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Australasian Orangutan Population

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Zoofan15, 8 Feb 2021.

  1. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Australasian Orangutan Population

    There are currently six holders of orangutan in the region. Bornean orangutan are held at one facility; Sumatran orangutan are held at four facilities; and hybrids are held at three facilities. In the near future, Auckland Zoo plan to import two more Bornean females; and Melbourne Zoo will presumably acquire a female Sumatran orangutan to pair with their male.

    Auckland Zoo:

    Bornean orangutan:

    1.0 Charlie (21/03/1981) Zabu x Girlie
    0.1 Melur (11/06/1988) Laki x Yasmin; Imported 1995

    Hybrid orangutan:

    0.1 Wanita (23/03/1979) Roy x Wendy

    Adelaide Zoo:

    Sumatran orangutan:

    1.0 Kluet (18/07/1995) Gambar x Gina; Imported 2003
    0.1 Puspa (01/01/1975) Atjeh x Puan

    Melbourne Zoo:

    Sumatran orangutan:

    1.0 Malu (29/07/2003) Santan x Maimunah

    Hybrid orangutan:

    0.1 Kiani (24/06/1978) Bobby x Olga
    0.1 Gabby (01/01/1990) Santan x Kiani

    Mogo Zoo:


    Hybrid orangutan:

    1.0 Jantan (11/07/1987) Perang x Judy II
    0.1 Willow (09/05/1985) Perang x Wendy

    Perth Zoo:

    Sumatran orangutan:

    1.0 Dinar (06/03/1987) Dinding x Abigail; Imported 2004
    0.1 Puteri (12/06/1970) Atjeh x Puan
    0.1 Utama (19/06/1979) Atjeh x Puteri
    0.1 Sekara (20/07/1990) Hsing Hsing x Puspa
    0.1 Pulang (21/12/1993) Atjeh x Puan
    0.1 Teliti (20/10/2009) Hsing Hsing x Puteri
    1.0 Sungai (30/12/2011) Dinar x Sekara
    0.1 Lestari (09/01/2012) Hsing Hsing x Pulang

    Sydney Zoo:

    Sumatran orangutan:

    1.0 Santan (12/10/1977) Mias x Puppe; Imported 1987
    0.1 Maimunah (23/05/1986) Pongo x Timor
    0.1 Dewi (06/12/2010) Santan x Maimunah

    Total regional population: 7.14

    1.1 Bornean orangutan
    5.9 Sumatran orangutan
    1.4 Hybrid orangutan

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

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    What is the long term outlook for the orang utan population?
    What conservation breeding plans, I heard suggestions the Sumatran program is stagnant or will it be re-invigorated?
    Would it not be beneficial to relocate all hybrid orangs at one location only?
     
  3. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Auckland (the only regional holder of Bornean orangutan) is apparently planning to import two females this year. This is an exciting opportunity as one of them is a wild born founder. They will hopefully breed with the zoo’s male, Charlie.

    The Sumatran orangutan breeding programme appears to have stagnated with no births in the region in almost a decade. Perth Zoo have recently introduced Dinar and Pulang, so hopefully they will breed. Adelaide and Sydney Zoo hold non breeding groups; and Melbourne Zoo hold a single male.

    I agree re. transferring all the hybrids to one location. I nominate Mogo Zoo! Wanita is currently living amicably with the 1.1 Bornean pair due to the size of the exhibit, but would likely clash with future imports (she’s been a problem in the past). At Mogo Zoo, she’d rejoin her sister, Willow. Melbourne Zoo would benefit from getting shot of their hybrids, as they’d have the space to import a female Sumatran orangutan to pair with their lone male.
     
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  4. Jambo

    Jambo Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully Perth manages to breed Pulang then. Is Pulang still in with Lestari or have they been separated. Perth is one of the zoos in the region that has succeeded in breeding Orangutans over the years; Melbourne did it with Gorillas and Taronga with chimps.

    I heard a rumour that Adelaide wanted a new female to be paired with Kluet; this was soon after Karta’s death which was almost four years ago.

