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Chester Zoo Chester Zoological Gardens, Chester, UK

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Paul Scott, 21 Mar 2005.

  1. Paul Scott

    Paul Scott Member

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    Hi all,

    This is my first post to this forum, as I only found out about it yesterday, after Nigel told me about it.
    My local zoo is about 12 miles away and is Chester Zoo. The zoo has been in existence since the early 1930's, and before then was at another site for 12 years.
    The man who set up the zoo had been appalled by another zoo in the North West called Belle Vue Zoological Park, Manchester. He was so appalled at the small bare cages housing lions, tigers, monkeys, apes etc. Even though they had massive success in breeding, it was not how he thought it should be done.
    Therefore he set up a zoo 'without cages' where moats, walls, fences and other barriers were used. This is not quite the case. For example the lions, tigers and birds are in 'cages'. This was the first zoo of it's type in the UK.
    Over the last four or five years there have been a number of significant changes. Last year saw the opening of 'Mini Monkeys' an open area with walkthrough areas and glass fronted indoor areas, 2004 also saw a massive renovation of the reptile house, and the opening of 'Tsavo' the black rhino experience, and the opening of the spectacled bear enclosure
    When I have more time I will write a more concise report, but for now you can visit, www.chesterzoo.org.uk .

    Paul
     
  2. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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    Welcome Paul - glad you have joined us.

    Looking forward to learning about the zoos in your area.
     
  3. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    Black rhinos in captivity

    Does any Australian zoo have black rhinos ? If so , are they breeding ? There are white rhinos in a few NZ zoos , and with Hamiltons current success in breeding them , they may need a bigger enclosure in a few years .

    Correct me if I am misinformed , but I believe that the Black rhinos are alot harder to keep due to their poor temperament -- wave a leaf 100 yards in front of them and they will charge , where as the white rhinos are (more ) placid in comparison and can be managed more easily , and vets/keepers are able to get a lot closer to them .....

    Good for Chester Zoo for displaying these ! I hope they are successful in breeding them .
     
  4. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    black rhinos

    there is a breeding program for southern black rhinoceros in australia. all the animals, six males and six females (bar one male on "holiday" at taronga) are held at western plains zoo in dubbo. the breeding program has had its fair share of ups and downs with this difficult species, almost half of the ten or so calf's born so far have died as well as two of the originally wild caught males soon after arrival. however, a lot of scientific research has gone into the dubbo group and the zoo has had some major breakthroughs regarding the rhinos problem with storing too much iron from their food.

    by comparison there are twenty-seven southern white rhino in australia and of the five zoos that keep them, four are part of the breeding program, holding them in large natural groups. unfortunately though, it always tends to be only one pair in each herd that breed!

    there is also one young male indian rhinoceros at dubbo, a breeding program is to be developed for this asian species as he matures.
     
  5. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    black rhinos

    there is a breeding program for southern black rhinoceros in australia. all the animals, six males and six females (bar one male on "holiday" at taronga) are held at western plains zoo in dubbo. the breeding program has had its fair share of ups and downs with this difficult species, almost half of the ten or so calf's born so far have died as well as two of the originally wild caught males soon after arrival. however, a lot of scientific research has gone into the dubbo group and the zoo has had some major breakthroughs regarding the rhinos problem with storing too much iron from their food.

    by comparison there are twenty-seven southern white rhino in australia and of the five zoos that keep them, four are part of the breeding program, holding them in large natural groups. unfortunately though, it always tends to be only one pair in each herd that breed! - far from the ideal situation.

    there is also one young male indian rhinoceros at dubbo, a breeding program is to be developed for this asian species as he matures.
     
  6. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    Nigel Check out my website for more infor about the black rhino at Western Plains. As well as being hard to breed, about half the calvesd born have died, two or three of the five adult females have been dominating the births and so far only ONE female has been born. These are typical problems with rhinos. And as Patrick has stated with the white rhinos, the breeding seems to be dominated by four or five females (one at Hamilton, Perth Werribee and a couple of females at Dubbo). Not good gebnetic variation going on there.
    HJason
     
  7. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    White Rhinos at Auckland Zoo

    Auckland Zoo is part of the Australasian white rhino captive breeding programme.
    We have five white rhinos. Mandla, the largest of our two males (he weighs just over 2 tonne!) was captive-born at San Diego Zoo in 1979, and came to Auckland Zoo in 1980. Our other male Kruger was born in 1989 at Kruger National Park, and arrived in late 1999.

    In the wild male rhino are solitary so it’s appropriate that Mandla and Kruger are never put together. They take turns going out separately in the rhino paddock in Pridelands with our three females Mazithi and her two daughters Mbili and Kito. This works very successfully.

    Both Mazithi and Mbili came to Auckland Zoo from Kruger National Park in October 1999. At the time Mazithi was also pregnant with Kito, who was born here at the Zoo in June 2000.
     
