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Australian (and NZ) Great Ape News and Discussion

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

  1. marmolady

    marmolady Well-Known Member

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    Recent ape news from the region

    Taronga Zoo's beloved alpha male chimpanzee, Lubutu, died last week of lung failure. He was only 26 years old, so his passing is a great shock. The highest ranking chimpanzee in the community since he was only eight years old, Lubutu sired several infants (Samaki, Lani, Furahi, Shikamoo, Sembe and Sule), and was a grandfather as well. It really is the end of an era for Taronga's chimpanzees.

    At Rockhampton Zoo, chimpanzee Samantha gave birth to an infant in November, but it sadly did not survive. Holly is due her own infant in early 2020. I'll have my fingers tightly crossed for a happier outcome.

    Monarto Zoo's newest chimpanzee infant, born to third-time mum Zombi, has been named Zola.
     
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  2. Jambo

    Jambo Well-Known Member

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    Chimp News

    Rockhampton Zoo welcomed a male baby Chimp to Alon and Holly on 03/02/2020. He has been named ‘Gandali’, a Darumbal word meaning ‘star’.

     
  3. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Monarto Zoo Chimpanzee Exhibit

    While looking up Spotted hyena at Monarto Zoo, I found this regarding the size/capacity of their chimpanzee exhibit:

    https://www.zoossa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2008-Annual-Report.pdf

    This exciting new experience is now nearing completion (planned for opening December 2008) and will eventually be home to up to 20 chimpanzees. The complex comprises a large chimpanzee house and 3,000sqm 'open range' exhibit...Initially eight chimpanzees are being brought together from around the world, one from Adelaide, two from Wellington, one from New South Wales and four from Holland. Breeding will then be encouraged until the group numbers 15 to 20.

    This means Monarto's exhibit is now the largest in Australasia, as the renovations to Hamilton Zoo's exhibit this year will reduce its outdoor footprint (it was previously 3000sqm).

    Since Monarto Zoo now has four adult males; four adult females; an adolescent female; a juvenile male; and two infants, we can expect the group to breed anything up to eight infants over the next decade. This isn't even factoring in exports of Monarto bred chimps and the death of Boyd (the eldest male in the region), which will likely occur during this time period.

    With Lani on contraception due to her genetics; and Galatea (still) not breeding; the majority of these infants will likely come from Zombi and Hannah (I'm predicting at least another two each). In my opinion, Zuri should be retained for breeding also (with Tsotsi; if Sandali is vasectomised); though it may be risky to vasectomise Sandali as if Tsotsi died, Monarto would be left with no viable unrelated male to breed with Zombi.

     
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  4. Tafin

    Tafin Well-Known Member

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    Is Zuri on contraception? I assume so because of her age.

    Have the sires of Hope and Zola been confirmed yet?
     
  5. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Last I heard (early 2019) she wasn't. This came as a surprise to me as chimpanzees as young as seven have given birth to infants; however, the keepers would recognise the signs of maturity and know if it was possible for her to conceive or not. A year on, I'm guessing she is on contraception as not only is she still young (she turns eight this year); but plans for her future are likely somewhat up in the air until the sires of Hope and Zola are confirmed (they haven't been to my knowledge). For example, if both were sired by Sandali, this could add to the argument that Sandali should be vasectomised so Tsotsi can breed. Also, if Zola was sired by Sandali, she could take Zuri's place as an export; with Zuri retained to breed with Tsotsi. If sired by the same male, then genetically speaking, Zuri and Zola would be of equal value; but practically speaking, Zuri (2012) would have more years to breed with Tsotsi (1989) than Zola (2019).
     
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  6. marmolady

    marmolady Well-Known Member

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    Tsotsi is the sire of Hope. His first! It means she could potentially breed with Enzi, who could well be the alpha male by the time she's in her teens. To my knowledge, Zola's sire remains unknown.

    I don't know if Zuri is on contraceptives, but she's been having large swellings, so at this point I'd be almost assuming so, for caution's sake.
     
