Zoos

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1993:

Trying to share World Series pub-
licity, the Philadelphia Zoo wagered the loan of
two white lion cubs against the loan of two
Tasmanian Devils from the Toronto Zoo on
October 17––and incensed some Philadelphians
who thought the deal showed a casual attitude
toward the fate of the animals. Both zoos are
well-reputed, and the animals were apparently
scheduled to be moved elsewhere anyway.
The San Diego Zoo, barred from
renting two giant pandas from China at $1
million a year by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, is trying to decide what to do with a
new million-dollar panda cage and an extensive
stock of panda souvenirs. Interior Secretary
Bruce Babbitt ruled that the deal might con-
tribute to “irresistible pressure for the capture
and export of pandas,” contrary to the best
interest of the highly endangered species, even
though it was billed as a breeding loan and
China was supposed to spend the revenue on
panda conservation projects––which have
included such only vaguely related activities as
building hotels and hydroelectric dams in the
recent past. The deal also contradicted policy
of the American Society of Zoological Parks
and Aquariums.

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Marine mammals

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1993:

The Dolphin Alliance, of
Melbourne Beach, Florida, announced
September 22 that Bogie and Bacall, the
Ocean Reef Club dolphins, will be going
home to the Indian River Lagoon as soon
as they complete rehabilitation with former
“Flipper” trainer Ric O’Barry, who heads
the closely allied Dolphin Project.
Publicity surrounding the 1988 capture of
Bogie and Bacall influenced the National
Marine Fisheries Service to ban further dol-
phin captures for the benefit of facilities
not open to the public. When the Ocean
Reef Club was sold recently, it lost the
grandfather clause enabling it to keep
Bogie and Bacall.

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Marine Mammals

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1993:

The hit film Free Willy gave new
impetus to the ongoing campaign to persuade
Sea World in San Diego to return an orca named
Corky to her native habitat off British Columbia.
Her mother and several siblings remain with the
pod from which she was captured 24 years ago.
Sea World contends Corky could no longer sur-
vive in the wild. Free Willy has also started a
campaign on behalf of Keiko, the star of the
film, who resides at the El Nuevo Reino
Aventura amusement park in Mexico City. Free
Willy producers Lauren Shuler-Donner and
Richard Donner are reportedly ready to buy
Keiko and move him to a better facility, perhaps
even a fenced inlet off Cape Cod, using
$200,000 contributed by Warner Brothers, the
film’s distributor. Captured off Iceland in 1982,
and kept at Marineland in Niagara Falls before
being sold to his present keepers, Keiko hasn’t
drawn interest from major aquariums because of
a purportedly debilitating skin condition.

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Zoos

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1993:

In a case with implications for
zoos the world over, the California State
Board of Equalization argues that the San
Diego Zoo owes the state $3.5 million in
back taxes and penalties incurred via trans-
actions involving 1,992 animals between
1984 and 1987. The zoo lists the total
value of its 3,300 animals of 800 species at
just $1, claiming there can be no fair mar-
ket value for creatures who cannot be sold
on the open market or even transferred
without federal permits, but after finding
that the zoo does in fact keep records of
the animals’ estimated value, a Board of
Equalization auditor assessed the collec-
tion as being worth $19 million. The zoo
has offered to pay about $330,000 to settle
the matter, which zoo spokesperson Jeff
Jouett claims arose because the auditor in
question was on a vendetta.

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Zoos

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1993:

Interior Secretary Bruce
Babbitt told the San Diego Zoo on June
25 that, “Frankly, at this time, I am not
optimistic that our biologists can issue the
permit” the zoo seeks to import three pan-
das from China under a captive breeding
loan, because the import might violate the
Endangered Species Act. Babbitt said the
zoo would be allowed to bring in the pan-
das only if it can prove that the breeding
loan “will ultimately result in enhanced
protection for the species.” He added that
his staff was concerned “that this transac-
tion will set a precedent and generate irre-
sistible pressure for the capture and export
of pandas from the only region where they
are found wild.” The San Diego Zoo has
already spent more than $1 million in
preparation to receive the pandas, who are
expected to be a record-breaking attrac-
tion, and has agreed to pay China $1 mil-
lion a year during their visit plus $600,000
per cub who lives longer than six months.

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Zoos & Aquariums

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

The Zoological Society of London on April 13
rejected plans by entrepreneur David Laing and New Zoo
Developments Ltd. to build a $55 million walk-through
aquarium and wildlife film theatre on the 36-acre site. The
166-year-old London Zoo, the world’s oldest, has raised
$3.8 million independently, toward the cost of $32.5 mil-
lion worth of renovations it needs to become a captive
breeding facility. Laing said he would try to situate the pro-
posed aquarium and theatre elsewhere in London.
The Pittsburgh Zoo opened an insect gallery on
April 24, featuring a $24,000 video camera that allows visi-
tors to zoom in on particular insects, magnify their view,
and follow them around a terrarium. Nineteen insect species
are featured in the gallery, and are rotated in the magnifica-
tion area.

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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.

No dolphins in Denver! ACTIVIST CAMPAIGN SUCCEEDS

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993

DENVER, Colo.––An astute
media campaign including extensive
advertising in local newspapers and the
April back cover ad in ANIMAL PEO-
PLE paid off big for Animal Rights
Mobilization! on May 13 when the pro-
moters of the proposed Colorado’s Ocean
Journey aquarium dropped plans to
include captive dolphins. It was appar-
ently the first time any major aquarium in
planning anywhere cancelled a marine
mammal exhibit under pressure from an
animal rights group.

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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.
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