Asian otter escaped from Dutch zoo, video

This 19 November 2015 is by Maarten Venema from Leeuwarden in Friesland province in the Netherlands. He saw an otter approaching. First, Mr Venema thought it was an Eurasian otter which occurs in this area. However, Eurasian otters are shy and this animal was not.

It turns out this was an oriental small-clawed otter, escaped from the local Aqua Zoo. Meanwhile, that otter, called Splash, is back in the zoo.

Rare Amur leopards, from zoos to the wild

This is a Amur leopard video.

From Wildlife Extra:

Captive Amur Leopards to be released into the Russian Far East

A plan to reintroduce captive Amur Leopards into the Russian Far East has been formally approved by Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has announced

The site for the reintroduction has been agreed as Lazovsky Zapovednik (State Nature Reserve) in the South-Eastern-most tip of Russia.

The Critically Endangered Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is probably the only large cat for which a reintroduction programme using zoo stock is considered a necessary conservation action.

There are currently estimated to be between 50-70 left in the wild, in a small pocket of Russia between Vladivostok and the Sino-Russian border. Around 220 Amur leopards are currently in zoos throughout Europe, Russia, North America and Japan, as part of a global conservation breeding programme jointly coordinated by ZSL and Moscow Zoo.

Established pairs of breeding leopards from the breeding programme will be transported to Russia where they will live in specially constructed enclosures. Here they will be allowed to breed and rear cubs, which will learn to live in that environment from the very start of their lives. Once they are suitably mature, the cubs will be released.

There is no fixed timeframe in place as yet but it has been suggested that construction of the facilities may start in spring 2016, and leopards could be released in 2017.

ZSL will soon start analysis of which leopards will be initially used.

More information about the reintroduction programme, including the approved plan, can be found on the Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance website.

Orangutan shares food with chimpanzees

From The Dodo about this video:

Captive Orangutan Sneaks Food To His Friends In Never-Before-Seen Act Of Kindness

By Stephen Messenger

April 10, 2015

Humans are commonly believed to be the most intelligent and advanced of all the great ape species, a position that’s led us to routinely subject the others to lives in confinement. But the most potent lesson on what it is to be humane just might have come from one of these non-human captives.

In a remarkable show of interspecies solidarity between primates imprisoned at the Phoenix Zoo in Miyazaki, Japan, an orangutan has been observed sharing meals with a group of chimpanzees in a cage just out of reach. Keepers say that 21-year-old orangutan Happy has made a habit of offering food given to him so that the nine chimps have a little more to fill their bellies.

Experts say this sort of seemingly selfless behavior could be unprecedented.

“We have never heard of an orangutan that bothers to offer their food to other animals living separately from the animal,” Tomoyuki Tajima, a primate specialist, told Japanese news outlet Asahi.

In the wild, orangutans are notoriously solitary creatures but they also possess a “high social intelligence,” another expert told the newspaper. Despite the differences between the apes, and the fact that Happy would never encounter a chimpanzee outside the wholly artificial setting of the zoo, he seems keenly aware that they could benefit from an act of kindness.

None of those animals have a choice about their captivity, but with the small freedom of movement this orangutan could afford, he’s decided to use it to show kindness to creatures unlike himself — usurping the cage his “loftier-minded” captors constructed to keep them apart.

CHIMP COOKS! “Inside every chimp might be a budding chef, just waiting for the right opportunity to show off his culinary skills. While it’s long been known that chimps prefer cooked food when given the option, a new study goes even further, showing how chimps may have the patience, planning ability and understanding needed to do the cooking themselves if given the opportunity.” [Ed Mazza, HuffPost]

Chimpanzees may have a similar sense of right and wrong to humans: here.

‘Extinct’ fish rediscovery in Madagascar

This video from London, England says about itself:

19 Feb 2012

A short clip from a tank in the Aquarium at the ZSL London Zoo. The tank contains the following Madagascar cichlids: Pinstripe Menarambo (Paretroplus menarambo), Kotsovato (Paretroplus kieneri), Mangarahara Cichlid (Ptychochromis insolitus) and Damba Mipentina (Paretroplus maculatus).

From Wildlife Extra:

Worldwide appeal finds last remaining Madagascan fish

ZSL London Zoo’s international campaign finds lost Mangarahara cichlids in the wild

December 2013: Aquarists at ZSL London Zoo are celebrating the success of a worldwide appeal to find a female mate for a critically-endangered fish species – after a small population was found in remote Madagascar.

The Mangarahara cichlid (Ptychochromis insolitus) was believed to be lost in the wild due to intense deforestation and river diversions created for rice farming and agriculture drying up its native habitat of the Mangarahara River in Madagascar, and two of the last known individuals – both male – were residing in ZSL London Zoo’s aquarium.

After launching a desperate appeal in May 2013, hundreds of private aquarium owners, fish collectors and scientists got in touch with the zoo’s aquarium curator, Brian Zimmerman, to offer advice, support and suggestions – including a farm and business owner in Madagascar, who recognised the fish as one he’d seen in a secluded north-Madagascan town. An exploratory expedition was arranged with support from HM Ambassador in the British Embassy of Madagascar, so that, along with aquarists from Toronto Zoo in Canada, Zimmerman and Kienan Parbles from ZSL London Zoo could head off to Madagascar to search for the Mangarahara cichlid.

With help from local villagers, areas of a now-disconnected tributary from the Mangarahara River were cordoned off using nets to mark the search areas. Initially finding only other native species, the team were ecstatic when they finally found the first one of the last remaining Mangarahara cichlids in existence. Brian Zimmerman said: “We weren’t holding out much hope of finding any fish in the wild, as so much of the Mangarahara River now resembles the desert because of deforestation and intensive agricultural use.

“These cichlids have shown remarkable survival skills. We’re now doing all we can to protect these remaining fish.” As part of ZSL London Zoo’s Fish Net conservation project, which focuses on protecting freshwater species, Zimmerman and the team moved 18 of the Mangarahara cichlids to a private aquaculture facility in Madagascar, where they will receive specialist care while conservation plans are made to bring the species back from the brink of extinction.

8 Species We Thought Were Extinct But Are Actually Still Alive: here.