  8. Paul Scott

    Paul Scott Member

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    Chester update

    Chester once held a breeding herd of White Rhinos but had such success that they glutted the breeding programme, and had to disperse the group through europe (and beyond)!
    Since then the enclosure of about one acre was left empty except for some occasional animal rotations. When they moved the Black Rhinos in they expanded the site to about 5 acres. They currently have one bull and four females (two juvenile) and are expecting one (possibly two) new arrivals.
    About six or seven years ago they had a family group of Asiatic lions, father, mother and two sons. The father was moved to Russia four years ago, and the mother died last month aged 16. They are currently trying to rehouse the two sons in other zoos to concentrate on African lions, after a recent report showed that there may be less of them in the wild and captivity, than the total number of Asiatic lions in zoos worldwide.
    Interesting thought eh?
     
  9. Paul Holgate

    Paul Holgate New Member

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    Well, no it wasn't. The first zoo of it's type in the UK was actually Whipsnade Zoo, now Whipsnade Wild Animal Park. Chester Zoo, is probably my second favourite zoo in the UK, but in terms of wide, spacious areas, it falls far short of Whipsnade.

    Whipsnade was the brainchild of Peter Chalmers-Mitchell of the London Zoological Society, and was initially intended to be a place where the animals from London Zoo could go for a holiday! It was inspired by a European collection (in Germany I think), and the site was previously an old farm. It occupies a large area on the Dunstable Downs in South Bedfordshire. There is a huge chalk lion carved into the Downs alongside the zoo which has become a local landmark. Whipsnade has had substantial success in breeding animals over the years, in particular White Rhino and Cheetah's.

    The park has had 2 baby elephants in the last couple of years, with a third on the way. A baby chimp, called Elvis. 3 male baby white rhino in the last year. 2 female zebra foals. A male giraffe. 2 red panda's and probably more that I've forgotten about.

    They have some really spectacular exhibits including tiger falls, a spacious area containing siberian tigers. Lions of the serengetti, which has an impressive glass viewing area. There is an railway (which used to be called the Umfalozi railway and passed through a crash of white rhino). The railway now renamed the Great Whipsnade Railway passes through a large asia exhibit containing numerous species of deer, camels and yak.

    They have a group of indian rhinoceros, which are very impressive beasts.

    A group of european brown bears.

    A great new chimp exhibit - the chimpnasium.

    In short, I think Whipsnade is the best zoo in the country, and I tend to visit every month.

    I probably visit Chester Zoo about 5 or 6 times a year, and actually have memberships at both Whipsnade and Chester. The great thing about being a member of Chester is that you get access to many other zoos free, including Colchester, Woburn Safari Park, Twycross Zoo and many others.

    I also recommend West Midland Safari Park which has some great animals, including some rare white lions, and several white bengal tigers. Last year there were 3 litters of lion cubs born at West Midland too.
     
  10. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    Hi Paul, Any sign of the Indian rhino breeding yet, i saw them there in 1987.
     
  11. Writhedhornbill

    Writhedhornbill Well-Known Member

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    No. The Indian Rhino Moved about 9 years ago. Somewhere in Germany I think. But they have just recieved a 3yr old male from Germany called Panza. Later this year (about September) A female is due to arrive from Basel.
     
  12. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I think Mark was referring to the Indian rhinos at Whipsnade, not Chester. As I aid elsewhere, a Whipsnade female gave birth this year(Jan Ist) to a female calf.

    The male which was originally at Chester for a while is now at West Berlin Zoo. He is Gaidi, and was born at Whipsnade Zoo(parents Kumar, born Amsterdam and Roopa, born Delhi, India)

    Interesting Chester are getting a female to join their male- suddenly 3 Uk zoos have this species, instead of just Whipsnade.

    I can't agree with Paul incidentally that Whipsnade is better than Chester- it doesn't come anywhere near for quality of collction or design of buildings.
     
  13. Writhedhornbill

    Writhedhornbill Well-Known Member

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    I know Edinburgh has recently aquired 2 males. I have been twice within the past year and they always seem to be fighting.
     
  14. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Edinburgh rhinos-yes, two males doesn't seem ideal- I beieve the idea is to replace one with a female at some stage.

    D you know from where Chester's new male 'Panza' has come from(which German Zoo?)
     
  15. Writhedhornbill

    Writhedhornbill Well-Known Member

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    No.I'm sorry
     
  16. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    /chester kept and bred black rhinos even when they had the Whites as well. I think they started(1960's) with the traditional 'pairs' of each species on show. The pair of Black rhinos were the first male born at Bristol, and a wildcaught female They produced three calves but this line died out. After they phased out the Whites in favour of the rarer Blacks, they increased the number by aquiring new animals from various sources, and now have about eight with a roughly equal male/female ratio. Two of the younger females were born at the zoo. Generally breeding has been only intermittent, one adult female died and other animals there haven't bred at all yet. So they are not having a great deal of success with this species currently.

    Its true 'Blacks' do suffer a nervous disposition in captivity and may make breeding them more difficult in some circumstances.
     
  17. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    WOW, three UK zoos with Indian rhinos, thats great news, all these years its been only Whipsnade zoo who kept them, so this will be interesting in the years to come and with a bit of luck they can pump out a few bubs.
     
  18. Writhedhornbill

    Writhedhornbill Well-Known Member

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    Does that mean have baby rhinos?
     
  19. Writhedhornbill

    Writhedhornbill Well-Known Member

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    Can I just apologise for a mistake. I called the indian rhino at Chester Panza instead of Patna. Sorry for any confusion
     
  20. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    Yes that means having a few babies, hehe