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Elephants in Zoos

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Beastking04, 28 Apr 2015.

  1. Beastking04

    Beastking04 Well-Known Member

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    Earlier today, I read this article:

    Popular Zoo Elephants Likely to Get Harder to See in Future - ABC News

    Is this just Anti-Zoo propaganda, or are Elephants really dissapearing from zoos? What are current birth rates of Elephants in American zoos? Is any zoo doing something about boosting the numbers and/or building new, improved exhibits for African, and especially Asian Elephants?

    I'd like to hear ideas, theories, and feedback about this.
     
  2. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

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    Elephants are currently indeed disappearing from North American zoos. Birth rates are too low and populations of both species are consisting mostly of post-productive cows. Also a large percentage of calves die because of herpes virus infection. Zoos know about this problematic situation and try to reverse it, with limited results so far. I think they will succeed one day in future and both species will stabilize and grow again. But meanwhile the captive populations will hit much lower numbers.

    In Europe, the situation is slightly different. Asian elephants are doing OK, their captive population is self-sustainable. There are enough births to offset animals lost due to deaths. Some zoos with outdated enclosures phase out elephants, and simultanously other zoos start with elephants from scratch. In not-so-distant future, there might even be surplus of young animals available for export to North American zoos. African elephants are doing poorly on the other hand, the number of births decreases. This is caused mostly by lack of cooperation between the institutions holding breeding animals, in my opinion. If this trend can be reversed - we will see.

    Australian zoos´ realised an import of several young Asians few years back and since then, they breed them like they were rats.
     
  3. Beastking04

    Beastking04 Well-Known Member

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    Is there anything about this I can read for myself online? And what zoos are trying to reverse it? Also what zoos in the US are breeding elephants?
     
  4. savethelephant

    savethelephant Well-Known Member

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    It's a real shame.
     
  5. loxodontaafrica

    loxodontaafrica Well-Known Member

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    off the top of my head

    Asian
    African Lion Safari (Canada)
    Albuquerque BioPark
    Busch Gardens-Tampa
    Oklahoma City Zoo
    Portland Zoo
    Rosamond Gifford Zoo
    St. Louis Zoo

    African
    Disney's Animal Kingdom
    Hogle Zoo
    Indianapolis Zoo
    Memphis Zoo
    Pittsburgh Zoo//International Conservation Center
    Reid Park zoo
    San Diego Safari Park
    Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo
    Toledo Zoo
     
  6. Beastking04

    Beastking04 Well-Known Member

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    Here's an article about the Oregon Zoo wanting to breed elephants. It also talks more about elephant breeding in zoos.

    Why the Oregon Zoo wants to breed elephants

    What do you fellow zoochat members think about this?
     
  7. gerenuk

    gerenuk Well-Known Member

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    This article might make more sense if the reporter actually tried to learn something from their research, rather than just look for something controversial.
     
  8. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree with you.

    Also, if I remember correctly the Smithsonian has plans to breed one of their females, one of the ones who arrived from Calgary last year.

    There is the implications that come from some of the Ringling Brothers stock possibly entering the AZA breeding pool. That might help Asian Elephant numbers. I'm hoping that more zoos will consider having a bull herd as well if they can manage it.
     
  9. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    Apparently San Antonio Zoo is planning to get a bull herd of African elephants once their lone Asian elephant bites the dust, but that could be a while.
     
  10. elefante

    elefante Well-Known Member

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    I didn't realize they were down to one. That zoo needs to stop keeping elephants. Unless they've done some upgrading their enclosure is awful.
     
  11. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    Lucky the elephant is still there. It's brought them quite a bit of controversy, as they refuse to move her. They say she's unusual in that she prefers to be alone. After she dies, they plan on upgrading the exhibit to get 3 African males, but that could be a while.
     
    Last edited: 10 May 2015
  12. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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    If I remember correctly she is too old to be moved and is also a socially irregular animal who prefers being alone or being with humans to being with other Elephants. In this case moving her would not be such a good idea after all.
     
  13. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    Currently, in North America, there are 2 elephant deaths for every birth. I doubt that the ratio will stay like that for long.

    Nashville zoo is changing their exhibit to get a bull so they will start to breed there too.

    Cincinnati is also trying to breed their elephants, but I doubt they will succeed. Their elephant exhibit isn't too good.

    Here is my list of zoos who I think are the best for elephants that also breed their animals. The ones with links to articles are zoos who plan to change their exhibit in the future, so they don't necessarily count right now, but their plans look fantastic:

    • San Diego Zoo (2 Acres)
    • San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park (5 Acres)
    • Tampa Lowry Park Zoo (2 Acres)
    • Oakland Zoo (After difficult lessons, Oakland Zoo a leader in elephant welfare - SFGate) (3 Acres)
    • Oklahoma Zoo (3 Acres)
    • Reid Park Zoo (3 Acres)
    • St Louis Zoo (2 Acres)
    • ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
    • National Zoo (2 Acres)
    • Toledo Zoo (1 Acre)
    • Indianapolis Zoo (2 Acres)
    • Denver Zoo (2 Acres)
    • Oregon Zoo (1 Acre)
    • Utah’s Hogle Zoo (1 Acre)
    • Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo
    • Sedgwick County Zoo (New elephant exhibit part of Sedgwick County Zoo?s $11.5 million campaign | The Wichita Eagle The Wichita Eagle)
    • Nashville Zoo (Nashville Zoo construction sends elephants to Florida)
     
  14. gerenuk

    gerenuk Well-Known Member

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    Nashville Zoo won't be breeding unless they plan on getting different female elephants when the barn is finished.

    Whipsnade is not in North America.

    Oakland, Denver, and San Diego Zoo are also not breeding elephants.
     
  15. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    Nashville zoo announced they want to start breeding, so they probably will get more animals.

    I know that whipsnade is not in north america, but I like their elephant program anyway.

    That was a mistake to say they breed them. They are all on a document on my computer of the zoos that I think are the best for elephants.

    How many cows are at denver? I know they have a bunch of bulls.
     
  16. junglejim

    junglejim Well-Known Member

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    good to read some actual conversation of depth than being railroaded by the anti-propaganda for sure. For once we can be reasonable and adults.
     
  17. Beastking04

    Beastking04 Well-Known Member

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    Dari just recently passed away at the Hogle Zoo.How is the zoo going to get a new elephant? Anyone have any ideas?
     
  18. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    Even the new elephant exhibits that are being built are inadequate in my opinion. Of course lately (last year or so) I am feeling this way about most zoo enclosures, regardless of species. It is certainly possible to build really nice, large and enriching exhibits for many species, including elephants. It is just that most zoos are unwilling to do this.
     
  19. Shellheart

    Shellheart Well-Known Member

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    And,even if a nice exhibit is built,zoos may have a tough time filling them,as is the case with Los Angeles. They could have a great exhibit,if only they had more inhabitants...
     
  20. jwer

    jwer Well-Known Member

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    Is it me, or has asianelephant.net not been updated since july 2014?

    Does anyone know why, and will it be updated again soon?