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Australian (and NZ) Great Ape News and Discussion

Discussion in 'Australia' started by soona, 29 Apr 2016.

  1. soona

    soona Well-Known Member

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    I was going to start a thread asking about the history of chimpanzees at Adelaide Zoo, but then figured it would be nice to have a general great ape thread for any news, updates and information sharing. :)

    To my knowledge, it is intended that Monarto Zoo will acquire additional female chimpanzees whenever it is possible. It does sound like it might have to wait until the fallout from the upcoming introductions at Taronga is revealed. I have also been told that it would be preferable not to bring in chimps who will be familiar/potential allies to any of the males. I guess time will tell. The younger female, Galatea, is presently on a contraceptive implant, but it is believed to be wearing off as she is starting to cycle. She is very maternal towards both Zuri and little Enzi, and I would be thrilled for her if she was to have an infant of her own.

    Back to my original question... is anyone familiar with the history of chimpanzees at Adelaide Zoo? The last three to be housed there were the trio of Fimi (who arrived from Germany), and offspring Sanda (female born in 1985) and Tsotsi (male born in 1989). Fimi passed away at Hamilton Zoo several years ago, and Sanda is at Hamilton with her new infant. Tsotsi is at Monarto. Sanda and Tsotsi were fathered by Peter, who I have very little knowledge of, other than that he died when Tsotsi was young. Does anyone know anything about Peter?

    I've added some photos of Monarto's chimpanzees to the gallery if anyone wants a look. :)

    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: 29 Apr 2016
  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I had a look for Peter and found very little. He was at the zoo in the 1960s along with his mate Leonie, and they had a male baby named Percy in 1965 (the following 1966 newspaper article says previous babies had died, which means the chimp pair had been at the zoo for many years already).
    https://news.google.com/newspapers?...AIBAJ&sjid=UeYDAAAAIBAJ&pg=1234,3721867&hl=en


    Adelaide Zoo's first chimps were Michael (Mickey) and Mary, imported from Edinburgh Zoo in late 1934. Mary was strangled to death in 1936 (via the rope around her collar when she fell out of her sleeping box). Michael remained alone until a second female named Congo was imported from Liverpool Zoo in February 1938. Unfortunately Michael died in May that year after a short illness, and then Congo died in August in the same way Mary had died (hung by her rope).

    In November 1938 two new chimps were imported from Liverpool, apparently with the intention of using them for tea parties as was the fashion of the time. I don't know what these chimps' names were, but they may have been Peter and Leonie, which would have made Peter about fifty when he died which sounds about right I think.

    All the chimps were, of course, wild-caught babies; I think all or most were imported by or via London Zoo and then passed on through other zoos.
     
  3. soona

    soona Well-Known Member

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    That's really interesting, thanks! Very sad that Mary and Congo died such senseless deaths.

    There's actually a photo of a chimpanzee infant in the historic elephant house which is captioned as 'Peter, 1966'; I wonder if this is a mistake and it is actually Percy.

    I wonder who this poor chimpanzee was? It doesn't sound like Adelaide Zoo had much success with the species by any stretch of the imagination. :(
    https://news.google.com/newspapers?...AIBAJ&sjid=lZQDAAAAIBAJ&pg=3659,2227966&hl=en
     
  4. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    if the date of 1966 on the photo is correct then that would be Percy.

    As for the chimp in the 1982 article, he would have been born in 1968 or 69 if he was 13 years old. Purely a guess (I can't find anything on a true identity) but it could have been William who was another hand-reared baby of Leonie and Peter. (Percy was their first surviving baby).
     
  5. soona

    soona Well-Known Member

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    I thought it worth mentioning in this thread some of the very big recent great ape news, that Perth Zoo Sumatran orangutan Nyaru has headed to Bukit Tigapuluh with the intention of release into the wild. I am curious about whether this path will be repeated by all young orangutans born in Perth in the future, as Nyaru had been raised since birth with this in mind. His great-grandmother, Puan, though she produced many children, actually has relatively few grandchildren and great grandchildren in the captive population; most are offspring of her youngest son, Puluh (Chester Zoo).

    Wild Life for Perth Zoo Orangutan | Perth Zoo
     
  6. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Just a guess but I suspect further surplus Orangs born at Perth will go the same way, depending on how many they can hold at the zoo or if there is any demand for offspring from another zoo which might take priority over a reslease. I would think it particularly applies to any males produced.

    Amazed to see Puan was mentioned on their blog/website recently, so she is still alive- she must have achieved some sort of record by now. Genetically speaking isn't her and Puluh's representation in the captive population regarded as one and the same?
     
  7. soona

    soona Well-Known Member

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    Surely Puan must be the world's oldest orangutan; I've not heard of anyone older.
    Yes, mostly so. Though others of her offspring (the ones who have not reproduced quite so much) will obviously have inherited different genes from her. I'm just surprised that Puan doesn't have more descendants from her many offspring. I'd expect that they are represented enough though that more might head to Sumatra in the future- I would not be surprised if Teliti was to follow in big sister Temara's footsteps.

