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Auckland Zoo Auckland Zoo News 2018

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by ZooNZ, 7 Jan 2018.

  1. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    BTW: All Auckland Galapagos were born in Honolulu Zoo in 1968 - 1971. It is a pair that only produced in this timeframe. They might potentially have been pure-bred Chelonoidis porteri. But both breeders have subsequently died ..., I believe.

    Most, if not all current Honolulu Zoo Galapagos are their offspring I believe. They still have some tortoises dating back from the first imports ... (which are now in their early nineties).
     
    Last edited: 30 Jan 2018
  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    An article (plus video) of exciting new invertebrates at the zoo, including Goliath Stick Insects, an Emperor Scorpion, Giant Burrowing Cockroaches, and Australian Rhinoceros Beetles (Xylotrupes ulysses).
    Bugs love it up for Valentine's Day at Auckland Zoo
     
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  3. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    Browsing through Auckland Zoo's Facebook, I see they have two baby Squirrel Monkeys (posted today) and the new Cheetahs have moved to their permanent enclosure near the Hamadryas Baboons (posted yesterday).

    Also, from 22 January:
    "Introducing our fascinating flock of forty-one Gouldian finches!

    At the moment our juvenile birds are ‘colouring up’ – this means they will lose their dark olive plumage and start gaining their adult plumage, turning a mix of reds, greens and yellows. The chests of the male birds will colour up a bright purple and the females a paler mauve, allowing them to be sexed easily.

    As bird keeper Erin explains, Gouldian finches are near threatened in the wild due to habitat loss in the northern territories of Australia and poaching for the illegal pet trade. These grass-eating birds are particularly vulnerable to seed shortages as a result of fires and grazing in the savanna woodland areas they inhabit.

    Eventually this flock will be introduced into an aussie aviary in our Strangely Beautiful Australia precinct. We will keep you posted on when you can visit them – in the meantime our red-tail black cockatoo and zebra finches would love to see you!"
     
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  4. driftaguy

    driftaguy Well-Known Member

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  5. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    I'm so glad Pinta won the public vote, beating the names Marle and Tiny (Urghhh) as competition.

    Aside from being an island in the Galapagos, La Pinta (Spanish for The Painted) was the fastest of the three ships used by Christopher Columbus in his first transatlantic voyage in 1492. The New World was first sighted by Rodrigo de Triana aboard La Pinta on 12 October 1492.

    I think this gives it a nice additional significance, ignoring the irony of La Pinta being known as the fastest ship, the hatching of this tortoise - the first in New Zealand is without a doubt a notable first time achivement and an exciting discovery in it's own right.

    Considering the longevity of this species (150 years) and the fact it will most likely bury us all, it's not hard to imagine this historical achievement will also be talked about in 100 years time.
     
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  6. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Birth and Death of Giraffe Calf

    Sad news from Auckland Zoo today:

    Auckland Zoo mourns loss of 'fighter' baby giraffe

    Auckland Zoo staff have been left heartbroken over the loss of a brave-spirited giraffe that had been born just three days earlier.

    Despite round-the-clock efforts to save the sick calf – and a brave fight he put up himself - the newborn had to be euthanised last night.

    After a normal pregnancy, the calf's 16-year-old mother Rukiya gave birth to the normal-sized calf at 2.30am on Monday, without complication.

    However, the calf was too weak to stand – something that immediately struck his carers as unusual.

    "A giraffe calf is normally up and on its feet within half an hour – something it needs to do in order to be able to reach up and suckle from its mother, which it continues doing for up to six months of age," Auckland Zoo senior vet Dr An Pas said.

    Throughout the calf's first day the zoo's veterinary team and specialist giraffe keepers fed him regularly via a tube to enable him to receive the colostrum and milk needed to provide him with essential sustenance and immunity.

    They also gave him physio sessions, and as a preventative measure, the vet team administered antibiotics.

    But his illness worsened significantly yesterday afternoon with his low-grade fever escalating to a high fever, and blood test results revealing extensive breakdown of muscle and organ failure.

    Given this, last night the zoo team had to make the tough but kindest call to euthanise him.

    "He had spirit and was a fighter, and did manage to stand for short periods and suckle a little bit a few times over the next two days," Pas said.

    "Rukiya, an amazing mother, was doing everything she could to help him, but in the end, this calf was unable to sustain standing for long enough to suckle with Rukiya.

    "It's such a tough situation as when a calf is weak like this to start with, it's vulnerable to infection and once an infection sets in, as it did, its body uses all its power to deal with and fight the infection, so it's not getting enough energy and food so it starts to break down muscle."

    The loss of the calf was especially tough for the zoo's team of Pridelands keepers who care for the Zoo's giraffe family, and spent the last few nights working in shifts to monitor the calf and mum Rukiya.