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  7. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    That's awesome news! Especially since Tsotsi is from such an under represented line in the region (which now comprises four living descendants):

    0.1 Sanda (1985) Peter x Fimi
    1.0 Tsotsi (1989) Peter x Fimi
    0.1 Chiku (2016) Luka x Sanda
    0.1 Hope (2019) Tsotsi x Hannah

    I'd be willing to bet on Enzi assuming the alpha role almost as soon as he reaches adolescence. By the time he's 12, Tsotsi will be almost 40 years old; not to mention Enzi will have the support of his mother (the alpha female). With the next male up from him almost 20 years his senior; and no male infants born in the four years since his birth in late 2015, the path ahead is pretty much clear. :cool:
     
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  8. marmolady

    marmolady Well-Known Member

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    I’ll be very interested to see how Enzi’s rise to maturity will shake up all the male alliances! I’d always imagined Sandali would take the top spot at some stage; perhaps he would be smart to strike up an alliance with his son in years to come.
     
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  9. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Wellington Zoo - Chimpanzee Update

    Wellington Zoo’s chimpanzee keepers did a social media takeover day and posted several photos and videos of the troop, including this one of a food throw over:



    The two adolescents - Malika (2010) and Bakari (2012) are getting huge. Bakari has a solid build like his mother and his cousin Sule; while Malika has long limbs like her great aunt Shiba and her offspring. Bakari can be seen sitting on the rock platform, second from the left throughout the video; while Malika takes a seat next to them at 2.55.

    Last time I was at the zoo, Malika was very much on the periphery of the troop, like she is in this video. Samantha (1983) and Malika are the lowest ranking females in the troop; following the death of Samantha’s son, Temba, four years ago. Malika stays on the periphery to avoid confrontation with the high ranking females - especially Sally (1985) and Jessie (1978).

    All the females are currently on contraception, except for Sally. At 35 years old, Sally is getting on in age but can hopefully produce one more infant. The eldest mother at the birth of a surviving infant is Shiba at Taronga Zoo, who gave birth to Safiri in 2019 at the age of 38 years.
     
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  10. Tafin

    Tafin Well-Known Member

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    It's good to have an update. :)

    How is Samantha and Sally related to Shiba?

    Do you know if Malika will be staying at Wellington Zoo to breed?
     
  11. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Shiba (1981), Samantha (1983) and Sally (1985) are from Taronga’s two S lines:

    Susie (1948-1995) > Sutu (1973) > Samantha (1983)
    Susie (1948-1995) > Shiba (1981)

    Biddy (1950-1989) > Spitter (1960) > Sally (1985)

    Susie and Biddy were unrelated; but Shiba, Samantha and Sally are half sisters through their father, Jojo (1964-2016). Jojo is also the sire of Lisa, Sacha and Ficha (mother of Kuma) at Taronga.

    I’d say it’s likely Malika will be exported as her sister (Keza) is already breeding in the troop. Malika (sired by Sam) is a better match for Alexis (sired by Boyd) than Keza (sired by Marty); but from a practical perspective, it would be difficult to export Keza with her young son.

    I think the best option is to export Malika; and import an unrelated female in her place. Keza could remain on contraception until Bakari (sired by Sam) takes Alexis’ place as alpha male, and is likely to sire her next infant. This would result in a gap of around 10-12 years between Keza’s offspring (if Bakari assumes the alpha role in his early teens).

    This could potentially give Wellington Zoo’s troop three to four infants over the next decade:

    2020: Infant from Sally
    2022: Infant from new import
    2026: Infant from Keza
    2028: Infant from new import
     
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  12. Primatologist

    Primatologist New Member

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    Boyd is not the current eldest male chimpanzee in the Australasian region. Cassius, at Rockhampton Zoo is currently the oldest male in the region at 48.5 years old.

     
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  13. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    They don't look very interested in the feed...they show no excitement at all and some of them, (perhaps the most subordinate ones?) just stay up on the rock and seem to show no interest in coming down.
     
  14. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    I’ve noticed on my visits that their enthusiasm for feeding time is dictated by what they’re being fed. Vegetables, like they’re being fed here, gets a very lack lustre response; it’s the apples that get them excited.

    Sally is one of the females up on the rocks. She’s the highest ranking female and every time I’ve been to the feeds, she’s been on the rocks or on the poles at the back. Samantha, one of the lowest ranking females is back there with her.

