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Australasian Asian Elephant Population 2021

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Zoofan15, 12 Feb 2021.

  1. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Australasian Asian Elephant Population

    Asian elephants are currently held at seven Australasian facilities.

    Auckland Zoo has plans to phase out elephants in the immediate future (2021); while Perth Zoo plan to phase out their remaining elephants upon the death of their elderly female, Tricia. Neither zoo has stated yet where their elephants will be going.

    Melbourne Zoo have announced plans to phase out their elephants when facilities are constructed for them at Werribee Open Range Zoo in 2023.

    All elephants held in Australasian zoos are of the Indian subspecies; except for the younger cow at Auckland Zoo, who is a Sri Lankan elephant; and the four cows at Australia Zoo, who are Sumatran elephants. The regional population is not currently managed at subspecies level.

    There are no confirmed pregnancies, though Melbourne Zoo are actively trying to breed Luk Chai with Dokkoon and Num-Oi.

    Auckland Zoo:

    0.1 Burma (00/00/1982) Wild x Wild; Imported 1990
    0.1 Anjalee (23/08/2006) Jayathu x Mayuri; Imported 2015

    Australia Zoo:

    0.1 Megawati (19/07/1999) Sidarta x Umri; Imported 2019
    0.1 Widya (00/00/2001) Unknown x Unknown; Imported 2019
    0.1 Christina (00/00/2010) Unknown x Unknown; Imported 2019
    0.1 Raflesia (00/11/2014) Unknown x Unknown; Imported 2019

    Melbourne Zoo:

    1.0 Luk Chai (04/07/2009) Gung x Thong Dee
    1.0 Man Jai (08/12/2013) Bong Su x Dokkoon

    0.1 Mek Kapah (00/00/1973) Wild x Wild; Imported 1978
    0.1 Dokkoon (00/00/1993) Unknown x Unknown; Imported 2006
    0.1 Kulab (00/00/2000) Unknown x Unknown; Imported 2006
    0.1 Num-Oi (00/00/2001) Num Sek x Lampoon; Imported 2006
    0.1 Mali (16/01/2010) Bong Su x Dokkoon

    Perth Zoo:

    1.0 Putra Mas (00/00/1989) Wild x Wild; Imported 1992

    0.1 Tricia (00/00/1957) Wild x Wild; Imported 1963
    0.1 Permai (00/00/1989) Wild x Wild; Imported 1992

    Sydney Zoo:

    1.0 Kavi (17/07/2014) Upali x Yasmin; Imported 2020
    1.0 Ashoka (19/08/2014) Upali x Anak; Imported 2020

    0.1 Saigon (00/00/1958) Wild x Wild; Imported 1962 approx

    Taronga Zoo:

    0.1 Pak Boon (00/00/1992) Unknown x Unknown; Imported 2006
    0.1 Tang Mo (00/00/1999) Unknown x Unknown; Imported 2006

    Taronga Western Plains Zoo:

    1.0 Gung (00/00/2000) Unknown x Unknown; Imported 2006
    1.0 Pathi Harn (10/03/2010) Bong Su x Porntip
    1.0 Sabai (02/11/2016) Gung x Thong Dee

    0.1 Porntip (00/00/1992); Imported 2006
    0.1 Thong Dee (00/00/1997); Imported 2006
    0.1 Kanlaya (14/06/2018) Putra Mas x Porntip

    Total regional population: 8.19 Asian elephant

    8.14 Indian elephant
    0.1 Sri Lankan elephant
    0.4 Sumatran elephant

    Note: Year of import is the year imported into the region.

    Details recorded from The Elephant Database; thanks also to @Patrick Keegan for additional information.
     
    Last edited: 12 Feb 2021
  2. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    Its going to be interesting to see how Australia zoos herd pans out in the future!
     
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  3. Tafin

    Tafin Well-Known Member

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    I hope they can get a Sumatran bull. That would be awesome to have a purebred Sumatran herd in the region.
     
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  4. Jambo

    Jambo Well-Known Member

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    It would be amazing, and considering the fact the European SSP has decided to stop interbreeding mainland individuals with the Sumatrans, it could be an option, as they will be attempting to find a place for their surplus bulls to breed.
     