    I rather enjoyed the recently published book 'Reaching for the Canopy' by Kylie Bullo which gave an interesting first hand perspective of Temara's journey.
     
  8. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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    Teliti will be going to America at some stage (or at least one of the current females at Perth will)
     
  9. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    The Australasian Sumatran orang studbook made it pretty clear to Perth not to breed from the mid 90s as there was no space further holding spaces in the region. Perth's animals were well represented in the region, and the focus was on Melbourne and Adelaide (who co-incidently had a male from Perth lineage). It wasn't until a window of opportunity opened up with sending surplus captive-born individuals to Sumatra that Perth recommenced breeding.
    Alot of the issues of breeding/not breeding stem from the fact that orangs reproduce slowly (once every 7+ years) and are long-lived (Puan is case in point). If they had a shorter lifespan/high turnover of individuals then Perth would quickly breed to replace exhibits.
    As a side note: I do wonder if in the long-term that the number of on-show exhibits will reduce. Five exhibits of the same species takes up alot of space and keeper time.
     
  10. soona

    soona Well-Known Member

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    That's very interesting. With Taronga Zoo and Auckland Zoo intending, to my knowledge, to eventually house Sumatrans, I do wonder if any will make the move from Perth. To me, and probably many others as well, the large colony of orangutans is a big draw card and a Perth Zoo highlight.

    I'd love to see Adelaide Zoo become a major player orangutan-wise, but that doesn't seem likely in the future. I believe they have space for four orangutans in the current exhibit, but both of the current females are probable non-breeders. Puspa does not share enclosure space with Kluet or Karta (who are extremely closely bonded, and should in my opinion not be separated). The Master Plan shows no intentions for any major overhaul of the orangutan facility, which in my eyes is a shame. There is space near the current enclosure (small picnic area and an area currently housing a couple of elderly painted dogs), so I do wonder if expansion might be technically possible. Zoos SA did such a fantastic job with the chimp exhibit at Monarto, and I just wish there was something on the same level for the orangutans.
     
  11. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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  12. jones

    jones Well-Known Member

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    Peter was born in the wild and arrived at Taronga as a baby in 1954 before being transferred to Adelaide Zoo in 1955. As far as I know Pete remained at Adelaide Zoo until his death in 1994. He sired all chimps born at the zoo.
     
  13. soona

    soona Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that!
     
  14. soona

    soona Well-Known Member

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    An update has been posted on Taronga's chimpanzee community (see specific thread): https://taronga.org.au/animal/chimpanzee

    The new females are Ceres and Naomi from Givskud Zoo, and Hannah from Warsaw Zoo. I am curious as to whether the planned import of two more females is still to go ahead.

    Monarto Zoo has also put a request in for additional females, though to my knowledge this is not going to occur until after the introduction process has taken place at Taronga. Unless, of course, the other two intended for NSW will head to SA instead.
     
  15. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Gorillas 2016

    Australasia currently has 11.9 gorillas across 5 facilities:

    Taronga Zoo

    Frala (1981) F
    Johari (2000) F (Motoba x Julia)
    Kibali (2001) M
    Mbeli (2003) F (Kibabu x Mouila)
    Mjukuu (2014) M (Kibali x Mbeli)
    Fabumi (2015) M (kibali x Frala)

    Melbourne Zoo

    Yuska (1971) F
    G-Ann (1979) F
    Otana (2001) M
    Kimya (2005) F (Kibabu x Kriba)
    Kanzi (2015) F (Otana x Kimya)

    Werribee Open Range Zoo

    Motaba (1983) M
    Ganyeki (2000) M (Motoba x G-Ann)
    Yakini (1999) M (Motoba x Yuska)

    Mogo Zoo

    Kibabu (1977) M
    Kriba (1979) F
    Kipenzi (2011) F (Kibabu x Kriba)

    Orana Wildlife Park

    Fataki (2003) M (Kibabu x Frala)
    Fuzu (2007) M (Kibabu x Frala)
    Mahali (2008) M (Kibabu x Mouila)

    It will be interesting to see where the region heads with gorillas in the next decade. The situation at Werribee Open Range Zoo and Orana Wildlife Park is unlikely to change in the immediate future, but there are likely to be changes at Mogo Zoo when the silverback, Kibabu, passes on. He is now aged 39 years and unlikely to live beyond 45 years. This will leave Kriba and his daughter Kipenzi, currently aged 5 and approaching breeding age.

    One option would be to send Kipenzi (and her mother if still alive) to Melbourne Zoo, as their oldest female, Yuska, is past breeding age, and G-Ann is unlikely to breed. This would give Melbourne Zoo and breeding group of two breeding females. It might be considered undesirable however to have two sisters in the same group, for social reasons (exclusion of Yuska and G-Ann) and for the sake of genetic diversity of the worldwide population.

