World’s oldest tiger dies at Popcorn Park Zoo in New Jersey

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2013:


FORKED RIVER, New Jersey––Bengali, 24, believed to be the
oldest tiger on record, died on January 18, 2013 after undergoing
surgery to remove a tumor from his pancreas. Bengali had spent the last
decade of his life as the emblematic animal at the Popcorn Park Zoo, a
sanctuary for wildlife and large domestic species operated since 1977 by
the Associated Humane Societies of New Jersey.
Reportedly bred and raised to be shot at a Texas hunting ranch,
Bengali was said to have escaped that fate when in 1990 the U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service cracked down on “canned hunts” featuring species
listed as endangered or threatened by the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species.

Read more

Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre fights takeover attempt by zoo promoter

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2012: (Actually published on November 1,  2012.) 

HONG KONG,  HANOI–The Animals Asia Foundation is fighting an audacious scheme allegedly advanced by Tam Dao National Park director Do Dinh Tien to evict Animals Asia and 104 moon bears from the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre,  on the edge of the park,  and turn the facilities built at Animals Asia donor expense into a zoo. The Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre,  modeled on a similar site operated by Animals Asia in Chengdu,  China,  rehabilitates bears rescued from bile farms.

Georgia Aquarium applies to import 18 wild-caught belugas–who would be first to reach the U.S. in 20 years

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2012:

Georgia Aquarium applies to import 18 wild-caught belugas–who would be first to reach the U.S. in 20 years

ATLANTA-The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta has applied for a federal permit to import 18 beluga whales from the Sea of Okhotsk in eastern Russia. They could be the first belugas to be captured in the wild and brought to the U.S. for exhibition since 1992, when the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago imported four from the vicinity of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Read more

Vet killed while prepping elephant for retirement

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  June 2012:

Vet killed while prepping elephant for retirement

TUAKU,  New Zealand-Helen Schofield,  42,  owner,  director, and veterinarian at  the Franklin Zoo & Wildlife Sanctuary in Tuaku, New Zealand,  was on April 25,  2012 fatally crushed by Mila,  39,
an African elephant whom Schofield was preparing for eventual relocation to the Performing Animal Welfare Society’s 2,3000-acre elephant sanctuary in northern California. Read more

BOOKS: Cinemazoo: my urban safari by Gary Oliver with Wendy Bancroft

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  June 2012:

Cinemazoo:  my urban safari  by Gary Oliver with Wendy Bancroft
Granville Island Publishing (212 -1656 Duranleau, 
Granville Island,  Vancouver,  BC,  Canada V6H 
3S4),  2011.  162 pages,  paperback.  $24.95.

“I always like it when the situation calls for a bit of drama,  of pizzazz–when I have to assume some kind of persona,  put on a bit of theatre,”   writes Urban Safari Rescue founder Gary Oliver in possibly the most personally revealing passage of Cinemazoo:  my urban safari.  “Which is interesting,”  Oliver continues,  “because when you meet me,  I’m not at all theatrical.  I wear a big black cowboy hat,  but that’s because I’m bald and I like cowboy hats.” Read more

Bob Barker funds elephant move & new PETA HQ

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  April 2012:

LOS ANGELES-The Performing Animal Welfare Society on March 23,  2012 disclosed that former television game show host Bob Barker has donated $870,000 to fund the relocation of three African elephants from the Toronto Zoo to the PAWS Ark 2000 sanctuary in San Andreas,  California.  Barker agreed to fund the transfer in December 2011,  after the Toronto City Council voted to close the zoo’s elephant exhibit.
“Since 1984,  seven elephants have died at the zoo,  four within the past four years.  The oldest was 41,”  reported Linda Diebel of the Toronto Star.
The impending transfer is bitterly opposed by members of the Toronto Zoo staff. Read more

How many tigers in private hands?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  November/December 2011:


How many large carnivores are in private hands in the U.S.?
There are no comprehensive lists of most species.  Guesstimates
commonly hold that there are more tigers alone,  just in Texas,  than
the 3,200 tigers remaining in the wild,  or at least more than the
1,400 tigers still in the wild in India. Read more

Other captive wildlife cases illustrate the risks

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  November/December 2011:

The release of 56 large exotic and dangerous animals from the
Muskingum County Animal Farm and subsequent killing of 48 of the
animals on October 19,  2011 was not unprecedented.
Fifteen lion/tiger hybrids called ligers were on September
21,  1995 shot by a neighboring landowner and a 50-member sheriff’s
posse after breaking out of the Ligertown Game Farm in Lava Hot
Springs,  Idaho. Read more

Another Burton Sipp fire raises questions

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  November/December 2011:

SPRINGFIELD,  N.J.--A three-alarm fire killed two giraffes,
three dogs,  four cats,  and 15 parrots at the Animal Kingdom Pet
Store & Zoo on October 31,  2011 in Springfield Township,  New
Jersey.  About 20 puppies were reportedly rescued.  Owner Burton K.
Sipp,  67,  told George Mast of the Cherry Hill Courier Post that he
was in Arizona on horse racing business at the time of the fire.  The
fire started at about 8:45 p.m.,  about half an hour after Sipp’s
brother George said a Halloween party in the store had ended.
“Some kind of explosion must have ignited it,”  George Sipp
told Philadelphia Inquirer staff writer Darran Simon. Read more

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