the focus of the activities really helped the children to observe more than they had done previously.

Post-visit follow-up

Whilst we can note what is talked about at the zoo, it is also interesting to find out what things particularly stuck in the memories of the children once they had gone home. Talking over an experience is a very important part of the construction of understanding about the topic. Josephine said that her favourite fish was yellow and that there was `a colourful wall of fish' (i.e. the vertical glass fronts of the fish tanks). `Many fish,' she remembered, `are made up of triangles' – as, indeed, they are. She had found this out by holding her triangle shape up against the fish.

Three-year-old Frederick remarked that he liked the sharks best. He pronounced that they were funny and had snow at the bottom of their water (large white gravel!). Josephine, on the other hand, remembered that the sharks had strange noses. (At the actual exhibits she had commented about the nose of a swordfish, not the sharks.) She also remembered there were three elephants which were grey and had hairs on their skin and hay on their backs, although, as in the conversation reported above, the focus had been on Frederick at the elephant exhibit. In the children's farm the young zoologists were very taken by the colour of the pigs and camels, and matched their colours to their cards. Frederick remembered that the camels were `grey with long hair'. The goats were star hits, and the pigs were `making themselves all muddy and were all pink'. The hornbill was a great success because she was also called Josephine, so her details of colour were recalled. `Black and white', said Frederick. `And a yellow beak,' added Josephine.

This family were still talking about their zoo visit three months later, and this is more than they have talked about visits in the past, according to their mother. She felt the prolonged talk and discussion was because the children were more actively involved in making their own observations and actions. They were kept busy searching for things about which to comment and which related to the materials they had prepared at home and brought to use.

I have observed, too, that school groups who were equipped with such kits also made more comments about the animals and used one observation to compare with another. The use of the kits is firmly rooted in educational pedagogy and does enhance the visitor experience, so that they observe animals rather then just look. Try them and see!


Schwammer, G.V. (2001): Education: on-site programs. In Encyclopedia of the World's Zoos (ed. C. Bell), pp. 397–402. Fitzroy Dearborn, Chicago.

Tunnicliffe, S.D. (1991): Focusing observations. In AAZPA Annual Conference Proceedings, pp. 644.

Tunnicliffe, S.D. (1994): Why do teachers arrange to visit zoos with their students? International Zoo News 41 (5), 4–13.

Tunnicliffe, S.D.(1995): Talking about animals: studies of young children visiting zoos, a museum and a farm. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis. King's College, London.

Dr Sue Dale Tunnicliffe, Homerton College, Cambridge, and Institute of Education, London, U.K. (E-mail:

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HANDBOOK OF THE BIRDS OF THE WORLD: Volume 7 – JACAMARS TO WOODPECKERS edited by Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott and Jordi Sargatal. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, 2002. 613 pp., 70 colour plates, over 300 colour photos, hardback. ISBN 84–87334–37–7. £110.00 from specialist bookshops or directly from the publishers, Lynx Edicions, Montseny, 8, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain (Tel: +34–93–594–7710; Fax: +34–93–592–0969; E-mail:; Internet: (For prices in other currencies please check with the publishers.)

A friend of mine, a lifelong zoo enthusiast who was always a self-proclaimed `mammal man', recently told me that he had signed on to Lynx Edicions' instalment plan to buy the first seven volumes of the Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW). On my expressing surprise at this uncharacteristic behaviour, he explained that the barrage of praise from reviewers (myself included) had finally convinced him that this was something too good to miss. He has not been disappointed – having received his first two volumes, he commented in tones of mild astonishment that birds were `just as interesting as mammals.' To those of us who hailed the first volume as marking a new epoch in ornithological publishing, and have greeted each of its successors with growing wonder and delight, this may look like stating the obvious. But we were the Handbook's natural fan-club: the fact that it can bring about a road-to-Damascus conversion of people not initially predisposed in its favour is, in a way, an even more convincing proof of its excellence.

Volume 7 covers six families, Jacamars, Puffbirds, Barbets, Toucans, Honeyguides and Woodpeckers, with respectively 18, 35, 82, 34, 17 and 216 species. As always, I find that much of the pleasure of HBW comes from finding out how much I didn't know. In the case of the jacamars and puffbirds, this means almost everything about them – perhaps to some extent understandably, since these exclusively neotropical families are very seldom found in zoos. (Jacamars, it appears, are fairly conspicuous in their native regions, but I find some consolation for my ignorance in the fact that puffbirds are described as `relatively little known'!) With toucans, barbets and woodpeckers, of course, the regular zoo-goer is on more familiar territory, though the diversity and wide distribution of the latter two families mean that few collections can claim to exhibit a representative sample of species. As for honeyguides, well, I previously knew only one fact about them – that some of them lead ratels to bees' nests – and this, I was disappointed to learn, isn't necessarily so. The species concerned, the greater honeyguide (Indicator indicator), may do this, but `there appears to be little real evidence to support such claims.' It really does, though – and apparently deliberately – guide human beings to nests, and is traditionally rewarded with a chunk of the honeycomb. (Surprisingly, wax rather than honey or larvae is the bee product which features largely in the bird's diet.)

Honeyguides are interesting in plenty of other ways – for example, all species so far studied in detail are `brood parasites', i.e. their eggs are laid and their chicks reared in the nests of other species (typically but not exclusively barbets). But I must avoid the temptation to fill this review with information I've acquired from the book before me. Even the most expert professional ornithologist couldn't fail to learn something new from any page of any volume of the Handbook. And as the series has continued, the information provided has become ever more comprehensive. I mentioned in my review of the previous volume (I.Z.N. 48 (4), 248–9) that the editors were consulting their readers before deciding between two options – to restrict coverage in order to keep the complete Handbook to the previously projected 12 volumes, or to continue the recent trend towards fuller treatment and so extend the series to 16. The fact that, of almost 3,000 replies, 93% favoured the latter option renders my individual praise virtually redundant – when your readers are that supportive, who needs reviewers?

Each of the last few volumes of HBW has included as a Foreword an extended essay on some general topic of ornithological relevance. This useful custom continues in Volume 7, for which Errol Fuller has contributed an authoritative 58-page account of Extinct Birds (extinct, that is, since the traditional cut-off date of 1600). These are big pages, remember, so this is practically a book in itself, full of the melancholy fascination the topic always evokes. There is, of course, a grey area – Fuller mentions several species which re-appeared after being officially `extinct' for 50 or 100 years, and the jury is still out on a number of the birds he includes. (In the case of the imperial and ivory-billed woodpeckers, he refers readers to their entries in the main body of the book, though both he and the authors of the species accounts admit that both birds are probably extinct.) A final section on `Hypothetical Species and Mystery Birds' ventures briefly into the territory of the cryptozoologists.

Enthusiasts for modern information technology have been predicting the `death of the book' for many years, without being able to point to any real evidence that this death is imminent. The Handbook offers a convincing argument to the contrary. A CD or website could conceivably contain as much information as HBW – though no currently available CD or website does – but no computer technology that I'm aware of can yet offer the convenience, pleasure in use and ease of access of a well-designed book. Books, I suspect, are here to stay; and none more so than the Handbook of the Birds of the World, for not merely are the individual volumes built to last, with bindings, paper and print quality to match the finest collectors' editions of the past, but the publishers plan to keep the Handbook up to date in a way seldom attempted before in any work of reference. After Volume 16 is published – in, at a guess, 2010 or thereabouts – they intend to issue a series of supplements including all relevant information published, and any species or subspecies discovered, too recently to have appeared in the original volumes. There seems to be no good reason why this updating process should not continue indefinitely. It's something of a reviewer's cliché to say that some book `must not be missed'; but for anyone with a serious interest in birds, or in zoology in general, HBW is as near to being an essential purchase as can be imagined. When I reviewed the first volume, back in 1993, I urged readers to start saving to buy the complete series. If you've missed out so far, it isn't too late – the publishers offer a number of ways of spreading the cost. Like the friend I mentioned at the start of this review, you won't regret your decision.

Nicholas Gould

GREAT APES AND HUMANS: THE ETHICS OF COEXISTENCE edited by Benjamin B. Beck, Tara S. Stoinski, Michael Hutchins, Terry L. Maple, Bryan Norton, Andrew Rowan, Elizabeth F. Stevens and Arnold Arluke. Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001. xxiv + 388 pp., hardback. ISBN 1–56098–969–6. $34.95.

The origins of this book go back a number of years. In The Great Ape Project (P. Cavalieri and P. Singer, 1993), the suggestion was made that the great apes (gorillas, bonobos, chimpanzees and orang-utans) should be classified with humans in the genus Homo, and thus be entitled to the same rights as humans – specifically that they should not be harmed, killed, or held captive without cause. This revolutionary idea would clearly make the ethical justification for great ape exhibits in zoos appear very shaky (some of the implications were discussed by Angela Glatston in I.Z.N. 43 (4), 1996, pp. 228–231). In response, the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) convened a workshop (held in June 1998) bringing together experts in ape biology, conservation, protection, research and exhibition, as well as in ethical, legal and moral issues, to consider the underlying assumptions and conclusions of the project. Great Apes and Humans: the Ethics of Coexistence grew out of that workshop.

Unsurprisingly, neither the workshop nor the book has achieved a consensus on the project's declarations. The contributors to Great Apes and Humans are, of course, united in their opposition to the bushmeat trade and the destruction of natural ape habitats, the use of apes as pets or entertainers, and the inflicting of pain or humiliation on apes in any context. But the book as a whole is best viewed as one chapter in a continuing debate on human–ape relations in the widest sense.

Great Apes and Humans covers a lot of ground. Following a foreword by Jane Goodall, whose observations of wild chimpanzees have done much to blur the earlier sharp distinction between people and apes, the book is divided into four sections: Great Apes in the Wild, Great Apes in Captivity, History and Evolution, and Ethics, Morality and Law. Section 1 starts with a chapter (the longest in the book) about the taxonomy, distribution and status of African apes by Thomas Butynski of Zoo Atlanta. Despite some eccentricity of nomenclature (he uses the terms `robust chimpanzee' and `gracile chimpanzee' for the two Pan species), this is an excellent, authoritative survey, and includes some very detailed distribution maps. The next chapter, on orang-utan conservation, is more polemical: Herman Rijksen believes that rehabilitation of confiscated orangs is a failed strategy – projects which should work to phase out their own existence have instead turned into `self-perpetuating circuses'. More generally, he takes a cynical view of the politically correct stance of many international conservation agencies: `Rather than promoting effective birth control and good governance, they have sought to include the boundless desires and aspirations of an exponentially growing mass of poor local ``stakeholders'' in their considerations. As a consequence they are committed to integrate local participation and socioeconomic development into their ``ecosystem approach'', even within protected areas.' This makes uncomfortable reading, but maybe someone needed to say it. The following two chapters on the bushmeat crisis can only increase the reader's gloom. We must all share the blame: by their funding for infrastructure projects, the World Bank and the E.U. have enhanced the ease and profitability of logging in West and Central Africa, thereby indirectly contributing greatly to the slaughter of apes for food. This is not, incidentally, a matter of starving people desperately searching for anything to eat: according to David Wilkie of the Wildlife Conservation Society, residents of the Congo basin eat at least as much meat as the inhabitants of northern industrial countries – nearly all of it obtained from the wild.