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  5. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Last I heard, the plan was to import two Sumatran bulls from Indonesia (presumably Taman Safari). If unrelated, this import could sustain Australia Zoo’s herd for decades as one could sire the first generation; the other, sire the second generation via cows from the first generation.
     
  6. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    Looking at the satellite map of the elephant complex at AZ it really does not look like it could hold two bulls, It shows one barn opening out onto two yards, not really enough to house four cows and also bulls?:(
     
  7. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  8. Tafin

    Tafin Well-Known Member

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    It's nice they've both found excellent homes but sad they're being split up. They always looked so close.
     
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  9. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    I think the reasoning behind their separation is solid. Though they’ve always looked close on my visits over the years, they’re merely a snap shot of what the keepers would see on a daily basis. That said, they took to each other almost instantly versus Kashin and Burma who took close to two years to form any sort of bond.

    Anjalee should assimilate effortlessly into Dubbo’s herd. She’s a young female and should adapt well to living under Porntip as the matriarch. It’s great she’ll now have a chance to breed (presumably with Gung).

    Burma however, will find the move more challenging I think. Aside from the fact she’s lived at Auckland Zoo for over 30 years; the 39 year old matriarch will now have to adapt to playing a subordinate role to a much younger matriarch within Australia Zoo’s herd.

     
  10. Jambo

    Jambo Well-Known Member

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    Interesting decision to seperate the two girls. I always thought the two females would be heading to Australia, but in turn, would be staying together.

    Of course, the only option for Anjalee to be able to breed naturally, was at Western Plains. It's intriguing that they've decided to send Burma to Australia Zoo instead. Maybe they thought she wouldn't get along well with Porntip; an older, more intense Matriarch.

    The thinking might have been, that Burma, a less experienced Matriarch will slot in better with a newer herd of mostly younger cows. Hopefully, this will be the case.
     
    Last edited: 22 Apr 2021
  11. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    I think the main reason is that Taronga Western Plains Zoo are reluctant to acquire Burma (a non reproductive elephant) that may or may not cause significant social issues within what is currently a cohesive herd. Taking her on humanitarian grounds is all well and good; but put bluntly, it’s a big risk for little to no reward.

    Conversely, Anjalee will ideally breed and help grow their herd (which currently stands at just three females).
     
  12. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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  13. Elephantelephant

    Elephantelephant Well-Known Member

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  14. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    It’s hard to say. Since Burma is well into middle age, she may be content to take more of a back seat role in the herd. She’s very amiable, go with the flow and Megawati has had at least two years of leading this herd (possibly more, I don’t know their social background at Taman Safari). Either way, I think she’ll dote on the younger elephants in the herd.
     
  15. Jambo

    Jambo Well-Known Member

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    Taronga Western Plains is definitely a herd that’s been together for a much longer time, and the matriarch, Porntip, is known for being a really dominant female. This would have added to the worries of whether a female like Burma, who’s only ever lived with one other elephant, will be able to fit in with an already cohesive herd.

    I honestly think Megawati will stay matriarch, as is the case in most cases where an older female moves into a herd that’s been together for quite some time. Your right, Burma is very laidback so I think she’ll take a more second hand position and act as an aunty to some of the young females, just like she did with Anjalee.
     
  16. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    According to their social media, Australia Zoo’s elephants will be on display from late December. By this time, their new elephant Burma will have been at the zoo for three months and hopefully be integrated into their herd:

    0.1 Burma (00/00/1982) Elephas maximus indicus
    0.1 Megawati (19/07/1999) Elephas maximus sumatranus
    0.1 Widya (00/00/2001) Elephas maximus sumatranus
    0.1 Christina (00/00/2010) Elephas maximus sumatranus
    0.1 Raflesia (00/11/2014) Elephas maximus sumatranus

    Once the exhibit‘s open and the elephants are settled, I hope Australia Zoo will turn their focus towards importing the Sumatran bulls they mentioned at the start of all this. It’d be great to see them managed at the subspecies level.
     