    Cara (a middle ranking female) is at the front in that video. She’s always on the ground nearest the keeper throwing the food and is engaged with the feed, irregardless of what it is.
     
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  15. Jambo

    Jambo Well-Known Member

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    Melbourne Zoo Gorilla Keeper Talk:

    Interesting keeper talk about Melbourne Zoo’s Gorillas. What’s pretty cool about it, is it’s shot in VR, so if you have the Youtube app, you can watch the Keeper talk in VR!

     
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  16. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Rockhampton Zoo Chimpanzee Keeper Talk:

    In recognition of World Chimpanzee Day, Rockhampton Zoo has released a very detailed talk about each of their Chimpanzees and their history with the species. It was very interesting to hear about the stories of the older chimps like Samantha (who had wild-born parents) and Holly. I am glad the zoo went to the effort of establishing a cohesive situation for their chimps.

    Source: Rockhampton Zoo’s Facebook page

    Rockhampton Zoo
     
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  17. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Future of the Sumatran Orangutan Breeding Programme

    As mentioned in this thread, Auckland Zoo are no longer planning to import Sumatran orangutan and will be continuing with Bornean orangutan for the foreseeable. This decision comes after the conservation status of the Bornean orangutan changed to critically endangered in 2016.

    On hindsight, a number of clues to this decision change were there - the biggest being the decision for their two purebred Bornean orangutan to return to Auckland Zoo this year. Under their original plans to switch to Sumatran orangutan, having two reproductively viable Bornean orangutan taking up space (when they could be utilised in breeding programmes overseas) made little sense.

    What’s interesting to note is the recent stagnation of the Sumatran orangutan breeding programme in the region:

    Melbourne Zoo hasn’t bred Sumatran orangutan since 2010. They exported three of their four Sumatran orangutan in 2019 and have not publicly announced plans to import more.

    Perth Zoo haven’t bred Sumatran orangutan since 2012. They exported one of their three breeding females in 2017. Given the size of their colony and their history with this species, I don’t believe they will phase them out anytime soon; but the lack of breeding could be attributed to a lack of support from other facilities within the region (i.e. there’s a lack of spaces to place surplus offspring).

    Adelaide Zoo tragically lost their breeding female in 2017 and have made no attempts to import a new female for breeding in the years that followed.

    In 2015, Orana Wildlife Park announced plans to import Sumatran orangutan in 2017. This never happened. Instead, they delayed their own imports to hold Auckland Zoo’s orangutans; which has given them time to evaluate their own options.

    I’ll be interested to see if the lack of activity within the other zoo’s is purely circumstantial/coincidental; or indicative of a wider regional plan.
     
  18. marmolady

    marmolady Well-Known Member

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    That's really interesting about Auckland; some imports would have been nice. I'm still hoping for the Orana situation to pan out. It had been on my mind that there's been no breeding in the region for many years now. It's rather saddening, especially considering the regional focus on South-East Asian animals. Orangutans are obviously challenging apes to house well, and to make an engaging exhibit out of; it seems as though the region's zoos are putting greater focus on chimpanzees and gorillas, despite the geographical proximity of orangutans and potential for SE-Asian theming.

    I talked to a keeper at Adelaide Zoo recently, and they are most definitely wanting to import a female to live with Kluet. I was told that there isn't anyone available in the region at present, and that they'll likely look further afield. If nothing else, he would benefit a lot from the companionship.

    I wonder if there are plans to allow another infant each from Sekara and Pulang, whose current offspring are reaching adolescence. I'm guessing that Teliti would take Puteri's role as a reproductive female.

    I can only assume Melbourne will import a Sumatran female to breed with Malu in the future. I've always found the orangutan exhibit to be the best for the species in Australia, both in the provision of usable climbing space, and in visitor engagement. I hope that they do plan on housing a larger colony than just Malu with the two hybrid girls.
     
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  19. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Auckland Zoo are receiving two female Bornean orangutan in 2021 from the Ústí nad Labem Zoological Gardens in the Czech Republic.

    The new females are named Naninka (born 1987 approx) and Cantik (born December 2011).

    They will be the first Bornean orangutan imported into the Australasian region since 1995.
     
  20. marmolady

    marmolady Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that IS exciting!