    In Sydney’s case, despite having one enclosure, they keep Santan, and Maimunah and Dewi. This is only to prevent Maimunah from breeding; as was done at Melbourne. Maimunah is now 35, so I doubt they will breed from her again. Maybe Dewi could be sent to Adelaide to be paired with Kluet.

    Melbourne don’t have any plans on imports or exports. Unless the enclosures are expanded, than they wouldn’t be able to import more anyway. The Saimangs will likely not be grouped with the Orangutans, as it backfired last time; Kiani and Gabby were the main instigators. Mogo would have more imitative to breed Orangutans than Melbourne!
     
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  5. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Pulang and Lestari are still in together. My understanding is that they want to breed from Pulang next so Lestari can observe her mother raising an infant.

    Taronga were VERY successful in breeding orangutans. Many wish they weren’t, considering their founders were two Bornean males and two Sumatran females!

    There is a desire to breed from Kluet, as he’s a valuable male. It would be difficult to bring in a new female with their limited space (there’s no guarantee they could share quarters like Kluet and Karta).

    Kluet and Maimunah are related unfortunately (through their maternal line), so Dewi cannot be paired with Kluet.
     
  6. Jambo

    Jambo Well-Known Member

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    Melbourne spun a story at the time of Dewi’s birth; that the birth was to help Malu be confident around infants. Despite that, Malu was separated soon after because he often disrupted Dewi, stealing her from Maimunah. He’s one funny guy, Malu! :p He has fun chasing around elderly Kiani these days which I find hilarious.

    Its a shame Dewi and Kluet are related. Maybe a swap of Dinar for Kluet could occur in the future, and Dewi could be paired with Dinar?
     
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  7. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    A lot will depend on what exhibit plans Adelaide have for the future under their masterplan. I think the priority will be to import a female for Malu at Melbourne; whereas Dewi could join the Perth colony down the line. They too plan to renovate their Sumatran orangutan exhibits.

    If Adelaide increase their holding capacity in the next five years, that’s time Lestari could spend at Perth Zoo learning mothering skills. Her departure (to Adelaide Zoo), could vacate space for Dewi to come in.

    Dinar has sired three offspring to date; but since two were exported to Sumatra, he’s by no means over represented in the region.
     
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  8. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    I am surprised there is not more interest for Orangs within the regions zoos since this is one iconic endangered animal species which can be imported/exported in and out of the region with out to many problems if needed to bring in new bloodlines. Its a shame after showing a lot of interested this species that Australia zoo never committed to obtaining them but not unexpected since they also wanted Gorillas which had been mentioned on their website some years ago!
     
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  9. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    I think the main reason is that while they’re mysterious in their own way, they’re not as majestic as a gorilla; or as engaging as a raucous bunch of chimps. I agree it’s unfortunate as they’re critically endangered and the perfect addition to any South East Asia trail.

    Unlike the other great apes, they’re not a social species and as zoo’s understanding of this has grown over the decades, zoos have downsized their colonies. This means the overall regional population of orangutans has decreased.

    Auckland Zoo held a colony of nine orangutans at their peak (the largest integrated group they ever held was five adult females and a young male; with two adult males rotating access to the main group); while Taronga and Perth Zoo previously held large colonies.
     
  10. IndianRhino

    IndianRhino Well-Known Member

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    Fantastic news! I was under the impression that Melur was post-reproductive and there were no plans to breed her and Charlie since Auckland was planning to import two younger females from Europe. Speaking of which, does anyone know of any updates on that import?
     
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  11. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Bornean Orangutan Update (Auckland Zoo)

    Pregnancy announcement:


    33 year old Melur is pregnant with her third offspring - due early 2022. Melur previously gave birth to a stillborn female infant in 2002 and a male infant named Madju in 2005.

    This will be the seventh Bornean orangutan born at Auckland Zoo and the first since Madju was born 16 years ago.

    Import cancellation:

    As of this week, Auckland Zoo have no plans to import the two female Bornean orangutans they were previously thought to be receiving. This is disappointing news, though I’m glad to see their commitment to this species remains strong with the announcement of Melur’s pregnancy.
     
