Ep 47 Luke Harding on the importance of reptile welfare, cooperation in conservation and Blue Iguana (Cyclura lewisi) conservation

2021 ibuzz podcast Jun 12, 2021

Luke Harding is the Blue Iguana Conservation Programme Manager at the National Trust for the Cayman Islands. He is a conservation biologist with over 14 years of experience in the conservation sector. 

Luke shares with us how his family and early life experiences kindled his particular interest in the conservation breeding and captive management of amphibians and reptiles. Critically, he references his BTEC at Sparsholt College Hampshire as key in kindling his passion for animals.  Furthermore, he participated in a two-week work experience at Chester Zoo which increased his passion for Herpetology.  

Luke went on to get a degree in Zoology / Animal Biology at Nottingham Trent University, which he completed whilst working in the industry to gain more experience. In doing so, Luke has worked within some of the some of the largest zoos in the UK and gained extensive in situ field experience with flag ship species such as the Mountain Chicken Frog (Leptodactylus...

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Ep46 Jon Coe on activity-based design, monkeys running the monkey house, and asking 'what is the message'?

2021 ibuzz podcast Jun 05, 2021

Jon has almost 60 decades of experience, and completed over one hundred sixty planning and design projects for eighty-two zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, theme parks, wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in thirteen nations on six continents.

Jon shares with us about how fighting elephants at Boston Zoo sparked his thesis idea which would be on Artificial Habitats for Captive Animals. After receiving his undergraduate degree and his master’s degree, it still took Jon 7 years before getting his first project. Jon’s first project was working with Jones & Jones in Seattle, between 1973 – 1983. Together they invented the landscape immersion design at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle with the idea being ‘back to nature’.

Jon went on to found CLR design in Philadelphia, from 1984 – 2004. CLR Design allowed the client to choose the subject of innovation while creating projects and designs. Jon highlights how they work FOR animals WITH...

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Ep 45 Dr Francis Cabana on zoo nutrition, the importance of body condition scoring research and sharing knowledge

2021 ibuzz podcast May 29, 2021
Dr Francis Cabana is the Assistant Director of Zoology & Wildlife Nutritionist at Wildlife Reserve Singapore and holds an Adjunct Lecturer position at Temasek Polytechnic, and shares his experiences working in different zoo’s and how he found his love for studying wildlife nutrition.

Francis shares how his love for animals started at an incredibly young age, and how his “best mistake” in his life was not having high enough grades to attend vet school. He went on to get his degree in zoology before moving between different zoos and obtaining his MSc and PhD in the UK.

Francis was soon offered an internship in zoo nutrition at Paignton Zoo with his mentor Dr Amy Ploughman. Francis notes that this internship was amazing and that he got to use his knowledge and experiences from research in the wild.  Eventually, he became involved with the zoological community and zoos associations.

Francis shares how important bi-weekly body condition scoring is and to weigh...
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Wellbeing through authentic connection workshop on 25 June 2021


Join us for a relational meditation that nourishes through presence, shared vulnerability and gratitude. 

For all animal care professionals, veterinarians, managers, directors, students and researchers working with and for animals and or conservation.

You'll learn and practice some powerful, practical tools for connection. We'll sink into presence, explore the connecting and teach you some of our favourite relational meditation and gratitude practices.

You’ll walk away with some key distinctions that can bring more depth and aliveness to your experience of connecting with your partner, friends, family or with people at work.

You’ll experience the effect that this way of relating has on yourself and on others, while gaining awareness of the shift in your connections: from flatness to depth and fullness, from superficial to meaningful and real.

Showing up with what is and being seen in that is extremely nourishing as you can be just who you are. Not only will...

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Press release: Global collaboration for animal welfare with the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens

2021 animals asia cazg paws May 26, 2021

Media contact: Sabrina Brando
Founder and director
[email protected]


Press Release


Since August 2020 Animals Asia and AnimalConcepts are collaborating with the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens to support them in their efforts to improve and maintain good animal welfare for animals in member parks.

The Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens (CAZG) is dedicated to continuous personal development through educational opportunities of zoo employees to improve the wellbeing of the animals and a wide variety of events have been held since 2012.

This new online educational effort is also made possible through collaborations with other experts in the zoo community through recorded webinars with translated slides and subtitles. These are accessible for viewing on a dedicated ‘YouTube’ style channel as well as additional translated resources on a platform for viewing and download. A similar platform to the Practical...