    "It's heart-breaking when something like this happens, and always a difficult decision no matter what the species, but it was clear this was a battle that was not going to be won," Pridelands keeper David Crimp said.

    "We feel really proud and honoured that, with our amazing vet colleagues, we were able to do everything we could to give this calf a fighting chance."

    The father of this calf was elderly male, 19-year-old Zabulu, who died last April.

    Auckland Zoo was currently home to three giraffe; adult females Rukiya and Kiraka, and 15-month-old female, Kabili, the offspring of Kiraka.

    Sometime in the future, the zoo will welcome a male giraffe as part of the Australasian regional breeding programme for this species.
     
    Last edited: 8 Mar 2018
  7. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Sad news regarding the death of Rukiya's calf, which was her seventh.

    Zabulu died 11 months ago in April 2017, so given gestation for a giraffe is 15 months, this calf was likely conceived in December 2016, just four months before Zabulu's death.
     
  8. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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  9. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    The above article is about a fungal disease named Paranannizziopsis australasiensis originally discovered in Tuatara at the zoo being reared for release. It has since been found in the wild, but appears to be harmless to the animals.
     
  10. ZooBoyNZ

    ZooBoyNZ Well-Known Member

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    I visited the zoo on Sunday (22/4/18) and have a few general updates.

    Due to the construction of the South-East Asia precinct (Wild Indonesia) the middle of the zoo is completely closed off. There is still a path from the alligators, past the lemur exhibit and around the edge of what used to be the orangutan exhibit with lots of way-finding signage to allow easy visitor access to the other precincts which is good.

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    Construction wall just below the tiger exhibits. These walls are around the entire construction site which makes it hard to see in but there are a few open viewing points.


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    This path to the left used to be an entrance to the "Primate Trail" (orangutan and lemur exhibits) but it is now just a short-cut to the South American precinct.

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    An area on the left side of the tiger pit enclosure is closed off and both tigers (mother and son) were sharing the glass-fronted exhibit.

    All that's left of the lemur enclosure now is the moat and bit of the viewing platform as shown here.

    IMG_4873.JPG
    The lemurs are currently in a off-display area and will be moving to another zoo soon apparently. They will return to a new exhibit at the zoo after "Wild Indonesia" is completed.

    Progress has been made on the demolition of the orangutan exhibit and surrounding area.

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    The small wooden posts in the foreground are what remains of one of the orangutan climbing structures. In the distance on the right of the photo is where the lemur exhibit was and further back the band rotunda on central lawn can be seen.

    The meerkat exhibit opposite the otters and red pandas isn't blocked off yet but will probably be next to be demolished.

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    I will put a few more photos and updates on the Wild Indonesia development later in its thread here.
    I also noticed a few bits of new signage throughout the zoo, particularly in the Australian walkthrough.

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    The area which is supposably going to be a new brolga exhibit is still under construction and the brolgas are still just occupying one of the Tasmanian devil exhibits. They also have a new piece of species signage which fits the rest of the precinct.

    The boardwalk around the giraffe exhibit is currently closed because a large tree fell down in the recent storm and damaged it. The African escapement area is open (meerkat exhibits and aviary) but the roof of the indoor tortoise exhibit came off and was damaged as well so they are off-display temporarily.

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    Another new piece of signage; at the shared rhino/nyala exhibit.

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    The hippopotamus enclosure hasn't changed much (or at all) but it is still due to become an extension of the rhino exhibit. Overall, I had a great visit and despite all the construction work, everything is looking really tidy and well-kept. :D
     
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  11. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Tasmanian Devil Import

    Auckland Zoo is delighted to welcome two young Tasmanian devils today as part of Australia’s Tasmanian Devil Ambassador Program for this endangered species that is under threat from the deadly Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD).

    Three-year-old males Levi and Smiley, captive bred as part of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program’s (STDP) Insurance Population, arrived early this morning accompanied by STDP team leader, David Schaap.

    Levi and Smiley are now in quarantine at the Zoo’s Tasmanian devil exhibit in an enclosure adjoining the Zoo’s elderly male, six-year-old Herod. (Tasmanian devils live on average, just five years, and Herod is the last of four ambassador devils that arrived at the Zoo in 2014).

    David Schaap, who will help the Zoo’s Carnivore team settle the two devils in over the next few weeks, says the Ambassador Program, established in 2013, is integral to the success of the STDP.

    "Having devils at world-class zoos like Auckland Zoo enables us to raise awareness and interest in these unique animals. This in turn is helping us towards achieving our ultimate conservation goal to preserve both captive and wild devils," says David. "On a practical level, being able to move devils from Tasmania to other zoos is extremely important as it helps free up valuable space so we can keep breeding devils to ensure a big enough captive population that is healthy and self-sustaining."

