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Australia Zoo australia zoo growing pains

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Coquinguy, 2 Mar 2008.

  1. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    Steve Irwins father has defected from Australia Zoo, including Terri, resigningthis week over concerns of staff management, commercialism etc. he and his partner plan to carry on with Steve's dream at a new site, elsewhere in QLD.
    article published in Sunday Telegraph
     
  2. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    It's too bad that this negative publicity has hit them at a time of exponential growth: the madagascan island exhibit is apparently opening in 2009, and there are numerous other plans that have been discussed regarding a long list of extensive expansions. Maybe Bob Irwin won't be around to see these achievements?
     
  3. Yassa

    Yassa Well-Known Member

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    Seems Bob Irwin is not happy with these exponential growth....
     
  4. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Typical falling out over directions. I think Bob is damn right that lately the younger generation is more interested in milking the Irwin myth than in furthering his conservation concerns. It seems all a little easy to shut the founder of your park out of the equation. Perhaps a sort of Paris Hilton syndrome over there? :D
     
  5. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    I grew up on the Sunshine Coast and I still have family and many friends living there, though no who work or have worked at the zoo. But it is interesting to hear what their take of th whole thing is. I don't know if it an anti-american bias or not but evryone I spoke to (about 30 people), were dead set against Terri. Many thought she was money hungry, taking the direction of the zoo towards spinning more money rather than conservation, too heavy on the Bindi promotion and some said they woulnd't be suprised if she sold the zoo and moved back to the US with many millions of dollers. Everyone was very sympathetic with Bob Irwin. There was also much criticism of the expensive house that she owns and also the one next door that she bought, saying how does that help conservation.

    It is very unfair as of course we don't know but I found it very interesting
     
  6. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    ahh - the issues that arise when you make your living from a charity!

    critics can easily quote the (often) large sums of money that is deferred to the person's pocket to rally support against them. on the otherhand the person in question can easily quote the (often) large sums of money that would never have been directed towards a charity if it wasn't for their efforts.
     
  7. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    So this is a difference of opinion between the father and his daughter-in-law is it? Who owns the zoo now- Terri Irwin?
     
  8. LIECOBOY

    LIECOBOY Member

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    It is just sad how far this institution has fallen. I am just thoughly disgusted that people are still visiting this place after all these scandals. All of their "conservation" projects is nothing more then showboating for the purpose of drumming up more visitors. When local and important issues come up suce as the Mary River turtle, Australia Zoo and its management are no where to be seen. I am encouraging everyone to patronize a zoo which actually seeks to conserve such as the Adelaide Zoo or Taronga.
     
  9. Jarkari

    Jarkari Well-Known Member

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    So you'd say the thousands of dollars spent in court fighting a mining giant to protect a pocket of land no members of the public will ever set foot on is showboating???
     
  10. LIECOBOY

    LIECOBOY Member

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    Yes, it is exactly what it is. Spending "thousands" on fighting the corporation is showboating. The Australian public will voice their concern like how the Americans voiced their concern and won the protection of the Artic Wildlife refuge in Alaska. Lets be honest, Australia Zoo, and the Irwin family are pulling in millions and millions of dollars. Of that, little is spent on noteworthy exhibits or major conservation projects which require the infusion of massive funds. Fighting the big bad corporation is something that could be left to the media and the public. Doing one major thing and advertising "oh look at how much we are doing for the cause" is just as I said before, to drum up visitor numbers who need a prerequisite of conservation before patronizing. Yes Steve did a lot, but Steve is unfortunately no longer here, and from what the departure of Bob from the zoo appears to support is a major shift in how the institution is being run including its "conservation". Why else would a founder of a conservation facility leave to start another if he felt Australia Zoo was living up to what he envisioned? I am tired of Irwin apologists who are excusing their continued misbehavior in regards to the way they disregard the law and the way they are spending their money.
     
  11. Jarkari

    Jarkari Well-Known Member

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    Everyone does it! disregards the law. Bet there is not one person on this forum (except for maybe the younger ones) that hasn't fair enough it's on a larger scale, but if someone other than the irwins did it we wouldn't hear anything about it. I don't think you have much of an idea of just how much the irwins spend on private reserves and managed farms. millions of dollars andthese are projects we hardly ever hear about. I don't excuse the irwin's actions. if they do something illegal they should be punished just the same as every other person, instead, because they are who they are they recieve ten times the attention of anyone else? Bob, well I don't know the facts there but if you read all the articles it was agreed he'd leave, as well as be given a parcel of land to do his own projects years ago, while steve was still alive. A zoo is a business and I assure you every other zoo would love to have something like that to attract the visitors in because without visitors zoos WILL fail.
     