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Ep44 with Jan van Hooff on growing up in a zoo, Burgers' Zoo in WWII, and how connecting with a drill shaped his career

2021 ibuzz podcast May 22, 2021

Jan van Hooff was born in a zoo in 1936. He grew up in Burgers’ Zoo, founded and named after his grandfather Johan Burgers. His grandfather was a butcher and in the meat trade, and also an avid collector of pheasants. Jan shared how the zoo grew as other animals were added to the pheasant collection, like boars, deer and a rescued bear. He also shares some operational details and approaches to zoos in the Netherlands and other European cities in the early 19th century.

Jan shares how his grandfather would travel to Germany for his trade and how I came in contact with the work of Karl Hagenbeck in Hamburg, the winter quarters of the circus animals as displays without bars but using ditches and other barriers that allowed for containment as well as unobstructed viewing. He was fascinated by this design and in 1913 in Arnhem Burgers’ Zoo opened. 

Jan shares how his father and mother met, and how his father was a big animal friend, and how he grows up with all the...

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Ep43 Amy Plowman on the importance of nutrition, collaboration, and learning from the wild

2021 ibuzz podcast May 15, 2021

Dr Amy Plowman who is the head of conservation with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, is part of the European Nutrition Group, and was at the Paignton Zoo and Wild Planet Trust for over 2 decades.

Amy shares how she came to study animal nutrition and remarks the importance of the diets in promoting optimal welfare. She gives some practical examples of nutritional problems and how she started looking at sugars and carbohydrates in the animal’s diets.

Amy explains different types of nutrients and deepens the conservation by sharing about the diverse adaptations for digestion in different types of animals. She talks about the cultivated food grown for humans that in most zoos is given to the animals due to availability and otherwise high costs and challenges accessing certain foods year-round. Amy discusses diseases related with certain diets and some solutions.

Amy shares a variety of her research on nutrition, as well as the use of thermal cameras and conservation, sharing...

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E42 Suzy Deurinck on connection, being, social skills, and 247 horse welfare

2021 ibuzz podcast May 08, 2021

Suzy Deurinck is from the Netherlands and is the owner of the horse consultancy company Deurinck Paardengedrag & Welzijn (horse behaviour and welfare).

 Suzy shares she is not as the typical horse lady. She tells us how she started being interested in horses, talks about her academic career and her MSin Animal Science, wanting to help changing the odd training methods in horses. 

 Suzy introduces her thesis work in dog training and welfare, and how head and neck posture affecting horse welfare. She talks about her data collection and her research findings. 

 Suzy brings a nice story of a magical connection with Joy, a horse she care for very muchand gives some other examples of connection between animals and humans. 

 Suzy talks about her work running the consulting company, analyzing training videos, facial expressions, and ...

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Ep41 Geoff Hosey on academic research, human-animal interactions and lemurs

2021 ibuzz podcast May 01, 2021

Geoff Hosey is an Honorary professor at the University of Bolton in the UK. His experience of undertaking research and supervising students has mostly been in behavioural biology, animal welfare and primatology, and he is still involved in research on zoo animal welfare, particularly about human-animal relationships in the zoo.

Geoff shares how he started studying animals and animal welfare and explains what behavioural biology is. He suggests new students to starting an academic career to do research in this field and encourages zoos and other animal facilities to do more research in general.

Geoff shares aspects of his academic work, which he mostly conducted at Bolton University, teaching behavioural biology and supervising many different research projects on wild and captive animals across a variety of species. Geoff talks about his work comparing behaviours of wild lemurs in Madagascar and in captivity and he shares some nice primate stories.

He shares insights from the studies...

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Ep40 Sarah van Herpt on bear friendships, the importance of observations, and stories of healing

2021 ibuzz podcast Apr 24, 2021

Sarah van Herpt is a senior bear team manager at Animals Asia in Vietnam, and she shares the work Animals Asia is doing and how they are working to improve the welfare of animals in captivity. In addition, they are working towards ending the dog-meat trade and ending bear farming. 

Sarah shares with us the daily routine of observation, feeding, and enrichment with the bears at the sanctuary. She explains all about the dens and bear houses in the facilities, the choice the bears have, and open access for the animals. 

Sarah talks about different behaviours at night, sleeping habits, secret friendships, and the different personalities they bears have, and helps us understand what a happy bear looks like and how they mimic faces of others when playing. She explains the different types of friendships found in the groups. 

Sarah provides some background on sun bears and moon bears, differences in biology, and care in captivity. She speaks about the interaction between...

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