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  12. Jambo

    Jambo Well-Known Member

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    Interesting decision, as this will leave Auckland with only a breeding pair of Melur and Charlie, of whom both are in the later years of their life. Maybe they will be looking elsewhere in the future for some more females.
     
  13. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Melur will be close to 34 when she gives birth to this infant, so they’d be hard pushed to get a further infant out of her. Given the size of their exhibit has vastly increased via the high ropes since the previously colony of nine was accommodated in two small exhibits, I’d hope they have plans to import more females - possibly from Europe given Charlie and Melur are well represented in Asia.

    For now, the group of 1.2 share the main exhibit without issue, so given the conflicts of the past, they’re probably content to maintain this for now (with the addition of the baby).

    Wanita was the instigator of many of the previous conflicts, so upon her passing they may find themselves at a cross roads of being able to import more. Melur is sweet natured and likely to tolerate future additions to the group.
     
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  14. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    I still find it frustrating that Auckland Zoo exported six of their Bornean orangutans to the USA during their phase of deciding to go into Sumatran orangutans. This phase ran for over a decade from 2005 to 2019 (without a single Sumatran being imported). They were still talking about importing Sumatran orangutans in 2017, when they loaned their trio to Orana Wildlife Park.

    The five adult females had been split into three groups - first to allow both adult males to have their own exhibit (when the old chimpanzee exhibit became available); followed by a second split due to fighting instigated by Wanita and Gangsa. It would have been interesting to see if the increased space would have allowed any of the exported females to coexist with the females they retained.

    With the opening of the high ropes, the current exhibit would allow for the housing of at least one other group, so at a minimum I’m annoyed they didn’t retain either Isim and Gangsa; or Horst, Indra and Intan.
     
  15. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    2021 Summary

    It’s overall been a quiet year for orangutans in the region, with the exception of two pieces of news from Auckland Zoo:

    Auckland Zoo Import Cancellation:

    Auckland Zoo have unfortunately canned their planned import of two female Bornean orangutans from Usti Zoo. They were a mother and daughter named Naninka (1987) and Cantik (2011).

    Their import would have been especially exciting since the mother was wild born and because they would have been the first Bornean orangutans imported into the region since 1995.

    Auckland Zoo Pregnancy:

    In December 2021, Auckland Zoo announced their female Bornean orangutan (Melur) was pregnant. This was confirmed in July, with the infant due February/March 2022.

    This will be the first orangutan birth in the region since 2012 and the first Bornean orangutan birth since 2005.

    2022 Population List:

    No population list will be posted for 2022, as there has been no change since the posting of the 2021 list.

    The regional population remains at 7.14 orangutans (1.1 Bornean orangutan; 5.9 Sumatran orangutan; and 1.4 Hybrid orangutan).
     
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  16. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Taronga Zoo - Complete History

    Taronga Zoo imported 27 orangutans between 1948 and 1963.

    22 of these orangutans either died within two years of their arrival or were quickly transferred to other Australasian facilities.

    Five remained at the zoo and bred. They were:

    1.0 Rufus (Bornean)
    Born in the wild 01/01/1940 (+/- 2 years)
    Arrived at Taronga Zoo 17/06/1949
    Died at Taronga Zoo 16/09/1974

    0.1 Helen (Sumatran)
    Born in the wild 01/01/1949 (+/- 2 years)
    Arrived at Taronga Zoo 07/01/1956
    Died at Taronga Zoo 03/09/1970

    0.1 Leslie (Sumatran)
    Born in the wild 01/01/1951 (+/- 2 years)
    Arrived at Taronga Zoo 07/01/1956
    Died at Taronga Zoo 27/02/1977

    1.0 Charlie II (Unknown)
    Born in the wild 01/01/1954 (+/- 2 years)
    Arrived at Taronga Zoo 03/09/1958
    Died at Taronga Zoo 23/11/1973

    1.0 Roy (Bornean)
    Born in the wild 01/01/1958 (+/- 2 years)
    Arrived at Taronga Zoo 30/08/1963
    Died at Taronga Zoo 28/12/1983

    Helen gave birth to four offspring at Taronga Zoo:

