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Elephants

Discussion in 'United States' started by cwenwyn, 31 Mar 2009.

  1. cwenwyn

    cwenwyn Well-Known Member

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    Please excuse me if this is an ignorant question, but I guess I am ignorant! :)

    Can they be/Are Asian and African elephants kept together? Are there any zoos keeping them together in the same enclosure? Do they get along or "speak the same language"?

    I know they wouldn't be intermingling in the wild becasue they are from different parts of the world, but I wondered if they are ever unnaturally thrown together in captivity.
     
  2. Sun Wukong

    Sun Wukong Well-Known Member

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    Asian Elephants and the two African elephant species can be and have been kept together in the past. Some zoos in Europe and USA (for example Topeka) still keep African Savannah and Asian Elephants together-not to mention several circuses.

    However, less and less zoos do so. One reason is the Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus (EEHV);
    EEHV - Elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus
     
  3. Ann Littlewood

    Ann Littlewood Well-Known Member

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    To expand a little on what Sun Wukong wrote, herpesvirus comes in at least two strains, African and Asian. Generally the infection causes the adult animals no trouble, but the African strain is often fatal for Asian elephant calves. I'm told that the new calf at Oregon Zoo is receiving a lot of early training so that he can be easily treated should he come down with this (or, of course, any illness). Years ago (20?) Oregon Zoo briefly held African elephants. Strictly Asian since then, but the concern remains.

    Perhaps other can elaborate or correct this information.
     
  4. dragon(ele)nerd

    dragon(ele)nerd Well-Known Member

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    I basically have the same to say about Ann and Sun with the herpes virus. And yes though some zoos still do it less and less do now. In Europe I know many zoos kept the two species e.g. Hannover was one of the main ones. And Chester which resulted in a hybrid! Here in australia the only two africans are in Western plains zoo alongside three asians I'm not sure if they are kept in the same yard though....
     
    Last edited: 1 Apr 2009
  5. Sun Wukong

    Sun Wukong Well-Known Member

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    @dragon(ele)nerd: Hannover keeps only Asians. Major German zoos that keep both species together are Dresden and Augsburg.
    @Ann Littlewood: If you read the link that I provided, you can see that it's actually a bit more complicated, as there are 6 different forms of EEHV (which can't be that easily divided geographically) ; EEHV2 and EEHV3 are native to loxodonts, EEHV5's probably native to Asians. Currently most problematic in Asians is EEHV1.
     
    Last edited: 1 Apr 2009
  6. dragon(ele)nerd

    dragon(ele)nerd Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I was referring that Hannover used to keep africans as well
     
  7. Blackduiker

    Blackduiker Well-Known Member

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    Blackduiker

    For several years the Los Angeles Zoo kept all their females, both African and Asian together. When opened in 1966, they exhibited both African and Asian species in separate yards. The African Elephants were originally exhibited in the Asian male Billy's last yard before he was recently moved to a new space to complete construction on Pachyderm Forest. Over the last 10-15 years, the decision was made to only exhibit Asians in the future due to their more dire situation in the wild, and space limitations.

    The remaining females of both species, until their recent deaths, were exhibited in the same yard. How ironic that just a few years prior to the hoopla and protests against the continuation of construction on Pachyderm Forest, there was almost as much protest over the zoos decision to send its lone remaining female African Elephant, Ruby to an out-of-state "Elephant Reserve" that specialized in African Elephants. Under pressure from the public that reached as high as the Mayor's office, Ruby was brought back to Los Angeles a few months later. It seems that Ruby the African had formed a strong bond with Geeta, the Asian Elephant and the public demanded that that bond not be broken.

    Where were the memories of Bob Barker, Cher, Lily Tomlin and others concerning that recent show of the peoples demand to keep their Elephants at the zoo?
     
  8. Buckeye092

    Buckeye092 Well-Known Member

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    The short answer is that in the wild they do not have similar geographic distributions. Zoos are trying to educate more so by displaying the two (really three) species of elephants in different enclosures, guests might realize the differences between the species.
     
  9. James27

    James27 Well-Known Member

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    Paignton also keeps one African and one Asian, both elderly females.
    Slightly off topic, but does anyone in the UK watch wild at heart? In the final episode the baby African ele almost died from EEHV, but from reading that article I gather it isn't fatal to Africans? Either I got it wrong or they need to do their research lol.