    If Kriba passes away before Kibabu, then moving Kipenzi to Taronga Zoo may be a better option as Mbeli is a more distant relation than Kimya and could afford to add a third breeding female to their group if Johari has still failed to breed by then. Taronga Zoo do not have the space for five adult females, so there wouldn't be room for Kriba to join Kipenzi there.

    Either way, this would free up Mogo Zoo to take on a bachelor group of gorillas, consisting of Mjukkuu and Fabumi, as well as any other male offspring born to their mothers or Kimya at Melbourne Zoo in the near future. Mogo Zoo are relatively new to the breeding programme for this species, and unlikely to be allowed a breeding group before Werribee Open Range Zoo.

    Will be interesting to see if any other zoos acquire gorillas in this time. Australia Zoo have expressed an interest in the past and were even designing an enclosure for them at one stage, though I'm not sure if this is still on their plans.
     
  16. soona

    soona Well-Known Member

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    There will definitely be interesting times ahead gorilla-wise.

    As per Zoos SA's master plan, it is intended for Adelaide Zoo to house a family group of gorillas in the Africa precinct that is planned to be built in the next few years. I do wonder if this is over-ambitious when the norm these days seems to be to start with a bachelor group. If they do hold a breeding group, it could potentially be another option for Kipenzi and Kriba.

    I do really hope that Johari will have an infant in coming years. The impression I've been given is that she doesn't have a particularly strong relationship with Kibale- is this the case?
     
  17. Jabiru96

    Jabiru96 Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately that's been the case since they met! The last time I visited during the keeper talk it was mentioned that they were "hopeful" that Johari would have a baby soon. However, after the talk, I spoke to the keeper who said she had never personally witnessed them mating ever (and it is more of wishful thinking that Johari would become pregnant, not that it would actually happen).
     
  18. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Very unlikely that they will start mating now so late on after first introductions. The 'hopeful' comment is invariably a throwaway one in situations like this. :(They might have better luck moving her back to Melbourne and Otana. Just leaving it as it is means she may never breed.
     
  19. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    I know the case in 2015, was that Johari was uncomfortable with the attention she received from Kibali when she was on heat, and so they decided to put her on contraception. I'm not sure if this is still the case in 2016, or whether this was just a measure taken during the introductory phase to calm initial tensions in the group and prevent Kibali becoming frustrated/aggressive due to her lack of interest in him.

    Jabiru96 posted a link to a great YouTube video of the troop a while back in the Australia thread: Frala's baby. I think it sums up the relationships of the troop really well. Kibali is on a ledge, with his favourite female, Mbeli, right beside him. His second favourite female, Frala, is in close proximity but not right next to him, and Johari is completely out of sight.

    I'm not sure if they'd move her to Melbourne, following the attack on her mother, Julia, by Otana last year which left her with fatal injuries. If Johari is not allowing silverbacks to mate with her, Otana could become aggressive. I understand the attack in 2015 was provoked by Julia not recognising Otana's repeated warnings to give Kimya and the newborn space, not frustration at being unable to mate with her, so if Johari is considered to have a better understanding of social cues than Julia, they may decide it's worth a shot.

    Just curious, when Kibali arrived at Taronga Zoo, he hit it off with Kimya and they were kept as a pair for around a year prior to Kimya's move to Melbourne, importing Johari and Mbeli from Melbourne, and reinstating Frala. Kibali and Kimya were observed mating from early on, but never conceived offspring. We know both are fertile since they've had offspring now with different mates. Was this lack of reproduction due to the fact they were kept as a pair, and gorillas breed better in a group situation?
     
    Last edited: 28 Jul 2016
  20. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    That is never a good sign- it means Johari isn't fully socialised with a silverback's behaviour- females that behave like this don't usually change with time either. Its likely that she would behave in similar fashion with Otana at Melbourne in that case.:( Despite handraising, Johari presumably had better earlier experience with other Gorillas than her mother Julia did, but it has possibly still left its mark in her adult behaviour. She presumably grew up mostly in the Melbourne group when Rigo was leader(?), and if he showed no interest in her or the other females, she never learnt anything from him about mating behaviour.

    One way females in this situation do occassionally get pregnant is if the male traps them in a corner and then mates them forcibly- but the female doesn't usually let it happen again.;) I know of one situation where a single mating of that type produced a pregnancy! Another way, as happened at Bristol Zoo recently, is where a handreared female that refuses the silverback, has physical contact with a younger male in the group that she is less scared of, first as a playmate and then surrepticious mating occurs too. But you need a younger male to be present obviously.

    Re Kimya. Females, even well-socialised ones who love their silverback, are likely to be more tense if kept in a 1.1. relationship with a male, and much more relaxed with more female company, which offers them protection if there is any strife. It could have played a part in lack of her earlier conception . Or it could have been her age?
     
    Last edited: 28 Jul 2016