North Shore Times : January 17th 2013
www.northshoretimes.co.nz 4 NORTH SHORE TIMES, JANUARY 17, 2013 NEWS How many pokie venues should Auckland have? We need to ensure we have policies in place to support a fair, safe and healthy Auckland. So we'd like to hear your views on how we propose to regulate the growth of pokie machine venues and TAB venues. Copies of full summary of proposal and submission forms are online or at libraries, service centres or local board offices. Submissions will be received from 18 January to 28 February 2013. Play your part in delivering the world's most liveable city. Have your say at: 09 301 0101 online www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/haveyoursay Auckland Council, Private Bag 92300, Auckland 1142 OG_AC1600_SUB Animals enjoy playtime at the zoo Nature's ice pick: A kea tucks into an iceblock filled with fruit and vegetables and their favourite, just one peanut. Photo: LIZ WILLIS All ears: Neena the kunekune pig sits on command from Kids Zone team leader Hayley Paul. Photo: LIZ WILLIS Purr-fect treat: Cheetahs Anubis and Osiris are fed lactose free cat milk by carnivores team leader Bruce Murdock and senior keeper Lauren Booth. Photo: LIZ WILLIS Just like us: Orangutans are 97.4 per like us and keeping them happy and healthy is a challenge. In this photo male Wadju greets young Wanita. Photo: SUPPLIED Go to northshoretimes.co.nz and click on Latest Edition to see more photos from Auckland Zoo. By LIZ WILLIS Apes are skyping each other for a laugh and zoo staff are dancing and dressing up for the animals' enter- tainment. How the tables have turned for the animals at modern zoos around the world. At Auckland Zoo staff are always looking for new ways to keep the animals happy and healthy. Apps for the orangutans are among things possibly on the cards as the zoo considers introducing them to a donated iPad. Some international zoos use iPads to help understand apes' wishes and they're skyping and watching wildlife clips for fun. Primates team leader Amy Rob- bins says the iPad would need a specific purpose if it was introduced to orangutans at Auckland Zoo. Staff are investigating whether some applications would be bene- ficial so it's not just an expensive toy that might get broken''. The main focus at the zoo is help- ing encourage animals to behave like they would in the wild. For highly intelligent animals like the orangutans that poses a particular but fun challenge for staff. We joke that it's like working in a childcare facility,'' Ms Robbins says. Among things staff do is dance for them and dress up in donated op- shop clothes. Males Charlie and ISam enjoy an aeroplane tyre that takes three staff to move but they can throw in the air with one hand. Carnivores team leader Bruce Murdock says animals like the tigers prove an equal challenge. Tigers sleep for up to 18 hours a day so it can be tough putting on a show for zoo visitors. Zoo staff want people to see the animals in action behaving like they would in the wild to get their con- servation messages across. So meat gets hung in trees to show how well tigers climb and they're given 200kg mussel bouys that they play with like a ball. Whatever we do has a purpose. We impress their socks off and they get motivated to know how import- ant they are,'' Mr Murdock says. Taking photographs for this fea- ture gave me the chance to enter the cheetah enclosure with Mr Murdock and a senior keeper. Happily drinking lactose-free cat milk, the cheetahs could nearly be mistaken for big pussycats. Then one eyeballs me, I note how tall it is, and remember for a second how fast they sprint. The cheetahs enjoy walks on a heavy duty lead around the zoo most days and stun onlookers. Cheetahs are nomadic so the walk is something they get really pumped up'' about, Mr Murdock says. Burma the elephant and kune- kune pigs Neena and Alma also enjoy zoo walks. Acting team leader Laurel Sandy says Burma loves her walks, particularly into the bush in the morning. You can see her eyes light up,'' she says. Walking the kunekune pigs gives Kids Zone team leader Hayley Paul a chance to show off their intelli- gence, encouraging empathy. Among commands they know are sit, go right around and back up ( beep, beep''). They can also weave through posts on an agility course. People are wowed. They say they're better behaved than my dog, we hear that all the time. They are so intelligent, so willing to train and love going out for walks.'' Kea are among the smartest creatures at the zoo and native birds and mammals team leader Tanya Shennan loves working with them. There's nothing they like more than shredding a rotten log but they also get puzzles with things like links to unwind -- they have no problem figuring them out. They're such curious birds. We can see them thinking, they're con- sidering their options.''
January 15th 2013
January 18th 2013