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Otter Lord

6-12-10 JiA Pattersons Eland

6-12-10 JiA Pattersons Eland
Otter Lord, 14 Jun 2010
    • AnaheimZoo
      Are there 3 species of eland? (Common, Giant, Patterson's)

      Or are Patterson's and Common the same?

      And in zoos with flamingos, could the flamingos (or really any free-ranging bird species) actually fly out of the park? Or are they "trained" not to?
    • Maguari
      Patterson's are a subspecies of Common Eland, Taurotragus oryx pattersonianus. There are only two species, Common and Giant.

      If they're not in an aviary, paddock birds of any kind (barring those that are naturally flightless) are usually either wing-clipped or pinioned. Both of these involve reducing the wing area on one side so that the bird is imbalanced and cannot take off. Wing-clipping just involves cutting the feathers off - this is less intrusive but must be done quickly after every moult or the bird will escape! This means ongoing disturbance, but does mean that the animal can regain flight if it is moved to an aviary. Pinioning is traditionally favoured as it is a one-off procedure but it is invasive and irreversible as it involves removing a bone from the tip of the wing so that the feathers anchored there do not grow. There's a large body of opinion that all naturally flighted birds should be kept in aviaries rather than paddocks to avoid having to do this.
    • mstickmanp
      Thanks for explaining this, I always thought pinioning and wing-clipping were the same procedure.
    • AnaheimZoo
      When you say invasive, can that also mean painful? You also mentioned the opinion part where they should be kept in aviaries to avoid doing this, which makes it seem worse for the birds. :(

      But then wing-clipping, because it has to be done after every moult, seems extremely annoying and tedious. Do you know which zoos prefer to use most? And which action would you prefer be used?
    • mstickmanp
      The LA Zoo keeps two flocks of flamingos, one in an aviary and the other outside. From what I've seen, the flock inside the aviary are not wing-clipped or pinioned, and reproduce several times a year. The flock outside are clearly flightless (not sure if wing-clipped or pinioned) and have not reproduce a single offspring in years. Maybe the zoo does not allow the outside flock to reproduce, but to me this is a good example of maybe the aviary flock reproducing more because they don't have the extra stress that comes with pinioning or wing-clipping that the outside flock have to deal with.
    • Maguari
      In terms of the choice between procedures, it all comes down to whether a single, potentially uncomfortable, procedure is more or less stressful than a simpler procedure but that will have to be done every year. It's worth bearing in mind that if the birds escape because they are not clipped soon after the moult it can mean death for the escapee - which won't happen with a pinioned bird. I'm not sure I have a firm opinion on that one.

      If the birds can be provided with a sufficiently large aviary, I'd rather see them in an aviary and free-flighted (and as mstickmanp suggests, in some species at least that seems to be far better for breeding). However, I think there is a place for pinioning and/or clipping if it allows a zoo to provide much larger exhibits for its larger birds.
    • AnaheimZoo
      Are the Smithsonian National Zoo's flamingos pinioned? They're in an open exhibit but it doesn't appear they can fly, however a video on Youtube shows that they've been pretty successful with their breeding... :)

      So what would be done to a flock of flamingos in say... about a three or four acre open exhibit? Would they have to be pinioned? Or would that affect their chances to breed if the zoo wanted them to?
    • Maguari
      Being pinioned or wing-clipped doesn't preclude breeding - the very productive flocks of flamingos at Chester and Slimbridge are flight-prevented and they do very well indeed. I don't know specifically about the Smithsonian.

      They'd still have to be pinioned, but it wouldn't stop them breeding if all the other conditions are right. The most important factor for flamingos seems to be flock size - the more birds, the better!
    • Ituri
      So, back to the original question, are these eland pinioned? :p

      ...wait, what are we talking about?
    • AnaheimZoo
      Uh, my original question was if there were 3 species of eland. Maguari told me that Patterson's was a subspecies of common eland.

      Later in the post I asked if birds in open exhibits are "trained" to stay within that area or could they fly away if they felt like it. :p
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    San Diego Zoo Safari Park
    Uploaded By:
    Otter Lord
    14 Jun 2010
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