Section 2, Great Apes in Captivity, has only one shortish chapter specifically discussing zoos. Its authors, however, raise some provocative points – for example, they suggest that `most zoos tend to purposefully exclude information that may be distressing to the public', thus weakening their educational opportunities. The recent AZA and EAZA bushmeat campaigns may suggest that this is one lesson zoos are learning. Few, though, could plead innocent of some other charges. Despite the fact that visitor surveys suggest intelligence is the aspect of apes that they find most interesting, `only one American zoo exhibit, ``Think Tank'' at the National Zoo, specifically addresses ape intelligence. Similarly, the public repeatedly demonstrates interest in the similarities between humans and animals, particularly the great apes, in their spontaneous anthropomorphic comments . . . However, most zoos actively avoid anthropomorphism in their educational messages.' Other chapters in this section discuss sanctuaries for orphaned or confiscated apes, and the retirement of research apes – a bigger problem than I had realised, with approximately 1,500 chimpanzees in U.S. scientific institutions, many of them now surplus to requirements, and perhaps 300 of them with the potential to transmit zoonotic diseases. (Most of these animals, I should add, are currently housed in social groups in acceptable, enriched environments.)

In Section 3, History and Evolution, Raymond Corbey traces the history of human attitudes to man–ape relationships. I was surprised to learn that Linnaeus anticipated the Great Ape Project by including a non-human primate (whether chimp or orang is uncertain) in the genus Homo. This decision was, of course, based solely on anatomical similarity; as a traditionalist Christian, Linnaeus would have been shocked by the suggestion of a genetic link. That idea had to wait for Darwin, a century later. And another century passed before increased knowledge of apes in the wild promoted a view of them as `noble savages' rather than monstrous, subhuman beasts. Another contributor, Roger Fouts, a scientist studying chimpanzee communication, warns us against confusing differences with defects: `Chimpanzees are not defective humans . . . They are perfectly fine chimpanzees, and they have millions of years of survival to prove it.' Moreover, he argues, the difference between us and them is not absolute, but a matter of degree.

The fourth section, Ethics, Morality and Law, is the longest in the book, and also the most difficult to summarise. Contributors from various disciplines review the current moral and legal status of great apes, and consider how the animals' cognitive skills affect these issues. One obvious problem for the advocates of the Project is how to reconcile the rights of individual apes with the actions necessary to conserve the species to which they belong. One of those advocates, Paul Waldau, admits that captivity may be necessary as a crisis measure, but that this `in no way validates captivity in general.' Nor will he concede that such lesser-evil captivity can be used to support a right to exhibit animals – `The best interests of the individuals . . . might involve nonpublic sanctuaries.' Even leaving aside the question of how such sanctuaries could survive in the absence of public participation and, hence, financial support, I fail to see any ethical necessity to keep captive-breeding groups of animals out of public view. (There may, of course, be practical reasons with some species – but not, I think, with great apes, who seem in general to flourish and breed well in the environment provided by good zoos.)

I have, I hope, said enough to show that Great Apes and Humans is required reading for anyone professionally involved with, or seriously interested in, these animals. One thought remains to bother me – Why just apes? Roger Fouts's argument that the difference between humans and apes is a matter of degree applies equally to the difference between us and elephants, or parrots, or tortoises. The dividing line, wherever we choose to draw it, is an arbitrary one. But a full discussion of that point would be a topic for a different book than this one.

Nicholas Gould

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Spanish government plan to save Iberian lynx

On 27 March the Spanish government announced a US$7 million plan to save the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), the most endangered cat species, which is now thought to number fewer than 300 in the wild. The aim is to raise lynxes in captivity, and to protect the mountainous scrubland refuges in central and south-western Spain where the wild survivors live in heavily fragmented habitat. Only five (0.5) of the cats are currently in captivity and there has been no breeding.

Ten years ago the lynx, once found throughout the Iberian peninsula, was estimated to have declined to 1,200 animals in south-western Spain, with a few in Portugal. The decline is attributed to a crash in the population of its main prey, the rabbit, due to the introduced virus myxomatosis, followed by viral haemorrhagic fever. Weighing 10–13 kg, the Iberian lynx is little more than half the size of the Eurasian species (L. lynx) and more heavily spotted.

The plan, which involves cooperation with non-governmental organisations such as WWF, aims to improve access to water for the scattered populations, as well as removing man-made obstacles to movement. such as roads. An increase in road networks in Spain and improvements that have led to faster-moving traffic have led to many deaths of lynx as they crossed. A few days after the announcement, two were killed on roads close to the Doñana National Park, near Seville, one of the species' last sanctuaries.

As part of the plan, the Environment Ministry will help to finance a project to raise lynx cubs in captivity at Jerez Zoo. Inigo Sánchez, the zoo's director, is seeking 12 healthy animals to initiate an effective breeding programme. Two female kittens have been captured, but no males are available at present. Last year a third female was found close to death in Doñana and brought to the zoo. Although initially not expected to survive, she now weighs 9 kg, and has been moved to the El Acebuche Centre in Doñana, home to two ageing female lynxes who may now be past reproduction.

Cat News (IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group) No. 36 (Spring 2002)

Genetic diversity in giant pandas

Even though there are only about 1,000 giant pandas left, a comprehensive genetic analysis of three wild populations has shown that they still have enough genetic diversity to recover. The species once lived in forests from China to northern Burma and Vietnam, but is now restricted to six alpine forest fragments in the rugged mountain ranges along the Tibetan plateau in western China. The remaining pandas are divided into c. 25 populations, some consisting of fewer than 20 individuals. Analysis of the genetic variation in three of these populations showed that the giant panda has moderate genetic diversity compared to other carnivores, being comparable to the genetically healthy Serengeti lion population and far greater than the genetically compromised Asiatic lion or Florida panther. However, to stabilize the decline of this endangered species, ecological management to increase available habitat, population and gene flow is required.

Conservation Biology 15 (6), 1596–1607, reported in Oryx 36 (2), 108

Feathers for conservation

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), New York, has begun efforts to save rhinoceros and helmeted hornbills in the jungles of Sarawak, Malaysia. For two years, WCS has been collecting tail feathers from captive hornbills. They were shipped in late March to Sarawak, where officials distributed them to indigenous people for use in traditional headdresses and ceremonies. This will offset the need to hunt hornbills in the wild, whose populations have plummeted in recent years. WCS scientist Dr Elizabeth Bennett and the Bronx Zoo's curator of ornithology Christine Sheppard developed the innovative program, which included meeting with Sarawak's Council of Customs and Traditions to ensure that using feathers from zoo animals is culturally acceptable. Other zoos participating in the program include Audubon Park, Cincinnati Zoo, San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, Saint Louis Zoo, Sacramento Zoo, Toronto Zoo, Honolulu Zoo, Busch Gardens, Denver Zoo, Minnesota Zoo, Toledo Zoo, and Tracy Aviary.

AZA Communiqué (June 2002)

Assessing genetic variation contributes to conservation

Breeding rare and endangered species in captivity typically involves the careful selection of animals for mating. Organized programs of animal management designed to conserve the genetic capital of species (their gene pool) achieve their efficiencies of management and retention of genetic variation from designed breeding efforts that attempt to optimize the remaining genetic variation in a managed population of a given size. In most instances of captive propagation, identification of the parents of a given offspring are readily determined. There is a single male that can be the father and, typically, it is easy to identify the mother as she cares for her own offspring. Of course, there are many interesting exceptions, and for wild populations of animals, the situation becomes much more complicated. Also, some species have a higher breeding performance in larger social groups, and if there are multiple potential fathers, for example, then parentage – especially paternity – may be hard to assign.

Parents and their offspring have a defined genetic relationship. Each individual offspring receives half of its chromosomes (and its DNA) from each parent. Variation within the DNA of different individuals can be used for a variety of analyses, including parentage identification. The true parents of an individual must have the genetic characteristics (markers) that are present in the offspring. If the mother is known, then by comparison of markers, potential fathers can be qualified or excluded. Advances in the technology for identification and analysis of genetic variation make it increasingly feasible to undertake parentage testing in many endangered species that are part of zoo-based breeding efforts, and also for wild populations.

When the San Diego Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES) was founded in 1975, parentage analysis was rarely undertaken, although early efforts contributed crucial information for breeding programs, such as the identification of paternity in our bonobos by analysis of variation in chromosome structure. Currently, paternity analysis is finding increasing application, and requests from curators at San Diego Zoo, the Wild Animal Park, and many other zoos are received for assistance in identifying the true parents of an individual animal. These tests are now routinely performed using DNA testing procedures, most of which have been developed at CRES. We have studied bonobos, gorillas, orang-utans, lemurs, owl monkeys, langurs, black rhinos, Przewalski's horses, California condors and San Clemente Island loggerhead shrikes, among others. We look forward to confirming parentage of wild-hatched California condors, a technique that may be feasible by analyzing eggshell fragments obtained from nests after the chicks have fledged.

Accurate information for the genetic relationships of individuals assists in assessment of the viability of both captive and wild populations. Furthermore, understanding the relationship between the extent and distribution of available habitat with the retention of genetic variation is a crucial matter for protection of viable populations of wildlife and the recovery of endangered species.

Oliver A. Ryder in CRES Report (Summer 2002)

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The yellow-eared parrot in captivity

The critical status of the yellow-eared parrot (Ognorhynchus icterotis) is well-known (see, for example, I.Z.N. 49:2, pp. 99–100), but this is certainly not caused by the illegal animal trade. This trade has caused severe declines in a number of parrot species (e.g. red-fronted macaw, red-fronted conure, hyacinthine macaw, red-vented cockatoo, sulphur-crested cockatoo) and even the extinction in the wild of one species, Spix's macaw. (Paradoxically, these illegally captured Spix's macaws are now the only hope for the survival of the species!)

The yellow-eared parrot, however, has never been a subject of the animal trade, and I have only been able to find records of six birds which have been kept in captivity. Of these, four were kept as singles and the two which were housed together were of unknown sex and were kept at a time when breeding parrots was something virtually unheard of.

The six captive birds were as follows:

1871 – Two birds were kept by a certain Mr Kerniz in Stettin (now in Poland, at that time in Germany). It was noted that these two birds were extremely tame.

1965 – Two birds were separately imported into England. The history of one of them is completely unknown; the second bird was obtained – after being kept by an unknown number of persons – in 1976 by the well-known parrot expert George A. Smith. Later this same bird was sold – together with a Spix's macaw – to Birdpark Walsrode, Germany, where I was privileged to take care of it. Unfortunately at that time I was unaware of the rarity of this specimen, and I made hardly any observations on it. This bird died some time in the 1990s.

Mid-1970s – An aviculturist near Los Angeles, California, kept a single specimen.

Around 1980 – A Swiss aviculturist obtained a single specimen through an advertisement in an animal-dealers' publication!

As far as I am aware, none of these four `recently' kept animals is still alive. It is a real shame that no attempts were ever made to bring these birds together.

Maarten de Ruiter, Pr. Beatrixstraat 9, 4793 CV Fijnaart, the Netherlands (E-mail:

Leopard subspecies re-evaluated

A study conducted in the early 1990s, involving the use of molecular genetic methods and morphological measurements, recommended that the number of recognised leopard subspecies – at that time numbering 27 – should be reduced to eight [see I.Z.N. 44 (3), 160–161]. More recently, an analysis of mitochondrial DNA and microsatellites has broadly corroborated these earlier findings, revising the number to nine, including one African, Panthera p. pardus, and eight Asian subspecies: P. p. saxicolor (Central Asia), P. p. fusca (India), P. p. kotiya (Sri Lanka), P. p. melas (Java), P. p. orientalis (Russian Far East), P. p. japonensis (North China), P. p. delacouri (South China), and P. p. nimr (Arabia). The results also suggest that recent demographic reductions have probably led to genetic impoverishment in P. p. orientalis and P. p. kotiya. Such genetic investigations, coupled with ecological information, could aid in setting priorities and developing strategies for leopard subspecies conservation. [Three of the four subspecies in cooperative captive-breeding programmes are unaffected by these findings; but in the case of the fourth, P. p. saxicolor, the captive population consists exclusively of animals from northern Iran and adjacent areas, whereas the proposed changes would lump all Central Asian leopards under this name – Ed.]

