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Chlidonias

Barbary sheep or aoudad

photo taken about 1988. This species is still held at Wellington Zoo, in this same enclosure

Barbary sheep or aoudad
Chlidonias, 9 Jun 2010
    • Chlidonias
      photo taken about 1988. This species is still held at Wellington Zoo, in this same enclosure
    • AnzacApe
      Sadly, as of my last visit Aug 2010 there are no longer Barbary Sheep at Wellington Zoo. According to ISIS there are none in New Zealand. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
    • Chlidonias
      that was a surprise to me but you are quite right. I emailed Wellington Zoo to ask about them, and the last aoudad they had (the last one in the country) left the zoo in 2008 and has since died. The enclosure now houses emus and wallabies.
    • Jabiru96
      Is it possible Taronga could send some over as they have 10.9 according to ISIS?
    • CGSwans
      Doubt Wellington views them as a priority, and I would certainly hope not. Considering the Aus/NZ quarantine restrictions on ungulates (basically, Australia can only import from the big four NZ zoos) ungulate spaces at Wellington (as well as Auckland, Orana and Hamilton) can be put to much better use than barbary sheep from Australia.
    • Jabiru96
      Good point CGSwan
    • zooboy28
      although the enclosure which had the barbary sheep is very steep, and would really suit a large group of them, im not sure if it would be so great for another ungulate species.

      I remember when Auckland Zoo used to have them, I think they lived around a tree which is now part of the sealion shores.
    • Chlidonias
      I've just been reading a book called "Tahr: a New Zealand hunter's handbook" by Steuart Laing (2010) which has a tiny snippet about the Wellington Zoo aoudad. It says "In 2004 the zoo discovered Johne's Disease in a Barbary sheep and subsequently found one of their tahr also had the disease. Consequently the last four tahr held at Wellington Zoo were euthanised in 2005 in an attempt to eliminate the disease."

      I'm not sure if they put down any aoudad as well (it seems very likely) but there was one still alive there till 2008 when it was sent back to it's (private) owner (as per what the zoo told me in 2010 when I made post #3 above). Perhaps Johne's Disease is the reason the aoudad herd disappeared so fast from the zoo.

      Johne's Disease, by the way, is a bacterial disease common in NZ farming. It is easily spread between animals through the faeces, and there is no treatment for it (although sheep and goats can be vaccinated against it). There's a page about it here: Johne's disease - Overview
    • zooboy28
      So are there any Barbary Sheep left in the country or was the one sent back to its owner in 2008 the last specimen in the country?
    • Chlidonias
      I was told by the zoo it was the last one in the country. But the zoos don't always know things like that, so perhaps there are some still in private hands. The best I can say is that I've never heard of any.
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  • Category:
    Wellington Zoo
    Uploaded By:
    Chlidonias
    Date:
    9 Jun 2010
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    Comment Count:
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