  12. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    its not often ill jump to the defence of Australia Zoo but in this case I think Liceboy, that you are misinformed and not looking at all the facts.
    You cannot accuse Australia Zoo of doing too little then turn around and expect media and politicians to fight big business in the name of conservation. Thats just naive and narrow-minded. When mining is what fuels our economy and given the Rudd Governments current passive diplomatic backdown on whaling conservation relies on NGO's like Australia Zoo to take up the torch. Your post doesnt take into account all the work Australia Zoo is doing on the ex-situ and in-situ front, from wildlife rehabilitation, humanitarian work, breeding programs, conservation fundraising and high profile education programs. Yes Bindi annoys me, there is a commercial slant on many publicity and the Irwin rift is dissappointing, but for a private enterprise Australia Zoo does alot.
    Zoos should focus on endemic species where applicable, but their participation in species recovery programs within this country is regulated by State and Federal wildlife agencies. Australia Zoo at this stage may not be part of the recovery plan for Mary River Turtle. I dont know if you fully understand this. Are you saying that before Melbourne Zoo embarked on its program for Asian Elephant it should have saved the Leadbeaters Possum first, or that before Taronga Zoo got its elephants that it should have saved the Broad-toothed rat just because these species are close to these zoos.
    Zoos are limited in what they can do by their resources and leglislation, and despite the occassional hiccup I think Australia Zoo is doing well.
     
  13. Jarkari

    Jarkari Well-Known Member

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    Well said Glyn, I agree
     
  14. Yassa

    Yassa Well-Known Member

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    Well Glyn if you ask like this I think Melbourne and Taronga should have indeed committed only fraction of the money they spent on their "elephant breeding/conservation program" on native possums and rats because their contribution for a possum and rat program could indeed have saved the species while their contribution to the survival of the asian elephant is extremely small to zero! Breeding a small number of asian elephants in Australian zoos at a gigantic cost of money won`t rescue the asian elephant, and I am yet to hear what great things Taronga and Melbourne are doing for the wild populations. I can`t see what significant things the Australia Zoo is doing for wild elephants neither - like Taronga and Melbourne, they are keeping 3 females for exhibit only and to make money, which is fine - but don`t call THAT conservation.

    Zoos can usually do most for local, native species - both in-situ and ex-situ, for relatively small amounts of money. I think the healesville sanctuary is involved into a number of such programs for local species - the Australia Zoo too?
     
  15. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    Long Island is a long way from Brisbane and Australia zoo so do you really know ALL the facts about what really happens here in Brisbane and the zoo? or are you just going by what you see in the media?, We here is Brisbane have been watching things unfold over time, my first visit there was 30 years ago so I can tell you Australia zoo is going ahead in leaps and bounds and will do so in the furture, they are becoming a real part of the zoo network in this country and as they do expand will play a major role in the scheme of things in Oz.

    Nothing is perfect in life and we wish it was, only time will tell how things are going to pan out so I say "Give them a fair go" :cool:
     
    Last edited: 14 Jun 2008
  16. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    you cant turn around Yassa and tell me that zoos here in Australia arent doing enough for local conservation.
    in this country its not up to zoos to decide what ENDANGERED native species need captive breedig/RELEASE programs, the state wildlife agencies decide this and once a zoo is asked to participate they always step up to the plate. conservation breeding programs here range from macropods right down to invertebrates and many of the breed-for-release programs have met with high success, in some cases it been possible to stop programs all together, such as with the Black-eared Miner. Other programs have been scaled down as the captive bred animals are now only being used to augment existing wild populations and not establish new ones...
    as you may have gathered here in Australia the potential to display exotic species is hampered by tough quarantine. so when our zoos created an opportunity, at great cost admittedly, to secure an exhibit of Asian Elephants which will hopefully be spread out across all the regions zoos I couldnt object.
    Australian zoos have had a long association with conservation projects for Asian Elephants; donating staff expertise, facilities and moneys for a range of projects. The focus on Asian wildlife should see these activites expanded upon in the future, and by having the Asian Elephants in the zoos the smaller programs for species like silvery gibbon, asian turtles etc are benifiting too from more people visiting the zoos and donating.
     
    Last edited: 14 Jun 2008
  17. ZooPro

    ZooPro Well-Known Member

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    Not strictly true Glyn I'm afraid. The state wildlife agencies are repsonsible for all recovery programs, which involve a relase to the wild component. In most cases these are managed by zoo staff with regards to maintaing studbooks and making annual transfer and breeding recommendations, but the overall program is always overseen by the state agencies and the appropriate recovery team.