Molecular Ecology 10 (2001), 2617–2633, reported in Oryx 36 (2), 105

Enrichment for the thinking invertebrate

Enrichment, already a practice with primates, marine mammals and other `higher' vertebrates, was extended to octopuses to pique the animals' intelligence and innate foraging skills, as well as to let visitors see them in sprawling, eight-armed action. At least ten AZA institutions have developed behavioral and environmental enrichment programs for these brainy cephalopods. Screw-top jars [see I.Z.N. 49 (2), 111–112] are among the simplest `prey puzzles' used to encourage octopuses' investigative hunting behavior. `It's the parlor trick that everyone's heard of,' says Mark Rehling, an aquarist who cares for giant Pacific octopuses (Enteroctopus dofleini) at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Ohio.

In the last three years Rehling has taken the lead in promoting and advancing octopus enrichment. He is the compiler of the Octopus Enrichment Notebook, a growing collection of reports on techniques and practices contributed by octopus keepers at institutions in North America, New Zealand and Africa. The notebook grew out of Rehling's experiments with modified pet toys and his own designs for prey puzzles, made from recycled acrylic filter boxes and leftover PVC tubing, that he tested and rated for octopus acceptance level, ease of construction, cost, durability, ease of retrieval, ease of preparation and capacity for presenting different sizes of food.

In each case, Rehling was trying to duplicate the challenges of hunting on a reef, where octopuses poke the tips of their arms into nooks and crannies, exploring for shrimps and mollusks. For example, his `roto-cylinder' requires the octopus to move rotating compartments, resembling a revolving door, in a cylindrical housing until the compartment containing the food aligns with an opening in the housing. This puzzle has been the most challenging for his animals, taking several minutes to figure out.

Devices that engage the animal don't necessarily take long to solve. Rehling designed a puzzle that required the octopus to lift a handle that would raise a door recessed in a cylinder that contains food. It took Rehling four hours to construct the puzzle. It took the octopus 16 seconds to solve it. The aquarist admits that it can be frustrating to be outwitted by his charges. `It's really easy for them to point out the design flaws,' he says. Puzzles designed for primates – or by aquarists – with jointed fingers and opposable thumbs pose little challenge to a rubbery-limbed invertebrate with suction cups. `You have to switch gears mentally,' Rehling says, to envision how the octopus is going to manipulate the puzzle.

Octopuses are not enriched by food alone. One of two common octopuses (Octopus vulgaris) at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo likes a large hamster ball less as a food puzzle than as something she can squeeze into to roll around her exhibit floor. The more gregarious of the two also enjoys human interactions. `Physical interaction is at her choice,' says head aquarist Jennifer Gray. `Nobody is allowed to approach her. But if she comes up and your arm is there, you're the toy of the day.'

The octopus at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland, has learned to climb into a floating laundry basket for medical exams, turning what could be a non-voluntary husbandry procedure into an enjoyable interaction. At Texas State Aquarium's current special exhibit `Oddysea', a giant Pacific octopus is on display with a toy chest full of plastic playthings, including pop beads, stacking rings and floating balls. `The idea of the exhibit,' says senior aquarist and exhibits coordinator Sally Hoke, `is to put what many people think of as weird animals in bizarre settings that actually illustrate the animals' natural adaptations and behaviors.' The toys were chosen for texture, shape and color and are rotated in and out of the exhibit. The octopus likes to pass a Waffle Ball up and down his arms. But his real favorite is Mr Potato Head. `He rips the arms and face off all the time,' says Hoke. `I think he's enriching the aquarist, who keeps coming up with different faces.'

Permanent exhibits, of course, strive to re-create an animal's natural environment. The more an animal can use its exhibit space in natural ways, the more enriching it is. Seattle Aquarium emphasizes environmental enrichment in all its animal habitats, and for the 95-pound [43-kg] giant Pacific octopus, that means living in grand style in a 3,000-gallon [11,000-liter] tank with rock caverns and other animals [see I.Z.N. 47 (5), 333–335]. `We provide natural companions that will get along with the octopus,' says curator Dr Roland Anderson. `Occasionally some of the fish disappear, but that's part of keeping these animals together.' He also noted that today's zoo and aquarium guests want to see animals in realistic settings engaging in natural behaviors. That was true when Shedd Aquarium's giant Pacific octopus captivated 1,800 people during a recent members event. `We gave him everything we had to play with, all stuffed with food,' says senior aquarist Ernie Sawyer, who was on hand to explain how the pickle jars in the exhibit related to hunting behavior. `He was out the whole evening opening things. There was always a crowd around him.' At Florida Aquarium, senior biologist Eric Hovland noted that during his play sessions with their 35-pound [16-kg] octopus, visitors mobbed the windows. `People are full of questions, and the next thing you know, they've learned something. It's at least as popular as our dive shows and our shark feeding.'

Enrichment has coaxed reclusive octopuses out of their caves and kept those eight agile arms occupied with prey, environmental features and even toys. Yet Seattle's Anderson points out that there is currently no way to measure if enrichment really does benefit the animals. `But the fact that an octopus is an intelligent animal leads us to believe that enrichment is necessary,' he adds. `No intelligent animal should be without enrichment.'

Adapted and abridged from Karen Furnweger in AZA Communiqué (June 2002)

Reproductive cycles in captive blood pythons

Proper timing of the reproductive cycle to assure mate access is critical to optimizing success in breeding blood pythons (Python curtus). D.F. DeNardo and K. Autumn (Copeia 2001 (4): 1138–1141) tested the importance of male presence on the progression of the female snake's reproductive cycle. Upon reaching sexual maturity, captive-born, individually raised virgin female pythons were housed with either a conspecific male or female. The reproductive condition of the females was monitored using ultrasonography. At the onset of the reproductive season (late autumn), all females initiated early follicular growth; however, only females housed with males initiated vitellogenesis, and these females ovulated and laid viable eggs. Females not housed with males showed arrested follicular development in that they maintained hydrated, non-vitellogenic follicles that underwent follicular regression after three months. The requirement for male presence prior to vitellogenesis is premature for fertilization, but assures the female of a mate prior to mobilizing substantial energy stores into reproduction. Once an energy investment is made, females commit to completing the cycle.

Summary reprinted from the Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society Vol. 37 (1): 13 (2002)

Seahorse husbandry manual

The John G. Shedd Aquarium announces the release of the first comprehensive manual on the management, care and husbandry of seahorses. Developed by Shedd in conjunction with `Project Seahorse', the 57-page manual entitled Seahorse Husbandry in Public Aquaria provides critical information for institutions looking to design and develop a successful seahorse exhibit. Also listed is an international network of seahorse program coordinators to enable institutions to share information. The manual is currently available on CD-ROM only. For more information, contact Jeff Mitchell of Project Seahorse at or call ++312–692–3185.

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Annual Report 2001 – extracts from the English language summary

The animal collection

The most notable events of the year were undoubtedly the import of three young Asian elephants from Thailand in November and the birth of our ninth elephant calf, a male, in early December. Other highlights were yet another reticulated giraffe birth in May, and the birth of a Malayan tapir in August.

The new musk ox bull, who was captured in Greenland in 1998, sired his first two viable female calves in 2001. Unfortunately, a third calf was miscarried. In September a new female calf from Greenland arrived at the zoo. Some Swedish tourists had found it south of Søndre Strømfjord in Greenland. Apparently, there was something wrong with one of its legs and the herd had left it behind. The Swedes took it to the tourist information office in town, who immediately arranged for bottle-feeding. The calf quickly grew big and soon it became difficult to keep it indoors. As it was impossible to release it back into the wild, it was offered to Copenhagen Zoo and, after having a veterinarian establish that the leg injury was not as serious as first expected, we readily accepted the offer. It was a great opportunity to add another wild-caught musk ox to our breeding group. At first the calf was kept isolated from the other musk oxen, as hand-rearing had made her socially imprinted on humans and it was likely that the others would not accept it. When it was put with the cow that had had a miscarriage, she tried to chase it out of the enclosure. At the time of writing (February 2002) the calf is well integrated into a group with the other two calves, and all three are thriving. The final step will be to introduce all three calves to the adults.

Subsequent to former years' reproductive success, it was decided to let the group of ring-tailed lemurs move freely about in the Søndermarken part of the zoo. Experience from other zoos has shown that lemurs are very attached to their enclosure and do not wander too far away from their home; when darkness falls they will return to safe surroundings. However, it was with some anxiety and great anticipation that the gate was opened in early April. All worries proved to be groundless. A group of ethology students from the University of Copenhagen observed the lemurs and it soon became evident that the free-ranging life was a success. The fact that our visitors respected the no-feeding signs played a great part in this success. The changed situation provided the lemurs with exciting challenges and visitors with a new experience of being among free-ranging primates. The arrangement has been made permanent during the day in the summer season.

When our last giant anteater died in 1999 we asked São Paulo Zoo in Brazil to help us find a new breeding pair, as at that time no anteaters were available within the EEP. In early 2001 São Paulo informed us that we could have an eight-year-old male on breeding loan for five years. Had the male not bred within the five years, he was to be returned to Brazil. He arrived in late April, and was in good health, though not as big as our former anteaters. At first he ate when fed, but after about a month he lost his appetite and would not eat any of several feed mixtures, which had been recommended by other zoos. In mid-June the vet had to force-feed him – an attempt that failed. Despite all the vet's and keepers' efforts he died at the end of June. The post mortem revealed signs of a virus infection in the intestines as well as a serious pneumonia.

The long-time breeding male two-toed sloth died on 16 June. He came to the zoo as an adult in 1983, making him at least 20 years at the time of death. He sired no fewer than six young, of which four have been sent to other zoos. The two youngest are still with the female in the Tropical Zoo. Breeding two-toed sloths in zoos is still unusual, and this male placed Copenhagen among the top ten most productive zoos worldwide. We intend to find a mate for one of the two young sloths to continue this success in future years.

After a break of 14 years, a male Malayan tapir calf was born in early August. This was the ninth calf since a pair of young tapirs was added to our collection in 1965. The sire arrived from Dortmund Zoo, Germany, in 1994 and the dam from Disney's Animal Kingdom, U.S.A., in 1998. When the female became sexually mature the pair started mating and after 13 months the female gave birth without complications late in the night of 4 August. The night watchman discovered the calf on the monitoring screen outside the stable. This animal is a valuable contribution to the EEP at an all-time low in breeding results. He will be sent to another collection in a couple of years when he has reached sexual maturity.

Breeding of the rare Congo peacocks picked up again after a couple of years' interruption. The zoo has been successful in breeding this species and is one of the most productive zoos within the global breeding programme. A few years ago breeding came to a stop, and in agreement with the studbook keepers some exchanges were planned. We received an extra female from Antwerp Zoo, new pairs were formed and the birds switched around. This resulted in three chicks who all survived the first weeks when the mortality rate is usually very high. At the end of the year they had grown to half the size of the parents and a provisional sexing indicated a male and two females. We hope a genetic test will confirm these sexes, as there has been a surplus of males in the breeding programme for many years.