    Auckland Zoo Carnivore keeper Nick Parashchak, who has fallen in love with "these sweet, smart, and greatly misunderstood creatures" says he and the team are very excited to be welcoming Levi and Smiley and furthering the Zoo’s role in the Ambassador Program.

    "Tasmanian devils have such personality and attitude, which is all about respect and not to be mistaken for aggressiveness, and as consumers of dead animals, they are absolutely vital contributors to the ecosystems where they live. Once they have settled in, we’re looking forward to introducing Levi and Smiley to visitors and sharing our passion for these stunning marsupials," says Nick.

    The Tasmanian Devil Ambassador Program, established in 2013, is a collaboration between the Australian government and the Australasian Zoo Aquarium Association (ZAA), and comes under the umbrella of the wider Save The Tasmanian Devil Program.

    The Tasmanian devil is classified as ‘Endangered’ by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Red List and the Federal government of Australia

    Auckland Zoo, Wellington Zoo, Orana Wildlife Park, several American zoos and more recently selected zoos in Japan and Europe are now part of the Tasmanian Devil Ambassador Program (TDAP).


    The whole article can be read here: Auckland Zoo welcomes young devils | Voxy.co.nz
     
  12. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Pinta (2017-2018)

    Sad news from Auckland Zoo's Facebook Page:

    We are very sad to share that due to developing a severe and untreatable infection, our baby Galapagos tortoise Pinta has had to be euthanased.

    Last December, Pinta hatched prematurely and it was soon discovered that her plastron (the underside part of the tortoise shell) had developed abnormally. Despite this problem she ate well and had started to grow. Unfortunately part of this abnormal shell area did not heal properly, and as a result of this, the shell and internal orga...ns became severely infected.

    We're incredibly sad to lose our zoo’s first precious Galapagos tortoise but also hopeful that parents Chippie and Smiley could produce healthy offspring in the future.

    “Because Pinta was premature we knew this could potentially decrease her chance of survival, as there have been other similar cases in zoos overseas, but it’s always tough when it happens” says Richard Gibson, Curator of Ectotherms and Birds.

    “Mum Chippie and dad Smiley are only in their forties, which is very young in Galapagos years. Now that they have successfully produced one fertile egg, there is nothing to stop them producing more in the future, and we are ever hopeful that this will be the case.”

    More info can be found here: Sad news for zoo's first Galapagos tortoise hatchling | Auckland Zoo News
     
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  13. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Bummer ..., still a phenomenal achievement. I do think the program is in good hands with Gibson & Co. and look forward to yet more and succesful hatchings and giant tortoise babies in future.
     
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  14. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Flamingo Chick Update:

    Flock-raised Flamingos Blowing Expectations out of the Water | Auckland Zoo News

    Remember those grey, gorgeous balls of fluff that were breaking flamingo records back earlier this year?

    These young birds have been named Eleanor and Sullivan, and now at half the size of their parents they better resemble a flamingo, and continue to amaze our keepers who didn’t know what to expect from the flock-raised chicks.

    These chicks are still mainly grey but have just started to produce a few pink feathers under their wings, as flamingos gain their pink colouring from pigments found in their food. Pridelands keeper David Crimp said these young chicks have “blown expectations out of the water” as they became well-integrated with the flock, bathed in the water, and gained confidence in all aspects of flamingo life. These are behaviours they didn’t witness in hand-reared flamingos until a later stage.

    Forced to watch from the side-lines, David and the Pridelands team are overjoyed the parents are doing such a great job at instinctively raising their young, and are please to now have two more “well-adjusted” flamingos in the flock.


    Auckland Zoo have also uploaded a video today about the flamingo chicks on their Facebook Page.
     
  15. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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    Lion update. Unfortunately Kura's health took a turn for the worse in recent times and the difficult decision was made to euthanize her this week. She was born at Indianapolis Zoo back in September 1998 and arrived at Auckland in August 1999

    The decision was also made to let her daughter, Amira go at the same time on welfare grounds. They believed that she would suffer significantly from the loss of Kura and it was kinder to let them pass together. Amira was born at Auckland in May 2001 and was one of Kura's first litter

    Auckland are currently without Lions following this loss
    Zoo pays tribute to much loved lions | Auckland Zoo News
     
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  16. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Auckland Zoo have been awarded the 2018 Innovation Award from the Australasian Society of Zoo Keeping for their pioneering work in flamingo husbandry:

    In January this year, our newly hatched flamingos broke new ground by being the first chicks to hatch under their parents and be raised by the flock. This was not only an amazing development for our zoo, but a first for the whole of Australasia!

    In the past flamingo chicks have been incubated and hand-raised by our keepers until they were ready to join the wider flock. This time around, our keepers could see that the parents were exhibiting new and different behaviours (including incubating their eggs at night!) and decided to take a new approach.