    0.1 Judy II (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 26/10/1957
    Died at Taronga Zoo 10/06/2007
    Sire: Rufus

    0.1 Wendy (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 20/03/1961
    Died at Taronga Zoo 27/04/2001
    Sire: Rufus

    1.0 Bobby (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 07/09/1964
    Sent to Perth Zoo 12/04/1968
    Sire: Rufus

    0.1 Dawn (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 20/11/1967
    Sent to Tel Aviv Zoo 08/04/1971
    Sire: Rufus

    Leslie gave birth to five offspring at Taronga Zoo:

    0.1 Karen (Unknown)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 04/09/1962
    Died at Taronga Zoo 14/06/1966
    Sire: Charlie II

    0.1 Jackie (Unknown)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 28/10/1963
    Died at Taronga Zoo 19/10/1966
    Sire: Charlie II

    0.1 Winnie (Unknown)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 23/01/1965
    Died at Taronga Zoo 06/06/1966
    Sire: Charlie II

    1.0 Unnamed (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 06/03/1966
    Died at Taronga Zoo 06/03/1966
    Sire: Roy

    1.0 Perang (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 01/02/1972
    Died at Taronga Zoo 22/05/1990
    Sire: Roy

    Judy II gave birth to seven offspring at Taronga Zoo:

    1.0 Unnamed (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 29/12/1967
    Died at Taronga Zoo 04/01/1968
    Sire: Rufus

    0.1 Perak (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 26/03/1972
    Sent to Hyderabad Zoo 22/05/1990
    Sire: Rufus

    1.0 Little Mo (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 15/03/1975
    Sent to Barcelona Zoo 16/09/1982
    Sire: Rufus

    0.1 Anne (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 23/08/1977
    Died at Taronga Zoo 07/04/1985
    Sire: Roy

    1.0 Jason (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 04/04/1980
    Died at Taronga Zoo 04/06/1986
    Sire: Roy

    1.0 Leroy (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 09/01/1984
    Died at Taronga Zoo 05/10/1984
    Sire: Roy

    1.0 Jantan (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 11/07/1987
    Sent to Mogo Zoo 15/09/2018
    Sire: Perang

    Wendy gave birth to four offspring at Taronga Zoo:

    1.0 Merah (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 03/09/1973
    Died at Taronga Zoo 15/03/1974
    Sire: Rufus

    1.0 Archie (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 06/05/1975
    Died at Taronga Zoo 25/03/1996
    Sire: Roy

    0.1 Wanita (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 23/03/1979
    Sent to Auckland Zoo 06/03/2001
    Sire: Roy

    0.1 Willow (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 09/06/1985
    Sent to Mogo Zoo 15/09/2018
    Sire: Perang

    Perak gave birth to two offspring at Taronga Zoo:

    1.0 Partong (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 01/06/1983
    Died at Taronga Zoo 30/07/1985
    Sire: Perang

    1.0 Paddi (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 27/06/1987
    Died at Taronga Zoo 27/08/1987
    Sire: Archie

    Three orangutans were imported in 1995 and 1996:

    0.1 Melur (Bornean)
    Born at Hong Kong Zoo 11/06/1988
    Arrived at Taronga Zoo 07/02/1995
    Sent to Auckland Zoo 06/03/2001

    0.1 Gangsa (Bornean)
    Born at Hong Kong Zoo 31/12/1989
    Arrived at Taronga Zoo 07/02/1995
    Sent to Auckland Zoo 06/03/2001

    1.0 Datuk (Bornean)
    Born at Auckland Zoo 18/05/1989
    Arrived at Taronga Zoo 13/12/1996
    Died at Taronga Zoo 04/04/1998

    Additional notes/info:

    Taronga Zoo has not held orangutan since the transfer of Jantan and Willow in September 2018.

    Considering how many orangutans the zoo imported, it was extremely bad luck the majority of their colony descended from two Bornean males and two Sumatran females.

    It was unknown whether Charlie II was a Bornean or Sumatran orangutan. If he was a Sumatran, the three daughters he produced with Leslie would have been the only purebred orangutans bred at Taronga Zoo.