In cooperation with the Nordic Herpetological Society, we replaced our group of fire-bellied toads (Bombina bombina), originating from Germany, with a group of the same species from the Danish island of Hjortø. In 1995 the majority of the toads on this island were destroyed by a storm. Some of the survivors were caught and have since been part of an ex situ breeding programme. Offspring from this programme have now been placed at the zoo with the purpose of increasing breeding. New offspring are to be returned to the water holes on Hjortø. The project contributes to the conservation of a small piece of Danish wildlife.

To comply with the our biogeographical layout, the giraffes were moved at the end of October to a newly-built exhibit in the African section of the zoo. The transfer took place in a specially designed trailer with a hydraulic top, which made it possible to move them without much sedation. They quickly settled down in their new surroundings, and the public can now enjoy seeing them in a much larger exhibit that allows an unobstructed view.

Veterinary conditions

An impala was injured on one hoof, which made it limb heavily. A clinical examination revealed that the hoof wall was damaged. It was decided to treat it the same way as in cattle, i.e. to relieve the pressure on the injured hoof by lifting the healthy hoof with a block of wood. The carpenter produced a miniature model of a cattle block, which was glued on with a two-component resin. The impala immediately stopped limping and after three weeks the block was removed and the hooves trimmed. The animal has had no symptoms since.

In order to establish the relationships of the European population of babirusas, tissue or blood samples were requested by the EAZA Pigs and Peccaries TAG. It is difficult to draw blood and a skin biopsy – which the scientists preferred – would have required almost full anaesthesia. In collaboration with scientists from the pig section of the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, a different approach was planned. It turned out that they had a biopsy punch, which enabled a skin biopsy to be taken with minimal discomfort to the pig when awake. After some adjustments the technique was tried on the babirusas and we succeeded in taking the biopsies without risking anaesthesia complications.

It was found that a female Amur tiger who arrived from Helsinki in January had a small black dot on the tip of her left upper canine tooth. An X-ray showed that it was an old injury with subsequent periodontitis. Specialist veterinary and human dentists from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University of Copenhagen and the School of Dentistry came to help. During a three-hour procedure she underwent root canal filling and subsequently fully recovered.

We intend to expand our group of chimpanzees by adding five animals from the Netherlands. In this connection the present group of females, who are suspected hybrids and not of the West African subspecies, will not be allowed to breed, so a method of contraception had to be found. An implant device was chosen. It is placed subcutaneously and releases small amounts of gestagene hormones that prevent oestrus and ovulation. These implants were designed for women, but have been used successfully for great apes in several places in Europe. If breeding is desired at a later stage, the implant is simply removed.


Frands Carlsen continued the genetic examination of the European chimpanzee population initiated in 1999. The objective is to establish a European studbook for chimpanzees and to identify specimens of the West African subspecies Pan troglodytes verus, which are to be included in a future EEP. The analysis is made by sequencing DNA, primarily extracted from hair samples.

Per Christiansen of the Zoological Museum has measured and photographed selected large, hairless mammals with the aim of developing methods for identifying the thermoregulatory capacity of dinosaurs.

Behavioural studies carried out in cooperation with the Zoological Institute at the University of Copenhagen included:

Time budgets, use of exhibit and social interaction between two tamanduas. Two male southern tamanduas (Tamandua tetradactyla) were introduced to a new exhibit. Their activity pattern and use of the exhibit were investigated to assess how well they had adapted to their new surroundings. Both animals were most active in the morning, whereas they spent the afternoon resting in the trees. Most of the time they stayed in the trees and in general they got along well. No aggression was observed at any time. The report made proposals as to how the active period might be prolonged if so desired.

The introduction of a new female to the Amur tiger enclosure. In mid-January a two-year-old female arrived from Helsinki to replace the old female. After a week she was allowed access to the enclosure and her behaviour and use of the exhibit were recorded systematically for the next couple of months. She turned out to be very shy and only a very few observations could be made in the outdoor enclosure. For a great part of the time she hid among the bamboo plants and no behavioural change could be recorded from the first to the last day of observation.

The hamadryas baboons' use of their exhibit following the addition of more climbing ropes. Initial observations had shown that the baboons hardly ever used the eastern part of their enclosure. One explanation could be an insufficient number of climbing devices, so three additional ropes were suspended in the unused part. In the following period the baboons' activity and use of the ropes were registered for each of the groups: full-grown male, full-grown female, and young. The new ropes did not have much effect. No general change of the activity pattern could be recorded and only the youngsters used the new ropes. Possible causes of the lack of effect were discussed and proposals for further changes were made.

Pecking behaviour of ostriches. The female ostriches in a group of 1.3 had bold spots of various sizes on their backs caused by feather pecking by other group members. Pecking behaviour was recorded and analysed in an attempt to find possible causes of the problem. The results showed that it was primarily the male that directed pecks towards the feathers of the others, and that pecking by one ostrich immediately elicits similar behaviour from the rest of the group. Feather stubs provoke similar pecking behaviour, and it was concluded that the behaviour should be considered as redirected foraging (the stubs are perceived to be shoots of grass). Proposals were made for relieving the problem.

Behaviour of golden-headed lion tamarins. The zoo's group consists of two males (brothers) and an unrelated female. The international studbook keeper formed this group as an experiment. The aim of the study was to record the three animals' activity pattern, use of the exhibit and social interaction. It was found that the two brothers had established a hierarchy, one clearly dominating the other. Both males are dominant over the female, who adjusts her use of the exhibit to the position and behaviour of the males. The female prefers contact with the subordinate male, which is partly ascribed to his lower level of aggression. No sexual behaviour was recorded between the female and either of the males. The prospects of establishing a well-functioning breeding pair are not considered to be good.

A behavioural study of the animals in the savannah exhibit. The activity and use of the exhibit by the various species, as well as interspecific interactions, were recorded in connection with the introduction of the year's three eland calves. During the study three shelters, made of branches, were provided to give the calves a chance of withdrawing from the other animals. It was established that in general the Grant's zebras and the elands did not move about much during the day. The reason is thought to be inadequate grazing possibilities combined with the easy access to concentrated feed. Especially at first, the zebras were very aggressive towards the eland calves. The further away the mother elands were and the lower the zebras ranked in the hierarchy, the stronger the aggression. The shelters were not used as shelters, but are believed to be of a certain value by providing more places where the calves could get out of the zebras' sight.


Annual Review 2001

The breeding season of 2001/2002 proved to be an exciting one. Numerous species which had never bred before produced young during the season. First-time hatchlings included two mountain caracaras (Phalcoboenus megalopterus) from a relatively young pair (their first clutch), three Cape eagle owls Bubo capensis), eight giant wood-rails (Eulabeornis [Aramides] ypecaha), four European white storks, one Nicobar pigeon and one yellow-faced mynah (Mino dumontii). Other raptor hatchlings include three great horned owls, three Bengal eagle owls, three spotted eagle owls (Bubo africanus), two African barn owls, one African goshawk (Accipiter tachiro), one common kestrel, four jackal buzzards (Buteo rufofuscus) and two yellow-billed kites (Milvus migrans). Eggs were laid by pale chanting goshawks (Melierax canorus) and booted eagles (Hieraaetus pennatus), but all were infertile, as well as the eggs laid by the turkey vultures (Cathartes aura). The single egg laid by the adult Verreaux's eagle female was also infertile, probably due to the new, younger male she was paired with. (The previous male was imprinted.)

Two female marabou storks which had laid eggs in previous years were paired with young males we acquired from Johannesburg Zoo; maybe next year we can look forward to fertile eggs. In the 75-metre-long enclosure with storks, herons, spoonbills, ibises and egrets, a pair of saddle-billed storks (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) built a huge nest, but failed to produce eggs. We are looking forward to their next attempt. The Heronry also produced eleven spoonbills, four yellow-billed egrets (Egretta intermedia), 20 little egrets and 25 cattle egrets. We hand-reared three southern bald ibis (Geronticus calvus) chicks, since the colony failed to rear their own, as well as 30 scarlet ibises.

Three blue cranes were reared successfully, of which two were hand-reared. The park had its first double-wattled cassowary eggs, laid by a new female who was recently obtained for our two males. The smaller of the two males took an immediate liking to the female, but seemed to be intimidated by her giant size, and the eggs were infertile. We obtained a second young female, bringing our cassowary population to four.

The greater rheas produced fertile eggs, but the chicks failed to survive. All the eggs of the emus were infertile. Two pairs of ostriches reared seven chicks.

In the waterfowl complex chicks bred were 30 Carolina ducks, 40 mandarin ducks, 15 yellow-billed ducks (Anas undulata), five fulvous whistling ducks (Dendrocygna bicolor), one Hawaiian goose, one ruddy shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) and seven mute swans. Six African penguins and one brown pelican were successfully reared by the adults.

Three lesser sulphur-crested cockatoos and three Goffin's cockatoos were reared, as well as seven black-headed conures (Nandayus nenday), six green-cheeked conures (Pyrrhura molinae), two pale-headed rosellas (Platycercus adscitus), ten Quaker (monk) parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus), four Indian ring-necked parakeets (Psittacula krameri manillensis), seven Lilian's lovebirds (Agapornis lilianae) and five rosy-faced lovebirds (A. roseicollis).

Two pairs of yellow-billed hornbills (Tockus leucomelas) produced eggs, but one clutch was infertile and the second pair failed to rear the chicks. Four Von der Decken's hornbill (T. deckeni) chicks were successfully hand-reared. The arrival of a pair of black-and-white-casqued hornbills (Bycanistes subcylindricus) brings our hornbill collection to eight species.

We registered the hatching of a single Nicobar pigeon; the previous clutch was destroyed during a storm. This was a highlight since all the Nicobars are new to our collection. Other pigeons and doves hatched included eight speckled pigeons (Columba guinea), five crested pigeons (Ocyphaps lophotes), eight laughing doves (Streptopelia senegalensis), four red-eyed doves (S. semitorquata), five Cape turtle doves (S. capicola), one pygmy dove (Columbina minuta), two green-winged doves (Chalcophaps indica), four cinnamon doves (Aplopelia larvata) and one diamond dove (Geopelia cuneata).

Twelve masked plover (Vanellus miles) chicks were hatched and reared, as well as six water dikkops (Burhinus vermiculatus) and two black-winged stilts (Himantopus himantopus). Two silver, one ring-necked, two golden and two white-crested kalij (Lophura leucomelana hamiltoni) pheasant chicks fledged, as did five helmeted guineafowl, 12 Indian blue peafowl and 18 Chinese painted quails (Excalfactoria [Coturnix] chinensis).

Four red bishops (Euplectus orix), 15 zebra finches (Poephila guttata), six Java sparrows (Padda oryzivora), three olive thrushes (Turdus olivaceus), four Philippine glossy starlings (Aplonis panayensis), four red-winged starlings (Onychognathus morio) and one white-tailed jay (Cyanocorax mystacalis) were successfully reared.

Amongst mammals we bred five pygmy marmosets, 16 common marmosets, three black tufted-eared marmosets, four cotton-top tamarins, five common squirrel monkeys and two dama wallabies. The squirrel monkeys were born in a colony where visitors are permitted to enter the `Monkey Jungle' under staff supervision and interact with the animals.

Some further new acquisitions include a pair of grey duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia), a pair of steenbok (Raphicerus campestris), a trio of springbok, two females for the mature fallow deer male, and a young male caracal for the single female, all new stock at our Children's Educational Farmyard `Adventure Farm'.

