Wednesday, 18th July 2012
Dublin Zoo Welcomes Bull Elephant Upali to the Herd
Bull elephant will be the largest animal in the Zoo
On Monday July 9th, in a particularly large unveiling ceremony at the Kaziranga Forest Trail, Dublin Zoo welcomed one of the most highly anticipated arrivals in many years Upali an Asian bull elephant. Upali arrived from Chester Zoo at midnight on Thursday July 5. Upali is now the largest animal at Dublin Zoo. He is 17 years old, measures 3 metres tall and weighs over 6,000kgs, equivalent to the weight of ten Friesian cows.
Upali's arrival is a momentous development for both the Zoo and the international breeding programme as he joins three breeding females sisters Bernhardine and Yasmin, and Yasmin's calf Anak.
It is expected that the elephants will mate soon and double the size of the Dublin Zoo herd over the coming years.
Preparation for Upali's arrival began last September when construction of the bull elephant house commenced. To accommodate Upali comfortably, the purpose built structure, which was designed and project managed by the Office of Public Works (OPW), is 200 square metres with a glass ceiling, radiant heating and 1.5 metre deep sand for the elephant to stand on.
Development of the bull elephant house was made possible through funding awarded to Dublin Zoo, by the Government and administered by OPW. Since 1994 the funding has enabled Dublin Zoo to redevelop and create habitats such as The World of Primates, The World of Cats, The Fringes of the Arctic, The African Plains, The Gorilla Rainforest and The Kaziranga Forest Trail. In addition, the funding allowed Dublin Zoo to improve veterinary and horticulture facilities and refurbish the historic Haughton House.
Speaking at the ceremony Leo Oosterweghel, director at Dublin Zoo, said, "Upali's arrival is a hugely significant occasion for us as part of the international breeding programme.
Asian elephants are endangered and it is estimated that only 30,000 – 40,000 exist in the wild.
Facts about Dublin Zoo's heard of Asian elephants:
Upali is the largest animal in Dublin Zoo. He is 17 years old, measures 3 metres tall and weighs 6,000kgs.
Bernhardine arrived at Dublin Zoo in October 2006. ‘Dina' is the oldest female and the matriarch of the group. She is 25 years old, weighs approximately 3,700kgs and measures 2.75 metres tall. Dina is a calm, steady and easy-going elephant.
Yasmin is Dina's sister and arrived at Dublin Zoo in 2007. Yasmin, a 19 old female weighs approx 4,000kgs and measures 2.75 metres tall.
Anak was born to Yasmin in 2004 in Rotterdam Zoo. She weighs 2,200kgs and measures 2 metres tall. Anak is a very confident young elephant.
Asha was the first elephant calf born in the Republic of Ireland and was born to mum Dina in February 2007. She now weighs 1,400kgs, measures 1.5 metres tall and is still very playful.
Visitors can see Upali, Bernhardine, Yasmin, Anak and Asha at the Kaziranga Forest Trail daily. You can also keep an eye on the herd on the elephant webcam by visiting the website http://www.dublinzoo.ie .
The keeper talk ‘Elephant Encounters' happens at 12.30pm every day so this is a good time to visit the Kaziranga Forest Trail to learn more about Upali and the female Asian elephants.
For more information, please contact:
Kelley Cousins or Keira Doyle
Tel: 00 353 1 649 6490 / 086 269 5953 or 00 353 1 679 6335 / 086 269 4460
In addition to Upali's arrival, Dublin Zoo's youngest member of the elephant group, Budi, moved to Antwerp Zoo on July 4 as part of the international breeding programme. This move is the first stage of Budi's integration with other herds where he will continue to mature and will eventually breed.
Dublin Zoo is a not for profit organisation, registered charity number CHY 2964. Since Dublin Zoo first opened its doors in 1830, its 28 hectares has been transformed with the support of the Irish public and now attracts over 1 million visitors a year. All funds received by Dublin Zoo including gate takings, donations and sponsorships are directly invested into the day to day management, running and up keep of Dublin Zoo's animals, their habitats and conservation projects.
Employers conducting background checks on prospective employees
Certain legal requirements arise in the interview and pre-employment stage which both employers and employees should be aware of. Background checking or commonly known as "BGC's" are becoming increasing popular. No doubt one of the reasons such checks are becoming more popular is the availability of information regarding even private persons, much information which that individual might not have knowledge is on print or available on the internet concerning them.
The issue of background checking recently sparked debate when an employer in the US requested a prospective employee to share his Facebook password. The debate concerns to what degree an employer or indeed prospective employer can enquire into an individual's past or present actions or probity and indeed to what extent can information pertaining to an individual's personal life be used.
In Ireland the Data Protection Act holds that pre-employments checks should only be carried out where they are necessary and where there is an objective point to the process. In this they should only be carried out when an applicant is likely to be successful and the applicant should be informed of the quest for information and how the process will be carried out. Employers offering jobs which involve contact with young children or vulnerable adults will want verify that the applicant does not have a criminal record. This is done through the Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure Service. Also credit checks have been a standard in the banking industry and are now becoming more popular in retail. However, outside regulated areas such as working for the state, financially regulated employment and working with children and vulnerable adults, there is little or no legislation in Ireland regarding the conduct and use of information in relation to "BGC's".
That an employee might consent to the BGC does not render the process legitimate. Neither is the use and retention of an individual's information even if such information was obtained through public sources. Data Protection Law in particular imposes obligations as to how information pertaining to an individual is obtained, how it is used, shared and indeed stored. Employers should be mindful of this. That an employee or indeed a perspective employee freely gave information such as the password to their Facebook page should not be relied on. Given the inherently imbalanced relationship between an employer and employee and/or candidate, the employer is the one in the position of influence and power and the relinquishment of information might be seen as forced. The employer should be in a position to justify why the information was sought and should be able to explain how it was used and be able to demonstrate that the requirement for the information did not exceed the business which was sought to be protected.
This article does not constitute legal advice.
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