  17. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Reproductive Analysis of Australasia’s Female Asian Elephants

    For long term reproductive health, it’s beneficial for a female elephant to give birth to her first calf before the age of 24 years. Those that achieve this often breed successfully well into their 30’s and 40’s.

    For those that don’t, conception is difficult due to scarring of the reproductive tract and a successful delivery is less likely, posing risk to the mother as well as the calf. For this reasons, attempts to breed cows who haven’t had a calf by the target age are not made within Australasia.

    As shown below, the region holds five cows who for various reasons, did not have a calf before the threshold age. They are regarded as non reproductive and will never be bred from. The other non reproductive cow is Kulab, who suffered a prolapsed uterus during the birth of her first calf and will therefore never be bred from again. While able to conceive, a subsequent birth could prove fatal.

    Four cows are past the threshold age, but have each had two calves each prior to reaching this age; as has the younger cow, Num-Oi. There’s no reason to believe these cows shouldn’t be able to reproduce well into middle age and it’s possible the two Melbourne cows are in early stages of pregnancy, following Luk Chai’s arrival last year.

    Three cows who have yet to breed are fast approaching the reproductive crossroads, given that pregnancy is an average of 22 months and two of them have turned 22 this year. Taronga have resigned themselves to not breeding with Tang Mo; while Megawati’s reproductive success will depend on Australia Zoo’s ability to source a bull.

    The two adolescent and two juveniles, still have plenty of time ahead of them; while the young adult, Anjalee, will hopefully conceive at Taronga Western Plains Zoo after five unsuccessful attempts at AI at Auckland Zoo using imported semen.

    Regional Population (Reproductive Status):

    0.1 Tricia (1957)
    0.1 Saigon (1958)
    0.1 Mek Kapah (1973)
    0.1 Burma (1982)
    0.1 Permai (1989)

    0.1 Porntip (1992) Calves: 2010 and 2018
    0.1 Pak Boon (1992) Calves: 2010 and 2017
    0.1 Dokkoon (1993) Calves: 2010 and 2013
    P?
    0.1 Thong Dee (1997) Calves: 2009 and 2016
    ——————————————
    0.1 Tang Mo (1999)
    0.1 Megawati (1999)

    0.1 Kulab (2000) Calf: 2010
    0.1 Num-Oi (2001) Calves: 2013 and 2016 P?
    0.1 Widya (2001)
    0.1 Anjalee (2006)
    0.1 Christina (2010)
    0.1 Mali (2010)

    0.1 Raflesia (2014)
    0.1 Kanlaya (2018)

    Colour codes indicated in text above.
     
  18. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    I had thought it would of been a better idea if Australia zoo had of at least imported one bull with the four cows with perhaps later more if wanted. As of yet I am not aware of any work for a bull barn or yards being built so nothing bull wise it would seem in the short term.
     
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  19. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Their original idea of importing more than one Sumatran bull was overthinking things when you consider a second bull won’t be needed for the breeding programme until the first bull sires a female calf (22 month gestation) that then grows to maturity and requires a mate (approximately 12 years). That’s over a decade to organise the import of a second bull like you suggest.

    In an ideal world, Australia Zoo will import a Sumatran bull and we’ll have a purebred herd within the region; but the lack of action makes me wonder if they’ll give up and acquire Putra Mas (along with Permai) when Perth Zoo phase out elephants and breed him to their cows. This may already be the unofficial plan and explain why Melbourne Zoo didn’t receive him instead of Luk Chai.
     
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  20. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    While I agree that one bull should be enough things can and do sometimes go wrong. Toronto zoo had a breeding group of 8 female and one bull African elephants which started off well, later the one and only bull died and so did its breeding program. Now I believe they are all long gone. One of the things that stand out to myself about the African Lion Safari's Asian elephant herd in Rockton Canada which has had a huge success with breeding its herd was the fact they have had multible bulls on site also sending bulls to other collection in north America.
    In regards to perths elephants I had thought they were a shore bet to go out to Werribee when the new complex was open, also I thought AZ would not want to cross any sub species and obtain a pure bred Sumatran bull.
     
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