Numerous new enclosures were built during the year, including many urgently needed aviaries for the growing parrot population. Most of the parrots are former pets, and there is increasing pressure to accommodate all the newcomers to the Sanctuary. A number of smaller enclosures to house pairs of marmosets and tamarins were added, as well as open enclosures for meerkats, ground squirrels (Xerus inauris), Cape porcupines and dama wallabies.

Five more aviaries to house new breeding pairs of birds of prey were completed. A Eurasian scops owl (Otus scops) was brought to the Sanctuary after landing on a container ship near the Canary Islands. A suitable enclosure is being built for this tiny owl, and a mate will have to be found.

A pair of mongoose lemurs were moved to a new, larger enclosure and a second baboon enclosure was extended to separate the young chacma (Papio ursinus) and yellow (P. cynocephalus) baboons.

Staff at the Sanctuary are looking forward to the new breeding season and lots more happenings in the future.

Isabel Wentzel, Head Curator of Birds and Mammals, World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary and Monkey Park, Valley Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town 7806, South Africa (Tel.: +27 21 790 2730; Fax: +27 21 790 4839; E-mail:

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Albuquerque Biological Park, New Mexico, U.S.A.

On 4 April, the park's collection of endangered Rio Grande silvery minnows (Hybognathus amarus) spawned on their own without the use of hormones. Spawning was induced by imitating flooding conditions in the river, which is believed to trigger spawning in the wild. The park hopes to reintroduce them to their native habitat and sustain a viable population in the upper reaches of the Middle Rio Grande. By increasing the current and adding fresh water and silt via a 20-foot [6-meter] circular `race track' tank set up at the Rio Grande Zoo (one of the facilities incorporated in Albuquerque Biological Park), aquarists Chris Altenbach and Terina Niskanen were able to convince the gravid minnows that it was time to spawn. About 4,500 eggs were laid. The achievement will help aquarists understand the behavior and biology of the minnow, and may also allow for more captive breeding with less stressful handling of the fish. To date, Albuquerque Biological Park is the only institution to have successfully bred and captive-raised this species in a controlled environment.

AZA Communiqué (June 2002)

Auckland Zoo, New Zealand

The zoo is in the process of developing a unique `Native Fauna Encounters' experience, a 20-minute session that will allow members of the public to view up close endemic animals such as kiwi, tuatara, kereru or New Zealand pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae), ruru or morepork (Ninox novaeseelandiae), and, on some days, the Mahoenui giant weta.

`Much of New Zealand's fauna is unique to this country, but is not necessarily visible,' says senior keeper Bruce Ireland, who is developing the encounters and training other keepers to facilitate the sessions. `The encounters will give both locals and overseas visitors the opportunity to appreciate these animals displaying natural behaviours in their own environments. We are keen to make the encounters interactive, but that doesn't necessarily mean we'll allow people to touch or handle these creatures. The needs and well-being of the animals are paramount, and that will naturally dictate what we do.' Purpose-built portable enclosures have been built for the kiwi and tuatara.

`One of the key reasons for doing the encounters is the opportunity they will give us to publicise the plight and conservation needs of these species,' says Bruce. `Take young Curly the kiwi, rescued in Northland through the Department of Conservation's Operation Nest Egg programme [see I.Z.N. 43 (8), 583–584], and hatched here at the zoo. He was born with deformed feet; physiotherapy has corrected one, but the other remains ``curled'', so we can't release or breed from him. Curly can, however, be a star advocate for his species. Over 95% of kiwi chicks are killed in the first six months. One dog alone can wipe out hundreds in a small area. New Zealand just can't afford that. Individuals can do their bit by keeping their pets away from bush, and not taking them onto off-shore islands.'

Though kiwis are mainly nocturnal, they do come out during the day to feed, so the afternoon encounter in dim light will not be unusual for Curly, who lives in an outdoor enclosure at the zoo's Native Fauna Conservation Centre.

Rui the kereru (pigeon), who'll feature in the encounter, was rescued as a baby chick, and would not be likely to survive if released into the wild, but she too can be a voice for her species, which is under threat from possums, stoats, rats, weasels and cats. `Rui' means to disperse, and the kereru, more than any other bird in our native bush, does just that. Flying at all levels in the bush and being the only bird that can swallow large seeds, through its droppings it spreads seeds of all kinds throughout the forest, facilitating new growth.

Abridged from Zoo Alive (Autumn/Winter 2002)

Cologne (Köln) Zoo, Germany

The following were among the species newly acquired in 2001: white-belted ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata subcincta), red-bellied tamarin, golden-handed tamarin, lion-tailed macaque, impala, Orinoco goose, canvasback, white-backed duck, Madagascar teal, black kite, Harris' hawk, saker, peregrine and red junglefowl.

Noteworthy breeding successes took place with the following: Sclater's lemur, douc langur, European otter, Bactrian wapiti (Cervus elaphus bactrianus), reticulated giraffe, okapi, saiga antelope, marabou stork, Meller's duck, white-headed duck, hawk owl, great grey owl and violet plantain-eater.

English summary of the 2001 Annual Report, Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo 45 (1)

International Center for Gibbon Studies, Santa Clarita, California, U.S.A.

Two Javan gibbons (Hylobates moloch) were born at the Center (ICGS) on 6 November 2001 and 28 February 2002. The male born in November was his parents' third offspring: his 11-year-old mother is on loan from Assiniboine Park Zoo, Winnipeg, Canada, where she was born, and his father is an 18-year-old born at Perth Zoo, Australia. The pair were introduced at the Center in August 1996. There are only nine Javan gibbons in the U.S., all of whom reside at ICGS. Worldwide, only four institutions hold breeding pairs. Native to the fragmented rainforests of central and western Java, they are one of the rarest species of gibbon; the current wild population is estimated to be less than 2,000 individuals.

AZA Communiqué (June 2002) and ICGS website (

John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Four (2.2) star ray pups born in January represent the first successful births of this South American freshwater fish in a North American aquarium or zoo. Both the mother and the saucer-sized babies are doing well.

Senior aquarist Erica Clayton first suspected that the female ray, which lives with a male in the `Amazon Rising' exhibit, was pregnant after observing courtship and mating behavior. `Freshwater rays are ovoviviparous,' Clayton says, explaining that the fetuses develop in sac-like egg cases within the mother's body. `As the babies develop, you'll see noticeable swelling on the mother's back on either side of the spine.' The eggs hatch within the mother, and the young are born alive.

The female was moved temporarily from the large `River Channel' habitat to a reserve tank behind the scenes where she could be observed and the pups could be born in a protected area. Dr Marty Greenwell, director of veterinary services, tracked fetal development through a series of ultrasound exams. `The easiest things to spot are the spine and the skull,' he says, `and you try to look for the heartbeat of the baby and make sure it's alive.'

The mother gave birth to the full-term pups during a routine ultrasound. Within 24 hours, the robust babies were taking bloodworms and chopped earthworms. Although the mother and pups were together for several days, parental care seems to be minimal. The pups are born with the long, serrated tail spike that puts the `sting' in stingray, and they are able to defend themselves with venom immediately.

These rays do not belong to an endangered species. But, Clayton says, `in some places freshwater rays are in imminent danger from habitat destruction. A lot of them come from isolated populations in the Amazon basin, and their river habitats are being destroyed because hydroelectric dams are going in or the floodplain forests are being logged or developed. I think a lot of ray species are not going to be here in ten years.' So she is working with Andrew Camoes, a ray expert in Brazil, to learn more about the taxonomy and reproduction of Amazon rays in hopes of furthering captive-breeding efforts. Given the current state of stingray taxonomy and the variability of markings within any species, Shedd staff have not yet been able to identify with certainty whether the parents are Potamotrygon estrella or P. castexi. The uncertainty highlights the need for DNA research into stingray relationships, and Clayton and Camoes are keen to cooperate with other aquariums and zoos to get this work done.

Karen Furnweger in WaterShedd Vol. 23, No. 2 (Spring 2002), with additional information provided to I.Z.N. by her and Erica Clayton

Jurong BirdPark, Singapore

Flamingos can be seen at just about every zoo; but Jurong BirdPark has the largest captive collection of these birds in the world. On 31 May 2002, Dr Kwa Soon Bee, the chairman of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, had the honour of releasing the 1,001st bird into the park's flamingo lake, a miniature version of Kenya's Lake Nakuru. Jurong's spectacular flock of greater and lesser flamingos gives visitors one of the most breathtaking sights in any animal collection.

Jurong is the largest bird park in South-East Asia, and one of the most progressive and inimitable in the world. Dr Kwa Soon Bee has been serving as the Chairman and Managing Director of the BirdPark over the last two decades, and he continues to commit time for the park on a regular basis. He is a visionary and intellect behind the success of the park's unique status in the global zoo community. He has started a `Foster a Flamingo' programme and encouraged Singapore's children and their parents to support conservation efforts. Funds raised through the scheme will help conservation efforts for flamingos and other endangered species of birds, both in the region and globally. The park's research wing is active in conservation research on rare and endangered bird species of the world.

Jurong had activities for children and the general public for the entire month of June 2002 to highlight the conservation of flamingos. A team of flamingo-mimics from Japan, who had recently attracted popular attention on TV, performed their dance during the opening ceremony. Several contests for children were held at the park, including a one-leg standing challenge, guess the number of flamingos, name the baby flamingo, etc. The World of Flamingos themed exhibition had stunning visual aids and education materials on the natural history and conservation of flamingos.

All five species of flamingo could undergo a rapid decline in their populations, since they live in large groups in concentrated numbers in extremely fragile and threatened wetland habitats that could easily become polluted, fragmented and destroyed. The flamingos at Jurong BirdPark will serve as ambassadors to educate people and so help to conserve their own kind in the wild.

Govindasamy Agoramoorthy

Loro Parque, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Many people throughout the world learned about the heavy rainfall that struck north-eastern Tenerife during the Easter weekend, when around 220 litres of rain per square metre fell in only three hours. Many bird and parrot fans called, faxed or e-mailed to our breeding centre to ask if we and our parrots had suffered any damage, which, luckily, wasn't the case; not even one animal was hurt or died. The area mainly affected was the capital, Santa Cruz, approximately 30 km away from Puerto de la Cruz. We are very thankful that so many people shared the bad moments we were living and showed such a heartfelt interest in what happened.

So far this year, five new taxa have been introduced to the collection – black-capped parakeet (Pyrrhurra r. rupicola), which is not very often found in captivity, orange-fronted parakeet (Aratinga canicularis eburnirostrum), green-rumped parrotlet (Forpus passerinus deliciosus), Aru red-sided eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus aruensis), and maroon-faced parakeet (Pyrrhura leucotis griseipectus), three pairs of which were obtained from a German breeder. At present, there are 331 parrot species and subspecies in our collection.

By the end of June, the middle of the breeding season, we had ringed a total of 689 chicks, an excellent breeding record so far. A number of taxa have bred for the first time in the collection's history. Among them, two plum-faced lorikeet (Oreopsittacus arfaki major) chicks hatched, and their parents are looking after them well. The Ceram eclectus parrots (Eclectus r. roratus) also bred two chicks. The swift parrots (Lathamus discolor) hatched four young, which are being very carefully parent-reared. A pair of Salawati king parrots (Alisterus amboinensis dorsalis) are raising three chicks. A greater Patagonian conure or burrowing parakeet (Cyanoliseus patagonus bloxami) is being hand-raised at our baby station and is developing to our entire satisfaction. We decided to remove the clutch of three eggs since two had already been damaged, and luckily, the third hatched successfully. Meanwhile, the female has laid a second clutch.