    There are many regional breeding programs for native species that are not part of recovery programs, and it is entirely up to the respective Taxon Advisory Groups, in conjunction with advice from ARAZPA, to determine which native species are actively managed, and which are not.
     
  18. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Yassa,

    I know where you are coming from and appreciate your concern for native species conservation by local zoos and aquaria. German zoos - especially the smaller Wildtiergehegen and Wildparken - are actually windows on our own flora and fauna and the importance of their conservation, both in- and ex situ. Yet in this day and age zoos worldwide can not shut their window on the world beyond their borders and we need exotic flora and fauna exhibits to have those at home appreciate the wonders of nature abroad and our ultimate need and duty to safeguard and conserve their habitats and the environment.

    If I look at my home zoo - Artis Zoo (a name some of you readers may not be familiar with, but I like to use the local and only name for an establishment and that goes also for naming of cities or states, e.g. Lisboa Zoo instead of Lisbon. For if you ask any Lisboanas about Lisbon they will not know the heck you are talking about. Sorry, slight diversion) in Amsterdam - we have several temperate climate mammalian species of the middle European realm, yet currently few native species and only in the bird and amphibian/reptile sections is there any emphasis on a native species emphasis. Previously, we housed roe deer - and I simply just loved them - and I appreciated very much that Artis Zoo housed them exactly for the emphasis of a "non-descript" animal like a roe deer to demonstrate the value of our own Dutch plant and animal backyard. Yet when the collection plan and Masterplan were reviewed it was deemed their housing in a Minangkabau House of mid Sumatra suited an Indonesian themed exhibit on site better. The choice of species brought in was anoa (2 males, now 1 adult and looking for an unrelated female) and babirusa (yet to be imported ex Indonesia direct). The roe deer along with hog deer, pudu and duiker had to make way. Since no suitable enclosure or unused tract of land (Artis Zoo is only 12-13 hectares)was available to house the roe deer, they were relocated outside the zoo.

    Whereas, I was sad to see them go ... I did and do appreciate the need to redefine the exhibit and applaud its current emphasis on critically endangered fauna from Indonesia's little known Sulawesi island. We already have crested macaque Macaca nigra, orang utan and Malayan tapir in the collection, so it will only augment the Indo-Malayan theme of our zoo and its future direction. Besides, the hornbills have recently been rehoused close by giving added impetus to the Indo-Malaya theme.

    All I am saying is that Australia Zoo - while being quintessentially Aussie and exhibiting native species (and admittedly not as heavily invested in endangered native fauna like Healesville or Currumbin), it has every right (and duty) to ask our fellow Aussie friends to look beyond their outback and learn to appreciate the fauna of Asia or Africa and beyond. Whereas I myself I am not yet fully up to scratch on Australia Zoo's (as I do with Healesville, Dubbo or Monarto) native and exotic wildlife programmes, I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt (allthough - as Mark is well aware - I do have major misgivings about the whole commercialised Irwin myth)!

    The constructive morale of my expose and dragging in the perspective of my local zoo in this is ...
    a) please let us all listen, respect and learn from oneanother.
    b) let us also continue the healthy debates whether that is the Irwin myth clouding the conservation issue or the need to breed Komodo dragons in captivity. The diverse perspective of all is valuable to us all.
    c) to agree that we do disagree and being aware that we are not uniform nor are we exempt from dropping assumptions, preconceptions and sundry. ;)

    Keep up the good work!

    Cheers,

    Jelle
     
  19. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    sorry zoopro, should probably have clarified my point a little bit better, so thanks for doing that for me mate.
     
  20. Yassa

    Yassa Well-Known Member

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    Jelle, I never said that zoos (neither in Australia nor Europe) should focus on endangered native species only. I think it is very important that people can see exotic species which they will never see in their wild habitat at a zoo, and I fully agree with you that zoos can do very important work with (critically) endangered exotic species. The european breeding programs for roloway monkeys, white-crowned and red-capped mangabeys, phillipine spotted deer, visayan wart hogs, eastern black rhinos and many more are just a few examples. Which doesn`t mean that I think that zoos (in both europe and Australia) are doing enough to keep and breed critically endangered species, are doing enough to support in-situ programs for these species, or doing enough to save endangered native species. Zoos should and could do a LOT more!!

    Just elephants are a really bad example for "conservation" though captive keeping and breeding because they are a) thankfully still far from being critically endangered and b) the cost of importing them and keeping them in captivtiy is so incredibly high that it stands in no relationship to the benefit for the species. So if zoos like Taronga and the Australia Zoo want to keep elephants, I have no problems with it (if they give them decent enclosures, but that is a different topic) but they shall NOT lie to people and tell them that it is "conservation" to bring elephants to Australian zoos.