    Congratulations to our innovative keepers | Greater Flamingo | Auckland Zoo News
     
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  17. ZooBoyNZ

    ZooBoyNZ Well-Known Member

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    Visited the zoo yesterday (23/6/18) and have a couple updates; construction work seems to be happening everywhere!

    - Work is finally happening on the vacant hippo enclosure which is becoming an extension of the rhino/nyala exhibit located behind the fence at the back; they are in the process of adding some theming elements which look good and I assume the water level will come up to where the rocks are so the animals can drink from the water easily. There is a concept art on the wall of what it should look like once completed next month.

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    - The old elephant house is under construction and is due to become a new restaurant which will seat over 150 people and serve seasonal dishes as well as craft beer and wine - opening Spring 2018. This should help with capacity when the main Darwin's restaurant has to close for Wild Indonesia construction.

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    There is lots of work happening in the old orangutan exhibit area for Wild Indonesia but I might upload a video or some pictures later in its seperate thread. Something interesting that the zoo posted on social media today for their weekly project update is that excavators found an old wolf den meters underground in the old orangutan enclosure!
     
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  18. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, the importation of hippos is looking unlikely long term now with the renovation of this exhibit into an extension of the white rhino paddock. The rhino enclosure was never large, especially when they had a herd of 2.3 back in the early 2000s so this is no bad thing I suppose.

    Fascinated to hear about the discovery of the old wolf dens. Is there any pictures? I heard that the chimpanzee exhibit (which then became the second orangutan enclosure in 2004/2005) used to hold wolves so I’m guessing the dens were found near there (maybe under the orangutan indoor playroom)?
     
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  19. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    The wolves do indeed appear to be where the chimpanzee exhibit was later built (early 1980s) according to this 1965 map:

    Auckland Zoo Map c. 1965. | ZooChat

    For reference the brown bear enclosure in this map is what was later the meerkat exhibit (opened 1991).
     
  20. driftaguy

    driftaguy Well-Known Member

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    News from last month - Auckland Zoo has a new director.

    Auckland Zoo has a new Director | Auckland Zoo News

    Kevin Buley has been Deputy Director and Head of Life Sciences at Auckland Zoo since 2010 and Acting Director since January. With a 25-year career in the zoo industry, Buley’s previous roles include Head of Zoo Programmes at Chester Zoo, one of the largest zoos in Europe with 20,000+ animals.

    Buley’s tenure as leader has commenced at one of the busiest and most exciting periods in Auckland Zoo’s 96-year history with the commencement of the South East Asia development which will transform the look and feel of almost one fifth of the Zoo.

    “Kevin was the leading candidate for the position from a very strong international field. His extensive knowledge and experience in the strategic growth and development of leading zoos makes him the ideal appointment. With his ability to inspire and connect with a wide range of people on wildlife conservation issues, he has played a pivotal role in the growth and success of the zoo,” says RFA Chief Executive Chris Brooks.

    “Passionate about the social role that Auckland Zoo plays within the wider Auckland community and its growing role as a catalyst for wildlife conservation action in New Zealand and internationally, Kevin will lead the remarkable work the Zoo does as one of New Zealand’s leading conservation organisations.”

    As new Zoo director, Buley succeeds Jonathan Wilcken, who over the past decade has led Auckland Zoo through an extraordinary period of growth, within and outside the Zoo. This has included creating major new developments such as the New Zealand precinct, Te Wao Nui, to establishing the Zoo as a leading wildlife conservation and education organisation – supporting and active in conservation efforts throughout New Zealand and around the world. In January, Wilcken was appointed as RFA’s Strategy Director.

    Passionate about the social role that Auckland Zoo plays within the wider Auckland community and its growing role as a catalyst for wildlife conservation action in New Zealand and internationally, Kevin will lead the remarkable work the Zoo does as one of New Zealand’s leading conservation organisations.

    CHRIS BROOKS, RFA CHIEF EXECUTIVE


    About Kevin Buley

    Kevin Buley has worked in the zoo industry for almost 25 years. He has a BSc in Zoology/Animal Biology from the University of Southampton and began his career as a reptile and amphibian keeper at Jersey Zoo in the British Channel Islands, where he subsequently rose to head of its world-renowned herpetology department.

    In 2002, he moved to Chester Zoo, the UK’s largest and most successful visitor attraction outside London, where he was Head of Zoo Programmes until his move to New Zealand over eight years ago.

    Since joining Auckland Zoo as Deputy Director and Head of Life Sciences in 2010, Kevin has played a pivotal role in the growth and continued success of the zoo. He has been responsible for establishing the Life Sciences Department as one of the foremost on the global zoo and aquarium stage. He has built a team of international experts in wildlife management, field conservation, veterinary medicine, science, research and education.

    His leadership in the sector has also recently seen him elected to the Australasian Zoo & Aquarium Association Board of Management, the industry body representing nearly 100 zoos and aquariums across New Zealand and Australia.
     
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