We added several new species and subspecies to our Pacific parrotlet collection last year; the first new pairs have now started reproducing, with several young obtained from the turquoise-rumped parrotlets (Forpus spengeli) and the Venezuelan green parrotlets (F. passerinus viridissimus). One of the most notable events has been the first breeding success of our red-fan parrots (Deroptyus accipitrinus fuscifrons); after the first two fertile clutches which were laid this year did not result in any offspring, the third clutch finally produced one chick, which has been cared for very well by the parents. The rose-faced parrot (Pionus tumultuosus) is a species rarely kept in captivity, so the hatching of a chick in March and two more in June was very good news.

A very positive development can be observed in some parrots that were acquired last year, namely scarlet-chested parrot (Neophema splendida), Bourke's parrot (N. bourkii), red-fronted parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) and yellow-fronted parakeet (C. auriceps), which, by now, have produced clutches or are already hatching their young. Nowadays, all these species are rarely held in their original, wild form, since they're mainly bred in a huge variety of colour mutations. Loro Parque has opted to maintain these species pure, setting a good example for other breeders and keepers.

An important new arrival is a female St Vincent amazon (A. guildingii), who came from Houston Zoo as part of the international breeding programme for this endangered species, whose population in the wild is of no more than 800 individuals. Once the female has passed a six weeks’ quarantine period, she will be paired with the only male of the species housed here, who has been on his own for several years, so we are hoping that a new breeding pair can be established.

Extracts from the monthly reports for March–June compiled by Matthias Reinschmidt, Curator, Loro Parque

Moody Gardens, Galveston, Texas, U.S.A.

In 1998, the zoo's aquarium acquired king penguin eggs from a collaborative collecting expedition with Loro Parque on South Georgia Island in the Antarctic [see I.Z.N. 45 (8), 487–494]. The hand-reared birds were placed on display in the South Atlantic exhibit in 1999, and the first offspring from this founder group hatched on 4 February 2002, followed by a second chick on 16 February. These two new additions bring the total king penguin collection at Moody Gardens to 36. Staff are currently awaiting two more hatchlings.

AZA Communiqué (June 2002)

National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

The aquarium (NAIB) recently announced the successful hatching and fledging of three white-tailed trogon (Trogon viridis) chicks. This is the third successful clutch for NAIB's pair on exhibit in the walk-through neotropical rainforest display. NAIB's first white-tailed trogon chick hatched in May 2000, and was hand-reared after it was found outside the nest. The next two chicks hatched in April 2001 and were successfully raised by the parents. A female from the 2001 clutch will be sent to another AZA institution to be paired with a wild-caught male to help further the captive breeding of trogons.

There are 39 trogon species, but all are rare in captivity, being very difficult to acclimate. As stated by assistant bird curator Martin Vince of Riverbanks Zoo, South Carolina, `The few trogons that are successfully kept in zoological collections are almost never bred. NAIB's work is the best opportunity North American zoos have ever had to develop husbandry protocols for any trogon species.' As with all rainforest species, white-tailed trogon habitat is disappearing in many places. NAIB's goal is to learn as much as possible about trogon breeding requirements and to place captive-bred trogons with other collections. At present, there are six U.S. institutions with members of the trogon family on exhibit.

AZA Communiqué (June 2002)

[As reported in I.Z.N. 43 (8), p. 580, the first captive breeding of this species took place at Walsrode Bird Park, Germany, in 1995 – Ed.]

Schwerin Zoo, Germany

The zoo's lion facility was built on the site of an abandoned bear enclosure, centrally located with a panoramic view over the lake. The former bear house was renovated and re-used; all fittings, windows and doors were replaced. The lions have access to two dens of 25 m2 each, lined with timber panels and with elevated resting boards; each den can be separately partitioned off if it is necessary to isolate animals. Windows and skylights, as well as an air ventilation unit, have been installed, and partial underfloor heating and radiators make it possible to maintain a temperature of 15° C. Additional UV light is offered during the winter months.

The building makes up the eastern boundary of the outdoor enclosure, which was enlarged to 590 m2 and landscaped into terraces. The ground surface is made up of grassed and sandy areas. An artificial creek bed was created between a `spring' and a `watering hole'. Sturdy logs, rock piles, bushes, resting dens and elevated sleeping platforms enrich the terrain. Opportunities have been created to suspend chunks of food and pieces of wood in the outdoor section, in order to encourage activity among the lions.

The barrier between visitors and animals is 4 m high with an overhanging top. It is made up of timber, bricks, glass and metal fencing. Weld-mesh panels are embedded in the ground under the barrier to prevent the animals from burrowing out. The lions can be seen through viewing ports in a wooden wall along the northern boundary. From there the barrier continues with fences and glass panels. A generous panoramic view is offered along the western boundary of the enclosure. The southern side is bordered by fences camouflaged by shrubs and bushes, followed by another viewing window, as well as an elevated area where visitors can view the lions through a permanently installed telescope as well as with the naked eye. Visitors also have access to a cave with viewing slots, where they can observe the animals without being seen and with a viewing level just a few centimetres above the ground.

An additional attraction of the new exhibit is the mixing of the lions with two mongoose species, yellow mongooses (Cynictis penicillata) and meerkats (Suricata suricatta). Since lions are inactive for many hours during the day, the mongooses' activity enhances the appeal of the facility. The mongooses, who live in family groups, can enter the lions' outside enclosure via an intricately branched network of pipes, but they also have access to their own outdoor enclosure. The latter measures 72 m2; it is located in a sunny area alongside a wood, and is enclosed by a 1.2 m high barrier made of timber and glass. Inside the building, the mongooses are kept in an 18 m2 `cave', with a visitor area of 38 m2 next to it. The cave is maintained at 18° C by means of radiating ceiling panels, with a controlled inflow of pre-heated air. The animals are given UV light and – if needed – infra-red radiation. The substrate is a mixture of sand and clay.

Abridged and adapted from the Schwerin Zoo presentation in the ZooLex Gallery at [Visitors to the website will find many more technical details and numerous colour photos of this exhibit – Ed.]

Seattle Aquarium, Washington, U.S.A.

Weeks of watching, anticipating, and cautious optimism at the aquarium were disappointed on 6 June 2002 when Homer, an Alaskan sea otter, gave birth to a stillborn pup. At 1,416 grams the pup, a female, was within the normal range for the species. `Although this pup was not born alive, the data compiled during the birth will help increase our knowledge of the reproductive cycle of North American sea otters in captivity,' said Curator of Mammals, C.J. Casson. `This pregnancy was a result of a cooperative breeding effort with Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, Tacoma, and Sea World, San Diego.' Discussions between biologists from the aquarium and Point Defiance will determine whether Homer will be bred from again in the future. Meanwhile, she is recovering well.

Seattle Aquarium website (

Tokyo Sea Life Park, Japan

Rockhopper penguins (Eudyptus chrysocome) were first exhibited in Japan in 1956, and the number in captivity, and the number of institutions keeping them, grew steadily, peaking in 1996 with 178 penguins in 45 institutions. Since that year they have been declining in number. The reasons for the decline are the 1990s ban on taking wild specimens and a drop in captive reproduction.

The following are some of the problems in captive husbandry:

(1) When kept outdoors in Japan, these penguins easily develop respiratory problems.

(2) Rockhoppers are strongly social by nature, so that if a flock is too small, it is difficult for them to find pairs that are in breeding condition.

(3) Normally two eggs are laid which hatch at about the same time, but the chick from the first egg is usually very small and almost never survives.

(4) In captivity, the chick often crawls out of the nest at the age of about a week. When it does this it may be attacked and killed by adults of other species of penguin.

At the park, rockhoppers used to be kept outdoors, except for four months in the summer after the end of the breeding season. Then they were kept off-exhibit in a room refrigerated to 18–20° C. Fences were put around the nests to prevent the chicks from crawling out, and each pair was allowed to keep only one fertile egg, to ensure strong and healthy hatchlings. But the parents often had to care for them well into the hot season, and some of them would die from exhaustion. And even in the refrigerated room, some specimens would develop respiratory problems and die. To prevent this, alterations were made to the room in 2000.

The temperature was lowered to a steady 15° C, the air was filtered, and the lighting cycle was adjusted to conform to the daylight cycle in the wild. In 2001 the entire flock was brought indoors in the middle of March before the onset of the breeding season, and this greatly improved breeding success. Almost all the females over four years old produced eggs. However, only a few males showed an inclination to mate, and only 50% of the eggs were fertile.

The Japanese Association of Zoological Gardens and Aquariums (JAZGA) began registering pedigrees in 1996, and Tokyo Sea Life Park encouraged institutions with only a few penguins to move their stock to institutions with larger flocks in order to augment breeding successes. The two specimens who came to the park last year from Uozu Aquarium and Kyoto City Zoo paired off and laid eggs. These birds had been in Japan for ten and six years respectively, and for one of them it was a first breeding experience. The pair failed to raise the single chick left with them, but their other egg was successfully hatched by a foster pair, and thus their bloodline was rescued.

English summary of article in Japanese by Michio Fukuda, published in Animals and Zoos Vol. 54, No. 5 (May 2002)

News in brief

Clouded leopards from Nashville Zoo, Tennessee, have recently been sent to Audubon Zoo, New Orleans, to participate in artificial insemination research, in hopes of improving captive-breeding rates with this notoriously `difficult' species. Nashville also maintains a breeding group at its off-site breeding facility, and is continuing efforts towards successful breeding through both traditional and AI methods.

Abridged from Lori Hamlett on the zoo's website (

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In May, Taiyo, a nine-month-old male giraffe at Omoriyama Zoo, Akita, Japan, was surgically fitted with an artificial leg constructed, after weeks of experimenting, from bamboo and a rubber boot. He had broken his right foreleg in March when he was knocked down by a zebra. The leg was initially placed in a cast, but when it began showing signs of necrosis, placing the animal's life at risk, the decision was made to operate. Zoo officials believe the procedure was the first of its kind in the world. Unfortunately, Taiyo died the following month; zoo officials believe the struggle to survive ultimately placed too great a strain on the animal's heart.

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Baker, W.K.: Advancements in shipping container design, fabrication, and application. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 6 (2002), pp. 254–262.

Baker, W.K.: Have your recommendations on weapons, caliber, and ammunition changed over time for the weapons response in crisis events? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 6 (2002), pp. 234–235.

Bignell, M.: Beak reconstruction in wrinkled hornbills. Ratel Vol. 29, No. 3 (2002), pp. 89–93. [A male Aceros corrugatus at Paulton's Park, U.K., received several, ultimately successful, fibreglass repairs to both mandibles. Following treatment he was able to continue pair-bonding, which involves passing food to the female.]

Boczek, H.A.: Behavioural change following the relocation of Rosie, the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis michaeli). Ratel Vol. 29, No. 3 (2002), pp. 81–83. [The female was moved on EEP recommendation from London to Chester; she stopped showing any stress-related behaviour after ten weeks in her new home.]

Bowen-Jones, E., and Entwistle, A.: Identifying appropriate flagship species: the importance of culture and local contexts. Oryx Vol. 36, No. 2 (2002), pp. 189–195. [Over the last 50 years there has been increasing use of charismatic large mammals and birds as `flagship species' to raise funds and promote the ethos of conservation. However, species chosen to appeal to donor and membership groups may not necessarily be considered popular among local communities. A growing recognition of the need to engage local communities in conservation makes them an increasingly important audience for information about conservation. In such situations an awareness of the local perception and value of different species is central to choosing effective flagships. The authors propose ten criteria for the selection of flagship species. They then describe three examples of local flagship species and assess their use against these criteria: the Asian elephant in Aceh, Indonesia, the flying fox on Pemba Island, Tanzania, and the ceiba or kapok tree in Belize.]

