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Asiatic golden cat in Australian Zoos

Discussion in 'Australia' started by baboon, 22 Dec 2014.

  1. baboon

    baboon Well-Known Member

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    Hi, I have just read the 1997 paper written by Mike Brocklehurst from Melbourn Zoo. The paper is about the 27-year experience of Melbourn Zoo in keeping and breeding Asiatic golden cats. It seems that this zoo has great achievements in the breeding of this species. And the paper also said they had sent two golden cats to Taronga Zoo, and Perth Zoo also showed interesting in this species. But another more recent article says there are only 51 Asiatic golden cats kept in European and Asian zoos now. Therefore I wonder what happened to the Asiatic golden cats in Melbourn and other Australian zoos? Thank you!
     
  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    they were "phased out" in Australia, with the intention being to move the population to New Zealand zoos. Although they did breed in NZ (they were at Auckland and Hamilton) and a new one was even imported from Singapore, they never really prospered and eventually they were given up on. The last ones in NZ were exported to Europe.
     
  3. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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    If you can get access to a copy - the 2012 international zoo year book features an article on Golden Cats held in Australian and New Zealand zoos. It was written by a Taronga carnivore keeper and goes into detail on some of the many issues and setbacks they faced trying to breed the species...
     
  4. baboon

    baboon Well-Known Member

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    Thank you! It is a pity that they abandoned this species. Have you tried to acquire some golden cats from Auckland or Hamilton? :D
     
  5. baboon

    baboon Well-Known Member

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    Thank you! I will check the 2012 Yearbook.
     
  6. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Indra (1969-1983) > Cassandra (1977-1997) > Cim (1991-2009)

    Melbourne Zoo held Golden Cats from the 1970 onwards. Their first pair were called Golden Boy and Marigold. They also imported a female named Indra (born 1969 in the wild) from Tucson Zoo in 1976.

    Indra gave birth to a female cub called Cassandra in 1977, who went on to become Melbourne Zoo’s breeding female. Indra died in 1983, aged 14 years.

    Cassandra and her mate, Mas, produced 9 cubs between 1981 and 1991. Her last offspring was a female born in November 1991, called Cim. Cassandra died in 1997, aged 20 years.

    Cim and her mate, Rome, produced 6 cubs between 1994 and 1998. Cim was the last Golden Cat at Melbourne Zoo, and in Australia. Cim died in September 2009, aged 17 years.

    Adelaide Zoo sent its last two Golden Cats, Kuching and Singha, to Auckland Zoo in February 2008; Taronga Zoo sent their last Golden Cat, Mao, to Hamilton Zoo in June 2008.
     
  7. baboon

    baboon Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much, zoofan15! It is very interesting! The fate of golden cats in Melbourne seems similar to Shanghai zoo, which used to hold a large population of golden cats and breed regularly, but the population collapsed within just few years.
     
  8. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    It went downhill at Melbourne Zoo when Cim's mate Rome passed away in 1998. A new male was imported but Cim, still only 6 years old, and despited producing cubs with Rome, never bred with the new male who died in 2002. By this time, Cim was nearly 11 years old and was never paired with a new mate. Her two remaining sons, were exported in 2004 and 2007 respectively and Cim passed away aged 17 in 2009.

    It is interesting to note Melbourne Zoo gave up the ghost before the region did. In 2002, Taronga was still trying to breed with their pair, Auckland Zoo imported a female from Singapore in 2003 to breed with their male and Adelaide and Hamilton Zoo would later hold pairs.

    A reoccuring problem was an age difference between mates. When the paring was successful, in the case of Rome and Cim and the Auckland pair, the male passed away after shortly after, meaning only a few offspring were produced. The bulk of Melbourne's breeding success came from a similiar aged pair, Mas and Cassandra in the 1980s-90s.
     
  9. baboon

    baboon Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a lot again, Zoofan15! Hope the AI technique of Munster could be perfected and spread soon.
     
  10. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    I've always thought Asian golden cats could be curated better using a nocturnal house setting. While not fully nocturnal, they spend large periods of the day sleeping and are active throughout the night. Sound proof glass panels in a nocturnal house could be used to screen noise from the public, as well as tinted windows so visitors can see in, but the cats cannot see out. This would further encourage activity as well as breeding of this reclusive species, which husbandry notes have previously recommended keeping off display if breeding is to occur.

    A nocturnal house could be used to house several other small species native to South East Asia, including bats etc. to create a theme.
     
  11. baboon

    baboon Well-Known Member

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    Yes I agree the golden cats need quieter enclosures than other species, and also more cover and larger space. But I think a nocturnal house may not be necessary; as they always wake up before the sunset, and often in active in the morning or late afternoon. Anyway the nocturnal house means the cut-off from outside world :p