Saturday, November 14, 2015

PHOTOS: Big Cat Moves From Newquay To Australia

 13th November 2015 

Newquay Zoo bids farewell to a four legged resident.

One of its female fishing cats, Maew, is moving to a new home Down Under at Taronga Zoo, in New South Wales, Australia.

Maew (cat in Thai) , aged 3 ½ years old, was born at Newquay Zoo and is moving to Australia as part of the breeding and conservation programme designed to protect the species, classified as "endangered " by the IUCN (International Union For The Conservation of Nature).

There are currently only eight collections holding fishing cats in zoos in the UK and the Prionailurus viverrinus are native species in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia (Jawa), Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan.

The logistics of transporting the animal to Australia are highly complex, requiring a long drive from Newquay Zoo to Heathrow Airport followed by an even longer journey on a Qantas flight to Australia.

John Meek, Curator Of Animals, Newquay Zoo said: "It is a logistical jigsaw exporting an animal as you have many elements to supply including the animal's health certificate, the dimensions of the shipping crate, photographs of the animal, the animal's diet and a behavioural profile.

"Additionally, we also have to specify to the airline the temperature required for the cargo hold and no other animals will be transported on board the same flight, so you can imagine this type of activity requires the co-operation of many different parties."

A specialist cargo handling company - JCS Livestock - is used for this specific task and they are experts in this specialised field of animal logistics and transportation.
Owen Taylor, Senior Carnivore Keeper commented: "We will be very sorry to say goodbye to Maew but I am sure she will settle in very well in her new home at Taronga Zoo."

However, Maew's parents, Bing and Ping, will remain at the zoo in the hope that that they will breed and continue contributing to the captive population of fishing cats within European Zoos.
Newquay Zoo is a richly rewarding visitor attraction, based on the key principles of animal conservation and education that allows visitors to get a get closer animal experience.

The Zoo is an education, research and conservation charity dedicated to protecting global wildlife heritage and is owned by Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust (WWCT), a Devon based charity which also owns Paignton Zoo and Living Coasts in Torquay, as well as a number of nature reserves.


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