Choudhury, A.: Der Goldlangur – durch Habitatfragmentierung gefährdet. (The golden langur – threatened by habitat loss.) ZGAP Mitteilungen Vol. 18, No. 1 (2002), pp. 26–27. [German, with English summary. The golden langur (Trachypithecus geei) is a rare colobine monkey with a very restricted range, confined to western Assam in India and Bhutan. It is in danger all over its range in India due to rapid loss of habitat and occasional poaching. Although local tribes usually do not kill langurs, some youths have acquired a liking for its meat. Some langurs have started raiding crops due to loss of habitat. At least 19 fragmented areas, which were originally a single habitat, now hold the species. Most remaining Indian populations now have no link with the larger and more secure Bhutanese population, and thus have little possibility of long-term survival. There is an urgent need to put a halt to all encroachments and illegal felling. The species' remaining forest habitat should be protected, and isolated langurs who have no future should be relocated to larger areas.]

Cuynen, R.: Operatie meerval. (Operation catfish.) De Harpij Vol. 21, No. 2 (2002), pp. 22–23. [Dutch, with English summary. A catfish Phractocephalus hemioliopterus that had been injured after transfer to a new enclosure at Antwerp Zoo had a large wound that required suturing. The 9-kg fish first had to be anaesthetised, and the wound was stitched internally as well as externally. A fungus that entered the wound had to be treated. The wound healed nicely, but the fish initially did not eat well. After being transferred to a tank with tilapia that could serve as social facilitators, the catfish began eating again, and the operation is viewed as a great success.]

Dierenfeld, E.S., Norkus, E.B., Carroll, K., and Ferguson, G.W.: Carotenoids, vitamin A, and vitamin E concentrations during egg development in panther chameleons (Furcifer pardalis). Zoo Biology Vol. 21, No. 3 (2002), pp. 295–303. [Insects are known to be poor sources of preformed vitamin A, leading to the speculation that insectivorous species, including reptiles, may be able to convert carotenoid precursors to meet dietary requirements for this nutrient. This study was conducted to indirectly evaluate carotenoid and vitamin A metabolism in the panther chameleon. Eggs were obtained from females in Madagascar that were yolked either early or later in the breeding season, and carotenoid, vitamin A and vitamin E concentrations were measured in egg contents in early, middle or late embryonic development. An overall trend of decreased nutrient concentration as eggs matured was seen within both clutch groups. The season of clutch deposition was a significant influence on egg weight, α-carotene, and lutein/zeaxanthin concentrations, but on no other nutrients. Chameleon yolks contained considerably higher levels of carotenoids than levels previously reported from two viviparous lizard species, and β-carotene concentrations were of the same magnitude as reported in grazing tortoises. Measurable concentrations of retinol at all stages of egg development suggest effective conversion from carotenoid precursors, with concentrations similar to those measured in other lizard eggs. Information from eggs obtained in native habitats may provide baseline data on nutrient interactions to improve and optimize captive dietary management; preliminary data suggest that micronutrient environments may vary over the protracted breeding season, with possible implications for embryo health and survival.]

Dolan, J.M.: The mammal collection of the Zoological Society of San Diego: a historical perspective. Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 3 (2002), pp. 161–176. [Part 18: mammal species/subspecies new to the collections between 1.1.1986 and 31.1.2002.]

Everts, W.: Neubauten im Zoo Osnabrück von 1992–2001. (New buildings at Osnabrück Zoo.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 3 (2002), pp. 125–142. [German, with very brief English summary.]

Finke, M.D.: Complete nutrient composition of commercially raised invertebrates used as food for insectivores. Zoo Biology Vol. 21, No. 3 (2002), pp. 269–285. [A variety of invertebrates are commonly fed to insectivorous animals by both zoos and hobbyists, but information as to the nutrient composition of most commercially raised species is limited, The author analyzed adult and nymph house crickets, superworms (Zophobas morio larvae), mealworm larvae and adults, waxworm larvae, silkworm larvae and earthworms, and presents results for moisture, crude protein, crude fat, ash, acid detergent fiber (ADF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and vitamins. The data presented provide a basis for determining nutrient intake of captive insectivores, and will aid in the development of diets to provide these animals with appropriate levels of necessary nutrients.]

Gardner, L.: The breeding and management of toco toucans. Ratel Vol. 29, No. 3 (2002), pp. 100–103. [Leeds Castle Aviary, U.K. Includes suggestions for preventing haemochromatosis (iron storage disease), to which toucans are especially liable.]

Gartrell, B.D., Girling, J.E., Edwards, A., and Jones, S.M.: Comparison of noninvasive methods for the evaluation of female reproductive condition in a large viviparous lizard, Tiliqua nigrolutea. Zoo Biology Vol. 21, No. 3 (2002), pp. 253–268. [The authors compared the diagnostic value of three non-invasive methods (radiography, ultrasound and palpation) of evaluating reproductive status in females of the blotched blue-tongued lizard. Radiography could be used to identify post-ovulatory females during the periovulatory period. However, in early to mid-gestation, radiography did not allow differentiation of the relatively homogenous structures within the abdomen. In late gestation, once calcification of the embryonic skeleton had occurred, gestation could be diagnosed and embryos counted. Ultrasound allowed differentiation between preovulatory, postovulatory, and non-reproductive females during the periovulatory period. Ultrasound also allowed visualisation of follicles during the early and middle stages of gestation. However, the level of operator experience and the misdiagnosis of images limited accuracy. In the later stages of gestation, ultrasound did allow the detection of identifiable features of the developing foetal unit. Colour Doppler imaging could be used to visualise embryonic blood flow. Ultrasonography was not useful in detecting the number of embryos present. Palpation during the periovulatory period could be used to detect follicles and determine whether ovulation had occurred. However, during the remainder of the gestation period, palpation was unable to differentiate reproductive condition. This study provides a basis for the diagnosis of reproductive condition and problems in viviparous reptiles. Each of the diagnostic techniques is useful at different stages of gestation, and the use of a combined approach will give the most information throughout the reproductive cycle.]

Grabowski, N.T., Knieriem, A., and Hamann, J.: Comparison of major and minor milk constituents of a milk sample from the two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus in early lactation to common rearing formulae. Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 3 (2002), pp. 177–188. [Hannover Zoo, Germany. No data on this species' milk were found in the literature. In comparison to bovine milk, sloth milk is higher in fat (6.9%), protein (6.1%) and all minerals and vitamins included in processes of ossification, dentition and energy status. The commonly used formula for rearing sloths (evaporated milk diluted 1:1 with water and supplemented with minerals and vitamins) was evaluated (major constituents only) and is discussed critically. The growth of young sloths is reportedly irregular and is focused on the limbs during the first weeks of lactation, while trunk growth is enhanced after the young feeds on its own. These special requirements could be reflected in high contents of fat, protein, minerals and vitamins in sloth milk. The common formula is inefficient in covering all nutritional demands of the infant sloth in early lactation. For that, cow or even sheep milk could be used provided that fat and protein contents are readjusted and minerals and vitamins are adequately supplemented.]

Haig, A.: Wildlife rehabilitation in Hong Kong. Ratel Vol. 29, No. 3 (2002), pp. 84–88.

Hu, H., and Jiang, Z.: Trial release of Père David's deer Elaphurus davidianus in the Dafeng Reserve, China. Oryx Vol. 36, No. 2 (2002), pp. 196–199. [Père David's deer became extinct in the wild in China in about 1900, and the only surviving animals were held in captivity at Woburn Abbey in the U.K. During 1985–1987, individuals were returned to China, and subsequent growth of the captive population in enclosures at Dafeng Reserve necessitated a trial release of a small group of deer as a prelude to further releases. Seven individuals were released into the unfenced coastal region of the Dafeng Reserve in 1998. Behaviour, daily activity rhythm, habitat selection, activity range and body condition were recorded for six months after release. The deer exhibited initial changes in behaviour, but returned to their pre-release patterns about four weeks after release, and by six weeks their body condition had improved compared to that in captivity. They left the reserve and began to forage on farmland, causing conflict with local people. Further releases should be into areas with either a natural or artificial boundary in order to avoid unmanageable levels of conflict between the needs of the deer and those of farmers.]

Hudson, C.: The captive behaviour of the Felis caracal with an environmental enrichment study. Ratel Vol. 29, No. 3 (2002), pp. 94–99. [Marwell Zoo, U.K. Meat was placed in a hessian sack which was suspended one metre above the ground.]

Kawashima, T., Sakai, R., Kano, K., Tamaki, Y., and Hashimoto, K.: Is the embryo culture system useful for collecting primordial germ cells from endangered avian embryos? Zoo Biology Vol. 21, No. 3 (2002), pp. 287–294. [The development of artificial means to conserve endangered avian species appears to be urgently needed. Procedures developed in recent years for experimental embryology with primordial germ cells (PGCs) may help prevent the extinction of endangered species. To this end, the authors examined the embryo culture system (ECS) for collection of PGCs using domestic chicken embryos as a model system. Their results showed that the ECS had no detrimental effect on the number of PGCs that could be collected from the bloodstream at the optimal developmental stages. Also, their findings indicated that the number of PGCs recoverable from the blood depended on the developmental stage. They conclude that the ECS, which allows direct observation of embryos during development, is very useful for collecting PGCs and for obtaining basic developmental information that can be extended to invaluable endangered avian embryos. Various aspects of the ECS are discussed.]

Keeney, J.: Hand raising a premature giant eland (Taurotragus derbianus gigas). Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 6 (2002), pp. 246–250. [Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio.]

Kühn, R., Schwab, G., Schröder, W., and Rottmann, O.: Molecular sex diagnosis in Castoridae. Zoo Biology Vol. 21, No. 3 (2002), pp. 305–308. [Beavers do not exhibit any external sexual trait. The authors established a simple method to differentiate between males and females by verifying the male-specific SRY gene, using DNA prepared from hair root cells. The technique can easily be used as a standard monitoring method, and is non-invasive, quick and reliable.]

Laterveer, M., Petersen, D., and van Bergen, D.: Pionieren met koralen. (Pioneering work with corals.) De Harpij Vol. 21, No. 2 (2002), pp. 2–6. [Dutch, with English summary. In the summer of 2001 Rotterdam Zoo, together with the University of Essen, Germany, and the Curaçao Sea Aquarium, initiated the Project SECORE (Sexual Coral Reproduction). The aim of the project is to generate the complete reproductive cycle and full life cycle of reef-building stony corals in captivity. The study is being carried out by a Ph.D. student of Essen University. The authors describe the collection of adult coral colonies in Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles, and their transport to Rotterdam. This project will be focused on three steps: (1) stimulating the corals to release gametes by using different light and temperature conditions; (2) observing the behaviour of the coral larvae during the settlement process under different conditions; and (3) monitoring the growth of the juvenile colonies during the first six months after settlement. Additionally, coral larvae will be harvested during the annual spawning in Curaçao in September, and transported to Rotterdam for further research. Project SECORE is aimed at initiating an international framework for future coral breeding efforts. The first step will be to supply several European aquaria with primary polyps and compare survival rates in nature and captivity. In situ studies will be carried out in Curaçao.]

