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Report: Elephants live longer in the wild

Using high-tech cameras fixed to an orbiting satellite 280 miles overhead, a Wildlife Conservation Society scientific team tallied some of the zoo's own animal collection to see if satellites can help count wildlife populations in remote locations throughout the world. Photo credit: WCS.
by Staff Writers
Los Angeles (UPI) Dec 12, 2008
A study in the U.S.-based journal Science suggests female elephants living in in Africa and Asia live longer than those in European zoos.

Researchers, led by Georgia Mason of the University of Guelph in Ontario, said a study of data on more than 4,500 Asian and African elephants from Amboseli National Park in Kenya, the Myanma Timber Enterprise in Burma and European zoos shows being born into a zoo, being moved between zoos and the possible loss of their mothers puts animals at particular risk.

The study said the median lifespan for African elephants born in zoos was 16.9 years while the median for Africans at the Kenyan preserve that died of natural causes was 56 years.

The report was criticized by the North American-based Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

"The article is flawed," Paul Boyle, senior vice president of conservation and education for the organization, told the Los Angeles Times. "This is about elephants in Europe. There are wonderful zoos in Europe and there are zoos that are not so wonderful."

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Vets reattach cat's face
Boston (UPI) Dec 10, 2008
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