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Cats & Other Domestic Animals in Zoos

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by ChIkEn NuGrEt, 26 Dec 2020.

  1. ChIkEn NuGrEt

    ChIkEn NuGrEt Well-Known Member

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    So at the Fort Worth Zoo they have three domestic cats that roam the property. (One orange and white calico female, one orange tabby male, and their kitten, which is another orange tabby male.) These three cats are fed and watered by the zoo staff, and given regular veterinary appointments just like every other animal kept at the zoo. The cats are planning to be neutered soon so they population doesn’t rapidly grow. I first encountered the two males about a week after the opening of the new “African Savanna” stage of the “A Wilder Vision” project; they were laying in the garden bed in front of the Savanna Grill. My dad and I gave them a little bit of chicken, then walked off to look at the other animals. But anyways what I’m asking is do you know of any situations like this; where cats and other domesticated animals are allowed to roam zoo property, or are even taken care of by the staff?
     
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  2. HOMIN96

    HOMIN96 Well-Known Member

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    Cats are present in quite a bunch of zoos I would say. They serve both the purpose of pest control and they also work as "keeper enrichment."

    Also, I'll just leave this here...
     
  3. ChIkEn NuGrEt

    ChIkEn NuGrEt Well-Known Member

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    Hah, “Keeper enrichment” I like that. I haven’t really seen them at other zoos, so I didn’t know that this was at least somewhat common. I’ve seen a lot of Northern White Rhino and domestic cat friendships for some reason.
     
  4. Bubalus

    Bubalus Well-Known Member

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    Bactrian camels...does this count ;)
     
  5. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member

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    Feral cats are not uncommon in some places, and are somewhat of a risk to smaller animals. An zoo with feral cats has to take precautions in open air exhibits and double check bts holdings and exhibit perimeters on a regular basis to ensure the safety of the animals. It is worth remembering feral cats have wreaked havoc on many endangered species.
     
  6. ChIkEn NuGrEt

    ChIkEn NuGrEt Well-Known Member

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    I mean domesticated animals that the zoo lets roam the property.
     
  7. ChIkEn NuGrEt

    ChIkEn NuGrEt Well-Known Member

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    Yes I do believe this is a very big problem. All animals the cats could potentially harm are kept either indoors, or with a mesh net preventing them from meeting each other.
     
  8. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member

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    Mesh has to be small enough for the cats to be unable to reach through. Or placed in such a way the species contained cannot reach. Animals are surprisingly good at reaching through mesh if they want to.
     
  9. ChIkEn NuGrEt

    ChIkEn NuGrEt Well-Known Member

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    The ones at Fort Worth aren’t large enough for the cats to get into it. The keepers also said that they tend to stay around the cafe, and the visitors enjoy feeding them, so there isn’t really a reason for them to go hunting.
     
  10. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Feral cats are a big problem in zoos here in Brazil as they spread toxoplasmosis and this is often deadly to Callitrichids which have no immunity.

    At least one zoo here has had an enormous amount of primates die because of toxoplamosis infection due to feral cats.
     
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  11. ChIkEn NuGrEt

    ChIkEn NuGrEt Well-Known Member

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    Wow I didn’t know about this that’s crazy. I think that of zoos are to have domesticated cats roaming the property they should be given vaccinations and regular check ups, as well as being spayed and neutered. I think the Fort Worth Zoo is a perfect example of what to do with feral cats other than sending them to shelters.
     
  12. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Yes and zoos here do their utmost to try to mitigate the problem with veterinary care,taking cats to shelters, spaying and neutering them and conducting educational programes in local communities but it doesn't work and there are always more that end up arriving and roaming around zoos.
     
  13. ChIkEn NuGrEt

    ChIkEn NuGrEt Well-Known Member

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    Hmm it may just be the best option to euthanize these cats.
     
  14. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but animal rights activists don't seem to agree with that and that is another black mark in their book for zoos.
     
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  15. ChIkEn NuGrEt

    ChIkEn NuGrEt Well-Known Member

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    What’s worse having an invasive species culled or having a native endangered species go extinct? Seriously sometimes certain “animal rights activists” really tick me off.
     
  16. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they tick me off too and particularly as they could work alongside zoos in helping to reduce this issue of feral cats but they choose not to for obvious reasons.
     
  17. PossumRoach

    PossumRoach Well-Known Member

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    some zoos in Japan (both accredited and unaccredited) have petting areas with cats and dogs. It's understandable with dogs because some breeds are rare and too big for some Japanese homes.
     
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  18. ChIkEn NuGrEt

    ChIkEn NuGrEt Well-Known Member

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    Oh how I’d love to see animal activists helping zoos.
     
  19. ChIkEn NuGrEt

    ChIkEn NuGrEt Well-Known Member

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    Hmm that’s interesting do you know where I could find any images of these petting areas?
     
  20. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Chapultepec zoo in Mexico city keeps a trio of the Xoloitzcuintle dog which is a hairless domestic ancient breed of dog that was kept by the Aztecs who considered it to serve as a guide to the underworld.

    It actually doesn't bother me so much as it is a rare domestic breed and does have a lot of cultural significance considering its long history in Mexico.