Liu, X., Yu, J., Li, M., Yang, Z., and Li, G.: Study of crude protein intake and growth response in captive subadult giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Zoo Biology Vol. 21, No. 3 (2002), pp. 223–232. [Subadulthood (1.5–5.5 years) is a critical stage of development for giant pandas. In the past, research has been focused on infants and adults, and the feeding and management of subadults were seriously ignored. Dysplasia and unhealthy growth occurred, and many captive-born pandas failed to reach physical and sexual maturity; often, as a result, males do not mate, females cannot give birth, and some pandas even die during the subadult period. In the 30-year period prior to 1993, out of 143 babies from 93 litters in captivity, only 26 survived to three years of age, and about 80% of deaths were attributed to gastroenteritis and malnutrition. The authors report results of feeding trials conducted on seven subadult giant pandas at two Chinese research and breeding centres.]

Maslow, J.N., Wallace, R., Michaels, M., Foskett, H., Maslow, E.A., and Kiehlbauch, J.A.: Outbreak of Mycobacterium marinum infection among captive snakes and bullfrogs. Zoo Biology Vol. 21, No. 3 (2002), pp. 233–241. [Since 1985 mycobacterial infection has been observed occasionally among snakes and bullfrogs housed in the Wisconsin exhibit at Milwaukee Zoo. Prospective screening of animals was initiated in September 1990. Overall, of 47 animals housed in the exhibit from 1981 to its closure in 1995, 15 (31.9%) were diagnosed with mycobacterial infection, principally by M. marinum. It is postulated that possible routes of transmission were inhalation of infected aerosols or ingestion of contaminated food, water, or fomites (inanimate objects that can carry microorganisms). The data suggest that in closed systems the presence of mycobacterial infection in one animal significantly increases the risk of infection for all animals. Moreover, individual pathogenic strains may persist for prolonged periods of time.]

Poorterman, A.: Gibbon Rehabilitation Project. De Harpij Vol. 21, No. 2 (2002), pp. 8–12. [Dutch, with English summary. Two students from Groenveld College in Barneveld, the Netherlands, completed a three-month internship at the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project in Phuket, Thailand. The project, initiated by an American in 1992, has had a Thai director since 1999. It began with three white-handed gibbons, but now includes 67 animals, mostly gibbons. The animals are primarily ones that were used to attract tourists for photos or to otherwise entertain them, but became too difficult to manage as they became sexually mature. They endured a great many indignities, including no freedom of movement, and the transition to a more natural lifestyle is difficult. The animals in the project are placed in a series of enclosures as they become more independent of humans. The students were involved in an experimental release of four gibbons, and after returning to the Netherlands continue to support the project and encourage others to do so as well.]

Schürer, U.: Geburt und Aufzucht eines Gelbrückenduckers Cephalophus silvicultor (Afzelius, 1815) im Zoologischen Garten Wuppertal. (Birth and rearing of a yellow-backed duiker at Wuppertal Zoo.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 3 (2002), pp. 154–160. [German, with very brief English summary. The gestation period was 237 days. The yellow back-patch, absent in neonates, was fully developed at seven months old.]

Seibold, P., Buchert, P., and Heckel, J.-O.: Neue Anlage für madagassische Kleintierarten im Zoo Landau in der Pfalz – ein Beitrag zur ex situ-Erhaltungszucht. (A new enclosure for small Madagascan species at Landau Zoo – a contribution to ex situ conservation breeding.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 3 (2002), pp. 143–153. [German, with English summary. The redesigning of the enclosure has primarily followed modern knowledge about the breeding behaviour of water turtles as well as husbandry conditions for mouse lemurs. The most important structural elements are the increase of enclosure height, provision of additional natural light by a greenhouse-type construction, the technical treatment of pond water and a division of the enclosure which permits a breeding pair of Madagascan big-headed turtle (Erymnochelys madagascariensis) to be separated at certain times. Following recent experiences with the breeding of several water turtle species, it is hoped to achieve the captive breeding of this endangered species, which is so far only known to be kept in Landau Zoo. Brown mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus), day geckos (Phelsuma madagascariensis grandis), panther chameleons (Furcifer pardalis) and a Madagascan partridge (Margaroperdix madagascariensis) are also kept in the same enclosure.]

Sharp, M.: Training of pygmy hippopotamus (Hexaprotodon liberiensis) for saliva collection to determine estrus cycles. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 6 (2002), pp. 236–238. [Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Ohio.]

Streicher, U., and Nadler, T.: Aus der Arbeit des Endangered Primate Rescue Center. (The work of the EPRC.) ZGAP Mitteilungen Vol. 18, No. 1 (2002), pp. 7–9. [German, with English summary. At the EPRC, Cuc Phuong, Vietnam, the number of Vietnamese animal keepers increased to ten. Three theses were completed by students on human impact on the habitat, on daily activity rhythms of Delacour's langurs in the conservation area of Van Long, and on the leaf species consumed by the langurs. Van Long is important, as an efficient conservation system needs to be established with the upcoming prospect of ecotourism. The Center has provided refuge for additional animals of nearly all species already kept, and additionally got a François's langur. Breeding success considerably increased, with notable births of the 16th Hatinh langur (Trachypithecus laotum hatinhensis) and in a second bloodline of the captive population of ten Delacour's langurs (T. delacouri)). Apart from the first birth of a Phayre's langur (T. phayrei) at EPRC, the first captive breeding of a grey-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix cinerea) was recorded. The loss of a new-born Hatinh langur was maybe due to a marbled cat, the first recorded for Cuc Phuong. A new 4-ha enclosure for three primate species has been created. Other activities included a study on released pygmy loris, several primate surveys, training for keepers of confiscated animals in the Cat Tien National Park Conservation Project, and environmental education activities.]

Terio, K.A., Brown, J.L., Moreland, R., and Munson, L.: Comparison of different drying and storage methods on quantifiable concentrations of fecal steroids in the cheetah. Zoo Biology Vol. 21, No. 3 (2002), pp. 215–222. [Concentrations are not significantly altered by preservation in ethanol and storage at ambient temperature for at least 14 days before lyophilization and extraction. Drying of samples in a solar or conventional oven resulted in variations in concentrations of steroid hormones, with the exception of androgens. Storage methods should be part of the assay validation for each species and assay prior to the application of fecal steroid handling techniques to samples collected under field conditions.]

van Vliet, E.: Dierenpark Eindhoven: op safari in ons eigen continent. (Animal Park Eindhoven: on safari in our own continent.) De Harpij Vol. 21, No. 2 (2002), pp. 20–21. [Dutch, with English summary. A 12-ha park featuring European flora and fauna is now under construction on the country estate of Gulbergen. The park, to be opened in 2003, is an initiative of the same companies that own and run Safaripark Beekse Bergen. While the new park will not be very large, the enclosures will be spacious and the paths designed to create an adventurous atmosphere. The trail begins in a village square, and the visitor encounters animals such as muskrats and foxes that flourish in proximity to humans. Thereafter European deciduous forest animals, including badger, wild boar, bison and red deer, are exhibited. The increasingly steep route leads the visitor through an Alpine landscape housing ibex, griffon vultures, possibly bearded vultures and lynx. Brown bears and wolves are found as the visitor approaches the tundra, exhibiting musk ox, reindeer, and migrating polar bears. Seabirds and otters are presented in a coastal habitat, and seals in the Wadden Sea. Otters, beavers, moose, waterbirds and storks are encountered in inland marshes and river plains. The trial ends with Gibraltar's Barbary macaques, the only non-human primates in Europe.]

Wirth, R.: Eine Luftbrücke für Prinz-Alfred-Hirsche und Visayas-Pustelschweine. (An air-lift for Philippine spotted deer and Visayan warty pigs.) ZGAP Mitteilungen Vol. 18, No. 1 (2002), pp. 3–4. [German, with English summary. In 1990, as part of an international species recovery programme, seven Philippine spotted deer (Cervus alfredi) were imported to Mulhouse Zoo, France, to initiate an international breeding programme for this critically endangered species. From this founder stock the population in Europe has increased to over 45 animals. In 2001 another eight deer were imported to increase the genetic diversity of the European herd. These `new' animals are currently completing their quarantine period at Poznan Zoo, Poland. A first offspring, sired by a wild-caught male, was born there in March. Along with the deer, six Visayan warty pigs (Sus cebifrons) were imported via Europe to San Diego Zoo. These are the first specimens of this critically endangered species ever held in a zoo outside the Philippines. The first three offspring were born in San Diego in April 2002.]

Woodford, M.H., Butynski, T.M., and Karesh, W.B.: Habituating the great apes: the disease risks. Oryx Vol. 36, No. 2 (2002), pp. 153–160. [The great apes are highly susceptible to many human diseases, some of which can be fatal while others can cause marked morbidity. There is increasing evidence that diseases can be transmitted from humans to free-living habituated apes, sometimes with serious consequences. If protective measures are not improved, ape populations that are frequently in close contact with people will eventually be affected by the inadvertent transmission of human diseases. The authors describe the risks, sources and circumstances of infectious disease transmission from humans to great apes during and consequent upon habituation for tourism and research. A major problem is that the regulations that protect habituated apes from this risk are often poorly enforced. Suggestions are made for improving the enforcement of existing regulations governing ape-based tourism, and for minimizing the risk of disease transmission between humans – both local people and international visitors – and the great apes.]

Young, F.A., Kajiura, S.M., Visser, G.J., Correia, J.P.S., and Smith, M.F.L.: Notes on the long-term transport of the scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini). Zoo Biology Vol. 21, No. 3 (2002), pp. 243–251. [The capture and transport of scalloped hammerhead sharks has historically represented a difficult, expensive and uncertain undertaking for the aquarium community. In this study, techniques were developed to improve the successful long-term transport of S. lewini by mitigating some of the deleterious effects associated with hyperactivity and impaired swimming patterns. The relationship between the transport vessel size and shark sizes, numbers, and swimming behavior was considered when formulating the transport regime. By balancing these factors and adopting a comprehensive water treatment method, it was possible to extend the duration of a successful transport by up to 60 hours. Implications for the future transport of S. lewini and other free-swimming sharks are discussed.]

Zgrabczynska, E., and Ziomek, J.: Preliminary studies on foraging behaviour and dietary preferences in a group of Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinerea) in the Poznan Zoo. Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 3 (2002), pp. 189–196. [During the study of the group of 3.1 animals, their usual diet of minced meat was supplemented with fish and whole quails and chicks, which caused increased activity and a higher ratio of play behaviour. The most frequent non-social behaviours were playing and self-grooming. Social exploration and mutual resting after foraging were the main elements of social behaviour. Strong individual differences in time spent foraging were not observed, but some differences in dietary preferences were noticed. Agonistic behaviour occurred very rarely (0.72% of social behaviour), which seems to be typical for zoo conditions.]

Publishers of the periodicals listed:

Animal Keepers' Forum, American Association of Zoo Keepers, 3601 S.W. 29th Street, Suite 133, Topeka, Kansas 66614, U.S.A.

De Harpij, Stichting De Harpij, Van Aerssenlaan 49, 3039 KE Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Oryx, Cambridge University Press (for Fauna and Flora International), The Edinburgh Building, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 2RU, U.K.

Ratel, Association of British Wild Animal Keepers, 110 Carrick Knowe Drive, Edinburgh EH12 7EL, U.K.

ZGAP Mitteilungen, Zoologische Gesellschaft für Arten- und Populationsschutz e.V. (Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations), Franz-Senn-Strasse 14, D-81377 München, Germany.

Zoo Biology, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158, U.S.A.

Der Zoologische Garten, Urban & Fischer Verlag GmbH, P.O. Box 100537, D-07705 Jena, Germany.