AAZPA ADOPTS GIANT PANDA CONSERVATION ACTION PLAN

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

Stung by criticism of panda rental deals, which have enabled some U.S. zoos to rake in millions of dollars by
spending several hundred thousand dollars to borrow a giant panda from China, the American Association of Zoological
Parks and Aquariums adopted a comprehensive giant panda conservation action plan on April 23. Under the plan,
AAZPA will for the first time station a species survival coordinator in China, at cost of $100,000 a year, to make sure
money paid by U.S. zoos for panda and panda habitat protection is actually spent for the stated purpose. China is presently
receiving more than $1 million a year from AAZPA members in connection with panda rentals, but indications are that
much of the money is diverted, as was a considerable portion of the $2.5 million the World Wildlife Fund sent to China
for panda protection between 1961 and 1986. The budget for a WWF-funded panda breeding facility included building a
town-sized hydroelectric plant––and the breeding facility, for all the spending, had produced only one stillborn panda cub
as of 1990. Wildlife Conservation Society science director George Schaller, author of The Last Panda, praised the
AAZPA action as a step in the right direction. Meanwhile, concerned that money for pandas might stop coming if the last
thousand left in the wild and last 100 in captivity die without reproducing, China has over the past year announced the cre-
ation or expansion of 14 panda reserves, and the birth of 13 pandas in captivity, of whom 11 are still alive. Panda loans
continue: the San Diego Zoo has just agreed to pay China $1 million a year for each of the next three years to borrow a
breeding pair, and may renew the deal for up to 10 years.

ANIMAL HEALTH & BEHAVIOR

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

Chinese authorities have begun
purging officials of Shenqui county in
Henan province for collaborating with
Wang Zhiqiang, an entrepreneur who built
a rural empire around a factory that manu-
factured fake veterinary medicines––among
them “antibiotics” made of talcum powder
and cornstarch, and “intravenous solution”
made of monosodium glutamate dissolved
in water. Wang allegedly bought off police
and politicians, held investigators for ran-
som, and tortured witnesses. Federal
authorities finally arrested Wang and shut
down his No. 1 Veterinarian Medicine
Factory, as he styled it, last

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COURT CALENDAR

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1993:

Animal Trafficking
Worldwide Primates propri-
etor Matthew Block, 31, of Miami,
drew 13 months in federal prison on April
17 for his part in arranging for six infant
orangutans to be smuggled from Indonesia
to the Soviet Union––the 1990 Bangkok
Six case. Hoping to win a plea bargain,
Block testified against three accomplices
and helped set up the January 26 arrest of
a Mexican zoo director for allegedly trying
to smuggle a gorilla. However, assistant
U.S. attorney Guy Lewis told U.S. district
judge James Kehoe that Block had never
fully cooperated with either investigation,
had lied about his degree of involvement
in the orangutan deal, and was still in
touch with smuggling associates. Block
now faces USDA action for allegedly
feeding primates at his facility spoiled
food, failing to provide water, and keep-
ing them in vermin-infested cages.

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Doberman deeds

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1993:

When a tiger abandoned her newborn cub recently at
the zoo in Chhat Bir, India, the zookeeper in desperation gave the
cub to his Doberman pinscher to nurse. After 17 days, both dog
and tiger were reportedly doing well.
Orphaned by Hurricane Andrew when his original fam-
ily lost their home and left him at the SPCA in Jefferson Parish,
Louisiana, a Doberman named Max found a new home with Ava
Mareno of New Orleans last October. On March 27, Max saved
her two-year-old daughter Brittany’s life by pulling away another
dog who was mauling her.

Oceans

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1993:

The International Whaling Commission commenced
its annual meeting in Kyoto, Japan, on April 19 as a throng of
1,000 demonstrators marched outside to demand an end to the cur-
rent global whaling ban, in effect since 1986. The IWC scientific
committee met during the last week of April to review current data
on whale populations, while the general commission meeting is
set for May 10-14. Japanese whalers, who already kill 300 minke
whales a year under the auspices of a government research pro-
gram, want to resume whaling on a commercial scale. Iceland has
already resumed commercial whaling, after qutting the IWC.

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HUNTING

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1993:

The Federation of Ontario
Naturalists reports that 95% of spring bear
hunters in the province are Americans, from
states that ban spring bear hunting. In 1991,
Ontario spring bear hunters killed 6,760 bears,
9% of the estimated provincial population. A
third of the bears were females. Only 30% of
cubs who lose their mothers live to age one.
“All too many Alaska hunters are
lazy, ill-mannered, beer-guzzling, belly-
scratching fat boys, or girls,” Anchorage
Daily News outdoors editor Craig Medred
opined recently, “who want nothing more
than to ride around on their favorite piece of
high-powered machinery until they find some-
thing to shoot full of holes with their high-
powered rifle.” Medred also attacked the

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Fur

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1993:

Preliminary data indicates U.S.
trapping license sales fell to 147,000 dur-
ing the winter of 1992-1993, down from
191,000 in 1991-1992; 230,000 in 1990-
1991; and 338,000 in 1987-1988, when
U.S. trappers sold 19 million pelts. This
past winter they sold just 2.5 million.
Trapping was a $10 million a
year industry in Louisiana during the
early 1980s, but is now earning only $1
million a year. Trying to revive the boom,
state Department of Wildlife and
Fisheries biologist Greg Linscombe
recently told Newsweek that damage to
bayous caused by Hurricane Andrew was
actually the fault of allegedly overpopu-
lating nutria. Nutria are muskrat-like
South American aquatic mammals
brought to Louisiana by fur farmers about
70 years ago––and are a favorite food of
alligators. The Louisiana Department of
Wildlife and Fisheries, removes 75,000
alligator eggs a year from the bayous to
stock alligator farms.

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Zoos & Aquariums

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1993:

The World Society for the Protection of Animals recently liberated Flipper, the
last captive dolphin in Brazil, near where he was captured in 1982. Before the release,
Flipper was reaquainted with life in the ocean under the supervision of Ric O’Barry of the
Dolphin Project––who also trained his namesake, the star of the Flipper TV program. Brazil
banned keeping marine mammals in captivity in 1991. The Brazilian Flipper spent the past
two years in solitude at an abandoned amusement park near Sao Paulo, and was kept alive
by the local fire department, who used their pumper truck to change his water after the filtra-
tion system in his tank deteriorated beyond repair.
Colorado’s Ocean Journey, the proposed aquarium to be built in Denver,
recently tried to head off protest by claiming it would include “only third generation captive-
born dolphins.” Pointed out David Brower, president of Earth Island Institute, “There are
no third-generation captive-born dolphins anywhere.” The Coors Brewing Company recent-
ly retreated from the dolphin controversy. According to a prepared statement issued
February 15, “Contrary to rumors and recent advertisements, Coors does not ‘want to bring
dolphins to Denver.’ Our support of this project is not focused on, nor dependent on,
cetaceans.”

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WSPA battles bear-baiting

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1993:

The World Society for the
Protection of Animals asks that letters
protesting bear-baiting be sent to the
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,
2315 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington,
DC 20008-2802. Videotapes recently
obtained by WSPCA staff show how, as a
WSPCA press release explains, “the trained
bear is led to the center of a field and tied by
a 15-foot-rope to a peg in the ground. At the
judge’s signal, two dogs are unleashed to
attack. If the dogs can grasp the bear’s nose
in their teeth and flatten the bear in three min-

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