Join our zoo community

Difficult Species To Display In Zoos

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by SamMetz, 30 Nov 2014.

  1. SamMetz

    SamMetz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Jul 2014
    Posts:
    204
    Location:
    Ohio
    Recently Ive been watching a series called African Wild, that focused on different regions and groups of African wildlife and it made me wonder about why certain common animals in Africa aren't usually/often displayed in zoos.

    With African Savanna themed exhibits being so popular it made me wonder why Ive mostly only seen the same old zebras, impala, and ostriches and not more interesting hoofstock. With species like Water Buffalo, Wildebeest, Nilgai, Greater kudu, & Black wildebeest all being fairly common why are animals like these not mixed in with the average savanna exhibits we see? Are they aggressive toward other species? Do they need extremely larger areas? Are they just harder to get in zoos? Have I just not seen enough zoos?

    What are other common animals you usually don't see? Are what are other animals that are difficult to display for facilities? Ive heard that Bonobos aren't usually displayed for not just being rare but because they are so sexual.
     
  2. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    1 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    4,625
    Location:
    Melbourne, Aust (ex. NZ)
    I think its a bit of a mix of the reasons you mention, I think wildebeest especially are fairly aggressive. Nilgai and Water Buffalo are from Asia, so don't really belong in African Savannah exhibits. But I think African Buffalo are also quite aggressive - I don't think I've ever seen them mixed before. Zoos are also generally keeping fewer species, and multiple antelope species are rarely a priority. AZA presumably has a small subset of priority antelope species that are most common in American zoos, so there will be few other species displayed at AZA zoos.

    I hadn't heard that bonobos aren't displayed because they are so sexual, is that actually true? What an awful reason to not display a species - who comes up with these ideas?
     
  3. cloudedleopard

    cloudedleopard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Jul 2014
    Posts:
    551
    Location:
    Land of Liberty
    Yes, zooboy28, bonobos should be displayed more. But it is true; they are one of the three species that mate for pleasure & not out of pure necessity, the others are humans and dolphins.
     
  4. SamMetz

    SamMetz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Jul 2014
    Posts:
    204
    Location:
    Ohio
    Sorry, I did mean African Buffalo there. :) And yeah Ive heard the bonobo thing a couple of times. Im not sure if its that or just the fact that they're rarer than the other apes that they're not displayed as much.
     
  5. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    1 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    4,625
    Location:
    Melbourne, Aust (ex. NZ)
    Yes, I realise that is true, I was wondering more if its true that they aren't displayed more for that reason.
     
  6. Bib Fortuna

    Bib Fortuna Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18 Dec 2010
    Posts:
    852
    Location:
    Tatooine
    To answer your last question-if so, then only in the Usa, not for the rest of the world; especially the western world dosen't have any problems with this theme-luckily-mankind would be extinct...;)
     
  7. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2013
    Posts:
    1,157
    Location:
    Baltic Sea
    If animals, in particular eutheria, wouldn't feel pleasure while copulating, they might not do it in the first place. "Dolphins" aren't a species, but a group designation. Bonobos don't display sexual behaviour just for pleasure, but for several social reasons ; so do humans and a bunch of other species. As for mere sexual pleasures: the list of animals pleasuring themselves/mastrubating is pretty extensive; the infamous chimp and frog internet video is just a well-known example of many.

    If frequent/obvious display of sexual behaviour would deter zoos from keeping said species, zoos wouldn't keep baboons. Or lions. Or rhinos. Or tortoises. Or...a very, very long list of species with a "kinky" sex life.
    Bonobos are just rare, and the ex-situ population is rather small.

    Greater kudus are kept in several mixed species exhibits. So are nilgais (usually together with blackbucks).
     
  8. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2012
    Posts:
    12,085
    Location:
    fijnaart, the netherlands
    Reasons why surtain species are not ( or rarely ) displayed can be :
    - not avaible
    - food issues
    - health issues ( some species are very easy stressed which makes transport difficult )
    - laws - some countries forbit to import or to export ( or both ) (surtain ) animals.
    - difficult to display - think about deep-sea creatures
    and prop. many more...
     
  9. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    3,841
    Location:
    South Devon
    There are quite a few species which are hard to display well. Burrowing species are obvious examples, whether they be sand boas or aardvarks - the latter being large and quite active at night as well. Bornean orang utans tend to be inactive and are very fond of dismantling or destroying cage furniture and indeed cages. A few species are both strong and highly strung, such as musk oxen and sable antelope. I would also nominate maned wolves, which I think are sensitive and secretive unless they are in quiet surroundings and which have the added disadvantage of being very smelly indeed.

    Alan
     
  10. loftustheraven

    loftustheraven Member

    Joined:
    30 Nov 2014
    Posts:
    11
    Location:
    cullompton devon
    I know Ospreys are near impossible to keep in captivity due to their specific needs and the stereotypic behaviours they often display.
     
  11. baboon

    baboon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 Jun 2010
    Posts:
    273
    Location:
    Beijing, China
    For the African hoofstock, there are many examples of wildebeest harassing zebra, zebra harassing gemsbok, gemsbok killing the wildebeest and so on. For example all the wildebeests in Beijing zoo were killed by gemsboks because they often harassed the calves of gemsboks. I wonder why kudu are so difficult to breed in zoos? There used to be many greater kudus in Chinese zoos, but few of them bred and left.
    And I think langurs, pangolins and musk deer are the most difficult-to-display land mammals.
     
  12. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2014
    Posts:
    1,300
    Location:
    League City, Texas
    I read that back when places were still capturing bottlenose dolphins for display, female dolphins were taken more frequently in part because the males were more easily aroused and aquariums and the like didn't want that coming out during a show. (but there were a few other reasons that the female dolphins were more popular) Though obviously it didn't stop places from taking and displaying male dolphins entirely. I wouldn't be surprised if it played a part in fewer bonobo displays, but I can't imagine it being a primary reason. (since you can see any animal doin' the deed at a zoo, whether or not it's a species known to do it for pleasure)
     
  13. Bib Fortuna

    Bib Fortuna Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18 Dec 2010
    Posts:
    852
    Location:
    Tatooine
    Who said Greater Kudus are difficult to breed ? Please take a look into the European Studbook, and you will be surprised, how well they are breed in europe...

    My advice to Beiijing Zoo-seperate gemsbok and wildebeest....Pangolins are completly impossible to keep them in"Captivity".
     
  14. Bib Fortuna

    Bib Fortuna Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18 Dec 2010
    Posts:
    852
    Location:
    Tatooine
    Who said Greater Kudus are difficult to breed ? Please take a look into the European Studbook, and you will be surprised, how well they are breed in europe...

    My advice to Beiijing Zoo-seperate gemsbok and wildebeest....Pangolins are completly impossible to keep them in"Captivity", also most langurs like Douc langur or Probosics monkeys.Saiga and Tschiru are good examples for antelopes, musk ox fur other hoofed animals.They are doing very bad in middle europe.:(Even "common" species likemoose and giraffes are much harder to keep in"captivity", than many people can imagine..
     
  15. baboon

    baboon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 Jun 2010
    Posts:
    273
    Location:
    Beijing, China
    Thank you! Now I wonder what the Chinese zoos lack for kudu...... Your advice to Beijing Zoo is late, as all the wildebeests are gone...
     
  16. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    17,360
    Location:
    everywhere
    perhaps you should think a little harder for zoos which keep and breed pangolins.....
     
  17. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    6,665
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    Considering the fact Bib Fortuna is only 240 miles as the crow flies from a zoo which keeps Pangolin, he certainly does need to think a little harder ;)