    1966 was a really bad year for Helen. Her fourth offspring was stillborn in March; her first and third offspring died a week apart in June; and then her second offspring died in October.

    Bobby was sent to Perth Zoo and then on to Melbourne Zoo, where he sired the famous twins - Bono and Suma. This means all the hybrids in the region are related - as his sisters (Judy II and Wendy) gave birth to Jantan, Wanita and Willow.

    Taronga Zoo only exported one orangutan to Hyderabad Zoo - an 18 year old female named Perak (who had no surviving offspring). Perak gave birth to a female infant in 1991 at Hyderabad Zoo (which died in 1995), before dying herself in 1992.

    Perang died on the exact same day Perak was exported to Hyderabad Zoo. This suggests there was a link between the two events e.g. Perang was due to be exported and died of an adverse reaction to a sedative; or he was euthanised when Perak left, because it would have been problematic to integrate him with the remaining orangutans.
     
  17. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I'd wager it was the former, that they were being sent as a pair and he succumbed to a sedative. Seems unlikely they would have planned to just send away a single.
     
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  18. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    I’ve looked up Hyderabad’s records and that’s definitely a possibility.

    They initially received 1.2 hybrids from Perth Zoo in 1986:

    1.0 Bobby (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 07/09/1964
    Sent to Hyderabad Zoo 24/03/1986
    Died at Hyderabad Zoo 13/06/1995

    0.1 Bintang (Hybrid)
    Born at Perth Zoo 09/10/1970
    Sent to Hyderabad Zoo 21/03/1986
    Died at Hyderabad Zoo 30/08/1987

    0.1 Bintang (Hybrid)
    Born at Perth Zoo 02/05/1974
    Sent to Hyderabad Zoo 21/03/1986
    Died at Hyderabad Zoo 01/09/1988

    By the time Taronga Zoo exported in 1990, Hyderabad had been reduced to one male (Bobby) - who was then joined by Perak:

    0.1 Perak (Hybrid)
    Born at Taronga Zoo 26/03/1972
    Sent to Hyderabad Zoo 22/05/1990
    Died at Hyderabad Zoo 31/12/1992

    It’s likely Hyderabad were willing to hold two males/import Perang, as they then imported another male in 1993 (while Bobby was still alive):

    1.0 Kembar (Hybrid)
    Born at Melbourne Zoo 24/06/1978
    Sent to Hyderabad Zoo 01/04/1993
    Died at Hyderabad Zoo 04/07/2007
     
  19. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Auckland Zoo - Wanita (1979-2022)

    She was found unresponsive in her habitat this morning and staff were unable to resuscitate her. It was noted she’d been suffering from Orangutan Respiratory Disease for many years.

    Her death leaves Auckland Zoo with 1.1 Bornean orangutans, with Melur due to welcome an infant later this month - something positive for her keepers to focus on during this difficult time.

    Wanita was born 23/03/1979 to Roy and Wendy. She was her mother’s third offspring and and lived at Taronga for many years with her sister, Willow (born 1985).

    In 2001, Wanita was sent to Auckland Zoo with two Bornean females, Melur and Gangsa. As a hybrid, Wanita never produced offspring but had a close relationship to Madju, who was born to Melur in 2005. He would often engage her in play and she would oblige.

    Wanita was a ferocious female. Even Indra (a senior member of the colony and an assertive female) would concede to Wanita when she was in one of her moods. She was largely indifferent to the males; and they her.

    Wanita was highly intelligent and considered the most dangerous amongst Auckland’s colony. Only the most experienced keepers would participate in training sessions with Wanita.

    Wanita will likely be the last hybrid orangutan held in a New Zealand zoo.

    Wanita
    Pongo pygmaeus × Pongo abelii
    23/03/1979 - 07/03/2022​
     
    Last edited: 7 Mar 2022
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  20. steveroberts

    steveroberts Well-Known Member

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    Rest easy Wanita,

    @Zoofan15 Really nice tribute for her, glad she got to experience that amazing new habitat for the end part of her life. On a positive note heaps chuffed to hear about Melur's pregnancy
     
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