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August 2013 Newsbytes archive

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Contributors this month include crossaffliction, dronon, Fred, GreenReaper, Higgs Raccoon, mailboxbooks, Patch Packrat, Rakuen Growlithe, RingtailedFox and Sonious.

Working Here is like a Zoo…

Zoo Dot Com is a full-color on-line comic strip written and drawn by Matt McCray. The concept is simple: “In order to cut costs, the Zoo decided it would be a good idea to have the animals run their IT department and website.” You can check out the archives at (where else?) It’s been on hiatus for a while now as Matt works on other projects, but now Arcana Studio have announced that the first softcover paper collection of Zoo Dot Com will be released this April. Comix Zone has pre-order information.

image c. 2013 Matt McCray

Animals escape zoos, migrate to Missouri this December!

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This release was provided by F3con staff, and has not been independently confirmed.

There was a jailbreak of epic proportions at zoos worldwide last week. According to sources across the globe, numerous animals discovered a way out, and wasted no time making their escapes. "I was in the office keeping an eye on the enclosure cameras, and all I remember is seeing the antelopes, tigers, and otters just stand up on their hind legs and start walking, like they were born to do it. Well, before I fainted, anyway. When I woke up, all the cages were empty.", said F. Uzi Lagik, of the Downtown Zoo.

While there is no word on how exactly these creatures managed this incredible feat, there have been sightings of animals calmly walking the streets in many municipalities. Scientists are baffled with the peaceful and friendly behavior of even the most aggressive species since their escape. There have been no attacks, and even when approached, they exhibit friendly curiosity, waving, and happy noises. Reports are coming in from all over of even the most dangerous animals giving warm hugs to passersby. "It was so awesome! I got to hug a real dinosaur!" boasted Bonnie, 6yo, of Flufburg. Some individuals have even said they have heard the animals speak, but we all know that's the stuff of Saturday-morning cartoons.

Knut the polar bear dies at age four

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Knut as a cubKnut the polar bear, who gained international fame as debate raged over whether he should be hand-reared or euthanised, has died at age four.

Henry Doorly CEO says zoo needs pupils, not pandas

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The Omaha World-Herald covers CEO Dennis Pate's vision for the Henry Doorly Zoo.

According to Pate, advances in zookeeping theory and the conservation state of species mean certain areas, like the nursery and cat house, are now redundant.

In their place he wants to see a stronger focus on the zoo's research activities, larger spaces for animals, and even a high school.

Monkey-Eating Bears

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Bears killed and devoured a monkey in front of horrified visitors at a Dutch zoo, officials and witnesses said.

Visitors reported that the grisly scene began as several bears chased the monkey, a macaque, onto a wooden structure at Beekse Bergen Safari Park.

They said a bear tried unsuccessfully to shake the monkey loose, ignoring attempts by keepers to distract it. The bear then climbed up and grabbed the monkey, mauling it to death and bringing it to its concrete den, where three bears ate it.

(Full article can be found on CNN)

Christian Feeds Self to Lions

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Concerned over those damnable atheist kitties:

TAIPEI, Taiwan - A man leaped into a lion’s den at the Taipei Zoo on Wednesday to try to convert the king of beasts to Christianity, but was bitten in the leg for his efforts.

My buddy Puck notes that it wasn't even a Roman zoo. MSNBC has the full story, including photo.

Madagascar Trailer On Line

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The people who brought you "Shrek" and "SharkTail" are at it again. Watch the trailer for their next movie "Madagascar", which stars a lion, a giraffe, a zebra and a hippo who all live in the New York Central Park zoo.

See the trailer here.

Monkey walks on two legs...

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According to China's Xinhanet, a young monkey at an Israeli zoo has started walking on two legs after a near-death experience. The link includes a picture of the monkey.

Great Leapin' Gorrilla!

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A stocky, knuckle-dragging 340-pound gorilla leaped across a 12-foot-wide moat and a wall that separated him from visitors at the Dallas Zoo.

13-year-old Jabari escaped and went on a 40-minute rampage in March, snatching up a toddler with his teeth and injuring three other people before being shot to death by officers.

[Read Article]

Do not pet the animals!

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Man Pets Jaguar, Pays with His Finger

Don't mistake the jaguar for a 'pretty kitty'.

First twin manatees born in captivity

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BBC online reports the birth of twin manatees at the Beauval Zoo in France. The Zoo is participating in an program aimed at saving the endangered species.

Rare Red Panda Cubs Make Public Debut at UK Zoo

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Two rare Red Panda cubs have gone on show at Bristol Zoo Gardens in eastern England after spending the first four months of their lives hidden away in a nesting box with their mother.

Full Article

Wide ranging carnivores fare poorly in zoos, study finds

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Polar bears, cheetah, tigers and other large carnivores with huge ranges just aren't being cared for well enough in captivity, a study published in Nature says, and the authors think that zoos either need to seriously rethink their habitats for these big animals, or phase them out for smaller, easier to satisfy creatures.
For example, polar bears have ranges that cover hundreds of miles of territory in the Artic but are generally kept in small, tank and rock environments which are a million times smaller. They also are notorious for behavioral problems and health problems related to captivity stress, problems that the research said can be predicted because of the large space they need.
Zoos counter that this is "nothing new" and that they're constantly working to enrich the enviroment of animals to help them adjust to captivity.

Snowflake, world's only known albino gorilla, dying of skin cancer

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A symbol of Barcelona and undoubtedly the most famous single animal in Spain (bulls notwithstanding) Snoflake, or Copito de Nieve, a unique albino gorilla, is dying from skin cancer. Lacking the dark skin pigment and fur of a regular gorilla, the Barcelona Zoo resident developed melanoma in 2001, but zoo vets say it's now past any stage on control and it's only a matter of months. Citizens file past to pay their respects to the 40 year old ape, who had only his usual distain for the human visitors.
"When Copito de Nieve is gone, an era of Barcelona will end."